Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Salmon with Ginger, Red Chillies & Honey Reduction

A simple salmon dish with dark soy sauce and Chinese noodles.

Prep Time: 20 min 
Cook Time: 20 min

4 tbsp dark soy sauce 
4 x 150g salmon fillets 
1 1/2 tbsp runny honey 
15 g root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
1 red chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped
chopped parsley

1. Preheat the oven at 220°C

2. Mix together the dark soy sauce with honeygingergarlic and chilli.

3. Place the salmon fillets on a lined baking tray and spoon the sauce over the fillets.
4. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes until the salmon is just cooked, and serve with noodles and chopped parsley. 

Serves: 4

Monday, August 7, 2017

Chorizo & Red Pepper Tortilla Recipe

The tortilla I am referring to is not the Mexican type packed with everything you can get your hands on.  The Spanish tortilla translates as omelette.  It´s a great comfort food served warm for a midday snack, like now, lunch or dinner (even cold for breakfast). It transforms simple ingredients into a meal almost fit for a king. 

OK, there are basic ingredients here that most would already have in the larder: eggs, onion and potato and this is where those other ingredients in the refrigerator come into play such as asparagus, prawns, mushrooms and you can make changes every time to suit your taste; you would miss out if you didn't experiment.  Now, where was that lemongrass...? 

Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 
1 medium onion, sliced
red pepper, roughly chopped
200 g precooked chorizo, thinly sliced
225 g of potatoes, cubed, boiled until tender and drained
garlic clove, minced
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
12 eggs

1.Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium high heat. Add onions and red pepper and cook until tender. Add chorizzopotatoesgarlic, and cilantro stirring carefully. Season with salt and pepper.

2. In a large bowl whisk eggs with a pinch of salt. Add the eggs to the pan with the chorizzo mixture. Stir gently with a spatula allowing the bottom to cook, pulling away at the sides to allow the egg on top to run underneath.

3. When the eggs are mostly set, place the pan in oven for about 5 minutes until set on top.

4. Remove from oven. Cut into wedges.

Serves: 6

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Honey Mustard Chicken with Pine Nuts & Goat Cheese Recipe

Stocking up on the bare basics is a must if you love to cook a lot. Dried pasta, rice, tinned plum tomatoes, vegetable/chicken/fish stock, anchovies, oil. nuts and dried herbs to name a few examples are essentials that every kitchen should have.

It´s only the middle of the week and already down to basic ingredients in the fridge.  So keeping it simple and based on the fact that I had chicken breast, rocket leaves and goat cheese, I was glad I came across this recipe.  It asked for the above three ingredients along with a only a few kitchen pantry essentials. This really makes a great light supper with a short ingredients list, short preparation and short cook time.

Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 10 min

chicken breast. skinned and sliced into strips
2 tbsp honey
2 tsp grain mustard
140g goats' cheese
110g toasted pine nuts
bunch of rocket leaves
balsamic vinegar
olive oil
salt and ground black pepper

1. In a bowl, mix the honey and grain mustard and add the chicken strips. Stir the chicken strips to coat them with the honey mix.

2. Place the chicken strips in a frying pan and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side

3. With a ratio of oil to vinegar, 3:1 and some salt and pepper, dress the rocket leaves with the dressing.

4, Place the rocket leaves on the centre of each plate and then stack the chicken strips on top. Crumble the goat cheese over the top and sprinkle with toasted pine nuts.

5.Lightly drizzle some extra honey around the outside of the salad and serve.

Serves: 2

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Beetroot Risotto Recipe

I have tried many risotto recipes in my time but when asked if I'd ever tried this I went as red as a beetroot.  I was embarrassed because I'd not even considered using such a sweet vegetable in a risotto before. Smoothies, soups, salads, even cakes, but never had I considered using beetroot with risotto rice.

Still with a red face, I felt like I needed some fresh air and killing two birds with one stone I exercised with a brisk walk to the supermarket and bought some fresh beetroot to use in this colorful risotto which had been recommended to me some time ago.

And truly colorful this is! And it's also great to know that beetroot is known to reduce blood pressure. I will not let myself get so embarrassed again.

This can be served simply as a normal risotto but crumbled feta or goat cheese would go well with this delightful dinner.

Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins

1 litre vegetable stock
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup shallots, peeled and finely chopped
1 cup arborio rice
¼ cup vermouth or white wine
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
2 tbsp butter

1. Wrap the beetroot in foil and roast them in the oven at 180C until tender. Peel and chop into ¼ inch cubes to make 3 cups; set aside.

2. Bring vegetable stock to the boil in a saucepan, over medium heat and then reduce to a low simmer.

3. Heat oil in a large bottom based saucepan over a medium to high heat. Add garlic and shallots and cook gently until shallots have softened.

4. Add the rice and stir until coated in oil.

5. Add the vermouth and stir until absorbed.

6. Add stock,  ½ cup at a time, stirring after each addition until liquid has been absorbed before adding more. This should take around 20 minutes in total.

7. Peel and dice the cooked beetroots. Add to the risotto.

8. Add the butter, some salt and pepper.

9. Serve in warmed bowls and scatter with fresh herbs, parsley, mint or thyme for example and some crumbled cheese if desired.

Serves: 4

Monday, July 17, 2017

Pan-Fried Prawns with Pork, Beansprouts & Crispy Noodles Recipe

I know of some regular supermarkets that sell a small selection of necessary ingredients - hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, shiitake mushrooms,... I wanted to broaden my horizons and see what other delights the Asian stores may have.

Asian food stores are few and far between here in the South of this island in Tenerife, but I have always loved the experience of putting it as a priority on my day to push the boundaries, almost crippling myself trying to discover where I can find somewhere with an exact ingredient  rather than lazily rely on an alternative. And of course, at the end of the day seeing the results on a plate with minimum fuss, maximum pleasure.

Thankfully I did find what I was looking for. Asian cooks' paradise is the best way I can describe it. Flowering chives, katsuo bushi, bean curd, pak choi,... poetic names almost. Oh, and the noodles - wheaty ones, rice ones, bucking ones. wrapping ones,... to name but a few. It gave me some inspiration in trying my hand at homemade noodles at a later date. Ok, the ones I had seen here are in the dried noodle format but I have to start Asian style cooking somewhere, right?

Noodling is fun on your own but I always prefer to share the experience. When cooking noodles for others I generally like to be neat and tidy for the sake of presentation. Eating alone or in more intimate company, I find that it is more fun not to be so tidy; it´s always nice to slurp now and then.

Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins

100 g prawns
50 g dried rice noodles
vegetable oil
2 tbsp finely chopped shallots
3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
pinch of dried chilli flakes
200 g minced pork
large handful of beansprouts
½ tsp light brown sugar
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp mirin
small handful coriander leaves

1. Separate the rice noodles by pulling apart the various sections into manageable amounts. Using scissors, cut the rice noodles into 4-5 inch lengths. Now gently drop handfuls of noodles in the hot oil. The noodles puff up quickly so have a utensil at the ready to quickly extract them. The actual cooking time is only a few seconds. Set puffed noodles to drain on paper towels and shake over a little salt, if desired

2. Butterfly the prawns by cutting each of them lengthways almost right the way through and open the two halves. Remove the black intestinal tract from the prawn by scraping it out with the tip of a sharp knife

3. Place oil in a small to medium size frying pan (the smaller the pan, the less oil you will have to use). Heat oil over medium-high heat for a minimum of 1 minute.

4. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a hot wok or heavy based frying pan and stir fry the shallots for 1 minute.

5. Add the garlic, chilli flakes and pork and continue to stir fry for a further 2 minutes or until the pork is almost cooked.

6. Add the prawnsbeansprouts, sugarfish sauce and mirin and continue stir frying for a further 2-3 minutes.

7.  Add the cooked prawns and the coriander and toss so the prawns get some heat.

8. Serve the pork and prawn mixture on top of the rice noodles with the lime juice squeezed over the top.

Serves: 2