Furikake Devilled Eggs

Around the holidays, sometimes I like to make a few things to nibble on rather than a normal ‘meat’ and 3 veg meal. I clearly was taken with Asian food this year considering the Korean pinwheels and these Japanese flavoured devilled eggs. In case, like me, you were wondering why they’re called devilled eggs, to save you a google search, devilled was a word to describe anything highly seasoned back in the medieval times and the normal recipe does usually contain cayenne pepper or paprika. This version’s a bit more of an interesting take on the classic devilled eggs containing furikake and Kewpie mayonnaise which is a Japanese mayo and is well worth taking the trouble to find over normal mayonnaise. Furikake is a Japanese seasoning with a mixture of different things such as seaweed, dried fish and sesame seeds. I honestly can’t really tell the difference between this and togarashi so if you have that, use that instead. If you don’t have it, it’s also well worth finding as it makes anything you sprinkle it on delectable. I saw the recipe on BBC Good Food, I didn’t have wasabi so I subbed it with miso paste.

Makes 12 egg halves

Ingredients

  • 6 eggs
  • 2 tbsp kewpie mayonnaise
  • 2 spring onions
  • 1 tsp miso
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp pickled ginger (I unfortunately had to omit this due to lack of stock at my local supermarket)
  • 3 tbsp furikake

Method

1.) Boil some water and pour into a deep pan. Put the eggs into the pan and simmer for 10 minutes until hard boiled.

2.) Leave to cool or put in some ice water if you want to speed up the process.

3.) Peel the shells off the eggs and chop the eggs in half.

4.) Scoop the egg yolks out with a spoon into a bowl. Slice finely the spring onions and add to the bowl. Measure in the mayonnaise, miso, sesame oil and ginger.

5.) Mash everything with a fork until you get a paste.

6.) Spread the furikake seasoning onto a plate and press each egg half lightly onto the seasoning so that it sticks. Sprinkle the egg yolk holes with the remaining seasoning.

7.) Spoon the egg mixture into the recess where the yolk was (or pipe if you want to be fancy and you don’t have 8 Harry Potter films to get through over your holiday break).

Cod with Hasselback Potatoes

I keep seeing hasselback potatoes all over Pinterest so I’ve been wanting to make some for a while. Slicing them before baking means you just get this beautiful crunch all the way round the exposed bits. I finally got round to it when I saw a recipe for cod with a dill and orange crumb on the BBC Good Food website served alongside them. The orange zest in the crumb really brightens up the dish and should not be omitted.

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 2 cod fillets
  • 50g panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 orange
  • 2 baking potatoes
  • 10g dill
  • olive oil
  • green veg to serve

Method

1.) Preheat the oven to 220 degrees C

2.) Stick a spoon through the centre of each potato and slice all the way around the spoon

3.) Whack the potatoes in the microwave for about 10 – 12 minutes

4.) Prepare a baking tray with parchment paper

5.) Zest the orange and chop the dill finely. Peel and finely chop a clove of garlic. Mix in a bowl with the breadcrumbs and some salt and pepper.

6.) Place the cod fillets onto the baking tray and top with the breadcrumbs. Place the potatoes on the same tray and drizzle with oil and a sprinkle of salt.

7.) Bake for 12 -15 minutes. Prepare your green veg so it’s all ready together.

Peanut & Sweet Potato Soup

Another of my pre-Christmas healthy recipes was this lovely peanut butter and sweet potato soup that I found in ‘Vegan for Good’. Admittedly, the big dollop of sour cream isn’t particularly vegan but you can replace it with a vegan alternative if you are so inclined. I had a go at veganism and it wasn’t for me but I’m more than happy to eat a vegan meal occasionally and this is way more tasty than the dull chile con carnes you get in the pub. It’s a take on an African dish where the soup is made with ground potatoes and the sweet potatoes are served on the side. It’s very filling, as you’d expect, packed with superfoods like peanut butter, sweet potato and kale.

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 onion
  • 4 – 5 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 2 – 3 tomatoes
  • 2-3 sweet potatoes
  • 120g peanut butter
  • 1 litre veg stock
  • 100g kale
  • 1 tin black beans
  • salt
  • sour cream to serve
  • fresh coriander

Method

1.) Peel and dice the onion. Toast the cumin and coriander seeds in a frying pan on a low heat. Add the onion to the pan with a splash of water. Cook until the onion is soft.

2.) In the meantime, peel the sweet potatoes and chop up into chunks. Chop up the tomatoes and peel and finely dice the garlic.

3.) Add the garlic, cinnamon, allspice, chilli flakes, tomatoes and sweet potato to the pan and stir to coat everything in the spice.

4.) Cook for a couple of minutes, make up the stock and weigh out the peanut butter.

5.) Add the peanut butter and stir quickly until it’s all dissolved.

6.) Add the stock, bring to the boil and lower the heat to a simmer for about 20 minutes.

7.) Blitz the soup with an immersion blender. Add the kale to the soup. Open the tin of beans, drain off the water and add that to the pan.

8.) Cook for another 5 minutes or so until the kale has wilted and the beans are hot. While this is cooking, chop up the coriander.

9.) Season the soup and serve with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of herbs.

Indian Porridge (Uppma)

I’ve been meaning to post this recipe on the blog because I really like it. I made it for the first time just before I started writing the blog and enjoyed it just as much second time around. It’s nearly one year since I started blogging, I can’t believe it as not much has happened. I’ve just had my Spotify wrapped and I’m still just stanning on Paramore, David Bowie and The Beatles despite being in the top 5% of listeners in the UK. I had some refresher driving lessons this year after not driving for several years. The instructor managed to insult me twice in the last lesson by making a derogatory comment about cats and then remembering my career wrong as being within HR. No insult to those out there that work in HR but I don’t think he would have plucked out that one out of thin air if I were a guy. I’m a chartered certified accountant thank you very much. Other things that have happened in the year, I’ve been studying French, I am now able to read JK Rowling’s ‘The Christmas Pig’ in French but Harry Potter is still a bit beyond me without the help of a dictionary. I made my reading challenge for the year (30 books), some of them were definitely on work time. I’ve also managed to crochet my first half decent amigurumi so now my office Secret Santa will be getting a mini desk cactus (well the theme is shop local and you don’t get more local than homemade).

Now away from my exciting year and back to the recipe. In the book ‘Simple Spice Vegetarian’ this is a breakfast dish. It might be a bit out there for Westerners to have curried porridge for breakfast. Personally I did enjoy the savoury breakfasts in Japan of miso soup with fish but I will eat anything at any time of day. I ate this porridge as a delicious dinner. It was a great comforting meal to enjoy after recovering from a killer cold. You can really mix it up with whatever veg you want to add.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 10 – 12 tbsp oats
  • oil
  • 1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 150g red lentils
  • 1/2 heaped tsp cumin seeds
  • 6 – 8 curry leaves
  • 5 cm ginger
  • 1 onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 200g cubes squash/sweet potato
  • salt
  • 700ml stock

Method

1.) Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C

2.) Line a baking tray and spread out the cubes of squash

3.) Bake for 20 – 25 minutes until soft

4.) In the meantime, peel the onion and finely chop. Peel and grate the ginger. Peel and cube the carrot.

5.) In a casserole dish, heat to a low temperature, add the oats and toast gently until they start to be fragrant.

6.) Tip them out into a mixing bowl.

7.) Heat some oil and add the mustard seeds. Heat until they start to pop.

8.) Add the lentils and cumin seeds and cook for another couple of minutes.

9.) Add the curry leaves and sauté for a few seconds.

10.) Add the onion and carrot and cook for a few minutes until they start to soften. In the meantime, make up the stock.

11.) Add the oats to the dish and then add the stock. Cook on a low heat for about 15 – 20 minutes until it reaches a nice thick porridge consistency. Season with salt.

Smørrebrød

I wanted to make the most out of the delicious rye bread I bought from Pollen bakery so I decided to make some Smørrebrød – Danish-Norwegian open faced sandwiches. The toppings can be pretty much limitless but the trick is to have some sort of fatty layer. It’s good to butter the bread if you’re not eating the sandwiches straight away as it stops it going soggy. I just love the creaminess with the dense rye bread. Because of the density of the bread, you can really pile up the toppings on this sandwich. I went with 2 types salmon, cream cheese and dill and a walnut, pear and blue cheese.

Serves 1

Ingredients

  • 3 slices rye bread
  • 2 tbsp cream cheese
  • 1/2 tsp mustard
  • small bunch dill
  • Smoked salmon
  • 2 radishes
  • St Agar blue cheese spread
  • handful walnuts
  • 1 pear

Method

1.) Mix together the cream cheese and mustard.

2.) Pick the leaves off the dill and stir through the cream cheese mix.

3.) Slice 3 pieces of rye bread.

4.) Liberally spread the cream cheese on one slice.

5.) Top with the smoked salmon.

6.) Thinly slice the radish and place on top of the salmon.

7.) Spread the blue cheese spread over the other two slices of bread.

8.) Crush the walnuts in your hand into pieces and sprinkle over the blue cheese.

9.) Thinly slice the pear and arrange over the sandwiches. (I didn’t put all the pear on in the pic so it was possible to see the filling).

Carrot & Parsnip Soup

The beautiful pumpkin sourdough bread you see in this picture is from Pollen bakery in Manchester. I spent the day after my birthday in the city centre last weekend and popped into Pollen for lunch. We shared a pizza topped focaccia and a slice of egg custard tart and they were both so perfect that I bought some rye bread and some sourdough to take home. I’ve tried making sourdough a few times and failed miserably so it’s good to know where I can get the best. Pollen itself actually has a kickstarter appeal to raise £45,000 to start a second bakery specialising in pastries. I signed up to a day’s patisserie course so I’m really hoping they make the target. Of course, I needed to make the most out of this beautiful bread so I made a carrot and parsnip soup that I saw on the BBC Good Food website.

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • olive oil
  • 2 onions
  • 2 sticks celery
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 small bunch thyme
  • 3 large carrots
  • 2 large parsnips
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • 100ml double cream
  • 1/4 bunch parsley
  • salt & pepper

Method

1.) Peel the onions and chop up

2.) Heat some oil in a large casserole dish and add the onion. Chop up the celery and add that.

3.) Pull the leaves off the thyme and throw in with the celery

4.) Peel the garlic, finely dice and add to the pan. Add some water if it starts to catch.

4.) Peel the carrots and parsnips and chop into slices. Add to the pan and fry for a couple of minutes.

5.) Boil some water and make up the stock. Pour into the pan, bring to the boil, turn down the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

6.) Chop up the parsley

7.) Blitz with an immersion blender until smooth.

8.) Mix in the cream, season and stir through. Season with parsley and serve with a slab of bread.