Lady Marmalade Salad

I made this salad as an accompaniment to my anchovy and olive pissasladiere. I wasn’t 100% happy with that so I won’t post about it this time but this salad from Jamie Oliver’s ‘Veg’ was really something special even though I couldn’t get the chicory that’s meant to be in it and subbed with Romaine lettuce. You cook down some orange juice then add some honey and vinegar so it’s spicy and sweet and honestly I think I could drink the stuff. Jamie recommends to serve with goat cheese on toast. I remember a few years ago there seemed to be a trend of pairing orange and coffee flavour which sounds intriguing but I never got round to trying it out, probably in cake form.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons pistachios
  • 4 oranges
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 heaped teaspoon runny honey
  • 2 romaine lettuces

Method

1.) Shell the pistachios then toast lightly in a frying pan.

2.) Bash them up in a pestle and mortar and set aside.

3.) Chop the oranges in half and squeeze the juice out into a small saucepan. Remove any pips.

4.) Simmer until syrupy then take off the heat.

5.) Add the vinegar, olive oil and honey and season with salt and pepper. Mix everything.

6.) Wash and chop up the lettuce and place in a salad bowl. Mix with the dressing. Serve and sprinkle with the pistachios.

‘Alsatian’ gnocci

I call this post ‘Alsatian’ as I adapted a recipe from Rachel Khoo’s Little Paris Kitchen switching out the pasta for gnocchi and making it veggie so I’m not sure how Alsatian it is anymore. In saying that I think you could Anglify it by serving with mash and it would be equally as good. Probably a wise thing to do with the grain prices too. I was reading the Economist (I have to do 40 units (hours) CPD for my accountancy qualification each year and I thought an issue of the Economist would be a cheap way to earn some of these) and I learnt that South-East Asia are some of the only countries not affected by the ‘global’ inflation partly due to the fact that they eat more rice than wheat products. Anyway I went for gnocchi because I had some at my company conference lunch but it was cold so I fancied some cooked gnocchi – we arrived late due to our coach breaking down before it even arrived to pick us up. We then got a replacement coach which was actually more like a school bus for primary (elementary?) aged kids.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 pack gnocchi
  • 500g vegetarian meatballs
  • 10g parsley
  • 500ml beef flavoured stock
  • 30g butter
  • 30g plain flour
  • 4 rashers vegetarian bacon
  • 1 onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 stick celery
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 175ml red wine
  • thyme sprigs
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp peppercorns
  • 2 tbsp cornichons
  • 2 tbsp capers
  • 30g parmesan

Method

1.) Peel and finely dice the onion and the carrot. Finely chop up the celery. Chop up the veggie bacon.

2.) Heat some oil in a casserole dish then add the meatballs. Fry on all sides until brown and then remove to a plate with a slotted spoon.

3.) Add some more oil to the pan and add the carrot, the onions and the celery. Fry for about 7 minutes until everything is soft. Add the bacon and cook for another couple of minutes. In the meantime, chop up the parsley, strip the leaves from the thyme and crush the peppercorns in a pestle and mortar. Set the carrot, celery and onion aside with the meatballs.

4.) Melt the butter in the casserole dish then add the flour. Cook the paste down for a couple of minutes. Then gradually add the stock and whisk after each addition. Add the tomato paste and the wine and whisk to dissolve everything.

5.) Add the peppercorns, thyme and half the parsley to the pan, along with the veg, bacon and meatballs. Simmer for 15 minutes.

6.) Whilst this is cooking, grate the parmesan and finely dice the cornichons. Cook the gnocchi according to the packet.

7.) Add the capers, cornichons and rest of the parsley to the pan and stir. Serve with the gnocchi and garnish with some parmesan.

Mole with avocado salsa

I was recommended the food show ‘Somebody Feed Phil’ by a friend and I’ve been craving Mexican food ever since as the first episode was set in Mexico. It’s a great show though I’m not sure how he would have got on in Mexico if he was a much stricter Jew than what he actually seems to be. They love their pork over there. I liked this recipe on BBC Good Food as it has the orange, the spices, the raisins and therefore didn’t rely on the meat to flavour the dish. It was really tasty and if you really want to go to town on it, it would be great with some cheese and sour cream.

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • oil
  • 500g frozen quorn
  • 1 tsp tomato puree
  • 200ml beef flavoured stock (or veggie)
  • 1 orange
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 2 onions
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 250g cherry tomatoes
  • 50g almonds
  • 50g raisins
  • 2 tsp coriander
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp chipotle paste
  • 25g dark chocolate
  • 200g radishes
  • 2 avocados
  • 2 limes
  • 10g coriander leaves
  • 2 green chilis
  • rice to serve

Method

1.) Zest the orange and chop in half and deseed.

2.) Strip the leaves of thyme off the sprigs and make up the stock.

3.) Pan fry the frozen quorn for a couple of minutes. Add the zest of the orange and squeeze in the juice. Stir through the tomato puree. Add the cinnamon and thyme and cook until the liquid reduces. Set to one side. Put some rice on to cook.

4.) Fry the almonds in a saucepan on a low heat until toasted then put into a blender. Peel and dice the onions and peel and finely slice the garlic. In the saucepan, heat some oil and add the onions. Cook for 5 minutes then add the garlic. Tip into the blender. Add the coriander and cumin spices and the chipotle paste.

5.) Add the cherry tomatoes to the pan and cook until they’re starting to break down then add these to the blender. Give everything a blitz until a sauce is made.

6.) Now, make the salsa, Finely slice the radishes and the chillis. Chop up the coriander leaves and add all these to a bowl. Halve the limes and squeeze in the juice. Cut the avocados in half and scoop out the flesh. Chop into chunks and mix with the other salsa ingredients.

7.) Add the blitzed sauce back to the frying pan with the quorn. Cook on a low heat for 10 minutes or so. Add the chocolate and mix until melted.

8.) Serve the mole sauce with some rice and some avocado salsa on the side.

Halloumi Orange Salad

It’s kind of summer in the UK (well as much as we get) so I fancied a nice summery salad which I found in this on the BBC Good Food website. The Vitamin C probably did me a few favours with my COVID too. Early this month the two final episodes of Stranger Things aired and I got round to watching them this weekend, it was a bit of an event to manage for as they’re film-length. Even if you haven’t seen this show, you must have heard of how Kate Bush’s song ‘Running up That Hill’ has given her a number one over thirty years after the original song came out. It’s even cooler because she’s now made the record for the longest time period between two number one songs. The song features because in the show there is another world full of monsters called the ‘Upside Down’ and the biggest monster of all ‘Vecna’ can drag you down there if you have something traumatic that’s happened in your past. However, your favourite song can pull you out of it, which is how Kate Bush features. Obviously this led to a discussion on what would be the song that rescues you from Vecna, mine would be Bohemian Rhapsody which in my opinion does for music what the Godfather did for films. My husband stole my suggestion and my friend’s was ‘Life on Mars’. What would you choose?

Serves 2 as main meal

Ingredients

  • 2 large oranges
  • 1 1/2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • 1 1/2 tsp honey
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 2 large carrots (I used carrot battons as it was all I could find but the original recipe calls to grate the carrot into ribbons)
  • 225g halloumi
  • 100g watercress

Method

1.) Peel the oranges and cut the flesh away from the pith. Chop into small pieces

2.) Add the oranges and juice to a large bowl. Add the carrots and watercress.

3.) In a small bowl, mix the honey, mustard, vinegar and oil and pour into the salad. Mix everything to coat.

4.) Slice up the halloumi and place on a baking tray with some baking paper.

5.) Grill under a hot grill for 5 minutes until browning and bubbling. Flip with a fork and do the same on the other side. Serve with the salad.

Spiced Carrot Fritters

As may have been clear from this blog I’m a huge fan of Jamie Oliver’s cookbook ‘Veg’ and this might well be my favourite recipe from it so far. I was extra impressed that I’d managed to get it on the table as I’d finally had my first confirmed COVID infection after attending our yearly company conference held in the south of the country this time. Monday to Wednesday was grim living with COVID and the lasting effects of the HIIT class I’d signed up for at the work event but after struggling to work through those days to get all the month-end journals in I decided I couldn’t go on any longer. I signed off work in the morning, had a three hour nap and got woken up by my cat pawing me in the face. When I was a bit better I found the time to watch Taxi Driver which I’ve always wanted to watch so at least my week wasn’t completely wasted.

These delicious pancakes are spiced with cumin, fennel seeds, chilli and coriander but to divert from the topic once again just because I found it quite interesting – I was watching Rick Stein’s India and he was talking about how when the spices started first travelling from India to England, the first one that was really desired was pepper. People really hadn’t had anything like it before with it’s slight kick. It’s so funny as it’s just a table condiment now and not at all seen as exotic!

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 150g carrots (I think around 2 medium)
  • 1 green chilli
  • 15g coriander leaves
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 /2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 cup self raising flour (I used a measuring jug and filled to one cup level)
  • 1 cup milk (as above)
  • 1 egg
  • oil
  • 100g crunchy veg (radishes/cucumber/carrots)
  • rose harissa
  • 1 bag watercress
  • 40g feta
  • hummus

Method

1.) Make up the salad by chopping up/peeling the veg you’ve chosen. If you’re using cucumber it’s best to cut out the seeds as they will make everything watery. Put these in a salad bowl with the watercress. Crumble in the feta.

2,) Peel and grate the 150g carrots. Add to another large bowl. Finely chop the chilli and coriander leaves and add to the bowl. Chuck in the fennel and cumin. Peel and slice the onion and add to the bowl.

3.) In a measuring jug, add the flour and milk and mix well with a fork. Crack in the egg and mix that in too. Pour the batter in with the carrots and give everything a stir.

4.) In a frying pan, heat up some oil and add about 1/2 a ladleful of the mixture. Cook until browning then flip over and brown the other side.

5.) Repeat until you get through all of the mixture.

6.) Serve the pancakes with some salad, a dollop of the hummus and a teaspoon or two of the rose harissa.

Bulgur & Veg Khichree

This recipe is another winner from the book ‘Simple Spice Vegetarian’. It’s actually a mix of rice, lentils and bulgur wheat which I kind of questioned when I first saw the recipe but the mixture of textures and the ability of the different elements to soak up the spices really added something to the flavour. The word kedgeree comes from this word too so you just know it’s going to be good. This is really tasty when you ramp up the ginger content.

Serves 4 (large portions)

Ingredients

  • 200g bulgur wheat
  • 100g rice
  • 150g lentils
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 1 chilli
  • 5cm ginger
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 onion
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 parsnip
  • 1 handful spinach
  • 150g peas
  • 250ml water
  • salt

Method

1.) Cook the rice and lentils in a pan until tender, Halfway through cooking, add the bulgur wheat. Preheat the oven to 130 degrees C.

2.) In the meantime, peel and grate the ginger. Peel and finely dice the onion, carrot and parsnip.

3.) Make a masala paste by adding the turmeric, coriander and cumin in a bowl with a tbsp water and mixing.

4.) In a casserole dish, melt the ghee and add the onion. Cook for about 5 minutes, then add the chilli, ginger and garlic and cook for another couple of minutes.

5.) Add the masala paste and cook until it dries out. Chop up the tomatoes and add to the pan with the carrot and parsnip.

6.) Cook for about 5 minutes then add the spinach and peas and cook for another couple of minutes.

7.) Drain the lentils, rice and bulgur and add to the pan. Add the water and stir everything together. Cover with a lid and cook for 15 minutes.

8.) Season before serving.