Sunday, 26 March 2017

Sriracha Pork Ramen

Yummy yummy noodle soup!





















Sriracha Pork Ramen (from Waitrose Magazine September 2015)
(Serves 4)

4 pork shoulder steaks, finely sliced
1 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
6 tbsp sriracha chilli sauce
bunch coriander, stalks finely chopped, leaves torn
4 garlic cloves, chopped
40g ginger, grated
1 bunch spring onions, finely sliced
1 can sweetcorn, drained
2 sachets miso soup paste
2 nests egg noodles
4 eggs

Put the pork into a large bowl and toss with 1/2 tbsp veg oil and 4tbsp sriracha. Heat a wok and add the pork and stir fry for 8-10 min until sticky and charred, transfer to a plate and cover with foil.

Add a splash of water to the pan and scrape up the sticky pits from the bottom of the pan, before pouring over the pork.

Heat the remaining 1 tbsp oil in the pan. Cook the coriander stalks, garlic, ginger and white parts of the spring onions for 2-3 mins, then stir in the miso, sweetcorn, stock, 2 tbsp sriracha and 1l of water. Add the noodles and the eggs, cover and bring to the boil, simmer for 6 mins. Remove the eggs and cool under the cold tap, peel and halve.

Divide the noodles before 4 bowls. Pour over the broth, top with the eggs, pork, spring onion tops and coriander leaves. Scatter with sesame seeds.

Friday, 24 March 2017

White Chocolate Blondies

One of my friends has just had a baby so I went to see her last week and took some of these blondies with me. They are delicious and super easy to make!





















White Chocolate Blondies (from The Recipe Critic)
(Makes 12)

280g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp salt
170g butter, softened
110g caster sugar
150g light brown sugar, packed
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
265g white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 180C. Line a 9x9 inch baking pan with baking parchment and spray with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugars and vanilla extract until combined. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing between each egg.

Add the flour , baking powder, bicarb and salt and mix with a metal spoon until just combined. Using a spatula, stir in chocolate chips until combined. Press dough into prepared baking pan.

Bake for 20-23 mins or until edges are lightly golden brown. Leave to cool completely before cutting into squares.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Spicy Sweetcorn Fritters























Spicy Sweetcorn Fritters (from Hairy Bikers Fast Food)
(Makes 12)

300g frozen sweetcorn
3 eggs
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sriracha
60g plain flour
1 tbsp coriander stems, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 spring onion, finely chopped
cooking spray
salt and pepper

Dipping sauce
2 tbsp soy sauce
juice 1 lime
1/2 tsp sugar or honey
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 garlic clove, finely chopped

Boil the kettle. Put the sweetcorn into a bowl and pour over the boiling water, leave for a minute or so for the sweetcorn to defrost. Drain and Set aside.

Crack the eggs into a bowl and beat. Add the soy sauce and hot sauce and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle over the plain flour and whisk to combine until there are no lumps. Add the coriander stems, garlic, spring onion and sweetcorn to the batter and stir thoroughly.

Heat a large frying pan and spray with oil. Add heaped tbsps of the batter into the pan, spacing them out well. Cook the fritters for 2-3 mins until well browned underneath, then flip them and cook the other side. Repeat with the rest of the mixture.

While the fritters are cooking make the dipping sauce. Put the soy sauce and lime juice in a small bowl, add the sugar or honey and stir until completely dissolved. Add the chilli flakes and garlic and stir to combine. Serve.

Monday, 20 March 2017

Frikadellen with Tagliatelle

I had these delicious meatballs for dinner last week. I was in the mood for creamy pasta and this hit the spot. 





















Frikadellen with Tagliatelle (from Asda Magazine)
(Serves 4)

50g bread, crusts removed
500g beef mince
2 shallots, chopped
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tsp paprika
1 level tbsp mustard
1 tbsp oil
300g fresh pasta
300g green beans, halved
150g creme fraiche

Break the bread into small pieces, sprinkle over 2 tbsp cold water and soak for 3 mins. Put in a large bowl with the mince, half the shallot, 1 tbsp parsley, 1 tsp paprika and 1/2 tbsp mustard. Mix with your hands until evenly combined. Shape into 16 meatballs and flatten a little.

Fry the frikadellen in the oil over a medium heat, turning occasionally for 8-10 mins until cooked through. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Add the rest of the shallot to the pan and cook stirring often, until soft. Add the creme fraiche, 100ml water and the remaining mustard, parsley and paprika to the pan and heat until simmering. Return the frikadellen to the pan.

Cook the pasta according to packet instructions, adding the green beans for the last 3 mins. Drain.

Toss the frikadellen and sauce with the pasta and beans. Serve.

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Cheat's Pea Soup with Ham, Pasta, Mint and Feta

I made this a little while ago and it is really easy and super tasty. I am really enjoying making things from this cookbook.

















Cheat's Pea Soup with Ham, Pasta, Mint and Feta (from Jamie's Super Food Family Classics)
(Serves 4)

1 bunch spring onions, roughly chopped
300g frozen peas
300g frozen chopped spinach
100g smoked ham, roughly chopped
1/2 bunch mint
300g dried wholewheat pasta
50g feta

Put the spring onions into a blender with the peas and spinach. Tear in the ham, mint leaves and then cover with 400ml of just boiled water. Put the lid on and blitz until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides if you need to.

Pour into a large pan on a high neat and add another 1.2l of boiling water. Smash up the pasta into random shapes and stir into the soup. Bring back to the boil and simmer until the pasta is cooked through, stirring regularly and adding splashes of water to loosen. Season.

Divide the soup between bowls and crumble over the feta. Serve.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Marrakesh Food Tour

On one of our evenings in Marrakesh we went on a food tour run by Marrakech Food Tours. This was  a fantastic experience and really gave us the highlights of Moroccan food. We started with Tangier, basically meat cooked in a sealed pot for hours and hours in a sealed underground oven. The meat was so tender and flavourful.
















We then went to one of the olive stalls in the Souk, the variety and flavour of the olives was overwhelming! So good!


We then went to have a Moroccan Pancake or Msemen. We had one stuffed with tomatoes and onion and another plain drizzled with honey. We also realised that one of these had been part of our breakfast every day! They were really good and I want to try making these at home.




Next up were sardines cooked with lamb fat in flatbread. They were so good and didn't taste fishy at all, really very meaty.


We then looked at a communal oven where families came to bring their bread to bake. It was very hot!



Next up were Moroccan doughnuts. Again these were dipped in honey and a lovely sweet treat.



After that we had snails. Have had snails many times before in France, the Moroccan ones were smaller but just as tasty.





















We then headed to the Women's market and enjoyed properly cooked couscous, made from scratch by hand. It was out of this world.





It was served with grilled aubergines. Yum!



Our last stop was for pastries and smoothies, the pastries were very nutty! I also went for an Avocado and Almond smoothie which was delicious. 
















Our guide on this tour was very knowledgeable and we got to know more about the food of Morocco as well as the culture and religion. If you want to find out more about Marrakesh and eat along the way I would definitely recommend this tour.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Marrakesh

We left Lisbon and flew to Marrakesh. We arrived mid morning and headed to the main square; Jemaa el Fna. We ate our first lunch in Cafe de France on a balcony overlooking the square. It was a great view point to see all the activity down below! They have a set menu of salad to start, tagging for main and then oranges for dessert. We went for the Vegetable Tagine, pictured below, and it was very good, full of veg.


We decided to have dinner in our Riad the first evening, just for ease really and this felt like a home cooked meal as we were the only people eating. We started with the traditional Moroccan soup Hariri, followed by a selection of salads, one was green bean and garlic, one was potatoey, one definitely featured persimmon and the final one was tomatoey! All were absolutely delicious. This was followed by chicken and olive tagine with couscous and then strawberries and yoghurt. This was a delicious meal.


We also had breakfast in our Riad everyday on the rooftop in the sunshine! First was a selection of breads with jams. Also when the owner discovered that we didn't drink coffee or tea they made us a beautiful fruit salad every morning.


On the second day we ventured to Jardin Majorelle or Yves St Laurent's garden out of the main Medina area of Marrakesh. I wrote down that we had lunch at Kama 19, but when I google I get nothing! Anyway it was a cafe/patisserie/ice cream shop just by Jardin Majorelle. We had Briques, another Moroccan speciality. The mini samosa looking things were filled with cheese and shredded lamb. The big one in the middle was chicken. The weird thing was that it was covered in icing sugar!! Still delicious though!


We thought that we'd have a rest on the rooftop of the Riad, so we chilled out with coke and some snacks, which tasted a bit like popcorn!


For dinner that night we went to La Trattoria in Gueliz on a recommendation. I apologise for the darkness of these photos but it was pretty dark in the restaurant! I went for Chicken and Mushroom Tagliatelle, my friend had a tasting plate of three different pasta, ravioli, cheese penne and spaghetti. It was really good and a nice break from all those tagines! I also had a pear and olive almond cake pudding. We also tried Moroccan wine, white, and it was, well not very good!


The following day we went to Cafe Clock for lunch. They had camel burger on the menu so we went for that. It was seriously the toughest thing I have ever eaten! Really don't bother!



That evening we went on a food tour of Marrakesh, more about that in a separate post. The following lunch was spent at Nomad, close to the spice market. We both went for the Nomad Couscous for main, which was super. We also had dessert. I went for the Moroccan Date Cake with Salted Caramel Sauce and my friend went for the Chocolate Cake both were really good.


That evening we went to Cafe Bazaar and had tapas. We had way too much food, but it was yummy! We tried Moroccan wine again, this time red and rose and it was much better this time.
















Our last lunch we had at the Riad whilst waiting for an airport transfer. We had salads to start with, lamb tagging and then a filo, kiwi stack. Yum!

I had a lovely time in Marrakesh and I really enjoyed the food. The food tour definitely gave us a flavour of everything available and I would totally recommend it.

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Lisbon

Over half term I spent a couple of days in Lisbon. Breakfast on the first morning was a stop at Confeitaria Nacional, just round the corner from our apartment. We had coconut buns, Pao de Deus and four different flavours of Pasteis de Nata; caramel, vanilla, chocolate and normal. The coconut buns were absolutely gorgeous and we both agreed that the vanilla custard tart was the best.


In the evening we went to Pensao Amor, a cocktail bar in a former brothel. I went for a Balsamic Daiquiri, which was different and even the waiter gave me a weird look when I ordered it! It was actually very tasty and went down very easily! My friend had a Mai Tai, which was better one she had mixed it!


We also visited Pasteis de Belem, which is supposed to be the original place for the Pasteis de Nata and I was told the best place to buy them. To be fair they tasted exactly the same as the one we had for breakfast the day before! 


Whilst in Lisbon I was obsessed with finding a Bifana, basically marinated pork in a bun. We went to O Afonso das Bifanas, a tiny hole in the wall place, which was full of locals eating their lunch. The bifana was out of this world. 


On our wanderings around Lisbon we also stopped off for a glass of fizzy wine and a bacalao croquette. I can't remember where this was but it hit the spot!



On our last night we went to Casa do Pasto for dinner. We found a little bar downstairs that served really good wine for 2€ a glass. We then went upstairs for dinner. We had bread, pickled carrots and olives to start with and then I had Veal Cheeks with Beetroot and Chickpeas. This was so tasty, and the meat just fell apart on my fork. Yum! They also specialised in Portuguese cocktails, with some really interesting flavours.






Friday, 10 March 2017

London Eats

So I haven't updated in a while, I have been eating out and in some interesting places too! I thought I'd do a round-up of them!

First off is lunch at Cafe in the Crypt at St Martin in the Fields. I had three salads, couscous and kale salad, red cabbage salad and beetroot salad. They also do a really good Pasteis de Nata!

 

We then went to BB Bakery for cake. I had one of the best cakes I've had in a long time! It was a salted caramel chocolate tart and it was so good.


I also bought a moon cake from China Town and finally got one with a salted egg yolk in the middle. It was also yummy but in a completely different way to the one above and can definitely only be eaten in small pieces!


I went to Roti Chai for dinner, we went to the street kitchen bit and enjoyed Aloo Papri Chaat, Parsi Chicken Farcha, Manchurian Chicken Curry with Rice and Winter Lamb Porridge with Pao Bread. The best bit was definitely the Aloo Papri Chaat, really tasty.


We then went to Selfridges and to the Lola's Cupcakes concession. Where we shared a piece of the salted caramel cake. It was seriously good!



I also had dinner at Chick 'n' Sours in Covent Garden. We had the Mexi-nese nachos, which were yummy and the biggest fried chicken burger I think I have ever had!


I also went to The Mac Factory by Euston Station. I walked straight past it the first time I went as it is literally just around the corner onto North Gower Street! I had the Mambo Italiano; pancetta, mushrooms and garlic. The mushrooms were great and the mac and cheese was superb and creamy, the pancetta was way over cooked and didn't add much. 

The second time I went I had La Med Babe; pesto, sundried tomatoes and mozzarella balls. Again the mac and cheese was super and the pesto and sundried tomatoes were awesome but I'm not sure what the point of the mozzarella was. 

It is definitely a good spot to pop into if you are in the area or catching a train from Euston, better than any of the offerings closer to the station, although I do want to try Roti King!

I went back to Guglee on Finchley Road. I have been here several times as it's close to Hampstead Theatre and have never been very impressed. This time I picked the Vegetable Mix Grilled Platter and it was delicious and definitely one to order again. Lots of veg and very tasty. 


For my sister's birthday we went to Tombo Poke. Poke seems to be the new thing to eat in London but I wasn't all that impressed. The rice to other food ratio was off, there was way too much rice. We picked the Avo Salmon Lux and it was ok, nothing special and certainly nothing I could not have done at home.





















I took another trip to Home Slice, this time in Old Street. I shared the pizza again and I had the Wild Venison with Kale, Caramelised Onions and Dukkah half. It was so good. The caramelised onions were out of this world and the toppings as a whole were just fabulous.



We then popped into Crumbs and Doilies for cake. I went for a Biscoff Rocky Road, which was very tasty.


Now we're getting more up to date! Last week I went out for a friends birthday to Lupita on Villiers Street, by Charing Cross station. I am told that this is very authentic Mexican food rather than Tex Mex. We had the Guacamole Artesanal with Totopos, Enchiladas Mole, Tacos Al Pastor and Chorizo con Papas Quesadillas. All were delicious. We also has the Churros con Caleta for dessert and they were way better than the Churros I had in Madrid. We also had cocktails, I went for a Mojito and it was perfect.





Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Fish Crumble

This was a delicious fish crumble. I loved the use of couscous rather than breadcrumbs or mash on top of this fish pie. It turned out delicious.

















Fish Crumble (from Hairy Dieters Fast Food)
(Serves 4)
(12 SP per serving)

600g skinless white fish fillets, cut into chunks
150g smoked haddock fillet, cut into chunks
cooking spray
salt and pepper

1 slice onion
1 bay leaves
peppercorns
50ml white wine
50ml milk
200ml half-fat creme fraiche
1 tsp plain flour
25g reduced fat extra mature cheddar
small bunch parsley

For the topping
100g couscous
120ml just boiled water
25g reduced fat extra mature cheddar
2 tsp oil

Heat the oven to 200C.

Put the couscous into a bowl and cover with the just boiled water. Cover and leave the couscous to stand for 10 mins until all the water has been absorbed, then fluff it up with a fork.

Put the onion and bay leaf in a saucepan with the peppercorns. Pour in the wine and milk, then stir in the creme fraiche. Put the pan over a low heat and whisk in the flour and cheese. When the sauce is well combined and the cheese has melted, leave to simmer gently for a couple of mins, then add the fish. Continue to simmer for 3-4 mins.

Finely chop the parsley and set aside 2 tbsp. Stir the rest into the sauce. Spray an ovenproof dish with oil. Spoon the fish and sauce into the dish and season.

Mix the rest of the parsley with the couscous and sprinkle over the sauce. Sprinkle the cheese in top, then drizzle over the oil. Bake the crumble for about 10 mins until golden and bubbling. Serve.

Monday, 6 March 2017

Ham and Pea Fritters

I loved these fritters. They are so easy to make and very tasty. I served them on a bed of salad leaves with a poached egg. Yum!


Ham and Pea Fritters (from Hairy Dieters Fast Food)
(Makes 12)

300g frozen peas
60g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
2 tbsp milk
100g cooked ham diced
cooking spray
salt and pepper

For the mustard sauce
1 tsp mustard
4 tbsp natural yoghurt

Put the peas into a saucepan and pour over a just boiled kettle of water. Leave to sit for 2-3 mins. Drain the peas and then mash or puree them roughly - you want a mixture of whole and crushed peas.

Put the flour and baking powder in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. Break in the eggs. Using a fork break up the eggs and then mix into the flour until it is all mixed together. Add the milk and whisk to make a smooth batter. Stir in the peas and ham.

Heat a large frying pan and spray with cooking spray. Add tbsp of the batter spacing them well out. Cook for 2-3 mins until they are browned underneath, then flip over and cook the other side. Remove and keep warm whilst you cook the rest.

Stir the mustard into the yoghurt to make the sauce and serve with the fritters.