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Giant cous cous with roasted vegetables

Here is an idea for a warm Autumn salad. I used this new ingredient that Sainsburys provided me to trial. It’s just called Giant Cous Cous on the packet. A little bit of research revealed that this is used a lot in Israeli cuisine. Unlike the more common cous cous, this needs to be boiled for about 10 minutes.

Giant Cous Cous can also be added to soups or used like pasta. After cooking, the texture is quite chewy but beware not to over cook it as it  can get gelatinous.

Giant Cous Cous and Roast Vegetable Salad

Giant cous cous with roasted vegetables

Ingredients

  • 300g Giant Cous Cous
  • Sweet Potato, peeled and cut into wedges
  • Red Onion, peeled and quartered
  • Courgette, cut into wedges
  • Carrots, cut into wedges
  • Rapeseed oil for roasting
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil for dressing
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Sea Salt

Instructions

  1. Heat your oven to about 180C.
  2. Prepare the vegetables to roast. I have not put the amounts for this as you can choose how much of each you want to cook.
  3. Toss the vegetables in some rapeseed oil, balsamic and sea salt.
  4. Lay out on a baking tray and cook in a hot oven for about 30 minutes or until tender.
  5. Boil the cous cous for about 10 minutes or as per instructions in the packet in some stock for flavour.
  6. When ready, combine the cous cous with the roasted vegetables.
  7. Adjust seasoning, drizzle more Extra Virgin olive oil and serve immediately.
http://www.eatcookexplore.com/giant-cous-cous-roasted-vegetables/

The Giant Cous Cous was supplied by Sainsburys for this recipe.

Heston’s Slow Cooked Pulled Pork

Pulled Pork. It’s so on trend right now. London is in love with the flavours of the Deep South. We are seeing pulled pork, buttermilk fried chicken, hush puppies and all that on lots of menus.

From street food stalls to high end eateries, we have embraced these dishes and served them up with our own twist. I have collected so many Pulled Pork recipes and have not had a chance to try them all. Some of these are quite intriguing like the one that uses a can of coke, ketchup and some chopped onions in a slow cooker. I will have to test that one out soon.

Here is a very easy Pulled Pork recipe that I cooked recently for the Waitrose BBQ Off party. It’s one that Heston did for his Ultimate BBQ series for Waitrose. It doesn’t take that long, only 1 1/2 hours on the stove and is really good. This recipe yields quite a lot of BBQ sauce too and I used that leftover sauce to make some BBQ Pork Ribs too. I just added the ribs to the leftover sauce in the pan, braised them for about an hour and grilled them for the nice charred effect after. I will definitely make this one over and over again.

For this I used my new cast iron Chasseur pot from Viking which has a 5.2 litre capacity, ample for the amount of pork in my recipe. These pots are really heavy and solid and has a matt black finish. The heavy cast iron ensure even heat distribution and is great for this slow cooking recipe. After cookign it it was very easy to clean too (it’s also dishwasher safe). Their cookshop is on sale right now and you can get these cast irons posts at a really great bargain price. Top tip: In the sale, you can get a Chasseur cast iron pot for about 1/3 of the price of a Le Creuset equivalent.

5.2l Chasseur Pot

 

Heston’s Slow Cooked Pulled Pork

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes

697

Heston’s Slow Cooked Pulled Pork

Ingredients

    For the braising liquid
  • 1 x ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 1 x ½ tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • 1 x ½ tsp mustard powder
  • 1 x ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 1 shallot, peeled and finely sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 500g pack Heston from Waitrose Chicken Stock
  • 325g Cooks’ Ingredients Soffritto Passata
  • 250g tomato ketchup
  • 175ml cider vinegar
  • 175g dark muscovado sugar
  • 10ml Worcestershire sauce
  • 25g golden syrup
  • 1 tsp tamarind paste
  • For the pulled pork
  • Pack of 4 essential Waitrose British Pork Shoulder Steaks or an equivalent weight Pork Shoulder from a butchers
  • Spice mix, reserved from making the braising liquid
  • Heber Chicory Wood Chips for smoking (optional)
  • Braising liquid
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 burger buns or wraps

Instructions

    For the braising liquid
  1. Combine the ground ginger, paprika, mustard powder and salt in a bowl. Mix well.
  2. Heat the oil in a saucepan over a medium heat. When hot, add the shallots and sweat until very soft and caramelised for approximately 8 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to sweat for 1 minute.
  3. Add half the spice mix – reserving the other half for a rub – and the rest of the ingredients to the pan and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer for 15 minutes then blitz with a hand-held blender until smooth.
  4. Pass the liquid through a fine meshed sieve and set aside.
  5. For the pulled pork
  6. Season both sides of the steaks with the remaining spice mix. Sear in a hot pan (or place on a hot barbecue – see smoking tip, below) to colour both sides for approximately 1 minute on each.
  7. Remove the steaks from the heat. Place the braising liquid in a large pan, add the seared steaks and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat until the liquid barely simmers. Allow to cook for 90 minutes.
  8. After the time has elapsed, allow the meat to cool in the sauce completely. Remove the steaks and place on a chopping board. Use 2 forks, as shown, to pull the meat apart until it is finely shredded. Place the shredded meat back into the barbecue sauce.
  9. When ready to serve, warm the meat in the barbecue sauce by placing the pan over medium heat. Check the seasoning and adjust with salt and freshly ground black pepper if necessary. Warm the burger buns by placing them cut-side up in a warm oven or on a warm barbecue. Place some of the meat on the bottom half of the bun, add some slaw and place the other half of the bun on top.

Notes

Heston’s barbecue tip To intensify the smoky flavour of the meat, place wood chips in a square of tin foil, folding it round the chips to make a closed parcel. Using a sharp knife, poke holes in the parcel. When the barbecue has cooled down slightly, put the parcel on to the coals. Place the steaks on the grill and cover with the barbecue lid, allow to stand for 10 minutes, flipping after 5 minutes.

http://www.eatcookexplore.com/hestons-slow-cooked-pulled-pork/

You can find more Heston Ultimate Barbecue recipes here.

The Chasseur pot was a review item from Viking Direct. 

Arroz Negro Spanish Black Squid Ink Rice

Smells and flavours can bring back happy memories of holidays. When I find an exceptional dish on holidays, I like to try and recreate it. Sometimes the dishes are way beyond my technical skill but some I can manage by learning how to use some new ingredients and new cooking techniques.

Arroz Negro is a Spanish black rice dish that I have tasted several times but have never tried cooking. Then I found out that it is not that difficult to cook so here is my recipe to recreate it at home.

Arroz Negro is a Valencian rice dish distinct by its black colour from squid ink. It is sometimes cooked with squid, mussels, prawns and other shellfish.

On the surface, it sounds like a simple rice dish but Arroz Negro has several layers of flavours from the onions, the squid and shellfish used and the fish stock.

This is my simplified version of the recipe by using bought in fish stock. You can make your own fish stock if you have the ingredients and the time.

About Olive Oils from Spain

Did you know that every other bottle of olive oil sold in the world comes from Spain? With over 260 varieties of olives, they are the largest producer and manufacturer of olive oil in the world. Olive oil is a monounsaturated fatty acid and is a healthy oil due to its high content of oleic acid, polyphenols, antioxidants. For cooking, olive oils resist high temperature better than other oils and and has a more stable structure up to 180 °C. You find out more and get some great recipes using olive oil here: http://www.tasteourlifestyle.co.uk/

Arroz Negro Spanish Black Squid Ink Rice

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Serves 4

Arroz Negro Spanish Black Squid Ink Rice

A really flavourful Spanish rice dish flavoured with fish stock and gets its colour from squid ink. Easy to cook and really impressive.

Ingredients

  • 600g Squid or cuttlefish, cleaned and cut into small pieces
  • 300g Spanish Calasparra rice or short grain rice
  • 1.5 litres hot fish stock
  • 500g large prawns with the shells on (optional)
  • 1 red and 1 green pepper , finely chopped
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp sweet pimenton
  • 3-4 sachets of squid ink
  • 2 tomatoes chopped or half a can of chopped tomatoes
  • 150 ml Olive Oil from Spain

Instructions

  1. Using a heavy based flat bottomed pan or a paella pan if you have it, heat up the pan and add some olive oil. Saute the squid with some salt and keep moving it to prevent from sticking.
  2. When the squid has taken on some colour remove and set aside.
  3. Add more olive oil and fry the onions and peppers and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and continue cooking for about 10 minutes until tender and the onions are caramelised.
  4. Add garlic and the sweet pimenton. Keep stirring for about a few minutes until the garlic is soft.
  5. Add the tomatoes and cook for a few minutes until some of the liquid has evaporated.
  6. Add the rice, and stir to coat with the squid mixture for a few minutes before adding the fish stock.
  7. Combine the fish stock and squid ink and add to the rice, keep stirring on a low heat until all the liquid has been absorbed. The timing depends on the type of rice and volume. Stirring this occasionally will stop the rice from sticking to the bottom and burning. This will take about 20- 30 minutes.
  8. A few minutes before serving, add back the squid and prawns and stir in to cook. You can reserve some on the side to decorate if you wish. Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.
  9. An alternative way to prepare the prawns is to marinate them in some olive oil, pimento, garlic and salt and pepper and pan fry them on medium heat and serve on top of the rice.
  10. Dish it into pretty bowls and drizzle with more Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Spain and serve immediately.
  11. This dish is sometimes served with Alioli garlic mayonnaise and wedges of lemon.

Notes

1. Spanish rice is different as it tends to absorb about 3 times more liquid and still keeps its firm consistency.

2. Squid ink is available in sachets from most good fishmongers.

http://www.eatcookexplore.com/arroz-negro-spanish-black-squid-ink-rice/

 

This recipe was produced in Association with Olive Oils from Spain.

 

Brazilian Fish Stew – Moqueca (In Association with Magimix)

Moqueca or Fish Stew is a really popular traditional dish from Brazil and there are many versions from all over the country. This recipe is inspired by the ones form the Bahia region. The ingredients used are mainly fish, lime, coconut milk and palm oil.

If you have never tried this dish, it tastes a bit tangy from the lime juice, rich from the coconut milk, a mild chilli heat and the fish stock gives it the underlying umami flavour. It is my new favourite dish and it’s so easy to make too. It is not very complicated to cook and doesn’t take long either.

In this recipe, I’ve used some sweet potato and courgettes to give it some colour and texture. It is not normally used in this but I don’t like peppers which is what is normally used. The original Brazilian recipes use firm white fish like grouper, mahi mahi or monkfish but I used Salmon instead. Some recipe add prawns too but feel free to use whichever fish you can find at the fishmongers. I couldn’t find palm oil which is the ingredient that adds colour to this dish so I left it out. This dish is usually served with farofa which is made of toasted manioc (tapioca) flour or rice.

 

Brazilian Fish Stew – Moqueca (In Association with Magimix)

Brazilian Fish Stew – Moqueca (In Association with Magimix)

Ingredients

  • 1kg skinless firm white fish cut into bit size pieces
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 2tbsp Cold pressed rapeseed oil
  • 2 onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 red chillies
  • 5 stalks of spring onions, finely chopped
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 2 courgettes
  • 300ml fish stock
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 400ml can coconut milk
  • Coriander
  • Steamed rice

Instructions

  1. Using the mini bowl and main blade on Magimix, I pulsed and then blitzed one onion, 2 cloves of garlic and one big red chilli.
  2. Place the pieces of fish in a non metallic bowl and add with the juice of 2 limes, the onion and chilli mixture and some salt. Put this in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to marinate.
  3. Meanwhile, peel the sweet potato and cut into cubes.
  4. Cut the courgettes into similar sized cubes.
  5. Heat the rapeseed oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  6. Fry the onion for a few minutes until it is soft and translucent.
  7. Chop the tomatoes in the mini bowl of the Magimix and add to the pot.
  8. Then add the sweet potatoes and cook for 8-10 minute until the sweet potato is tender.
  9. Then add the courgettes and chopped spring onions. Stir.
  10. Add the fish and marinating sauce.
  11. Stir in the fish stock and coconut milk.
  12. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes until the fish is cooked.
  13. Squeeze in the juice of another lime and adjust seasoning to taste.
  14. Dish into a serving dish, sprinkle with coriander and serve with rice or farofa.
http://www.eatcookexplore.com/brazilian-fish-stew-moqueca-association-magimix/

This recipe was made with the Magimix 4200XL Food Processor.

Avocado and Mango Ice Lollies (In Association with Magimix)

As part of the Brazilian recipe series, I have a really simple ice cream or ice lolly recipe using Avocados. In Brazil, they use Avocados in both savoury and sweet dishes like Avocado Mousse and Avocado and Coconut cream. The creaminess that the avocado imparts makes it an ideal ingredient in ice cream.

Healthy Fat in Avocado - The avocado is one of those super foods that they always recommend in Anti Inflammatory diets as a good source of healthy fats. Besides being full of potassium it a souce of healthy monounsaturated fat that is easily burned for energy. Some studies have found that by eating half an avocado with a burger inhibited the production of inflammatory compounds. If you follow any sort of low carb diet, avocados is a good ingredient to add to increase your intake of healthy fats.

So try this Mango and Avocado Ice Cream recipe as a healthy alternative to other fat laden desserts.


Avocado and Mango Ice Lollies Dairy Free

Avocado and Mango Ice Lollies Dairy Free

Ingredients

  • 1 large ripe mango, cut into chunks
  • 2 Avocados, flesh scooped out or cut into chunks
  • 200ml canned coconut milk
  • 1-2 tbsp Golden Caster sugar or honey if you prefer. Add to taste

Instructions

  1. Blend all the ingredients together until smooth. I used the mini bowl and the main blade in the Magimix to make the first batch.
  2. Fill the ice lollie moulds to the top and put in the sticks.
  3. Freeze for at least 4 hours.
  4. When ready, you can soak them in a little hot water to get them out of moulds.
  5. To decorate, you can either roll them in some dessicated coconut to make them look pretty or partly dip them in chocolate or even drizzle over some melted chocolate to make a lacey design.
  6. Enjoy!
http://www.eatcookexplore.com/avocado-mango-ice-lollies/

If you don’t want to make ice lollies, you can put the mixture into an ice cream machine or even better, use this nifty new tool Chef’n Ice Cream Maker where you can make ice cream in 90 seconds.

 

 

Brazilian Black Eyed Bean Salad or Salada de Feijao Verde (In Association with Magimix)

The cuisine for this summer is of course Brazilian since everyone has been infected by World Cup fever. My little contribution to that are a selection of Brazilian recipes that I thought I’d try out using ingredients that are new to me.

In my research, I found that Black Eyed Beans or sometimes called peas is quite predominant in the cuisine. It’s found in Feijoada, the street food Acaraje, stews and salads.

So here I made a Brazilian Black Eyed Bean Salad  or Salada de Feijao Verde. It’s quite simple once you get all the ingredients together. In this salad, I added, the black eyed beans, tomato, avocado, red onions and coriander.

Adding avocado to a salad with tomatoes has shown to increase absorption of lycopene and beta-carotene, recent research shows. Even avocado oil added to salad gets the same results. The best way to get the most beneficial part (the darkest green area under the skin) of avocado is to peel the skin off by hand. Avocados themselves contain a large array of carotenoids which is believed to be the key factor in its anti-=inflammatory properties. Avocados also contain good fats which is high in Oleic acid which is shown to lower the risk of heart disease.

I made this salad using the Magimix 4200XL Food Processor to chop all the ingredients. This very handy kitchen appliance  made quick work of it. I am really impressed with all the different blades that come with it and the variety of functions it has like besides the obvious slicing, chopping and grating to mixing bread dough and making smoothies with it’s special blender attachment.

Brazilian Black Eyed Bean Salad or Salada de Feijao Verde

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Serve 4 people

Brazilian Black Eyed Bean Salad  or Salada de Feijao Verde

A simple, healthy recipe using Black Eyed beans, avocado and tomatoes. Work really well as a side salad or bring it along to a picnic.

Ingredients

  • I can black eyed beans or use 400g rehydrated dry beans if you can find them
  • 1 large onion, red or white
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 avocado cut into small cubes
  • 2 medium sized tomatoes or a handful of cherry tomatoes, cubed
  • 1 handful of coriander, chopped
  • 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. If you are using dried beans, boil for about 20 minutes until tender, then drain.
  2. For this recipe, I used the main bowl and the main blade to chop the ingredients.
  3. Firstly, I put in the peeled onions and roughly chopped them using the pulse button
  4. Then, I added the tomatoes and coriander and chopped those too
  5. To assemble the salad, mix all the ingredients in a bowl.
  6. Make the dressing in another bowl by mixing in the olive oil, vinegar, lime juice and seasoning
  7. Dress the salad and adjust seasoning.
  8. Serve.
http://www.eatcookexplore.com/brazilian-black-eyed-bean-salad-salada-de-feijao-verde/

Magimix provided EatCookExplore with the food processor for this recipe. 
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Malaysian Sambal Prawns and British asparagus

In Malaysia we love strong flavours and the Malay Sambal Tumis is one of the most versatile sauces as it can be used in so many dishes. The most common and popular use of Sambal Tumis is in Nasi Lemak, a Malaysian streetfood breakfast sold by ladies who set up stalls on pavements and street corners most mornings. Sambal ikan bilis is served with a scoopful of fragrant coconut rice, a couple of slices of cucumber, half a hard boiled egg and some peanuts, all delivered wrapped in banana leaf for mere pennies.

Using Best of British Asparagus

British Asparagus

This is variation of the sambal recipe which we usually cook at home as part of a home cooked meal with various other dishes. Here we are using seasonal British Asparagus with some shelled and deveined prawns.

The rich umami flavour in the Sambal sauce is from the use of Belacan, the Malaysian fermented prawn paste. This can be substituted with Fish Sauce as it is not readily available in supermarkets yet.

Malaysian Sambal with prawns and British asparagus

Malaysian Sambal with prawns and British asparagus

Ingredients

  • One bundle British Asparagus
  • 400g King Prawns or similar (preferably raw)
  • Sambal Sauce
  • 15g Dried Chillies }
  • 100g Fresh Red Chillies }
  • 250g Shallots } Blended or pounded
  • 25g Candlenuts }
  • 1 tbsp belacan powder }
  • Tamarind Juice - either from a jar or from the pulp
  • 2tbsp cooking oil
  • Sugar to taste
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Prepare the sambal sauce by blending the ingredients identified
  2. Heat a wok or large frying pan and add some cooking oil
  3. Fry the blended ingredients on a medium heat and keep stirring for about 10 minutes or until the oil surfaces. The sauce should not be too runny.
  4. Meanwhile prepare the asparagus by snapping off the woody ends and slicing them diagonally across the stalk like in the picture
  5. Wash the prawns and sprinkle some sugar over them, this gives the prawns a bite instead of being soft and soggy
  6. Add the prawns to the sauce and cook until the prawns turn pink
  7. Add the asparagus and stir in and season to taste.
  8. Serve with steamed white rice and a selection of other dishes as part of a family meal
http://www.eatcookexplore.com/malaysian-sambal-prawns-british-asparagus/

Sainsburys provided EatCookExplore.com the main ingredients for this dish for their Best of British series.

Brownies with Rapeseed Oil Mayonnaise

A while back I tried some very moist and squidy brownies and later found out they were made with mayonnaise. So I thought I’d try and bake some for a friend.

This recipe used Hillfarm Oil’s Mayonnaise and the recipe is from their site. I added walnuts tot their recipe as I like my brownies with nutty bits in them and I found that mine took a lot longer to cook so just use the suggested timing as a suggestion and adjust it to your own oven.

Rapeseed Oil Brownies

You can read about the nutritional and health benefits of rapeseed oil here.

Brownies with Rapeseed Oil Mayonnaise

Brownies with Rapeseed Oil Mayonnaise

Ingredients

  • 325g Caster sugar
  • 4 Eggs
  • 100mls Milk
  • 200mls Hillfarm Rapeseed Oil
  • 75g Cocoa powder
  • 100g Plain flour
  • 100g Chocolate chips
  • A handful of walnuts, lightly crushed. Save some whole ones for decoration if you like

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C
  2. Line a 10” x 12” rectangular metal roasting tin with foil
  3. Mix together the dry ingredients (apart from the chocolate chips) in one bowl and the wet ingredients in another
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix – when they are well combined add 74g of chocolate chips
  5. Add the crushed walnuts
  6. Tip the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth out with a spatula.
  7. If you had spare walnuts, you can dot them on top as decoration
  8. Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips over the top and bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 25 minutes (until the top has set but is very springy so that the middle is very soft).I had to cook it for longer as my oven was not cooperating. Keep testing it with a skewer to check that the middle is cooked and not runny.
  9. Turn out onto a metal cooling rack. When cool, slice into squares and enjoy!
http://www.eatcookexplore.com/brownies-rapeseed-oil-mayonnaise/