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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/

The Full Moon Beer Cocktail with Chang Beer

I am quite hopeless at making cocktails but I can follow a recipe. Beer cocktails are a newish thing for me and we tasted some really clever concoctions at this Beer event recently.

Chang Beertail Full Moon Recipe

Just in time for summer, the Chang Beer people have shared some Thai holiday inspired recipes to make cocktails with their beer. I made this one, the Full Moon Cocktail for a recent party. It was quite a success and have created a host of new beer cocktails fans.

The Full Moon Beer Cocktail with Chang Beer

The Full Moon Beer Cocktail with Chang Beer

Ingredients

  • 100ml Chang Beer
  • 25ml Mekong Whisky
  • 25ml lime Juice
  • 15ml grenadine
  • 50ml pineapple juice

Instructions

  1. Build into a bucket over cubed ice. Add more Chang if your bucket is too big!
  2. Garnish: Orange wheel, mint and cherries
  3. Note: I made this in a big jug and served it in tall glasses. Great with a barbecue or a spicy Thai or Malaysian meal.
http://www.eatcookexplore.com/full-moon-beer-cocktail-chang-beer/

Fish Pie with Roasted Garlic Sweet Potato Mash with @Lurpak Cooking Liquid #FoodAdventures

As I have been on the road for a few weeks, eating out US style, huge family sized servings for one person, sugar laden treats and all that. I have eaten more fried chicken in the last 2 weeks than the whole of the last 2 years. I needed a change, back to some human sized home cooked meals. Along came this offer from the people from Lurpak to try out one of their new products from the Cooks Range as an advertorial.

The Lurpak Cooks Range which consists of 4 products, Clarified Butter ( not the same of Ghee), Baking ( a soft butter blend), Cooking Liquid and Cooking Mist. I am guessing that you can use  the cooking mist to lightly grease cooking pans like they say in a lot of diet recipes but am not sure about the calorie count.

Lurpak Cooks Range

Mystery Box

I got sent this mystery box to cook something with. Nestled in the box was a bottle of their new Cooking Liquid, a bulb of garlic and some bay leaves. The Cooking Liquid is a blend of rapeseed oil and butter, in liquid form of course. On the PR blurb that came with it, it says that it is best used for baking, frying, roasting and even greasing tins. When you squeeze it out of the bottle, it looks like melted butter all ready to use. I would use this to pan fry fish where the blended oil won’t burn the butter content and you will still get the buttery flavour.

Lurpak Cooking Liquid

As part of their #FoodAdventures, I had to cook a dish with these ingredients, the garlic would be easy to use in any recipe but I have to say that the bay leaves left me a bit stumped. The most immediate thought was to cook something with fish, which led to thinking of a fish pie and using the bay leaves in the sauce. To make this a variation on the bog standard fish pie, I used a roasted garlic and low GI sweet potato mash for the topping.

This combination makes a fish pie with several different layers of flavours, from the smokiness of the fish to the creaminess of the white sauce to the slightly sweet mash layer and the contrasting saltiness of the cheese topping. The bright orange colour of the sweet potato  adds a colour zing to an otherwise beige dish. Perfect for some home cooked comfort food.

Fish Pie with Roasted Garlic Sweet Potato Mash served with green peas

Fish Pie with Roasted Garlic Sweet Potato Mash served with green peas

For this recipe you can buy the 3 fish combination (Cod, Salmon and smoked haddock) from a fishmonger or any supermarket fish counter. I have even seen it in the frozen section in Waitrose. You can also substitute or add some prawns into the recipe too.

I used the cooking liquid in making the sauce where you would usually use butter and I used it in the mash as well where other recipes call for olive oil. The liquid consistency made it easy to mix into the mash.

This recipe is a great one to prepare in advance of a dinner party and just pop it in the oven before your guests turn up.

Fish Pie with Roasted Garlic Sweet Potato Mash

Rating: 41

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

4

Fish Pie with Roasted Garlic Sweet Potato Mash

Ingredients

    For the Filling
  • 750g 3 types of fish ( Salmon, cod and smoked haddock)
  • 1 pint or organic non homogenised milk
  • One onion studded with cloves
  • 3 Bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp Lurpak Cooking Liquid
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 4 hard boiled free range eggs
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning
  • For the Roasted Garlic Sweet Potato Mash
  • 1kg Sweet Potatoes
  • 2 Bulbs of garlic
  • 2 tbsp of Lurpak Cooking Liquid or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning
  • Some grated cheese for topping that melts well like Cheddar, Gruyere or Comte

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6 or 180C fan oven.
  2. Place fish, bay leaves and onion in a pot and pour over milk.
  3. Boil for about 8 minutes and remove fish from the liquid and place in an ovenproof dish
  4. Flake the fish in the dish.
  5. Make the white sauce in a separate pan by using the Lurpak Cooking Liquid and flour to make a roux, stir vigorously and make sure that you cook this through so that you don't get the raw taste of flour in the sauce.
  6. Add the strained milk that was used to cook the fish and stir until sauce thickens.
  7. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. Pour sauce over the flaked fish on the oven proof dish.
  9. Quarter the boiled eggs and place over the sauce.
  10. Make the Roasted Garlic Sweet Potato Mash
  11. Wash and prick the sweet potatoes.
  12. Roast the sweet potatoes with their skin on in a hot oven for about 40 minutes. Sweet potatoes get a bit too soggy if you boil them.
  13. Cut the top of a garlic bulb or two and place it on the roasting tray with the potatoes.
  14. When cooked, scoop out the flesh of the sweet potatoes and squeeze out the roasted garlic into a bowl and add 1tbsp of Lurpak Cooking Liquid, cayenne pepper and seasoning.
  15. Mash the potatoes and mix well. (If you want a richer mash, you can add cream or even cream cheese)
  16. Put together the final dish by spooning or piping the mash onto the fish mixture in the ovenproof dish.
  17. Top the mash with some grated cheese.
  18. Bake in the oven for about 35-40 minutes or until the mixture bubbles through the mash and is piping hot.
  19. Serve with green peas or some sautéed spinach on the side.
http://www.eatcookexplore.com/fish-pie-roasted-garlic-sweet-potato-mash-lurpak-foodadventures/

For more recipes using this new range, look for the #FoodAdventures hashtag on Twitter and Instagram.