Sunday, 12 April 2015

Russell Hobbs Desire Slice and Go Food Slicer plus Special Coleslaw Recipe

The geniuses at Russell Hobbs have developed a new range of food preparation products such as  their Hand Mixer, Hand Blender, Mini Chopper and a fabulous product entitled Slice and Go. The Slice and Go is compact, stylish with it's stainless-steel grating, shredding and slicing tool. This a fabulous product to prepare and to perfectly slice vegetables. With all the recent media craze with healthy and clean living, I was particularly inspired to use this product as a way of eating more vegetables. Easy to assemble, I first started with the shredding tool to make the Special Coleslaw, which is shared later on in the post. I found having sliced the cabbage in rough slices and then placing in the tunnel, within a matter of seconds I had a beautiful perfect sliced of cabbage which was smooth on each side. I quickly swapped the shredding tool to the grating tool and used this to grate the carrots, again within a matter of seconds the carrots were perfectly grated. Needless to say that my Special Coleslaw was on the most beautifully presented coleslaw I have made. I've also used the Slice and Go, to slice some well known Jamaican ingredients such as green banana and plantain to make fritters (which I'll post shortly on the blog) , which were perfectly grated.  I would recommend this product as it is incredibly easy to use and really slices vegetables incredibly well. Reasonably priced at £24.99, this is a welcome addition to your kitchen.

Add caption
Green Banana about to be grated. 

Grated Green Banana

Ingredients ready to go in the Slice and Go.

Carrots Shredded

Special Coleslaw


  • Slices, grates and shreds vegetables perfectly.
  • Easy to use.
  • Easy to clean.
  • Reasonably Priced.
  • Stylish Design.
  • Not to noisy.

Needs improvement

  • At present, I can't think of anything that needs additional improvement with this product. 

Recipe for Special Coleslaw, taken from Levi Roots Reggae Reggae Cookbook. 

Ingredients Serves 8
1/2 white cabbage, finely sliced
1 red pepper, cored and de-seeded and chopped
1 green pepper, cored, de-seeded and chopped.
3 large carrots, peeled and grated.
298g/10oz can of sweetcorn, drained.
200ml /7 fl oz mayonnaise.
100ml/ 3 1/2 salad cream.
2 tsp coarse ground black pepper.

Put the cabbage into a bowl, add the red and green pepper and mix together. Stir in the carrots and sweetcorn. Add the mayonnaise, salad cream and black pepper and stir together well.



Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Jamaican bun

For Easter, Jamaican bun is the traditional bake that is eaten in Jamaica, hence the name. As I am of Jamaican heritage, Jamaican food features heavily in my diet, however the food that I tend to blog about is not Jamaican food, as I have pushed myself to try a wide variety of food.  I have never made Jamaican bun before, but I have certainly brought it on many occasions, and eat this at least twice  a month.
Traditionally, this bread is eaten with Jamaican cheese, but I tend to eat this with good ol cheddar cheese as this easily available. The best way of comparing the flavour of my Jamaican bun, is think of a panettone, but with a darker colour and a richer texture (and a better taste!). As I have grown up on this, I must say this is one of the better sweet breads out there. I made the unfortunate error of forgetting the yeast first time round, so had to remake this; I was determined to make this bread for Easter. The bread needs to rise twice, and on the second time the mixed dry fruit is added. I think this is a lovely sweet bread to make on the weekend.
Here is how my Jamaican bun turned out:
Jamaican bun
Jamaican bun
Jamaican bun
Jamaican bun - pre bake
Recipe taken from Levi Roots Reggae Reggae Cookbook

Makes 1 large loaf, cuts into 10 slices
400g very strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
100g strong brown bread flour
7g sachet easy blend dried yeast
75g dark muscavodo sugar
1tsp ground mixed spice
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1//2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground all spice
1tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla essence
100g butter, melted, plus extra for greasing
150ml milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
50g dried mixed fruit
2 tbsp light muscovado sugar
butter, to serve

Put both flours, the yeast, both sugars, the mixed spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, salt and vanilla essence into a large bowl.
Warm the butter and milk until just tepid in a small pan. Add to the dry ingredients with the egg, and using your hands, bring the mixture together.
Knead on a lightly floured surface for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic, then cover with greased clingfilm and leave in a warm place.
Lightly grease a baking tray with butter. Empty out the risen dough on to a lightly floured surface, tip in the dried fruit and knead the dough together. Shape into a round and put on to the prepared tray. Cover with greased clingfilm and leave in a warm place for about 1-1 1/2 hours or until the loaf has doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/ gas mark 5. Bake the bun for 50 minutes until risen and brown.
For the glaze, put the sugar and 3 tablespoons of boiling water in a heatproof bowl and microwave on high for 30 seconds to dissolve the sugar. Alternatively, heat the sugar and water in a small pan until the sugar has dissolved. Brush the glaze over the warm loaf and serve warm, sliced as it is or with a smothering of butter.



Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Jamaican Saltfish fritters

Nothing beats saltfish fritters for an instant feeling as though you are in the Caribbean islands. If I were to rank my top 3 carnival foods, saltfish fritters would be on top of my favourite lists followed by festivals and jerk chicken. As I previously stated on my previous blogs posts: I love Jamaican food, love Levi Roots and what better way to share my enthusiasm by sharing another offering from Levi Roots "Reggae Reggae" cook book. This cookbook is the perfect book for all those who are not that familiar with Caribbean food, and covers the basics staple meals, snacks, drinks and desserts from the Caribbean islands.
Saltfish fritters are salted cod (readily available in Asda's world foods aisle), cut and mixed in a batter, then shallow fried. They are the perfect snack if you want instant taste of the Caribbean.
Although the recipe I share is to make 6, I never make 6 at a time, I usually triple the recipe. Here is how my fritters turned out:

Ingredients serves 6
275g skinless, boneless cod fillets
275g self-raising flour
2 spring onions, finely chopped
1 scotch bonnet chilli, deseeded and chopped
600ml vegetable oil

Scrap the excess salt off the fish with a knife and then rinse in warm water. Put into a pan, bring to the boil and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Put the flour into a large bowl and add the spring onions and chilli.
Drain the salt cod and rinse again, then break the fish into small pieces and add to the flour mixture. Pour in 200ml cold water and, using a spoon, stir until the batter easily pours of the spoon, adding about 50ml more water, if needed.
Heat the oil in a large, deep frying pan, add 6 seperate spoonfuls of the mixture to the oil and cook for a further 7 minutes pale golden and crispy. Drain and serve.

I am sharing this to Credit Crunch Munch blog challenge founded by Helen over at Fuss Free Flavours and Camillia at Fab Food 4 All. This month (April 2015) is guest hosted by Michelle at Utterly Scrummy Food For Families, as salt fish is a cheaper fish ingredient, it is an economical way of eating fish and perfect for picnics and lunches.


Monday, 3 September 2012

Levi Root's West Indian fruit Cake with Cream Cheese Topping.

This months monthly challenge from Belleau kitchen and Tea Time Treats involves joining forces together for bloggers to randomly select cook books that best represent recipes for tea time treats. I only own one baking book that specifically focuses on Afternoon tea, which is Afternoon tea by Anthony Wild. I could have flicked through this book and chose a recipe. However, I fancied a bit of a challenge and chose this book alongside four other books from my cook book collections. These books were Great British Bake Off (series 2), Nigella "Kitchen", Love Food "Chocolate" and Levi Roots "Reggae Reggae" cookbook. I randomly selected Levi Roots "Reggae Reggae" cook book, and randomly chose a recipe from his desserts section - West Indian fruit cake. I am a big fan of Levi Roots as being of Jamaican heritage, and have blogged several times from this book. I am always delighted to cook/ bake West Indian food. I have had the opportunity to meet Levi before at Notting Hill carnival and every time I make or bake from his cook books I remember how friendly he was to me - I thought I would share this picture.
West Indian cake would make a lovely twist on the traditional cakes that are served in hotels or at home for afternoon tea. I can only describe West Indian cake as a lighter fruit cake without the intensity of all the fruits, but with the added flavour of rum. In fact, when I make West Indian fruit cake I try my best to "mush" the fruits. I made a traditional circular cake, but with the additional mixture I placed in a loaf tin and added cream cheese topping for a different twist.
Here is how my cake turned out:
West  Indian cake with cream cheese topping.

The cake turned out light and fluffy, and with the sharpness of the cream cheese topping, made the cake simply amazing! The cake is quite simple to make as I in cooperate everything in a bowl and free standing mixer and mix.
Cake mixture in tin.
cake mixture in tin.
My loaf tin cake pre slicing with added cream cheese frosting.
West Indian Christmas Cake, taken from levi Roots Reggae Reggae cookbook (perfect for a lovely tea time snack) - serves 16
250g/ 9oz mixed dried fruit
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
300ml/10fl ox dark rum
250g/ 9oz butter, cut into cubes, plus extra for greasing
225g/ 8oz molasses sugar (I used dark brown muscavodo sugar).
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
3 medium eggs, lightly beaten
250g/9oz self - raising flour
1 tbsp ground mixed spice
1/2 tsp ground all spice (pimento)
4 tbsp brandy, to finish.

Put the dried fruit and lemon zest into a large jar, pour on the rum and stir everything together. Seal and leave the fruit to macerate for as long as you got!
Preheat the oven to 180 C/ 350 F/ Gas Mark 4. Grease and line the base and sides of a 20 cm/ 8 inch cake tin.
Put the butter, sugar and vanilla essence into a large bowl and beat together with a hand held blender until light and fluffy. Gradually add the eggs, a little at a time, adding two tablespoons of flour to stop the mixture curdling. Sift the remaining flour, the mixed spice and all spice together, then gently fold into the mixture.
Put half the macerated fruit into a food processor and whizz until it's smooth. Fold into the cake mixture with the rest of the fruit and the rum.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin, smoothing over the surface and leaving a slight dip on the surface.
Bake for 1 1/4 hours or until a cocktail stick or skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. If it doesn't bake the cake for a further 15 minutes and check again. Pour over the brandy and leave to cool in the tin.
Turn the cake out of the tin and keep wrapped in foil.

For the cream cheese frosting I didn't actually follow a specific recipe as cream cheese frosting is not traditionally used with this recipe. However, a basic cream cheese frosting recipe can be found here:

My West Indian cake with cream cheese topping meets four blogging challenges. Firstly, Dom at Belleau kitchen, Karen from Lavender and Lovage and Kate from What Kate Baked have joined forces for their random recipes of tea time treats.
I have also discovered some more blogging challenges (I love to hunt and find :-) ) and I believe this recipe also meets Bake Fest baking challenge which only can include vegetarian ingredients and this month is hosted by The mad scientist kitchen I look forward to seeing all the lovely vegetarian bakes.

Finally last night I discovered a new blogging event last night Baking with spirit, organised by Cake  of the Week, which invited baking entries which included alcohol, this month rum. This is a new blog which I have discovered, which includes a section on healthy baking, I am sold!



Thursday, 26 July 2012

5 ways with chicken

I am having to repost my posts from the last few months, as I decided to change my blog name, and automatically presumed all the blogs will be relinked to my new address but how wrong was I.
This post was originally posted in November.
Although this time of year is associated with turkey, let's not forget the turkey's cousin, my favourite meat, chicken. There are several reasons to cook the humble chicken: this meat is used throughout the world, makes a fantastic meal, is cheap and cheerful and is crowd winner. Growing up my favourite chicken meals were either jerk chicken, curry chicken or roast chicken. As an adult i've ventured into new territory and have tried a variety of chicken dishes mainly from Mediterranean countries (Italy, Greece, Spain, Portugal), which I must say have been very delicious. There is Greek chicken, chicken cooked in Greek spices and topped with feta cheese and avocado. Jerk chicken, one of my favourite dishes, is a dish seasoned with all Jamaican all spice seasoning and traditionally cooked on a barbecue, but still tastes wonderful cooked in the oven.

There is also Spanish chicken, i've cooked many variations of this one pot rice dish, all have been quick, easy and so tasty. The version I have chose to upload is Spanish chicken using red potatoes and chorizo; this version takes the same amount of time as the more traditional recipe. I think it's always good to have a little change on a classic dish.
I rarely cook eastern inspired dishes as I think they are quite difficult to get right. Perhaps I should not compare my Chinese cooking with the Chinese cooking at Wing Wah but my attempts have always seem to be lacking. If you fancy a healthy (ish) dish, try Thai chicken skewers. The seasoning is readily available from Asda, so there are no excuses.

Also if you fancy something different, why not make a chicken carbonara (without the pasta) and use the filling inside a calzone. Calzones are quite easy to make, if you are used to making pizza dough and bases.
Some of the books I have adapted my recipe from.


Saturday, 9 June 2012

Jubilee celebrations

Although I am a few days late uploading my jubilee food pictures, I thought I must share them on my blog. The original plan for my jubilee celebration foods were simple traditional English favourites such as finger sandwiches, scones, mini pork pies and a union jack style cake. I got my wish of making a union jack style cake and finger sandwiches, but was requested to make lots of "proper food" which in my family means Jamaican food. I usually share recipes but as though the cake is from a Daily Mail link, and the other foods were my nan's creations, I thought I would, just for this once share pictures.
Here are some of the food from my jubilee party.

Recipe for cake Fiona Carin cake
Finger sandwiches. Idea from my Afternoon tea book.

Pimms. Recipe from Nigella Lawson's Forever Summer cookbook.

My nan's fried chicken.

Escovitch fish (My fave Jamaican dish).

Jamaican beef patties from Levi Roots Reggae Reggae cook book.

Fried plantins.
Jamaican colslew and macaroni.


Friday, 16 March 2012

Escovitch fish, saltfish, fried dumplings and fried plantin.

I love Jamaican food, i've grown up on this food and still love to eat Jamaican food on a regular basis (at least once a week). There are too many of my favourite Jamaican dishes to list but for some reason i only eat fish, if it's the Jamaican fish dishes that I've grown up with.
My nan cooks the most amazing Jamaican food and I am very fortunate to have her cook some of my favourite dishes. I have included a recipe for fried escovitch snapper (not included in the pictures but one of my favourites) and fried dumplings from Levi Roots Reggae Reggae cook book. As many Caribbean recipes are passed down from generation to generation exact grams are usually not known (for fried dumplings etc) so I've made reference to Levi.
Here are some of my favourite dishes.
Saltfish, fried dumplings & fried plantin

Corn beef & fried dumplings

Jamaican beef patties
Recipe for fried dumplings
Makes 12
400g self-raising flour 
1 tsp salt
50g butter
400ml vegetable oil
250 ml water

Pt the flour and salt into a large bowl, add the butter. Use your hands, rub it in until the mixture forms crumbs. 
Gradually add most of 250ml water until the mixture comes together to form a ball.
Using your hands, knead the mixture for a few minutes. If the dough is too dry, add a little more water then continue to knead until a soft dough forms and the bowl is clean.
Heat the oil in a large, deep-frying pan.
Divide the dough into 12 pieces. Take each piece of dough and knead until it is stretchy, then roll each one into a smooth ball.
Check to see if the oil is hot enough by taking a tiny piece of the dough and dropping it into the hot oil If it is just bubbling around the edges, it's ready.
Meanwhile, shape each ball into a flat cake. Gradually add them batches to the pan of hot oil. Keep the temperature really low while you fry them. Cook for about 5 minutes, then carefully turn them over when the underside is pale golden and they are starting to look puffy. Fry for a further 5 minutes until they are golden brown and cooked through. 
Drain on kitchen paper and serve. 
Recipe for Fried Escovitch Snapper
4 Red snapper, scaled, gutted and cleaned
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp all purpose seasonings
400 ml vegetable oil
50 ml malt vinegar
 1 onion
2 scotch bonnet chillies, deseeded
1/2 red and 1/2 green pepper deseeded and sliced

Rinse the snapper under cold running water,  then sprinkle over the lemon juice. Put the fish in a large non-metallic dish and rub a little salt into the belly of each fish.
Sprinkle over the all-purpose seasoning and black pepper and gently rub in. Leave to stand for at least 10 minutes.
Heat the oil in a large deep frying pan until really hot. Add just 2 fish and fry over a high heat for about 15 minutes until lightly browned. Remove from the pan and repeat with the other fish. Pour the vinegar into a small pan and add the onion, chillies, red & green peppers. Bring to the boil and cook for about 5 minutes.
Pour the vinegar over the fish and arrange the onions and peppers .

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