Saturday, 24 March 2018

Gingerbread pancakes with Parma ham & maple syrup

This dish is really the ideal lazy weekend brunch. I love a good pancake and enjoy trying different varieties and flavour combinations. These pancakes remind me of American pancakes as they are associated with a bacon topping. Well, this recipe from Lorraine Pascale Fast, Fresh & Easy has a kick of ginger which adds a warm flavour and is topped with Italian parma ham. A quick, yet special breakfast to enjoy.

The recipe for these gorgeous pancakes can be found on the link.

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Peanut Butter Squares

I fancied a sweet treat and with a jar of peanut butter needing to be used, I drew up several ideas for sweet treats. Peanut butter cake, peanut butter blondies, peanut butter and jelly, peanut and banana sandwich; the list was endless. But, I decided that it was recipe that I bookmarked in Lorraine Pascale's Fast, Fresh and Easy for Peanut Butter Squares. It sounded so moreish, peanut butter and 
chocolate, with digestive biscuits and sugar. Nom, nom, nom. 
This dish is simple to make and I made sure it was even easier as I microwaved the chocolates in 30 second blasts, as I did with the butter. The rest, the food processor done for me. The taste is highly addictive, I couldn't stop at 2 or 3 squares, it didn't last a full 24 hours in my home. 

Here are my Peanut Butter Squares turned out:

  • Ingredients
  • 150g/5½oz butter
  • 200g/7oz dark chocolate (at least 60% cocoa solids) or milk chocolate (or a mixture of both)
  • 250g/9oz digestive biscuits
  • 200g/7oz soft light brown sugar
  • 300g/10½oz crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Mango, feta, smoked salmon & avocado salad with fresh lime juice

Summer is still in the swing of things and haven't we had a wonderful summer this year? I only recently realised how versatile salads are for lunches as I usually associate salads as a side dish. Gone are the days of iceberg lettuce, tomatoes and cucumber, salads can be exotic and tasty as you like. I really like the idea of sweet and savoury together such as the mango and smoked salmon, it does something to the taste buds, it's like your senses are trying to figure out what flavours are coming through. I also like the fresh lime juice drizzled over salads, I first discovered this in Cuba where I observed the locals topping their salads with lime juice. I made this salad for my lunch and was pleasantly pleased and satisfied. In fact, it has become a regular occurrence for my lunch which makes a change for the usual lunchtime sandwich.
Here is how my salad turned out:

Mango, feta, smoked salmon & avocado salad

Recipe adapted from Lorraine Pascale Fast Fresh and Easy 
Time from start to finish 20 minutes
Serves 4
2 x 250g packs of ready prepared or 2 large ripe mangoes
200g feta cheese
4 radishes
1 rip avocado
A drizzle of a really good extra virgin olive oil
1 lime
smoked salmon pieces
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Tip the mango onto a large serving platter or if using whole mangoes,  slice the two cheeks off either side of the stone. Cut them in half and then run the knife through the flesh close to the skin to peel it, as you would with a melon.  Dice the flesh into bite sized pieces and scatter onto the big serving platter. I like to go back and slice off the remaining shinny bits of mango and do the same thing with them so as not to waste any.
Crumble the feta cheese over. Top and tail the radishes and then slice then as fine as you can get them before scattering them over also.
Cut the avocado in half and discard the stone. Then carefully leek away the skin and slice or dice the avocado and add to the salad.
Season with salt and pepper, drizzle with oil and finish by squeezing the lime juice over.


Sunday, 30 March 2014

Lozza's lamb biryani and Spice Kitchen spices.

I recently joined Twitter, feel free to pop over and say hello. One of the advantages of Twitter is that I can connect with a whole new audience, introduces me to new food companies, cake businesses, wine sellers and other food bloggers who share my love of food. Spice Kitchen Uk recently reached out to bloggers via Twitter and kindly offered to send out a pack of authentic high quality Indian spices. I'll be honest I usually buy my Indian spices from my local supermarket or my local market when I get chance to visit but this is not often. I love curries and Indian dishes so when Spice Kitchen sent me a sample of 10 Indian Spices which retails at £7.99 I decided to in-cooperate this in a lamb biryani dish. The 10 Indian Spices includes:

  • Cardomon
  • Cloves
  • Cinnamon Sticks
  • Kashmiri Chilli powder
  • Cumin seeds
  • Ground coriander
  • Garam marsala
  • Mustard seeds
  • Turmeric powder
  • Curry leaves
Spice Kitchen spices.
I liked the intensity of the spices when each packet was opened, I used the turmeric, garam masala and chili in my lamb biryani, which I may add was one of the best Indian dishes I have made in a very long time. I always wondered why my Indian dishes did not taste like the dishes I order in Indian restaurants, perhaps it's all down to the spices.
Here is how (Lozza's) lamb biryani turned out:
Lamb biryani
Time from start to finish 25 minutes
Serves 4
Equipment: Medium pan with tight-fitting, serve
Vegetable oil
2tsp garam marsala
2tsp ground turmeric
1tsp ground cumin
1tsp hot chili powder
1 bunch of spring onions
500g lamb steaks
350g basmati rice
400 tin of coconut milk
100ml water
small handful of fresh coriander
50g raisins
knob of butter (optional)

Put a drizzle of oil in a medium pan on a low heat. Add the garam marsala, turmeric, cumin and chili powder and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
While this cooks, trim and finely slice the spring onions (both the green and the white bits) and then chop the lamb up into bite-sized cubes. Turn the pan heat up to high, add a little more oil and add the spring onions and lamb. Brown the heat all over for 2-3 minutes, stirring often so nothing catches on the bottom.
Meanwhile, put the rice in a pan with the coconut milk and 100ml of water.
Cover with a tight-fitting lid, bring to the boil and then turn it down to a very gentle simmer and leave to cook away for as long as the rice says on the packet, do not stir the rice.
Once the rice is cooked, stir in the coriander and raisins. Let them heat through for a moment or two.
Taste the rice, adding any salt and pepper if it needs it and even a knob of butter to make it extra creamy.


Thursday, 13 March 2014

Spicy bean burgers

One of my quests for 2013 is to eat more Vegetarian meals. I set my self the challenge to eat one veggie  meal a week. This challenge seemed simple enough, especially after over indulging over the Xmas period. I wanted a new challenge, to eat healthier and also to cook with some vegetables that I have never cooked with, such as Jerusalem artichokes, kale and fennel and thought using vegetables as the main part of my meal, may be a good way to lose weight. I started off with great enthusiasm, dusting off my cookbooks looking for delicious looking veggie and healthy recipes. However, by the end of January I realised I could not sustain this: I'm addicted to meat, I love the texture, flavour and the versatility of the good ol chops. One of the good thing about my short-lived quests is that I tried this lovely recipe from Lorraine Pascale's Fast Fresh and Easy Food cookbook. What I liked about this veggie recipe, is that it didn't require a food processor as many veggie/bean burgers do and a simple potato masher is sufficient enough to do the job. Lorraine states that the recipe takes around 30 minutes to make the burgers, alongside couscous and coriander and lime creme sauce (which I omitted), it took me 30 minutes to make the burgers! I served these burgers with couscous as recommended in the recipe, next time I'll be making sweet potato fries as I craved potatoes with this.
Here is how my guilt free veggie burgers turned out:
Spicy ban burgers

I started by pulsing the beans together until it was a pliable mixture.
Pulses mashed.

Then added the breadcrumbs and egg
Eggs and sun dried tomatoes added.

Finally adding the feta cheese.
Feta cheese added

Cook the burgers.
Burgers cooking.

Recipe for Spicy bean burgers
400g tin of kidney beans
400g tin of butter beans
1 bunch of spring onions
1-2 chillies
1 garlic clove
50g sun dried tomatoes
50g dried breadcrumbs
2 medium eggs
100g feta cheese
sunflower oil
Packet of cous cous, made according the instructions on the packet.

Drain and rinse the kidney and butter beans and tip them into a large bowl. Using the end of a rolling pin or a potato masher, give the beans a rough mash to break then up a little.
Trim and finely slice the spring onions, deseeded and finely slice the chillies and peel and finely chop the garlic. Finely chop the sun dried tomatoes. Add all of these to beans, along with the breadcrumbs, and crack the eggs in. Add a generous amount of salt and pepper and give everything a good mix to incorporate the eggs. Then crumble the feta.
Put a big glub of sunflower oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Then, divide the mix in four and shape each piece into a burger patty. Add the burgers to the hot pan and leave to cook for 5 minutes.
Once the underside of the burgers are lovely and crisp and golden, flip them over carefully (as they are softer than regular meat burgers). Drizzle some oil into the pan if dry and leave the burgers to cook on the other side for 5 minutes. Make the couscous as instructed by the packet. Check the burgers are crisp and golden on the other side and remove them from the pan onto the cous cous.

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