Friday, 16 June 2017

The Ultimate Greek Salad

Summer is here. Summer to me is synonymous with barbecues, picnics, Summer fruit, outdoor eating and long evenings. I'm not the biggest fan of salads, but during the Summer months, I love nothing more than having a hearty salad served either on it's own with crispy bread and olives, or served with meat and fish. I really enjoy all the flavours in a traditional Greek salad: salty feta, cooling cucumber and moreish olives. Most people who enjoy food would have several Greek salad recipes. This recipe comes from the queen of cooking, Nigella Lawson. Her recipe for Ultimate Greek Salad is from the very appropriately titled "Forever Summer". The recipe, although great, omits cucumber, but I had to add this as for me it's not really an ultimate Greek Salad without  cucumber.

Recipe for Ultimate Greek Salad
1 red onion
1 tablespoon dried oregano
black pepper
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
5 good tomatoes
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
pinch of sea salt
1 bulb fennel
4 ounces pitted black olives
14 ounces feta cheese
juice of half a lemon
(I used 1/2 cucumber, sliced and quartered)

Peel and finely slice the red onion then sprinkle over the oregano and grind over  some pepper. Pour in the vinegar and oil and toss well, cover with plastic wrap and leave to steep for a good 2 hours; longer's fine. Cut the tomatoes into quarters, then cut each quarter into quarters (always lengthwise), again so that you have a collection of very fine segments. Sprinkle the sugar and pinch of salt over them and leave whiles you get on with the rest. Wash the lettuce, tear into big pieces and put into a large, wide salad bowl. Slice the fennel, and add that, then, the olives and the feta, cut or crumbled into rough chunks, and toss well. Now add the tomatoes, the red onion and cucumber.


Saturday, 4 August 2012

Spare ribs

This recipe has to be one of my favourite recipes from Forever Summer, in fact it's the dish that I've made the most. I'll go as far to say if the recipe is adhered to then these ribs are better than ribs eaten in Chinese restaurants. Spare ribs are readily available in markets and supermarkets, and make a cheap and substantial meal. When I have made ribs before I usually serve these succulent ribs with either egg noodles or basmati rice and stir fry vegetables.  Sometimes, when I am craving extra sauce I cook the stir fry vegetables with a Blue Dragon sachet sauce.
Here is how my spare ribs turned out: 

Sticky ribs with egg noodles and veg
Sticky ribs with egg noodles and veg

Sticky ribs and vegetables
This is the blueprint for sticky ribs!

Ingredients (to make 16 spare ribs).
4 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
3 tablespoon soy sauce
2 red chillies, roughly chopped
2 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into thin slices
2 tablespoons honey
2 star anise
1 stick cinnamon, broken into pieces
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoon peanut oil
4 spring onions

to cook
2 teaspoons five-spice powder
2 tablespoons honey

to serve
2 red or green chillies, seeded
2 spring onions

Put the ribs into a large plastic bag and all the marinade ingredients, tie a know and squeeze everything around well. Ideally leave in a refrigerator overnight, or for a least of couple of hours.
Preheat the oven to 400 F.
Let the marinated ribs come to room temperature, and pour the whole contents of the bag onto a roasting pan. Cover tightly with foil and roast for 1 hour.
Take the foil off the roasting pan and sprinkle over the five-spice powder and spoon over the amber honey. Put the ribs back in the oven for another 30 minutes, take them out halfway through and turn them over before returning them to become stickily glazed on the underside. Watch they don't stick: they may only need another 10 minutes to become crispy and glossily brown.
Take them out of their pan, arrange on a large plate and scatter over the chili and spring onions.


Sunday, 29 July 2012

Nigella's Anglo-Italain trifle

I hope you are all enjoying the wonderful weather over the last few days. As it's summer I think it's quite fitting to make something from Nigella's Forever Summer cookbook. Now, I can't remember the last time I ate a trifle let alone made a trifle, but after watching Nigella make this on her Forever Summer tv show I was tempted to give it a try.

This trifle uses both English and Italian influences ammerti and limoncello -Italian and sponge fingers as the English influence. As I love Italian food and Italian ingredients, I thought I would give this trifle a shot. The only problem I could foresee was a) converting all the american cup ingredients into grams (I have an American version of the book, I blame the Works bookstore and my love of discounted cookbooks), and b) converting rum into limoncello or a lemon infused rum (refused to buy limoncello just to use 275 ml and will probably not use it again.......) .

For my first time making a trifle I don't think I did too bad.

Instead of reprinting the recipe I will share the three main ingredients I changed. Firstly, I used fresh cranberries (150g) instead of (675g) blackberries. Fresh cranberries do not have a sweet taste like cranberry sauce; fresh cranberries can be sour, so I cut the cranberries in half, added sugar and extra jam (in the heating the fruit over the pan stage). I suggest using other seasonal fruit available if you can not find fresh blackberries. Also I used my own homemade blueberry jam (recipe from Nigella's Kitchen book p.285) and I used 200 ml white rum mixed with half a lemon and three tablespoons of granulated sugar instead of 250 ml limoncello. The original recipe can be found here: Anglo Italian trifle


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.

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