#Spring #Soup with chicken #meatballs, leek and #Parmesan

A spring soup that combines tasty chicken meatballs with the sweetness of carrots, peas and leeks with the sharp saltiness of Parmesan. I used some quartered Brussel sprouts and spinach as well for a great result. It’s a great way to use up vegetables.

Prep time: 20 minutes Cooking time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

Meatballs
300g chicken mince
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
3 tablespoons breadcrumbs
2 cloves garlic pounded to a paste
Pinch of salt
Black pepper
1/2 small onion very finely diced
1 red chilli finely diced (optional)

Soup:
1 litre chicken stock + 2-3 cups water
1 leek white and pale green part finely sliced
1/2 onion finely diced
1 carrot grated
2 cloves garlic pounded to a paste
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup of peas
8 Brussel sprouts quartered
Handful or two of baby spinach leaves
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
Salt and black pepper to season
Basil or parsley leaves for garnish

Method:

1. Combine ingredients for meatballs using and form into small meatballs.

2. Fry meatballs in a non stick fry pan until golden on all sides, for about 3 minutes and set aside.

3. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in heavy based soup,or casserole pot, add onions and leeks and sweat over low heat until tender, add garlic paste and stir through.

4. Add stock and 2 cups water to leek mixture and bring to a boil.

5. Add meatballs, grated carrots, Brussel sprouts and simmer gently for 5-8 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through.

6. Add peas and simmer for 1-2 minutes until peas are just tender.

7 turn off heat, add baby spinach and allow to sit for a few minutes.

8 serve in bowls, sprinkled with Parmesan, chopped basil/parsley, adding salt and pepper to taste. (serves 2-4)

#organic #roast chicken #delicious

Nothing better than lemon, onion and thyme stuffed chicken, with a light gravy made with the heavenly juices from roasting, and roasted vegetables with thyme.

#Canellini beans with garlic, chilli and olives with pan fried #salmon.

A yummy and quick side to go with easy pan fried salmon. Served in a bed of fresh baby spinach. Healthy, nutritious, using mainly items you probably have in your pantry.

Prep time: 5 minutes Cooking time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:
2 boneless salmon fillets with skin on
1 can of canellini or white beans
1 ripe tomato chopped into large chunks
1 small onion diced
2 red chillies chopped
3 cloves of garlic pounded into a paste with a good pinch of salt
6 green olives roughly chopped
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 lemon juiced
3 large handfuls of baby spinach leaves
4 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Method

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in pan over medium heat, add crushed garlic to flavour oil, then add onions, and allow to simmer gently, add tomato chunks, olives and chillies, allow to simmer for 2-3 minutes.

Add canellini beans, half a cup white wine and simmer until wine is reduced and a thickish sauce. Turn off heat, cover and set aside.

Smother the salmon in the other 2 tablespoons of oil.

Heat a seperate non-stick pan, then place salmon fillets face down and cook on medium high heat until sealed an browned on flesh side, then add knob of butter and then over to cook skin side down for 5 minutes or so until skin is crispy and salmon is cooked to your liking.

Plate a bed of spinach leaves on plate.

Return beans to heat, add lemon juice and reheat. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Place 3-4 tablespoons of the bean mixture on top of the spinach, put salmon on the side and serve.

#Quick Fish Curry with #Tamarind

This recipe is for my friend Jennifer who especially asked for a fish curry recipe using Tamarind and no fenugreek. The use of tamarind in fish and seafood curries is traditional in South Indian curries and adds a beautiful tangy flavour.

Tamarind has all sorts of health benefits and is rich in many nutrients. This is a good link for more info https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/tamarind#section4

I keep a block of pressed tamarind handy in the fridge but sometimes use concentrate. If using pressed tamarind then slice off a thick bit and steep in boiling water and using gloves rub the skin and pulp off the seeds, the resulting mixture looks brown and murky but adds delicious flavour to the curry.

Some curries use a lot more tamarind for a dark, rich sauce but this one is quick and lighter.

Prep time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:
2 thick boneless fillets of monkfish or similar meaty white fish, cut into medium size pieces (about 500g)
1 large onion diced
2 large ripe tomatoes diced
3 cloves garlic and equal fresh ginger pound to a paste
Handful of fresh curry leaves (optional)
1/2 stick of cinnamon bark (optional)
1 teaspoon cummin seeds
2-3 fresh chillies tops sliced off, left whole (optional)
Thick “slice” of tamarind or 1 teaspoon tamarind concentrate
1 cup boiling water
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 to 1 teaspoon chilli powder depending on your taste
1/2 teaspoon fennel powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Coriander to garnish

Method

Steep tamarind in 1/2 cup boiling water whilst preparing other ingredients, or mix tamarind concentrate with 1/2 cup of boiling water and set aside.

Heat oil in heavy based pot over medium heat

Add cummin seeds, cinnamon bark, curry leaves and green chillies if using until spluttering stops.

Add onions and cook slowly over medium heat until transparent, stirring from time to time to prevent caramelisation.

(if using block tamarind ….While onions are cooking, rub tamarind to seperate and remove any seeds from mixture, strain and set aside tamarind juice. You can use the pulp as well but make sure it has no seeds left in it.)

Add ginger and garlic, mix through into onions until just heated.

Add turmeric, chilli powder and fennel powder and mix through onions, taking care not to burn spices

Immediately add tomatoes, salt and mix well, cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring to prevent sticking to the bottom

Add the tamarind water mixture and bring to a bubble.

Add fish and another half cup of water to bring sauce up to sides of fish.

Cook for 5-8 minutes on a slow simmer until sauce is reduced and fish is cooked to your liking, turn fish during cooking so both sides are coated in sauce.

Garnish with chopped coriander and serve with rice.

This curry is delicious with Indian Spicy Mint and Coriander Chutney on the side.

#Crepes with fresh #strawberries and strawberry rum sauce #delicious

Cooked a bit of a retro dinner last night starting with Pumpkin Soup, then individual beef Wellington’s and finished with these crepes.

I hadn’t made crepes for a long time and had forgotten how easy it is and how perfect they are for entertaining because you can make them ahead and just reheat in the microwave before serving.

I used Martha Stewart’s crepe recipe which is super easy because it’s made in a blender. Thanks Martha! https://www.marthastewart.com/921813/how-make-crepes?slide=3380816

The strawberry rum sauce is absolutely delicious!!

And both make fabulous leftovers for breakfast or brunch the next morning.

We had Messina passionfruit gelato and fresh strawberries but you can add whatever toppings you like. Fresh cream of course is the classic friend for this dish.

Preparation time: 45 minutes incl 15 minutes to rest batter

Crepes

Ingredients
1 cup flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Method:

Put all the ingredients in the blender.

Blend until smooth for 2-3 minutes and bubbles form at the top.

Leave to rest for at least 15 minutes.

Heat a small non-stick pan over medium heat, coat with a film of butter. I use kitchen paper dipped in melted butter to coat the pan.

Using a ladle, scoop batter into pan, just enough to cover the bottom. Cook until golden on the underside, then flip to cook the other side, maybe 30 seconds.

Repeat until batter is finished. Makes about 15 crepes depending on size of your pan.

Strawberry Rum Sauce

Prep time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

1 small carton of strawberries, about 10 strawberries
3 tablespoons of sugar
1 1/4 cups water
1.5 tablespoons dark or white rum
Zest of 1 lemon
1/4 teaspoon salt

Method:

Blend strawberries until smooth

Place water and sugar in pan and bring to a boil, simmer until just clear

Add strawberry pulp, zest, salt and rum, bring to a boil then turn down heat and simmer for 15 minutes or longer to thicken to a sauce consistency.

Will keep in fridge or freeze well.

Reheat crepes in microwave, add fresh strawberries, topping of choice – ice cream, fresh cream, and strawberry rum sauce! Serve and enjoy!

#Loobia #Polow with Indian #meatballs

Loobia or Lubia Polo is a very popular Persian comfort dish.

It is a rice dish traditionally layered with green beans, spiced ground meat, tomatoes, herbs, and infused with saffron.

I discovered recipes for the traditional version when looking for something interesting to do with the Indian meatballs I had in the freezer and the big bag of green beans in the fridge!

A bit like an Iranian version of an Indian Pilaf or Briyani it seemed to me.

So I embarked on developing my version with the Indian Meatballs I had but these could more authentically replaced with lamb or beef mince. Have to say my version works really well but you have to make the meatballs first so is an extra step.

I made this a few months ago and tweeted a pic of the finished version and it has attracted more than 20,000 impressions! My most ever…so I thought I had to share the recipe! Hopefully you’ll like it too!?

Like Briyani it takes quite a few steps but worth it!

Prep time with meatballs: 1 hour including making and cooking meatballs, 25 minutes if using mince.

Cooking time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

    200g green beans cut into thirds
    2 tomatoes chopped
    2 onions – I finely diced, 1 halved then thinly sliced
    3 cloves garlic and 2 red chillies ground to a paste
    1 cinnamon stick
    Handful of curry leaves (optional
    1/2 teaspoon cummin seeds
    2 dried chillies (optional)
    1 teaspoon cummin powder
    1/2 teaspoon turmeric
    1.5 cups rice
    1 tspoon Saffron threads soaked in warm water
    Salt
    2 tablespoons Vegetable oil
    Plain yoghurt
    Coriander to garnish

Method

1. If using meatballs, Pre-heat oven to 170 degrees Celsius, use recipe to make the meatballs (but don’t make the chutney in that recipe! Just the meatballs) and cook meatballs for only 10 minutes or just until they are browned and sealed on the outside as they will cook fully in step blow.

2. While meatballs are cooking prepare other ingredients. Pound garlic and chillies, slice and chop onions and keep separated, chop tomatoes.

3. Par boil rice in salted water with saffron until half cooked. Drain and set aside.

4. In a heavy based casserole dish or pan, heat vegetable oil then add cinammon stick, diced onions, cummin seeds, dried chilli and curry leaves if using , cook slowly until onions go transparent.

5. Add garlic, chilli paste and cummin and turmeric to onion mixture and mix through over medium heat.

(6. If using mince, add mince to onions now and sauté until mince breaks up and Browns.)

7. Add tomatoes and green beans. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 cup of water. Simmer until tomatoes start to break down about 3-4 minutes. Add another 1/2 cup water if needed.

8. If using meatballs, add them now.

9. Simmer mixture for 10 minutes to allow meatballs to absorb flavours and sauce to thicken. If using mince, then simmer for an extra 5 minutes.

10. While mixture is simmering fry thinly sliced onions in butter or oil until golden brown and slightly caramelised.

11. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

12. In a ovenproof dish, preferably a deep dish with a lid, smear bottom and sides with some oil then add a layer of rice, then sprinkle with some onions, then add a layer of the meat and beat mixture, repeat until mixture and rice is finished. Reserve some onions for the top.

13. Pour 1/2 cup of water evenly across the dish. Cover dish with foil not touching onions, and place lid on top to seal.

14. Place in oven to cook rice and allow flavours to permeate through rice for about 20 minutes. Check to see that rice is cooked but still fluffy.

15. Garnish with fresh coriander and serve with yoghurt, pickles and salad.

This version doesn’t give you the burnt crispy bottom that is traditional of Loobia Polow but this could be achieved by finishing the dish off by cooking in a pot on the stove for last step instead of in oven.