From http://www.gastrozone.com ….thank you. Some wonderful Christmas ideas…maybe one or two might make our menu over coming days.
So beautiful, they might steal the stage from the decor and centerpieces! These are the dishes you’ll want to make to impress friends and family. For…Beautiful (And Delicious) Christmas Recipes
This looks like a delicious recipe with excellent instructions from sinfully spicy.com…thank you! Yet to try but will be putting on my list.
The description of Old Delhi also brings back evocative memories of the spice laden air, colourful ancient streets and crowded markets.Seekh Kabab
Seekh kabab could easily be one the most popular street foods across South Asia.A street food that instantly transports me to colorful streets of Old…Seekh Kabab
Delicious dinner tonight …remembering our time in Portugal last year this time Pre-COVID 19. Feel so lucky to have got there. Great people, culture, art, and food!
Here’s my original recipe
This is comfort food at it’s best. There are so many variations on the traditional cassoulet and in France there is much debate as to it’s origins and many towns that claim it as their creation.
Carcassonne in the South of France is one that claims it as their own most fiercely and it is featured on almost every tourist restaurant in the old Castle town. The traditional versions of course require days of preparation and cooking.
My version speeds up the process using now widely available products that replace the need for making your own duck confit or cooking beans for hours. (yes, I use canned beans and lentils!!) I have also tried to cut down the calories by removing as much fat as possible by cooking the meats separately first, before combining into the finished dish.
I use brown lentils as well as beans which absorb the cooking liquids faster and help to “combine” all the ingredients and sauce together in the end result.
Preparation time: 1.5 hours Cooking time: 35 minutes, serves 4
- 2 pre-made Duck confit Marylands (leg and thigh cutlets) in Australia I use Luv A Duck brand available in good butchers.
- 1 carton of pre-made oven roasted Coles Pork belly bites – or similar pre-cooked pork belly squares
- 2 Toulouse or other garlic and herb pork sausages
- 1 can cannelini beans
- 1 can brown lentils
- 1 onion diced
- 1 carrot diced
- 8-10 cherry tomatoes halved
- 6 cloves of garlic finely diced
- 2-3 stalks of celery diced
- 2 bay leaves
- 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1.5 cups of chicken stock
- 1/2 cup or so of Panko or fresh breadcrumbs for topping
- 1/4 cup Pumpkin seeds for topping
- Black pepper
1. Pre-heat oven goes 180 degrees Celsius.
2. Take duck confit from package and place on baking paper lined oven tray, along with the 2 sausages. When oven is hot, roast for 35 minutes until duck is warmed and sausages are just cooked. Halfway through the cooking time, add the halved cherry tomatoes cut-side up into the roasting pan.
3. While duck and sausages are in oven, fry pork bites in a non-stick pan over medium to high heat for 15 minutes until golden brown on all sides. This will also render a lot of the fat from the pork belly. Place fried pork belly on paper towel to absorb as much fat as possible.
4. Prepare vegetables if you haven’t done so already. Dice garlic, onions, carrots and celery. Drain cannelini beans and lentils and keep in separate bowls.
5. Remove duck and sausages from oven, reserving the fat and cooking juices in the pan. Place duck on paper towel to rest. Reserve cherry tomatoes in seperate bowl. Slice sausages into pieces and keep aside.
6. Throw out all but 1 tablespoon of the pork fat in the frying pan, add the reserved duck fat and cooking juices from cooking the duck and sausages.
7. Heat pan juices in frying pan and add garlic, cook for a minute or so until starting to just turn colour, add bay leaves, onions, celery and carrots, salt and pepper… and cook until softened and starting to caramelise. (Don’t forget Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius again if you turned it off)
8. Add thyme, cannelini beans, sausage slices and half a cup of hot chicken stock and simmer for 5 minutes, add lentils, pork belly, and another half a cup of stock and simmer for a further 5 minutes.
9. Put the base mixture into a snug casserole dish. Place cherry tomatoes throughout the mixture, and then the duck maryland right on top. Add 1/2 cup of stock to just come to the top of the mixture.
10. Sprinkle breadcrumbs and pumpkin seeds on top to from a crust, avoiding covering the duck.
11. Cook in oven for further 35-40 minutes until breadcrumbs and pumpkin seeds are golden and crispy. (Check a few times to see that consistency of base is to your satisfaction ie not too watery, not too dry. Add extra stock if necessary) Allow to stand for 5 minutes, then serve garnished with parsley and with zesty lemon and rocket salad and crunchy bread. Ps, I cut the Maryland’s into halves to make 4 serves.
This is another excellent dinner party dish which is easy to make but takes a bit of preparation. If you are cooking for more than 4 people, then it’s easy to double this recipe to make 2 pies at the same time.
The combination of the chicken cooked in Moroccan spices, icing sugar almonds and lemon zest is mouthwateringly divine.
I cook carrots in with the chicken to make a carrot salad at the same time to serve with the B’stilla. The carrots cooked in the chickeny liquid are delicious when zested up with citrus and ginger flavours. The recipe is at the bottom here.
B’stilla or Pastilla? The real thing in Fes.
The best B’stilla we had was a pigeon version in Fes made with homemade filo pastry at a restaurant called Dar Tajine tucked away in the heart of the Old Médina. https://www.dartajine.com. Dinner there cooked by Salaheddin the Owner and Chef was a really memorable experience – it felt like we were in his home for a family dinner. In Fes they call B’stilla “Pastilla”.
My recipe uses chicken and store-bought filo pastry but tastes pretty delicious as well.
Preparation time including marination:4 hours Cooking Time: 30 minutes
- 4 chicken large thigh cutlets with bone in and skin on
- 8 large sheets of filo pastry
- half a bunch of parsley
- Half a bunch of coriander
- 1 carrot
- 1 onion
- 4 cloves of garlic smashed to a paste
- 1 teaspoon saffron fronds
- 4 teaspoons ras el hanout (Moroccan spice mix)
- zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 1/2 tablespoon of cinnamon powder
- 3 tablespoons of icing sugar
- 1/4 cup of flaked almonds
- 4 tablespoons of melted butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1.5 litres of boiling water
1. Place saffron fronds in 1/4 cup of just boiled water and allow to steep. Remove filo pastry from freezer to allow defrost for 3.5 hours.
2. In a seperate bowl mix garlic, ras el hanout, lemon juice(not the zest), salt, saffron and saffron water olive oil and mix well
3. Place chicken thigh cutlets in a big bowl and massage the ras el hanout mixture into the chicken. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Marinate for at least 2 hours.
4. Strip the leaves from the parsley and coriander. Keep the stems separately to leaves.
5. Peel and chop the carrot and onion into large chunks.
6. Put the onion, carrots, parsley and coriander stems into a large pot, add boiling water, then chicken. Bring to a boil, then simmer chicken for an hour, skimming from time to time.
7. Check carrots during this time and remove from the cooking liquid and place in a bowl after about 30 minutes when they are tender.
8. Remove chicken from the cooking liquid and place in a bowl or plate and allow to cool.
9. Carefully strain cooking liquid into a saucepan and boil it until the liquid is reduced to about 1/4 cup.
10. Shred chicken into a bowl using your fingers, removing the bone and skin. (I wear gloves to do this.)
11. Chop parsley and coriander leaves and add to shredded chicken., along with the lemon zest, 1/2 the cinnamon, the flaked almonds,and the reduced cooking liquid to moisten the chicken.
12. Mix the rest of cinnamon with 2 tablespoons of icing sugar.
13. Pre-heat oven goes 180 degrees Celsius.
14. Line a baking sheet with baking paper and place one sheet of filo pastry flat on it, the brush with melted butter. Add another sheet of pastry on top, brushing with butter and repeat until you have 7 sheets of pastry on top of each other to form the base.
15. Dust the base with some of the icing sugar mixture, then pile chicken mixture in the middle to form a flattish round heap.
16. Sprinkle rest of icing sugar mixture over the top of the chicken. Add an extra sheet of pastry folded in half over the top of the chicken. Then fold over all the pastry from the bottom to form a neat package using melted butter to seal it all together as you go.
15. Turn the parcel over, add a small decoration like a heart cut out of pastry to the centre if you like, brush with melted butter. Place in hot oven and cook for 30-35 minutes until pastry is golden brown.
16. Allow to rest for a while, then lay kitchen string across the package to create a ceasing, sprinkle plain icing sugar over it all, carefully remove string and voila your perfectly presented B’stilla is ready to serve. If you have a doily you can sprinkle the icing sugar through this to create the pattern. If that’s too hard just sprinkle the whole thing with icing sugar!
17. Slice and serve with carrot and green salad.
- Carrots cooked in chicken cooking liquid
- Handful of chopped parsley leaves
- Zest of half a lemon
- Juice of half an orange
- 1/2 finger length of fresh ginger julienned into strips
While the B’stilla is resting, heat your carrots for 1 minute in a microwave,
Add the rest of the ingredients to the carrots, mix through and serve with B’stilla and a crisp green salad.
Reliving memories of my recent trip to London as the city rolled towards the COVID-19 shutdown last month…it was a slightly surreal visit to one of my favourite cities but filled with nice memories that will stay with me,
I found this delightful cafe called Daisy Green in Portman Village, on the corner of Seymour st and New Quebec St, just behind Oxford st.
Turns out it’s part of a group called the Daisy Green collection described on their website as:
“The Daisy Green Collection brings relaxed and buzzing Australian food and coffee culture to London. Through individually designed cafes and restaurants, the Collection creates iconic spaces which quickly become local destinations and meeting points for surrounding residents and visitors.”
The Portman Village cafe has been designed by UK street artist, Shuby, into an Alice in Wonderland esq outdoor/indoor garden.
I managed to quench my craving for a real Australian coffee or two and enjoyed delicious avocado on toast, with a sprinkling of paprika, chives and a squeeze of lemon, and a side of real bacon!
I would have been one of the last customers prior to the shutdown, but I sincerely hope the cafe and Daisy Green collection come through the other side of the pandemic to flourish once more.