Zesty Finger Lime Cucumber Salad

This zesty finger lime cucumber salad was a delicious accompaniment to our warm beef salad, and would also be lovely with grilled or poached fish or chicken.

Zesty Finger Lime Salad

A friend of ours had gifted us native Australian finger limes which are becoming a very trendy ingredient on restaurant menus “down-under”, but they are still difficult to find in shops. If you see any, make sure you grab them as you will love their unique “caviar” like texture with tiny balls of lime that pop in your mouth.

You can read more about this intriguing fruit https://tuckerbush.com.au/finger-lime-citrus-australasica/

Australian native finger limes

I really wanted to make a dish that would showcase their flavour n texture ad thought cucumbers would be a good “backdrop” for this purpose.

I found this great recipe on The Devil Wears Salad but didn’t have all the ingredients to hand so improvised with things I had to hand.

The resulting cucumber salad topped with the caviar-like pearls of finger lime was delicious and the perfect zesty accompaniment to our warm beef salad.

(Thanks Helen for gifting us such a wonderful new ingredient!)

Ingredients:

  • 2 Lebanese cucumbers
  • 4-5 ripe finger limes
  • 1 red chilli (deseeded if you prefer)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon crushed fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon white wine or rice vinegar

Method:

1. Slice and chop one cucumber into small chunks. I slice then quarter each slice. Then using a large vegetable peeler, “peel” the second cucumber into long ribbons. Mix the 2 styles of cucumber in a bowl and set aside.

2. Chop the chilli finely and crush the ginger.

3. Mix together the soy sauce, sesame oil, crushed ginger , chopped chilli, and vinegar in a small bowl.

3. Cut the finger limes in half, horizontally. Onto a plate, Squeeze the end of each half gently but firmly until “pearls” of lime emerge. Repeat with all lime halves until you have a glistening pile of finger lime “caviar”. (You want to do this as close to serving your salad as possible so the finger lime pearls don’t dry up and clump together in lumps)

Finger lime caviar squeezed from halved lime

5. Gently toss dressing through cucumbers, then place the dressed cucumbers on a serving plate and scatter the finger lime caviar over the salad and serve immediately.

Zesty Finger Lime and Cucumber Salad

Fabulous Fava Bean Hummus

Had this delicious Fava bean hummus at Nomad restaurant in Surry Hills in Sydney last night. The hummus is served with vivid green parsley oil and crispy split and fried Fava beans on top. It is a visually spectacular dish filled with flavour and texture.

Fava bean hummus at Nomad Restaurant, Surry Hills Sydney

Making it at home would indeed be a “labour of love“ as Stephanie Mary says in her blog on My Tiny Laguna Kitchen. Her recipe looks great but the double peeling of the Fava beans is the time consuming part.

But it would make for a stunning starter especially if paired with yummy wood fired flatbread like it is at Nomad.

Wood fired flatbread at Nomad Restaurant Sydney

And here’s a link to making the bright green parsley oil from Delicious.com.au

Parsley oil recipe from delicious.com.au

Some inspiration for the future or if you are lucky like us, back to Nomad for more!

Certainly was a great way to start to what was a delicious dinner.

#NYE #Tequila #Blackbeans #salsa #salad

Made to go with our Buttermilk Brined & Fried Chicken, in the spirit of beans and lentils being traditionally lucky foods in many cultures.

Tequila Blackbean Salsa or Salad?

Couldn’t find canned black eye peas, so used black beans instead to create this delicious concoction steeped in tequila and spices first, then freshen up with the addition of some finely sliced and diced coriander, capsicum and spring onion.

I slow cooked some finely diced onion and garlic in olive oil, added 2 tins drained cans of black beans, a finely diced red chilli, 1 teaspoon good smoked paprika, salt , 1/2 teaspoon of sugar, a good slug of tequila bubbling away until alcohol reduced the added a cup of water and simmered for about 10 minutes until the water had been absorbed and bean were soft and flavoursome. Then mixed in fresh finely sliced and diced white of 2 spring onions, a handful of coriander and half a small red capsicum.

Adding a good slug of tequila
Simmer until water is absorbed by beans

This was really delicious in its own right but also a great accompaniment to our fried chicken and an excellent vegetarian option for our picnic.

“Freshened” up and adding crunch with spring onion, capsicum and coriander.

A #true #Christmas #wreath …ala Tomato, Bocconcini, Basil & spinach salad

Served with a side of poached salmon ..

Sprinkled with salt and black pepper, drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar..

Simple, effective and delicious!

Dressed:

Coconut Flour Chocolate Cake #almostketo

I have been discovering almond flour and coconut flour to make low carb/no carb cakes through lockdown here in Sydney. We’re pretty much out now, but I like them so much I’m going to stick with them .

Coconut flour chocolate cake

Not only do they taste great and are much lighter, they are easy to make. This coconut flour chocolate cake is moist and delicious. It’s almost totally carb free and is lactose free.

Here’s a link to BBC Good Food on Health benefits of Coconut Flour.

If you want to be super-conscientious you can use sugar substitutes and no sugar chocolate, I made it using normal caster sugar and real chocolate chips for the ganache. Use the best quality natural cacao powder for the best taste.

Prep time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 50 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup and 1 tablespoon cacao powder
  • 2 tablespoons desiccated coconut
  • 2 heaped teaspoons baking powder
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1 400ml can coconut cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla essence
  • For ganache: 1/3 can coconut cream, 4 tablespoons or thereabouts of small chocolate chips, 2 tablespoons icing sugar. Additional desiccated coconut for decoration.

Method:

1. Pre-heat oven to 170 degrees Celsius. Grease a 9 inch baking tin of your choice. I used a small ring cake tin with butter or oil.

2. In a large mixing bowl whisk together coconut flour, cacao powder, desiccated coconut and baking powder until well mixed.

3. In a seperate bowl whisk together just the eggs and sugar for 1 minute until well combined and sugar has dissolved.

4. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients. Pour egg mixture in, then add coconut cream and vanilla. Whisk together all the ingredients to form a smooth, lump free, silky batter. It will seem a bit runnier than normal cake batter but don’t worry about that.

5. Bake in oven for 50 minutes, check to see skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool in tin for 10 minutes.

6. Allow to cool completely before icing with ganache.

7. Make ganache by heating coconut cream in small pan over low heat, add chocolate chips stirring to make sure they don’t stick or burn, add icing sugar half a tablespoon at a time, stirring until glossy until adding next heap.

8. Scoop ganache over the cake or use a squeeze bottle if you want to be more precise. Spread evenly, allowing to drip over sides, sprinkle with desiccated coconut.

Store cake in fridge. Just buzz quilled in microwave if you want it moister. Not too long though.

Green beans, #broad beans and #artichoke with #anchovies and tomatoes

A delicious accompaniment to our grilled veal cutlets! Added some sage and parsley…based on BBC Good Food recipe below.

https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/broad-beans-tomatoes-anchovies