Saturday, 30 January 2016

Chicken Liver Pate

I love meat and have grown, through my love of food, a greater respect for animal products that I eat. I never really took the time to think of the process it takes to slaughter an animal, I knew it happened, but when you are buying chicken breasts, or the supreme cuts of meat from the supermarket, you can become desensitised with the process. I have adopted a "nose to tail" philosophy, in part inspired by April Bloomingfield's philosophy, in that no part of an animal should be wasted. Although this recipe is not her beloved pork, I've used an overlooked piece of chicken, the livers. Cheap, delicate and full of flavour, I used this part of the chicken to make the classic, chicken liver pate, with seasonal pears and a leafy salad. This dish would make a lovely lunch, or light evening meal. My pate lasted for 7 days in my fridge, so you can nibble your way trough this throughout the week. 






Ingredients

200g butter, (reserve half, 100g)
1 onion, skin removed and sliced.
1 apple, stem removed and diced.
1 tsp fresh age
400g chicken liver
2 tbsp creme fraiche
4 tbsp dark rum

Method
Melt half the butter in a frying pan, and the onion and cook for 6-8 minutes, stirring, until soft. Remove with a slotted spoon and add the chicken livers and apple, cook for around 5 minutes. The livers should  be brown on the outside and pink on the inside. Add the creme fraiche, sage and rum and cook for a further minute. Salt and Pepper to taste. Transfer 1/2 the chicken livers, apple and the 1/2 remaining butter to a food processor and pulse to a paste, add the remaining butter and pulse further - try not make this become too liquidy. Transfer to a sterilised jar and 3 tbsp of the butter in pan. Leave to cool and chill in the fridge.
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Thursday, 21 January 2016

Creamy Avacodo and Date Dip

A new way to eat avocado. Avocado is most definitely in fashion, in vogue and in style. I've always eaten avocado as a child, but these were avocados imported from the Caribbean and just eaten sliced with a Caribbean dish. As I do every the first three months of the year, I dust off my cookbooks and start cooking from existing cookbooks that I already have. This recipe, from Sharron Salloum's fabulous Almond Bar cookery book, is a new way to eat avocado. 
Of course, I've had "smashed avo" but the combination of the creamy avocado with the sweet and sticky dates made this dip not only moreish but also magnificent. I also liked how the dates popped out in the bowl and appeared so inviting, I hardly wanted to share this with m family. Incredibly easy to make and even easier to eat, this is one you must try.  Whether you want to smoother on toast, eat as a dip or enjoy as part of a mezze, you will certainly enjoy.



Recipe for Creamy Avocado and Date Dip

Makes about 350g 
140g roughly chopped pitted dates
3 ripe avocados
140g tahini
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
juice of 2 lemons
Middle Eastern bread, to serve. 

Method
Place the dates, avocado flesh, tahini, salt and pepper in a food processor and mix together until combined. Add the lemon juice and mix again. The mixture will thicken slightly, so add about 80ml water to thin it down to the desired consistence. Add more water if you like, but pour it in gradually so the dip doesn't become too runny. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. 
Serve with fresh or fried Middle Eastern bread. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.  

xxx
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Sunday, 17 January 2016

Pear and Date Bircher Muesli

I go through breakfast phases. I'm sure I've mentioned this before, where I go through cycles of regularly eating the same thing for breakfast. I'm kinda over the avocado on toast cycle (but I'm sure it will make a reappearance in the near future), I recently upgraded to callaloo, the wild form of Spinach grown in Jamaica  on toast. The breakfast phase which I enjoyed before the avo on toast phase, was the smoothies and juice phase. I think because of the summer fruits readily available, I quickly became very fond of this breakfast. But back to my latest breakfast phase, the Bircher Museli, created by the swiss doctor Dr Bircher - Benner for his patients as part of their therapy treatment. I have been topping my version of bircher muesli with the seasonal pear and dates with a drizzle of honey which is the perfect get up and go. I quite enjoy the soft, juicy and sweet texture of the pear, contrasted with the sticky dates.


Pear and Date Bircher Muesli.
Serves 1 
40 g porridge oats
1 tsp seasame seeds
120ml semi-skimmed milk
1tbsp apple juice
1 pear, stalks removed and sliced into bite-size pieces
5 dates, pitted
1 tbsp runny honey.

Method
The night before, place the oats and sesame seeds in a cereal bowl, pour over the milk and apple juice, mix well. Cover with cling film and place in the fridge. The next day, remove the stalks from the pears and slice into bite-size pieces. Slice the dates and top the oats with the pears and dates. Drizzle the honey over the fruits and enjoy.
xxx

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Sunday, 10 January 2016

Superfoods 24/7 Review and Giveaway

Jessica Nadel of Cupcakes and Kale is back. I reviewed her first cookbook Greens 24/7 last year and was impressed with her recipes which in-cooperate greens into everyday life. Greens 24/7 really started my love green juices and kale. Jessica's back with introducing Superfoods 24/7 and describes this as - "whole plant based foods, real foods with additional health-supporting properties". There are numerous ingredients which Jessica considers to be super foods including: almonds, flax seeds, hemp seeds, edamame, lentils, acai, pumpkin, sweet potato and many more. Also, in Superfoods 24/7 there is a handy meal plan on how to put a super foods meal plan together for different people, such as for children, busy cook and for those that love to entertain. I tried a couple of recipes over Christmas (there's some cracking sprout recipes) and some smoothie recipes to kick start the day. All the recipes are vegan, I've substituted almond milk for semi-skimmed milk and therefore made these recipes vegetarian. Would I recommend this book? Yes, it's an inspirational way of introducing a variety of super foods into everyday foods, not just for vegans but for meat lovers too. There are a number of recipes that inspire me, even as a carnivore.

The chapters in this book cover everything from breakfast to desserts:
  • Smoothies and Breakfasts, recipes that I love include: Blissful Blueberry Oatmeal Smoothie, Fluffy banana chia pancakes and Acai smoothie bowl with super foods topping. 
  • Salads and Soups, stand out recipes include: Apple, Beetroot, Broccoli Slaw, Coconut Kale Soup with Cashew "Creme Fraiche" and Spinach and Pomegranate Salad. 
  • Sides and Small Bites, recipes that I want to try include: Sweet Potato and Coconut Fries, Colourful Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Fresh Herbs and Coconut Lemongrass Rice. 
  • Main Meals, recipes that I love include: Orange Glazed Carrots with Dill Quinoa, Sunflower Seed, Pineapple and Chickpea Tacos. 
  • Cakes and Desserts, often my favourite chapter in cookery books, recipe to try include: Goji Chip Cake, Lemon Chia "Poppyseed" loaf and Double Chocolate Lentil Cookies. 
Crispy Brussel Sprouts

Kale and Pear Smoothie

Frozen Berry Smoothie

Recipe for Crispy Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Fresh Herbs - Serves 4 - gluten free

Prep: 10 minutes/Cook: 30 minutes
1) Preheat the oven to 190C (375 F). Line a baking sheet with baking paper. 
2) Trim the outer leaves of the Brussel sprouts and cut the sprouts in half. If some are significantly larger they can be quartered to ensure even cooking.
3) In a large bowl, toss the sprouts in the oil and season lightly. Transfer them to the baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes, flipping halfway, until golden brown and the edges have begun to crisp. Remove from the oven and toss with the fresh herbs and a final pinch of sea salt. 

The lovely people at Apple Press are offering 5 lucky readers of Food Glorious Food a copy of Superfoods 24/7. To be in with a chance follow the instructions below and enter via the Rafflecopter. 
  • Follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter
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a Rafflecopter giveaway

xxx
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Monday, 4 January 2016

Spring/Summer 2016 Cookbooks I am looking forward to.

Happy 2016. You know, I love cookbooks. A couple of cookery books purchased in 2010 has now evolved into almost 150 books ranging from cuisine, authors, sizes and age (I like some of the cookbooks from the 90's). I count myself lucky that I am regularly able to treat myself to new cookbooks and also receive a few in the purpose of reviewing from publishes, although storage space is quickly running out. If I want inspiration, say from Lebanon or Syria, I have cookbooks that take me there. It's unlikely I will be going to these countries (the latter country for obvious reasons), but then again I don't necessarily have to as a cookbook can become much more than a list of recipes. Talented food writers can take me to their place of heritage, tell me about their family rituals and also why their recipes are important. And you don't have to share recipes for far flung places, the healthy eating/vegan/clean eating cook book trend can share with the reader how wonderful said healthy ingredient is and why - (or whatever the latest trend is), for example. There are a number of cookbooks which I'm looking forward to this Spring/Summer, all offers something different and I will be sharing some of my favourite recipes once I get my hands on these books.



In her debut cookbook Yasmin, a British Iranian shares recipes from her travelling throughout Iran. Collecting recipes from Iranian homes, stories and weaving them into, what I am sure will be a wonderful recipe book. I follow (like with all the below authors) Yasmin on Twitter and can't wait to try her Rosewater and Pomegranate cake.


Elly Pear's Fast Days Feast Days: Eat Well. Feel Great. All Week Long Elly Curshen. The popular Instrgram foodie Elly Curshen, owner of The Pear Cafe is releasing her debut cookbook in April a celebration of recipes from her following 5:2 diet. According to her Instragram and info on the publishers website, the recipes will feature of course recipes from the 5:2 diet but also will be influenced from world foods with an eye on your local green grocers. 

Chicken and Rice: Fresh and Easy Southeast Asian Recipes From A London Kitchen (£20)- Shu Han Lee. I only discovered Shu Han Lee in December 2014 via Twitter, then her blog. I loved the look of her easily accessible South Eastern recipes on her blog and having a quick tour and seeing her mouthwatering photos, I am intrigued to see the end result in her cookbook. I rarely cook Chinese/South Eastern recipes at home out of fear of not doing it right, but I will be facing this culinary delights next year.

NINA: Capri - Nina Parker. (£25) I have Nina's first book "Nina St Tropez: Recipes From The South of France" sharing recipes from her childhood in St Tropez. Her recipes are uncomplicated, flavoursome and shot on location, so it's almost like I am there as I flip through the pages. In her second book, Nina focuses on recipes from Capri (also my dream wedding destination), which i'm sure will be exotic and mouthwatering.

As The Romans Do: Authentic and Reinvented Recipes From The Eternal City- (£20.16) Eleanora Galasso. I do have a couple of Italian books, mainly from Gino d'accampo, others that I picked up earlier on in my cooking journey. This book intrigues me, as having visited Rome and was slightly underwhelmed of the food (bar the gelato), I'm intrigued to eat, as Eleanora says "as the Romans do". My former housemate in my student days was Italian and I knew he ate the most delicious looking forward, so I want to recreate this at home. Also recipes such as sea bass carpaccio with peaches and rocket salad for lunch, sounds, well, heavenly.

Symmetry breakfast: Cook-Love-Share - (£14.42) You can count on Micheal Zee, the Instragram sensation (with other half a million followers) to get you hungry as he posts his daily breakfast photos for him and his partner. His breakfast dishes are utterly inspiring, whilst others are chomping on bircher muesli, green juice or avocado on toast (guilty, guilty, guilty), he is half way around the world with the most mouthwatering breakfast imaginable. As a lover of breakfast, I am incredibly excited for the books release in August.

The A-Z of Eating: A Flavour Map for the Adventurous Cook (£25) I enjoy reading Guardian columnist Felicity Cloake "How to cook the perfect" series over at The Guardian, where she makes and compares recipes from a particular dish and then makes her own perfect version. I must admit that I do not have any of her cookbooks but this cook, where she shares 26 favourite ingredients and culinary themes, looks to be the ideal book for the adventurous cook. Recipes that will be included are: Roquefort and honey cheesecake with walnut and pear and roast duck with miso caramel. Impress your guests with these wonderful flavour combinations.

All the above books are available to pre-order now and prices are at the time of this post. Go-on treat yourself, I have :-) x

xxx

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