Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Trying new things

There have been a lot of delicous recipes in the various magazines Ive picked up in the last couple of months,and the slight improvement in weather has had me in more of a Summery mood with cooking. The past few weekends Ive been making a bit more of an effort to try something new.

I found an amazing recipe in Waitrose food magazine. Yottam Ottolenghi's salmon curry was light, fresh and absolutely delicious. It was a doddle to make, and the end result was great. The recipe can be found here http://www.waitrose.com/content/waitrose/en/home/recipes/recipe_directory/b/braised_salmon_with_tomato_cinnamon_and_black_mustard_seeds.html Its definitely worth a go. I had it with chapatis and some brown rice, which made it seem almost virtuous to eating it.

I also attended a wonderfully themed party to celebrate my Supervisors promotion. Possibly the best theme ever, actually. It was a cake party, and everyone had to bring some sort of offering. There were scones, lemon drizzle, sticky ginger cake. My insistence that I wasnt going to eat too much instantly went out of the window and it was a wonderful afternoon. I took along a lime and blueberry loaf cake, covered in a cheesecake-like vanilla frosting. The loaf cake itself was a variation on Nigellas Lemon Syrup Loaf, and the recipe I used is below:

125 g unsalted butter
175 caster sugar
2 large eggs
zest of 1 lime
175 g wholemeal flour
pinch of salt
4 tablespoons of milk

Half a punnet of blueberries
Juice of 2 limes
Tablespoon of icing sugar
Nip of cointreau (*optional)

Preheat the oven to 180 C and butter and line a loaf tin. Cream butter, then add and beat in the sugar.  Add eggs one at a time, beat again. Sift in flour and salt, then add stir in the milk to loosen. Add in the lime zest and blueberriesand stick in the over for around 40-45 minutes.

I made a syrup using lime juice, icing sugar and a little cointreau, by heating until syrupy in a small saucepan, and then poured over the cake whilst still hot.

The frosting I made using

A tub of Cream cheese
A little vanilla paste
Some icing sugar
Sour Cream

Beat these together in a bowl until thickened, I give no measurements because I just used what I had in the fridge. When it was done I sprinked some lime zest on top :). Not the neatest pictures ever. I also made some cupcake versions.

I've also tried making a moroccan style mezze. I love houmous, and it tends to be my go to storecupboard lunch, so I decided to make a dinner featuring that, and other moroccan style goodies. I made koftas, using lamb mince, cumin, ground coriander and mint, which I griddled. Falafel, with chickpeas, cumin, ground fresh coriander, mint, parsley and coriander, one egg and some brown breadcrumbs to bind, baked in the oven. I made sweet potato and feta cous cous sprinked with sumac, an aubergine and tomato dip (Roasted aubergine scooped out, fried garlic, ground cumin and coriander, fresh tomatos, YUM) and pittas. It was lovely.

Most recently, I tried making cornbread. I used a recipe from BBC Good Food, the recipe of which is here http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/681654/cornbread-muffins but I added Snowdonia cheese company smoked cheese, which gave it a lovely mellow smokiness. They were very nice warm, with some scrambled eggs and chorizo

I also had a go at making some thai chicken skewers. I'd seen a recipe in delcious magazine for an easy supermarket supper, and decided to have a go at making it from scratch, as opposed to buying most of it ready made.
I marinated chicken thigh pieces in basil, coriander, garlic and yoghurt and then threaded them onto lemongrass stalks to grill. I served it with homemade coconut and lime zest rice.  It was so light and fresh, and the lemongrass permeated the chicken beautifully, definitely one to have a go at making. Would be gorgeous done on the BBQ in the summer!

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