Wednesday, 30 December 2020

MY TOP 10 RECIPES OF 2020

Cooking was the one thing that kept me sane in 2020 - a year, that like many, I found the most mentally and emotionally challenging of my life and which has changed the way we live forever, even once the pandemic is over.

Planning elaborate meals, researching recipes on Pinterest, ingredients shopping and queuing to get into a supermarket to do so, became rituals and "events", offering me a sense of routine and a purpose while the whole world had been put to sleep by a virus that no one could really get ahead of. 

I fried, I baked, I fermented, I poached and I never tired of the satisfaction of tasting that final beautiful dish I had created, even after 84 recipes cooked and posted on the blog since the first lockdown in late March.

Of course, lockdown life also taught me that half the fun of cooking lies in the feeding and company of others, seeing the smiles on the faces of guests you are hosting and having those deep dinner conversations while they take in the flavours of whatever has been plated up in front of them, and when this all over I cannot wait to have many, many dinner parties where no distance has to be kept and no veil of worry, of catching the virus or giving it to others, lies on top of every action we take.

So take your pick at these 10 recipes and let's hope we get to cook them with the ones we love in the new year. If the pandemic has made me realise one thing, it is that truly love cooking and that for me it offers a sense of calm and an outlet for my creativity that I will continue to cultivate even when we return to some sort of normality.


HOMEMADE SWEET POTATO GNOCCHI IN A SAGE, GARLIC & BUTTER SAUCE


Monday, 28 December 2020

HOMEMADE GRAVADLAX WITH HONEY MUSTARD SAUCE

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My Christmas may have been far from ideal, my mum unable to join me due to Corona and that new damn strain wrecking havoc in the UK, but it didn't stop me from cooking up somewhat of a storm and this recipe for homemade gravadlax was my, hands down, festive favourite!

I adore gravadlax (salmon that is cured using salt, sugar and dill) anyways but making it at home was not only incredibly easy but the end result was simply outstanding, world's better than the standard supermarket offering, and definitely comparable with the authentic kind I have sampled on my numerous trips to Scandinavia pre-pandemic. 

Perfect as a starter when hosting a crowd (when this is all over) and even better for a feast in times of by ones self! 

I had my homemade gravadlax Christmas eve as starter and on Christmas day as breakfast, and with NYE just a few days away I cannot recommend making this as part of your spread to end the year enough, let's be honest we all have the time to make this at the moment....I mean what else is there to do that also ends up with such a delicious end result?! 


INGREDIENTS

GRAVADLAX

  • 1 tbsp ground black pepper
  • 1 cup fresh dill, roughly chopped (1 big bunch)
  • 250g Maldon sea salt 
  • 250g caster sugar 
  • 1 side of fresh salmon 
HONEY, MUSTARD & DILL SAUCE
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 ½ tablespoons chopped fresh dill

METHOD

GRAVADLAX

  • Combine pepper with salt, sugar and dill.
  • Place 2 large pieces of cling fling on a work surface, slightly overlapping. 
  • Spread half the salt mixture in the shape of the salmon.
  • Place salmon on salt, skin side down. 
  • Top with remaining salt mixture.
  • Wrap with cling wrap. 
  • Place on top of a baking tray. 
  • Top with something flat I used another, smaller baking tray)) then 3 x 400g / 14oz cans ("weights").
  • Refrigerate for 12 hours. 
  • There will be liquid in the dish. 
  • Turn salmon over (will be gloopy/wet)), then replace weights and return to fridge. 
  • After another 12 hours, turn salmon over again, replace weights. 
  • After another 12 hours, remove salmon from fridge. 36 hours total for a medium cure. 
  • Unwrap salmon, scrape off salt then rinse. 
  • Pat dry. 
  • If time permits, return to the fridge for 3 - 12 hours uncovered (dries surface better, let's salt "settle" and permeate through flesh more evenly).
  • Sprinkle over the 1/4 cup extra dill - for garnish and flavour.
  • Slice thinly on an angle, do not cut through skin (i.e. don't eat skin). 
  • Serve on brioche and drizzled with the honey, mustard and dill sauce.

HONEY, MUSTARD & DILL SAUCE

  • Combine mustard, honey and vinegar in a small bowl.
  • Whisk in oil and stir in dill.
  • Refrigerate until ready to use.

Tuesday, 22 December 2020

THE ULTIMATE BAKED CINNAMON CHEESECAKE


This baked cinnamon cheesecake with a cinnamon spiced digestive biscuit base, a cinnamon, butter and cookie crumb swirl AND a white chocolate, cinnamon butter and blueberry glaze, is my very own creation and without a doubt one of the best things I have ever baked! 

It also happens to be the perfect Christmas dessert if you aren't into gross Christmas puddings and the like and is an ideal little kitchen project for the 24th as the cake needs overnight to set.

Don't be put off by the bain-marie (or water bath) in which the cheesecake is baked, it sounds super fancy and gourmet but is actually surprisingly easy to do and will make you feel like a true patisserie master!

INGREDIENTS

CRUST

  • 1 1/2 cups finely crushed digestive biscuits
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted melted butter

CHEESECAKE
  • 3x 250g packages cream cheese 
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

CINNAMON SWIRL
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup ground cinnamon
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter melted

WHITE CHOCOLATE, CINNAMON & BLUEBERRY GLAZE
  • 180g White Chocolate
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 100g blueberries

METHOD

TO MAKE THE CRUST:
  • Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius
  • In a small bowl, combine the crushed digestives, sugar, cinnamon, and butter.
  • Evenly press the mixture into the bottom and half an inch up the sides of a 9 inch baking tin
  • Bake in the preheated oven until the crust is set, about 10 minutes.
  • Tightly cover the outside bottom and sides of the tin with 3 layers of kitchen foil. This will prevent water from leaking in during the water bath.

TO MAKE THE CHEESECAKE:
  • Reduce the oven temperature to 150 degrees celsius.
  • In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese, sugar, and flour on low speed until smooth. 
  • Mix in the eggs, one at a time, until incorporated. 
  • Beat in the sour cream, vanilla, and cinnamon until creamy and smooth.

TO MAKE THE CINNAMON CRUMB SWIRL:
  • In a medium bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon. 
  • Mix in the melted butter to create a crumbly paste-like dough.

TO ASSEMBLE THE CAKE:
  • Take 1/4 of the cinnamon mixture and break it apart evenly across the bottom of the baked crust.
  • Cover with 1/3rd of the cheesecake batter. 
  • Top with another 1/4 of the broken apart cinnamon. 
  • Repeat the layering, ending with a final topping of the cinnamon mixture.
  • Place the kitchen foil lined tin inside a larger, deep baking tray. 
  • Carefully add to water to the inside of the larger baking dish, making sure not to splash any into the layered cheesecake.
  • Bake in preheated oven until the edges are set, but the centre still has a little wiggle, about 1 hour and 20minutes
  • Turn the oven off, but leave the door closed for 30 minutes. 
  • Crack open the oven door and allow the cheesecake to cool for another 5 minutes.
  • Remove the cheesecake from the water bath and allow to cool to room temperature before covering and refrigerating overnight.

FOR THE GLAZE:
  • In a small saucepan heat the butter until barely melted.
  • Add the brown sugar and cinnamon, and stir to combine.
  • Set aside.
  • In a microwave save bowl melt the white chocolate in the microwave, heating it up in short bursts so it doesn't burn, stirring in-between.
  • Pour the white chocolate over the chilled cake.Drop a tablespoon of sugar mixture at a time into several different places across the top of the cake, then drag a knife across across the length of the cake through each spot of dropped sugar, back and forth to create the swirls.
  • Dot blueberries evenly on top of the cake and pop it all back in the fridge for at least an hour to let the glaze set and voila you are done!

Thursday, 10 December 2020

BANG BANG PRAWN & VEGTABLE BIBIMBAP


My bang bang prawn bibimbap is a super yummy, veg packed Korean inspired dish that takes a little time to prep (lots of chopping involved but I quite enjoy that) and replaces the typical rice base of a bibimbap with spicy stir fried noodles. 

The perfect dish when you need something a bit more healthy in-between the upcoming festive indulgence!

SERVES 2

INGREDIENTS:

  • About 2 tbsp sesame oil divided
  • 2 tbsp olive oil divided
  • 1 package precooked egg noodles
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce, divided
  • 2 tsp Sriracha hot sauce
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 courgette, cut into matchsticks
  • 1-2 carrots, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 cup shitake mushrooms,  sliced 
  • 1 cup red cabbage, chopped
  • 1 package bean sprouts
  • 1 cup kimchi, chopped
  • 1/2 cup spring onions, sliced
  • 2 eggs

  • 2-3 tbsp Olive oil for frying
  • 250g uncooked king prawns
  • ½ cup light mayo
  • 4 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
  • 1 tbsp Sriracha

METHOD:

  • In a medium-sized frying pan, heat 1 tsp sesame oil over med-high heat. 
  • Add each of the veggies (courgettes, carrots, mushrooms, cabbage and bean sprouts) and 1 tsp soy sauce one at a time, cooking for 2-3 min until softened. 
  • For instance, you will stir fry the courgette for a couple minutes, then place separately in a small bowl and continue these steps with all veggies listed until each is cooked.
  • Meanwhile, mix light mayo, sweet chilli sauce and sriracha together. 
  • Set aside as the Bang Bang sauce. 
  • Heat 2-3 tbsp olive oil in a large frying pan over med-high heat.
  • Fry prawn for 2-3 min per side until cooked, then remove from heat and let them drain on a paper towel lined plate. 
  • Toss in Bang Bang sauce until well-coated.
  • Deglaze large frying pan, then add 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tsp sesame oil. 
  • Add garlic and sauté for 10 seconds over med-high heat. 
  • Add noodles, remaining soy sauce (should be a couple tbsp) and sriracha, stir frying for 5-7 min until noodles are softened. 
  • Divide noodles evenly among bowls.
  • Add 1 tbsp olive oil to the large frying pan and fry the 2 eggs over med-low heat, carefully ensuring that they don't overcook. 
  • When yolk is still mildly runny, remove from heat and place on top of noodles.
  • Add about 1/4 cup veggies (or about a handful) to each bowl, including kimchi and spring onions. 
  • Add bang bang prawns and enjoy!

Monday, 7 December 2020

CREAMY SAKE & NORI SPAGHETTI WITH SALMON CAVIAR


This Japanese / Italian cuisine mash-up is a seafood lovers dream and just that little bit indulgent (salmon caviar anyone?!) to make it the perfect weekend super for the festive season - I mean is there anything more extra than black ink pasta? 

I was also blown away by the combo of conventional creamy sauce, mixed with not so conventional sake, slices of seared salmon and the most moorish topping of shredded nori sheets, an exceptional dish in more ways than one. 

It looks fancy and boy it tastes it too! 2020 is the year of bringing the restaurant to your own kitchen and this dish delivers on all fronts.

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 400g squid ink pasta (normal will do too)
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 400g skinless salmon fillets
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp very finely chopped onion
  • 2 tbsp sake
  • 300ml pouring cream
  • 100g salmon caviar (I got mine at Waitrose)
  • 150g frozen edamame beans, thawed in the microwave  (again got mine from Waitrose)
  • 1 sheet nori, cut into thirds and then into very fine strips

METHOD

  • Cook the pasta in salted water until al dente.
  • Heat the oil in a large frypan over medium heat.
  • Season the salmon well with one teaspoon of salt and sear lightly so that the middle of the filets remains uncooked (sashimi style).
  • Remove from the pan and rest on absorbent paper.
  • Without washing the pan, heat the butter and fry the onion over medium heat until softened.
  • Add the remaining salt and sake and bring to the boil.
  • Add the cream and stir well.
  • Cut the salmon into bite-sized pieces and stir through the cream sauce.
  • Add the pasta and edamame beans and stir well.
  • To serve top the pasta with the salmon roe and the very thinly sliced nori and enjoy!

Wednesday, 2 December 2020

WHITE CHOCOLATE, CINNAMON SWIRL & BLUEBERRY BARK


White chocolate and cinnamon is the sweet combo you haven't heard about and need in your life STAT! Especially as this white chocolate bark with buttery cinnamon swirl and blueberries basically tastes like Christmas in chocolate form and is rustled up in mere minutes!

INGREDIENTS

  • 340g white chocolate
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 150g blueberries

METHOD

Prep a baking tray with parchment paper and set aside.
  • In a small saucepan heat the butter until barely melted.
  • Add the brown sugar and cinnamon, and stir to combine.
  • Set aside.
  • In a microwave save bowl melt the white chocolate in the microwave, heating it up in short bursts so it doesn't burn, stirring in-between.
  • Pour white chocolate onto prepped baking tray and spread into an even layer.
  • Drop a tablespoon of sugar mixture at a time into several different places across the top of the bark, then drag a knife across across the length of the pan through each spot of dropped sugar, back and forth to create the swirls.
  • Dot blueberries evenly on top of the bark mix.
  • Place the tray in the fridge for at least an hour to let it set, then cut it using a large knife.
  • Keep stored in an airtight container until ready to eat.

Saturday, 28 November 2020

SYRIAN PASTA WITH POMEGRANATE MOLASSES & LENTILS


A half used bottle of pomegranate molasses, hiding at the back of my kitchen cupboard, inspired this utter flavour bomb of a recipe. 

Totally vegan, packed with warming spices and just about one of the best pasta dishes I have ever made, you may not have thought Syrian cuisine and pasta would go together but boy this is a full 10/10. 

Make it now, thank me later.

SERVES 2-3

INGREDIENTS

  • 500g tagliatelle
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 2 onions, finely sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 handfuls of chopped coriander leaves
  • 2 teaspoons dried mint
  • 2 cardamom pods, bashed
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon sumac
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 400g tin green lentils, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon tomato puree
  • 250ml vegetable stock
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 4 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
  • 50g pomegranate seeds
  • 60g walnuts, roughly chopped
  • Sea salt

METHOD

  • Cook the pasta in a large pan of boiling water for about 7–8 minutes until al dente.
  • Meanwhile, heat half the oil in a large pan over a medium heat. 
  • Add half the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8–10 minutes until golden.
  • Put the garlic and half the coriander into the pan and mix well. 
  • Add the dried mint, cardamom, allspice, cumin, sumac and cinnamon. 
  • Season with a good pinch of salt and mix well.
  • Tip the cooked pasta and drained lentils into the pan with the onion and add the tomato puree, stock, lemon juice and pomegranate molasses. 
  • Mix together really well. 
  • Cover, reduce the heat to low and cook for 5–6 minutes or until the pasta is beautifully tender. 
  • Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a small non-stick frying pan over a high heat and stir-fry the remaining onion for 6–8 minutes until really golden and crispy. 
  • Divide the pasta mixture between serving bowls and garnish each one with pomegranate seeds, walnuts, fried onions and the remaining coriander. 

Thursday, 26 November 2020

LOCKDOWN CANAPéS


2020 is the year of at home wining and dining and that will no doubt continue into the festive season.

One of my favourite things in the run up to Christmas are the canapés, that source of food, not quite a meal, usually a bit more than an elegant bite, designed to soak up all the alcoholic beverages enjoyed at various office parties and friend-mas get-togethers. 

Now, we all know this will be a Christmas like we've never experienced before but that doesn't mean we can't find new ways to celebrate old traditions! 

So I say arrange festive drinks with your friends on zoom, make yourself some proper yummy canapés and get yourself in that real Christmas mood, heck we can all do with some light hearted fun after this utterly bizarre year! 

Below a few new "party at home" canapé favourites, tried and tested by yours truly, best enjoyed of course when all dressed up with no where to go and a glass of fizz in hand!

BAKED CAMEMBERT IN PUFF PASTRY WITH CARAMELISED ONIONS

INGREDIENTS:

  • Olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, sliced thinly into semi-circles 
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar (or granulated sugar)
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, plus extra sprigs for garnish
  • 1 (8 ounce) wheel camembert cheese, cold
  • 1 sheet ready made puff pastry
  • 1 whisked egg, for egg wash

METHOD:
  • Place a large frying pan over medium-high heat, and drizzle in about 2-3 tablespoons of oil. 
  • Once hot, add in the sliced onions along with a pinch of salt and pepper, and cook the onions, stirring occasionally, until they become deeply golden-brown and caramelised for about 20 minutes.
  • Once golden, stir in the teaspoon of sugar, followed by the balsamic vinegar, and allow the mixture to bubble up and reduce, stirring to incorporate; allow the onions to cook for another 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently now, until jam-like and deeply browned; then, add the 1 teaspoon of thyme leaves, stir to combine, and remove from pan and allow to cool.
  • To prepare the baked camembert, roll out the puff pastry sheet and place the brie in the centre of it.
  • Spoon over the cooled, balsamic caramelised onions, then fold the puff pastry sheet over top to cover everything, creating a little “package”.
  • Place the wrapped brie “package” onto a small baking tray lined with parchment paper, and very gently brush some egg wash over the puff pastry (avoid allowing it to pool underneath).
  • Meanwhile heat your oven to 200 degree celsius,
  • Once ready to bake, place the camembert into the oven and bake for roughly 35-40 minutes, or until deeply golden and puffed.
  • Allow the baked camembert to stand for 10 minutes before serving, to avoid it oozing out too much.

CARROT FRIES WITH PARMESAN

INGREDIENTS:

900g carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/4 in thick ‘fries’
1 tablespoon oil
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup parmesan, grated
Mayo for serving

METHOD:

Gently toss the carrot fries in the oil and salt and pepper before spreading them in a single layer on a paper lined baking tray.
Roast in a a preheated 220C oven until tender and lightly charred, about 16-20 minutes, mixing half way through.
When ready, top the carrot fries with parmesan and serve with your favourite flavoured mayo.

BAKED FIGS WITH GOATS CHEESE, HONEY & WALNUTS

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 medium-sized figs
  • 80g soft goat cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon chopped sage
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
METHOD:
  • Preheat the oven to 200 °C.
  • Cut off the stems and make an X cut in the top of each fig half way through.
  • Stuff the figs with soft goat cheese using a teaspoon. 
  • Sprinkle some chopped walnuts and sage over your stuffed figs and drizzle them with honey. 
  • Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. 
  • Place in a suitable baking dish and grill in the oven for around 5 minutes or until the figs start to look soft.

Monday, 23 November 2020

HOMEMADE SWEDISH PUNSCH BARS (DAMMSUGARE)


These Swedish punsch bars or "vacuum cleaner cakes" (Dammsugare) are one of my ultimate favourite cakes and I was more than impressed with my homemade version! 

Their slightly strange nickname is in reference to their flavour and appearance – the outside is made out of green marzipan, the ends of which are dipped in chocolate. Inside there is a mix of sponge cake, punch liqueur, butter and cocoa powder.

Legend has it that many years ago trainee bakers used to gather leftover cake crumbs from the floor (which is where the “vacuum” part comes from) then mix them with punch liqueur to disguise the taste of the old crumbs. The name Dammsugare (Swedish for vacuum cleaner, literally “dust sucker”) therefore refers to the gathering of the crumbs to be put inside the pastry. Arrack, a sort of Swedish high percentage spiced liquor, is usually used to give the bars their extra kick but I used Kraken rum which worked a real treat,  I actually even preferred it in terms of taste compared to the traditional version.

I managed to buy a ready-made and coloured sheet of marzipan from my go-to store for all things Scandi, the Scandinavian Kitchen, but you can as easily make your own with some marzipan, food colouring and elbow grease.

Yes, these little cakes may sound and look a bit odd but they are one of the most famous Swedish cakes for a reason, trust me! You'll be a committed hoover cake fan in no time!

Be warned, they are a little fiddly to make but once you get the hang of it they are fairly easy to rustle up!

INGREDIENTS

  • 75 g (⅓ cup) butter or margarine, softened
  • 5 tbsp icing sugar 
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 250 g (1¼ cups) cake (fairy cakes, muffins or any leftover cake)
  • 4 tbsp Swedish punsch (or 2 tbsp of rum, I used Kraken rum )
  • 350 g marzipan
  • 1 tsp green food colouring 
  • OR
  • 1 sheet of coloured marzipan (you can order it here at the Scandinavian Kitchen)
  • 75 g dark chocolate

METHOD
  • Put the butter, sugars and cocoa powder in a food processor.
  • Whizz briefly until evenly mixed.
  • Add the cake and rum and whizz until evenly mixed.
  • Cut two pieces of greaseproof about 37½ cm x 10 cm each.
  • Divide the mixture between the two sheets and roll into two long sausages, trying to ensure that each sausage is an even diameter, something that is easier said than done!
  • Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (a crucial step to make assembly easy)
  • Unroll your green marzipan sheet on a clean work surface OR in a bowl gradually add green food colouring to the marzipan, mixing until it is the desired shade and evenly coloured and roll out until you get a thin sheet.
  • Cut it into 6 cm wide strips.
  • Cut the cake filling into equal sized pieces
  • Roll each one up with marzipan.
  • Chill them for at least 30 minutes.
  • Break the chocolate into small pieces and then carefully melt it in a microwave or in a bowl over a pan of simmering water.
  • Dip one end of each roll into the chocolate mixture and then transfer it to some greaseproof paper until the chocolate sets.
  • Repeat with the other end of each roll. (I found that if I tried to do both ends at once the chocolate sometimes run down the marzipan.)
  • Transfer to a tray lined with greaseproof paper and refrigerate until required. (Don't take them out too early or they will lose their shape.)

Saturday, 21 November 2020

CREAMY SAFFRON PASTA WITH PRAWNS & CRAB


This dish is simple yet utterly yummy and for me the perfect end of week supper that looks and tastes impressive but is surprisingly easy to make!

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 450 tagliatelle
  • 1 cup double cream
  • 1 3-inch piece lemon peel
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 100g fresh white crab meat
  • 250g frozen or fresh raw king prawns
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 pinches cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Handful of flaked almonds

METHOD
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente; drain.
  • In a small saucepan bring the cream, lemon peel and saffron to a low boil over medium-low heat.
  • Turn off the heat and let the saffron steep for 10 minutes.
  • In a large frying pan heat the butter and stir in the shallot and garlic for 1 minute, then add the crabmeat and shrimp; season with salt and pepper. 
  • Cook until the shrimp are pink and just firm, 3 to 4 minutes. 
  • Stir in the wine.
  • Discard the lemon from the cream and pour over the seafood. 
  • Stir in the cayenne and turmeric. 
  • Add the pasta and toss. 
  • Top with the parsley and flaked almonds.

Wednesday, 18 November 2020

SESAME GINGER NOODLE SOUP WITH CARAMELISED MUSHROOMS


This is a wonderfully warming, flavourful and surprising noodle soup that makes the humble and versatile mushroom the true star of the show. 

Don't be put off by the unusual combo of flavours (pomegranate molasses and tahini don't usually feature in an Asian noodle dish) because here they work an absolute treat and though it may not have looked as impressive as some of my other lockdown dishes, this was most certainly one of the tastiest dinners I have rustled up in the strange, strange year that 2020 has been.

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses (I got mine at Sainsbury's)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh grated ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic, grated
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 3 cups shiitake and other mixed mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 400g rice noodles
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 2 green onions chopped, for serving


METHOD
  • To make the sauce: combine 1/2 cup soy sauce, honey, balsamic vinegar, rice vinegar, tahini, molasses, 1 tablespoon ginger, 1 clove garlic, and 1/3 cup water in a bowl.
  • Cook the noodles according to package directions. 
  • Drain. 
  • To the pot used to cook the noodles, add the broth and 1/2 of the soy sauce mixture. 
  • Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stir in the spinach. Keep warm.
  • Heat the sesame oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. 
  • When the oil shimmers, add the mushrooms. 
  • Cook undisturbed for 5 minutes or until golden. 
  • Add the shallots, 1 tablespoon ginger, and 2 cloves garlic. 
  • Cook 4-5 minutes, until fragrant. 
  • Add 2 tablespoons soy sauce and a large pinch of pepper. 
  • Cook another 2-3 minutes, until the mushrooms are caramelised. 
  • Add the sesame seeds, cook 2 minutes. 
  • Spoon the mushrooms out of the frying pan and onto a plate.
  • Add the remaining soy sauce mixture to the frying pan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. 
  • Add the noodles, toss to combine, and cook until the sauce just coats the noodles, 2-3 minutes. 
  • Remove from the heat.
  • Ladle the broth into bowls. 
  • Add the noodles and toss combine. 
  • Spoon the mushrooms over the noodles. 
  • Top with green onions and enjoy!
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