27 February, 2010

Arabian Nights Cookies

I was about to post a bean stew recipe tonight. But as we are sitting here in Dubai, with sand storms blowing for the third day in a row, I rather share my Arabian Nights Cookies with you. That gives me a chance to bleat about living in the desert.
Sandstorms come here about five times a year, sometimes just for one day. This time it is has been going on for three days. Finest sand and dust gets picked up over the desert and gets carried here by pretty strong winds. It's no pleasure to go outside, and you just want to keep all windows and doors as shut as possible. This fine dust finds its way through the tiniest holes anyway. Fine layers of it settle even days after the sandstorm is over. Inside my house on my furniture that is. I am not too fussy when it comes to untidiness ( I have two small kids and got used to it gradually), but this dust everywhere just drives me mad.
In fact, it is futile to start cleaning yet, as it will take a few more days before it is finally over. As if my intuition knew about it, I baked these Arabian Nights Cookies a couple of days ago - spiced with orange zest, cardamom, cloves and cinnamon and a topping made of sesame seeds, pistachios and candied orange peel and saffron. They are sweetened with honey.
I love cookies that are not just sweet, but have true flavor. The spice mix is absolutely amazing. These ones definitely put you into 1001 nights fairy tales, and make you forget where you are for a moment. I'll get a few of these right now, and hope they will make me forget the thick layer of dust that settles peacefully just everywhere in my house, and will do so for another 2 days at least.....

...... I just had half a dozen of these little cookies and what happened? It started to rain!!!!! Yippiiieeee! I am not sure if anyone who has never lived in Dubai, knows what I am talking about here. FYI, it only rains about 5 to 10 days each year and only in winter. This year's winter has been especially dry. So having a little rain (or if not that, just an overcast day will do) is reason enough to jump up and down with joy. Now I won't bother you any further and give you the recipe of these cookies that can conjure up rain!
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ARABIAN NIGHTS COOKIES
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup butter
1/4 cup ground almond or hazelnut
1/4 honey
1 egg
1 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

2 tablespoons milk
pinch of saffron
3 tablespoons candied orange peel
4 tablespoons chopped pistachios
3 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon butter, softened

Yields 25-30 cookies
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In a bowl, combine flour, butter, honey, ground almonds, egg, orange zest and spices and mix well. Keep dough in the fridge for 1 hour.

In the meantime, heat the milk and dissolve saffron threads in it.  Finely chop the pistachios and the candied orange peel. Combine saffron in milk, pistachios, orange peel, sesame seeds, honey and butter in bowl until it resembles a rough paste.

Preheat oven to 170C. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

Roll out the dough until about 1/4 of an inch (1/2cm) thick and cut cookies with a cookie cutter. Place them on the baking sheet and spread about half a teaspoon of the pistachio orange sesame mixture on it. Bake for 15 minutes. Let cool completely and store in airtight container.
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24 February, 2010

Orange Banana Muffins with Pistachios


My daughter turned two yesterday, and we had 8 or 10 kids from the neighborhood in our garden for a little 2-hour-party, each one accompanied by one parent. Or so it was planned. However, my daughter then decided that she is very very very scared of the balloons that decorated the whole garden, and would not step outside, no matter what. No promise of ice creams, chocolates or lollipops or any last resort bribery tactics would make her join our guests. We destroyed all balloons. She still would not set a foot outside. Only way out was to move the party into the house, into the kids playroom. So about 20 people were cramped into the playroom. The noise level was incredible. We even brought the snacks upstairs. In no time, all toys were pulled out and popcorn was spread evenly on the floor amongst them. My daughter was sitting on my lap for the whole time watching the scene without any interest in participating.
The first uplifting moment of the whole party was the parents really liking my home-baked muffins. After about 90 minutes my daughter was ready to go outside. As usual on those parties, everyone was just glad when it was over. At least, my muffins were a huge success.

Now, can anyone explain to me, why I woke up with a huge hangover feeling this morning? We had a kiddie's afternoon party with fruit juice, popcorn and muffins and I feel like I partied til 4 in the morning with lots of wine, beer and cocktails.......
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ORANGE BANANA MUFFINS WITH PISTACHIOS


3 bananas, mashed
2 oranges, grated zest of
1/2 cup orange juice
2 eggs
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 cup agave syrup

2 cups quick cooking oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

light brown sugar (optional)
1/4 cup chopped pistachios

Yields 12-15
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Preheat oven to 180C. Line muffin tin.

Combine mashed banana, orange peel, orange juice, eggs, oil and agave in a bowl an mix well. In another bowl, mix oats with flour, salt and baking powder. Pour dry mixture into wet mixture and stir until just combined. Fill batter into muffin tin.
Put half a teaspoon of the brown sugar on each muffin and sprinkle chopped pistachios on top. Bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

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22 February, 2010

Lemon Coconut Granola

 
I baked some Lemon Coconut Cookies some time ago that were a huge success with my family and friends. I loved the flavor combination of lemon and coconut so much that I tried it on my much loved granola.  It's a match made in heaven. The granola turned out absolutely delicious: the invigorating flavor of lemon and the mild and smooth coconut are just about what you need for breakfast to have a great start of the day. I combine it with fresh chopped fruit and a big dollop of yogurt and find it highly addictive. Try it yourself!
 
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LEMON COCONUT GRANOLA

(Print Recipe)

3 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup flax seeds
1 cup chopped nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, pistachios)
1 cup desiccated coconut

1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup honey
1 lemon, peel of
1/2 lemon, juice of

1 cup dried currants (or other dried fruit)
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Preheat oven to 150C.

In a pan, combine coconut oil, honey, lemon peel and lemon juice. Bring to boil. Take off the heat when the honey is dissolved. Let cool a little.
In another bowl, combine oats, flax seeds and chopped nuts. Mix well. Pour the honey mixture over the dry ingredients and stir until the oat mixture is well coated.
Spread the granola evenly on a baking pan, and bake for 20 minutes. Turn over the granola, and stir in the coconut flakes. Bake for another 10 minutes. Let cool and stir in the currants. Keep in airtight container.

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20 February, 2010

Apple Banana Muffins

 
I don't like to throw away food. I often come home with half-eaten pieces of fruit in the handbag, after a long afternoon on the playground or in the park with the kids. What better to do with it than making muffins out of it, for next day's breakfast.
These apple banana muffins are perfect for my playground leftovers. They are a very flavorful match. The muffins are packed with fruit, just little added oil, and with agave as natural sweetener. They come out very moist. Without the frosting they are even vegan. Delicious and healthy!
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APPLE BANANA MUFFINS


1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

6 tablespoons canola oil
1/3 cup agave syrup OR 1/3 cup raisins
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 bananas, mashed
1 apple, cored and grated or finely chopped

Frosting (optional)
2 oz cream cheese
2 tablespoons agave syrup

Yields 6
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Preheat oven to 180C. Line a muffin tin with liners or coat with cooking spray.

In a bowl, combine flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg. Mix well. In another bowl, combine canola oil, agave, vanilla and mashed bananas. Combine wet ingredients with dry ingredients. Stir in the apple. Spoon the batter into the muffin tins. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely.
Combine agave and cream cheese and drizzle over the muffins. Let the frosting become solid before serving.
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17 February, 2010

Lemon Coconut Cookies



I am proud to say that these are my prettiest, most delicate cookies I have ever made. They can be served to any kind of guests for afternoon tea, be it your neighbor, friend, in-laws or some statesmen (or women) that happens to stop by.
These tiny biscuits are not much bigger than a big coin and full of genuine flavor. Lemon and coconut are the delicious and brilliantly matching ingredients. They are perfectly fine with just a little added agave. They work well with whole wheat flour. The coconut and the lemon flavors are predominant over the flour taste. With only 2 oz of butter they are not overtly fatty either. That way I made them as healthy as possible. I promise you that at the same time flavor does not fall behind.

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LEMON COCONUT COOKIES

(Print Recipe)

1/8 cup (50g/2oz) butter, softened
1 egg
1/4 cup agave syrup
1 lemon, peel of

3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes + more for coating

Yields 20-25
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Combine butter, agave, egg, and lemon peel in a large bowl and mix well.
In another bowl combine flour baking powder and salt. Stir in the dry ingredients into the lemon peel mixture until well blended. Stir in the coconut flakes. Cover and keep the dough in the fridge for about 30 minutes or until stiff enough to handle.

Preheat oven to 150C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Shape dough into cherry-sized balls. Roll in coconut flakes until fully coated and place on the baking sheet. Bake for about 18 minutes. Cookies will flatten a bit during the baking process. Remove the cookies from the baking sheet immediately to a wire rack. Let cool completely before storing them in airtight container.
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15 February, 2010

Boiled Egg Curry (North Indian Style)


How do I introduce Boiled Egg Curry to you? I could write about my so far culinary experiences with boiled eggs, or, as this curry is a hot dish, I could write about heat (of any form). Perhaps I do both. Let's see.....
I am running a Half Marathon on Friday. That's 21k or 13 miles. My family (we are mama, papa, and two kids) and two friends who will be over for a visit from Europe will stay in a 5-star resort nearby the night before as the race starts at 7am. What does that tell you? Pressure to perform! Therefore I had to squeeze in another long run. Didn't make it on the weekend, so today was my last chance. Now the sad news: winter seems to be over in Dubai. I only have a chance to run during lunchtime during the week. And today, there was absolutely no chance I could do this outdoors, with temperatures around 27C. So I did 18k on the treadmill in the gym. I am so proud I made it, as I was bored to death after 3k. Really, I just wanted to go home. Somehow I managed the 18k and that gives me confidence to possibly achieve a new personal best at around 1h50min. My current one is 1h54min. Will let you know about the results.
Back to the food.  I only know three or four dishes with boiled eggs: that's the one you have for breakfast on a lazy Sunday morning, or slices of boiled eggs in a salad. Or, and I haven't eaten that since I stopped eating in the school canteen, boiled eggs with mustard sauce and potatoes.
Now comes the Indian version. I must admit I was a little skeptical when I first encountered the combination of curry and boiled eggs. But I am telling you: It's a brilliant match. You want the curry sauce be hot, and that complements the mild egg, especially the egg white perfectly. I found this a nice change to any meat or vegetable curry. It goes well with rice or any flat bread.
Another good thing is that it is prepared in no time. The sauce and even the boiled eggs can be prepared in advance and it's made of ingredients that you might have at home. A perfect weekday dinner, and good to have in winter or coldish days as the spiciness of the dish will definitely warm you up.
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BOILED EGG CURRY (North Indian Style)

(Print Recipe)

4 hard boiled eggs

4 tablespoons canola oil, divided
2 onions, roughly chopped
3 big tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 green chillies (or just one for the faint hearted)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
Salt to taste
Chopped fresh coriander leaves to garnish

Serves 2-3
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Boil 4 eggs in boiling water for about 10 minutes.

Heat 2 tablespoons canola oil in a deep pan over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and fry until golden. Take off the heat. Transfer the fried onions from the pan to a food processor. Grind the onions, tomatoes, green chillies into a smooth paste.
Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of canola oil in the same pan over medium heat. Add the onion paste. Fry for 2-3 minutes. Stir in ginger and garlic and all the dry spices. Fry until the oil begins to separate from the onion tomato mixture.
Add 2 cups of water bring to a boil on a medium flame.
Cut the boiled eggs into halves lengthside and add them to the gravy. Simmer for 10 minutes or till the gravy is thickened/ reduced to about 3/4 of the original quantity after you added the water
Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot with rice or flatbread.

Continue Reading>>

11 February, 2010

Almond Coconut Balls (Aka Healthy Marzipan)


A healthy no-guilt Valentine's treat and dessert: Almond Coconut Balls. I am quite proud of these as they are really good and with so little ingredients, and even healthy ones. It gets even better: they are raw. No cooking or lots of dirty dishes involved.
They taste like coconutty marzipan, but without all the sugar that you normally find in regular marzipan. It only needs two tablespoons of agave syrup. It's just enough to keep the almonds and the coconut together and to sweeten them enough.

You wanna know how delicious they are? Listen to this conversation I just had with my husband as I was writing this post:

Me: Come have a look. Which picture do you like most?
Husband: I like this one (referring to the one below).
Me: But it's Valentine's Day soon. Don't you like the ones with the pink liners? (Referring to the one above)
Husband: Oh yeah, with that reference, the pink ones are nice too. You could have arranged them in the shape of a heart though.
Me: Too late. When I was ready to photograph them, I only had six left.....

PS: While I was writing this post I had the last six of them. So much for the Valentine's treat....
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ALMOND COCONUT BALLS

(Printable Recipe)

1 cup almond meal
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
2 tablespoons agave syrup

Flavoring (Optional)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon orange peel
1 tablespoon rum or brandy

Coating
unsweetened cocoa powder
unsweetened coconut flakes

Yields 20-25 
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Combine all basic ingredients plus the flavoring in a food processor and blend until it becomes a thick paste. Make balls of the size of a cherry and coat them in either cocoa powder or coconut flakes. Place them in mini cupcake liners.
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09 February, 2010

Orange Raisin Oatmeal Cookies


I have been in love with orange peel and lemon peel for quite some time. Any recipe that contains either ingredient has got my immediate attention. Both have such authentic, strong and fresh flavor - I love their boldness and I often use double the amounts than stated in the recipe.
This cookie has become a regular in our house, after I started adding the orange peel. It's not an overtly sweet cookie. Little agave syrup, mashed banana and raisins provide most of it. In my opinion, it doesn't need more as the orange flavor does all the work. If you like it sweeter, do it with the icing. Walnuts give them a crunch. To me, this cookie fall in the category "No-Guilt" and "Extremely Yummy".
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ORANGE RAISIN OATMEAL COOKIES

3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup rolled oats (quick-cooking)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/3 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup agave syrup
1 egg
1 orange, peel of
1 large ripe banana, mashed

1/4 cup walnut, chopped
3/4 cup raisins

Orange Sugar Frosting (Optional)
100g icing sugar
3 tablespoon of fresh orange juice

Yields ca. 20
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Preheat oven to 180C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl. Mix well. In another bowl, cream together butter, agave and orange peel. beat in the egg. Add mashed banana and stir until all is well combined. Stir in walnuts and raisins. Combine flour mixture and wet ingredients and mix well. Form 1-inch balls out of the dough, then press the ball between the palm of your hands to form a disc. Place on baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes. Let cookies cool on a wire rack.
In the meantime, prepare the frosting. Stir in 3 tablespoons of orange juice into the icing sugar. Coat the tops of the cookies with the frosting. Let stand until frosting becomes solid.
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08 February, 2010

Curried Coconut Rice with Peppers, Dried Fruit and Almonds

I have been cooking and baking a lot of dishes and foods since I really started enjoying and exploring cooking healthily. However, it still amazes me and makes me jump up and down with joy in the kitchen every time I realize that you can cook something delicious and healthy in no time. For some reason I still have this concept in my head that good food needs a long time to be prepared.
I love rice, it is such a good base for sweet or savory dishes. This curried coconut rice with peppers, dried fruit and almonds combines all flavors: mild coconut, hot curry, sweet dried fruit, spicy cumin, fresh orange and lemon peel.... A true adventure for your palates. And still, a light meal, perfect for lunch or as a side dish besides grilled meats.
The rice takes some time to cook. But you can do this in advance or even use leftovers from another meal, even though it might not be cooked with coconut milk. In that case, add more coconut flakes at the end or add some coconut milk when frying the rice with the veggies, dried fruit and almonds. Bon appetit!
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CURRIED COCONUT RICE WITH PEPPERS, DRIED FRUIT AND ALMONDS 

(Print recipe) 

1 cup brown rice (uncooked)
1 cup water
1 cup coconut milk

1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries (or raisins, currants or cherries)
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup coconut flakes (unsweetened)

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon curry powder (or more if you like it hot)
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
1 teaspoon grated lime peel

salt and pepper

Serves 2
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Place brown rice, water and coconut milk in a pan and bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover with lid and simmer until all liquid is absorbed and rice is tender. Depending on the brown rice you are using, this will take 30 to 45 minutes. Set aside.

In the meantime, combine chopped apricots and cranberries in a bowl. Pour boiling water over the fruit and let stand for 15 minutes or until fruit is plump. Drain ans set aside. 
Toast the slivered almonds in a dry pan over low to medium heat for 5-10 minutes or until slightly browned. Set aside.
I a deep, heavy-bottomed pan, heat the oil and cook the onions and bell peppers. Keep stirring. When onions are softened (after about 5 minutes), reduce to medium heat.  Add ginger, garlic, spices, orange and lime peel and cook for 1 minute or until spices are fragrant. Stir in the cooked rice, dried fruit, almonds and coconut flakes. Cook for another 5 minutes. Serve immediately.
Continue Reading>>

05 February, 2010

Almond Cherry Granola

 
Today is Friday and that's weekend here in the Middle East. I participated in a 10k race this morning that started at 7am. I must admit, I find it tough to get up so early on the weekend. The good thing about such early races is that I was back home by 8.30am (!!!!) with a new Personal Best under my belt (the second in two weeks). My marathon training has definitely paid off already over the 10k.

I like to do such early races on an empty stomach, in my experience that's the best solution for me. But soon after I come back, hunger sets in, and what's better than some fragrant homemade granola.

Since I started making granola myself, I have been addicted to it and hardly had anything else in the mornings for the last few months. That is granola with some yogurt and two type fruit, usually an chopped apple and something else like a kiwi, a few strawberries, grapes, half a mango.... I love mine with lots of nuts in it as it needs to sustain me for a few hours, and I like it sweet so love to have lots of dried fruit in it too. The best thing about homemade granola is that you can play around with the nuts and dried fruit or their amounts and may easily end up with a Pistachio Vanilla Apricot Granola, but that's fine too!!!
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ALMOND CHERRY GRANOLA


2 cups regular rolled oats
1/2 cup flax seeds
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup dessicated coconut (unsweetened)
1/2 cup almonds, slivered
1/2 cup almonds, chopped

1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup honey (or agave syrup for a vegan version)
1 teaspoon almond extract

1 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup raisins
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Preheat oven to 150C.

In a bowl, mix oats, flax seeds, sesame seeds and almonds. Set aside.
In a small pot, heat the oil, honey and almond extract. Pour over the oat mixture and stir until all grains and seeds are well coated. Spread the mixture on a baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes. After 10 minutes, stir the mixture and add the coconut. Bake for the remaining 10 minutes. 
Let cool and stir in the dried fruit.
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04 February, 2010

Barley and Root Vegetable Soup


I sit here in Dubai, it's supposed to be winter. We had about 30C outside temperature, hot enough to just scream for ice cream. We also had a "lovely" dust storm whose dust comes into the house anyway, no matter how much you keep windows and doors closed and shut. That is dust for about three days, as, even after the storm is over, the dust needs another 2 days to settle (onto you furniture and wherever else you don't want it).

I shouldn't really post a recipe of a warming and hearty root vegetable soup now, perfect for cold and rainy/snowy winter days. Perhaps I do it because we went to the Dubai indoor ski slope for the first time ever (it's been around for 3-4years). Should I mention that I didn't even get in, because my 2-year daughter wasn't allowed to go there? We prebooked and prepaid the overpriced tickets online, without knowing that under 3 year olds have no access. At least, father and son had sort of fun, but wouldn't go there again.

Maybe I post this, because hearty vegetable soups are comfort foods for me. This is all I need tonight after a more or less disastrous afternoon, trying to entertain our children and impress our guests from overseas.

This soup is easy to throw together as the main cooking is done while you don't have to stand by the oven. I like the different layers of veggies in there: the tomato based sauce, thickened by dissolved red lentils (so they should after an hour of cooking), the chunky root vegetables and, of course, the chewy barley.

Another good thing about those kind of soups is, that you can throw in or omit whatever you like. I am sure, this soup will also work without grains, or with different grains. In fact, I didn't have barley at hand the other day and used spelt. Vegetable-wise, throw in whatever you like, or needs to be cleaned out from the fridge. I'd say that anything from cabbage to green beans would go well in this soup. Try your own version, it's so versatile. Make a big pot, and have it over several days. It gets better and better!
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BARLEY AND ROOT VEGETABLE SOUP


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 stalks of celery, cut into chunks
2 carrots, cut into chunks

2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon dried marjoram
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of dried chilli

1/3 cup red lentils
1/2 cup barley

3 big waxy potatoes, cut into chunks
3 turnips, cut into chunks
1 small zucchini, cut into chunks
8 cups water (or enough to cover the veggies by 2 inches)

Serves 6
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Heat the olive oil in a big heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Saute chopped onion, celery and carrots for a few minutes. Add marjoram, salt, pepper and tomato paste and saute for another few minutes.

Now stir in the barley and the lentils, potatoes, zucchini and turnips. Add enough water to cover the vegetables and barley mixture by 2 inches. Cover partially and simmer for about an hour.
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02 February, 2010

Avocado Salad with Almonds, Lemongrass and Cilantro

 
I hardly watch TV and I own very few cookbooks. I have never paid much attention to star chefs, although there are a few around that even the most ignorant person will know by name. Like Gordon Ramsay, or Jamie Oliver. With regards to the latter, it took me several years until I finally got it right whether his name was Jamie Oliver or Oliver Jamie. I never knew.
This avocado salad is a Jamie Oliver creation that wasn't brought to me by him on TV or one of his books. Friends brought this salad to a potluck and I loved it immediately. I am not sure which part I like the most, but it's probably because I just like every single ingredient in it: the mustard dressing, as I belong to those people who can eat mustard straight from the jar with a big spoon. Lots of cilantro leaves that taste beautifully together with crunchy toasted almond slices. Avocados are the best anyway, that goes without saying. Now my little twist to the salad: the original recipe calls for spring onions which I didn't have. Just because it would look similar, I threw in thin slices of lemongrass. And I loved it and would not want to miss it in the salad. The lemon taste nicely complements the avocado.
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AVOCADO SALAD WITH ALMONDS, LEMONGRASS AND CILANTRO
(a recipe by Jamie Oliver with a little twist added)


1 ripe avocado, sliced in wedges
2 tablespoons almonds, sliced and toasted
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves
1 red chili, deseeded and chopped
1 stalk of lemongrass, cut into thin rings

Mustard Dressing
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon regular mustard
1 teaspoon whole grain mustard
salt and pepper to taste

Serves 2 
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On a serving plate or in a bowl, arrange the avocado wedges. Sprinkle cilantro, toasted almonds, lemongrass slices and chili over them. 
In a separate bowl, combine all ingredients for the dressing. Pour over the salad as needed.
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01 February, 2010

Homemade Goat Cheese

 
I am a big fan of cheese. The rest of my family is not so crazy about it, and the fancier the cheese gets (in terms of odor, flavor, etc.), the less excited other family members are. Goat cheese is one of them, that no-one else in this household would touch.
Imagine my excitement when I realized that I can make my own goat cheese, have it all by myself and a good recipe to post on my blog. Goat cheese has this very special aroma that tastes really great with a few fresh herbs on a slice of fresh bread or simply crumbled over a salad, risotto or pasta dish. 
It takes a little time, but it is not exactly much work to make cheese. Bring milk to a boil, add some lemon, strain the whole thing in a cloth, hang it up somewhere, and that's basically it. A couple of hours later you have beautiful fresh cheese that you can season according to your taste buds and usage.
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HOMEMADE GOAT CHEESE

(Print Recipe)

1 litre (1 quart) goat milk
1 lemon, juice of 
salt and pepper
fresh chives

cheese cloth or cotton kitchen towel

Yields about 200g (7oz)
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Bring goat milk in a heavy bottomed pot to the boil over medium heat. Take off the heat. Immediately stir in the lemon juice into the milk. Leave standing for about a couple of minutes, so the milk can curdle. Pour the milk lemon mixture into the cheese cloth (or alternatively a clean kitchen cotton towel), that has been laid out in a bowl. Tie the ends of the cloth together so it becomes a bag. Hang it on a wooden spoon and let the bag hang free. The whey should be able to strain out of the cheese cloth for at least two hours.
Before taking the cheese out of the cloth, you can squeeze the cloth itself to extract more liquid from the cheese. Transfer the cheese from the cloth to a bowl, season it with salt and pepper and fresh chives. Ready to serve.
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