Thursday, 23 January 2014

Honey Roasted Plum, Gruyère and Pine Nut Salad

(Photos by Alex Tchouchev)

Aged gruyère 
Pine nuts (roasted)
Baby spinach
Red onions 
Balsamic Vinegar 
Olive oil

  1. Slice the plums and pit them before marinating them in the fridge in some honey and balsamic.
  2. In a pan with some olive oil, caramelize the plums and sauté them until they are slightly soft. Place them aside to chill. 
  3. Wash your salad greens and top them with sliced gruyère, red onions, toasted pine nuts and the plums before tossing in vinaigrette

Spanakopita Roll

If you enjoy spanakopita as much as I do, this is a nicer and lighter version.

Phyllo pastry sheets or puff pastry dough (I used whole wheat puff pastry dough)

  1. Once you have made the filling, preheat your oven depending on the instructions on your packet of dough and grease a baking tray.
  2. If you are using Phyllo: lay the sheets down one by one, on top of each other on the tray. Use a pastry brush to alternate dabbing olive oil (or butter if you are feeling indulgent) and water between each layer. Place the filling in the centre and then tightly (but carefully) wrap your filling in the pastry
  3. If you are using puff pastry: With puff pastry, simply place the filling on one end and roll it up. 
  4. Bake :)

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Escargot (French Spiral Pastries with Cinnamon and Rasins)

1 1/2 cups whole milk, heavy cream, or a mix 
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cinnamon & brown sugar to taste
1/4 - 1/2 a cup of raisins
Brioche pastry (because I am lazy)

1. Warm the Milk: Warm the milk in the saucepan until you start to see wisps of steam. It should not actually be boiling.
2. Make the Egg-Sugar Base: In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, and salt. Add the egg yolks and whisk them into the dry ingredients. This will form a thick paste. It's fine if the paste looks crumbly or smooth; the important thing is that the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
3. Add the Milk to the Egg Mixture: Pour a little of the hot milk into the eggs and whisk to combine. Continue pouring the milk slowly into the eggs, whisking continuously. It's ok to switch back and forth between pouring milk and whisking if you can't manage both at the same time.
When all the milk has been added to the eggs, pour everything back into the saucepan. Set a strainer over a bowl and place this near the stove.
4. Heat the Pastry Cream: Set the pan back over medium heat. Whisk

constantly. At first, the pastry cream will look very thin and frothy, but it will start to thicken after a few minutes. When it has thickened to a pudding-like consistency, pause whisking every few seconds to see if the cream has come to a boil. If you see large bubbles popping on the surface, whisk for a few more seconds and then remove the pan from heat.

5. Prepare the Dough & Preheat the Oven: Preheat the oven based on the directions for the dough. Spread the dough out so it is a long rectangle. Sprinkle it with cinnamon, brown sugar and raisins and add the pastry cream.

6. Roll: Roll your dough up and then slice it. I sliced about two inches apart. Place your little escargots on a baking sheet and pop them in the oven until they are golden.

7. Enjoy! If you want to be very proper, you can glaze them as well! 


Grilled Eggplant Caprese with Sundried Tomato Pesto

A small eggplant
A tomato
Bufala mozzarella 
Olive oil
1 clove of garlic
Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Slice the eggplant and marinate it in a ziplock bag with olive oil, salt, pepper and crushed garlic
  2. Ideally, leave it to marinate for an hour in the fridge, but if you are short on time it will still be delicious
  3. Place the eggplant on a grill pan until it is cooked and there are char lines
  4. Slice the tomato and mozzarella
  5. Stack the eggplant, mozzarella and tomato with the sundried tomato pesto between each layer
  6. Top with some olive oil and balsamic vinegar 

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Oreo Cupcakes

For the Chocolate Cupcakes:
Dry ingredients
  • 1 1/3 of a cup of cocoa powder
  • 2 ½ cups of flour
  • 2 1/4 cups of white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 ¼ of a teaspoon of salt
Wet ingredients
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 of a  cup of  warm water
  • 1 ½ teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 1 ¼ cups  of milk
  • 2/3 of a cup of coffee
  • 2/3 of a cup of vegetable oil
  1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius
  2. Grease your muffin tins
  3. In two separate bowls, mix your dry ingredients in one and the wet ingredients in another
  4. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix them with a hand mixer (or do it old school and get your wooden spoon out)
  5. Pour the batter in your muffin cups (about half to 3/4 of the way full.. mine rosse like crazy)
  6. Bake for about 15 minutes (stab them with a knife and make sure it comes out smooth just to be sure) and them cool before icing

For the Oreo Icing

Please note I suck at measuring things and I always encourage you to taste as you go. I made wayyyy too much icing but, this is APPROXIMATELY how much of what I used:
  • 100 grams of Philadelphia cream cheese
  • 2-3 tablespoons of softened butter
  • 3/4- 1 cup of ground oreos (plus full oreos left aside for garnish)
  • 3 tablespoons of icing sugar 
Once you have iced your cupcakes, garnish them with an oreo cut in half! Ohm nom. 

Thursday, 24 October 2013

California Rolls & Salmon Nigiri

You will need:

California Rolls
  • Sushi rice
  • Japanese wine vinegar
  • Avocado
  • Nori 
  • Sesame seeds
  • Mayonaise
  • Crab meat

  • Very fresh salmon
  • Wasabi
  • Sushi rice
  • Japanese wine vinegar
  1. Cook the rice, once ready, mix with the vinegar and keep refrigerated until cool
  2. Slice the avocado in long thick strips
  3. Use a rolling mat and cover it in seran wrap before lightly sprinkling sesame seeds over it
  4. Place a layer of rice over the rolling mat and place down the nori sheet
  5. On the side closest to you put down the avocado, crab meat and some mayonaise
  6. Roll it up and slice it with a sharp knife
  1. To make the nori, with wet hands ball the rice
  2. With a very sharp knife finely slice the salmon
  3. Place a small amount of wasabi between the samlon and rice before you lay the salmon on the rice

Monday, 7 October 2013

Barbecued Corn on the Cob with Mint Feta Butter

This probably seems like a very odd combination... but it is surprisingly tasty!

Photo by Alex Tchouchev 

Fresh mint leaves 
Butter (room temperature)
Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Use a food processor or finely chop mint and crumble feta in butter. This really comes down to your personal taste and how much of each you want. Add some salt and pepper and mix until you are happy with the taste of your mint feta butter. 
  2. Lightly brush the corn with the butter you have made and wrap the corn in foil. Barbecue it! 
  3. Add some more of you mint feta butter for garnish and serve while its hot!

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Garlic Bread with Mozzarella & Roasted Tomatoes

This sauce is heavenly and I always make extra to have with cheesy garlic bread :)

Fresh basil 
Salt & pepper to taste 

  1. Preheat the oven to 240 degrees celsius (460 F) 
  2. Slice a baguette in half as though you were making a gigantic sandwich :) 
  3. Rub the garlic cloves all over the bread. Then crush the garlic and sprinkle it over the bread. 
  4. Slice the mozzarella and lay it over the baguette then top it with salt and pepper. 
  5. Leave it in the oven until the cheese is melted. In the meantime, heat up the sauce and chop the basil.
  6. Top the cheesy garlic bread with the sauce and basil and enjoy!

Peach-Mango Iced Tea with Raspberries and Mint

1 litre of cold water
1 cup of boiling water
1 cup of fresh mango slices
1/2 a cup of raspberries
Fresh mint leaves
1/4 of a cup of sugar
5 peach tea bags
2 black tea bags
3 mint tea bags

  1. Place all the tea bags in the litre of cold water and let the tea soak in
  2. Dissolve the sugar in the boiling water and stir it until it is a syrup before pouring it into the litre of tea
  3. Finely chop mint and toss it into the tea along with mango and raspberries
  4. This tastes best when you leave it for about an hour to really taste all of the flavours 

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Watermelon Mint Salad

This is far less a recipe than it is an amazing combination of tastes. 

The next time you have fresh watermelon, try adding some finely chopped mint leaves and freshly squeezed lemon juice. I like to leave it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes so the flavour of the mint really skinks in, but in all honesty, this is entirely optional - serving it as soon as you make it is also delicious.