Chinese Aubergine with Garlic Sauce

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aub 23/05/2019

This recipe for Chinese aubergine with garlic sauce is one of my favourite ways of cooking aubergines! The ginger adds some spiciness to the dish, the sauce is silky and sticky, the coconut sugar gives it a sweet taste and the garlic enhances everything. Give it a try and enjoy it with a side of rice or rice noodles. This also happens to be vegan if that’s your plant-based bag.

Serves: 2+

Ingredients:

For the aubergine:

  • 3 large aubergines, sliced
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 4 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 tsp ginger, grated
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 spring onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp coriander leaves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds

For the sauce:

  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 2½ tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp coconut sugar
  • ½ tbsp oil

Instructions:

  1. Spread the sliced aubergine on a paper towel. Sprinkle sea salt on both sides of the aubergine slices. Cover with another layer of paper towel and allow to rest for 45-60 minutes. Pat dry.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine all the sauce ingredient, mix well and set aside.
  3. In a big bowl, combine dry aubergine with cornflour and mix to evenly coat every piece.
  4. Heat a large frying pan over medium heat and add oil. Spread the aubergine across the bottom of the pan in a single layer.
  5. Fry the aubergine on both sides until all golden and soft, for about 10 minutes.
  6. Transfer to a plate. Cook the remaining aubergine in batches.
  7. In a large wok pan, heat a little bit more oil, add the ginger and garlic and stir-fry until fragrant.
  8. Add all the aubergine to the wok and pour the sauce over. Stir a few times, until the aubergine is evenly coated and the sauce thickens. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  9. Top with chopped spring onions and coriander if desired and serve with some rice noodles or rice on a side.

 

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Mushroom Ravioli in Parmesan Sauce

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rav 12/03/2019

Mushroom ravioli made with the most delicious mushroom pate, fresh homemade pasta and tossed in a garlic, parmesan cream sauce. This pasta dish is perfect when you want something a little extra special.

I’m not going to lie, making ravioli from scratch requires a little effort but it’s one of those things that becomes easier with practice and honestly the effort is so worth it!

Tips:

  • When making ravioli you should make sure the filling isn’t overly wet. It should be soft and almost mousse or paté like.
  • This mushroom filling is made with chestnut mushrooms, shallots and garlic. It’s nutty and full of flavour I also add a small spoonful of ricotta and parmesan for a delicious creaminess that’s not too heavy or overpowering.
  • I use a food processor to blitz everything to an extra fine and smooth consistency.
  • Make sure your pasta is made properly. Follow my recipe from a previous post exactly for making fresh homemade pasta dough and rest the dough because it makes a difference to the end result.
  • Use a piping bag or teaspoon to fill the ravioli
  • When you are rolling out the pasta and making the ravioli make sure your surface is lightly sprinkled with flour or semolina to stop the pasta sticking to your work surface.

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 1 batch homemade pasta dough (see my earlier post)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 5 oz (500g) Chestnut mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 shallots finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 heaped tbsp ricotta
  • 2 tbsp parmesan freshly grated
  • salt and pepper to season

For The Sauce:

  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup (250ml) double cream
  • 2 tbsp parmesan freshly grated
  • 2 heaped tsp mushroom powder
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • salt and pepper

Instructions:

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To Make the Filling:

  1. Heat a 1 tbsp of olive oil in a medium-sized pan, once hot add the finely chopped shallots and sauté until soft and translucent.
  2. Add the chopped mushrooms and cook down until reduced in size and softened. Add the garlic and thyme and a good pinch of salt and pepper, fry for 1-2 minutes. Set aside and let cool for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the cooled mushroom mixture to a food processor with parmesan and ricotta. Blitz until smooth and pate like.

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Assembly:

  1. To Make homemade egg pasta dough follow my previous recipe and the process for rolling out. There are some essential tips you need.
  2. Using homemade pasta dough, roll it out from the widest setting to the third last setting (usually number 7). Lay one sheet of pasta down and place around 1 heaped tsp of mushroom mixture in the middle of the pasta sheet 1 inch apart.
  3. Fold one edge of the pasta over the filling to meet the other edge. You may need to gently pat the filling down at this point so it folds easier. Using your fingers seal the sides of the ravioli filling as shown.
  4. Tip: Technically these are called mezzalune (half moons) because they are folded over and don’t have four sealed edges. These are slightly easier to make for this reason but if you want to make traditional ravioli simply place the second sheet of pasta directly on top of the first and seal with your fingers.
  5. Seal the top of the dough with your thumb whilst holding the two edges. This will ensure all the air has escaped which will stop the ravioli bursting or going wrinkly.
  6. Cut the ravioli out either with a ravioli or pasta cutter, cookie cutter or fluted pasta wheel and set aside on a surface sprinkled lightly with semolina or 00 flour whilst you make the next batch.
  7. Once the Ravioli (or mezzalune) are ready bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the ravioli to the water and cook for around 4 minutes. Meanwhile make the sauce.

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To Make the Sauce:

  1. Heat a little olive oil in a large pan and fry the chopped garlic for 1 minute. Add the cream, mushroom powder, thyme, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Stir and bring to a boil.
  2. Let it boil for 30-40 seconds then turn low and add the freshly grated parmesan. Stir until slightly thickened turn off the heat and add the cooked ravioli straight from the water using a slotted spoon.
  3. Toss in the sauce and serve.

Camembert Garlic Bread

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Capturel 06/10/2017

Sometimes you just want something quick and simple for dinner but that shouldn’t mean boring. This camembert garlic bread is quick, easy flippin’ amazing too. I mean it’s cheese and bread and garlic so it’s hard to go wrong really.

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You could try experimenting with this bread by stuffing different ingredients in the bread such as tomato sauce, chorizo, mozzarella, basil, pesto, bacon, whatever you want really.

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole camembert
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • ½ tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 loaf of crusty bread
  • Sea salt to taste

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  2. Remove all the packaging from the camembert and use the outer box as a stencil to cut a circular hole in the centre of the crusty loaf. Do not cut all the way through. Remove just enough bread so the camembert can sit snuggly in the centre of the bread.
  3. Remove the top rind of the camembert and place the cheese in the hole you just cut into the bread, cut side up.
  4. With a serrated knife, score the bread several times lengthways and then widthways to achieve a checkerboard effect.
  5. Add the garlic, butter, rosemary and a pinch of salt to a bowl and microwave for a few seconds to melt the butter. Spread this mixture between the scored lines you just made in the bread.
  6. Sprinkle the whole thing with a little salt and set on a baking tray. Bake in the lower part of the oven for 20-25 minutes until the cheese is oozing, the bread is crusty and the garlic is fragrant.
  7. Rip squares of the buttery garlic bread and dunk them into the gooey cheese. Shake your head in amazement.

Spiced Cod Flatbreads

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turmeric fish 18/06/2017

Spiced cod flatbreads with preserved lemon and avocado salsa, pul biber onions and harissa lime yoghurt

A vibrant dish of aromatic spiced cod with fragrant yoghurt and zesty salsa all wrapped up in a crisp, garlicky flatbread. The flavours going on here are insane. Zesty freshness from the lemony salsa, velvety cod in delicate spices, garlicky charred bread, zingy crunchy onions, creamy avocado, peppery heat, I could go on but I won’t hold you from the recipe any longer. This takes a bit of time to prepare as there are a few stages but it is in no way difficult and the result is so worth it!

You can use turmeric powder if you can’t find fresh turmeric root but it is quite readily available in most large supermarkets and gives a beautiful flavour, not to mention the health benefits.

Similarly, you can substitute paprika for the Aleppo pepper but if you can, try and source it as it has a mild fruitiness that is particularly tasty in this dish.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

For the spiced cod:

  • 2 tbsp Greek-style yoghurt
  • 2 inch piece fresh turmeric, peeled and finely grated
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 300g cod loin, cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

For the flatbreads:

  • 30g/1oz unsalted butter
  • 175g/6oz plain flour
  • 100ml/3½fl oz semi-skimmed milk
  • 2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tsp garlic granules
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

For the harissa and lime yoghurt:

  • 280g Greek-style yoghurt
  • 1 heaped tbsp rose harissa
  • 1 lime, zest and juice
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the salsa:

  • small handful dill, roughly chopped
  • 4 preserved lemons, deseeded and very finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp barberries (optional)
  • ½ ripe avocado, finely diced
  • 2 tsp nigella seeds

For the pul biber onions:

  • 1 small red onion, very thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 heaped tsp of pul biber/Aleppo pepper chilli flakes

Method:

  1. To make the spiced cod, mix 2 tablespoons of the yoghurt with the turmeric and crushed garlic. Season well with salt and pepper and marinate the cod for 1 hour.
  2. Meanwhile, to make the flatbreads, melt the butter and combine with the remaining ingredients, except for the oil. Mix until a firm dough has formed. Wrap in cling film and leave to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  3. To make the salsa, mix the ingredients together in a bowl, season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  4. To make the pickled onions, combine all the ingredients in a plastic container with a lid. Put the lid on and shake until the onions lose their rigidity. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  5. To make the harissa and lime yoghurt, mix everything together, season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  6. Divide the dough into four and roll into thin rounds. Preheat a large frying pan over a medium heat. Brush the hot pan with the oil and grill the flatbreads for about 45–60 seconds on each side until lightly browned.
  7. To make the cod, heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat, add the cod and brown on all sides until just cooked through.
  8. To serve, divide the cod between 4 flatbreads and dollop a generous amount of the yoghurt on top. Add the salsa, some onions and sprinkle over extra Aleppo chilli flakes or nigella seeds.

Cheese & Wild Garlic Scones

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wild-garlic-and-cheese-scones 12/02/2017

I’ve been wanting to try wild garlic for ages but have never been able to find it… until now. I came across some at a local market and in my excitement, bought way more than one person could possibly eat. I have now stocked up the freezer with a variety of garlicky infused meals and baked goods. It’s going to be a good week.

These scones are wonderfully fluffy, and cheesy. The wild garlic is quite different to using garlic cloves. It has a more subtle onion flavour, very similar to chives but more… well, garlicky.

Makes about 6 whoppers

Ingredients:

  • 220g self-raising flour
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 50g butter
  • 1 egg beaten
  • Milk
  • 120g grated cheddar cheese
  • a generous handful of wild garlic, finely chopped (if you haven’t got any wild garlic snipped chives work well instead)
  • a pinch of cayenne pepper
  • a good pinch of English mustard powder

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C
  2. Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl
  3. Rub the butter in until it resembles fine breadcrumbs
  4. Stir in the grated cheese and finely chopped wild garlic or chives
  5. Add the pepper and mustard and mix
  6. Add enough milk to the beaten egg to make it up to 150ml of liquid
  7. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and pour in the egg/milk mixture
  8. Mix to a soft dough with a metal knife
  9. Turn onto a floured surface and knead gently and lightly until it is just smooth
  10. Press out to about 2½cm deep and cut out rounds with a 7cm pastry cutter gathering the scraps together each time, re-rolling and stamping until you have 6 or 7 scones
  11. Pop the scones onto a lightly oiled baking sheet, brush the tops with a little milk and bake them for 15 – 20 minutes until well risen and golden brown and your kitchen smells divine
  12. Leave to cool on a wire rack or scoff straight from the oven!

Cheesy Stuffed Garlic Dough Balls

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Screenshot_2016-08-25-14-56-09-1[1] 28/08/2016

I only made these because I had a bit of pizza dough that needed using up in the fridge but this is how most of my tasty creations begin and this is no exception. Warm fresh dough encases a gooey cheese centre topped with rich garlic butter. They are fantastic served with a fresh tomato and basil sauce to dunk into. Far superior to anything you can buy, these go down an absolute storm when served in the middle of the table for everyone to dive into.

Ingredients:

  • 300g Strong White Bread Flour
  • 1/2 tsp Fine Sea Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Instant dried yeast
  • 1/2 tsp Sugar
  • 1/2 Garlic granules
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 30g Butter, softened
  • 160ml luke warm Water
  • 50g-60g block of Mozzarella Cheese
  • Boursin, optional

For the garlic butter:

  • 20g Butter, melted.
  • 2 Garlic cloves, grated

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Directions:

  1. Measure the flour into a bowl.
  2. Add the yeast to one side of the bowl and the salt, sugar and garlic to the other side.
  3. Add the oil and butter and begin to mix, slowly add the water until the dough comes together. Once it has all come together, don’t add any more.
  4. Knead the dough for 5-10 minutes on a lightly floured surface until the dough begins to look glossy and becomes stretchy.
  5. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave the dough somewhere warm to rise for an hour or so until the dough has doubled in size.
  6. Preheat the oven to 220C/200Cfan.
  7. Tip the dough out onto a floured surface and knock back to remove the air bubbles.
  8. Weigh the dough out into balls weighing approximately 30g
  9. Add roughly 3g of the cubed mozzarella to each piece of dough. At this point you can also sneak a mini scoop of garlic and herb boursin into the centre to intensify the oozy cheesy goodness. I only did it because I had a bit to use up but am so glad I did. Fold the dough around the cheese and roll into a ball.
  10. Arrange the doughballs (you should have about 15-20) onto a greaseproof lined baking sheet in a circle, leaving a little gap in between each one.
  11. Mix the melted butter and garlic together and brush half over the top of each dough ball.
  12. Place the dough balls in the oven for 15 minutes until golden. Brush the remaining garlic butter over the balls once baked for an extra garlicky flavour.

Garlic & Herb Flatbreads

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IMG_20150518_221024[1] 20/10/2015

Bread that requires no kneading, no waiting to rise and takes just minutes to cook? Oh yes! And the garlic and herb butter is uber simple and tastes amazing. This bread goes so well with so many dishes. Bubbly, charred, light and fluffy bread covered with garlicky, buttery yumminess. No need to thank me.

Makes 6

Ingredients:

For the flatbreads:

  • 350g self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
  • sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 350g natural yoghurt

For the garlic and herb butter:

  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • a bunch of fresh soft herbs, such as flat-leaf parsley, tarragon, basil, dill
  • 40g unsalted butter
  • A pinch of salt

Method:

  1. Add all the flatbread ingredients to a mixing bowl and mix together with a spoon and then use clean hands to pat and bring everything together.
    2. Dust a clean work surface with flour and then tip out the dough.
    3. Knead for a minute or so to bring it all together (this isn’t a traditional bread recipe, so you don’t need to knead it for long – just enough time to bring everything together).
    4. Put the dough into a floured-dusted bowl and cover with a plate, then leave aside.
    5. For the garlic butter, peel the garlic cloves and grate them finely.
    6. Pick the herb leaves onto a chopping board and finely chop them, discarding the stalks.
    7. Melt the butter in a small pan over a medium heat, then stir through the garlic and chopped herbs and set aside.
    8. Dust a clean work surface and rolling pin with flour, then divide the dough in half and then divide each half into 6 equal-sized pieces (roughly the size of a golf ball).
    9. With your hands, pat and flatten the dough, then use a rolling pin to roll each piece into 12cm rounds, roughly 2mm to 3mm thick.
    10. Use a knife to cut 6 lines into the centre of each round, leaving about 3cm at each end.
    11. Place a griddle pan on a high heat, then once hot, cook each one for 1 to 2 minutes on each side, or until bar-marked and puffed up, turning with tongs.
    12. Brush the flatbreads all over with herby garlic butter as they come off the griddle, then pile onto a serving board so everyone can dig in and help themselves.

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Tip: If you don’t need so many breads or you need even more, the great thing about this recipe is you use half the yogurt to half the flour so adjust the weight accordingly. 100g each of yoghurt and flour will give you 2 flatbreads as a side to a meal.