Monday, 15 September 2014

Light Mexican Chorizo

When I moved to England, I couldn’t believe how many things I would miss from home! One of the most missed things is waking up early and getting potato, egg, and chorizo tacos on the way to school twice a week. Sadly there’s no Mexican chorizo to be had in the UK. What they have here is Spanish chorizo which is much different. There are similar flavours in that you’re tasting garlic and paprika, but more smoky paprika in Spanish chorizo. The thing I absolutely don’t miss about Mexican chorizo is the grease! Oh it tastes soo good but it’s not good for you!! There is something comforting in a bit of grease running down your arm while you grasp that taco first thing in the morning. However comforting that is, or might be it’s not for today’s recipe! This is super easy to make, and I haven’t taken any photos of things I’ve made with it but I just portion this recipe into four parts and it feeds two each time. I put it in the freezer and take it out for breakfast tacos, or mix with rice or potatoes for a side or main dish. Enjoy!

Light Mexican Chorizo
The possibilities are endless.

Ingredient List:
500g lean pork mince
3 cloves garlic
2 tbsp. ancho chilli powder
2 tbsp. sweet paprika
1 tbsp. smoked paprika
½ tsp. dried Mexican oregano
¼ tsp. pepper
2 tsp. chilli powder
1 ½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. cayenne
¼ c. apple cider vinegar
Small pinch cinnamon
Small pinch cloves

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Homemade Freezer Pesto Cubes

Luckily it’s that time of year where basil is running rampant in everyone’s garden and being grown at high volumes for purchase. Unfortunately, I am not one of those people who can grow lot of anything, except maybe mint. I have a very aggressive mint bush growing right now and it’s threatening to take over. Anyways, back to basil. It’s a really lovely herb and it also freezes really well. A few years ago I took advantage of a huge bag of basil from my local organic veg box scheme Riverford, mostly because I didn’t realize at the time how much 200g of basil was! I had basil everything for a week. When it was running out I decided to figure out how to freeze it which was incredibly easy. I just put the remaining 100g into a food processor and added a little oil and presto pesto. Shove it in some ice cubes and pop it in the freezer. It’s a very simple remedy for any herbs really. They can be popped into any dish frozen; I like to pop them into the last five minutes of a Bolognese sauce or quick pesto pasta for a quick mid-week dinner. The possibilities are absolutely endless.

Easily doubled if necessary.
Takes about 2 seconds to make.
Makes about 18 1 tsp. portions.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Low Fat Coronation Chicken Wraps

When I first came to England, I tasted so many interesting things. One thing was this ‘coronation’ flavour. It’s essentially any kind of curry flavoured mayonnaise based mixture that can be a rice salad or a chicken salad or even egg salad. Basically delicious and I wanted to make up a recipe and see how it goes! This recipe makes about 4-6 depending on how big your tortilla wraps are. I think the bigger ones are better. This is also really great for a fabulous picnic with the last few hours of sunshine left in England! Enjoy!
Have you ever had curried chicken wraps?

500g chicken breast
1 tbsp. madras paste
1 tsp. curry powder
2 tbsp. light mayo
3 tbsp. Greek non-fat yogurt
150g grapes
25g flaked almonds
¼ c. raisins
2 ribs celery
3 spring onions
Salt + pepper
4-6 tortilla wraps

To Start:
Get a pot of water going and boil the chicken breasts for 10-15 minutes until cooked through.
Slice the grapes in halves or quarters depending on size.
Slice thinly the celery and green onions.

To make the Coronation Mayo:
In a medium bowl combine madras paste, curry powder, mayo, yogurt, and salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
Next add in the raisins, almonds, grapes, celery and spring onions.
Mix thoroughly checking for seasoning.

To Finish:
Drain the chicken off and let cool before dicing into chunks.
Fold into the mayo mixture and wrap it in tortillas.
Eat it or pack it away for a picnic!

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Tiramisu Cupcakes

What can I say? Who doesn't love tiramisu AND cupcakes?! Combine the two and I have a total winner! Seriously, I don’t know where my sweet tooth came from. I think it came from moving to the UK because I never had such a taste for sweets. I had some lady fingers in the cupboard that I as going to make a killer tiramisu recipe out of, but when I was looking at the ingredients, I just was thinking, “Why don’t I try to make cupcakes out of it?” Lately I’ve been on a cupcake kick. Any type of cupcake I want it. Since I’m still improving my baking skills it’s a bit of a hit or miss, but this certainly was a hit! I nearly ate all of the cupcakes I made, luckily I gave some away! There is some alcohol and coffee in this recipe so you can use it as a great excuse not to share any with the kids! This recipe makes 10. Enjoy!
tiramisu cupcakes
Delicious, and for more authentic look, dust with cocoa powder :)

150g butter soft room temperature
150g self-rising flour
150g caster sugar
3 eggs
½ tsp. baking powder
Pinch salt
½ tsp. vanilla
1 tbsp. strong espresso - cold
1 tbsp. marsala wine

125g mascarpone cheese room temperature
50g butter soft
1 tbsp. marsala wine
1 tsp. cocoa powder
300-500g icing sugar

To Start:
Heat oven to 180C
Cream together butter sugar and eggs until light and fluffy.
Next add in the vanilla, espresso and marsala wine.
In another bowl sift together salt, baking powder and flour.
Mix in with the wet ingredients a little at a time until everything is incorporated.

To cook:
Bake the oven for about 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick is inserted clean. Oven times vary so watch them closely.

For the icing:
Make sure that everything is room temperature.
First cream together the butter mascarpone cheese.
Sift in the cocoa and mix to combine.
Next add in the espresso and the marsala wine mix until creamy.
Add icing sugar a little at a time until it becomes a thick consistency that you would like to ice the cakes.
Ice and enjoy!

Friday, 22 August 2014

Easy Fresh Panzanella with Mint and Marjoram

What is it? It’s an Italian bread salad, made with hot croutons freshly made, then sauced up with a delicious vinaigrette and fresh veggies and herbs. It’s absolutely delicious on a hot day or easily taken on a picnic. I bet it would even go nicely with a grilled piece of chicken or fish. I got the herbs from my garden but you traditionally use basil, but since I didn’t have any I just improvised and it was fantastic. It’s best when the croutons are fresh hot out of the oven, but just as delicious after resting at room temperature. This recipe makes about 4 servings but you can easily double it for 4 large portions. Enjoy!
italian panzanella with mint and marjoram
Fresh and healthy!

200g baguette (rustic baguette preferred and slightly stale)
2-3 medium tomatoes
1 small red onion sliced finely
½ yellow pepper sliced
½ red pepper sliced
½ long cucumber
4 tbsp. olive oil (1 for toasting, 3 for dressing)
½ tsp. Dijon mustard
3 tbsp. white wine vinegar
1 clove garlic
Few sprigs mint and marjoram
Salt and pepper

To start:
Cut the baguette into 1x1inch cubes. Make sure your bread is crusty and stale if it isn’t cut into cubes and leave to rest for 1hr before toasting.
Drizzle 1 tbsp. of olive oil around and salt and pepper tossing it with your fingers to combine.
Put in a 200F oven for about 10 minutes, watch them so they don’t burn!

For the Salad:
Dice the tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers in nice big chunks.
Make sure the onions are sliced finely.
Finely chop the herbs
Salt and leave aside.

For the Dressing:
Whisk 3 tbsp. oil, vinegar, Dijon mustard, garlic until well combined.
Add the herbs and stir.

To Combine the Salad:
When the croutons are hot out of the oven mix them with the vegetables.
Next dress the salad with the dressing and stir to combine.
Stir well so that the dressing gets absorbed by all of the croutons.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Slow Cooker Spanish-Style Chorizo and Squid Stew

I bought a slow cooker a few months ago, and sometimes it comes in really handy! I prefer to cook things on my own, but when you’re going out and you just want to throw some dinner in a pot, it’s a great way to save some time! I knew that I wanted to use this method with this recipe in particular because I was using squid. I know that the rule with squid is to either cook it really fast or to cook it really slowly and for a long period. What better way to use the slow cooker then! I really enjoyed this stew, but my hub enjoyed it too! He’s not really a fish eater and kind of frowned when he found out it was chorizo AND squid. I cooked it all day for about 5-8hours and it had a really lovely depth of flavour. The one downside to this recipe is I used white wine which I had to cook out in the beginning of the cooking; if you don’t it probably will have a weird funky alcoholic taste so I decided to cook it off beforehand. Try it! In a medium slow cooker it serves about 5. Enjoy!
slow cooker chorizo and squid stew
Lovely with a bit of crusty bread.

150g chorizo (half of a ring)
200g fresh squid
1 large onion
1 red pepper
1 chilli or two if you’re feeling spicy
1 400g tin chick peas
1 400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 Knorr fish stock pot (use 4c. fish stock if you don’t have this)
1 large glass white wine (250ml)
1 can of water
Pinch saffron
1-2 cloves garlic
Green Spanish olives

To Start:
Slice the red pepper, chilli, fresh squid, and add to the slow cooker.
Add the chopped tomatoes and chick peas (undrained), along with an extra can of water.
Turn on the slow cooker to high.

For the Cooking Part:
Heat a frying pan until well hot.
Slice the chorizo and onion into thin slices and add to the hot pan.
Stir around until the chorizo renders some fat and smells fragrant.
Next add the white wine, stock cube and pinch of saffron, cook for about 5 minutes.
Add all of the chorizo onion and wine mixture to the slow cooker.
Finish in the slow cooker with a few cloves of garlic and green olives.
Put the lid on and leave for 1hr on high, then turn down to low for the remaining 5 hours of cooking.

Note: The cooking time is only dependent on what time you have. You can easily start this from low, I just wanted to get some heat going through before I left it alone.

The 21st Century Housewife Hearth and Soul Blog HopApril J Harris of the 21st Century Housewife

Friday, 15 August 2014

Middle Eastern Style Veggie Burgers with Pickled Red Onions

This is a recipe revamp from my old collection. I previously called them baba ghanoush veggie patties but I realized when I was retesting the patties that they’re much broader than that because they’ve got goats cheese in them. Regardless of that they still came out just as delicious as before. I also wanted to add some zing to them, and made some pickled onions to go with the patties. These are amazing and can go with anything. They’re much like the pickles you’d find in Texas on carnitas tacos. I also used them to serve alongside some pulled pork. They’re pretty versatile and really nice to snack on. The recipe for the burgers makes about 6.
Middle Eastern Style Veggie Burgers
Delicious in a burger or on it's own.

1 400g tin cannellini beans – drained and dried
1 medium aubergine
1 medium red pepper
125g goat cheese
50-75 bread crumbs (Or 2-3 slices of white bread whizzed up in the food processor)
1 egg
½ tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. cumin
¼. tsp. paprika
¼ tsp. turmeric
Salt to taste
Handful of cilantro
Oil to fry

To start:
Slice the eggplant and red pepper in half, roast in the oven with a little oil until soft and mushy.
Drain the beans and rinse. Drain thoroughly.
In a food processor whiz the beans, goats cheese, roasted aubergine, red pepper and spices and half of the bread crumbs.
When combined add the egg and whiz again.
Depending on how wet this batter is adding some more breadcrumbs as needed. The consistency you’re looking for is of thick pancake batter.

To cook:
Heat a couple of tablespoons in a pan until very hot.
You’ll want to spoon the batter in the hot oil.
Make the patties the size you desire and cook for 3-5 minutes on each side.
These will be very delicate so take care when flipping.

For the pickled onions: (Note: Adapted recipe from here.)
100g thinly sliced red onions
1 medium cinnamon stick
½ tsp. red pepper flakes
Juice of one lime – if it’s not juicy enough use two.
1 c. apple cider vinegar
75g caster sugar
1 tablespoon salt

In a small saucepan bring all of the ingredients slowly up to a bowl so that the spices have time to steep and the sugar has time to dissolve.
Blanch the onions for 10 seconds with freshly boiled water and drain immediately.
Shove the onions into a jar.
When the sugar is dissolved in the brine pour carefully over the onions and let sit until room temperature.
When cool cover and refrigerate for up to a week.
After 10 minutes in brine it's ready!