Monthly Archives: November 2012

Butternut squash minty hummous

Hummus can be made with much more than chickpeas! I recently even tried a very satisfying butter beans hummus but my current favourite is a minty butternut squash version.  I also like the pumpkin version from Baity’s Kitchen blog- but can’t find it right now… So here is mine.

Ingredients list:

  • One butternut squash, diced and roasted
  • Garlic, 3 cloves
  • Nepita, 1 tsp
  • Greek yogurt at 2 %, 125g
  • Tahini, 1 big tbsp
  • thyme
  • Olive oil, 1 dash
  • salt and lemon juice to taste

First cut up and then peel the butternut. Throw the cubes into a roasting dish with a dash of olive oil, some thyme and crystal salt. Toss it all around!

When the squash is cooked – which should take less than 10 min- put it into a blender with all the other ingredients and blitz to a pulp. Add the nepita and lemon juice last. Check the seasoning. Decorate with strips of fresh mint.

Eat this delicious spread on slabs of warm fresh bread!

Sourcing note: Nepita is a wonderful minty thyme I brought back in my suitcase from Corsica but you can replace it with real thyme and fresh mint if it proves too hard to find. Although, if you have never tasted it you just don’t know what you are missing and in this dish it literally sings through in fresh and incredibly minty notes!

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Bubble tea- the healthy version!

Bubble tea or Boba tea is popping up all over town… Remember you heard about it first here… Or did You?

I have been very intrigued by this new food trend on the internet : a flavoured cold tea made with coloured tapioca balls! A foray into a Soho supermarket had delivered the “bobas” but I was very puzzled as to what to do with them. I understand they make puddings with tapioca in Asia but the idea of a drink seemed fun and I set myself the challenge to come up with a version I would actually be OK serving to my children.

This is not much of a recipe: more of a “How to” and tips…

Boil the tapioca balls in a pan full of boiling water for about 15 min. Let them steep and cool. Drain them and coat them with honey or agave syrup. Reserve in the fridge until ready to use.

Prepare a strong black tea (mint or earl grey flavoured) and leave it to cool.

The next day, put a spoonful of bobas into a tall glass.

In a shaker, blend the tea with a third of almond milk and a spoonful of almond cream (in health stores). Shake until frothy and pour onto the bobas pearls. Drink cold with the help of a large straw or a spoon to get to the pearls! They are chewy and quite fun to have. This version is healthier and not as sweet as the ones in bubble tea bars, I gather, but truly fun and quite delicious! It would be a great drink to serve at a kiddies party…

Caramelised pork ribs, by Ferran Adria

I have made this recipe several times and apart from the fact that you have to start it the day before, it is actually quite time-saving because you can have it all ready on the table with very little to do to it on the day.

The recipe is taken from Ferran Adria’s book “The Family Meal” Phaidon, where he has collated recipes done for the staff after a hard day cooking for the restaurant. All the recipes are quick and quirky but nutritious and satisfying as well and this pork ribs dish is a success with children and adults alike. I made it recently because I had a bit of a crowd coming and because it is easy to make in big quantities. It’s a dish for sharing around and eating with your fingers!

I usually make too much of the barbecue sauce but it keeps well and can be used to marinate chicken fillets or even bits of fresh salmon, so this is never a problem…

Ingredients list: (for eight people)

  • 3 to 4 pork rib racks or 2kg
  • pinch of salt
  • water 100ml
  • 1 orange
  • Barbecue sauce as described in the 7 steps below:
  1. Chop 3 red onions, 4 garlic cloves and a chunk or ginger together.
  2. Squeeze one orange and reserve.
  3. Fry the onions and garlic and cook for a few minutes
  4. Add 150ml of honey, one large spoonful of molasses or treacle. Add the orange juice and cook.
  5. Add the ginger and lemongrass
  6. Add two Tbsp of mustard of Dijon, a glug of Worcester sauce and a tin of chopped tomatoes. I also add some tomato paste  instead of the ketchup indicated by Adria. Add a dash of Sherry vinegar (15cl). Cook until much reduced..
  7. Put through a blender and then pass it through a sieve so you are left with a very fine sauce and no bits. I use a ‘press’purée’ and  a fine metal sieve to achieve that. Season with sea salt.

One and a half hour before the meal, put the ribs into a roasting dish and cover with the sauce.

Dilute with some water and put covered in foil in the oven for 1h30 hour minimum.

Baste it with sauce as it cooks and add some water or sauce if necessary. Towards the end, check the meat is falling off the bones. Uncover and put under the grill or raise the temperature if there is still a lot of sauce. Take out and grate the zest of the orange on the top before serving.

Perfect to share with friends on a cold evening with a good red and time to chat!

Our production at The Healthy Cooking Club yesterday

Here are the beautiful breads that the children produced by using one of two methods : dry baker’s yeast and sourdough. The nutty one is a sourdough loaf: I had been preparing my starter or “Chef” for the past month! It was nicely bubbly and curiously appley smelling by the time we used it! I had never done that but I was encouraged by my niece Tonie’s advice and I recommend anybody tries it. This is what the Real Bread Campaign is all about: real, free of additives, wholesome and local bread! I am even just now secretly thinking of opening a home bakery from my oven… They are mushrooming all over the country and offering Real Bread to anyone who is tired of the supermarkets sweetened and artificial loaves. Browse the Real Bread Campaign directory for more.

Meanwhile, I will just butter myself a sourdough toast and try the fresh strawberry Jampote with it. I can’t think of a nicer way to wake up right now! The jampote and sourdough recipes will get onto the blog soon…
I thank all my little bakers of yesterday for their keen work and happy mood! They left with little bags of scones and their own soda bread– which were also delicious. I certainly enjoyed my morning with you!