Tag Archives: ginger

Butternut squash and ginger soup – make it fiery!

Ginger is still a running theme or obsession of mine currently, so there you go: another ginger recipe but fiery this time and velvety, and so perfectly suited to the cold spell we are having in London at the moment… Will it snow? Will it not?!

IMG_9600Ingredients list

  • Butternut squash
  • Ginger and lemongrass stock by Maggi
  • 200 ml of hot water
  • 100ml of coconut milk
  • 5og of coconut cream
  • 50g of soya cream
  • Fresh red chilli ( to taste)
  • Coriander to sprinkle

Slice the squash in large chunks and take all seeds out but do not peel it- This last step is much easier to take after roasting! No sweat! Take the easy route for once… You can also roast it whole in the oven and chop later, as in my picture!

Roast the sliced squash with a bit of olive oil- I use Olivio at the moment.In a hot oven under grill for 20 min should do. Take the opportunity to roast other roots vegetables or pepper and aubergines at the same time – you can always use those in salads or couscous later!

Peel the butternut slices when ready and soft.

Mix them in the food processor with the stock, boiling water and all the other ingredients – but do be careful with the chilli: you want a gentle kick, not a huge explosion!

If using a Thermomix, get it to heat at the same time as you chop (100°C/speed max/5 min).

Dilute with the cream and coconut milk especially if you find it too strong or too thick: it should be served creamy though, not watery.

Serve hot with a sprinkle of coriander.

IMG_2550While you sip, feeling virtuous and engaged, there is still time to write your New Year resolutions : Why not change the world this year?! One step at a time. Be bold!!! There is much that needs doing… Ok, more soup and wholesome food might be a good start; some exercise will not kill you; but do not stop at that, go further: the future is ours! Lets be ambitious. Lets save the world this year. I mean it. Find a platform, a charity, a movement and go with it. And above all: choose your motto!

No wars, no drugs, no hunger.

It feels good already just saying it.

 

 

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Pumpkin, ginger and cinnamon bread

Here I indulge my love of all things ginger! Don’t you love this warm colour and spice?! And it goes so well with pumpkin it would be a sin not to pair them… Here is your week-end recipe, just in time!

Libby’s pumpkin purée is a very ubiquitous ingredient in the UK and it is a great product to use when winter makes fresh fruit a bit more scarce… So this is a cupboard or pantry recipe, unashamedly quick and practical.IMG_2049

Ingredients list:

  • Eggs, 3
  • Libby’s pumpkin purée, 3/4 of a jar
  • Brown sugar, 150g
  • Rapeseed oil, 100ml
  • Self-Raising Gluten free flour mix, 150g
  • Bicarbonate of soda, 1 tsp
  • Ground ginger, 1 generous Tbsp
  • Cinnamon, 1 Tbsp
  • Vanilla extract

Blend the eggs with sugar and pumpkin purée.

Add the oil, then the flour mixed with the bicarbonate.

Blend in the spices. I use a robot for that but you can make do with a hand whisk because all the ingredients are very easily blendable.

Pour the mix into a rectangular pan and bake for 30 minutes at 180°.

This is a lovely and light cake with lots of seasonal spices, perfectly suited to the winter and delicious with a cup of chai latte or coffee latte.

Because it is rather low in sugar and has no dairy in it, I will still call it a bread but it is as indulgent as it gets! The pumpkin purée makes it very moist and similar to a gingerbread. Just a nice, healthy twist on it…

NO butter, no dairy, no gluten! No fun?! Actually plenty of taste – As I said I DO love all things ginger…IMG_2007

 

 

 

Caribbean cooler with hibiscus flowers

Dried hibiscus flowers

Dried hibiscus flowers

A drink is in order to celebrate the half-term week-end, whether you are at home or away! And because this one is alcohol-free, the children can also enjoy…

I pinch this recipe from Henry Dimbleby, owner of the chain Leon who gave it away in the Guardian, but I have changed the quantities and his call for more sugar. It contains one unusual ingredient, Hibiscus flowers; one that I happen to buy quite often since discovering it in Egypt a few years ago. You can find dried hibiscus flowers in herbal shops, health shops and some exotic grocers. I love the tart taste of this infusion and its beautiful deep crimson colour. It is also very high in vitamin C and extremely refreshing… in the heat.

Ingredients list

  • 1.5 litre of water
  • Dried hibiscus flowers, 50g or two big handfuls
  • Fresh ginger, 1 large piece (peeled and chopped)
  • Orange, 1 zested
  • Cloves, 6
  • Soft brown sugar, 150g

Bring all the ingredients up to the boil in a deep pan and simmer for one minute.

Cover and steep overnight.

Pass through a fine sieve and taste to adjust sugar. You might want a bit more.

Chill and serve in tall glasses with ice.

We loved it and my older son might have liked it even better with a large shot of vodka, which is a very tempting option for a Friday night… A votre santé! Salud! My mum and dad always like to invoke health when drinking and for this once it is exceedingly appropriate, given the digestive ginger oils and the vitamin C content!

I raise this alcohol-free glass to my parents with whom I will be celebrating a 50th anniversary in a warmer clime tomorrow: I love you both and I am very proud of you and of what you have achieved in those well-stocked 50 years.

To my parents 50th anniversary

…for my parents 50th anniversary

Noodle stir-fry with crunchy vegetables

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERARice Noodles stir-fry with crunchy vegetables

Stir fries are great dishes created in seems to use up anything in the fridge and more! They need very little planning and even less preparing but they can be easily adjusted to feed two or fill a crowd. That is why we all love them so much…

Ingredients list:

  • Thin Chinese rice noodles for stir-fry, 1 large bunch
  • Whole cherry tomatoes 5 to 6
  • Red pepper 1
  • Avocado 1
  • Cucumber 1/2
  • Carrot 1
  • Spring onion 1
  • Soya sauce 2 tsp
  • Crushed ginger 1 small bite
  • Pressed garlic 1 clove
  • Rice vinegar, a dash
  • Rapeseed oil, a glug
  • Fresh chopped basil
  • 
Optional: dried seaweed Hijiki for decor (pre-soaked)

First soak the noodles 5 minutes in boiling water. Rinse with cold water, drain and reserve. They must be still firm but malleable and gone completely translucent.

Fry your cherry tomatoes and strips of carrot and red pepper in a wok with a spoonful of rapeseed oil. Reserve.

Start dicing the avocado, chopping the cucumber in strips (ideally with a mandolin or grater) and slicing the spring onion finely lenghtwise.

Throw the drained pasta in to the wok, season with soy sauce, rice vinegar and ginger or 5 spices. Shake around the wok until coated with the sauce and warm.

Assemble all the vegetables in a dish then throw the noodles in and season with some more soya sauce and crushed ginger, the pressed garlic and  some rice vinegar. Add a dash of olive or sesame oil if too dry. The salad must be generously dressed and have a certain bite! Tear some basil into it and serve at room temperature .

Lamb and Prune tagine

Another recipe from the family archive!

Ingredients list:

  • Neck and shoulder of lamb,  2kg – diced
  • Garlic, 4 cloves
  • Onion, 1 chopped
  • Rosemary, a small bouquet
  • Salt and pepper
  • Prunes, a big handfull – stoned and soaked
  • Water to cover
  • Dash of olive oil
  • Ras-el-hanout 1 Tbsp
  • Cumin, 1 Tbsp
  • Fresh ginger, 1 small chunk
  • Cinnamon stick
  • Coriander and parsley to finish

Use a deep pan or cocotte with a lid. A heavy cast iron one is best.

Chop and fry the onion and garlic and then brown the meat in the oil.

Cover the meat with water and bring to a boil. Add the prunes but without the stones. Add the spices, generously. Ras-el-hanout is a typical morroccan spice mix. You can find it in London in the Spice shop in Portobello (see my Addresses page).

Put in the oven at 180 and keep covered for 1 and a half hour to 2 hours.

Before serving, give it a last boil on the stove, garnish with fresh parsley and coriander. I have got plenty of herbs growing in pots on my balcony this year and I am loving this new pursuit…

Who needs a garden?!

The meat must be really tender so it cuts up with a fork, and heady with spices : you serve it with a buttered couscous or a bulgur grain. Tonight, I am using quinoa  for a change! It is a high protein grain and it works well with lots of meaty sauce…

Table set, champagne chilled… Just waiting for our guests to arrive.

Sorry no photo: It was eaten up before I thought of it…