Tag Archives: quick

Quick yogurt in oven or steamer

This is more of a tip, less than a recipe.
I have been making velvety yogurt in my oven since last year and I have just purchased a brilliant Magimix electric steamer. It obviously does a hell of a lot more, but what this steamer does to perfection is yogurt because it has a 40 degrees position. But oven or steamer, the recipe is the same and works every time:

Take one litre of the best, creamiest organic milk possible, one organic full fat yogurt pot (small Yeo Valley will do) and the same pot full of skimmed powder milk. Mix it all and whisk until smooth. Pour into a jug and then fill 8 to 10 yogurt pots or 6 jam pots. Put into your oven at less than or about 50 degrees or use an electric steamer such as mine. Leave for 10 hours and wake up to the creamiest, most delicious yogurt! Promise!

I do not like sugar in my yogurts but I do put a spoonful of orange blossom water. You can innovate with any other fragrance but this works best for us.
The trick is to use very good, full fat milk and use it at room temperature – I do not bother with heating it up anymore – unless you are lucky enough to use raw milk.

Into clean jars

Into clean jars

Into the steamer for 10 hours at 40 degrees

Into the steamer for 10 hours at 40 degrees

I dedicate this to Tina who said she loved my yogurts on saturday! She won’t be so impressed now she knows it is ridiculously easy to do…IMG_9159

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James Ramsden’s quick spinach curry

My two British food “heroes” are currently and unashamedly, Jamie Oliver and James Ramsden. The first needs no introduction but the second is a very talented blogger and this dish is loosely based on two recipes from his book  “Small adventures in Cooking”.

Ingredients list:

  • Olive oil, 20ml
  • Onion, 1
  • Chickpeas, 1/2 tin
  • Red kidney beans, 1/2 tin
  • Pinto beans, 1/2 tin
  • Tomato puree, 1 Tbsp
  • Spinach, 1/2 tin
  • Coconut milk, 150ml
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Garlic clove 1
  • Curry powder, 1 Tbsp
  • Chilli, 1 pinch
  • salt and pepper

The beans add a nice texture and plenty of protein to this version, but if you have trouble digesting them, just skip!

Melt the chopped onion in a bit of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Add the spices and the beans, then the drained spinach, the crushed garlic, the tomato paste and lemon juice.

Bring to a boil and let simmer for about 10 minutes. Pour in the coconut milk towards the end so it does not ever boil.

Serve hot with some naan bread or chapattis.

This curry is delicious re-heated and will keep for a few days in the fridge.

The greatness of this dish is that every ingredient is coming out of a tin and can be stored in your cupboard. Perfect when the fridge has been empty for days because of exam stress! Or just when work is getting out of hand…

I am leaving the country at dawn and throwing this recipe as a life-line to the three men of my life who are going to have to cook for themselves from tomorrow evening!…

Salmon and Sauerkraut in crunchy papillotes

This is hardly a recipe because it is so quickly put together and because you can accommodate it in so many idiosyncratic ways! But it is very healthy and delicious and I have produced it so many times over the past months that I feel I have to include it… This is a family food diary first and foremost, after all.

Sauerkraut is a pickled cabbage that is used a lot in Macrobiotic cooking because it is very digestible : it promotes good bacteria in the digestive system. It is also a great combination with oily fish for it helps the digestion of fat. I find that its sour taste compliments salmon particularly well. This recipe is inspired by one found on the associative French site Marmiton.org.

Ingredients list:

  • Sheets of filo or strudel pastry
  • Onions, 2
  • Fillets of fresh or smoked salmon
  • Soya cream or crème fraîche
  • Rapeseed oil
  • salt and pepper
  • Fresh or dried dill
  • Tin of Sauerkraut (cabbage in brine): Check for a Sauerkraut that does not contain added sugar – sadly, some pickles do…
  • Small glass of white wine – I’d happily drink the rest over the meal.
Peal and chop the onions and cook them in a little oil until soft.
Mix in the drained sauerkraut. Add a small glass of white wine and let it steam off. Reserve.
Chop the salmon in large chunks. Add the cream, seasoning and the onions. Toss it so the sauce coats each morsels.
Spreand your strudel pastry or lay the filo sheets. One sheet is enough to wrap around.
Put a big scoop of drained Sauerkraut filling in the top corner of each sheets, top with some salmon chunks and start rolling down diagonally, tucking the sides in as you roll.
Put the parcels in an oven tray, sprinkle a little oil and bake at 180º for 20 to 30 minutes. Enjoy with the rest of your wine.

Thai sweet potato and coconut soup

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Recipe from Avoca cafe in Dublin
Sweet potato is one of my star foods and this soup is a delicious, exotically spiced manner to accommodate it. I love the zing given by the fresh ginger, chillies and lemon grass to lift the sweet and smooth taste of the sweet potato…
Ingredients list:
Sweet potatoes, 2 peeled and diced
Rapeseed oil 4 Tbsp
Onion 1 sliced
Leeks 2 trimmed and sliced
Ginger, walnut-size grated
Green chillies, 2 seeded and chopped
Lemon grass 2, tough leaves removed and interior thinly sliced
Lime 1, pinch of zest
Nam pla or Thai fish sauce
Chicken stock 1 L
Coconut milk 1 cup
salt and pepper
Some olive oil
Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Toss the diced potatoes in 2 Tbsp of olive oil, season with salt and pepper and roast in the oven for 15 min until tender.
Heat the rapeseed oil in a wok-like pan and add the sliced onion. Fry for a few minutes, add the sliced leeks, grated fresh ginger, chillies, lemon grass and zest.
Add the stock and fish sauce and simmer for 10 minutes.
This works very well in the Thermomix, just adjust times and temperatures accordingly.
Add the sweet potatoes along with the coconut milk.
Check the seasoning and serve with torn basil if you have any.
I liquidized two thirds of this soup, then blended it back with the non-liquidised third and it was smooth and creamy with just the right amount of texture and bite!
This is my current favourite: It beats all the other soups hands down. And it is deceptively quick to make – especially with the right blender… My mom brought me the above recipe book back from Ireland and it has become a big favourite!
Nutrition notes: Sweet potatoes is a super-food with low GI and lots of vitamin C and A. Ginger, lemon grass and chillies are great detoxifying aids. This is a good detox option and despite its sweetness, a great nutritional choice, so I can indulge with a clear conscience.
Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of :
– Vitamin B6
– Copper and Manganese
– Bêta-carotène which is a great anti-oxydant element, so protecting us from cancers.
They also contain
– Vitamins A, E, B and C
Plus a good deal of fibre and zinc- essential for a healthy digestion and immune system.

>Seared Teryaki salmon

>A great way to cook salmon and get those famous Omegas into the kids! Plus it is super quick.

Ingredients list:
One salmon fillet (with skin on)
For the marinade :
Teryaki sauce 2 Tbsp

Tamari sauce 2 Tbsp (switch for Dark soy sauce if needed)
Pomegranate molasse or syrup 1 Tbsp
Cayenne pepper one pinch

Cut your side of salmon into the required number of strips – or get the fishmonger to do it but without peeling off the skin.
Mix all the sauces into small bowl. Be creative: try other mixes.
Then lay the clean salmon fillet into a shallow dish and pour the marinade over.
Turn them around to coat well and leave aside for a few minutes.
Heat a hot griddle or a thick bottom pan on the hob.
Sear each fillet, skin down, for a few minutes.
Lower the heat and cook for 5 to 8 minutes on that side. The skin should burn to a lovely crispy black layer, with that rich barbecued smell that reminds me of summer !
Turn them on each side, right and left, for a few seconds to make sure they are cooked but make sure they are only lightly cooked inside and remain moist and pale pink.

Serve immediately with beans – even baked beans work really well!- or better: my Mung beans and lentils dahl from yesterday. That’s a real jumble of flavours (Japanese and Indian) there, but it works great.

Do not get worried by the exotic sounding sauces: most are now readily available in the UK and in any case you can adapt and play around with this recipe- try other exotic mix if you like and include other fruity syrupy ones. I love the dark pomegranate treacle I buy from Iranian or Turkish shops here but tamarind or quince extract would work as well. It just adds the right sweetness to balance the saltiness of the soya based sauces.