12 Search Results for: pasta

Chargrilled Aubergine Pesto

“The flame-roasted aubergine imparts a deep, smoky flavour while the sun-dried tomato lifts the whole with its sweet, sharp zing. Excellent as it is on pasta, or as a dip with vegetal dippers, or as a base for a tomato and aubergine galette” – Dale Berning Sawa – Chargrilled Aubergine Pesto: Guardian Recipe Swap February 2016 Bajan Choka meets Basil Pesto. That’s the best way to describe the combination of these two classic dishes from Trinidad and Italy. Bajan Choka is a Trinidadian side dish . The intense flavour comes from being roasted on an open flame which rapidly cooks and flavours the flesh in its skin. The smokey soft pulp is then fried with onions, hot pepper and usually served with Paratha Roti. Most of us are familiar with basil pesto; I am especially from my years as a student. This was my go to jar to lift my pasta dishes out of the tuna mayo and sweetcorn era I found myself locked into. Nowadays I make my own from time to time, I love the fresh robust taste of the basil and raw …

Baked Peppadew Mac ‘n’ Cheese

I always grew up calling this mixture of pasta, milk and cheese ‘Macaroni Pie’ rather than ‘mac n cheese’ as it’s more commonly known. I still think that the distinction between the two is important: mac cheeses tend to be a gooey, non-conforming, loose  pasta dish, whereas macaroni pie due to the egg content is firmer and can be sliced in some cases. The tradition of macaroni pie is more than present in the Deep South of the USA, it’s almost a joke to refer to mac ‘n cheese in the same breath as collard greens and candied yams. As one of four we would fight for the crunchy corners of the pie as it rested in the glass pirex dish. I loved watching the oil and air race there way through the golden honey-comb-tunnels to the top. My mum would make several macaroni pies every week, not just for us but for friends and neighbours. As its popularity grew, she would experiment with different ingredients to enhance the flavour and texture: mayonnaise or cream was added for creaminess, breadcrumbs …

Breadfruit Raviloi w/ Saltfish ‘n’ Ackee & Coconut Sauce

Loretta’s been in the ‘test kitchen’ so to speak over the past few weeks. I’ve been trying to re-define familiar caribbean dishes as we know them; from ackee to water crackers (anyone who comes across a caribbean dish beginning with ‘z’ please contact me and I will edit this post accordingly!). Last week I started with Breadfruit. Breadfruit has to be one of the most understated fruits I have come across. After sharing a breadfruit recipe last week, I did a little more research  and found that as well as being high in nutrients and vitamins, Breadfruit is a great substitute for eggs, so it can be used in cakes.  And for those looking for a gluten free, vegan alternative to cooking, it looks like breadfruit pasta is in the pipeline! We have been sitting on a goldmine. Just like the humble Goiji berry and Chia seeds, Breadfruit deserves superfood status, which means both financial and scientific investment into the versatile qualities of this amazing fruit. Can you imagine what impact this could have on the …

Pesto Vinaigrette

So you made some Pesto which goes really well with the hot ribbons of tagliatelle you made. That kept you interested for a couple of days. But now you’re tired of pasta, and pesto is following close behind to be stored at the back of the fridge and forgotten. It really doesn’t have to end this way. Really. A couple of splashes of lemon and white wine vinegar – and you have revived the green sauce to become Pesto dressing, perfect for drizzling over a tomato and mozzarella salad. The croutons as pictured were made simply preparing a dish of olive oil, ripped fresh thyme, crushed garlic and salt, heating in the oven for a few minutes before tossing in ripped up pieces of a good loaf of white bread and returning it to the oven to crisp. Now if that doesn’t get your taste buds going, then maybe make less Pesto next time…enjoy x

Food at 52 Cookery School: The Italian Job

One of my ultimate dreams is to own a house with a very large, fully equipped, sociable kitchen. Kitchen’s for me have always been a place where you ‘whistle while you work’: you talk about your day, current events even laugh at yourself.There are many reasons for this: cooking can be a pretty daunting experience, even for me. Finding new recipes online and trying to duplicate them at home can been hit and miss: the measurements can be off or the author fails to explain some of the techniques clearly. Unless you have the privilege of having an experienced Chef next to you probing your sorry attempt at pasta dough, the temptation to slip away to the local takeaway quickly emerges. However after spending an evening with John and friends at Food at 52 Cookery School, I am relived to say that there is no better place to get your culinary experience on the right track. Add ‘Passionate’ and ‘Welcoming’ to the title ‘experienced Chef’  and you would have John Benbow, the founder and resident Chef of Food at 52 based in …

Cheesy Chipotle Rice ‘n’ Beans

I have to thank my friend Hayley for the inspiration behind this recipe. Last month she asked me to come up with a couple of lunch box recipes for students, tired of limp sandwiches and luke-warm pasta bakes. I completely understood where she was coming from as I have the same dilemma for work lunches; she wanted something tasty, fresh and filling that didn’t look like a dogs dinner after day 3; cheap but not compromising on nutrition and quality. Yeah she wasn’t asking for much really ;-). I’m not a great fan of brown rice. I know many people who eat it religiously and preach about its benefits, but to me it always felt like more effort than it was worth, until I created this recipe. I strongly recommend the use of short grain brown rice: it retains its shape and has a slight nutty texture and taste to it which means it can stand the pressure of being tossed around in a pan without turning into mush like so many other rice grains do. …

Roasted Pumpkin & Garlic Soup

So this is how you make effortless, tasty and satisfying soup in minutes. Soup doesn’t have to be complicated nor does it need a whole bunch of ingredients to leave your mouth watering for more. I grew up using yellow or red split peas as a base for thick soups. But as the split peas release no flavour of their own, I found myself adding tons of ingredients, and root vegetables which meant more time in the kitchen and less time doing the other things I enjoyed doing. This soup however is complete in 3 easy steps: roast, blend, boil. And if you have any left over, it could work as a good based for a pasta dish or stew. The dense sweet nutty flavour of this variety of pumpkin (normally sold in caribbean markets) when roasted needs very little to enhance its flavour more. You can add more or less water to achieve the consistency you want. I think you’re going to really like this one…;-)

Jollof Cous Cous w/ Honey Glazed Baked Chicken

  Giant Couscous is the big brother of regular Couscous. Just like my older brothers (I have two)  it’s bolder in shape and size and can take the heat (giant couscous is normally toasted in an open flame oven, which allows it to keep its shape). This also makes it pretty stubborn…we’re talking about my brother’s here, but for the couscous it’s good that it remains al dente in texture after cooking. These pearl-like grains are a great alternative to regular couscous, or pasta, or in this case rice as jollof rice is a main stable in many Nigerian and Ghanaian dishes. I absolutely love jollof. I used to live with a Nigerian lady for 2 years and she cooked this practically every week with so much ease. I love the peppery perfumed smell and the shocking yellow/red colour of the rice created by a combination of peppers and tomatoes. The chicken was an easy accompaniment to this dish, once the chicken is in the oven the cous cous takes about 8-10 minutes to prepare once you’ve created the tomato stew. The longer …

Sedano al Pomodoro

    This has to be the first time I have given celery centre stage in a dish. Most of the time it remains well hidden in a stir-fry, rice or soup; the only indication of its presence being its strong aniseed flavour or the random in-digestible stalk that gets caught between your teeth. But with its firm crunchy texture and fine grooves along its spine, celery ought to be used a lot more like pasta as it can carry a lot of sauce on its back without wilting under the weight. So here I have created this recipe: ‘Celery in Tomato Sauce’ basically, for the ‘Beat the Bloat’ series I’m running at the moment. All of this week I have been consuming only those recipes that I have mentioned in the series, and along with daily exercise I have to say, I feel amazing! Very refreshed and not ‘full’ to the point of wanting to sleep midday (if there’s any cause for sleep, its this beautiful hot sun we’ve been enjoying lately). So enjoy this side dish with rice or maybe even spaghetti – …

Smokin’ Tuna Balls

  This was so last minute. I was out with some friends watching the first game of the World Cup in Brazil; I am infamously known for my disinterest in football, the only other time I pay it any attention is the Olympics…and then only if it happens to be on. So in the closing moments of the game, seeing that Croatia was going to have a hard time catching up with Brazil (3:1), I invited a friend to lunch. Come Friday after work, I strolled home having spent the last hour roaming the streets of Islington, clearing my mind from a frustrating week of work. As I was about to settle in for the night it hit me: you forgot about lunch.  I quickly scrambled down stairs and rummaged through the few ingredients that I had: tuna…potato…onions. On top of that I couldn’t recall whether or not she ate fish. Never mind I had to fix up something. The story of how these Tuna Balls were formed. Not everyone is a huge fan of tuna, and besides …

Media Connections

Kale and Avocado Salad – featured on Food Gawker – 13th March 2014 Kale and Avocado Salad – featured on Serious Eats  – 22nd March 2014 Kale and Avocado Salad – featured on Taste Spotting – 27th March 2014 Lemon Passion Polenta Cake – featured in the Guardian Newspaper – 1 August 2014 Bara and Channa – Winner of Recipe Swap in the Guardian Newspaper 3 August 2014 Creamy Spaghetti with Italian Style Sprinkles featured on Sainsbury’s website August 2014 Cherry Coconut Lime Ice Cream – featured on Sainsbury’s: Love your Freezer Roasted Pumpkin & Garlic Coup voted top 10 Healthy Soup from best UK Food Bloggers January 2015 Sandwich Tribunal: Bara and Channa December 2015 Supermalt Banana Fritters – featured in the Guardian Newspaper – 18 April 2015 Baked Peppadew Mac and Cheese – featured in The Evening Standard 2 February 2016 Chargrilled Aubergine Pesto: Guardian Recipe Swap February 2016 ” The flame-roasted aubergine imparts a deep, smoky flavour while the sun-dried tomato lifts the whole with its sweet, sharp zing. Excellent as it is on pasta, or as …