All posts tagged: cheese

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 …

Baked “Black-Brie” (and toast)

So LLK has had a long and restful siesta, thank you to all who have been keeping in touch with me via e-mail and posts online, asking for recipes and cooking tips. So to kick things off again I thought I would start with a few appetisers: baked brie with a warm blackberry sauce. The blackberries have a sharp tart flavour which is offset by the honey just a little. This would make an amazing starter, breakfast, or even BBQ! Now I come to think of it, if you simply wrapped the brie in foil and baked it on the BBQ grill for a few minutes the cheese would capture all the flavours from the BBQ…ok this has me thinking. It literally takes no more than 10 minutes to make, simple things…enjoy!

Rice ‘n’ Peas Risotto w/ Crispy Okra

We sat in our regular cafe spot not far from Highbury and Islington Station; me mulling over an overly sweet Chai Latte, him a large, mug of Americano, our opposing tastes in beverages mirroring our personalities… Him: “Have you made it yet?” Me: “Made what? The Roti Wrap? The De-constructed Ackee and Saltfish? He had thrown so many weird and wonderful recipes ideas at me over the last few months I couldn’t keep track, and I wasn’t sure if he really wanted me to take him seriously. Him: “The Rice and Peas Risotto (blank stare). I think if you make it with coconut milk, it’ll be a great fusion you know…?” Me: “Oook…?” I tried to picture it in my head. I was stepping onto sacred ground here: NO ONE messes with rice and peas…a famous chef was publicly humiliated for his version of rice and peas which insulted the whole of the global black population. How would I pass such a test??? Why was my boyfriend setting me a challenge that could go disastrously …

Black Garlic Aioli w/ Parmesan Balsamic Roasted Cauli’s

So this packet of black garlic sat at the back of my cupboard for the longest while. I would shift it around, pick it up and put it down. I was afraid to open it and start the process of probing, tasting and experimenting. But eventually I got the confidence to read the blurb on the package; It reads:                                                                                                                                                       “Black garlic is sweet meets savory, a perfect mix of molasses-like richness and tangy garlic undertones. It has a tender, almost jelly-like texture with a melt-in-your-mouth consistency similar to a soft dried fruit. Hard to believe, but true. It’s as delicious as it …

Sun dried Tomato Feta Parcels

I could sit and munch on these little parcels all day. In fact when I go out to a Turkish Restaurant in London, I almost always order the feta cheese parcels from the menu. Their ingredients vary only slightly between restaurants with some preferring to keep it simple: frying the filo pastry filled parcels to a crispy golden hue before serving hot. Last night I had some filed with a blend of parsley and feta cheese. They’re perfectly fine filled with the cheese alone, I love the creamy warm texture of the salty cheese. I think I might try adding some mint the next time make them. But you can experiment with all kinds of combinations here: spinach with pine nuts, mixed herbs and garlic or as pictured here sun dried tomatoes, herbs and capers. I think if I made this recipe again, I would tone down the tomato/ caper paste as it competes too much with the saltiness of the cheese and capers. But if you like strong flavours then this might be the combination for …

Caramelised Onion & Greens Gratin

  Comfort food:  noun: comfort food; plural noun: comfort foods 1. Food that provides consolation or a feeling of well-being, typically having a high sugar or carbohydrate content and associated with childhood or home cooking.  “Grandma always made the best mashed potatoes and gravy, they’ve become a comfort food for me”. This dish right here falls head first into this category. You can never grow weary of a good potato gratin…it’s actually very hard to make a bad one. All mistakes are gently smothered in a creamy cheese sauce sprinkled with herbs and bread crumbs. A perfect disguise for a tasty dish! That’s the beauty of comfort food though; it’s not so much the presentation but the warm taste and the memories…hm hmm mmmm! Let’s get started!            

Halloumi Cheese Spring Rolls

What else to do with Halloumi? Because it lacks the melty softness of regular cheese, I have found it difficult to work with it other than to cut it into kebab squares or slice it into mushroom burgers. “It doesn’t naturally lend itself to much else“, I thought and so the block of hard full fat cheese would literally sit in my fridge for weeks. Forgotten. Then for some reason my mind drifted to a lady I stayed with in Alabama last year who taught me how to make egg rolls what we call spring rolls over here. Could I make Halloumi  Spring rolls? It was worth giving it a try. The verdict: Absolutely! A resounding yes! It works very well. The saltiness, the crunchiness, the juiciness of these rolls is amazing. Because they are much bigger than your average spring roll, they hold a lot more flavour. And baking them means not only that you cut down on the calories in a huge way, you also cut down on the cooking time which means more time to …

Coquina Squash Gnocchi with Sage Butter

I have to admit, the first time I made Squash Gnocchi it was a bit of a failure. I didn’t stick to any recipe and simply went by my ‘feeling’. I ended up with Gnocchi which resembled mis-shaped dumplings that had lost their way. All the effort I had made in getting the fine groves into each of the pieces with my newly purchased gnocchi board were wasted because I failed to pay closer attention to the ratio of flour to pumpkin/ potato. With this recipe the dough cannot be very sticky, that was actually the hardest part of this dish, because I felt like I was forever adding flour to the mixture: I was afraid I would lose the bright orange colour of the pumpkin by diluting it further with flour. However when it came to rolling it out, I found that this time round the gnocchi pieces held their shape. I think it’s also because I laid them to rest for an hour before shaping and boiling. As it boiled, I found the bright zesty …

P is for: Pistachio Pesto

I snack on a bag of nuts about once a week, normally roasted or raw almonds. That was until I came across these healthy snack bars that combined flax with hemp and sunflower seeds and honey to make a crunchy nutritious snack to satisfy my midday cravings for something sweet. And of course after a few bites my mind started wandering as to how to make my own nut/seed bars and what kind of variations I could come up with: peanut bar? coconut bar? And then bizarrely a contradictory thought came to mind: “Can I be bothered?” I know it doesn’t make sense given the whole drive behind this website, but really this was one wheel I didn’t feel the need to reinvent. That was a sure reminder that my goal is not to cook anything and everything in sight LOL. But as my mind laid to rest the thought of creating nut bars…the thought of creating dishes incorporating nuts was coming into view…and was slowly edging closer to me like a freight train. And …