Tag Archives: fried

Spiced Cauliflower Fritters with Lemon Coriander Yoghurt Sauce

11 Jan Cauliflower Fritters

I’ve been watching these cauliflowers growing over the last couple of months and up until a week ago I thought they were cabbages. Suddenly the creamy white florets appeared and grew very quickly inside their leafy layers.

Cauliflower is one of those vegetables that I used to hate but now love, like aubergines. I think I had a bad cauliflower cheese experience at some point that put me off them for a long time.

Continue reading

Indian Spiced Scotch Egg with Curry Mayo and Turmeric Potatoes

24 Nov Vegetarian Scotch Egg

For those of you that don’t know, a Scotch egg consists of a hard-boiled egg (with its shell removed) which is usually wrapped in a sausage meat mixture, coated in breadcrumbs and deep-fried. They are traditionally served cold as picnic food.

The London department store Fortnum & Mason claims to have invented Scotch eggs in 1738  but they were most definitely taking inspiration from the Moghul dish Nargisi kofta where hard-boiled eggs are encased in a spicy meatball mixture. Continue reading

Pea and Potato Samosas with Plum Chutney

12 Oct Samosa in Chutney

The wait is over. I have finally got around to taking step by step pictures of  The Washer Up making his samosas with spring roll wrappers. I have to say that he is not happy with his “old man hands” but I took the red hue down loads as well, it must be all that washing up…. Continue reading

Chinese Chilli Aubergine with Rice Noodles

17 Sep Chinese Aubergine

This is the third and final recipe in the Aubergine series for this season. Designed to convert even the most stubborn of aubergine haters out there. The previous two recipes were Berenjenas con Miel (Andalucian Fried Aubergines with Cane Honey) and Curried Aubergine with Chickpeas & Tomato.

I have to admit that I have saved the best for last. I first saw this recipe on Gary Rhodes’ Rhodes Across China series. He visited  many different regions in China cooking their signature dishes. At the end of the series he cooked a banquet showcasing all of his favourite Chinese recipes. This was one of his favourites. It was from Chengdu, the capital of the Sichuan province.

“It is said that ‘China is the place for food, but Sichuan is the place for flavour’. Food from the region is famously spicy, and girls from the capital Chengdu are reputed to be the most beautiful in the country as the chillies purge their skin of impurities.

Sichuan is as large as France with a population that is almost twice the size of Britain’s. Bordered by the snow-capped Himalayas, the inaccessible region has developed a unique culture and distinct cooking style. Most local people ascribe the spiciness of Sichuan cooking to the muggy climate. The best way to drive out the cold and moisture is with a kick of chilli heat.”
 
Not surprisingly I love Sichuan food. As you may have noticed I am partial to a bit of chilli and I also love the fragrant, tingly, numbing heat given out by the Sichuan peppercorn. This dish doesn’t contain Sichuan peppercorns but it has reminded me how much I loved a Sichuan spicy peanut noodle dish we served at the restaurant. It made your lips go numb, in a good way. I’m definitely going to hunt down that recipe and share it with you.
 
Chinese Chilli Aubergine with Rice Noodles
 
serves 2-3, vegan gluten-free. Adapted from Gary Rhodes Across China
  • 225-250 gr rice noodles (I used medium)
  • 1 large aubergine (about 450 gr)
  • vegetable oil for deep-frying
  • 2 tbsp chilli bean paste
  • 1 tbsp sambal oelek (pickled chilli sauce)
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 spring onions, finely chopped, green & white parts separated
  • a handful of fresh coriander, stalks and leaves separated and finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp shaoxing rice wine (or dry sherry)
  • 200 ml veg stock
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce (or kecap manis)
  • 1 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 2 -3 tsp brown sugar
  •  1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp corn flour (corn starch) mixed with 2 tbsp water
  • sesame seeds

Peel the aubergine by cutting off the top and bottom and peeling with a knife from top to bottom. Cut in half lengthways and then cut into “chips” about 5cm x 1.5cm x 1.5cm.

Meanwhile cook the noodles in boiling salted water according to the instructions on the packet, drain in a colander and rinse under the cold tap to stop them cooking and sticking together. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a wok or deep frying pan until hot. Deep-fry the aubergine chips in about 3 batches until soft and golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and leave to drain on kitchen paper.

Carefully pour away all but 1 tbsp of the hot oil into a heat proof bowl and leave to cool before discarding. Heat the remaining tbsp of oil in the wok and add in the chilli bean paste, sambal oelek, ginger, garlic, coriander stalks and the white parts of the chopped spring onion. Stir fry for about 30 seconds

Pour in the rice wine/sherry and stock, bring to the boil and reduce for 2-3 minutes. Then put the aubergine back into the sauce.

Add the soy sauce, vinegar, sugar and salt and cook for 2 minutes. Taste for sweetness, it should be sweet, tangy and hot. Add more sugar, soy sauce or vinegar if necessary. Dissolve the cornflour in the water and add to the sauce, stir until thickened slightly.

Stir through the cooked noodles and reheat.

Serve in warm bowls garnished with the green parts of the spring onion, chopped coriander leaves and sprinkle over some sesame seeds.

This really is the best aubergine recipe out there. It converted me and I was a hater. Because the aubergine is peeled it melts right into the spicy sauce coating the noodles in beautiful deliciousness.

Try it!!

Things That Made Me Smile Today……

These beautiful hot pink flowers. I don’t know what they are but they look like bright pink feathery fans. The kind they use for Burlesque dancing…..

And these dying sunflowers look like those gorgeous big shower heads. I want…

Enjoy the rest of your weekend….

Tempura Green Peppers with Dipping Sauce

2 Sep Tempura & Dipping Sauce

First of all, sorry for my lack of posts recently. I’ve had some sort of virus and I couldn’t eat. I know, it was awful. Everything made me feel sick, even the smell of food was repulsive. I haven’t cooked anything for a week. The Washer Up has been surviving on pasta (and beer obviously) and is now desperate for something different.

This has been on my “to make” list ever since these beautiful long emerald peppers first made an appearance in the fields where we walk the dog about  a month ago. They are known as frying peppers here and are used in a typically Andaluz dish called Pimientos Fritos (fried peppers) where they are simply fried in lots of good olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt.

This Spanish/Japanese fusion came to me because I wanted to do something a little different from the usual fried peppers and I saw Nami’s recipe for Shrimp Tempura. She also posted a video of a Japanese chef making proper tempura and I was intrigued. It looked light, airy, crispy and delicate. A million miles away from the doughy excuses you get for tempura in most places.

They are not perfect but I’m really pleased with my first attempt at making tempura. They are light, crispy and gorgeous with the dipping sauce. It’s not as hard as I thought. The kitchen’s a bit of  a state though, better clean that up before The Washer Up gets home…

I’d definitely recommend heading over to Nami’s blog and watching the video if you are going to have a go at this. It’s amazing to watch and so much easier than me trying to explain it!

Green Pepper Tempura with Dipping Sauce Recipe

Serves 2, vegan. Adapted from Just One Cookbook

  • 4 medium long green peppers (frying peppers)
  • 2 or 3 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch, maizena)
  • 100 gr (3/4 cup) flour. I’m going to try it with rice flour next time.
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 200 ml iced water
  • oil for deep-frying

For the dipping sauce:

  • 75 ml (1/3 cup) water
  • 1/2 tsp dashi flakes/powder (I used ajishima no dashi)
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice wine or sake
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • a pinch of shichimi (a Japanese 7 spice chilli pepper mix)
  • salt & shichimi to serve

First make the dipping sauce. Heat all the ingredients in a small sauce pan over a medium high heat, stirring to dissolve the dashi. When boiling remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

Cut your peppers in half lengthways, through the stalk so that both sides has a bit of stalk to pick them up with. Lay them on a plate and sieve over the cornflour. Turn the peppers in the cornflour until evenly coated. Heat up your oil in a wok or deep frying pan over a medium high heat, 170 C.

Sieve the flour, baking powder & salt into a bowl and whisk in the ice-cold water until just combined to make a batter. Don’t over whisk. 

Dip your peppers into the batter and coat them well (you will need to do it in two batches). Carefully lower them into the hot oil and sprinkle over some more batter from a height with your fingers. This gives it that extra light crispy coating. Use a metal slotted spoon or chopsticks to move the peppers onto the bits of batter (watch the video it explains it so much better) and cook for 2 or 3 minutes turning once to cook on both sides.

Drain on kitchen paper and keep warm while you cook the rest.

To serve, pile up the peppers sprinkle with sea salt and shichimi pepper and pour some of the dipping sauce into a bowl.

 Buen Provecho!!

Things That Made Me Smile Today……..

I’ve been trying to get a shot of this for ages. There’s a pair of them in the spring where Rufus likes to cool down. They look like a cross between a dragonfly and a butterfly. The Washer Up got the shot in the end, he was more patient then me and willing to balance on a rock in the stream while trying not to fall in.

He also spotted this one through a gap in a fence….

I love that you can see it’s cute little face…

Have a great weekend…

Berenjenas Con Miel – Fried Aubergines with Cane Honey

17 Aug toppled top

Berenjenas con Miel is a typically Andaluz dish from around Malaga and Granada. It has saved my life, on more than a few occasions, when eating out here, as it is on most Spanish restaurants’ menus and it’s usually the one and only vegetarian dish, apart from tortilla (no more tortilla, por favor!) on offer.

It is the second in my aubergine season series, the first being an Aubergine & Chickpea Curry, designed to convert even the most stubborn of aubergine haters out there.

The reason it will convert is that it is sliced very thinly, lightly coated in seasoned flour and fried until golden. Then comes the good bit, it is drizzled generously with Miel de Cana. Miel de Cana literally translates as “sugar cane honey” or, as it known elsewhere, molasses.

Miel de cana is produced in the Malaga area and it comes in a glass jar with a beautiful printed label.

It says on the side: “Did you know that…?”

“In the 5th century BC, the Persian king Dario discovered sugar cane on his expedition to the Indus Valley. He described it as a cane that gives honey without the intervention of bees.”

If you see some anywhere, buy it, I’ve heard that they have stopped producing it because all the sugar cane plantations have been destroyed to make way for the new runway and terminal at Malaga airport.

I don’t know whether this is true or not, but it would be a real shame to lose this important local product with such a long history, the company was started in 1929.

Berenjenas Con Miel Recipe

Serves 2-3 sharing as part of a meal. Vegan. From Spanish Food About

  • 1 large Aubergine
  • 1-2 tsp salt
  • black pepper
  • about 1oo gr (3/4 cup) plain flour
  • 220 ml (1 cup) virgen olive oil
  • miel de cana (or molasses/ honey/ maple syrup)

Wash and dry the aubergine, cut off the stalk end and carefully slice into 3 mm thick circles.

Put the slices on a baking tray or large platter and lightly salt each one on both sides. Leave for at least 20 mins up to an hour to draw out the moisture, then pat both sides dry with kitchen roll.

Heat the oil in a med-large frying pan over a medium high heat. Tip the flour onto a large plate and season it with salt and pepper, mix it together with your hands. Put about 4 slices of aubergine in the flour and press down, turn over with tongs and coat the other side.

When the oil is hot (it should sizzle when you put the slices in), lift the slices with tongs, shaking off the excess flour, and place in the oil. Cook for about a minute on one side until golden brown and then turn over with the tongs and do the same on the other side. When cooked on both sides remove to some kitchen roll to drain. Meanwhile put some more slices in the flour and continue until all the aubergine is cooked.

Arrange the slices overlapping in one layer on a large serving dish/platter and drizzle generously with the miel de cana/molasses. Serve immediately with extra miel de cana on the table.

Buen Provecho!!

Things That Made Me Smile Today……….

The cactus fruit or prickly pear are called Chumbos here and are everywhere at the moment.

I love their bright acid colours against the burnt earth and the almost cartoon-like shapes of the cactus. It feels very Mexico to me.

They make me smile because every time I see them I think of The Jungle Book and I just can’t get that song out of my head.  “Do be do I wanna be like you oo… I wanna walk like you, talk like you, ooo….”

Thai Spiced Corn Cakes with Homemade Sweet Chilli Sauce

5 Aug DCIM100MEDIA

As you probably all know by now, I have a chilli plant on the terrace which is producing lots of beautiful red birds-eye chillis at the moment. We are overrun with them. I pick some every day and freeze them in a plastic pot. Make that two plastic pots, that are full.

I love Thai sweet chilli sauce so it didn’t take me long to realise that I wanted to make some with our chillis. This homemade version has none of the nasty chemicals that you find in many of the store-bought sweet chilli sauces and it tastes just as good. I think it’s even better. The Washer Up thinks so too, he said it’s less sweet and more rounded, so there you go.

Inspiration for what to make to go with this fabulous sauce came from watching these towering sweetcorn plants growing while walking the dog in the morning. I swear they must grow about a foot every day.

This one has pink hair for some reason, does that mean the corn will be pink too?

I made two attempts at these corn cakes/fritters. The first recipe I used didn’t hold together very well in the pan. I ended up with a spicy sweetcorn hash with some very small cakes because the sweetcorn breaks away very easily from the cakes.

For my second attempt I followed The Washer Up’s instruction. He wisely explained that sweetcorn is a bit of a nightmare (in his experience) and that it would hold together much better if I blended half of the mixture and then added the rest of the corn kernels for some texture. So that is what I did, and it worked.

Those Thai street vendors who are knocking out hundreds of the things every day, no problem at all, obviously know something we don’t. If you are brave enough, you can try it without blending the mix first, to see if you have any more success than I did. I would definitely add a bit more egg though, and keep your fingers crossed.

Thai Spiced Corn Cakes & Homemade Sweet Chilli Sauce

For the Sweet Chilli Sauce:

makes a 250 ml bottle, vegan, gluten-free. From Chilli World

  • 10 chillies, finely chopped
  • 225 gr (1 cup) sugar
  • 110 ml (1/2 cup) water
  • 110 ml (1/2 cup) white vinegar (or rice vinegar)
  • 2 tbsp finely minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce (or fish sauce)
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime/lemon juice
  • 1 tsp cornflour

Remove the stems from the chillis and finely chop them (wearing gloves is a good idea). Put them in a small saucepan with the sugar, water, vinegar, garlic, paprika and salt and bring to a rolling boil over a medium heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar for a few seconds then reduce the heat to low

Simmer until the liquid reduces slightly and thickens to a light syrup, about 10-15 minutes. Mix the cornflour with a few tablespoons of water in a cup until smooth then stir this into the sauce. Cook for another few minutes until thickened slightly then remove from the heat and stir in the soy (or fish) sauce and lime/lemon juice.

Pour the hot sauce into a sterilised (boiled in water, then dried in a warm oven for 5 minutes) bottle, seal and leave to cool before storing in the fridge.

For the Thai Spiced Corn Cakes:

serves 2-3, vegetarian, gluten-free

  • 2 fresh corn cobs
  • 1o fine green beans, trimmed & finely sliced
  • about 100 gr (1/2 cup) polenta (cornmeal), plus extra for coating
  • 50 gr (1/3 cup) masa arepa (precooked corn flour) or plain flour
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tbsp Thai green curry paste (or red)
  • 1 spring onion, finely chopped
  • a handful of fresh coriander, chopped
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • salt & white pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil for cooking
  • Thai sweet chilli sauce to serve (see above)
  • lime cheeks, to serve

Mix the corn, polenta, masa arepa flour (or plain flour), eggs, curry paste, green beans, spring onion, coriander, chilli, soy sauce and lime juice in a bowl until well combined.

Take out about half of the mixture and blend it to a chunky paste. Add this back into the rest of the sweetcorn and mix well. Season with salt and white pepper then taste to see if you want to add any more curry paste/lime juice/salt. Cover and put in the fridge for at least half an hour to firm up.

Pour a thin layer of polenta onto a large flat plate. Remove the mix from the fridge and start to take small handfuls of the mix and make them into pattie shapes. You may want to squeeze them to make them hold together well. Put them on the polenta plate and lightly coat both sides. You can cover and refrigerate again now if you like.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Cook the corn cakes for about 3 minutes on each side until golden & crispy. Serve immediately with the sweet chilli sauce and a lime cheek to spritz over.

The sweet chilli sauce can be used as a dipping sauce for anything really. Fried food works particularly well and it is also great as a base for a Thai salad dressing or marinade. Just add some soy sauce, lime juice and sesame oil, taste and adjust to your liking.

Enjoy!!

Things That Made Me Smile Today….

We finally found some Agapanthus. We’ve been looking for some since we came back from here. Their season is nearly over but we had to have them anyway.

We are having some cushion covers made for this seating area on the terrace. The fabrics we bought are different faded blue linens, so all the plants in that area now are going to be on a blue and white theme. I can’t wait for the cushions to be ready and then I will take some proper pictures with it all set up, exciting!

He does planting as well as washing up!

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