How to Eat Less Meat ~ and enjoy it!

I have just realised that it is both Meat Free Week and National Butchers Week here in the UK – how embarrassing!

Not sure what Meat Free Week is about I looked it up here and discovered that it is in fact a global campaign (different parts of the globe having different meat free weeks) to make people aware of how much meat they eat and the harm it can do to them, the environment and edible animals.

It is also a fund raising event with the monies raised going to various appropriate charities – these ones, in fact

On the other hand I have a good idea what National Butchers Week is; a way to encourage us to shop from real, expert butchers who prepare and sell meat of the highest quality from happy (but dead!) animals.


A guy who writes interesting on the happy animal side of farming, incidentally, is Simon Dawson who wrote Pigs in Clover: Or How I Accidentally Fell in Love with the Good Life which I enjoyed very much. 






So I have a suggestion – yes, eat meat, but in smaller portions. That should keep everyone happy! In fact the Meat Free Week people say “Going meat free for one week is a positive step towards change, with the hope that for the other 51 weeks of the year you'll consider eating smaller portions

Whilst not a vegetarian I don’t eat a lot of meat and the reason for this is that to me rather than being the focal part of a meal it may or may not be in a dish. I suggest you adopt the same attitude!

I don’t even understand why there is so much focus on meat (and fish) although I suppose from a dietary point of view it provides protein, but then so do beans and nuts and leafy green veggies and quinoa and several other things. Meat can be delicious, it can contribute flavour and texture to a meal butas I say, it is just one of so many, many options.

So here are a dozen dishes which lend themselves to the addition of a little meat (or none or, I suppose, a lot!).

1.     Soup


Either make a meat soup or add a little meat to an existing soup. I have a very easy “genius” recipe for soup which I have written a book “SOUP (almost) the Only Recipe You'll Ever Need”  which includes recipes for 15 ish meat or fish soups, such as Smoky Bacon Chowder and White Bean Soup with Chicken & Spinach, plus instructions on how to invent your own soup, which is actually the whole point of my Genius Recipes Series! It only costs about the same price as two cans of the red stuff! 



2.     Salad 


Add frazzled prosciutto or crispy bacon bits (by which I do not mean some bought in thing) to a cheese salad or try crisply fried pulled pork or chicken or whatever you fancy.


3.     Stir fries 


These are a great way of enjoying a little meat together with lots of other goodies. This is a good way of using up leftovers from a roast dinner, add rice or noodles together with garlic and ginger, fresh veggies and maybe cashew nuts. Here’s one I made earlier, the steak has been marinated for a while in soy sauce together with fresh ginger, garlic, sesame oil and sweet chilli sauce.


4.     Pasta dishes ...


... of all sorts can happily take the addition of meat or fish – see here for lovely easy and rich Alfredo Sauce recipe and add chicken or seafood or bacon or ham or chorizo or shrimp or smoked fish, black pepper and a squeeze of lemon - you get the point. Tomato based pasta dishes welcome meat too. Furthermore a little leftover stew of most persuasions makes a good meaty sauce for pasta such as is oxtail stew with penne.


5.     Risotto


Add meat and, if you can, use an appropriately flavoured stock too. Risotto also takes well to a little leftover stew folded through at the end of cooking and see here for a simple recipe for Pea and Smoky Bacon Risotto.


6.     Chilli con (or non or just a bit of) Carne


Make your favourite chilli recipe but with a higher bean to meat ratio.

7.     Burgers


Speaking of beans, which are delicious and protein, how about using half beef and half beans in your next homemade burger (I assume you do make them yourself!), the result will be moist and a delicious change.

8.     Pizza 


This can of course be topped with all sorts of meats and some fish - good options are sausages of all types such as pepperoni, chorizo, sausage meat , minced beef (if using raw mince I fry it off slightly and drain it before adding to the pizza, this stops the juices soaking the crust), chicken (although I would add cooked chicken towards the end of cooking the pizza just to heat through – that way it won’t toughen and dry out in the high heat) and so on. Here’s the recipe for a great Creamy Onion and Bacon Flatbread from Alsace ...

Flammekueche aka Tarte Flambée – for 2


1 batch of my awfully easy pizza dough
2 medium onions – thinly sliced
1 tbsp olive oil or 15g butter
200g smoky bacon lardons
salt and pepper and a little freshly grated nutmeg if poss
240g crème fraîche

~   Make the dough and leave to rise.
~   Whilst it is rising gently cook the onions in the olive oil thus ... heat the oil in a small pan, stir in the onions, press a piece of foil on top of the onions to cover completely, put on the lid and cook very gently for 20 minutes or so.
~   When the onions are tender turn up the heat, add the bacon and cook a few minutes stirring till the onions are starting to caramelise and the bacon lightly cooked.
~   Set aside to cool.

When the dough is risen ...

~   Preheat the oven to 425ºF/220ºC/200ºC fan/gas 7.
~   Prepare the pizza bases.
~   Season the crème fraîche with salt, pepper and nutmeg and spread over the bases.
~   Top with the onion and bacon mix and bake till hot and crisp and delicious.

Et voila!


9.     Gratins


An easy way to add some meaty flavour to any kind of savoury gratin is to add bacon to the mix and maybe scatter some on top too.


10.     Pommes Dauphinoise and similar


Simply put this is a delicious dish of sliced potatoes layered up and baked in cream. Add bacon or ham or, as in the recipe here with hot smoked salmon.


11.     Strata


This is a savoury bread and butter pudding and there is a recipe here for onecontaining cheese and chorizo . In the same post you will also find a recipe for ...

12.     Bubble and Squeak


This is a great vehicle for added (and possibly leftover) meat or fish.

So that’s it really, I just cobbled this tpgether in a hurry having realised what a difficult situation we find ourselves in.

Whilst here please don’t forget to click on the sticky note at the top of the page, claim your free books and then, please remember to review them for me.




Pin It!

Top 7 Deliciously Different Ways You can Use Up Leftover Bread

leftover-bread-recipes

This is without me throwing away a single slice! These people are nutters.

There is so much can be done with leftover bread, it goes with almost anything! As I have mentioned before I stash all my crusts and bits and pieces in the freezer so that I always have the making of something good.

There are, of course, many well knows dishes such as bread sauce (my luxurious bread sauce recipe is here), bread pudding (both the custardy one and the manly bread pudding!) , croutons and pangrattato (posh word for crunchy breadcrumbs) so on, all great uses of spare bread but this post suggests some more unusual ideas from around the world that are well worth trying.

Pappa al Pomodoro ~ Tomato and Bread Soup from Tuscany – for 4


This is traditionally made with fresh tomatoes but canned chopped tomatoes work fine as a substitute, or use a mixture as in this case.

750g cherry tomatoes
2 or 3 thick slices of stale rustic bread - diced
60ml olive oil
1 medium onion – finely chopped
3 finely chopped garlic clove
small bunch of fresh basil – the leaves shredded, the stems coarsely chopped
1 x 390g carton or 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
(if flavoured with garlic, basil or chilli all to the better!)
250ml vegetable stock
a little great extra virgin olive oil for drizzling and/or freshly grated Parmesan

~   Preheat the oven to 190ºC/375ºF/170ºC fan/gas 5.
~   Toss the cherry tomatoes with a little of the oil season and roast in a shallow dish till starting to collapse. You can do this hours or even a day or so in advance if you happen to have the oven on for something else.
~   Gently cook the onion in the rest of the olive oil till starting to soften, then add the garlic and basil stems and cook a few minutes more.
~   Add both the chopped and the roast tomatoes and the stock and bring to a boil.
~   Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring and squashing a bit.
~   Stir in the bread and most of the basil and allow to sit of the heat for several minutes.
~   Stir the bread unto the tomatoes to form a thick porridgy situation.
~   Now it’s up to you;  leave it at that, stir more to make a silky texture, add more stock or water for a soupier consistency, taste and season.
~   Bring back up to temperature and serve drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, sprinkled with Parmesan and scattered with shredded basil (or parsley as in my photo but basil is best!)

tomato-bread-soup-tuscany

The Tuscans also make a fine bread and tomato salad called Panzanella - see here for details.

Skordalia


This is a traditional Greek sauce, a kind of garlicky mayonnaise with the bread replacing the egg yolk. This makes 150ml.

80g of dry bread torn into pieces
1 clove of garlic – chopped
pinch of sea salt
1 tbsp red wine vinegar or lemon juice
4 tbsp olive oil

~   Soak the bread in cold water for a few minutes till saturated then squeeze out as dry as possible.
~   Crush the garlic and the salt to a paste with a pestle and mortar.
~   Work in the damp bread and stir in the vinegar.
~   Gradually, a drop at a time as with making mayonnaise, whisk in the olive oil to emulsify.


skordalia-bread-and-garlic-dip-greece

Fried Bread Curry! (aka Roti Upma)  


This really is delicious, so much nicer than I expected and now a regular for me.  The recipe for Roti Upma is here, check it out! 


roti-upma-recipe


Melted Onion Panade – for 4


This is also surprisingly lovely!  A kind of French onion soup / bread pudding cross! It is best made with more substantial bread rather than the soft stuff.

3 large onions
3 tbsp olive oil
350g good bread – thickly sliced
About 500ml good beef stock (or other if you prefer) – hot
200g grated cheese – I used Davidstow Cornish Crackler which is divine

~   Melt the onions in the olive oil and when utterly, utterly tender turn up the heat and stir till starting to caramelise.
~   Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350°F/160ºC fan/gas 4.
~   Put the bread on a baking sheet and pop in the oven for a few minutes till dried out but not taking any colour.
~   Butter a shallow ovenproof dish and lay a third of the bread slices in it. Break them if necessary to fit in neatly.
~   Spread with half the onions and sprinkle with a third of the cheese.
~   Repeat these layers, using up all the onions, the final layer should be bread sprinkled with the last of the cheese.
~   Pour over the stock, adding just enough to lift the top layer of bread so it starts to float. Do this gently so the cheese stays in place!
~   Cover the dish with a sheet of foil and bake for 45 minutes then remove the foil and bake another 20 minutes or so till the cheese is golden and delicious looking, like this ...

onion-panade-recipe

Curried Cashew Fritters


I invented this just after I wrote Creative Ways to Use Up Leftovers  which is a shame, I would have loved to have included it!
1 medium onion – diced
½ tbsp oil
1 tsp curry paste
120g stale bread – torn into pieces, spread out and left to dry out for an hour or so (or popped in the oven for a few minutes)
up to 125 ml hot vegetable stock
as many salted cashews as you fancy and can muster – coarsely chopped

~   Fry the onion in the oil till soft and turning brown.
~   Stir in the curry paste and cook a couple of minutes till fragrant.
~   Add the bread pieces and then gradually stir in the stock.  The bread should soak up all the stock and be completely soft but with no excess liquid in the pan so don’t add it all at once, take it slowly.
~   Remove the pan from the heat, cover, cool and then chill to firm up.
~   When ready to cook add 80g coarsely chopped salted cashews (don’t add them earlier as they seem to go soggy).
~   Divide into four little cakes and fry in a little oil till hot crisp and golden.
~   Serve with a dollop of yogurt or raita and a bit of salad.

leftover-bread-fritter-recipe

French Toast Pancakes from Leftover Bread


This is useful if you fancy French Toast but only have bitty scraps of bread, and in this case softer bread is best. Per person you need ...
1 egg
½ tbsp sugar
50ml milk or cream or a mixture
a drop of real vanilla extract
pinch of salt
40g ish of stale bread pieces

~   Whisk together all the ingredients except the bread.
~   Stir in the bread and allow to soak a few minutes.
~   Melt a little butter in a non-stick frying pan and using a slotted spoon carefully transfer the bread to the pan forming into two cakes.
~   Cook till the bottoms are firm and brown, turn very carefully and cook the other side.
~   Serve with maple syrup or whatever else takes your fancy.

leftover-bread-pancakes

Apple Cribbly


A touch of nostalgia for me here – we served this dessert in our restaurants in Cornwall in the 1980s. It is either traditional Cornish or Cornish-ish, either way it is perfect with clotted cream.

You need about equal quantities of peeled and diced apple (this is one case where I don’t recommend Bramley apples; you want them to hold their shape) and diced stale bread, nothing too substantial in this case.

~   Toss the diced apple with sugar to coat, discard any that doesn’t stick.
~   Melt a knob of batter in a frying pan, add the sugary apple and cook, stirring occasionally till it is softening and browning and oozing lovely caramelly juices.
~   Use a slotted to spoon to remove the apple from the pan and set aside.
~   Add the diced bread to the pan and cook till the juices have been absorbed and the bread is turning crisp and golden.
~   Return the apple, toss all together and serve immediately with ice cream, cream or clotted cream.



If these are just a few of the suggestions I can think of for leftover bread  don't you wonder what ideas I have for the other 450 potential leftovers in my book Creative Ways to Use Up Leftovers?







Pin It!

24 Great Ideas for Citrus Zest / Skin / Peel

orange-tree-fruiting

This post came about as I was  eating a perfectly delicious orange from our tree which set me thinking of ideas for the skin/zest/peel part of the fruit, this is what I came up with.

Firstly a few general points on citrus fruits ...


citrus-zest-equivalents
~   This post covers oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruit (plus any other citrus fruit you can think of) and as a general guideline, at least so far as peel is concerned ...

1 grapefruit  =  3 oranges =  5 lemons  =  6 limes

~   Wash and dry citrus fruits well, especially if you intend eating the skin.

~   Remove zest before you do anything else with fruit (such as cutting, squeezing etc.) it is so much easier that way.

~   When removing the zest (the brightly coloured outer layer) be careful not to take the pith! This is the white fleshy stuff between the zest and the fruit; it is bitter.

~   Grated or shredded zest can be frozen for later (well worth doing as it is so useful) by wrapping small pieces in cling film and making a collection in an airtight container in the freezer. As the pieces are so tiny the zest can be used immediately from frozen.


Citrus fruit shells ...


what-to-do-with-empty-citrus-shells


1.     It might seem a bit old school but serving homemade citrus ice cream in the shell of the fruit is attractive, economical and a handy way of storing the dessert already portioned. You can, of course, do it with bought in ice cream too but where’s the point in buying it when you can make ice cream so very easily

ice-cream-filled-citrus-shells

2.     Put a few empty peels in the cavity of a chicken before roasting, lemon is the norm here but depending on your accompaniments orange and lime work well too.  Try orange peels in a roast duck.

3.     Clean chopping boards by scrubbing with the inside of a used lemon plus a sprinkling of coarse sea salt. If you've got a tricky stain let the fruit sit directly on it for a while to bleach it.

4.     Speaking of stains, if you have discoloured elbows (no need to explain!) rest them in a couple of squeezed lemon skins for a while and then wash them!

5.    Used citrus peels can make your home smell good, just leave them about the place or simmer them in a pan of water or do a similar thing in the microwave. 

6.    Slightly dried out peels, particularly orange, are good thrown on a wood fire to make a lovely smell – great at Christmas time.


Large Strips of Zest


These are easily removed from the fruit using a potato peeler.

Use large strips of zest to ...

ideas-for-citrus-zest

7.   Flavour spirits, normally this would be vodka and lemon but gin and lemon would work to as would rum and orange for instance.  Ad strips of peel to the booze, seal and wait a week or so, strain before drinking. Or make ...

8.  Limoncello


the zest of 5 lemons, removed in large strips
1 ltr vodka
750g white sugar

~    Pour out a small amount of vodka and drink it!
~    Add the lemon peels to the bottle, close tightly and leave it alone for a week apart from giving it a shake once a day.
~    At the end of a week prepare a large, clean jar with a tightly fitting lid.
~    In a small pan over low heat stir together the sugar and 750ml water till the sugar is dissolved (or melted – I’m never sure which!).  Cool.
~    Pour the vodka and lemon rind into the clean jar, stir in the cooled syrup, seal tightly and wait another week or so, continuing with the shaking.
~    Store in a dark place and drink over ice.

limoncello-recipe

9.   Similarly use citrus strips to flavour olive oil – just add the strips to the oil making sure they are completely submerged.

10.  Use a twist of fresh citrus zest to garnish drinks OR freeze little citrus twists in ice cubes.
freeze-citrus-zest-in-ice

11.  Crystallised Orange & its Ensuing Syrup


This is taken directly from my book, Luscious Ice Cream without a Machine, the Sauces Coulis and Syrups Chapter (so I've made it red to indicate that it's a quote) and is used to make luscious no-churn orange ice creams but is also good drizzled on all manner of things!

You can mostly sit and read or watch telly or play online bingo or whatever whilst this is cooking but do check occasionally. What you are checking for is that the fruit juice has not reduced and thickened too much. If it is too thick and getting frothy add a splash of hot water.  Remember you are aiming not only for tender zest but also a syrupy syrup – not jam.

2 gorgeous oranges
200g white sugar
200g icing sugar

~   Wash and dry two lovely bright unblemished oranges.
~   Using a potato peeler peel long strips of zest from the fruit – just the bright orange skin, not the white and bitter pith underneath.
~   Using a sharp knife cut the zest into little strips, or ‘julienne’.
~   Squeeze the juice from the denuded fruits into a measuring jug and, if necessary, make up to 500ml with water.
~   Bring the juice and sugar to a boil stirring till the sugar has dissolved.
~   Add the orange zest strips, partly cover the pan and simmer gently, topping up occasionally, till the zest is tender – 45-60 minutes.
~   Turn off the heat and cool a little in the pan.
~   Strain, keeping both the zest and the syrup.
~   Preheat oven to 275°F/140ºC/120ºC fan/gas .1
~   Sift the icing sugar onto a baking sheet or large plate and roll the orange zest in the icing sugar to coat it.
~   Spread out on a non-stick pan liner or baking parchment and bake for an hour or so to dry out.
~   Cool and keep dry for up to 3 months.
~   Also keep the syrup.

Large strips of Citrus Zest can also be dried 


Lay in a single layer not touching layer on a plate somewhere warm and dry for a few days. They can then be stored in an airtight container out of the sunlight and used whenever you remember you’ve got them!

12.   Add dried peels to your tea instead of lemon or milk.

13.   Put a strip or two into stocks, soups and stews.

14.   Use together with appropriate spices to mull wine (or make mulled wine syrup).

Grated Zest


The easiest tool for grating is a fine Microplane but any grater will do.

ideas-for-grated-citrus-zest

15.   Mix finely grated zest into pastry at the breadcrumb stage; orange zest pastry makes for fab mince pies.

16.   Mix into softened butter together with something complimentary eg. parsley, sea salt and black pepper with lemon, chilli with lime or light brown sugar with orange – see here for details and suggestions for flavoured butters

17.   Add to the mix when making a fruit crumble topping – simple crumble recipe here

18.    Stir into breadcrumbs for coating or topping dishes.

19.    Add to cake recipes or other baked goods eg. scones, biscuits etc.

20.    Citrus Sugar


Mash finely grated zest of 1 orange (or equivalent - see above) into about 250g granulated sugar till very well combined. Spread out on a tray and leave for several hours to dry. Use to replace plain sugar in appropriate recipes, sweeten tea, rim a cocktail glass, sprinkle on fruits, etc.

21.   Citrus Salt 


Very similar to the sugar above but with a higher percentage of zest to salt. Use lovely crunchy sea salt. (See here for spicy salt ideas and here for wonderful bacon salt).

22.   Lemon Pepper 


Mix together 2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest and 3 of coarsely crushed peppercorns (a mix looks pretty but black  peppercorns are fine). Spread out on a foil lined baking tray and bake in a very low oven till the zest has dried out which takes about half an hour. Decant into the bowl of a pestle and mortar and crush to your desired texture.  Gradually stir in crunchy sea salt to taste.

23.   Gremolata

gremolata-recipe

This is a classic Italian seasoning/garnish and is simply lemon zest, parsley and garlic. In slightly more detail finely grate the zest of 2 lemons and then (otherwise you might contaminate the rest of the lemon fruits) 1 large clove of garlic. Finely chop a small bunch of parsley and mix all three ingredient together. Gremolata adds bright highlights of colour and flavour to all sorts of dishes; sprinkle over lamb, chicken, fish, veggies and so on. Of course you could get all creative and use orange zest instead.

24.   Citrus Rub


Mix together 3 tablespoons of grated zest of your choice (or a mixture), a finely chopped garlic clove or two, a little chilli or paprika, salt and pepper and a little oil. I am being vague here as there are so many things you can rub this on; beef would go with orange and bit of chilli heat, fish with lemon or lime, chicken maybe heavy on the garlic and so on.  Anyhoo, mix these all together and rub onto your piece of meat or fish.  Allow to sit for 30 minutes (or longer in the fridge) before cooking using a dry heat eg. grilled, pan fried, baked etc. Maybe add a little grated fresh ginger!
citrus-zest-peel-recipes

Creative Ways to Use Up Leftovers


If I can think of all these ideas for zest and peel don't you wonder what I've come up with for the other 449 leftovers in my leftover cookbook?

leftovers-recipes-cookbook



Pin It!

Spice up Mother's Day (and the rest of your life!)

I recently received in the post a very fragrant envelope from Spice Kitchen; a mother and son company specialising in spices, handmade spice mixes and spice accoutrements such as the masala dabba.  I used have one of these handy pieces of kit, you can blend your own spices in the lid!

spice box

The envelope they sent contained samples of 8 spice mixes which they are also offering in a wooden spice box as a great gift for Mother’ Day.



This being the case I wanted to write a review asap and, although I've had a couple of plays, I don’t have time to do them all justice and write a timely review.  Luckily I came up with a brainwave – seasoned salts. Making these means that I can give a fair taste to each spice mix (on toast, rice, beans, etc.) without taking too long.  It also means that as I have a more thorough experiment with each mix, and post about it, Spice Kitchen will get a bit more exposure.  Good idea or what?

Seasoned Salts


Actually all sorts of flavourings can be mixed with salt (see here for fabulous bacon salt!) but, whereas some ingredients might need to be chopped or dried or cooked, in this case you just add a little spice to crunchy sea salt.

flavoured salts


Whilst mixing the salts I tasted a tiny bit of each spice on my tongue (which made it nice and warm, good for early March). They were all distinctively different and the jerk seasoning with which I am very familiar made me homesick for the islands.

From the top ...

Garam Masala ~ the taste we think of as curry, warm but not hot, I used a little to make ...



Alu ki Tikki

At least that’s what I’m calling it! 

I am very prone to making potato cakes with leftover mash and these are some of the best.

500g (possibly leftover) mashed potato
1 small onion – finely chopped
a handful of chopped fresh cilantro – if possible
1 small hot chili – seeded and finely chopped
1 tsp garam masala

~   Mix all the ingredients together.
~   Season to taste – adding more garam masala if you like!
~   Form into about 8 cakes, flatten and fry in shallow oil till crisp.

Sometimes these are dipped in egg and then flour before frying but I always coat mine in panko crumbs because I love them. A bit of fusion!

spicy potato cake

Ras el Hanout


This is a Moroccan spice blend, the name translates as head or top of the shop and it is held in high regard. Each spice mixer has their own list of ingredients and I have heard some Ras el Hanouts containing hashish and Spanish fly, but not this one which contains cloves, mace, star anise, cayenne pepper, allspice, cardamom, black peppercorns, sugar, cinnamon, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, ginger, nutmeg. paprika, salt and turmeric.

Chinese Spice


Star anise, liquorice and orange peel are highlights in this mix which also contains cassia, Szechuan peppers, black cardamom and cloves. I have a mind to try this first in some kind of stir fry, maybe with shrimp.


Jerk Seasoning


Very evocative, as I said, of the Caribbean.  Jerk seasoning is primarily used on chicken (aka yard runner!) and pork and often sold from roadside stalls that make you drool as you walk past.  The sugar, allspice and thyme make this taste authentic.

When I worked as a chef in the islands I used to serve Jerk Burgers for Sunday Brunch simply by adding some jerk seasoning to the mix and then brushing with a tamarind glaze just before serving. 

Mexican Spice Blend 


This contains cornflour (which surprised me!), cumin seeds, paprika, oregano, chilli powder, garlic powder, salt, sugar, onion powder and cayenne pepper. I shall be trying this next time I make some kind of chilli (con or non carne) but today sprinkled some of the seasoned salt on the roasted tomatoes I had for lunch and they did have a certain South American nuance!

spicy roasted tomatoes


Sri Lankan Curry Powder 


There are loads of things in this one; basmati rice, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, cassia bark, fenugreek seeds, cloves, cardamom, mustard seeds, black peppercorns, kashmiri chilli & turmeric. 

With a teaspoon of it I made a tiny portion of Toasted Curry Oil which is a great drizzle for fish, chicken or soup!


Toasted Curry Oil


Heat a dry pan to hot then add 1 tbsp of the spice mix and stir over low heat till it is very fragrant – this doesn't take long, 90 seconds or so! Add 100ml of olive and stir over the low heat for a minute or two. Set aside for 2 hours to infuse and then strain through cheesecloth.

spiced oil drizzle

Panch Poran


This is a mildly spicy Bengali mix  containing cumin seeds, mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, nigella seeds and fennel seeds and I have plans to try it in a sweet potato and mango curry – I’ll get back to you!

Baharat 


Literally "spices" from the Middle East this has cloves, black pepper, cumin seeds, nutmeg, paprika, cardamom & cinnamon and again I have plans, this time involving aubergine but first have to catch one!

So head on over to Spice Kitchen and have yourself a browse, lots of interesting stuff including a recipe for Khaman Dhokla – a kind of curry cake!

Spice Kitchen spices
In Other News ...

I used Maldon Sea Salt to make the seasoned salts above but my brother in law James Weaver uses it in an entirely different manner.  He is an artist and lives near Maldon. He uses their salt to do something arty with  his pictures - I think he scratches the surface of watercolours with the salt to add texture. See his tasty work here.

James Weaver artist




Pin It!