Whole Sea Bass steamed with a Rainbow side salad

A delicious and healthy steamed fish recipe perfect for stay in #FishFriday night dinner or a lovely brunch on a lazy afternoon. The accompanying salad is colourful and full of fresh veggies that’s why I choose to call it a Rainbow Salad.

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 large sea bass scaled and gutted
  • 1 large lemon
  • 2 sprigs of Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Chives
  • Garlic sea salt
  • Red Chilli powder

Whole Sea Bass

For the steamed veggies on the side

  • 2 small carrots per person
  • Handful of green peas person

For the Rainbow Side Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 fresh pepper (capsicum)
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1/2 a courgette
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 tbsp Red wine Vinegar
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • Sea salt
  • Olive Oil

Beautiful whole Sea Bass seasoned

Method:

To steam the fish

  • Pre-heat the oven to 200 °C 
  • Wash the fish and place on the foil.
  • Stuff the lemon wedges inside the fish along with the Chives, rosemary and thyme.
  • Sprinkle generously with sea salt, red chilli powder and a drizzle of olive oil
  • Wrap the fish in the foil parcel and cook in the oven until it has cooked through, should take about 20-25 minutes.
  • Steam the veggies in a steamer.

To make the Rainbow Salad:

  • Chop all the vegetables into tiny bite sized cubes.
  • Place chopped veggies in a large bowl and drizzle olive oil and add the red wine vinegar.
  • Season well with sea salt and add a generous sprinkle of freshly cracked black pepper.
  • Mix well

To Serve

  • Plate a portion of the fish and serve the steamed carrots and peas on the side.
  • Serve a generous helping of the crunchy veggies salad.

Whole steamed sea bass with a Rainbow salad

Here are some other fabulous recipes to try if you are cooking sea bass:

Easy Moroccan Chicken one pot meal

The chill in the air is just right for warming one pot meals. Make them healthy, quick and easy to put together and you have a winner on your hands.Last year at the Cake and Bake show which I attended with a dear friend and fellow blogger ,  I ended up spending a bomb (£££!!!!) on four different sized pots – non – stick being one of their biggest virtues.One of them is a huge wok which I intend to use to make a stir fry over the weekend. The coating is said to last for years and each vessel comes with a glass lid. I can apparently also shove them directly into the oven but haven’t tried that yet. The big and rather saucepan is what I use as my crock pot for making one pot meals in. In fact there is something very comforting watching a warming curry or gorgeously tasty and nutritious one pot meals!

heaven in a saucepan - healthy , happy meals begin here!

Ok so coming back to my one pot recipe. I had a bag of baby spinach leaves in my fridge and was craving a wholesome soupy stew with lots of vegetables. So managed to gather a few things that I think would taste great together and then added in Knorr onion gravy pots and Knorr mixed chilli pot for flavour and the result was so very satisfying.  But the best part was adding in Ras El Hanout a delicious and fiery moroccan and North African fragrant spice mix. The delicate dried rose petals look so pretty , that’s why I decided to name my dish Moroccan Chicken one pot.I also devoured it for lunch today – umm.

 Moroccan Chicken one pot meal

Make this in a large quantity and it will freeze well. Batch cooking is highly recommended as it saves you time and ensures that you do not eat things that you will end up regretting when you are hard pressed for time and simply cannot cook.The freezer is a wonderful boon, use it!

I purchased a beautiful Red Leicester and Pumpkin seed batard to go with my meal – it is soul-satisfying to mop up the thick gravy with the bread while sitting on the couch watching my fav crime show on the telly, feeling all warm and happy.

The best part of this recipe is I haven’t added in potatoes or extra sugar to taste and yet the flavours are so well balanced. (Though both gravy pots do contain sugar) I love stocking up on these tiny Knorr flavour pots they are life-savers!

A recipe with enough spinach to make Popeye jump with joy! Spinach has several health benefits and is known to be a great source of folic acid and several essential vitamins and great levels of iron too. Best part is a big bag of spinach can be consumed in no time as the leaves are high in water content and it reduces in size when cooked.

 Moroccan Chicken one pot meal

Easy Moroccan Chicken one pot

Serves:4  Preparation Time: 10 minutes  Cooking time: approx 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Olive oil 2 tbsp
  • 1 large red onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Mixed bag of broccoli, carrot and cauliflower – 270 gm
  • Chicken thighs – 500 gm – appox 3 big pieces
  • Trimmed green beans – 75 gm
  • Chestnut Mushrooms – 4 – 5
  • 1.5 Knorr onion gravy flavour pot
  • 1 Knorr mixed chillies flavour pot
  • 4 handfulls of spinach leaves
  • Red lentils – without skin and halved 3/4th cup
  • 1/2 tsp of Ras El Hanout
  • 1/2 tsp of roasted cumin powder
  • Water

Method:

  • Remove the skin from the chicken thighs after washing thoroughly under running water.
  • Chop the chicken thighs to make strips of the flesh leaving just enough on the bone.
  • Wash and cut the broccoli, carrots,cauliflower, green beans and chestnut mushrooms bits into bite sized pieces.
  • Slice an onion lengthwise into fine strips.
  • Remove the skin from the garlic cloves and chop into tiny bits.
  • In a large saucepan or stock pot heat olive oil on a medium flame, when the oil becomes to heat up add the finely chopped garlic and saute’ until they turn a golden brown then add in the sliced onion.
  • Stirring occasionally allow the onion to sweat and just when it begins to brown add in the chopped vegetables and saute for half a minute.
  • Then add in the chicken thighs and saute for another minute.
  • Then wash and add the red lentils , add enough water to create a thick gravy – enough to allow the lentils to cook and not soak up all the water. Then add in the Knorr flavour pots and mix well.

Big, beautiful pot of healthy goodness - absolutely irresistible!

  • Then add the washed spinach leaves, cumin powder and cover and cook on a medium flame for 15 minutes.

Gorgeous Bowl of goodness with immunity boosting spinach and delicious veggies

  • By now the lentils will have cooked and the chicken will almost be done too.
  • Then taste the soupy water and if it is too spicy add just a very tiny pinch the Ras El Hanout , I added 1/2 a tsp as the taste reminded me of garam masala. Ras El Hanout is a moroccan mixture of fragrant spices with rose petals and gives the stock pot a gorgeous full bodied flavour.
  • Cook for a further 10-15 minutes on a gentle low flame.
  • Serve in large bowls with a big portion of the pumpkin batard bread.

Moroccan Chicken one pot meal recipe

Have linked up my recipe with the #NoWasteFoodChallenge hosted by the lovely Elizabeth who blogs at Elizabeth’s Diary. Find out all about this challenge in her blog post here.

Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary

Dinner at The Brasserie , Tower Guoman – a review

On the day of the Mens Singles Final when Djokovic won  the match against Roger Federer ,I had an invite to go dine with a few fellow bloggers at The Brasserie at the Tower Guoman. I must admit the match was so engaging that I was glued to the tv and only in the game that I was just to nervous to watch so I dragged myself out and kept pestering a dear friend of mine in whatsapp till she gave me updates of almost every move on the court …. I was hoping that Djokovic would win and also hoping that the match would end before I hopped onto the tube and lost network… Lets just say that all invisible divine forces were with Djokovic ( and me )that day coupled with his awesome performance, just as I was about to get into the tube… there it was..,… message I was hoping to see on whatsapp…. ‘He won’… which led to a very comical impromptu gig on the staircase by me watched by bemused passers by…heck a good win deserves a dance ..at least ! Bonus points to all those who also watched this match to oogle at Boris Becker …teehee

After that I needed a refreshing drink and just as I was settling in the beautiful area  just outside the Guoman, an open air bar  and siping my cocktail gazing up the Tower Bridge was perfect. Chilled Prosecco, Cocktails and Mocktails flowed while we chatted up with the manager who also had dinner with us later .Meeting my friends after Food Blogger Connect was fun and camera lens choices, food photography ,the Wimbledon final results and the stunning view dominated our conversation. Before long the rain decided to play spoil sport and we were ushered inside to our huge table at The Brasserie.

I took the seat the far end of the end but the view from any where inside is just as brilliant , it’s the first time I was so close to the Tower Bridge and you can be guaranteed you will have the best seats in town at The Brasserie with superb views of Butlers wharf thrown in.

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The table was neatly laid out with our special menu for the evening there and fresh bread , warm and just out of the oven with 3 different dips arrived.

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Our rustic bread selection with truffle oil and olive oil.

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To go with our Rustic Bread selection we had the smoked paprika dip – the bright orange one and my fav of the 3, one with chives in the middle and a plain one which I found a tad too salty.

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I choose to have the Grilled Vegetable and Goat Cheese Tart to start off my meal with – it sounded very appetising – Tomato olive salsa,balsamic reduction,pine nut,sekura cress – hummm yes please.

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The thin crisp  pastry base was not one bit soggy or eggy, the grilled Manchego cheese ( a cheese made in the La Mancha region of Spain from the milk of sheep of the manchega breed) tasted great in combination with summery veggies like asparagus and grilled peppers and the salsa was very good ,I loved the taste of the olives and hints of fennel, the cress made the whole dish so fresh not just to look at but to taste too.

The Head chef Kamaldeep Singh (left) and his colleague decided to take us through the process of how the new menu was created , the origin of ingredients and basically make us hungry for more!

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Madeleine seated next to me choose the other option as her first course :Peppercorn Cured Beef Carpaccio – Manchego cheese , home cured tomatoes,charred artichokes,mizuna and micro cress. I was avoiding red meat that so was very happy to photograph her dish and ask how it tasted but equally satisfied with my light tart.

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The carpaccio was hammered thin and artichokes placed over – it looked great, to find out in her Madeleine’s own words what she thought of her dish go check out  her review here.Very happy with my first course, I expected the second course to deliver and impress me a bit more. Must say my Pan-Fried Fillet of Sea Bass served with diver scallop,caper crushed potatoes,mixed bean salsa and ‘sauce vierge’  did not fail to do so. It looked amazing and I had to photograph it from various angles – we food bloggers!

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But  this was simply delicious and worthy of praise for more reasons than one – made using farmed sea bass responsibly sourced scallops, a lighter than most sauces that usually accompany a fish main the scallop sat one a delicious pea puree and cream base.

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The mixed bean salsa tasted great with the morish caper crushed potato, the cress balancing off the dish in a subtle way.Nayna my vegetarian food blogger friend chose to have the Spinach and Ricotta Raviolli made with heirloom tomato salsa and served with freshly made basil cream sauce , to read her views go onto her blog here.Our first wine of the evening accompanied the first course , Vidal sauvignon blanc from New Zealand , aromas of gooseberry, passionfruit and guava lead into a palate that exudes tropical and passion fruit flavours.

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After that very satisfying sea food dish ,we moved onto the next course , I stayed away from red meat again and the Garden pea,mint and pecorino cheese risotto was fabulous for me , I love my rice and many a times I really need some to complete my meal and make it me feel full, maybe a psychological thing but coming from the coastal side of western India ,fish curry and rice is our most staple everyday far.One of the staff members asked me where I was from and when I said Mumbai, pat came the next question which I was sort of expecting – was the sea bass as good as the Pomfret, well no! For me pomfret is the king of  all fishes on this planet – but its a matter of what taste one has grown up with and our method of cooking is also so very different. But yes Sea Bass , Salmon and Basa are my favorite buys,best eaten fresh on the day of purchase ,hate frozen fish,tastes muddy and weird in curries especially.

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The  pecorino cheese added a subtle tangy taste to this very morish and filling risotto, its easy to get this dish so wrong because often the seemingly easier to make dishes are the toughest to produce to perfection . I am a great fan of the risotto that my elder sister hubby makes , he is a trained chef but now a very busy and senior marketing head honcho so it’s very rarely that we meet and even more rarely that I get to eat the risotto he makes. Ah sweet nostalgic family moments, only truly good food can bring on such an attack for me.. 🙂

By now the light had really faded and my risotto photo and all that follow look terrible!

I must admit Madeleine was very kind and allowed me to have a taste of burnt celeriac which I loved with some of the calvados sauce I scooped it off her plate with from her Confit of Gloucestershire Pork Belly. She enjoyed  my cheesy risotto too.

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The 14 hour low heat cooked pork belly looked so very appetising, the burnt celeriac adding to the earthiness of this dish,the cinnamon compliments the pork  and the savoy cabbage and compressed apple give it a tart almost tangy twist on the side. This was washed down with several glasses of a full bodied Chilean Merlot – Errazuriz , almost opulent with notes of berry and cassis fruit.

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It’s at this point that I slipped into blissful food coma and saw this beautiful rainbow emerge right in front of my eyes… the photo does no justice to the what we actually saw…

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That is us at the table – L- R – Bintu who blogs at Recipes from a pantry, Nicki who blogs at Baking Beardy,seated opposite her is Fiona who writes an award-winning blog – London Unattached,Nayna – who blogs at  Simply Sensational Food her other blog is Citrus ,Spice and all things Nice, and the lovely Madeline who blogs at Kitchen Journeys and documents heart healthy recipes at From the Healthy Heart.

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Was too full by now and the dessert platter served with a large shot of margarita in shot glass lined by sugar , managed to cut the sweet taste that was bound to settle on the palate after cheesecake ,a panna cotta that failed to impress because I was expecting the usual wobble and a refreshing pista flavoured ice cream  – my fav from the selection.

As we strolled out for an impromptu photo session and gazed happily at the beautiful Tower Bridge,I couldn’t help but wonder that though the exterior of  the Tower Guoman leaves one wanting the view of two world Heritage Sites – Tower Bridge and the Tower of London certainly makes up for it!A massive refurbishment project is on the cards too.A few more plus points include a convenient location within easy reach of the financial district, Canary Wharf, the Excel Centre, London City Airport, historic Greenwich, the West End and Westfield Shopping Centre. Also the newly launched menu at The Brasserie definitely warrants a visit. The menu is bold and one where the chefs have really gone the extra mile to hope that if they try ambitiously to achieve the Zero Mile Ingredient mark and grow their own herbs fresh on the terrace garden which is to come alive very soon!

The staff was very polite, genuinely attentive and ensured we had a great evening.

*With  thanks to The Tower Guoman for the invitation. No monetary compensation was offered for a positive review . All opinions expressed here are entirely my own.

The Brasserie at the Tower Hotel on Urbanspoon

Square Meal

Smoked Spanish Peppers and Zingy Mushrooms in a creamy sauce

My love for using smoked sweet red peppers is taking over my recipes for now , I made these zingy mushrooms for a friend who popped in for brunch about 2 months ago but I have been very lazy and this recipe is finally seeing daylight. I guess the electric atmosphere of the yellow jersey clad stadium full of Brazil fans and the super tight match going on with Camroon is giving me a much needed rush of happy hormones ,add to that the frenzy of the Wimbledon matches , the air in Wimbledon is heavy with anticipation, huge posters , fluorescent tennis ball props in all windows , the traditional colours of the Wimbledon ribbons and balloons galore, the bus service from the station to the venue with hyperexcited people , everything is screaming tennis here!

Lamuyo Peppers are great for roasting as they are bigger and sweeter than their cousins the hot variety. They are juicy and crunchy and go well with garlic,basil,oregano,taste fab with cheese , think stuffed peppers grilled , just perfect for summer !

The recipe was given to me by P aunty , shes a fab cook as I have mentioned in my past posts too and her recipes are innovative, delicious and easy to make, I love pestering her to keep sending me more recipes everytime we talk 😉 .So I decided to amp up this recipe with some madness my style and use up the handsome red pepper staring at me from my fridge 😉

Ingredients:

  • 1 large pack Chestnut Mushrooms sliced
  • 1 large red Lamuyo sweet pepper
  • 8 cloves Garlic- bash and chop fine
  • 1/2 red onionchopped very fine
  • 2 chillies- (more or less acc to your taste) – chop fine
  • 3 heaped tbs flavoured soft cheese, I love using the herby Philadelphia
  • 2 tbsp  Olive Oil
  • Sea Salt to taste
  • Parsley- a handful -chopped finely

Method:

  • Roast the pepper on gas flame till the skin chars and begins to peel off, I use tongs to hold it by the stem so it can char even at the top.
  • While the pepper cools just enough to allow you to peel and reveal the smoked juicy flesh, you can use the time to wash and slice the chestnut mushrooms
  • While taking off the charred skin off the smoked pepper remember to place a dish below as it will release lots of juice which we don’t want to loose as it is one powerhouse of smoky peppery sweet flavour!
  • Heat oil in a sauce pan and saute the garlic till it turns brown and the familiar aroma of fabulous garlic begins to waft and assault your nostrils.
  • Then add the very finely chopped red onion and cook on a low flame stirring regularly till the onion is thoroughly crispy and reduces in quantity, do not let it burn.
  • Then toss in the mushrooms and the chopped smoked pepper and cook for about 2 minutes on a low flame ,stirring and making sure it does not stick to the pan or overcook
  • Then add the soft cheese ,sea salt and finely chopped parsley,mix well and cook with lid for about 1 to 1 1/2 minute.
  • Serve with garlic bread smothered in butter – eat guilt free;)

What I love about this dish , its creamy , its a bit sweet a bit more zingy and has an underlying deep smoked flavour that is robust without being overpowering ,I’d say its a new comfort food for me , what with all the moorish soft cheese in there!1-IMG_6699 (Copy)

Pasta Please Challenge April’14 Round Up

Last Month I hosted my first ever food challenge  linky called Pasta Please created by Jacqueline Meldrum of Tinned Toms Blog.The theme was ”Olive Oil” In the past month I have infused 2 large bottles of good quality olive oil with various herbs ,garlic and chilli and used this oil for cooking,especially for Italian recipes it gives your dishes a new level of good taste.

Thanks to all bloggers who linked up and Thanks to Jacqueline for kindly letting me host #PastaPlease  for April’ 2014.

The first entry was from Corina of searchingforspice blog. Her –Tagliatelle with Chorizo,Garlic and Sundried Tomatoes is a delightful pasta dish made using various bits of leftovers. I am always impressed with what can be made by salvaging leftovers which we may otherwise be inclined to chuck. I love chorizo and it pairs very well with pasta. The way she has described the juicy tomatoes bursting when you bite into them is enough to make me want to make my own pasta using her recipe!

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Next up is a recipe friendly and safe even during pregnancy called Veggie Packed Tomato and Mascarpone Pasta by Laura of KneadWhine blog.Mascarpone cheese is such a brilliant comfort food and a funky pasta called  cavatappi give this veggie creation a new twist.She has worked in a red pepper into her sauce too which is an unusual and delicious addition.I love her photograph it makes me want to dive right into that plate!

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Sudha Neelams well written blog post with a uniquely different and fascinating recipe for Armoniche Mushrooms on her blog titled  Spicy Quiry Serendipitous Blog uses a beautiful wavy pasta called Armoniche and delicious sounding cremini mushrooms.Sudha I love slipping into nostalgic bouts of happiness bought on by the rain too 🙂

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Fusilli with Baked Eggplant and Marinara Sauce by Ridhi of Drizzling Delicacies Blog which is a meat free and eggless recipe blog is an easy recipe which uses baked eggplant in a thick and delicious tomato sauce .I love using fusilli and penne pasta which are great fro scooping off the sauce. And olives in a veggies pasta must add a definite crunch and saltiness that is so good on the palate.

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 Easy Entertaining :Stuffed Pasta Shells by Katie of Feeding Boys Blog is a Gennaro Contaldo recipe – a cheesy mix of ricotta, parmesan and mozzarella then baked with a tomato and basil sauce, for the Good Food Channel website that was part of the Spring photoshoot Katie cooked for .This one is fab for impressing guests on a weekend and giving the impression of having slaved for hours. I love such recipes!Conchiglioni rigati (large pasta shells) being shovelled into the mouth with melted cheese and other goodness is so so…. tempting …ummm.Sharrons image is to die for too!

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Chicken Riggies: A Utica,New York Pasta Speciality by Rachel at The Crispy Cook Blog is one of the  most intriguing entry in the link up simply because its is made using very saucy, spicy chicken with rigatoni (the “riggies” part) and chopped hot red peppers.This recipe is native to the Italian-American community in Utica ,NY AND Rachels version is Gluten free -Brilliant!

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Lemony Pasta with Broccoli and Chickpeas by Lisa of Lisa’s Kitchen – Food and Spice Blog is a lovely tangy wholesome vegetarian pasta salad recipe that can be served both warm and cold. Chickpeas is a very innovative choice for adding onto a pasta and with sundried tomatoes and all those warm spices in it it will make for a very tasty combination of flavours.

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Red Peppers in Pasta Bake, Stuffed and in Soup by Johanna of Green Gourmet Giraffe Blog or triple G as I am going to remember her blog from loves green and dreams of being tall and graceful as a giraffe 🙂 She lives in Australia and has hosted the #PastaPlease challenge before.This was the first pasta bake of the 2 which linked up to the challenge.I love the main 3 ingredients in this bake – Angel hair pasta,red peppers and mozzarella cheese. Also I had never heard of Tofu Bacon before I read through Jo’s post.While reading through her about me section I notice that all the foods she dislikes I like very , very much especially eggs and mangoes and GASP……Fresh Coriander and ermmmm very spicy food ! Well dislikes aside Johanna’s blog is a treasure trove of veggie recipes and I ended up reading many of her posts!

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Penne Pasta with Tomato and Basil Sauce by Tina of  The Spicy Pear blog.Before  I say anything I must say I am beseiged by prope envy I simply love the bowl in her photograph sighhhh… This simple and easy to make recipe is made fab by the addition of secret ingredient – a dash of worcestershire sauce! Brainwave I say!

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Extremely Delicious Vegetable Lasagne by Chris of Cooking around the world blog came into the linky just when I was wondering why hasn’t any lasagne recipe made an appearance !This veggie recipe has a secret ingredient too – Radish, I have no shame in admitting I like radish – no not love just like but thats good enough I guess. Chris’s dish is dripping with delicousness and flavour and its a must try with all the gooey cheesy goodness and each distinct flavour layered into this fab bake.

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Rocket and Mozzarella Faralle Salad by Jaqueline Meldrum of Tinned Tomatoes blog and creator of the #pastaplease challenge is a super quick ,easy to make in flat 15 minutes kinda thingy! It looks fabulously healthy and it is so with lots of veggies in with some gorgeous mozzarella ummm,made more tempting by Jacq’s brilliant food photos!

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Aubergine Pasta Bake by Vanessa of Jibber Jabber UK blog is an easy wholesome meal with cheesy goodness and my fav veggies mushrooms and aubergines – baked – whats not to like ?!

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Farfalle with Sicilian Pesto by Torta di Rose is what I was hoping to see in the linky because it has pesto with anchovies whizzed through the food processor , I am a fab of anchovies ever since I was kid , growing up reading Enid Blyton and all the seniors at Malory Towers asking the junior students to make them some anchovy on toast ahhh good old days. Rose’s photo is magazine quality awesome I think and kudos to her for writing her blog in Italian and English!

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Gnocchi with Asparagus,Sage & Prosciutto by Louisa Foti of Eat your Veg blog made me realise the sheer variety that exists  in the types of pasta. Gnocchi is that type of pasta which is so sinfuly good and tasty. I love who Louisa says ”The heady pairing of lemon and sage work really very well with the slight salty tang from the slithers of prosciutto”. Louisa’s blog is fully of family friendly recipes and in most of her posts her 2 adorable kids are seen ‘helping’ her cook 🙂 .A recipe apt for the Asparagus season this is packed with goodness.

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Macaroni,Beans and Asparagus Sauce by Maria and Andrea of Oil and Life blog is a dead easy recipe using EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil – the theme for this months challenge being Olive Oil ,this of course seems apt.Another asparagus and pasta recipe this is uber healthy and green.

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Spicy Chorizo Pasta with loads of veggie goodness – last but not the least an entry by yours truly this was my attempt to get a ton of greens into OH’S tummy without the cribbing and using chorizo in a tasty sauce to mask the veggies. The things I have to rest to jsut to get him to eat all his greens, well well well.

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I hope all of you had as much fun cooking and sharing your recipes with me and Jacqueline as we had hosting the #Pasta Please challenge for April’2014 with all of you.

Hope you liked my first ever round up too.

 

Greek Easter Feast with Tonia Buxton and Total Greek Yoghurt

One of things I enjoy most about being a  food and travel writer that am exposed to many little traditions from various cultures and an opportunity to celebrate various festivals and of course meet wonderful new people .Even better is a chance to cook with someone as passionate as Tonia Buxton who taught us how to make a 3 course greek feast and took us through a journey of how Easter is celebrated back in Greece, relating in a very animated manner the the rituals,prayer and festivity surrounding the occasion.Total Yogurt the makers of the deliciously thick and creamy yogurt put together  this cooking fest at a Cookery School called La Cucina Caldesi located in the heart of Central London.

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Tonia Buxton a Greek Cypriot is the Total Greek Yogurt Brand Ambassador and a presenter of the award winning T.V series on Discovery Channel called ‘My Greek Kitchen’ and has also authored a book titled  ‘Tonia’s Greek Kitchen’. Soon  to star in a new T.V series called  ‘Pauls Family Feast’ a TV show by well ,Paul Hollywood 🙂

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After a quick ice breaker session we got in groups and started preparing the main dish of the meal – Greek Lamb Pattie Tray Bake. I love cooking lamb and am delighted with the similarities in Greek and Indian cuisines. We took love our spices and cumin does add a very deep flavour to lamb. If I was to make it at home though I would tweak it and amp up the spices  especially the cumin and just because I love heat crushed or paper thin slices of green chillies with seeds ummm!

Here is the recipe:

Greek Lamb Pattie Tray Bake

Serves: 4

Ingredients

100g TOTAL Greek Yoghurt
100g fresh wholemeal breadcrumbs
400g lamb mince
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp ground cumin
4 red onions (2 finely chopped, 2 cut into wedges)
Large handful mint, chopped
4 waxy new potatoes, i.e. Charlottes cut into wedges
4 courgettes, halved & quartered lengthways
250g pack juicy cherry tomatoes on the vine
2 unwaxed lemons cut into 6 wedges each
4 tbsp olive oil
100g feta cheese, crumbled

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Method

  1. Heat the oven to 200°C / 180°C Fan / Gas Mark 6.
  2. Put the breadcrumbs, the lamb mince, egg, plenty of seasoning and cumin in a bowl.
  3. Add the chopped onion and sprinkle in half the chopped mint. Give everything a good mix and shape into 8 patties.
  4. Lightly oil a large, shallow roasting tray and add the patties.
  5. Place the onion wedges on the tray around the lamb patties with the potatoes, courgettes and tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil and season. Bake for around 40 minutes, turning & basting everything once halfway, until the lamb is cooked through and the vegetables are tender. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the feta and remaining mint.(We used up most of the mint and our minty lamb patties were very juicy and yum)
  6. Serve with a large dollop of Total Greek yoghurt and tahini sauce.

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While our lamb patties were cooking we played a fun Greek easter egg game with eggs painted a cheerful bright red.We had to go about smashing our egg onto everyone else and in the end I was up against Tonia- of course she won! Years of experience laster she has mastered the technique 🙂

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We then made a Greek dessert called Anarocrema using Anari Cheese, which I flavoured with orange blossom extract ,fresh fruits and generous bits of freshly made filo pastry crispy bits .This creamy dessert is made using goats cheese and marries well with fruits ,pistachios,almonds and honey too is  very filling and morish dessert.

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While our desserts were sent for chilling we got cracking on with the starter a light and superbly flavoured starter –  Greek Sea Bream fillets with olives,capers,lemon and yoghurt Tahini Sauce.

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Thanks to @satureyes for the brilliant  photos.

It was a very well organised event and I got an opportunity to meet so many more bloggers.Cooking up in a team with Fiona (London Unattached) and Heidi was good fun and it great to be working with familiar faces. Many thanks to @TotalGreek yogurt for the lovely event & @ToniaBuxton  for her lively,warm and friendly way of conducting the cookery workshop and sharing so many beautiful experiences.

Hope all of you had a brilliant Easter Weekend and are looking forward to another long weekend coming up!

Disclaimer: With many thanks to Total Uk  and Tonia Buxton.I was not required to write a positive review and was not compensated monetarily for this post.Like all my previous posts about events and reviews, ALL opinions expressed here are entirely my own.

Spicy Chorizo Pasta with loads of veggie goodness!

I often struggle to get the hubster to consume hero veggies like Broccoli and Mushrooms ,both which I quite frankly love .. always have ! So what started off as a veg pasta was met with a grunt and audible grumbling and had to be re-engineered to create something fabulous ! I am therefore grateful for the grumbling  – totally depends on the end result right? 😉 Its also a very good recipe to use all the veggies lying around in your fridge and many some store cupboard excesses to start that spring clean you have been itching to do ( yes I love cleaning – am quite certain I have a mild OCD too)

Preparation Time: 25 minutes Cooking Time:40 minutes Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 500 gm Penne
  • 300 gm Chorizo chopped bite size
  • Broccoli a handful
  • Button Mushrooms – half a small packet – std supermarket size-chopped bite size
  • 200 gm Sweet Corn and Red Peppers canned
  • Grated parmesan Cheese – generous amount;)
  • 1/2 of a large Red Onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 2 large tomatoes pureed
  • Sea salt
  • 2 large tablespoons Olive Oil
  • Chilli flakes as per taste
  • 2 large Spring onion finely chopped
  • 1/4th cup low fat cream
  • Dried italian herb mix for pasta 2 teaspoons

Method:

For the creamy sauce

  • In a saucepan heat one and a half large tablespoon of oil and saute the finely chopped garlic and when it begins to brown add 2 cloves of garlic chopped spring onion and saute for about 1 min
  • Then added the finely chopped broccoli
  • Now add the chopped button mushrooms and the sweet corn and red pepper mixture.
  • Add the cream and cook on a low flame for 2 – 3 minutes,season with salt  and then add generous amounts of cheese.
  • This sauce should have a balance between creamy and chewy with the mushrooms on the broccoli can retain a bit of its crunch so if you use a lid it may overcook

Before starting on the spicy sauce boil the past in a large saucepan and add sea salt and olive  a generous splash I use flavoured oil – the bottle had a large sprig of rosemary some crushed garlic and chilli flakes tossed inside to give it a deep rich flavour- so , so good!

For the Spicy Sauce

  • In a saucepan heat half a tablespoon of oil and fry the red onion chopped lengthwise and 2 garlic cloves finely chopped.
  • Then add the bite  sized pieces of Chorizo and reduce the flame to low.
  • Let the chorizo almost start to get crispy and  then added the pureed tomatoes,dried herb mixture,chilli flakes and salt as per taste.

In a clean bowl add a generous portion of the creamy sauce, top it with cooked pasta and then add the spicy chorizo sauce.Sprinkle with as much cheese as you want and watch it melt into the steaming hot pasta.If you want just a bit of guilty pleasure drizzle some chilli olive oil on the pasta before mixing the whole thing together!

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Pasta Please Challenge – April 2014

Spring is here and so is April, Easter breaks around the corner. With kids being at home its a great time to cook up some delicious , healthy and quick pasta recipes for the whole family. I love cooking pasta because it is a great way to bring smile around on full tummies and its a great way to combine lots of greens with meat or leave out the meat totally and get a very healthy meal on the table.Its also a thrifty meal idea to use up things from your larder and fridge that would otherwise face sure death.Pasta comes to the rescue always!

This is the first ever food challenge and linky that I shall be hosting so am nervous and hopeful that everyone participates with great enthusiasm 🙂  Thanks to Jacqueline who blogs at Tinned Tomatoes for letting me host this lovely food challenge for April’14.

The theme for this months entry is – OLIVE OIL . I have just infused a bottle of olive oil with crushed garlic ,chilli flakes and fresh italian herbs! Am very  excited to create something tasty with this oil and use some of  large packet of Pappardelle Pasta I purchased yesterday!

Sounds exciting? Ready to join in the challenge?

The rules ARE:

PASTA PLEASE – Food Blog Challenge – April 2014

To join in, simply post a pasta dish on your blog by the 28th of April 2014 and:
  • Link to Sliceoffme and Tinned Tomatoes.
  • Use the Pasta Please logo in your post.
  • If you use twitter, tweet your post with @tinnedtoms and @manjirichitnis using the hashtag #PastaPlease and we will re-tweet it to our followers.
  • Current theme is Olive Oil.
  • Vegetarian dishes and  with any dishes using  meat,sea food,pork,beef,chicken,dry fish are  allowed (any non-vegetarian
    dish).
  • One entry per entrant.
  • Recipes must be added to the linky by 28 April 2014.

Please email me your post with one image on fruitsnveg@yahoo.com.(Why? because the Linky has a GREMLIN inside and is not working! Thankfully its the last day to link up -phew!)

pasta please

 

 

Entries So far :

  1. Tagliatelle with Chorizo,Garlic and Sundried Tomatoes by Corina of searchingforspice blog.
  2. Veggie Packed Tomato and Mascarpone Pasta by KneadWhine blog.
  3. Armoniche Mushrooms by Spicy Quiry Serendipitous Blog.
  4. Fusilli with Baked Eggplant and Marinara Sauce by Ridhi of Drizzling Delicious Blog.
  5.  Easy Entertaining :Stuffed Pasta Shells by Katie of Feeding Boys Blog.
  6. Chicken Riggies: A Utica,New York Pasta Speciality by Rachel at The Crispy Cook Blog.
  7. Lemony Pasta with Broccoli and Chickpeas by Lisa of Lisa’s Kitchen – Food and Spice Blog.
  8. Red Peppers in Pasta Bake, Stuffed and in Soup by Johanna of Green Gourmet Giraffe Blog.
  9. Penne Pasta with Tomato and Basil Sauce by Tina of  The Spicy Pear blog.
  10. Extremely Delicious Vegetable Lasagne by Chris of Cooking around the world blog.
  11. Rocket and Mozzarella Faralle Salad by Jaqueline Meldrum of Tinned Tomatoes blog and creator of the #pastaplease challenge!
  12. Aubergine Pasta Bake by Vanessa of Jibber Jabber UK blog.
  13. Farfalle with Sicilian Pesto by Torta di Rose.
  14. Gnocchi with Asparagus,Sage & Prosciutto by Louisa Foti of Eat your Veg blog.
  15. Macaroni,Beans and Asparagus Sauce by Maria and Andrea of Oil and Life blog.
  16. Spicy Chorizo Pasta with loads of veggie goodness! by me 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ponti’s Italian Kitchen,Oxford Street- review

This was my favourite haunt for an after work gossip session with my best buddy from work about 2 years ago. Even if we were dog tired we managed to cheer up as soon we stepped in. In winter months especially it was brilliant to watch the flames in the huge oven licking the base of the pizza pans.

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Recently a close pal of mine was in London for 2 days for a business trip, thankfully he was a short distance away from Oxford Street  so I treated him to brunch at Pontis. I am so glad that they didn’t fail to impress.

He had Smoked salmon with Eggs scrambled and I have Eggs Florentine with freshly squeezed orange juice.

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In the past I had a really memorable meal on my buddys birthday here are some photos from back in 2012!

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They have lots of seating available and there are also tables outside – prefect during the summers, the place is ALWAYS full during peak tourist season so thats when I tend to avoid going there.

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They have a wide variety of biscuits and cookies for sale  and an ok wine selection as well. Its a family managed unit so the service is very good and friendly.

My first ever visit to Pontis though was at their branch at Wimbledon in the Food Court. They made my friend and  me the fluffiest omelettes ever!

For an authentic taste of Italy in the heart of the West End , this is a brilliant option.Being family managed it is more of tradition I think to serve good honest food and over the past 2 years have since the menu change too ,so am sure there is a constant thought process behind the whole thing.Comforting to know isn’t it?

 

Ponti's Italian Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Square Meal

Smoky Chorizo and Chives baked Eggs in Pots

Of all the crazy boxing day sale shopping I am most happy with what I found for my kitchen (of course!). Amongst a few things the best buys are a massive Denby cast iron crock pot which doubles up as a slow cooker and I plan to use it real carefully,maybe even pass it down as a family heirloom, and then there are the beautifully dark burnt orange mini cocotte from Le Creuset. I couldn’t think of a better way to inaugurate the cute mini cocottes than by making baked eggs.

I created this recipe for Baked eggs and decided to give it a twist with laying a base of wafer thin potatoes, they give this dish a whole new dimension and are like a secret surprise at the bottom of this miniature stockpot of goodness!

Serves:2  Prep Time:10 Minutes In the Oven: 20 Minutes

Ingredients:

  • 5 eggs
  • a small bunch of chives finely chopped
  • 2 large tsp cream cheese
  • 1/2 red onion finely chopped
  • 4 spicy chorizo sausages chopped
  • 5-6 chestnut mushrooms
  • Coriander to season
  • Sea Salt
  • Freshly Cracked black pepper
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp red chilli flakes
  • 1/4th potato thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp olive oil

Method:

  • Beat the eggs in a large bowl and add the cream cheese,finely chopped chives,the chopped mushrooms, finely chopped coriander,sea salt and red chilli flakes.
  • In a saucepan add the oil and sautee’ the red onion till they go soft n juicy and then add the chopped sausages, cook on a low flame for not more than 2 minutes
  • Grease the mini cocottes and place the potato slices at the bottom, add the red onion and sausage mixture and then pour the egg mixture on them.

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  • Pre heat the oven to 220° C and place the mini cocottes on a tray, bake for the first 10 minutes with lid  and then wait for 5 minutes then open the oven and bake again for 15 minutes without lid.

It’s super to watch the egg puff up and form the most perfect brown crusty top.I spent so much time getting the setting right that they collapsed by then – gaaaahhh! but still I am so happy with the results of this taste experiment!Serve with hot buttered toast and a large pot of English Breakfast tea.

This  is the perfect indulgent breakfast for a Sunday morning, you could prepare the pots at night if you want to make them in large batches for a big weekend  brunch.Simply cover and store in the fridge with lids on.

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Mind you these may look like tiny pots but one of these and you feel stuffed!!