Saturday, June 30, 2012

Summertime salads: Strawberries

Nothing better to celebrate the arrival of summer than a nice juicy punnet of strawbs, and they're just absolutely fabulous in salads!

Get this: 

  • Iceberg lettuce leaves
  • Baby spinach leaves
  • 8-10 strawberries
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup pecans
  • 1/4 cup dried apricots
  • 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 2 tsps olive oil
  • pepper to taste

Do this:
Wash, dry and tear the iceberg lettuce leaves and layer with the baby spinach on a plate or in a salad bowl. Chop up the strawberries and add them to the leaves along with the nuts and apricots. Spoon on the olive oil and give the salad a good stir. Mix in the blue cheese and finish with pepper.

Try this:
If you're allergic to nuts you could try adding croutons instead. If you're not a fan of blue cheese you could substitute it for goats' cheese, or similar. 

I recommend enjoying this salad with a nice glass of RoséCheers!

Corn-on-the-Cob - South of the border stylee

Regardless of which side you take in the High-Fructose Corn Syrup debate, you should never give up on fresh corn. If you're a rational and normal human being who understands that as long as you eat things in moderation, you won't die, then you should like corn. This totally counts towards your five-a-day and is so sinfully delicious you won't be complaining about eating your vegetables! Just as long as you're not on some wimpy calorie-counting diet that deprives you of any real flavour in your meals, you'll flippin love this tasty snack-on-a-stick.

Get this: 
4 whole corn cobs (preferably still in their nice green jackets)
8 skewers (metal or wooden)
Butter (don't bother with that diet malarkey - get the good stuff)
1/2 cup mayonaise (again no cheating with the low fat stuff - go big on flavour or go home!)
1/2 cup sour cream
1 lime or lemon
1 cup grated parmesan
chilli powder

Do this: 
Break the corn cobs into halves and partially boil them in a pan of water with a pinch of salt. When they are half-cooked, drain the water and skewer them. Now the exciting part - if you have a gas hob you should roast the cobs directly on the flame, if you're renting and have a cheap landlord who hasn't supplied you an arga or other exciting gas hob, you could try putting them under the grill in the oven, but I don't guarantee that it will taste as good. Then smother them with butter - really go fot it - oh yeah! Mix the mayo, sour cream and lime/lemon juice in a bowl and roll the corn cobs in the mixture until well coated. Cover with the grated parmesan and sprinkle the chilli powder on top.

Try this:
If you're feeling really adventurous, you could experiment with adding dried chives or sesame seeds for added flavour and crunch.


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Aye Currumba! Fajita Pizzas!

If you're like me and you like pizzas (read: 'anything topped with cheese') then you've absolutely gotta check out these babies. They're ridiculously easy to make and about as nutritious as a pizza and salad dinner - only combined into one conveniently muchable dish!

Get this:
  • 4 small thick flour tortillas (white, or whole wheat - depending on the extent of your 'liberal leanings')
  • a handful of whole baby spinach
  • a handful of closed cup mushrooms
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1-2 roma tomatoes
  • diced jalapenos (as many as you like)
  • grated cheddar or mozzarella (preferably both!)
  • a can of refried beans (or if you're really bored you can make it from scratch - see the next post for a full recipe)
  • fajita seasoning

Do this:
Place the tortilla wraps on a baking sheet or some tin foil, spread the refried beans evenly  across the surface. Dice the red onion and tomato(es) and add to the tortillas, then sprinkle with the fajita seasoning. Next add the spinach and mushrooms and top off with the cheese and jalapenos. Place under a pre-heated grill for 5-6 minutes - Et Voila!

Try this:
If you're a meaty person could try adding a variety of thinly sliced meats, or even some chicken grilled/sautéed with fajita seasoning.

This should serve about 2 normal people or 4 people if you all eat like little birds.

Bueno Appetite!

Holy Guacamoley!

Living (relatively) closer to the Mexican subcontinent has given me a whole new perspective on - and a greater appreciation of - the delights of Mexican food.

I love, Love, LOVE Guacamole and eat it as a stand alone meal all too often. Yeah, yeah, judge me - whatever!

Get this:
- 4 small avocados or 2 large hass avocados

- 1 onion - small to medium sized (white or yellow)
- 2 roma tomatoes
- 2-4 cloves of garlic (depending on your taste)
- 2 table spoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 2 limes
- 1 cup sour cream
- diced jalapenos (use as many as you like - I put in about 12 slices chopped up)
- handful of coriander (that's 'cilantro' to your Americans)
- pinch of chili powder (or cayenne pepper if you prefer a more subtle kick)
- salt and pepper to taste

Do this: 
Just chop up all the ingredients and mix them together in a bowl OR if you're not up for all that dicing you can just whack it all a food processor - but beware you'll generally end up with a more smooth consistency. (Then again, you might be making this for your poor old granny who might appreciate being able to ingest it sans-chewing.) 

Try this:
I sometimes leave out the sour cream and it tastes just as good. You can also substitute the onion for a bunch of spring onions ('Green Onions' to those of you in the USofA) and that works well too. This should make quite a bit of guacamole so you might want to halve the quantities, unless you're having a party!

Buen Provecho!

Tribute to Lucy

My mate Lucy is a Legend. She bakes the most fabulous things and throws delightfully wild parties. Nigella pales in comparison...

Sadly we are now separated by the Atlantic (and continue to be so - thanks a lot 'continental drift'), but as a homage to her wonderful witticisms and to our tradition of 'bitchin in the kitchin', I've created this blog to showcase some of my culinary adventures and hope to keep you entertained with a pinch of humour.

Miss you Big L!