Banana ice-cream

My very good friend Craig Molyneux showed me this fantastic one ingredient ice-cream recipe!

Not sure you can still call it recipe with only one ingredient but hey! Grab 4 ripen bananas (the more ripen the better, the few brownish spots kind of ripen) Peel them and put them in a freezing bag, put the in the freezer for 24 hours. Once completely frozen take them out, cut them in 1 inch chunks and toss them in a food processor. Mash them until they become sort of creamy. Bam! You’ve got your banana ice-cream! Add frozen strawberries before mashing the bananas if you want or add chocolate sprinkles at the end… Just let your imagination run wild! Enjoy!

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*My food processor is not the best so mine came out quite chunky, still delicious!

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Indian Lemon Rice

This is a super-quick and easy recipe but very tangy and the green chillies give it a great kick! The measurements for the ingredients are approximate, I spied my housemate while she was cooking it and this is the combination I came up with but you can add more or less quantity of whatever you want. Hope you enjoy it!

Ingredients:

Vegetable oil

1 tbsp black mustard seeds

A pinch of fresh curry leaves

5 green chillies (or to taste)

1 tbsp Gram Dal lentils

1-2 tbsp roasted & salted peanuts

1 tbsp of fresh ginger

1/2 tsp of Turmeric

Juice of 1 large lemon

2 bowls of already boiled basmati rice

Salt and water

How to do it:

Heat vegetable oil on a pan, once hot throw the mustard seeds in, when they start popping add the curry leafs and stir for a little while.

Add the green chillies, Gram lentils and stir for a couple of minutes, then add the peanuts and stir well. Roast at mid-low flame to brown slowly.

Once lightly brown add a tablespoon of fresh grated ginger, salt, turmeric, the lemon juice and a tablespoon or two of water. Cook for only two minutes once you put the lemon juice in otherwise it will become bitter.

Add already-boiled basmati rice and cook at low flame until the rice is hot. And it’s ready!

Serve on its own or as a side for any curry. It’s deliciously tangy!

Lemon Rice - Elumichai Sadham

Simple side rice with garlic

Perfectly simple recipe of rice cooked with garlic, very easy to make and extremely tasty. A perfect side to any dish.

Ingredients:

Olive oil

Rice

1-3 garlic coves (as many as you want really)

Salt

How to cook:

Fry the peeled garlic cloves with plenty of oil until golden brown.

Add rice and stir, fry until grains become transparent, keep steering until they turn white again. Like in the image below:

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Add twice as water to the volume of rice you used (e.i. 1 cup of rice = 2 cups of water)

Stir until water reaches heavy boil then turn the hear right down and let cook slowly until all the water is gone. You will know when that happens because the sound of the rice cooking will change.

And you’re ready to go!

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Mushroom Puff Tartlets with Balsamic Spinach

For Valentine’s Day this year we cooked Mushroom Puff Tartlets with Balsamic Spinach. They are delicious and soo easy to make! It takes about 20 minutes to prepare all the ingredients and about 35 to cook it. This recipe serves 2 and it would go very well with steak or Salmon.

Ingredients:

100g puff pastry

1 tbsp olive oil, plus a little extra

1 shallot, finely chopped

100g chestnut mushrooms, chopped

1 tsp chopped thyme (You can use dry thyme too but the flavour won’t be as noticeable)

3 tbsp port or Madeira (or strong bodied red wine)

1 tbsp double cream

250g young spinach leaves

A splash of Balsamic vinegar

How to cook: 

Pre-heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Roll out the pastry to about the thickness of a £1 coin, then cut out 2 x 12cm circles using a cutter, or by scoring around a saucer (I made them square because I couldn’t be bothered and it really doesn’t matter). Score 2cm from the edge and prick the pastry inside the border. Lift onto a baking tray, then bake for 20-25 mins or until golden and puffed. Press the risen middles down a little, ready for the filling. Can be made a day ahead, then reheated in a hot oven.

Heat the oil in a pan, add the shallots, then fry until softened. Add the mushrooms and thyme, then fry until mushrooms are softened and any liquid almost gone. Add the port or Madeira or wine, then bubble for 2 mins. Add the cream, simmer for 1 min more until the sauce is slightly thickened, then set aside.

Wash spinach leaves thoroughly, removing any tough stalks. Set the spinach leaves in a colander, then pour over boiling water from the kettle until all the leaves are wilted. Press out as much liquid as possible with the bottom of a saucer. Heat a drizzle olive oil in a pan, add the spinach and a splash balsamic vinegar, season well, then warm through.

To serve: Pour the mushroom mixture on top of the puff tartlets, you can have the spinach on a side as a main dish or do it chef-style and pile everything up on top of the tartlets. See both examples below.

Hope you enjoyed this, it is a truly delicious recipe!

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Christmas Tree cupcakes

So, I was too busy during Christmas to upload this recipe. I made these cupcakes for the Christmas meal we do every year with few friends and they were an absolute success! I got the idea from this video that is really helpful because they explain the step-by step of how to make them.

First you just need to make your favourite chocolate cupcake recipe. Choose a simple plane one it will work better with the overall flavouring.

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Then prepare your buttercream and add green food colouring until you get the shade you want. I had to add a lot of it because I wanted a vibrant Chritmas tree green.

Put it in a piping bag with a star tip; I think I used a star decorating tip #3.

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Then wash your strawberries and dry them thoroughly, any moist left on the strawberry will spoil the buttercream. I used kitchen towels to make sure they absorb all the water. Cut the strawberry steams and leafs making a nice flat surface where they can rest upright. (Sorry, I forgot to take a picture of this step) And we’re ready to start decorating!

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So, the fist thing you want to do is to put some buttercream on top of the cupcake, like so:

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Then put a strawberry on top of the buttercream, this will act as glue sticking the strawberry to the cupcake. Do that with all your cupcakes:

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Then with your star tip, pipe all around the strawberry starting from the bottom up to the top.

For me it worked quite well to sit down at the table and to pout the cupcakes on top of a closed jar to give them some hight and not break my back in the process of decorating.

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You should end up with something like this:

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Once you’ve done all the cupcakes you can proceed to decorate the “trees”.

I used Wonka Nerds and white chocolate stars sprinkles but you can use whatever you want.

It works quite well to put the cupcakes on a tray as you have to throw the Nerds to the buttercream in order for them to stick to it… It was fun!

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They look something like this:

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I also tried another decoration for few of them using silver pearls instead of Nerds, I had to put the pearls one by one on these but they look more elegant and classy:

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And I ended up with a little forest of delicious chocolate Christmas tree cupcakes!

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Hope you enjoyed this post! Merry Christmas!

Chickpea and Spanish Chorizo Stew

Oh winter… Is my favourite season of all times. In winter I like to eat hot and comforting food like stews, casseroles, roasts, pies… One of the things I miss more of Spain is my nan’s cooking. This is the chickpea casserole recipe that taste more similar to the one my nan used to make, although food never tastes the same when you cook it yourself.

For this recipe I have used already cooked chickpeas that come in tins or glass jars. That lets me skip the step where the raw chickpeas have to be submerged in water for 12 hours and go straight to the best part: cooking!

Also, I am using a pressure-cooker that once again works in the advantage of people with little time to cook. This recipe cooked in an ordinary pot would take 1 hour and 30 minutes to cook but guess what? Whit the pressure-cooker it will take only 15 minutes! That’s right! Let’s get on with it:

Ingredients 2 onions

2 garlic cloves

2 bay leafs

3 carrots

1 red pepper (not essential)

2 potatoes

500 g chickpeas

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 chorizo (about 200 g)

1 tbsp Spanish paprika Salt and peeper

Method

Rinse the tinned/jarred chickpeas thoroughly until there is no foam coming out of the water.

Finely chop the onions, red pepper, and garlic, and finely slice the carrots.

Add a splash of olive oil to the pressure-cooker pot and then add the onions, carrots, bay leaves, red pepper, garlic cloves, and Spanish paprika. Stir and sauté for about 10 minutes to mix all the flavours.

Meantime peel and cut the potatoes into thick chunks. Add them to the pot together with the chorizo, and chickpeas. Stir well an add 1 litre of water and season it with salt and pepper to taste.

Bring to boil, close the pressure cooker, and cook for about 15 minutes.

And there you go! Eat with a nice slice of thick crust bread and enjoy!

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Spinach & Ricotta Pie

This is a great pie, different form traditional English pies this one is made using Puff Pastry so the result is similar to a quiche but you’ve got the nice pastry cover on the top of the pie. Ready in a bit over 1 hour this pie is one f my favourite spinach dishes. Let´s go!

Ingredients

2 bunches of spinach washed and roughly chopped up

1 large sliced onion

2 cloves chopped garlic

350g ricotta

2 eggs

olive oil to grease pie dish

3 puff pastry sheets

1 tablespoon of milk

Directions

Saute sliced onion and chopped garlic in frying pan.

Add spinach until tender.

Mix ricotta and eggs in a bowl.

Add spinach and sauted onion and garlic to ricotta and eggs.

Stir thoroughly and set aside.

Spray pie dish with olive oil.

Line pie dish with 1 1/2 pastry sheets.

Add spinach & ricotta mixture to pie dish.

Use the rest of the pastry sheets to put a lid on the pie and decorate it.

Brush pastry top with milk using a pastry brush.

Put into oven at 200 degrees C for 45 minutes.

Once cooked let pie rest for 5 minutes before serving.

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Arancini

Ever wondered what to do with the leftover risotto when you’ve cooked a large amount of it? Well, this is a great way to transform leftovers in a tasty Italian dish. Let’s make Arancini di Riso!

Ingredients
Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
2 large eggs, beaten
2 cups Risotto
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
2 ounces mozzarella, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Salt

Directions

– Pour enough oil in a heavy large saucepan to reach the depth of 3 inches. Heat the oil over medium heat.

– Stir the eggs, risotto, Parmesan, and 1/2 cup of the bread crumbs in a large bowl to combine. Place the remaining breadcrumbs in a medium bowl.

– Using about 2 tablespoons of the risotto mixture for each, form the risotto mixture into 1 3/4-inch-diameter balls. Insert 1 cube of mozzarella into the center of each ball. Roll the balls in the bread crumbs to coat.

– Working in batches, add the rice balls to the hot ail and cook until brown and heated through, turning them as necessary, about 4 minutes.

– Using a slotted spoon, transfer the rice balls to paper towels to drain. Season with salt. Let rest 2 minutes. Serve hot with some sort of sauce like tomato sauce.

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