Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Oat & Walnut Cookies

My kitchen has been blessed with the addition of a Nutribullet, such a useful device, I highly recommend it. I used it this morning to produce oat flour from some porridge oats in order to make these cookies. Making your own oat flour of course means you can make these cookies gluten free if you need to.

Ethiopia, welcome. No 151!

For this recipe you will need; (makes 26 to 30)
300g of oat flour
200g of light muscovado sugar
200g unsalted butter
80g of walnuts
1 egg
1 tsp of baking powder
1/2 tsp of bicarbonate of soda
Pinch of salt.

Place all the ingredients in a food processor and process until you have a soft dough.
Heat the oven to 180C.
Line a couple of baking trays with baking parchment.
Form the dough into small balls, roughly the size of a large walnut. I found having wet hands makes this process considerably less messy,
Space the balls of dough out with enough space to double in size, they will spread. Flatten them just a little. Bake for 17 minutes. If they are a little soft when baked for this length of time in your oven, simply extend the baking time by a minute or two.
Allow to cool completely on the tray, to allow them to firm up.

This basic recipe gives you lots of options to vary the flavour, you can add powdered ginger and small pieces of crystallised ginger or chocolate chips or dried cranberries for instance.

Friday, 20 October 2017

Jerusalem Artichoke and Red Quinoa patties

Thank you Gauthier!

My laptop has been in the doldrums for a very long time which is one reason why I've contributed very little over the past few months. Like many people, I'm fine with what I know when it comes to computers but when it comes to intensive care or bringing sick laptops back to life, I am useless but I am blessed to have a friend who is a genius, so when Gauthier visited and suggested some radical rejigging of the hard drive I was very grateful.
We celebrated by digging up some of this year's Jerusalem artichokes and creating these delicious little patties. They made an excellent addition to a meal of prawn and mango curry and rice.

For this recipe you will need;
400g of Jerusalem artichokes
120g of urid dal
75g of red quinoa
1 tsp of ginger garlic paste
1 or 2 green chillies
1 tsp of Marigold Bouillon powder or 1/2 teaspoon of salt

Begin by soaking the urid dal, it will need a good hour to rehydrate. Meanwhile cook the quinoa in a 750ml of water until cooked, then drain and leave to cool.
When the urid dal has rehydrated, drain any excess water and grind it in a food processor, along with the ginger garlic paste, chillies and bouillon powder.
Grate the Jerusalem artichokes and stir together with the urid dal paste and red quinoa.
Form into small patties, I found this mix makes about 20, and shallow fry in a tablespoon or so of oil until lightly browned and cooked all the way through.

Jerusalem artichokes are regarded as vegetables that really benefit the microbiome and this recipe is straightforward and delicious. There is no need to peel the artichokes and the use of ground urid dal paste as a binder makes them GF for those of us who genuinely have to avoid gluten, i.e. people who have Coeliac disease.
I chose to flavour these with the Indian classics, chilli, garlic and ginger but you could easily adjust the flavouring to suit yourself.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Roasted Carrot Hummus

Considering how easy it is to make hummus, I'm always surprised that people ever buy it. The product you make yourself is far tastier, cheaper and above all has only the ingredients you want in it.
Here I have added equal quantities of roasted carrots, I believe the sweet flavour, intensified by roasting works well and since cumin, in my opinion is the perfect spice to use with both carrot and chickpeas, I had to include it.

For this recipe you will need;
300gm of cooked chickpeas
300gm of carrots
1 tablespoon of tahini
1 clove of garlic
1 heaped teaspoon (at least) of cumin seeds
The juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil plus a little extra for roasting the carrots
1 teaspoon of Marigold bouillon powder of 1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of coursely ground black pepper.

Begin by roasting the carrots in a teaspoon or so of oil, in a hot 200C oven for 10 minutes or until the carrots are tender, allow to cool completely.
Dry roast the cumin seeds in a pan over a medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes until the seeds realease their aroma. Grind and set aside.
In a food processor, process the chickpeas, carrots, crushed garlic, tahini, lemon juice and seasoning. Blend until you have a really smooth paste and finally trickle in the olive oil while still processing.

The earthy flavour of beetroot also works well with this type of humus, again the use of cumin works well.
Another vegetable to consider is red pepper, I wouldn't use green peppers but red, orange or yellow will be fine. Roast the peppers rubbed with a little oil to intensify the flavour. As well as using the cumin, you can add chili when using peppers. 
I like to roughly grind the cumin, there's no need to achieve a fine powder, the odd little nugget of cumin is a welcome treat.

Monday, 8 May 2017

Roasted Artichoke Paté

It's hard to believe that with little more than three ingredients you can produce such a delicious finished dish. the last of my Jerusalem artichokes have now been dug up, leaving only a few for next winter's harvest. They have long been a favourite vegetable of mine, you have only to type "artichoke" into the search box at the top left of my blog home page to see how many recipes I have created using them and of course artichokes simply roasted in oil and served as a vegetable, are delicious.

For this recipe you will need;
400gm of Jerusalem artichokes
250gm of cream cheese
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon of Marigold bouillon powder or 1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of coarsely ground black pepper
2 teaspoons of oil for roasting the artichokes.

Begin by scrubbing the artichokes, cutting them in half length ways and rubbing with the oil before roasting in a hot oven (200) for 15 minutes or until the artichokes are tender and have taken on some dark brown caramelisation, Allow to cool completely.
I make my own cream cheese by straining kefir over a couple of days, it produces a cream cheese that has far more flavour, with a pleasant acidity. You can substitute commercially available cream cheese.
When the artichokes are cool, blend them in a food processor until they form a coarse puree, then add all remaining ingredients, process on pulse until fully incorporated.

I enjoy the extra texture that leaving the caramelised ends and skin bring to the paté so I leave them on.
This paté is delicious served with crackers or toasted sourdough, but it also makes an excellent sauce for cooked and drained spaghetti, reserve a tablespoon of the pasta cooking liquid to slacken the sauce if needed.

Friday, 28 April 2017


A trip to IKEA, which happens very rarely these days, would invariably include the purchase of these crispbreads to enjoy with cheese.
I'm happy to have created a recipe that allows me to make and share these.
The kitchen has recently turned into a bit of a cheese factory; since I began making kefir, I now regulalry make both hard cheese and soft cheese, so having a supply of knäckebrot and my crackers click here for the recipe to hand makes me happy.

For this recipe you will need;
260gm of bread flour
70gm of rye flour
160 mixed seeds (I use a combination black and white sesame seeds and sunflower seeds)
Plus 2 teaspoons of caraway seeds
2 teaspoons of malt extract
14gm of salt
20gm of fresh yeast
About 200ml of whey or water.
Oat bran for rolling out.

Begin by rubbing the fresh yeast into the flours and seeds, add the remaining ingredients (apart from the oat bran) to form a soft dough.

Leave the dough to rest for 30 minutes.
Portion the dough into 12 equal pieces and roll out into circles on a board liberally floured with oat bran. The circles need to be roughly 2 to 3 mm thick. I cut out a hole in the centre, partly because it makes cooling easier and I have a beautifully made Knäckebrot holder made by Dick George it's a real pleasure serving them on the oak holder. After rolling out the rounds, dock with either a docker or a fork to create lots of holes, this helps the escape of air during baking and avoids air bubbles in the finsihed crackers.
Leave the rounds for 15 minutes while the oven heats up to 200C.
Bake for 14 to 15 minutes. Cool and store in an airtight tin.

Add the whey or water gradually, you may need slightly less than the full 200ml in order to make a soft but not sticky dough.
You can vary both the flours and the seeds, but the caraway for me give them what I think of as an authentic flavour.
The crispbreads don't really rise, but I found they are not the same if I omit the yeast.
The oat bran makes rolling the rounds out very much easier and they add to the crunch of the finished article.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Roasted Pumpkin and Bean Curry

The first of the pumpkins I harvested last Autumn, began to change colour, a sure sign that I would need to use it or lose it. I'm enjoying Indian inspired food these days so a curry seemed the obvious dish to create. I decided to combine borlotti beans which I also harvested last Autumn and dried.
Delicious served with a cabbage thoran and dosas.
for this recipe you will need;

500g of pumpkin
300g of cooked borlotti beans
2 medium red onions, sliced
4 cloves of garlic
2 green chilies
1 thumb sized piece of fresh ginger
1 tsp of black mustard seeds
1 tsp of cumin seeds
1/2 thumb sized piece of fresh turmeric,(optional)
1/2 tin of plum tomatoes
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
1 teaspoon of curry powder
1 teaspoon of salt.

Dominca, welcome, country 149

Bringing the number to 150! Curaçao

Begin by peeling and cubing the pumpkin. Toss in 1 tablespoon of oil and spread out on a baking tray with the salt and bake in a hot oven, 220C, for 10 to 15 minutes or until the pumpkin is charred, set aside.

In a large pan, on a high heat, add the oil and when the oil is hot add the mustard and cumin seeds and when the seeds begin to pop, add the onion, reduce the heat to medium and cook until the onions become lightly browned, this can take 10 minutes or so, but they will require stirring from time to time. Meanwhile, chop up the garlic, chili, ginger and turmeric if using. Once the onions have taken on a good colour, add the garlic, chili, ginger and turmeric and continue to fry on a medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes before adding the tinned tomatoes and a cup full of water. Turn down the heat and having added the cooked beans and roasted pumkin, gently cook for 20 to 30 minutes.

Butternut squash works well in this dish. I use crown prince, because I have more success in growing it. Whatever you chose, use a dense fleshed pumpkin not the type that are carved at Halloween.
I make my own curry powder but a good quality commercial one is fine and if you're really opposed to using one, a half a teaspoon each of ground cumin, round coriander and ground turmeric will be fine.