Meanwhile, slowly cook the onions or shallots in butter.....I used shallots for their shape and sweetness.
then add in the garlic almost at the last minute to stop it from being overcooked and burning - which would make it bitter
So, although this post isn't linked with a recipe this time, I thought it was time to remind ourselves that there was life before the food-processor! Not that I'm saying that it doesn't have it's advantages, but sometimes it's good to get back to the basics and really get in touch, and 'up close and personal' with the food that we're making.
As Mrs Beeton said "It must be remembered that..[the kitchen].. is the great laboratory of every household, and that much of the “weal or woe,” as far as regards bodily health, depends upon the nature of the preparations concocted within its walls."
Mrs B would be so proud!
This is my entry for this month's Click! event at Jugalbandi
So, fired up with enthusiasm for my new-found infatuation I bought a Bento box, complete with cutlery and belt, and some cute 'Hello Kitty' pots for the soy sauce condiment. I know, but I just couldn't resist them in all their pink cuteness....not to mention the character moulds for making eggs shaped like rabbits and fish!
My Bento box for today is nowhere near as artistic as some, and a bit of a hybrid, but I thought it looked quite pretty....Teryaki Salmon on mixed salad in the top layer, and sushi rice with grated cucumber and a dressing of Apple Cider vinegar. Cider vinegar might sound a bit weird, but it really cuts through the starchiness of the sushi rice, and the combination of the sweet, salty, garlicky salmon with the soft rice, and the cool, clean-tasting cucumber really works!
...........and even better - it's good for you too!
(Recipe by Alfie)
For the marinade:
Half a 16oz bottle of soy sauce (or use Tamari to make this Gluten-free)
3 cloves garlic
half a teaspoon of ginger
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons of sake or cooking sherry
Mix all of the marinade ingredients together and put into a shallow dish. Put the salmon into the marinade - I found this was enough for 3 large pieces of salmon - cover and chill for four to eight hours.
When needed, cook in a moderate oven 180C / Gas 4 for about 20 minutes, spooning over the remaining marinade occasionally to stop it from drying out. Or, alternatively you can grill the fish, although I find this does tend to catch a little this way because of the high sugar content.
This is lovely and refreshing served with rice - sushi / brown, or even garlic rice, and a crunchy vegetable like carrot sticks, grated cucumber, or mangetout. We like Carrot Kinpira which is carrots cut into matchsticks and cooked in sesame oil until soft. Then you add soy sauce, and sesame seeds (and a little brown sugar if you like it really sweet!) cook a little longer to allow the flavours to develop, and then serve warm.
This style of food is so simple to do, but really delicious!
300g light muscovado sugar
100g plain flour
100g self-raising flour
300g good quality dark chocolate
Heat oven to 160C / Gas 3 and butter and line a 20cm cake tin.
Beat butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy and then beat in the eggs one at a time - adding flour as necessary if the mixture starts to split.
Melt chocolate in a bowl over simmering water - cool slightly and then beat into cake mixture. Fold in the remaining flour and then bake for 1 hour 3o mins (mine actually took nearer to two hours!) The cake should be well risen and a skewer will come out clean when the cake is cooked. There will be a crust on the top, but you can cut this off when assembling the cake.
To make the Chantilly Cream whip together 250mls of double cream with 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and 2-3 tablespoons of icing sugar. Use this to fill the cake.
For the Ganache:
300g good quality dark chocolate
100g unsalted butter
2 tablespoons double cream
Melt all the ingredients together in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Cool a little until it reaches a workable consistency - I found that I could out it onto the cake almost immediately!
So, there you have it,............. nothing too complicated, just a really good chocolate celebration cake...........the few remaining crumbs on the plate were proof of the pudding (um cake)!
This morning the sun streamed in through the open kitchen door. Ahead of me was a lazy, unstructured day - nowhere particular to be, nothing particular to do........a rare oasis of audacious self-indulgence. So....... I relaxed back in my chair, relishing the warmth on my face, and enjoyed an uncomplicated breakfast of vanilla yoghurt with raspberries and pistachios. (Yep!, those bewitching green fellows still have their spell cast on me! )
Lolling in that elusive - and at this time of year, oh so fleeting - glimpse of sunlight; promise of pleasures to come, the words of Art Garfunkel floated through my mind...
"Slow down, you move too fast,
you've got to make the mornin' last,
just, kickin' down the cobblestones,
lookin' for fun, and feelin' groovy"
150g unsalted pistachios
half a teaspoon ground cardamom
zest of 1 lime
150g unsalted butter
200g self-raising flour
200g caster sugar
125g plain yoghurt
juice of 1 lime
Pre-heat your oven to 180C / 350F / gas 4, and grease and base line a 20cm round cake tin.
Place all of the cake ingredients into a bowl and mix with an electric whisk until pale and fluffy.
Meanwhile, mix the lime juice and sugar together to make a lovely crunchy syrup. The type of sugar you use will determine how crunchy your topping will be. Granulated for very crunchy, and caster for a less grainy texture.
Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. It does tend to brown a lot so keep an eye on this! Leave in the tin to cool. Pierce the top of the cake with a skewer while it's still warm, and drizzle the lime syrup onto the cake a little at a time to allow it soak in.
To serve - top off with some thick and creamy Greek yoghurt and some more crushed pistachio nuts.
Pistachio seemed to be a big theme
and boy was it GREEN!
It was so easy to get around on foot that we spent all our time wandering the alleyways between the beautiful old buildings around the Grand Canal. As you turned each corner there was another vista, another view,............... all so evocative.
And there was Pizza, of course! In all shapes and sizes.......bellisima!
I'm definitely looking forward to going back again...