Tag Archives: what would you feed me

What would feed me..Kellie? …the series finale & round up..

  Can you believe that this guest post series has been running for over six months? I’m amazed, I didn’t really have a plan when I started it, but I probably didn’t expect it to go on for so long, and with so many amazing posts! I’ve been overwhelmed with the care and creativity that has been taken by so many of you, and I thank you greatly for being so enthusiastic 🙂 at the bottom of this post you will find a montage of all of the dishes that I have been ‘virtually fed’ and links to everyone’s posts. Please do remind yourself of the wonderful array of dishes, all following my request to make vegetarian, gluten free, sugar free, healthy dishes. 

I know this was quite a challenge for some of you and I can only say a HUGE thank you, you did a fabulous job, I would eat them all…although maybe not all at once! 

Thank you all so very much for all your hard work, I am bringing this post to this week’s Fiesta Friday to fully share all of your wonderful dishes and celebrate the wonderful community that we all share. I love the family that we’ve created and thank you all for letting me be a part of it.

This final post in the series comes from one of my favourite blogs: Kellie’s Food to Glow. When I look through my posts over the last couple of years, I have reblogged posts from Kellie’s blog more than anyone else’s. I love her ethos, her recipes, her flavours, her knowledge, and her sheer generosity, she is such a caring and giving person, it shines out of her posts. If you don’t already follow Kellie’s blog – you need to, but before you jump over to her blog, check out what she brought me. So, in this very fitting finale to the series…for the last time…

What would you feed me, Kellie?

 
As a reader of Elaine’s playful and delicious food blog you will be very familiar with her love of Middle Eastern flavours – the fragrant spice mixes, tahini, dips harissa, her legendary chermoula; anything hot and ‘punchy’ a particular love and forte of hers.   

Elaine’s creative and energetic cooking inspire all of us to get into the kitchen to chop, roast, mash, and blend our way to a delicious and usually quite easy vegetarian meal. I was therefore suitably flattered and not a little scared about being asked to close out this wonderful series of hers. What could I do that she hasn’t already thought of?

Luckily I also adore Middle Eastern flavours so at least I would be making something I would like too. I make a version of this already but as luck would have it, have never thought to blog it. But for Elaine I wanted to throw in something unexpected (she is used to that), so it had to be Japanese yuzu powder.

This floral-citrus powder is made by drying and pulverizing the deeply fragrant Japanese citrus fruit of the same name, and it goes wherever anything citrus does, amping up any dish with not only notes of orange blossom and lemon zest, but also overtones of grapefruit. Luckily we can get the powdered stuff online, although the juice is often available in bottles in the specialty section at the supermarket (wjth the sushi bits and bobs). It is however entirely optional in this recipe.

Knowing how much Elaine loves dips I am writing this up as a dip, but it is equally at home atop pasta, courgetti, or even the substance of a rather messy tartine. Your call, but I know Elaine would dig in with some homemade pitta chips. I’ll just go and fire up the barbie then, Elaine. 🙂 

Title: Burnt Aubergines, Avocado-Tahini Sauce and Fried Caper-Chickpeas

Serves: 2

Author: Kellie Anderson, food to glow 

A messy mélange of summer goodness. 

I roasted my aubergines over a charcoal fire, but don’t let wet weather or lack of garden space deter you in making this soft, dippable crush of spiky yet comforting flavours. Alternative methods are cooking the aubergines directly (and I mean directly) on a gas hob, or even in the oven. The latter lacks the to-me essential smokiness but is a good enough sub as the other flavours pull everything together. The only must is that aubergines be thoroughly cooked and very soft. 

 

Ingredients

2 plump, firm aubergines

Rapeseed oil for brushing the aubergines if bbq-ing

1 ripe avocado

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 tbsp light tahini

3 tbsp fresh lemon juice + zest of half lemon

Warm water to thin

1 tbsp olive oil, plus more to drizzle

1 mug of cooked chickpeas

1 tbsp capers, rinsed and patted dry

1 tbsp yuzu powder (definitely optional but adds floral-citrus zing to the chickpeas)

Cherry tomatoes, chopped

Handful of flat parsley, chopped

Lemon wedges and pitta chips (see below) to serve

Method 

The aubergines are the only time-consuming part of this whole foodie affair. The most delicious option is whacking them on a hot barbecue grill.  

Light your barbecue and once the charcoal or wood goes ashy, pierce the aubergine six times (to stop them potentially exploding, although this is more of a risk in the oven), slick the aubergines with some oil and place on the hottest part of the grill. Allow them to get wrinkled, dark and blistered – turning to cook the whole aubergine. Allow up to 20 minutes to get them shrunken and wrinkled all over. The whole thing should be very soft and perhaps burst in places.. Allow to cool a bit while you get on with everything else.

You can also ‘bake’ the pitta chips on the bbq too. Cut a couple of wholemeal pittas around the seam, tear or cut into large bite-sized pieces and lay on the grill, turning as they brown. Or, pop pieces on a baking tray and bake at 180C/350F for 8-10 minutes, until dry and starting to colour.

 Make the avocado-tahini sauce by putting the avocado, garlic, tahini, lemon juice and zest and about 3 tbsp water in a food processor or blender, blending until smooth. Add more water or lemon juice to make a thickish, dippable sauce. 

 For the chickpeas, heat a small sauté pan over medium-high heat; toss the chickpeas and capers in 1 tbsp oil, adding yuzu powder if you have it; add to the hot pan. Saute the chickpeas and capers until brown in places.

To serve, mash the aubergine in their skins (or carefully scrape it out into a bowl), then mash in the avocado sauce to mix. Taste for seasoning. Now top with the chickpeas, tomatoes, parsley, and serve with lemon wedges and pitta chips. Some grilled halloumi on top would also be lovely if you wanted a more substantial and luxurious meal. 

 
Kellie, you thought I would love this, and I do! Thank you for the introduction to a new ingredient 🙂 xx

The round up… 

  

The links..

Selma: Almond, Orange and Tahini Biscuits 

Susan: Vegan Shepherds Pie

Prudy: Beans in sauce over quinoa

Sue: Pascal de Frijol (Bean Pascal)

Sonal: Tea with Elaine : Kahwa, a Kashmiri Green Tea; Date, Figs n Pistachio Salami; Eggplant Fritters (Baingan Pakode), Pan Grilled

Julianna: Swiss Chard Rolls with Black Rice in a Vegetable-Coconut Broth

Indu: Red Chori (adzuki beans) and pumpkin curry

Monetta: Poor Man’s Stew

Laura: Zucchini spaghetti and creamy tomato sauce, cauliflower tabbouleh and almond coconut cookies

Diana: Imam Biyaldi (baked stuffed aubergines) 

Linda: El Bissara, Broad bean Soup

Angie: Seared ‘scallop’ satay, sesame snap peas and string beans  

Melissa: Banana, date and pecan muffins

Naina: Kerala Ishtu (South Indian vegetable stew)

Karinna: Endive, asparagus, broccoli and bean salad

Chitra: Kiwi Lassi

Marisa: Dukkah Crusted Chunky Sweet Potato Fries and Tahini Dipping Sauce with Roasted Garlic

Fae: Vegetable Sushi

Jhuls: Spicy Baked Beans and Eggs

Krystina: Courgette/zucchini fritters

Suzanne: Khoresht e Bademjan (Vegetarian), eggplant stew 

Ginger: Pansotti di Borragine (Spinach, borage and chard filled gluten free pasta) with Salsa di Noci (Ligurian Walnut Sauce) and sugar free berry compote 

Deena: Padron pepper, masala cashew and slow roasted tomato salad

SJ: Savoury pancakes

I feel that care taken in these posts and the spirit of sharing that they represent is a perfect, lovely tribute to my darling Selma, she loved the idea of this series and her cookies have been the most popular post of them all. Thank you, sweetheart, for everything, you will be missed more than you know xxxxx

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What would you feed me…Shruti?

 
This week we are being treated to a lovely dish by the lovely Shruti from Cooking with SJ. Shruti is one of those lovely people we meet on our blogs, always supportive and joyful; she prepares and shares tasty, fabulous looking dishes, as well as making amazing eggless cakes; her decorating skills are stunning! Her cakes are works of art 🙂 

So, what would you feed me, Shruti?

I have made so many virtual friends ever since I started blogging 5 years back… And specially when I switched to wordpress 🙂 Elaine is one of those lovely foodie-buddies. Well, despite me inviting co-bloggers over my space to do a guest-post, this is the 2nd one that I’m doing for someone else 🙂

Let me introduce myself a bit… I’m Shruti aka SJ of Cooking with SJ 🙂 I better describe myself as a home-chef, food-blogger and of course, a vegetarian baker!!! Now… I’m wanting to write so many things about Elaine but kinda stuck at my words. I have been following her space since last 2 years and must say, it’s as gorgeous as Elaine herself! Whenever I communicated with her through of comments or quick chats, I feel like I’m talking to someone who’s a master of flavors and healthy cooking!!! I have learnt a lot and yes, I’ll keep learning from you always 🙂

The dish which I have brought here is ‘Savory Pancakes’ which has got a pancake look with a healthy Indo-Chinese touch! To be honest, this is my 1st experiment with gluten-free flour and I must admit, it was not as tough as I imagined 🙂 Here is the recipe for you all to go through 🙂

   

SAVORY PANCAKES

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup Quinoa Flour

2-3 tbsp Rice Flour

1/4 cup Shredded Purple Cabbage

1/4 cup Grated Zucchini

2 tbsp Green Onions, chopped

2 tsp Soy Sauce

1/2 tsp Chilly Paste

Salt, to taste

Black Pepper Powder, to taste

STEPS TO FOLLOW:

1. Take all the ingredients (except veggies) in a big bowl and make a medium thick batter by adding water as required.

2. Add all the vegetables into it.

3. Mix everything well until well combined.

4. Heat a non-stick pan and pour a ladlefull batter onto it and spread it to make a small disk.

5. Drizzle some oil on top and roast on both the sides until crisp and golden in color.

6. Sprinkle chat masala on top and serve with Soy-Lemon Vinaigrette!

  

SJ’s NOTE:

• To make a regular version, you can substitute quinoa flour with plain flour.

• You can add more seasonal veggies of your choice 🙂

• To make Soy-Lemon Vinaigrette:

Mix 2 tsp Soy Sauce, 1 tbsp Lemon Juice, 1/4 tsp Garlic Paste, 1 tsp Sugar, 2 tbsp Olive Oil, salt & pepper 🙂

I love these, Shruti, thank you so very much, and great tips for mixing them up. Thank you for taking part and your lovely words 🙂 xx

What would feed me…Deena?

 
This week I bring you a recipe from the wonderful Deena Kakaya, a wonderful cook, who’s been published in several UK magazines, is regularly featured by Great British Chefs, runs cookery courses, appears at food shows, as well as being the mother of a toddler…AND writes a great blog! I’ve bookmarked many of her recipes over the past couple of years, she uses wonderful mixes of spices and ingredients, and I am loving what she’s bringing to my blog today..

So, Deena, what would you feed me? 

In the summer months I eat a lot of fresh and plump salad, but not just of the leafy and skimpy types. I like colourful concoctions full of variety and balanced textures, just as this salad recipe today serves. 

Padron peppers are a simple and delicate pleasure, they cook within a few minutes and are great with just salt. When the skin blisters an utterly tempting aroma is released and these dinky peppers work so well with the little sweet tomatoes popping through for colour and texture in the salad. I think though, that the masala cashews are clearly one of the main heroes of this salad. They are crunchy, peppery and spiked with lively chaat masala. Go easy on the salt within each element of the salad though, as the feta and chaat masala are salty, but the sweetness from the tomatoes and cashews balance it well. 

  

Padron pepper, masala cashew and slow roasted tomato salad

Colourful, season, light, easy and Moorish…this one is great as a picnic recipe, a garden meal or even a packed lunch!

Ingredients to serve 4

For the cashew nuts:

One cup cashew nuts

2 tbsp. agave nectar

1 tsp. chaat masala

1 tsp. ground coriander

1 tsp. ground coriander

1 tsp. chilli powder

¼ tsp. ground black pepper

For the Padron peppers:

1 tbsp. cooking oil

A sprinkling of salt

For the potatoes

5 new potatoes cut into even cubes

2 tbsp. cooking oil

1 tsp. cumin seeds

1 tsp. coriander powder

1 tsp. cumin powder

¼ tsp. ground black pepper

For the slow roasted tomatoes:

200g small tomatoes, like cherry tomatoes

A drizzle of rapeseed oil

Other ingredients

100g feta cheese cut into cubes

One large red onion, sliced

Method

1. Start by slow roasting the tomatoes; cut the tomatoes in half and place them on a baking sheet, cut side up and then drizzle them with oil and place them an oven which has been preheated to 160 degrees for 45 minutes. Once roasted leave them to cool.

2. Now boil the potatoes for 7 minutes before draining them and allowing them to cool completely. Then heat a non-stick pan and add the oil. Once the oil is hot, add the cumin seeds and when they start to sizzle add potatoes and coat them well with the oil. Allow the potatoes to catch a golden colour. Now sprinkle in the coriander powder, cumin powder, salt and black pepper.

3. Whilst the potatoes are cooking, on a dry non-stick pan lightly toast the cashew nuts until they turn golden. Turn the heat off and allow them to cool until they are just warm. Then sprinkle in the spices and lastly the agave nectar to bind the masala.

4. Lastly, cook the padron peppers in the oil until the skins blister and rise. Add salt to taste and turn the heat off. They should cook in 4-5 minutes on a medium-high heat.

5. Finally, combine the tomatoes, potatoes, cashews, and onion and feta cheese. I serve this salad with flatbread and dips such as hummus or a garlic-yoghurt dip.  

How good does that look??? So much fabulous flavour and great ingredients, that’s my kind of salad!! thank you so much, Deena xx

What would you feed me…Ginger? 

  
This week we are joined by a superstar blogger (and soon to be superstar TV cook – read about it on her blog!), the lovely Ginger from Ginger and Bread. Ginger’s is a fabulous blog, full of wonderful recipes and photographs, but also full of stories, culture and history, I’ve already learnt so much from her blog. Although we come from pretty much opposite ends of the culinary scale, Ginger responded immediately, and positively, when I invited her to do a guest post for me…..so….

Ginger, what would you feed me? 

Elaine and I are not just on opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to food, I am convinced we’re on different spektra altogether. I absolutely adore her posts, the way her dishes are put together and presented makes me completely forget that they don’t contain any of the foods I consider necessary for my survival. When Elaine looks at my food, she probably needs protective eyewear. Needless to say, when she invited me to cook for her, I was both excited and terrified. 

Those who knows my blog knows that Germans survive on a balanced mix of sausages, bread and beer. Any surplus dietary requirements are covered by cake and, occasionally, sauerkraut. Incidentally, I had been dying to make a particular Ligurian dish, pansotti with walnut sauce, for ages, especially as our garden at this time of the year gets overtaken by borage. 

 This beautiful plant with its distinctive blue flowers is not only an attraction for bees, it is also used in many Italian and German dishes. We use the young leaves and even the flowers in salads or for sauces; it tastes a little like cucumber and adds a fresh note to your dishes. Traditionally, this pasta is filled with a combination of several wild herbs, but a mix of spinach and chard works brilliantly. If only I had sown my chard a little earlier, though … 

 Liguria is the home of pesto, which we know as a mix of parmesan, pine nuts and basil. Unsurprisingly, they have hundreds of variations of it, and the mix of walnuts, ricotta, cheese and marjoram sounded just too promising! Walnuts are a right superfood, too, and any recipe that makes use of them is definitely a start in the right direction. That only left me with the issue of pasta …

Armed with a recipe for gluten-free pasta by Jamie Oliver [http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/pasta-recipes/gluten-free-pasta-dough/], I made my way into the ‘free from’ section at our local supermarket. Not for the first time, I hasten to add. I once accidentally bought a bar of gluten free, dairy free, sugar free and, potentially, chocolate free chocolate from there.

Using rice flour and xantham gum, as well as almost double the amount of eggs as for regular pasta, the finished product was much better than I had anticipated, namely with the consistency and taste of, well, pasta.

The lack of gluten means that the dough is a little more challenging to process: you’ll have to roll it out quite thin before using your pasta maker, otherwise it will break. It is less elastic, which makes it harder to close the parcels around the filling. I used some beaten egg to seal them, just to be on the safe side. Any offcuts are best kept aside and cut into thin strips for further use as tagliatelle or similar rather than trying to knead them and roll them out again. Simply leave them to dry on a kitchen towel dusted with rice flour and use them at another time. 

 The finished dish was absolutely wonderful – the fresh borage really compliments the spinach, and the creamy consistency of the walnut pesto really made it stand out for us. If you are using gluten free pasta, you need to season the filling slightly more generously than for wheat pasta, I think, but otherwise I would certainly recommend going through the effort of making your own pasta! 

Even when working under Elaine’s strict guidelines, there is no way I would miss out on dessert. Funnily enough, this one was a no-brainer, and a traditional German one at that, too! ‘Rote Grütze’, a specialty of Hamburg, translates as ‘red porridge’ and is best described as a berry compote, usually served with a dollop of cream. It doesn’t contain much more than berries and corn flour, and the sweetness can be adjusted using grape juice. Instead of cream I used quark, which complements the slight tartness of the berries perfectly. 

I just hope Elaine will like the finished result as my as we did – even the kids finished their plates without any complaints, which must have been a first!

Pansotti di Borragine (serves 4)

 For the gluten-free pasta:

 180 g gluten-free rice flour, plus extra for dusting

50 g potato starch

1 tablespoon corn flour

2 tablespoons xanthan gum

¼ teaspoon fine sea salt

4 medium eggs

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

For the filling:

300g of spinach, borage leaves and swiss chard

150g ricotta

100g grated parmesan

2 eggs

1 tsp marjoram

salt, pepper, to taste

 1 egg, beaten, to seal the pansotti.

 Jamie suggests ‘blitzing’ the ingredients for the dough in a blender, and I can only agree with him as it helps you to mix the dryish ingredients thoroughly before even attempting to knead them into a dough. Start with a little less of the rice flour and add more, if necessary. Once the dough comes together, cover it with cling film to prevent it from drying out and leave it to rest for about half an hour.

In the meantime, wash the vegetables. I used around 300g altogether, how you mix it is really up to you. I wouldn’t use borage on its own, but 1/4 to 3/4 spinach worked a treat. 

Steam the leaves over boiling water for a few minutes, drain them carefully and chop them finely. Mix them with the remaining ingredients. 

 Cut the dough into 4 portions and roll out one on a lightly dusted surface. If you are using a pasta maker, keep rolling it out until the second last setting – I couldn’t get the gluten-free dough any thinner than that. Although it stretches quite well in terms of its length, it won’t expand sidewise, so bearr that in mind when you are rolling it out.

 Cut the rolled-out dough into 5 cm/3 in squares and fill them with a small teaspoon of filling each. Close the pansoti by folding them into a triangle, using a little of the beaten egg to seal them.

 Let the finished pansotti rest for around 30 minutes on a floured tea towel or similar. Then boil them for about 10 minutes in salted water: once they come up they are ready to serve!

Salsa di Noci – Ligurian Walnut Sauce (serves 4)

1 cup walnuts

1 clove garlic, peeled

100g ricotta cheese

60g grated parmesan

2 tbs marjoram

100ml extra virgin olive oil

salt, to taste

As for pesto alla Genovese, simply put all the ingredients bar the olive oil into a blender and mix them until they are all roughly chopped. Add the olive oil in steps until you have a smooth paste. Adjust the seasoning depending on the saltiness of your parmesan! 

 

Hamburger Rote Grütze – Sugar-free Red Berry Compote (serves 4-6) 

250g mixed berries, frozen or fresh (red currants, black currants, blueberries, raspberries and brambles

200g cherries, ideally without the stones …

1 – 1 ½ cup grape juice

3 tbs corn flour

100g quark

Bring the berries to boil over a medium heat. In a small bowl, mix the corn flour with the grape juice until fully dissolved. Once the berries are bubbling, add the cherries, and finally the corn flour mix. Adjust the sweetness of the compote by adding more grape juice, if necessary. You want to achieve the consistency of a thick soup, or single cream.

Serve cold, with a generous dollop of quark. 

It’s a great way to make the most of seasonal produce, some of which is growing on our very doorstep. I hope Elaine enjoys this summer feast as much as we did!

Ginger, I am so honoured by your beautiful dish and all of the hard work you obviously put into this post. Thank you so very much for taking part and for feeding me such an amazing meal xxx

What would you feed me…Suzanne? 

 

This week I bring you another wonderful guest post from another of my lovely blog pals….introducing: Suzanne from A Pug in the Kitchen. As the name suggests, Suzanne shares her home and her kitchen with her much loved pug, Nando; she is a great cook, sharing and creating wonderful recipes, her love of food stemming from her family and upbringing, and she is always extremely supportive of her fellow bloggers and their recipes. I hope you enjoy Suzanne’s recipe this week, I’ve got to say, it looks good to me..

So, Suzanne, what would you feed me? 

When Elaine asked me to do a guest post for her incredible series “What would you feed me….? I immediately said yes of course I would love to, and then I got nervous. I am sure all of you know Elaine and her wonderful blog “Foodbod”, she is the Queen of sauces, dips, tremendously tasty vegetable dishes and a master at using Tahini. Elaine is Vegetarian, GF, free of processed sugar and foods, she is a healthful eater and cook. I wanted to make a dish that fits her food criteria and one that she would enjoy!

I LOVE Persian and Middle Eastern cuisine and I know that Elaine does too. I decided to make one of my favorite Persian stews. Khoresht e Bademjan or eggplant stew and serve with basmati rice prepared the Persian way, in other words it’s par boiled, then steamed and the rice at the bottom of the pan forms a crisp crust called tahdig, usually the Khoresht contains meat but in this case I am using just eggplant along with some roasted potato and chick pea’s so this is not exactly the Persian way but will have the same flavor profile. I am serving the stew with basmatic rice and no Persian meal would be complete without some yogurt so I mixed some plain yogurt with cucumber and mint.

Elaine my love, I do hope you enjoy, I made this just for you!! The stew would be delicious with Elaine’s harissa added.

  Beautiful eggplant

Khoresht e Bademjan (Vegetarian)

Serves 6 comfortably

2 medium eggplant peeled and sliced into 1/2 inch thick rounds then quartered
2 potatoes (I like Yukon gold) skin on, cut into bite size chunks
1/2 cup garbanzo beans (I used canned)
6 oz can tomato paste
1 smallish onion peeled and chopped
pinch of turmeric (approx 1/4 tsp)
4-4 1/2 cups water
2 dried limes (poke several holes in them with the end of your knife or something sharp)

Heat oven to 375 degree’s. Toss the eggplant with some olive oil and place on parchment lined baking sheet, sprinle with a little sea salt and black pepper. Roast in the oven approximately 25-30 minutes until it’s nicely browned and cooked through. Remove from oven. Now on the same baking sheet add the potatoes and roast 30-35 minutes until they are golden brown. Set both aside. NOTE:Traditionally you would fry the eggplant but I prefer to oven roast it uses less oil.

In medium saucepan heat some olive oil and fry the onion until soft and translucent and lightly browned add the turmeric and stir cooking for about a minute. Add the tomato paste and cook stirring frequently until it caramelizes. Add the water and the dried limes and cook for approximately 45-50 minutes on medium heat, it should thicken. Add the garbanzo beans and continue cooking for another 10 minutes, now add the eggplant and potato’s and cook for 15 minutes on med/low heat. Before serving remove the limes.
 dried limes

 Rice and tahdig

Rice (The Persian Way)

3 cups Basmati rice (white or brown) Increase cookng time if using brown basmati
1 tablespoon salt to soak rice then more for cooking

2 tablespoons Butter divided

Generous pinch saffron

1/4 cup Water

enough vegetable oil to thinly coat the bottom of the pot

Put rice in bowl and rinse until water drains pretty clear. Add more water to cover rice add a tbs of salt and let rice sit for an hour.

In large saucepan or dutch oven with lid(I use non stick) fill with water, add some salt and bring to a rolling boil. In small bowl combine 1/4 cup water and saffron let rest.

When water is boiling drain the rice and add to the pot. Stir to separate rice and let cook uncovered for 10-15 minutes you are par cooking the rice, test a grain it should be hard in the middle. Remove from heat and drain into collander and rinse with cold water.

In your pot that you cooked the rice in wipe to dry and just coat the bottom of the pan with vegetable oil and 1 tbs butter, when butter has melted and its hot add the rice, drizzle saffron water and 1 tbs of butter. Cover pot with paper towel and place lid on. Turn heat to high and let steam build in the pot it takes approximately 10 minutes, reduce heat to medium or medium/high (depending on your stove) and let cook for 45 minutes. Pay close attention you will smell the nuttiness of the tahdig forming but if you notice a burnt smell turn heat down immediately.

Put a few inches of cold water in your sink, When rice is done take to sink and sit the pot in the cold water for ten-seconds this will help the rice to release. Place serving dish on top of the pot and invert. The rice should come out in one piece looks almost like a cake.
 Yogurt, mint cucumber

Yogurt, Cucumber, Mint

1 17 oz container yogurt (I like whole milk greek yogurt)
2 kirby or 1 regular cucumber peeled and chopped
1-2 tsp dried mint
season with salt and pepper if you like)
A squeeze of lemon

Mix the yogurt, cucumber and mint, lemon juice together, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.  

 
Dinner is served Elaine!

Suzanne, thank you so much for this fabulous meal, I love every bit of it – the aubergine stew, the crust on the rice…all gorgoeus 🙂 xx

What would you feed me…Krystina?

 

This week I bring you the Greek Connection: Krystina from Kouzounas Kitchen..Krystina and I met via our blogs very early on and she has always been so friendly and so supportive. She is a great cook and amazing pastry chef, check out her Instagram feed for mouth watering creations! 

As you will see from Krystina’s story below, she is driven by her love of her Greek heritage and she shares lots of Greek and other recipes. She also posts about the fabulous pastries that she makes and sells, sadly over in the US, but it’s great to see how her business is building. I hope you enjoy Krystina’s simple, tasty recipe..for more, check out her blog..

So, Krsytina, what would you feed me….?

Growing up in a Greek family, I was always watching my family make amazing Greek dishes in the kitchen. My fascination with spanakopita started at an age of 8 years old, I loved phyllo dough, and watching my mom master spanakopita was so interesting to me. I would be her little sous chef, and help her prep the phyllo. I started cooking at a young age, and would try to duplicate many Greek recipes from my grandmother, and my parents. The story behind these zucchini fritters is one I will not forget….

I was in Athens back in 2009 and I remember eating at a taverna. The server recommended this mezes, and I said okay I will give it a try. Oh my, this was the best appetizer I have ever had. I enjoyed the zuchinni fritters with tzatziki and some nice retsina wine. When I came back to California I started making this appetizer; I like to combine tradtional and modern Greek recipes together.

I met Elaine while searching other food blogger’s recipes on WordPress a few years ago. I immediately connected with her on her blog, and loved her recipes. My dad’s family all passed from cancer and when I read Elaine’s ‘about me’ section on her blog, I knew right away we had a few things in common. (We both lost family and friends to cancer.) Ever since I lost my grandparents, uncles, and godfather to the horrible cancer, I became very interested in healthy Greek recipes. I graduated from Le Cordon Bleu as a pastry chef back in 2008 and I decided to branch out into the whole entire culinary field.

Nowadays I do catering, and three farmers markets in the Sacramento area. I specialize in Greek pastries & appetizers. I like to bring “fresh” Greek specialty items to Northern California. 

 I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family does. 

Thank you very much Elaine for featuring me. It is an honor to be able to share my recipe on your blog. 🙂 

  

 Zucchini Fritters (Κολοκυθάκια τηγανητά) Recipe

Ingredients:

• 3 zucchini, well-rinsed

• ¼ cup sliced white onion

• Pinch of fine sea salt

• 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

• Pinch of cumin

• Pinch of freshly chopped dill

• Lemon (reserve juice)

• 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

Directions:

1. Rinse your zucchini well and pat dry. Use a sharp knife to cut zucchini in very thin slices.

2. Pre heat your olive oil in a deep pan; make sure the pan is big enough to fit all the zucchini slices.

3. Add the zucchini and onion to the pan over medium heat and sauté for approximately 5 minutes on each side.

4. Once zucchini has a nice golden color to it, remove from heat.

5. To serve: Add the cumin, sea salt, pepper, and lemon juice to toss over zucchini. Plate with fresh dill.

6. These fritters are perfect with tzatziki dip.

Enjoy~

 
 

What a lovely plate of gorgoeus courgettes, another perfect dish for me, thank you so much Krystina – and thank you for sharing the story of this dish too xxx 

 

What would you feed me…Fae?

 
This is week I am very proud and excited to bring you a guest post from the lovely Fae from Fae’s Twist and Tango. Fae is an amazing cook, so knowledgeable and so skilled, and also so supportive and encouraging of her fellow bloggers. I’m so thrilled that she was happy to take part in my series, her food always look soooooooo good!!!!
So, Fae, what would you feed me?
Although I have never met Elaine in person, she is a lady I admire. Elaine’s consistency and dedication in bringing her readers fresh, healthy vegetarian/vegan dishes which are very delectable, is notable. To participate in this series was truly challenging for me. Not only did Elaine ask for a vegetarian/vegan dish, but also that it be gluten and sugar free. I wanted to present a special friend with a special meal. And here it is. I am presenting Elaine with Japan’s national dish, made with no seafood, eggs or sugar but with a clever little twist!

Sushi Variety - Vegan, Gluten and Sugar Free

  • Servings: 4 ~ 6 pieces
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Print

Recipe by:    Fae’s Twist & Tango    (fae-magazine.com)
 
Only  1/2  of the below recipe is displayed in the photo.
 
INGREDIENTS
 
Any decorative vegetable of choice, blanched in salted, boiling water, shocked in ice water and drained.
•   1  medium to large carrot, thick third sliced into circles to make flowers, third cut into sticks/strips, and third minced – blanched for 90 seconds.
•   12  pieces long green beans – blanched for 3 minutes then 4 kept in whole, 3 biased cut in 3.5cm/1.5″ each, 5 sliced in in 5mm/¼”
•   12  stems asparagus, only top 5cm/2″ used – blanched for 60 ~ 90 seconds
•   85g / 3oz  spinach – blanched for 90 seconds
•   salt for blanching
 
Other ingredients
•   1 Japanese, Persian or 15cm/6″ English cucumber, cut 3 circular slices and remainder, long, thicker julienne
•   ½ avocado, sliced in thick strips
•   2 ~ 3 Tbsp roasted sesame seeds
•   3  sheets rolling sushi seaweed sheets – ½ sheet cut into stripes for decoration
•   3  fried tofu / inari pockets cut in half and boiled
     wasabi 
•   Japanese style, unsweetened, pickled ginger on the side
•   soy-sauce for dipping
 
For sushi rice
•   2  cups premium short-grain rice
•   2½   cups water (or as specified on the package)
•   7  Tbsp rice vinegar
•   5 Tbsp strained puréed apple (sweet variety like fuji)
•   ½  tsp salt
 
•   temizu – ½ cup water, for moistening hands when handling the rice, so it would not stick to hands
 
DIRECTIONS
 
◊  First, prepare all ingredients as specified and then cook the rice. Next, watch this short video, a very helpful visual tutorial.
 
To make seasoned sushi rice
◊  Cook rice as specified on the package. While the rice is hot, spread it in a large, shallow (pasta) bowl, sprinkle vinegar and apple juice and using a spatula, mix, using cutting motion, side-to side. (Don’t mix too vigorously or the rice will become sticky.) Rice needs to be fanned as it is being mixed to create sheen and prevent the rice from absorbing too much vinegar and becoming too tart. Each grain of rice should be dressed evenly. Cover the dish with a moist kitchen towel to keep rice from drying. Let it cool down.
 
◊  When the rice has slightly cooled, place 1/8 of rice in a medium bowl, mix it with minced carrots, thinly cut pieces of green beans, 1 Tbsp of sesame seeds, and mix well.  Fill the fried tofu / inari pockets. Garnish/decorate as preferred.
 
◊  To make futomaki (using whole green beans, carrot sticks and spinach) and California roll (using sesame seeds, cucumber sticks, avocado and carrot sticks), follow video instructions.  To make thinner kappa maki, follow futomaki instructions, on a half sheet of seaweed, spread the rice, put small specks of wasabi on the rice, a few thin strips of cucumbers, and roll.
 
◊  To make vegetable nigiri sushi, wet your hands, make an oblong shape with the rice, place 2 asparagus tops and tie them with a strip of seaweed.
 
◊  To make temari sushi (named after temari silk balls), wet your hands, make a small ball, place it on a square plastic wrap, place design of choice, flip and wrap the plastic wrap to secure the design (as seen in the photo).
 
 
◊  The sushi pieces should be arranged on a large platter to balance the colors. Place some gari (pickled ginger) and wasabi on the side. A speck of wasabi is dissolved in a little drizzle of soy-sauce for dipping.  Goes very well with miso soup.
 
~   Douzo Meshiagare!  •   Bon Appétit! ~
Fae, this looks amazing! A work of art!! The ingredients all sound perfect and the inclusion of the apple was totally unexpected! Thank you so much 🙂 xx