Roasted Moong Dal

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I love dal/dhal.

This is one of the easiest dals to make and packs a real flavour hit. I tend to make this dal in the morning to let the flavour develop through the day, leftovers are fantastic the next day, I often have them for breakfast, and I also freeze some with cooked rice for quick and easy meals in the future.

For the vegetarian or dairy free options use coconut oil or a vegetable based oil.

Ingredients

360g moong dhal/dal

1.5l water

2 pinches saffron

1 tablespoon salt

75g ghee or coconut oil

2 teaspoons brown mustard seeds

2 teaspoons nigella / koolanji seeds

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes, crushed chilli

Method

In a large heavy based pan, warm the dry dal over a medium heat until slightly browning and smelling nutty.

Pour the dal into a sieve and wash under running water.

Return the dal to the pan with the water and saffron.

Bring up to the boil and cook over medium to low heat for 40mins, skimming off the foam as it rises to the surface and stirring regularly. Towards the end it will want to burn to the bottom of your pan!

Once the dal is cooked, take a small frying pan, over high heat, heat the ghee, until very hot, add the spices, as soon as the mustard starts popping, turn off and add to the dal, it will spit as the ghee hits the dal! Stir well in and set aside.

Reheat gently to serve.

Pink Coleslaw

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In a house full of boys it is sometimes nice to have a little bit of pink at the table.

Great with barbecued food and anytime a salad is needed, this is also a handy recipe for using up egg yolks!

If you don’t have a mandolin just grate the carrots and beets on the largest grating setting.

If you would rather use jarred mayo, just add the whole grain mustard to it before stirring through the veg.

To make it vegetarian use an egg free mayo alternative.

Serves 8-10.

Ingredients

1/2 large cabbage, outer leaves removed

2 carrots, peeled and topped and tailed

2 beetroots, peeled and topped and tailed

1 red onion, peeled and topped and tailed

2 egg yolks

10 mls white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

225mls  sunflower oil

3 tablespoons whole grain mustard

Method

Take the stem out of the cabbage and slice very finely, place in a large bowl.

Using a mandolin, finely cut the carrots and beetroots into matchsticks, add to the cabbage.

Finely slice the onion, add to the bowl.

In a small bowl. Whisk the egg yolks, vinegar, Dijon mustard and a little salt.

Slowly add the oil, whisking all of the time.

Once you have a thick mayonnaise, add the whole grain mustard and combine.

Mix the mayonnaise through the vegetables and serve.

Naked Beef Burger stuffed with Brie and Jalapeño

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I love a good burger and now that a bun or roll isn’t on the menu I feel I need to jazz my burgers up a little bit, enter the naked stuffed burger!

At this time of year we are lucky enough to have a large piece of Brie usually hiding in the fridge for quick and lazy meals, nothing beats gooey cheese and gluten free crackers with apple slices in my opinion!

When it’s getting towards the end of its shelf life this is a great way to use up a little bit of leftover cheese,  including the rind.

Serves 6

Ingredients

2 tablespoons oil

2 large onions

700g minced beef

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

salt and pepper to season

sliced jalapeños, around 4-6 slices per burger

6 slices of Brie

3 avocados, diced

6 tomatoes, deseeded and diced

1 lime cut into 6 wedges

Method

Heat a large frying pan with the oil in it.

Over a medium heat cook the onion in the pan until softened, set aside and don’t wash the pan as it will be reused.

In a large bowl combine the minced beef, mustard, salt and pepper. Roll into 12 balls.

Flatten 6 balls and place a slice of Brie and a few slices of jalapeño chilli on top.

Take the remaining balls and flatten until slightly larger than the previous balls, place them over the bases and squeeze around the edges to seal.

Heat the large frying pan again over a high heat and cook the burgers until slightly charred on both sides.

Return the onions to the pan to warm through.

Serve the burger, topped with onion, tomato and avocado with a slice of lime on the side.

Celebration Pavlova

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This is one of my favourite desserts or puddings to make, not too complicated and looks stunning, dare I say, gluten free too so I get to really enjoy it!

This week I had fresh cherries and strawberries but anything goes here, kiwi and strawberry, mulberry, raspberry, peach and nectarine, really just choose whichever fruit is in season and go for it.

I make the two large meringues separately, I find if I try to make meringues with more than four egg whites it all goes to pot so, better to do it all twice but make sure the bowl and beaters are clean and dry before making the second meringue of the egg whites won’t beat.

Once made and cooled the meringues will sit happily in an airtight container for a couple of days allowing you to plan ahead.

Serves 12-16 and makes a 30-32cm diameter pavlova.

Ingredients

8 egg whites

350g caster sugar

500mls whipping cream

400g strawberries, hulled and halved

500g cherries, halved and pitted

Method

Preheat the oven to 130 degrees Centigrade.

Take two large pieces of baking parchment and draw out two large circles around 26.5cm, I draw around one of our smaller dinner plates.

Turn the paper over and place onto two large baking sheets.

In a large bowl, beat 4 of the egg whites until very stiff, so stiff they don’t move if you tip the bowl up!

Now add 175g sugar, one dessert spoon at a time and beat very well with each addition.

Once all of the sugar is added, spoon the meringue onto the prepared parchment and spread gently out to the marked circle.

Pop in the oven, wash and dry the bowl and beaters until spotless and repeat to make the second layer as before.

Bake the two meringues for two to two and a half hours, they should peel easily from the paper and will have a cracked appearance.

Allow to cool completely on the baking sheets.

Once you are ready to serve.

Whip up the cream.

Place one meringue on your serving plate, top with half the cream and fruit of choice.

Top with the second meringue and again spread with the remaining cream and fruit.

Spiced Boiled Prawns

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I love prawns at this time of year, the hot weather really lends itself to easy food, served at room temperature.

Serves 6-8.

Ingredients

1.5kg prawns, heads removed and shells on

4 tablespoons salt

4 teaspoons coriander seeds

3 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds

1/2 teaspoon all spice berries

12 whole cloves

8 black peppercorns

6 bay leaves

2 lemons

Method

Make a bouquet garni with the whole spices, except the peppercorns and  bay leaves. Take a large square of muslin, fold over twice to make a smaller square, fill with the spices and tie off with some cotton cooking twine.

Fill a large pan with litres of water.

Cut the lemon in half, squeeze the juice into the pan and add the lemon halves.

Add the peppercorns and bay leaves to the pan.

Add the bouquet garni and bring to the boil. Allow to simmer for 15mins until the water has coloured a little from the spices.

Add the prawns and turn off the heat, cover the pan and allow to sit for 5 minutes.

Drain and allow to cool.

Serve with lemon wedges.

 

Raspberry Sherbet

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A little holiday fun for the boys making sherbet.

We like to dip jelly snakes into our own individual shot glasses, jelly babies work a treat too!

This is gluten free but you need to check whatever your choose to dip is too, otherwise, for vegetarian you need to use non beef gelatine jelly crystals.

Fills 6 shot glasses.

Ingredients

3 tablespoons raspberry jelly crystals

2 tablespoons citric acid

1 tablespoon bicarbonate of soda

Method

Combine the ingredients well and spoon into shot glasses.

Pizza Scrolls

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Brilliant for lunch boxes, picnics and kids parties, easy to make dough that you just top and roll.

I like to make these and freeze half to pop into the boys lunch boxes at a later date or at this time of year to give me a quick and easy snack for the visiting family and friends.

Makes 20-26.

Ingredients

500g plain flour

2x7g sachets dried yeast

2 teaspoons salt

1 tablespoon dried oregano

350mls warm water

100mls sieved tomatoes or pizza sauce

400g grated mozzarella

Method

In a large bowl combine the flour, yeast, salt and oregano.

Make a well in the centre and add the water, combine using a fork and once it’s coming together, pour onto a floured work surface and start to knead, knead for 5 mins.

Return to the original bowl and cover with a cling film or a damp tea towel. Set aside, somewhere warm, for 1 hour.

Lightly knead the dough and then roll out on a well floured large work surface, roll into a rectangle around 30×90 com.

Spread the sieved tomatoes or pizza sauce over, top with cheese and roll the dough into a long sausage.

Cut into 3-5cm rounds.

Place on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment and repeat with the remaining dough.

Cover with cling film and allow to rest for 20-30mins.

Preheat the oven to 210 degrees Centigrade,

Bake for 15-20mins until golden.