Lime, Cilantro and Avocado Rice (4)

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Rice with lime and cilantro is a nice dish that goes really well with chicken and fish, especially if they are blackened. Adding in mashed avocado makes all the difference.

1 cup brown rice

1 3/4 cups boiling water

Zest of 1/2 lime

Juice of 1 lime

2 tbsp. chopped cilantro

2 ripe avocados- mashed

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place rice in a pan and pour over boiling water. Bring to boil them simmer for 30 minutes.

Rinse rice in a sieve and let cool.

Place rice in a serving dish and add lime zest and juice, cilantro and mashed avocado.

Season with salt and pepper.

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Chocolate Roulade with a Chocolate Mousse Filling (6-8)

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A completely gluten and dairy free (I can tolerate 70% and above dark chocolate) rich chocolate dessert that is a real treat at the end of a special dinner – I served it at Christmas this year and it was well received. You can make it a little in advance – up to 24 hours – which is helpful, though I would keep it covered so it doesn’t dry out. If you can find Hershey’s Cocoa 100% Cacao Special Dark it gives a really deep chocolate flavor.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  You will also need parchment paper and an 8 x 12 inch roasting tin.

Oil the roasting tin, line with parchment paper and oil the parchment paper to prevent sticking.

3 eggs – separated

4 oz. caster sugar

1 oz cocoa powder

Place the egg yolks in a large bowl and whisk with a fork.

Whisk the egg whites in a large bowl until a little bit stiff then add the sugar and whisk until the whites are so stiff that you can turn the bowl upside down and the whites don’t fall out.

Fold the egg whites into the egg yolks then sieve in the cocoa powder and continue to gently fold until the cocoa powder is evenly blended in.

Pour mixture into roasting tin and spread evenly then cook in the oven for 15 – 20 minutes. When done the chocolate mixture should be firmish to the touch.

While the chocolate mixture is cooling you can make the mousse:

5 oz. of 70% dark chocolate – broken into pieces

1 oz. cocoa powder (same as above)

2 fl. oz. water

1 egg yolk – whisked

4 egg whites

1 oz. caster sugar

Place the broken chocolate in a bowl and place the bowl in a pan with several inches of boiling water. Heat gently on the stove top until the chocolate is melted. Then set aside to cool slightly.

In a separate bowl place the cocoa powder and slowly add the water, stirring as you do so. Then slowly add the whisked egg yolk, again stirring as you do so.

Check that the melted chocolate mixture is tepid, then add the cocoa,, water, egg yolk mixture to it and stir it in. Pour/spoon mixture into a large bowl.

Whisk the egg whites and when slightly firm add the sugar and continue whisking using same principle as above (that they don’t fall out of the bowl).

Gently fold the egg whites, say a quarter of the mixture at a time into the bowl with the chocolate then spread evenly over the roulade. Place in the fridge for an 2 hours and then slowly  roll up the roulade, easing back the parchment paper as you go. Can be served immediately or up to 24 hours later.  Dust with confectioner’s sugar/icing sugar before serving.

 

 

 

Tamarind Lamb Chops on a Bed of Moroccan Vegetables (4)

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Lamb is a frequent feature in North African dishes such as stews and tagines and I have borrowed some flavors from the area – cumin, cilantro and harissa paste – to bolster this dish.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

4 x lamb chops drizzled with oil

1 tbsp. olive oil seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 of a large yellow onion – chopped

1 tsp. cumin

2 tsp. harissa paste

1/2 a medium size cauliflower – cut into smallish florets

6 fl. oz. water

1 x 15 oz. can of chickpeas – rinsed and drained

1 tbsp. cilantro – finely chopped

Tamarind paste – for spreading on cooked lamb chops

Place the lamb chops in oven and cook for 30 minutes.

While the chops are cooking prepare the bed of vegetables.

Heat seasoned oil in a skillet and when sizzling add onion, turn heat down a little and soften.

Add cumin, harissa paste and cauliflower florets and stir. Then pour over the water, cover skillet, bring to boil and simmer for a few minutes until cauliflower is just tender. Pour in chickpeas and cilantro and heat through.

Place vegetables on a serving dish, top with lamb chops brushed with tamarind paste.

 

Simple Salad (4)

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Do you ever just fancy a steak and salad – simple, quick and easy – maybe with some new potatoes? All done in about 10 minutes. This salad combines crisp romaine lettuce, avocado and finely chopped red onion tossed with a vinaigrette dressing.

1 -2 heads romaine lettuce – sliced

1 avocado – diced

2 tbsp. finely diced red onion

Vinaigrette

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

1 tbsp. red wine vinegar

3 tbsp. olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Whisk all ingredients together or give jam jar a good shake, pour a couple of tbsp. over salad and toss, adding more vinaigrette if necessary.

 

Tomato and Bacon Chutney (1 1/2 cups)

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A dollop of tomato and bacon jam was served atop my bun-less, cheese-less burger the other day and it was a delicious surprise. I used maple bacon, but if you can’t find it regular bacon will do. After cooking the bacon I removed it from the skillet and placed paper towel underneath and on to of it so I could get rid of the grease. Then I browned and softened the onion and garlic in the bacon fat left in the pan. That needed paper towel too. The sauce is an interesting mixture of mustard, maple syrup, balsamic vinegar and Worcestershire sauce. Goes well with sausages too.

8 oz. maple bacon – cut into thin strips

1 medium onion – chopped

2 large cloves of garlic – grated

12 oz. plum tomatoes – sliced and then chopped into small chunks

2 tbsp. each of Dijon mustard, maple syrup, balsamic vinegar and Worcestershire Sauce

Heat a lidded skillet and when hot add the bacon strips and cook until nicely browned but not too crisp. Then remove from skillet and place between two pieces of paper towel to get rid of extra grease.

Add onion and garlic to the remainder of the bacon fat and cooked until softened and the onions are a little browned. Place onion and garlic mixture between two pieces of paper towel as above.

Place bacon, onion and garlic mixture back into the skillet and add the tomatoes.

Whisk the mustard, maple syrup, balsamic vinegar and Worcestershire sauce together in a bowl, then pour into the skillet.

Bring to a boil then turn heat down low and cook for 25 minutes removing the skillet lid every once in a while to give the mixture a stir.