Moqueca is a super easy traditional Brazilian fish stew which is creamy and tangy all at once because it has the brilliant combo of lime juice, coconut milk and chilli. It will warm your cockles even on an autumn evening and take you to somewhere a little bit more exotic if you are not there already. You can also use fresh squid, sea bream, haddock, clams, mussels, scallops, crab or whatever is available or whatever you fancy in it. It’s up to you. Its really delicious with basmati rice or crusty bread if you are not low carbing it. Perfect for a dinner party or just a dinner for two.
Like the aubergine stew Caponata traditional Italian stew of sweet savoury peppers is a bit like a relish. It’s often served as antipasti with assorted cheeses, olives, breads and salad. This recipe reminds me of when I was a child, my Italian aunt Marie used to serve it in a bap, plain with no butter, just olive oil, I thought it was the most delicious thing I’d ever eaten and I still love it. Like a lot of stews, it gets better after a day or two in the fridge. It can be served hot or cold, as an anti-pasti, or with bread, pasta or meat. I love it with Parmesan on toasted sourdough with a sprinkling of shredded basil… do try it.
I have taken the flavours of a classic Spanish clam stew and rejigged it so it tastes great even though there is no meat in it. Normally it would have Chorizo in it, so I used smoked paprika which is the flavor of Chorizo instead and it tastes just as good. It’s a really easy recipe and great for a date night. Also, the frozen Clams were a bargain £3.59 for 500g in the freezer section of Waitrose. I always buy a few boxes and keep them in the freezer just in case.
While I was in Morocco recently I was hoping to learn to cook new amazing dishes but our food was cooked for us by a cook who didn’t speak any English so I didn’t learn much. Since I got back I wanted to put more Moroccan and moorish dishes on the blog, so along with my Moro cookbooks which I adore and a new book I bought, Orange Blossom and Honey by John Gregory-Smith from which I am learning new recipes that he bought back from Morocco I hope to enthuse you as much as possible with the fragrant flavours from the souks.
This potato tagine is delicious with couscous ,salad and roast meat if you eat meat.
I also like a dollop of garlic infused Greek yogurt on top, but you could use soya yogurt if you prefer. Continue reading
What could be nicer…an open salad sandwich always does it for me and my girlfriends. We love that combo of crunchy bread and salad. It’s healthy clean food and perfect for lunch or as a starter. This version of Greek salad is taken from all the most interesting recipes I could find for Greek salad and I mixed them up. I also cut the vegetables very small so it’s easier to stick the bread in your mouth if you want to eat them without a knife and fork, like I do.
Beans on toast with a fried or poached egg is up there as a great tasting breakfast or light meal. I have taken a traditional Italian recipe that ramps up the taste and textures and added my own tweaks, but mainly a poached egg, which you can leave out if you want the vegan version it’s still delicious.
I love this bowl of coconutty deliciousness. Laksa is a comforting Thai coconut broth with vegetables and noodles. It’s spicy, creamy and noodley. I find a lot of vegan recipes are trying to emulate meat dishes, which is not great because vegan ingredients can be fantastic and with imagination don’t need to pretend they are something they are not. There are a lot of sumptuous vegan dishes that don’t shout deprivation of any kind. Hopefully you will try my vegan recipes and agree that they are just as good as any recipe using animal products, I try to make them look delicious too, and full of colour and not just a load of beige-ness.
This recipe is my take on a Laksa I hope you like it. It’s healthy and delicious.
You can never have enough pasta in your life. When I was very young my father used to take me to a smart Italian restaurant in Chelsea called The Meridiana owned by his friend Enzo Apicella. Enzo sometimes sat with us while we ate and we would discuss our love of pasta. This is a simple recipe, which is incredibly delicious. It’s also called Aglio E Olio in Italian. There are a lot of versions of it, and you can customise it with whatever you have in the cupboard. It’s called midnight spaghetti because it’s a recipe used by tired, busy chefs after they come home late after long day at work. It’s also called ‘after the party’, so you get the drift…it’s quick, easy and very tasty, particularly after one too many drinks and you are ravenous. Check out midnight spaghetti 2 on here, if you fancy trying another version. It would also be a perfect for a vegetarian dinner party with a salad if you wanted to cook something that is economical and very doable.
Serves 2 but you can double or triple the quantities.
250g dried spaghetti (half a regular packet)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 cloves garlic cut into slivers
¼ teaspoon of chilli flakes
A sprig of parsley finely chopped
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan
1-2 tablespoons of vermouth (optional)
a large handful of cherry tomatoes
Salt and pepper to taste
This really delicious Lebanese salad is made with toasted pitas and a mix of salad vegetables and herbs and has the most delicious fragrant sweet dressing. It’s the perfect combination of sweet and sour and crunchy and soft combined. You can add radishes, carrots, olives, peppers, shredded red cabbage, feta or what ever you fancy, it’s perfect for using up vegetables in the fridge. It’s a sort of Middle Eastern version of panzanella and its really gorgeous. You can serve it as a starter, or with meat or fish and it’s perfect picnic food and pretty healthy too. I like it as a healthy lunch made with wholemeal pitas and a side order of humus and more pita bread. Over to Ralph…
Ralph here……It tasted amazing! Took me right back to my mum’s Lebanese kitchen.
2 teaspoons of sumac, soaked in 2 teaspoons of warm water for 10 minutes
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
1 tablespoon of pomegranate molasses
1 clove of minced garlic
1 teaspoon of wine vinegar
1/3 cup of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
A couple of pita breads, lightly coated in olive oil and roasted in the oven till crispy then broken into smallish pieces
A handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
Half a cucumber, skinned and diced
Half a red onion finely sliced
1 little Gem or baby romaine lettuce, shredded
A sprig of finely chopped parsley
A sprig of finely chopped mint
With nearly all of my recipes I look at loads of versions of them and take the best bits from each one to create what I think is the perfect hybrid, and that’s what I’ve done with this Sicilian dish. I really love aubergine and this version of melanzane parmigiana that I have created is great because it’s spot on in the flavour department. It’s low carb and great with meat and/or salad because its really satisfying as well as delicious. You could also serve it with pasta. Tonight, I’m testing it on friends (cooked the night before and reheated in their oven) I’ll get back to you on what they think.
Yes! They really really loved it……
4 aubergines sliced into thinish slices , approx one pound coin thick
2 tablespoons of olive oil plus more for the aubergines
1 red onion finely sliced
2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil
2 400g tins of plum tomatoes
a sprig of oregano or a teaspoon of dried
3 cloves of minced garlic
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons of maple syrup
200g of thinly sliced mozzarella
100g of freshly grated Parmesan
Salt and pepper