Saturday, 27 April 2013

Awesome avocado dressing

Fancy kicking about amongst the flowers and picking avocados with me? A good avo brings me such happiness.

If you visit my parents you will go home with avocados.
If my brother visits London and doesn't bring me avocados and lemons, he will be in my bad books. Unbelievably he's 'not too fussed either way about them' so I felt I owed it to him to win him over. Would it be cheating to start my mission with a juicy steak?

Avocados have a lot of calories in them and their fair share of fat yadda yadda, I can't believe this stops people from eating them. They are SO GOOD FOR YOU. Full of antioxidants and good for your eyes, heart and unborn baby in wombs everywhere. They also taste delicious and the cold, smooth, buttery texture is like nothing else. Slather in your hair, on your toast, or blend it into a dressing. You can make it thinner than mine to coat your lettuce leaves but I've made mine like a loose guacamole.

Avocado dressing
Blend the below in a food processor, taste and season accordingly.
2 ripe avocados 
1 tbsp chopped chives
2 tbsp coriander
1 lemon, 1 lime juiced
1/2 tsp Chilli pepper / cayenne pepper
Lots of Maldon sea salt
Splashes of rice wine vinegar
You can finish with olive oil or water or more lime if you like...

Monday, 15 April 2013

Pretzel Buns

Some food just screams EAT ME! Surprisingly, for me, it's the savoury stuff that beckons. I saw these Swiss pretzel buns on a food/photography blog and had to make them straight away. If you like bagels, or fresh, doughy pretzels then you're going to love these buns. They are chewy, salty, shiny and cute. They are addictive. I ate one warm with serrano ham, manchego and mustard mayo and then a few one with butter and heaps of jam. Excuse being that they're just not the same the next day.For a peek at some beautiful photography and the recipe, check out Rosa's blog

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Pug Cake!

It's a funny thing, sculpting something lifelike out of a block of icing. Pugs seem to have become a bit of a craze recently, tiny little dogs that look like they couldn't stop their feet in time from running into/face planting a wall. They are cute though, I've met one and they are funny little things with zany personalities. At first the face looking back at me just had that freaked out look and I felt funny pushing those googly eyes in their sockets.. but at the finish, as I sprayed her eyes glossy, she looked back at me and I couldn't help but stroke her little flat nose.
I only got a fuzzy pic of the final cake but this wee pug crowned a big choc cake surrounded with glossy love hearts. I sprayed the eyes shiny too which really brought her to life but I don't like fuzzy photos so you'll have to excuse me.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Ragu of Jamaican Oxtail

I love Oxtail, you have to give it a lot of love (and by that, I mean time) but it's a cheap cut and it's gloriously unctuous and rich in flavour. I get the slowcooker out for this one, which is of some comfort in this mighty chilly weather..blip blip. That's the sounds of the stew blipping away whilst you go out and leave it to work its magic for 6 hours.
I made this recipe as a gift and wasn't sure how hot to make it so I used regular chillies, if you want a proper Jamaican kick, grab yourself a scotch bonnet!

Serves 4-6 as a ragu with pasta. I would imagine Pappardelle would be beautiful with this. 

Toss 6 pieces of oxtail in -
1tbsp flour
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp chilli powder
½ tsp ground all spice
½ tsp ground ginger
Salt and pepper
Fry in a hot pan, sealing all sides of the meat.

Next, fry 2 onions, get some colour on them, this will give the depth to the sauce
Add 4 cloves of garlic
1 lrg thumb of fresh ginger
1/3 can coconut milk (not imperative, I just had some to use)
1 can chopped tomatoes
1/2 can of water swirled in the empty tomato tin
3 bay leaves
small bunch of thyme leaves
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tspcayenne,
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp dark vinegar
1 heaped tbsp dark muscovado sugar
Chopped chilli of your choice
Squeeze of 1 Lime 

Add the meat to the sauce and Let it cook on high for 5-6 hours in a slow cooker or in the oven and let rest before sliding the meat of the bone and serving. 
If you have any good oxtail recipes, I would love to hear them...