Monday 23 April 2012

Roast chicken with preserved lemons and olives

Do you remember a month or so ago I posted how to preserve your own lemons? 4 weeks later, I return to Spain and there were those jarred lemons, sitting in the same place, totally transformed. If I think about it, they probably made there way into 8 out of 10 dishes that week.
This one was my favourite, served with quinoa, grilled leeks and peas. 

Serves 3 or I suppose 6 if you had one each.
6 chicken thighs
1 preserved lemon
1 pot of natural yogurt (200g)
1 tsp of cumin, 1 tsp coriander, 2 tsp Garam masala
4 cloves of garlic, crushed/grated
zest and juice of one fresh lemon
Salt and pepper
Black Olives

Mix dry spices into the yogurt with the lemon juice and rind, salt and pepper and garlic.
Pop back in fridge, covered, for at least 4 hours.
Oil a hot griddle and brown the thighs until caramalised (6 minutes)
Now roast the chicken with any left over marinade in a hot oven (190C) for approx 20 mins, depending on size of thighs.
Chop preserved lemon (having scraped out the pips and pith) and toss in grill pan. Now,  sprinkle on the top with chopped parsley and olives.

Saturday 7 April 2012

Chocolate Hazelnut Brownies

Happy Easter Everyone! I've been asked by my friend Ebony for a brownie recipe this morning. Whilst I am still working on mine, I did try these last week for a picnic. I chose the recipe purely for the crackled shiny crust which is so pretty but it was also a fine tasting brownie! It is a recipe from Signe Johanson's Scandinavian food blog - see here 
Makes 12 brownies
  • 125g butter
  • 75g cocoa powder
  • 175g chocolate-hazelnut spread
  • 2 whole medium eggs
  • 1 medium egg yolk
  • 150g icing sugar
  • 50g flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • optional for a deeper flavour: 1 shot espresso (purists will scoff at this though)
  • 50g halved or chopped toasted hazelnuts, also optional
Preheat the oven to 150 C. Line a 15 cm x 30 cm brownie tin or a 20 cm x 20 cm square baking tin with two sheets of baking parchment, lined perpendicularly. This makes it easier to remove the brownies from the tin after they’ve been baked.
Melt the butter and add the cocoa powder along with the chocolate hazelnut spread. Stir to mix together and set aside while you assemble the rest. In a medium bowl place the eggs and icing sugar, lightly whisk with a fork or whisk to break up the eggs and mix the sugar in but don’t whisk until fluffy. Add the chocolate-hazelnut butter mixture, stirring so that this incorporates with the egg and sugar mixture. Add the flour, vanilla extract and salt (and coffee and/or hazelnuts if using) and stir a few more times. It should look like a very dark, treacle-y mixture.
Pour this into the prepared tin and bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 20-22 minutes. If you bake the brownies in a 20 x 20 cm tin they will be a fraction thicker than in the longer rectangular tin so they may need 2-3 minutes longer to bake through. The brownies will be quite thin, only 1 inch or so thick so they don’t need much baking time but keep checking after 18 minutes. It’s always better to slightly underbake brownies as they cool in the tin after you remove them from the oven and this extends the baking process. Also the chocolate flavour is more intense if you don’t bake the brownies all the way through.
Allow to cool completely before slicing.

Tuesday 3 April 2012

Roasted Beetroot, sheeps' cheese & pesto on sourdough

Beetroot is in that marmite/coriander/gherkin type food group, isn't it? You'll find that lots of people don't like it. My mum still calls it 'Beep rupe' when I'm about, it's what I used to call it when I was a little girl. These foods that some people can't stand just so happen to be in my own personal group of 'makes life taste better'. I've managed to convert a handful of friends with roasted beetroot though, it tastes nothing like its boiled or pickled partner. 
There's no denying how beautiful it is either. My new favourite snack is toasted sourdough with soft cheese, beets tossed in lemon, fennel seeds and smoked salt, courgettes/asparagus and drizzled with a garlicky home made pesto. Heaven on toast. This particular orange and rosemary cheese was made the day I bought it from a small sheeps' cheese supplier, properly pimped up snack!
 Chopping board aftermath