Courgette with a kick

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My first memory of ever eating or even seeing a courgette was to shallow fry it when I was 11. It was one of the very first things after chopping an onion we were taught to do at school. I was let loose and used the cooker for the very first time. I can remember the oil having seeped into the courgette slices when being cooked but that first taste still lingers on my palette. I was so excited that I wrapped some up in a paper towel and took some home for my family to try. After that my whole family got hooked on courgettes especially my Dad, who loves to stir fry them and masalafy them! So I thought that to enhance the wonderful taste I would give the fried courgette a bit of a kick.

Even my one year old was chomping away on these courgettes. The saltiness and sourness hits first and then as you swallow the garlic and heat of the chilli flakes warms the back of your throat. Just an extremely easy way to dress the courgette up for a change in flavour from the norm!

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INGREDIENTS

1 large courgette sliced
2 cloves garlic crushed
1 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp chilli flakes
squeeze of lemon
Salt to taste

METHOD

• Heat oil in a frying pan, throw in the crushed garlic and courgette keep on a low to medium flame and stir fry

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• Fry off the courgettes on one side and turn round to brown off, sprinkle in the chilli flakes and salt. Finally squeeze in a little lemon juice. Mix well and serve as a side to any meal

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Delightful Chocolate Mousse

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I always thought mousse was quite a fussy thing to do. I was under the impression that you need cream which I hardly have on hand and gelling agents but boy was I wrong when I found this recipe! I adapted it by spiking it with almond extract to infuse it with nuttiness! And you clearly get the almond notes as the smooth mousse caresses your tongue.

I had all these delicious ingredients, I made it in the afternoon and by the evening dessert was ready! I still have 2 ramekins full of chocolate delight…you never know I might have a Nigella moment and devour some in the middle of the night!

INGREDIENTS

75g plain chocolate melted
2 eggs separated
25g butter unsalted preferred
2 tbsp caster sugar
½ tsp almond extract

METHOD

• Combine the melted chocolate with butter and let it cool a little, stir in the egg yolks and almond extract

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• Whisk the egg whites and add sugar until stiff peaks form

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• Gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate, making sure everything is combined

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Spoon into 4 small pots or ramekins and chill for a few hours until ready to indulge!

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Adapted from Good Food

Soda bread

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Now the time has come to start experimenting with different breads.  This is my very first time at making soda bread so I used a Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall recipe that I knew would not fail me.  I was right.  The bread went really well with the pistou soup I had made (a taste of Provence ~ pistou soup) but I do recommend that the bread is eaten on the same day as it is truly fresh and tasty!

I feel so sleepy as I woke up really early again, however I have to complete some posts as my kitchen will be out of action for the next couple of days as we are re-freshing with a new lick of paint.  I can’t wait to have my kitchen back and looking brand new…it’s amazing how you get attached to a particular room in the house.  All my creations have been concocted in there and my passion has ever increased with each dish I make.  I hope your enjoying the recipes I’m posting as much as I love making and writing them for you all x

INGREDIENTS

500g plain flour
2 level tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp salt
400 ml yoghurt
A little milk if needed

METHOD

• Preheat oven to 200°c/400°f/gas mark 6. Mix the flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda together, slowly add the yoghurt to bring the dough together

• Turn out dough onto a floured surface and kneed gently for 1 minute to get the dough into a rough ball shape. The ball surface does not have to be smooth

• Flour a baking sheet and place dough on top, mark it by cutting ⅔ down into quarters and heavily flour

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• Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the loaf is hollow when the base is tapped. Serve warm with some sumptuous butter

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Pistou soup

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As Autumn is now approaching here, my recipes will have a more autumnal feel. Soups really are so wholesome, filling and simple to prepare. I always make enough to last us two days as I just can’t get enough! I came across this soup online and have made it once before to the recipe but this time round I adapted it to suit the vegetables I wanted to use.

I also made some soda bread to go with this luscious chunky pistou soup so the Irish influence merges here with this French Provencal soup. The soda bread will be posted very soon. More soups and different breads will be appearing on Shivaay Delights this Autumn and Winter…keep watching, love D x

INGREDIENTS

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion finely chopped
2 leeks finely sliced
2 celery sticks finely sliced
2 carrots finely sliced
2 cloves garlic crushed
2 courgettes finely sliced
Tin of haricot beans rinsed and drained
1200-1500 ml vegetable stock
Salt to taste
½ tsp dried oregano
squeeze of lemon juice

METHOD

• Heat the oil in a large saucepan and sauté the onion, leeks and garlic for a few minutes.  Throw in the carrots, courgettes and celery.  Mix and let the veg cook for a further 5 minutes on a low heat

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• Pour in the vegetable stock, enough to cover the vegetables and bring to a boil then cover and cook for a further 10 minutes on a low flame

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• Stir in the beans, season with salt, squeeze in a little lemon juice, cover and turn off the heat, so that the haricot beans cook in the residual heat from the soup

• Serve the soup with a spoonful of pesto and some fresh crusty bread

See baby spinach and walnut pesto

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Caramel & banana chocolate slices

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My Bapuji (maternal grandpa) would have just loved these caramel banana slices. He was mad about bananas and would eat them at every chance he got. Having a sweet tooth did cost him in later life as he developed Diabetes, but he was very good at dodging our inquisitive questions on how much sugar he had consumed in the day, when we saw him reach out for something sweet. His typical answer would be “I’ve checked my blood sugar levels and had my tablets so don’t worry!”. I used to find some sweet stuff in his fridge and he always had a good excuse to why it was in there lol!

Sadly Bapuji is no longer with us but his love of bananas inspired me to bake these slices. Caramel topped fresh banana slices on a bed of banana chocolatey sponge. So here’s to you my Grandpa! We are remembering you with every sweet mouthful! Love you and miss you lots xxxx

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INGREDIENTS

For the sponge
140g mashed banana
2 tbsp milk
65g granulated sugar
75g plain flour
50g butter/healthier butter spread
1 egg
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

for the caramel topping
3 tbsp muscavado soft sugar
4 thin slabs of unsalted butter refer to picture below
1 large banana sliced into rounds

METHOD

• Preheat oven to 160°c/325°f/gas mark 3. In a long loaf tin grease the sides and spread the muscavado sugar along the bottom with the thin slabs of butter. Place in the oven on the middle shelf for 8-10 minutes until the caramel is bubbling and the sugar has dissolved.

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• Whilst the caramel is being cooked in the oven start the sponge. Mash up the banana in a food processor and then add all the other ingredients and give a good whizz until all is mixed well

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• Take out the tin stir to combine the caramel more

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Gently layer the banana on top of the caramel

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Pour in the chocolate sponge batter on top of the banana and bake for 40-45 minutes,until a skewer comes out clean

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• Once baked leave in the tin for 15 minutes and slowly invert onto a plate. Cut into slices using 1 banana row as a guide for 1 slice. Serve warm….

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Quotes that I like…

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Ok it’s not that bad but it’s such a cool wine glass right?

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I had my dinner don’t worry!  Lol!!!

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Now this is very true in my case.  I don’t know why but I like beer.   Even when I was pregnant I craved it that I had to buy non alcoholic beer to satisfy my niggling craving!

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Simple 🙂 Let’s all do that shall we?! Bring on the coffee I’m reading!

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My ultimate diet plan mwahahaha! 😉

Asparagus & lemon risotto

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The quickest and easiest Italian dish to prepare I find, as it takes about 20 minutes to cook and 5 minutes to prepare. The most interesting thing is I have never actually had risotto in a restaurant but I have always made it at home. I have tried a couple of combinations but I must admit this is one of my favorites. I guess you will know that because of my love of lemons! A fantastic comforting plate for lunch in the autumn, just couldn’t get better than that! Adapted from the wonderful Jamie Oliver!

INGREDIENTS

200g arborio rice
1 medium onion finely diced
2 cloves garlic crushed
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
7 spears of asparagus chopped 1cm pieces
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of half a lemon
1000-1200 ml of vegetable stock
Salt to taste if needed

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METHOD

• Heat oil and butter in a non stick saucepan and add the onion, garlic and rice, cook for a few minutes on a low heat and keep stirring

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• Pour in a ladle full of vegetable stock and stir, keep doing this until rice gets tender and bigger due to the absorption of the stock. As the stock is absorbed keep stirring in more stock. The key is to stir continuously throughout

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• The cooking process as mentioned above should take approximately 20 minutes so at 12 minutes throw in the asparagus and mix in well, once the rice is nearly done at the 20 minute mark stir in the lemon juice and zest

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You may wish to add a little salt but please do check before adding as the vegetable stock will have flavored it well

• Serve with a side salad and I personally like a little cheese grated on top, Enjoy!

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Cake & Bake Show day out!

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I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend, mine so far has been great! My sister in law had told me about this cake and bake show in London on the same day my husband also saw it online and was going to get tickets for us. Fate was such that I was meant to go and I’m so happy that I did.

It’s been ages that I had a girly day out, doesn’t happen very much as I’m a full time Mum at the minute. Cupcakes galore, mountains of brownies, sugary stuff everywhere! all baking goodies under one roof. My idea of heaven. Now I couldn’t go to heaven and not take you all there with me. So..here are some pictures to share with you…

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chewy delicious lemon, caramel, strawberry, vanilla and chocolate meringues!

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Elephant tile cookies

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yummm croquembouche…one day I shall attempt this!

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pretty sugar work decorations

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how cute!

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Yes I gave in to temptation and bought a couple of salted caramel cupcakes!

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How funky?!

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The new sensation ~ so beautiful didn’t want to spoil them

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Now that’s what you call a loaf!!!

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The highlight of the day meeting Eric Lanlard, famous patissier

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couldn’t resist these sweets

Hope you’ve enjoyed my little tour of the cake and bake show. I was so inspired by so many great bakers and patissiers that I can’t wait to go back into my kitchen and bake some more and share with you all

Love D x

Roasted cauliflower with harissa

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Good morning everyone! Yes it’s a very early one for me again. I woke up at 5am and could only think of writing up this post. This cauliflower side dish was surprisingly different and can be altered to taste depending upon the heat and spice you require. I’ve only started working with Harissa paste very recently but have fallen in love with it. Such a delicate blend of spices when only a little amount is used or such a flavour explosion if you add more.

If you have a toddler and your introducing him or her to new foods this is definitely one to try, my little one loved it mashed with some of his cute baby pasta shells. It is important that you start training their palette from now, give them different varieties if they allow. It may not work in the first go but do try again. They’ll definitely let you know if they want more!

Have a lovely weekend all! See you tomorrow x

INGREDIENTS

1 medium cauliflower in florets
5 medium tomatoes skinned
1 green chilli
3 cloves of garlic
Handful of fresh coriander
1 1/2 tsp harissa paste or to taste
1/4 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt or to taste
Pinch of pepper
1/2 tsp ground cumin & coriander powder

METHOD

• Blend all ingredients apart from the cauliflower

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• Arrange cauliflower florets in a baking tray and pour over the blended sauce, massage the sauce into the florets and cover. Let it marinate for 45-50 minutes

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• Preheat oven to 200°c/400°f/gas mark 6 Roast in the oven covered with foil for 50-60 minutes until the cauliflower is tender, roasted and has absorbed most of the marinade

• Serve as a side dish to any Moroccan main dish

* top tip ~ To skin the tomatoes easily place them in some boiling water for about 10 minutes. This will allow the tomato skins to peel off easily

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Vine tomato & asparagus poha

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Poha is one of my husband’s favourites! Traditionally the flaked rice is made with  potato but I really wanted the dish to be tangy, so vine tomatoes came in to play. The asparagus was just sitting in the fridge and calling me to join the tomatoes for a little dance. So here you have it a light, healthy breakfast or brunch dish to get you off to a happy go lucky start in the morning!  Enjoy x

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INGREDIENTS

100g poha flaked rice
3 spears of asparagus chopped
2 medium vine tomatoes
1 medium white onion finely chopped
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 green chilli sliced finely
1 1/2 tbsp sunflower oil
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
pinch of asafoetida
1 1/2 tsp ground coriander & cumin powder
1/3 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp salt or to taste
1/2 tsp garam masala
Sprinkle a little biryani powder (optional)

METHOD

1. Rinse the flaked rice gently in a colander and set aside for 30 minutes

2. Heat the oil in a large non stick pan with the mustard, cumin seeds and asafoetida. Once they start to crackle add the onion, chilli, asparagus and ginger. Stir fry on a medium to low heat. Wait until onion and asparagus has softened a little

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3. Sprinkle in all the dry seasoning and then add the fresh tomato. Combine well. Cook for about 3-5 minutes on a low flame

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4. Slowly mix in the rice a little at a time until the rice is covered in the spicy oil and veg

5. Cook for a further 5 minutes or so and you are then ready to serve with a little natural yoghurt

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