Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Butternut Squash with Ginger Tomatoes and Lime Yoghurt

Yotam Ottolenghi recently released a new cookbook called "Nopi" featuring the dishes that he serves at his London Restaurant . The recipes in this book are more complex, based upon the fact that they were designed for restaurant preparation and then adapted for the home cook in this book. Every recipe that I have tried so far turned out fantastic, very colorful and they all tasted spectacular. This dish can be served slightly warm or at room temperature as a light lunch or a great starter.

Butternut Squash with Ginger Tomatoes and Lime Yoghurt
(serves 4 - 6)
1 medium butternut squash, cut in half lengthways, seeds removed, then cut widthways into 2.5cm-wide slices 
45ml olive oil
Coarse sea salt and black pepper
6 large plum tomatoes, cut in half lengthways
3cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely diced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
30g dark muscovado sugar
For the lime yoghurt
120g Greek yoghurt
1 medium butternut squash, cut in half lengthways, seeds removed, then cut widthways into 2.5cm-wide slices 
45ml olive oil
Coarse sea salt and black pepper
6 large plum tomatoes, cut in half lengthways
3cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely diced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
30g dark muscovado sugar
For the lime yoghurt
120g Greek yoghurt¼ tsp ground cardamom
Finely grated zest of ½ lime, plus 1½ tsp lime juice
To serve
5g coriander leaves, roughly chopped
30g cashew nuts, toasted and roughly chopped
10g crisp shallots (optional)
Heat the oven to 240C (220C fan)/gas mark 9. Mix the squash wedges with two tablespoons of the oil, two teaspoons of salt and a good grind of black pepper. Spread out on a large, parchment-lined baking tray and roast for 35-40 minutes, until golden-brown. Set aside to cool.
Turn down the oven to 170C (150C fan)/gas mark 3. Put the tomato halves skin-side down on a parchment-lined baking tray, sprinkle with a quarter teaspoon of salt, drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of oil and roast for 80 minutes, until softened.
Put the ginger, chilli, garlic, sugar and a quarter teaspoon of salt in a medium bowl. Mix to a paste, then spoon on top of the tomatoes and cook for 40 minutes more, until caramelised, then set aside to cool.
Put all the ingredients for the lime yoghurt in a small bowl, add half a teaspoon of salt and a good grind of pepper, mix well and put in the fridge until ready to serve.
Spread out the squash on a large platter and arrange the tomatoes in between. Drizzle over the yoghurt, sprinkle over the coriander, cashews and shallots, if using, and serve.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Roasted Vegetable Frittata

A frittata makes an excellent party dish. You can prepare it ahead of time, use any vegetable you like, serve it warm or at room temperature and it feeds a crowd. It is a filling dish but not too rich and usually everybody likes it. This recipe uses a little bit of parmesan in the egg mixture  and gruyere cheese on the top for some extra flavour.

Roasted Vegetable Frittata
(Ina Garten)


1 small zucchini, 1-inch diced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and 1 1/2-inch diced
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and 1 1/2-inch diced
1 red onion, 1 1/2-inch diced
⅓ cup good olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 cloves)
12 extra-large eggs
1 cup half-and-half
¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
⅓ cup chopped scallions, white and green parts (3 scallions)
½ cup grated gruyere cheese


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Place the zucchini, peppers and onion on a sheet pan. Drizzle with the olive oil, sprinkle with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and toss well.

Bake for 15 minutes. Add the garlic, toss again and bake for another 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and turn the oven to 350 degrees F. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, parmesan, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.In a 10-inch ovenproof saute pan, melt the butter and saute the scallions over medium-low heat for 1 minute. Add the roasted vegetables to the pan and toss with the scallions.

Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables and cook for 2 minutes over medium-low heat without stirring. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake the frittata for 20 to 30 minutes, until puffed and set in the middle. Sprinkle with the gruyere and bake for another 3 minutes, until the cheese is just melted. Cut into 6 or 8 wedges and serve hot.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Millionaire Chocolate Squares

Chocolate, caramel and cookie dough. Do I have to say more? Maybe that these little gems are very easy to prepare and keep fresh for a couple of days. The biggest challenge for me was to wait until they were completely cooled until I could try them.

Millionaire Chocolate Squares
(Donald Skehan)

Makes 16 squares
For the shortbread base
100g butter, plus extra for greasing
175g self-raising flour
50g caster sugar

For the topping:
200g caster sugar
1⁄2 tsp sea salt
4 tbsp golden syrup
200g butter
1 x 400g tin of condensed milk
200g dark or milk chocolate, roughly chopped

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease a 22 x 22 x 4cm baking tin with butter. In a bowl, use your fingertips to rub together the butter and flour for the shortbread base, then mix in the sugar. Press the mixture into the baking tin and bake in the oven for 10 minutes or until lightly golden. Leave the oven turned on.

While the base is cooking, prepare the salted caramel. Place all the topping ingredients, except the chocolate, in a saucepan over a low– medium heat and allow to melt, then bring to the boil and simmer for 10–15 minutes until you have achieved a nice toffee colour, stirring regularly to ensure the sauce doesn’t catch on the bottom of the pan.

Pour the caramel over the shortbread base and place back in the oven to cook for 6-8 minutes. When done, remove the baking tin from the oven and allow to cool completely. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of shallow simmering water, then pour the melted chocolate over the cooled caramel and spread evenly with a palette knife. Once the chocolate has set, slice into 16 squares, or smaller ones if you want them to stretch further.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015


It is officially fall now and that is a good reason to make this delicious plum cake. The recipe was published in the New York Times for the first time around 1983 and has been published since then many times. The cake itself is a simple butter cake and comes together in no time and it would also be great with other juicy fruits once plum season is over.

Plum Torte 
(adapted from a recipe by Marian Burros from the NY Times)

1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar plus 1 to 2 tablespoon
1/2 cup (115 grams or 8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
8-12 smallish purple Italian purple plums, halved and pitted (or 5-6 larger plums)
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Heat over to 350°F. Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. In a larger bowl, cream butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until fluffy and light in color. Add the eggs, one at a time,  scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the dry ingredients, mix until just combined.

Spread batter into an ungreased (or lightly greased) 9-inch springform pan and smooth the top. Arrange the plums, skin side up, all over the batter, covering it. Sprinkle the top with lemon juice, then cinnamon, then the remaining sugar.

Bake until cake is golden and a toothpick inserted into a center part of the cake comes out free of batter, about 45 to 50 minutes. Cool on rack for a few hours before serving.

Sunday, August 23, 2015


Today, I am going to share my new favorite bread recipe with you. It is an Oatmeal Bulgur Bread that is easy to make and very versatile. You can make rolls, a sandwich bread or a rustic loaf from this recipe. It is fluffy and moist and stays fresh for a couple of days. It freezes well and is healthy and tastes really good.

Adapted from The Bread Bible" by Beth Hensperger

Ingredients for the "Sponge"

1 Tbs (or 1 package/7g) Active dry yeast
2 Tbs Light brown sugar
2/3 Cup Bulgur, fine or medium grind
2 1/4 Cups (540ml/g) Tepid water (<50 p="">
2 Cups (255g) Unbleached all-purpose flour or bread flour

Ingredients for the "Dough":

1 1/4 Cups (131g) Regular rolled oats
1/4 Cup (37.5g) Wheat bran (I used Oat bran)
1/4 Cup (60g) Light brown sugar (I use half the amount)
3 Tbsp Sunflower oil
1 Tbs Fine sea salt
3 (382.5g) to 3 1/2 Cups (446g) Unbleached all-purpose flour or bread flour

Method for the "Sponge"

In a large bowl pour in the water.
Sprinkle the yeast, 2 Tbs of brown sugar, and bulgur wheat over the surface and let stand for 5 minutes.
Add 2 cups of flour and beat hard until well moistened and creamy, about 2 minutes.
Cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature until foamy, about 1 hour.

Method for the "Dough" and the "Baking"

To the bowl with the sponge, add the oats, bran, brown sugar, oil and salt.
Beat hard for about 1 minute.
Add flour 1/2 a cup at a time, until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and switch to a wooden spoon when needed.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 4 minutes, dusting with flour as needed to prevent sticking.  Place the dough in a greased deep container or large bowl and turn once to coat, then cover with plastic wrap.

Let rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Gently deflate the dough. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface. Grease or parchment-line a baking sheet or grease three 20x10cm (8x4-inch) loaf pans.

Divide the dough into 3 equal portions or into 20-24 little portions and shape into loaves or rolls.
Cover loosely with a towel and let rise until doubled, about 45 min. Twenty minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 190° C (375° F), then, with the help of a serrated knife, slash the 3 big loaves no more than 0.6cm (1/4 inch) deep. the rolls don't have to be slashed.
Bake for about 35 to 40 minutes.

If making loaves, let cool in pans 5 min and then remove and cool on a baking rack. Otherwise, just let the rolls cool on the baking rack.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Mozzarella with Mango Salsa

Besides the possibility to serve Mozzarella with Tomatoes there are so many other possibilities to enjoy this lovely Italian cheese. In this recipe the Mozzarella is served with a combination of Mangoes and Tomatoes. The salad is flavored with chile, lime juice and basil. A lovely summer dish that is best when tomatoes are in season.

Mozzarella with Mango Salsa

350 g / 43 oz Tomatoes
250 g / 9 oz Mango
50 g / 2 oz Spring Onions or Red Onions
25 g / 1 oz Ginger
1/2 red Chili or 1 green Chili
1 Lime, juice and zest
1 Handful of Basil,
3 - 4 T Agave Syrup
3 - 4 T Olive Oil
Salt, Pepper
600 g Mozzarella di Buffalo

Cut the tomatoes and mangos in medium dices and place in a bowl. Cut the chili in very small dices and add to the bowl. Grate the ginger and add to the bowl. Slice or dice the onions very small and add to the bowl with the rest of the ingredients. Let sit for at least 15 minutes. Cut the mozzarella and place on a nice serving plate. Arrange the salad over the mozzarella and serve.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Slow Roasted Red Snapper with Red Chermoula

Slow roasting fish in the oven will leave you with an super moist and aromatic fish. This recipe called for Black Cod which I couldn't find but the Red Snapper was equally good and I think any firm kind of fish will work very well. The recipe doesn't involve much preparation and is perfect for a lazy hot summer day.

Slow-Roasted Red Snapper With Red Chermoula

adapted from bonappetit

¼ bunch cilantro, leaves and stems separated, stems finely chopped
1 Fresno chile, seeded if desired, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely grated
¼ cup olive oil
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon honey
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
1 tablespoon Sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar, plus more for drizzling (optional)
1½ pounds skin-on black cod or cod fillet
2 pints Sun Gold or other cherry tomatoes, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 300°. Mix cilantro stems, chile, garlic, oil, tomato paste, paprika, red pepper flakes, honey, allspice, and 1 Tbsp. vinegar in a small bowl. Set aside 3 Tbsp. chermoula for serving.

Place fish in a 3-qt. shallow baking dish. Cut 1 pint of tomatoes in half and scatter around fish along with remaining whole tomatoes. Spoon remaining chermoula over tomatoes and fish, spreading across the surface with the back of the spoon. Season with salt and pepper and roast until fish is cooked through and tomatoes are soft and some have burst, 20–30 minutes.

Transfer fish to a platter, breaking into large pieces. Remove and discard skin. Spoon tomatoes and roasting juices over and around fish. Top with reserved chermoula, then cilantro leaves; drizzle with more vinegar, if desired. Serve warm or at room temperature.