May 16, 2012

Easy Sardines Salad

I love Salads but I hardly touch salads that I haven't prepared myself.  So the only salads I eat are the home made ones.  Period. And yes am finicky when it comes to food preparation.

This simple recipe came by itself. I didn't have much to start with but had a pack of frozen green beans, a couple of potatoes,  one hot red chili, garlic and found two cans of sardines in spicy oil. Enough to make a  lovely salad which am about to share with you.

But first you must know by now what you need to do ----> read my welcome note.

For two you will need the following

- 2 medium sized boiled potatoes. Wash potatoes (obviously) and boil them WITH skin.
-  about 300 grs of frozen green beans (you can use fresh ones naturally if you do, split them in two and remove both head and tail of bean use scissors)
- 2 cloves of garlic minced (not crushed)
- half a red chili minced
- 2 cans of sardines - discard the oil. Opting for sardines in spicy oil will complement the taste.
- a dash of paprika
- salt to taste
- a squeeze of fresh lemon juice
- a handful of fresh chopped parsley
- a generous pinch of dried mint.
- 1 tbs of olive oil


- once potatoes boiled, rinse them in cold water, and wait till they cool down. Do not peel and cut into pieces while hot because they will break. Do that once the potatoes are cold
- boil beans adding salt, minced garlic, minced  chili , once cooked drain them and leave them to cool.
- in a large bowl, mix the beans and cut potatoes, add the paprika, parsley, dried mint, olive oil, lemon juice and mix gently.
-- top it with the sardines and you can mix it once more or just leave the sardines on top.
And voilà

It's delicious.

Bon appétit

May 11, 2012

Arabeca : The Arabian-Brazilian Moqueca.

I am very excited to share this new recipe with you tonight. I just tried it and it is succulent. Let me first give you a little background story to it.

One day on Twitter, I asked if anyone can suggest to me an "un-bland" vegetarian recipe. A gentleman by the name of @KurtCoolBlue gave me this recipe from Bahia Brazil.  That was over 15 days ago. I kept stalling because I couldn't find all the ingredients in the original recipe.  I finally came round to it, and  said to myself, I shall give the recipe my own twist and let's see what happens.

I was most pleased with the results. It is not exactly as the original Brazilian Moqueca but close enough. That same gentleman named it Arabeca - so the credit for original recipe and new name goes to him and the cooking goes to me.

But before I share my recipe with know what to do. If you are new to my blog, these are my only conditions. Every time you try out one of my recipes, you are to feed one (or more) hungry person. I leave it to you how you wish to do that - you can either cook for them, offer them a meal or give them money for a meal.

So let's start with Arabeca  - the Arabian Moqueca. The link for the original recipe will be at the end of this post.

For two people you will need the following :

-  about 250 ml or half a can of coconut milk.
-  half a can of red kidney beans, rinsed.
- half an index finger of grated fresh ginger
- 1 onion spring minced
- 1/2 an onion chopped
- 1/2  red pepper bell chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 medium size tomato chopped
- 1 medium size potato cut in chunks
- 1 medium size carrot cut in round slices
- 3 full  tbs of frozen peas rinsed
- 3 full tbs of frozen green/french beans rinsed
- 2 full tbs of frozen okras - rinsed
- 3 to 4  smallish fresh cauliflower florets
- half a (small) cup of minced parsley
- half a (small) cup of minced cilantro /fresh coriander
- 2 dried limes (smash the limes and soak them in half of a (small) cup of boiling water- throw away the coarse skin and keep the rest with the water
- freshly squeezed lemon juice 1 lemon or 1 lime  - better if you can find green lime but lemon will do.
- 1/4  (small) tsp of ground nutmeg
- a dash of turmeric
- a dash of ground red chili
- 1 and half tbs of  olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste.

Preparation :

- In a deep non stick pan, mix the coconut milk + parsley + cilantro + red pepper + ginger + tomato + garlic + spring onion + onion + nutmeg + chili+ turmeric + dried limes soaked in water + half of the lemon/lime juice. Bring to boil once then lower heat and leave to simmer for about 3 mn.

- To make sure that my vegetables are all fairly cooked since am using different kinds, I opted for the easy way out. I HALF boiled in slightly salted water the following first: potato + carrot  + green beans + peas + cauliflower.

- Drain the above vegetables and add them to coconut mix  plus the kidney beans THEN add your okra.
( okras cook very quickly you don't want them mushy)  plus salt and pepper to taste, mix well but gently and let it cook for another 10 mn or so on a medium heat or until your vegetables are tender ( not mushy but tender). Make sure the heat is not too high because you don't want the coconut sauce to dry-  (if it does, add a little more).

- once cooked pour the olive oil and the rest of the lemon juice on top and give it a last stir.

- Serve hot.

I prepared Saffron rice to accompany the Arabeca  and the aroma of Saffron and vegetables in coconut  sauce was simply delicious.

And as promised this is the original Moqueca recipe 

Bon appétit.

May 5, 2012

Chicken in Gingery Fruit Sauce

I am so excited to share this new recipe with you.  As usual, I am going to take the easy simple way...for a tangy aromatic dish. But before doing so, you know what you need to do ----> read my welcome note FIRST. 

Tonight's recipe goes nicely with the Bukhari Rice dish in my previous post. But you need not limit yourself to this combination. I will give you other tips at the end of this  recipe.

Tonight's recipe is Chicken in Gingery Fruit Sauce from Morocco.

As a rule of thumb I never share a recipe unless I try it out myself...and if am not pleased with the results, I don't share. And today I was more than pleased with the result. It is an exotic dish with a slight fruity tinge to it.

So let's start. And please follow my instructions carefully. I am presenting this  recipe in stages to simplify it for you.

For 2 persons you will need the following :

Stage 1 - boiling the chicken to cut time in half.

- 2 pieces of chicken breasts preferably with skin and bone.
- the following spices :
* 1/2 a cinnamon stick
* 1/2 onion cut in quarters
* 3 bay leaves
* 3 cardamom grains
* 4 cloves
* a pinch of caraway seeds (optional)

- Wash the chicken and put in saucepan
- cover well with boiling water and add the spices above
- leave it to cook on medium heat until cooked.
- make sure to add enough water because we will need the broth later on.
- once cooked remove the chicken and drain the broth from spices. Keep Chicken and broth separately.

Stage 2 - preparing the chicken 

-  3 spring onions OR one medium size onion minced
-  1 tbs of finely grated ginger
-  2 cloves of garlic crushed
- 1 tbs of cooking oil
- salt and pepper
- a deep frying pan

- Heat oil, and add your onions, ginger and garlic, salt and pepper on a medium heat until the mix is tender. ADD a little chicken broth every time you see the mixture drying out. You don't want it to burn but to become tender. So do not fear adding a LITTLE broth to wet the mix whenever needed.

Once mix is tender, put your chicken breasts and fry them with the ginger/garlic/onion until the chicken breasts are  brownish. Again add a LITTLE broth if you see it drying out. It needs to remain moist but NOT liquid.

Stage 3 - Preparing the Ginger Fruity Sauce

- 1/2 tbs of olive oil
- 1 spring onion finely minced
- 1 Flat Tbs of finely grated ginger
- 1 full TBS of either Cherry Jam or Blackberry Jam. I used Cherry.
- Small non stick frying pan

Mix the olive oil, onion and ginger, cook gently on a medium to low heat, until the onions are translucent, add the Cherry Jam stirring it in by adding some of the chicken broth...until it becomes a thickish sauce. Do not turn it into a soup. Taste, if you feel it needs more jam add more jam but 1 TBS is enough for the tangy taste. Leave it to cook for a couple of minutes, adding broth if necessary so as not to dry.

Once your sauce is right, pour it on top of the chicken preparation, mix well and heat the whole thing, again if you feel it drying out, wet it with a little of the chicken broth.

Serve hot and generously decorate with fresh coriander/ cilantro leaves - about 5 cilantro branches.

To be served with either the Bukhari rice - previous post or with white rice (check blog for cooking rice)

If serving with Bukhari rice - Skip raisins and onion in rice recipe.
If serving with White rice - follow instructions on how to cook Basmati rice in previous posts.
Tip 1 : in both cases, instead of using water, use the remaining chicken broth to cook rice
Tip 2: if cooking white rice, add a pinch of Turmeric and a pinch of ground Cardamom

Finish off with chilled Melon and Green Tea with Fresh mint.

Bon appétit !