Monday, November 2, 2009

Pan-roasted Brussels Sprouts in Fleur de Sel wth Cayenne-Caramelized Pine Nuts


brussels sprouts, halved
olive oil
fleur de sel [sea salt]

pine nuts
2 TBS butter
1 TBS brown sugar
1/2 TBS cayenne pepper

chicken broth powder


1. Toss the brussels sprouts in olive oil, and place cut-side down in a pan. Sprinkle with fleur de sel. Cover and cook on low heat until the sides are brownish, about 5 minutes. Check that they are cooked. Then, remove the cover and cook on a higher heat (medium), tossing with spatula till round sides are also brownish.

2. Melt butter in a pan, add brown sugar, then pine nuts, then cayenne, coating evenly. Remove from heat and place in roasting pan. Roast at a low setting in the oven for a few minutes. Remove from oven and let cool a little bit, then separate when the mass becomes crunchy.

3. Place on a bed of couscous.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Banana Curry


3-4 firm, not too ripe bananas, in large pieces
1 cauliflower (in small pieces)
1 medium onion, chopped
cashews or peanuts
garam masala (Indian spice powder)
1 can coconut milk
1/2 can water
chili pepper flakes or powder


1. Heat oil in a pot. Add onions and cook till translucent. Add garam masala, salt, chili pepper. Add the cauliflower and cook, approx. 20 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, deep fry the banana pieces in a pan with quite a bit of oil, until slightly brown.
3. When the bananas are done, either add to the pot (to make the curry sweeter) or put on the serving plates (if you think the bananas might fall apart).
4. Roast the nuts in the frying pan until brown, then put on serving plates.
5. Serve the curry over the bananas, nuts and rice!

Total cooking time: approx. 20 minutes.

Other things to add to the curry: chicken, fish, shrimp ...

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Pear Pie with Lattice Top

Cook Time: 35 minutes

* pastry for 2-crust pie [see crust recipe for Spinach and Mushroom Quiche; add sugar]
* 5 peeled, sliced fresh pears
* 1 cup sugar
* 1/4 cup flour
* 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel
* 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
* 1/8 teaspoon salt
* 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
* 2 tablespoons butter, cut in small pieces
* glaze [1 egg, 2 TBS milk]

Line a 9-inch pie plate with pastry. Add the sliced pears. Combine sugar, flour, lemon peel, and seasonings; sprinkle over the pears. Drizzle with the lemon juice then dot with the butter. Make a lattice top; flute edges. Whip 1 egg with 2 TBS milk and glaze pie with it. Cover edge of pie with a strip of foil. Bake at 425° [= "7"] for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake about 10 minutes longer.

*To make a lattice top crust, cut rolled out dough into 1/2-inch-wide strips. Arrange 5 to 6 dough strips across top of filling. Form the lattice by arranging more dough strips at right angle to first set of dough strips, weaving the strips if you wish. Trim dough strips even with the overhang on bottom crust. Tuck ends of dough strips and overhang under; press to seal then crimp the edges.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Spinach and Mushroom Quiche



400 ml flour (= 1.7 cups)
200 g unsalted, cold butter (= 7 oz, or 14 TBS)
3-4 TBS cold water
2 tsp salt


1/2 kilo fresh spinach OR 10 oz i.e. 1/2 package frozen spinach
1/4 kilo mushrooms
dash of stock powder
1 TBS vegetable oil
3 eggs
250 ml cream
2 tsp salt
cayenne pepper
1/2 to 1 cup Emmenthaler cheese, grated


1. Mix flour and salt in a large mixing bowl with a fork. Cut butter into small pieces, add to bowl. Then, using 2 knives as scissors, cut the butter into the flour until coarse crumbs are formed. Add water spoon by spoon and mix with fork until the dough just holds together. Press into the quiche dish and up the sides. Refrigerate for about 1 hour (while making the filling).

2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees (6 or 7 on the knob).

2. Cook the spinach in water and a dash of stock. Drain and squeeze until completely dry. Alternatively, thaw the frozen spinach and squeeze dry. Chop into little pieces.

3. Thinly slice the mushrooms in 1 TBS vegetable oil until golden brown and all the liquid is gone.

4. Beat the eggs in a large mixing bowl. Add cream, then salt, cayenne pepper, nutmeg and spinach and mushrooms. Add 3/4 of the cheese. Mix well.

5. Pour the filling into the quiche crust. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 of the cheese on top.

6. Bake for about 35-40 minutes at 6 or 7 gas setting (or 400 degrees). The quiche is done when an inserted knife comes out clean.

** NOTE TO SELF: the first time I made it, I was too conservative on the salt and the cayenne. Add more of both next time!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Green Fish Curry with Mango

Ingredients (serves 4)

* 140ml coconut cream
* 1-2 tbs green curry paste
* 400ml can light coconut milk
* 1 tbs fish sauce
* 2 tsp brown sugar
* 8 kaffir lime leaves
* 500g ling fillets (about 3cm thick), cut into 4cm chunks
* 1 tbs lime juice
* 50g baby spinach leaves
* 1 large mango, cheeks and skin removed, thinly sliced
* Steamed rice, to serve


1. Cook the coconut cream and curry paste in a deep frying pan over a medium-high heat for 5 minutes.
2. Add the coconut milk, fish sauce, sugar and four lime leaves. Bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to medium. Simmer for 10 minutes.
3. Stir through the fish. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and cook for 6 minutes or until the fish flakes with a fork.
4. Meanwhile, cut the remaining lime leaves lengthwise into thin strips, discarding the tough central stem. Add the lime juice, sliced lime leaves and baby spinach. Stir through until the spinach just wilts. Remove from the heat. Stir the mango through the curry. Serve with the rice.

Notes & tips

* Note: You can replace the fish with four chicken thigh fillets. Slice them crosswise into strips, and increase the cooking time to 10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.