Meet Dolly and be prepared for my Thermomix tribute Dolly Delights: biscuits for dogs and an accidental delicious gluten free snack for humans too!
From the day I met this wonderful Westie 14 years ago, we’ve had this bond. One of my first photoshoots was of Dolly. One of the first books I made was of Dolly. When Blurb.com asked me if they could make a video of my book Curry Base as part of their Story Telling Series, the director asked what inspired me, it was Dolly who came to mind. That’s why she features at the start of the video story!
So when over the last bank holiday Dolly went missing, a dark cloud descended.
The good news was that she was found. The bad news was that someone had taken her from Primrose Hill and 8 hours later she was in Sydenham, Kent! I was so outraged at this wicked act, I rang Anna Behrmann at the Ham & High and told her they should warn others in the neighbourhood.
And the tie up between Dolly and the Thermomix? Further inspiration from her!
The Primrose Hill Festival & Dog Show was around the corner and I was thinking of ideas to celebrate Dolly’s return.
These are completely natural. I weighed brown rice and ground it in a minute into flour, made one batch with peanut butter made from scratch with whole nuts in another minute, chopped whole carrots and apples in 5 seconds and kneaded it all with the remaining ingredients in another minute. All in one bowl. No fuss, no mess.
8/8 dogs it was initially tried on loved them. 9/10 humans liked them too and eat them as snacks!
I am sharing the plain version but by all means add 130g peanut butter instead of oil and a tablespoon of turmeric too. I find the buckwheat helps in creating a less sticky dough. You may have to adjust proportions as flours and fruit all have different moisture and absorption rates! I did not add water as the fruit and veg seemed to have enough. You may have to add some hot water if it is too dry or flour if the apples are too juicy.
RECIPE Continue reading
Yes, raw kale is very good for you. One cup of raw chopped kale contains 206% of Vitamin A, 134% Vitamin C, and 684% Vitamin K in 33 calories. It is a great source of important minerals and antioxidants that have been associated with lowering cancer risk and promoting healthy skin, eyes, and immune function.
The honest truth is that despite knowing all this, I really have a problem with the rough, prickly texture of the raw leaf. Let’s face it, it does take some effort to chew through it and if you don’t chew well it makes you gag when you try and swallow it. Best way to put you off for life!
Thanks to Andy Daly, The Sugar Doctor, I have learnt new techniques to make kale more palatable. It involves “massaging” the kale to make it easier to eat; by massaging the kale you are mascerating and breaking down the fibres (remotely chewing it in effect!).
Unlike other more delicate leafy greens (like spinach) which tend to wilt and become soggy if handled in this way, kale keeps its soft but chewy texture without becoming mushy and keeps in this state for as long as a week.
My excitement is that this process is a new job for my Thermomix. The reverse blade function at speed 2 does the massaging for me and it does 3 to 4 cups neatly and effortlessly. Kale is well and truly back on the menu in our home now!
Andy’s recipe involves massaging the kale with a ripe avocado and finely sliced whites of leek and lemon juice by hand. I cannot tell you how delicious this salad is! Please do go to Andy’s Facebook page and read the recipe.
I make the salad on its own and add chopped cucumber and tomato to it but if you want to garnish it by wrapping it in cucumber strips and serving it with thinly sliced radish and quartered tomato as Andy does, it makes a lovely meal. For the photo and because I was trying to entice a reluctant eater (i.e. my daughter) to try it, I turned them into maki rolls and actually, they make lovely hors d’oeuvres this way.
RECIPE Continue reading
The first time I tried Muhammara was at Al Hamra. I came across Ottolenghi’s recipe by chance and I now get my fix whenever I want, thanks to my TM5 taking all the effort out of it. I love it so much that at a cooking demonstation I organised at the lifestyle space Tann Rokka recently, I chose to demonstrate this simply delicious recipe adapted for the amazing machine!
This Levantine dip is a combination of ingredients made in heaven; sweet/sour pomegranate molasses, sharpness of lemon juice, heat of Aleppo chilli and warmth of cumin added to walnuts and roasted red pepper with just enough breadcrumb to pick up the juices: flavour and texture perfection. Thank you Yotam for perfecting the proportions!
Now, I know the recipe calls for Aleppo chilli but it is not something I always have in my spice cupboard so I do substitute it with ordinary mild chilli flakes – dried Kashmiri chilli, roasted deseeded and flaked is a good substitute and works a treat so don’t feel that you cannot make it without! And with a Thermomix roasting the chillies and on reverse, whacking them makes easy work of creating your own, fresh, delicious chilli flakes!
I am sharing the relatively quick version with you here. That means you do have to roast your red peppers first. If you haven’t the time or inclination to do this then a jar of red peppers from the supermarket is a quick fix substitute but cannot beat the fresh ones. And when I decide to be virtuous and stay off gluten, I use 50g milled flaxseed instead of breadcrumbs.
When I feel the urge, I go one step further and roast my cumin seeds for 8 minutes on Varoma at speed 2 and then grind them into a powder for 1 minute at speed 10 before making the breadcrumbs but ready made ground cumin is fine so don’t run away!
Let me tell you, I am lazy. Ottolenghi says that making this dip in a food processor is not a good idea because you will lose the texture and he advises using a mortar and pestle. Well the Thermomix has a reverse blade function that stirs and at speed 5 “beats” the ingredients and this prevents the dip becoming mush so in fact you can create the whole dish in the one bowl in a matter of seconds (once your peppers are roasted of course!).
NOW ALSO AVAILABLE ON THE NEW UK PLATFORM: THERMOMIX RECIPE COMMUNITY
3 red peppers
50g fresh bread
½ tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
1½ tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp dried Aleppo chilli flakes (or substitute)
1 small garlic clove, peeled and crushed
50g walnuts, finely chopped by hand
2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to finish
Heat the oven to 200C/390F/gas mark 6. Put the peppers on a tray and roast for 30-35 minutes, turning occasionally, until they are cooked and the skin is blackened. Put the peppers in a bowl, cover with cling-film and, once cool enough to handle, peel and discard the skin and seeds. Pat peppers dry.
Place the bread and garlic in TM bowl. Process on Turbo/2 secs/ x 3 or till you have fine breadcrumbs.
Add the walnuts. Chop 3 secs/speed 5/REVERSE.
Add lemon juice, molasses, cumin, chilli and roast peppers, olive oil and salt. Chop 2 secs/speed 5/REVERSE.
Check and if you still have large chunks of peppers or walnuts, repeat for no more than 1 or 2 secs at speed 5 to even out the texture but don’t let it turn into a paste!
Add more pomegranate molasses and salt to taste – you want the flavours to be pretty intense, and stir on lowest speed on reverse to mix. Pour the dip into a shallow bowl and drizzle with a little olive oil. Ideally, leave it for 30 minutes for the flavours to develop. Serve at room temperature.
Dedicated to my sister in Boston who now has a Thermomix!
The new year is here and whilst sitting at my computer wondering which of my Thermomix discoveries to wax lyrical about at the start of 2017, this lovely pea greeting popped up from my friend Sangita Sharma.So it is the perfect moment to share her inspiration and my recipe of the month adapted from a recipe by one of my long term culinary gurus, Wendy Hutton.
Annadana Soil and Seed Savers was founded in Auroville in 2001 by like minded people. Inspired, Sangita took the plunge and relocated from her corporate job in Dubai, and took Annadana to Ishana Farms in Bengaluru. It is a self-sustaining organic farm with the aim of preserving traditional varieties of crops and educating and empowering local farmers to cultivate them without becoming cripplingly indebted to seed companies with their expensive seeds and chemical fertilisers and pesticides. I am in awe of this woman’s drive, courage and phenomenal achievement against all the odds. She continues to fight hard, not just for farmers’ rights but every human being’s right to safe food. The organisation runs internship programs so if anyone wants to spend time with other like minded people from all over the world do get in touch!
I introduced Sangi to the TM5 when I first got mine and was thrilled that she saw in this machine what I did; to be able to grind home grown pulses and grain into flour from scratch in minutes, roast and grind spices all in one container so easily and efficiently and cook farm grown vegetables to perfection at exactly the right temperature so the flavour remains pure, had her sounding as passionate as I do about it!
And now my recipe. I have been making Wendy Hutton’s Mysore Lamb since the 1970s. The unusual inclusion of soy sauce in this Singapore Food recipe tenderises the meat beautifully. If your lamb is particularly fatty then I have found the use of the Oxo fat separator to be invaluable before you start reducing the jus. And one more tip: if you can’t be bothered to go through the reduction process then sprinkle corn starch on the marinated meat and mix well just before cooking! The recipe is in PDF form as it will be included in my very own Thermomix recipe book as a sort of 2nd edition to my first (pre-Thermomix) book Curry Base using Blurb. One day…..
I had a little peek in the Curry Base Ebook after a long time and it is quite amusing as before I owned a Thermomix I used my pestle and mortar for my version of the original Mysore Lamb. There is a video in which I religiously pound my herbs and pound and pound and pound. I can’t wait to do a video with my TM5 where it takes seconds to blitz the herbs and garlic! Not only that, I roast the Kashmiri chillies and cumin and grind them and cook in my own homemade ghee, weigh in all the ingredients without the need of teaspoons and – this is the best bit – with the blade on reverse I chuck the meat into the bowl with the marinade and mix it all before putting it in a ziplock bag. Quick and easy, no mess and super delicious because I use organic spices from Annadana!
Tumeric was once a silent but essential ingredient in my kitchen cupboard, used in both Indian and South East Asian cooking in small amounts. Truth be known, it can be a nightmare to work with; light coloured work surfaces, kitchen towels and clothes suffer from accidental spills and splatters.
In the last year or so, with tumeric’s elevated status as a super food due to it’s active ingredient curcumin being hailed as being able to kill cancer cells and heal many auto immune disorders (infact check out the list of ten medical uses yourself; fascinating!),it no longer sits quietly in the cupboard but I buy large amounts of organic tumeric powder at Earth. Continue reading
This is really an addendum to my post on cooking forbidden rice in the simmering basket. I was so excited at an added advantage of cooking it this way I simply had to share it straight away! Continue reading