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14th July
2012
written by Nibblish

This is a simple Nasi Goreng recipe I learned at a cooking class on my last trip to Bali.
The reason why I like it so much? Because it tastes really authentic, while a simplified version of the more complex recipes I have seen before. This means that you don’t have to get too many new spices and exotic ingredients to re-create it a home. In fact, this recipe is best improvised to use up overnight rice!

Ingredients:

2-3 tsp vegetable oil
100g chicken, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 shallot, finely chopped
1tsp turmeric
1 tbsp red chilli, finely chopped
2 spring onions, finely chopped
1 cup steamed rice, cold
3 tbsp soy sauce
1tsp Worcester sauce
1 tbsp ketchup
1tsp fish sauce
Salt & pepper to taste
Small handful of coriander, chopped
2 tbsp Fried shallots
½ cup Chinese cabbage, shredded (optional)
2 eggs, lightly beaten (optional)

Instructions:

1. If you’re not using left over rice, start by cooking the rice following packet instruction. Drain, cool to room temperature and place in the fridge for an hour or so. Note that it’s important to use cold cooked rice as freshly cooked rice is too soft and will absorb the oil.

2. Heat the oil in a wok over high heat. Fry the chicken for 2-3 minutes or until nice and brown. Season with salt & pepper.

3. Add the shallots, garlic and toss around for a couple of minutes. Add the chili, turmeric, and spring onion and fry for another minute.

4. Add the rice, mix and toss well. Add the Soy sauce, Worcester, ketchup and fish sauce. Season to taste.

5. Garnish with fried shallots and fresh coriander.

I didn’t include shredded cabbage or eggs omelette in mine, as I was serving it as a side to my chicken sate, but definitely add it in for a more substantial stand alone dish!

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22nd May
2011
written by Nibblish

San choy bau is a beautiful Chinese classic, of tasty mince mixture wrapped in a fresh and crunchy lettuce leaf. It’s all about contrast, texture and dimensions – the intensity of the juices, crunch of the nuts, freshness of the herbs – so keep it in mind if trying to adapt the recipe. This dish can be served either by itself as a starter or as a main with a side of rice.

San Choy Bau Recipe

Ingredients (serves 4 as a starter):

2 tsp sesame oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp ginger, finely chopped (julienne)
1/2 onion, finely sliced
400g lean pork mince
100g mushrooms, finely sliced
2 tbsp Shao hsing wine
1 tbsp white sugar
2 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp oyster sauce
1/2 cup coriander, finely chopped
1/3 cup macadama or cashew nuts, roughly crushed
8 iceberg lettuce leaves, trimmed

Instructions:

1. Heat oil in a wok over medium heat. Add garlic, onion and ginger. Stir-fry for 1 minute or until onion has softened.

2. Increase heat to medium-high. Add mince. Stir-fry for 3 to 4 minutes or until browned. Add mushrooms, nuts and continue stir-frying for 30 seconds.

3. Pour in hsing wine, sugar, soy sauce, oyster sauce and stir until the pork is fully cooked through. Stir in the coriander, just before taking it off the heat.

4. Spoon the mixture with its lovely juices into a hot bowl and serve in a large platter, surrounded by lettuce leaf cups and garnish with an extra sprinkle of coriander, as well as a few slices of red chilli if you fancy it!

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18th May
2011
written by Nibblish

Fancy cooking something French and really special? Try this iconic French dish of beef, stewed with lovely vegetables and herbs in wine which are then strained off, reduced and thickened to create a densely flavoured, smooth and silky sauce. Yes, if you’re feeling lazy, you could technically skip the sauce straining steps, but then it would just end up being a lovely stew, not a true boeuf Bourguignon! I personally think the extra step makes all the difference!

French Boeuf Bourguignon Recipe

Ingredients (4 people)

200g bacon, solid chunk cut into lardons
800g braising steak, cut into cubes
2 tbsp flour
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
12 shallots, peeled and sliced
3 cups red wine (ideally Bordeaux)
2-3 cups beef stock (enough to cover)
1 tbsp tomato paste
4 garlic cloves, mashed
2 sprigs thyme, leaves picked
1/2 bunch parsley, finely chopped
1 bay leaf, preferably fresh
200g mushroom, quartered
50g unsalted butter
olive oil
salt & fresh ground pepper
Potatoes, roasted or mashed (to serve)
Crusty bread (to serve)

Boeuf Bourguignon Recipe

Instructions:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat in a large frying pan, sauté the lardons for 2 to 3 minutes until lightly browned and set aside on a plate.

2. Coat the pieces of beef in flour, season with salt and pepper, and brown on all sides in the bacon fat and olive oil. Set aside with the bacon. Again, in the same oil/fat, sauté the shallots, garlic and the carrot until softened. Set aside with the meat.

Boeuf Bourguignon recipe first step

3. Deglaze the frying pan with the wine, pour it into an oven-proof casserole along with the meat, lardons, shallots, garlic, carrots and add enough stock to almost cover the mix. Stir in the tomato paste and add the parsley, sage and half the thyme. Bring to a simmer on the top of the stove, cover and place in the oven. Reduce heat to 120 degrees and simmer slowly for 3 hours to 4 hours, or until a fork pierces the meat easily.

Boeuf Bourguignon Recipe

4. In the meantime, start preparing the mushrooms. Heat a spoonful of butter and a spoonful of oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. As soon as the foam begins, add the mushrooms and a sprig of thyme, season with salt and pepper, toss and sauté for about five minutes until brown and set aside until ready to use. You may also want to start preparing the side of potato at this stage.

5. When the stew meat is tender, remove all solids from the sauce by draining through a sieve set over a saucepan. Return the beef and bacon to the casserole, discarding the bits of carrot, shallots and herbs which remain in the sieve.

6. Skim the fat off the sauce and simmer it for a minute or two. You should be left with about 2-3 cups of rich, dark sauce, thick enough to coat a spoon lightly. If the sauce is too thin, stir in a spoonful of flour and boil it down to reduce to the right thickness. If it’s too thick, add a bit of stock.Taste for seasoning before serving.

7. Pour the sauce over the side and garnish with fresh parsley to serve.

Boeuf Bourguignon served

If serving later, simply allow the casserole to cool before placing it in the refrigerator. Place over medium heat and simmer very slowly for ten minutes, occasionally stirring the meat with the sauce.

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22nd April
2011
written by Nibblish

This is the perfect winter comfort food, rich and flavourful mix of fresh herbs and spices, with the perfect balance between sweet and zesty. If you take the time to marinate the meat the day before and cook it slowly for at least 2 hours, the meat will literrally fall off the bone. Serve with cous cous for a complete meal.

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Ingredients: Serves 4

4 lamb shanks, excess fat trimmed
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp chilli powder
4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
3 onions, roughly chopped
1 red chilli, seeded and chopped
1 bunch of coriander
2 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
6 chat potatoes, peeled and cut in half
4 vine ripened tomatoes, thickly sliced
75 g dried apricots
2 tbsp clear honey
3 bay leaves
1 cup chicken stock
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Olive oil
Couscous (to serve)
Lemon (to serve)
Greek yoghourt (to serve)

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Instructions:

1. Place the ground ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, paprika and chilli powder into a bowl and mix together. Season the lamb shanks with a splash of olive olive oil, a good pinch of salt, freshly ground black pepper and rub in the spice mix. Set aside for at least 2 hours or overnight in the fridge if you can.

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2. Pre-heat the oven to 150 degrees. Place the garlic cloves, coriander stalks (save the leaves), 2 onions and 2/3 of the red chilli in a blender or food processor and blend to a smooth paste.

3. Heat olive oil in a large frying pan, add lamb pieces to brown and set aside. Add the spice paste to the remaining oil and fry gently for 3 minutes.

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4. Add carrots, the remaining onion, potatoes, tomatoes, apricots and turn over a few times in the spice mixture. Season with Salt and pepper.

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5. Transfer the mixture to a Tagine dish if you have one or a large air tight and over proof dish. Place the lamb on top, add the bay leaves, honey and enough stock to almost cover the meat. Cook in the oven for 2 hours.

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6. Serve with couscous and sprinkle with coriander leaves, red chili, a couple of lemon wedges and a dollop of Greek yoghourt.

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Click here if you would like to see the Nibblish Beef Tagine Recipe!

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5th April
2011
written by Nibblish

This basic gnocchi recipe is really easy to follow and will give you the perfect, delicate, super soft and heavenly gnocchi which can be dressed in many different ways! A simple tomato sauce and grated cheese is a very delicious and authentic way to serve it, but you may prefer tossing it with other classic flavour combinations, such butter & sage, parm ham & ricotta, garlic & wild mushrooms, or peas & mint.

Potato gnocchi, gnocci

Ingredients: serves 4

Gnocchi
6-8 large potatoes
2 egg yolks
3/4 cup plain flour
1 pinch nutmeg, grated
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Classic Tomato Sauce
5 ripe tomatoes, chopped or 1 can diced tomatoes
3 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
1 onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1 handful Basil, thinly sliced
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Parmesan, freshly grated

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Instructions:

1. Boil potatoes in salted water for about 25 minutes or until tender, drain and let is cool down for 10 minutes or so. Peel and mash the flesh while still warm and place into a large mixing bowl. Fold in the egg yolks and the flour, season with salt, pepper and nutmeg, and gradually add a little more flour if the mixture is still too wet and sticky to form a ball.

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2. Divide the mixture in 4-6 portions, roll each piece into a sausage shape on a floured surface and cut each into thick slices.

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3. To shape the gnocchi, place it against the back of a fork, press in and down the length of the fork. Repeat with the remaining gnocchi, dust with a bit of flour and cover with a wet cloth for up to a couple of hours or until ready to cook.

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4. To prepare the sauce, pre-heat a splash of oil in a frying pan, add the garlic, onion and season with salt and pepper. Add tomatoes and cook gently for 5 minutes and stir in the chopped basil.

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5. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees. Boil the gnocchi in small batches in salted water for 2-3 minutes, scoop out with a slotted spoon as they start floating to the surface and continue until all remaining gnocchi have been cooked. Place the cooked gnocchi in the sauce and place in a baking tray. Sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan and bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.

While a little fiddly, gnocchi can be really rewarding to make fresh as the soft little pillows will taste amazing, honestly nothing like the supermarket bought version! One last little tip, be careful not to add too much flour though as the more flour the firmer the gnocchi will be. Adding some salt to the water will prevent the gnocchi from sticking and disintegrating while cooking. When the water starts boiling, reduce the heat to moderate. Try and add small batches of gnocchi at a time to ensure the temperature remains stable. If you wish to freeze the gnocchi, do so before they’ve been cooked and start by laying them on a tray to prevent them from sticking together. Once frozen, you can stick them in a freezing bag to store.

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20th March
2011
written by Nibblish

Everyone loves sushi nowadays, but very few know how to prepare restaurant quality sushi at home, which is a shame given how crowded and expensive Japanese restaurants can be! Now, the good news is that making sushi at home is actually very easy and I can guarantee you will love it and it will become your favourite dish for dinner parties! The only difficult part is finding high quality sea food and sushi rice, so that it has the correct amount of starch needed to make the rice glossy and sticky, not mushy or dry. You can find this style of rice at most well-stocked grocery stores or Asian markets and sashimi fish from a good fishmonger.

Ingredients: (12-16 pieces)

200g fresh sashimi fish, such as salmon and/or tuna
2 cups sushi rice (also called japonica rice)
1/4 cup Japanese rice vinegar + extra to moisten your hands
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
Wasabi
Soy sauce
Pickled Ginger

Instructions:

1. Soak the rice for 15 minutes in cold water and rinse several times until the final change of water runs almost clear. Steam the rinsed rice following the package’s directions.

2. Heat the vinegar, sugar and salt in a sauce pan over medium heat until fully dissolved, but without boiling the mixture. Take off the heat and let it cool.

3. When the rice has finished cooking, transfer it to a wooden bowl or at least non-metallic, as metal can react with vinegar and ruin flavours. Using a plastic or wooden spoon, cool down the rice by gently spreading it out and folding in the vinegar mixture gradually until evenly sticky and shiny.

4. To shape the sushi rice, dampen fingers and hands with a small amount of rice vinegar to make it non stick. Pick up about 2 to 3 tsp. rice in one hand and shape into a rectangle with rounded corners. Repeat the process until you’ve got enough sushi pieces. Dip your forefinger into wasabi and spread a small amount onto the rice.

5. Slice the fish into thin slices. Aim for an opposite angle to the veins and using a long sharp knife, cut straight across the width of the block at a 45 degrees angle, in one long stroke. Repeat with the rest of the fish.

6. To assemble the nigiri, pick up a slice of fish, place it on top of the sushi rice base in the palm of your hand. Press the sides and top to place fish firmly onto rice. Continue with the rest of the fish.
Place on a plate and serve with pickled ginger, wasabi and soy sauce.

Make sure you give it a fair go. While step 5 and 6 may be a bit tricky at first, you’ll feel much more confident by your second or third piece and the result will be really rewarding!

If you found this one easy and feel up for more, why not take a look at my California Roll instructions to make it a full sushi mix platter!

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20th March
2011
written by Nibblish

A California roll is a creative American twist on sushi. It’s really easy to make, can be great addition to a sushi platter, a fresh canapé idea for a party, but can also be saved in cling film for a healthy lunch!

Ingredients: ( 4 rolls)

2 cups sushi rice (also called japonica rice)
1/4 cup Japanese rice vinegar + extra to moisten your hands
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
4 sheets nori (seaweed sheets)
1 avocado, peeled, cut into thin slices
100g sashimi salmon, cut into strips
wasabi paste
pickled ginger
soy sauce

Instructions:

1. Soak the rice for 15 minutes in cold water and rinse several times until the final change of water runs almost clear. Steam the rinsed rice following the package’s directions.

2. Heat the vinegar, sugar and salt in a sauce pan over medium heat until fully dissolved, but without boiling the mixture. Take off the heat and let it cool.

3. When the rice has finished cooking, transfer it to a wooden bowl or at least non-metallic, as metal can react with vinegar and ruin flavours. Using a plastic or wooden spoon, cool down the rice by gently spreading it out and folding in the vinegar mixture gradually until evenly sticky and shiny.

4. Place a sheet of nori, shiny side down, onto a bamboo mat or sheet of baking paper. spread 3/4 cup of sushi rice mixture with wet hands, leaving a 3cm border uncovered at the end. Spread a small line of wasabi to one end and place a strip of avocado and fish. Roll up firmly, using the mat or baking paper as a guide, seal by moistening the uncovered strip using your finger.

5. Repeat with remaining nori and fillings. Cut each roll into 6 pieces. Serve with wasabi and soy sauce.

You can also replace the avocado with cucumber and the salmon with crab sticks for a change.
If you found this one easy and feel up for more, why not take a look at my Nigiri Sushi instructions to make it a full sushi mix platter!

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13th March
2011
written by Nibblish

A good quiche is an extremely simple and fast meal to make, but never fails to impress. It’s perfect for brunch, lunch, dinner, for a picnic or even as party food!

Ingredients: (serve 4 as a starter or 2 as a main)

1 sheet ready rolled shortcrust pastry
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 brown onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
3 rashers bacon, rind removed, finely chopped
1 tbsp coriander or parsley
1 large leek, washed and thinly sliced
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 eggs and 1 egg yolk, beaten
1 cup milk
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 200°C and lightly grease and flour a round oven tray to make it non stick. Lay the pastry sheet, trim excess and prick the bottom with a fork to prevent it from bubbling as it bakes. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden.

2. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, coriander and bacon and cook for 2 minutes.

3. Add the leek and cook for another 5 minutes or until soft and slightly caramelized. Cool and sprinkle over cooked pastry.

4. Reduce oven temperature to 180°C. Whisk the eggs with the milk in a mixing bowl. Stir in half the cheese, grated nutmeg and season with salt and pepper. Pour over bacon and leek, sprinkle the remaining cheese and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown.


Let is rest for 5 minutes and serve with a green salad!
If you fancy of change, swap the bacon for salmon, and the leek for spinach, mushroom or asparagus.

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26th February
2011
written by Nibblish

These marinated lamb chops will be everyone’s favourite at your barbecue! The lovely summery flavours of the lemon, rosemary and garlic will make your tastebuds tingle! It’s a really quick and easy one to make, but you may just have to plan it ahead as you need to allow enough time to bring the distinct flavours in the lamb

Ingredients: (serves 4-6 people)

1 lemon, juiced
3 tbsp whole grain mustard
2 tbsp fresh Rosemary, chopped or blended
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 small shallot, thinly sliced
Freshly ground pepper & sea salt flakes
1/4 cup Olive oil
12 Lamb chops

Instructions:

1. To make the marinate, whisk the lemon juice and mustard, into a mixing bowl. Mix in the garlic, rosemary and shallots, before gradually whisking in the oil. Season with Salt & pepper.

2. Coat the meat into the marinate and transfer to a large plastic bag or plastic container. Leave it to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or even overnight if you can!

These chops will go really well with a spinach or potato salad.
Allow for 2/3 per person! If you don’t have a barbecue or if the weather is crap, you can still follow the same recipe and grill them instead!

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16th February
2011
written by Nibblish

Risotto is a really quick and versatile dish, which can make either a beautiful hearty main course, or an indulgent side to a Mediterranean meat/fish. In this version, the roasted mushrooms garnish adds a delicate nutty touch to the dish and elevates it to… something else!

Ingredients (serves 4 as a main)

olive oil
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
400g risotto rice
1 cup white wine
6 cups hot chicken stock
75g butter, diced
1 bunch parsley, finely chopped
300g wild mushrooms (eg. shiitake & oyster), cleaned and sliced
1 lemon, juiced
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

1. Pre-heat oil and a knob of butter on low/medium heat in a large non stick heavy bottom pan, add the onion, half the garlic and slowly cook on low heat for 10-15 minutes until nice and soft. In a separate pan, start warming up the chicken stock on medium heat.

2. Turn up the heat and add the rice to the onion mixture and fry until the grains look translucent. Stir in the wine and cook until fully absorbed into the rice. Season with salt & pepper.

3. Start adding the warm stock to the mixture, one ladleful at a time. Carry on adding more as it cooks into the rice, until soft. It should take around 20 minutes.

4. In the meantime, let’s get started on the mushrooms. Pre-heat the oven on medium heat and heat up a bit of oil in a frying pan. Fry the mushrooms with the rest of the garlic, salt and pepper for 3 minutes or until it starts colouring. Transfer to the oven and roast for 6-10 minutes. Chop about half of the amount and mix it into the risotto.

5. Take the risotto off the heat and stir in the rest of the butter (should be around 70g) and chopped parsley. Mix well. Stir in the chopped mushrooms and lemon juice. Finally, add the Parmesan and season to taste. If it looks a bit too dry, add a bit more stock at that stage to make it really creamy.

6. Serve with a garnish of the remaining roasted mushrooms.

There are countless variants of risotto, some with meat (chicken, bacon), some with seafood (mussels, prawns) and some with vegetables (Asparagus, pumpkin)… for which the base recipe can still be used, but just bring in the extra ingredients (cooked & seasoned) at stage 4.

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