Side

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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12th March
2011
written by Nibblish

This traditional French recipe makes a wonderful side for roast chicken, pork or lamb and is for sure the tastiest way to prepare peas. Try it, you will be surprised!!

Ingredients: (serve 4)

2 onions, finely sliced
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
10g butter
1 tbsp oil olive oil
2 bacon rashers, finely sliced
500g frozen peas
1tsp sugar
1 cup chicken stock
1 bunch watercress, leaves picked
1/2 small bunch of mint, chopped
50g parmesan cheese, freshly grated
Sea salt flakes and freshly ground pepper

Instructions:

1. Heat butter and oil on medium heat in a large non stick pan. Cook the onions and garlic for a couple of minutes until soft. Stir in the bacon and cook for 5 minutes until nice and crispy. Season with salt & pepper.

Cook at a robust simmer, uncovered, until everything is tender and the liquid flavorful and reduced.

2. Add the frozen peas and half the watercress to the onions and bacon. Add stock and sugar and cook over a low to medium heat for 5-10 minutes – or until they are cooked through but not too soft.

3. Stir in the remaining watercress, the mint and most of the grated parmesan. Serve immediately, topped with a sprinkle of the remaining parmesan and a few extra mint leaves on top!



As a variation, you can also add a spoonful of fresh creme at the end of the cooking time or replace the watercress with shredded butterhead lettuce.

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3rd March
2011
written by Nibblish

This classic Dauphinoise Potato gratin is world wide famous and a fabulous accompaniment to roast meats, juicy steaks or stews. Having said that, it’s not to say that its garlicky, creamy and crispy flavours can’t be enjoyed by itself…!

Ingredients: (serves 4 people)

9 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced
2 cups whole milk
5 tbsp. butter
2 garlic cloves, crushed
Fresh nutmeg
1 cup double cream
1 cup grated gruyère
Freshly ground pepper & sea salt flakes

Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 180 ºC. Place the potatoes in a non stick pan, cover with milk and season with salt & pepper. Bring to the boil, before reducing the heat and cook for 10 minutes.

2. Grease a baking tray with butter and spread the crushed butter over the surface. Drain the potatoes, transfer half in the gratin dish, add half the cheese, double cream and season with salt & pepper. Repeat again for the top layer.

3. Place the gratin in the oven and cook for 1 hour or until nicely brown and crispy!

Don’t be afraid of making slightly too much as any leftovers will taste even better when baked for the second time!

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27th February
2011
written by Nibblish

A Potato Salad is the perfect accompaniment for barbecues and picnics, as it’s best served with meat, seafood and a green leaf salad…A real classic for summer!

Ingredients: (serves 6 people as a side)

12 small potatoes (such as desiree), peeled
4 bacon rashers, rind & excess fat trimmed, finely chopped
3 large tbsp whole egg mayonnaise
3 large tbsp sour cream
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3 shallots, finely chopped
6 gherkins, finely chopped
2 tbsp carpers, finely chopped
1/2 bunch of dill, finely chopped
Freshly ground pepper & sea salt flakes

Instructions:

1. Cut each potato into 4, place in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to boil and boil uncovered for 10 minutes or until tender when pierced with a stick. Drain and let it cool completely.
In the meantime, heat oil a small frying pan and cook the diced bacon until nice and brown.

2. Combine together the mayonnaise, sour cream, garlic into a mixing bowl. Top with the dill, gherkin, carpers, shallots and mix well. Taste and season with salt & pepper.

3. Gently toss in the potatoes and bacon bits and refrigerate for 30 minutes or more.

You can store the potato salad in the fridge for a few days. You can also top it with pieces of hard boiled eggs if you’re serving it as a main!

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6th January
2011
written by Nibblish
This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series Tapas Dinner

This is the final addition to my tapas series, but also a real Spanish classic. Now what makes this dish so special and unique is the spicy tomato and chilli sauce that is added as a topping just before serving transforming the crispy potato cubes into authentic Papas Bravas – meaning ‘fierce potatoes’…. Are you feeling up for it?? 



Ingredients (for 4 people as a side tapas dish)


5 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-2cm cube
1 x400g can of chopped tomatoes
1 carrot, peeled and grated
6 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
1 onion, peeled and chopped
3 fresh red chillies, de-seeded and finely chopped
A few sprigs of fresh rosemary
A few sprigs of fresh thyme
2 tbsp olive oil
1tsp vinegar
1 tsp sweet paprika
Sea salt & freshly ground pepper

Instructions

1. Let’s start with the potatoes…Bring a pan of salted water to the boil, add the cubed potatoes and cook on medium heat for 8-10 minutes or until just tender. Drain and leave to dry out in the colander. 

 2. Get started on the sauce while the potatoes finish boiling. Pre-heat a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat with 1 tbsp olive oil. Add the chopped onion & 4 cloves of garlic and fry for 1 minute. Add the chili, carrot and thyme leaves continue to cook for about 5 minutes.

3.Add the tinned tomatoes, vinegar, salt and pepper and let it simmer for 10 mins or until the sauce is thick. Once it’s ready, let it cool down and blend it until smooth. Taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary.



 
4. Now back to the potatoes. Heat another 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Add the potato cubes and fry until golden and crisp – about 10-15 minutes. Add your rosemary leaves and your 2 remaining cloves of garlic to the pan for the last minute of cooking.
5. Sprinkle the paprika and the coarse sea salt over the potatoes and toss well together until evenly spread and nicely coated. Top with the sauce just before serving, toss together and transfer to a warn dish. Top with a few leaves of fresh herbs and even add a dollop of sour cream if you want your finished dish you look just like mine!

When preparing a tapas night, I like to start early and often start with that dish but the trick is to keep the potatoes warm in the oven and the sauce separate right until the last minute.
Now, spice wise, this recipe is actually quite mild and enjoyable, but you can obviously top it up with more chilli if you like it HOT! 

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1st January
2011
written by Nibblish
This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series Tapas Dinner
This is an easy and tasty way to prepare asparagus in summer, or can be served as a tapas side dish along side meatier options. Take a a look here for more tapas recipes.


Ingredients (as a side tapas for 4 people)

1 Asparagus bunch
1 garlic clove, peeled
1/2 lemon
3 tbsp Olive oil
1 pinch sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions:

1. Preheat a hot frying pan, discard the tough ends of the asparagus and grill for 5 mins, moving it around regularly until it’s ready.

2. To prepare the marinate, bash the garlic clove in a mortar and pestle, add the salt and pepper, stir in the juice of 1/2 lemon and oil.

3. Marinate the cooked asparagus in the dressing for 5 min and transfer to a serving plate with a touch of lemon zest on top.

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1st January
2011
written by Nibblish
This entry is part 1 of 4 in the series Tapas Dinner

I prepared the croquettes as one of the dishes for a tapas dinner party. It can be little bit fiddly to make because the cheesy mixture will always try to misbehave and leak when being coated and fried, but if you follow the tips & techniques carefully you should be all good! Having said that, I really think it’s well worth the effort…you simply can’t beat a creamy and cheesy white sauce in a crispy crust! Mmmm…


Ingredients (for 10 croquettes):

50g butter
70g plain flour
300 ml milk
1/2 nutmeg, grated
70g cheddar cheese, grated
2 slices Prosciutto ham, chopped
1 egg
60g flour (coating)
100g breadcrumbs
Sea Salt and freshly ground pepper
300ml vegetable oil


Instructions

1. First let’s get started with the cheesy béchamel sauce, which is the really easy part. Melt the butter on medium heat in a non stick pan, add the flour slowly and whisk it until it forms a thick and smooth paste. Add the milk slowly, again splash by splash, and whisking continuously until nice and smooth. Season with the grated nutmeg, salt and pepper. Add the grated cheese and continue stirring it well until your happy with the mixture. It should be thick and creamy. Let it cool down. Add the chopped prosciutto and refrigerate for a good hour.


2. Now let’s form the croquettes, which is the trickier bit. Take the cold mixture out of the fridge, put flour on your dry hands and start forming little sausage shaped portions, roll it in more flour and put it onto a floured plate. If it doesn’t stick together nicely, put it back in the fridge for a little bit longer. For this step to be successful, it is all about working quickly with a cold mixture and a lot of flour. Place the formed croquettes back in the fridge for another 15 mins. 


3. Now it’s time to fry those little babies. Bring the vegetable oil to boil into a large frying pan. Take the cold floured portions out of the fridge and very quickly coat them one by one into the whisked egg, bread crumbs and then into the hot oil. If the mixture melts into the pan before the coating has time to cook, then the mixture is not cold enough and you will need to place the plate with the remaining portions in the freezer for a few minutes to cool it down further. Cook on each side for 2 minutes until golden brown and place it on some kitchen paper to absorb the excess fat. Once all the croquettes are cooked, place them into a small oven tray to keep it warm in the oven until you’re ready to serve!

Serve it with a green salad, a good Spanish red wine and play some chill out Latino music in the background (Eg. Rythm del mundo: Cuba compilation) and you’ll be laughing!! You may also want to take a look at my other tapas recipes to make it a full dinner!

By the way, this recipe is quite versatile too and you can swap the prosciutto for any other charcuterie (eg. cooked ham, salami etc), add other small bits (eg. mushrooms, fresh herbs or chili!) or change the cheddar for any other hard cheese (gruyere, parmesan etc)


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