Dairy Free

21st March
2011
written by Nibblish

This elegant Asian inspired dish will be a hit served as a snack or as a starter. The beautiful contrast between the crispy sweet potato and the sharp and creamy wasabi Mayo will take you by surprise and make you come back for more! Nom, nom, nom!

Ingredients: (2 as a starter)

1 large sweet potatoes, peeled
2 tbsp sesame or walnut oil
1 tbsp vegetable oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tbsp sesame seeds
4 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp wasabi

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Slice the sweet potato into very thin slices, using a vegetable peeler. Soak in salted water for 20-30 minutes.

2. Prepare the wasabi mayonnaise dip by whisking the mayonnaise in the wasabi cream and season with cracked pepper.

3. Drain and pat dry the sweet potato slices with paper towel and coat with sesame or walnut oil and season with salt & pepper. Transfer and spread seasoned potato slices on an oven tray lined with baking paper and bake for 10 minutes. Using a large spatula, turn, sprinkle with the sesame seeds and bake for another 10 minutes until crisp.

Serve immediately with an extra sprinkle of sesame seeds!
The good news is that these little tasty treats are also much healthier than traditional crisps!
It’s also the perfect starter, before a sushi platter!

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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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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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24th February
2011
written by Nibblish

This is a really light, healthy and tasty dish, which will work beautifully as a lunch but also as a starter or as party food. It differs slightly from the traditional recipe as I omitted the rice vermicelli to avoid doubling up on the rice based ingredients! The secret is in the contrast between the fresh crisp ingredients, the tasty meat and the fragrant dipping sauce.

Ingredients: (6 rolls)

1 Lebanese cucumber, cut into thin sticks
200g bean sprouts, steamed
2 spring onions, cut into thin strips
1 handful of coriander, roughly chopped
1 red chilli, de-seeded and cut into thin strips
1 handful peanut, crushed
200g pork fillet, cut into thin strips
3 tbsp Teriyaki sauce
3 tbsp Hoi sin or black bean sauce
9 prawns, cooked and halved
5 rice paper sheets

Instructions

1. Pre-heat a non stick pan and cook the meat for a few minute with the teriyaki sauce. Add the hoi sin or black bean at the end and save on the side to cool.

2. Pour boiled water into a flat tray and place a dry kitchen towel flat on the surface next to it to use as a dipping and rolling station. place the rice paper roll in the warm water for a few seconds until just softened. Place it flat onto the kitchen towel spreading the ingredients toward the top edge – start with 3 prawn halves (round side down), peanuts, coriander, chilli, spring onion…

3. Continue with the vegetables – cucumber and bean sprouts

4. And finish with the meat. Add extra coriander at that stage if you like it as much as I do.

5. Roll up to enclose the filling, folding in the ends. Repeat with the remaining rolls.

You can serve it with chili sauce, soy or fish sauce. To make the fish dipping sauce – dissolve 1 tsp of sugar with 5 tsp of fish sauce, 5 tsp of lemon juice, a drop of water and a few slices of red chili. To store it in the fridge for up to 24h, cover the rolls with a damp towel, which will prevent the rice paper from drying out.

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17th February
2011
written by Nibblish

Chicken stuffed with homemade pesto and wrapped in proscuitto ham…such a delicious combination of ingredients and so Italian! The ham and the pesto will not only give a rich flavour to the dish, but it will also keep the chicken moist and tender! Its extremely quick and easy to make, yet it looks really impressive on the plate!

Ingredients: (4 people)

4 organic chicken breasts
8 slices of proscuitto ham
1 small bunch of basil
1 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 cup of pine nuts
4 tbsp Olive oil
Sea salt & freshly ground pepper

Instructions

1. Pre-heat the oven on 250 degrees. To prepare the fresh pesto, blend the pesto, parmesan, garlic and pine nuts together. Add in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

2. To stuff the chicken, simply cut each breast open along one side to form a pocket and spoon in some of the pesto mixture.

3. Place 2 slices of prosciutto flat on the surface, overlapping slightly on one end and wrap the ham tightly around the first chicken breasts. Repeat with the other three.

4.Place in the oven and cook for 15 minutes.

Make sure you follow the cooking instructions in order to keep the chicken nice and moist. Serve it on a bed of fresh tagilatelle pasta, risotto or green beans for a healthier option!

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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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2nd January
2011
written by Nibblish
This entry is part 3 of 4 in the series Tapas Dinner
This recipe is a really similar version to the classic Italian meatballs, but just a little bit more spice and citrus to give it a nice Spanish twist. You may prefer serving it as a main on a bed of spaghetti as an everyday dinner, but I like it even better as the masterpiece for a tapas dinner party. It can also be prepared ahead of time and frozen for a few days or even a few weeks, so you may want to make a larger portion and do both!


Ingredients (as a side tapas for 4 people or as a main for 2):

1 onion, finely chopped
1 small bunch of flat leaf parsley, chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
Olive oil
300g lean minced beef
2 egg yolks
1 small red chili, chopped
30g breadcrumbs
2/3 pinches of Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 large tomatoes, peeled and diced
1 lemon


Instructions:

1. Fry half of the chopped onion on medium heat in a frying pan or in a wok for a few minutes, add half of the parsley and half of the garlic and continue stirring for a few more minutes until the mix is nice and soft. Reserve in a large bowl to cool down. 


2. Add the minced beef to the (cool) onion mixture in the bowl along with the egg yolks, breadcrumbs, the rest of the parsley (just save a few leaves to add on the finished dish), the chili, salt and pepper. Mix it all well with your hands and form 12-15 meat balls. Place them onto a plate, cover it with cling-film and refrigerate for 30 minutes, which will help them hold in one piece when being cooked.


3. Pre-heat a pan with olive oil in and add the cold meatballs to cook for 5-8 minutes and move them around until nice and brown. Add the remaining onion and garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes. 


4. Add the chopped tomatoes and the lemon in the mix and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

5. When it all looks cooked and ready to serve, cut the lemon and juice one half in the pan. Stir well and place on a hot serving plate with a few parsley leaves on top! 

 Here you go amigo!
Take a look here for more tapas recipes.  
Tip: The easiest way to peel the tomatoes is to drop them into boiling water for 1 min and then in cold water for another minute. The skin should then come off easily.
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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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