A small confession and Asian inspired chicken meatballs with cucumber and chilli dipping sauce

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Wow it’s been a stupidly long time since I last posted anything and I have been feeling incredibly guilty. My sister had been abusing me for months and friends hounding me for more recipes and stupid stories. So here I am, tail between my legs and boy oh boy has a lot happened!

Well firstly me and my man made the extremely adult move and bought a house! We are crazy happy despite moving into the cat hair infested home sporting walls from a bad acid trip, purple walls…wait, two tone purple walls, fluorescent greens, bright blues, strobe lighting, I think you probably get the picture! Now, well without blowing my own or Jase’s trumpet…wait that came out wrong, I’m blushing…. we are rocking this whole house renovation business. I have taken on the role as best painter in the world, Jase plays with a drill and I get distracted picturing Channing Tatum from the new Magic Mike film and end up dribbling paint all over the carpet. No big deal as the carpet smells like cats and the stuff that made it to the walls look fabulous. There is a lot of my handiwork that can’t be seen too as I decided to try my hand at electrics pulling off all the ugly lights from the walls and hacking at the wires with my kitchen scissors. Surprisingly I didn’t electrocute myself, Bravo!

I also travelled to South America to meet Jase after he finished a shoot for North Face doing silly things like skiing, hiking and growing a beard, all above 5000m, sometimes I think he’s mad. Anyway I intend to write some blurb on that soon so I’ll save you from thinking jeez this girl has got the verbal poops.

Oh wait there’s more …the actual coming out! Right the big reveal. Well it turns out I’ve been living a lie. Well not entirely – I did truly give the whole Vegetarian, Paleo, Vegan, every fad you can imagine a good shot over the last few years. But at the end of the day it turns out, I love bacon! And not just bacon but all meat…especially steak, bread, cheese, pasta, pizza…the lot. Gosh a giant weight has been lifted. There’s nothing like starting a healthy food blog trying to use alternatives for absolutely everything and then turning full circle. It was a gradual process since moving to New Zealand, not being helped by living with a boy who wants bacon, cheese and sriracha on bloody everything! Why does that stuff smell so damn good? However, the main thing is that my tummy (which was the reason I started all this) has decided to chill out. This has led me to behave more frivolously with my food choices, I have exciting mornings where I eat a croissant and then wait to see what happens, can you imagine the fun?! My tummy was the entire motivation to explore the wonderful vegan, gluten free world and it was a crazy discovery and I learnt stupid amounts from so many super cool blogs, and maybe that’s the reason my stomach no longer inflates like a giant balloon after everything I eat.

Just to be clear I’m still going to be posting healthy recipes to make at home, I’m not just vegging out on the sofa eating Mac n cheese, I will be spiralizing courgettes to go with my bolognaise and I haven’t turned to the mega dark side, I’m still not going to touch white sugar, I mean come on ewwww – that would be too far!

So welcome to the new blog, still healthy, just more normal and stuff!

Asian inspired chicken balls with cucumber and chilli dipping sauce

Thai chicken balls

asian chicken meatballs

Dipping sauce
 2 tbsp soy sauce
½ lime juiced
½ tsp finely chopped chilli
½ tsp finely grated ginger
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp organic unrefined brown sugar
5 tbsp rice wine vinegar
½ tsp fish sauce
2 tbsp finely chopped cucumber
 
Chicken meatballs
1 shallot
1 small fresh chilli, 
1 ½ tbsp minced ginger
2 cloves garlic
2 spring onions
4 lime leaves
 
2 chicken breasts
1 lime zested and half juiced
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp rice vinegar
 
Salad
1 carrot
½ cucumber
Handful of bean sprouts
half a lime to squeeze over

First make the dipping sauce. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Done!

For the meatballs, put the first lot of ingredients into a food processor…basically not the chicken and sauces. Whizz up until finely chopped then add the chicken, soy etc and a big pinch of salt. Pulse until all of it’s all mixed up.

Put a large non-stick frying pan on medium heat and drizzle a little sesame oil in. Now get your hands all covered in raw chicken and make some small balls to cook in the frying pan. When frying wait until they are nice and caramelised before turning. Check they are cooked by chopping one in half and if your nervous or eating them later just sear them in the pan on high heat and pop them in the oven for 10 minutes.

For the salad using a potato peeler make ribbons from the carrot and cucumber and mix with the sprouts. Serve with half a lime to squeeze over.

Serving ideas, either scrap the salad and serve them like extremely fancy nibbles at one of your raving parties, or serve all together and pour the dipping sauce over the salad. OR if your feeding a gang add some coconut rice to the mix and you’ve got yourself a pretty mean spread.

Photos by me

Cauliflower rice salad with mango, red pepper, herbs and The Fat Radish curry sauce

IMG_2956It’s my last week in the UK before I fly home to beautiful Wanaka and my handsome Mr who I won’t have seen for over 6 weeks! I am getting super excited but then I have had to say quick hello’s and goodbyes to lots of people which of course sucks, although showing my best pictures and describing my life in an extremely positive light has hopefully tempted a few to come visit.

I’ve been hiding out in Dorset for most of my trip, London is far too scary and stressful and there are a lot of pretty odd people there who don’t walk past and say hello which is a change from extremely chirpy Wanaka. So I have been wellied up, walking dogs, cooking lots for my Mum and apparently todays task is clearing out all my stuff. My room is most definitely about to become a guest room….sad face!

This recipe was inspired from THE FAT RADISH Kitchen Diaries cookbook which I just bought a load of to give out as presents. I would have got one for myself but books take up way too much valuable weight in a strict long haul suitcase. Anyhoo, when I ran off to live in New York for 2 months about 4 years ago I got put in touch with the crazy clever English boys Ben and Phil who started up The Fat Radish and boy oh boy have they done a sweet job. The restaurant is just ridiculously cool, and the food is so fantastically fresh, colourful and homely. They have a real farm to table vibe with vegetables being the star of the show (FYI they were totally the creaters of the Kale trend). I worked in the kitchen for their events company Silkstone which meant I got to cater at some incredible venues and I was over the moon inspired but what they were up to. Oh just thinking about it is making me want to jump back on a plane to that crazy city! If you ever travel to NYC it’s a must visit in the Lower East Side and the book has a gazillion delicious looking recipes that will make you want host a party and pretend your cool like them living in New York.

cauliflower rice salad

cauliflower rice salad
cauliflower rice
Serves a crowd…probably around 6 
 
1 cauliflower, cut in florets
1 red pepper, diced into small squares
2 small spring onion, finely sliced
handful coriander, roughly chopped
handful parsley, roughly chopped
2 handfuls rocket, roughly chopped
½ mango, cut into small squares
4 tbsp of The Fat Radish curry sauce

First off make the curry sauce recipe from below. Then steam the cauliflower florets until tender, around 10 minutes then leave aside to cool in a colander so they dry off.

While it’s cooling prep the veg to go into the salad.

Pulse the cauliflower in a food processor until it resembles rice, don’t go crazy or it will go too smooth. Chuck it all into a big bowl, mixing through all the chopped herbs and vegetables and about 4 big spoonfuls of the curry sauce. It will take some seasoning so don’t be shy with some crunchy sea salt and pepper.

Serve at room temperature along with a green salad.

THE FAT RADISH curry sauce
makes 2 ½ cups (too much sauce for the recipe but it’s amazing added to just about anything!)
 
2 tbsp coconut oil
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 green apple, peeled cored and thinly sliced
1 (2 inch) knob of ginger, peeled and minced
1 kaffir lime leaf  (or 1 lime zested and juiced)
1 ½ tbsp curry powder
2 tsp turmeric
1 can coconut milk
salt, pepper
 
Place the oil in a saucepan set over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, apple, ginger, lime leaf, curry powder and turmeric and cook until softened, about 10 mins. Add the coconut milk and simmer for another 10 mins. Remove to cool and blend till smooth and season. 

Zaalouk ~ Moroccan Aubergine salad

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I am absolutely loving my trip home, especially last week when my Mum, sister and I jetted off for Ladies on tour in Marrakech!! Wow it’s a cool city. I thought it was a bit like “The Lion the witch and the wardrobe”, your’ll be wandering along a street that smells like wee and not look like anything exciting is down it, then you go through a Riad door and boom, your suddenly in the most incredibly beautiful moroccan courtyard. It’s insane!

I’m going to put lots of photos and restaurant tips up soon so I won’t go into massive detail now. However, I will say that the food is pretty tasty. We did two nights of Moroccan feasts, and they really are feasts. You start with salads…not salads like we know, not many greens. Instead there are about 9 plates of different dips and veggies. The one I have made was my favourite, probably because I have a slight obsession with aubergines. With the plates you get a basket of flat breads and just dig in. Then after that it becomes a meat feast. Chicken tagine followed by lamb and cous cous, then sometimes even two desserts..pfff I had to walk around the block a few times before bed.

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Serves about 5-6 as a starter mezze plate
 
2 medium sized Aubergines
2 tbsp olive oil
5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 heaped tsp paprika
1 heaped tsp ground cumin
1 pinch cinnamon
sprinkle of dried chilli
5 medium tomatoes, skinned and seeds removed
1-2 tbsp lemon juice
glug extra virgin good olive oil
½ tsp pomegranate molasses or balsamic vinegar
small handful of fresh coriander and parsley finely chopped

Firstly cook your aubergines. Preheat your oven to 200˚C and put the whole aubergine on a baking tray covered with some foil and bake for around an hour, turning over halfway through. The flesh should be soft all the way through, you can check by poking or stick a skewer in. Once cooked take out and leave to cool

To skin the tomatoes, score a cross on them and pour boiling water over the top. After about 10-20 seconds the skin should split and then just take them out and it’s super easy to peel off the skin. Then de-seed them and chop them up into small squares.

Add the olive oil to a medium sized saucepan and gently fry the sliced garlic until almost golden. Then add the spices for a minute giving them a good stir then add the tomatoes. Cook the tomatoes down for about 20 minutes until they fall apart and become a yummy thick sauce. Season the sauce and put aside.

Grab your aubergines and cut them in half lengthways and spoon out the flesh from the skin into the tomato sauce. Using a spoon poke the aubergine around a bit so it breaks up.

Stir in the lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, herbs and seasoning, with a glug of good olive oil. Give it a taste and adjust the amount of lemon, herbs etc to your taste.

Serve up with some moroccan flat breads or sourdough with a mezze plate…I served it with some manchego cheese which was darn tasty.

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Behind the scenes shooting in my Mum’s greenhouse

Raw Cauliflower and broccoli tabouleh with cucumber, feta and harissa sauce

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Summer is here…well I think they call it Spring but it seems too hot for that today. I got to wear my dungaree shorts the other day and that made me dance inside probably because I looked like a 7 year old wearing a nappy. In Wanaka and actually probably a lot of places in NZ you get crazy winds in Spring, I just did a giant laundry day and hung everything up only to find all my undies had flown off the line into the very quiet and slightly awkward next door neighbours garden…fun times.

Yesterday we had the Treble Cone mountain closing day which was pretty ridiculous, everyone wears fancy dress and it’s a big party on snow. One guy even brought his wood fired pizza oven up so everyone was making pizzas, drinking beers and skiing some slush in the sun. Now the winter is over and it has flown by, I’m off back to the UK for 5 weeks in a week to go party at two different weddings, catch up with some friends in France and I managed to persuade my Mum to take me and my sister to Marrakech for 3 nights…yahoo. Getting excited about Morocco I decided to make this yummy grain free Tabouleh style salad with my favourite harissa and fresh pink pomegranate.

There are 2 options for this salad, you can either mix the harissa in with the salad and make it into a delicious mess OR you could keep the salad super fresh by dressing it with olive oil and lemon juice and use some of the harissa to marinate some fish or meat and serve it along with the salad and a dollop of harissa on top! Up to you, it’s such a yummy sauce I would make double and use it up over the week to jazz up all your meals!

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Serves a crowd! I’d say about 10 as a side with other salads at a BBQ 
 
Harissa
5 big dried chillies (depending on how spicy
1 tsp coriander seeds 
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp caraway seeds
 
3 big cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
1 red onion, peeled and diced
1 roasted red pepper (I used a jarred one OR a tbsp tomato purée OR a handful of sundried tomatoes)
1 lemon juiced (zest first into a big salad bowl)
3 glugs extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp greek yoghurt (optional)
 
Salad
1 head broccoli
1 head cauliflower
4 spring onions, sliced finely using all the green stuff!
1 cucumber (sliced in half lengthways, de-seeded and cubed)
1 pomegranate, seeded (wear a t-shirt you don’t like as you will spray the juice over yourself)
200g feta (optional if dairy free) cut into little cubes
1 lemon zested (plus the zest from the lemon used in the harrisa)
1 handful of chopped parsley
1 handful chopped coriander
1 handful chopped mint

Harissa

Boil the kettle and soak the chillies for around half an hour and then dry them off.

Toast the seeds in a dry pan over a low heat until fragrant and put aside.

Fry the onion, garlic, chillies and pepper in the pan with a splash of olive oil until golden and smokey. Add everything plus the lemon juice to a high speed blender and pulse until you have a super smooth sauce.

If you don’t have a blender, don’t panic use a pestle and mortar (the more authentic and muscle making way) to mash the spices into a paste, then add the rest of the ingredients until you have a sauce)

Add seasoning to the sauce and 2 glugs of olive oil and voila it should be incredibly fragrant, smoky and delicious!

Salad time

Chop your broccoli and cauliflower into rough florets, leaving the stalk and chuck bit by bit into a food processor until it looks like rice, then spoon into a big salad bowl.

Add the zest, diced cucumber, feta, herbs, spring onions, pomegranate, keeping a bit aside to sprinkle on top for garnish.

Season the salad and then stir through as much of the harissa as you like, I used almost the whole bowl because it got sucked up by the cauliflower.

Serve at room temperature with a sprinkling of pomegranate seeds and spring onion.

Crunchy raw sprout salad with thai peanut, ginger and coconut dressing

 

0L9A64310L9A6403It’s a beautiful day here in Wanaka, the sun is shining and I managed to get my ass out of bed at 6am to go to my early boxing class. I love to beat up our padded instructor before breakfast, it makes me feel badass!

I wanted to make a asian style salad today with a kickass creamy ,nutty dressing full of vitamin C, superfoods and other goodies. Something for all you lucky people that are having summer could take to the beach or serve along side a bbq, and my fellow winter pals can also take lakeside on this surprisingly warm day. It turns out Kiwi winters are much warmer than the swiss ones…phew!

The views in Wanaka are absolutely ridiculous and I have not been taking advantage of the crazy scenery for my posts so from now on I will get more creative and take my creations to beautiful locations and give you more food with a view!

Talking of beautiful locations…on Sunday Jase took us on a 4×4 mission to Mace town, an old gold mining town from the 1800’s where they mined for gold in the Arrow river. It has been a ghost town since the 1930’s with just rubble left and a couple of little cottages. The trip there was epic, we had to cross the Arrow river 22 times each way on a 4WD track, it’s a good thing we have a meaty truck, although with all the smashing about with water over the bonnet and over rocks the bumper almost fell off. There were a few poop your pants moments, mainly when we were on a muddy track on the side of a mountain with a death drop into the valley and I was having backseat driver trust issues.

Enough about my adventures…here’s a yummy salad you can take on your own ones!0L9A64180L9A64240L9A64460L9A6474

Serves 4
 
Dressing
1½ cup coconut milk
1 red chilli with seeds
2 tbsp chopped ginger
1 cup roasted unsalted peanuts
5 tbsp chopped  coriander stalks
¼ tsp of turmeric
¼ tsp of curry powder
2 fresh kaffir lime leaf
2 tbsp sesame oil
½ cup of water
salt and pepper
 
Salad
2 cups bean sprouts
2 cups alfalfa sprouts, or any kind of  sprouts you like
1 carrots, shredded or grated
1 cup brussel sprouts or cabbage shredded
½ cup raw quinoa, cooked  or noodles
1 bunch fresh coriander, roughly chopped
 
2 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
 
To make the peanut dressing, put all the ingredients apart from the peanuts in your Vitamix or high speed blender and whizz until smooth. Season and add the peanuts and blend a bit more so the peanuts are still a bit chunky for some crunch.
 
For the salad cook the quinoa as instructed and leave to cool. Toast the seeds in a frying pan on a medium heat until golden. Put all the shredded veggies in a big bowl with the sprouts. To shred either finely slice or grate or if you have a magimix with all the cutting attachments that chops them crazy quickly.
 
Mix everything all together making sure the dressing is over all the salad, season away and serve either on it’s own or alongside some delicious fish or some bbq meat.
 
A cool idea for lunches is to pack it all into a jar with the dressing in the bottom, then all you do is mix it up and give it a shake when your ready to chow down.

photos Jase Hancox Colab Creative0L9A6481

Purple cauliflower based pizza with homemade tomato sauce

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Here is my second post for Junior’s design blog!! Another cracker of a recipe and a staple recipe I use all the time for cauliflower pizza!

Lots of people think cauliflower pizza sounds a bit odd but I can assure you the cauliflower base is unbelivably delicious! It’s lots of fun for the kids to make, especially if you find a purple cauliflower like mine and end up with a crazy Avatar looking pizza.

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www.foodfromflossie.com cauliflower pizza
Makes 1 big pizza
 
Base
2 cups cauliflower, whizzed up to look like rice, use a fun coloured one if you can!
½ cup of ground almonds
1 tbsp sunflower seeds
2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
1 tbsp dried rosemary
½ tsp salt
1 egg
 
Tomato sauce
1/2 white onion, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, sliced 
1 tin plum tomatoes 
sea salt and pepper
 
Toppings
Grated cheddar, or Mozarella
Ham
Mushrooms
Pepperoni
 
Sauce

In a sauce pan gently fry off the onion with a glug of olive oil until it’s soft.

Add the garlic and stir in a for a minute making sure it doesnt catch. Then add the tinned tomatoes and pour the empty tin half up with water, swish around and add to the pan too with some seasoning. Gently simmer for around half an hour to 45 mins. Blend until it’s smooth and creamy and leave aside.

Pizza base

Preheat the oven to 180˚C. Blend the cauliflower florets in a food processor until they are fine and look like rice.

Take the cauliflower out and microwave in a suitable container for 3 minutes. It should be hot and steamy if not give it another minute, then spoon the hot cauliflower onto a clean tee towel and leave to cool.

Blend the seeds in the food processor until fine.

When the cauliflower is cool enough, wrap it up in the tee towel and squeeze out as much water as you can into the sink. Mix it into a bowl with the almonds, ground seeds and egg. Season and stir until it is all mixed up.

Line a tray with baking paper and spoon the mix on and pat down to make a pizza shape about 1 cm thick.

Bake in the oven for 15 minutes until it is set and golden. Once the base is baked the kids can spoon on the tomato sauce and choose their toppings.

Bake the pizza’s in the oven for around 15 mins until the cheese is all melted.

Enjoy your cauliflower pizza party and remember to wash your cauliflower juiced tea towel ASAP unless you want your house to smell like feet!

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Kale, carrot and beetroot salad with avocado and asian dressing

www.foodfromflossie.com Asian kale salad

This week has been a busy and hilarious one. I have been helping out some friends paint their new office which meant being high off paint fumes for most of the week and on Tuesday our basketball team “We B-Ballin” had our first match. As you can probably tell from the ridiculous name of our team we are maybe not the best players in the world. It was my first ever time playing basketball, we played Netball loads at school so figured it must be similar…it turns out the rules arn’t but we all ran around like crazy people and had a laugh. My friend Anna spent most of the game wrestling the opposition on the floor, at some moments it looked like she was spooning them until I saw her claws dug into the other girl….Yup it was pretty violent, one of our girls got a bleeding lip and a gash to the arm and most of us spent a good amount of time with our butts on the floor. The final score was something stupid like 4-60 so we were thrashed pretty badly, but I was super proud of shooting the first very fluky hoop from pretty far away.

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www.foodfromflossie.com Asian kale salad

On Thursday I headed to Camilla’s wee little farm cottage (my friend that got married a couple of months ago and helped kidnap me to NZ) We did lots of cooking and I forced her to take photos since shes an uber, crazy awesome photographer, and their cottage is so freaking cute and countrysidey so we ate all day and made yummy cakes and salads and had a good gossip. They have a pretty jealous making veggie patch but since they had just got back from their month long honeymoon the veggies had gone a bit crazy. I pulled out, sorry wait no I didn’t becasue I wasn’t strong enough…Ahem, I dug out the most enormous carrot about the size of my arm and beetroots the size of my head! And I must say that her kale is the tenderest kale I have ever tasted..well done Camilla!

-www.foodfromflossie.com Flossie

www.foodfromflossie.com Asian kale salad

Serves 2

1 spring onion, sliced
1 cup grated carrot
1 cup grated beetroot
2 big handfuls kale, torn into bite sized pieces
1/2 avocado
1/4 cup raw peanuts, roughly chopped
2 tbsp sesame seeds
2 tbsp tamari or soy
 
Asian dressing
1/2 red chilli, finely chopped
1 tbsp minced ginger, I grate mine on a microplane or chop it fine
1 lime zested and juiced
2 tbsp peanut oil
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
1 tbsp honey
salt and pepper
 

To make the dressing mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl with a fork so it all joins together. Season at the end and leave to infuse while you make the salad

Toast the peanuts in a heavy bottomed pan over medium heat until they are golden and crunchy, then add the sesame seeds until they are golden too. Take off the heat and add the soy and mix around, it should get absorbed super quick. Leave to cool.

Mix the carrot, beetroot, kale, avocado and  spring onion together in a bowl and then pour over the dressing and mix it all up.

Serve with the nuts sprinkled over the top!

If you want to bulk the salad up a bit add some brown rice or roasted sweet potato.

Bon Appetit!

www.foodfromflossie.com Asian kale saladPretty photos by Camilla Rutherford 

Frittata with roasted pumpkin, feta, beetroot and rosemary with roasted red pepper salsa

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Pretty much all my cooking at the moment is orientated around the pumpkin, something I didn’t realise  when I moved to Wanaka is that food is crazy crazy expensive, apparently a red pepper (capsicum) gets to $6 in the middle of winter! A whole pumpkin is $3-4 so I am  most likely going to start looking a little orange with the amount of soup and pumpkin salads I am eating, thank god it’s soooo delicious and versatile might I add!

Frittata is one of my new go-to recipes since it’s high in protein, super healthy and an amazing way to use up whatever is in your fridge. It is also a great lunch because you can just wrap it up and it’s easy to eat. Here is a vague recipe, just the basic ingredients really as you can make it up with whatever you fancy. Serve it alongside my dip-a-licious roasted red pepper salsa and you could even toast up your seeds to use up every last bit.

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serves 4-6

8-12 eggs depending on size
1 small pumpkin, peeled, cubed
1 big beetroot, peeled and cubed
1 handful broccoli florets
½ a packet on feta, roughly 100g
2 sprigs rosemary
½ tsp cayenne pepper

Preheat your oven to 180˚C and roast the pumpkin and beetroot in a baking tray with some olive oil, salt and pepper for around 50 mins until cooked through.

Blanch the broccoli for 2 mins and then rinse under cold water, set aside

Cube the feta

Roughly chop the rosemary

Whisk the eggs with plenty of salt and pepper, the rosemary and cayenne.

Add all the veg to the egg mix and pour into a lined cake tin.

Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes until it’s firm to touch

Serve warm

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Salsa

This salsa is inspired by romesco which is one of my favourite sauces and also one of my favourite accompaniments to any meal, and a great dip to have in the fridge to flavour up all kinds of things. Amazing mixed into a quinoa salad.

Serves 4-6

2 red peppers, chopped into rough chunks
1 red onion, peeled and quartered
4 big cloves of garlic, unpeeled
1 mild red chilli, left whole
¼ cup of almonds
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic or red wine vinegar
small handful of fresh basil leaves
sea salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 180˚ roast the peppers, onion, chilli and garlic with a little olive oil for about 30 mins until starting to caramelise

After 20 mins add the almonds to the pan to roast too

When everything is cooked, leave to cool

Squeeze the garlic out of its skin, de seed the chilli and pulse all the ingredients together in a mixer with the balsamic, olive oil, basil and seasoning. You want to keep it with some texture so don’t over mix.

Give it a taste and check seasoning, you can always add more herbs, balsamic to taste

Serve in a bowl alongside your funky frittata!

Photos Jase Hancox CoLab Creative 

Asian style chilli jam

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This Christmas I was slighty stuck on what little presents to get lots of people so I ended up getting all creative and making gifts. I am not a hugely creative person apart from a little obbsession I had recently with making pom poms. Which, by the way are still quite possibly the coolest things EVER and a great way to decorate your house, or in my case, the Christmas tree, my car, a light in our room and I even made a crazy wall installation thing inspired from pinterest which was pretty bad.

Anyway I used my other talent and I made lots of jam! This recipe is really bloody delicious and is just generally an awesome thing to have in the fridge to go with snacks and on the side or in meals to add a spicy amazingness. I hear from my friend Anna that it goes nicely with a block of cheese!

The recipe is from Diva by Victoria Blashford-Snell a famous local chef to us in Dorset who’s book is totally fab. This is exactly her recipe but I added some lemongrass too to make it even more asiany. The photos are from the countryside shoot I did at my parents home in Dorset with my friend and super star photographer Aneta Mak.

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Makes about 2 jars depending on the size

500g ripe tomatoes chopped
4 red chillies, seeded and chopped
4 garlic cloves
5cm piece of ginger, chopped
2 stalks of lemongrass peeled and chopped
2 tbsp Thai fish sauce
300g soft brown sugar
100ml red wine vinegar
3 fresh Thai lime leaves (or dried if you can’t get fresh)
55g raisins

Place half the tomatoes, the chilli, garlic, ginger, lemongrass and fish sauce in a food processor and blend to a puree.

Place the puree in a heavy-based saucepan with the sugar, vinegar, lime leaves and raisins and bring to the boil slowly, stirring.

Chop the rest of the tomatoes up into small squares and add to the jam once it has come to the boil along with the outer leaves of the lemongrass.

Simmer gently for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.  If the tomatoes are very watery it may need longer, but the jam will thicken when cold. Remove the lime leaves and the lemongrass stalks and when cool pour into steralised jars and keep in the fridge. It should last for months if sealed tightly.

Buy some pretty jars and some ribbon or nice string with labels to give a more personal pretty touch. I use Weck jars because they are really cute. Happy present giving!

Jamie Oliver’s smoked trout paté

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I have been in the Loire Valley for the last three weeks working for a lovely family with four kids, there has been lots of spaghetti on the walls, wine drinking, chocolatey faces and bum pinching from a certain naughty four year old. We are staying in a big Chateaux and my bedroom in in a turret so I am now calling myself Rapunzel, although no french men have been at my window trying to climb up my hair yet!

Here is a nice little recipe from Jamie Oliver for smoked trout paté which I have been doing as a little addition to summer lunches. So unbelievably easy to make, just mix in a bowl or chuck into a magimix for a smoother pate.

Serves 6-8

125g cream cheese
2-3 heaped
teaspoons jarred horseradish
1 lemon
small bunch of chives finely chopped
125g hot smoked trout or salmon, skin removed
sea salt and pepper

Mix the cream cheese with the horseradish, zest from the lemon and half of the juice. Mix in most of the fresh chives just leaving a few to sprinkle on the top when you serve it. Season generously and add more horseradish and lemon if it needs perking up, then flake in the smoked trout and stir gently so you are left with a few bigger chunks. Serve in a pretty dish with the chives sprinkled on top with some really good brown bread.