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Archive for the ‘Gluten-free’ Category

Fish in Tahini (Samak bi Tahina)

There is a recipe for fish in tahini sauce in almost every Middle Eastern cookbook, and for good reason. The caramelised onions really complement the slightly sour tahini sauce. Serve with rice and salad.

Wine Suggestion: Not having had tahini with fish before we weren’t sure what to open, so went with our classic standby for seafood – Muscadet. The Domaine de la Chauviniere worked a treat and we would highly recommend this as a match.

Fish in Tahini (Samak bi Tahina) – serves 2

For the fish:

  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp ground Aleppo pepper
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 fillets of white fish

For the sauce:

  • 80ml tahini
  • 50ml lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • salt, to taste
  • 80ml water

For the topping:

  • 2 medium onions, sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • a handful of coriander, chopped
  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • a handful of toasted pine nuts

Mix the spices and oil and rub over the fish, then leave to marinate in the fridge for half an hour.

Caramelise the onions by frying them over a very low heat until soft and browned – about half an hour.

Make the tahini sauce by mixing the tahini, lemon juice, garlic, salt and water in a pan. Don’t worry if it curdles just keep stirring vigorously until it becomes smooth. Warm the sauce over a very low heat.

Heat a splash of oil in a large frying pan and fry the marinated fish for a few minutes on each side, then remove from the heat and place in a warm dish.

Fry the garlic and coriander in a pan with a little oil for a minute.

Pour the warm tahini sauce over the fish, then sprinkle over the onions, followed by the coriander, garlic and pine nuts. Serve with bulgar wheat or rice and a salad or vegetables if you like.

(Original recipe from Syria: Recipes from Home by Itab Azzam and Dina Mousawi, Trapeze, 2017.)

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Scallop & prawn risotto

We brought in the new decade with this fabulous scallop and prawn risotto. Couldn’t be simpler to make but tastes really special. Scallops aren’t cheap but you only need a few for this and they are totally worth it.

Wine Suggestion: A special occasion with a special person requires a special wine. Made by the brilliant Dermot Sugrue, his Cuvée Dr Brendan O’Regan is multilayered, multidimensional and complex. To be honest this is the best English Sparkling we’ve tasted and it has a great roundness and weight alongside it’s natural freshness which allowed us to start with seaside, fresh oysters and then segue to a much richer risotto without breaking a sweat.

Scallop & Prawn Risotto – serves 4

  • 100g butter, plus a bit extra
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 450g risotto rice
  • 750ml-1 litre, hot fish or light chicken stock
  • 350-400g raw peeled prawns
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 3 tbsp mascarpone
  • 12 scallops, orange roe and side muscles removed
  • a bunch of chives, finely chopped
  • a small bunch of basil, chopped

Melt the butter in a large heavy-based pan and gently cook the shallot until soft but not coloured. Add the rice and stir until the grains are coated in butter.

Gradually add the hot stock, stirring all the time, until the rice is just tender – about 20 minutes. Add the prawns when the rice is cooked but al dente, then season and add the lemon zest and juice. Turn the prawns until they have turned pink all over, then add the mascarpone and gently fold in.

Allow the risotto to rest for 5 minutes while you fry the scallops for a minute on each side in a knob of butter in a frying pan. Add these to the risotto and sprinkle with the herbs.

(Original recipe by Lulu Grimes in Olive Magazine, December 2015.)

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Vegan Achari Brussels Sprout Curry

Sprouts are not just for Christmas. They’ll be around for ages yet and we love them. This is also a useful dish for those choosing a spell of Veganism. Serve with yoghurt (non-dairy if you wish) and naan breads.

Wine Suggestion: tonight we opened a German white lager, the Grevensteiner Naturtrübes Helles. A slightly cloudy and smooth beer with fruit hints and a refined malty touch. This has character and roundness and is a good foil to the curry and a compliment to the Brussels.

Vegan Achari Brussels Sprout Curry – serves 2

  • 750g brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered or halved depending on size
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp nigella seeds
  • rapeseed oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2cm piece of ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 2 green chillies, very finely chopped
  • 1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 1-2 tbsp lemon juice

Bash the mustard, cumin, coriander and fennel seeds together in a mortar as finely as you can, then stir in the nigella seeds.

Heat a large frying pan, then add 2 tbsp of oil. When hot, add the onion and fry for 5 minutes before adding the spice mix, then continue to cook for another 5 minutes or until the onions are soft and browning. Stir in the ginger, garlic and chilli and cook for a few minutes more.

Add the tomatoes, tomato purée and the salt, then cook for 15 minutes. Add 400ml water and the sprouts, cover with a lid and leave to simmer for until just tender – start checking after 12 minutes. Remove from the heat and season with lemon juice before serving.

(Original recipe by Meera Sodha in The Guardian, Saturday, 21 December 2019.)

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Horseradish Bloody Mary's

We start every year with a great big lunch with friends, some of whom may require a pick me up after the night before. What better excuse to make some horseradish spiked vodka! Not for the faint-hearted mind and you can of course use any good-quality vodka.

Blood Mary – serves 8 – 10 

  • 1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • 2-3 tsp Tabasco
  • 3 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp sherry vinegar
  • 2 tsp soft brown sugar
  • 2 tsp celery salt, plus extra to serve
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus extra to serve
  • 350ml horseradish vodka (see below) or any good vodka, chilled
  • about 1 litre good-quality tomato juice, chilled
  • sticks of leafy celery, to serve
  • thyme sprigs, to serve

FOR THE HORSERADISH VODKA:

  • 1 horseradish root
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 1 tbsp runny honey
  • 1 litre good-quality vodka

To make the horseradish vodka: Peel the horseradish root and slice into long thin pieces. Put the horseradish and thyme into a clean 1 litre glass bottle. Combine the honey with a splash of vodka in a small bowl and stir to dissolve. Pour this into the bottle with the horseradish and thyme, then top up with the remaining vodka. Leave in a dark place to infuse for 3-5 days. When ready, pass the vodka through a sieve and throw away the horseradish (or make sauce!) and thyme. Return the vodka to the bottle and seal. It will keep for a long time.

To make the Bloody Mary, whisk the smoked paprika, Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, sugar, celery salt and black pepper together in a large, wide jug. Pour over the vodka and tomato juice and stir well.

Divide the Bloody Mary between glasses, then garnish each with a celery stick, a sprig of thyme, a pinch of celery salt and a twist of black pepper. Serve immediately.

(Original recipe from Time by Gill Meller, Quadrille, 2018.)

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Spiced Crispy Egg & Lentil Curry

This is a great lentil curry but the star of the show is definitely the spiced crispy eggs. We’ll definitely be making these again with other dishes that could do with a crispy egg. Serve with steamed basmati rice.

Wine Suggestion: the spices in this dish will fight with tannins so we’d suggest pairing with a white wine. Our choice this evening was the Chayeau Pesquie Terrasses Blanc, a blend of Viognier, Roussanne, Clairette and Grenache Blanc – a real southern Rhône style blend with fresh stone fruit and citrus flavours.

Spiced crispy egg and lentil curry – serves 4

  • 100g red lentils
  • 2 onions, roughly chopped
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tbsp oil for frying
  • 1½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1½ tsp ground coriander
  • 4 cardamom pods, squashed
  • a thumb-sized piece of root ginger, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2-3 green chillies, sliced
  • 100g baby spinach, chopped
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • a small bunch of coriander, chopped

FOR THE CRISPY EGGS

  • 6 eggs
  • ¼ tsp ground turmeric
  • ¼ tsp paprika

Put the lentils, onions and tomatoes in a pan with the turmeric and a teaspoon of salt. Add water to just cover, then simmer gently for 20 minutes or until the lentils are tender.

Drop the eggs into boiling water and cook for 7 minutes, then plunge them into iced water and leave to cool.

Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large pan, then stir in the cumin, coriander and cardamom. Cook for a couple of minutes before adding the cooked lentils and 100ml water. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, then add the spinach and cook for another 10 minutes.

Peel the eggs and heat the tbsp of oil in a frying pan. Add the eggs, turmeric, paprika and some salt. Cook the eggs until they start to blister and crisp.

Stir the garam masala and fresh coriander into the curry and serve with the halved eggs and some steamed basmati rice.

(Original recipe by Janine Ratcliffe in BBC Olive Magazine, December 2017)

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Cauliflower & chestnut soup

Got chestnuts? We made this with a vac-pack we still had in the drawer from last Christmas. A really delicious soup and perfect for using a post- or pre-season chestnut surplus!

Cauliflower & Chestnut Soup – serves 4

  • ½ tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 250ml milk
  • 850ml vegetable stock
  • 150ml double cream
  • 200g pack vacuum-packed chestnuts, roughly chopped
  • 25g grated Parmesan, to serve

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan, then add the onion and cook gently for 8 to 10 minutes or until softened. Add the cauliflower, milk and stock, then bring to a simmer and cook for 10 to 12 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender.

Add the cream, season well, and bring back to the boil. Remove from the heat and add the chestnuts, then blend with a hand blender until smooth. Season to taste and serve with shaved Parmesan, lots of black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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Spanish rice with pork & spinach

Another great one-pot dish by Diana Henry – one our absolute favourite food writers (we might have said that already). Don’t be tempted to stir the rice, it’s not a risotto.

Wine Suggestion: this dish goes with juicy Spanish reds with a good option being the Finca Antigua Syrah from La Mancha. While not a traditional grape variety for Spain, Syrah is increasingly seen and seems to take on a local twist which we find works really well; creamy with warm spices.

Spanish rice with pork and spinach – serves 6

  • 350g pork fillet, halved lengthways and sliced
  • 7 tbsp olive oil
  • 100 chorizo, skin removed and cut into chunks
  • 300g bacon, cut into meaty chunks (you might have to order a piece of bacon from your butcher)
  • 2 large onions, roughly chopped
  • 2 red peppers, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • ¼ tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 300g paella rice
  • 1.2 litres hot chicken stock
  • 650g spinach
  • 1 lemon

Season the pork. Heat 3 tbsp of the olive oil in a large frying pan and quickly brown the pork until cooked through, then set aside.

Reduce the heat and add another 3 tbsp of the oil and the chorizo and bacon. Sauté for a couple of minutes, then add the onions and peppers and cook over a medium-low heat for 20 minutes or until soft. Add the garlic, paprika and chilli and cook for another couple of minutes, then add the rice. Stir the rice into the juices (this is the only time you will stir it), then add the stock and season. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes or until there is only a little liquid left and the rice almost tender.

Meanwhile, wilt the spinach in the last tbsp of oil and season. Scatter the spinach over the rice and tuck in the pork pieces. Check for seasoning, then reduce the heat to its lowest, cover and leave for 5 minutes. Squeeze lemon juice over the top and serve.

Original recipe from Food from Plenty by Diana Henry, Mitchell Beazley, 2010.)

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