Mrs. Jackson Cooks

Life through food

Show-off brunch: Aubergine and potato middle eastern inspired brunch

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This is a faffy brunch.  It takes a while, there’s lots of different bits to the recipe that are done separately and brought together at the end, and it involves poached eggs, which are the ultimate in egg faffiness.

However, I have made it time and again because it is utterly delicious and a fantastic way to impress people (even if that person is just you).  And also brilliant for hangovers (not so great to make it if you’re feeling really ill though…possibly one for that moment when you feel ok, and you realise you’re still drunk!).  Even thinking about it now is making my mouth water.  It’s that tasty.  So it’s worth the faffiness.  But not one for when you’re in a hurry.  I like to make it when I have an aubergine or two lurking in the fridge.

It’s by Yotam Ottolenghi – the king of faffy cooking, and to be fair, I think I have made this as he says, at least once, but mostly, I adapt it, and it’s still just as good.  I do still follow the recipe because it’s so faffy, it’s hard to remember it all, but I think have now mostly remembered it.  You can find it here:

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/jan/31/brunch-recipes-eggs-yotam-ottolenghiI

I have to say, I have never been able to find tahini in the shops, so just make my own with sesame seeds.  Which adds to the faffiness.  But a great job to give someone that’s hanging about annoying you in the kitchen.  If you want to make tahini, here’s a recipe:  http://homecooking.about.com/od/condimentrecipes/r/blcon110.htm

And here’s my adapted version:

Middle-eastern inspired Aubergine and potato brunch

Serves 2

  • 1 aubergine cut into 2cm ish cubes (if that’s possible with something round)
  • 2 medium potato, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2-3 tomatoes (depending on size), diced
  • 1 spring onion, finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp siracha sauce (or use any tomato chilli sauce, not sweet chilli though)
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
  • 2 tsp white wine vinegar
  • A lot of oil
  • 40g tahini paste (I make 1/2 the recipe above, which usually works out well)
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1/2 a lemon, juiced
  • 4 eggs (I also do a couple of slices of bacon and 1 egg per person at times)
  • 1 tsp sumac (optional)
  1. Place the aubergine in a colander, sprinkle with salt and leave to drain in the sink for about 30 minutes
  2. Whilst the aubergine is draining, boil the sliced potatoes for about 5-7 minutes, or until half cooked.  Then drain and refresh under cold water so they stay crunchy
  3. Next mix together the tomato, spring onion, and half the coriander in a small bowl.  Combine with the siracha sauce and white wine vinegar.  Season with salt and pepper and set aside
  4. Mix the tahini paste with the garlic, lemon juice and 2 tbsp of water with some salt and pepper.  Set aside.
  5. Tip the aubergine onto a plate with kitchen towel and dry off.
  6. Pour enough oil (should be sunflower, vegetable, groundnut etc) into a high sided pan to come up about an inch.  Heat on a high flame until bubbles form around a spoon end in the middle of the pan.
  7. Tip in the aubergine and fry until golden brown on all sides.  Then tip out onto fresh kitchen towel using a slotted spoon.
  8. Pour most of the oil, away (I normally save in a jar for later), leaving about 2 tsp in the pan.
  9. Fry the potatoes in the pan until browned and blistered on both sides, takes about 10 minutes.
  10. Meanwhile, boil the water and make the poached eggs (and grill bacon if using)
  11. Split the potatoes between two plates.  Sprinkle over 1/4 of the tahini mix on the potatoes on each plate.  Next take the aubergine and place on top of the potatoes and sprinkle over the remaining tahini mix.
  12. Next take the tomato mix and place on top of the aubergines and potatoes.  Sprinkle over the reserved coriander
  13. Finally top with the eggs and bacon if using.
  14. And enjoy the fruits of your labour and faffing about.  Feel the hangover recede.
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Weekender breakfast: hotcakes and eggs

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Just a quick Hope update – thanks so much for your support.  When I posted about her on Thursday I got the most views to my site ever – and then the second highest views ever yesterday too.  Please do repost, retweet, like on facebook, etc – to get the message out and get support for her family.  Such a brave family in such a terrible situation.

These hotcakes are inspired. Super quick and easy to make, without requiring much effort on your part (essential when hungover) and soooo tasty. They probably have a million calories in them but if the hangover from hell is knocking – do you care?! And even if you don’t have a hangover, weekends are not for counting calories. And these are delicious and well worth whatever calories are in them.

The recipe suggests poached eggs, which sound lovely but as I can’t make decent poached eggs, I did fried and they were delicious with it too.

The original is here http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/8239/bacon-and-parsley-hotcakes and to be honest, I wasn’t in the mood for experimenting, so I pretty much followed it.

But here it is, reproduced, just for you. Don’t say I’m not good to you.

Hotcakes with bacon and eggs brunch

Serves 2

  • 50g bacon lardons (I did 1.5 rashers)
  • 50g self-raising flour
  • 25g cheddar, grated
  • 1 tsp thyme (or fresh thyme if you have it)
  • handful of chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 egg
  • 6 tbsp milk (the recipe suggests less but I found that it needed it)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (plus more if they start burning)
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 rashers bacon
  1. Fry the bacon lardons in a frying pan, in their own fats until browned and crispy. Turn out onto kitchen towel, leaving as much oil as possible in the pan.
  2. Put the flour, cheese, bacon, herbs, salt & pepper in a bowl and mix well. Make a well and crack the egg into it.
  3. Whisk from the centre to beat the egg, gradually drawing in the flour mix. Add the milk gradually until you have a very thick batter.
  4. Heat the grill and grill the bacon rashers.
  5. Heat the bacon oil in the frying pan on a medium heat and add a tablespoon of the mixture to the pan, and another, until you have 3-4 in the pan with enough space so they aren’t touching.
  6. Fry for a couple of minutes on each side until browned and golden. Turn out onto kitchen towel. And repeat until all the batter is used (should make about 4-6 depending on how generous your spoonfuls are)
  7. Crack the eggs in the frying pan and fry in the remaining oils until cooked to your liking.
  8. Serve with the hotcakes in the middle of the plate, piled high with the bacon and the eggs and the sauce of your liking (mine was brown sauce for these).
  9. Enjoy with a nice cup of tea and try not to remember what happened last night!

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Diet friendly indulgences: banana and blueberry muffins

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I had some over-ripe bananas that needed using up and was surprised to find a recipe for muffins that was only 202 calories! These are really delicious, great for breakfast (or any time really), feel like a treat but don’t stick to your hips like others do. A definite preference to starbucks muffins or a chocolate bar and they don’t have the nasty taste of diet bars because there’s real sugar in them, not sweetener.

My version of the recipe actually has 244 calories – I put in whole eggs, not just whites (I hate having leftover egg yolks), but that’s still not many more. I also used slightly less sugar as my bananas were over-ripe so they were very sweet and milk instead of buttermilk because I didn’t have any. And they turned out wonderful. Apparently only 85 calories are from fat, there’s 2.6g saturated fat in these, and they’re high in vitamin A, C, calcium and iron – so great for keeping colds away.

The recipe is also ridiculously easy – no fancy equipment required. Just a bowl and a large spoon. It literally takes minutes to put them together, and 20 or so to bake them. And voilà – delicious healthy muffins in 30 minutes. Eat your heart out Jamie Oliver!

The original recipe is here http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1572/banana-and-blueberry-muffins-

And here’s mine – enjoy without the guilt!

Banana and blueberry muffins

Makes 12 muffins

  • 300g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 80g light muscovado sugar + 1tbsp for topping
  • 50g porridge oats, plus 1 tbsp for topping
  • 2 medium ripe bananas, mashed to a smooth pulp
  • 250ml semi-skimmed milk
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 150g blueberries
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius
  2. Combine the flour, sugar, bicarbonate of soda and oats in a bowl. Make a well in the middle.
  3. Combine the milk, eggs, bananas and oil. Then tip this into the well and mix quickly and sparingly with the dried ingredients. Don’t worry about it not being well mixed or there being patches of flour, or it being lumpy.
  4. Tip in the blueberries and give it one more stir.
  5. Put cases in a muffin tin. Then spoon the mixture to very full into each muffin case (I did about 4 tbsp of mixture for each – so that they were just over flowing over the cases but not over the tin edges).
  6. Mix together the remaining tbsps of sugar and oats and sprinkle over the top of the muffins.
  7. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes or until risen and golden.
  8. Leave to cool in the tin (or eat whilst warm)
  9. Enjoy with a nice cup of tea 🙂

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A post Christmas hangover brunch: mexican breakfast skillet

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This is super easy to make, which is good when you’re trying to do it when hungover. And it’s full of veges and a bit of chilli – to replace the vitamins and flush out the toxins. Trust me by the time you’ve eaten this, you’ll feel much, much better!

Plus, you can use up Christmas leftovers as well, if you have them, or not. It doesn’t really matter. This is about reinventing the British classic of a fry up. Not that I’m opposed to a fry up, but sometimes you want something a bit different. Well this is it.

The original recipe came from here http://cookingtipoftheday.blogspot.com/2011/09/recipe-mexican-chorizo-and-eggs.html

But of course, I changed it. And without having eaten the original, I can’t tell you if mine’s as good or better, but I like to think so. And being British, I believe you’ve gotta have some bacon and sausages in it! You can fry the eggs in the same pan if you want but I found it easier to do them in another pan whilst I was finishing off the potato mix.

Mexican breakfast skillet

Serves 4

  • 4 medium sized potatoes, peeled and chopped into small cubes
  • 50g chorizo, finely chopped
  • 4 rashers bacon (of your choice), cut into lardons
  • 8 chipolata or cocktail sausages, or 4 normal ones
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 peppers, finely chopped
  • handful of mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 large green chillis, cut thickly on diagonal (remove seeds if you don’t want too spicy)
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper (or use 1 if you don’t want too spicy)
  • 5 cherry tomatoes, quartered (or 2 normal sized tomatoes)
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 eggs
  • handful of chopped fresh coriander (optional)
  1. Preheat the grill. Grill the sausages on all sides until browned and cooked.
  2. Put the potato cubes in cold water to remove some of the starch. Drain and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, heat a large frying pan (don’t add oil). Add the chorizo and bacon and fry over a medium heat until they start to release their oils, then turn the heat up so that they start to crisp.
  4. Then add the potatoes, onion and peppers. Fry for a few minutes, stiring well to coat in the bacon and chorizo oils.
  5. Then add the mushrooms, chillis and cayenne pepper and fry for a further few minutes until the potatoes start to go crispy and the mushrooms start to release their oils. If you need more oil, add slowly. You want enough to fry everything in but not so much its swiming in it. It depends how much fat is in your meats.
  6. Reduce the heat to a medium and cover the pan. Use tin foil if you don’t have a lid. Cook until the potatoes are cooked through.
  7. Take the lid off and add the tomatoes, stiring them in so they get all mushy.
  8. In another pan, fry the eggs in the olive oil until crispy underneath and cooked on top. Check for seasoning in potatoes (it shouldn’t need any as the bacon & chorizo will have a lot of salt anyway)
  9. Stir the coriander into the potato mix. If using large sausages, cut up into pieces and add to the potato mix.
  10. Serve the potato mix onto plates top with sausages, then top with the fried egg.
  11. Enjoy with some fresh orange and coffee and feel your hangover subside 🙂
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Hangover food: spinach and cheese potato cakes with fried eggs

I turned 31 with a horrible hangover – following a very successful bbq the day before. I was not in the mood for faffing about with food, but I was also starving and in need of something comforting. I also could not even be bothered to walk to the local cafe for a fry up, plus the idea of meat, after a bbq was just not appealing.

But, there were left over baked potatoes from the bbq, which despite tasting delicious, were a bit over cooked and the skins not really edible. And I had some spinach in the fridge, so my original thought was bubble and squeak, which when I had a look on the bbc good food site – quickly turned into bubble and squeak potato cakes, which then morphed into cheese being added because I really wanted to eat cheese!

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/3033/bubble-and-squeak-cakes

I have to say, I am pretty impressed with these – I made 4 cakes and started off with 2 of them, and ended up eating another one, before giving the smallest one to hubby later on! They hit the spot perfectly for a hangover and go extremely well with fried eggs and ketchup (or possibly even baked beans instead).

If you’re eating them straight away then the cheese addition is fine – if you’re keeping them and then reheating them in the oven, the cheese may cause them to fall apart so I suggest you leave it out. But as I said, I was starving, there was no waiting around for these potato cakes! And the fact that the potato was already cooked and I used spinach instead of brussels sprouts, made it an even simpler recipe than Gordon’s.

Obviously, if you don’t have leftover potatoes and want to use brussels sprouts instead – I’d go with the original recipe. But here’s what I did.

Spinach and cheddar potato cakes with fried eggs

Serves 2 (if you aren’t a greedy pig like me!)

  • 4 medium sized baked potatoes (or just peel, chop and boil some for mash)
  • 50g baby spinach, finely shredded
  • 1 tbsp olive oil plus another for frying
  • 40g cheddar cheese, grated
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 eggs
  1. Scoop out the flesh of the baked potatoes into a large bowl, leaving behind the skins.
  2. Add the spinach, cheese, 1 tbsp of the oil and seasoning. Mash well until combined and mushy.
  3. Spread the flour out on a plate or chopping board.
  4. Using wet hands, take a couple of spoons of the mixture and shape into cakes.
  5. Gently coat either side in the flour, tapping off the excess.
  6. Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan, on a medium heat.
  7. Add the cakes to the pan, lightly frying on either side until browned. Remove from the pan when cooked onto some kitchen towel.
  8. When all the cakes are cooked, break the eggs into the pan and fry until crisp underneath and the white is cooked but the yolks are still runny (or however you like your eggs).
  9. Serve with the egg on top of the potato cakes and a side of ketchup (or chilli sauce, or brown sauce or whatever your favourite sauce is).
  10. Enjoy with a cup of tea and feel your hangover receed.
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When Christmas just won’t leave: Pannetone eggy bread or french toast

In my family, it has always been eggy bread. It’s something of a tradition. Every now and then, my dad, who usually can’t cook for toffee, would make us eggy bread for breakfast. And it was always something of an occasion and a treat. He didn’t do it with pannetone, I’m not sure my parents know what pannetone is! He just made it with your bog standard white bread that was probably a bit stale and about to go mouldy! And you can still make eggy bread like that.

But this is with a pannetone, simply because we still have some hanging around after Christmas. And I couldn’t be bothered with the palaver of a fry up or hash browns and so on, so I decided to do eggy bread.

The first time I came across french toast was in Nepal. We were on a girl guide’s weekend camping trip somewhere in the hills outside Kathmandu (yes, I grew up in Nepal, for those of you who think that’s an odd sentence!) and we had breakfast at a local lodge, which was french toast. Turned out it had weevils added to it – don’t think they’re normally in French toast – but hey, it was extra protein. Be reassured though, I do not, ever put weevils, or any other small bugs, in my eggy bread.

I don’t think eggy bread is French. I think it’s probably an American term, much like French fries are. Maybe they think it sounds more exotic if they call it ‘French’! As everyone knows the French don’t really eat breakfast. They just have a shot of coffee and maybe a nibble of a croissant. Anyway, being English, I don’t consider France that exotic so we’ll carry on with eggy bread.

I had a look for some recipes online (not because I don’t know how to make it, I was just wondering if there were some interesting ways of doing it out there). Most consisted of ones made from about 8 eggs and lashings of cream or just plain ones. Now, I know that its a pannetone, but really, its Janaury, there is no need for so many eggs and cream. And I can manage a recipe that’s bog standard without anything added. In the end, I found this one and it was just perfect.

http://www.williams-sonoma.com/recipe/panettone-french-toast.html?cm_src=RECIPESEARCH

Despite having just said it was perfect, it’s not really. It’s just more what I was looking for. I decided Cointreau for brunch in January was a bit much! And I also thought they over did it a bit on the amount of liquid to bread and the amount of sugar – so I reduced both.

Pannetone eggy bread

Serves 2

  • 200-250g pannetone (of any kind), sliced lengthways and then cut in half.
  • 1 large egg
  • 70ml milk
  • 30ml orange juice
  • zest of half a lemon or orange (I used lemon as I didn’t have an orange)
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg (or about 2 tsp ground nutmeg)
  • 50g (ish) butter or margerine
  1. Combine all the ingredients, apart from the pannetone in a large-ish flat-ish dish. Whisk well to mix.
  2. Heat a blob of the butter in a frying pan on a medium heat (you don’t want it too hot or the eggy bread will burn) and when it’s melted and bubbling very quickly dip a slice of the pannetone in the mixture on each side so it’s coated and drop in the pan – don’t leave it too long otherwise the pannetone will just fall apart.
  3. Repeat until the pan is nicely full, but not over crowded.
  4. Cook on both sides until golden brown. Remove from the pan and place on some kitchen towel.
  5. Add more butter and cook the remaining pieces until all the pannetone and mixture are used up.
  6. Serve with honey, maple syrup, marmalade, jam – or just on it’s own. My favourite was plain and marmalade.
  7. Enjoy with a steaming mug of freshly brewed tea and the paper.
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A hash brown fry up

I discovered about a year ago (when I did the special K diet, strangely enough!) that for whatever reason bread that has yeast in it doesn’t agree with me.  I can’t work it out.  It’s not an allergy or intolerance to wheat or gluten or to yeast (I can eat soy sauce, marmite, cakes, pasta, no problem at all!).   But if I eat bread made with yeast then I’m ill for about 10 days and it’s not fun.  So, in searching for an alternative to the great british fry up that still gave me the carbs I crave the morning after a night out, I came across Ravinder Bhogal’s great hash browns.

When I mention hash browns to people their immediate reaction is one of surprise and uncertainty.  They’re thinking of the horrid pre-made things you buy in the frozen section of the supermarket, or the kind you get at macdonalds.  Let me reassure you, these are nothing like what you think of when I say ‘hash browns’.  These are freshly made, a fusion of English and Indian that Ravinder does so well, and absolutely gorgeous especially with sweet chilli dipping sauce.

Everyone loves these, veges and carnivores alike.  After I serve these to people for the first time they fall in love and adore them.  Their thoughts of weird little potato triangles are banished.

Although I use normal flour to bind, I would imagine the gluten allergic and intolerant could eat these too, just use gluten free flour.  Not sure about vegan – the idea of a fry up is a little anti-vegan!  But if you are vegan you must know what you use to bind instead of eggs, so just use that!

Being a carnivore, I serve this with bacon and fried eggs (and sometimes baked beans and sausages too, but its best with bacon and eggs) and of course a large dollop of sweet chilli dipping sauce.  My husband likes brown sauce with them too.

So here is my take on Ravinder’s hash browns, to be honest, they’re pretty much exactly how she makes them – you can find the original recipe in my favourite recipe book Cook in Boots.  The only difference is, my recipe is for 2, hers if for 4 but I use the same quantities as for 4, except in the amount of potato.  Also, if making for 4 I try to find a medium sized onion and may add another chilli.  So if making for 4 you don’t need to add more coriander, cumin, flour or egg.  I found when making for 2 if I reduced the amount of flour and egg they didn’t bind as well but it works just fine for 4 as well.

A hash brown fry up

Serves 2

250g potatoes, peeled and grated

1 small red onion, grated

1 green chilli finely chopped (de seed if you don’t want it very spicy – to be honest I don’t find there’s a kick with this, more of a flavour)

handful of chopped fresh coriander

1 tsp cumin seeds

salt and pepper

1 tbsp plain flour

1 egg (for binding)

3 tbsp olive oil (or groundnut or peanut)

4 rashers bacon (your choice, I used unsmoked dry cured)

2 eggs (for frying)

  1. Soak the grated potato in cold water (I usually put it in a bowl of cold water as soon as it’s grated and then prepare the rest of the vegetables) to remove the starch and make the potatos crunchy.
  2. When the onion, chilli and coriander are prepared, drain the potato (I usually do this into a seive) and squeeze out as much of the water as possible.  Return the potato to the bowl and mix in the onion, chilli, coriander, cumin and seasoning.
  3. Add the flour and mix well, then add in the egg and mix again.
  4. Heat the grill on a high setting and place the bacon under it.  Keep an eye on it as it cooks and turn when it reaches the level of cooked-ness that you like (I like it crispy).
  5. Heat about 1 tbsp of the oil in a flat frying pan on a medium heat.  When it’s reasonably hot, form little patties with the potato mix.  I use about 1 tbsp of the mix and form patties in my hands before dropping in the pan.  I find if you use too much more than 1 tbsp they don’t cook as well and also tend to fall apart.
  6. You don’t want the oil too hot or they’ll burn and not brown, and you need quite a lot of oil or they’ll burn and not brown, you want to hear a good sizzle.
  7. When they’re brown and crispy on one side, turn over.  You may want to add a bit more oil – I find that in turning them over this is most likely when they’ll burn and not brown.  They will absorb a lot of oil.  Which is why, when they’re done, turn them onto kitchen towels on a plate.  I keep them warm under the grill below the bacon.
  8. Repeat (adding more oil as needed) until all the potato mix is used – I get about 6 – 8 potato hashes out of the mix.  Don’t forget to check your bacon and turn off the grill when it’s done.
  9. When all the hashes are made, take the pan off the heat and wait until it stops smoking.  Then return it to the heat and crack the eggs into the pan.  I don’t normally add more oil as there’s normally enough from the hashes in there.  On a medium heat, fry the eggs until done on top and crispy underneath (or however you like them).
  10. Pile everything onto plates, with the hash browns on the bottom, followed by the bacon and toppped off with eggs.
  11. Serve with your favourite sauces and feel the hangover receed.
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A fast and favourite thai noodle recipe

One of my favourite Thai dishes is Pad See Ew, or Thai river noodles.  It’s so quick and fast to make, nutritious and calorie light.  You can even eat it for breakfast – Thai’s do.  Now, I’ve never managed to make it quite like they do in Thailand, but Vatch’s recipe is the closest I’ve got to it.   All other recipes involvinng a million ingredients like oyster sauces and marinades and different soy sauces – totally unneccessary and it doesn’t taste right.

I cannot claim this, this recipe is from Vatch’s Thai Kitchen cookbook which you can find here

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Vatchs-Thai-Kitchen-Dishes-Cook/dp/1845975847/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1287522808&sr=8-3

The only thing I change is I reduce the amount of noodles to 100g per person.   Also I found that the amount of soy sauce he uses isn’t anywhere near enough to equate with what it tastes like in Thailand so I add quite a lot more.  Also, this recipe is with prawns but you can use any meat.  If using beef or chicken – slice very thinly.  Because this is such a fast cooking recipe, make sure you do all your prep first.

With the dried noodles (I used dried, you can get fresh at Chinese supermarkets) you need to soak them in hot (not boiling) water to soften.  This can take a good 10 minutes or so, so do this first before you start prepping.  If by the time you need them they still aren’t soft, I use this trick, but you must be quick.  Put them in a seive set over a bowl.  Pour boiling water over them.  Leave for a few seconds then remove the seive from the water and voila – noodles all ready to use.  If you aren’t ready for them run immediately under cold water to prevent over cooking.

Vatch’s Pad See Ew with Prawns

Serves 4

400g wide rice noodles

3 tbsp peanut oil (to be honest though, I usually use sesame instead but peanut is better)

2 garlic cloves finely chopped

1 onion thinly sliced

400g raw king prawns

2 eggs beaten

1 inch knob of ginger, finely sliced

250g brocolli florets, or baby broccoli or chinese broccoli

4-5 tablespoons dark soy sauce

1 tablespoon thai fish sauce

1 tsp sugar

2 green birdseye chillis thinly sliced (de-seeded if you don’t want it too spicy)

  1. Heat the oil in a wok, when its hot add the garlic and fry until golden.  Then add the onion and stir quickly.
  2. Add the meat, stir quickly to seal then add the eggs.  Allow to set slightly before messing up with the spatula and incorporating with the rest of the food
  3. Add the noodles and ginger, stir for a minute, then add the brocolli and stir for another minute
  4. Add the soy and fish sauces and sugar, stir again and mix well.  It needs to look properly dark so add more soy if you think it needs it
  5. Turn into bowls and sprinkle the chilli slices on top.

And remember the lovely beach holidays in Phuket or Phi Phi or Phang-ngyan.

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A different kind of omelette

Enough with the cakes! I feel the need for something quick and healthy.

This is a new recipe for me. I didn’t take a photo because I didn’t know what it would taste like and besides it wasn’t very pretty on the plate. But despite that it was extremely tasty quick and easy to make. Perfect for breakfast or lunch. So I thought I’d share it with you anyway.

It’s from ravinder bhogal’s cook in boots book. It’s the masala omelette. I think what makes this stand out from other imparted is the spices. I have to say though, I added cheese!

I just want to say something on spices. I used to be intimidated by them. Exotic names, odd smells and shapes. But bit by bit I tried them in recipes and loved them. If you’re worried just start with a few basics. Cumin, coriander, turmeric, chilli powder, garam masala are all very common in indian dishes especially but also crop up in other places. ravinder is great at the whole fusion food thing and this recipe is the perfect example. Her book is great for introducing new spices in familiar foods. You can’t go wrong with ravinder if you want to try spice but are a bit scared of it.

Masala omelette

Serves 1

1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 red onion finely chopped
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 green chilli finely chopped
1 tomato finely chopped
2 eggs
1/2 tsp garam masala
Salt & pepper
1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
30g grated cheddar cheese
Bread or pitta bread & sweet chilli sauce to serve

1. Pre heat the grill on high. Fry the onion, cumin and chilli ( don’t forget to de seed the chilli if you want to keep it mild) in the oil in a shallow frying pan on a medium heat until soft.

2. Beat the eggs in a bowl. Add masala, salt, pepper and coriander.

3. Pour eggs in frying pan and swish about into an omelette shape.

4. Once it’s cooked on the bottom sprinkle over the cheese. Pop under grill til cheese is melted and golden and eggs cooked.

5. Stuff in pittas or bread and drizzle over chilli sauce. And enjoy!

I have to say I’ve run out of coriander so I used parsley instead. coriander is probably better for the taste but I liked it with the parsley. Don’t feel like you can’t make something because you don’t have all the ingredients. Improvise or leave them out. After-all it’s your food and you’re doing the eating!

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