Category Archives: Recipes

Ugh… I did it again (No photos). Mexican Dinner

I am SO sorry… I keep reminding myself to take photos of my food. But once it’s ready and the wine uncorked and the friends in the house, I completely forget to take a photo before everyone starts digging in. ūüė¶

Anyways many many nights ago I had some friends over for dinner. These are the same friends I had over for dinner in my first recipe that I blogged, so it’s quite fitting that this will likely be my last Dubai based food post.

Dinner was:

  • 4 different types of Quesadillas (cheese, cheese and jalapenos, mushroom and beef, cheese and black olive tapenade)
  • Beef and mushroom tacos
  • Homemade guacamole
  • Homemade salsa

Guacamole

Into a blender chuck in and blend:

  • 1 avocado
  • green onions
  • red chilies
  • coriander
  • lime
  • salt
  • paprika
  • olive oil

Season to taste and sprinkle a little more chopped coriander on top.

Salsa

Similar to the guacamole. Chuck into a blender and blend!!

  • tomatoes
  • onions
  • garlic
  • green chilies
  • olive oil
  • coriander
  • salt
  • pepper

The Quesadillas:

Grill your quesadillas. Basically to assemble: corn tortillas, homemade salsa, cheese (I used Gouda), and then toppings. I made four quesadillas and used the different toppings as above. Grill on both sides until cheese is all melty and then cut into triangles.

Beef and Mushroom tacos

Saute your beef with onions, a little garlic, some seasonings (salt, pepper, tabasco, paprika, etc), and veggie stock.

Saute your mushrooms with a little rosemary, paprika, butter, salt and pepper.

To make your tacos, grill tacos with a little cheese (until melted) and then top with chopped lettuce, beef, tomatoes, and mushrooms.

Note: I made this dinner over a month ago but have just been busy with my holiday to China and moving to Canada. Currently I am staying in a hotel so there won’t be much cooking going on.

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Pasta with a chilli butter and sweetcorn sauce

So continuing with the theme of saving money and eating what’s actually already in the house. I made a very random pasta sauce out of:

  • butter
  • garlic
  • chillies
  • sweetcorn
  • coriander
  • green onions
  • red wine vinegar (because it was close at hand)
  • garlic peri-peri sauce (I would have preferred lemon but I didn’t have any in the house, so used this as an acidity¬†substitute)

Really simple… boil pasta, mix with sauce. But how to make the sauce…

Take a chunk of butter and slowly melt it in sauce pan. Add salt + pepper and chopped garlic and red chillies. Cook it slowly so that the butter doesn’t burn but slowly froths. Add in a little splash of olive oil and some canned sweetcorn. Mix. Then add in some garlic peri-peri sauce and whisk so that it all emulsifies. Keep the heat low and allow to cook through / warm. At the end add a teeny splash of vinegar and the chopped spring onions + coriander. Once the pasta is boiled mix through.

I know this sounds like a really strange “sauce” but it’s actually quite tasty. I got the idea from a friend who for my birthday made pasta with grilled cajun prawns, in a lime-butter sweetcorn sauce. A little tequila would have been perfect with that as well…. but never mind.

Anyways budget friendly and tasty! Enjoy x


Burrata with Bread from the Farmer’s Market

Burrata cheese is SO good it doesn’t need much, so this is less a recipe and more a PSA. IF you haven’t tried Burrata go and get some. If you’re in Dubai… the farmer’s market (Saturday’s at Garden Center) now sells freshly made burrata. (Thanks Foodiva for the tip!).

So in case burrata is new to you it’s basically buffalo mozarella with a creamy and curdy center – which is so yummy!

What I did for my lunch/dinner was to lightly grill some beautiful Italian potato bread (also bought at the Farmer’s market). I then brushed the bread with some quick homemade basil oil – which I made by pounding together a bunch of basil with some garlic, a green chili, sea salt and olive oil. I then topped the bread with some tomato slices.

I used the bread to scoop out the creamy center. YUM!!!


A promise is a promise! Mini-cakes for a friend’s birthday

I often post pictures of the food I make on my Facebook page. This has caused one of my friends to constantly ask me (jokingly) to cook something for him. I keep promising I will and despite seeing him every Tuesday for the last 3 years for rugby AND working in the same building as him I never did! Eeeeks. Till now. For his birthday I made mini cakes decorated with home-made vanilla buttercream frosting, blue glitter frosting, and mini m&ms. In other words… They looked like something a 2 year old would have done (as you can see from the one I made for myself on the left!)… BUT they tasted pretty darn good, were easy to make, and reasonably light (due to size NOT ingredients!)

So anyways… you ask mini-cakes… aren’t those just cupcakes? Well yes, but since I didn’t have wrappers and self-rising flour… they came out looking like mini-cakes rather than cupcakes… and so mini cakes it is! Sometimes a girl just gets lazy and makes do with what is already in the house…! ¬†Besides… ¬†I baked these things at 10 o clock at night AFTER work and football practice… going to the supermarket just to make traditional cupcakes might have taken things a bit far. lol.

To make 12 mini cakes / cupcakes you will need the following:

  • 1 and 1/3 cups flour
  • 110 grams butter
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • couple drops of vanilla extract

Butter Cream Frosting ingredients

  • 110 grams of softened butter
  • 3 to 4 cups of icing sugar
  • few drops of vanilla extract

Basically as always its pretty simple. In a bowl cream together the butter and sugar (helps if the butter is softened) – it should be nice fluffy. Then add in the eggs and stir. Then slowly add in the flour, and then a little of the milk, bits at a time. Finally add in the vanilla extract. Stir this all together until smooth.

Then pour into muffin holes, about three-quarters the way to the top, add bake for about 20 mins.

Let the the cakes cool – in the mean time get your frosting ready.

To make the frosting whip the butter a little and then slowly bit by bit add in the icing sugar until you have the right taste and texture. Finish with a little vanilla extract.

When the cakes are cooled decorate! I used mini m&ms and glitter frosting!

Enjoy x


Tofu Salad with Sesame Lime Dressing

Yesterday’s meals were delish but a little oil heavy! I also took it quite easy in the gym today (but hey at least I went!) so to make up for that tonight’s dinner is a light (but tasty!) one.

It’s also super quick which is ALWAYS a good thing.

To make the salad:

Combine: tofu pieces (I used ready to eat organic tofu cutlets – readily available in Waitrose, Spinneys, etc), sugar snap peas (blanched in boiling water for 1 minute), sliced red peppers, and ribbons of carrot into a bowl.

Drizzle with salad dressing and top with some chopped chives.

The Salad Dressing

Whisk together: a dash of sesame oil, some veggie oil, lime juice, sea salt, chopped green chilies, a teeny bit of smashed up garlic, soya sauce, and a little thai chili sauce. Combine to your tastes.

Super easy peasy, healthy, and tasty! A great dinner if you’ve “indulged” a bit before.

Enjoy! x


Spicy mayo prawns (inspired by wasabi prawns)

I think I’ve probably mentioned a couple of times now that I love wasabi prawns and all the variations of it. Caramel in Dubai does TNT Shrimp, Nobu does Spicy Creamy Prawns and this is a version that takes from all of them. I can’t actually explain how much I love these dishes (but having made it at home) I know now why its a restaurant dish… calories galore! I’ve tried to slim it down a little… so it’s not as bad as it could be.

Every time I eat any of these dishes I always marvel at how the restaurants can get a goopy, crispy texture (if you know what I mean?!) but now I know and its pretty simple.

The dish is made in two parts Рa home-made mayo (which can be made in advance)  and then frying the prawns and bringing the dish together! Onto the recipes!

Home-made spicy, creamy, asian mayo (I’ll work on the name!)

Makes plenty!

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon sushi vinegar (or rice vinegar)
  • 100 ml veggie oil
  • sea salt
  • pepper
  • japanese chili spices
  • peri-peri sauce
Get your egg yolk in a bowl and add a pinch of salt, pepper, the japanese chili spice, and vinegar. Whisk it all together. Then start to slowly (at first drops at time)¬†incorporate¬†the oil. Whisk all the time. Do this slowly at first so the mayo doesn’t split. When all the oil is incorporated and you have the right texture + taste (the mayo should give resistance against the whisk). Add in a tablespoon or two of peri-peri sauce. Taste. Set aside in the fridge until required.
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The Prawns
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Really simple. Get 4 (or more) of the biggest and freshest prawns you can. Clean and remove all the shell, even tails. Then cut the prawns into thirds or fourths (depends on how big the prawns are). Dip the prawn pieces into egg white and then coat all over with corn flour. Deep fry the prawns until golden brown. I shallow fried mine – so did 2 mins on each side. Drain on kitchen towel.
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Once all the excess oil is absorbed, dunk your prawn pieces into the mayo mixture. To rid myself of excess calories (i.e. excess mayo) I kitchen toweled off the excess mayo from the prawns, so that it was only a thin coating. Arrange into a bowl and top with some chopped chives plus a squeeze or two of lemon juice.
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Enjoy! x
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Scallion pancakes

So next week my blog turns 1. Unfortunately I’m not at home pretty much all next weekend so no chance to cook something then. I decided instead to do something special now as an early celebration! I spent all day yesterday thinking what to make… the usual suspects came up: cakes, fairy cakes, pasta, etc. Then I thought… Chinese food! Why? Well my parents live in Beijing at the moment and I love Chinese food as well. Also I haven’t really featured much Chinese food on the blog, so I thought it was quite fitting.

I’ve made two of my favorites today: Scallion Pancakes and a version of Wasabi Prawns. I still remember the first time I had Scallion Pancakes – it was in the Philippines and one of my Mom’s friends gave us some pre-made dough to fry at home. Since then I’ve been hooked. But I’ve never made it at home before (pre-made or home-made) so today was the first time and it was super easy! Yummy too.

Ingredients (to make 2 big pancakes)

  • 3 cups all purpose flour (you’ll need extra for dusting)
  • 1.25 cups warm water
  • Big pinch sea salt
  • Spring onions
  • Green chilies
  • Vegetable oil
How to do it!
Sift the flour and salt into a big bowl. Mix it together. Then add in the warm water and use your hands to slowly form the dough. Knead it until a round ball is formed. Let the dough sit about for half an hour or so. It needs a rest after all that kneading!
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Once rested, split the dough ball into two roughly equal smaller balls of dough. Flour a large clean surface, because now you’re going to need to roll the balls out. Try to get it as thin as possible (don’t worry if there are a few holes) – the thinner the better because it creates more layers. Needless to say, work with one ball at at time.
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Once your dough ball is stretched out as much as possible, generously paint on some veggie oil. I did this by pouring about a tablespoon of oil into hands and spreading all over the dough. Use more if required. Then spread your chopped chilies and green onions (spring onions, scallions, whatever you want to call them) all over the dough. I used about 2 chilies and 2.5 spring onions. I only used the green bits for this.
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Now for the fun bits! Rolling the dough. Start with the edge closest to you and roll the dough into a long sausage shape. Pinch the ends together. Then take the sausage and make a snail shape. After which smoosh the snail down and roll the dough back into a circle.
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Then fry your pancake in a little oil. About 3-4 mins a side, or until golden. IF the pancake isn’t done yet then place it in the oven for a little while, as you don’t want to burn the pancake in the pan. Once finish slice and eat with a little sprinkle of salt and chili oil OR however you want. Enjoy! x
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