Tag Archives: Dinner

Truffled sweet potato mash and grilled scallops

This to me is one of the most perfect autumnal dishes. I love the sweetness of the potato  mash against slightly spicy grilled scallops. It’s also super yummy and easy to make.

The mash

Again really easy. Peel your sweet potato and cut into small cubes. Chuck the cubed sweet potato cubes into salted boiling water. When the potatoes are soft, drain and chuck into a blender. Season with salt and pepper, and pour in some melted hot butter (quantity depends on the amount of sweet potato used – but for 1/2 a medium sized sweet potato – I used 2 tblspoons of melted butter). Also add in a little truffle oil. Blend. Taste. Season again if required. The texture should be smooth (a little gloopy but still stiff) and the mash should be a little shiny (that’s what the melted butter does). When you’re happy. Set aside.

Grilled Scallops

To counter the sweetness of the scallops and potatoes, the marinade for the scallops is a little spicy. Marinade the scallops in the following:

Peri-peri sauce, salt, pepper, lemon zest, lemon juice, thyme, and a little bit of ancho chili powder. Taste. Then add in the scallops. Marinade for 20 minutes and then grill.

Serve atop the sweet potato mash and Enjoy x




Penne Bolognaise

Now obviously you can use spaghetti or really any pasta you want with the sauce but I said Penne because I want to indicate up front that this is not a traditional bolognaise but rather my version of one. It’s not drastically different but there are a few changes here and there (for what I think is the better…lol). Anyways it tasted SO good and that’s what counts!

What you’ll need:

beef mince (I used low-fat Aussie mince)




fresh tomatoes

tomato puree

veggie stock cube

wow wow mustard (bought at Burough Market… also available from http://www.herbspice.co.uk)

red wine

boiling water

What to do…

I made this recipe for two small dishes or one really large plate.

Chop up a medium sized onion or three-quarters of a large one. Should be a medium chop. Smash up and very roughly chop a large garlic clove. Saute the onion in butter and a little olive oil then add in the garlic. Season a little with sea salt and pepper. Once translucent add in very roughly chopped mushrooms (5-6 large button mushrooms, but reserve some of the mushrooms to add in at a later stage). Cook down a little over a low heat (don’t burn your onions or garlic).

Then add in the beef mince. I used about 170 grams for two. Brown all over. Season the beef and veggie mixture with: paprika, a dash of cinnamon, and a dash of tabasco. Then stir in a heaped teaspoon of wow wow mustard (which is basically chili mustard). Add in your very very roughly chopped tomatoes (1 large tomato) and a big squeeze of tomato puree. Stir. Then pour in some good red wine. Don’t cook with anything you wouldn’t drink. I used a Californian cabernet (as that was what I had opened and was drinking). I just sort of poured for a few seconds – you don’t want to drown the meat and veggies but you also need to give them a good drink. Crumble in a veggie stock cube.

Then pour in boiling water (amount will depend on how long you plan to cook the sauce for). Add in the remaining mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and let it simmer away on a very low heat for as much time as you fancy. I let mine go for 1.5 hours and the result made me pretty damn happy! Finish the sauce with a little additional butter for gloss and taste.

Super simple recipe and when done grate a little parmesan on top of your pasta and bolognaise sauce. Enjoy x

Ricotta and Spinach Parcels

First of all…. gah I hate working with phyllo. I’m so clumsy and phyllo is so delicate but aside from my difficulties I still use it because its delish!

The mixture

Saute diced onions in butter with a little garlic. You do not want to brown the onions so cook on a low temperature. Season with salt, pepper, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Then add in chopped spinach – you only want to wilt the spinach. Season with a little paprika and more lemon juice. Then remove off the heat and allow to cool.

Once the mixture is cooled mix with ricotta (I used buffalo ricotta because there was some available in Waitrose.) Taste and season with more lemon juice, salt, pepper or paprika as you like. Grate a little mozzarella and mix in, then stick into the fridge to cool.

Defrost your phyllo sheets. Once defrosted, melt some butter for brushing. Take a phyllo rectange and brush one half with butter, and then fold the other half over to make a square. Brush with butter. Add one more layer (half a rectangle) and brush with butter. Then spoon some of your ricotta mixture onto the phyllo sheet and fold over. You could make a triangle or sausage shape. Or if you’re me… go free form! As long as there are no holes or gaps its all good. Brush a little more butter on and then stick into the oven to bake. Remove when the phyllo is browned. Take care its not burnt. I flipped my phyllo parcel over mid-way through as the bottom cooked quicker than the top.

Afterwards remove and eat up! I ate my parcel with some of the salsa from before and it was yum!!

Enjoy x

Mustard Steak

Mustard Steak

I was going to make a Thai beef salad with this piece of tenderloin but decided against that and made a steak instead. All I did was marinate the beef, which I cut into roughly 75 gram fillets, in a mustard marinade (which I will describe below) and let it sit at room temperature for about 3 hours. Once marinaded I grilled the steak in a pan, and believe me, it was sooooo soft despite not being rare. Really soft and juicy. But before eating, have to let it rest for about 7 mins or so.

Mustard Marinade

In a bowl put in about a 1.5 teaspoons of English mustard and then about 2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard. I’m giving rough measurements but honestly, I just “blob” in the mustard and it will also depend on how much meat you have. After the mustard, add a little braai seasoning, (a little) rosemary and thyme, pepper, salt, and olive oil. Mix until all is blended together. Then squeeze in a tiny amount of lemon and some tabasco. Finish with finely minced garlic. Taste. Make sure it tastes good to you. Then add in the steak mix so its all covered, and then let sit for a few hours.

The Steak

If using a pan add in some olive oil and butter and sear your steak all around, even the edges. But let it cook first on each side. Then touch your steak and depending on how rare or well-done you want it, it will feel softer or harder.

When it was still rare. I took the steak of the heat for a minute to let the pan cool down a little. Then back on the heat to finish off. Once the steak is cooked the way you want it, and its been rested, slice to eat and enjoy! x

Seafood Pasta

So this is mildly (and I stress mildly) based on bouillabaisse. Mainly because there is seafood and the tomato sauce has lots of alcohol in it. Pernod would be traditional but I don’t have any of that so vodka it is instead. I also don’t have any fennel. So really not that much like a bouillabaisse at all!

Seafood Marinade

Cut chunks of monkfish (or any firm white fish) and add into a bowl along with some cleaned prawns (per person maybe 2-3). Into the bowl add a splash of vodka, grated garlic and lemon peel, salt, pepper, and some thyme and rosemary seasoning. Along with that add a few strands of saffron that have been sitting in a little bit of warmed water. Also add the water. Mix it all together and let it sit.

Tomato Sauce

On a low heat, add a chunk of butter to a pan. Let it melt slowly. Into that butter add 2 cloves of roughly chopped garlic and chillies. Cook it gently then add in a tablespoon or so of flour to make the roux.  Stir quickly to remove lumps, then add a small tin of tomatoes. To that add a bit more vodka. Then add in one roughly chopped tomato. Season with salt and pepper and a little lemon peel. That is it. Cook gently so that it all breaks down and at the end add in some chopped basil. Remove to one side. Clean out your pan and put back onto the heat.

Putting it all together.

Boil your pasta in another pot.

Into your pan, add the prawns and monkfish. Cook 2/3 the way through. Start the prawns first, as they take longer. Once 2/3 cooked, add the sauce back into the pan and finish the seafood off through a gentle simmer. Do not over-cook, this will only take max. one minute. Especially as the seafood will continue to cook in residual heat and you don’t want over-cooked fish.

Once the pasta is cooked combine into the sauce. Stir it all together and then place as much as you want onto a plate. Sprinkle on a little more pepper and enjoy! x

Home-made Gnocchi with Herb Oil

This is one of my favourite dinners because it is cheap, easy to make, tastes delish and is fresh! Honestly in the amount of time it would take to run to the store and buy rubbery, preservative filled gnocchi or order in you could make these yourself.

The gnocchi

Peel a potato and cut into small pieces. Then chuck into boiling salted water and boil away until the potato is very soft. You need it to be soft as you will pass it through a sieve (or potato ricer if you have one). Once cooked, push the potato through a sieve. Season. The add a bit of water and enough flour to form a dough. The dough should hold together and not stick to a surface. Divide the dough into pieces and roll into an inch thick sausage shape. Then cut into pieces. And you have gnocchi! Easy as that. Can either boil your gnocchi (wait until the gnocchi rise to the top) or pan fry. I pan-fry mine as it gives a really nice texture. Crisp on the outside and pillow soft on the inside. Plus looks prettier and is not sticky.

Herb Oil

In a small blender add chives, lemon juice (only a teeny bit), basil, garlic and good quality olive oil. Pour into a squeezy bottle and done.

Drizzle oil over gnocchi. Plate up! Enjoy x

(Feel better) Spicy Paneer

Its been a bit of a week! Lots of things happening but the real tragedy (well maybe not tragedy) has been that AC pipes above my bathroom are blocked and decided to start leaking. So I have a wet bathroom and soggy ceiling 😦 The AC repairmen have been doing their bestest, but this is Dubai… its really not good enough and for three days now with a combined 12 hours of work (plus whatever they have done today) still no good. In fact the leak is worse. Sigh.

So I get home from work yesterday and after spending a fair bit of time disinfecting my bathroom, all I want is a nice dinner and then straight to bed. Start cutting up my paneer and veggies… all well… turn the gas on to heat my pan… all well. Or is it? Nope, my gas is not working (it was in the morning). Fine, fiddle around a bit, turn a few switches on and off… it starts to work. Yay! Then… my alarm starts shrieking (gas alarm, smoke alarm..? no clue but its loud!) So I switch my gas off. Now, how do I cook? Well I decide to order pizza. Apparently they won’t deliver unless I buy more than I want. Bearing in mind that I have been up since 5:20am and am exhausted this all SUCKED. Fine… a few more switches, prayers, etc. I get it all sorted. So I got to make my paneer, after all. Now my fridge doesn’t work… siiigh. Anyways onto the recipe 😀

Spicy Paneer

Chuck the paneer cubes into a pan. No oil. Nada. You want to dry-fry the paneer. Add in the red peppers (which have been julienned) into pan so they also grill / blacken. Then add in some chopped chili, mushrooms and grated ginger + garlic. Now judiciously throw in some garam masala, lemon salt, lemon juice, salt and chili powder. Done and Eat.

This is usually just a really easy to make and light dinner. But the added effect is after a horrible day you get a nice healthy, spicy, heart-warming plate of paneer that only took about 10 mins in all to cook (well if you ignore all of my drama in between!). In any case it made me feel a little bit better! Could also make skewers and BBQ this! Enjoy x