Tag Archives: Lunch

Quesadillas

Quesadillas

Yummy, yummy! One of the greatest combinations of cheese and carbs out there! lol.

Dead simple too. In a bowl mix the grated cheese of your choice (I chose Edam in this case) with some chopped coriander and chillies. Season with salt and pepper and mix all together. Spread mixture onto a tortilla, splash a little olive oil, and top with other tortilla. Grill on a pan, until outside is browned and insides are gooey.

Eat with a little salsa, guacamole, or just as is. 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


Leek and Mushroom Strudel

I’m in Dubai this Christmas and thinking about a dinner party for the few (of my friends) that are also staying in town. This recipe is a bit of dry run to work out some of my thoughts for what to make. I’m thinking of this as a starter with a red wine glaze. However, the recipe works pretty much for any occasion! Great for a brunch or lunch. Maybe with a glass of something sparkly?! ;-p

Leek and Mushroom Strudel

the mushrooms…

First roughly chop your mushrooms (I used button and brown mushrooms) toss into the pan with butter and some finely chopped red chilli and smashed garlic. Cook it off and toss in some herbs and seasoning (I used chives, rosemary, a little lemon peel,  salt and pepper). Then once cooked (and this is important) drain. It’s important to drain because you don’t want the filling to be soggy.

the leeks…

Clean (thoroughly) the leek. I put one slit all the way through the leek so that I check for dirt as I chop. Once washed chop finely. Easiest way to do this is to cut semi-large pieces of the leeks and dump them into a food processor. Let the machine do all the work! Saute in a pan with salt, pepper, and butter. Again set aside and drain. Now to make the filling come together

the filling…

In a bowl combine ricotta cheese and some low-fat herbed cream cheese. Season well. I used chives, salt, pepper, and a little English mustard. Then add in some grated smoked mozzarella and the mushrooms and leek mixtures. Stir and taste. Season until you are happy with the taste. Set aside and melt some butter in a bowl.

to bring it all together and make the strudel…

Lay three sheets of filo pastry on top of each other and  cut into halves. Separate the sheets. Take one sheet and brush with the melted butter. Layer another sheet on top of that sheet and brush more butter over it. Layer a third and fourth sheet and repeat. Then spoon the mixture onto the filo sheet. Fill it in a sausage or rectangle shape near the edges of the filo but leave a little space (especially at the top and bottom). Then roll the sheet into a cylinder (of sorts) starting at the filled end. Tuck the edges in and bake in an oven until the filo is browned and crispy (but not burned).

In this case I just used a balsamic glaze as my sauce. Plate up and 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


Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli

Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli

Confession: totally did not make my own dough. I could have but, without my pasta maker (which is living in London right now), its all just a little time consuming. And I’m busy! hee.

So, the cheat is wonton wrappers! Get them from the freezer section, de-frost to room temperature and presto! Ready rolled and cut ravioli.

Onto the filling…

In a food processor pulse basil, baby spinach, and parmesan together. I’ve added some green chillies and salt to the mixture for flavour, and that is it. Then dump into a bowl and add ricotta. The mixture should not be too watery or loose as it will need to hold shape within the pasta. Season with pepper, salt, and a little nutmeg. All done!

Fill your ravioli. Spoon some of the mixture into the middle of the wonton wrapper. With your finger run some water around the edges of the wonton wrapper (helps with sealing) and then fold over and close. If you want to make smaller shapes (which are tidier) fold your wonton wrapper like a tent (pinch 4 edges together), but I’m happy with a half-moon as it means I get more filling in! yum!

Cook your pasta in boiling water and then eat with a little melted butter, basil, and parmesan. Enjoy x


Garlic chicken with coriander and rice

Chicken

Cut chicken, red and green peppers and mushrooms. Cube the chicken and peppers, leave the mushrooms whole. Place into bowl with a little garlic, olive oil, lemon, pepper and salt. In a blender add coriander, chillies, more garlic, salt, olive oil, lemon, and a little peanut butter… blend. The texture should be liquid-y / runny but with “bits.” Pour this mixture over the chicken and veggies. Mix in well. Marinate for as long or as little as you want. I marinate for about an hour.

Boil the rice.

Rice

Okay so rice is super easy to make and basically all you have to do is make as much as you want. Not that making rice is particularly time-consuming but I save time by rinsing my rice in a sieve and I don’t bother measuring the amount of water I put in the pot. Instead, I fill the pot with water and once the rice is cooked I strain it back through a sieve. Place cooked rice into a dish and mix together with some salt, olive oil and tabasco. Plate up.

Back to the chicken

Grill and serve over rice.


Almond Soup / White Gazpacho

Lunch today: Almond Soup; all the Clasico coverage has inspired me for some Spanish food!

Almond Soup

First toast blanched almonds and then throw in a handful of almonds into the blender; blend until a fine dust. Add in some lightly roasted garlic and a few cubes of white bread (maybe a little parsley or some green chillies – I prefer the chillies) and keep blending! Then add in some water to form a watery paste.

Transfer the mixture to a stove and add more water and some cream (so that thickness is to your taste). Heat up mixture,  stir and season with salt, pepper, smoked paprika, and a dash of sherry vinegar (I don’t have any vinegar (other than balsamic) so am using Tabasco and a dash of lemon instead for the acidity). Finish in one of two ways:

1. Fry off some small bread cubes with garlic until everything is golden. Add some salt, pepper, chilli and lemon and sprinkle over soup; or

2. A crouton topped with gremolata (parsley, garlic, and lemon zest)

(Make this a White Gazpacho Soup by serving chilled and adding some diced cucumber. But, its winter… who wants cold soup?!)