Tag Archives: Quick and easy

Leek, mushroom and gruyere tarts

I had a few pieces of puff pastry squares leftover from before and thought about what I could do with them, with what’s in my fridge. In my fridge, I had some baby leeks, mushrooms, gruyere and olive and tomato chutney. So I decided to make a leek tart.

Another very very easy and quick recipe.

Spray a muffin tin and line your pastry squares into the holes. Place a tiny amount of the tomato and olive chutney on to the pastry square. Then fill 3/4 the way to the top with leek and mushroom mixture (more on that below), and then top with a little gruyere. Bake for about 10 minutes, until pastry is crisp and golden and cheese is melted. Finish with a tiny bit more tomato and olive chutney.


Leek and Mushroom mixture

Cut off the roots of the leeks and clean. Then chop finely – saute in butter with some sea salt over a medium heat. You want the leeks to be translucent. Also finely chop the mushrooms and then add to the leeks (you should have more leeks than mushrooms – roughly a 60:40 split), also add some red chilies. Cook down. Season with pepper and a little rosemary (add more salt, if needed). Taste. If you’re happy remove off the heat and add to the tarts.

Enjoy x


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



Jalapeno Cheese Balls

These are super easy and quick and perfect for drinks with friends or snacks while watching sports. They’re delish and pop into your mouth releasing spicy, cheesy, crunchy goodness.

In a bowl mix: finely minced onion, chopped jalapenos, chopped coriander. Season with salt, pepper, tabasco, chili powder (I used ancho chili powder), a little olive oil, and a little of the jalapeno juice. Taste to see that you like it.

Then grate some mozzarella and red leicester (or cheddar). Mix the cheese into the jalapeno mixture. Then add in flour. You basically want to form a slightly goopy dough. Add milk as you need to achieve this.

By goopy dough, I mean the mixture should all form together and be able to tear apart and form into balls… but you still want the mixture to be a little sticky / wet.

The pull off and form in your hands little bite size balls and roll in bread crumbs. Shallow fry until golden brown and cooked through. Then drain on some paper towel. Eat with a little fresh salsa.

Fresh Salsa 

In a blender toss in some fresh tomatoes, a little onion, a few jalapenos and green chilies, some coriander, salt, pepper and olive oil. Tomatoes should make up the majority of the mixture. Blend. Taste and season a bit more if you need to.


Apple Crumble

Apple Crumble for 1 (or more). With Steve Jobs’ passing there have been loads of status updates and tweets and comments about Apple and apple images – which inspired a craving for apple crumble!

Super easy peasy recipe and a quick one too – because the mini nature of the crumble.

Get an individual ramekin and set aside. Finely chop a granny apple and season with sugar, lemon, cinnamon and vanilla. Chop enough apple to fill your ramekin(s) three-quarters the way to the top.

To make the crumble rub some room temperature butter with flour and sugar. Quantities will depend on how many you make, but the texture you need is crumbly. Basically the flour, butter, sugar mixture should not be sticky and be like (soft) biscuit crumbs. Fill the rest of the ramekin mixture with the crumbly mixture and bake in the oven until the crumble is browned (but not burnt). Eat with a little ice-cream.

Enjoy x

I’m a bad blogger and Burgers (now with photo!)

So… first off why am I a bad blogger? Well because sometimes my own food makes me so hungry I can’t be fussed with taking photos. In fact that’s usually the case! :-s. Blame my demanding taste-buds and time-pressed schedule. But I also know photos really DO make the difference. They show the food, entice emotions (hopefully good ones), and present a much better guide to what the food will be like, than words can. So I apologize, because you’re stuck with just my words!

This weekend I had the pleasure to attend a plate styling session at Tavola, along with other Dubai food bloggers, and WOW the some of the things people can do to make the food look amazing. My favourite tip was brushing the food with some oil to make it look moister, juicier, prettier etc. It also in a small way made me somewhat proud of my non-existent photography abilities and crappy camera because at the end of the day… with me what you see is what you get. Although I certainly respect the skill, dedication, and patience of those who actually do make an effort. 🙂

However, in order to “show it as it is,” I really ought to you know… take a picture. (I did… finally!)

Last night I made home-made burgers for dinner and they were scrummy. But, I had the AC repairmen over, I had been running around all day, and I hadn’t eaten much, so once those burgers were done… out flew all thoughts of photography, styling, etc and in came the thought: “EAT.” So I did.


Burgers with sauteed mushrooms and emmental. 

Basically I took about 150gr of low-fat mince beef (2 burgers) and mixed it with: a splash of olive oil, chopped onions, minced garlic, smoked sea salt, pepper, tabasco, ancho chilli powder, and chopped green chilies. Mix well.

Then I sauteed my roughly chopped shitake mushrooms in butter and olive oil, with a little sea salt. Once soft I set aside. Now the trick is to cook the mushrooms first, BECAUSE you want the pan nice and hot. Really hot. The reason: Goes back to my new-found love of Shakeshack. Once I’d realized how much I liked Shakeshack and forced myself to not go back there again (or you know at least like only once every 2 months) I had to research why I liked these burgers so much. Apparently a lot of it has to do with their cooking technique, which is a “smash and scrape.”

That is: put the burgers on a hot plate, smash down, let it cook properly, scrape it off the grill, flip, and serve. That’s what I did. My two burgers took about 4 minutes to cook and they were divine. Oozing juice and with a slight chargrilled crust – YUM!

So with my burgers and mushrooms cooked, I slathered on a little mustard into my roll, placed my burger in there and topped with the shitake mushrooms and emmental cheese. Then jumped in. My other burger I ate without bread (to try and be healthier.)

Overall a quick, reasonably healthy, and delish dinner. One I deffo want to eat again, and when I do, I will take a photo. I swear.

Enjoy! x

p.s. I would also like to point out that during the Tavola breakfast I won a totally badass blender. A Bamix hand-blender that costs more than most of my shoes (and I LIKE shoes) and supposedly will change my life(!) I was going to make soup to test out this newly gained kitchen accessory, and thusly have my mind blown. BUT, my tastebuds were telling me to have burgers so never mind. Once I inaugurate my blender will check back in.

Mushroom and feta quiche (egg white only)

I have been asked before why I don’t put measurements and exact figures into my recipes and this is why. This recipe I totally made up. No previous skimming of recipe books or googling. I just had an idea and made it up as I went along. Cooking should be like that… take an idea and make it your own. Hence why I think precise measurements aren’t a requirement.

As to why quiche: when I as in Barcelona I ate at this one place in La Boqueria where they had the most yummy quiches ever. Usually I hate quiche, but these ones I loved. I figured it was because they didn’t use egg yolks (I hate egg yolks). So I set out (when I got home) to re-create the dish (an egg-white only quiche).

I have never made a quiche before, I barely ever eat them, but with at least the idea in mind that it’s an egg and pastry dish, I made up my own, the below is what I did. (It was pretty delish as well… though I say so myself!)

Mushroom and Feta Quiche

What you will need:

  • puff pastry squares
  • eggs
  • skim milk
  • mushrooms
  • crumbly feta
  • parmesan
  • onion
  • garlic
  • coriander
  • olive oil
  • salt, pepper, tabasco
  • deep muffin pan
Spray your muffin pan with a light baking spray and take your puff pastry squares out to thaw.
Saute your mushrooms and onion (there should be way more mushrooms than onion) in a pan with some butter and a little finely chopped garlic. Season. Once cooked through (translucent not burned) take off the heat and set aside to cool.
In a bowl whip your egg whites up with a some milk and a splash of olive oil. You want to aerate the mixture, so put some muscle behind the fork! Then add in chopped coriander, a little crumbly feta, a little parmesan, and your cooled mushroom mixture. Season with salt, pepper, and tabasco.
Fill each hole in your muffin tray with a pastry square, then add a teeny amount of extra feta to the bottom of each square before topping to about 3/4 the way up with the egg mixture. Bake until the puff pastry is browned and the eggs are cooked through.
(Just in case: for 6 deep muffin trays… I used 4 egg whites and about a tenth of a small Almarai milk bottle; and if you are concerned about the volume of mushroom mixture – don’t add it to the eggs, just spoon directly into each pastry square so that you can control amounts.)
Enjoy! x

Chaat Paneer

So occasionally I get cravings for certain flavours. Last week I went and had Kulchas with another blogger http://www.foodonymph.com/ and what made the Kulchas extra special was the sprinkling of chaat masala on top.

For those who don’t know what chaat masala is, it’s a sweet and sour tasting spice mix, and for me it is one of those quintessential Indian flavours. Just the smell of it reminds me of India. It’s also something I’ll be honest, I never have.

Anyways ever since having those kulchas, I’ve had a craving for chaat masala. Which, I satisfied tonight by making Chaat Paneer which was super quick. As is this post and the accompanying photo! Literally 7 mins after starting the below “process” and I’m now chilling in bed with my paneer and tea. :-p

Chaat Paneer

Take some frozen cubed paneer and dry-fry in a pan (i.e. no oil, or only a reeeeally small amount). Let it cook and then add a little: grated garlic, lemon juice, and salt. When the paneer is cooked through, sprinkle with some chaat masala, stir, remove from heat, and hey presto! Done.

Super quick, super easy, and pretty healthy. I do only recommend a small portion, or at least only a small amount of chaat, because the flavour is potent and it does stay with you (in my case for just under a week!! lol).

Enjoy x