Sunday, 6 July 2014

My Minty Circus

So, this woman walks behind me in the Turkish shop… the green bunch she is holding has such a strong smell. I turn around and ask, what is that? Mint. she says… wow, never had one with such a strong smell.

So I bought a bunch for myself. As I walk out of the shop, I am wondering what I should cook that involves mint… it is a hot day in London, I’ve got no soft drinks in the house… ideas start shooting… there is ginger in the house, maybe I should add orange or lemon? I walk pass Lidl and have little tour… too many oranges in the pack. Only need one. I opt for grapefruits and lime which are sold loose… Let’s see what we can do with these… If it goes wrong, I won’t do it again.
The result tastes really really good and is very refreshing. By leaving the juice in the fridge for 24 hour with a slice of lime the taste is much stronger with a hint of bitterness… wow! Will definitely do it again.

I have called this My Minty Circus.

  • 2 limes
  • 1 big grapefruit
  • 100g sugar
  • 2L cold water
  • Fresh mint - 15 large leaves

Using a spatula, beat the limes and grapefruit before cutting and pressing out the juice to death.

Once the juicing is done, rinse the mint leaves and roll them in your hands to bruise before adding in the juice... Now add water, sugar and mix with the spatula until the sugar has dissolved.

Now using a medium sieve, strain the drink and press the residues as if you were trying to pass them through the tiny holes. This will allow you to recuperate as much flavour as possible from the citrus pulps and mint leaves.

Once this is done, either use a tea strainer or tissue to pass the juice trough so what you will obtain with be a really clean and pink drink.

Et voila!

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Beetroot and avocado wrap

Serving suggestion with red currants

4 ingredients:
·         The Wraps
·         Beetroot spread
·         Avocado
·         Mix leaves salad

 The only prep needed is peeling and cutting the avocado length ways and about 2cm width.


Beet spread - Has chilli in it

To make the beet spread see the recipe on one of the previous posts here

This is there just because I like it!
Excellent for lazy afternoon snacks, just using left overs... the beet spread is really hot as in chilli hot and the current overly acidic... The Avocado here almost play the roll of a plain natural yogurt as a calming agent on my assaulted tastes buds.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Cassava, coconut cream, Veggies parcels

Ingredients for 4

  • 1 large leek
  • 100ml Oat milk
  • 25g coconut cream
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 small shallot
  • Rapeseed oil
  • 50g courgette
  • ½ of a Green, a yellow and a green pepper
  • 12 whole green beans
  • 250g Handmade Devon Tofu
  • 100 Gary flour – made out of cassava same origin as Tapioca

The only difficulty in this dish is to make the parcels…Got kids? Let them do the parcels!

The Parcels: Start by prepping the vegetable. Cut the green, red and yellow peppers length ways and about 1cm width.

First veggies parcel
Use the length of the pepper to cut the courgette and the leek. Before cutting the leek, gently remove the outer layer, rinse and set aside. As the outer layer of the leek is harder and more stringy, it will be used as a rope to tie the vegetable parcels.

For each parcel use: 1 piece of courgette, 1 green pepper, 1 red pepper, 1 yellow
pepper, 1 piece of leek then 3 green beans. Tie all that together as on the picture and repeat until all 4 parcels are done. Set those aside.

Raw tofu
The Tofu: I used the handmade Devon tofu because they absorb the flavours more than the usual industrial one which has the consistency of an egg white. This one is very easy to use and doesn’t break easily. I really recommend it as it is the best I have found yet.
Fired tofu
So, cut the tofu as you want and season it with salt and black pepper. Press the tofu a bit so that it absorbs the seasoning, then, deep fry in really hot oil a bit like you would chips. What this deep frying will do is strengthen further the tofu and make it look golden.

Once is it all fried, remove from oil and place on absorbing paper as you would with your chips. Leave it one side.

Cooking the parcels:
Parcels in coconut sauce
Dice about 25g of the left over leek, the shallot and the garlic cloves. Then fry all in 2 table spoons of rapeseed oil. Stir fry for 2 minutes. Add the oats milk and the vegetables parcels, salt, pepper and the coconut cream. Cover the pan for 2 minutes, then base the veggies parcels as you would a roast. Now, add the golden tofu pieces and cover them with the sauce. Now cover the pan again and leave the contents to simmer for 2 to 3 minutes the time for the tofu absorb all the flavours.

Raw Gary
The Gary: This is made out of cassava and it is the less pretty sister of the Tapioca pearls. This is very widely used in South America, Africa and Asia… It can be found in you ethnic shops.
So, to make those lovely doughs you can see on my plate, place the Gary in a deep bowl that has a lid.

Boil 200ml of water then pour it over the Gary, stir and very very quickly pour away the excess water with the tiny pieces of cassava strings that have risen to the surface.
Gary dough balls
Cover the bowl and leave it on the corner for 5 minutes. There is no need to add salt on this as cassava has a very subtle natural acidity.
After the 5 minutes, form some dough balls using a ladle or a big soon.

Serve as suggested with the coconut sauce and veggies parcels.


Sunday, 15 June 2014

2 tones banana cake Chilli -choco and ginger

So, yesterday my colleague left earlier because she wasn't feeling well then she sent me a message letting me know that she’d gone home, but that I could take the banana on her desk. Which I did. I didn’t fancy eating it there and then and by the time I got home it was slightly mushy. I didn’t want to throw it a way and that’s how I decided to bake this treat.

Most ingredients for this dessert where already in my larder so I didn’t need to go shopping.

All the ingredients
Ingredients for the cake:
·         1 ripe banana (about 100g)
·         100g flour
·         75g dairy free butter
·         25g sugar
·         A pinch of salt
·         1 teaspoon chilli flakes
·         1 teaspoon of dark coco powder
·         1/2teaspoon baking powder
·         75ml of water (or rice milk)
·         4 ramekins

Ingredients for the syrup:
·         25g fresh ginger
·         50g sugar

Preheat the oven at 200C before starting.
In a blender, place the peeled banana and melted butter, salt, sugar and 75ml water. Blend. Transfer all into a mixing bowl. Sieve in the flour and baking powder. Mix well until you obtain a lump less batter.
Ramekin ready for the oven

Now, split the batter in two bowls. In one half, incorporate the chilli flakes and in the other, add the coco powder. Now you’ve got a chilli banana batter and a coco banana cake.
Butter the ramekins that you are going to use for the baking. On the bottom of each ramekin, pour the chocolate cake mix, then on the top gently place the chilli mix. By doing this gently, the cake mixes will remain separated in the ramekin.
Now place the ramekin on the tray on the centre of the oven and leave to bake for 25 minutes at 200C.

Meanwhile, peel chop and blend the ginger with 25ml water. Sieve the mix in a sieve lined with paper towel to obtain a clear ginger essence.
The syrup... still bubbling
Do not throw away what you have recuperated in the paper towel as it could be used in
soups or stir fries.
Those are chilli flakes
Back to our syrup. In a milk pan, melt 50g of sugar until it look clear and golden. This should take 2 minutes. Now add the ginger essence in the pan slowly stir and try now to burn yourself. The content of the pan will froth very much. Just keep an eye on it and pull it away from the stove from time to time. Slowly stir the content of the pan until the water has evaporated and all that is left is a ginger flavoured syrup. This should take 5 minutes in total from the moment you add the ginger essence onto the sugar. Remove the syrup from the pan and place it in a serving dish.

When the cake is ready, allow 5 minutes to cool down then serve by cutting each individual cake and covering them with the syrup.
Serving suggestion

This dessert is hot as in chilli hot literally but it surprising in flavors.

Let me know what you think of it. Tweet @hjulienne

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Black rice, Tofu, beansprouts

My one pot black rice

·         300g black rice
·         400g bean sprouts
·         200g Tofu
·         100g frozen petit pois
·         Half cucumber (100grs)
·         1 scotch bonnet
·         1 teaspoon ground lemon grass
·         2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
·         1 small onion
·         5 garlic cloves
·         Olive oil

Rinse the rice and place it in a sauce pan with 500ml water, salt and a spoon of olive oil. Cook for 1 hour. Regularly check and top up water as needed. Black rice is much harder to cook than all the other rice, so, you will need 45 minutes to 1 hour for it to cook through.

In the meantime, do all the preps as the rest of the cooking goes very fast once the rice is pre-cooked.
Once the rice is cooked, set aside. Assuming that you have done all the preps and cleared your work space, heat 3 table spoons of olive oil in a wok, cut the tofu into chunks and brown with half of the chopped onion.  The tofu tends to disintegrate quite easily, so, once fried set it aside and just add to the dish just before serving. Unlike soya meat, tofu doesn’t absorb flavours. If you have ever eaten a boiled egg white, that is exactly the consistency of tofu.

Once you have removed the tofu from the wok, brown the rest of onion in the same pan for 2 minutes. Now add the rinsed bean sprouts, stir for another 2 minutes. Add the frozen petit pois, courgette, garlic, rice, black soy sauce and finely cut scotch bonnet (chilli). Stir well and cover for 5 minutes.
The hardest vegetable here is the courgette so, after 5 minutes, it should be soft, but crunchy. After 5 minutes  open the pot and stir the content from bottom to top to spread the heat. Cover for another 5 minutes.  Turn off the heat and fold in the previously fried tofu. It is ready to serve.

Bon Appetit! J
Serving suggestion


Saturday, 8 March 2014

Homemade vegan Apple Tart

Serving suggestion with a vegan ice cream
Apple tart for 8
  • 3 medium apples (gala, golden pink lady any)
  • 4 big cooking apples (bramley)
  • 1 lime
  • 50g sugar
  • 1 pre rolled savoury short crust pastry (Just Rolls pastries are suitable to vegans not the All-butter option)
  • 15g butter for the baking dish

Preheat the oven at 180C. And leave the rolled pastry at room temperature.

Start by making a compote. Peel and cut the 3 normal apples, place them in a pan with 100ml of water, zest and juice of one whole lime. Let it simmer and soften for 10 minutes, remove the excess water and blitz with a hand blender to liquidize. The consistency we are looking for is that of a yogurt so the less water, the better. Set aside.
Now peel the cooking apples and remove their middle, then cut them finely as on the picture to the left. Set aside.

When all that is ready, butter your tart dish and place the rolled pastry in it. Make sure that all the surface of the dish is covered then, prick the base of the pastry with a fork.
Now spread the compote on the pastry and place the uncooked apple slices on top and one by one covering the surface of the compote. Once that is done, place the tart in the oven for 40 minutes at 180C.

When it is cooked, remove from the oven and leave the tart cool for 10 minutes before serving. If you like your dessert cold like me, leave it to cool down for 30 minutes at room temperature, then, place in the fridge for 1 hour before serving with ice cream (found mine in Sainsbury's). I wanted a touch of bitterness so, I added dark coco powder in my plate.
Bon Appétit!


Check out this Ice cream... loved it!

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Soy meat, Plantain and Beetroot dip

We are one week before pay day and by pure slackness I have decided not to step out of the house this week end. A quick look through my cupboard informs me that I’ve got plantain, precooked beetroot, flour and soy meat. Not very inspiring, but is it 12 o’clock, I have skipped breakfast and getting hungry! I make myself a cup of coffee, then, light bulb moment. I ate a beetroot puree not long ago. I could try that, but I want something warm all the way so… I wish I could have steak and chips and this is how I came up with this dish:
Soy meat steak, plantain chips and hot beetroot dip - Serves 2 portions

Ingredients for the dish
·         250g Hydrated soy meat ball
·         25g plain flour
·         25g + 50g onion
·         4 garlic cloves
·         2 yellow plantain
·         25ml sesame oil
·         Chip oil
·         Olive oil
·         Salt & black pepper
·         A bit of herbes de Provence
·         Scotch bonnet (or chilli pepper)

For the soy meat cakes; squeeze out the water from the hydrated soy balls, place them in a food processor with 2 table spoons of sesame oil and wiz in 2 or 3 quick bursts. We just want them chopped up finer than we can with a knife. When it is done. Empty in a bowl and set aside.
Now peel and crush two garlic cloves on the mix, finely cut 50g of onion and add to the mix. Then add the flour, salt and pepper. Mix well and form as if you were making burghers. Leave to the side
Prep done!

For the beetroot dip; rinse the beetroots, cut and place in a food processor with 25g onion, 2 garlic clove and the scotch bonnet. Also add 3 table spoons of water to help with the liquidizing. Leave aside.
As for the plantain, just peel and cut to your taste.
Now that everything is prep, clear out the mess and reset your work space.

To cook the soy meat, heat a non-stick frying pan without oil and place all four burghers on the pan and let them cook for 2 minutes on each side. If you want, you can add a tea spoon of sesame oil to help the process.

To prepare the dip, just fry the blended beetroot mix in 3 table spoons of olive oil. Add salt pepper and Herbes de Provence, stir and leave it to cook until there is no traces of liquid (water) coming out of the mix… this should takes 5-7 minutes. Don’t forget to stir so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
For the plantain, if you do not have a chip pan, just heat up 500ml of vegetable oil and fry in it the plantain as you would your chips. I recommend that you add a big slice of onion along with the plantain to give it an added flavour. The plantain should take about 5 minutes to brown. Once it is brown, remove it from the oil and place on some absorbing paper before serving.

I recommend deep frying plantain because it absorbs less oil than when fried in a frying pan. And it takes longer too, then the colour isn’t homogeneous.
All is ready! Time to serve and enjoy…

Oh the leaf? It just from one of my house plant. Lol
Serving suggestion

Saturday, 22 February 2014

My homemade pesto

Pesto ingredients

Who says that you have to make pesto with exactly the same ingredients as recipes? You can add in whatever you fancy until you find the version that you like. Here is my version:
·         Fresh basil 100grs
·         Roast almond flakes 100grs
·         1 garlic clove
·         Salt 1 pinch
·         Olive oil 50ml

Rinse and chop the basil leaves, place them in the blender, crush the almonds, add the salt and blend until smooth while continuously adding oil. Done

Basil is the fresh tomatoes and mozzarella’s best friend. But, you can also try it with tomatoes and radishes, pitta bread or put a dollop on freshly cooked rice noodle…

Serving suggestion Tomato & Radish

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Compote au riz rouge de Camargue

Ingredients for the dessert
Rice dessert:
·         6 medium strawberries
·         2 apples (any would do)
·         1 banana
·         2 tea spoons of sugar (optional)
·         50grs red Camargue rice
·         Rice milk
·         A hand full of dry currants (for serving)
Method: Peel the apples and cut in small quarters, peel and cut the banana the same, cut the strawberries and rinse. Also rinse the rice and place all the above in a small sauce pan with the sugar and rice milk. Put enough rice milk to cover the content of the pan. Cover and leave to cook on medium heat for 30 minutes.
Just ensure that the rice is well cooked before removing the pan from the heat. Do not let your pan dry or run out of liquid. This will help when blending the content of the pan.

So, once the rice is cooked, transfer the content of the pan in a blender and liquidize the lot. Leave to cool down and place in the fridge for an hour before serving topped with few currants.
Serving suggestion


Saturday, 8 February 2014

Roast potatoes medley

Often wondered about how else you could use left overs roast potatoes in a really tasty and original way… Well, here is one to try at home. Tastes good too!
Get a piece of baguette to clean the plate with...
Dinner for 2

Ingredients (from scratch):

For the potatoes:
·         200grs baby potatoes – Or salad potatoes
·         2tbsp vegetable oil
·         Salt and black pepper

For the tahini “sauce”:
·         1 medium onion, finely chopped
·         3 garlic cloves finely chopped
·         2 tablespoons of rapeseed oil
·         2 tablespoons of tahini paste
·         1 tablespoon of mustard paste
·         ½ knor vegetable stock cube melted in 150ml of warm water
·         1 small bunch of fresh parsley

For the roast potatoes (if you haven’t got let overs)
Take a bag of 200grs salad potatoes, rinse them and cut each one in half. Place them on the oven tray face down with 2table spoons of vegetable oil, salt & pepper. Put the potatoes in the preheated oven at 180C for 30 minutes. The skin should be crispy and the potatoes slightly firm.

In the meantime, prepare the tahini base of the medley:
Chop the onion into really fine pieces, heat 2 tablespoons of rapeseed oil in a saucepan, brown the onions, don’t let them burn. Now add the garlic, tahini paste and the mustard. Stir for 2 minutes then add a glass of water and leave to simmer gently for 5 minutes uncovered. Stir from time to time so it doesn’t stick.

Now, add the potatoes and do not forget to scrape the bottom of the oven tray (more flavour there) and add it to the mix. Stir well and poor in 150ml of stock. Cover and leave on medium heat for 15 minutes. What we are looking for is the sauce to stick to the potatoes. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Now take the pan off the heat and add the chopped parsley. Mix well and serve immediately.

Bon Appétit

Note: This dish was created from some leftover potatoes from dinner the day before. Any leftover roast vegetables could be used in this way. Do not worry if you normally roast your potatoes with other vegetables. No need to separate them, just chuck it all in the “sauce” and enjoy!