Friday, 14 February 2014

Seared Tuna with black Thai rice, griddled peppers and Japanese style salad

By now, I'm sure you have gathered that the Grumpy Greek and I are kinda partial to a massive splash of colour, as you can see in our little orange kitchen. This also reflects in my cooking. I believe that 50% of the enjoyment of food is by eating with your eyes. Eating natural, organic (when available), seasonal and intensely coloured foods are so important.  This will also ensure that the foods you are eating contain more nutrients and antioxidants. Here is a rendition of seared tuna, another one of our favourites. Enjoy

Tuna loin
Black Thai rice, or any rice of your choice
Wasabi powder
Light soya sauce for dipping
Mixed peppers
2 carrots, cut into Julian strips
1/3 mouli, cut into Julian strips
A handful of bean sprouts
A handful fresh coriander
Finger sizes piece of ginger
Clove of garlic
tsp sugar
3 Tbs olive oil
1Tbs rice or white wine vinegar

Cook the rice according to packet instructions but I find with these exotic rices to slightly under cook for a chewy but cooked bite.  This of course is personal taste.

Salad dressing
In a blender, add the finger size piece of ginger, clove of garlic, tsp sugar,  coriander, 3 Tbs olive oil, 1Tbs rice or white wine vinegar and blitz.

Make wasabi paste with a couple of drips of water.

Cut peppers into large pieces coat with olive oil and season well.
Heat griddle or heavy based pan on full heat, add peppers skin side down keeping an eye on them as you want to get colour but don't want to burn them.  Turn them over turn heat down to medium till cooked but still firm, keep warm.

Japanese style salad
Mix together your carrots, mouli, cut into Julian strips and bean sprouts.

Seared Tuna
Wash and completely dry tuna loin, then coat with olive oil and season well.

Heat griddle or heavy based pan so it's nice and hot, start searing tuna on all four sides.  The cook time depends on the size of your tuna loin but you can judge this by keeping an eye on end of the loin watching the sides cook whilst the centre stays rare. When it is to your liking, remove from pan, cover and leave to stand whilst you arrange everything on your plates, drizzle the salad with the dressing, light soya sauce in individual dipping bowls with a small amount of wasabi paste sushi style, lastly slice the tuna.  Enjoy x

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Leek and Gruyere Flan, Beetroot & potato gratin with roasted red peppers and a mixed leaf salad.

 Sometimes in life you're lucky enough to get that chance encounter with a particular person.  Well, I had that exact experience two weeks ago and felt an immediate bond. I was holding a little get together in my flat with a few of my lovely neighbours over an extremely annoying issue occurring in our community.  As usual, we were all supporting each other, I have to say I love living here, the community sprit is unsurpassable and as a Londoner, a true original Notting Hill Billy born & bred, I find this a rarity in our day and age. 

 We live in a really leafy and quiet peaceful community in Maida Vale, London, the rough end I hasten to add. Whilst the meeting was taking place, one of my neighbours, a lovely guy, good-looking who rides a motorbike,  suddenly got a call on his mobile and disappeared into my hallway for a private conversation. He reappeared in the doorway and asked if it would be okay if a friend of his popped round. "Of course" I replied. I have to say I was expecting a leather clad biker type fella to appear, instead this fabulously eloquent tall blonde woman walked into my living room.  She and I hit it off immediately, it was as if we'd known each other forever. Subsequently, my new best friend and I have been exchanging texts and have finally pinned down a date for her to come over for lunch, which just happens to be tomorrow. 

 As in my previous post to you all, the last thing I want to be doing is faffing around in the kitchen when I could be chewing the cud and sharing secrets with someone I really like.   I was on that tip again of pre-preparing something the day before so I could spend our time together.  So here it is.  I do love a flan/quiche but don't make it often because it involves cream, crème fraîche, eggs and pastry with butter. Well, it does if you want to make an incredibly rich & tasty one.  By preparing all the above the day before, I can just whack it in the oven for a short time tomorrow to warm up, (bar the salad obviously), sit down and have a natter.  Hope you all enjoy it. xx

 As foodies I'm assuming you have a built in instinct and a basic knowledge of cooking. So forgive me for being in a rush and writing this down comparatively quickly today.  You can always serve this with a Just a green salad, any favourite salad of your choice, or keep tuned, recipes to follow for Beetroot & Potato Gratin - Roasted Red peppers with garlic, capers and olive oil.  Please feel free to message me if you have a question and I will personally answer you as best as I can. xx

For the Quiche

Enough shortcrust pastry to fill a 10" flan dish
3 to 4 leeks washed and finely sliced
100 g grated gruyere cheese
3 eggs
Half a tub crème fraîche (full or half fat)
100 ml fresh single cream
A good glug of olive oil and a generous knob of butter to fry the leeks in.
Season with S & P

Preheat oven at 200 c

Fry the leeks, stirring occasionally till golden, season with S & P and set aside.

Roll out pastry, line your dish, grab a fork and gently stab the pastry on the bottom surface.

On top of the pastry lined dish, place grease proof paper and a layer of dried pluses or rice.

Blind bake pastry case for 10 mins.

In a bowl and with a blender mix together for 30 seconds, the eggs, cream and crème fraîche, stir in leeks and a third of the cheese.

Pour contents into semi cooked pastry shell and sprinkle with the remaining cheese and cook for 30 mins.

All our ovens cook slightly differently, so keep an eye on it whilst cooking.
Beetroot & Potato Gratin

Roasted Red peppers with garlic, capers and olive oil