Turkish Baked Eggs

Turkish Baked Eggs

This fabulous recipe is an adaptation of a breakfast from Istanbul last year, sat in the early heat of the day at Saray Restaurant, below the towering minarets of the Sultan Ahmet Mosque. It was one of the most beautiful locations to indulge in a late breakfast, and I am glad to say that the food was as wonderful as the view! The eggs, which were baked to perfection, were served with chewy bread that is done so well all over turkey, loads of fruit and a thick black Turkish coffee.

Forgive me for not being a purist, but I have used chorizo instead of the traditional Sujuk, as I can grab it in my local supermarket. If you can get the real stuff then use it in abundance in place of chorizo. It’s wonderful.

Turkish Baked Eggs

Turkish Baked Eggs – Karisik Mememen

Serves 2

2 tbsp. olive oil
200g chorizo, roughly sliced
1 red pepper, roughly sliced
2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, roughly sliced
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground cumin
4 free range eggs
25g walnuts, roughly chopped
1 handful of parsley leaves
2 thick slices of beautiful fresh bread
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Meanwhile heat the oil in a large oven proof frying pan over a medium heat and add the chorizo and pepper. Stir-fry for 3-4 minutes until the pepper starts to soften. Add the tomato, garlic, cinnamon and cumin. Mix well and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes, or until the tomatoes have cooked down.
  2. Make 4 little wells using a spoon and crack in the eggs. Season with a small pinch of salt and pepper and cook for 1-2 minutes until the bottom of the eggs have set. Carefully transfer the pan into the hot oven and bake for 1-2 minutes until the egg whites have set and the yolks are still wonderfully runny. Remove from the oven, scatter over the walnuts and parsley and serve immediately with bread.

-all thoughts and spelling mistakes are mine-

Stir-fried Noodles with Bok Choy

Stir-fried Noodles with Bok Choy

This noodle recipe is simplicity at its best. Soft egg noodles, crunchy bok choy, yellow egg, salty soy and spicy chilli – heavenly flavours that all work so well together. Oh and it doesn’t matter if you use Pak Choi instead – whatever you can find on the day will be perfect!

I can eat great mounds of these delicious noodles on their own, generally doused in more of my favourite chilli sauce. But, it is also a superb side dish for roast meat, fish or any stir-fry. It goes particularly well with my stir-fried pork with ginger and spring onions.

Stir-fried Noodles with Bok Choy

Stir-fried Noodles with Bok Choy

Serves 4

200g/7oz medium egg noodles
235g/8 ½ oz. bok choy, roughly sliced
2 tbsp. groundnut oil
2 eggs, whisked together
3 tbsp. chilli sauce
3 tbsp. light soy sauce

1. Cook the noodles in boiling water as directed on the packet. Add the bok choy for the last 3 minutes of cooking. Drain in a colander and roughly chop the noodles with a knife to help them mix together better when stir-frying and set to one side

2. Heat a wok over a high heat until smoking. Add the oil, swirl round and add the egg. Stir-fry for 1-2 minutes until scrambled. Chuck in the cooked noodles and bok choy and pour in the chilli sauce and soy sauce. Stir-fry for 1-2 minutes so the noodles and bok choy are completed coated in the sauces and everything is warmed through. Serve immediately with more chilli sauce at the table!

Goes really with my stir-fried pork with ginger and spring onions

-all thoughts and spelling mistakes are mine-

Stir-fried Pork with Ginger and Spring Onions

pork stir fry with ginger and spring onion

It’s cold and it’s January, and if like me you lived Christmas and New Year to the max, waistlines will have grown and wallets shrunk. Oh well, I regret nothing and can’t wait to do it again this year! What I tend to do every January is eat healthy home-cooked food, which is quick to make and easy on my bank balance, and snaps everything back into shape.

My delicious pork stir-fry with ginger, spring onions and black pepper is as easy to make as it is to eat. Pork loin is a wonderfully tender cut of meat to use in a stir-fry and it is great value as well. The pork soaks up all the flavour of the ginger and spring onions, and the rather generous amount of ground black pepper gives it a good fragrant heat. This is fast stir-frying and tastes awesome!

pork stir fry with ginger and spring onion

Stir-fried Pork with Ginger and Spring Onions

Serves 4

2 tbsp. groundnut oil
550g/1lb 4oz pork fillet, finely sliced
5cm/2 inch ginger, finely sliced into matchsticks
6 spring onions, finely sliced
1 tsp. finely ground black pepper
2 tbsp. fish sauce
3 tbsp. oyster sauce

Rice or noodles to serve

  1. Heat the wok over a high heat until smoking. Pour in the oil and swirl it around the wok. Add the pork and spread it out in a layer and leave it for 1 ½ – 2 minutes to sear and go golden on one side, then stir-fry for 2-3 minutes to take on a little more colour.
  2. Chuck in the ginger, spring onions, black pepper, fish sauce and oyster sauce and continue to stir fry for 5-6 minutes, or until the pork is cooked through and tender and the sauce clings lovingly to the meat. Serve immediately with sticky rice or noodles.

Goes really well with my fried noodles and bok choy

-all thoughts and spelling mistakes are mine-

Passion Fruit and Basil Chocolate Pots

chocolate pots

These dark, rich, decadent chocolate pots have a hint of tart passion fruit, which seems to make the chocolate even richer, and a background note of basil. They are the perfect Christmas dessert. They only take a few minutes to make. A bit of slow melting, gentle pouring and chilling, that’s it. You can stash them in the fridge for your guests to dive into when ever they are required.

I am a complete chocolate weirdo. I love it. I would make the recipe below for 2 chocolate fiends, but you can easily get 4 ‘normal’ portions out of it – I will leave this up to you and I certainly won’t judge!

These lovely little chocolate pots were inspired by the McCormick 2013 Flavour Forecast. Do let me know what you think of my chocolate pots and this delicious flavour combination @mightyspice

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Serves 2 chocolate fiends or 4 more sensible people

100g/3 ½oz dark chocolate 70%
125ml/4fl oz./ ½ cup double cream
2 tsp. honey
¼ tsp. dry basil
2 passion fruits
1 free-range egg

  1. Smash the chocolate, still in the packet, onto a chopping board to break it up. Tip the chocolate pieces into a heatproof bowl and pour in the cream and the honey. Add the basil and place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Heat gently, stirring occasionally, for 5-6 minutes until the chocolate and cream have melted together, then remove the bowl from pan and set to one side.
  2. Meanwhile place a fine sieve over a mixing bowl. Cut the passion fruits in half and scoop the seeds and any juices out into the sieve. Using the back of a spoon, mix the seeds around the sieve to push all of lovely the juices out into the mixing bowl.
  3. Tip the passion fruit juice into the melted chocolate and crack in the egg. Mix really well so the chocolate goes beautifully smooth and velvety. Pour the rich mixture into serving glasses, as required, and place in the fridge for 4 hours, or over night, to set. Remove from the fridge 10 minutes before serving.

chocolate pots

-All thoughts and spelling mistakes are mine-

Charred Orange, Dark Rum and Allspice Chicken Thighs

Charred orange dark rum and allspice chicken

My charred orange dark rum and allspice chicken thighs are a nod to the Caribbean and all the wonderful sunshine food they eat. They are hot and sticky and have a great spicy kick-up-the-ass from the fruity scotch bonnet chillies. The charred orange adds to the smokey flavour of the chicken and also charring the orange sweetens it, which you really notice when you eat the thighs. These are so quick and easy to make. They are perfect for a last-minute meal when you have friends over – oh, and they go right well with some rice’n peas!

These awesome chicken thighs were inspired by the McCormick 2013 Flavour Forecast – I loved the combination of charred orange, dark rum and allspice. Do let me know what you think of my chicken thighs and this delicious flavour combination @mightyspice

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Charred Orange Dark Rum and Allspice Chicken Thighs

Serves 4

1 tsp. olive oil
1 orange
2 scotch bonnet chillies, roughly chopped
4 spring onions/scallions, trimmed and roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 tbsp. dark rum
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
2 tsp. allspice
850g/1lb 14oz chicken thighs on the bone or wings
sea Salt to serve

  1. Cut the oranges in half. Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and put the oranges, fruit side down, into the pan. Cook for 4 – 4 ½ minutes until the oranges are turning from a golden colour to just charred. Remove the pan from the heat and set to one side.
  2. Chuck the chillies, spring onions, garlic, rum, soy sauce, sugar, thyme and allspice into a mini food processor. Squeeze in the juice from the orange and blend into a smooth paste.
  3. Put the chicken pieces into a large mixing bowl and pour over the spice paste. Mix everything together really well – use a spoon for this the chillies are hot, hot, hot! Cover and put in the fridge for 6 hours or overnight, so the marinade can work its magic on the chicken.
  4. Preheat the over to 200c/400f/gas 6 and get the chicken out of the fridge to come to room temperature. Place the chicken, skin side up, on a grill rack and cook in the hot oven for 30-35 minutes or until cooked through and tender and beautifully golden and crispy on the outside. Serve immediately with a good sprinkling of sea salt.

Charred orange dark rum and allspice chicken

-All thoughts and spelling mistakes are mine-

2013 Flavour Forecast

I am delighted to have been given a sneak preview of the McCormick (that’s Schwartz for those in the UK) 2013 Flavour Forecast. The Flavour Forecast is a look into their world of flavour and an insight into emerging trends over the next few years.

BitterChocolate_Basil_PassionFruit_HR

As you know, I am all about the spice and these guys are one of the biggest players in the market, so it has been fascinating to see what trends they are predicting. With brands in over 100 countries, including Australia, Europe, South Africa, Latin America and North America, they are in a good place to look at what trends and ingredients will be emerging over the next 3-5 years.

For their latest forecast they have identified 5 key trends that are then broken down into two different flavour combinations – think big guys, they have been bold!

The 5 trends are:

  1. No Apologies Necessary – making meals that remind you of somewhere exotic
  2. Personally Handcrafted – every home cook’s own signature dish
  3. Empowered Eating – making food work for you through healthy choices
  4. Hidden Potential – getting the most out of every part of every ingredient
  5. Global My Way – using an ethnic ingredient in a truly local manner

The associated flavour combinations are

  1. No Apologies Necessary
    1. Bitter Chocolate, Sweet Basil and Passion Fruit
    2. Black Rum, Charred Orange and Allspice
  2. Personally Handcrafted
    1. Cider, Sage and Molasses
    2. Smoked Tomato, Rosemary, Chilli Peppers and Sweet Onion
  3. Empowered Eating
    1. Farro Grain, Blackberry and Cove
    2. Broccoli and Dukkah
  4. Hidden Potential
    1. Hearty Meat Cuts, Plantain and Cinnamon
    2. Artichoke, Paprika and Hazelnut
  5. Global My Way
    1. Anise and Cajeta
    2. Japanese Katsu and Oregano

As you can see from their combinations they are bold, relevant and, in some cases, quite out there. I was thrilled to see a mainstream brand offering such unusual flavour combinations. Who would have thought of bringing back an ancient grain – Farro, and pairing it with the humble blackberry and warming cloves. These combinations will go on to be replicated by home cooks and industry experts alike.

Blackberry_Farro_Clove_HR

One of my favourite trends was No Apologies Necessary. I constantly travel for work and when I get home to my tiny apartment I like to recreate the exotic food I have eaten to bring the sunshine back into EC2. I loved the nod to the Caribbean, with the combination of black rum, charred orange and allspice. I can imagine this on sticky chicken wings, bbq’d fish or in a mighty fine cocktail.

CharredOrange_BlackRum_AllSpice_HR

Empowered Eating sums up my philosophy on food – I love to eat things that are healthy without meaning to be, so my food choices work for me. Spices are a great basis for this as they are naturally high in flavour and contain no fat. I love dukkah, an Egyptian blend made from ground nuts and spices. It works beautifully on meat, fish and vegetables. I liked the addition of broccoli that brought this exotic seasoning back to somewhere we all recognise. I can imagine a huge piece of lamb covered generously in the dukkah mix, roasted until tender and served with mountains of broccoli and couscous.

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Over the next few weeks I will be using the 2013 Flavour Forecast to create some of my own original recipes for you to try at home.

What do you think of these 2013 trends? Is their anything they have missed out? Let me know @mightyspice

Spiced Halloumi Salad with Cranberry Dressing

This is such a delicious salad that i made for Hungry TV. It spices up all your left over vegetables and cranberry sauce into something fresh and delicious. I hope you love it!

Serves 2

2 tablespoons blanched, skinned almonds
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
8 ounces Halloumi, cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup cranberry sauce
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon water
Pinch of chili powder
1 1/2 cups roasted vegetables such as carrots, red onions, fennel and brussel sprouts
8 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 sprig mint leaves, for garnish

1. Heat a small sauté pan over medium heat and toast the almonds, cumin and coriander for 2-3 minutes, until fragrant. Transfer to a spice grinder or food processor and grind into a course powder.

2. Place sliced Halloumi on a cutting board and sprinkle both sides of the cheese with the spice blend, patting it down into each side.

3. Heat olive oil in a sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add the Halloumi and cook 1-2 minutes per side, until the cheese is golden and softened.

4. In a small bowl whisk together the cranberry sauce, lemon juice, water, and chili powder.

5. In a large bowl combine the roasted vegetables, cherry tomatoes, and half of the cranberry dressing. Transfer to a serving platter and top with Halloumi cheese, the remaining dressing and garnish with mint leaves.

- All thoughts and spelling mistakes are mine -