Category Archives: Recipes

Mountain Top Homemade Prepared Mustard

 

 

 

One of the joys of living here…NOT…Is the fact that everyone must use the same importer because everyone runs out of the same product at the same time and then it appears at the same time albeit months later and also it can be very expensive….

Well no more, thanx to my blogging friend Rex I now have a recipe in my hot, little hands and I will be making my own Yellow, mustard with no mayo just hot, smooth, yellow mustard.

Over to you Rex ūüôā

 

 

There are a lot of different brands of prepared mustard sold in stores and each tastes a little different than the others. For flavor, though, it is far better to make your own. It is also quite simple; my favorite kind of recipe.Kinds of mustard. It needs to be mentioned that this is made with mustard seeds. That might seem like an absurdly simple statement, but there are three kinds of mustard seeds and all of them work well in this recipe and the variations.The three kinds of mustard seeds are white mustard, brown mustard, and black mustard. White mustard is the blandest and this is what most commercial prepared yellow mustard is made from. Brown mustard has more piquancy or ‘bite’ and it is more full of flavor. Black mustard is the most piquant of all and has the fullest flavor. Use the kind of mustard that suits your taste. You can even use a blend. “Grey Poupon” mustard is a mixture.The seeds Mustard seeds can be ground using a blender, food processor, herb grinder, or even a mortar and pestle. They can be course ground or fine ground, depending on your preference. Once they are ground, though, they need to be immediately immersed in a cold fluid. This is because the grinding process releases the volatile oils and these dissipate rapidly. Heat also destroys them. The cold fluid, especially with an acid and salt in the mixture, stabilizes the volatile oils.This is the secret that commercial products don’t tell you. Mustard is basically ground mustard seed and water, with both an acid and salt added. The yellow coloration comes from turmeric. Commercial companies tend to use low-quality vinegar for the acid and not much of it. Water is cheaper than vinegar. The Mountain Top version uses quality vinegar because the result never exceeds the quality of the ingredients. In fact, you can use whatever good salt that you prefer, too.Prepared mustard ingredients:3/4 cup mustard seeds, ground (mustard powder can be used if you must)1/2 cup cold water1/4 cup cold quality vinegar (wine vinegar, rice vinegar, cactus vinegar, etc.)1 teaspoon salt1 teaspoon ground turmericPrepared mustard instructions:1. Mix together the water, vinegar, salt, and turmeric, then chill this in the refrigerator for a half hour to an hour.2. Grind the mustard, then pour the cold liquid over the ground mustard immediately. Set it in the refrigerator overnight before using, for the best flavor.If you don’t want yellow mustard, simply omit the turmeric.The reason for the emphasis on cold vinegar and water is because this retains the flavor of the mustard, which would otherwise degrade quickly. The reason for letting it stand overnight is because freshly ground mustard tends to have some bitterness to it. The bitterness goes away when it is allowed to stand for several hours.Also, as it chills, it should thicken up. This is the reason that store-bought mustard can be difficult to get out of the container if it comes directly from the refrigerator and isn’t at room temperature.This is also a tip; if you want your mustard to be easy to pour on hot dogs and burgers or whatever, let it warm up to room temperature. The vinegar prevents a lot of bacteria from growing, so you are covered in that regard. In fact, this mustard keeps for about a year in the refrigerator, though it becomes weaker with time.Note: Lessening the amount of fluid will result in thicker prepared mustard. If it is too thick, just add a little vinegar and stir it in.Bonus recipe As a bonus recipe, if you want to have some honey-mustard dipping sauce, simply mix 1 tablespoon of honey with 1/4 cup Mountain Top prepared mustard.It isn’t difficult at all to make prepared mustard and while there is a waiting time, it is definitely worth it. Once you try the Mountain Top prepared mustard, it is likely that you will wonder why you’ve been using the almost flavorless store-bought prepared mustard all this time

Source: Mountain Top Homemade Prepared Mustard

Chicken Biryani

From ¬†A ¬†Steamin’ cup of Goodness comes this recipe for a lovely authentic Biryani ¬†Bakergal can be found over on Blogspot¬†–¬†http://steamincupofgoodness.blogspot.ae/2017/05/most-anticipated-evenings.html¬† ¬†and as they don’t have a reblog button like WP she has kindly let me share with you.

Me…I can’t wait to try it is sounds delicious I have made many a Biryani in my time and I am sure there are hundreds of versions but this one sounds just perfect.

So without any more ado I will hand you over to my friend and she will talk you through this recipe, ¬†my friend Bakergal ūüôā

Drum Roll:- Yes I know…I am a bit loopy…lol

Hello folks,

We are officially one week away fromūüĆõ Ramadan. ¬†In this part of the world; irrespective of your personal religious choices, the excitement of Ramadan grips everyone.

Evenings during Ramadan are the most anticipated event of the day; the air is as thick with delicious food aromas, as it is with the humidity (hello, it summer time after all). My super-alert nose can always sense a delicious Biryani simmering somewhere; almost once a dayūüėč during the entire Ramadan.

And that is why I never cook Biryani at home during RamadanūüėÜ It always seems puny, compared to the amazing ones being doled outside (in practically every joint)

I did make it last weekend, though. This is my home-made Chicken Biryani; our way!

By ‘our way’ I don’t claim exclusivity.

In fact, it’s the opposite, this recipe has no specific style statement; one can’t classify it as, Dum Biryani or Bombay Biryani or Hyderabad Biryani. It’s a melange or rather a homage, to all the things we loved in the many different Biryani’s we’ve eaten over the years.

Like a flavourful gravy base (no mild stuff in there), buttery fragrant rice with spices & saffron, oh the famous potatoes from the Mumbai Biryani that I’ve eaten from a lot of friend’s homes, the fried onions & cashews; and last but not the least the boiled eggs in garnish!

If all the above sounds like something you would relish, check out the recipe belowūüėÄ

RECIPE:

Time taken: Your entire morningūüėĀ¬†Just kidding takes about 1.5 hrs in cooking/assembly time, plus overnight marination of the chicken.¬†

When making it for the first time you might take a bit longer than 90 mins as there are many elements of the Biryani that need to be either fried or boiled in advance, it takes time to get the rhythm of simultaneously making different elements at the same time.

Serves: A hearty 4-5 individual servings

Method:

1) A night prior, get the chicken marinated. Begin with 200gms of yoghurt, add the following spices – 1tsp chilli powder, 1.5 tsp garam masala powder, 1tsp dhania( coriander) powder, 1tsp jeera( cumin) powder, 1/2 tsp turmeric, salt & 1.5 tsp ginger-garlic paste (you can’t see it in the pic below, as it’s hidden below one of the masalas ūüėĀ)

Whisk everything well, then add the (washed & cut to your choice of size) chicken pieces (approx 300-400gms). Rub the yogurt-spice mix, in the chicken pieces thoroughly. Cover & keep it aside overnight. (I put this entire thing, in the fridge to marinate, as room temperature tends to get warm around here in summer’s even at night; and I didn’t want the yoghurt to go sour or any salmonella in the chicken to multiply owing to the ambient temperature.)

2) In the morning or whenever you get started on the Biryani, first prep is the rice. Wash & soak in water for half hr, 1.5 cups of basmati rice.

Then in 2.5 cups of water, par-boil the rice with a few spices (a stick of cinnamon, 2 green elaichi or cardamom, few cloves)

Once almost 90% cooked, drain the starch water thoroughly. Add a tbsp of butter, and spread this rice on a large plate. This halts, further cooking & prevents clumping.

3) Now for the prep for the Biryani gravy or whatever you call it.

Take the following whole spices – 1 bay leaf, 2 green cardamoms/elaichi, 1 brown cardamom/badi elaichi, 2-3 cloves, 5-6 peppercorns (you can see quite a bit of them in the pic, as my hubby loves whole-peppercorns, reduce as required), 1 stick of cinnamon.

Chop 2 medium onions & one large tomato.

4) Heat 1tbsp of ghee/vanaspati + 1tbsp of oil in a pan. Add the whole spices first, roast for a while. Then add the onions, a tsp of ginger-garlic paste & cook till raw smell goes away.

Once you see the onions get a bit golden brown, add the tomatoes & 2-3 tsp of Kashmiri chilli paste (soak 4-5 Kashmiri chillies in hot water for 10 mins & then grind to a paste) Mix well, cook till tomatoes are soft.

Add the marinated chicken, along with all the yogurt-spice marinade. Stir well. The chicken will start to release moisture, if required add 1/4 cup of water to prevent the mixture from catching the bottom.

Add a small par-boiled potato to the gravy. I use par-boiled as we like the potato to be almost mushed in the gravy. Tip, to help you multi-task, par-boil this potato when you boil the rice (not with it, cook in a separate panūüėČ)

Cover & cook till the gravy thickens, chicken is cooked & oil/ghee starts leaving the sides of the pan.

Put off the flame. Optional, garnish gravy with fresh coriander.

5) The final layering of the biryani is the easiest part.

If you are layering it in the same pan as you cooked the Biryani gravy (like me) remove half of the gravy in a bowl. Spread the remaining 50% biryani gravy evenly at the bottom. I add a tsp of water to this gravy so that it does not blacken/burn during the ‘dum’ stage.

Then comes half the rice, spread as evenly as possible.

Again a layer of the Biryani gravy spread as evenly as possible.

Finally, the last layer of rice, make sure to cover all the gravy spots. Dilute few strands of saffron in ¬†1/4 cup of ‘kewda’ or rose water (keep it aside for 5 mins so the saffrons soften & release it colour & flavour). Pour this saffron water over the final rice layer.

6) Now for the ‘dum’ or the steaming part. You can go the traditional way of caking/sealing the entire lid rim with a flour dough.

In my case, the pan in which I layer the biryani has a solid glass cover/lid with a heavy metal rim, this design does not release any steam from the sides. But, the cover has a steam-release opening, which I duly cover with some sticky flour dough to seal the steam within.

Put it back on the stove, make sure it is at the lowest flame option. It takes about 10-15 mins in my pan, for a good ‘dum’ & the rice to cook completely.

The glass lid is a great boon for me to track the progress of the ‘dum’. At the start when the steam starts to form, the lid is completely clouded; once the steam has been absorbed by the Biryani, the lid clears out (almost completely, apart from a few droplets of water here-n-there). Plus the flour covering the steam opening, hardens completely.

Biryani is ready. Garnish as you like it.

7) Oh, the garnish.
While the biryani is cooking on ‘dum’, I prepare the garnish. Fry one small chopped onion, till golden brown (I like it more caramelised, so it’s dark brown in my pics). Next, fry a few cashews (as much as you like) And yes how can I forget the boiled egg (this I actually boil in advance when I par-boil the potato)
8) For me, Chicken Biryani is incomplete without a serving of ‘raita’ – thinned yoghurt/curd mixed with diced onion, tomato & chillies, with just a dash of salt & jeera powder.

Whew! Just writing this post took me a few hours. Assuredly, it’s worth it; this Biryani is delicious right down to each morsel. It leaves you satiated in contentmentūüėč

Now doesn’t this sound amazing? If you want to read more truly scrumptious recipes from this lady then she can be found here¬†–¬†http://steamincupofgoodness.blogspot.ae/2017/05/most-anticipated-evenings.html

Thank you so much for letting me share this recipe I will definitely be making this one ūüôā

Until next time stay safe and laugh a lot ūüôā

 

Spicy red curry squid.

 

spicy squid

This lovely spicy squid curry is not for the faint-hearted even I found it a tad hot.

But if you like a bit of heat, then this is just the curry for you.

This recipe is for two people but it is quite easy to double up the ingredients, it is also very quick to cook so prepare all your ingredients first and then in as much time as it takes to cook your rice you will have a beautiful curry.

Ingredients:

200 gm squid cleaned and cut into rectangles I normally score mine with a sharp knife( it just makes them look prettier).

1 shallot sliced

2 cloves of garlic crushed and chopped

1 tbsp Thai red curry paste

1 tomato cut into 8

A handful of pea eggplants( optional)

Sm piece of fresh ginger finely cut into slivers or cubes

Black pepper

Half tbsp of coconut oil

200 ml coconut milk

1/2 to 1 tbsp fish sauce.

Sm bunch of Thai basil

Ok…Let’s Cook!

Heat the oil in a wok until it is very hot and add garlic, shallots and curry paste, stir fry for 30 seconds.

Add tomatoes, ginger and pea eggplants if used and stir-fry for 1 minute.

Add squid and pepper and stir-fry for a further 1 minute.

Add coconut milk and fish sauce stir well and cook on low heat for 2 minutes, stir in Thai basil.

Serve with steamed rice and……. Enjoy!

If you love squid then I have a recipe for salt and pepper squid  https://niume.com/post/325935   and squid salad   https://niume.com/post/78755    over on my Niume page.

Until next time stay safe and laugh a lot.

 

 

A crab sandwich!

She has that look and she has baguettes and I have heard her say….It’s the letter “C” ¬†THIS WEEK.

I thought she was sticking to chillies?????

Surely she is not putting me between that baguette and with a Chilli!

crab-1934857_1280

EEEEEEEEK!

She so is….

Ingredients:

6 individual sized baguettes or wholemeal bread or your own choice of bread/roll.

300gm of fresh picked white crab meat…..yikes that’s me!

I red chilli finely chopped, you can remove seeds….she so is and in bed with a chilli! ¬†I can’t even scuttle away she has taped my claws together.

5tbsp mayo.

1 tsp fresh lime juice.

2 tbsp flat leaf parsley finely chopped.

50gm rocket

Butter to spread on rolls.

Salt.

Lets’s Cook!

Butter your rolls or bread of choice…..I sometimes use cream cheese.

Mix the chilli and lime juice into the mayo.

Gently fold in the parsley and the white crab meat.

Taste and season with a little salt..the salt brings out the flavour of the crab.

Put the crab mixture on the baguette and top with rocket.

Enjoy!

Amazing foods of Thailand.

 

 

 

Thai food is known and eaten all over the world and for good reason who doesn’t love Thailands unique cuisine with its sweet, sour, bitter, spicy and salty tastes which combined make a Thai meal so memorable.

Here are a few of my favourite Thai foods and ones which if you do come to Thailand and try that you will love as much as I do.

Some are almost iconic Thai dishes and well known around the world.

I have also added the links to some of them with recipes so if you want to try them at home …I hope I have made it easy for you.

Enjoy!

 

Source: Amazing foods of Thailand.

Red Duck Curry ( Kaeng Ped Pett Yang)

One of my favorite curries and one which I don’t have very often…why? Not sure really..I probably save it for special occasions.

Well, this is it..I am now on the letter D for my self-imposed walk through the alphabet. Not much beginning with D…A few fruits and duck…a lot of recipes which say dried this and dried that but only really pre fixing the recipe with dried to say it starts with D.

So I have certainly set myself a task….mmmmmm…i am beginning to ask myself why but not one to give up..

I had Duck curry for the first time on a little island just off Phuket, Thailand it is a fiery curry offset by pineapple and tomatoes. Some add lychee as well as pineapple but we found it a little sweet for us but experiment, everyone’s taste is different….I also add some vegetables, mange tout or sugar snap peas maybe a few florets of brocolli..really whatever I have in the fridge.

4

Let’s Cook!

Firstly cook your duck breasts, we like ours medium rare.

Put the duck skin side down in a cold pan, turn the heat to medium and cook the duck breasts for 6-8 minutes until the skin is golden and crispy, turn the breasts over and just sear the other side for 1 minute. Turn over so they are breast side up and put in a pre-heated oven at 200 degrees for 7-9 minutes. Remove from oven and rest for 10 minutes before slicing the breasts thinly.

Sauce:

400ml coconut milk

1 tbsp fish sauce

3/4 cup fresh pineapple cut into bite sized pieces.

10 cherry tomatoes.

6-10 mange tout..or other vegetables of your choice.

100gm Thai egg plant cut into quarters.( Pictured below)

4

100gm pea egg plants( Pictured below)

4

If you can’t get these any small egg plant will be ok I sometimes use small purple ones if I can’t get the green.

1-2 tbsp red curry paste.

6 kaffir lime leaves torn

Bunch Thai basil washed and leaves picked..

2 tsp lime juice.

To make sauce put a very tiny drop of oil in the pan over a medium heat add your curry paste and stir to cook for 1 min, add fish sauce. Gradually add coconut milk whilst still stirring.

Bring to a slow boil and add torn lime leaves and egg plants cook for 5/6 mins and add tomatoes and pineapple, cook for a further 10 minutes then add mange tout and stir in some Thai basil leaves and lime juice.

Now taste and adjust curry paste if you want more heat. If other seasonings want adjusting you can also do that now. Thai flavours are very pronounced and if you get it balanced ..very nice if not..I have had some disasters and I don’t mind admitting that…which is why I always say¬†TASTE¬†and¬†Taste¬†again.

My very first duck curry I made was ok…so we left out the lychee next time and it was much better…also I know which curry paste to now use as they are all so different….Please don’t let this put you off making it as when you get it right it is a lovely thing.

When you are ready to serve then add sliced duck to the sauce and just warm through and serve with some Thai basil over the top and a sliced red chilli if you like.

Serve with steamed rice.

Enjoy!

Dock leaves and Dolmas.

dock leaves

Where do you get your¬† inspiration for posts from?¬† I read and always look for the unknown or little known when I am out and about on my travels …I love nothing more than a recipe which gives me more.

Information about one of the ingredients, its benefits and other uses. But that’s me I ramble…Yes I know I have to be prompted at times to cook or just get on with it…Ha ha

This post was born when I was reading about Stinging nettles and it very quickly bought back the vivid memory of how when we were kids we scrambled around to find a Dock leaf to soothe the itchy rash the nettles left us with. Giving instant relief they were great..

Now young Dock leaves are tender and delicious they do however get very bitter the older they get. But the root boiled and drank as a tea was said to be a cure for boils.

I have been doing a lot more research lately into the benefits of plants and fruits and am constantly amazed at what properties most of them have both medicinally and uses as dyes, glue and so much more.

The Broad-leaved Dock leaf was also known as Butter Dock as the leaves were used to preserve and wrap butter.

I know….

Now Let’s Cook!

dolmas

The leaves also make a great wrap for dolmas just a 30-second blanch in boiling water and drain on paper, pat lightly so as not to tear the leaves.

Secondly, sweat 2 cloves of finely chopped garlic and half an onion in some olive oil add 2 cups of cooked rice, stir gently to combine and remove from the heat.

Squeeze a large lemon or lime  you need about 1/4 cup into the mixture with a large handful of chopped mint and parsley. Season with salt and pepper.

Refrigerate as these are generally eaten cold with a dash of lemon and olive oil. I prefer mine heated up and just very lightly sautéed in a little oil and serve with a mayo dip.

Enjoy!

Dock leaf crisps¬†are also very tasty and if you boil the dock leaves down they make a sort of paste which has a lemony flavour and mixed with feta it is a lovely thing…or olive oil,¬†chillies, garlic and black pepper….¬†and yes you just knew¬†I would sneak in a chilli or two…ha ha

But remember¬†you want the leaves from the centre of the plant the young leaves just unfurling are the best….older equals bitter.

It is also grown as a pot herb in Europe.

Traditional medics also used the leaves and roots to cure viral infections.

Found in Europe, Australia and the US where in the South western states it is cultivated because of its Tannin content where it is used by the Leather industry to tan leather.

The leaves and stem are also used to produce a mustard coloured dye.

So that broad-leafed dock plant which soothed my nettle stings and also was used¬†by my mum in her kitchen when she caught her arm or hand on the oven or cooker ..its alkaline secretions being very good and immediately neutralising any acidic sting or burn is a little more than just a dock leaf isn’t it?

And just a piece of trivia for you..Did you know? If you slice the dock root vertically then you can age it as it has growth rings just like a tree.

Well that’s all for today I hope you enjoyed learning about the humble dock leaf until next time stay safe and laugh a lot.

All images are my own ( as you can sometimes see) lol…but with the occasional brilliant shot..ha ha¬†or from Pixabay and require no attribution.