I’ve decided to make something a little different to the usual food we’re seeing and eating at this time of year. A refreshing light, healthy and delicious change to the usual.
I’m a big noodle fan but it’s not something I feel that confident writing recipes and posting about very often. This recipe however, I had to share with you. Black rice noodles are a little different, and sooo tasty! Great just simply cooked and drizzled with sesame oil, a little seasoning and a little chili for those chili heads out there. One of my favourite morning snacks when working in the kitchen at Terre a Terre, nice and fresh and ready for the day. ;)
This is quick and easy to make (even though it looks kinda long). You just need to track down the ingredients, which shouldn’t be too hard. I know for sure you can get all of this at Wholefoods, but missing a Wholefoods, a lot of supermarkets and Asian supermarkets stock these ingredients,. The only thing you may have trouble finding is the black rice noodles which you can get a lot health food shops.
The miso I used organic brown rice miso but any good quality dark miso will work, the lighter the miso the sweeter it is.
Serves 2 as a starter of light meal or 1 hungry main course
80g black rice noodles (one third of the packet)
6 king prawns , peeled and deveined and halved lengthways
handful of your favorite vegetables, I used baby corn, Brussels sprouts and shitake mushrooms this time
handful mixed dried seaweed salad
5 radishes, sliced
2 spring onions sliced
half red chilli sliced
small bunch Thai basil or coriander
1 tbsp soy sauce, to taste
Ichimi Togarashi (Japanese chilli flakes) to
2 tbsp brown rice miso
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 inch ginger, finely grated
1 ½ tbsp mirin
Juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
Cook the noodles in a big pan of boiling water, stirring occasionally to make sure they don’t stick. They’ll take about 5 minutes, but keep an eye on them because they’ll overcook easily. Once cooked drain under cold running water, shake out and mix with a little sesame oil to stop them sticking.
While the noodles are cooking rehydrate your seaweed by covering in cold water and leaving for ten minutes. Make your dressing by mixing together the miso, ginger, garlic, mirin and lime, slowly pour in the sesame oil and rapeseed oil while mixing to emulsify and set aside.
Poach your prawns by bringing a small saucepan of salted water to just before boiling, when small bubbles start appear on the bottom of the pan add the prawns and cook for about 3-4 minutes until the prawns turn pink. Drain and set aside.
For your vegetables sliced into bite size pieces, here I used baby corn which I sliced diagonally ½ cm pieces and steam fried* in a hot pan for a couple of minutes, so they are still crunchy. Do the same with the Brussels sprouts, but here just trimming and cutting in half. And the shitake mushrooms, trim the ends, slice and cook with a dash of rapeseed oil until just cooked.
Add these to your mixing bowl with the noodles, radishes, sliced spring onion, reserving a little for garnish, your red chilli, half your prawns, seaweed, and mix through the dressing. Add your herbs and mix through with a splash of soy sauce, taste and adjust soy and lime to your liking. Garnish with remaining prawns, spring onion, a drizzle of sesame oil, a sprinkle of Ichimi Togarashi. And a wedge of lime.
*Steam frying is explained in my previous blog post; Brussels Sprouts with Bite
The vegetable with the bad rep, I think, is gaining popularity. Personally I’ve always loved brussels sprouts but I seem to be one of the few. Although I’ll admit as soon as I started cooking I started adding things to jazz them up from the classic steamed sprout; seasoning..crazy I hear you say, olive oil, garlic, lemon..
Since this wonderful little veg is I believe, soon gonna be Miss. Popular and because it’s the season for it I’ve got a simple way to jazz up sprouts that I’m sure you’ll love.
On top of being tasty and easy brussels sprouts are, of course good for you. They’re one in 34 of the cruciferous vegetable family, along with cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, kale.. These are all great sources of vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, fibre, and even omega-3 essential fatty acids.
Brussels sprouts also account for more glucosinolate intake than any other food except broccoli. Glucosinolates are important phytonutrients for our health because they are the chemical starting points for a variety of cancer-protective substances. All cruciferous vegetables contain glucosinolates and have excellent health benefits for this reason. It’s recent research however, that’s made us realise how especially valuable Brussels sprouts are in this regard.
Choose bright green and firm fresh brussels sprouts.
Now for the recipe..
Sprouts with Lemon, Halloumi and sunflower seeds
500g Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
1 tsp ghee
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
zest and juice of half- 1 lemon
fresh halloumi for grating
small sprinkle thyme leaves
salt & white pepper
optional pinch chili flakes
drizzle olive oil
toasted sunflower seeds
When I say optional, really a lot of the ingredients here are optional, you can make this dish to your liking. Change the cheese, no garlic, more garlic (although it does taste gooood), my advice keep the lemon to give it that lift and lightness. But the point is things are changeable. Don’t like thyme? How about fresh oregano? Parmesan instead of halloumi? Hazelnuts instead of sunflower seeds?
I used ghee because of its high smoking point, which I explained about in my previous post. It actually has less fat than coconut oil (another fat with high smoking point) so maybe the image of ghee and a naughty treat can dispel and we can all start eating more of it to help keep us healthy. Different fats have their different plus points.. Ghee’s is explained very well in one of my favourite blogs
My New Roots.. http://www.mynewroots.org/site/2010/12/ghee-whiz-2/
Heat a heavy based pan and add the ghee and a big splash of water and then the brussels sprouts. Cook for a 2 to 3 minutes, depending on how big they are and how crunchy you like them, giving them a shake around the pan and a splash more water if the pan becomes too dry. Add the lemon zest, thyme, a squeeze of lemon, garlic, and seasoning.
You want all the water in the pan to evaporate and the sprouts to stay crunchy, add a touch more ghee or a drizzle of olive oil at the end if you like.
Serve on to a warmed serving plate, top with grated halloumi, and a sprinkle of toasted seeds.
This method of cooking is called steam frying, a quick, healthy and tasty way to cook veg!
Enjoy as a side dish or healthy satisfying snack.
And there you have it.. a move away from overcooked steamed, soggy brussels sprouts, if you’re a not a brussels sprouts believer then this may change your mind. `
This week we have a guest recipe from my boyfriend and curry superstar., Memby Jago!
I got home last week to Mem cooking up a storm. I saw Rick Stein’s India sitting on the side and was happy he’d made a curry from my favourite cookbook at the moment. But no, I was wrong. He had ignored the book and made up his own curry from scratch and it was amaazzing!! So good that I made him triple recipe the next day to feed our guests.
We garnished with fresh spring onions, Indian green chilies, coriander and a squeeze of lemon and served with sticky rice and garlicy sautéed kale. Mama mia! That’s a good curry.
Memby’s Coconut Prawn Curry
1 onion, roughly chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1tbsp coconut oil
2tbsp ground cumin
2tbsp curry powder
1tsp ground cloves
1tsp ground cardamom
3 heaped /40g tbsp coconut powder
½ to 1tbsp jaggery or palm sugar’
250g King Prawns
Chopped coriander, spring onions, Indian green chilies, steamed Rice and green vegetables.
In a mini food processor blend the onion and garlic to form a paste, adding a splash of water if needed.
While your onion is blending heat the ghee and coconut oil in a heavy based pan, then add the onion paste and cook until just golden, about 5 minutes, stirring to make sure if doesn’t catch.
Add the spices to the paste and cook for 2 minutes, stirring. Then add the coconut powder and 250ml of water, palm sugar and salt. Simmer for 15minutes. Add prawns to the sauce and simmer until the prawns are pink and cooked through.
Check for seasoning, adding more sugar and salt if needed.
Serve with a squeeze of lemon, coriander, spring onion, chilies, steamed rice, sautéed greens and enjoy!
Thanks Membo! x
It’s starting to get cold and we’re after warmer comforting foods. This is a great alternative vegetarian main course, cauliflower steaks. I don’t know about you but I love cauliflower. Not Boiled or steamed, but roasted or pan fried where it gets all caramalised and sweet around the edges.. Mmmm mmm.
I find if you’re using water to cook cauliflower it takes on too much and becomes water logged and not very tasty. But cooked with a little oil in the oven or on the stove top and it’s a totally different thing. Delicious simply with a little lemon, salt and cumin, a mix of spices of your choices, or added to the traditional cauliflower cheese. It works so well with either flavour choice, taking on spices really well and obviously going so well with cheese. Yum.
Here I’ve given you two ways of serving a cauliflower steak. One with a more Middle Eastern twist, and probably a little more healthy. And the second with your classic cheesy béchamel sauce but with a little kick from the Mexican chilli guajillo you can use any ground chili though, chipotle also works really well. Or you can leave it out all together.
I’ve used coconut oil in the recipe because of its smoking point. An explanation? Okay. After a history of bad press for being a saturated fat it’s image is changing, some are going so far as to call it a super food. One thing is for certain it’s a good fat to cook with because it has a higher smoking point than other oils.
Extra virgin olive oil for example, although it is a healthy fat straight from the bottle, it oxidises at high temperatures, thus creating free radicals, which are not so good for you. White and solid at room temperature, coconut oil is slower to oxidise and less damaged and chemically altered by heat than other cooking oils.
1tbsp Coconut oil
Salt and pepper
Squeeze of Lemon
Preheat oven to 180°C. Trim the leaves and end of the stalk you’re your cauliflower. Starting at top centre of cauliflower head, cut two 1-inch-thick slices of cauliflower, cutting through stem end. Keep the cauliflower steaks and set aside the rest of the cauliflower to use later.
Heat 2 tablespoons coconut oil in heavy large ovenproof frying pan over medium-high heat. Brush cauliflower steaks with the extra oil and season with salt and pepper, then add the steaks to frying pan and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes each side. Transfer pan to the oven and bake the cauliflower for about 10 minutes until tender.
While the cauliflower is cooking choose your sauce and prepare as follows.
Tahini Sauce with Pomegranate, Toasted Pistachio and Mint and Red Onion Salsa or Guajillo Cheese Sauce
Guajillo Cheese Sauce:
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp corn flour
1 cup whole milk
1 clove garlic
½ tsp Dijon mustard
½ cup grated Comté cheese
½ to 1 tsp ground guajillo* to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of salt
First make the roux, melt butter in a saucepan, stir in the flour and cook the mixture for just under a minute.
Stir in your milk, a little at a time, stirring constantly to make sure no lumps form, add the mustard. Bring the mixture to the boil, stirring constantly, so that the mixture thickens and becomes glossy. Stir in the cheese until melted and the sauce is thick, add your chilli and season to taste.
Tahini Sauce :
Juice 1 lemon
About 100ml water
1 small clove garlic chopped finely
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt to taste
Whisk ingredients together into a thick paste. If you want to make green tahini blend in a small bunch of parsley or coriander. Season to taste.
Scatter with pomegranate seeds. Slice Red onion, mix with finely chopped mint, a little lemon and olive oil. Season. Sprinkle with sumac and za’atar.
*Toast a dried guajillo pepper in a dry pan for a couple of minutes on each side until it starts to darken. Grind to a powder in a spice grinder.