Spinach, Coriander & Pesto Pasta

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1st post in 2013! – This pesto is a great recipe worth posting, mainly so I do not forget when I’m trying to make it again and also because I want someone to try it out. It’s a pesto with a twist. It is definitely not the Italian version but MY version. A very green dish with loads of veggies but also A LOT of olive oil :) Coriander, Basil, Spinach and Almonds… All very different ingredients to the conventional pesto…

Ingredients: (Quantities can be changed according to taste)

For the pesto:

  • 2 cups of fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cups of fresh coriander
  • 1 cup of spinach (I used frozen but fresh would be great)
  • 1/3 cup of almonds
  • 2-3 cloves garlic or more if you want it more garlicky
  • 1 cup of Parmesan
  • 1 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Pepper

For the Pasta:

  • Mangetout about 100grs
  • 250grs of Pasta

In a food processor add all the ingredients but the olive oil. Start the food processor and add the olive oil slowly until smooth consistency. Adjust season according to taste.

In a pan, boil water and cook pasta according to instructions. 5 mins before taking the pasta off the water add the mangetouts. Drain the pasta and add the pesto if you want to thin the pesto you could add half a ladle of the water where you cooked the pasta and serve with more Parmesan and pepper.

Enjoy!

Autum salad – Pumpkin & Caramelised Onions Salad

It’s been two months since my last post and all I can say, like everybody says…It’s been a hectic couple of months! A couple of nights ago I had a lovely salad. I think the recipe is worth posting. It’s very easy to make and it’s so right for this time of the year. I needed to make something with the little pumpkins I bought a couple of weeks ago, and here it is. It serves two easily.

Ingredients:

- 1/2 butternut squash or 2 small pumpkins

- Rocket leaves (35g? half of the usual packet you get in the supermarket)

- 1/3 block of Feta cheese

- Handful of Walnuts

- 1 red onion, finely sliced

- 2 tablespoons brown sugar

- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

- Pinch of Cinnamon

- Olive oil

Preheat the oven to 180C. Don’t peel the butternut squash, no need. Just cut them in centimeters place them in a tray with some olive oil add a pinch of Cinnamon. Roast until soft 20-25 mins. Meanwhile, add a splash of olive oil in a frying pan and add the onions and some salt and leave until soften at very low heat. When soft please add the sugar and balsamic vinegar and cook further 5-10 mins stirring occasionally until caramelized. In a platter add the rocket, cheese, onions, butternut squash and walnuts. Add a splash of balsamic, pinch of salt and a bit of olive oil if needed. Mix and enjoy!

Nigella’s Nutella Cake

I hardly ever bake but it was the birthday/catch-up dinner of one of my friends. And as special something, I decided to bake this cake after finding this little beauty on the internet, actually on Nigella’s website. If you like Nutella, bake this ASAP. If you don’t step away :) If you bake this, you will end up with such a moist piece of cake. It’s amazing!!!! AMAZING!!!!!

Ingredients:

For the cake

- 6 large eggs

- 1 pinch of salt for pasta water, to taste

- 125 grams unsalted butter soft

- 400 grams Nutella (1 large jar)

- 1 tablespoon(s) rum (More if you feel boozy) or water

-100 grams Ground hazelnuts (I used walnuts)

-100 grams dark chocolate melted

For the icing:

- 100 grams Hazelnuts (peeled weight). (I just used silver balls decorations)

- 125 ml double cream

-1 tablespoon(s) rum

-125 grams dark chocolate

Method:

- Preheat the oven to 180ºC/gas mark 4.

- Melt dark chocolate and set aside.

- Get 2 big bowls. In one, whisk egg whites and salt until stiff but not dry. In the other bowl, beat the butter and all the nutella together, add the rum or water, egg yolks and the ground walnuts.

- Fold in the cooled, melted chocolate and add a large dollop of egg white to lighten the mixture up. Beat the mixture up and gently fold in the rest for a third time.

- Pour into a tin and cook for 40 mins or until the cake’s beginning to come away at the sides. Let it cool on a rack

- For the icing: Add the cream, rum and chopped chocolate to a heavy-bottomed saucepan and heat gently. Once the chocolate is melted take it off the pan and whisk until it reaches the right consistency to ice the top of the cake.

- Un-mould and leave it on the base and the top with the decorations or nuts.

Get a piece & Enjoy!

Tres Leches (Three Milks)

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This is not the first time I bake 3 leches (3 milks in English). The name comes from the fact that three type of milks are used in this recipe; condense milk, evaporated milk and whipping cream. It is very popular in Venezuela and the rest of Latin America.The first time I baked it for my neighbors down the road as a trial before a baking competition at work. The 2nd time was for the baking competition we had set up at the office and the last time was for some Venezuelan friends who came to have a Venezuelan dinner. Ok, my version is very simple and It does not compare to what you can get back at home but I’m trying to catch up. I’ve used this recipe so far and It doesn’t disappoint. Here’s how I make it.

The recipe is taken and adapted by Dona Martha’s blog.

Ingredients:

For the Sponge:

- 4 Eggs

- 3/4 cups flour – I used self raising

- 3/4 cups sugar

For Topping:

- Double cream. 1 small pot

For the cream:

- 400g/14oz can sweetened condensed milk

- 400g/14oz can evaporated milk

200ml/7floz double cream

For the sponge:

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Preheat the oven to 180C (350F). Separate the eggs. In a bowl, Beat the eggs white until stiff peaks form when the whisk is removed. Add eggs yolk, one by one slowly and then add sugar. Add the flour now. Pour the mix into a cake tin and place in the oven for 15-20 mins.

For the cream:

As easy as beat together the condensed milk, evaporated milk and cream.

When the cake is done. Take it off the oven and pierce it all over the top with skewers sticks & pour the creamy sauce you made earlier.

For the topping, simply whisk the double cream until thick and decorate with it. Put in the fridge to chill and Enjoy!

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Prawn And Avocado Quinoa Salad

Quinoa is originated in the Andean region of  Ecuador, Bolivia, Colombia & Peru. It’s not very common in Venezuela, at least not in my area. It’s actually a seed rather than a grain. The first time I ate it was here in the UK and I must say It’s great in salads or as a simple side dish. Cold or warm.

I decided to go for this quick salad for tonight’s dinner. The original recipe doesn’t have roasted tomatoes but fresh ones.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup of quinoa
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 350g raw prawns with tail-shells on
  • 250gr sherry plums tomatoes, cut in halves
  • Dill
  • 6 spring onions, finely sliced
  • 1 ripe avocado, halved, stoned, peeled and slived
  • 100g Rocket
  • Olive Oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 chilli finely chopped
  • Salt & Pepper

1. Cook Quinoa – Place the Quinoa in a pan and add two cups of water. Bring to boil on high temp. Lower the temperature to the lowest setting and let it simmer for 10mins. Set aside.

2. Cook the tomatoes- Place the tomatoes in a tray, add some salt, pepper, dill and drizzle with olive oil. Place in the over and roast for 20 mins at 250C

3. Add a drizzle of olive oil in a large frying pan, add the spring onions,garlic, chilli and sweat for 2-3mins. Add the prawns and cook for another further 3 minutes, until the prawns are cooked through. Add some lemon & salt to taste.

4. Mix & toss all the ingredients together. Season with lemon, salt and pepper to taste and enjoy.

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Greens

Earlier this week we decided to go green and just had greens for dinner. By greens I mean Spinach and Cabbage & Green beans. It was a great dinner. We had leftovers hummus & everything worked just great with some bread.

Spinach & Parmesan – I found this kind of spinach in the Chinese supermarket. I am not sure what type it is but It is definitely not the baby spinach you get in every supermarket here in the UK. It tastes great! This is how I made it.

Ingredients:

  • Spinach
  • Olive oil
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/2 Lime
  • Pepper

Place the spinach on a plate, shave some Parmesan cheese, drizzle olive oil & some lime juice & some pepper

Lemon Pointed Cabbage & Green beans - I love this kind of cabbage. It’s so versatile and It’s great to have it as a side and It can be cooked in so many different ways. Here’s an idea.

Ingredients:

  •  Handful of green beans (Boiled)
  • The juice of 1 lemon, plus zest of lemon.
  • 3-4 cabbage leaves.
  • Olive oil
  • Handful almonds
  • Garlic – 2-3 gloves
  • Salt & Peppers.

1. Wash the cabbage, cut in strips of 1 cm.

2. In a pan heat the olive oil with the chopped garlic. Add the cabbage and some salt. Stir and sweat for a couple of minutes.

3. Add the green beans and the lemon juice and the zest. It is ready to serve on the plate & Drizzle with a bit more olive oil.

4. In the same pan, toast the almonds and add them to the greens.

My Humble Hummus

I made this hummus last Saturday to take it to a friend for tapas style dinner. I do not enjoy the hummus you get from the supermarket , So I decided to spend 5 extra minutes making this simple, no twist hummus. This is the recipe:

Ingredients (This will make a bowl of hummus):

  • 1 can of Chickpeas
  • 3 tbsp tahini or sesame seed oil
  • 1/4 cup liquid from can of chickpeas
  • 3-5 tablespoons lemon juice (depending on taste)
  • Olive Oil
  • 2-3 cloves of Garlic (Depending how garlicky you want it to be)
  • Cumin (1-2 tbsp to taste)
  • Salt to taste

1. Drain chickpeas & rinse.

2. Combine the chickpeas, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, salt, tahini, and some water (around 4tbsp) in a food processor, and blend to a smooth paste.

3. Add more lemon, olive oil, cumin or salt to taste. Pour the mix into a mixing bowl. Drizzle olive oil and some cumin.
Enjoy!