Stuffed Marrow Bake

It was on a sunny summer Sunday morning that I finally went to the local car boot sale to look for any treasures that I may find to use as food props and found this beauty.

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But it wasn’t just this beauty that we came home with. We found a beautiful marrow and I instantly knew what we would be having for dinner. sometimes things just come to you by some sort of divine alignment of separate incidents to become one. I had some Lactofree mature cheddar cheese which I was looking to experiment with and this was the perfect chance to use it in a bake. Had a packet of smoked bacon cubes and yes had some cute, tiny bottles of olive oil which had been sent to me. I normally would infuse my own oils and always have a big bottle  of olive oil into which I stuff a few cloves of crushed garlic, some chill flakes and fresh herbs – the oil adds beautiful depths of flavour in whatever I use it for and because it is a lovely bottle, it looks pretty on my kitchen counter too – which reminds me I need to get around to doing this again soon – hummm

Also, I had these bright and colourful mini chilli plants now sitting on my window sill, looking all pretty and waiting to be used – yellow and deep aubergine coloured chillies – this was going to be one colourful bake!

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So this beautiful marrow came home with us and just like that became part of our dinner plans…..

Stuffed Marrow Bake 

Ingredients

  • 1  beautiful marrow
  • 3 heaped tbsp grated Lactofree mature cheddar
  • 3 flakes of garlic chopped fine
  • 500 gm smoked bacon cubes
  • 4 tbsp sweet corn
  • 2 medium-sized red onions
  • 2 tbsp chilli infused Terra Rossa Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • Sea salt to taste

Method

  • Chop the red onions lengthwise, set aside.
  • Cut the marrow into half and scoop out the insides and discard, I know I should have saved them for making something else …

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In a saucepan heat 1 tbsp chilli Terra Rossa Olive Oil.

  • Sauté the chopped garlic first and when it begins to brown and the aroma explodes into the kitchen its time to add in the chopped red onions and toss them around till they begin to change colour. Then add the smoked bacon cubes and cook on a medium flame stirring occasionally for about 3 minutes.
  • Then add in the sweet corn and mix well for about a minute, season with sea salt and chilli flakes.

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  • Remove the saucepan with this onion, bacon and sweet corn mixture off the flame and set aside.
  • Line a baking tray with parchment and brush some olive oil on the marrow inside out so that it has a bang of flavour when you bite into it.
  • Stuff both halves of the marrow with the mixture.

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  • Wrap the stuffed marrow halves in foil and bake for half an hour at about 180°C – I have a fan oven, please adjust time accordingly to suit your oven.
  • Remove from foil and add the grated Lactofree mature cheddar cheese on the top.
  • Then bake again without foil till the cheese browns or for 10 minutes approximately.
  • Serve with a warm fresh baguette or a cheesy bread – simply so that you can scoop every single bit of juicy goodness as you eat

Terra Rossa oils - product shots

The Terra Rossa oils, I received a pack of 3  exquisite Jordanian infused extra virgin olive oils – chilli and lemon infused oils and an unfiltered, cold dripped Sinolea extra virgin olive oil. Not only is it good to have in the store cupboard, I think it makes for a lovely gift idea too! Yes, it isn’t too early to start planning your Xmas gift list is it?

It is incredible how much flavour this humble marrow packs in. I cannot wait to use it again in soups and stews. Yes, it’s autumn and we are going towards colder weather. So along with getting those woollies out we also need to get started with beautiful soups and stews hummm – the seasons they are a-changing! This easy recipe is perfect for busy weekend evenings ( or for a lazy Sunday evening when you want to spend some time watching telly sipping a glass of wine and chilling out rather than slaving in the kitchen!) when you do not want to compromise on flavour and want a wholesome meal too. For a meat-free option replace the bacon with a spicy potato and cauliflower mix. Whatever you choose to add as the stuffing, the result will always be satisfactory – that’s the nature of this beautiful marrow ….

*With thanks to Terra Rossa for the samples. No monetary compensation was offered for a positive review. As always all opinions expressed here are entirely my own.

Stuffed Marrow Bake

Vegetarian Sausage Satay

Wait a bit? Did you read that right? Absolutely yes! Vegetarian Sausages are exactly what I have used in this fab recipe sent by my sister who turned vegetarian a few years ago. She doesn’t even consume eggs.  I am far from becoming a vegetarian but love to experiment with lighter options and so was delighted to receive some samples from Secret Sausages which I had sampled first  at FBC 2014 a few months ago and  I recollect really liking the flavours.

I was sent 3 different flavours to experiment with:

  • Rosemary & Garlic – Garlic, Green Beans, Mixed Peppers and Rosemary
  • Honey Bee – Sweet Corn, carrots, peas and honey
  • Chilli and Coriander – Chillies, coriander, onion, sweet corn and carrots
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This recipe can be used with the sausages chopped and served as a starter or else as a main with sides like potato or sweet potato mash and green peas.

Serves: 2 as a main with a side of mash and peas

Ingredients  – Enough for 2 packets with 6 sausages each

  • groundnut powder – 5 heaped tbsp
  • Garlic purée
  • Green Chillies – 3
  • A small bunch of fresh coriander or one large packet from the supermarket
  • Oil 3 tbsp
  • Juice of one lemon
  • Salt to taste
  • Red onions – 2 large
  • Tomato – 1 medium-sized
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Method 

  • In a dry sauce on a low flame heat 1 tbsp oil and add the chopped green chillies and garlic purée.
  • Then add the groundnuts powder and roast this mixture for about 2 minutes, stirring continuously ensuring it does not burn.
  • Turn off the flame and add freshly, finely chopped coriander leaves, salt, sugar and lemon juice.
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  • Allow this mixture to cool down and then coat the sausage with skin with the mixture thoroughly.
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  • Refrigerate the marinated sausages for an hour.
  • Before you remove the marinated sausages from the refrigerator make the onion and tomato mixture.
  • Chop the onion into long thin strips.
  • Heat 2 heaped tbsp oil in the same saucepan and sauté till they caramelise.
  • Add the chopped tomato and sauté for another minute.
  • Then remove the marinated sausages from the refrigerator and saute on a griddle pan with very little oil sprinkled onto it.
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  • Mix the sausages in the onion-tomato mixture.
  • Serve with mashed potatoes and green peas as sides.
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Why not try my recipe for a fabulous Meatless Monday meal?

*With thanks to Secret Sausages for the samples. No monetary compensation was offered for a positive review. As always all opinions expressed here are entirely my own.

Blossom Hills new Sun Kissed Red and White wines – a great way to enjoy fruity wines in the Summer!

Hope all you folks are making the most of the sunny climate! Bbq’s ,picnics and loads of great days out with the family! Am sure most of you have enjoyed drinking Blossom Hills wines , I certainly have and am now a great fan of the fruitier newly launched summer ready wines called the new Blossom Hill Sun Kissed Red and White wines.

When I was invited to a blogger launch party I walked into a pretty room all done up like a fab picnic in the park , a faux green grass carpet included !

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One sip of the chilled fruity red wine and I was sold! It makes drinking red wine for those just starting out especially so much easier because these wines are much lighter ,sweeter and taste great with all the usual summer party essential and will go well with barbecued meats and grilled veggies as well. I also think because the red is so light on the system it makes it way easier if you enjoy say one glass of red every evening while catching up say Midsomer Murders on the telly …my way of unwinding after a long day!Traditional Rose wines enthusiasts in particular will enjoy this new red.

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A mixture of ripe summer fruits and strawberry flavours envelope your palate making the red wine a light and easy drink.

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This table with nibbles was so much fun and I loved the jelly a lot 🙂

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Moving onto the white which I loved too, I am quite the white wine fan and this light white with luscious juicy fruits and peachy notes was so good ,it almost made me want to plonk onto the fake grass on one of those lovely picnic blankets and grab one of the books and enjoy the rest of the afternoon just sipping chilled wine and reading!

But more hard work lay ahead 😉 , a pamper session by Illustrated Nails where I got a complimentary manicure in a dark chocolate nail colour, we even got 2 lovely white and red nail colours in our goody bags 🙂

These red and white summer wines are best enjoyed chilled , a great way to enjoy the long summer evenings.What I like most about lighter fruitier wines is that they are great to serve and gift to those that drink only occasionally and regular wine enthusiasts alike.Because they are not as heavy as traditional wines they are just perfect for  the hot summer weather , in fact I’d say they are the new summer picnic basket essential!

Blossom Hills Sun-Kissed Red and White wines are available nationwide in ASDA,Morrisons and Sainsburys.

*Many thanks to Blossom Hill wines for the invite .

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Smoky and Spicy Lamb Burgers

Come Summer and I am one happy bunny,more so because I really miss the omnipresent sunshine from back home in Mumbai city! But the one thing I love the most about the British Summer is the amazing BBQ’s we have ! Last years most fun barbie was at our friends place , we OD’ed  on grilled seafood and Pimms – hoping to have a repeat of that this year !

Some friends have a BBQ planned for later this month but I couldn’t wait so got myself some lamb mince and decided to use some fresh mushrooms and add my own twist to the burgers with a bright red smoked sweet red pepper! My trusty old griddle pan at hand , I turned my tiny urban open plan kitchen into a tiny BBQ party venue!

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Perfect time to use up some of the wonderful La Chinata smoked paprika powder.

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Ingredients:

  • 500 gm Lamb Mince
  • 1 bunch of spring onion
  • 1 big sweet red pepper
  • 250 gm button mushrooms
  • 150 gm cherry tomatoes
  • 3  tsp sweet paprika powder La Chinata
  • 1 tsp red chilli flakes
  • 2 tsp garlic paste
  •  4 tsp coriander powder
  • a large sprig of fresh rosemary
  • 1 1/2 tbsp chilli oil
  • Salt to taste

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Method:

  • Flame roast the sweet red pepper on a gas flame, if you’re doing a BBQ ,first rub some oil and garlic paste onto it.
  • After it has been roasted and cooled down a bit,peel off the skin and chop fine
  • Chop the mushrooms to tiny bite sized pieces
  • Finely chop the spring onions and cherry tomatoes
  • Wash the lamb mince under a running tap by placing it inside a sieve.
  •  Mix the chopped smoked sweet red pepper, mushrooms,spring onions ,cherry tomatoes,rosemary,chilli flakes,sweet smoked paprika powder from La Chinata and coriander powder,paprika and salt.

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  • Knead all the ingredients into the mixture.
  • Make mini burger patties by taking palm sized portions of this mixture and ty and pat them into roughly round shape.
  • On a griddle pan add some chilli oil and place a few burgers on it. Cook them for a few minutes on one side and them flip and repeat.
  • Serve the cooked lamb burgers inside wholegrain soft burger buns generously lined with butter , a thick slice of cheese, pickles,crunchy salad leaves and doused with ketchup. Or if you’d rather not then eat them plain – I did , served with some grilled button mushrooms and tender shoots of asparagus on which I slathered generous amounts of smoked paprika sweet chilli powder mixed with some oil and garlic paste – pure heaven!

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The sweet smoked paprika powder gives the lamb burgers a definite sweet hot flavour and the others spices combine well with the vegetables.Its also a great way to get fussy eaters to eat veggies hidden in layers of delicious meat and spices. I would have loved to add some boiled green peas too, they would add more bulk and taste too.

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*With thanks to La Chinata for sending samples  for review.No monetary compensation was provided for this post.All views expressed are my own.

 

Harry Hopalot – Thornton’s Easter Bunny – a Review

Have always walked past displays of fancy chocolate eggs in shiny crinkly wrapping paper before Easter and wanted to buy myself loads of different chocolate eggs in various flavours – blame it on a serious sweet tooth and an obsession with easter eggs. So when Harry Hopalot and his white chocolate avataar found their way to my house this year courtesy Thorntons Chocolates you can imagine my excitement. Armed with his magic bag and the support from his friends, he has hops faster than the wind to deliver us our perfect Easter.

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But then I was in the grips of a rather strange predicament – how on earth was I to get myself to become so heartless and BITE poor adorable Harry’s ear off? Well, he is made of chocolate you know so I closed my eyes and chewed off a large bit of his ear! The first victim was milk chocolate Harry and then it was the turn of his white chocolate cousin. Have never much liked white chocolate but in the bunny form, it wasn’t too bad! Only regret – why are they hollow 😉

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It wasn’t easy choosing one from the tempting array of various chocolate eggs and bunnies that Thorntons has on offer, like Thorntons’ range of Dessert Eggs – the new Raspberry Cheesecake Egg and the new Fudge Brownie Egg made from smooth dark chocolate and crammed with fudge, walnut & brownie biscuit pieces in the shell. There’s a quirky twist to the Easter eggs too with the new Squeggs – quite simply squashed eggs. There are two in the range; Cookies & Cream and Cinnamon & Waffle what’s more – they also come in a little treat lolly too!

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Thorntons has treats for all ages and occasions and their pretty boxes are just the things when you want to make someone smile. Sometimes it is ok to just go get yourself a pamper box of chocolatey treats, hide them in a tin, and pop one when you feel the blues coming on – just make sure your stash is hidden away from prying eyes and little hands 😉

Am not sure it’s even ok to think this but if there are any strayt easter chocolate bunnies on display after Easter am going to go get myself a few and gobble them while watching some legal drama on the telly. Makes me feel more brave watching  the smart lawyers in their designer suits argue their cases while I munch on illegal quantities of chocolate in my P.J’s …hummmm… On that note , Good Night and hope all of you had a brilliant Easter Sunday and a relaxed long weekend – no don’t panic you still have Bank Holiday Monday to get over the hangover that you are probably working on right now 😉

Disclaimer: With many thanks to Thornton’s for the samples sent to me to test and review. I was not required to write a positive review and was not compensated monetarily for this post. Like all my previous posts about events and reviews, ALL opinions expressed here are entirely my own.

Zingy Turkish Poached Eggs

I am a fan of eggs in any form and when I chanced upon this delightful Turkish recipe for combining eggs with thick and fulfilling greek yoghurt I just had to go ahead and experiment! Total Greek Yogurt 0% is fat-free, gluten-free and suitable for vegetarians and pregnant women – all good, no nasties! Besides these virtues its consistency is great and I have in the past few days consumed one of the smaller pots per day part in smoothies and just a dollop with my rice and curry dinner. There are so many versatile combinations that are possible with this yoghurt. From smoothies and shakes to use in cooking as a marinade or cooling dip with chopped goodies like fresh chives, garlic, chilli flakes etc.The thick and creamy consistency is a bonus if you’re trying to watch your weight too!

I made these poached eggs for brunch and served them with wholemeal pitta toasted in the same pan where I made my chilli butter – fabulous!

Traditionally this dish is called Cilbir (pronounced as chillburrr, roll the r’s!) is a Turkish dish of poached eggs with yoghurt (often with garlic mixed in). There are records of Cilbir being eaten by Ottoman sultans as far back as the 15th century. It is now common to serve the dish topped with melted butter infused with Aleppo pepper, for which paprika can be substituted. (Source: Wiki)

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Serves :2

Ingredients:

  • 4 large eggs – 2 per person
  • a handful of fresh mint roughly chopped
  • 5-6 cloves of garlic peeled and chopped fine
  • 500gm Total Greek Yogurt 0%
  • Butter 50gm
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • Plenty of freshly cracked black pepper
  • Sea Salt as per taste
  • a pinch of chilli powder – as per your tolerance levels

Method:

  • Boil water in a large saucepan (my time-saving trick -boil water in the kettle and add to the saucepan), then cover with the lid and allow to simmer on a medium flame for a while
  • When the water is absolutely boiling hot, take off the lid and reduce the flame to a very low simmer. Then, carefully crack the eggs into the water one by one. They seem to sort of go ‘freeze frame’ once dropped into the boiling water. Give them about 30 seconds and when it seems like they have been poached carefully remove them one by one using a slotted spoon. If you suspect that the yolk will just burst open it means it needs some more time inside. Don’t worry if this process isn’t perfect the first time around , its a learning curve and you will get it right in a few tries – in case of disaster scoop out as much of the egg as you can and after you are done with all the eggs use a sieve to save the remaining egg 🙂
  • Use two bowls or plates to serve. First, scoop some yogurt into each of the serving bowls. Season with sea salt, a generous sprinkling of cracked black pepper and a pinch of chilli powder. Mix well
  • Create a bit of shallow space in the middle of the yoghurt mix and place the poached eggs on top
  • Heat a non-stick pan on a medium flame, reduce flame to a simmer. Melt the butter and before it starts to brown add the finely chopped garlic and smoked paprika. Then add some sea salt
  • Quickly pour this delicious golden spiced butter over the eggs and yoghurt
  • Garnish by sprinkling some fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped for a burst of fresh flavour
  • Toast the mini wholemeal pitta bread portions in the same pan that was used to melt and spice the butter and it will give your pitta that extra kick of flavour!
  • Scoop the flavoured poached egg and the cooling yogurt with the pitta bread. It’s a beautiful sensation on your palate as the cold yogurt and smoked paprika work their magic on your taste buds.

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Disclaimer: With many thanks to Total UK. I was not required to write a positive review and was not compensated monetarily for this post. Like all my previous posts about events and reviews, ALL opinions expressed here are entirely my own.

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Tawa Chicken Frankie Roll

Frankie – Popular Indian street food

Tawa Frankie Roll – How I decided to re-create this popular Indian street food at home. In 2014, global flavour leader McCormick, the parent company of leading herbs and spices brand Schwartz, is celebrating its 125th anniversary. The yearlong celebration kicks off with the launch of the 125th Anniversary Edition of the Flavour Forecast (a new, annual prediction of what ‘flavours’ will be most popular in the cooking world) and the Flavour of Together programme, with the goal of connecting people around the world as they share 1.25 million stories about the special role food and flavour plays in our lives through.

To inspire people to share their flavour stories and tell the blogger community about Flavour Forecast, McCormick challenged me and a few other bloggers  to come up with a new recipe that is based on the Flavour Forecast trends :

1. Chillies Obsession: Food lovers everywhere are seeking out their next big chilli thrill.

2. Modern Masala: Indian food is finally having its moment, breaking free of its traditional confines with modern interpretations.

3. Clever Compact Cooking: Proving that big flavours can come from small spaces, cooks in urban kitchens are making the most of what’s available.

4. Mexican World Tour: Mexican flavours are making their way around the globe, with people everywhere discovering new aspects of this bright, casual cuisine.

5. Charmed by Brazil: The world’s attraction to Brazilian cuisine is heating up, thanks to its seductive mix of global and native influences.

I decide to take up Modern Masala as a flavour trend. Coming from India, using a complex mix of spices as part of our daily diet has always been a part of my life. The beautiful large open fruit n vegetable markets even in major cities are a visual treat and there is a lot of passion involved in say getting the right type of chilli powder. So I think my recipe is an amalgamation of these two big flavour trends together – Chillies Obsession and Modern Masala and of course because I manage all my culinary experiments in my tiny urban kitchen which is the size of a postage stamp I am sure my recipe also covers the theme Clever Compact Cooking!

My most vivid memory of spices being sold loose is of this huge wholesale and retail market in an area called Parel, Mumbai in India. There are many tiny shops and vendors which hand carts with huge piles of spices, bright red chillies in jute sacks, and mini yellow mountains of turmeric and ever imaginable spice being sold in the open. Of course, with our modern industries being so well developed we always used masalas out of a packet but the sheer variety available locally in any small town in India is mind-boggling.

Pune, India - spice market
Pune, India – spice market

In London, whenever I trudge to my local Indian shop and purchase Indian spices, I secretly wish that I could get an unlimited supply of aai’s homemade masalas. Her garam masala and red chilli powder where she carefully selects 2 types of chillies with varying degrees of heat and roasts them in a kadhai after they have been dried in the blistering hot afternoon sun! Then she takes it to a local mill where it is ground and packed into a large ceramic jar and then stored at home.

I have made a simplified version of Tibbs Frankie using boneless mutton and a variety of Schwartz spices which were sent to me. You could safely say that this fella ”Frankie” is a distant cousin of the Fajita and the Kathi Roll.

How this Frankie came into being is also a very interesting story which I shall share in a few lines here. These lines are from the Tibbs Frankie website

”The year 1967 Mr. Amarjit Tibb on returning back from England had a stopover in Beirut. During his brief stop there he stumbled upon a very ingenious Lebanese preparation, which was a pita bread wrap, with a variety of stuffing’s, this fascinated him. Upon his return the idea still lingered on and he kept innovating it to suit the Indian palate, after a year of research along with his wife they hit upon the perfect concoction. This Indianised wrap was soon tried among friends and family and after testing brilliantly it hit the markets. That was a new era to the term fast food in Mumbai, it caught on like fire in the Jungle, people accepted it and kept asking for more.Now came the problem of naming the product, again a number of brainstorming became the order of the day till a unanimous decision on the name was taken i.e. Frankie”

This explosion of flavours in a handy easy to eat roll which was given a  modern food truck makeover is a gastronomic delight and is available in a large variety of stuffings both veg and non-veg.I have rather fond memories of my college days and spending my pocket money which was always in short supply on these spicy, tasty rolls with a bunch of friends giggling away and then gathering any loose change we had left amongst us to buy a bottle or two of some fizzy cola to quench our thirst. Alert : have been suddenly been hit by a huge wave of nostalgia 🙂

I have created what is my version of a tawa chicken roll (tawa meaning pan in Hindi), the original Tibbs frankie filling is a tangy spicy  taste which they attribute to a secret ”Frankie Masala” – humm , well I think I got pretty close 😉 – evil laugh follows 🙂  You can go crazy and creative with the fillings and use this recipe idea to use up meat from your sunday roast, try various different veg and non veg patties with meat and masalas rolled into boiled potato casing and shallow fried. Great way to use a lot of colorful veggies and create a stir fry filling too – the possibilities are endless.

Tawa Chicken Frankie Roll
Tawa Chicken Frankie Roll

Tawa Frankie Roll

Manjiri Chitnis
Popular Indian street food, this was created in Mumbai and is a deliciously paratha stuffed with a variety of fillings and green chutney
5 from 7 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Fusion Indian
Servings 2 People

Equipment

  • Tawa – Flat frying pan
  • Saptula

Ingredients
  

Tawa Chicken Filling

  • 50 Grams Chicken breast
  • 1 pinch Asafoetida
  • 2 tsp Garam Masala
  • Onion salt as per taste
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Minced
  • 2 tsp Coriander Powder
  • 1 tsp Cumin Powder
  • Red Chilli powder as per taste
  • 1/2 thum-sized Fresh Ginger fresh peeled
  • 2 medium Red onions finely chopped
  • 1 tsp Turmeric
  • 2 lage Jjuicy tomatoes chopped very fine
  • 1 large Green chilli split lengthwise
  • 1 Red pepper slit lengthwise
  • 3 tbsp Cooking oil

Mint and Coriander Chutney

  • 1 large bunch Fresh Coriander
  • 1 small bunch Fresh Mint leaves
  • 2 Green chillies
  • 1/2 Lime – freshly squeezed
  • Salt to taste

For the Frankie filling

  • 1 large Red onion chopped lengthwise

For the Paratha coating

  • 2 small Eggs
  • Salt for seasoning

Instructions
 

To make the Chicken Filling

  • Heat a saucepan on medium heat and add the oil
  • Once the oil is hot, add the asafoetida
  • Then add split green chilli and crushed fresh ginger
  • Saute' and add the garlic granules
  • Saute' and add the garlic granules, when the garlic begins to give out a strong fried aroma its time to add the finely chopped red onion
  • Cook the onion till it reduces and turns a delicious brown, then add the coriander and cumin powder and garam masala and mix well
  • Then add the finely chopped tomato and add very little water and cook for 1 -2 minutes without lid
  • Stir frequently, so as to ensure the mixture does not stick to the saucepan
  • Now the spices have been thoroughly cooked along with the onion and tomato to make a thick gravy
  • Cut the chicken breasts and red peppers into lenghthwise strip and add to the gravy
  • Add onion salt to the mixture, red chilli powder and turmeric
  • Cover and cook until done

To make the Mint and Coriander Chutney

  • Wash the coriander and mint leaves, blend to a smoothpaste with a green chilli
  • To reduce the heat use 1 chilli de-seeded.Add the salt and lime juice and sblend once again
  • A smooth thick green paste is the consistency we are after – add some water to adjust the consistency
  • This chutney stores for upto 10 days in the freezer in a clean ,air tight jar – rarely lasts that much in my house though -I love making Bombay sandwich for dinner with this delightful chutney

To make the coating for the Paratha

  • Crack the eggs in a bowl and beat with a fork, add salt to taste
  • Using a plastic brush spread on the surface of a frozen ready to eat paratha
  • Place the eggy side down on a hot pan coated with some cooking oil
  • Ready to eat frozen parathas are readily available in most supermarkets and Indian grocery stores

How to put the Frankie Roll together

  • Once the paratha coated with egg has been cooked on both sides, slather it with the mint and coriander chutney and add some red onion chopped lengthwise
  • Add a generous helping of the chicken filling , roll and wrap one end with some kitchen foil or baking paper. Enjoy hot
  • Dip into the chutney or tomato ketchup as you munch along
Keyword Frankie
Tawa Chicken Frankie Roll
Tawa Chicken Frankie Roll

After I received the samples and wrote up my flavour story, my left hand was operated on (unexpected rescheduling) – a minor but rather errrmmm painful surgery and I walk around most of the time with a sling (promptly remove it as soon as OH leaves home for work hehe) So I had a bit of a panic attack about getting this post up on time,I know I missed the deadline by a few days  🙁

But am really grateful to the kind folks up at McCormick for bearing with me. Also I would like to thank OH for patiently chopping and cutting all the fresh ingredients for me and helping me to click these lovely photographs – what would I do without you? Sighh…

The company has pledged to donate $1 to United Way Worldwide and it’s UK partner Focus on Food, for every story shared on the Schwartz website, Facebook page or other social channels.

Disclaimer: Schwartz Samples and voucher for ingredients purchase sent by McCormick I was not required to write a positive review and was not compensated monetarily for this post. As always, all opinions expressed here are entirely my own.

Chocolate Coconut Cake with Coconut flavoured Icing

Decadent Chocolate cake with a delicious coconut flavoured icing

Dreaming of a chocolate cake, baking it, and devouring it, is a common obsession of mine. Also, I had many excuses to bake chocolatey treats, what with Valentine’s just around the corner. Not to mention many other reasons to eat cake following in quick succession after Valentines – my dad and husband’s birthday and our wedding anniversary, woohoo!

With so many occasions all lined up one after the other, a mega celebration was in order. And as we all know any celebration, big or small is incomplete without, yes you guessed right a proper cake.

So my plan was to bake an indulgent and rich chocolate cake and how better than Nigella to look to for a good recipe! Unable to pick a recipe on my own, I asked my neighbour’s adorable 5-year daughter to flip through Nigella Lawson’s book ”Feast” – Food That Celebrates Life. Lucky for me she stopped flipping pages at Nigella’s Old Fashioned Chocolate cake recipe. Better still it is made using only the food processor – so very perfect.

Besides, no better way to bring in Valentine’s week than by baking a decadent chocolate cake with hints of coconut flavour and adding some coconut flavoured icing on the top. I love Nigella’s original recipe which I have (dared to!) modify as I had been thinking of ways to use the lovely samples sent to me by Sugar and Crumbs.

I have modified the original recipe by using three medium-sized regular eggs, thick yogurt instead of sour cream, and have reduced the quantity of ingredients for the icing because I am not a big fan of slathering a very thick layer of sugary icing in between the layers nor am I very fond of a huge layer of icing on the top but I guess even after reducing the quantities of ingredients for the icing I still managed to get lots to smother the cake with. I have used Sugar and Crumbs flavoured cocoa powder in Chocolate Coconut and Sugar and Crumbs flavored natural icing sugar in coconut flavour, result – a perfectly balanced taste of coconut without being overpowering. So am calling my cake – ”Chocolate Coconut Cake with Coconut flavoured Icing”.For the remaining part, the original recipe is perfect, basic, simple, and therefore beautiful as it is foolproof and even a novice can get an excellent delicious, fluffy, and intensely chocolatey cake – very satisfying indeed! Thank You, Nigella!

Chocolate Coconut Cake with Coconut flavoured Icing

Chocolate Coconut Cake

Easy and delicious Chocolate cake recipe
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Course Dessert
Servings 8 portions

Equipment

  • Two 8 inch Round cake tins
  • Food Processor or stand-mixer
  • Spatula
  • Measuring spoons
  • Cake tester or thin skewer

Ingredients
  

  • 200 grams plain flour
  • 200 grams caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 40 grams Sugar and Crumbs flavoured cocoa powder in Chocolate Coconut
  • ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 175 grams soft unsalted butter
  • 3 medium-sized eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 150 ml thick-set yogurt

Instructions
 

  • Sift the plain flour through a sieve into a large mixing bowl
  • Add the caster sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and bicarbonate of soda
  • Mix well with a spatula and transfer it into the food processor
  • Crack the eggs into the mixture, add the vanilla essence and the yogurt and mix roughly with a spatula before running the food processor to ensure that the loose flour doesn’t fly all over the place. For the first 30 seconds, I lightly covered the chute of the processor with my palm to prevent the flour from flying out in a mist. Now, this is the reason I want a Kitchen Aid 😉
  • After an initial spin, use the blunt edge of the knife to scoop out what stuck to the walls of the processor and mix well with the cake batter.
  • Don’t worry if you think the batter is very thick, another spin for about a minute should give you the required consistency to ”pour” into the cake tins
  • Grease two removable base 8-inch tins with butter and equally divide the cake batter into each tin
  • Preheat the oven to gas mark 4/180°C/350ºF
  • Bake for 25 minutes and then test the center of the cake with a cake tester or thin skewer
  • My cakes were done in 25 minutes but you may need up to 30 minutes depending on the type of oven. The cakes rose beautifully but the top had cracks. The icing was there to save the day and make the cake look pretty
  • Remove cakes from the baking tray and leave to cool down on a wire rack

Coconut flavoured Icing

Ingredients
  

  • 50 grams unsalted butter
  • 125 grams best quality dark chocolate broken into small pieces
  • 225 grams icing sugar
  • 100 ml sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions
 

  • While the cakes are in the oven prepare the icing by mixing together all the ingredients of the icing
  • The original recipe calls for adding golden syrup but I totally gave that a miss
  • Why? Because I had already borrowed some butter, some yogurt, baking powder, and bicarbonate of soda from my very patient neighbour H 😉 – yes, yes she did get a large portion of this cake 🙂
  • Now to ice the cakes place the slightly domed part of one cake face down and slather icing on the flat part and place the other cake flat side down on the icing and then slather icing all over the cake
  • I had some pretty pink and white sugar stars which I used to decorate my cake.

I have also been sent Sugar and Crumbs Coffee Flavoured icing sugar and a pack of salted caramel powder, maybe cupcakes need to be baked next ?:)

Need more recipe inspiration to get baking?

Why not check out my other recipes here:

Linking this post to the  We should Cocoa event hosted by Choclette who blogs at Choc Log Blog where the challenge is to use an ingredient and that ingredient is chocolate – how apt for Valentines, and with all that gorgeous dark chocolate this cake certainly qualifies!

My blog post is being linked to Dom’s Random Recipes event hosted by Dom who blogs at Belleau Kitchen, where for February the challenge is to select any chocolate-themed recipe book and to make a randomly selected recipe from that book. The idea of this recipe challenge is to make us home chefs step outside our comfort zones and make something that we would otherwise hesitate to and totally avoid. Humm okay, I got off easy this time 🙂

Also for the first time. I’m joining in with Jibber Jabber’s Love Cake first ever event where the theme for the month of love BAKING WITH PASSION and is a cake-baking challenge.

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Disclaimer: With many thanks to Sugar and Crumbs for the generous amount of samples to test and review.I was not required to write a positive review and was not compensated monetarily for this post. Like all my previous posts about events and reviews, ALL opinions expressed here are entirely my own.

Mushroom Omelette with French Cheese

Egg Omelettes are my ultimate delicious start for the day and on weekends if we wake early to have breakfast I like to do a huge omelette with salad ,toast and steaming hot cuppas of Masala Chai. Heaven !

My current favourite addition into a lot of salads,soups and omelettes are chestnut mushrooms so when I was sent the French Cheese Chaource produced by family-owned French dairy Fromagerie Lincet, I decided to make my own recipe for a fluffy, stuffed and thick cheesy egg omelette.

Family-owned French dairy Fromagerie Lincet has been producing cheeses typical of the Champagne and Burgundy regions for five generations. Rich,soft and creamy, the dairy’s Chaource AOP is great in omelettes ,risottos and tarts.Similar in texture to Brie and Camembert, Chaource AOP is creamier, richer and slightly acidic. With no artificial colours or flavours and 100% natural ingredients, it also benefits from PDO status.

Lincet is committed to its founding principles ‘flavour, natural ingredients and tradition, brought together to make good food’; using all-natural ingredients, traditional cheese-making methods  and milk from local farms.Lincet has upheld the tradition of ladle-moulding since its opening and the dairy’s cheese curdling technique is the oldest known for making cheese.Longer than usual (12 hours +), this is what gives Lincet cheeses a melting texture and distinctive slightly acidic, flavour

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Serves :2 Prep Time:5 minutes Cooking Time :5 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium sized eggs
  • 1 small red onion finely chopped
  • 3-4 cherry tomatoes halved
  • 2-3 chestnut mushrooms chopped into bite size bits
  • Sea Salt
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli flakes – if you don’t want heat avoid completely
  • Freshly CRacked Black Pepper
  • A generous portion of Chaource Cheese
  • Some fresh coriander chopped fine to garnish
  • a blog of butter for the pan(2 tsp)

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Method:

  • In a large bowl crack the eggs and add the chopped red onion,mushrooms,cherry tomatoes and chopped coriander and whisk well with a fork.
  • Then season with salt ,red chilli flakes (if you don’t want heat avoid completely) and pepper and whisk again with a fork.
  • Now add the cheese and mix thoroughly and whisk again to get the air circulating and make this omelette really fluffy and thick.
  • On a pan on medium heat melt about 2 tsp of butter and pour the egg and cheese mixture.
  • Cook for about 2-3 on one side and loosen edges with a spatula.
  • To watch the cheese bubble while it cooks is such a delight!

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  • Then with a light hand loosen the omlette with the spatula ensuring it isn’t stuck to the pan or it will break while tossing over.
  • Flip over and cook on the other side for under 2 minutes to get a beautiful light brown golden delicious colour.

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  • Serve hot with fresh cherry tomatoes or iceberg lettuce and warm toast and lots of Earl Grey,English Breakfast or my new fav Chamomile tea 🙂

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What I like about the Fromagerie Lincent Chaource is the goeey soft ,rich taste with woody undertones, it definitely gave a depth of flavour to my omelette and am now going to use the remaining in a risotto for a weeknight dinner.

It is available at:

  • Waitrose, Top Tier Chaource AOP Hugerot 250g, £4.49 Waitrose
  •  Tesco Finest Chaource 250g, £3.00 Tesco
  •  TTD Chaource AOP 250g, £3.30 Sainsbury’s

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Disclaimer: I was sent a sample of  Fromagerie Lincent Chaource to test in my kitchen and was not required to write a positive review and was not compensated monetarily for this post.Like all my previous posts about events and reviews, ALL opinions expressed here are entirely my own.

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2nd Feb'14 Omlette with Cheese Sample