Monday, 28 July 2014

Fasulya with Dukkah Roasted Tofu

Street food in the UK, I'm very glad to say, is on the up and up. Hot dogs and burgers made with cheap and often unhealthy ingredients are making way for fresher and more vibrant fare. With this in mind Cauldron Foods are challenging bloggers to create a street food recipe using one of their vegetarian products. Cauldron Cumberland sausages have long been a favourite of mine, but I am less familiar with their tofu. Sausages, I thought would be too easy, so I opted for the tofu.

But, the big question was, what would I do with it? In the end it was easy. I had a first picking of French beans (very exciting) and some tomatoes in need of using up. I decided to make a dryish version of taze fasulye, a Turkish dish otherwise known as green bean and tomato stew and top it with roasted tofu. Served in a split wholemeal pitta bread, this would make perfect street food I reckoned - healthy, tasty and attractive. As it happened, we ate ours at home atop a bed of brown rice, another street food option, though not quite as convenient.

Last year I made chocolate dukkah for a six course chocolate dinner and it was a roaring success. As I'd made quite a big batch of it, I froze it in little tubs and have been using it ever since. Dukkah is an Egyptian blend of coarsely ground nuts, seeds, spices and herbs that is traditionally used, along with a bowl of olive oil, to dunk bread in. It also makes a good dip for quails eggs and works well added to roasted vegetables. It was time to try it out with tofu.

Having tried it, I could only wonder why I hadn't done so before. It's a fabulous way to cook tofu. Luckily, as I'm unable to source this product in town, I bought an extra pack, so this will be appearing on our supper table again very soon. In fact the whole meal was delicious. Fasulye makes a regular appearance on our table at this time of year, but I've never eaten it with tofu before. The flavours and textures are complementary and it makes for a filling and satisfying dish.

I am of course entering this into the Cauldron Street Food Competition - you never know the £200 prize might be mine!

Vanesther over at Bangers & Mash is allowing us to use whatever spice we want for this month's Spice Trail. I have used chilli in my fasulye so am submitting that.

The basil was a last minute inspiration and I'm so glad I used it as it gave yet another welcome dimension to this dish. Having used it, I am sending my fasulye off to Karen at Lavender and Lovage who is looking for beautiful basil for her Cooking with Herbs event.

The beans and garlic are both home grown and the basil and tomatoes were in our occasional veg box. As such I'm entering my fasulye to Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary for her Shop Local.

As the tomatoes were in dire need of being used up, I'm also sending the fasulye off to Anne's Kitchen who is hosting this month's No Waste Food Challenge on behalf of Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary.

Using home grown produce as well as my tip for making dukkah in a large batch and freezing it in small portions makes this eligible for Credit Crunch Munch. This is being hosted by Sarah of Maison Cupcake on behalf of Helen over at Fuss Free Flavours and Camilla over at Fab Food 4 All.

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Chocolate Dukkah
Chocolate Dukkah
An Egyptian coarse textured nut, seed, spice and herb blend with added cocoa for extra depth and richness. Traditionally used as a dip for bread, having first been dunked in olive oil.
  • 100g sesame seeds
  • 100g hazelnuts
  • 50g coriander seeds
  • 25g cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 25g cocoa powder
1. Dry roast the hazelnuts in a hot oven for about 5 minutes, then remove their skins by rubbing with a clean tea towel.2. Dry fry the sesame seeds until fragrant and just starting to brown.3.Dry fry the coriander seeds followed by the cumin seeds until lightly browned.4. When all of the above have called down, throw all ingredients into a coffee grinder and blend to a coarse powder.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 1 jar

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Green Bean Tomato Stew
Taze Fasulye with Roasted Tofu
My quick version of a Turkish dish of green beans stewed in tomatoes with some added spice. Tofu roasted in Egyptian dukkah is sprinkled on the top. Can be served in pitta bread or on a bed of rice.
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 - 5 cloves garlic - chopped
  • 400g tomatoes (or use a tin of chopped ones)
  • 1 fresh red chilli - deseeded if less heat desired and finely chopped
  • 1 Kg French beans (or other green beans) - topped and tailed
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 396g block fresh tofu - drained (I used Cauldron)
  • 3 tsp soy sauce (I use tamari)
  • 1 heaped tbsp dukkah
  • a few sprigs basil leaves - torn
1. Stir 1 clove of chopped garlic, the soya sauce and dukkah into the tofu and leave to marinade for 30 minutes.2. Place 2 tbsp of olive oil in a roasting tray and warm in the oven. Add the tofu and turn the pieces so they are all covered in oil. Roast at 200℃ for about 20 minutes until golden.3. Meanwhile roughly chop the tomatoes.4. In a large pan, fry the remaining garlic and chilli in the oil over moderate heat for a minute. Add the tomatoes and leave to cook for five minutes or so.5. Meanwhile, cut the beans into pieces about 4 cm long, then boil in some salted water until nearly tender (about 3 minutes). Drain the beans, but reserve the water.6. Add the beans with a little of the water to the tomatoes along with the honey (do not add water if using tinned toms). Cover and leave to simmer for 5 minutes. The sauce shouldn't be too wet.7. Serve with the tofu scattered over the top of the fasulya, then scatter with torn basil.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 4 servings

I was sent a £2 voucher from Cauldron Foods to buy one of their products. There was no requirement to right a positive review and as always, all opinions are my own.

Friday, 25 July 2014

Chocolate Sundae Royale - We Should Cocoa #47

Chocolate Blackcurrant Sundae
When Mõvenpick asked their fifteen favourite bloggers (of which I'm one!) to create a sundae using their ice-cream, perhaps unsurprisingly my thoughts jumped to chocolate. I was planning on an All Chocolate Sundae project using dark and white chocolate ice-cream, chocolate brownies and chocolate sauce. However, the plan was hijacked by these blackcurrants. Adding cassis to champagne makes for a Kir Royale, so I reasoned that adding blackcurrants to my chocolate sundae would not only enhance it, but make it fit for a monarch - a Chocolate Sundae Royale, no less.

Mõvenpick ice cream takes me straight back to Switzerland where I was a teenage au pair. Country bumpkin that I was, I found the ice-cream parlour serving Mõvenpick sundaes to be amazingly glamourous. My introduction consisted of a magnificent affair with 15 balls of differently flavoured ice-cream - I remember it well. So when I was sent two tubs of their ice-cream, two sundae glasses and matching spoons, I was all set to relive my dissolute youth. I chose Swiss Chocolate which not only tasted of rich dark chocolate but also contained generous amounts of Swiss chocolate shavings; I paired it with a contrasting creamy White Chocolate containing chunks of white chocolate. Both were way too tasty and the leftovers didn't hang around in our freezer for very long. These two, along with eight other flavours, can be purchased in 900g tubs from Ocado.

The ever-inspiring Elizabeth is hosting We Should Cocoa this month over at Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary. She has chosen chocolate ice cream and toppings recipes - you can do either or both. Ice-cream in July is becoming a bit of a tradition. Do have a look at the July 2013 We Should Cocoa ice-cream round up. Well I knew I was going to be getting some chocolate ice-cream, so I needed to come up with something particularly good for a topping.

CT gave me a most wonderful book for my birthday, Mast Brothers Chocolate: a family cookbook by Rick & Michael Mast. The book is full of dark and luscious recipes along with stories of their bean to bar chocolate making adventures. A recipe for hot caramel fudge sauce caught my eye and I knew that was the one I wanted to use for my sundae and my entry to We Should Cocoa.

This is how I made:

Chocolate Caramel Sauce

Chocolate Caramel Sauce
  • Melted ¼ a cup of golden caster sugar in a pan over medium heat, then allowed to simmer for a couple of minutes until it turned a bronzy colour. Removed from the heat.
  • Meanwhile heated ½ cup of double cream in a separate pan with ½ tsp of vanilla extract until hot.
  • Poured the cream into the caramel and stirred hard until all was smooth.
  • Added 100g chopped 70% dark chocolate and stirred until melted.
  • At this point my caramel ganache separated out, so I heated a ¼ cup of cream and poured this in, stirring carefully. Thankfully this worked and I had a thick but beautifully smooth and shiny warm chocolate caramel sauce.

This is how I made:

Blackcurrant Sauce

Blackcurrant Sauce
  • Simmered 150g blackcurrants with 75 ml water for about ten minutes to soften the fruit.
  • Pressed the mixture through a sieve, extracting as much juice as possible. Threw the remaining pulp in the compost.
  • Stirred in 1 tbsp of icing sugar.
Chocolate Blackcurrant Sundae
Pride comes before a fall, but I think this might be one of the best sundaes I've ever eaten - maybe because I had it for breakfast! Not normally one for sweet foods in the morning, I reckon this was my most decadent breakfast ever. My excuse was simple: I had to make it early in the morning whilst the light was best for photographic purposes and before the house heated up too much. Different layers, textures, tastes and temperatures made a sundae surprise to keep us guessing - we were never quite sure what was coming in the next mouthful. Blackcurrant was an inspired addition; it had a punchy piquancy and the tart fruit cut through the richness of the chocolate and cream. A slug of cassis could easily be added to the blackcurrant sauce to make this even more decadent than it already is.

This Chocolate Sundae Royale is my entry to the Mõvenpick Ice Cream Blogger Competition. The creator of the favoured recipe wins a two-hour masterclass with the Langham's head pastry chef, Cherish Finden, followed by afternoon tea for two at the Palm Court. Fingers crossed.

You can see some of the other entries here:
Appropriately enough given the hot weather, this month's Family Foodies event is Chill Out, Baby, making my sundae eminently suitable (although it might be best to omit the optional cassis). It is hosted this time by Vanesther of Bangers & Mash and is hosted alternately with Lou of Eat Your Veg.

This month's Blogger Scream for Ice Cream over at Kavey Eats is all about holidays. Well, the Swiss sundaes that inspired this were not exactly holiday related - I don't think I've ever worked so hard as I did when I was an au pair. My entry is, however, travel related, so I hope it counts.

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Blackcurrant Chocolate Sundae
Chocolate Sundae Royale
A decedent chocolate ice-cream extravaganza made with dark and white chocolate ice-creams, chocolate caramel sauce, blackcurrant brownies and some blackcurrant sauce to cut through the richness.
  • 2 blackcurrant brownies - quartered
  • 6 small scoops white chocolate ice-cream
  • 4 small scoops Swiss chocolate ice-cream
  • ½ cup hot caramel fudge sauce (see above)
  • ¼ cup blackcurrant sauce (with an optional slug of added cassis for extra decadence)
1. Place one of the brownie quarters at the bottom of each sundae glass.2. Top with a scoop of white chocolate ice-cream followed by some of the chocolate sauce.3. Add 2 scoops of Swiss chocolate ice-cream followed by the remaining brownie quarters.4. Top with 2 scoops of white chocolate ice-cream, then drizzle the chocolate and blackcurrent sauces over the top until they flow down the sides.
Yield: 2

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Pomegranate Choctail - Random Recipes #41

Dom's been drinking too many cocktails recently and in his own words has become obsessed. And now he's trying to lead us all astray by getting us to make cocktails for Random Recipes this month. Shame on you Dom ;-) Actually, it's good to have an excuse to make a cocktail, they are rather lush.

Surprisingly, I don't seem to have many cocktail recipes, so instead of choosing a book randomly, I entered cocktails into Eat Your Books and came up with a chocolate bramble cocktail from Adventures with Chocolate by Paul A Young. I know Dom tells us not to tinker with the recipe, but he should know by now that I'm incapable of following this instruction. In any case, I didn't have any blackberries or Crème de Mûres, but I did have some pomegranate juice, or juice drink to be more precise. I didn't even follow Paul's exact recipe for the chocolate liquor part as it seemed rather sweet and the pomegranate drink was quite sweet enough. However, I did follow his method - more or less.

The cocktails went down a treat - dark and velvety, very adult and not too sweet. If you prefer your drinks sweeter, just add a little more sugar to the chocolate liquor or use a less dark chocolate. CT was rather disappointed I'd only made enough for one each. The chocolate and red pomegranate didn't quite layer in the way I'd hoped, but I liked the way they swirled together as they slowly mixed;  I was reminded of a lava flow.

So it's cocktails for Random Recipes over at Belleau Kitchen. Dom has upped the anti this month by offering a bottle of vodka as a prize for the best entry.

This also goes off to Baking with Spirit where the theme is Alcohol for Parties. This event from Janine of Cake of the Week is this month hosted by Laura of I'd Much Rather Bake Than ...

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Chocolate Pomegranate Cocktail
A dark chocolate fruity cocktail that has depth and bite.
  • 25g golden caster sugar
  • 40g 80% dark chocolate + a couple of squares to serve
  • 50 ml Plymouth gin
  • 200 ml pomegranate juice drink
  • 10 ml lemon juice
  • 4 ice cubes
1. Warm the sugar and chocolate in a pan with 100 ml water until the sugar has dissolved and the chocolate melted.2. Simmer for a couple of minutes, then take off the heat.3. Shake the gin, pomegranate and lemon juice together.4. Place two ice cubes in two glasses. Pour the gin concoction over the ice, then slowly pour the chocolate sauce in.5. Top with a square of chocolate.
Prep time: Total time: Yield: 2 glasses


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