Ras el hanout. It sounds exotic and it is. If you’d like to read more about this warming spice blend use the ‘Search by ingredients’ area of this site (in side-bar to right of this post if you are on a pc).
You’ll also find it in Tesco or a spice store and possibly other supermarkets where I haven’t found it yet. You can also make it too, again if you’re interested search in the ingredients box of this blog ->
….but you’re probably just here for the recipe.
Simple Salmon Supper:
Ingredients : Salmon Darnes Drizzle oil Good scattering of Ras el Hanout Method: Into hot oven for approx. 15 minutes
Ingredients: Mayonnaise Philadelphia Cream Cheese Tomato & Chill Relish Honey Ras el Hanout Method: Use your own excellent judgement to combine the above until you make enough sauce to dollop on your salmon. Check your fridge, other things that you can swap in to make great emergency sauce = yoghurt, creme fraiche, vinegars, lemon juice, sweet chilli sauce, hot sauce, mustard, pesto, capers etc.
When it comes to cooking you really don’t need to be spoon-fed line by line instructions, exact quantities and cooking temperatures. Trust your instinct, swap things in and out and your cooking experience will become simpler and faster. All you need is a rough idea of what ingredients work well together and the gist of the method. Gist, now there’s an underused and underrated word for you.
More often than not when it comes to food and especially the main meal of the day I just want to eat something simple but super tasty. After a day of work it is very difficult to turn around and cook something at all and much easier to throw on a pizza or pick up some fast takeaway but you know and need to remind yourself that cooking can be as simple and fast as that too. You do need to have done the shopping at some stage though! An empty fridge will not yield a tempting meal. So do yourself a favour and get a food shop in : lots of veg, your preferred protein and stock up on those things that will bring flavour – garlic, lemon, chillies, spices, honey etc.
Think about the flavours you like and put those things together – I love a combination of bitter & sweet, hence the sugar and vinegar of the pickle served with the sweet chicken strips on leaves is my idea of a simple & tasty meal.
Red Onion Pickle
Slice Red onion, sprinkle with red wine vinegar & sugar Leave to marinade while you cook the chicken strips Tastes even better the next day
Is Instagram not for photos anymore?
So what’s that about then? I generally just pick up on mutterings and snippets of things as they filter through the ether and don’t have time to explore on detail however what I’m hearing is that the Insta moguls are leaning in preference more towards video content than still images. What does that actually mean? When you search for something you’re going to be returned with moving pictures rather than still images perhaps. I don’t see that it will really matter. If it’s only pictures you want to see that is the content you will seek out.
So here is one of my recent Insta dinners & Insta recipes. I think the visual along with limited text should be enough for the time pressed. Be inspired then make it your way.
When you look in your food cupboards and they are full but much of it is ingredients that you may have bought to do one particular dish and you’re left with all these half used packets and jars. That’s happening. For me the current situation is apricots (tagine), sesame seeds (stir-fry) and ground-almonds (cake). I’ve lots of other ingredients likes sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds that I am fairly good to use up – toasted over salads when I think of it etc. – but the ground-almonds had been there for quite a while. Adding them onto baked salmon was experimental and it worked, introducing a nice texture of crumb and nutty taste.
This is such a simple thing to do that a recipe is hardly required. I will however give it below the picture!
You will need / Ingredients: Salmon pieces A little oil Ground almonds Fresh basil to serve – optional Method: Pre-heat the oven to 200C Place the salmon pieces in an oven-proof dish and bake for 15 minutes Remove from the oven, scatter the ground almonds over the oven and return to the oven for a further 5 minutes (turn up the heat to 220C if you’d really like to get a colour on the crumb)
That’s it. Simple. Enjoy with some baked baby potatoes or salad. I’ve served with some garlic and herb flatbreads above. xx Sheila
Pudding. There’s something about that word that conjures up comfort. Something you’ll be hankering as Autumn envelops you bringing darker evenings, cooler air and while you sleep a sprinkling of frost may even be dusting your doorstep. I can’t get enough of apple in desserts at this time of year; crumbles, tarts and yes oh yes please, pudding. This would be epic after a long Sunday lunch or an evening of entertainment and something sure to send the recipients over that edge into blissful food coma.
There are some blackberry stragglers still clung to the hedgerows if you get a chance to look or you’ll find them with fruit in the supermarket and those cooking apples are still abundant and inexpensive. The battery mixture of this almost forms a cake but with all the moistness of the fruit it will never dry into sponginess but will remain sumptuously soft and yielding. As moist as it already is I do recommend that you take it to the next level and serve with some softly whipped fresh cream.
Apple and Blackberry Pudding : (Serves 9)
You will need:
175g unsalted butter
250ml carton whipping cream
225g caster sugar
400g cooking apples (2 large or 3 medium)
300g plain flour
Butter to grease the dish Method: Preheat the oven to 180oC/Gas Mark 6 and grease a baking/pudding dish 25x25cm with butter.
Heat the butter and cream together in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Leave to cool a little.
Whisk the caster sugar and the eggs together for a few minutes until thick and set aside.
Prepare the fruit by coring, peeling and slicing the apples into rings, and washing the blackberries.
Add the butter and cream mixture to the eggs and sugar mixture, and whisk together.
Gently fold in the sifted flour to make a thick batter.
Pour the mixture into the baking dish and push in the apple rings.
Scatter the blackberries over the top and push some of them down into the batter.
Bake for 45–50 minutes and test the mixture with a skewer – if it comes away clean the cake is cooked.
Great served hot, straight from the oven, with some cream.
So why would I call this meatball dish Moroccan then? When I cook with lamb and spices like cumin and cinnamon I think of Middle Eastern or North African cooking so there you have it, the simple explanation is that it just makes me think of Morocco or Moroccan cooking. Though I’ve never been to Morocco and neither have I eaten in a specifically Moroccan restaurant so I have absorbed this probably mostly from cooking programmes. There definitely was a Jamie Oliver one where he was in Morocco and oh let me tell you the spice markets are amAAAAAAAzing there. And how would I know – because I saw it on the telly of course.
The secret is the cinnamon I think. It’s something that Westerners traditionally associate with sweet dishes, particularly with apple dishes likes pies and crumbles. It sets these meatballs on a more exotic path than the Italian one’s that we’re more used to.
This recipe is from my first cookbook ‘Gimme the Recipe’ – I haven’t cooked it in ages and it will be gracing my table this week. Perfect warming Autumnal fare. I hope you get a chance to try it sometime too.
You will need 1 large red onion
3cm thumb-width piece of ginger
3 garlic cloves
1 red chilli
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
800g minced lamb
1 tbsp olive oil
2 x 400g cans plum tomatoes
250ml chicken stock
Handful of fresh coriander to garnish Method: Peel and roughly chop the red onion, ginger and garlic, and blitz together with the deseeded chopped chilli, cumin and cinnamon in a mini chopper or food processor to create a spicy paste.
Use a fork or your hands to mix the lamb with half of the spicy paste in a bowl and then shape them into meatballs the size of golf-balls.
Heat the olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat and brown the meatballs.
Push the meatballs to the sides of the pan and cook the rest of the spicy paste in the centre of the pan for 1 minute
Add the plum tomatoes to the centre of the pan and roughly chop them with a knife. Add the chicken stock and stir to combine with the tomatoes, paste and meatballs.
Bring to the boil then reduce to simmer for 25–30 minutes. (Test the centre of a meatball to check that it is cooked through.)
Serve with a sprinkling of chopped fresh coriander and Moroccan couscous or rice.