Wednesday, 1 July 2020

Ras El Hanout Baked Chicken

This is a perfect midweek “throw it all in one pot and cook” dish which packs the most ridiculous flavour punch while being the most low-effort dinner I’ve made in a while. You could use skin-on chicken thighs (use 8) but I don’t really like those.

Ras-El-Hanout is a fabulous mix of spices. I got mine from a little deli, but I’m sure I’ve seen it in world food aisles of bigger grocery shops. It means “head of the shop” and is usually made up of the best of spices. The exact spices and quantities are not set in stone, but usually combine all of the delicious ones – cumin, coriander, cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, cardamom etc. Mine had rose petals in it too!

This is a full on one pot dish – everything in an oven-proof dish, bake, serve. So quick. So delicious. So what are you waiting for?

Sunday, 14 June 2020

Butter Chicken

The very best curry is fairly time consuming but so, so worth it. That’s how I categorise this meal; it’s more of a delicious weekend effort than a weekday meal. It involves juggling a few things and throwing in a lot of ingredients.

Served with some Nigella seeds and I reserved a little of the fried garlic for a topping

But during the cooking process it smells INCREDIBLE and the end product is one of the best curries I've ever eaten - woooooorth it!

Friday, 12 June 2020

Vareniki - Russian Mashed Potato Dumplings

My favourite thing about travelling is eating new cuisines. In Russia last year I was super hungry and late one evening we stopped into a little diner. I ordered what is basically a bowl of comforting delights - mashed potato wrapped in dough. Perfection. Carbs on carbs, my kind of cuisine.

I have been meaning to make these for AGES but honestly, folding dumpling wrappers can be a little bit tedious. Then I saw a thing. A gadget. The coolest thing ever!


So this was an absolute breeze. Easy, delicious and kind of quick for dumplings! I don't think my recipe is strictly traditional but it was really really good. Usually you'd just have this on your own but I served it with some sausages for a little extra protein.

Monday, 8 June 2020

Chocolate Oreo Cake

So, it was my BIRTHDAY recently. And my lovely boyfriend sourced some cake for me. Now that’s a hard task, because I have high standards for cake. But he found some absolute gems from a local cake shop - one of which was a chocolate oreo cake.

I ate it. It was life-changing. I immediately planned to make my own.

I was really keen to make a square cake, because I could easily chop it up into portions for work, and we want to reduce the number of people touching the baked goods (ie cutting a round cake has a little more contact that picking up a cut slice).

I think that coffee adds the perfect complement to the heavy chocolate flavour here, without making the final cake taste like coffee at all. Also, no matter how fine you process the biscuits, they’ll still probably be too big for a traditional shaped piping nozzle, so I just used one of my faves – the big round one that makes lovely Hershey’s Kiss-shaped dollops of icing.

Monday, 1 June 2020

No Knead Bread

I’m going to make a confession. I really like kneading bread. I don’t understand when people want to do less kneading.

Father Ted Speak on Twitter: "Maybe I *like* the misery ...
Maybe I LIKE the misery..

So I’ve always ignored these no knead recipes. But I got sucked in the other day, browsing bread recipes in lockdown, as we all are. I saw some pictures of some bread that just had the best crust and looked artisan-bakery perfection.

Can't argue with that crust

It was no knead. I gave it a go.

And it turned out GREAT. The best part is that it takes almost no time to prep the dough, then you can leave it in the fridge for up to 7 days before baking! This means I can have fresh bread in the morning. Don’t underestimate how wonderful that is.

The secret of the crust is the steam generated from cooking it in a pre-heated lidded dish. Magical.

Tuesday, 26 May 2020

Za'atar Tear and Share Bread

I’ve definitely waxed lyrical about za’atar before – it’s an incredible spice mix that I first had, smeared on fresh flatbread, in Beirut. When I travel, my souvenirs are food related. I love exploring the cuisine of new places and then trying to recreate it at home.

And I love bread. But I find flatbread difficult. Enter, the simple and delicious tear and share loaf, made in a bundt cake tin. Now I’ve mainly seen sweet recipes for this kind of bread (cinnamon, caramel etc) but the savoury one piqued my interest.

The bread kind of got away from the too-small pan

I served it with falafel and some gyros-style chicken but it would be great as a snacky dinner centrepiece with an onion-garlic dip.

Sunday, 24 May 2020

The Best Caramel Squares AKA Millionaire's Shortbread

I want to mark this one permanently as **use this one. I know that I have posted a few previous iterations of this kind of traybake, but this is the one that I will be using from now on.

Why, you say?
  • The base – crisp buttery perfection
  • The caramel – smooth and creamy
  • The chocolate – milky sweetness

It tastes like the ones from the good bakeries at home. I’m going to make this forever.