Lemon chicken

9 February 2010

Lemon Chicken

Chicken recipe : Roasted Lemon Chicken with Sumac

What to do with chicken…. that ever versatile white protein. My mother has been trying to disguise it for years while my father throws every curry in the book at it just to ‘add’ some taste.

I was looking for a change, so went sniffing through my cookbooks for an EASY CHICKEN RECIPE when I came across Ottolengi’s ‘Roast chicken with sumac, za’atar and lemon’.

The basis of the recipe looked good but I didn’t have a few of the ingredients on hand  ie) no za’atar (Middle Eastern blend of dried thyme, sesame seeds and salt) or allspice and didn’t feel much like messing around with a whole chicken, so I simplified things.

All you need is a few chicken breasts, fresh lemon, sumac (a spice made of crushed Mediterranean berries), garlic, stock and a few other spices. This makes a delicious, fragrant dish, that is healthy and great served over basmati rice.

See the link ‘lemon chicken’ below for the recipe:

LEMON CHICKEN

BAKED APPLES

12 January 2010

Baked Apples

Baked Apples seemed to be an appropriate welcome back, New Years resolution, apple desert recipe.  What better way to satisfy your sweet tooth while watching your waist line. Plus baked apples are a cinch to make… core, stuff, bake. That’s it. No fuss no muss.

Olivier’s parents have an apple orchard in France and this year they were overwhelmed with the yield. There were enough apples for the Russian army I tell you. So each week we receive a top up, which means I continuously have a bag of these golden red globes in my fridge. I would be complaining except that they are absolutely delicious and make wonderful apple sauce, pies, cakes, muffins not to mention baked apples.

BAKED APPLES

LENTIL SOUP

20 March 2009

sp-lentil-soup

The DUTCH Series N°5 : Lentil Soup Recipe with Saffron Garlic Roux

It is officially the 1st day of SPRING!

So why am I writing about a winter soup you may ask. Good question. The thing is – the calendar may say that Spring has arrived,  but while it is sunny in Geneva it is still very chilly. I was nearly blown away this morning when crossing the bridge  – literally! It is because of  ‘la bise’ a Northerly wind that comes whistling through the city at a bone chilling rate. It is at these times you really need some stick to your ribs, heart warming food.

Years ago lentil soup was the very last thing on my list of favourite foods. It was something to eat under duress. In fact I was such a terrible child, that once my aunt went to all the trouble of preparing a homemade lentil stew and I turned my nose up and said I couldn’t possibly.  Naughty naughty naughty.

I have since grown up & so have my taste buds.  The first lentil soup recipeI tried will remain nameless, as the spices were all off and it made enough for the Russian army… needless to say, I was not impressed. I have since fiddled and tweaked my way to come up with this version, with a hint of chilly, the tang of lemon, soothed with spices & served with a generous dollop of saffron, garlic roux!

LENTIL SOUP

APPLE SPICE COMPOTE Recipe

17 November 2008

sp-apple-compote

The DUTCH Series N°2

‘An apple a day keeps the doctor away’ This is a great saying however this is just one minor detail they left out…. the cooking instructions!

Taking advantage of this little loophole and the fact that it is currently the apple season, I have invented a quick & healthy recipe, within the guidelines of the Dutch Series.

Now I am not suggesting that you run triumphantly down to your doctors’ office, boasting how you have found a justification to eat more desert…. a chink in the dietary armor so to say. Perhaps best to remain discrete and if you do happen to have a sweet tooth, here is your prefect solution to satisfy a craving while keeping an eye on your waistline & budget!

RECIPE

SUGAR COOKIE

30 September 2008

SUGAR COOKIES :

C is for cookie …. well that all depends on where you come from. In England & Australia B is for Biscuit and in Spain G is for Galletas, whereas in Italy they have a completely different range of names from amaretti to biscotti.

Going back to the root of the English word ‘cookie’, we find that it was derived from the Dutch word koekje, meaning small/little cake. According to culinary historians, these little cakes were the product of chefs using small amounts of batter to test the heat of their ovens before baking. I will soon be taking a trip over to Holland, to visit my brother and to taste the local delicacies – he says they have excellent local cheese & yogurt, so I will be reporting back!

In regards to reporting back, each year I find that the decrease in autumn temperature, brings with it an increase in my desire to cook with fragrant spices. However when it comes to my spice rack, I fear I have lately been playing favourites ….  exploiting certain spices while marginalsing others to their traditional roles.

A good example of this is nutmeg – great for beshamel sauce, perfect for rice pudding and even better when used in savoury spinach quiche. But should that be all? Is that everything this little “nut” has to offer?? Perhaps I should be looking outside the recipe box, to the sweeter side of life. Which got me to thinking about my mother’s delicious sugar cookies and how nicely they would compliment the aromatic flavours of nutmeg. And as they say, whoever they are, the rest is history!

SUGAR COOKIES

CARROT & PEAR SOUP Recipe

22 September 2008

EMILY THE GREAT’S CARROT & PEAR SOUP

First there was Catherine the Great of Russia (1729 – 1796), and then a few hundred years later, came Emily the Great, my good friend, who proudly gave herself this name at the ripe old age of 2, for surely one great lady in history deserves another!

And a great lady she is, one who I am proud to know, and who was a lifesaver (the pink kind with a gold star) at my wedding this September 6th. So how does the soup fit in you may ask – well in amongst the dress fittings, dinners, last minute ribbons, welcome packages, speech preparations, vows etc, we all had to eat…. so each member of the family took turns putting something delicious together.

Emily’s contribution to the soup pot – was in fact soup, her version of fresh garden carrot, autumn William pear, and spicy Cayenne pepper. Top that with oven baked, olive oil & garlic croutons, and you have a great fall dish, that I couldn’t wait to put on the blog. Afterall today is the 1st day of autumn / fall.

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RECIPE

{CURRY AU CURCUMA ET CHOU-FLEUR} The idea for each recipe that I post comes from an inspiration. My source this time was David Servan-Schreiber’s book Anticancer’ – the theme of which is how our bodies can prevent & protect us against cancerous cells with a little help from what we eat.

A cancer survivor himself, David’s message about nutrition is clear – there are certain foods that enhance the bodies natural defence system against the formation of cancerous cells, while there are others that diminish it. Tip the scales of your daily diet in favour of the enhancing foods to give your body the best start.

Reduce: 

  • refined sugars
  • vegetable oils (ie sunflower)
  • non-bio fish, meat & dairy
  • white flour etc

Increase:

  • fruits & veggies (especially red fruits & berries, cauliflower, broccoli, onions, garlic, ginger)
  • agave nectar instead of refined sugar
  • olive oil 
  • bio fish, meat & dairy
  • drink 6 + cups of Japanese green tea per day (10 min infusion, drink with the next hour)
  • Eating dark chocolate (70%+ cacao) was surprisingly on the list
  • the other dark horse was Turmeric

TURMERIC ‘Curcuma longa’, also known as curcuma, haldi or Indian saffron, is an ancient spice from South East Asia.  This fine, bright yellow powder is obtained from the ground rhizome (underground stem), and posses an earthy, peppery flavour with a sweet mustard perfume. It is used for cooking, cosmetics (sunscreen), dyes, gardening (ant deterrent) and medicine.

   

What caught my eye was the marriage between cooking and the medicinale properties of turmeric. For centuries this spice has been used in India as a natural anticeptic & antibacterial agent, and has only recently become a topic of research in the oxidental medical community. According to the book ‘Anticancer‘, turmeric / curcuma is the most powerful natural anti-inflammatory identified to date & can be used as a natural defence mechanism against cancerous cells when used in cooking!!!! IMPORTANT for the turmeric to be absorbed by the body, it must be combined with black pepper and ideally dissolved in oil (ie olive oil). Many curry spice mixes only contain a small % of turmeric, so it is best to buy the pure variety on its own.

I have created a delicious, simple recipe, that uses these essential ingredients and takes only 15 minutes to make.

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RECIPE

GRANOLA

20 November 2007

Granola maison!

GRANOLA: To be or not to be a breakfast person, that is the question …

I for one used to fall into the latter category… a category reserved for those of us who don’t do mornings… rush out the door like mad women (as if there was time for toast let alone breakfast) and find themselves sitting at their desk before the sun has even risen, sipping on a cup of coffee. Healthy you say…. I think not!!!

It took moving to Geneva and living with my other half – a breakfast fiend, tartine nut, jam addict and general muesli fan… to make me turn over a new leaf or should I say grain.

With breakfast becoming an increasingly important meal of my day, I started paying more attention to the ingredients I was eating…. and was shocked to discover the amount of salt, white sugar & hydrogenated oils that most granola brands add. Something had to be done! So I set to work on making my own healthy recipe.

The great thing about this recipe is that you can personalise it… I use the rolled oats as a base and then add and subtract the nuts, seeds & dried fruits I feel like.

GRANOLA

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