Category Archives: Sauces and Dressings

One pot Summer Quinoa salad, Tahini-Orange dressing.

A quick Summer Salad that is made all in one pot. It can be served straight away (aka warm),  at room temperature,  or cold. We like it best cold, but that’s completely up to you of course.
I mean, what’s not to love about a salad that can be made all in one pot right?
You start by heating some olive oil in a large pot and cook some onion, garlic and veggies. Then you add the Quinoa,  add the rest of the ingredients and like magic,  15 minutes later you have the best Summer Quinoa salad of your life. Perfect for lunch or dinner over a bed of some greens, or as a side.
The Tahini Orange dressing takes the recipe to a whole new level 
Before you know it,  you’ll be making this one pot Summer Quinoa Salad, all Summer long.

INGREDIENTS:


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium chopped onion
1 medium carrot,  peeled and chopped
1 cellery stalk, chopped
1 garlic clove,  peeled and chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
1 medium tomato, green top removed,  chopped
1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups hot vegetable or chicken stock
1/2 cup chickpeas from can, drained
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup fresh corn, removed from ear or frozen

Tahini Orange Dressing:
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup orange juice, about one
Juice from half a lemon
1 heaped tablespoon tahini
1 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
2 teaspoons Coconut aminos
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
A dash or two of franks hot sauce

1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1/2 cup basil leafs, torn or chopped
1/2 cup chopped pistachios
Chili flakes
Extra orange or lemon wedges for serving

INSTRUCTIONS:


Place a medium pot over medium heat. Add two tablespoons of olive oil,  add onion and cook until glossy, about 4 minutes. Add the remaining vegetables in the order mentioned above stirring while doing so.  Carrot, cellery, garlic,  bell pepper and the tomato. Season with salt and pepper. Stir for two minutes and then add the quinoa,  give it a stir and combine well with all the vegetables in the pan.
Now add the hot stock, bring to a simmer. Lower the heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 13 minutes. Turn off the heat and let rest uncovered for 5 minutes. Tip the Quinoa into a large serving dish.  Add the fresh herbs and carefully spoon thru to combine.
Sprinkle with the chopped pistachios and decorate with orange or lemon wedges if desired. Serve with the Tahini Orange dressing .
To make the Tahini orange dressing,  simply combine all the ingredients in a small jar and shake to mix.  This dressing is delicious on all sorts of salads,  so I advise you to bookmark it. Enjoy!

5 minute Romesco Sauce, cheats version

Romesco Sauce is a Spanish pepper and tomato based sauce from the region of Cataluña, that dates back to the 15 th century, thanks to Christopher Columbus who brought back the Romesco peppers from his travels in the America’s which are the base for this sauce.
You can find Romesco sauce everywhere in Spain, it’s very popular and can be eaten with everything from just bread to grilled fish, grilled meat or vegetables.

The original version is with dried peppers, almonds, some times hazelnuts as well, bread, garlic etc…
I have come up with a cheats version that can be done in 5 minutes and it is addictively delicious.

INGREDIENTS:

6 tbsp. Olive oil
1 small onion, peeled and chopped fine
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 jar roasted red bell peppers (15 oz. jar / 500 ml), drained
1/4 cup almond butter (the roasted kind)
1/3 cup sun dried tomatoes in olive oil
1/3 cup parsley, roughly a handful
1-2 tsp. red wine vinegar
3/4 tsp. salt
fresh black pepper
1 tsp. smoked paprika (preferably the Spanish kind)

INSTRUCTIONS:

Place the sun dried tomatoes in a bowl and cover with very hot water. Let sit for five minutes then drain.
On medium heat, fry onion and garlic in two tablespoons of oil, until light golden and just soft. Let cool a bit.

In a food processor, add the pepper, the onions and garlic, almond butter, drained sun dried tomatoes, parsley, vinegar, salt, pepper, paprika and the remaining 4 tablespoons of olive oil.
Turn on the food processor and blend until smooth. That’s it!

I use only one teaspoon of vinegar but you can add more depending on how acidic you like it.

The sauce will keep in the refrigerator for about five days in a glass container or jar, but I can assure you, you will be putting it on everything.

Enjoy!

Mexican Flavor Cubes


For lack of a beter name, Mexican flavor cubes is what I have named these little cubes. Concentrated Mexican “mole-like” flavor packed into little cubes to be added to any sauce or dish that needs a little “oomph”. These little cubes are full of Mexican flavor and really pack a punch. Lots of flavor in minutes without all the hassle.
I have these as part of my standard frozen staples. I’m a true believer in a well-stocked kitchen pantry/freezer as this will ensure you’re prepared, even if you don’t have time for a last minute shopping trip , so that you can make your favourite recipes and always have the basics at hand.
There are a ton of standard items in my freezer, that I make again and again as soon as they, or almost, run out. Such items are home made chicken stock, Napolitana sauce, and a roast pepper Napolitana version for myself, Pizza bases, Bread, Bagels etc… and of course these Mexican flavor cubes.
Let me explain how and why. We eat a lot of Mexican inspired dishes at home and I say inspired because I don’t want to offend anyone, I’m sure they are far from authentic, but they’re very tasty and that’s what it all about, for us. So basically what I do is, I soak some Mexican peppers that I buy online, add spices, cooked onion, garlic and some other flavourings, then blend it all up and freeze it in an ice cube tray. I happen to have a very large ice cube tray, that makes ¼ cup cubes, perfect for us but you can freeze it how it would work best for you. Don’t be put off by the long ingredient list, you’ll have most of the spices in your cupboard already, and it actually comes together very quickly.

INGREDIENTS:

• 3 dried Ancho peppers ( aka dried Poblano peppers) Scoville scale: 1,000 to 2,000 shu
• 3 Chipotles peppers (smoke-dried Jalapeño peppers) Scoville scale: 2,500 to 8,000 shu
• 3 Guajillo peppers (aka dried Mirasol peppers) Scoville scale : 2,500–5,000 shu
• 2 tbsp. neutral oil
• 2 medium onions, peeled and chopped
• 4 garlic cloves, peeled and grated or crushed
• 2 roast peppers from a jar
• 2 chicken or beef stock cube
• 1 tsp. Mexican oregano
• 1 tbsp. smoked paprika
• 2 tsp. ground cumin
• 1 tsp. cinnamon
• ½ tsp. ground cloves
• ½ tsp. all spice
• 2 tbsp. cocoa powder
• 1 tsp. salt
• Freshly ground black pepper
• 1 tsp. sugar or more to taste

INSTRUCTIONS:

Put a large frying pan on medium high heat, place your peppers in the dry pan and toast gently all over until they begin to soften and change color. Remove from heat.
Add the oil to the pan and add the onion and garlic, cook gently while you clean the peppers.
Cut the peppers open with scissors and remove stems and seeds, place in a bowl and cover with 2 cups of very hot water (not boiling) and leave to soak for 30 minutes.
Once the onion is soft and golden add the smoked paprika, oregano, the ground cumin, cinnamon, ground cloves, all spice, salt and freshly ground pepper, just a few twists. Stir and let it become fragrant, turn of the heat after one or two minutes.
Once everything has cooled, place the hydrated peppers with liquid in the blender, with the onion-spice mixture, add the peppers from a jar, add the stock cubes, cocoa powder and sugar. Blend everything until you have a dark smooth puree, taste and season if necessary.
Pour into ice cube tray or other small containers and freeze.
I use these cubes to make fajitas, chili, enchiladas and all sorts of Mexican dishes. It gives everything a really authentic flavor without hours of cooking. Just make your regular recipes, and then add one of these cubes for a flavor explosion.
Enjoy.

Brined Roast Turkey breast with Blueberry gravy

This festive turkey breast recipe is a great alternative to a whole roast turkey. Perfect for smaller crowds either for Thanksgiving or Christmas Day.

The Turkey breast is brined in a flavorful liquid infusing the breast with flavor and seasoning it throughout all while tenderizing it to butter-soft and juicy texture. Then it’s roast until golden perfection and served with a blueberry gravy

The great thing is that carving is so easy since the roast is boneless. 

All you need now are roast potatoes and vegetables for a complete Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner that is stress free yet fit for a king.


Prep time : 10-15 min

Cooking time : 60 min

Serves : 6

INGREDIENTS:

Turkey breast, about 1.2 – 1.5 kg./2.5 -3 pounds
Two large onions, peeled and sliced thick.
A sprig of each rosemary and thyme
2 tbsp neutral flavored olive oil
3 tbsp butter

Brine:
2 liters water
4 tbsp salt
4 tbsp brown sugar
1 onion sliced
2 bay leaves
2 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp rosemary
1 tbsp peppercorns
1 tbsp all spice berries
4 cloves
1 tsp Chinese 5 spice

Blueberry Gravy
2 sjalottes, peeled and very finely chopped
1 rounded tbsp. flour
2 glasses/1 cup red wine
250 ml/ 1  cup good quality turkey or chicken stock
2-3 tbsp Blueberry jam

METHOD Turkey

Mix all the ingredients for the brine in a large sealable container.  Place the Turkey breast in the liquid and leave to marinate for 3 to 4 hours, or all day.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Remove the breast from the brine and pat dry with kitchen paper.
Prepare a roasting tin. Grease generously with neutral flavored olive oil and add the onions in a layer to the tin, then the herbs and place the breast on top. Season with salt and pepper and spread all the butter over the Turkey breast.
Tent turkey breast loosely with aluminum foil.

Roast in the preheated oven for 1 hour; baste turkey breast with pan juices and remove foil.  Return to oven for about 3 more minutes and roast until the juices run clear and an instant-read meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast, reads 165 degrees F (65 degrees C). Let the turkey breast rest 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

METHOD Blueberry gravy.

Remove the turkey breast from the roasting tin. Remove the onions and herbs.

Heat the stock and wine in a small saucepan and keep ready for adding to the sauce we are making.
Place the tin over a gentle heat, and tilt the tin and spoon off the fat into a bowl using a tablespoon, leave about 2 tablespoons of fat, along with all the juices, in the tin. Turn up the heat to medium and add the chopped sjalotte, cook quickly and scrape all the crusty bits from the base , then add the flour and keep stirring.  When the flour is absorbed start adding the wine and stock a  little at a time, whisking  after each addition. This is easiest with a whisk. Once you have incorporated all the liquid, add the blueberry jam. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper.  Adjust the thickness of the gravy to your liking by adding more or less stock. 

Slice the Turkey breast and serve straight away with roast potatoes and vegetables and the Blueberry gravy.

Enjoy!

If you make this recipe please be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! I love hearing from you.  And please don’t forget to tag me on Instagram so I can see your creations!