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Monday, December 12, 2011

Middle Eastern oranges with honey

Round off a heavy meal with this light, easy-to-put-together dessert.


4 oranges, preferably seedless
1–2 tbsp honey
1–2 tbsp rose flower water, to taste
good pinch of ground cinnamon
seeds from 1 pomegranate
small handful of chopped, shelled, and
skinned pistachios (optional)
handful of small mint leaves, for garnish


1. Slice the top and bottom from each orange and place them on a cutting board. Carefully slice off the skin and pith, leaving as much flesh as possible, and following the curve of each orange so you maintain the shape of the fruit. Thinly slice the oranges crosswise, discarding any seeds as you come across them. Arrange the slices on a serving plate,and drizzle with any juices from the
cutting board.
2. Next, drizzle the orange slices with the honey and rose water,and sprinkle with the cinnamon.
Scatter the pomegranate seeds and pistachios over the top, then garnish with the mint leaves and serve.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Butterflied chicken with lemon, oregano and paprika

Dig into this succulent chicken laden with spices and the tangy hint of lemon.


1 whole butterflied chicken,
preferably free-range (you can
ask your butcher to do this)
3 tsp olive oil
finely grated zest of 1 lemon, plus juice of 2
1 tsp paprika
1⁄2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp dried oregano


1. Combine the oil, lemon zest and juice, paprika, sea salt, and black pepper in a bowl, and mix well.
Add the chicken, making sure it is coated in the marinade. Allow to marinate in the refrigerator for
1 hour. (Put the chicken and its marinade in a plastic bag for better coverage, if you like.)
2. Heat the barbecue until hot.Sprinkle the chicken liberally all over with the oregano, and grill over
low heat for 40–50 minutes until golden and cooked through, turning frequently. Transfer to a plate, and leave to rest for 15 minutes.

Baby Romaine lettuce with blue cheese and beets

This colorful salad is a great way to begin a formal dinner.


51⁄2oz (150g) Roquefort or Gorgonzola
cheese, crumbled (about 11⁄2 cups)
1 tsp paprika
3 tbsp plain yogurt
1 tbsp chopped fresh mint
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 head Baby Romaine lettuce
3 small beets, sliced


1. Pulse half of the cheese, the paprika, yogurt, and mint in a food processor to make a paste. Move to a bowl, add the remaining cheese and season with salt and pepper.
2. Separate the lettuce leaves to create 8 “boats,” then fill each with beet slices and the cheese mixture.
Serve with bread and chorizo.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Knickerbocker glory

Make this dessert even more indulgent by drizzling over warm chocolate sauce before serving.


half of a 1-pint (400-g) basket of
strawberries, stems removed
drizzle of strawberry liqueur or other
liqueur of choice
2⁄3 cup heavy whipping cream
2 slices plain sponge cake or pound cake,
cut into pieces if needed
1 pint (600ml) vanilla ice cream
1⁄4 cup blanched almonds, toasted and
coarsely chopped


1. Coarsely slice the strawberries,reserving 2 whole ones. Put the sliced berries in a bowl, drizzle
with the liqueur, then purée with an immersion blender. (Alternatively, pulse in a food processor.) Whip the cream with a whisk or electric mixer until soft peaks form.
2. Place 1 piece of cake in the bottom of each of two tall glasses, then spoon in 1 tbsp of strawberry
sauce. Add a scoop of ice cream then of whipped cream. Add another drizzle of strawberry sauce, then continue layering, ending with ice cream at the top. Sprinkle with the nuts and top with the reserved whole berries.

Chicken with Belgian endives and bacon

Try sprinkling Parmesan or Gruyère cheese over the Belgian endives once it’s in the roasting pan.


1 tbsp butter
pinch of demerara (raw) sugar
3 heads Belgian endives, halved lengthwise
1 tbsp olive oil
4 large boneless chicken breast halves
(preferably free-range), skin on
6–12 bacon strips


1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).Put the butter and the sugar in a large frying pan over low heat. Cook until the sugar has dissolved and the butter has melted. Add the Belgian endives, and cook, turning, for 5–8 minutes until golden, then set aside.
2. Increase the heat to medium-high and add the olive oil to the same pan. When hot, add the chicken, skin-side down, and brown for 3–5 minutes on each side until golden all over. Transfer the chicken to a roasting pan.
3. Wrap 1 or 2 slices of bacon around each reserved Belgian endive portion to cover, and tuck them into the roasting pan between the chicken pieces. (Pack everything tightly in the pan, so the dish will produce plenty of juices.) Roast in the oven for 25 minutes until golden. Serve hot with roast potatoes.

Bread salad with Gorgonzola cheese

This crunchy salad is a great way to begin a meal.


3 thick slices ciabatta or other rustic
country-style bread, toasted and cut into
bite-sized chunks
2–3 tbsp olive oil
handful of fresh basil leaves, torn
1⁄2 x 7oz (200g) jar roasted red peppers,
drained and sliced
4 tomatoes, coarsely chopped
handful of toasted pine nuts
4oz (115g) Gorgonzola, Dolcelatte, or blue
cheese, cut into small cubes
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. Put the bread in a large bowl,and drizzle with the olive oil. Add the basil, and season with salt and
pepper. Toss together; then let stand for about 10 minutes to develop all of the flavors.
2. Add the peppers, tomatoes, pine nuts, and cheese, and toss gently to mix. Serve on its own or with cold cooked meats.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Athenian Stuffed Peppers


1 pound ground beef
1 cup rice
2 onions, ground
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste, divided
1 1/2 tablespoons salt, divided
3/4 teaspoon pepper, divided
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 egg, well beaten
8 green bell peppers
6 cups water
5 medium potatoes, sliced


Combine meat, rice, onions, garlic, oil, 1 tablespoon tomato paste, 1 tablespoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon
pepper, oregano and egg. Wash green peppers; cut and remove seeds. Fill peppers with meat mixture;
place open side down in circle in roasting pan.
Combine remaining ingredients except potatoes; pour over peppers. Place potatoes in center of pan.
Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes at 400 degrees F.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Lemon and lime syllabub

A light and frothy dessert with a tangy, zesty taste.


juice of 1 lemon
juice of 1⁄2 lime
1 tbsp gin or vodka
4–5 tbsp granulated sugar
11⁄4 cups heavy whipping cream
finely grated lemon zest and lime zest,
for garnish (optional)


1. Mix the lemon juice and lime juice in a bowl, add the gin or vodka and sugar, and stir until the sugar dissolves. Pour in the cream and beat with a balloon whisk until the mixture forms soft peaks.
2. Spoon into 4 serving glasses, then refrigerate for 30 minutes. Decorate with lemon zest and lime zest, if using, and serve with small wafers or little shortbread cookies.

Chinese-style salt and pepper chicken drumsticks

This dish infused with Asian flavors is great for a meal with friends.


8 chicken drumsticks
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tbsp sea salt
1 tbsp freshly cracked black pepper
about 2 tbsp vegetable oil
3 fresh hot red chile peppers, seeded and
sliced into strips lengthwise
bunch of scallions (green onions), sliced on
the diagonal
lemon wedges, for serving


1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).Lay the chicken in a bamboo or other steamer basket. Place the steamer over a pan of boiling water, cover, and steam for 10–15 minutes.
Remove the chicken from the pan, and let cool slightly.
2. In a bowl, combine the flour, salt, and pepper. Use to coat the chicken. Then place the drumsticks
in a roasting pan with 1 tbsp of vegetable oil, and cook for 10–15 minutes until completely
crispy and golden. 

3. Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp of vegetable oil in a wok or frying pan over high heat. Add the chiles and
scallions, and cook for about 5 minutes until lightly browned at the edges. Remove with a slotted spoon, and drain on paper towels. To serve, sprinkle the scallion mixture over the hot drumsticks, and garnish with lemon wedges for squeezing.

Grilled asparagus and Gorgonzola cheese

These succulent spears are delicious when paired with the cheese.


16 fresh asparagus spears,
ends trimmed
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
51⁄2oz (150g) Gorgonzola cheese
freshly ground black pepper


1. Heat the barbecue or charcoal grill until hot. Cook the asparagus in boiling salted water for 2–3 minutes. Drain, and immediately place on the barbecue or grill. Grill over medium heat for about 5 minutes or so, brushing the spears with a little of the oil as they are cooking and turning them as they char.
2. To serve, divide the asparagus among 4 serving plates. Gently slice or crumble the Gorgonzola cheese over the asparagus. Sprinkle with black pepper, and drizzle with the remaining extra virgin olive oil.
Serve immediately.