I have been away for ages and so when I came home was keen to cook some new things. I took to my Ottelenghi cookbook for some inspiration and then paleo-ed those recipes which were not quite there already.
The chicken recipe was good although we both found the rosewater quite overpowering although the chicken marinade itself was very good (leave chicken pieces for at least an hour with juice of a lemon, tsp each of ground cumin and ground ginger, 2 small or one large roughly chopped white onion some olive oil and a pinch of saffron strands). The real revelation here was the cauliflower rice recipe, derived from a couscous one in the book. I have since remembered several other rice/couscous/quinoa recipes that I am going to try out with this replacement as it really was exactly the same…proving the point that all carbs really are is a vessel for something more delicious!
Pistachio, caramelised onion, orange and apricot cauliflower rice:
Half a head of cauliflower (whizzed into fine pieces, couscous sized) I also used the cauliflower leaves (I removed the hard stalks and cut into strips and then steamed this alongside the white cauliflower)
One white onion very finely sliced and sauteed on a low heat in olive oil until browned
50g of dried apricots cut into pieces
70g pistachios browned in the oven at 180 degrees for about 6 minutes then sliced
Juice and zest of one orange
Extra virgin olive oil for dressing about 2 tbsp
3 Spring onions finely sliced
Steam the cauliflower in a microwave for 4 minutes, then add all the other ingredients and stir through. Keep back some caramelised onion for the top of the dish if you wish. This is such a delicious side dish for anything but I think it goes particularly well with chicken or pork dishes. Super easy as well.
Grilled peaches and parma ham with feta, basil and rocket.
This was so delicious I cannot tell you. It is so easy as it is more a bringing together of delicious ingredients than real cooking…my favourite kind of cooking!
2 people for a decent sized starter
2 peaches, cut in half with stone removed
4-6 slices of good parma ham preferably deli bought and freshly cut (a bit thicker than the pack bought parma ham)
20-30g feta cheese, you really don’t need much at all as it is just a sprinkling for taste
A handful of Rocket leaves
4 sprigs of fresh basil
Thick balsamic vinegar
Extra virgin olive oil
Use a saucepan that can go under the grill, start by frying the peaches in a little coconut oil on either side and then put them under the grill for 5 mins on each side or for as long as they take to get a bit of colour…watch them as everything seem to go from uncooked to burnt under the grill in my experience! Then arrange them on a plate with the parma ham and the rocket leaves around them, sprinkle with the crumbled feta cheese and chopped basil and drizzle over the olive oil and a little balsamic vinegar (it really doesn’t need much as the peaches already add sweetness). Season with black pepper. Yum Yum Yum.
Marinated courgettes, I had this in Italy the other day and was struck by how flavoursome and still crunchy the courgette was. I am now sure I guessed correctly how to recreate it but this was my attempt!
juice of a lemon
olive oil (not extra virgin as it is too strong)
salt and pepper
Cut the courgettes into darts, removing the inside of the courgette which has the pithy appearance…this is the bit that goes soggy when steamed and so for the al dente bite it needs to be removed. Then steam the darts for 1 minutes above already boiling water….immediately drain them into cold water to stop them from continuing to cook. Then marinate them in the lemon juice and olive oil….drain them just before you serve. This is lovely and fresh…and could go with any meat or fish.