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Carrot and Sweet corn Rice

Carrot and Sweet corn Rice

This is lovely rice which is so simple to make and has a great taste.  If you are looking for something a little different to normal plain rice definitely give this a go. It looks good when you are entertaining and will give your guests a little change from the norm.

Serves 2-4

Ingredients

  1. 8oz Cooked Basmati Rice
  2. 2tbsp Oil
  3. 2tsp Cumin/Jeera
  4. 1 Onion- Finely Chopped
  5. 2 Carrots
  6. 1 Tin/165g Sweet corn- Washed and Drained
  7. ½ tsp Turmeric
  8. 1tsp Garam Masala
  9. 3, 1 Inch Sticks of Cinnamon
  10. 4-5 Cloves
  11. Salt to Taste

Method

Take the oil in a non stick wok and add the cumin. Once the cumin starts to sizzle, add the cinnamon, cloves and onions. Let the onions turn a golden colour.

Meanwhile, peel the carrots and cut long ways in two. Cut each one into fine slices. Add the carrots and sweet corn to the onions. Let this cook until the carrots are soft but do not overcook. Add the turmeric and garam masala. Cook for a few minutes. Add the rice and salt. Give this a gentle stir until all the spices have mixed well with the rice. Check for salt. Serve hot!

Mexican Rice (Vegetarian and Non Vegetarian Option)

Mexican Rice (Vegetarian and Non Vegetarian Option)

This is a great dish to have when you are pre-preparing in advance, and is ideal for a party. As Christmas and New Year is approaching you can have a great dish that is stress free and which tastes great! You can even make this the night before and just warm through the next day. You can add any vegetables of your choice. Serve with a tomato salsa, guacamole and sour cream. Perfect!

Serves 2-4

Ingredients

  1. 2 Cups Cooked, Cooled, Boiled Basmati Rice
  2. 3tbsp Oil
  3. 1 Red Onion- Finely Chopped
  4. 1 Yellow Capsicum/ Pepper- Finely Chopped
  5. ½ Red Capsicum/Pepper- Finely Chopped
  6. ½ Orange Capsicum/Pepper- Finely Chopped
  7. 1 Whole Broccoli- Cut into Small Florets
  8. 4 Cloves of Garlic- Crushed
  9. Handful of Chopped Coriander
  10. 1 Can/400g Black Beans or Red Kidney Beans – (I used Kidney Beans but it is better to use Black Beans)
  11. 4tsp Coriander/Cumin Powder
  12. 4tsp Paprika
  13. 2tsp Cayenne Chilli Pepper
  14. 8-10 Slices Jalapenos- In the jar
  15. Strips of Cooked Chicken (Dry) – As much as you prefer- Optional for Non Vegetarians
  16. Salt to taste

Method

In a wide bottomed pan take the oil and onions and cook until they turn translucent. Add the garlic and all the vegetables. Cook until the vegetables but still have a crunch in them. Add the spices, jalapenos, beans and salt. If you are adding chicken, add it at this point. Give it a good stir and finally add the rice and chopped coriander. Check for salt. Ready to serve!

Great Mexican Vegetarian Party Starter

Great Mexican Vegetarian Party Starter

This is such a quick and easy starter to do and has a great taste. The refried beans are very versatile and can be used in many different dishes. I have chosen to make it as a starter. Again you can make the beans the night before and therefore giving you time to sort other things out on the day of your party!

Makes 10-12 Individual Starters

Ingredients for Refried Beans

  1. 1 Can Kidney Beans/400g- Washed and Drained
  2. 1tbsp Olive Oil
  3. 2 Cloves Garlic
  4. 1tsp Ginger
  5. 3tbsp Tomato Ketchup
  6. 1 Ripe Large Tomato
  7. Salt to taste
  8. Freshly Grounded Pepper
  9. Chilli Flakes to make it Spicy- Optional
  10. 1 Pack Taco Shells- Cooke both sides until golden in colour- You may not need them all

For the Topping

  1. 1 Iceberg Lettuce- Finely Shredded- Again you may not need all
  2. 2-3 Tomatoes- Deseeded and Finely Chopped
  3. 5 Spring Onions- Finely Chopped
  4. 1 Red Onion- Finely Chopped
  5. Grated Cheese

Guacamole

Method

In a food processor, grind the beans, tomato, garlic and ginger. Grind until semi smooth. In a pan heat the oil and add the bean mixture. Stir well and add the rest of the ingredients apart from the taco shells. Heat until the mixture starts to bubble. Check for salt. Leave aside.

Break the tacos in large chunks. Take a spoon of beans and layer the bottom of your serving bowl; it is nicer if you have small bowls as you want to serve it like a canapé. Sprinkle some lettuce, tomatoes, spring onions, red onions and finally some cheese. Take the taco pieces and dot them on the side. Add a small dollop of guacamole on the side and its ready to serve! Yummy, Happy Partying!!

Fresh Tuna Steaks in a Minty Sauce

Fresh Tuna Steaks in a Minty Sauce

I love tuna. It has a great meaty texture and what best to compliment this fish but to use a fresh homemade minty sauce. I have also incorporated parsley which gives it a lovely herby taste and compliments the fish beautifully.

Serves 2

Ingredients

  1. 2 Fresh Tuna Steaks
  2. Good Handful of Mint Leaves
  3. Good Handful of Parsley- Same as Mint Leaves
  4. 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  5. ½ tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  6. 2tsp Sugar
  7. ½ a Lemon- Juice
  8. 1 Clove of Garlic
  9. Pinch of Salt and Pepper
  10. ½ tsp Mustard

Method

Chop the mint and parsley extremely small. Crush the garlic and add it to the herbs. Take all the ingredients and mix with the mint and parsley. Give it a good mix to make sure all the ingredients are nicely mixed. Take the tuna steak and season on both sides. Place on a well heated griddle pan until the pinkness of the fish starts to disappear. Once that happens, turn the fish over and cook again. Some people prefer to eat tuna slightly pink; so cook accordingly to your taste.

Take the sauce and place on top of the fish whilst still warm so that the sauce warms slightly. Serve with vegetables of your choice.

Medley of Potatoes

Medley of Potatoes

This is a great side dish to serve with fish, roast or any main dish. I have used sweet potatoes and white potatoes to give it a slightly different taste. It is very simple and quick dish and tastes really nice. As Christmas is approaching, I thought it would be nice to give an alternative to roast potatoes which is usually used. Sweet potatoes are a great alternative and also very healthy for you. You can use all sweet potatoes if you prefer.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  1. 3 Medium Sweet Potatoes
  2. 2 Medium White Potatoes
  3. 1 ½ tsp Paprika
  4. Few Sprigs of Rosemary
  5. Salt to taste
  6. Freshly Grounded Pepper
  7. 1 ½ Tbsp Olive Oil

Method

Peel the potatoes and cut them in a diagonally to form chip shapes. Take a non stick roasting dish and spread the olive oil. Add the potatoes and the rest of the ingredients and give it a mix with your hands to ensure all the potatoes are covered with the oil.

Cook in a preheated oven at 190-200c for approximately 20-30 minutes until cooked through. Turn the potatoes occasionally.  Serve hot.

Chestnut Mushrooms cooked in a Butter Parsley Sauce

Chestnut Mushrooms cooked in a Butter Parsley Sauce

Chestnut mushrooms have a great earthy flavour and are a good alternative to the white mushrooms. Again a very simple and quick dish which also tastes delicious. You can serve it with a main dish or simple just with bread.

Serves 2

Ingredients

  1. 12-15 Chestnut Mushrooms- Cut in four
  2. Knob of Butter
  3. 1tbsp Olive Oil
  4. 2 Cloves of Garlic- Crushed
  5. Small Handful Chopped Parsley
  6. Freshly Grounded Pepper
  7. Salt to taste

Method

Take a pan, add the oil and butter. Turn up the heat quite high as mushroom release a lot of water and you still want a bite to the mushrooms. Add the mushrooms, garlic, pepper and parsley. Cook on high heat until the water starts to evaporate. Once all the water has evaporated add the salt and turn the heat off. I always put the salt at the end when cooking mushrooms as I find it you add it in the cooking process then the mushrooms release more water and I do not like disintegrated mushrooms!  So to avoid this add the salt right at the end.

Serve hot! Yum

Bombay Potatoes

Bombay Potatoes

These potatoes are just too good! The taste is extremely flavoursome and for those who love potatoes, then this dish is definitely for you to try!! I must admit, I am not a great fan of potato in a curry but I just love the flavours in this dish and also it is not very saucy, so you do not really need anything else with it. You can serve this as a starter or as a part of a mail meal. Kids will love them too.

Serves 4 (As a starter)

Ingredients

  1. 500g Miniature Potatoes
  2. 1 ½ tbsp Coriander and Cumin Powder/Thana Jeera
  3. ½ tsp Turmeric Powder
  4. 3tbsp Tomato Puree
  5. 4tbsp Oil
  6. 7 Curry Leaves
  7. 1tsp Pureed Garlic
  8. 1tsp Pureed Ginger
  9. 2 Green Chillies- Finely Chopped
  10. 1 ½ tsp Garam Masala
  11. 1 Small Onion- Pureed
  12. 1tsp Poppy Seeds/ Rye
  13. 1tsp Whole Cumin/Jeera
  14. ½ tsp Amchur Powder/ Mango Powder
  15. Salt to taste
  16. 1 Cup Water
  17. Chopped Coriander- For Garnishing

Method

Peel the potatoes and boil in salt water until tender. Drain and leave aside. In a wide pan, take the oil, add the poppy seeds and whole cumin and let it crackle. Add the onions, garlic and ginger and sauté until translucent. Add the chillies and tomato puree. Let this cook on low heat for a few minutes. Add all the rest of the dry spice powders and again cook for a few minutes. Add the potatoes and gently coat with the mixture. Add the salt and the water. Cook to allow all the flavours set in the potatoes. Let the water evaporate slightly until you have a thick reduced sauce. Taste for salt at this stage. Sprinkle with coriander and serve hot.