Tag Archives: Mustard (condiment)

Warm Couscous Salad the Kooky Way

Couscous the Kooky Way

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s post is the result of a homemade salad dressing which I wanted to finish. Was trying to think of ways in which it could be used to create a warm dish and this couscous salad is the result.

couscous recipe
couscous recipe (Photo credit: ukcider)

The salad dressing recipe is my sister’s, the kidney beans give this dish a Mexican touch and the vegetable base and seasoning are Mediterranean.

a bit of a kooky recipe with multiple influences

You can adapt this warm salad to whatever you have lying around in terms of vegetables, protein (beans or poultry) and dressing; it is totally flexible.

Ingredients for my Sister’s Signature Salad Dressing

1 Tablespoon good quality extra virgin olive oil

1 Tablespoon prepared mustard (I used Colman’s original English mustard)

Juice of one lime or lemon

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Method

  1. Put all the ingredients in a screw top glass jar.
  2. Shake well till amalgamated.
  3. Will stay good in a refrigerator or in a cool environment for up to a week.

Ingredients for Couscous Salad

1/2 cup boiled kidney beans

1/2 cup cooked couscous*

2 Onions, finely chopped

1 Courgette

1 Yellow pepper

3 Tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped

1 Tablespoon sunflower and/or pumpkin seeds, toasted

One tablespoon anchovies in olive oil*

One tablespoon Laura Santini Taste #5 Umami Paste (optional)*

One tablespoon crumbly, piquant cheese (I used Manchego)

Salt to taste

Method

  1. First, we need to “marinade” the salad base. Add salad dressing to the boiled kidney beans and finely chopped onions. Cover tightly and keep for 4 to 5 hours. Do this in advance so that the flavours develop.
  2. When you are ready to prepare the salad, wash and chop the courgette and yellow pepper in medium sized chunks.
  3. Heat oil, add the courgette and pepper chunks along with a bit of salt, cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Throw in the chopped parsley and seasoning of choice. Mix well, cover and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more. By the end of this cooking time, the vegetables should be cooked but still have a bite to them. You don’t want them too soft or mushy.
  5. Leave them covered while you prepare the couscous according to instructions on the packet.
  6. Now add the vegetables, couscous, toasted seeds and crumbly cheese to the onion and kidney bean mixture.
  7. Mix well and serve.

Note:

  1. Cook the couscous according to packet instructions. You can add a stock cube to the boiling water for a bit of flavour if you like. I didn’t because I had boiled the kidney beans in chicken stock.
  2. You can use plain olive oil or flavoured oil to cook the vegetables.
  3. The choice of seasoning is entirely yours. I used umami paste since I thought it would go well with the other Mediterranean flavours.

a few drops of hot sauce over the salad takes it to another level

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Port Wine Pork with Broccoli and Mushrooms

Port Wine Pork

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the potluck Thanksgiving dinner, our friend Asha had brought along what I like to call “drunken chicken”. She had marinated chicken breasts in red wine and then slow-cooked them with some stock. The chicken tasted like gamey meat. Very simple yet absolutely divine.

Asha told me that other meats like pork and beef would work equally well.

I have a bottle of port wine courtesy Judith so thought I would try Asha’s recipe (with a couple of my own tweaks, as always!)

The experiment was a total success. Port wine and pork are compatible together. Will definitely be making this again.

Pork is highly nutritious although it is debatable whether it can be classified as white meat. Use a lean cut without any fat.

ideally serve with some freshly cooked vegetables for a balanced meal

Ingredients for Pork

250 Grams Boneless pork sirloin

1 Cup port wine (or red wine)

2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 Tablespoon prepared mustard (I used Colemans)

1 Large onion, finely sliced

1 Head of garlic, cloves peeled and left whole

Salt to taste (I used truffle salt, you can use plain or flavoured salt)

Ingredients for Vegetables

250 Grams broccoli

200 Grams mushrooms

1 Tablespoon olive oil

Juice of one lemon or lime

A generous pinch of seasoning of your preference (I used garlic pepper)

Salt to taste

Method

  1. First, we need to marinate the meat. Mix together the port wine along with mustard, Worcestershire sauce, onions, garlic and salt. Put the pork in this making sure it is fully coated with the wine mixture.
  2. Refrigerate for 6-8 hours. According to Asha, the longer the better. I reckon it will stay good in a refrigerator for upto 24 hours.
  3.  A couple of hours before you are ready to cook the meat, marinate the vegetables.
  4. For this, wash and cut the broccoli in large pieces.
  5. Wash or wipe the mushrooms. I left mine whole, you can cut them in half if you like.
  6. Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, seasoning and salt.
  7. Add the vegetables to this marinade and leave them outside for 2-3 hours.
  8. When you are ready to cook, take a wide based frying pan and heat it on a high flame.
  9. Once it is hot, bung in the vegetables along with the marinade.
  10. Turn down the heat, cover and let the vegetables cook for 8-10 minutes. Make sure that they are not overcooked so time according to your personal preference.
  11. Once the vegetables are cooked, scoop them onto a plate and leave any liquid in the pan.
  12. Turn the heat to high and add the pork, onions and garlic (along with the marinade they were sitting in) to the pan.
  13. Flip over the pork a couple of , lower the heat, cover and let it cook for 20 minutes.
  14. After 20 minutes, uncover the pan and turn the pork so that it cooks on the other side.
  15. Cover and let it cook for about 15 minutes more.
  16. Check for doneness, take it off the heat, cover the pan and let the meat sit for about 10-15 minutes before dishing it out on the plate with vegetables.
  17. Don’t forget to scrape off any onions sticking to the pan. They may have turned dark (as you can see from my photo) but taste delicious.

Note:

  1. For this dish, I used boneless pork sirloin but you can use any cut of you like.
  2. You can also substitute pork with beef,  chicken or any other meat.

Multicoloured Salad

Balanced Salad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hadn’t prepared anything for last night’s dinner because I was supposedly going for a Thanksgiving dinner. Turns out I had got my dates mixed up – doh!!! So had to come up with something quick to cook yet healthy and this is the end result.

Think of it as a balanced meal: balance of colours (white, purple, orange, yellow, red and green) and balance of carbs, protein and vegetables.

This salad is very easy to make and you can substitute with whatever is fresh, available or you have in your refrigerator.

have it as soon as it is cooked to enjoy a warm winter salad or chill and serve during summer months

Ingredients

3-4 potatoes

8-10 Cherry tomatoes

0.5 cup Sweetcorn kernels

1.5 cups French beans

2 Carrots

A couple of handfuls of salad leaves (I used amaranth, hence purple)

1 Tablespoon mayonnaise (I used the diet kind)

1 Tablespoon prepared mustard (I used Colemans)

1 Tablespoon olive oil

Juice of half lemon or lime

1-2 Teaspoons freshly ground black peppercorns

Salt to taste

Method

  1. Wash the potatoes and steam them for 15 minutes or till soft. Once done, cut them in two. I had left the skin on, you can peel them if you like.
  2. Wash the french beans, snap them in half and steam them. Wash sweetcorn kernels. Steam the corn and beans together for 10 minutes or till just tender. I have a double decker steamer so I had put potatoes in one deck and french beans and sweetcorn in another and steamed them all together in one go.
  3. Wash and dry the salad leaves.
  4. Wash and coarsely grate the carrots.
  5. Wash the cherry tomatoes.
  6. Whisk together the mayonnaise, mustard, olive oil, salt and pepper.
  7. Put the salad leaves on a serving plate.
  8. Mix together the potatoes, french beans, sweet corn, carrots and cherry tomatoes along with the dressing.
  9. Put this salad on top of the leaves and enjoy.

serve with a glass of full-bodied red wine

 

Layered Sweet Potato, Mushroom and Avocado Salad

Image

Last night, I had one of the best meals I have ever cooked even if I say so myself!

without further ado

Let’s get on with this yummy salad which came about as a result of my very good friend Meher who got me a haas avocado

this one is dead simple and the best part is that you can adapt the basic premise of this salad to suit your taste

Layer One (bottom layer)

Ingredients

  • A handful of amaranth leaves is what I used but you can use any salad leaves you fancy such as iceberg lettuce, kale, spinach, watercress or even a mixture of leaves and fresh herbs.

Preparation

  1. Wash the leaves (and herbs, if using).
  2. Pat dry with kitchen towel or put in a salad spinner. The idea is to get all the moisture out.
  3. Do this a couple of hours beforehand so that the leaves are water free when you transfer them to your dinner plate.

Layer Two (sitting above the leaves)

Ingredients

  • 1-2 sweet potatoes (depending on size and appetite)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Juice of one lemon
  • Seasoning of your choice (I used garlic pepper seasoning from my pantry)
  • Salt to taste

Preparation

  1. Wash and clean the sweet potatoes.
  2. Slice them in half vertically and either leave them intact or cut them in two depending on their size.
  3. Combine the olive oil, lemon juice, seasoning and salt in a non-reactive bowl.
  4. Add the sweet potatoes, mix them well with the marinade, cover and leave till the time you are ready to eat.

Layer three (sits above the sweet potatoes)

Ingredients

  • 250 gms your choice of mushrooms (I used the plain white variety)
  • 1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar (any type of wine or sherry vinegar will also work well)

Preparation

  1. Wash or wipe the mushrooms.
  2. If small, you can leave them whole or split them in half or quarter depending on their size.

Layer four (the top of the salad)

Ingredients

  • One ripe avocado
  • A spoonful of prepared mustard 9I used Colemans)
  • 3-4 tablespoons mild yoghurt (Greek yoghurt works well here)
  • one grated cucumber (optional)

Preparation

  1. Whisk the yoghurt.
  2. Add cucumber (if using) and mustard.

Cooking and Assembling

  1. Heat a frying pan. When hot, add the sweet potatoes and all the marinade.
  2. Make sure they sit in a single layer, cut side down.
  3. Cover, turn down the heat to minimum and set the timer for 10 minutes.
  4. After 10 minutes, uncover and flip over the potatoes.
  5. Once again, cover and cook for 10 minutes.
  6. Once the sweet potatoes are cooked, place them on top of the leaves and herbs which form the base on your plate.
  7. Add the vinegar to the pan to deglaze it along with a couple of spoonfuls of water and the mushrooms.
  8. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.
  9. While the mushrooms are cooking, peel and chop the avocado and immediately add it to the yoghurt mixture.
  10. Once the mushrooms are cooked, remove them with a slotted spoon and place them on top of the sweet potatoes.
  11. Add any liquid from the pan to the yoghurt avocado mixture, give it a good stir and pour this over the mushrooms.
  12. Voila – your layered salad is ready!

substitute, improvise, replace!

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, you can use whatever you fancy. Chicken or boiled eggs instead of avocados. Broccoli instead of mushrooms. Salad leaves of your choice. Use whatever is available, seasonal, cheap and fresh.

Just follow these steps for layering:

leaves followed by carbs followed by vegetables followed by protein

If you try this out, let me know how you get on and which ingredients you substitute!