Tales of food, sex and friendship

Archive for the 'Recipes' Category

Sauteed Kale with Canelllini Beans and Egg

January 10, 2013

I realise the recipes have gone by the wayside of late, but I couldn’t resist putting this one up: my new favourite meal.

Kale seems to be the vegetable de jour, and although I personally LOVE it, I know a lot of people find it a little difficult to stomach as it can be quite bitter. This recipe, however, ensures you get your superfood fix without feeling like you’re being ‘really good’. Fabulous for a lazy weekend brunch, or a quick evening meal, it’s filling without being heavy, healthy without being boring.

Serves 2.



1 large bunch of Kale*

2 eggs

1 tin Canellini beans, rinsed and drained

Large clove of garlic

olive oil



salt and pepper

1 large rasher of bacon (optional), diced and cooked.


Wash the kale and chop roughly (about 2 inch pieces). Place a large sautee pan over a medium heat. Add the kale immediately (still wet) and place the lid on. Cook for a few minutes, or until the kale has started to wilt and turned dark green.

While the kale is cooking, place a small saucepan over a medium heat, adding a splash of oil and the crushed garlic. Warm the garlic, but don’t fry it. Add the beans and place the lid on, cooking until the beans are completely warmed through (about 5 mins), stirring occasionally (make sure they don’t burn).

After the kale has been going for a few mins or so, add a generous knob of butter and a splash of olive oil to the greens. Toss this through until the kale is completely coated. Add a healthy pinch of nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste. Add the bacon if you want it. Turn the heat to low, and put the lid back on, cooking until the kale in completely wilted and dark green (another聽 few minutes or so). It will have reduced by about half it’s size.

While this is happening, cook the eggs. Put some oil in a medium fry pan (I like to rub this with a paper towel to get rid of excess) and place over a high heat. When the pan in hot, carefully fry the eggs, so that the whites are cooked and the yolks are runny – a few minutes. (If you add a tablespoon of water to the pan in the last minute or so and then put the lid on, I find this cooks them to perfection). You could also poach the eggs if you were feeling this way inclined.

While the eggs are cooking, use a potato masher to gently mash the canellini beans, adding another generous slug of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. (you could add some herbs too if you had them – basil, parsley etc.)

Split the kale between two warmed plates and top each with a fried egg. Put beans on the side. Can be served with a chunky slice of sourdough (brunch) or some brown rice (dinner) for added substance.


* massaging the kale can be a good way to soften it up and get rid of some of the bitterness, even before you cook it. To do this, gently rub the leaves (as though you were massaging someones shoulders) while you’re washing them. I usually chop it first, then wash and massage. If you don’t like kale, then this should hopefully improve it even more than the butter and bacon already do 馃檪

Breakfast Parfait

May 24, 2012

A delicious breakfast treat to serve to guests. Layers of creamy Greek yoghurt with sweet, crunchy oats, nuts and tart berries. Feel free to add your own variations – stewed plums or rhubarb, fruit salad… anything you want!

To make oats:

1.5 cups rolled oats

1 tblspn butter

scant 1/4 cup honey or slightly less of agave

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C (355 F). Put honey and oil in saucepan and stir over low heat for about 2 mins, or until they combine. In a large bowl, pour warm honey over oats and stir until coated. Arrange in a single layer on a non-stick tray (you might need 2 trays) and bake for 20-25 minutes, ‘stirring’ every 5 or so minutes, until the oats are golden.聽 Allow to cool.

To make pecans and hazelnuts:

1/2 tblspn butter

1 tblspn brown sugar

1/4 cup pecans

1/4 cup hazelnuts

1 tspn ground nutmeg

1 tspn ground cinnamon

Melt butter in a pan over medium heat. Add sugar, spices and nuts and stir constantly until sugar completely dissolves. Pour nuts onto a sheet of aluminum foil and allow to cool.

Now, the parfait:

Thick Greek yoghurt (don’t use low fat unless you ABSOLUTELY have to)

fresh berries – strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, mulberries etc.

Honey toasted oats

flaked coconut

Caramelised pecans and hazelnuts

Mix fresh berries together gently in a bowl so they are combined. In your favourite elegant glass (wine glass, tall glass, sundae glass) start with a spoon of the berry mixture. Add a dollop of yoghurt followed by honey toasted oats and a smattering of caramelised nuts. Repeat until the glass in full. Top off with flaked coconut and a fresh strawberry. Enjoy immediately.

Cr猫me Br没l茅e

May 10, 2012

Julia Child’s Cr猫me Br没l茅e recipe is still my go-to whenever I feel like making this divine, decadent and all together delicious dessert. You can pick up a cook’s blow torch from any good cooking store, so although you may think it impossible to make at home, it’s actually dead easy!

makes 4-6 (depending on size of ramekin). Serve with fresh cream or ice cream and/or berries and/or shaved coconut and lime or berry coulis and your favourite dessert wine!

聽 3 cups heavy cream
1 vanilla bean
6 large egg yolks
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup superfine sugar (for topping)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees F).

Put cream into a saucepan with vanilla bean and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat, cover the pot and allow to stand for 30 minutes.

In a mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks and granulated sugar until the yolks are thick and pale yellow.

Remove the vanilla bean from the cream and slowly stir the warm cream into the yolk mixture, a little at a time, until it it all well mixed together. Skim any bubbles off the surface of the mixture using a large spoon.

In a large, deep baking tray arrange the ramekins and ladle custard into each, leaving about a 1/4 inch at the top. Fill the baking tray with hot water until it reaches about halfway up the ramekins. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the top is set, but custard in the centre is still soft and a bit wobbly. Remove ramekins from hot water and allow them to cool briefly before putting them in the fridge. Leave overnight to set (I cover with a tea towel). Just before serving, sprinkle a tablespoon or so of superfine sugar on each one and smooth it gently with the back of a spoon, so it’s evenly spread. Melt the sugar until it starts to caramelise, using a cooking blow torch. Enjoy!!


Sirloin Burgers with Stilton and Onion Jam

May 3, 2012

A perfect snack or a meal unto itself, mini burgers give you the delicious burger taste without so much of the guilt (well, unless you eat the whole plate!). Great for barbeques, cocktail parties or when you’re at a bar on your own in Ibiza.

Serve with your favorite cocktail or ice cold beer. Makes 8 mini burgers.



1 kg ground sirloin

Salt and pepper, to taste

120 grams Stilton cheese, cut into 8 slices (if you can’t get Stilton, another good quality blue cheese will do)

8 mini brioche rolls, split

Fancy lettuce of your choice for serving

Onion Jam

2 tbspns extra virgin olive oil

1/2 large red onion, thinly sliced

1 cup dry red wine

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 teaspoons honey

1 thyme sprig

Salt and pepper to taste
In a medium saucepan, heat 2 tbspns olive oil over a low heat. Add onion and a pinch of salt. Cook until softened (about 10 mins), stirring occasionally. Make sure you don’t have to heat too high or the onion will burn. Add the red wine, vinegar, honey and thyme, simmering until the liquid has evaporated (10-15 mins). Season with salt and pepper and remove the thyme stalk.

Season the sirloin with salt and pepper. Mix gently and shape into eight patties (approx 1 inch thick). It’s best to cook the burgers on a grill, but if that it all just too hard then use a thick bottom frying pan. Grill the burgers for about 2-3 mins each side, turning once (this should give you a nice, blackened outer and a pink middle). Just before removing the burgers from the heat, top each with a piece of Stilton. Transfer to a platter while you lightly grill the buns. Top bun with burger, onion jam, lettuce and serve immediately. Enjoy!

Homemade Goat’s Cheese

April 26, 2012

You don’t have to break the bank every time you have a goats cheese craving. This cheese is remarkably easy to make and can be flavoured any way you fancy (chopped herbs mixed though, rolled in pepper or chili, or try experimenting with sweet goats cheese – cover with homemade jam or berries or pear or…anything you want!)

Makes about 3/4 cup goats cheese.

1 litre of pasteurized goats milk (don’t use ‘ultra’ pasteurized)

1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice

sea salt, to taste

1/2 clove finely grated garlic

herbs of your choice (i.e. chives, parsley, dill, rosemary etc.)

You will also need: a candy thermometer and cheesecloth

Pour goat’s milk into a medium saucepan. Heat gradually until it reaches 180掳F (about 15 mins). Make sure you watch the milk closely and don’t overheat! Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice. Leave for about 20 seconds, until the mixture starts to curdle (if nothing happens in about 20-30 seconds try adding a few more drops of lemon juice).

Place about three layers of cheesecloth over a colander and stand in a large bowl. Ladle the milk mixture in and then pull together and tie the four corners of the cheesecloth and hang it on the handle of a wooden spoon. Balance this over a large saucepan or bowl.

Allow to drain for about 1.5 hours, until the mixture inside is soft (like ricotta). Transfer to a bowl and mix in the garlic, salt and any herbs you desire. Place in an airtight container and refrigerate for a couple of hours before serving. Eat with absolutely everything. Yum!!


Gin and Tonic with Mint and Lime

April 19, 2012

There is no better way to welcome in the evening than a gin and tonic. Add fresh lime and mint for an amazingly refreshing zing.


Put a generous splash of your favourite gin in a tall glass. Top up 3/4 full with tonic (fever-tree is my fave brand. Yum!). Squeeze a bit of fresh lime juice into the glass and add a wedge or two to taste. Gently rub some mint leaves in the palm of your hand to release flavour and add those. Top off with ice cubes. Enjoy!

Asparagus Rolls

March 29, 2012

A quick, delicious snack or entree for a dinner party. Follow the Ravenous girls’ lead and serve with plenty of wine.

Makes 12

3 sheets puff pastry

12 fresh asparagus stalks

melted butter

salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 200 degrees C.

Thaw puff pastry sheets and cut each into 4. Wash and trim the asparagus, so the ‘woody’ bit is cut off.聽 Lay 1 piece of asparagus diagonally along a square of pastry. Salt and pepper as desired, and then roll up so that the asparagus sticks out from either end. Repeat 12 times. Brush the tops with melted butter.

Bake until pasty is fluffy and golden (7-10 mins). Enjoy immediately!

Moroccan Mint Tea

March 22, 2012

A refreshing change from the standard cuppa.

Serve anytime of day. Makes four cups.

12 sprigs fresh mint, gently crushed between the palms of your hand to release flavour

2 teaspoons green tea

1 teaspoon black or earl grey tea

2 tablespoons agave or honey (more or less to taste)

4 cups water

In a teapot, place mint, agave, green and black tea. Cover with boiling water and allow to steep for 5 mins. Serve immediately or chill and serve over ice.


Warm Barley and Cauliflower Salad with Almond Gremolata

March 15, 2012

This salad is a textural sensation: Chewy barley with smooth cauliflower and crunchy almonds. It tastes amazing too, the freshness of the gremolata perfectly complementing the nutty grain and seasoned cauliflower.

Serve with a side of blanched green beans for a light meal, as an accompaniment to a main, or as an appetizer. Serves about 4.

Barley and Cauliflower Salad

1.5 cups pearl barley

1 head cauliflower, cored and broken into bite-sized florets

Extra virgin olive oil

Juice of 1/2 lemon

Salt and pepper to taste


1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

2 tablespoon roasted almonds, roughly chopped

1 teaspoon grated lemon rind (use the medium side of your grater, not the smallest one)

1.5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1.5 tablespoons olive oil

1 garlic clove, minced

Salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 200 degrees C.

In a large saucepan, bring 2.5 litres of water to boil. Add barley and 1 tsp salt. Return to boil, then turn heat down to low and cover, simmering until barley is cooked but chewy – about 20-25 mins.

While barley is cooking, toss the cauliflower florets with a good slug of olive oil and half the lemon juice and spread in a single layer on a baking tray. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until tender and lightly browned – about 20-30 minutes (depending on your oven).

Drain and transfer the barley to a large bowl and add the rest of the lemon juice and a couple of tablespoons of olive oil (you want the barley to be coated, but not dripping in oil). Season with salt and pepper.

Make the gremolata by mixing all ingredients together and allowing to stand.

Add half of the cooked cauliflower to the barley, transferring the other half to a food processor and pureeing. Plate before serving by diving up the puree and putting onto individual plates. Add the barley and cauliflower salad on top of this, then evenly divide the gremolata and pile on top. Serve immediately. Yum!

Vegan Chocolate Mousse

March 8, 2012

So rich, so creamy and so not like any other vegan dessert you’ve ever tasted. Will impress even the fussiest chocolate mousse traditionalist.

2 large ripe avocados

3/4 cup organic unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 cup agave nectar

1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup coconut cream

1/2tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

Fresh strawberries, roasted hazelnuts and coconut flakes to garnish


Cut avocados in half and remove flesh, placing it in a food processor (you can also mash by hand if you don’t have a processor). Mix until smooth. Add cocoa powder, agave, vanilla, spices and coconut cream and blend until combined and smooth. Put into serving individual serving glasses (or one serving dish) and refrigerate – preferably overnight, but a couple of hours will do. Serve with berries, nuts and coconut flakes.