Recipes and food tips
Recipes designed to stimulate the tastebuds only and tend to make use of texture.
Firstly, there will be no risotto recipes in here, unless I can think of something radical. Certainly my old favourites, smoked chicken, sun-dried tomatoes and mushrooms and salmon and capers, are out, as I refuse to go to that much effort to make something that tastes like cardboard.
Texture is everything when cooking without a sense of smell. I was playing around and came up with this:
One potato cut into wedges
3 cloves of garlic minced into coconut oil on low heat.
I/8 of an onion
Red enchilada sauce (from a can)
Any seasoning you can taste (salt, pepper, herbs of Provencal)
Boil the potatoes until you can puncture with a fork, then fry them in cocout and garlic. Turning often.
Cut onion into wedges, coat in egg, dust or cover with wheat flour, then add to frying pan with potatoes. Cook until crispy.
Sramble left over egg in coconut, grlic, and seasoning.
Heat red enchilada sauce and cover onions, potatoes and egg after removing them from he pan.
The texture is multifaceted. I hope you enjoy!
Chicken jalfreezi – very nice
I have a recipe which works very well on the texture front and is also quite salty. Here it is, Chicken Puttanesca:
Half a jar of anchovy fillets (about 6-8 fillets) and half the olive oil from the jar
4 large garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
500-600g cherry or baby plumb tomatoes
3 tbsps. good-quality, mixed marinated olives (pitted, rinsed)
2 tbsps. capers (rinse before using)
Meat such as one large chicken breast, turkey, even fish or any meat leftovers
2 heaped tablespoons dry-toasted toasted pine nuts
Half teaspoon black pepper
Tilda Basmati and Wild Rice
Dry toast the pine nuts. Preheat oven to 180°. Heat the olive oil and anchovies in a casserole dish (or ovenproof pan with a lid). Add garlic and gently fry for 2-3 minutes, until the anchovies have almost melted, but the garlic has not browned. Add cherry tomatoes, olives and capers, cover and simmer gently for 2-3 minutes.
Then add the meat (if using fish adjust cooking time accordingly) to the mixture and stir well to combine. Season with the black pepper. Salt is not required due to the anchovies, capers and olives. Place a lid on the pan and cook in the oven for 25 minutes, then remove from the oven, give the mixture a good stir so it’s well coated in the sauce.
Put back into the oven with the lid still on and cook for a further 10 minutes. Remove and allow to cool for a few minutes, before stirring in pine nuts.
Serve with the rice.
My partner has decided to ‘start eating healthily’, and made a salad last night. Salad leaves, yellow bell pepper, baby tomatoes, grapes, grapefruit, spring onions, feta and toasted pine nuts and seeds, dressed with balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
It was an amazing mix of tastes, textures, sounds, colours and even temperatures.
It took quite a while, but worth the work!
Jo Connelly, from the Fifth Sense newsletter. http://www.fifthsense.org.uk/
Here are some tips:
Cumin – a while ago I realised I could get something out of cumin (I hesitate to say I can taste it, but just recognising and enjoying it was a revelation. Cumin is perhaps the only flavour I might detect in a blind test.)
Fresh coriander – has a certain something. Coriander chutney is very palatable (made with peanuts or cashews, coriander leaves and lemon juice, ginger & chilli).
Ginger – amazing. Again, it doesn’t taste like ginger should, but it certainly does something. Eat it in curries, fresh in drinks (juices & cordials), in cakes, or a pickled accompaniment to sushi (sushi looks so gorgeous why would you not want to eat it? With pickled ginger it’s a treat)
Tamarind paste – adds a rich tangy flavour to curries.
Baked onion bhajis are good, & healthier than the deep fried variety, as are microwaveable poppadoms with cumin seeds.
Pomegranate seeds – wonderful in couscous, salads, sprinkled on cereal – like eating little jewels, they just give sparkle and acidity to a dish.
Beetroot – It’s sweet and crunchy, earthy and rich. I’ve given in to the juicing habit. Try mixtures of beetroot, carrot, apple, ginger, orange & lime – or whatever you fancy – you may be the only person who likes it, but that’s fine – I even pour it on cereal!
Carrot – a major standby which I eat raw most days, it is sweet enough to satisfy some of my craving for sugar, and the crunch is always welcome.
Chocolate – tastes a bit strange, but since and eating Fiona Sciolti’s orange & chilli chocolate at the Fifth Sense conference I haven’t looked back, though Aldi’s chilli & cherry mousse au chocolat comes a close second and is more within budget.
Listen to this podcast from the BBC
Fish ‘n’ chips ‘n’ veges
I never buy takeaway fish and chips any more because all I can taste is the salt on greasy, bland stuff that reminds me of wet cardboard. This is completely different.
(qb = quanto basta – sufficient, because how can you dictate 4 cloves of garlic when each typeis different at different times of the year. If I put in a number it is an indication only)
Use local produce whenever possible, never packaged. Better for you and the planet.
qb potatoes, cut into thick chip size wedges
750g fresh firm fleshed fish. The fresher the better, in fact don’t try this if you live more than 50k from the sea.
3tbsp flour mixed with
1 tbsp curry powder and
salt and pepper to taste
Ratatouille style vege casserole
qb garlic – I used 4 cloves – fresh & local
400g tin crushed italian tomatoes
qb basil and oreganum
splash of red wine
qb sweet chili sauce
qb grated tasty cheese
Peel the potatoes and slice lengthwise into generous wedges
Bring to the boil, simmer for 5 minutes, drain and set aside.
Turn the oven on to 210 deg. with the oven dish heating, ready for the step.
Prepare the tomato sauce
Add seasoning to tomatoes
Mix in herbs, sweet chili sauce and red wine
Slice the eggplant and fry quickly in hot oil to sear both sides. Lay out in bottom of casserole dish.
Chop the caspicums in about 8 pieces and fry skin side down until browned. Make another layer and pour some of the tomato sauce over it all
Fearlessly fried onions – provides a range of textures and flavours.
Chop the onions ,and garlic coarsely, add seasoning
Heat oil in a frypan that will hold all the onion/garlic about 1cm deep – make it hotter than you would usually use for frying onions.
When it is hot, all all the onion/garlic, toss to cover all in the oil, then press it flat, cook for about one minute at full temperature then turn the heat off completely.
DO NOT DISTURB – this is the fearless part. The onions will caramelize on the bottom and the garlic will become crunchy, at the top of the mix both will be sweet and tender, and the guests in the sleepout will start to salivate although I cannot smell anything. This should take about ten minutes.
Add the onion and garlic layer to the casserole, pour in the rest of the sauce, top it off with a breadcrumb and cheese mix
Toss the potatoes in oil and spread out in the pre-heated oven dish at the top of the oven.
Put the casserole in the lower part – keep an eye on it because it might be ready before the chips, in which case simply take it out to whet the guests’ appetites, because apparently it smells fantastic.
When the potatoes are very nearly properly browned and ready –
Toss the fish pieces in seasoned flour, and fry 2 minutes before serving, quickly on each side in hot oil, and set aside on a warm plate. Don’t try to cook it right through as it will continue to cook while you serve everything else.
Serve with a slice of lemon for the fish, and on the chips too.
The fish should be crunchy and spicy on the outside, and firm and juicy inside. The chips will be crunchy with soft light interiors, and each part of the vege mix can be tasted and felt separately. An as a bonus for the guests, it all smells good too.
A couple of suggestions from the Firth Sense newsletter