Have you ever encountered a taste and fragrant smell of something so deliciously edible… a moment that left you with a powerful sensory memory, forever ingrained! Many years ago my brothers flatmate brought back fresh mangoes from a trip to India and when visiting (my brother), Jemma insisted I try this incredible fruit. The exotic aroma, the rich sweet taste, the texture and colour… I loved everything about mango from that moment. Continue reading “Prawns with a Spicy Mango Chutney | Food for Sharing”
Tag: fresh herbs
Quick and Easy Pasta
What I love about this pasta dish is its simplicity. Easy to make, tasty and quicker than ordering a take out. Whether it’s dining al fresco or making a quick meal for a very hungry husband coming back from a 20km run, pasta is a great convenience food and store cupboard ingredient. Take a few simple ingredients like cherry tomatoes, garlic, chilli flakes and fresh herbs, tossed together to make a quick sauce in less time than it takes to boil water for the pasta.
Whenever I can I love using fresh herbs, but soon my lovely pots of fresh oregano and thyme will succumb to Bahrain’s summer heat and I will have to start all over again 😦 and plant new herbs when the weather cools down. I also keep dried oregano and thyme in the store cupboard and use these when fresh herbs are not available.
Did a little DIY and painted some old boards for a different background for my food photography, I must admit I wasn’t very adventurous with the colour. Thought I might make a mess of everything, so erring on the side of caution choose an off white colour. Hopefully I will be more courageous next time and try and paint a more colourful board, like this lovely distressed wooden board.
Spaghetti with Cherry Tomatoes, Chilli and Fresh Herbs
- 250g dried spaghetti
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large garlic clove, peeled and crushed
- 1/4 crushed chilli flakes
- 250g cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered if large
- 2 tablespoon of fresh oregano leaves
- 4 sprigs of fresh thyme, chopped or remove the leaves if the stems are woody
- sea salt and freshly ground back pepper, to taste
- freshly grated parmesan cheese, to serve
How to make: Cook the spaghetti in a large pot of boiling salted water, until firm to the bite. While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, add the garlic, chilli flakes, cherry tomatoes, fresh oregano and thyme and cook for about a minute and a half or until the tomatoes have softened and released some of their juices. Season with some sea salt and black pepper. Drain the pasta and add to the tomato mixture, toss together, check seasoning. Serve immediately with some freshly grated parmesan cheese, if desired. Serves 2.
Rice Cubes with Coriander Chilli Dipping Sauce
Trying to figure out the Rubik’s cube was always a puzzle and one I never quite managed to solve, however, looking at my new culinary gadget… this bright red cube looked like something I could master. When family and friends know you love kitchen gadgets, it’s inevitable you will receive them as gifts. My lovely daughter thought the Rice Cube looked really cool (I believe the shop had a video demo running in the background) and decided to buy me one… or maybe it was a big hint to make sushi.
Invented by an Australian cook Ross Patten to impress the judges at a Master Chef audition, the Rice Cube is used to mold rice and other soft foods into bite-sized portions. I love stylish presentation and am definitely sold on the idea of tasty square morsels of rice. Information about the Rice Cube is found on the official website, which has recipes and ideas if you plan on buying one.
The first recipe that came to mind was an appetizer I make for casual entertaining, cooked rice rolled into balls and served with a coriander chilli dipping sauce. Jasmine rice is naturally sticky and when compressed and molded, holds together without falling apart. Using the Rice Cube with this recipe seemed a good place to start.
Working with the Rice Cube felt a little awkward at first but I soon got into the rhythm after molding a few squares which looked so neat. This could be the start of a new obsession… a square one!Some notes: Use a good quality peanut butter when making the dipping sauce, I used a peanut butter (made by Neshat) that I had bought from a farmers market in Bahrain, which tastes so good. When cooking the rice add salt to the water, otherwise the rice will taste bland. The rice cubes or rice balls and dipping sauce can be made a couple of hours in advance, covered and stored in the refrigerator. If you are not a fan of fish sauce season the dipping sauce with some sea salt instead. Grilled prawns also taste delicious with this dipping sauce.
Rice Cubes with Coriander Chilli Dipping Sauce
- 4 cups of freshly cooked Jasmine rice (makes about 20 rice cubes)
- 2 cups chopped coriander, (leaves, stalks and roots)
- 2 small garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
- 1 or 2 small red chilli, deseeded and roughly chopped
- 4 tablespoons of roughly chopped spring onion (green part)
- 1/4 teaspoon lime zest
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 100ml creamy coconut (homemade or canned)
- 2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon of fish sauce (approximately)
- toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
How to make: If using the Rice Cube just follow the instructions. Molding by hand; when the cooked rice is cool enough to handle, gently compress small bite-sized portions of rice with your hand and roll into a ball, you will need to dampen you hands with a little water when doing this. Keep the molded rice covered at all time otherwise it begins to dry out. Garnish the rice squares or balls with the sesame seeds before serving.
For the dipping sauce, add the coriander, garlic, chilli, spring onion, lime zest, lime juice, coconut milk and peanut butter into a food processor or blender. Process all the ingredients together until smooth. Pour into a suitable container and season with fish sauce to taste. Cover and store in the refrigerator until needed.
Keep an eye out for more square recipes 🙂
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