Kimchi grilled cheese sandwich

23 Apr

Kimchi grilled cheese

Kimchi and cheese probably seems  an odd combination to most people.

Even today, I doubt the average Korean family eats much cheese, and kimchi is hardly a store cupboard staple in Britain (though it certainly is in this British home).

But in this global world, these two unlikely ingredients have met and fallen in love. Kimcheeze anyone? Sorry…

In an attempt to raise the tone, I quote the famous gastronome Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin:

The discovery of a new dish does more for the happiness of the human race than the discovery of a star.

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Asian chicken noodle soup

19 Apr

Asian chicken noodle soup is less of a recipe than an idea.

When I find myself with a pot of chicken stock in the fridge (from making chicken tinga tacos, perhaps), one of my favourite things to do with it is to make what we call Asian chicken noodle soup.

Stock simmered with Asian aromatics is ladled over freshly cooked noodles, shredded chicken and thinly sliced vegetables, then garnished with fresh herbs. Continue reading

Hot cross buns

15 Apr

Hot cross buns – once an Easter-time treat – are available in the shops all year round.

I suppose it’s old-fashioned of me, but I prefer foods keep to their allotted place in the culinary calendar. Something special to enjoy at a particular time of the year – I don’t want mince pies in May, or hot cross buns in August.

The supermarket was selling four hot cross buns for less than a pound this week, so why go to the trouble of making them at home?

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Carrot and sunflower seed energy balls

10 Apr

I haven’t really bought into the whole energy ball idea.

For starters, I’m anti-snacking – I’d much rather my family brought a good appetite to their meals.

Secondly, energy balls always seem to contain nuts, which rules them out for school lunches. In any case, they also seem to require storing in the fridge (or what, they melt?)

Thirdly, I’d rather eat the nuts, dates and whatever as they come, without first blitzing them into sticky mush. Continue reading

Double happiness beans

5 Apr

Easy to make, pretty to look at, tasty to eat – this dish could be called triple happiness beans.

I assume the “double” refers to the two types of bean involved – Chinese black beans and fresh green beans.

These are not the same black beans that feature in Mexican recipes like sweet potato and black bean tacos, but soybeans that have been dried and fermented with salt.

Pungent and intensely salty, Chinese black beans should be soaked before use to avoid overpowering the other ingredients.

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Beef goulash

25 Mar

Beef goulash

Beef goulash is one of the first dishes I learned to cook on my own. The original recipe is from Seventeen magazine – that’s how long I have been making this dish…;-)

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Cuban black bean soup

21 Mar

Cuban black bean soup

Traditional Cuban black bean soup is made with a ham hock, which is simmered along with the beans and removed before serving.

I prefer this vegetarian version, adding smoked paprika to give the soup an element of the ham’s smokiness. Anyway, for me it’s the vinegar that gives Cuban black bean soup its distinctive flavour.

This soup tastes even better the following day, and freezes well too. Continue reading