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
This roast squash and chickpea salad with tahini dressing is becoming a favourite winter lunch around ours.
It’s lovely served with the squash still warm from the oven, and keeps well in the fridge. I bring it back to room temperature before serving, and freshen up the seasoning. Continue reading
With only two ingredients to worry about, you’d think it would be a straightforward matter for a bartender to make a decent martini.
But the number of crummy martinis I’ve been served over the years are proof that this isn’t the case.
Happily, we are in the fortunate position of having two good friends who are known for their skill with martini shaker. Continue reading
Kuku paka – Kenyan chicken and potato curry – is both simple and delicious. Mildly spiced and creamy, my girls both love it.
Unlike many curries, the chicken are cooked separately – which keeps the flavours and textures distinct– and folded into the coconut curry sauce just before serving.
(Which is similar to chicken tikka masala, now I think of it.) Continue reading
We usually observe the Italian tradition of eating lentils on New Year’s Day. Because of their resemblance to coins, lentils are thought to symbolise good fortune and prosperity. Worth a shot…;-)
Most often, I make Puy lentils simmered with carrots, onion and celery until soft, which I serve with sausages cooked under the grill. But sometimes I make lentil soup.
This lentil squash soup with turmeric is very different to my usual lemony red lentil soup. The addition of squash both softens and fortifies the slightly grainy texture of the lentils. Continue reading
This healthy, Christmas-y (not so often you use those two adjectives to describe a dish) romanesco apple pecan salad makes a refreshing change from turkey soup and turkey sandwiches at this point in the festivities.
And aside from steaming the romanesco, it takes only minutes to put together – another point in its favour.
I serve the dressing on the side – once it is mixed through the salad, the romanesco florets are less delightfully tree-like. If romanesco isn’t available, broccoli works too. Continue reading
Given that eggnog has always tasted like rum-laced melted ice cream to me, I’m surprised it took me so long to hit on the idea of eggnog ice cream.
I made a batch a couple of days before Christmas as an alternative dessert for people who don’t like Christmas pudding.
It turns out I don’t know those kind of people… My guests like their Christmas pudding topped with both brandy butter and a goodly scoop of eggnog ice cream.
The pudding and ice cream combo is such a winner, that I think we’ll forgo the brandy butter altogether next year.