Stewed Lentils and Cauliflower

Let’s be real now, the weather we are having is absolutely awful and I feel like I am cold, all the time! I’m constantly feeling hot food, something warm and hearty to keep me going during these dull grey days. This stewed lentil and cauliflower recipe is a vegan treat packed with lots of delicious spices and aromatic flavours.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 80g red split lentils, rinsed
  • 1/2 cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2 fresh tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 600ml vegetable stock
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Ground coriander
  • Ground cumin
  • Ground mixed spice
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Method:

  1. Start by frying the garlic in the olive oil on medium heat until lightly browned.
  2. Add the lentils, paprika and chilli flakes and season with the remaining spices and salt and pepper; cook for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Then add the fresh tomatoes, tomato puree and the cauliflower and fry for 3-4 minutes.
  4. Pour in the stock, mix well and leave to simmer for 25-30 minutes.

Best served hot.

Honey & Rum Glazed Gammon

As we all prepare for our Christmas celebrations. For many of us, a meat dish of sorts takes centre stage at our dining tables. This roast gammon dish brings a combination of both sweet and savoury, showcasing the saltiness that this particular part of meat brings to the table and balancing that savouriness with some tangy sweetness.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 900g unsmoked gammon joint, boneless
  • 2 medium size red onions, roughly cut into chunks
  • 12 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 4 small carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 300ml chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 dried bayleaves
  • Ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp rum

For the glaze:

  • 1 tbsp rum
  • 1 tbsp honey

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4.
  2. Remove the gammon joint from its packaging and leave for at least half an hour before starting the cooking process. Use a sharp knife to score the skin.
  3. Put all the vegetables and bayleaves in a roasting tray, pour in the olive oil and fry on the stove on medium heat until lightly browned.
  4. Deglaze with 2tbsp of rum, season with pepper and cook until liquid evaporates on a low heat.
  5. Add the gammon joint, placing it in the centre of the roasting tray. Take the rum and honey glaze and brush on the skin and on the sides of the meat.
  6. Pour in the stock and then bring to a gentle boil.
  7. Move the tray into the oven and bake for half an hour. Then glaze the skin again. Do this another 2 times every 30 minutes (Total cooking time 1 hour and a half).

Best served with roast potatoes.

Prawn Curry

Okay, I can’t even begin to tell you how damn delicious this curry is, it’s just pure, next level yumminess. Do excuse me while I just grab another serving…

What can I say, it looks good, it tastes good, what more could you want? I love the colours, it looks so vibrant and just so delicious. So simple and easy to make, the cooking time is short so you’ll have your meal ready in no time. I love the lime juice as it adds an extra ‘oomph’ and zestiness to the silky sauce and balances the sweetness of the coconut beautifully.

Serves 3

Ingredients:

  • 165g raw king prawns
  • 3 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, grated
  • 3 tomatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 can (400ml) coconut milk
  • 1 lime
  • 1/2 tsp medium curry powder
  • 1 small red chilli, sliced into thin rings (seeds included)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Method:

  1. In a pan, fry the shallot, garlic and ginger in the olive oil until soft and lightly browned.
  2. Season with salt and pepper, then add the fresh chilli and tomatoes and fry for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add the curry powder and pour in the coconut milk and give it a good stir.
  4. Leave to simmer on medium heat for 10-12 minutes; stirring occasionally.
  5. Taste and season with salt if necessary. Then squeeze the juice of half a time and simmer for a further 2 minutes.
  6. Add the prawns and cook for 4-5 minutes or until pink and cooked through.

Best served hot and with rice.

Chunky Chicken and Vegetable Soup

A scrumptiously creamy chicken and vegetable soup, full of nutrients and flavour. I absolutely love the colour of this dish, the small amount of saffron used really punches up the flavour and complements the coconut milk and curry powder beautifully.

Serves 2-3

Ingredients:

  • 1 white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 chilli, chopped and deseeded
  • 1 sweet pepper, cut into chunks
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 diced chicken breasts
  • 1 can (400ml) coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 flat tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 250ml chicken stock
  • Pinch of saffron
  • 1 large potato, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste (optional)

Method:

  1. In a pan, fry the onion and garlic in the olive oil until soft.
  2. On a medium-low heat add the pepper and chilli and fry for a couple of minutes.
  3. Add the chicken, curry powder, paprika, coriander and fry for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add the carrot and potato and give it a mix.
  5. Spinkle on the saffron, pour in the chicken stock and the coconut milk and mix well.
  6. Leave to simmer on low for 25-30 minutes or until the potatoes are soft.

Best served hot.

 

Castle Terrace Restaurant. Edinburgh

I was having a cheeky scroll through my @isaporidelmondo Instagram yesterday when I came across a message on the Castle Terrace Restaurant page. Unfortunately, they have had to make the decision to shut the restaurant due to the coronavirus.

I am not going to lie… I am gutted. Gutted.

The first time I visited Edinburgh was actually in 2017, that was when I dined at the Castle Terrace restaurant. Even though it was a while ago I still remember my experience there as if it were only a few days ago. I loved every single thing about it: the staff, the service and the food; just ticked all the right boxes. I remember having a Bloody Mary which, to this day, I can still taste- it was that good! Even the canapés just blew me away, there were three lined up in a row all with completely different flavours that just burst into life in your mouth; especially the green one which, if I remember correctly, has the flavour of a caesar salad. My favourite course was actually the first, Mackerel tartare, it just brings a massive smile to my face just thinking about it. Whenever I have spoken about Castle Terrace to friends, loved ones and colleagues I have never failed to mention that particular starter- a culinary memory that I will treasure forever. I managed to find some of my pictures from when I dined there and have fitted them at the end of this post; excuse the quality though, they are a bit old.

I am so sad as there are so many restaurants and outlets within the hospitality industry that have been massively impacted by this pandemic; it’s so awful and such a shame to see the collapse of some truly amazing establishments.

I am grateful to have had the pleasure to dine at Castle Terrace, a truly wonderful dining experience that I will never, ever forget. To the Chef and all the staff there, thank you and I wish them all the best in their future endeavours.

Carla x

 

Coconut Salmon

A refreshingly light, coconutty salmon dish that is flavourful and oh so simple to make. Perfect if you are feeling a lighter lunch as it is not too indulgent, pair with a side salad or some grilled vegetables.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 skinless salmon fillets
  • 1 shallot finley chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves chopped
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1/2 tsp dried coriander
  • 2 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 165ml coconut milk
  • 2 fresh tomatoes, peeled
  • 1tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 lime
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped (add more if you’d prefer more spice)

Method

  1. In a pan, pour the olive oil and fry the salmon on medium-low heat for a 2-3 minutes on each side.
  2. Remove the salmon from the pan.
  3. Add the shallot, dried coriander, garlic and ginger and fry on a medium heat until it starts to soften and brown.
  4. Add the chilli, tomato, mushroom, fish sauce and cook for 4-6 minutes.
  5. Pour in the coconut milk and give it a quick stir.
  6. Put the salmon back in the pan along with the juice of half a lime.
  7. Leave to simmer for 8-10 minutes or until the salmon is fully cooked.

Best served hot.