Friday, 16 December 2011

Vegetarian Paella


(serves 2)

1 cup Paella rice

2 large carrots (grated)

1 onion (chopped)

1 teaspoon saffron

4 tablespoon olive oil

½ cup peas

10 green olives

10 black olives

1 tin chopped tomatoes

1 clove garlic (chopped)

3 tablespoon diced red pepper

1/2 chopped red chilli

3 cup hot vegetable stock

1 level teaspoon sweet red paprika

1 lemon

Sat and pepper

Soak saffron in ½ glass of hot water.

Heat olive oil in a paella pan. Fry onion and garlic without browning.

Add in the rice, grated carrots, red pepper, tomatoes,chilli, olives,1/2 teaspoon salt and paprika. Stir well.

Add in saffron and the water and the vegetable stock.

Cook the paella for about 15 minutes. Stir in the peas. Cook for further 5 minutes.

Turn off the heat. Cover the paella with a greaseproof paper and let it stand for 10 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with lemon wedges and sprigs of parsley.

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Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Festive Avocado Coconut and Grand Marnier Ice Cream

1 large soft avocado

300ml coconut cream (from 1 grated coconut or a tin)

5 tablespoon icing sugar

1 tablespoon chopped dried cranberries

2 tablespoon Grand Marnier

  1. Mash avocado till creamy.
  2. Warm coconut cream in a pan. Stir in icing sugar.
  3. Leave to cool. Stir in avocado and cranberries.
  4. Add the Grand Marnier. Pour the mixture into an ice cream machine and churn until set.
  5. Keep in the freezer till needed. Serve with warm mince pies. Delicious.

Monday, 24 October 2011

The Queen's birthday, Amsterdam, Holland

After several weeks of serious consideration, my wife and I decided to go and visit Amsterdam in Spring on the Dutch Queen’s birthday.

We boarded the Eurostar train from London St Pancras International to Brussels. It was our first time travelling on the Eurostr train, we were very excited. From Brussels we had to change train to go to Holland, but because it was the Queen’s birthday, the train does not stop at Amsterdam but at Schiphol Airport instead. From the airport we had to change train and travel back to Amsterdam Central Station.

As soon as we came out of the station we saw crowds of people dressed bright orange colour costumes all over the place. Some were on the boats in the Canals and some were just dancing around on the street having fun. Everywhere was busy, all the bars, café and restaurants were jam packed with people enjoying the day. The parties went on all day and right through the evening. It was quite an occasion.

On the next day, we decided to have some peace and quiet. We took a trip out from Amsterdam to Keukenhof garden to see the tulips. There must be over thousands of species of bulbs in this garden. We spent over 3 hours in the garden walking round every corner and making sure we did not missed anything. It was quite an eye opener to all the plants of different colours, shapes, forms and sizes grownig in one massive garden. Not surprising that Keukenhof garden is world famous.

After the garden we came back to Amsterdam and head toward the Heineken museum. It was very interesting to see the process of beer brewing and at the end of the tour, we were ready to have a taste of the ice cold Heineken Beer.

Visit of Amsterdam will not be completely without a canal cruise. We decided to take a cruise on the narrow canal boat by the Central Station. It was nice to admire some of the tall narrow buildings in Amsterdam from the water level.

By the afternoon it was time for us to board the train to return to London. It was a short weekend break, but we managed to cramp a lot in the 48 hours. It was a wonderful experience.

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Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Tuscan Creamy Seafood Potato Bake

"I want to win a week in a Tuscany villa!"so I created this lovely Tuscan dish and I hope everybody enjoys this recipe as much as I do.

Serves 4

300g Mixed seafood, (prawns, salmon , cod and scallops)

2 large potatoes (cooked and slice)

200 ml milk.

2 tablespoon double cream

2 tablespoon cream cheese

3 teaspoon cornflour ( blend with 50ml milk)

50g parmesan cheese (grated)

50g grated cheddar

3 small mushrooms (sliced)

2 tablespoon diced carrots

50 g broccoli

50g chopped cherry tomatoes (chopped)

1 tablespoon olive oil

  1. Heat milk in a saucepan. Add cream cheese, cream and blended cornflour. Stir all the time. Bring to the boil. Simmer till thicken. Season the salt and pepper.
  2. Heat olive oil in another pan. Fry the seafood and all the vegetables except the potatoes. Add into the cheese sauces.
  3. Simmer for 2 minutes.
  4. Divide the cheesy seafood into 4 ovenproof dishes or into a large casserole dish.
  5. Arrange the potatoes on top. Sprinkle with the grated cheddar  and the  parmesan  cheese.
    6. Bake in an oven or 45 minutes Gas 4/ 180C/ 350F till golden brown.