Sunday 16 November 2014

Toffee Pudding, Tartare Sauce and Midweek Stir Fries: 8 November - 14 November 2014

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

This world cannot break you - unless you give it permission.
And it cannot own you unless you hand it the keys - unless you give it your heart.
And so, if you have handed those keys to the world for a while - take them back.
This isn't the end. You don't have to die here. 
Reclaim your heart and place it with it's rightful owner - Allah.
(Yasmin Mogahed)

 Saturday: We had lots of dates in the house, and after seeing this recipe, I decided to bake Sticky Toffee Pudding.
I was going to try a new recipe but since all the ones I looked at contained nuts (which I'm not really fond of), I decided to stick to a tried and tested one.
So, in a pan, went pitted dates, bicarbonate of soda and water. 
Whilst the dates were softening, into a bowl went flour, butter, eggs and my favourite, soft dark brown sugar.
Whilst I was whipping up the cake batter, Mum was marinading salmon for dinner. She mixed salmon fillet pieces with salt, red chilli powder, lemon juice, basar spice mix (which can be bought in Asian stores), garlic powder and olive oil.
She sliced sweet potatoes into fries and roasted them with salt, olive oil, paprika, curry powder and garlic powder.
By then, the dates had softened enough to be blended into a smooth paste.
And, the cake batter was mixed until smooth.
And, divided between a loaf tin and a small sandwich cake tin.
Whilst the cakes baked, I made the best part of any sticky toffee pudding.
The toffee sauce!
Double cream, butter, dark brown sugar and a pinch of salt.
And, melted together ...
... to form a smooth, decadent sauce. This sauce could also be used to pour over ice cream and the like - just saying!
Once the cakes were baked ...
.. and well risen ..
.. they were pricked and hot toffee sauce poured over. I made a right mess of the counter trying to do this and take a picture at the same time. 
Once the toffee sauce has soaked in ...
... a slice should be served with ice cream and more hot toffee sauce drizzled over.
And, here is dinner in all its glory.
Spicy roasted salmon, roasted sweet potato fries and steamed vegetables. 
By the way, that tomato was one of the juiciest I've ever tasted.
 Sunday: Today, with the leftover salmon, I decided to make fishcakes. I love fishcakes, and have only ever shared them once before on this blog of mine, so will definitely post more in future, Insha Allah.
Anyway, into a large bowl, I flaked 3 salmon fillet pieces.
In a separate bowl went 3 boiled potatoes and leftover steamed carrots, peas and broccoli.
They were mashed, roughly.
And, added to the flaked salmon. By the way, you could totally use tinned salmon here, or even tinned tuna.
In went an egg, salt, smoked paprika, dried chives (it was too dark to pop in the garden for fresh ones), salt and pepper. 
Mix everything together - using clean hands is better than a spoon. Plus you can add any extra spices that you want.
We shaped the mixture into patties, coated them in flour and fried in a little oil.
While the fishcakes cooked, I whipped up a fresh tartare sauce. I grabbed gherkins and capers from the fridge.
Along with mayonnaise. 
Here are the gherkins by the way. Me and my cousin both agreed that they are very scary looking things indeed.
The capers and gherkins were finely chopped ...
.. and added to the mayo.
Salt, pepper, lemon juice and fresh coriander were mixed in.
You could add in a small, finely sliced shallot too, if you're into that raw onion thing.
Once the fishcakes were golden brown ...
.. it was time to eat!
The inspiration for the fishcakes came from this recipe.
And, the tartare sauce recipe is here.
This is such a great way to use leftover fish -  I may add sweetcorn next time!
Monday: Today, the wonderful aroma of fresh mint filled the kitchen.
 Mum was making a fresh mint chutney.
She blended together:
 1 bunch Mint Leaves
2 tablespoons Lemon Juice 
4 Green Chillies
1/2 teaspoon Salt 
1 Tomato
 1 Onion 
1 teaspoon Dried Pomegranate Seeds (anardana) 
1 teaspoon Sugar 
4 Garlic Cloves
 1 inch Ginger
 And, a delicious chutney was ready!
We ate the chutney with more salmon fishcakes.
A very bright dinner for a dark, stormy Monday night.
 Tuesday: How cute is this? This is an old gift that we received years ago. It came filled with chocolate bars and I've kept the beautiful ornament ever since.
 Ingredients were out to bake a cake.
 It baked in a hot oven whilst rain lashed down outside.
 Sometimes, on a rainy day, only spicy noodles will do!
 Someone sliced into the cake before I had a chance to properly photograph it!
 The other day, my cousin mentioned that she was making my peri peri chicken goujons. She would wrap them in soft tortillas with lettuce and mayonnaise for the children's dinner.
I wanted exactly that for dinner but I tried to bake them using this recipe as inspiration. They weren't very good looking but they tasted so good - really juicy!
 We wrapped them in tortillas with spicy sauces, shredded lettuce ...
... cucumber and tomato. Delicious!
Wednesday: I finally had the time to take a few pictures of this cake.
It was perfect on a wet and windy Wednesday morning with a cup of hot coffee.
Dark brown sugar and butter being beaten together. I love when butter is just the right texture for beating - like it's not too hard but not too soft either.
One of the perfect flavours for this time of year - treacle!
Looks like paint though!
A few of my cookbooks. Some of them are so old but I can't bear to get rid of them!
The worst part of any bake session - the clean up!
November sunsets!
I prefer winter and autumn, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape - the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn't show.
(Andrew Wyeth)
My new favourite for a speedy midweek dinner. Brown chicken mince in a wok with crushed garlic, crushed ginger and chopped onion.
Add sliced grilled peppers and leftover steamed vegetables.
Season with Chinese 5 spice, soy sauce, salt, black pepper and hot chilli sauce.
Toss in cooked noodles.
In our case, rice noodles.
Serve up for a spicy, salty and incredibly satisfying dinner.
Thursday: A grey morning began with the most perfect boiled eggs for breakfast.

At this time of year, I always have cookie dough on hand to bake at a moments notice. This year is no different.
Time to roll and cut out a batch of gingerbread cookies.
Today we made Gujarati food. There was a pot of kichri on the go.
And, another of kari.
The kichri was ready and ...
... and it was time to eat. Kari kichri served with carrot pickle - perfect for a cold November night. Oh, and there was also this curry floating around too.
Friday: Today we were in the mood for something inspired by Morocco. Using a pestle and mortar, I ground up a spice paste ...
.. with lots of olive oil and smoked paprika.
A warming chicken dish was the result, garnished with olives and fresh coriander.
It was served with a pepper, tomato and sweetcorn salad and boiled rice.

Posts on the Blog This Week:

Cookie Dough Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream - Brown butter and cookie dough cupcakes swirled with fresh vanilla buttercream and a cube of egg-free cookie dough.

Spicy Keema Pasties - crisp shortcrust pastry encasing a spicy, moreish lamb and vegetable filling.

A few of favourite web links from this week:

1. Life is too short to hate one another. More wisdom from my teachers is here.
2. Chocolate cake in 3 minutes?!
3. This would warm you up just by looking at it.
4. A cinnamon roll cake!
5. The pickle lover in me really wants to make this.
6. Someone get me a butternut squash!
7. Such a sweet post.
8. Why don't I make rice pudding more often?!
9. Broccoli and cheese? Yes, please.
10. Chicken noodle heaven!
11. 18 vegetarian versions of your favourite fast foods
12. 27 delicious Turkish foods everyone must try
13. Are you ungrateful to Allah?
14. I am so honoured to share my name with this lady. May Allah be pleased with her.

I hope you all have a beautiful week ahead, filled with lots of little moments that make you smile.


Spice Enthusiast
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