Sunday, 26 November 2017

Mid-morning Snack of Pierogi - Ren Behan

My friend Ren Behan proudly published her first cookbook at the beginning of September this year. I reviewed her book 'Wild Honey and Rye' on my blog on publication day and you can read that review by clicking here.

One morning I popped over for a coffee, chat and to get Ren to sign my copy of her beautiful new book.  Ren decided to make us a mid-morning snack of pierogi, little potato mixture filled dumplings (they can also have fruit fillings) using the recipe you can find in her book.
Flour and egg being mixed together for the pastry,
There is nothing quite like getting your hands in the mixture for the dough.
The mixture Ren was using was a mash potato base.
While the dough rested in the fridge we had a snack break of Ren's homemade bigos, a Polish hunters' stew based on sauerkraut and Polish sausage.  This is one of my favourite winter meals that I have made over the years using my own version of this traditional recipe.
It is a time consuming labour of love rolling the little circles of pastry and filling each one.
Keeping the dough covered with a damp cloth to prevent it drying out Ren soldiered on with the little pastry parcels.
Little half moons bulging with a delicious potato mixture ready to be boiled in lightly boiling water.
Gentle frying the parboiled crescents in butter and topping with fried and caramelised onions for serving.
I want to thank Ren for a lovely morning spent cooking, eating and catching up.  Hope we do it again soon.

If you want to try these and all the other traditional and modern Polish recipes you will find it available online.
I was not required to write this post.  As usual all opinions and photographs are my own.  No photographs may be reproduced in any form without my written consent.

Monday, 20 November 2017

Chili Paste Chicken

Recently I was going to visit my sister in North Carolina leaving Mr R home to look after the dog and the house.  However he has a history of not cooking and just taking food out of the freezer.  I didn't want to waste so decided to make a chilli paste to use up some of the contents of my fresh spice bowl.
I put into the blender the two long red chillies and two green chillies that I had not been able to use. yet.  
To this I added lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, 3 plump garlic cloves, remaining half of a bunch of coriander and a cut up thumb size piece of fresh ginger.
Blitz them all together until it makes a paste.
I filled an ice cube container so that I could freeze the paste in small portions to use as and when  I need them.  The last bit I mixed with yogurt to smear all over the chicken that I was going to cook for Mr R.

The house smelled divine whilst it was cooking. Mr R wanted to cut into it immediately although I made him let the chicken rest!

About one hour later and the chicken is ready to eat.  I made a gravy with the juices in the pan and served with a side salad.  Mmm mmm it was good!
I created this recipe to feed Mr R.  As usual all opinions and photos are my own and may not be reproduced in any form without my written permission.

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Happy Biome - Power Smoothie

I have written about feeding your biome and keeping it happy before and how important this is for good gut health.

With this in mind I often make a smoothie to start the day.

I was given some persimmons to try and as I was full of head cold at the time I wanted to make this a super smoothie to help my immune system.  I bought some of my favourite fruits to go with it like blueberries, papaya (aka paw paw) and fresh mango.  The perfume from this mixture was making me feel better already!
I chopped up one of my persimmons and added to the bowl of fruit.  I put about half of the fruit mixture into the smoothie blender.  The rest of the fruit I split into two freezer bags and put into the freezer for a speedy power smoothie another time.
Next I added chia seeds, local honey, Grenada cinnamon and freshly grated nutmeg, apple cider vinegar, turmeric and finally live yoghurt and live kefir.  Now that is a mixture!!
Whiz up in the smoothie blender until smooth and enjoy!  I love it when something tastes so good and you know it is good for you as well.  Mr R said this was perhaps the best smoothie I have made to date!

As usual all opinions, recipe and photographs are my own. Nothing from this post can be reproduced in any form without my written permission.

print recipe

Power Smoothie
A simple smoothie recipe to help keep your biome happy and your immune system healthy.
  • 1 Persimmon
  • 1/2 cup Blueberries
  • 1 Banana
  • 1 small Papaya
  • 1 ripe Mango
  • 1 teaspoon Ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon Freshly ground nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons Chia seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon Apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon Ground turmeric
  • 3-4 Tablespoons Live yoghurt
  • Fill to line of blender jug Kefir or milk of your choice
1. Peel banana, mango and papaya.2. Chop all fruit into chunks.3. Fill blender jug with the fruit, yoghurt, spices and honey.4. Add kefir or milk to the fill line of the blender jug.5. Blitz for about two minutes until perfectly smooth.6. Pour into two glasses and enjoy!
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: Serves 2

Friday, 10 November 2017

Idahoan Potatoes Taste Challenge and a Giveaway

Do you think you could pass the Idahoan Potato Challenge? I have tried instant mashed potatoes in the past and they were really weird - you could really tell they were never hanging around the potato patch!

The American state of Idaho has a rich volcanic soil and clear mountain water making it a perfect place to grow potatoes and in fact potatoes from Idaho are among the most popular potatoes in American supermarkets and homes.

I was invited to an event hosted by Idahoan where the tasting menu would be made up of a mixture of items that were made with potatoes and items that were made with the Idahoan.  We would not be told which was which and had to write down which we felt was made from the real potato or the instant Idahoan.

We had croquettes, crab gnocchi with sea herbs & veloute, pressed potato with three cheese sauce, onion, truffle, cottage pie, potato-fried quail potato biscuit & maple syrup, honey potato cake with figs, yoghurt sorbet with honeycomb and potato truffles - all developed by Billy & Jack for the event.
Potato croquettes - one real potato and one Idahoan.  Which was which?
Pressed potato with three cheese sauce, onion, truffle
Potato-fried quail potato biscuit & maple syrup
Even the puddings had us fooled. Honey potato cake with figs, yoghurt sorbet with honeycomb and potato truffles
I am still not sure which menu items had real potatoes and which had Idahoan as ingredients! I must tell you that I failed the challenge, getting only 3 out of 7 correct - it really isn't that easy!

If you would like to win a selection of Idahoan potato products and a cast iron sautee skillet set then follow the instructions on the rafflecopter below. This is what you will win if you are the lucky one!
This giveaway will end on 11th December 2017 and is open to UK residents only. All entries will be verified before picking a winner.

I was sent samples for review and a selection to offer as a giveaway. I was not required to write a positive review.  As always all opinions and photography are my own. No photographs may be reproduced in any form without my written permission.

a Rafflecopter giveaway