Home Made Harissa Paste

Harisss Paste

I love harissa, it’s fantastically versatile and can be made for a fraction of the price of the pre made brands. Visit your local Asian supermarket to buy your spices, and this will be even cheaper.

Harissa is great smeared on chicken or lamb before cooking. It’s also delicious mixed with yoghurt and drizzled over roast vegetables, or mixed with mayonnaise to add some zing to toasted sandwiches or burgers. This traditional Moroccan paste makes any tagine come alive.

This recipe will make a large jar of harissa paste that will live quite happily in your fridge for several weeks, or you can share with a friend. It also makes a nice gift for anyone who’s a foodie. This is quite firey, so use with care at first.

Spice Mix

Ingredients

120 Grams Chilli flakes

1 Tsp Carraway seeds

1 Tsp Coriander Seeds

1 Tbsp Cumin Seeds

1 Tsp Salt

4 Cloves of garlic

3 Tbsp Olive oil

Method

  1. Cover the chilli flakes with boiling water, and soak for 30 minutes before draining through a sieve.
  2. In a dry frying pan toast the cumin, coriander, and carraway seeds until you smell the spices. You can grind these with a pestle and motar. I don’t have one, so I used the end of a rolling pin which worked well
  3. In a food processor, combine all the ingredients and whizz until the paste start to look smooth
  4. Transfer to a clean jar and keep in the fridge for up to 4 weeks

Feta Scrambled Eggs

Feta Scrambled Eggs

This makes a really tasty weekend breakfast dish, when you’re feeling a little hung over and needing something to get you feeling human again. It’s also great for a quick lunch, or if you get in from work and want to make something that will be ready in 5 minutes. This along with some hot buttered toast is my weekend happy place.

Serves 2

Ingredients

1 Tbsp. Olive Oil

4 x Eggs

100 grams Feta Cheese (most supermarkets sell “salad cheese” which is essentially the same thing but cheaper)

Salt and pepper

Egg and feta mixed together

You can add extras like chopped olives, or spring onions/scallions or chives, but it’s also delicious just as it is.

Serves 2

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a frying pan.
  2. Cut the Feta in into 1cm chunks
  3. Crack 4 eggs into a bowl and whisk.
  4. Add eggs, and feta, and stir the mixture as the eggs scramble, season with salt and pepper
  5. When the eggs are cooked to your liking serve up with toast, (this is also delicious with crispy bacon if you’re a meat eater)

Ugandan Rolex

A friend randomly asked me one day if I had ever tried a Ugandan Rolex. I have to say I was a bit taken back. If I’m totally truthful I was afraid it was one of those weird sex things you read about in the urban dictionary. Turns out it was quite innocent, and I apparently have a filthy mind.

A Ugandan Rolex is a super quick and tasty vegetarian street food from Uganda, and Rolex bits comes from rolled eggs. Fresh vegetables cooked in a thin omelette and wrapped in chapati, it’s that simple. The ingredients are mixed up in a cup before frying (street vendors don’t have the time or work space for multiple bowls and utensils). This really is fuel for the whole day.

All the ingredients are mixed in a large mug.

So you now you know, if someone offers you a Ugandan Rolex you don’t need to looked shocked or possibly disappointed!

Serves 1

Ingredients

1 Chapati

1 Tbsp Cabbage (finely chopped)

1 Tbsp Grated carrot

1 Tbsp Tomato (finely chopped, I had cherry tomatoes in the fridge, but regular tomatoes work just as well)

1 Tbsp Onion (finely chopped, I used scallions/spring onions, but either works well as long as they’re finely sliced)

1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil

2 Large eggs

Make a thin omlettein a large flat bottomed pan.

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan
  2. Add the vegetables to a large mug, and crack in 2 eggs and stir
  3. Pour the eggs and vegetables into the pan, and cook until set on one side
  4. Carefully turn the egg mixture and cook for a minute on the other side (if it breaks don’t worry, it’s getting wrapped up anyway)
  5. Top with a chapati, and turn out on to a plate before wrapping it up tightly and scoffing

Asian Slaw

I could eat this everyday, it’s a glorious mixture of crunchy fresh vegetables, chilli heat, and creamy peanut butter.

Perfect for vegetarians and vegans, it’s goes well with fried tempeh, or in wraps or sandwiches. For meat eaters it’s delicious as a side dish with chicken or steak or to add crunch to a burger.

Asian Slaw

Ingredients

Handful of finely sliced white cabbage

1/2 Red pepper

1 Small carrot (grated)

50 Grams Endame beans (I use frozen ones that I defrost first)

5 Radishes (finely sliced)

Small handful of finely sliced sugar snap peas

1 Tbsp Sesame seeds

1 Finely sliced red chilli pepper

2 Tbsps peanut butter

1 Tbsp White wine vinegar

Method

  1. In a dry pan, toast the sesame seeds until they start to brown, and set to one side
  2. Combine the sliced vegetables in a large bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl combine the peanut butter and vinegar, mix well
  4. Mix the peanut butter dressing in with the vegetables and sprinkle with the sesame seeds and mix well

Veggie Fried Rice

Some nights you just can’t face cooking, when this is the case, this is the dinner for you. I can never judge how much rice to make, and always have extra rice left over. This is a great way to use up that left over rice and takes less than 10 minutes to make.

Serves 2

250 Grams Boiled long grain rice (cold)

2 Scallions /spring onions (sliced)

50 Grams Button Mushrooms (sliced)

50 Grams Frozen peas (thawed)

2 Eggs

2 Cloves of garlic (minced)

1/4 Tsp Dried chilli flakes

1 Tbsp Grated ginger

2 Tbsp Soy sauce

1 Tbsp Sesame oil

2 Tbsp Oil for frying (something without a strong flavour like sunflower oil)

Method

  1. Heat the oil for frying in a large frying pan or wok
  2. Add the vegetables, and cook for 2 minutes, then add the ginger, garlic, and chilli flakes and cook for a further minute
  3. Add the rice to the pan, and cook for a 1-2 minutes, before adding the sesame oil, and soy sauce. Make sure the rice is piping hot
  4. Crack 2 eggs into the pan and stir the entire mixture until the egg is cooked and little flecks of cooked egg appear. Eat right away

Mushroom, hazelnut and gorgonzla tart

A bit more “rustic” than I planned, but I put it down to me trying to make pastry with nuts in it. Save yourself the time and energy and use shop bought short crust pastry. It’s what I plan to do next time.  This recipe might be best saved for the weekend, as it’s a bit more labour intensive, but it’s well worth the trouble, (I had to stop myself eating half of it).

If you’re a vegetarian cooking for meat eaters, they’ll love this. The rich and unctuous filling feels really meaty, and unlike a lot of tarts isn’t too eggy.  This is delicious hot or cold.

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

1 Sheet of ready made short crust pastry

2 Onions (thinly sliced)

1 Tbsp Chopped rosemary

3 Cloves of garlic (finely chopped)

1 Tbsp Olive oil

25 Grams Dried porcini mushrooms, (soaked in 50 ml of hot water)

200 Grams Button mushrooms (sliced)

50 Grams Gorgonzola (sliced)

50 Grams Hazelnuts (chopped)

2 Eggs

150 Ml Double Cream

Salt and pepper

Method

  1. Grease a 23 cm loose based flan tin, roll you pastry until thin and line the tin, (chill in the fridge for 30 minutes)
  2. Put the porcini mushrooms in a bowl with 50ml of warm water and allow to soak
  3. Take your flan tin out of the fridge and over the base with grease proof paper and add baking beans on top, (I use old lentils that had been hanging about). Bake blind in an oven heated to 180 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove the grease proof paper and baking beans, and bake for a further 5 minutes, before removing from the oven
  4. While the pastry is baking add the olive oil and onions to a large heated frying pan. Turn down the heat and cook gently for 10 minutes
  5. Add the button mushrooms, garlic and rosemary to the pan and cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring occasionally
  6. Add the porcini mushrooms and the water they were soaking in to the pan. Cook over a medium heat until all the liquid has evaporated, and leave to cool
  7. Put a baking sheet in the oven to heat (the temperature should be 180 degrees again)
  8. When the mushroom mix is completely cool, spread it evenly across the pastry base
  9. Distribute the gorgonzola on top of the mushroom mix
  10. Beat 2 Eggs, and add to the cream, season with salt and pepper, pour into the tart case and sprinkle chopped hazelnuts across the top
  11. Put the filled tart tin on to the heated baking sheet in the oven and bake for 35 minutes until the centre is set
  12. Allow to cool in the tin for 5-10 minutes before cutting

Aubergine and Pesto Bake

I came home from work, and had lots of bits and pieces in the fridge that needed used up. I rustled this up, and it was pretty quick and tasty. You can switch up the ingredients based on what you have rattling around the fridge.

Serves 2
Ingredients

1 Aubergine

1 onion

150 Grams Mushrooms

2 Cloves of garlic

3 Tbsp Olive oil

1/2 Jar of pesto

500 Grams Passata

50 Grams Parmesan

50 Grams Mozzarella

Method

  1. Slice the aubergine into thin slices, and brush with olive oil before adding to a frying pan.
  2. Cook the slices for 2-3 minutes on each side over a medium heat until they start to colour
  3. In a separate pan add 1tbsp of oil, fry the chopped onion, mushrooms and garlic until soft
  4. Add the passata and simmer until the sauce thickens
  5. In an oven proof dish add a layer of the tomato sauce, add a layer of the aubergine slices
  6. Spread a thin layer of pesto and cheese on top of this
  7. Repeat these layers until you run out of ingredients
  8. Bake at 200 degrees for 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted