Friday, 29 May 2009

Grilled Lamb with Couscous and Cucumber Yoghurt Salad

Grilled Lamb Kebab 

600 g lamb shoulder, trimmed boned, cut into 1-inch pieces 
2 large garlic cloves, crushed 
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves 
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves 
1 teaspoon cumin powder 
1 teaspoon black pepper 
Pinch cayenne pepper 
Coarse sea salt 
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 
juice from 1/2 lemon 
6 metal skewers 

Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat) or preheat broiler. 

In a food processor fitted with a metal blade add the garlic, rosemary, thyme, cayenne, cumin, black pepper and salt. Pulse until combined. Pour in olive oil and pulse into a paste. Rub the paste and lemon juice on the lamb and let them marinate for at least 1 hour in the refrigerator. Remove from refrigerator and allow the lamb to come to room temperature. 

Thread lamb on skewers, leaving 1/2-inch space between each piece. 
Grill or broil lamb until crusty brown outside but still pink inside, turning occasionally, about 8 minutes. Arrange skewers on plates and serve. 

Fruity Couscous 

2 cups couscous 
3 cups boiling hot chicken broth 
sun-blushed tomatoes, finely chopped 
dried apricot, chopped 
dried cranberries, chopped 
black olives, pitted and sliced 
fresh coriander, finely chopped 
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 

Put couscous and apricots, cranberries, tomatoes and olives in a large bowl. Stir 2 tablespoons olive oil into the boiling broth, pour over the couscous and set aside for 5 minutes. Fluff up the grains with a fork, stir in a handful chopped fresh coriander leaves and season. 

Cucumber Dill Yoghurt Salad 

1 cucumber, quartered, remove seeds and sliced 
2 tbsp chopped fresh dill 
1/2 cup yoghurt 
1 tbsp lemon juice 
salt and pepper 

Stir some more chopped fresh dill leaves and lemon juice into yogurt and season. 


Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Salmon with Soba and Shiitake Mushroom

Salmon with Soba and Shiitake Mushroom 

10 dried shiitake mushrooms 
3 cups stock, fish stock or vegetable stock 
Soy sauce to taste 
300g frozen peas 
Japanese soba noodles, cooked and tossed with 2 teaspoons sesame oil or canola oil 
Salmon fillet without skin, trimmed of fat and cut in four equal pieces 
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced 

Season salmon pieces with salt and black pepper. Fry in a shallow pan until lightly brown on all sides. Set aside. 

Place the dried mushrooms in a large bowl. Bring the stock to a simmer, and pour over the mushrooms. Let it sit for 30 minutes. Drain through a strainer set over a bowl, and squeeze the mushrooms over the strainer. Slice the mushroom caps, discarding the hard stems. Set aside. 

Return the stock to the saucepan, and bring to a simmer. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding soy sauce or salt as desired. Add the sliced mushrooms and peas, and simmer for five minutes. 

Add scallions to the simmering stock. Cover and turn off the heat. 

Place a piece of salmon on top of the noodles in each bowl. Ladle in the soup, taking care to evenly distribute the peas, mushrooms and scallions. Sprinkle on some fresh scallions, and serve. 

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Moist Date Cake

Moist Date Cake 

500g dates 
1 cup boiling water 
1/2 tsp baking soda 

185g butter 
2/3 cup sugar 
3 eggs 
1 3/4 cup flour 
1 tsp baking powder 
1/2 tsp baking soda 

Combine first 3 ingredients in a bowl. Leave it to cool. Once cool, remove stone from dates (if any) and pulverize the dates into mush using staff mixer or a blender. 

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. 
Beat in eggs one at a time, until combined. Add in the dates mixture. 
Lastly, add in the sifted dry ingredients. 

Spread into prepared pan and bake in moderate oven for 40 minutes.