Monday, 27 October 2014

Green bean salad with a sesame-yoghurt dressing

It's been birthday season in my world. My attempt to make a cake for my boyfriend and his mum last week went disastrously wrong. The cake tasted fine (maybe more than fine), but I was in too much of a hurry making it, not present enough in that particular moment (been so busy recently) and the middle of it just fell out to leave a massive, gaping hole. I cut cupcakes out of it in order to save the day, then used the rest as a base for trifle. This dish ended up looking like something from the inside of a human body. Red jelly, rasberries and custard all melting together is never a good look. Though admittedly it also tasted very good. Birthday brunch for my brother, on the other hand, was a dream, which I will tell you about it next time. This green bean salad with a yoghurt, sesame dressing I made as part of my boy's birthday celebrations also turned out very well. Thank God. I was starting to worry that I'd lost my touch.
Blanche the green beans, runner beans and broccoli in salted water for about 5mins, then drain and cool under cold, running water. Slice the courgette very finely and toast the sesame seeds on a large frying pan. For the vinaigrette, I  used a small cup of greek bio yoghurt, some sesame oil, the juice of one lemon, with plenty of sea salt and black pepper. With it we ate roast sweet potatoes with garlic, rosemary and cherry tomatoes and some (organic) salmon fried in goats' butter with the skin fried first on a high heat to make it all crispy, and more lemon squeezed on top. Faith in self restored.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Roasted buckwheat with wild mushrooms and feta for busy days

As you may or may not have noticed my routine has gone out of the window recently. Flown away to another time and place, one where I didn't have a full time (if freelance) job and wasn't working nights and weekends on another creative project (which I am very excited about). I am still cooking and eating of course, and when the light is right, I still may take a picture or two, it's just that I haven't found the time to calmly sit down and write about it. It's not easy maintaining good habits when life suddenly switches gear from one to five. And it's even harder to find the motivation to start again, when you know that your failure to do so has already lost you half your readership. It's a catch 22. As are so many things in life I find... Yet here I am again. And here's the kind of food that helps me keep my energy levels up and constant at times like these...
It's tempting to stuff your face with the biscuits and cakes that are always readily available is offices. Especially when you're rushed, tired and the weather changes... All I can say is: don't. I've been there and it's another one of those pointless loops. We all need treats, but I suggest we should think carefully about what we believe is a genuine treat and what's going to end up harming us in some way. Buckwheat is delicious and wholesome in its simplicity. The roasted stuff you will find in a polish shop or the East European food section of your supermarket. We cook it like rice, only steam it for longer at the end of the cooking time. I used dried wild mushroom, rehydrating them before and using the water to cook the buckwheat too. You can use fresh mushrooms. Fry them with some onion and thyme, using a mild olive oil, while cooking buckwheat separately. Combine the two on the frying pan, and add feta chunks. Eat hot or cold as a salad for lunch, like you see up there, with a million radishes to stave off any colds and other infectious diseases that may be going round.