Brussel Sprouts Re-Invented

When I arrived in New York you wouldn’t even imagine the list of restaurants, foods and treats that I wanted to try. Of course, as I started to tick these off I couldn’t help but recognize the sheer amount of BRUSSEL SPROUTS on the menu!! 
I’m not usually a fan, back in the UK, but my intrigue got the better of me. With a steak we had roasted BRUSSEL sprouts, charred with balsamic vinegar and slightly fried. They were delicious, and after quizzing the waiter on how they were prepared, I was able to re-invent for our first BBQ in the city. 

Roasted Brussel Sprouts (serves 2)

Ingredients:

– 2 handfuls of Brussel sprouts, peeled and halved

– 1 tbsp lemon juice

– 2 tbsp olive oil

– 1 tbsp of djon mustard

– 2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar

– salt and pepper

Method:

Once you’ve prepared your Brussel sprouts, toss them in olive oil and seasoning and roast in the oven (220c) for 30 minutes 


Once roasted, toss them with the mustard, lemon juice and balsamic vinegar before serving. 


Enjoy – after trying these, there’s no looking back!

American Pancakes in New York

Hello all….it’s been a while! 
You may have noticed my absence over the last couple of months, the reason being that I’ve been pretty busy relocating from London to New York!!

As well as being a very exciting time in my personal life, in my career, my domesticfoodgoddess blog is now going to receive an injection of the USA. Hopefully you’ll be looking forward to joining me on my adventure as I try new ingredients, new dishes and new flavours – making them for old and new friends alike! 

I’m going to start with a classic American breakfast – pancakes! 

  

Ingredients (serves 2) 

  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of granulated sugar (I used coconut sugar)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons butter (melted)
  • 1¼ cups semi-skimmed or almond milk
  • 1½ cups plain flour / all-purpose flour

Method

1. Mix the dry ingredients together (flour, baking powder, salt and sugar) 

2. Beat in the eggs, melted butter and milk

3. Heat your pan and if you need, add some butter to cook them (I’ve invested in a copper non-stick pan which means butter isn’t needed). Add a large spoonful of batter in the pan (remember the pancakes are meant to be thick) and let the pancake cook for about a minute. Flip and once cooked, repeat. 

 

4. Pile them high, then add two large tablespoons of non-fat plain Greek yoghurt, a handful of raspberries and finish with some maple syrup. 

  

Enjoy! 

A Day at The Michel Roux Jr Cookery School: Cactus Kitchens

I was recently invited to spend a day at Cactus Kitchen, a key member of the Roux Estate and if I was to summarise in one sentence – Cactus Kitchens exceeded expectations in every way!   
I’d heard great things and am of course a huge fan of Michel Roux Jr but when the address I was given was off a side street in Clapham High Street, I was relatively apprehensive. 
However, as I made my way through the huge turquoise door a cosy, renovated house was revealed and straight away I was made to feel welcome. 

Firstly, we were given a tour of the Saturday Kitchen studio tour (yes they film James Martin there every week too!) and it looked just like what you see on TV and it’s fully functioning. I was busting to get my name on the Omelette Challenge Board, and excitingly I was told that is a possibility if I came back on the Saturday kitchen tour (that’s now well and truly on my Xmas list!)

  
We made our way upstairs to the cookery school, were seated, given an apron, fed some fresh and crumbly pastries and energised with coffee and tea. We were told about the history of the kitchens, our day, the chef we’d be learning from and most importantly what was on the menu. 

Starter: Poached salmon with a salad of lentils, orange & watercress served with salsa verde

Main Course: Duck breast served with wild mushrooms, roasted shallots and red wine sauce

Dessert: Caramelised banana soufflé with chocolate sauce and peanut butter ice cream

My mouth was watering at this point and I couldn’t wait to get started. After being taken to the kitchen on the top story of the house, it was time to meet our chef – Toby Stuart. 

Toby Stuart has been working in the kitchens since 1994, initially trained by Gordon Ramsay and now a very firm fixture of the Roux family. He had a genuine passion and love for food and cooking, the whole class were excited just listening to him. 

  
The way the day ran was that Toby would present and demonstrate how to make the dish and then we’d go away to our well-kept cookery areas, where all the ingredients were laid out! Lesson number one – a tidy work place means a structured chef! 

   
 
The initial building blocks that we made were the banana soufflé base, which was then put aside, and then the lentils. 
  
The starter we made was a light salad, filled with cooked lentils and a citrus dressing and topped wire perfectly fish stock poached salmon. The salsa verde, so fresh and herby, topped off a very tasty first course. 

  
Then onto main course – after cleaning all the wild mushrooms for the ragu, and slowly roasting the banana shallots and duck this exquisite dish could be served. The best advice was making sure I re-used the duck fat for the different components, so that taste wasn’t lost! Also, always add a sprinkle of lemon juice to your red wine jus!   

  

  
And finally on to dessert. This was one of the first times I’d made a soufflé, and I was quite panicky that it wouldn’t rise! But we seemed to have a fool-proof recipe. 

  

  
I love the idea of serving these on the table fresh out the oven and dressing them on the dining room table in front of your guests. Using your spoon to put chocolate sauce in the middle is an absolutely great shout as well! 

  
We ate each dish as a group, with all of them paired with the appropriate wine. It didn’t matter if you were there by yourself or as a group – there was a great atmosphere and buzz all day. 

I’m not going to give away the recipes and all the secrets because I sincerely believe that anyone with a passion for food and cooking should try this course out. Instead I’m going to share with you my highlights of why it’s the best cookery course I’ve been to, so far:

One of the key things I learnt was that to perfect a dinner party – you have to break your recipes into building blocks; with three dishes to make its not as simple as following the recipes in sequential order. 

Therefore, during the course you’re not just taught how to make 3 fantastic and well-matched dishes which then become your speciality (although I’m not sure anyone would complain if you whipped up this menu everytime they came round!!) Instead the course teaches you how to be a better all-round cook. This was the first time the theory around “building blocks” has been shared with me – and I can now see how you can tie some of the concepts we were taught, into many dishes going forwards. 

Based on these building blocks, here’s what I’ve made over the last few weeks:
– Seabass with new potatoes and salsa verde

– Omelette with salsa verde and goats cheese

– Poached salmon with grilled asparagus

– Fillet steak with red wine jus 

– Simple chocolate cake served with chocolate sauce and banana ice cream 

Further proof that what is taught can’t only be executed on the day – I remade the duck main course the Saturday after school and it turned out perfectly. 
   
 

I’m trying out the full 3 course menu in a couple of weeks, for 6 people! I’ll let you know how that goes.

Overall, this was a fantastic experience and I’d recommend it to any foodie – no matter your cooking experience. Thanks Cactus Kitchens. 

White Chocolate, Raspberry and Yoghurt Brownies

If someone offered you a brownie with less than 70 calories in it, I’m sure you’d snap their hand off – obviously with the apprehension that nothing with that few calories could taste that good! 

  
I’ll be the first to admit that they don’t taste exactly like my favourite blonde brownie but you can’t deny that they taste really good! These brownies are sticky and moist and definitely help your sweet tooth cravings – but don’t eat them all at once!!

Ingredients (makes 21): 

  • 1.5 cup nonfat greek yogurt (0%)
  • 0.5 cup skim milk
  • 0.5 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup porridge oats
  • 0.5 cup white chocolate chips
  • 0.5 cup raspberries
  • 1 cup sweetener (should pour like sugar) 
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp baking powder

Recipe:

This recipe doesn’t take too long! If you haven’t already invested in a measuring cup set then try these ones from Amazon

Firstly, put all the ingredients, apart from the chocolate chips, into the blender and whizz until smooth. 

Pour into a greaseproof-lined baking tin. 

  
Stir in the chocolate chunks

  
Put in the oven at 200c for 25 minutes, checking that it doesn’t burn.

Once cooked, let it cool completely and then cook into 21 squares. 
  
Serve and enjoy! 

 

Chipotle Chicken with Guacamole

This is another one of those great one-pot wonders! Little mess, fabulous taste. I adopted this from the recipe in Sainsbury’s Magazine. 

It definitely beats anything you’ll get in a chain tex-mex / mexican restaurant and less than 500 calories. 

Ingredients (Serves 2): 

Chipotle Chicken

  • 400g chicken thigh fillets
  • 400g chopped tomatoes
  • 400g can of black-eyed beans (drained)
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 red chilli
  • 2 tbsp spicy chipotle paste
  • 2 tbsp cumin
  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 2 cloves of garlic (diced)
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 300ml chicken stock

Guacamole

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • Handful of coriander
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 red chilli

Recipe:

  • Dice your pepper, chilli and garlic    
  • Season the chicken thigh fillets and brown the fillets  over a high heat – once browned, put aside  
  • Cook the peppers, garlic and chilli until they start to brown  
  • Add the seasoning, cumin, paprika, cocoa powder and chipotle paste to the peppers  
  • Mix in the chicken, making sure it’s completely coated in the spices  
  • Add the tomatoes, black eyed beans and chicken stock into the dish. Leave to simmer for about 45 minutes in the casserole dish on top of the stove  
  • After about 35 minutes it’s time to make the chunky guacamole. Scoop out the insides of the guacamole and chop into smaller pieces. Mix with chopped coriander, lime and 1 more red chilli   
  • Serve the chicken thigh fillets on the bed of beans and pepper  
  • Garnish with the chunky guacamole   
  • Add a dollop of sour cream if you please!

Enjoy!!! 


Turkey, Avocado and Parmesan Meatballs

Meatballs are all the craze right now, and after visiting a Meatball ‘only’ restaurant in London not that long ago I decided to re-create a heathier version. 

The avocado and parmesan gives you the creamy, cheesy flavour texture that most crave whilst on a diet and the flaxseeds give the meatballs that little extra crunch you normally get from breadcrumbs. So when you’re fancying some comfort food – try these instead, they won’t disappoint!

I chose to cook the meatballs in the slow cooker and served them with a tomato sauce and pasta; but you can pan-fry these and serve with a salad, vegetables, potatoes or wahtever takes your fancy!

Ingredients (Serves 4):

Meatballs:

  • 500g 2% fat turkey mince
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • 1 cup flaxseeds (replacement for breadcrumbs
  • Seasoning

To Serve: 

  • 4 portions of wholewheat pasta
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • Seasoning
  • Grated parmesan

Recipe:

Simply add the turkey mince, parmesan, flaxseeds, seasoning and avocado into a bowl and mix together, so there is a consistent level of ingredeints throughout the mix.  

  

Once the mixture is starting to form (add a drop of olive oil if not forming) break into 12 even sized pieces. Using the palm of your hands roll the mixture into balls. 
  

  

If you’re going down the slow cooker method, simply place the meatballs into the bowl and pour the can of chopped tomatoes on-top. Let this cook away for about 5 hours and your meatballs will be very tender!

  
  

Once ready, simply serve over cooked, fresh pasta and add a little grated parmesan. 

 

Golden Syrup Muffins

Cupcakes continue to steal all the limelight, but sometimes the sponge is the best bit! These golden syrup muffins are light, fluffy, moist and sticky all at the same time and are a great treat on a Sunday afternoon! 

Ingredients

  • 250g self raising flour
  • 100g golden caster sugar 
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 65g margarine 
  • 8 tablespoons of golden syrup 
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp of vanilla extract 
  • 160ml semi-skimmed milk
  • 8 tulip muffin cases

Recipe 

Mix all of the dry ingredients together (flour, sugar and baking powder).  

Melt the butter and mix this with the beaten egg, milk and golden syrup.

   

Pour the egg mix into the dry ingredients and lightly mix until you have a smooth mixture. 

Spoon a large tablespoon of mixture into the muffin case. 

  
Add one teaspoon of golden syrup on top of the mixture. Run the teaspoon under hot water before you start – it makes the syrup easier to work with. 

  

Cover with another tablespoon of mixture.

  

Bake in the oven for 35 minutes, until they are golden brown. Enjoy warm!

  

   
 

Peri Peri Chicken Pasta

Peri peri sauce and of course Nandos is becoming ever more popular in the UK; the place to go for your chicken fix. I love the taste, but fancied trying it in a slightly different format.

I based this dish on a pasta dish I enjoyed in Portugal earlier this year. 

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 4 inches cooking chorizo
  • 100ml Nando’s Peri Peri Sauce
  • 150ml single cream
  • 12 cherry tomatoes on the vine 
  • 250g fresh pasta 

Recipe 

Keeping your tomatoes on the vine, place on to a baking tray, drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place them into the oven for 20 minutes at 180c.    

    

Whilst the tomatoes are roasting, cut your chicken into chunks and then stir fry on a high heat, for 5 minutes until the chicken starts to brown. 

Cut your chorizo into chunks and stir fry for 2 minutes. 

    
Stir in the Nando’s Peri-Peri sauce and cream, then let this simmer for about 5 minutes and reduce slightly. 

  
Season with salt and pepper, to taste. 

Cook your fresh pasta by placing it in boiling water for 2-3 minutes (or as directed). 

Once the pasta is cooked, drain and plate up. Ladle the chicken and sauce over the pasta. 

Take the tomatoes out of the oven and cut the vine in half. Place tomatoes on top of the dish, and serve.

  

Chocolate and Banana Protein Pancakes

Protein pancakes are a great way to enjoy your protein intake after a big workout, when you have a little more time on your hands. 

I use MyProtein as find its the tastiest and most impactful protein. 

Ingredients (serves 1)

  • 40g of chocolate brownie MyProtein (about 1.5 scoops)
  • 2 tbsp of oats  
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 2 egg whites
  • 4 tbsp of almond milk 
  • 1/2 banana and a tbsp of Nutella to serve

Recipe

Put all of the ingredients into a blender and mix until you have a smoothie like consistency.   

Let your frying pan heat up and then use coconut oil to grease your pan. 

Pour in a thin covering of pancake mix, then wait until the pancake begins to bubble. Use a spatula to make sure that the pancake doesn’t stick. 

   
 Turn it over and cook until both sides are golden brown. 

  
Repeat 3 times and stack on a plate.  

Put a tbsp of Nutella into the microwave for 30 seconds so it melts a little, then pour over the top pancake. Finally add some chopped banana on top and indulge (healthily)!   

Kinder Bueno Cupcakes

The Kinder Bueno: a smooth mix of hazelnut cream and wafer encompassed in a white or milk chocolate covering. It is also another one of my sisters favourite chocolate bars and therefore the theme for this years birthday cupcakes. 

There’s quite a few components to the Bueno, so I had to carefully think about how I would re-create each bit in a cake. The cupcakes have a white chocolate cake mixture, to resemble the wafer, with a dollop of Nutella in the middle. The Nutella buttercream icing has the same smooth hazelnut texture that we all thoroughly enjoy as part of the Bueno! 

The ingredients and recipe are similar to what I’ve used for, but create a completely different cupcake experience. 

Ingredients  

 

  • 175g margarine
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 150g self raising flour
  • 2 sachets of Options white chocolate powder
  • 4-5 tablespoons of Nutella
  • 100g butter 
  • 100g cream cheese
  • 600g icing sugar
  • 1 Kinder Bueno white
  • 1 Kinder Bueno milk

Recipe

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180degrees
  • Cream together the margarine and caster sugar, until pale and fluffy   
  • Add the white chocolate powder and mix in  
  • Add a little bit of flour and an egg, then mix. Repeat with all eggs and flour until you have a smooth and consistent mix    
  • Add 1 tablespoon of mixture into each of the cupcake cases  
  • Add 1 teaspoon of Nutella on top of this mixture   
  • Finally, add a generous half tablespoon of the mixture on top of the Nutella, making sure it’s fully covered    
  • Put into the oven for 14 minutes 
  • Whilst the cupcakes are baking, make the Nutella buttercream icing for on top of the cupcakes
  • Mix together the butter and cream cheese until you have a consistent mixture, then add 3 tablespoons of Nutella  
  • Add the icing sugar a little bit at a time, mixing until the icing can hold itself. The best test for this is to take a spoonful of the mixture and raising it high – see if the mixture easily falls! It shouldn’t!   
  • Once your cupcakes have cooked and cooled, pipe the icing on top of the cupcake      
  • Finally, add a piece of either white or milk kinder bueno as decoration   
  • Serve and enjoy! I recently purchased this great Le Crueset cake stand that does the job perfectly!