Easter Time With Feastforfamine Friends

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Easter is a time of celebration. It’s celebrated across the World with many traditions spanning centuries. It is also a time to spend with family and friends and a fun time for children and some adults with the mass production of Easter eggs, Easter egg hunts, bonnet making and, of course, the Easter Bunny!

As part of Feastforfamines’ philosophy to celebrate food from all corners of the world, I’d like to share with you some of the lovely foodie traditions that have been passed on to me. There are new recipes to enjoy as well, such as an Afghan twist on one of my own traditions – roast lamb Inspired by Afghanistan: Spiced Slow Cooked Lamb, Carrot, Almond, Tumeric and Sultana Rice with Carrot Yogurt

So let’s start with Spain and a dessert that my friend Victoria tells me is synonymous with Easter – ‘Torrijas’. Torrijas are a cross between Eggy Bread and French Toast, which means you could also enjoy these as a lovely Easter Brunch too. Have a look at how to make these delicious treats here: https://youtu.be/iRaAEmyY6ig

My friend Angela has said that in Poland, Easter is bigger than Christmas when it comes to celebrating, and it sounds like they have a huge amount of fun. Easter greeting cards are sent, children turn their hands to egg painting , lambs made from sugar adorn family tables and there are no shortage of water fights!! Festive Easter dishes include Babka Bread and a wonderful Polish cheesecake which I have on good authority tastes even better if you add some booze soaked cherries on top. You can find Angela’s favourite cheesecake recipe here: http://allrecipes.co.uk/recipe/41676/polish-style-vanilla-cheesecake.aspx

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Over to Russia where Sasha has told me that, like in many other parts of the World, fasting is a common practice at this time. Here, it culminates in much eating of the cake Paskha, a cheesecake made using traditional moulds. Have a look at one way of making it here: https://www.whats4eats.com/desserts/paskha-recipe There is also a creative tradition here too, with eggs dyed in vibrant colours and cookies decorated .

In Portugal, my friend Cesar tells me that some families cook ‘Cabrito’, a roasted goat dish, which brings to mind my own memories of Easter as a child. A variation of this recipe may use lamb instead of goat and can be stewed in red wine, rather than roasting. It’s also enjoyed at Christmas time. If you’d like to read more about it, have a look here: https://catavino.net/recipes/portuguese-recipe-cabrito-assado-roasted-goat/

Children still enjoy Easter Eggs in Portugal, but they also like to share sugared almonds and ‘torroes’, which are coloured sugar cubes. Cesar likes to prepare a crab mousse for him and his family at this time of year. It’s a simple dish but takes a lot of time, so a perfect treat when you have a long weekend to cook, he combines all the meat from the crab with boiled eggs and pickles and I was also luckily enough try it this weekend, it was delicious!

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Speaking of crab, but moving to a warmer climate, my friend Nathalie tells me there is a wonderful tradition in Martinique where a crab dish called Matoutou is made and taken to share on the beach. The recipe involves cooking a whole crab with rice, chives, onions, garlic, tomatoes, allspice leaves, chilli pepper, lemon, cloves and a spice called Colombo powder, all left to simmer until cooked. In Martinique crab is such a popular dish at this time of year they also hold a Crab Fair in Le Vauclin.

Now for my own memories of sweet Easter Treats. Did any of you ever make those little Easter nests at school? Or at home? I still make them now with my daughter. They’re easy to prepare, cute and delicious.

I also like to make biscuits and cookies around this time, and recently made Easter Bunnies with Hazelnut Noses. You can find the recipe here: https://wordpress.com/post/feastforfamine.blog/397

I think that most people would agree there is a lot of chocolate consumed at Easter time! But did you know that the Ivory Coast is one of the biggest producers of the cocoa bean in the World? I decided to have a go at making some sweet treats inspired by the Ivory Coast a recipe which I will share with you all soon!

So spring is here, the Easter egg hunt is on and whatever your traditions are at this time of year, I hope you have fun cooking some amazing treats this weekend.

Inspired by Afghanistan: Spiced Slow Cooked Lamb, Carrot, Almond, Tumeric and Sultana Rice with Carrot Yogurt

Afgan Lamb

Try something different with lamb this Spring…you won’t regret it!

Serves: 6

Prep: 30-40mins
Cook: 3 hours plus marinading time

Ingredients: For the Lamb; 2kg leg of lamb, 1 tsp of turmeric, 1 tsp cumin seeds, 1 tsp, salt, 2 garlic cloves, 1 tsp cinnamon,  1 carrot, 125g natural or greek yogurt, 200ml water

For the Carrot Yogurt Sauce: 250g greek or natural yogurt

For the Rice: Rice 1 large cup of dried basmati rice, 1 tsp. turmeric, 1 cinnamon stick, 2 carrots, 2 tbsps. sultanas, 1 – 2 tbsp. toasted almonds, 1 tbsp. olive oil, pinch of salt

Method

  1. Make your marinade for the lamb, place the peeled garlic cloves in a pestle and mortar and add the turmeric, cumin seeds, cinnamon and salt and mix to a paste
  2. Add the paste to the yogurt, mix well and cover the lamb in the mixture and set aside in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight
  3. Preheat  your oven to 150F
  4. Peel and slice the carrot and place under the lamb leg
  5. Add 200ml of water, cover with foil and cook in the oven for 3 hours
  6. For the last 15min of cooking time take the foil off and then place back in the oven
  7. Roughly 30mins before you want to serve the lamb make the rice
  8. Cook 1 large cup of rice to two parts water, add to this 1 tsp. of turmeric and 1 cinnamon stick,  (you can follow packet instructions or what I normally do is bring the rice to the boil and then simmer lid on for 10mins until all the water is absorbed)
  9. Once cooked, leave the rice to cool slightly while you peel and grate two carrots, and toast the almonds
  10. Add  1 tbsp. of olive oil to a pan and lightly cook the carrots and sultanas for a few minutes
  11. Add to this the rice and a good pinch of salt and half of your toasted almonds, warm through and set aside until ready to serve
  12. Once your lamb is cooked, take the sliced carrot from the bottom of the baking tray and add to a saucepan on a medium heat with 250g of yogurt and 4 tbsps. of juices from the lamb
  13. Bring to the boil then turn the heat off and blitz all in a food processor
  14. Plate up your lamb, by placing the rice underneath, lamb on top, with some more of the lamb juices if you wish and scatter over those almonds!
  15. Serve the spiced carrot yogurt on the side
  16. Enjoy on first sitting and on second sitting using up all those delicious spicy lamb leftovers!

In Afghanistan, Save The Children are working to support the rights of Children, especially girls, who have previously gone without basic education. Young girls are also at risk of exploitation, marriage at a young age and abuse.  Boys are also often recruited to armed groups to support their families. In spite of the dangers, Save The Children are there on the ground working to improve health and education, working with communities and religious leaders to effect change.  To find out more take a look at the following link:

https://www.savethechildren.org.uk/where-we-work/asia/afghanistan

And if you’d like to make a donation via this blog, please visit my Just Giving Page, by clicking here Just Giving

Thanks x

Need Some Heat This Weekend? Then Try This Green Sauce…

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I already shared this recipe as part of the Inspired by Peru – Chicken, Black Rice, Green Sauce and Avocado Salad on Monday, but this sauce is sooooo good, I thought it deserved a post in its own right! It goes well with so many things; steak, chicken, fish, sweet potato, topping off jacket potatoes with yogurt or sour cream, or basically anything that you want to add some heat too, so here’s the recipe again…

Serves: 2
Prep: 5mins/no cook

Ingredients: 2 tbsp. olive oil, 1 garlic clove, 1/2 green chilli, tsp oregano (fresh or dried), tsp. of jalepeano (jarred) peppers, juice of 1 lime, pinch of salt.

Method

  1. Chop, peel and thinly slice the garlic clove add to this the jalapeno peppers, oil, chilli, oregano, the lime juice and pinch of salt and stir well
  2. Add to everything!

Enjoy x

 

Inspired by Peru – Chicken, Black Rice, Green Sauce and Avocado Salad

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The Green Sauce used here is so tasty you’ll want to add it to everything!

Serves 2 Main Course

Prep: 20mins
Cook: 30mins (plus marinating time)

Ingredients: For the chicken; 2 chicken breasts (skin removed), 1/2 tsp. of cumin seeds, 1/2 green chilli, 1 garlic clove (peeled and chopped), 1/2 tsp. paprika, 1 tbsp of olive oil

For the Black Rice; 1 cup of black rice, 1 chicken stock cube, handful of spring onions

For the Salad; 1 Avocado, 2 tbsps. of sweetcorn, 1 large tomato, squeeze of lime juice

For the Green Sauce; 2 tbsp. olive oil, 1 garlic clove, 1/2 green chilli, tsp oregano (fresh or dried), tsp. of jalepeano (jarred) peppers, juice of 1 lime, pinch of salt.

Method

  1. Mix all the ingredients for the chicken marinade, cut the chickens into strips and marinate in the mixture overnight or for as long as possible
  2. Meanwhile cooked the black rice as per instructions (these may vary by brand), and substitute one cup of the water for one cup of chicken stock. Once the rice is cooked, add the chopped spring onions and set aside
  3. Grill the chicken under a pre-heated grill for 20mins turning half way through
  4. Prepare your salad by peeling the skin of the tomato, (honestly this works and makes its own juice for the rest of the salad!), chop and mix with chopped avocado and sweetcorn adding in the lime juice before stirring
  5. Now for the sauce… chop, peel and thinly slice the garlic clove add to this the jalapeno peppers, oil, chilli, oregano, the lime juice and pinch of salt and stir well
  6. Assemble all ingredients and drizzle the chicken with the green sauce*

*You can make the green sauce first and set aside until you are ready to serve.

In Peru, children living in poor rural areas are dying, in part due to poor information and healthcare provisions, Save the Children are working with government to share better information about childcare to save lives, to find out more please visit their website: https://www.savethechildren.org.uk/where-we-work/south-central-america/peru

If you would like to make a monetary donation please visit the link: https://justgiving.com/fundraising/Feastforfamine

Thanks x

Syrian Inspired Fruit Salad

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The use of watermelon makes this dish so juicy, even better if the watermelons been in the fridge! Great for breakfast, brunch, snack or for dessert, especially after a BBQ…

Serves 1 (just add larger quantities of all ingredients to make for more people)

Ingredients: 1/4 watermelon, 2 figs (black or green), tbsp fresh pomegranate seeds, tbsp. greek or natural yogurt, tsp honey, a few crush pistachios.

Method:

  1. Cut all ingredients up to your liking
  2. Crush the pistachios
  3. Plate up all the fruit, add the tbsp of greek or natural yogurt, scatter over the pomegranate seeds, drizzle the honey and crushed pistachios over the top and enjoy!

Friday marked the eighth year of the war in Syria, millions are now living as refugees, resorting to eating animal feed and leaves to survive. Thousands of children have been killed and many of those surviving are separated from their families and are living with severe injuries as a result of this brutal conflict. Save The Children are working tirelessly to help those still in Syria, to find out more, please visit the link: https://www.savethechildren.org.uk/where-we-work/middle-east/syria

If you would like to make a monetary donation please visit the link: https://justgiving.com/fundraising/Feastforfamine

Thanks x

Inspired by Syria – Garlicky Roasted Courgette and Carrot, Honey, Cumin and Pine Nut Dips

Serves 2 – 4 as a starter, snack or part of a meze platter.

Roasted Courgette and Garlic Dip

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 30mins

Ingredients: 1 large courgette or two smaller ones, 2 cloves of garlic, 3 tbsps. of olive oil, 1 tbsp. of tahini paste, juice of half a lemon.

Method

  1. Pre-heat oven to 220F
  2. Chop the courgette into chunks, peel and thinly slice your garlic cloves
  3. Place in an oven proof dish with 2 tbsps. of olive oil and mix well
  4. Pop in the oven for 30mins, turning after 15mins
  5. When cooked, places in a blender with the juice of half a lemon, 1 tbsp. of olive oil and 1 tbsp. of tahini
  6. Give it a quick blitz and serve warm straight away of leave to cool until ready to serve.

Carrot, Honey, Cumin and Pine Nut Dip

Prep: 5mins
Cook: 30mins

Ingredients: 2 large carrots, 2 tbsps. runny honey, 1 tbsp. of olive oil, 1 tsp. cumin powder, 1 tbsp. pine nuts.

Method

  1. Peel and slice the carrots,
  2. Place in a lidded pan with 1 tsp. of cumin powder, 2 tbsps. of honey and 1 tbsp. of water
  3. Pop the lid on and cook on a low heat for 25mins
  4. After 25mins take the lid off and cook for a further 5 mins
  5. Place the carrots and any remaining cooking liquid in a blender with 1 tbsp. of olive oil and blend to a chunky consistency – you don’t want baby food!
  6. Lightly toast 1 tbsp. of pine nuts
  7. Mix half of the pine nuts into your carrot dip and reserve the other half for garnish
  8. Eat straight away or leave to cool as part of a meze platter – I ate mine with some warmed pitta bread – yummy!!

Friday marked the eighth year of the war in Syria, millions are now living as refugees, resorting to eating animal feed and leaves to survive. Thousands of children have been killed and many of those surviving are separated from their families and are living with severe injuries as a result of this brutal conflict. Save The Children are working tirelessly to help those still in Syria, to find out more, please visit the link: https://www.savethechildren.org.uk/where-we-work/middle-east/syria

If you would like to make a monetary donation please visit the link: https://justgiving.com/fundraising/Feastforfamine

Thanks x

Inspired by Brazil Piri Piri Style Turkey Breast, Black Beans, Orange and Tomato Rice, Smashed Avocado and a Simple Salsa

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This is a lovely colourful dish, full of flavour!

Serves 2 – 4 as a main course

Prep: 20 mins plus one hour chilling time
Cook: 35mins

Ingredients
For the Piri Piri Turkey: 2 x turkey breast, 1 peeled clove of garlic, 1 tbsp. of olive oil, 1 heaped tsp of dried oregano, 1 tsp of paprika, 2 crushed dried chillies, 1 tsp white wine vinegar, pinch of salt

For the Black Beans: 1 large can of rinsed and drained black beans (drained weight 520g), 600ml of low sodium chicken stock cube, 1 clove of garlic, 1 cinnamon stick, 1 tsp of olive oil, 1 tsp of dried oregano.

For the Tomato and Orange Rice: 1 cup of dried rice to two parts water, juice of 1/2 orange, rind from the whole orange, 1 tsp. of tomato puree, salt and pepper, 1 tsp of butter.

For the Simple Salsa and Smashed Avocado: 8 cherry tomatoes, 2 tsp lemon juice, 1 tsp white wine vinegar, 1/2 tsp of dried oregano, 1 ripe avocado

Method

  1. Start by marinating your turkey breast, cut the turkey into strips and leave to one side
  2. In a pestle and mortar add your garlic clove, dried oregano, paprika, red chillies, pinch of salt and mix to a paste, add your white wine vinegar and olive oil and mix well
  3. Cover your turkey breasts in the mixture and leave in the fridge for a minimum of one hour
  4. To make your beans, heat olive oil in a lidded pan and add to this your garlic and cook gently for a few minutes, now add your beans and stir well, add the chicken stock, cinnamon stick and oregano, bring to the boil and simmer with the lid on for 30mins, stirring half way through the cooking time and adding a little more water if needed to stop the beans from sticking
  5. While the beans are cooking make your salsa and start your rice
  6. To make the salsa, chop your cherry tomatoes and mix with the lemon juice, white wine vinegar, and dried oregano, and put to one side
  7. For your rice, in a lidded pan, add one cup of rice to two parts cold water, to this add the juice and rind of 1/2 an orange and 1 tsp. of tomato puree and a pinch of salt
  8. Bring to the boil and then place the lid on and simmer for 10mins until all the water is absorbed, after 10 minutes turn the heat off but keep the lid on until ready to serve ( at least five minutes)
  9. Now to cook your turkey, heat a frying pan and cook your turkey for 3 – 5 minutes on each side
  10. Smash your avocado with a tsp of lemon juice
  11. Before serving, to your rice, add the other half of grated orange rind, 1 tsp of butter and season with some black pepper and extra salt depending on your taste
  12. To serve, add your rice and black beans to your plate or bowl, add your turkey breast and top with your smashed avocado, salsa and a squeeze or orange…Enjoy!

Although Brazil is the ninth largest economy in the World, many children are subject to poor education, health and natural disasters such as droughts and heavy rain, causing mudslides and severe flooding. Save The Children have been working in Brazil since 1991 to provide emergency relief and are working to improve the education and health of those in most need. To find out more, please visit: https://www.savethechildren.org.uk/where-we-work/south-central-america/brazil

If you would like to make a monetary donation, please visit the link: http://justgiving.com/fundraising/feastforfamine

Thanks x