Now I've written about guacamole before; but that was over 4 years ago and my slightly titivated recipe has since become our favorite. There really is no excuse for not making your own guacamole; it's so very easy to make and is nothing like the shop bought pureed green stuff you can buy in a supermarket. What's more, avocado is packed with nutrients - so go on and give it a go!
I've added red pepper as well as tomato since I love the extra bright red the diced pepper adds.
With Christmas and New Year parties coming up impress your guests with your homemade guacamole - Tortilla chips at the ready and dive in!
These are truly delicious, tasty and juicy little morsels. They have a lovely sticky glaze to them due
to the addition of mango chutney in the mixture. Although these patties
or mini burgers are spicy, I'd class them as nowhere near hot, but of course
you can add more heat simply by adding more chilli.
Simply the best guacamole ever - once you make this you will never buy it ready made from a supermarket again. This recipe by Thomasina Miers from her book 'Mexican Food Made Simple' takes minutes to make and tastes amazing.
Flavours of lime and chilli with tomato, red onion are perfectly balanced.
Salsa is the perfect side dish to my cheesy topped spicy potato wedges - recipe to follow. Slight cooking involved in this as you have to char your peppers! Roasting them till they're nicely charred results in soft, sweet and delicious peppers.
Of course roasted peppers can be used in whatever else you fancy - you don't have to make salsa with them.
A nice bit of charring going on there, I think you'll agree?
Salsa doesn't need to be really spicy hot - but personally I can't quite see why you wouldn't want it at least a bit spicy.
To make one small dish - will serve 2 to 4: 200ml TOTAL Greek yoghurt - don't get low fat stuff for this it won't be as nice a small handful of fresh coriander - leaves only and chopped 1 red chilli of medium heat - seeded and finely chopped 1 spring onion - finely chopped salt and black pepper to taste
How to do it: Keep back a little chopped coriander and chilli to garnish. In a small bowl, stir the yoghurt and add the coriander, chilli and spring onion. Stir, add tiny a bit of salt and some freshly ground black pepper - give it another stir and it's done! If you're not going to use it straight away then cover with cling film and stick it in the fridge till later (use the same day though). Top with the small amount of coriander and chilli you held back.
Mix the mayonnaise, lime zest and juice, lemon juice together. Stir in the chopped chillies, a little at a time, until you get the taste that's right for you. Mix in a little black pepper and your all done.
I just love Greek food! I had a fit in my head yesterday and I 'needed' to make Greek foodie things. I think you might have noticed by now that Moussaka is one of my favourites, which I do believe, I have now perfected!
Remember my first attempt to make cheese saganaki a while back? Well, I tried and failed - for some reason I decided that it must be deep fried (wrong)! All the batter went to the top of the fryer and the cheese, well most of it sank to the bottom and the result was a huge mess.
Anyway, you live and learn! This second attempt of mine was much better. I just dipped the feta into egg, then into seasoned flour, then egg and flour again and shallow fried it........Success!
Ever since I had the Greek dip Htipiti I loved it! I found the recipe from Peter over at 'Kalofagas' so I thank Peter for that. His recipe can be found here.
It involves char grilling one or more chili peppers - depending on how much dip you are making. I think mine were more than charred!
The result is one yummy dip.
Then onto my perfected Moussaka! I would like to someday use Kefalotiri cheese, but haven't been able to get it - not even in Waitrose! I have no idea what the difference would be though, if any.
To serve 4-6 you will need: 2 tablespoons of olive oil 2 to 3 large potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch thick rounds 1 large aubergine, sliced into thin rounds 12 Kalamata olives - finely chopped 500g minced lamb - get the best you can with a low fat content 1 x 400g can of good quality chopped tomatoes 140ml of red wine 1 large onion - peeled and chopped 2 nice fat cloves of garlic - finely chopped
1 tablespoon dried oregano 1 teaspoons dried basil 1/2 a teaspoon of dried mint 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon 3 tablespoons of tomato puree 1 large handful of Romano or Parmesan cheese sea salt and black pepper to taste
For the Béchamel Sauce: 50g butter - melted 500ml of hot milk 4 tablespoons plain flour 2 eggs - lightly beaten a good handful grated Romano Cheese (about 3/4 cup)or Parmesan 1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg salt to taste (about 1/4 teaspoon)
How to do it: Brush the aubergine with a little olive oil. Now fry them in a large pan a few at a time until they are cooked. Remove and set aside. Heat the oil in a large pan and saute the onion and garlic until soft but not coloured. Now add the lamb and cook until it's lightly browned. Stir in the tomato puree and cook it for about a minute.
Add the wine and cook until it has reduced slightly. Add the oregano, basil, mint and cinnamon, olives and the can of tomatoes including the juice. Cook on a low heat for about 30 minutes, until the mixture thickens. Have a taste and season with sea slat and black pepper. Now put the sliced potatoes into cold water. Bring to the boil and then turn down; simmer partly covered for about 6 minutes or when you can easily insert a knife. Run them under cold water, drain and pat dry with kitchen paper and set aside. Lightly oil a largish baking dish, mine is probably about 9x9 inches and about 3 inches deep.
Arrange a layer of potatoes over the bottom. Now put a layer of meat sauce and a layer of aubergine, sprinkle with some cheese and then do another layer of meat sauce followed by a layer of aubergine.
The Bechamel Sauce: In saucepan melt the butter over medium-low heat and stir in the flour with a wooden spoon and cook the mixture for a couple of minutes and add the salt. Now at this point, take it off the heat and add the hot milk whilst using a balloon whisk to mix it but you need to keep that whisk going! Now let it cool a bit and then, add the eggs and grated cheese and keep whisking until it turns into this lovely smooth sauce. Mix in the ground nutmeg. Taste a smidgen of it if you dare (remembering there are raw eggs in it) just to see if it needs any more salt.
Pour the sauce over the top and sprinkle with a little more cheese. Top with a little sprinkling of nutmeg.
Bake in a Preheated oven at 175C/350F Gas 4 for about 40 minutes until the top is golden brown and it is hot piping hot in the middle. Meanwhile I made a Greek salad.
I found this in the Sainsbury's magazine and thought it looked interesting!
It would go with an Indian meal, but I'm not too sure what else!.......Any ideas?
This makes a 500g jar.
You will need:
1 Large Lemon
1 Bulb of Garlic
3 Tablespoons of Vegetable Oil
1 Good Pinch of Brown Mustard Seeds
1 inch of Fresh Ginger, peeled and finely chopped
3/4 Teaspoon of Hot Chili Powder
1/2 Teaspoon of Turmeric
A Splash of White Wine Vinegar
How to do it:
Cut the lemon and limes into quarters and remove their seeds, before chopping them into quarter inch pieces.
Cut the garlic in half across the bulb so that each clove is cut in half.
Heat the oil in a frying pan. Add the garlic halves - cut side down and fry gently for 5 minutes. Until you can pinch the skin off easily with your fingers.
Remove the skin and return the garlic to the pan, add the mustard seeds.When they being to pop add the ginger, chili and turmeric. Fry the mixture together for a few seconds. Now add the vinegar, lemon and lime. Stir everything together. Take off the heat.
Leave to cool, then you can store in the fridge until you need it, it will last up to a week.
I made some Raita with a huge dollop of 'Total' Greek yogurt, some diced cucumber and a small amount of Rose Harissa, which gave it a nice colour and a slight heat......... Dada - A 'sort of' Raita!! Served with Onion Bhajis and some Samosas.