Fava Flavours

Yotam Ottolenghi continues to blow my mind with his flavourful descriptions of his recipes in both the Guardian and the Waitrose Magazine.  Fava is a warm dip made from split peas.  It, served with breads, meats and cheese, made rounded out dinner for us a few weeks ago.

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Fava – Adapted from The Dish of the Month, Waitrose Magazine

3 large onions
300g yellow split peas
2 bay leaves
1/4 tsp tumeric
100ml olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsp lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
chives

Quarter one onion and, with the split peas, bay leaves and tumeric, add to a large saucepan.  Cover generously with water, bringing it to a boil, then reducing to simmer, cooking for one hour or until peas are soft.  You may need to add more water as the peas absorb it as they cook.  Strain the peas, discarding the onion, but be sure to keep the water they’ve cooked in.

While the peas cook, prepare the onions by slicing them into 0.5cm thick slices.  Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat.  Add the onions and cook until they are golden brown (roughly 15-20 minutes).

Blitz the peas in a food processor (or with an immersion blender), adding the garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper, olive oil, and 3 tbsp of cooking liquid.  Add chives and half the caramelised onion.  Serve warm, in a bowl topped with the remaining chives and caramelised onion.

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Fabulous Mates and Delicious Eats

I previously mentioned that we have had a new arrival on the scene.

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A legitimately British born baby!  While she kept us up all hours in those first few weeks we were lucky to be kept well fed by several good friends. On a daily basis delicious, homemade meals would appear at our door, often with a quick hug and a cuddle (baby cuddles, not expat cuddles).  It was so appreciated by both mr416expat and myself.  Several of my friends have shared their delicious recipes with me, and in order to avoid losing track of their tasty dishes, I’m going to blog about them here.

My fabulous friend Keren, who also recently became a mum (Thank you for paving the way Keren!!), brought us a wonderful Jamie Oliver Sausage Pasta recipe.  While Jamie makes this recipe a 30 minute recipe by using kitchen items such as the food processor to chop vegetables, I’ve gone the slow and steady route, chopping vegetables by hand.  Adapted from Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals this pasta sauce is flavourful and spicy.  Thank you Keren!Image

Spicy Sausage Pasta – Adapted from Jool’s Pregnant Pasta, Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 spring onions
1 carrot
1 stick of celery
1 or 2 fresh red chillies
6 sausages
1 heaped teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 500g pkg dried penne
4 cloves of garlic
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
a few sprigs of Greek basil, or regular basil

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat.  Dice the green onions, carrot, celery, and chillies.  Add to the frying pan.  Remove the sausage meat from the casing and add the meat to the frying pan.  Discard the casings.  Add the fennel and oregano to the frying pan.  Break up the sausage and mix in the vegetables and spices with a wooden spoon.  Prepare the penne.  Crush the garlic cloves into the pasta sauce.  Continue to stir and break up the sausage as it cooks.  Stir in the balsamic vinegar and chopped tomatoes.  Should the sauce become too thick, add some of the cooking water from the pasta.  Combine the sauce and cooked pasta, garnishing with basil (or in my case, parmesan cheese)

And with that, the British Baby (or BB) has woken up and I’m gone 🙂

Rhubarb is upon us!

Rhubarb is taken quite seriously in the UK.  The early spring helps push the season forward and results in rhubarb making its appearance in the grocery stores in late February and early March.  Give this twist on Rhubarb Crisp a try.

Rhubarb Compote with Greek Yoghurt and Crumble

1.2 kg rhubarb, cut into 2.5cm slices
130 g sugar
juice and zest from 1 orange
1 vanilla pod
Greek Yoghurt
70 g butter
100 g plain flour
3 tbsp brown sugar
water

Preheat the oven to 200C (400F).  Toss the ingredients together.  Spread out in a baking tray (with a ridge).  Bake for 20-25 minutes.  Remove from the oven, separating the rhubarb from the juice.  Put the juice in a small saucepan over high heat, boiling until reduced by half.  

While the rhubarb is reducing, rub together the butter and flour until they resemble coarse, fresh breadcrumbs.  Stir in the sugar, adding a few drops of water until you get an assortment of small crumbs and clusters.  Put the crumble on a parchment lined baking sheet, baking at 180C (150F) for approximately 10 minutes.  

To serve, put Greek yoghurt in the serving dish, top with rhubarb and crumble.  Enjoy