September 24, 2013

Japanese Style Sautéed Aubergines

How pretty these aubergines were! I couldn’t resist them. With their long curvy shapes and light purple colour, they looked like dancing painted bodies. As they cook, they unfortunately lose their beautiful colour, but they are super tender and perfect to use in stir-fries. You could easily substitute them with baby aubergines if you can’t manage to get hold of this type. Here is an idea for a quick weekday supper.

Japanese Style Sautéed Aubergines – serves 2 as a main or 4 as a side
• 1tbsp coconut oil or groundnut oil
• 5 long and thin aubergines, sliced diagonally
• 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
• ½ chilli, seeded and finely chopped
• 1tbsp rice vinegar
• 2tbsp shoyu or other soy sauce
• White pepper
• 2tbsp black sesame seeds

1. Heat the coconut oil in a skillet. Add the aubergines and fry for about 10min, stirring with a wooden spoon so that they do not stick and burn. They should take the colour or traditional aubergines once cooked.
2. When the aubergines are cooked, add the garlic and chilli and fry for another minute. Add the rice vinegar, followed by the shoyu and a sprinkle of white pepper. Give it all a good stir and take off the heat. Sprinkle with black sesame seeds and serve with brown rice.

Aubergines Sautées à la Japonaise – pour 2 personnes en plat principal ou 4 personnes en accompagnement
• 1cs d’huile de noix de coco ou d’huile d’arachide
• 5 longues aubergines, coupées en tranches dans la diagonale
• 2 gousses d’ail, pelée et émincées
• ½ piment, égrainé et émincé
• 1cs de vinaigre de riz
• 2cs de shoyu ou autre sauce soja
• Poivre blanc
• 2cs de graines de sésame noires

1. Faire chauffer l’huile de noix de coco dans une poêle en fonte. Ajouter les aubergines et faire revenir pendant environ 10min, en mélangeant régulièrement de façon à ce qu’elles n’attachent pas. Elles devraient avoir la couleur des aubergines traditionnelles une fois cuites.
2. Ajouter l’ail, le piment et faire revenir pendant une minute. Ajouter le vinaigre de riz, la sauce shoyu et une pincée de poivre blanc. Bien mélanger et retirer du feu. Parsemer de graines de sésame noires et servir avec du riz complet.

September 15, 2013

Blackberry & Peach Raw Crumble

The early autumn is a forager’s paradise and it’s always worth taking a box, a bowl or a basket when going for a walk as you never know what you might stumble upon. Saying that, as we left in a bit of a rush yesterday morning, I forgot to take one with me. Later on in the day, as we started a beautiful walk along the river Dart, I regretted not to have a container with me. The hedgerows were bursting with blackberries. I still decided to make the most of it and soon enough my pockets were full of hazelnuts, my fingers stained and my mouth full. I couldn’t stop eating blackberries: every bush we saw, I was helping myself to handfuls of them telling Luke that I needed to get strength for the rest of the walk. I felt like a child, enjoying simple pleasures of life.

Here I’ve put together a no-bake kind of crumble, layering juicy fruits with nutty cinnamon crumbs and sultry cashew cream. You could keep the base of the recipe the same and use any kind of fruits you have to hand, but I have to say that blackberry and peaches make a great combo.

Blackberry & Peach Raw Crumble with Vanilla Cashew Cream – serves 4 to 6
• 100g Medjool dates, pitted
• 50g pecan nuts
• 50g walnuts
• 1tsp ground cinnamon
• 100g cashews, soaked for at least 30min
• 1tsp pure vanilla extract
• 1tbsp maple syrup
• Water
• 4 peaches, sliced
• 2 large handfuls of blackberries (wild ones if possible)

1. Place the dates, pecans, walnuts and cinnamon in a food processor and blend until it forms rough crumbs. Set aside.
2. Next, prepare the cashew cream by draining and rinsing the cashews and blending them with the vanilla extract, maple syrup and 3tbsp of water until you obtain a smooth cream. If needed add more water gradually until you reach the desired consistency (not too liquid but not too set).
3. To serve, layer the fruits, crumbs and cashew creams in glass jars or bowls and serve straight away or keep in the fridge until ready to eat.

Crumble Cru aux Mûres et Pêches et Crème Cajou-Vanille – pour 4 à 6 personnes
• 100g de dates Medjool, dénoyautées
• 50g de noix de pécan
• 50g de noix
• 1cc de cannelle en poudre
• 100g de noix de cajou, trempées pendant au moins 30min
• 1cc d’extrait de vanille
• 1cs de sirop d’érable
• Eau
• 4 pêches, coupées en fins quartiers
• 2 grosses poignées de mûres (sauvages si possible)

1. Mettre les dates, noix de pécan, noix et cannelle dans un robot et mixer jusqu’à l’obtention de miettes grossières.
2. Ensuite, préparer la crème, en égouttant les noix de cajou et les rinçant, puis en les mixant avec l’extrait de vanille, le sirop d’érable et 3cs d’eau jusqu’à l’obtention d’une crème onctueuse. Si nécessaire, ajouter de l’eau, une cuillérée à la fois jusqu’à obtenir la consistance voulue (pas trop liquide ni trop épaisse).
3. Pour servir, arranger dans des verres ou petits bols les fruits en couches alternées avec les miettes et la crème. Servir de suite ou garder au frais en attendant.

September 08, 2013

Red Pepper Cold Soup

I’m writing this post sat in the living room of our new house. We’ve been busy packing, sorting and preparing for the move the past few weeks and I’ve found it hard keeping up posting on the blog, but finally I am back. We haven’t moved far away, only in the house next door to where we lived. It still feels like a change which I am embracing fully. Today I’d love to share a cold soup recipe before the weather gets too chilly to appreciate it. While Luke is definitely a warm soup person, I do love cold ones in the summer. This soup is a sort of an adaptation of a gaspacho, though a lot thinner. I made it using my juicer, which made it the quickest soup you can ever make. It could also be drunk like a juice, directly in a glass.

PS: Follow us on Book of Wander, Luke and I have started a ’30 days of awesome’ challenge

Red Pepper Cold Soup – serves 4
• 3 red peppers, seeded
• 600g tomatoes
• 1 large cucumber
• 1 shallot, peeled
• A handful of basil
• ½ lime, peeled
• Salt and pepper
• 1tbsp white wine vinegar
• 2tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1. Put the peppers, tomatoes, cucumber, shallot, basil and lime through a juicer and juice (you might need to do this in batches).
2. Season with salt, pepper, vinegar and olive oil.
3. Best eaten straight away but can be kept covered in the fridge until the next day.

Soupe Froide de Poivrons Rouges – pour 4 personnes
• 3 poivrons rouges, épépinés
• 600g de tomates
• 1 gros concombre
• 1 échalote, pelée
• Une poignée de basilic
• ½ citron vert, pelé
• Sel et poivre
• 1cs de vinaigre de vin blanc
• 2cs d’huile d’olive extra vierge

1. Passer les poivrons, tomates, concombre, échalote, basilic et citron vert dans un extracteur de jus (il sera peut être nécessaire de le faire en plusieurs fois).
2. Assaisonner avec du sel, du poivre, le vinaigre et l’huile d’olive.
3. Manger/boire de suite, ou peut se garder couvert au réfrigérateur jusqu’au lendemain.