Category Archives: Very Easy

Recipe: Thai Yellow Soup

Hmmm a traditional Thai soup recipe? Hell to the no! This is anything but. I came up with the idea for this recipe after an experiment in making Thai chicken curry. The chilli I used for the curry was a little lacking in the heat department and as a result I ended up with a curry that had almost no heat.

It still made for a fantastic tasting dish, just not what was originally intended. The lack of heat meant that all the other herbs and spices were able to come through in full force. Which led me to thinking about what else I could use similar flavours in because they are so great together.

This is the first of those ideas to make it to the “perfected recipe” stage and it’s a butternut squash and sweet potato soup of sorts but that doesn’t really make for a snappy title so given the inspiration and appearance I’m calling it Thai Yellow Soup.


Thai Yellow Soup garnished with a sprig of basil and a dash of truffle oil
Thai Yellow Soup garnished with a sprig of basil and a dash of truffle oil

Ingredients;

1 x onion, diced
1 x carrot, diced
2 x sticks of celery, diced
2 x cloves of garlic, finely diced
quarter of a chilli, diced
Thumb sized piece of ginger, finely diced or grated
Pinch of ground coriander
Pinch of ground cumin
1 x butternut squash, diced
2 x sweet potatoes, diced
Veg or chicken stock
1 x star anise
1 x handful of fresh coriander
1 x handful of fresh basil
1 x handful of fresh mint


Place a large saucepan over a medium high heat, once it has warmed add a little oil, just enough so that you can slow fry the onion until it is soft, then add the carrot and continue to gently fry until they start to soften.

Next you want to add the celery, garlic, chilli, ginger, ground coriander and ground cumin. stir it all together and continue to fry for about a minute this should be long enough to warm and release the fragrance of the garlic, ginger, coriander and cumin.

Add the butternut squash and the sweet potato to the pot and stir together. Add enough stock to cover all the contents. Drop in the star anise, fresh basil, coriander and mint, then stir and bring it to the boil. Simmer gently for 30 Р40 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the sweet potato and butternut squash start to break up as you stir remove the soup from the heat and blend until you have a smooth pur̩e.

Return this to a low heat. Then taste and season. If you are happy with the consistency of the soup you can proceed to the eating phase, if not, you could thin it by stirring in boiling water or by adding milk or cream.

I like to serve this soup drizzled with a little truffle oil for added decadence and a crusty bread roll is a great accompaniment to any soup.

Recipe: Honey and Soy Grilled Rainbow Trout

Honey and Soy Grilled Rainbow Trout
Honey and Soy Grilled Rainbow Trout

Ingredients;

3 Tablespoons Dark Soy Sauce
4 Tablespoons Honey
4 Tablespoons White wine Vinegar
1 Tablespoons water
2 x Rainbow Trout Fillets

Serves 2


For an island nation we eat a pathetically small amount of fish and most of what we do eat comes from the frozen food aisle in the supermarket. This recipe is very easy to prepare and cook, it’s quicker and tastier than a lot of those frozen options, so give it a go!

To make the marinade/sauce just mix the soy sauce, honey, white wine vinegar and water together.

Place the trout fillets skin side down in a container just big enough to them fit them flat and side by side, then pour on the marinade mixture, making sure the fish are completely covered and leave to marinade for at least twenty minutes. Don’t add all the honey soy mixture as you’ll want to keep some to use as a sauce/dip.

While the fish are marinating, turn your grill on to its highest setting and allow it to warm up. Then prepare a grill tray for the fish. You want a flat grill tray with raised sides, the height of the fish should be fine but you want the base to be as close as possible to the size of your fillets. If your tray is larger than you can make a smaller tray to sit inside your regular grill tray from tin foil.

Once the fish have marinated for at least 20 minutes remove them from the marinade and place them in your grill tray, then pour the marinate over the fish so that it coats them but only comes about half way up the fillets. Next, put it under the grill for about 5-8 minutes, depending on the thickness, until cooked through.

In the picture above I have served the fish on a braised rice pilaf made like this recipe with a finely chopped stalk of lemongrass added instead of the turmeric, this gives a wonderful delicate lemon flavour that complements the fish. I then poured some of the sauce over the fish before sprinkling some chopped spring onion on top and garnishing with a lime. Nyomtastic :)

Recipe: How to poach an egg

Poached Egg
Poached Egg

Ingredients;


1 egg
4 tablespoons of distilled malt vinegar
Water


Place a saucepan on a high heat and add about 2 inches deep of water to it. Add the vinegar and bring to the boil.

While the water is heating, crack the egg into a small bowl. And set your timer for 3 minutes.

Once the water has come to the boil reduce the heat so the water remains just below boiling point.

With a slotted spoon, stir the water to create a vortex in the centre of the saucepan, then quickly pour the egg into the centre of the vortex and start your timer.

Once the 3 minutes are up, use the slotted spoon to remove and drain the now poached egg and serve – for example on a slice of ham on toast, garnished with balsamic vinegar and some dry herbs.

Recipe: How to hard boil an egg

Hard Boiled Egg
Hard Boiled Egg ready to be mashed for egg mayonnaise

Ingredients;

1 Egg
water


This is very handy thing to do as we are now in the summer months, a hard-boiled egg is a great way to add flavour and protein to even the simplest of salads, or for making egg salad for sandwiches or egg mayonnaise.

Fill a saucepan with enough water to fully submerge the egg but do not put the egg in the water yet. Place the saucepan on the heat and bring to the boil. While the water is coming to the boil get a kitchen timer or use the countdown timer on your mobile phone to set a timer for 8 minutes.

Once the water comes to the boil reduce it to a simmer, use a slotted spoon or spider to lower the egg into the water. If you drop the egg in, there is a good chance that it will crack on the base of the saucepan and you will have to start again. Once the egg is in the water start your countdown timer.

I’ve said 8 minutes as this usually provides a good result for me. However if you are using large eggs you may need a little longer and smaller eggs will need a little less time, but the only way to be certain is trial and error.

While you are waiting fill a large bowl or basin of cold water, the colder the better and as soon as the timer goes, you want to lift the egg out of the saucepan and plunge it directly into the cold water. The idea here is to cool the egg as quick as possible.

This serves two purposes, first, it stops the egg cooking immediately and second it prevents that black ring forming around the yoke of the egg which spoils the look and flavour of your hard-boiled egg.

Once the egg has cooled simply roll it across a hard surface with enough downward pressure to crack the shell. Then just peel off the shell and your hard-boiled egg is ready to use.

Recipe: Rice Krispie Squares

Rice Krispie Squares
Rice Krispie Squares

Ingredients;

5 oz butter, chopped into chunks
5 Mars bars, chopped into roughly 1cm slices
5 mugs of Rice Krispies
500g Chocolate (mix of dark & milk)


Line a large baking tin with overlapping pieces of clingfilm, ensuring that all parts of the interior are covered.

Place the butter and sliced Mars bars in a large Pyrex (glass) bowl and place this into a suitably-sized saucepan (the bowl should not touch the bottom, and leave space for 2 inches of water). Bring the water to a strong simmer and melt the butter & Mars bars, stirring occasionally. Once it has all melted, stir continuously until the the melted butter is absorbed into the rest – be patient, it will “come together” eventually.

Lift the bowl off the saucepan and add in 5 mugfuls of Rice Krispies. Stir this well, but gently, until all the Rice Krispies are coated and no lumps of the melted mixture remain. Pour / spoon into your baking tin and gently smooth out until even.

Wash your Pyrex bowl, dry and place back on the saucepan of water. Break up the chocolate into the bowl and melt over simmering water. Once melted and smooth, pour over the Rice Krispies. It’s best to use a soft spatula so that you can scrape out as much of the chocolate as possible. Tip the baking tray back and forward until the base layer is evenly covered.

Cover with a tea towel and leave in a cool place to set (varies from 2 – 24 hours, dependent on season/temperature). Do NOT refrigerate as this will make the Rice Krispie layer go soggy.

Cut with a sharp knife and store in an air tight container (old biscuit tins are perfect), will keep for up to 7 days – but I bet they won’t last that long!