After the Turkey Malarkey, a Fish Quiche

What do you do when you’re in a post-turkey rut? When the leftover cranberry relish, stuffing and sweet potato gratin are no longer calling your name? (Or scarier still, are calling your name with one stalk in the grave?) (more…)

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November 29, 2010. Tags: , , , . Baked Goods, Breakfast, Dinners, Fish, Lunch, One-dish meals, winter. 2 comments.

Fish and Fennel Pie

This is a favorite recipe from Jamie Oliver, and one which Him Indoors had added to his repertoire a while ago. I don’t know why my husband picks the not-so-direct recipes for when he decides to cook. Such as risottos and then this one above, and excluding the baked beans on toast – excellent as well – which he occasionally produces with a flourish for a weekend lunch ūüėČ ¬†With the risottos, I gather that half the attraction is drinking the wine that’s meant to go into the pan, making the whole process very enjoyable for him, and no doubt, fortifying the reserves of patience he (and anyone) needs to cook a good risotto.

Perhaps this recipe may be of use for anyone leaning fish-wise and looking for ideas over Lent, when many try to abstain from luxury food. Although eating fish is a ‘hardship’ I would enjoy on a daily basis! To be absolutely strict, substitute fish or veg stock or milk for the cream, and eat a very small sliver of the final product (I dare you to stop there though).

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March 5, 2010. Tags: , . Baked Goods, British, Dinners, Fish, Mains, One-dish meals, winter. 9 comments.

Brussels Sprouts with Candied Pecans, Lime and Rosemary

Brought this over to Deb and David’s for Thanksgiving, where there was such an amazing spread of beautiful dishes and a majestic queen of a turkey.

I came up the recipe a day earlier, determined not to look at existing recipes because, let’s face it, I have never had a brussels sprouts dish that I enjoyed.

The sprouts have been sliced purely for aesthetic reasons, and were bought for the same reason – I spotted them sprouting fetchingly out of a long stalk at Trader Joe’s. (more…)

November 29, 2009. Tags: . Autumn, Festive, Salads, Vegetables, Vegetarian, winter. 1 comment.

One Calamity, But a Perfect Pastry Emerges

The pear and almond tart turned out so beautifully that I reproduced it at the weekend, but this time also did the pastry from scratch. I am a bit of a pie purist and truly believe that the effort of one’s hands makes for a tastier pie, and gives you control over the ingredients. As you probably know, one normally makes shortcrust pastry by cutting up cold butter into cubes, turning that into a breadcrumby mixture with sugar, processing everything with flour and a hint of salt, then possibly adding an egg yolk and/or water to bring it all together. This dough then sits in the fridge an hour to relax before it’s rolled out, placed in a tart pan, pricked with a fork and baked.

Enter the no-roll, no-fridge, no-processing, quick-mix pastry.

A friend in France said that she knew some baking types to bake the butter and sugar first when they prepare tart dough. I’m familiar with how you introduce heat to the making of choux pastry¬† (the butter is melted first with some sugar) but not for tarts, so I did some research and was intrigued by David Levovitz’s account of how he observed Paule Caillat, who teaches cooking in Paris, make tart dough by baking a butter/oil/sugar mixture in the oven for 15 minutes, then adding flour.

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November 25, 2009. Tags: . Autumn, Baked Goods, Desserts, winter. 1 comment.

Roasted Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

It was nostalgic cooking with butternut squash recently, a much-neglected activity since the early months of weaning both my children. It has literally been years since I have picked up this fruit, preferring instead to make pies, couscous, roasted veg dishes and soups with pumpkin instead.

Back in the day, I’d skin the Mr-Peanut-shaped, pale beige butternut, cube and steam it, then whizz it into the most attractive orange-colored (more…)

October 15, 2009. Tags: . Autumn, Festive, Gluten-free, Rosh Hashana, Soups, winter. 2 comments.

Carrot and Cummin Soup


The texture and colour of this soup is so appealing that I return to it often, whatever the season. Beef it up with some lentils and leave half the vegetables unpureed for a hearty meal with chunky bread. It’s easy to make and to vary, and I am finally attempting to pin it down in writing before I forget what’s gone into it!

  • carrots, 500g worth, tipped, skinned, sliced
  • tomato paste, 1 small can
  • lemon juice, of 1/2 lemon, plus zest
  • ground cummin, 3/4 tbsp
  • ground coriander, 1 tsp
  • leeks, 3, sliced
  • celery, 3, chopped
  • veg stock, about 600ml
  • tomatoes, 2, skinned and chopped
  • coriander leaves, handful
  • seasoning

  1. In about 2-3 tbsp of butter or olive or canola oil, saute the leeks and celery till tender
  2. Add the ground spices, stir till fragrant
  3. Add the carrots and tomatoes and a little stock, allow to soften
  4. Add stock and tomato paste
  5. Simmer for 30 minutes or until the veg are cooked
  6. Bung most of the soup’s solids, including half the coriander leaves, into a blender and puree
  7. Return to the pan, keep warm till it’s served
  8. Drizzle with oil or add a dollop of sour cream on top of each bowl of soup, and, if you wish, some chopped coriander.

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April 14, 2009. Tags: , . Autumn, Passover, Soups, Spring, Summer, Vegetables, Vegetarian, winter. 3 comments.

Mince Pies

This is the second fiddly recipe in a row but I couldn’t hold back – homemade mince pies are ever so yummy. I present a mini version because mincemeat is rather rich and they look sweet this way. These are a British festive offering, and the word ‘meat’ is reflective of the fact that traditionally, the filling contained suet, or raw beef or mutton fat.

Here, I don’t use any fat at all in the filling (because I clean forgot the butter!) but it has turned out beautifully. Many mince pie recipes use raisins, apples and spices but I include other flavours that I adore (citrus elements, ginger, dates, almonds, molasses). I omit the traditional rum because Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa and New Year are almost upon us – I won’t need the liquor to help these babies mature. In any case, they won’t last more than a day in this household!




For the filling:

  • raisins, 350g
  • Granny Smith apples, 2, skinned and grated
  • zest of 1 large orange
  • rind of same orange, chopped and cooked in simple syrup for ten minutes
  • candied lemon peel, 100g
  • candied red cherries, handful of, chopped
  • dried apricots, 80g, chopped
  • dates, 100g, chopped
  • ginger, fresh and grated, 3 tsp
  • brown sugar, 3/4 cup
  • molasses, 2 tbsp
  • orange juice, 3/4 cup
  • sliced almonds, 1/4 to 1/2 cup
  • ground cinnamon, 2-4 tsp
  • ground nutmeg, 2-3 tsp
  • butter, 50g (or not as the case may be)
  • rum, 2-3 tbsp (optional)
  1. Bung them all into a large pan and cook for about 25 mins, stirring occasionally
  2. The filling is done when the peels, apricot and raisins are soft and plumped up and everything has come together in a sticky, glossy mass
  3. Preheat the oven to 425F or 190C


For the pastry:

  • 500g plain flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 220-240g cold butter, cubed
  • cold water, as needed
  1. In a food processor, combine the flour and salt and pulse a few times
  2. Add the cubed butter and pulse till it resembles fine breadcrumbs
  3. Slowly add water by tablespoonfuls till pastry comes together
  4. Remove from processor and pat by hand into three or four discs, encase in plastic wrap and allow to rest in fridge for 10-20 minutes
  5. Remove the discs from the fridge and roll out on a floured clean surface till thin and pliable. I hardly needed flour as this dough isn’t sticky
  6. Use round, metal pastry cutters to cut out circles
  7. Place these in a greased (mini) tart pan
  8. Fill with mincemeat, then cut out stars or whatever shape you like for the tops
  9. Brush with egg, sprinkle with sugar crystals (the bigger the more attractive)
  10. Bake for 15 minutes till golden or slightly brown at the edges
  11. Hide them from the family if necessary!

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December 20, 2008. Tags: , . Baked Goods, British, Desserts, Festive, winter. Leave a comment.

Not Just Any Pumpkin Pie

I resisted baking pumpkin pies for many years because I found them too rich, too squashy or simply not worthy of plate licking. During our years in Canada, where a plethora of pumpkin varieties abounds in the fall, I decided to modify and build upon a basic 4-ingredient pie recipe (found on the back of a can of pureed pumpkin) and combined the result with an interesting crust for the popular winner here.

As the end result has proved excessively good, those keen to know more may contact me through this blog.

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November 17, 2008. Tags: , . Autumn, Baked Goods, Desserts, Festive, winter. 3 comments.

I‚Äôm back! With Corn Bread

It’s taken a while to settle in after moving to the US. I apologise for my absence, even as I vigorously resist replacing my s’s with z’s.¬†

Coming out of a 24-hour Yom Kippur fast, rather than avoid thoughts of food, I thought it appropriate to bake something sweet. Corn bread – which isn’t traditional Jewish fair but seems a quintessentially American one to revive my blog with – was the first thing that came to mind.

I was after a simple recipe to start with, corn bread not being something I had a lot of practise with in my previous lives elsewhere. I didn’t have to look far – Quaker had a handy one on their Yellow Corn Meal box which I present below. It’s quick, turned out quite attractively with a crunchy crust and definitely hit my vast, food-deprived spot!¬†

For variety, add cranberries, or a honey-and-nut topping or make it lighter by adding whisked egg whites at the end as described below. It was gorgeous served warm with lots of butter.
  • 1 1/4 cups plain flour
  • 3/4 cup Quaker enriched corn meal
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg, beaten
  1. Heat oven to 400F or 180C
  2. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl
  3. Whisk wet ones separately and pour into dry ingredients
  4. Stir till just combined
  5. Pour into 8 or 9-inch pan and bake for 20-25 mins or till a toothpick inserted comes out clean
  6. For a lighter cornbread, leave out the beaten egg from the wet ingredients and instead, whisk two egg whites to peaks and carefully carve into the rest of the batter before pouring into a pan and baking. 

(All text and photos or images are copyright protected. Please do not reprint any stories, recipes or photographs without the author’s permission.)

October 9, 2008. Tags: . Autumn, Baked Goods, Cakes, Sides, winter. Leave a comment.

Grilled Salmon with Soy and Coriander


Another family favourite and one of the easiest ways to do salmon. My cilantro plant had started to flower and I added some because it was pretty – the scent isn’t as strong and seems to please my younger son more this way.

  • salmon, filleted
  • soy sauce, good drizzling of
  • sesame oil, few scant splashes of
  • lemon juice, squeeze of 1/4 lemon
  • coriander or cilantro leaves

  1. On some aluminium foil, place the fish with all of the above
  2. Wrap up, leaving a bit of room to breathe
  3. Place in preheated 230C oven for about 8-9 mins
  4. The fish will be just done and beautifully moist
  5. Serve with salad , spuds and veg, or, my kids’ choice, rice and dhal (lentil curry)

July 17, 2008. Tags: , . Barbecue, Dinners, Fish, Grill, Kids Cuisine, Mains, Spring, Summer, winter. 2 comments.

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