Thursday, 19 December 2013

Asian Broth with Crispy Sea Bass

This is so simple, packed with a punchy heat and flavour, and the perfect antidote to the rich food we'll all be gorging on over Christmas. I often make a spicy broth at the end of a long day in the kitchen as it feels incredibly cleansing, takes minutes to make and can be easily adapted according to what is lingering in the fridge. Tonight I splashed out (excuse the pun!) and picked up some sea bass to make a more substantial but super healthy supper.

Serves 2

For the basic Asian broth:

  • Place a casserole dish on a low heat and melt 2 tbsp Coconut Oil. Throw in 1 Shallot, sliced, and gently cook until translucent. Next add in 1inch of sliced Ginger, 1 sliced Chilli (more or less depending how hot you like it), 1 bruised and chopped Lemongrass stalk and 1 large sliced Garlic Clove. Stir for a couple of minutes. Add in the chopped, bulb end of 4 Spring Onions, reserving the tops for later. 
  • Pour in 1 lire of Chicken Stock and bring to a simmer. Add 2 Tbsp Soy Sauce, 2 Tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar, 1 Tbsp Fish Stock, 1/2 Lime, juiced, and 1 Tbsp Honey.

And endless additions...

Greens like Pak Choi, Edamame, Spinach or even Sliced Fennel, along with the Spring Onion tops.
Any type of noodle
Strips of Organic Chicken added at the end take minutes to cook.
Crispy Skin Sea Bass or Salmon: Season and cook, skin side down, in a very hot pan with 1 Tbsp Coconut Oil for roughly 4 minutes (until the flesh is almost cooked), pressing it into the pan to get the skin very crisp. Squeeze half a lime onto the fish and then flip over and cook for 1 minute more. 

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Mostly eating: A poached egg on avocado toast...with marmite

This is so boring, I know, but a thing of beauty to me and my addiction. I never have much food at home but will always have at hand some nutty bread in the freezer, a box of free-range eggs (clarence court eggs have the goldest, richest yolk you can find outside of a farmyard) and some avocado - usually a quarter wrapped in foil in the fridge which my never ceases to weird-out my housemates! I add a, somewhat controversial, smear of marmite on my toast before the avocado. Trust me, if you love marmite, it is a heavenly combination. 

Sunday, 1 December 2013

The Raw Brownie

These beauties are amazing. At this time of year I crave chocolate and can easily eat my way through a dark slab, convincing myself that the high cocoa content will ward off a cold when in fact I just end up feeling lethargic. Not willing to surrender my chocolate habit, a change of tack was needed i.e. raw cocoa or ‘cacao’. Cacao gives you the same chocolate hit but with all the nutrients which haven’t been stripped by the heat in the process of making chocolate. Of course, pure cacoa is bitter like cocoa but when combined with sticky dates and nuts in this recipe it tastes as good (if not better) than a baked brownie: nutty, fudgy and very rich.

My recipe is adapted from Sarah Britton’s fab blog mynewroots,org who explains the health benefits of cacao brilliantly.  I added cashew nuts, almond butter and a slice of avocado for added creaminess to mine, but also toasted the nuts with salt which probably goes against the laws of raw but you get that delicious salted caramel effect. I also served it with yoghurt and then cacao nibs as I found their bitterness was the perfect counteract for the intense sweetness of the brownie.

Makes 12 large squares
  • In a food processor blitz 120g Cacao Powder with 200g Ground Almonds. Slowly add in 400g pitted Medjool Dates, 1 tbsp Almond Butter and 1/3 Avocado. The mix should make a course crumb which sticks together easily.
  • In a frying pan toast 120g chopped mixed cashews and walnuts with 1 tbsp Coconut Oil and 1 tsp Sea Salt. Cool, and mix into the cacao mixture.
  • Press into a rectangular dish lined with cling film. Refrigerate or place in the freezer which will make it easier to cut cleanly. Serve with cacao nibs, yoghurt or crème fraiche and a dusting of cacao powder.