Tag Archives: Bread crumbs

Buttering up with a butternut soup

18 Jan


London is in its typical winter mood. Icy cold, a bite in the wind that you cant shake off and that ongoing darkness. This will be something that our friends happily forgot when they moved back from Spain to London. True to my style, I wasn’t too happy to go outside today, seeing its weekend and all and its freezing!!!

butternut pieces

Glancing at my little vegetable stand, I had two butternuts peeking at me. Butternut soup? When last did we have that?! Well, needless to say, I just had to mention “butternut”t to the big old lion and he was sold!  I can’t say the same for my friend Franco. When I mentioned it, he half-heartedly pulled a face and mentioned that it is not really one of his favourites. I can tell you one thing, he ended up asking for seconds. I didn’t even manage to photograph the soup, it was finished before I got the chance to do so. New things DO happen daily in London! Just ask my new soup fan!

whole vegetables

Butternut, orange and coconut soup

2 butternuts, peeled and roughly chopped

Teaspoon olive oil

2 red onions, roughly chopped

1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin

250ml coconut cream or coconut milk

500ml chicken stock

juice of half an orange

1 teaspoon chopped garlic

salt & pepper to taste

red onion, vegetables, butternut soup

Gently fry the onions in the olive oil until soft and sweet. Add the butternut, salt, pepper and cumin. Mix through for about 5 minutes while it cooks and infuses with the onions.

chopped vegetables

Add the chicken stock. Allow to boil until the butternut is nice and soft.

coconut cream and stock

Now, add your coconut cream and mix through.

crushed garlic

Finally, add your orange juice, mix through. Blend till smooth with stick blender or blender.



Serve with a squiggle of fresh cream drizzled in the soup and some warm, crusty bread.



Mashed like a fishcake

5 Aug

…..is what I feel like today. Yesterday’s blog didn’t happen – I blame it on the buses that never arrived, which caused me to walk home. I also have to add that I was wearing tights, a VERY short dress and shoes that I won’t say won the award for most comfortable walk. As I took my long and lonely walk home, I became irritated. I just want to get off the train, get on the bus and get home. Imagine my facial expression when someone whistled at me! In that split second that it took to think about the face I was going to make and what I was going to say, I saw an extremely dashing and handsome young man across the street.

It was fate, we met across the street from each other, each one on the corner ;-p  What I wouldn’t do to get his phone number! As it turns out, I have it already! Along with this happiness, I saw a mischievous GLARE coming from the hubby’s face! He knew if it was anyone else whistling at me I would blow my top. This little surprise naturally improved my mood. How blessed I am to be so in love with my very handsome husband. “What a dashing young lad”, as my neighbour Ave (who has a huge crush on the hubby by the way) would often say.

Needless to say, I rustled up a very quick pasta, sorry guys, I will make it again and take photos and post. So last night I was “woman down”.  In better terms, exhausted. The life was sucked out of me and I still feel like this today. And so enters….. the mashed up fish cake! My mood, my brain and my body! So which better route to take than to eat some fish and hopefully you will have the speed and strength of a tuna to carry on ;-p

Of course, there are easier and quicker ways to enjoy a fish cake, but alas, the hubby wont even touch it. Home-made, however is a completely different story. Also, if you think how difficult it is to catch tuna, I suppose it shouldn’t be too easy to prepare and eat it:  “It’s hard to catch one, but it’s my favourite kind of fishing,” says Robby Coad of Edgartown, a commercial fisherman and charter captain. Tuna have incredible vision, Robby explains, and they’re fast. “They can swim over fifty miles an hour, so it’s easy to lose them, especially when they’re on the line and scared. It’s hard to do and you don’t get them every time you go.”

I also think it will give a different take on tinned tuna, using them for fishcakes. It tastes great, fresh, and healthy and it is affordable. How often does one enjoy fresh, home made fishcakes? As often as one finds fresh tuna in the shops and that is never! ;-p So, as they say, there is always a first. Let’s hope I don’t make it the last! I’m going to do a slightly different take on the tuna fishcakes than one normally would. I am going to use butter beans as a base. You can use mashed potato as well, but I think butter beans might add a lovely flavour. To make this easier, create a little station at your preparation area in a row. Start your row with a bowl of flour, then a bowl with 2 eggs, beaten and lastly, a bowl with breadcrumbs. From there you can just put your fishcakes in the frying pan.

Salsa style tuna fish cakes

½ can of butter beans, drained

1 1/2 tablespoons of mayonnaise

½ red onion, roughly chopped

handful of coriander, roughly chopped

1 teaspoon of cumin

1 teaspoon of olive oil

1 can of tuna (chunks)

Half a chilli, roughly chopped and deseeded

Clove of garlic

2 eggs, beaten

Breadcrumbs for dipping

Flour for dipping

Salt & pepper to taste

Sunflower oil for frying


2 sweetcorn cobs

1 tablespoon of butter


bunch of asparagus

1 teaspoon of garlic

1 teaspoon of butter

1 teaspoon of lemon juice

1 tablespoon of dry white wine


handful of roasted cherry tomatoes

1/2 red onion, finely chopped

1 teaspoon of capers

Handful of coriander, roughly chopped

1 tablespoon of red wine/malt vinegar

4 slices of cucumber, finely chopped

Take your butter beans, tuna, chilli,onion, cumin, olive oil,coriander, mayonnaise and garlic and mix until fine, but not complete mush, in a processor. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Make little “patties” with your hands and put them through your prepared station. Coat both sides with flour. Dip in the egg and now dip in the breadcrumbs. Do the same with the res of the mixture and place in the fridge.

Boil water and cook your corn for 8-10 minutes.While this is cooking, start with your asparagus.Melt your butter in a pan, add the garlic and fry cook your asparagus. Add your white wine and lemon juice. Flavour with salt and pepper. Take your cooked corn, drain, cut them from the cob, mix through with butter and season to taste.

For the salsa, mix everything together, season with salt and pepper and allow to stand. Now, heat a frying pan and add your sunflower oil. Fry each side of your tuna cakes till they are golden brown and place in a bowl with a paper towl.

Now dish up onto a plate and top with your salsa. Serve with sweetcorn and cous cous, or simply on it’s own 🙂

Moving = chaos

4 Apr

Hello to all the normal people with the neat and clean houses. My name is Nadia and I am here to tell you that I hate moving! Yes, this is the reason why I have not been able to spend time on my beautiful, beloved blog!! It has been packing, moving, carrying, cleaning, unpacking! Let me tell you, this is no joke! Finally, after cleaning and trying to find a spot for everything, I thought I was going to start cooking. Not really! I have been building desks, walking down the street like a complete homeless person with so many boxes you can barely see my new “messy look” hairstyle peeking out from under there!

Now you can imagine this picture, walking down a very busy main road with boxes, boxes and more boxes – most people will start hearing that stupid song ” oh what a night” – I on the otherhand will start thinking what a terrible sight! There goes my new “stylish” hairstyle, now looking more like a homeless person’s hair not to have seen a hairbrush in ages!! Ok, moving on!!

The good news – I’m back!! Better news, 2 words – GAS STOVE!! This immediately equals happy eating, happy soul and weight gain ;-p It comes down to the fact that I really am in my element! Add my garden with freshly planted herbs, a beautiful, loving husband and a new spacious kitchen with wooden flooring = Bliss!! So lets get down to business!!

The hubby has a bit of a back problem at the moment. I think “a bit” might be an understatement! Poor thing, when your wife has to put on your socks for you, you really are in pain 😦 If I could I would carry him on my back ;-p Poor baby!! So I really wanted to cook him something nice to spoil him and make him feel better.

I know he would have preferred something like a slow roasted leg of lamb with roasted potatoes and a killer chocolate brownie for dessert, but alas, there were chicken breasts in the fridge, and to be honest, not anything else that will get the sparks going!! So I went with a crumbed chicken breast, filled with tomato pesto and roasted onions.

Yup, how booooooring!!  To be honest, in the end I think my poor baby’s back is so sore he didn’t care what he was eating, as long as it tasted nice, and I think it did!!  🙂 So here goes, lets hope my chicken dish improved a little bit of that backpain 🙂

1 big onion or 4 small shallots, cut into quarters, skin on

1 teaspoon of garlic

olive oil

1 egg beaten

2 Chicken breast fillets

3 tablespoons of tomato pesto

1 handful of fresh thyme

Bread crumbs

Get yourself an ovenproof dish and drizzle with olive oil and add the garlic. Now, cut your onions into quarters. Leave the skin on. Now rub the onion quarters ( skin up) around in your oven proof dish and spread the garlic around with it. Cut your chicken breast slightly in half while still leaving the opposite ends closed. Take your tomato pesto and put it inside the hollow part that you cut open.

Beat your egg. Take a brush and brush the chicken both sides and dip into your breadcrumbs. both sides. Now place this in your ovenproof dish.  Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with your thyme.

Bake in the oven for 35 – 40 minutes at 180 degrees. Enjoy with a salad and some rice 🙂

The lazy cook ….

7 Feb

Ok, as you all know, there were no posts last week. Let me explain.. I know it is almost unforgivable, but just give me a chance. Monday night I had to go and look at a few flats… we have to find a new home, with no screaming coming from kids, a garden space for my much awaited herb garden and space for my hubby’s computer factory! Yes, we have 5 computers in our house and I get a shiver down my spine each time he mentions his sister bringing a laptop for him from New York. Yes, it is the horrible truth! ;-p

So tuesday, I was a little bit unwell, so no cooking for me. If I am not cooking, you have to know that I am not feeling well. So , my hubby had soup that he bought from Sainsbury’s. Yes, the microwave meal. EEEEEEEEEK!! I feel like I have committed a terrible sin!! However, I made up for it on wednesday when a friend of mine from SA came for dinner. Unfortunately, due to him arriving at our doorstep exactly the same time that I got off the train, there were no pictures taken 😦  It was hard enough already trying to cook and talk and listen!! Multi-tasking is a possibility, but not always ;-p So I will grace you with this lazy recipe… but it does look quite impressive!! So enjoy  🙂

Crumbed chicken thighs with aubergine & mushrooms

1 pack of chicken thighs (deboned)

1 teaspoon of crushed garlic

Salt & Pepper

Juice of half a lemon

Olive oil

Fine bread crumbs ( the ones you buy in a little holder/sachet)

Dried thyme

1 aubergine, chopped in half circles

5 mushrooms chopped in quarters

cherry tomatoes on the vine

1 cup of bulgarian Yoghurt

Ok, get yourself a ovenproof dish, one that doubles up as a pretty serving dish. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celcius. Drizzle your ovenproof dish with olive oil and grind black pepper and salt in your dish and add the garlic. Toss in your aubergine and mushrooms. Toss them around so that they are slightly coated in the olive oil. Drizzle over a few pinches of  thyme. Pour your breadcrumbs into a shallow dish. Mix in a bit of thyme, just for that slight flavour.

Now take your chicken and dip it into the yoghurt so that it is evenly coated. Now transfer to your dish with the breadcrumbs and thyme and coat on both sides with the breadcrumbs. As soon as each one is coated all over, transfer them to the oven dish and place on top of the mushrooms and aubergine. Top off with the cherry tomatoes.  Now grind black pepper and salt over the chicken and drizzle with olive oil and your lemon juice. Place in the oven for 45 minutes. Keep an eye on it every now and then to check it doesn’t burn – my oven might be different than yours. While the chicken is cooking, make a bowl of rice to go with your chicken dish. This is where the other lazy part comes in, I used microwave Tilda Rice. Yes, punish me!! I can’t lie, I have to admit it. I just didn’t feel like making a huge bowl of rice. I cant eat rice, so the hubby will have to finish it all!! That’s my excuse for making a small packet of rice      ;-p     Enjoy!!