#TurkishByHJ – Tomato and almonds dip

Meze - Tomato & almond dip

Meze – Tomato & almond dip

Meze for 5 people

Including: Babaganoush, Broad beans hummus, Fresh tomato & almond Dip, Dolma and flat crusty breads.

Ingredients:

Tomato dip ingredients

Tomato dip ingredients

  • 10 small tomato (50p)
  • 10 leaves basil (59p)
  • 10g red onion
  • Salt
  • 10g roasted almond flakes
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 50ml groundnut oil or any other vegetable oil

Cost: From time to times, Lidl sells groundnut oil from 99p for 250ml during their Asian week promotion. I already had this oil, so didn’t need to buy some. For this dip, I only had to buy tomato and basil. I have flaked almonds left over from a previous recipe. They are essential to this recipe and they give it the dippy taste. This dip cost £1.09.

Method:

Cut the quantity of onion needed, peel, dice and place it in the blender. Rinse the tomatoes, quarter them and place them in the blender. Rinse and chop the basil, peel the garlic and add all in the blender as well as the almonds and groundnut oil. Put the lid on the blender and mince the content in 2-3 bursts.

This dip is not meant to be smooth and should still have visible bits in it…

Once you are satisfied with the consistency, pour in a serving bowl, cover with the cling film and chill.

Done.

Turkish Meze - 3 dips

Turkish Meze – 3 dips

Next, the dolma and flat bread.

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#Whats4Lunch – The hot combos 1

Tomato soup and salami baguette

Tomato soup and salami baguette

Soup and salami sandwich (total cost 39p)

Ingredients:

Tomato soup & salami baguette

Tomato soup & salami baguette

  • 1 sachet of tomato soup – 16p
  • Mini baguette – 7p (precooked at home)
  • 3 Salami slices – 10p
  • Butter
  • Boiling water

Method:

I am in the habit of buying precooked baguettes which I use for breakfast. Buying them in this way is much more economical and I only bake what I need. They come in packs of 4 mini rolls or 2 half baguettes and cost 40 pence in Lidl. They take 10 minutes to bake in the oven… while putting my makeup on or getting dressed. So, if I am getting my breakfast ready, I will just bake enough to include my lunch. Feel free to use English bread for an easier alternative.

Baguette, Butter, Salami

Baguette, Butter, Salami

For this lunch, my baguette is already precooked and cold. Slice it and spread with butter, then add 3 slices of salami. Pack in foil, place in the lunch box with the sachet of soup.

 

At lunch time, empty the content of the sachet of soup in a bowl or a mug. Boil enough water; the equivalent of a cup of tea and slowly pour over the soup while stirring quickly to avoid lumps. Leave to rest for 2-3 minutes, then enjoy with the baguette sandwich.

Enjoy!

Enjoy!

If the soup is too plain for you add some chilli flakes, salt and freshly grinded pepper.

Next up, Petit pois and smoked haddock.

#Whats4Lunch – The Salads 1

Mackerel Salad 1

Mackerel Salad 1

Smoked mackerel salad (total cost 90p)

Ingredients:

Salad ingredients

Salad ingredients

  • ¼ flaked smoked mackerel – 50p
  • 1 fresh medium tomato – 10p
  • 1/2 a whole lettuce gem – 10p (pack of 2 whole gems cost 37p)
  • 10 pieces of Italian mushroom antipasti – 20p
  • 1 leftover roast potato
  • Salt, dry garlic & black pepper

Method:

Separate the leaves from the lettuce and rinse off the earth on them. Cut roughly the leaves in 3 and set aside.

Rise and cut the tomato. Sprinkle it with freshly grinded pepper, salt and garlic Toss to combine and set aside.

Mackerel Salad 2

Mackerel Salad 2

Remove the mushroom needed from the jar.

Flake the portion of mackerel needed for the salad and check that there is not bones left in it. Set aside.

Mackerel Salad 3

Mackerel Salad 3

Since the salad is not being consumed immediately, place all the elements in the lunch box in a way that all of them will still be fresh and crispy at lunch time (4 to 6 hours away). The most fragile of them must be at the top and anything else that can remain wet and unchanged should be at the bottom of the lunch box.

So, layer the mushrooms first at the bottom of the lunch box with one teaspoon of oil from the

Mackerel Salad  layered

Mackerel Salad layered

mushroom jar, followed by the generously seasoned tomato. The mushroom will marinate in the tomato juices and seasoning. Now on top of the tomato, layer the cut potatoes, then the fish and the lettuce.

At lunch time, take your bowl, open it and cover it with a serving plate then turn it over to empty the content of the bowl upside down as if flipping an omelette. What this action will do is allow the juices that were at the bottom of the bowl to filter throughout the salad while acting as a vinaigrette.

These salads are called “salades composees” in France and often serve as a full lunch… nothing else is needed apart

Mackerel Salad 5

Mackerel Salad 5

from a small piece of baguette. If you make enough for lunch it should keep you full until the goûter time around 3.30 – 4pm when you can have an afternoon snack.

Do try to make it and let me know how you got on.

Et voila!

Next up, pulses salad and Chicken salad.

See the sandwich series here, here and here.

#Whats4Lunch – The Sandwiches set 3

Triple decker chicken

Triple decker chicken

Triple decker chicken sandwich (total cost 76p)

Ingredients:

Triple decker 1

Triple decker 1

  • 20 fresh spinach leaves or lettuce – 10p
  • 1 fresh medium tomato 10p
  • 3 brown bread slices – 6p (pack of 24 brown slices costs 49p)
  • mustard
  • 1 leftover chicken thigh – 50p

Method:

This sandwich was made with left over roast chicken. De bone the chicken thigh, rinse and cut the tomato in about 8 slices. Rice to spinach leaves.

Lay 2 slices of bread on a flat surface and spread with a thin layer of mustard.

Triple decker 2

Triple decker 2

On top of the mustard, layer about 10 spinach leaves, then half of the chicken and 4 tomato slices.

Cover with the second slice previously speeded with mustard.

Now spread the mustard on the side of the top slice that is covering the first deck of this sandwich. Again, layer, the leftover spinach, tomato, chicken. Take the 3rd slice of bread and spread on the mustard and place it face down on the sandwich.

Triple decker 4

Triple decker 3

All you have to do now is press the sandwich down gently and cut it from corner to corner, then place both halves in your lunch container.

Et voila!

 

Triple decker 4

Triple decker 4

Triple decker 5

Triple decker 5

Triple decker 5

Triple decker 6

Click here to see the tuna pitta and the baguette avocado vegan sandwich.

Next up, the salads.

#Whats4Lunch – The Sandwiches set 1

Tuna pockets ready

Tuna pockets ready

If you have missed the radio show on Croydon Radio, listen again here

to see the basics needed for the #Whats4lunch series click here

Tuna pockets with pitta bread (total cost 90p)

Ingredients:

Tuna pockets 1

Tuna pockets 1

  • 130g tuna in sunflower oil – 64p
  • 2 brown Pitta breads – 14p (pack of 6 cost 40p)
  • 4 leaves lettuce gem – 2p (pack of 2 whole gems cost 37p)
  • 1 medium tomato – 10p (pack of 6 tomatoes 69p)

Method:

Cut the two pitta in 2 and place in the toaster for 1 minute… the heat

Tuna pockets 2

Tuna pockets 2

will make the pitta open as it can be difficult to slice them. Leave aside to cool down.

Cut the top and bottom of the tomato. Then slice it in 4 pieces. Wash out the pips and remove the moisture from the tomato by dabbing it with tissue paper. Tomato can be very wet and putting it in this sandwich without removing the moisture will make the pitta very soggy. So, set the tomato aside.

Now rinse the lettuce leaves and flick out the water to keep it dry and cut away the white bottom bit.

Tuna pockets 4

Tuna pockets 4

Open the tuna, drain, pour in a bowl. Add black pepper, garlic and 1 full table spoon of mayonnaise. Combing and spoon in a small jar.

Now, partially put your sandwich together: Open the pitta pocket now cold, place in them the salad leaves, one in each and 1 slice of tomato. Place all of them in the lunch container with the tuna mix kept separately. At lunch time all you will have to do is add the tuna filling. It will take 2 minutes.

Tuna pockets ready

Tuna pockets ready

The next sandwich is a vegan baguette & Avocado one, then brown slices triple decker chicken & mustard sandwich.

Don’t forget to post a comment.

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Stuffed Tamales with Sundried tomato

 

Stuffed Tamales

Stuffed Tamales

Recipe for 10 – 12 to serve 4 people

Allow 3 tamales per person. These were made as part of the Cuban menu.

Ingredients:

  • 250g coarse corn flour (40p)

    Tamales ingredients

    Tamales ingredients

  • 10 sundried tomato pieces (99p)
  • 12 fresh coriander leaves to decorate (10p)
  • Dry oregano
  • Salt
  • 3 tablespoons Flavour oil (from sundried tomato jar)
  • 250ml boiling water
  • 2 table spoons self-rising flour
  • 1 fresh corn (37p)

Total spent: £1.86 or 46p per person. The only thing used on the fresh corn on this recipe are the leaves. The corn kernels will be used in another recipe.

Method:

Start by rinsing the coriander leaves and set aside. Carefully remove

Tamales ingredients

The corn and its outer leaves

one by one the outer leaves of the corn cob. Remove any extra “corn hair” rinse the leaves and flick out the water. The number of leaves on the corn cob can vary from 8-12…

Slice the pieces of sundried tomato in 2 – 3 to make them thinner. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, pour the corn flour, the self-rising flour, a pinch of salt and oregano. Mix all the dry elements together then, add the boiling water, the flavoured oil and knead the dough using a spatula until you obtain the consistency of a cookie dough.

packing the Tamales

packing the Tamales

Now lay flat all the corn leaves on a flat surface. On each leave, place 1 coriander leave, then top with the equivalent of 2 tablespoons full of corn dough. Flatten the dough on the corn leave and place on it 2-3 pieces of sundried tomato. Now bring together all the edges of the corn leave as if making a rolled cigarette. Fold the edge together and finish folding by over flapping both ends of the corn leaves.

You can either hold the parcel together with a tooth pick or simply put the parcel aside face down.

Repeat until all the parcels are done.

packing the Tamales

packing the Tamales

If you’ve got a steamer, use it to cook the tamales. If not, Place all the tamale parcels in an oven proof dish and place the dish in a big enough pan with a lid. Without a steamer, it is best to cook the tamales in a Bain Marie.

The idea here is that you will pour some water in the pan, making sure that none of it enters the heat proof dish containing the tamales. The water in the pan should be at about half the height of the dish within the pan. As water boils, it will produce enough heat to cook the tamales. For the size of the tamales made in the recipe, you should allow 20 minutes for them to be cooked through.

All packed

All packed

To check that the tamales are ready, they should be harder and if pricked with the tip of the knife, just like the test for a cake, the knife should come out dry. The secret is to keep the steam to the max in the pan. Make sure to top up the water as it dries out.

Tamales are great replacement for rice or potatoes. Feel free to deep fry the left-overs to give them a crispier outer layer…

They are to be eaten without the corn leaves obviously.

Ready to eat

Ready to eat

Note: Using corn leaves add to the taste of the Tamales. In the absence of corn leaves, use banana leaves (found in the local ethnic or Chinese supermarket) or simply kitchen foil.

See how I serve mine her with a Cuban Ropa Vieja.

Enjoy!

Ropa Vieja – Cuban Shredded meat

Ropa Vieja in all its glory

Ropa Vieja in all its glory

Ropa Vieja – Shredded pork. Serves 4

Ingredients:

What you need for this dish

What you need for this dish

  • 1.500kg pork knuckle from Tuckers’ the butchers (£2.50)
  • 100g red onion
  • 3 medium sweet peppers (20p)
  • 2 x 400g peeled tomato tins (74p)
  • 1 grapefruit (30p)
  • 2 tablespoon tomato puree (tube costs 37p)
  • 130g black olives (69p)
  • Olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 scotch bonnet (chilli)

    Grapefruit peels and scotch bonnet

    Grapefruit peels and scotch bonnet

  • Black pepper
  • Cumin
  • 2 tablespoons malt vinegar
  • 1L vegetable stock

Total spent: £4.80 or £1.20 per person. For this dish, a piece of pork that will deliver long strings of meat when pulling a part. The knuckle had that. The best place to find such a piece of meat on a budget would be at the local butcher. The pepper was bought at the fruits & veges market. Had 15 peppers for £1.00 and only used 3.

Method:

Unwrap and wash the meat and make 3 to 4 deep scoring on it. Peel and dice onion and garlic. Rinse and cut the peppers (red, yellow & green). Remove the olives from the jar and rise. Peel the skin off the grapefruit and cut it (the skin) in strings… This will add a hint of bitterness to the dish. Set the prepared ingredients aside separately.

Sealed meat

Sealed meat

In a dip sauce pan, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil with a hand full of onion, then seal the meat on all sides for about 1 minute each. Once the meat has been sealed, pour on it the stock and add garlic, cumin, scotch bonnet, black pepper, grapefruit peels, vinegar and cover the pan. Leave the meat to cook until it falls off the bone. An hour and half to 2 hours should suffice for the meat to fall off the bone.

Remove the meat from the pan and set aside.

In the sauce pan still on heat, add the content of 2 x 400g tomato and 2 tablespoons tomato puree. Stir, taste and adjust the seasoning. Cover to simmer for 20 minutes. Don’t forget to stir from time to time to

Pulling the meat apart

Pulling the meat apart

avoid the sauce sticking to the bottom of the pan. We are looking here for the tomato to cook through and for at least ¾ of the liquid coming from the tomato to evaporate.

Meanwhile, pull the meat apart, make it as stringing as possible. Discard the skin, bones and fat. All with need for the dish is the red meat… Set aside until the tomato sauce is ready.

Back to the tomato sauce. After the 20 minutes, add the now shredded

Pulled pork

Pulled pork

meat in the tomato with the olives, the cut mix peppers and the rest of onion. Mix well, taste and cover and allow to simmer for another 10 minutes. Done.

Serve with Pure white rice or Tamales. I served mine with both to provide a choice of accompaniment.

Check out the Tamales recipe in the next post.

Serving suggestion with white rice or Tamales

Serving suggestion with white rice or Tamales

See the starter from this menu here.

Listen to the podcast of the radio show here broadcasted on Croydon radio.