School of Wok’s Stir Fried Sichuan Chicken Recipe

I’ve attended many, many, many cookery classes over the years. I’ve enjoyed nearly all of them but a few have definitely stood out from the crowd, and those include every class I’ve ever taken at School of Wok. There is a great balance between fun and learning, with class sizes of 8-16 ensuring that everyone gets all the help they need throughout the class. Everyone is encouraged to relax and enjoy the experience but the tutors are very good at leading everyone through the class agenda and making sure that everything promised is covered and covered well. As well as basic knowledge such as knife skills and using a wok, the class works through several recipes – the tutors demonstrate first and the students have a go afterwards. After all the hard work, everyone is invited to have a drink while the staff clear up and set the table, ready for you to sit and eat all the delicious treats you have cooked.

The hands-on learning is so important and is what differentiates attending a class like this from reading a cookery book or watching a recipe video.

KFInstagramSchoolofWok

This Stir Fried Sichuan Chicken had so much flavour and texture. The School of Wok Clock system of laying out ingredients on a plate in the order in which they are used made the wok cooking really easy to do.

You can win a School of Wok round-bottomed carbon steel wok and steel wok ring in my giveaway, here.

 

School of Wok’s Stir Fried Sichuan Chicken

Published with permission.

Ingredients
200g chicken thigh, or breast
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp Sichuan pepper corns
1 Birdseye chilli
1 onion
1 pepper
2 spring onions
100g cashew nuts
The Marinade
Sesame oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1 pinch Chinese 5 spice
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 tablespoon corn flour
The Sauce
1 tsp chilli bean paste / chilli paste
1 tbsp hoi sin sauce
1 tbsp light soy sauce
2 capfuls rice wine
To finish
Sesame oil

Preparation

  • Cut the chicken into large slices and place in a medium sized prep bowl.
  • Finely chop the garlic and chilli and place in separate prep bowls.
  • Slice the onion & pepper and place in a prep bowl.
  • Throw all the marinade seasoning into the meat bowl and massage well ensuring you add the corn flour last.
  • Finely slice the spring onion and place in a small prep bowl.

Cooking

  • Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a wok to high heat.
  • Once smoking hot, add the onions & peppers and stir-fry for 2 minutes.
  • Push the onions & peppers to the side of the wok and add an extra tbsp vegetable oil to the centre of the wok.
  • Bring oil to a high heat and add the crushed pepper corns, garlic and chicken. Stir-fry until chicken is golden brown.
  • Add the cashew nuts to the wok and stir fry for a further 2 minutes.
  • Now add the chillies along with all ‘The Sauce’ ingredients to the wok. Continue to stir-fry on a high heat.
  • Add the spring onion and a drop of sesame oil to finish.

Note: If sauce is too thick, add a dash of hot water to the wok whilst cooking the meat through. If too thin, use corn flour paste to thicken.

  • Garnish with finely sliced spring onion before serving.

 

Kavey Eats attended a cookery class as a guest of School of Wok. This recipe is published with permission.

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Balsamic Roasted Tomato, Baby Spinach & Giant Couscous Salad

PARTNEREDPOST

Young’s Seafood, the UK’s leading supplier of fresh and frozen seafood, have recently launched a new range of cook-from-frozen 100% cod fillet ready-meals called Simply Bake. They asked me to develop a delicious and simple recipe for a side dish to serve alongside one of the meals.

I love combining giant couscous with a few simple ingredients and a tasty dressing to make a dish that works equally well as a side or on its own. I created this simple but delicious giant couscous salad with classic Mediterranean flavours to serve with the Cheese & Leek Simply Bake.

The tomatoes are roasted until their flavours intensify and the sugar in the tomatoes and the balsamic caramelises a little. Baby spinach is perfect for this recipe as you don’t need to cook it – it wilts very quickly once mixed with the hot couscous. The dressing takes only moments to make – I favour the jam jar method though you can whisk the ingredients in a bowl if you prefer. You can also make double the dressing and store in the fridge for a couple of days to dress a different salad later in the week.

Although we enjoyed it hot with the cod bake, this salad can be served hot, warm or cold as you like.

Balsamic Tomato Spinach Giant Couscous Salad on Kavey Eats (c) Kavita Favelle (A)

Balsamic Roasted Tomato, Baby Spinach & Giant Couscous Salad

Serves 3-4 as a side or 2 as a main

Ingredients
For the roasted balsamic tomatoes
250 grams cherry or baby plum tomatoes, halved
1 tbs olive oil
2 tbs balsamic vinegar
A generous sprinkle of sea salt
For the couscous
150 grams giant couscous (dried weight)
100 grams baby spinach, washed and patted dry
For the dressing
1 tbs French mustard (or 1 teaspoon mustard powder)
2 tbs honey
3 tbs balsamic vinegar
4 tbs extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

Tip: Make double the volume of dressing and save half to dress another salad later in the week. It will keep for 2-3 days in a sealed jar or box in the fridge.

Method

  • Prepare the ingredients for the roasted tomatoes, weigh the couscous and baby spinach, and place the spinach into a large bowl.
  • Preheat your oven to 180 °C (fan).
    Note: If you’re roasting the tomatoes in the same oven as you are cooking a Simply Bake meal, your oven will already be on at 170 °C (fan) which is fine; your tomatoes may take a few minutes longer.
  • Lay the tomatoes out on a lined baking tray, cut side up.
  • Combine the balsamic vinegar and olive oil (for the tomatoes not the dressing), and drizzle over the tomatoes.
  • Sprinkle the tomatoes with a little sea salt and cook for 25-30 minutes until the tomato halves have wrinkled, partially collapsed and taken on a darker colour.
  • Once the tomatoes are in the oven make the salad dressing. Combine all the dressing ingredients in a small jam jar with tight-fitting lid and shake hard or whisk together in a bowl. Taste and adjust the balance of vinegar and sugar as you prefer.
  • Once the tomatoes have been in for about 15 minutes, put the couscous on the cook according to the packet instructions – usually you will need to bring it to the boil and then simmer for 6-7 minutes. When it’s ready, drain thoroughly before adding to the bowl with the baby spinach. Stir together gently so that the heat of the couscous wilts the spinach.

Balsamic Tomato Spinach Giant Couscous Salad on Kavey Eats (c) Kavita Favelle-9558

  • When the tomatoes are ready – slumped and wrinkly with some colour from the caramelised balsamic and natural sugars – remove them from the oven and stir gently through the couscous and spinach.
  • Drizzle the couscous salad with dressing just before serving. Use only as much dressing as you like, the rest can be stored in the fridge for a few days to use on another salad.

 Young's Simply Bake Event on Kavey Eats (c) Kavita Favelle-9578

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Balsamic Tomato Spinach Giant Couscous Salad on Kavey Eats (Pinterest)

Kavey Eats was commissioned by Young’s Seafood Limited to develop a recipe and participate in their Bake Off event.

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Taking Part in The Young’s Seafood Bake Off

PARTNEREDPOSTI know many foodies pride themselves on cooking all of their meals from scratch and don’t make use of ready meals at all but that’s not how it is in our house. Of course, we do cook from scratch much of the time, but we also make use of ready meals and the occasional takeaway too – though far less than we used to when we first moved in together.

Probably the most regular choices for us include lasagne, chicken kievs and pies supplemented by oven chips or ready-made garlic bread sticks.

Recently, I was invited by Young’s Seafood to try their new Simply Bake range. As the UK’s leading supplier of frozen and chilled fish and seafood, Young’s are constantly innovating their product range to keep up with the changing tastes of consumers – did you know that as well as breaded and battered fish and seafood and seafood sticks, they also offer a variety of smoked fish and fish cakes in a range of marinades and glazes (branded as Funky Fish Kitchen), fish pies and other fish ready meals, rollmops and prawn cocktails. They make a lot of own-label products too; many supermarket own brand versions are made by the leading producers in that field. They’ve even expanded into chicken with their recently launched Chip Shop Special Orders range.

Simply Bake – their latest new addition – includes four oven-ready cod fillet bakes with delicious sauces and toppings. Mediterranean bake has a sundried tomato & mozzarella crust. Classic Florentine bake comes with a creamy Regatto cheese and spinach sauce. Broccoli Mornay is covered with a cheddar and broccoli sauce and then a crunchy onion chive crumble topping. Cheese & Leek bake features a rich cheese, mustard and leek sauce. Each box contains two generous 100% cod fillets with their respective toppings and takes less than 50 minutes to bake, straight from the freezer, so are perfect for midweek dinners.

The challenge that Young’s set me was to create a side dish that would make a great accompaniment to one or more of the Simply Bake products.

I chose the lovely Cheese & Leek Bake and came up with a Balsamic Roasted Tomato, Baby Spinach & Giant Couscous Salad (look out for my recipe, in the next post). I wanted to create a tasty delicious side that provided a little acidity to cut through the rich cheese sauce, and some bright colour on the plate and which is not too complicated or long-winded to make.

Youngs Bake Off 1

The Bake Off was held at L’atelier des Chefs cookery school on Wigmore Street.

On arriving at the school, four tables in the kitchen area already set out with basic equipment and all the ingredients for our recipes. In the lobby area, tables were set up with a recipe card for each blogger’s side dish alongside a photo of the blogger. I had to laugh when I saw mine – the Young’s PR team used the profile photo from my twitter and instagram accounts, which was rather fitting – it was taken in Japan and I’m wearing a huge and hilarious fish-shaped hat!

On hand to help us in the kitchen was Young’s Development Chef, Serge Nollent. As we made the side dishes, he and his team baked all four of the Simply Bake cod mains, and once we finished, we tasted all of our dishes alongside their partner cod bake.

Youngs Bake Off 2

What I really loved was how varied all four recipes were. Alongside my giant couscous salad was a wonderful sweet potato colcannon (mashed sweet potato with savoy cabbage), a quick and hearty panzanella (bread and tomato salad) and some beautifully piped sundried tomato duchesse potatoes.

It’s so easy to get into a rut when making side dishes to go with a main – boiled new potatoes, chips, maybe some peas or carrots or a run-of-the-mill side salad.

The evening was a great reminder of how much more interesting and delicious we can make our evening meals when we try something new.

Kavey Eats was commissioned by Young’s Seafood Limited to develop a recipe and participate in their Bake Off event. My photo collages contain a mix of my own images and those provided by Young’s.

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Paul A Young’s Brownie Pudding with Sea-Salted Caramel, Tea & Figs | from Chocolate by Dom Ramsey

I recently reviewed Chocolate: Indulge Your Inner Chocoholic. This lovely book by my friend and chocolate expert Dom Ramsey is the perfect gift for anyone who loves good chocolate and wants to learn more about its history, how it’s made, where it’s grown, what fair trade and bean-to-bar mean, and even how to make your own chocolate from scratch. There are also lots of delicious recipes, including this gorgeous brownie pudding from one of my favourite chocolatiers, Paul A Young.

Three lucky readers can win their own copy of Chocolate by Dom Ramsey but everyone can enjoy this delicious recipe, which publishers Dorling Kindersley have given me permission to share with you.

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Paul A. Young’s Brownie Pudding with Sea-Salted Caramel, Tea & Figs

Extracted from Chocolate by Dom Ramsey, with permission from Dorling Kindersley

This sticky-toffee-brownie pudding hybrid is the ultimate comfort food. It incorporates my award-winning sea-salted caramel, along with chocolate, figs, and tea. If you want to make this the day before, brush the top of the pudding with warm caramel as soon as it comes out of the oven, for a sticky toffee glaze.

SERVES 10–12

Time 50–55 mins

Ingredients
90g (3¼oz) unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
180g (6¼oz) self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
250ml (9fl oz) strong English breakfast tea
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
200g (7oz) dried figs, chopped
90g (3¼oz) dark muscovado sugar
90g (3¼oz) golden syrup
2 medium eggs
½ tsp sea salt flakes
150g (5½oz) good-quality dark chocolate, 70% cocoa, chopped
roasted cocoa nibs, to decorate (optional)
clotted cream, to serve
For the sauce
200g (7oz) unsalted butter
200g (7oz) dark muscovado sugar
1 tsp sea salt flakes
200ml (7fl oz) double cream
50g (1¾oz) dark milk chocolate, 60% cocoa, chopped

Special Equipment 20 x 25cm (8 x 10in) cake tin

TIP: If dark milk chocolate isn’t available, use good-quality dark chocolate.

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4). Grease the tin, dust lightly with flour, and set aside. Combine the tea, bicarbonate of soda, and figs in a medium saucepan over a medium heat. Bring to the boil, and then immediately reduce the heat. Simmer for 2 minutes.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and allow the mixture to cool. Once cooled, mix well with a wooden spoon, until the pieces of fi g break down and the mixture forms a paste.
  • In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, and golden syrup, using a wooden spoon. Add the eggs and whisk together until the mixture is smooth. Mix in the flour and salt until combined.
  • Melt the dark chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring until smooth. Do not allow the base of the bowl to touch the water. Add the melted chocolate to the fl our mixture, along with the fi g paste, and mix well.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared tin. Bake for 30–35 minutes until the pudding has risen and the middle is still slightly gooey.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. Melt the butter, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan over a medium heat, stirring well to combine. Simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the double cream and dark milk chocolate, whisking well to combine.
  • When ready to serve, cut the pudding into 10–12 pieces and plate them up individually. Pour over the warm sauce, decorate with cocoa nibs, if using, and serve with clotted cream. You can store the pudding, covered in the fridge, for up to 5 days, or freeze it for up to 3 months.

 

This recipe extract was published with permission from Dorling Kindersley. Chocolate | Indulge Your Inner Chocoholic | Become A Bean-to-Bar Expert is available from Amazon.

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Smoked Mackerel & Wasabi Paté | Just 3 Ingredients

Bring food that pairs with sake!’ my friend said, as he invited us to a sake tasting to try some of the bottles he’s brought back from Japan recently. But what goes well with sake? With no further guidance I turned to Google where I found the advice that oily fish can work well with this classic Japanese alcohol.

Immediately, I thought of smoked mackerel pate – one of the simplest dishes in my repertoire, easy to scale up (or down) and great for all kinds of situations. It works as a starter plated elegantly with melba toast; it’s good to include in a selection of dips and spreads for an informal drinks gathering; it’s also delicious as a sandwich filling or on a jacket potato.

To add a little Japanese flavour I substituted the horseradish I usually use with wasabi – an ingredient closely related to both horseradish and mustard, with a similar flavour profile and heat.

The Smoked Mackerel & Wasabi Paté received many compliments, for which I was a little embarrassed given the simplicity of the recipe, but sometimes simple really is best.

Smoked Mackerel Wasabi Pate on Kavey Eats (c)Kavita Favelle (Text2)

Don’t worry too much if your supermarket sells smoked mackerel or crème fraiche in slightly different quantities – as long as you are reasonably close to the ratios below, the recipe will work just fine.

Smoked Mackerel & Wasabi Paté

This paté is very quick to make and perfect to take along to social gatherings when you’ve been asked to bring something that doesn’t need cooking or heating once there. If making to take to a party, I double or triple the quantities below. If not being eaten straight away, store in the fridge until needed. It will last 2-3 days.

Ingredients
200 grams smoked mackerel
150 ml crème fraiche
1-2 tablespoons (or to taste) wasabi powder

Note: If you don’t have wasabi powder use wasabi paste. If you can’t find either, fresh or creamed horseradish shares a similar flavour profile, as does mustard. Whichever of the three you use – since pungency is variable – add a little, mix and taste, then add more if needed.

Method

  • Peel the skins away from the mackerel fillets – they should come away very easily.
  • Use your fingers or a fork to break up the fish into a mixing bowl before adding the crème fraiche.
  • Use a fork to combine, breaking down any larger pieces of mackerel as you work and continue to work the mixture until the fish is thoroughly broken down and distributed through the crème fraiche.

Wasabi Smoked Mackerel Pate on Kavey Eats (c)Kavita Favelle-143035

  • Add wasabi to taste and mix thoroughly again to ensure it is evenly distributed. I recommend adding about a tablespoon, mixing well and tasting before adding more.
  • Serve with toast or crackers, or refrigerate until needed.

Save for later on Pinterest using this handy tall pin image.

Smoked Mackerel Wasabi Pate on Kavey Eats (c)Kavita Favelle (Tall Pin)

I have another similarly simple smoked fish paté recipe to share with you soon but do let me know how you like this one!

A Taste For… Miso | Japanese-Style Miso Cod

Are you familiar with umami? Discovered (and named) by Japanese scientist Kikunae Ikeda back in 1908 and known as the fifth taste group (alongside sweet, sour, bitter and salty), umami is most commonly translated as ‘savoury’ or ‘meaty’ and is a flavour profile that most of us enjoy in our food, whether or not we could name or identify it. Although it occurs naturally in many foods – including mushrooms, ripe tomatoes, chinese cabbage, asparagus, sweetcorn and shellfish – many cultures have become adept at creating umami-rich foods by cooking, curing and fermenting; these include cheese, green tea, fish sauce and yeast extract.

Miso is one such umami-bomb – an ingredient at the core of Japanese cuisine.

Miso Cod on Kavey Eats (overlay)

Made by fermenting soybeans, salt and additional grains such as rice or barley with a mould fungus known in Japanese as kōji-kin, the result is a thick, salty and intensely savoury paste used as a seasoning throughout Japanese cooking.

There are many different varieties available in Japan, often broadly divided by their colour. The most common misos are red and white, made with soybeans and rice. White has a higher percentage of rice than its red counterpart and is the mildest and sweetest. Red, aged for longer, is stronger and saltier and darkens with age through red into brown. Some vintage misos are almost black in colour.

There are other types that are made with different grains such as barley, buckwheat, rye or millet.

Regional differences also play a part; in Sendai the locals prefer their miso slightly chunkier, so the soybeans are coarsely mashed rather than ground; in parts of Chubu and Kansai there’s a preference for darker, saltier and more astringent miso. In Eastern Japan, mild and sweet pale misos are the favourites.

Fermentation of foods has been prevalent in East Asia since ancient times. Grains and fish were fermented in the Neolithic era and there are records describing the use of Aspergillus moulds in China as far back as 300. BC Fermented soybean products may have been introduced to Japan from China at the same time as Buddhism in the 6th Century CE.

Until the late 19th century, Japan’s population ate mainly fish and vegetables. Since miso is high in protein and rich in vitamins and minerals, it became an important nutritional element of the Japanese diet, especially for Buddhists following a strictly vegetarian regimen.

In Japan, miso is obviously a key ingredient in miso soup (for which it is combined with dashi stock) but it also features in sauces, marinades, pickles and dressings (such as the tofu, sesame and miso dressing for green bean salad that we shared in our last issue). It is even used in sweet dishes; miso mochi – chewy dumplings made from rice flour – offer a delightful balance of sweet, salty and savoury.

Miso also lends itself to fusion cooking, offering a great way to add saltiness and savouriness to your dishes. Combine with honey, mustard and oil for a salad dressing; whip into butter and spread on fresh bread or melt over steamed vegetables; thin with water and brush onto meat before grilling or barbequing; stir half a teaspoon into porridge instead of salt; or add to a bean casserole for extra flavour. Whenever you need a kick of umami, miso is the perfect ingredient.

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Miso | image via shutterstock.com

Japanese-Style Miso Cod

This simple marinade works beautifully with cod but can also be used with other fish such as salmon. It’s also delicious on aubergine or firm tofu.

Serves 2

Ingredients
2 tbsp white miso paste
2 tbsp mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine)
2 tbsp sugar
2 fillets of sustainable fresh cod, skin on

Note: White miso has a slightly sweeter and milder flavour than the red version, which suits this recipe well. However, you can use red miso paste instead; use a touch less in that case.

Method

  • Preheat your grill to a medium-hot setting.
  • Heat the mirin, white miso paste and sugar in a small saucepan, over a gentle heat, until the sugar has completely dissolved.
  • Place the fish fillets skin side down on a piece of foil.
  • Spread the paste generously over the surface of the fish, top side only.
  • Grill until the fish is cooked through and the paste is bubbling and starting to char. Depending on the thickness of your fillets, this will take 5-8 minutes.
  • Serve with rice and green vegetables.

Miso Cod on Kavey Eats-0176

Where to buy miso

Search the major supermarkets. Most now offer miso pastes in their speciality ingredients ranges (though these may not be available in every branch). Do check the ingredients – some products are actually ready made marinades or soup blends (with additional ingredients added to the miso). For use in recipes, you need a plain miso.

If you have an oriental supermarket within reach, you’ll usually find a decent selection at lower prices. Online stores also offer a wide choice.

Try clearspring.co.uk (organic), japancentre.com, souschef.co.uk, waiyeehong.co.uk and wingyip.com.

 

This piece was written in 2014 and first published in Good Things magazine. ©Kavita Favelle.

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Kimchi Biscuits | Ferment Pickle Dry

I recently reviewed new cookery book release, Ferment Pickle Dry. This lovely book by Simon Poffley and Gaba Smolinksa-Poffley shares a wide selection of recipes for preserving food by fermenting, pickling and drying. More unusually, the book also provides ‘partner recipes’ that showcase how the preserves can best be put to use in your cooking.

Two lucky readers can win their own copy of Ferment Pickly Dry in my giveaway but everyone can enjoy these delicious kimchi recipes from the book, which publishers Frances Lincoln have given me permission to share with you.

Ferment Pickle Dry cover Ferment Pickly Dry - Kimchi biscuits (small)
Book cover, kimchi biscuits made with different kimchis – image by Kim Lightbody

Kimchi Biscuits

Extracted from Ferment Pickle Dry by Simon Poffley and Gaba Smolinksa-Poffley

These moist, almost cake-like savoury biscuits are a brilliantly healthy and filling snack. They have the same satisfying bite of a falafel, but with a spicy kick. You can make these recipes with napa cabbage kimchi, fermented pink turnips, carrot kimchi or baby courgette kimchi for a variety in colour and flavour.

Makes 10-12 of each biscuit

Ingredients
100g/3½oz/¾ cup wholewheat flour, plus extra for dusting
50g/1¾oz/½ cup quinoa flour 50g/1¾oz/½ cup buckwheat flour
150g/5½oz/²⁄³ cup butter, softened 1 tsp pink Himalayan salt
clip_image001100g/3½oz of fermented pink turnip cut into small pieces
100g/3½oz napa kimchi

Note: Replace the napa kimchi and pink turnip with the same quantities of carrot kimchi or courgette kimchi for biscuits with different flavour and hue.

If you make the courgette kimchi biscuits, try adding 2 tablespoons spirulina powder for a vivid green colour and health boost.

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 230°C/425°F/ gas mark 7. Line 2 baking trays with baking parchment.
  • Process the flours, butter and salt in a food processor until the mixture starts to turn into a dough, then remove half of the mixture and set aside.
  • Add the pink turnip to the remaining mixture in the food processor and process until all the ingredients are well combined, about 2 minutes. Remove the turnip dough from the food processor and set aside on a floured work surface.
  • Return the remaining half of the flour and butter mixture to the food processor, add the napa kimchi and process until all the ingredients are well combined, about 2 minutes. Remove the kimchi dough from the food processor and set aside on a floured work surface.
  • Roll out the turnip dough on the floured surface into a 15cm/6in long, thick sausage, then cut into 2cm/¾in- long pieces.
  • Roll each of these pieces into balls and place on the prepared baking tray. Use the bottom of a glass to gently press the balls into discs about 5mm/¼in thick.
  • Repeat this process with the other kimchi dough.
  • Place both baking trays in the oven and bake for 12–15 minutes.
  • The biscuits won’t go hard, but will crisp up slightly on the top

 

This recipe extract was published with permission from Frances Lincoln. Ferment Pickle Dry is currently available from Amazon UK for £16.59 (RRP £20).

Pumpkin Kimchi Recipe | Ferment Pickle Dry

I recently reviewed new cookery book release, Ferment Pickle Dry. This lovely book by Simon Poffley and Gaba Smolinksa-Poffley shares a wide selection of recipes for preserving food by fermenting, pickling and drying. More unusually, the book also provides ‘partner recipes’ that showcase how the preserves can best be put to use in your cooking.

Two lucky readers can win their own copy of Ferment Pickly Dry in my giveaway but everyone can enjoy these delicious kimchi recipes from the book, which publishers Frances Lincoln have given me permission to share with you.

Ferment Pickle Dry cover Ferment Pickle Dry Baby Courgette and Pumpkin Kimchis

Book cover, carrot kimchi (left) and baby courgette kimchi (right) – images by Kim Lightbody

Pumpkin Kimchi

Extracted from Ferment Pickle Dry by Simon Poffley and Gaba Smolinksa-Poffley

Prep 15 minutes + 3-day process Ready 10–14 days
Makes approx 500ml/18fl oz jar

Ingredients
400g/14oz pumpkin
10 tbsp (100g/3½oz) coarse sea salt
Paste
1 tbsp gochugaru (Korean hot chilli flakes)
2 large leaves napa (Chinese) cabbage, chopped
50g/1¾oz (10cm/4in long piece) large leek or ½ bunch of spring onions (scallions), finely chopped
10 large garlic cloves, grated
2.5 cm/1in piece (25g) piece of ginger, skin scraped and grated
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp white miso paste (optional)

Method

Day 1

  • Peel, deseed and cut the pumpkin into rough squares and rectangles of no more than 1cm/½in thick and place in a large bowl.
  • Add the salt and mix together until the pumpkin is coated. Cover and leave to stand at room temperature overnight.

Day 2

  • Rinse the pumpkin well, washing off all the salt.
  • Place all the ingredients for the paste in a blender and blitz until smooth. Add the paste to the pumpkin and mix until it is coated.
  • Place the pumpkin in a large sterilised jar P12, seal with the lid and leave to stand at room temperature overnight.

Day 3

  • Place the jar in the fridge and leave to chill for 10 days, then taste to check if it has fermented enough for your liking.
  • It can be stored in the fridge for 3–5 weeks. The flavour will become stronger over time.

This recipe extract was published with permission from Frances Lincoln. Ferment Pickle Dry is currently available from Amazon UK for £16.59 (RRP £20).

Baby Courgette Kimchi Recipe | Ferment Pickle Dry

I recently reviewed new cookery book release, Ferment Pickle Dry. This lovely book by Simon Poffley and Gaba Smolinksa-Poffley shares a wide selection of recipes for preserving food by fermenting, pickling and drying. More unusually, the book also provides ‘partner recipes’ that showcase how the preserves can best be put to use in your cooking.

Two lucky readers can win their own copy of Ferment Pickly Dry in my giveaway but everyone can enjoy these delicious kimchi recipes from the book, which publishers Frances Lincoln have given me permission to share with you.

Ferment Pickle Dry cover  Ferment Pickle Dry Baby Courgette Kimchi

Book cover, carrot kimchi (left) and baby courgette kimchi (right) – images by Kim Lightbody

Baby Courgette (Zucchini) Kimchi

Extracted from Ferment Pickle Dry by Simon Poffley and Gaba Smolinksa-Poffley

Prep 20 min
Ready 3–4 days
Makes approx 500ml/18fl oz jar

Ingredients
8–9 baby courgettes (zucchini)
60g/2¼oz/¼ cup coarse sea salt (pure, without iodine or anti-caking agent)
Paste
1½ bunches spring onions (scallions) or 1 leek, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, very finely chopped
1cm/½in piece of ginger, skin scraped off and grated (1 tsp)
7 tbsp gochugaru (Korean chilli flakes) or dried chilli flakes
1-2 tbsp sea salt
1 tsp sugar

Method

  • Cut the courgettes lengthways 3–4 times, but don’t cut them all the way through. Rub the salt into the cuts.
  • Place the courgettes in a bowl and pour in enough water to cover.
  • Leave to soak for about 1 hour, then rinse them well.
  • Place all the ingredients for the paste in a bowl and mix with a fork.
  • Work the paste into the cuts in the courgettes, then pack the courgettes upright into a large sterilised jar and seal with the lid
  • Leave to stand at room temperature overnight, then transfer to the fridge and leave to chill for 2–3 days before eating.
  • This can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.

 

This recipe extract was published with permission from Frances Lincoln. Ferment Pickle Dry is currently available from Amazon UK for £16.59 (RRP £20).

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Smoked Salmon & Leek Macaroni Cheese

PARTNEREDPOSTFor most of our shallow frying, Pete and I use a combination of vegetable oil and butter. We love butter for its rich flavour but it burns easily whereas vegetable oils can be heated to a higher temperature without smoking or burning; mixing butter into oil gives us the best of both worlds. A light olive oil is a good choice, neutral in flavour and perfect for cooking.

Today it’s not unusual to have at least one if not two bottles of olive oil in the kitchen cupboard – a regular one for cooking and a richer extra virgin one for salad dressings and drizzling over carpaccio or cheese – and there is much shelf space given to olive oil in most supermarkets. But when I was a kid, it wasn’t so easy to find good quality Italian olive oil here in the UK. Bertolli is one of the brands that has been available in the UK, and respected for its quality and consistency, for as long as I can remember. Far longer than I could possibly remember, in fact – it was founded in Tuscany back in 1865!

One of the products that wasn’t available during my childhood was olive oil in spreadable form. Bertolli make an Original and Light olive oil spread, both made using good quality olive oil. The latest in the range is their Bertolli with Butter, a spreadable combination of olive oil and butter. Of course, you can use it in place of butter – in sandwiches or on jacket potatoes, and in many varied sweet and savoury recipes. Indeed, Gennaro Contaldo recently worked with Bertolli to create a range of pasta recipes that are quick and easy to make, and taste delicious.

Pasta is at the heart of many of our favourite recipes – especially during colder and darker months when rich, warming comfort foods are the order of the day.

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I’ve heard people say that making macaroni cheese from scratch is far too time consuming or difficult but it’s actually not that complicated and it doesn’t take hugely long either. And it’s one of those dishes that’s really so much better homemade!

Bertolli have a lovely recipe for macaroni cheese with prosciutto and leeks which we’ve adapted by substituting smoked salmon for the ham. This is very much inspired by a fabulous lunch at Mat Follas’ Bramble Cafe a few months ago.

Previously, we’ve always made white sauce by cooking the flour and butter together first to make a roux, and then adding the milk. For a cheese sauce, cheese is simply stirred and melted in to the white sauce. Bertolli’s recipe shortcuts the white sauce by heating butter, flour and milk all at once and to our surprise, it doesn’t result in lumpy sauce – it’s just as silky smooth as the traditional way! Thanks to Bertolli for this wonderful tip; we’ll be making all our white sauce bases this way from now on.

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Smoked Salmon & Leek Macaroni Cheese Recipe

Adapted from Bertolli’s recipe

Prep 15 mins | Cook 20 mins | Serves 4 | Skill Easy

Ingredients
250 g macaroni or pasta of your choice
15 g Bertolli with Butter
1 small leek, sliced into thin discs
100 g smoked salmon, chopped into thin strips 2-3 cm long
For the cheese sauce
50 g Bertolli with Butter
50 g plain flour
600 ml semi-skimmed milk
0.5 tsp English mustard powder or 1 teaspoon mustard
175 g mature cheddar cheese, grated
25 g Parmesan cheese, grated

Note: This recipe works best with a hollow pasta which the cheese sauce can easily fill. Instead of macaroni, we use penne rigate (ridged tubes cut on the angle, slightly larger in diameter than macaroni).

Method

  • Cook pasta according to packet instructions in boiling salted water. Drain well.
  • Meanwhile melt the Bertolli with Butter and sauté leek until softened. Set aside.
  • Make cheese sauce by placing Bertolli with Butter, flour and milk in a large saucepan and bring to boil, whisking continuously.
  • Make sure your grill shelf allows for the size of the ovenproof dish you are using, then preheat the grill to medium high.
  • Add Cheddar cheese and mustard to the saucepan and stir until completely melted into the sauce.
  • Stir in the cooked pasta, leeks and smoked salmon and mix through well.
  • Pour into an ovenproof dish and sprinkle the top with grated Parmesan.
  • Place ovenproof dish under the grill until golden brown and bubbling.
  • Serve immediately.

If you’d like to serve a side dish with this, I’d recommend either a crisp green salad with a simple homemade vinaigrette dressing or a simple stir fry of courgettes or green beans in butter and garlic.

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Save for later on Pinterest using this handy recipe collage pin.

Smoked Salmon and Leek Macaroni Cheese on Kavey Eats (Tall Pin)

You may also enjoy Michelle’s Pasta all Norma, Camilla’s Italian Tomato Spaghetti and Claire’s Spinach & Ricotta Tortellini with Butter & Mint Sauce.

Kavey Eats was commissioned by Bertolli to develop and publish this recipe.

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