Thinking about…

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our lovely vacation!  We’re only back home for one and a half week. But it feels much longer strangely!  We enjoyed our stay in Zeeland, The Netherlands.I love to be back home, but in my mind I’m planning my next vacation!

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LÆBL   Photo’s by LÆBL by Laurie

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My favorite-quick-feel good-summer-recipe

Falafel wraps with grilled veg & salsa

  • For the falafel
  • 1 x 400 g tin of mixed beans848_1_1354893852_lrg
  • 1 x 400 g tin of chickpeas
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon harissa
  • 1 heaped teaspoon allspice
  • 1 heaped tablespoon plain flour
  • 1 bunch fresh coriander
  • olive oil
For the sides
  • 2 mixed-colour peppers
  • 4 spring onions
  • 8 small wholewheat tortillas
  • 1 tablespoon Lingham’s chilli sauce
  • 250g low-fat cottage cheese
  • optional: pickled red cabbage
For the salsa
  • 1 big handful mixed-colour ripe tomatoes
  • ½ –1 fresh red chilli
  • ½ clove of garlic
  • 1 lime

Ingredients out • Food processor (bowl blade) • Large frying pan, medium heat • Griddle pan, high heat

START COOKING
Drain the beans and chickpeas and put them into the processor • Finely grate in the lemon zest, then add a pinch of salt and pepper, the harissa, allspice, flour and coriander stalks (reserving the leaves) • Blitz until smooth, scraping down the sides of the processor if needed • Scrape out the mixture and use clean, wet hands to quickly divide and shape it into 8 patties about 1.5cm thick • Put 1 tablespoon of oil into the frying pan and add the falafels, turning when golden and crisp

Rip the seeds and stalks out of the peppers, tear each one into bite-sized chunks and put on the griddle pan with the trimmed and halved spring onions and a pinch of salt and pepper, turning when charred • Put the tomatoes, chilli and half the coriander leaves into the processor • Squash in the unpeeled garlic through a garlic crusher, squeeze in the lime juice, whiz until fine, then season to taste and pour into a serving dish

Pop the tortillas into the microwave (800W) for 45 seconds while you marble the chilli sauce into the cottage cheese • Squeeze the juice of half the zested lemon over the charred veggies, then take with the falafels to the table, scattering everything with the rest of the coriander • Let everyone assemble their own wraps, and serve with pickled red cabbage, if you like ore use this recipe.

Recipe taken from the website: Jamie Oliver

Quick dishes for a lazy weekend

Steak & guacamole wrap

803_5_1350296950_lrgWith shiitake mushrooms and chili

Ingredients:

For the guacamole

  • 2 avocados, stoned and peeled
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, halved
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 4 pinches ground cumin
  • 2 spring onions, trimmed and sliced
  • 1 small bunch fresh coriander, leaves picked
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • juice of 1 lime
  • extra virgin olive oil
For the wraps
  • 1 large handful shiitake mushrooms, thickly sliced, optional
  • 560 g quality rib eye steaks
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon sweet smoked paprika
  • olive oil
  • 4 flour tortillas
  • 4 tablespoons fat-free natural yoghurt
  • 1-2 fresh red chillies, deseeded and sliced, optional

First make the guacamole. Put the avocados, tomatoes, garlic, cumin, spring onions and most of the coriander in a food processor and pulse to a chunky paste. Scoop into a bowl, season with salt, pepper and lime juice to taste, then stir in a little extra virgin olive oil.

Heat a griddle pan over a high heat. Grill the mushrooms (if using) until seared all over. Remove them from the pan and keep warm.

Season the steaks well with salt, pepper and the oregano and paprika, then bash them with the bottom of a saucepan or a rolling pin to flatten them out slightly. Rub with a little olive oil and cook in the preheated griddle pan for 5 minutes, turning them every minute, or until cooked to your liking.

Leave the steaks to rest on a plate while you make up the wraps. Lay the tortillas out on a clean work surface and spread with a little guacamole. Slice the steaks into thin strips, divide them between the tortillas and scatter with the grilled mushrooms. Drizzle with a little more oil and the resting juices, then wrap.

Top with a dollop of yoghurt, the remaining coriander leaves and some red chillies (if using). Serve with the lime wedges on the side and tuck in!

Mexican street salad

Ingredients:

  • With shredded cabbage and jalapeño chilli
  • 338_1_1349709248_lrg½ small white cabbage
  • ½ small red cabbage
  • 1 small bunch radishes, (about 10) trimmed and finely sliced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and finely sliced
  • 1 large bunch fresh coriander, leaves and stalks finely chopped
  • 2 large jalapeno chillies (or other green chilli), to taste, finely sliced
  • 1 red onion, peeled and finely sliced
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of 2-3 limes
  • sea salt

This simple little salad can be quite extraordinary, but you’ve got to season it with that Mexican spirit by being brave with the lime juice, salt and chilli, until it’s singing in your mouth. It does a great job of waking up the other things it’s served with – a few spoonfuls of this next to a grilled chicken breast or pork chop would be an absolute celebration. Veg-wise, the onion, coriander and white cabbage are non-negotiable, as they form the base of this salad, but feel free to have a play with the other ingredients and use things like fennel or asparagus. Basically whatever’s in season and available should be a nice addition.

The easiest and quickest way to make this is to use a food processor with a slicer attachment or a mandolin. If you don’t have either of those, use a speed peeler, or simply grate everything finely.

Shred your white and red cabbage into two separate piles. Put just the white cabbage into a large bowl with the radishes, carrots and most of the coriander. Mix everything together really well, then kick up the flavours by adding almost all the chopped chilli, the sliced red onion and a good few lugs of extra virgin olive oil. Add most of the lime juice and a good pinch of salt, then toss together and have a taste. Just keep adjusting everything, adding more fragrance with the coriander, heat with the last of the chilli and acid with another squeeze of lime juice, until it’s just right for you.

When you’re happy, fold in the red cabbage right before serving so it doesn’t stain everything, and tuck in.

Wine suggestion:
French white – an unoaked Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley (such as Quincy) or, if serving with chicken or pork, French red – a young red Bourgogne Pinot Noir

All recipes from this fabulous website: Jamie Oliver

Summer picnic recipe

It’s almost summer and the weather is perfect for a summer picnic. I was thinking of a recipe which is easy to make and easy to bring along to wherever you want to picnic. My favorite spot is the dunes or a lovely park. But sadly there is no park in my neighborhood (which is something I really miss from moving out of the big city…). So the dunes it is!

Veggies with a minted pea & yoghurt dip

Jamie Oliver

Ingredients:

  • 200 ml fat-free natural yoghurt
  • 1-2 handfuls fresh mint, leaves picked
  • 2 handfuls fresh podded peas
  • 1 handful Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • juice of ½ lemon

This dish is only as good as the vegetables you buy, so use that as your starting point and you’ll be on to an absolute winner!

Whiz the yoghurt and mint up in a food processor for half a minute or so. Add the peas and the Parmesan and whiz again – the peas will break down and the yoghurt will become green. Put into a bowl, correcting the seasoning with extra salt and pepper and a good squeeze of lemon juice. When you add the lemon juice and peas to the yoghurt, quite often it splits and turns into a kind of cheese, but this is absolutely fine. It depends on the type of yoghurt you use and how acidic your lemon is. Just pour away any excess water. Usually, though, it doesn’t split and is more like a purée, but both ways are good.

The best way to serve this is to put the dip into a bowl and have a big board next to it with your veggies on. And have some salt and pepper to hand in case you need it. It’s a good sociable way to start a meal.

Jam jar dressings

Jamie Oliver

For French dressing
  • ¼ clove garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons white or red wine vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1 pinch freshly ground black pepper
For yoghurt dressing
  • 1/3 cup natural yoghurt
  • 2 tablespoons white or red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1 pinch freshly ground black pepper
For lemon dressing
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1 pinch freshly ground black pepper
  • juice of 1 lemon
For balsamic dressing
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1 pinch freshly ground black pepper 

French dressing:

Peel and finely chop ¼ of a clove of garlic • Put the garlic, 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard, 2 tablespoons of white or red wine vinegar and 6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil into a jam jar with a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper • Put the lid on the jar and shake well.

Yoghurt dressing

Put 1/3 cup of natural yoghurt, 2 tablespoons of white or red wine vinegar and 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil into a jam jar with a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper • Put the lid on the jar and shake well.

Lemon dressing: 

Put 6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil into a jam jar with a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper • Squeeze in the juice of 1 lemon • Put the lid on the jar and shake well.

Balsamic dressing

Put 6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar into a jam jar with a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper • Put the lid on the jar and shake well.

Easy flatbreads

For the flatbreads:999_2_1384434229_lrg
  • 350 g self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
  • sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 350 g natural yoghurt
For the garlic and herb butter (optional of course): 
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • a bunch of fresh soft herbs, such as flat-leaf parsley, tarragon, basil, dill
  • 40 g unsalted butter

I’ve given you a recipe for garlic butter here too, but these flatbreads are lovely just as they are alongside some soup, with a fresh salad or dunked in some homemade dip.

1. Add all the flatbread ingredients to a mixing bowl and mix together with a spoon, then use clean hands to pat and bring everything together. 

2. Dust a clean work surface with flour, then tip out the dough.

3. Knead for a minute or so to bring it all together (this isn’t a traditional bread recipe, so you don’t need to knead it for long – just enough time to bring everything together). 

4. Put the dough into a floured-dusted bowl and cover with a plate, then leave aside.

5. If making the garlic butter: peel the garlic cloves and crush them with a garlic crusher. 

6. Pick the herb leaves onto a chopping board and finely chop them, discarding the stalks. 

7. Melt the butter in a small pan over a medium heat, then stir through the garlic and chopped herbs, then set aside.

8. Dust a clean work surface and rolling pin with flour, then divide the dough in half, then divide each half into 6 equal-sized pieces (roughly the size of a golf ball). 

9. With your hands, pat and flatten the dough, then use a rolling pin to roll each piece into 12cm rounds, roughly 2mm to 3mm thick. 

10. Use a knife to cut 6 lines into the centre of each round, leaving about 3cm at each end.

11. Place the griddle pan on a high heat, then once hot, cook each one for 1 to 2 minutes on each side, or until bar-marked and puffed up, turning with tongs. 

12. Brush the flatbreads all over with herby garlic butter as they come off the griddle, then pile onto a serving board so everyone can dig in and help themselves.

Website: Jamie Oliver