21 September 2009

Halloumi Salad with Balsamic Tomatoes



This is my entry for this month's No Croutons Required.

It should have been submitted last night, but as I was out having fun, Lisa kindly said I could submit it today, if I got it in before she posted the line-up.

Thanks Lisa.







Halloumi Salad with Balsamic Tomatoes


salad
1 - 2 tbsp sunflower oil
1 block halloumi cheese, sliced
seasoned flour (I seasoned some plain flour with black pepper and cayenne pepper)
4 new potatoes, thickly sliced
20 baby plum tomatoes
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
a selection of salad leaves and herbs


dressing
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp wholegrain mustard
a good grind of black pepper


Boil the sliced potatoes until just becoming tender, do not overcook or they will fall apart when sauteed.

While the potatoes are cooking, assemble your salad leaves and herbs onto 4 plates, then whip up your dressing, using the ingredients listed.

In another pan, dry fry the tomatoes until they split, then pour over the balsamic vinegar and toss around for a couple of minutes.

Dry off the potatoes and then saute until golden in a little of the sunflower oil.

Dip the sliced halloumi into the seasoned flour and then fry in a little oil until each side is golden

Assemble the salad and drizzle with a little of the dressing.

Serves 4
















This is not a diet salad, but then again, when have I ever shown that kind of tendency? It is amazingly delicious. Definitely a hearty salad that will impress.

And the decorating? Don't ask! We have painted the hallway and two bedrooms, but we still have the woodwork to do. That sounds not too bad, does it? But, then nothing is where it should be and to top it all off, we have had a leak from the under the bath which has made it's way into the kitchen, so more repairs and decorating.

Please someone offer me a home, so I can have some calm until it is finished and tidy again.

15 September 2009

AWOL

In the middle of decorating too many rooms at once! See you all again, once the chaos has started to pass : )

05 September 2009

Chunky Carrot & Squash Soup with Coconut & Red Chilli Flakes



















Butternut squash are starting to appear on the shelves again, so I took one of these little lovelies home. What better way to use the squash than to make soup and let's face it, it is definitely soup weather here in Scotland just now. I have given up on waiting for summer to arrive.

Chunky Carrot & Squash Soup with Coconut & Red Chilli Flakes

1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 cm ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 onion, finely sliced
½ medium butternut squash, cubed
3 potatoes, cubed
6 carrots, cubed
1 tsp chili flakes (more if you like)
2 tsp turmeric
2 tbsp dried coriander (use fresh if you have it)
6 cups/ 3 pints vegetable stock
½ cup / ¼ pint coconut milk
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


Heat the olive oil in a large pan. Saute the onion, garlic and ginger until softened. Next add the carrots, squash and potatoes and saute for 5 - 10 minutes before adding the herbs and spices. Pour in the stock and cook covered at a simmer for 30 minutes. It is ready once the vegetable are tender. Whizz up a little of the soup, but leave enough vegetables whole, for a chunky soup. Stir through the coconut milk and season to taste.

Serves 6-8 (well you always need left-over soup for the next day, when it tastes even better)



















I thought this soup would last for three days at least, but Graham enjoyed it so much, that he kept going back for second helpings. He loved the kick from the chilli flakes and the creaminess from the coconut milk.

I usually use fresh chillies in my cooking, but my chilli plant is not co-operating, so I turn to chilli flakes for the heat in this soup. They are such a great store cupboard standby. I bought my chilli flakes from an Indian supplier, which I would recommend, as you get so much more for your money. These Indian chilli flakes are made by crushing the whole dried chilli as well as the seeds and are made from bird's eye chillies, which are really hot, so be careful as you add them, until you know their strength. If you want a slightly milder chilli flake, go for a Greek or Turkish variety.

I am submitting my soup to Lakshmi Venkatesh over at Kitchen Chronicles who is hosting this month's edition of Think Spice - Think Red Chillies, which is a blog event set up by Sunita over at Sunita's World.