Snacks & Starters

Tasty tidbits that range from posh appetizers to homely snacks to feed the kids on a Friday night (especially the healthy sausage rolls!).

There is nothing better than a good nibble to get the appetite ready to party, enjoy!

Sticky quinoa and peanut muesli squares

Posted on September 2, 2011

Quinoa flakes. There is something you don’t see everyday. That’s them sprinkled about in the photo above.

When I spotted a box at my local health food store I immediately popped them into my shopping basket. I just can’t resist cooking with a new and exciting ingredient. (more…)

Zaatar Batons with Sami’s Kitchen spices

Posted on June 15, 2011

Sami’s Kitchen spice range is one of the most exciting things to hit my desk recently.

As most of you will know, my father is of Lebanese origin, so I am very fond of Lebanese cuisine and many Lebanese dishes anchor strong childhood memories within my psyche.

In my family, food is love. My dear late Tatah (grandmother, in Arabic) was a champion cook and all-round eating ambassador. As soon as you entered her house she would usher you directly to the table to eat. Then, while you sat eating, she would not-so-subtly pace around the table heaping additional food onto plates so that after an hour-long meal your plate was still full! (more…)

Potato and ricotta croquettes

Posted on May 12, 2011

Ever since I discovered how easy it is to make homemade breadcrumbs I have gone a little breadcrumb-crazy.

These are a case in point.

Crunchy little parcels with a creamy, cheesy centre that are oh-so-moreish. Make sure you have people coming over, otherwise you’ll eat the whole batch, like I did.

Feel free to substitute in your favourite herbs if parsley and basil don’t float your boat. Ditto the ricotta – some goats curd or feta are also really nice stuffed in the middle. If you’re feeling carnivorous then a slice of jamon (Iberico, please) could also hide in there. (more…)

Salmon wasabi leaf canapes w/ sauce

Posted on April 14, 2009

[Salmon wasabi leaf canapes w/ wasabi and soy dipping sauce (sauce not shown)]

This recipe uses the stem, leaf stems and leaves of the fresh wasabi plant all at once!

Here is the first of my wasabi recipes as promised.

UPDATE 15/4/09: lots of people are asking in the comments what the leaves taste like. Check this post where I give a full description. Cheers!

The wonderful guys at Shima Wasabi sent me a pack with a wasabi stem, wasabi leaf stems and wasabi leaves to play with – and I’ve loved every minute with this gorgeous produce! I’ve even frozen the remaining part of the stem and crossed my fingers it’s still going to grate beautifully once defrosted.

Although I was initially intimidated by it’s bumpy looks the wasabi stem is indeed very friendly to the home cook. There’s no fiddly peeling or prepping as you simply grate the stem as is and let it release it’s pungent and beautiful aroma into your kitchen. (more…)

Healthy chicken sausage rolls

Posted on April 1, 2009

Yes, healthy sausage rolls can exist… AND be delicious!

I’m always on a quest to make recipes healthier and eat well generally. I’ve made some wonderful savoury adaptations with drastically reduced fat contents but have also had some pretty spectacular disasters when reducing or substituting sugar and butter in baking!

You win some, you lose some, hey? (more…)

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