30 November 2012

Chilli Cabbage and Duck Salad



'Only By The Night' by Kings Of Leon

Finally! Another glorious salad worth making a video about, I might be ranting on about cavolo nero in this clip. The tangy bitter mother of cabbage deserves a lot of praise! Talking a lot more on these videos mean I am typing less which is great, this way you get to see my excitement instead of an exclamation mark at the end of every sentence! See what I mean.

I simply fried the cabbage lightly with a small green chilli, the duck was roasting while I was humming in the kitchen. I literally just had a call from a friend who said 'mate that tuna salad looks well good'. Which sounds great for pescetarians, so omit the duck from the above and flake over a can of tuna if you want.

Have a great weekend.xx

Song on video
ê 'Crawl'

29 November 2012

Curry vol-au-vents

'The Suburbs' by Arcade Fire

Listen everyone I might have gone a bit crazy in this video, words are splurging out and sometimes I am stuck for words. I don't even think I made sense at the end! You will have to excuse this one, remember practise makes perfect! Which definitely reflects in my pastry making! My first attempt at puff pastry turned out fine, but I think I made the circles too wide and thin. Next time thicker rolling which will enable a higher rise vol-au-vent. Either way it turned out lovely!

I think for today's post I will refrain from typing up the pastry recipe, only until I have perfected it! The chicken and veg curry can be found here.

Since I am still left with a massive block of puff pastry, I'm thinking it's a pie night.

Until then see you soon!?
I'm really not sure what possessed me to say that at the end of the video. Someone fast forward to Friday already!

Favourite Song
ê 'The Suburbs'

28 November 2012

Butternut Squash Salad

'Annie Mac Presents 2012' by Various Artists

Another video with my massive finger getting in the way, however this was done in less than half an hour which is a record for me! 
Right if you want to make this salad keep on reading, if it doesn't tickle your fancy - sorry! I'm working on other salad combinations and wanting to present them in a quirky Mita stylee this coming week.

Recipe for two hungry squash and bacon lovers:


1 small butternut squash, peeled and cubed or chopped in the same shape.
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
5 radishes
Small red pepper chopped.
150g bag of rocket, spinach and watercress.
Olive oil
Sea salt
3 thick rashers of unsmoked bacon.


Preheat oven to 200°c, grease small tray and place chopped squash with rosemary leaves in a graceful way and season. I've whacked the heat up for the oven to perform it's magic a bit quicker for the squash. Place on the middle top shelf.
: Bake for 30 minutes until squash is tender.
: Fry bacon until slightly crispy then chop up and dry on kitchen roll.
: In a large salad bowl add chopped radishes, pepper, bag of leaves. Drizzle a bit of olive oil and mix with hands,
: Taste.
: Once squash is done add this to the bowl, also get the bacon involved.
: Serve with a burger, pie or eat on it's own.

Obviously this dish doesn't show off my crazy creative skills, purely because this salad is about combining flavours which are beautiful together, ingredients that people might not normally think go well together. Sometimes I refuse to cover up a salads flavour with dressing. This salad doesn't need it - trust me.
 The pungent rosemary loves getting on top of butternut squash, it was delicious.


ê On video - 'Shining Star' by Nneka (Joe Goddard Remix)

27 November 2012

The Salad Diaries

♬'Pacha Ibiza Albums' by Various Artists

Here I am letting you know about this weeks video theme, bye bye cake - hello salads!

Stay tuned this week.x

23 November 2012

Quorn Stuffed Aubergines

November's Playlist

'Night Light' by Jessie Ware
'Is Your Love Big Enough' by Lianne La Havas
'Pelican' by The Maccabees
'Hard Times' by Plan B
'What's Love Got To Do With It?' by Tina Turner
'Let Me Love You' by Ne-Yo
'Sleaze' by Knife Party, Mistajam
'I Want You Back' by Jackson 5
'Sweet Nothing' by Florence Welch and Calvin Harris
'Anything Could Happen' by Ellie Goulding
'Hometown Glory' cover by James Arthur
'Starships' cover by Conor Maynard
'Remember The Time' by Michael Jackson

This week I worked in a kitchen with a very talented chef in Angel, an experience I'm glad I took on as it showed me working in the kitchen is not the place for this Patel. My hands were battered, cold, burnt of chilli, nothing glamorous about my appearance, and I am all about looking good. The past few days have consisted of hand cream smothered on every two minutes, sweating out chilli during hot yoga and not looking at knives in the same way ever again. OK, maybe a slight over exaggeration about chopping a whole tub of chillies! However I stupidly rubbed my eye in yoga the next day and felt the pain. 
I love to try an area in the food industry and learn from it, most definitely learnt a big lesson here. The best line of the day was when I was stirring soup and told, "Lorraine Pascale stirs like that, a proper chef stirs like they are king of the world". A great insight into a life of a chef compared to what I see and perceive as 'chefs' on TV. Arguably TV cooks and chefs maybe have to strip down how they come across to make skills and meals look easy for us to try at home. Anyway the dream of one day being a TV cook/presenter is still at the forefront of my mind, just so a fresh new somebody other than Jamie and Gordon can take over channel four. That will be me once I get the ball rolling with even more experience and training.

"Positivity can encourage creativity"
I made this up myself, I quite like it.

Right enough about my crazy week and onto the scrummy dish which has been focused and sort of not focused on at the top of the page.

There comes a time when meat has to take a step back and something else has to takes it's place. I present to you (drum roll please) Quorn stuffed aubergines with a simple sauce infused with basil, oregano and garlic. So simple, so easy. so healthy. Quorn has great appeal, as well as looking like real mince once cooked, it's actually very low in fat!
The last time I made stuffed aubergines was back at school in year 9 for food technology. Back then I had no clue about food styling so the dish tasted amazing because I followed a recipe from the only cooking book in the house, unfortunately mine looked awful. The recipe was cheese stuffed aubergines and the final dish looked like aubergine vomit, no colour, and no consideration taken into presentation. I think I got a C grade for that project whereas my best friend who is now an army medical corp received an A*. Every time he beat me in food tech and I just wanted to scream and cry at the same time. He taught me about perfection so I still love him. 
Don't be scared, this is not a recipe for disaster!
 Quorn with aubergine and fresh tomatoes make a lovely thick sauce worthy of an A* and a commendation. 

 ▶ Recipe for 2 


1 large aubergine
Quorn mince (for two people use 150g)
1 large garlic clove
Fresh basil leaves
Dried oregano
Olive oil
Sea salt
Black pepper
1 can of chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato puree
Drop of Tabasco


: Preheat oven to 180°c, cut aubergine length way and scoop out flesh.
: Dice aubergine chunks and fry with olive oil and crushed garlic for 2 minutes.
: Meanwhile rub olive oil on aubergine skins, season and wrap in foil. Bake for 20 -25 minutes until soft.
: Add Quorn to aubergine mixture, let this go brown and tip in can of tomatoes. With the same can fill it half way with water and add to mixture.
: Add puree and simmer on slow heat for 15 minutes.
Stir through chopped basil leaves and 1 tsp oregano, season and taste.
: Taste again after 5 minutes to see if you need more seasoning, add Tabasco if you like.
: Take aubergine skins out of the oven and scoop in mixture.
: Done!


12 November 2012

Spice Up Your Rice!

'Spiceworld' by Spice Girls
Another smack in the face Monday and all I wanted to do was think back to when I was a teenager dancing to the Spice Girls, you know a time when rent, shopping and worrying about being a single female never crossed your mind at the wondrous age of 13. Sometimes I wish there were magic marshmallow clouds that would take you into the world of sugar and butter. There would be trees growing toffee apples, tree trunks made from choux pastry, fairies made of icing sugar, grass would be chocolate and mint flavoured and there would be only beautiful men dressed in union jack aprons at your beck and call.

No harm in dreaming, that's when magic happens.

Shock. Two blog posts in the space of a few hours, just like 2011 when I was a blogging hit machine! You never know maybe I will blog about an egg tomorrow, it's a possibility.
Well here is my rather exotic looking lunch. Might I add you are staring and don't be fooled by those eyes - yes that is pineapple amongst chicken and rice. Everything I have typed sounds strangely familiar (apart from the day dream) I have a feeling I could be writing the same stuff every now and then. Obviously I have completely rinsed out the words 'amazing and cool', I still love to marinate them with love in every single post.

How amazing does my lunch look? Don't you want to pick it up! Vegetarians if you pretend the chicken is Quorn that would work better. 

 ▶ Get on it.

Ingredients for two spice girls:

Basmatic rice 50g
3 chicken thigh fillets or Quorn chunks.
Small bunch of spring onions.
2 small garlic cloves crushed.
1 tsp garam masala powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp chilli powder
Half  a tsp nigella seeds
Pineapple chunks (fresh would be ideal or out of a can if you have to)
Vegetable oil
Fresh coriander


: Wash rice thoroughly and pour twice the amount of water in a pot, stir once then leave on a slow simmer. 
: Meanwhile chop the chicken fillets into chunks and marinade with powders and a teaspoon of oil.
: Leave in the fridge until the rice is nearly done.
: In the last 10 minutes before the rice is cooked, fry the chicken with garlic, nigella seeds and chopped spring onions.
: Once chicken is done, turn off both hobs and combine in a salad bowl.
: Sir through fresh pineapple and chopped coriander.
: Sorted. Done. Hey ho.

The spiced chicken combined with juicy pineapples is a wonderful gathering of flavours smothered in rice, sure to please any chicken and pineapple lover.

Favourite Song:

ê 'Viva Forever'

Bancho Macaroons aka..

♬ 'It's Blitz' by Yeah Yeah Yeahs

This album makes me want to get up dance and get creative. Plus Karen O is very cool.

I know what your thinking. One word, four letters. 


Macaroons are without a doubt stylish and beautiful. Basically they look pretty, cost a whole lot more than a pack of cookies and have the appearance of something that should be in a food gallery. It was about time I tested out my magic skills to these beauties with a special bottle of banana essence, gold lustre spray and a filling of milk chocolate ganache, they went as quick as my cakes. Whooooosh! I quickly grabbed a few and took a quick snap before they got consumed. When it came to deciding on a reputable recipe source the most economical, hassle free and simplest is on Delicious Magazine's website. Lorraine Pascal and even my heroine Annie Bell gave recipes that involved way too many piping bags! When making these I did a lot of background reading into what to be aware of. Let me give you a heads up:

1. Don't replace ground almonds. Yes they are expensive but vital in a macaroon recipe. I've seen a few recipes that call for pistachio powder which is an alternative.
2. Draw accurate mini circles on baking paper before you pipe.
3. Leaving them to form a skin before you put them in the oven is very important.
4. Avoid air bubbles in the macaroons by tapping the baking tray.
5. Calm down on the colouring, the macaroons still should look edible and natural.
6. Leave to cool, the cookie shells shouldn't detach from the shells.
7. They are not that difficult to make.

I'm sure there will be other little tips you will acquire yourself when making macaroons, it's all about experimenting.

On the topic of trial and error, all week I have been having some sort of mental 'food block', I've been itching to type about so many recipes, ideas and brainwaves. The truth is I want to write, taste and cook all day until I have reached a crazy level of satisfaction. Dramatic yet true. 

Cakes, cookies, meringues, pastries, breads and anything else which looks so glamourous that you find yourself scared to touch are achievable in your own kitchen. Remember I'm not a trained cook TV star...yet! The other week I mixed marshmallow by hand! Anything is possible - if you want it to be.

Favourite Song:

ê 'Heads Will Roll'

5 November 2012

Beet this Pud!

♬'Halcyon' by Ellie Goulding

When soup won't do these cold afternoons justice and your at home resting your back against the oven, try putting a twist on a yorkshire pudding recipe. I once made breakfast yorkshire puddings back in April and had to revisit the classic for lunch. What fuzzy warming images! Every time I blog and look at images above text I feel like picking the dish off the screen! I've been wanting to rant, blog, type, express the love and hate relationship I've been having with food recently, hence the big silences. Putting all that aside I figured todays lunch was definitely worth a mention and a paragraph or two.

I had to give baking a break, well maybe for a few days until I get back into bikramyoga and boxing. This ripe age of 28 means I feel the wrath of keeping up with fitness and not over indulging on desserts. Oh the pain! Don't stress I have a hefty bunch of over ripe bananas that look ready to whisk, blend and bake into something Mita-tastic.

Right if you want to and I suggest you SHOULD try these, here are the magical tips and lists:

▶ Ingredients for 2/3 large puddings.
Use small casserole dish for 2 or muffin cake tin to fill 3 holes.

125g plain organic flour
75ml milk
2 large eggs
75ml cold water
Small red chilli deseeded and chopped finely.
1 garlic clove crushed and chopped.

With the rest of the ingredients, it's up to you how much you prefer..
Fresh spinach (I can finish a whole bag)
Broccoli florets (I think 2 count as your 5 a day)
Cooked beetroot (super amazing and is messy)
Small spring onion chopped. (was £1 a bowl, how could I resist?!)
Ricotta cheese (laters cheddar)
Olive oil


Sieve the flour in a bowl.
Add 75ml of cold water in a jug, add the milk and mix.
Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in whisked eggs.
Then pour in the milk mixture, add a little at a time.
Whisk until it has a smooth consistency, season and pour this into a large jug and leave in the fridge for 20 minutes.

      : Meanwhile in a frying pan add olive oil and fry off the garlic, chilli, spinach, broccoli and spring onions on a slow heat for 10 minutes.
      : Preheat the oven to 200°c and put the tin/dish you will be using with a teaspoon of olive oil for a few minutes. Pour an equal amount of batter in dish/ each hole, it should sizzle then add everything from the frying pan and top with slices of beetroot.
:  Bake for 25 minutes, do not open the door at all during this time. Don't worry if they haven't risen yet, they will and when they do it will be beautiful. Have faith in your cooking!
 After 25 minutes, they should be golden brown and quite tall, take out the oven and touch the tops to see if they are crispy.
: Top with ricotta cheese and consume immediately!

Obviously if you are turning your nose up at this and not loving the creation, that's cool - but don't judge it until you have tried it!

Have a great day.x

Favourite Song:

ê 'Anything Could Happen'