Thursday, 21 July 2022

Liver with Preserved Kumquats and Cognac


Liver with Preserved Kumquats and Cognac

This recipe has been developed for Le Bon Magot to include their Kumquat Preserve. 

Chicken liver is simple to cook and packed with Vitamin B and iron. An acquired taste, not all your friends would enjoy it. 

The chicken liver must be fresh, washed and cleaned properly of all the fat. Using a pair of kitchen scissors does the job very well. Leaving it slightly pink ensures it will be moist. 





Serves 12

2 tbsp garlic butter OR butter and fresh garlic

1 tsp mustard powder
1/2 tsp crushed powdered cloves or nutmeg
stir for minute and add
500 g/ 1.1 lb chicken liver 
season with salt
2 tbsp cognac
1 tbsp kumquat

In a pan melt the butter, garlic, mustard, spices. Stir and add the chicken liver and salt, Saute` until the liver is half cooked. Add the cognac, shake the skillet. Add the kumquat conserve and toss to coat all the liver. Continue to cook it on a high flame for a few minutes - allowing the liquid to evaporate. Do not over cook. Remove from the flame.
Place the liver on a cutting board and roughly chop .
In the same pan stir in125 ml/ 4 oz cold cream cheese to thicken the gravy to a soft butter consistency.
Lather this on a toast. Place the pieces of chicken liver on it, Sprinkle with shallots. Drizzle more kumquat preserve.
Serve warm with a radish salad on the side.

Tips

Chicken liver cooks quickly and can become overly dry when overcooked. 
Prepare the toasts before adding the spread and liver on it.
Serve immediately - do not reheat.

 Photo Credit Niloufer Mavalvala

Scallops -Asian flavour infused

Scallops - Asian flavour infused

A recipe developed for Le Bon Magot that includes their Kumquat Conserve

Fresh scallops smell like the ocean breeze, they can have a bag of orange roe attached to them - which is delicious to eat and not to be discarded. Cooking them in butter or brown butter -beurre noisette adds to the deliciousness. The kumquat comes through vibrantly with the addition of orange juice.




Serves 4 

340 g - 3/4 lb fresh sea scallops
sprinkle of Nanami Togarashi
2 tsp salted butter

Wash and pat dry the scallops. Sprinkle with Nanami Togarashi.
In a skillet, heat half the butter until it sizzles and foams. Add half the scallops. Cook on a high heat until caramelised. Turn and cook on the other side. Remove to a plate. Repeat with the remaining butter and scallops.

To prepare the sauce/ vinaigrette in a pan, bring to a boil, then lower the heat to simmer for 7 minutes. This should become slightly thick and sticky enough to coat the back of the spoon.
2 tbsp sake
2 tsp le bon magot kumquat conserve
1.5 tsp mirin
1/2 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp light tamari soya
1/3rd cup orange juice
1 small piece of fresh ginger to infuse
1/2 tsp wasabi powder

To assemble
Pour the sauce as needed over the scallops, sprinkle with seaweed salt/crushed nori and toasted sesame seeds. 
Side of daikon radish also with a drizzle with the same vinaigrette , zucchini flowers if available.

Tips

Yuzu sake is a good option if available.
No salt is needed in this recipe as the ingredients seem to have enough.
The sauce has plenty of umami flavour, I found the ginger really helped round up the flavours.

The kumquat comes through vibrantly with the addition of orange juice.

Allow the butter froth up before placing the scallops into the pan.

Photo credit Niloufer Mavalvala

Wednesday, 20 July 2022

Chicken Tagine

 Chicken Tagine 


A certain mystique still surrounds the Tagine, its magical charm continues to enchant the foodies of the world. What was once concentrated in certain corners of the world is now flowing freely everywhere. It is being promoted, its mystery being unveiled by many top chefs. It is being adapted in fusion cuisine and the presence of tagines are  being felt very strongly in the culinary world. An elegant way of presenting your food, a healthy way of cooking it, simplicity and glamour all rolled into one.



1 kg/ 2.2 lb chicken pieces, bone -in that are patted dry. 

Dry Spice Mix

1 stick of cinnamon
10 to 12 cloves 
10 to 12 black peppercorns 
1tsp paprika 
2 long dry red chillies 

½ tsp saffron, dry roasted 
1tsp salt 
¼ tsp brown sugar 

2 +1 tbsp brown butter -smen
4 thinly sliced garlic cloves 
1 small fresh piece of ginger smashed
1 tbsp honey 
1 dry bay leaf 
1/2 cup fresh herbs coriander and parsley work best. 
57 g/ 2 oz olive oil
1 cup of chicken broth 
1 finely chopped fried onion 
A preserved lemon 
125 g/ 4 oz fresh green olives 

 
 Dry roast in a pan the dry spice mix -  grind until fine and then add the dry roasted saffron, salt and brown sugar. 

Prepare the Marinade  
In a bowl make a paste with ground spices adding the brown butter  -smen, garlic, ginger and honey .

Apply the marinade liberally to the chicken pieces and leave to marinate for a minimum of 30 minutes and up to 24 hours.

In a skillet heat more smen brown butter, and a little olive oil. Fry the chicken pieces; (try to keep the marinade in the bowl until later as it burns easily). 
Add the left over marinade, plus a bay leaf and the finely chopped herbs, The chicken broth, fried onion, the preserved lemon and the fresh green olives. Cover and cook for 30 minutes until cooked through. Transfer to the tagine ready to reheat and serve. 
Sprinkle with additional coriander and parsley. 

Tips
You can cook the chicken in the Tagine in your oven covered for the last 30 to 45 minutes on a 350F/180C oven instead of the stove top after it has been browned. 

Saffron is generally crushed and placed in a little warm water to blossom before adding. Alternatively you can dry roast it - be extra careful as it will burn easily.
While its wonderful to be generous, excessive saffron can bring a bitterness to the food. Store saffron in the refrigerator. 


Smen is a very important part of the flavour. Preparing smen; melt a stick of butter over the stove on a low simmer for 30 minutes. The butter will separate and there will be brown residue. Pour into a glass bowl or measuring cup and use as needed.  This will keep well in the refrigerator. Use the remainder in your soups, rice and other cooked foods.
Lemon pickle is available in larger supermarkets in the deli section. It can be a whole lemon or just pieces. If you wish to make it yourself it is best to pick the smallest lemons available. For best results buy the lemon with thin skin. Add 1 tsp of salt to the bottle, tightly seal and leave it to cook in the sun. Shake it daily. This will take a week. Refrigerate and use as needed. If you do not have access to it, used the zest of a lemon for flavour.

From Niloufer's Kitchen: Moroccan Cuisine

Friday, 15 July 2022

Lobster Salad

 Lobster Salad


This recipe was developed specifically for Le Bon Magot  using their delicious Kumquat Conserve. It is a versatile product that pairs well with seafood and can be enjoyed on buttered toast. It is delicious in a gin and tonic or another cocktail of choice. 

Lobster meat can be replaced with fresh crab meat, prawns or scallops if preferred.



Serves 4

Using the whole lobster, this will serve 6 to 8. 

4 small (1.5 lb each )  lobsters that are steamed, cleaned and the tail left whole, while the claws are in chunks.

Vinaigrette
8 tsp olive oil
4 pinches of salt
4 tsp kumquat conserve
4 tsp white balsamic vinegar
4 tbsp sweet white Muscato wine

Ribbons from 2 small baby courgette/zucchini
2 cupful of micro greens
1 ruby red grapefruit - cleaned 
4 red radish in thin slim pieces

To assemble
In four plates, drizzle equally divide the vinaigrette
place the ribbons of courgettes, and place all the cut pieces of lobster. Top with the microgreens. Place the whole lobster tail. sprinkle with the radish slims, and place the grapefruit around. Serve with freshly cracked pepper.

Photo credit Niloufer Mavalvala

Saturday, 29 January 2022

Zucchini and Nut Loaf Cake

Zucchini and Loaf cake 

Every recipe tells a story. This cake always amazes people and tends to become a conversation piece! The zucchini keeps it moist and it makes a light, fluffy dish that is not very sweet. A perfect tea cake. If you must ice it, a cream cheese frosting makes the perfect match. My family eats it with a slice of cheddar. The one in the picture is a sage cheddar, which pairs well.





  • Bakes 1- 8 inch /20cm loaf pan

  • butter and flour the pan

  • Preheat the oven to 375 F / 190 C


  • 2 eggs, at room temperature

  • 1 cup light brown sugar

  • 1/3 cup olive oil

  • 1/3 cup yogurt

  • 1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract

  • 1 ½ cups + 1 tbsp. all-purpose flour

  • 1 tsp. baking powder

  • ½ tsp. baking soda

  • ½ tsp. sea salt

  • 2 tsp. cinnamon powder

  • ¾ cup chopped walnuts

  • 1 ½ cups green zucchini, grated with skin

Whisk the eggs until light. Add the sugar and continue beating; drizzle the oil in a gentle stream. Add the yogurt and vanilla extract.
Lower the speed to stir and add a third of the dry ingredients—flour, baking soda and powder, salt, and cinnamon mixed in with the walnuts.
Add all the zucchini and add the rest of the dry ingredients, ensuring everything is combined but not overbeaten. Pour into a prepared cake pan and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until the tester comes out clean.
 
Tips
Check the cake at 35 minutes. If the centre is still not baked through, cover it lightly with a piece of foil to avoid getting darker. Reduce the heat to 350F/175C and bake for another ten minutes.
Test the deepest part with a skewer to make sure it's clean.



Photo courtesy Niloufer Mavalvala

My published cookbooks are available for sale through myself and on amazon.

The World of Parsi Cooking: Food Across Borders is a 3 award winning book. It has been self published in July 2019 and will be going into its second print in 2022. 

The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine was published in 2016 by Austin Macauley and continues to be available through amazon book depot book depository and from the publishers.





































Tuesday, 14 December 2021

Chocolate and Strawberry Tart

Strawberry and Chocolate Tart

My mum prepared this delicious delight to perfection. Lovingly placing each strawberry  to bring the flower to life. I shall cherish the memory of her gentle hands  working with passion as she created something she loved. 


 



Prepare a 9 inch tart pan
Preheat the oven to 350 F/ 165 C

Dry ingredients
1 cup flour - plain or almond
1 cup ground almond
3/4th cup sugar
pinch salt
1/3rd cup salted butter
2 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract

Using your finger tips or two butter knives, mix together all the dry ingredients - cut in pieces of butter until it resembles crumbs.

Mix the yolks and vanilla and pour it into the crumbs. Lightly bring it all together. It will resemble a dough. Do not overwork.

Alternately use a food processor, working with only the pulse button.  

Flatten the pastry onto the base of your prepared pan. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes until a light shade of golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool.

Chocolate Ganache

4 oz /125 gm dark chocolate
1/2 tbsp butter
4 oz /125 ml  - 1/2 cup whipping cream 35 %
1/2 tbsp sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cognac

24 strawberries, washed hulled and cut as desired to decorate.

In a pot, preferably a double boiler, melt the chocolate with the butter. Add the cream sugar and salt. When all of it comes together add the vanilla and cognac. 
Cool until it is the right consistency to pour over the pastry but not too thick to apply.
The chocolate must be set yet soft enough to place the strawberries into it if desired.


Serve immediately or chilled

My published cookbooks are available for sale through myself and on amazon.

The World of Parsi Cooking: Food Across Borders is a 3 award winning book. It has been self published in July 2019 and will be going into its second print in 2022. 

The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine was published in 2016 by Austin Macauley and continues to be available through amazon book depot book depository and from the publishers.

Monday, 13 December 2021

Cheese Souffle

                                                   Cheese Souffle



Cheese Souffle

 

Souffle, mousse and custards have been adopted into the Parsi cuisine repertoire from our colonial days. Often a ‘party’ dish, a savoury souffle was rare to be served. Cheese was expensive and hard to come by, and large families meant delicate foods like freshly baked souffles were only meant for treats. I recall an aunt adding potato to her cheese souffle and another adding corn.
The flavour is subtle, and yet the cheese should come through properly. With such a large variety of cheese now available, pick a sharp cheddar that melts well for best results. The other challenge is to await it at the dinner table – it will deflate in minutes
.

 

Serves 6

 

Preheat the oven to 200°C | 405°F. degrees

Prepare the bowl and refrigerate it until ready to use.

A 1.6 litre/ 6 cup soufflĂ© bowl, well buttered and sprinkled with bread crumbs or finely grated cheese like a parmesan. Alternatively, 12 smaller ramekins. 

 

 

57 g/ 2 oz unsalted butter

2 tbsp flour

½ tsp dry mustard powder

325 ml/ 11 oz whole milk -warmed

5 eggs -separated in two bowls

140 g/ 5 oz cheese – see tips

½ tsp salt

Pinch of sugar

Freshly cracked black pepper or nutmeg

5 drops of Tabasco

 


In a pan melt the butter, add the flour and mustard, stirring to prepare a roux. Cook for a minute and then pour in the warm milk stirring it constantly with a whisk to keep it smooth.
Bring it to a boil and allow to bubble for 3 minutes, continuously stirring it.

Remove from heat and add (while still warm), lightly beaten egg yolks -briskly whisk to incorporate.
Continue to add the cheese, salt, sugar and freshly ground black pepper or nutmeg. Add a few drops of tabasco.
Once the mixture is ready, whisk 5 egg whites -adding a pinch of salt, until soft peaks form.
Fold in 1/3 of this into the roux, gently breaking it up to soften.
Continue to gently fold in the rest keeping it nice and puffy and light.
Drop it into the soufflé bowl, run your thumb around the edges, and sprinkle with some of the grated cheese.
Reduce heat to 180 °C | 355 °F. degrees after 7 minutes and bake for 30 minutes. The top should be a nice golden brown.

Eat immediately.

 

Tips

Swiss Gruyere, Comte` or any strong grated cheddar will be best.

Beat the egg whites at the end, after preparing the rest of the recipe.

Optionally for additional flavour, add 2 tbsp of finely chopped fresh herbs chives, basil, or tarragon. The tender green ends of green onions/scallions work well too.


My published cookbooks are available for sale through myself and on amazon.

The World of Parsi Cooking: Food Across Borders is a 3 award winning book. It has been self published in July 2019 and will be going into its second print in 2022. 

The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine was published in 2016 by Austin Macauley and continues to be available through amazon book depot book depository and from the publishers.

Chicken and Corn Bake

 Bake Chicken and Corn


Growing up in Karachi this dish was a favourite with the Parsi community. it was often served at dinner parties as cheese and corn were both luxury items. While spicy food was always part of any meal, it was not common for people to serve western cuisine. This recipe is a take on that era. 





Serves 6 to 8 

1 whole roasted flavourful chicken, shredded of the bone and cut into small pieces.  

3 oz /100 gm salted butter
3 oz/ 100 gm flour
1 /2 tsp salt or to taste
2 tbsp mustard
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup grated cheddar cheese like gruyere, strong cheddar
A cupful of corn kernels 

Optionally add
12  chopped pickled peppadew peppers
A dash of tabasco 
Freshly cracked black pepper

 

In a large stock pot melt butter, add the flour, salt and (mustard if its powder) to make a roux. Let it 
bubble and cook for 3 minutes, stir it not to stick. Add chicken stock and mix well until it is all smooth.
 Add in the milk, bring it to a boil for a minute or two. Now add all the flavours of your choice. 
The cheese should melt through. Add the corn, bring this to a boil if the corn was uncooked. 
Add the chicken, mix well. Adjust salt and cheese. 

Pour into a flat baking dish about 13 x 9 inches. Sprinkle with grated cheese mixed with bread crumbs.
Bake on a preheated oven of 350F/170C degrees for 25 minutes until the top is golden brown.

You may need less time to bake if everything you pour into the dish is already hot just off the stove!
Chicken breast when shredded can be very stringy, its best to remove the whole piece off the bone and chop against the grain.

Tips
For a Vegetarian option

For a dish of about an 8 inch deep round dish you would use

3 oz butter 
3 oz flour
2 cups whole milk
6 ozs sharp cheddar cheese
1 tsp mustard 
freshly cracked black pepper
340 gm cooked corn kernels
Add salt to taste

3 eggs, very well beaten

Melt the butter and add the flour, mix until it bubbles and boils. Pour in the milk little at a time keeping it smooth with the help of a whisk. Once the mixture has boiled for a minute or two turn the stove off. Add in the cheese and ensure it has melted before adding the mustard, pepper and finally the corn.
The mixture should be thick but not stiff and easy to turn, (Add a little milk if you need to.)
Add the eggs a little at a time, folding it all in until well mixed.
Pour it into your bowl. 
Bake to set in an oven 160C 300F for 30 minutes.
Turn it off when there is a jiggle in the middle.



My published cookbooks are available for sale through myself and on amazon.

The World of Parsi Cooking: Food Across Borders is a 3 award winning book. It has been self published in July 2019 and will be going into its second print in 2022. 

The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine was published in 2016 by Austin Macauley and continues to be available through amazon book depot book depository and from the publishers.


Wednesday, 17 November 2021

Walnut Mocha Torte




Walnut Mocha Torte

Not everything has to look picture perfect or flawless. In fact, in my opinion, it enhances the feeling of warmth and comfort in enjoying a homemade cake.
This cake is absolutely delicious. It has a soft, light walnut textured cake and its rich and luscious frosting is the mocha-flavoured chocolate that is so luxurious with its sweetness and a tinge of bitter from the coffee to combine it. A steaming cup of coffee only adds to the absolute delight it provides us mochaholics!
 
This cake is from my mother's recipe collection of over 60 years. She was a brilliant baker.






   The creamy texture of this frosting and the walnuts crumbled over it, gives this cake its homemade look.        It is my personal favourite. 


Serves 10

Cake

3 cups walnut halves
6 tbsp plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

6 egg yolks
1 1/4 cup sugar
3 tsp coffee granules
1 tsp vanilla

6 egg whites
2 tbsp sugar

Prepare two pans approximately 24 cm/ 9 1/2 inch. Line with a parchment in each and butter it well.
In a food processor, pulse together the walnuts, flour, baking powder, and salt. The mixture should be like "crumbs" and not fine. With an electric beater, beat the egg yolks, sugar, coffee granules, and vanilla . Whip for 10 minutes, or until the mixture is light and fluffy. In another bowl, beat the egg whites until light and foamy, slowly adding the sugar half way through. The egg whites should not be dried and beaten only until soft peaks are formed. Now fold in 1/3rd of the egg white. Alternate by adding half the walnut crumbs. Repeat with egg white, walnut, and finish it off with egg whites. Divide the batter in two, pouring it into the prepared pans. Bake for 22 minutes at 350F/175C in a preheated oven. The cakes should start to leave the sides of the pan. To release the cake, run a knife around the sides immediately. Allow it to cool completely.
 
Frosting
 
 
1 1/2 cups whipping cream-35%
2 tbsp corn syrup
1 tbsp coffee granules
 
227 g/ 8 oz dark chocolate-broken into pieces
1 tsp vanilla extract
 
 
Combine the cream, corn syrup, and coffee in a saucepan. Stir over a gentle heat and mix until it is completely dissolved.
Take the pan off the heat and stir in the chocolate. Cover the pan and let the residual heat melt the chocolate. You may shuffle the pan but avoid using a spoon until it's almost melted. It will take about 5 minutes.
Last, add the vanilla extract. Stir it gently to help it smooth out.
 
Allow to chill in the refrigerator for up to 2 hours. It should be creamy and thick but not hard nor set.
With a whisk or a spoon or an electric mixer, beat it until light. The colour will change from dark to light and the texture will change from creamy to buttery.
 
Use all of it to frost the cake above.
 
Tips
 
A 55 percent Lindt dark chocolate or something similar provides the ideal sweetness for me. Use your favourite dark chocolate.






My published cookbooks are available for sale through myself and on amazon.

The World of Parsi Cooking: Food Across Borders is a 3 award winning book. It has been self published in July 2019 and will be going into its second print in 2022. 

The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine was published in 2016 by Austin Macauley and continues to be available through amazon book depot book depository and from the publishers.



Monday, 8 November 2021

Roasted Chicken

Roasted Chicken

An easy recipe that will always be successful.

The key to it is the fresh whole chicken. Get a free range one, get it with the skin, get it organic if you like - increase the cooking time for the organic one. 

A Sunday roast prepared at the very last minute, improvised with "something in the fridge" - a wheel of soft cheese, Boursin. This cheese is made up with ingredients that flavour the meal -  garlic, herbs and cream, salt, pepper and soft cheese. What more can one wish for on a simple roast chicken? Subtle enough to serve it with sides, yet tasty enough to eat by itself.

I served this delicious chicken with a mushroom gravy, tartiflette, some roasted caulilini and a salad. It worked well, as I placed the chicken in the preheated oven, and then calculated the timing to place the potatoes and caulilini at the right times.






Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F

Serves 6

1.5 kg/3.3 lb free range chicken - whole with skin on

1 wheel of 150 gm/5.29 oz Boursin garlic and herbs soft French gournay cheese


Pat dry the whole chicken. Place the chicken on a baking sheet lined with parchment. 

Gently loosen the skin all over as best as you can, being careful not to tear it apart. Starting with the breast side, generously apply the cheese under the skin , and place the remaining in the cavity of the chicken. Place the chicken breast side down.

Cook the chicken for 1 hour 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, loosely cover this with some foil and allow it to rest for 10 minutes. Serve.


Tips

The free range chicken should be cooked for approximately 20 minutes per lb. But it is important to note that organic chickens need more time to cook. 

To achieve the right balance, increase the ratio of cheese to match the larger bird. 

Photo courtesy Niloufer Mavalvala