Tag Archives: tasty

You had me at ‘fried cheese’ …

Without a doubt – my favourite salad in the entire world.  You can add all sorts of things to this – peppers (aka capsicum), chili’s, mix it up with some cilantro (aka fresh coriander) or roasted butternut squash (aka pumpkin)— the sky is the limit!  Just don’t make the same mistake I did when I tried to make this the first time…havarti is not the same as haloumi (havarti will melt!)

Haloumi with Lentil Salad 3 

Make the lentil salad an hour or so before grilling the haloumi — this will allow the lentils to soak up the yummy flavours — tastes great the next day too! 

Haloumi and lentil salad

Serves four

  • 2 x 400g cans brown lentils, drained, rinsed
  • 1/2 – 1 small red onion, thinly sliced (depends on how much you like onion)
  • 1 English cucumber, halved, sliced (about 1 cup total)
  • 3tomatoes, chopped (or 1 cup of cherry tomatoes)
  • 3/4 cup mint leaves, shredded
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 250g block haloumi cheese
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper to season

Combine lentils, onion, cucumber, tomatoes, mint, lemon juice and oil in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper and mix to combine.  Allow this to hang out for an hour if you can, if you cant — its still good!

Cut haloumi lengthways into about 8 slices. Pat-dry with paper towels. Dust lightly with flour and shake off excess.

Heat oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Cook haloumi, in batches, for 2 minutes each side, or until golden.  Drain

Top the salad with the haloumi — done!

Haloumi with Lentil Salad 

Viva La Chickpea

The words ‘lentil’ and ‘legumes’ used to make me shudder – all I would think was ‘no flavour’.  Boy was I wrong (but dont tell my husband that, I am always right you see…).  So this New Year will be a year of broadened horizons, and I am starting by embracing the chickpea (aka garbanzo bean) – high in protein and full of stuff thats good for you – this dish makes a delicious non-meat meal! 

But dont ask me what came first – the chicken or the chickpea … somet hings are meant to remain a mystery…

Spiced and Roasted Eggplant, Chickpeas and Peppers with Yoghurt Sauce

 closeup of yogurt sauce

Spiced and Roasted Eggplant, Chickpeas and Peppers
Serves 4

  • 4 cups eggplant – chunky bite-size dice
  • 1 large red onion – bite-size wedges
  • 1 large red or yellow pepper – bite-size wedges
  • 1 15oz can of chickpeas – drained, rinsed and patted dry
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chilli powder
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to season

Preheat your oven to 450F.  Add all the ingredients to a bowl and mix to combine – I like to use a bowl with a lid, just add and shake and youre done!  Spread out evenly on baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, turning once.  Increase heat to 500F and cook for a further 10 minutes until roasty-toasty deliciousness!

Yoghurt Sauce

  • 1/2 cup nonfat plain yoghurt – such as strained Greek Yoghurt
  • 2 small tomatoes roughly choped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint

Throw everything in a bowl and mix!

I like to serve this with a mini whole-wheat pita bread – its delicious eaten ‘taco style’.  Hearty and healthy – what can be better!  Even the man liked it – I was shocked, the buns of course ran from the room… little fuss pots

Fish Tacos — Mmm Delish!

The mystique of a ‘fish taco’ is something that has intrigued me ever since I moved to the USA.  Well, moreover because it sounded kinda gross.  But then I thought peanut butter and chocolate together sounded gross.  Lets face it, I didn’t know any better – thankfully, I have since been redeemed.

I was watching the Food Network one day (no, not Rachel Ray…) and saw Tyler Florence’s ‘The Ultimate Fish Tacos’ , and well, figuring I am always willing to try the ‘Ultimate’  version of anything (particularly booze aka alcohol) I would give them a go. I have made these a few times and have tweaked the recipe to my tastes, below is my take. The verdict — DELISH! 

fish taco assembled 

Be forewarned, all the bits and pieces take time – either have a bunch of people help you, or prepare the chipotle mayo the day before, and the salsa the day of — no point being too tired to eat your tasty tacos!

 Chipotle Mayo

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 5 chipotles in adobo, plus 3 tablespoons of adobo sauce (I like it spicy, cut it back to 3 chipotles if you like it mild)
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • Salt and pepper — for seasoning
  • Throw all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth – refrigerate until you are ready to eat.

    chipotle mayo 

    Mango Salsa 

  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 2 mangoes, medium dice
  • 5 red radishes, medium dice
  • 1 small red onion, small dice
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/4 cup of chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • Salt and pepper — for seasoning
  • Prepare a couple hours beforehand if possible, simply add all the ingredients to a bowl and mix!

    Mango and Radish salsa 

    The Fish

    Here’s a tip — Trader Joes has Mahi Mahi for about $5.00 a lb, its in the frozen food section.  I’ve also used fresh Flounder – but at $24.00 a lb at Whole Foods, it makes some expensive fish tacos!!

  • 2 pounds mahi mahi (skinned, boned and cleaned) cut into 1-ounce strips
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • Vegetable oil, for frying (about 3/4 of a cup)
  • Salt and pepper – for seasoning
  • Step 1. Get 3 medium sized dishes – on dish No. 1 add the flour and season with pepper and salt.  On dish No. 2 add the eggs and water.  One dish No. 3 add the breadcrumbs — you now have a breading station! 

    I find the easiest is to have dish No. 1 the furthest away from the pan, that way once you finish crumbing in dish No. 3 you can plonk them straight into the oil.

    Step 2. Now heat the oil – medium to high heat (you want it to be about 375F).  If you dont have a thermometer (like me) just drop a small piece of crumbed fish in and see if it bubbles around the edges, if its not bubbling, crank up the heat!

    Step 3. Now that you have your oil heating and your breading station all set up, cut the pieces of fish into strips about 1 inch wide (depending on your tastes) strips. Dust the pieces of fish in flour, then transfer them to the egg, coating, and then to the breadcrumbs. Once all the fish is breaded deep-fry in small batches until golden brown, draining on paper towel to remove excess oil. Keep warm until ready to serve.

    fish for fish tacos 

     Additional Taco Accompaniments

  • 1/2 head savoy cabbage, finely shredded
  • 1 bunch cilantro, leaves picked
  • 3 limes, cut into wedges for garnish
  • 16 small flour tortillas  – I like to toast each side of the tortillas for extra flavour, simply add to a heated pan (no oil) until toasty
  • the spread for fish tacos 

    Throw it all in a tortilla, squeeze a lime edge over it and tuck in.  Mmmmmmm getting hungry just thinking about ’em – is it bad to lick my computer monitor????

    fish taco closeup