Cucumber Avo Salad

Cucumber Avo Salad

500g cucumber (about half an English cucumber)
2 avocados
30ml lemon juice
2 salad onions, finely sliced
chilli flakes

Peel the cucumber in alternating strips in its length.
Take out the seeds with a teaspoon, cut into bite-sized pieces and put it in a colander set in your sink.
Sprinkle 5ml salt over, toss together and leave to drain for about 20 minutes.
Slice the avocado in half, remove the pip and scoop out the flesh.
Cut in to 1,5cm cubes.
Add the avocado to a mixing bowl, sprinkle over the lemon juice and season with salt and black pepper. Stir to combine.
Shake the cucumber pieces in the colander to get rid of any moisture.
Add to the avocado.
Add the sliced salad onions and mix again.
Now stir the salad vigorously until the avocado breaks down a bit.
Taste the salad and adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper and lemon juice.
Scatter over some chilli flakes and serve.

Thai Green Curry

Thai Green Curry

45ml vegetable oil
60ml Thai green curry paste
500ml chicken stock
1 x 400g tin coconut milk
10ml fish sauce
45ml sugar
1,5ml salt
800g chicken breasts, skin removed and cubed
2 aubergines (about 450g in total), diced
a small bunch of basil leaves
30ml lemon juice

Place a saucepan over medium-high heat and add the vegetable oil.
Add the curry paste and stir-fry for 2 minutes.
Pour in the chicken stock and coconut milk and stir to dissolve the paste.
Add the fish sauce, sugar and salt.
Now add the chicken.
Turn the heat to medium-low heat so that the curry simmers lightly. Cook for 20 minutes.
Add the diced aubergine and simmer for another 15 minutes.
Taste the curry. Add more salt if necessary and also more sugar for a background sweetness.
Chop a handful of the basil leaves and add it to the curry.
Pour in the lemon juice and turn the heat to low.
Cook for 5 more minutes.
Serve the curry on a fragrant rice and scatter over some fresh basil leaves.

Orange Glazed Carrots

Orange Glazed Carrots

1kg carrots, peeled
60ml butter, cubed
grated zest of one orange
2 + 2 oranges
125ml brown sugar
30ml thyme leaves
30ml pumpkin seeds

Fill a saucepan with water, add the carrots and bring to the boil.
Cook for 5-6 minutes until almost done – the cooking time will of course depend on the size of the carrots.
Drain and pat dry with a tea towel.
Place a pan on medium-high heat, add the butter and wait for it to melt.
Now add the orange zest, 60ml orange juice and the brown sugar.
Stir until most of the sugar has dissolved.
Add the carrots to the pan and season with salt and pepper.
Cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated and the glaze is shiny and thick enough to coat the carrots – between 5 and 10 minutes.
Watch the carrots in the glaze and regulate the heat – they burn easily.
Peel and slice the other two oranges and arrange the slices on a serving plate. Place the carrots on top of the orange.
Drizzle over any glaze in the pan, scatter the thyme leaves and pumpkin seeds over and serve with a smile.


Sugar Bean Soup

Sugar Bean Soup

500g brown sugar beans
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large/2 medium carrots, finely diced
2 leeks, finely sliced
500g beef, 1,5 – 2cm cubes
2 litres beef stock
45ml Worcestershire sauce

Soak the beans in a bowl filled with cold water for a minimum of 6 hours.
Rinse the beans and add them to a pressure cooker with enough water to cover them by 3cm. Cook for 45 minutes. (If you are cooking them in a saucepan – simmer gently for 1 – 2 hours until soft when pressed between your fingers). DO NOT ADD SALT OR ANY OTHER FLAVOURANTS AT THIS STAGE!
Place another large saucepan on a medium heat and add a splash of vegetable oil.
Add the onion, garlic, carrots and leeks and gently cook until the onion is soft and translucent.
Add the beef, season well with salt and pepper and stir-fry for 5 minutes.
Pour in the beef stock and Worcestershire sauce and bring to the boil.
Turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for 1 hour.
Drain the beans, mash them roughly and add to the beef mixture.
Simmer the soup for 30 minutes while keeping a hawk’s eye on it as it will burn easily at this stage. Stir often and regulate the temperature.
Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning.
Serve steaming hot with a fresh crusty bread.