Tapenade

I made a double batch of tapenade to have on hand when we sailed from Langkawi to Phuket. As we were island hopping, we were often at our destination in time for lunch. Our lunches, for this trip, consisted of Chinese tea eggs, salami, smoked duck, pickled vegetables, tomato, cucumber, cheese, crackers etc…. and this yummy tapenade!

tapenade6

I love the saltiness of tapenade… it has all my favourite ingredients in this one little dish. I keep my tapenade a little chunky. Of course you can puree it to make it more spreadable.

Ingredients

2 jars of pitted black olives (345g jars – drained weight about 170g)
2 cloves of garlic
2 Tbs of capers
1-2 fillets of anchovy
1 tsp lime juice
5 Tbs of olive oil
1 Tbs chopped basil

Tapenade&Crackers

Method

Rinse the olives and place in a food processor. Add two tablespoons of drained cappers, the anchovy and the lime juice. Start blending the ingredients for a minute. Then gradually add the oil as you continue to blend the ingredients. Stop the food processor when you have the consistency you want. I then stir in the basil and store in glass jars in the fridge.

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5 Spice Duck Risotto

I can hear you saying… NOT ANOTHER DUCK RECIPE! I promise I’ll post something different next week.

This is only my second time making a risotto. The first was several years ago when I made a crayfish risotto. This may not look pretty but it is delicious! You could easily make this for two people using one duck breast… there almost seemed to be more duck than rice… but Dwayne wasn’t complaining. I was just happy it turn out as lovely as it did!

Risotto4

Ingredients

2 1/4 tsp five spice
2 duck breast
1 large onion, finely diced
2-3 garlic cloves, finely diced
2 large oyster mushrooms, thinly sliced
4 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in boiling water for 5 minute, squeeze out the water and slice
1 cup of arborio rice
1/2 cup red wine
500ml – 700ml hot chicken stock
1/2 tsp cracked pepper
1 tsp light soy sauce
2 green spring onions, thinly sliced
small bunch of greens, thinly sliced i.e. kale, spinach, bok choy
chives, finely sliced for garnish

5 Spice Duck Risotto
Finely sliced leafy greens, spring onions and duck tossed through the rice at the end of cooking.

Method

Lightly score the duck skin a few times and rub the duck breast all over with 1 tsp of the five spice.

Place skin side down in a cold non stick pan on a medium heat without oil for 7-10 minutes or until golden brown, flip and seal the other side for 30 seconds. Remove from pan but keep the oil from the duck fat.

Place the duck breast skin side up on a rack in a roasting tin and put on the middle rack of a 220°C preheated oven. Cook for 15 minutes. Then take duck from the oven and let it cool before slicing.

While the duck is cooking….

Heat fat from the duck in a large pan and add the onion and garlic, and cook on medium heat for several minutes. Add the mushroom and continue to cook, stirring occasionally for a few minutes.

Add the rice and continue to cook on medium heat, toasting the rice for 4 minutes. (This is an important part of making risotto).

Then add the red wine, the remain 1 1/4 tsps of five spice, and light soy sauce. Allow the red wine to be absorbed before you begin to add the stock. Add 1/4 of a cup of stock at a time… allowing each 1/4 cup of stock to be absorbed before adding more. Keep stirring the rice and testing the consistency.

When the rice is almost done (you have tasted it and are happy with the consistency) add the spring onions, leafy greens and the sliced duck. Lightly toss the ingredients through  as you finish cooking for a couple of minutes. Bon appetite!

Risotto2

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5 Spice Duck Risotto



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Tea Smoked Duck with Asian Style Salad

I love duck! Love it! Whenever I want to make something special I will often think of duck. This was my first attempt at smoking duck and it turned out delicious… if I do say so myself!

Smoking mix

1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
1 clove
1 cup of uncooked rice
1/2 cup of tea
1/4 cup sugar

Tea smoked duck

And this is how I made it….

In a mortar I crushed the cinnamon stick, star anise and clove (crushed but not powdered) and then I combined this spice mix with the rice, tea and sugar.

I lined a wok with a couple of layers of foil and added the tea mix. I heated this over high heat until it was smoking hot. On a trivet, over the smoking tea, I placed the duck breast, skin side up.

I covered the top of the wok with foil, put the lid on and turned the heat down to low. Then I let it smoke for 20-25 minutes.

If you want crispy skin duck (as we did), take the duck out of the wok a little earlier. Heat a fry pan (no oil needed), add duck skin down and cook for a few minutes until crispy.

Tea smoked duck

My Salad

Shredded cabbage, thinly sliced large red chilli, thinly sliced beans, bean sprouts, finely chopped small red chilli, chopped coriander, mint and basil, grated carrot and grated green apple (apple tossed with the juice of 1/2 lime).

For the dressing – I used the same dressing I made for my green mango salad.

I served the duck with salad and lontong which is a compressed rice cake.

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Tea Smoked Duck

 

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Rum and Raisin Bliss Balls

These bliss balls are rich, moist, decadent and very, very tasty. Full of nutritional goodness, they are nonetheless a high energy treat. Just perfect for when you have a long day of sailing ahead of you!

Rum&Raisin Bliss Balls1

Ingredients

1 1/4 cup almond meal
1/2 cup cocoa
1/4 cup psylium
1/4 cup chia seeds (I used mixed black and white)
1 3/4 cups firmly packed raisins
1/2 cup gold rum

Method

Place the almond meal, cocoa, psyllium and the chia seeds in a bowl and mix well. Add 1/4 cup of raisins and mix again.

Put the remaining 1 1/2 cups of the raisins in a blender, add the rum and blend well.

Add the raisin and rum mix to the bowl. Using a large spoon mix the wet and dry ingredients until well blended.

With damp hands roll raisin mix into balls and refrigerate.

They will keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks.

Rum&Raisin Bliss Balls3

About the Ingredients

Psyllium Husk – fibre! and can help manage cholesterol levels.

Chia Seeds – massive amounts of nutrients with very few calories! Excellent source of fibre and antioxidants. High in protein and omega-3 fatty acids and helps lower the risk of heart disease.

Cocoa –  rich in minerals such as iron, magnesium and calcium. Has anti-inflammatory, anti-allergenic, anti-carcinogenic and antioxidant qualities. Can also aid in lowering blood pressure.

Almond Meal – high in protein, monounsaturated fatty acids, dietary fibre, antioxidants, vitamins like riboflavin. Lowers cholesterol and help prevent heart disease. Supports health brain function and maintains healthy skin.

Raisins –  loaded with fibre, potassium, iron and other essential nutrients (polyphenols, antioxidants, flavonoids) etc

Rum –  flavour… yum yum!

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Rum and Raisin Bliss Balls

More delicious Bliss Ball recipes? Try these!

HIGH FIBRE BLISS BALLS

TRIPPIN’ BLISS BALLS

CHRISTMAS PUDDING BLISS BALLS

APRICOT AND COCONUT BLISS BALLS

Smoked Fish Chowder

After our first attempt smoking fish in our make-shift disposable smoker, I had a craving for smoked fish chowder. I based my chowder on the type of chowder I had made before, using smoked haddock or cod. The smoke perch or barramundi from the previous recipe was just perfect. This chowder had nice chunky bits of fish, potato and a smoky creaminess to die for!

chowder

 

Ingredients

2 Tbs of butter
2 cloves of garlic, crushed or finely diced
1-2 rashers of streaky bacon, finely diced
1 stick of celery, finely diced
2 Tbs of plain flour
1 cup of white wine
4 potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 cups fish or vegetable stock
2 cups of water
1 tsp crushed peppercorns
400g smoked fish
1 cup of cream
fresh parsley, finely chopped

Method

Melt the butter in a large saucepan, add bacon, onion, garlic and celery. Sauté for a few minutes to soften then add the flour and cook stirring continually for a minute.

Add the white wine and simmer on low heat until it starts to thicken. Then add the stock, water and potatoes. Bring to the boil and then cook uncovered until potatoes are cooked. 

Add the smoked fish and cream and bring almost to the boil. Add the black pepper and some chopped parsley. Continue to heat until warmed through and of a good consistency.

Serve with another sprinkle of fresh parsley.

OMG! This is perfect after a long sail or on a cold night. Serve with some crusty bread for a perfect “comfort food” meal.

Bon appetite!

Chowdder2

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This chowder had nice chunky bits of fish, potato and a smoky creaminess to die for!

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Tea Smoked Fish

We love smoked fish and had the desire to make some. We were anchored at Langkawi and we had a couple of problems to overcome before we could make our own smoked fish. The first was we didn’t have a smoker and the second is we could not find any hickory wood chips (or similar) on the island.

Not usually one to be deterred from doing something just because it is not straight forward, Dwayne set about thinking about how to make an easy smoker. He came up with something we could use on the beach with two aluminium foil trays, some bulldog clips and a rack.

In the meantime I had decided we could use a tea mixture instead of wood chips as the smoking mix and set about making something that may just add a delicious flavour to our fish.

This is what we came up with…

For the smoker…

2 aluminium foil trays
6 bulldog clips
1 oven rack or trivet
1 empty beer can
white spirits (metho)
sand
(or coals or wood for fire)

smokedfish6

Ingredients

fish

For the brine…

1 cup of water
1/4 cup salt
1/4 cup tightly pack brown sugar

For the tea smoke mixture…

1 cinnamon stick
2 star anise
2 clove
1 cup of uncooked rice
1/2 cup of tea
1/4 cup sugar

And this is how we smoked our fish…

I made the brine by dissolving the salt and sugar into 1/2 a cup of boiling water. Then I add 1/2 a cup of ice cold water. I then let the brine cool down before I added the fish.

I let the fish soak in the brine for 1/2 hour, then removed it and dried it with paper towels. Then set it in the fridge until we were ready to smoke it.

For the tea smoking mixture, I crushed up the cinnamon stick, star anise and cloves in my mortar and mixed it with the tea, sugar and rice.

When we were organised we went to the beach to set up our smoker.

Once on shore we placed some of the tea mixture on the bottom of one of the trays then, because my rack doesn’t have legs, we used some old rocks from the beach and placed the rack on those so it was sitting over the tea mix. Next we placed the fish on the trivet and topped with the other tray. Using the bulldog clips we secured the two trays together. The ‘smoker’ was then placed on top of a couple of bricks allowing space for the burner underneath.

Now we needed a flame. Dwayne, always willing to do one for the team, then skulled a can of beer, proudly producing the much needed burner equipment. He cut the beer can in half and filled it with dry sand and then poured the white spirits over the sand. He lit this mix up and placed it under the tray…. we now had our smoker and we could sit back with a refreshing glass of white wine while we let the smoker do its job.

smokedfish4

(Alternatively you can use coals as your heat source or even a wood fire.)

We smoked the fish for about an hour. The cooking time will obviously depend on how hot you have it cooking at.

We were extremely happy with the result! Next time I’ll tell you how to make my yummy smoked fish chowder!

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Tea Smoked Fish and how to make a quick disposable smoker!

Apricot and Coconut Bliss Balls

I have another bliss ball for you! I love knowing what I am eating and by making my own snack foods I am aware of all the ingredients. Home made bliss balls are the perfect snack for the lunch box, morning or afternoon tea, or just when you need some filling up.

My bliss balls do not require any oil to hold them together, as I use the psyllium which works beautifully to bond all the ingredients. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth so please feel free to add a little honey if you want them sweeter (you will probably have to reduce the orange juice). Bon appetit!

bliss balls

Ingredients

3/4 cup of oats 
1/2 cup desiccated coconut 
300g dried apricots
1/4 cup psyllium husks 
1/4 cup pistachios, roughly chopped
6 brazil nuts, roughly chopped
1/4 cup chia seeds 
1/2 – 3/4 cup orange juice
extra coconut for coating

Method

Add oats to a food processor and process until fine and put into a bowl.

Add the coconut, psyllium, pistachios, brazil nuts and chia seed to the bowl.

Put the apricots into the food processor and chop up. Add 1/2 a cup of orange juice and chop up well.

Add the apricot mix to the bowl and mix well. Add a little more orange juice if needed. Mix into a firm mix. Once well blended, use wet hands and roll the mix into 25 – 30 balls.

Coat the balls in the extra coconut.

Refrigerate. Will last in refrigerator for 2 weeks.

About the Ingredients

Apricots –  are high in beta-carotene, fibre, vitamin C and potassium, they also provide protection against free radical damage.

Oats – High in fibre, helps lower cholesterol and is high in antioxidants.

Psyllium Husk – fibre! and can help manage cholesterol levels.

Chia Seeds – massive amounts of nutrients with very few calories! Excellent source of fibre and antioxidants. High in protein and omega-3 fatty acids and helps lower the risk of heart disease.

Brazil nuts – High in selenium, Brazil nuts properties include,  anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and will increase your bliss, hence Bliss Balls! This is due to the Selenium which has been scientifically proven to lift mood and prevent depression.

Coconut – rich in a number of essential nutrients, including dietary fibre, manganese, copper and selenium.

Pistachios – loaded with all kinds of nutrients, such as vitamin B6, thiamine, potassium, copper, magnesium and iron. Helps lower cholesterol.

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Apricot and Coconut

 

More delicious Bliss Ball recipes? Try these!

HIGH FIBRE BLISS BALLS

TRIPPIN’ BLISS BALLS

CHRISTMAS PUDDING BLISS BALLS

 

 


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