Quail Scotch Eggs

This was my second pick as a popular dish from the United Kingdom. We love travelling, and we love food… the two go hand in hand for us. Eating is one of our favourite ways to explore the culture of a country we visit. When we arrived in England, we ask Dwayne’s cousin, whom we were staying with, what is something we should try while in England. Without hesitation, he said the scotch egg. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to eat scotch egg in London, but as soon as I could, I made my own. This is a simple way to make this yummy treat and the quail eggs make it perfect finger food for a party.

Ingredients

18 – 24 quail eggs*
500g fat pork sausages**
plain flour
1 egg, beaten with a splash of milk
dry bread crumbs
oil for frying

Method

Cook the quail eggs. Place the eggs in a saucepan and cover with water. Add a pinch of baking soda to make it easier to peel. Set the heat to high, and once the water begins to simmer, roll the eggs around in the pot with a chopstick. This will move the yolk into the centre of the egg.

Bring the water to a boil, boil for 4 minutes. Rinse the eggs in cold water and drain. Put the lid on the pot and gently roll eggs around in the pot to crack the eggshells. Carefully peel eggs. Set aside.

 

scotch eggs united kingdom food recipe travel food

Place the flour, egg and crumbs into separate bowls.

Squeeze the pork sausage meat out of the casings and divide into the portions you need. I did 24 eggs with a thin layer of sausage coating each. You can easily make the pork thicker on each egg by reducing the number of eggs you use.

Dust the eggs with the flour.

Using damp hands wrap the sausage around the egg. Dip the sausage wrapped eggs into the beaten egg and then coat in bread crumbs.

Heat oil in a deep pan and deep fry the coated eggs until golden brown (approximately 2 minutes). Drain on a paper towel.

Serve the eggs hot with a selection of sauces. They are also yummy when cold.

Notes
I have used tinned quail eggs before. They are just as good and you don’t need to peel.
** Good quality pork sausage. Try Cumberland or Lincolnshire.

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united kingdom food english eggs quail sausage pork

Green Pea Soup with Tarragon

This recipe came about because Dwayne wanted peas with his roast chicken. What…? It is simple really, we don’t have a freezer at the moment but had to buy 500 grams of frozen peas to go with the roast chicken dinner we cooked the night before. Therefore, we had 3.5 cups of defrosted peas to use… hence green pea soup. It is so simple and easy to make and, believe it or not, it is delicious.

Ingredient

1 onion, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 Tablespoon of oil
3 1/2 cups of frozen green peas, defrosted
2 cups of chicken stock
1 teaspoon of dried tarragon
Cream to serve (optional)

green pea soup tarragon recipe

Method

Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the garlic and onion, cook slowly for 3 to 5 minutes to soften.

Add the green peas, stock and tarragon and cook for 10 minutes.

Place peas in a food processor and process until smooth.

To Serve

Pour the soup into bowls and add a little cream.

Bon appetite

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green peas soup tarragon recipe

Toad-in-the-hole

We love food, and we love to travel. Whenever we travel, we always explore the culture of a country through its food. What better way? It is perfect for us as we fill our belly with tasty ethnic treats.

I will often research and find out what the national dish of a country is or what are typical meals served and then try to eat those while in the country. I later try to replicate them at home. When I searched for ‘United Kingdom’s national dish’ it came back with chicken tikka masala. While in England we did eat Indian food and enjoyed it, however, I was looking for popular English dishes. So I searched for ‘what is the most popular food in the UK’. Topping the list was toad-in-the-hole.

food recipe sausage tomato

Ok, I had made this before, and it had been a hit. We were not able to find it on the menu (we were only there for three days) but decided this dish was going to represent the UK as a country we had visited. When I made this the other day, Dwayne and I had it for dinner, and it is seriously moreish. A few years back, we had many people staying with us, and I made this as a breakfast dish. I was well-received; everyone loved it.

Ingredients

1-2 Tablespoons of olive oil
8 pork sausages
8 slices of bacon
2 cups plain flour
2 eggs lightly beaten
400ml water
2 Tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
12-15 cherry tomatoes
*Caramelised onion jam to serve

food recipe sausage tomato

Method

Preheat the oven to 220c. Add oil to a baking dish and heat in the oven while you prepare the ingredients.

Wrap a slice of bacon around each sausage. Add sausages to a cold non-stick frypan and heat on med-high. Cook sausages for approximately 10 mins, turning until they are brown all over.

Sift the flour into a bowl and gradually whisk in the beaten eggs and the water. Add a couple of pinches of rosemary and whisk until smooth.

Arrange the sausages in the preheated baking dish and pour the batter around them. Scatter with the remaining rosemary and pop the tomatoes around the sausages.

Bake for 25 – 30mins until it has risen a little and browning.

Heat the onion jam and drizzle over the toad-in-the-hole or serve the marmalade as a side dish. It is the perfect compliment. Get my recipe for caramelised onion jam here.

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English food recipe

Caramelised Onion Jam

I made this onion jam to eat with an English specialty… toad-in-the-hole. Now that I have discovered that it is so easy to make, I will keep some of this yummy concoction in my fridge at all times. This would be just as delicious with a cheese plate or on sandwiches of roast meat. Yum yum, making myself hungry!

 

Ingredients

2 Tablespoons of olive oil
1 Tablespoon of butter
2 large red onions, halved and thinly sliced
1/4 cup of caster sugar
1 cup of red wine
1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar

marmalade red onions red wine condiment

Method

Heat olive oil and butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add onions and sugar to oil and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring often.

Stir in red wine and balsamic vinegar and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until liquid is evaporated (about 15 to 20 minutes).

 

To serve

Place in a serving bowl and serve with sandwiches, flans, cheese plates or my yummy toad-in-the-hole (recipe coming soon).

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Red wine, onion, conserve, preserve, marmalade

Thai Banana Blossom Salad

We have spent a lot of the last four years in Thailand, therefore I do cook many Thai style meals. I usually shop at the local SuperCheap (a Thai supermarket) and consequently use mostly Thai vegetables and fruits in our meals.

For over a year now I have regularly seen banana flowers in the veggie section and finally decided to make a banana blossom salad. Using the traditional flavours of Thai cuisine this what I came up with…

Banana Blossom Salad

Ingredients

3 Tablespoons lime juice
2 Tablespoons fish sauce
1 Tablespoon palm sugar*
1 Tablespoon chilli paste or chilli jam
3 Tablespoons coconut cream

1 banana blossom
1 large red chilli
1 large green chilli
1 small carrot (or 1/2 a large carrot)
2 spring onions
bean shoots
4 Tablespoons of Asian fried shallots
2 Tablespoons of crushed peanuts**

Method

Mix the lime sauce, fish sauce, palm sugar and chilli paste in a bowl and stir until sugar is dissolved. Add coconut cream and blend well. Check for the right balance of salty, sweet, sour and spicy. Adjust as needed (fish sauce – salty, sugar – sweet, lime juice – sour and chilli paste – spicy). Set aside.

Cut the chillies lengthwise, remove the seeds and pith. Slice the chillies thinly and add to a large mixing bowl. Grate the carrot and add to the mixing bowl. Finely slice the spring onion and, along with the bean shoots, add to the dish. Set aside.

Thai food

Fill a large bowl with cold water and squeeze some lemon or lime juice into it. Remove the outer leaves of the banana blossom until all dark leaves have been removed. Keep the best two outer leaves for serving. Cut the blossom lengthwise and remove inner core. Finely slice the blossom and place each slice in the water as you do so, to stop it going black.

Thai food cooking

Strain the blossom and add to the mixing bowl, add the dressing and two tablespoons of the fried onion and mix well.

To serve

Place two clean banana blossom leaves on plates and heap with the salad. Garnish with a tablespoon each of fried onion and peanuts.

Banana Blossom Salad1

Bon appetite

Notes

*Use soft brown sugar instead of palm sugar

**I didn’t have peanuts so used a seed mix with the salad in the photos. Peanuts would definitely suit the taste better.

Chilli paste, chilli jam and Asian fried shallots found in Asian grocery stores.

This recipe will serve two as a meal or four to six as a side dish.

Add cooked prawns to make it a meal.

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Thai Banana Blossom Salad

Choco High Fibre Slice

Dwayne and I are trying to shed a bit of weight by cutting out our carbohydrates (i.e. rice, potato, pasta and bread, as well as most fruits).  We are eating a lot of vegetables but it is not quite enough fibre for my loopy gut. So I have come up with a high fibre treat. This recipe is an excellent source of fibre, in fact, every ingredient has significant fibre, it also has a lot of good fats and antioxidants.

This slice is packed full of superfoods! However, I haven’t made it very sweet (it is perfect for my taste buds), so adjust it to suit your needs. It is easy to add a bit of sweetness by adding a couple of tablespoons of honey. If you add the honey just reduce the amount of almond milk a little.

Bonus! This recipe is gluten-free and lactose-free.

Choco High Fibre Slice - Superfood bar, healthy and high in protein

Ingredients

1/2 cup almond meal
1/2 cup psyllium
1/2 cup cocoa or cacao
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup flaxseed meal
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup walnut and/or hazelnuts, roughly chopped
1/4 cup desiccated coconut
1/4 cup goji berries
1/2 tightly packed pitted prunes (I used 24 “sunset brand” prunes)
1 and 1/4 cups almond milk


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Method

Place the dry ingredients (including nuts, coconut and goji) in a bowl and mix well breaking up and lumps.

Place the prunes and the almond milk into a food processor and give it a whiz. I blend until well chopped but still has biggish lumps of prune.

Mix the prune and almond milk with the dry ingredient. Mix it very well, ensuring all dry ingredients become moist. Set aside for 10 minutes.

Press the mixture into a 15cm x 24cm tray or similar (lined with baking paper) and refrigerate for several hours before cutting into slices.

Store in an air-tight container in the fridge.

Choco High Fibre Slice - Superfood bar, healthy and high in protein

About the ingredients

Almond meal – is a good source of fibre, high in protein (21% by weight), low in carbohydrates, high in Omega-6 fats and gluten-free.

Coconut flour – high in fibre and gluten-free.

Flaxseed meal – high fibre and protein. Flaxseed also has lots of good fats – Omega-3 and Omega-6. It is gluten-free.

Psyllium – an excellent source of fibre and is gluten-free.

Chia seeds – high in fibre and good fats – omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, high protein (14% by weight) and gluten-free.

Cocoa – high in fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. It is also gluten-free.

Hazelnuts –  contain beneficial dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals and is an excellent source of vitamin-E. Is gluten-free.

Walnuts – low Carbohydrates (and most carbs in the walnuts are fibre).  High in good fats omega-6 and Omega-3, and contains huge amounts of antioxidants. Walnuts contain many vitamins and minerals and are gluten-free.

Desiccated coconut – essential nutrients and high in fibre. Contains saturated fat which makes it very filling. Also gluten-free.

Goji berries – good source of fibre and protein, contains vitamins, minerals and antioxidants… and gluten-free.

Almond milk – unsweetened almond milk – lactose-free and gluten-free.

Prunes – high in dietary fibre, and a rich source of nutrients and antioxidants. Also gluten-free.

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Choco High Fibre Slice - Superfood bar, healthy and high in protein #highfibre #superfood #recipe #chiaseed #psyllium
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Choco High Fibre Slice - Superfood bar, healthy and high in protein

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Thai Fish Cakes

I have been making these for years. They are quick and easy to make, and very tasty when served hot with a nice salad. I have also used this recipe to make finger food, which I can serve cold at picnics or when out sailing, and they have been well received. Swap your dipping sauce flavours to add variety and get creative with garnishes. Spriggs of coriander look pretty or add different texture by sprinkling with deep fried basil leaves.

Thai style fish cakes - white fish, rice flour, coriander, egg, fish sauce, red curry paste - easy to ensure gluten-free (choose gluten-free curry paste)

Ingredients
500g firm white fish fillets
1 egg
1 Tablespoon fish sauce
3 Tablespoons white rice flour
½ cup fresh coriander leaves
3 teaspoons red curry paste
4 – 5 green beans, very thinly sliced
2 spring onions, very thinly sliced
oil for cooking

Method
Process fish in a food processor until well minced and then scoop it into a mixing bowl.

Next place the egg, fish sauce, rice flour, coriander leaves, and curry paste into the food processor and process until well combined. Add this mix to the fish along with the beans and the spring onion. Mix well.

Form one heaped tablespoon of fish mixture into small patties (use damp hands). Heat cooking oil in a frypan over medium heat and cook the fishcakes in batches, for a few minutes each side or until golden brown.

Drain on a paper towel and serve with a dipping sauce such as sweet chilli sauce or Nam Jim

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Thai Fish Cakes - white fish, rice flour, coriander, fish sauce, spring onions, beans, red curry paste. #recipe #fish #thai #fritters #chilli


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