I first made these delicious little devilled eggs as finger food at one of our parties at least 12 years ago. We always have quail eggs on hand because we loved having them in our laska soups, and coming up with other ways to use the eggs was not difficult.
With Saint Patrick’s Day right around the corner, I decided to do a “green recipe”. I have never bothered adding green to my pancakes or beer before, but this covid pandemic has left me with much time on my hands. So I sat down and thought about something green that would be a yummy inclusion to any St Paddy’s Day celebration. Since I have made a Christmas bliss ball, I decided to do bliss ball for St Paddy’s Day.
These delicious coconut lime bliss balls are perfect for any occasion! Leave off the chocolate coating for a healthier treat.
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 cup dessicated coconut
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup *macadamias, roughly chopped
Zest of 2 large limes (about 1 tablespoon)
Juice of 2 large limes (about 1/2 cup)
4 tablespoons runny honey (add more honey for a sweeter bliss ball)
3 tablespoons of virgin coconut oil (cold pressed)
3 tablespoons of hot water
Put the oats into a food processor and process until fine. Add the oats to a bowl with the coconut flour, desiccated coconut, chia seeds, macadamias and lime zest. Mix well with a spoon.
In a small bowl mix the hot water, honey and coconut oil, blend well. Add to the bowl and add the lime juice. Mix very well (a minute or two) and allow to sit for several minutes. Mix well again and then form into balls. Squeeze a spoonful of coconut mix in your hand firmly and shape into a ball. Once you have a firm ball shape, roll the ball between your palms to form a smooth ball.
225g White chocolate oil-based food colour.
Decorate the balls with white chocolate (coloured green for St Patrick’s Day) and use slices of snake lollies to form four- leaf clovers. Alternatively, coat the ball in chocolate and sprinkle half with desiccated coconut.
You don’t need hours in the galley to impress your family or friends. I cooked this for Dwayne and myself for lunch when we arrived at Koh Phi Phi Don after sailing there from Ao Chalong in Phuket (did you know we live on a boat?) This recipe is delicious and straightforward. The salad, with flavours of soy, sesame, lime, coriander, and mint is refreshing and delightful for lunch or dinner. I think this is one of those meals you can cook for your family or dress it up a little for an exciting dinner party entree or main course. Play around with garnishes and add a little colour with a sprinkle of chopped red chilli.
*This recipe can serve up to four people depending on the size of chickpea fritters.
Ingredients For the fritters
1 x 439g can chickpeas, rinsed, drained.
6 Tablespoons besan flour (or use plain flour)
3 eggs, lightly whisked
5 Tbs milk
2 spring onions, thinly sliced
Salt & pepper
Oil for frying
For the chicken salad
375ml (1 ½ cup) chicken stock
250 ml (1 cup) water
8 fresh kaffir lime leaves, roughly torn
2 single chicken breast fillets, excess fat trimmed
1 Tbs sesame seeds
1/3 cup loosely packed chopped fresh coriander (I have also use Thai basil place of coriander)
¼ cup loosely packed shredded fresh mint
1 Tbs light soy
1 Tbs fresh lime juice
2 tsp sweet chilli sauce
½ tsp sesame oil
For the chicken salad, combine stock, water and lime leaves in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the chicken and simmer, occasionally turning, for 10 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from heat. Transfer chicken to a heatproof bowl with one tablespoon of the stock mixture. Cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, mash half a can of chickpeas using a fork. Add the eggs and milk, and mix well. Add the flour, spring onions and season with salt and pepper, and mix. Add in the other half a can of chickpeas and mix until well combined. Set aside to rest while you make the salad.
To make the chicken salad, finely shred the chicken and place in a bowl. Add the coriander, mint, soy sauce, lime juice, chilli sauce and sesame oil to the chicken and gently toss until just combined.
Heat oil in a non-stick pan over medium heat. Add a couple of spoonfuls of the batter into the pan and spread into a round shape. Repeat to make three (or 7*) more fritters. Cook for four minutes or until golden underneath. Turn and cook for a further four minutes or until cooked. Transfer to a plate and cover with foil.
To serve place one fritter on each plate and top with a small amount of chicken salad. Top with another fritter and then top with the remaining chicken salad. Sprinkle with finely chopped red chilli if desired and serve immediately.
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OMG! I love this dessert. Zesty and fresh, creamy and delectable! AND so easy to make. It really is a decadent indulgence which has been a hit at my dinner parties. On a boat? Believe me this is so easy to make as long as you can refrigerate the panna cotta. Another tip is make one large panna cotta instead of individual ones if it is easier for you to store in your fridge.
3/4 cup caster sugar
4 kaffir lime leaves, torn up*
1 teaspoon finely grated lime rind
1/4 cup lime juice
3 gelatine leaves or 10g powdered gelatine
Lime zest and lime slices, to serve
I use small 85ml metal moulds and the mix fills six of them.
Place cream, milk, sugar, lime leaves and lime rind in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, for seven to eight minutes. Do not allow it to boil or even simmer (just bring it close to a simmer). Keep a good eye on it and stir continually. Remove from heat. Add lime juice and gelatine (if using the leaf gelatine squeeze out excess water before adding it to the cream mix). Stir to combine. Set aside for ten minutes to help flavours to develop.
After ten minutes strain mixture through a sieve into a pouring jug and discard the solids. From the jug pour the mixture into prepared moulds and refrigerate overnight.
Run a knife around the edge of each metal mould and dip base of each mould briefly in hot water. Turn each panna cotta out onto a serving plate. Top with a slice of lime and a sprinkle of lime zest and serve.
*I think of one kaffir lime leaf as the entire leaf i.e. the double. I separate the two leaves from the stem, so in the end I have eight leaves. I wash the leaves then bunch them up and twist them to tear them, leaving them mostly intact.
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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! (Did you know we live on a boat?)
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.
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
Rinse the olives and place in a food processor. Add two tablespoons of drained capers, 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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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!
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
1 cup of uncooked rice
1/2 cup of tea
1/4 cup sugar
And this is how I made it….
In a mortar, with pestle, 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 frying pan (no oil needed), add duck skin down and cook for a few minutes until crispy.
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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I have made the point of naming this Laos’ Larb Kai because it came to my attention while we were travelling in Laos, that the delicious meat salad called larb, did, in fact, originate in Laos, not Thailand as many believe.
I have always enjoyed larb at the Thai restaurants in Adelaide, and in Thailand itself. I wasn’t surprised to see it on the menu in Laos, but I assumed, incorrectly, that the idea had derived from Thailand, not the other way around. In fact, it is regarded as the national dish of Laos – unofficially.
This spicy meat salad is served at room temperature with sticky rice or salad vegetables.
3 Tbs of uncooked sticky rice (Optional)
300g of chicken mince
3-4 Asian shallots, finely sliced
2-3 stalks of spring onion, finely sliced (optional)
1 long red chilli, finely chopped
a handful each of mint and coriander chopped
1 Tbs chilli flakes The juice of one lime
1 Tbs fish sauce
1/2 Tbs brown sugar
How I make my larb…
The first step is to toast the rice. I say optional for the rice because I have made it many times without the rice when I just wanted to make a quick meal. The toasted rice just adds texture.
To toast the rice, I just heated a wok on low heat without oil and added the rice. I continued to stir the rice until it browned and started to smell like popcorn about 10-15mins.
After I let the rice cool a little, I ground it in a mortar with a pestle to a powder and set it aside.
For the salad dressing, I mixed the juice of one lime with the fish sauce and brown sugar and set aside.
For the larb I added a little oil to my wok and fried up the chicken mince, breaking up any big lumps as I went. I removed the chicken from the heat and let it cool for a few minutes. This is when I prepared my vegetables (cucumber and beans) with which I was going to serve with the larb.
Once I was ready to serve I added the shallot, spring onion, and chilli flakes to the chicken in the wok and stirred it well (without heat). I then tossed in the mint, coriander, chopped red chilli and mixed well. I added the dressing next giving the salad a mix, before finally adding three tablespoons of the rice powder.
TIP: add the rice powder gradually as is will depend on the texture you want – I added one tablespoon gave the salad a good toss and did a taste test, before repeat that same process twice more.
Serve with rice or lettuce cups, or as I did with sliced cucumber and green beans.
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This was one of our favourite Cambodian street foods. Often made in roadside stalls; we watch these salads being made with tiny whole crushed crabs and sampled many others that incorporated small dried shrimp. I opted to make my mango salad with the dried shrimp* which is readily available in S E Asia where we are currently located.
2 green mangos, peeled and shredded/grated
1/2 a small carrot, grated (I used the carrot to add a bit of colour)
3 Tbs dried shrimp
1 small hot chilli, finely chopped
1 Tbs of finely chopped garlic
3 small Asian shallots, finely sliced
A handful each of holy** basil and mint, finely chopped
2 Tbs crushed peanuts
For the dressing
3 Tbs fish sauce
The juice of two limes
2 Tbs of sweet chilli sauce
1/2 tsp brown sugar
This is how I made the salad….
I put all the ingredients for the dressing in a jar and gave it a good shake and set aside until needed (this made enough salad dressing to save half to use the next day!)
Then in a bowl, I placed the shredded mango, carrot, shrimp, chilli, garlic, shallots, basil, mint and one tablespoon of the peanuts. I gave the salad a really good mix, then added the dressing and mixed it through well.
To serve I place a good portion on individual plates and sprinkle with more peanuts.
Just bloody delicious!
*leave out the shrimp if you can’t find any or if you do not like them.
**use normal basil if you can’t get holy basil
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Freshly squeezed lime juice is the key ingredient to a good margarita. Nothing beats the taste of the fresh lime, and here in the tropics I have easy access to limes most of the time. Hence a lot of the cocktails I make for sundowners have the zesty, fresh flavour of lime in them. It’s a great source of vitamin c, and does therefore keep the scurvy at bay…. well that’s what I tell myself anyway!
For my classic margarita I use…
2 parts Tequila
2 parts cointreau
1 part fresh lime
To make the margarita …
I dip the rim of my serving glasses into a little lime juice and then dip it into salt.
I add some roughly crushed ice cubes to my prepared glasses.
In a cocktail shaker, I shake the first three ingredients with a couple of ice cubes until well shaken.
I then pour the delicious concoction into my prepared glass.
Now all I need to complete the picture is my hammock, the shade of a couple of coconut trees and a good book to read. Ahh, paradise!
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