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7 February 14
Chorizo & red onion tarts
Serve with a salad for a simple lunch or as a starter.
Fry 1  large red onion, thinly sliced in a little olive oil till translucent (about 5 minutes on a medium heat). Add 150g chorizo sausage cut into small dice (skins removed), stir and continue frying an additional 5-7 minutes till the onion is soft.
Distribute evenly between 6 pre-baked savoury shortcrust pastry tarts (store bought will do fine). 
Whisk together 120ml single cream with 1 large egg. Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Distribute evenly over the tarts.
Place in a hot oven (200c) for 13-15 minutes till puffed up and golden. 
Serves 6.

Chorizo & red onion tarts

Serve with a salad for a simple lunch or as a starter.

Fry 1  large red onion, thinly sliced in a little olive oil till translucent (about 5 minutes on a medium heat). Add 150g chorizo sausage cut into small dice (skins removed), stir and continue frying an additional 5-7 minutes till the onion is soft.

Distribute evenly between 6 pre-baked savoury shortcrust pastry tarts (store bought will do fine). 

Whisk together 120ml single cream with 1 large egg. Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Distribute evenly over the tarts.

Place in a hot oven (200c) for 13-15 minutes till puffed up and golden. 

Serves 6.

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2 February 14
Hummus
Who needs a hummus recipe when nowadays every corner store carries a halfway decent version. Still, this is a good, and simple food cupboard option to have to hand, which can come to the rescue for those last minute hummus emergencies.
In a mortar, place 2 garlic cloves (peeled) with a good pinch of coarse salt. Pound to a paste. Add 4 tbs tahini paste and the juice of 1/2 lemon. Combine (it should tighten up). Stir in enough hot water to make a loose paste.
Place the paste and a 240g can of chickpeas (drained) in a food processor. Whizz together till it becomes a smooth-ish paste. Add a pinch of cumin powder, the juice of 1/2 lemon, and more hot water till you get the desired thickness.
Taste, and adjust the seasoning (more salt, lemon, tahini, garlic).
Transfer to a shallow serving dish, and drizzle with good quality olive oil, and garnish with your choice of nigella seeds, ground paprika, za’atar, or whole chickpeas.
Serve with toasted pita bread wedges.

Hummus

Who needs a hummus recipe when nowadays every corner store carries a halfway decent version. Still, this is a good, and simple food cupboard option to have to hand, which can come to the rescue for those last minute hummus emergencies.

In a mortar, place 2 garlic cloves (peeled) with a good pinch of coarse salt. Pound to a paste. Add 4 tbs tahini paste and the juice of 1/2 lemon. Combine (it should tighten up). Stir in enough hot water to make a loose paste.

Place the paste and a 240g can of chickpeas (drained) in a food processor. Whizz together till it becomes a smooth-ish paste. Add a pinch of cumin powder, the juice of 1/2 lemon, and more hot water till you get the desired thickness.

Taste, and adjust the seasoning (more salt, lemon, tahini, garlic).

Transfer to a shallow serving dish, and drizzle with good quality olive oil, and garnish with your choice of nigella seeds, ground paprika, za’atar, or whole chickpeas.

Serve with toasted pita bread wedges.

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2 January 14
Apricot and hazelnut pithivier
A traditional French dessert made with puff pastry and filled with a rich nut cream.
Cream together 100g (softened) butter, with 150g sugar till light and fluffy. Beat in 1 egg, and then fold in 100g ground hazelnuts (almonds or pistachios also would work), 1tbs flour, and 1tbs liqueur (kirsch or Cointreau). Set aside.
Unroll two sheets of ready-made puff pastry (around 500g in total)  and cut into two discs (24 and 26cm respectively). Place the smaller disc on a baking sheet and brush the border with some beaten egg yolk (2). 
Spread the hazelnut cream evenly in the centre, leaving a 2cm border round the edge. Cut 250g canned apricot halves (drained) in two and distribute over the cream.
Cover with the larger disc of pastry and press and pinch the edges of the pastry together to seal. Cut a scalloped edge all the way around. Brush the top with the remaining beaten egg yolk and then using a sharp knife score the top in a series of curved lines, starting from the centre and moving outwards.
Place in a hot oven (200c) for  25-30 minutes till the the pastry has risen and is golden.
Make a sugar syrup by bringing to a boil 50g sugar with 50g water.
Take the the pie out of the oven and brush with the syrup to give it a glossy finish,

Apricot and hazelnut pithivier

A traditional French dessert made with puff pastry and filled with a rich nut cream.

Cream together 100g (softened) butter, with 150g sugar till light and fluffy. Beat in 1 egg, and then fold in 100g ground hazelnuts (almonds or pistachios also would work), 1tbs flour, and 1tbs liqueur (kirsch or Cointreau). Set aside.

Unroll two sheets of ready-made puff pastry (around 500g in total)  and cut into two discs (24 and 26cm respectively). Place the smaller disc on a baking sheet and brush the border with some beaten egg yolk (2).

Spread the hazelnut cream evenly in the centre, leaving a 2cm border round the edge. Cut 250g canned apricot halves (drained) in two and distribute over the cream.

Cover with the larger disc of pastry and press and pinch the edges of the pastry together to seal. Cut a scalloped edge all the way around. Brush the top with the remaining beaten egg yolk and then using a sharp knife score the top in a series of curved lines, starting from the centre and moving outwards.

Place in a hot oven (200c) for  25-30 minutes till the the pastry has risen and is golden.

Make a sugar syrup by bringing to a boil 50g sugar with 50g water.

Take the the pie out of the oven and brush with the syrup to give it a glossy finish,

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28 December 13
Baked potatoes with a creamy herbed filling
A perfect accompaniment to barbecued chicken wings.
Take 3 medium-large baking potatoes, which have been scrubbed clean and pricked a few times with a fork, and rub with a little olive oil. Sprinkle a little sea salt over the potatoes and then place directly on the shelf in the oven (200c) for about an hour. The potatoes will be ready when they are golden crisp on the outside and give a little when squeezed gently.
Split the potatoes in half lengthwise, scoop out most of the filling into a bowl and add a 125ml of crème fraiche (other creamy cheese products will do fine too), 2 tsp horseradish (creamed works too),  a large handful of finely chopped herbs (chives, parsley, mint), a drizzle of olive oil and some sea salt to taste. Mix well, and pile back into the potatoes.
Pop back into the oven for another 10 minutes until the filling is warmed through.
Serves 2-3 as a side dish.

Baked potatoes with a creamy herbed filling

A perfect accompaniment to barbecued chicken wings.

Take 3 medium-large baking potatoes, which have been scrubbed clean and pricked a few times with a fork, and rub with a little olive oil. Sprinkle a little sea salt over the potatoes and then place directly on the shelf in the oven (200c) for about an hour. The potatoes will be ready when they are golden crisp on the outside and give a little when squeezed gently.

Split the potatoes in half lengthwise, scoop out most of the filling into a bowl and add a 125ml of crème fraiche (other creamy cheese products will do fine too), 2 tsp horseradish (creamed works too),  a large handful of finely chopped herbs (chives, parsley, mint), a drizzle of olive oil and some sea salt to taste. Mix well, and pile back into the potatoes.

Pop back into the oven for another 10 minutes until the filling is warmed through.

Serves 2-3 as a side dish.

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24 December 13

Persimmon cups

A seasonal dessert, with a light touch.

Take a couple of very ripe persimmons (otherwise known as kaki fruit), carefully cut out their stems and then gently scoop out the flesh with a large spoon. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, place 100g fresh ricotta (or other soft white cheese such as fromage blanc or faiselle), along with 1 heaping tbs runny honey (or agave syrup),  the zest of 1 mandarine or clementine, and 25ml Grand Marnier. Stir well.

Crumble an amaretti biscuit (soft or hard), followed by 1tbs Amaretto liqueur, in each of two stemmed glasses. Pour the ricotta mixture over the biscuit mixture and then top with slices of persimmon fruit.

Serves 2.

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22 December 13
Golden beets with a dill sauce
We could all use some bright winter sun right about now. But golden beets will have to do.
Take 3-4 medium-sized beets and boil them in their skins until done (about 45 minutes). Drain, and rub off the skins under cool water. Cut in half and slice into 1cm pieces. Place in a bowl and squeeze the juice of 1 lemon over the beets and drizzle with olive oil. Set aside.
In a mortar, place 1 garlic clove, peeled, along with a pinch of coarse salt. Pound to a paste. Stir in 1/2 cup (125ml) Greek yogurt and some finely chopped fresh dill.
Place the beets in a serving dish, add dollops of the dill sauce, drizzle a bit more olive oil overtop, and garnish with Nigella seeds.
Serve on its own, or with a green salad with radishes

Golden beets with a dill sauce

We could all use some bright winter sun right about now. But golden beets will have to do.

Take 3-4 medium-sized beets and boil them in their skins until done (about 45 minutes). Drain, and rub off the skins under cool water. Cut in half and slice into 1cm pieces. Place in a bowl and squeeze the juice of 1 lemon over the beets and drizzle with olive oil. Set aside.

In a mortar, place 1 garlic clove, peeled, along with a pinch of coarse salt. Pound to a paste. Stir in 1/2 cup (125ml) Greek yogurt and some finely chopped fresh dill.

Place the beets in a serving dish, add dollops of the dill sauce, drizzle a bit more olive oil overtop, and garnish with Nigella seeds.

Serve on its own, or with a green salad with radishes

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30 November 13
(Chanterelle) mushrooms on toast

(Chanterelle) mushrooms on toast

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Posted: 4:13 PM
Fillet steak with creamy trompette de la mort mushroom sauce
Heat a grill pan on the stove top. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan place a large handful of trompette de la mort mushrooms (otherwise known as black chanterelle) along with 1 garlic clove, finely chopped, and a drizzle of olive oil and set on a medium-high heat. Stir fry till the mushrooms begin to soften.
Meanwhile, season the fillet steak with smoked salt and cracked pepper and fry for 3-4 minutes on each side to desired doneness.
Stir in a large dollop of extra thick double-cream to the mushrooms, and season with salt and pepper.
Let the steak rest for a couple minutes, before slicing and plating up with the mushroom sauce.
Serves 1.

Fillet steak with creamy trompette de la mort mushroom sauce

Heat a grill pan on the stove top. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan place a large handful of trompette de la mort mushrooms (otherwise known as black chanterelle) along with 1 garlic clove, finely chopped, and a drizzle of olive oil and set on a medium-high heat. Stir fry till the mushrooms begin to soften.

Meanwhile, season the fillet steak with smoked salt and cracked pepper and fry for 3-4 minutes on each side to desired doneness.

Stir in a large dollop of extra thick double-cream to the mushrooms, and season with salt and pepper.

Let the steak rest for a couple minutes, before slicing and plating up with the mushroom sauce.

Serves 1.

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24 November 13
Wild mushroom risotto
Bring to a boil 500ml chicken stock, and then reduce down to a bare simmer to keep hot.
Place 50g dried porcini mushrooms in a small bowl and pour a ladle of the stock overtop. Set aside.
Place 1 large banana shallot (or 1 small red onion) finely chopped in a pan, along with 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped. Add a generous drizzle of olive oil, and bring up to a medium heat, stirring the onions till they become translucent. Add 140g (3/4 cup) risotto rice (preferably Aquerello, but regular Arborio or Carnaroli will do fine) and stir the rice till well-coated and the grains start to turn translucent.
Stir in a ladle of the stock and stir well. Once the liquid has been absorbed continue in the same way, slowing adding ladlefuls of stock.
Meanwhile, in another, smaller pan, add a large handful of fresh girolles/chanterelles mushrooms, sliced. Add a drizzle of olive oil, bring up to  a medium heat, stir fry till golden. Season with sea salt, turn off the heat and set aside.
Drain the dried wild mushroom liquid into the cooking risotto. Slice the mushrooms and add as well.
Once the grains of rice are nearly done (but still with a little bite left to them ), switch off the heat, and add a little bit more stock to loosen the grains (though be careful not to make it too  soupy). Season with sea salt and pepper (to taste)
Divide the risotto between 2 shallow bowls (3 if serving as a starter), top with the fresh wild mushrooms. 
Serve, passing around freshly grated parmesan (optional).

Wild mushroom risotto

Bring to a boil 500ml chicken stock, and then reduce down to a bare simmer to keep hot.

Place 50g dried porcini mushrooms in a small bowl and pour a ladle of the stock overtop. Set aside.

Place 1 large banana shallot (or 1 small red onion) finely chopped in a pan, along with 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped. Add a generous drizzle of olive oil, and bring up to a medium heat, stirring the onions till they become translucent. Add 140g (3/4 cup) risotto rice (preferably Aquerello, but regular Arborio or Carnaroli will do fine) and stir the rice till well-coated and the grains start to turn translucent.

Stir in a ladle of the stock and stir well. Once the liquid has been absorbed continue in the same way, slowing adding ladlefuls of stock.

Meanwhile, in another, smaller pan, add a large handful of fresh girolles/chanterelles mushrooms, sliced. Add a drizzle of olive oil, bring up to  a medium heat, stir fry till golden. Season with sea salt, turn off the heat and set aside.

Drain the dried wild mushroom liquid into the cooking risotto. Slice the mushrooms and add as well.

Once the grains of rice are nearly done (but still with a little bite left to them ), switch off the heat, and add a little bit more stock to loosen the grains (though be careful not to make it too  soupy). Season with sea salt and pepper (to taste)

Divide the risotto between 2 shallow bowls (3 if serving as a starter), top with the fresh wild mushrooms. 

Serve, passing around freshly grated parmesan (optional).

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7 November 13

Pickings from a California kitchen garden

Pomelo, greens, lemon, passion fruit, tomato, romaine, passion fruit, corn, avocado, and squash

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6 November 13
Glazed carrots with honey and thyme
A lovely autumnal side dish.
Take a bunch of carrots (orange, white, purple), trim and peel, and place in a large, shallow pan filled with boiling water. Cook until a fork easily pierces the carrots.
Drain, and place in a fresh/clean pan with a good drizzle each of olive oil and honey. Bring up to a medium temperature, and stir through till a nice glaze forms. Season with sea salt, pepper and add a sprinkling of fresh thyme before serving

Glazed carrots with honey and thyme

A lovely autumnal side dish.

Take a bunch of carrots (orange, white, purple), trim and peel, and place in a large, shallow pan filled with boiling water. Cook until a fork easily pierces the carrots.

Drain, and place in a fresh/clean pan with a good drizzle each of olive oil and honey. Bring up to a medium temperature, and stir through till a nice glaze forms. Season with sea salt, pepper and add a sprinkling of fresh thyme before serving

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30 October 13
Chopped California Salad
Peel and slice thinly one medium shallot and soak in a a small bowl, sprinkled with coarse sea salt.
Meanwhile, in a large, shallow salad bowl add the following: 200g red and yellow cherry tomatoes, sliced in half, 2 small Persian cucumbers, quartered and sliced, 12 Kalamata olives, pitted and sliced, a large handful of micro greens (sprouts, pee shoots, etc.), 4 sprigs of dill, chopped, 1/3 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped, 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled, the shallots (discard the liquid) and a sprinkling of thyme leaves (dried).
Drizzle with olive oil, the juice of 1/2 lemon and 2 tsp sherry vinegar. Season with sea salt and pepper, and toss.

Chopped California Salad

Peel and slice thinly one medium shallot and soak in a a small bowl, sprinkled with coarse sea salt.

Meanwhile, in a large, shallow salad bowl add the following: 200g red and yellow cherry tomatoes, sliced in half, 2 small Persian cucumbers, quartered and sliced, 12 Kalamata olives, pitted and sliced, a large handful of micro greens (sprouts, pee shoots, etc.), 4 sprigs of dill, chopped, 1/3 cup walnutstoasted and chopped, 1/2 cup feta cheesecrumbled, the shallots (discard the liquid) and a sprinkling of thyme leaves (dried).

Drizzle with olive oil, the juice of 1/2 lemon and 2 tsp sherry vinegar. Season with sea salt and pepper, and toss.

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20 October 13
Pasta with wild mushrooms and hazelnuts
Bring a pot of water to a boil and then add 90g casarecce or other short pasta and cook according to package instructions (8-10 minutes).
Meanwhile, take 90g wild mushrooms, cleaned (chanterelles/girolles), 1 large garlic clove, finely chopped, the leaves of three sprigs of fresh thyme, and place in a medium-sized pan with a glug of olive oil. Fry gently, till the mushrooms are softened (6-8 minutes). Season with sea salt and pepper. Stir in a large spoonful of thick cream (optional).
Drain the pasta and add to the sauce pan, stirring till the sauce is well combined with the pasta. 
Serve with a good sprinkling of parmesan and chopped, roasted hazelnuts.

Pasta with wild mushrooms and hazelnuts

Bring a pot of water to a boil and then add 90g casarecce or other short pasta and cook according to package instructions (8-10 minutes).

Meanwhile, take 90g wild mushrooms, cleaned (chanterelles/girolles), 1 large garlic clove, finely chopped, the leaves of three sprigs of fresh thyme, and place in a medium-sized pan with a glug of olive oil. Fry gently, till the mushrooms are softened (6-8 minutes). Season with sea salt and pepper. Stir in a large spoonful of thick cream (optional).

Drain the pasta and add to the sauce pan, stirring till the sauce is well combined with the pasta. 

Serve with a good sprinkling of parmesan and chopped, roasted hazelnuts.

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19 October 13
Schwartz’s, Montreal - smoked meat sandwich, with coleslaw, pickle, and fries,

Schwartz’s, Montreal - smoked meat sandwich, with coleslaw, pickle, and fries,

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13 October 13

Dinner at Lima, London - newly Michelin-starred

Vegetarian plate - queso fresco, red quinoa, Peruvian asparagus, yellow ají pepper

Octopus - braised octopus, organic white quinoa, botija olive, red shiso

Scallops - hand-dived scallops, rocoto ají pepper, chia seed

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Themed by Hunson.