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#Sea Salt Flakes
askwhatsforlunch · a month ago
Spiced Butternut Squash and Lentil Soup (Vegetarian)
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This comforting Spiced Butternut Squash and Lentil Soup, with the warming flavours of a tasty chorba, makes an excellent dinner on a chilly April night. Happy Monday!
Ingredients (serves 4):
1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion
the bottom halve of a butternut squash
1 heaped teaspoon Ras-el-Hanout
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1/4 teaspoon Red Chili Flakes
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/3 cup red lentils
1/2 can diced tomatoes
3 cups water
2 fluffy sprigs fresh cilantro
plain or Greek yoghurt
In a large pot or saucepan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.
Peel and finely chop onion. Add to the pot, and fry, a couple of minutes.
Seed, peel and cube butternut squash, and add to the pot as well. Cook, a couple of minutes more. Stir in coarse sea salt, Ras-el-Hanout, Red Chili Flakes and minced garlic, coating the butternut in the oil and spices. Stir in red lentils. Finally, stir in diced tomatoes and water. Bring to the boil.
Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low, cover with a lid, and simmer, about 40 minutes. 
Remove the lid and remove from the heat, and give a quick blitz with a stick blender, so the soup remains a bit chunky.
Finely chop cilantro.
Serve Spiced Butternut Squash and Lentil Soup hot, with a bit of yoghurt and sprinkled with cilantro.  Rosemary Flatbreads are excellent to dunk in!
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askwhatsforlunch · a month ago
Saint-Marie Beef and Pineapple Rum Pilaf
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The latest -tenth- series of Death in Paradise has finally returned to our screens this Monday, and, as is now tradition in this house, I’ve cooked a Caribbean meal to eat whilst watching favourite sleuths solve bizarre murders in the West Indies! This Saint-Marie Beef and Pineapple Rum Pilaf -which could absolutely be the island’s signature dish, although I will definitely try the crab thing!- is also a Welcome Home feast for DS Florence Cassel (Joséphine Jobert) whom we were so happy to have back (now if Ruby Patterson could come back from Paris, too!)
Ingredients (serves 4 to 6):
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon Graines à Roussir
1  large garlic clove, minced
1/2 tablespoon Colombo spices
¼ teaspoon Red Chili Flakes
1/2 large red bell pepper
200 grams/7 ounces beef mince
1 1/2 cup long grain rice
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1/3 fresh, juicy pineapple
1 lime
1/4 cup good quality white rum (like Guadeloupe’s Damoiseau)
3 cups water
3 tablespoons pure cane sugar
3 fluffy sprigs flat-leaf parsley
Heat a large, deep, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil. Add Graines à Roussir  and fry, a minute.
Stir in minced garlic, Colombo spices and Red Chili Flakes. Cook, a couple of minutes more. Chop red bell pepper, and stir into the oil an spices. Cook, 1 minute. Then, stir in beef mince, and brown, a couple of minutes.
Then, stir in the rice, coating well into the oil and spices, until transcluscent. Season with coarse sea salt.
Peel and dice pineapple.
Once the rice is well-coated and transluscent, stir in pineapple and thoroughly squeeze in the juice of the lime. Add half of the white rum; then, the water, and give a good stir. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover with a lid, and simmer, about 20 to 25 minutes, until all liquid has been absorbed.
Stir in cane sugar, cook, a few minutes more.
Finally, chop and stir in flat-leaf parsley and remaining white rum.
Serve Saint Marie Beef and Pineapple Rum Pilaf  hot. (Finish meal with a small glass of Cardamom and Vanilla Rum!)
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askwhatsforlunch · 3 months ago
Sesame and Pomegranate Scallop Carpaccio
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Jules’ Birthday Lunch allowed me to play my recent hits in the kitchen it seems. She required a Rum Baba as her birthday cake, so I happily obliged. And as she is fond of scallops and very much liked theCitrus Scallop Carpaccio we had at Christmas, I made this Sesame and Pomegranate Scallop Carpaccio. Both of us liked it even better than the last one; the nuttiness of the toasted sesame oil is perfectly balanced by the burst of freshness of the pomegranate, and both beatifully compliment the delicate flesh of the scallops. It is rather an elegant dish, but so simple to prepare; absolutely worth the try!
Ingredients (serves 2):
150 grams/5.30 ounces fresh scallops
1/2 lemon
fleur de sel or sea salt flakes and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1/4 large pomegranate
Place scallops in a bag and into the freezer, 15 minutes or so, so they are easier to cut. With a sharp knife, slice scallops very thinly and arrange scallop slices onto two plates. Squeeze lemon juice thoroughly over the scallops.  Season with fleur de sel and black pepper. Drizzle generously with toasted sesame oil.
Release seeds from the pomegranate and scatter liberally all over the scallops.
Chill  Sesame and Pomegranate Scallop Carpaccio until serving time. Serve with a light, slightly fruity and tangy dry white wine, like a Marlborough (NewZealand) Sauvignon Blanc.
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askwhatsforlunch · 3 months ago
Sautéed Brussels Sprouts and Chestnuts
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I made a version of these Sautéed Brussels Sprouts and Chestnuts, following Ruth Fisher’s menu as a side to our Roast Goose for our Christmas Lunch. I made it all the more festive with the addition of bacon. But you don’t need it, and you don’t even need them to be the side of a roasted bird; they make an excellent vegetarian lunch on their own!
Ingredients (serves 2):
450 grams/1 pound fresh Brussels sprouts
1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 tablespoon unsalte butter
1/2 tabelspoon olive oil
1 shallot
250 grams/1 cup cooked chestnuts (jar, can or sous-vide)
sea salt flakes and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Rinse Brussels sprouts thoroughly under cold water.
Add bicarbonate of soda to a medium saucepan of salted boiling water, then plunge in the Brussels sprouts. Blanch, 5 minutes, then drain thoroughly. Set aside.
In a large nonstick skillet, melt butter  with olive oil over medium-high heat. 
Peel and finely chop shallot. Add chopped shallot to the skillet and cook, 1 minute.
Halve Brussels sprouts, and add to the skillet. Sauté, to coat them in butter and oil. Finally, stir in chestnuts, coating them in butter and oil as well. Cook, shaking the skillet occasionnally, about 4 minutes. Season with sea salt flakes and black pepper, to taste.
Serve Sautéed Brussels Sprouts and Chestnuts hot on their own or as a side to!
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askwhatsforlunch · 3 months ago
Oeufs Meurette
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I like eggs for breakfast, but during the week I often only have time for a quick omelette, scrambled eggs or sunny-side-ups. In the weekend though, one has time for boiled eggs or poached eggs. And since we have time, why not make Oeufs Meurette, coating soft poached eggs in a creamy and fragrant wine sauce? Plus, this will leave the red, a good Bordeaux, necessarily, ample time to decant until lunch! Happy Sunday!
Ingredients (serves 2):
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
4 large eggs
1 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
a large shallot
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon fleur de sel or sea salt flakes
1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1/3 cup good quality Burgundy wine
1/4 cup double cream
White Bloomer Bread, buttered and toasted in the oven, to serve
In a medium saucepan, filled to about three-quarters, bring water to a boil. Stir in apple cider vinegar and salt. Break each egg into a cup or a glass. Using a wisk, stir the water to create a small whirlwind and drop one egg in the middle of it. Let it cook, 2 ½ minutes. Then, with a slotted spoon, gently transfer poached egg into a medium bowl filled with ice water and ice cubes. Repeat with remaining egg.
Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.
Peel and finely chop shallot. Once butter is just foaming, add shallot. Cook, until softened about a couple of minutes. Stir in dried thyme and bay leaf. Season with fleur de sel and black pepper. Stir in Burgundy wine, and bring to a slow boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, about 15 minutes until reduced. Then, increase heat back to medium, and stir in double cream. Boil rapidly, stirring constantly, a few minutes until sauce thickens slightly.
Reheat poached eggs in salted boiling water, for 2 minutes. Then remove from the water using a slotted spoon, drain and spoon onto buttered toasted Bread onto each of two plates. Generously spoon Burgundy and shallot sauce over the eggs.
Serve Oeufs Meurette immediately.
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askwhatsforlunch · 4 months ago
Smoked Salmon
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This Summer, our old brick and cement barbecue threatened to collapse, just after we’d finished installing, painting and varnishing our new panel fence. So, Dad and I hammered it down with a heavy mallet. Soon after we bought a new barbecue, the kind with a lid -coals still, though, or it isn’t really a barbie! Ever since we’ve got it; I’ve wanted to take my salmon and trout curing to the next step and smoke my own fish! New Year’s Day was the perfect occasion to enjoy a light lunch of oyster and fish, so I made Smoked Salmon for the occasion, and Jules and I loved it. I smoked it with apple wood from our tree; but I saved a few branches from our Christmas tree, and I might try smoking things with pine wood next! But if you have the kind of barbecue, with a lid and vents, with which you can smoke your fish, I absolutely recommend it! Just bear in mind that the process take a few days: twenty-four hours for the curing, a couple of hours for the smoking (for a small side of salmon) and an overnight rest in the fridge.
2 cups coarse sea salt
2 cups caster sugar
½ tablespoon Red Chili Flakes
a side of salmon (about 650 grams/1.45 pounds)
2 1/2 tablespoons good quality London Dry Gin (like Hendrick’s)
1 1/2 tablespoon Rosemary and Juniper Syrup
In a large bowl, combine coarse sea salt, caster sugar and Red Chili Flakes, stirring well to mix. Set aside
Unwrap a large portion of cling film, without cutting it. Arrange about a third of the salt and sugar mixture onto it, and sit salmon halve, skin-side down firmly onto it. 
Combine Gin and Rosemary and Juniper Syrup in a small bow, and stir well. Drizzle Gin mixture generously over the salmon.  Top with remaining two thrids of the curing mixture, fold cling film over and wrap tightly. Place in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours.
The next day, arrange a small layer of coals in the barbecue and light a fire.
Meanwhile chop about half a cup dried apple wood. (I used applewood because a have an apple tree in the garden, but I reckon you might use other sorts of wood!) Place chopped applewood chips in a bowl and cover with water. Allow to soak, about 30 minutes.
Remove cure, and wash salmon under cold water. It now has taken a deeper pink hue, and the flesh is harder to the the touch. Pat salmon dry with paper towels. Sit cured salmon side, skin-side down onto a lightly oiled sheet of foil, folding the edges up to form sort of tray, but not covering the flesh.
Once the flames have died, and the coals are hot but no longer too red, dusted with ash, drain applewood chips thoroughly and scatter over the coals. Carefully place the grill over the coals. Sit cured salmon, on its foil tray onto the grill, and close the lid of the barbecue. Close the vents, not completely, so that the temperature inside the barbecue is about 95°C/203°F to 85°C/185°F. Smoke salmon, about an hour and a half to two hours, moving the vents as needed to maintain a rather constant temperature.
Carefully remove Smoked Salmon from the barbecue. Wrap in cling film and chill overnight. 
Serve Smoked Salmon the following day, with Chestnut Blinis and sour cream mixed with chopped chives and Spring onion, cracked black pepper and Gin. 
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