Author: Lia Moutselou
If you are left with little pieces of chocolate eggs or you want to make the most of Easter chocolate on offer at shops this week this easy and quick dessert recipe is for you. It requires no baking and it is a great one to make with the kids, who I am sure will be quite happy to help you smash those biscuits!
Kormos, which means tree log in Greek, is unlike the baked chocolate log recipes you know. It uses crumbled biscuits, roughly chopped nuts, melted chocolate to make a delicious dessert that does not need baking and can be frozen for a while if you would rather not eat any more chocolate for a while.
Ingredients (feeds 10)
- 300g mixed chocolate
- ¾ -1 packet of rich tea biscuits roughly crushed
- 150g and up to a cup roughly chopped almonds or other nuts of your choice
- 350g double cream
- 100g icing sugar
- 3 Tablespoons amaretto liqueur or cognac
Preparation (20 minutes and 2-3 hour refrigeration time)
- Melt the chocolate with the cream, the liqueur and the icing sugar and melt in a bain marie.
- Remove the melted chocolate mixture from heat and cool down.
- Roughly chop or crush the almonds and the biscuits.
- Mix the biscuits and almonds well in the mixture.
- Line a bread baking tin with baking paper making sure there is enough excess paper on all sides to fold around the mixture.
- Pour the cooled down mixture in the tin and fold the baking paper neatly around it.
- Refrigerate overnight or at least for 2 hours on the coolest shelves of the fridge.
- You can speed up the process by adding the mixture in the freezer for an hour.
- Once the mixture is cooled down and more solid you can remove from the tin, wrap in cling film and then refrigerate or freeze.
- Before serving, dust with some cocoa powder and slice to serve.
- If you have less chocolate you can still make this dessert. For 150g chocolate (half the amount in the recipe) add ¾ cup evaporated milk and 3 tablespoons cocoa powder.
- There are many ways to make this dessert, you can swap the cream with a tin of condensed milk if you are using dark chocolate. Just make sure you remove the icing sugar and add about 100g butter too.
- It is also possible to make the dessert without any chocolate – just replace the cream and chocolate with 250g butter, 6 tablespoon cocoa power and increase the icing sugar to half a cup.
- Basically this is a great leftover recipe and you can adapt it to what you have or can afford.
- You can keep the log frozen – just make sure you take it out of the freezer for 3 hours or overnight before serving.
- My ‘bain-marie’ is a pyrex bowl placed over a pot of boiling water.
This is a recipe I have been playing with for years and I finalised it recently whilst delivering the Love Food Hate Waste campaign in Roath. I was looking for recipes in my notebook that can help people use their leftovers and what they have in the fridge/freezer. The savoury cake was one our roadshow freebies and was sampled at our last Love Food Haste Waste event on 10 Mach at Cardiff Students’ Union in return for pledges to take action to reduce waste.
It is a delicious recipe that can be adapted to help you use greens and smaller quantities of leftover vegetable. The batter can remain the same and you can be as creative and daring as you like with what flavours you create. You end up with an amazing tasty snack on its own or with some relish or chutney on top and a (gluten-free) substitute to bread which is fantastic with soups or a tin of baked beans.
Cornmeal is a basic ingredient for one of my favourite Greek breads called Bobota. Grated pumpkin and marrow with cornmeal and feta cheese has always been one of my most favourite bakes that my southern Greek Granma Vasiliki used to make for us. And five years ago the lovely Zoe English, of Bird to Market, handed over Nenneh Cherry’s cornbread recipe to me after my excited squeals on tasting it for the first time in my life. So this savoury cake recipe is born from all these influences and is fast becoming one my favourite things to make this spring. I have adapted it to be gluten free – through the use of gluten free plain flour. And with courgette and tomato season approaching and rainbow chard already on the tables at our Farmers’ markets I am very excited for the many versions of the savoury cakes you could be imagining. Enjoy!
Ingredients (1 Bundt or other round 23-25cm baking tin)
- 350g Plain flour, preferably gluten free mix
- 250g Cornmeal (coarse or medium)
- 4 tsp Baking powder
- 80g Sugar (caster)
- 100g Butter melted
- 2 Eggs
- 450-480ml Milk
- 1-2 pinches of salt
- Some extra butter and flour for lining the baking tin
- 1 Small bunch fresh basil or other mixed or frozen herbs, including stems (around 30g)
- 225g Cherry or mini plum tomatoes (up to 300g)
- 1 Onion
- 2 medium or 1 large courgette diced OR
- 1 aubergine diced
- 1 Medium courgette coarsely grated
- 150g grated cheese, parmesan and cheddar mixed (or whatever you have available)
- salt & paper to season
Olive oil for the frying
Preparation (1hr and 15 minutes)
- Prepare your vegetable mixture first to allow enough time to cool.
- Fry the sliced onion with a pinch of salt, cover and let to nearly caramelise whilst you prepare the rest.
- Dice the courgettes or aubergine and halve the cherry or plum tomatoes.
- Add the courgette or aubergine with another pinch of salt and fry for 5 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes and basil, stir and cover until all ingredients soften- for around 5 minutes.
- Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed. Remove from heat to cool down.
- Grate the last courgette and the cheese.
- Mix the flour, cornmeal and baking powder.
- Add the rest of the dough ingredients and mix well so that there are no lumps.
- Add your fried ingredients, raw courgette and cheese.
- Pour into a lined baking tin and bake on 180 Celsius for 40-50 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
- The batter should be moist but not too runny. You can add 450ml of the milk first and see if you need to add more after you add the tomatoes and vegetable.
- You can use spinach and other greens such as Kale. Feel free to experiment with various herbs ad ingredients. Use what you have in the fridge and for inspiration on flavours look up focaccia recipes.
- This is a great recipe for using those herbs that you have in the freezer or the ones that are about to go off in the fridge!
- For a bread tin and smaller quantity of the cake halve the recipe ingredient.
- The cake rises quite a lot and it keeps well in the fridge for about a week.
In the past couple of months I have worked with Green City Events and Cynefin Cardiff to deliver two cooking workshops and a roadshow to help the kind people of Roath to find ways to reduce their food waste. We have done this in the process of delivering the Love Food Hate Waste Campaign  in Cardiff supported by Wrap Cymru.
The week after our last cooking workshop on 21 February I decided to practice what I preach and took my own personal Love Food Hate Waste challenge. I pledged to shop very little food (apart from fresh essentials) and to eat what is already in my cupboards and freezer for the most part of the week.
The challenge was a great creative success and I saved around £30 as I only bought small quantities of milk, some cheese and some salad to complement the meals we made.
The meal I was most proud of that week was a Mexican spice inspired vegetable dish made from frozen cauliflower, quorn mince and spinach (all commonly kept in my freezer), the leftover greens that we did not use at the cooking workshop on 21 February, the final two spoons of yoghurt, a tin of black beans from my essentials’ pantry and the last cup of couscous from that bag that we have not eaten for ages. Not only did that dish give us dinner and lunch the next day, I actually froze a couple of portions in anticipation of the busy week that followed.
During my challenge I looked carefully through my cupboards and my freezer. For example, I thawed just over half a kilo of meatball mix that was leftover from one of our supper clubs and made a linguini ragú with which gave us a couple of meals for two and another frozen meal.
At the Love Food Hate Waste workshops we aimed to empower people to make personal and household changes to their food consumption and wastage. Lots of people seemed worried about getting a recipe right or that they couldn’t cook with random ingredients. So hopefully through making different mixed vegetable Ribollita soups with various herbs and whatever vegetable was available to us at the same workshop we empowered participants to be creative and daring in adapting recipes to what they have or can afford. Experimenting is the way!
I would definitely recommend Eat-What-You-Have weeks like mine as they will help you sort through your cupboards and freezer. Making shopping lists or using the online Love Food Hate Waste App on your smart phone can help you loads with shopping and meal planning. And if you fancy being inspired by seasonal ingredients or what is on offer, why not browse www.lovefoodhatewaste.com for ideas.
One of the most useful tips I could give you to save food and money is to be aware of what you already store in our cupboards before heading back to the shops. Also storing food correctly, e.g. labelling it, using airtight containers or keeping your fridge temperature low will make you yield more meals from what you buy. Using your freezer more and keeping it tidy is another step to help you achieve this by prepping food in advance, storing the right amount of frozen basics or storing extra portions from meals.
The whole process of this project has made me think long and hard about food waste and food poverty. According to the Trussell Trust the number of people using food banks has almost tripled since last year. And whilst this is because of the increase in the number of food banks set up, a noteworthy effort to help an increasing number of people in need, I cannot reconcile this fact with the amount of food still being wasted in the UK. It is estimated that we still throw away 7 million tons of food and drink a year. This is food is costing all of us £12.5bn each year.
Today I was reading about France’s Good Samaritans law which protects those helping someone in need or peril from being sued or accused if something goes wrong. It is important to protect public health and to minimise risk for people in the food sector. But I wonder, would the introduction of a ‘good Samaritan’ legal principle in the UK encourage all of us personally as well as larger corporations or small (food) businesses to do more to address food poverty or to donate food that we would have otherwise wasted?
 Love Food Hate Waste is a campaign that has been running since 2007 and run by WRAP, a well-established not-for profit company that is responsible for a lot of good work in on resource efficiency and waste reduction across the UK.
Another pancake idea for today’s celebration. This one is more adventurous but so delicious. I also swear by the pancake mixture recipe in this entry. Never fails me. Enjoy!
Originally posted on Lia's Kitchen:
Shrove Tuesday is now gone but I’d like to think that pancakes can return to Lia’s kitchen before the next one in 2014.
Pancakes don’t always have to be overindulgent naughty treats. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
I hope this post becomes a quick and easy pancake recipe reference and an inspiration for an alternative savoury filling.
This recipe was given to me by Dan Green who, hat’s off to him, makes the best pancakes I have ever had-he flips them and all that! I just followed his instructions to make the batter, made a filling with what we had in the fridge and watched him put the pancakes together skilfully for us.
Aubergine and fenugreek pancake filling ingredients
1 small aubergine, cubed in 2cm pieces
Half an onion finely chopped
Half a tin of chopped tomatoes
Pinch of cinnamon powder
3-4 handful fresh fenugreek leaves roughly chopped
View original 261 more words
Pancake day is one of my favourite food calendar highlights. Spelt flour or buckwheat flour pancakes are on the top of my list. For your savoury pancakes nothing can beat a good galette bretonne with some melted butter in the mixture. As for fillings spinach, ricotta and sundried tomato and good quality cheddar and ham are two I always choose. And for my sweet tooth I can’t find two more satisfying than a chocolate spread and banana filling or a simple drizzle of maple syrup with cinnamon and crushed walnuts.
But today I am suggesting you try a different kind of pancake, without flour and one that can use those over ripened, even black bananas which you squashed forgotten at the bottom of your fruit bowl.
Egg and banana pancakes, as sung by Jack Johnson the troubadour of the surf, are a fantastic breakfast but can make a great gluten free alternative for pancake day. And all of our Love Food Hate Waste cooking workshop participants, who learned how to make those on 7 February, will tell you they are simple and quick to make. So don’t hesitate to give them a go.
- 1 mashed overripe banana(large)
- 2 eggs
- ½ tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1-2 Tablespoon flax/lineseed ground (optional)
- 2 Tablespoons peanut or almond butter (optional)
- Pinch of salt
- Olive oil/butter/or coconut oil.
- Mash the banana well.
- Mix with the beaten eggs.
- Sprinkle the baking powder, cinnamon and salt and mix well.
- If you are adding ground seeds and peanut butter do this last and mix well.
- Alternative just throw everything in a mixer/blender and mix well.
- Add 1-2 tablespoons of the mixture to a slightly oiled pan.
- Cook on very low heat for up to a minute or until the edges seem set and the middle seems almost set.
- Flip with a spatula and cook for another 30 seconds max.
- Serve with crispy bacon and maple syrup, or fruit, yoghurt and honey.
Tips: You can add chopped or mashed fruit in the pancakes. The ground seeds or the peanut butter can help bind the mixture. Don’t worry if the mixture seems too runny. Just cook the pancake at a lower temperature until the edges of the pancake seem set and the middle almost set. You can prepare the mixture the night before and leave in your fridge ready for breakfast.
Have you ever looked at vegetable leftovers in your fridge or the seasonal mix in your vegetable boxes and thought: ‘What could I make with this?’. Have you every thrown away cooked vegetable leftovers? If yes this soup is for you. If not the soup is still for you so try it anyway.
In the past month I have been working with Green City Events to deliver the Love Food Hate Waste Cities Campaign in Cardiff through Roath based roadshows and cooking workshops. In this process I have been developing and revisiting recipes that can help people be savvy and healthy.
The lovely soups of Ribollita and Minestrone were my natural first choices because they are very easy to make and they can have as many variations as the people who make them.
Ribollita literally means reboiled in Italian. It is a Tuscan soup that uses leftover cooked vegetable and is eaten with stale toasted or grilled bread. You can make Ribollita with any seasonal vegetable at our disposal but the dominant ingredient should be a mix of greens and you should include some kind of cooked bean.
My Ribollita soup can be easily turned to a Minestrone with the addition of more stock or water and pasta or quinoa. This is a great solution if you have less vegetable or more visitors to feed.
On 7 February 2015 at our first Love Food Hate Waste cooking workshop participants prepared four different versions of Ribollita and Minestrone types of soup using different herbs to flavour it, different grains or pasta and mix of vegetables at their disposal. Why not love food and your leftover vegetable too by trying our soup?
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 celery stick
300 mixed greens
- 150-200 g left over root vegetable/squash or potato
- 2 carrots (around 160g)
- 4 Garlic cloves
- ½-1 tin chopped tomatoes Or a couple of ripe tomatoes chopped
- 1 can beans drained and washed
- (280g) 50g rice/quinoa Or 100g pasta 2lt stock or boiling water
- Herbs of your choice such as: 10-15 leaves of basil 1 teaspoon oregano Or 2 teaspoons thyme 3 bay leaves Salt & Pepper
- Pecorino or parmesan cheese garnish (optional)
- Wash and chop all your vegetable and greens.
- Sauté the onion with a pinch of salt until translucent.
- Add the garlic and herbs and sauté for a few minutes.
- Add the chopped tomatoes and sauté for another few minutes.
- Add the root vegetable or potatoes and carrot and stir fry for a bit.
- Add the stock and simmer for ten minutes.
- Add the beans, greens and pasta and simmer for another 10 minutes.
- If you are using quinoa and rice add at the same time as the stock.
- Seasons with salt and pepper.
Lia’s Tips: the authentic ribollita uses recooked vegetable which you can add towards the end of the soup. Sage and parsley are another great combination of herbs for this soup. Kale, Cavolo Nero, flower sprouts, brussels sprouts, broccoli stalks and spring greens are some of the delicious leafs that you can add to your soup.
The last 2014 Lia’s Kitchen pop-up dinner took place on the last full moon of the year . On Sunday afternoon I ‘sat’ tired amongst boxes and paperwork reflecting on the two pop up dinners we completed this weekend. What a success!
Accounted for are a broken box (it happens), a broken gazebo (don’t ask), at least 30 to-S and fro-S between the shed , the living room and the car, hours of cooking , sorting , cleaning, thinking. And also one proud me and endless moments of contentment.
I begun and ended this year’s pop-up dinners at Penylan Pantry a deli/café that has livened up and brightened our area. I have thrown five pop up dinners since May 2014 all exploring foods, cultures and recipe combinations that I love. It’s been quite the journey, fulfilling and always full of surprises.
The next immediate thing on the cards for me is slightly different in that it will involve educational waste awareness workshops to help people reduce their food waste. I will be working with two social venturers I respect a lot. I am very excited and proud I will be using my free time towards such a venture.
As for the future…it holds surprises that I cannot predict but I am sure there will be congregations as beautiful and warm as those of the last two days. So watch this space ! Get in touch! Don’t be a stranger!
Thanks to all who have joined our table and made these pop up dinners so wonderful. It’s the people who appreciate what’s offered to them and enjoy each other that create this wonderful atmosphere that seeps into our life and fuels Lia’s Kitchen.
Thank you old and new friends who help make Lia’s Kitchen happen through your hard work -you know who you are.
Happy birthday to the Penylan Pantry who is one today. Mel and Jo well done you are stars and thanks for hosting Lia’s Kitchen events.
Photos by Jo, Penylan Pantry, Dean Doyle, Lia’s Kitchen and Dan Green.
My ultimate Mexican Chilli con Carne uses diced beef and spicy pork sausage cooked in a mole sauce with strong accents of chocolate, honey and chili. I serve this stew with Galo Pinto, a Nicaraguan pilaf, flavoured with ground clove. Set aside a couple of hours to prepare this recipe. This dish is recommended for large dinner parties. It is a real treat for the carnivores with deep chocolate and beef flavours that go wonderfully well with a slightly chilled LINI 910 Labrusca Rosso Reggiano D.O.C or LINI 910 In Correggio Lambrusco Scuro Emilia I.G.T. The wines highlight the sweet accents and spice complexity of this dish. They are a refreshing wine alternative to beers usually consumed with Chilli con Carne dishes.
- 800g diced beef
- 200g Salsicce picante or other spicy pork sausage diced
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 200g Chorizo sausage diced
- 1 large onion finely chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoons oregano
- 1 tablespoons cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2-3 chilli peppers finely chopped
- 1 can chopped tomatoes (400g)
- 1 can kidney beans (400g)
- 50g dark chocolate, at least 70% cocoa
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 300ml red cooking wine
- 150-200ml stock
- 2 star anise flowers
- 1 small bunch of fresh coriander
- Olive oil to fry
- Salt to season
- 1.5 cup long grain rice
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 cups stock
- Olive oil
- Salt to season
- Dice the sausage and beef in small chunks (5cm).
- Heat enough oil to coat a deep pot and stir fry the beef and sausage with a pinch of salt for 5-10min.
- If using the spice sausage add the smoked paprika at this stage.
- Add the onion and bay leaves and stir fry for a couple of minutes.
- Add the chilli peppers, cumin, coriander and cayenne and stir fry for at least five minutes to release aromas.
- Add the tomatoes, beans and oregano and stir well.
- When the tomato stars bubbling add the wine, stock and star anise.
- When this come to a gentle boil at medium heat stir in the honey and crumble the chocolate.
- Stir well to makes sure they dissolve in the sauce.
- Simmer on low heat for 1.5 hours or more until the meat is soft and melts in your mouth.
- Add the chopped coriander at the end of the cooking process.
- In a medium pot sauté the onion in 2 tablespoons of olive oil with pinch of salt and the cloves until translucent.
- Stir in the rice and mix well to ensure all grains are coated with the clove and oil.
- Add the thin stock and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until cooked but not sticky.
- Season to taste.
- Serve with a dollop of Greek Yoghurt and slices of avocado.
This could become your all time favourite doughnut. This dish was the dessert at our first World Café night held at Penylan Pantry in May 2014. This event found us collaborating with Kilgarriff and Kahan wine importers to pair their delicious Lambrusco and Prosecco wines with the four courses of our dining event.
Kilgarriff and Kahan’s Riva De Milan Valdobbiandene Millesimato Prosecco pairs wonderfully with these delicious doughnut balls soaked in honey syrup and fragranced with fresh orange rind. It is an unforgettable taste combination. You can find Kilgarriff and Kahan wines at the Bottle Shops, on 4 Penylan Road, Roath,CF243PF and Old Masonic Buildings, Penarth, Cardiff, CF64 3EE.
Makes 16 doughnuts
- 250g all-purpose flour
- 10g fresh yeast
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- ¾- 1 small glass tepid water (half boiled/half cold)
- Sunflower oil
1 cup boiling hot water
- ½ cup honey
- ½ cup sugar
Orange rind and cinnamon for serving
1.5 hours including proofing time
- Sift flour in bowl and add the salt and sugar
- Dissolve the yeast in the tepid water
- Make a well in the flour, pour the yeast water and mix well into a smooth mixture
- Cover the bowl with cling film
- Let the mixture ferment for one hour
- Preheat a deep frying pot with about a litre of sunflower oil
- In the meantime prepare the syrup by dissolving the sugar and honey in the boiling water and simmer for ten minutes
- Take a tablespoon of dough and place the dough mixture in the palm of your hand
- Squeeze your hand into a fist over the frying pot so that a ball of dough goes into the hot oil
- The dough ball will expand as soon as it makes contact with the hot oil
- Fry for five to seven minutes, in medium heat, making sure you turn the doughnut so that it get golden
- Take out in with a sieve ladle and place immediately in the syrup for five minutes
- Serve with orange rind and a dusting of cinnamon
Whether you call them huevos rancheros, shakshuka, menemen or,the very familiar to me, strapatsada, eggs in aromatic red tomato sauce are a popular breakfast and meal across the world. The basic principle is to precook a red sauce, most usually with fresh tomatoes, and then to either poach or scramble the eggs in it.
I have grown up with the Greek strapatsada as a summer dish or an easy dinner, in fact it is one of the first meals I ever cooked. Whilst strapatsada uses subtle flavours such as green peppers, pepper, basil or parsley and scrambles the eggs with feta cheese, shakshuka gains its distinctive flavour from spices such as (at least) cumin and turmeric, and requires that you poach the eggs towards the end of the cooking process.
You can play with this dish endlessly. Add chilli and serve with avocado for a Mexican twist, or use sumac for the scrambled Turkish menemen version. But today I am sharing a version of the dish, closest to shakshuka, which has allowed my Lia’s Kitchen recipe to reach new heights of flavour through the addition of honey mustard and fennel seeds. At the end of this blog entry, in my regular tips section, I give you instructions for a strapatsada in the hope that this will satisfy your Greek cuisine cravings.
Feeds 4 (two eggs each)
- 4 eggs
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 300g cherry tomatoes halved or 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
- 2 fresh bay leaves or one dry
- 1/2 t turmeric
- 1 t cumin seers
- 1/4 t fennel seeds
- 1/2 t dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 T (honey) mustard
- 1 t sugar
- 1T finely chopped coriander
- Salt and pepper
- Olive oil
30 minutes chopping and cooking
- Pick a pan wide enough to fit your four eggs when you poach them on top of the sauce.
- Sauté the onion in a couple of tablespoons of oil with a couple of tablespoons of salt and all the spices until translucent.
- Add the mustard and stir fry for a couple more minutes to release all the aromas. Add the tomatoes, another pinch of salt, the sugar.
- Stir, cover and cook on low heat for 10-15 minutes or until the juices are almost dry (more time needed for a tin of tomatoes). Break the four eggs carefully on top of the sauce.
- Lower the heat, cover and cook for 5 minutes or until the top of the eggs steam cooks to a light white.
- Sprinkle with the chopped coriander.
- Remove the eggs from heat immediately after you cook to stop the eggs from going firm or serve immediately.
- It’s not the end of the world if the eggs go firm but this dish is most wonderful with runny poached eggs.
- The more eggs you poach the wider your cooking pot should be.
- Serve on sourdough bread. You will not forget me once you have tried this!
- For a stapatsada include half or one green pepper and fry with the onions; don’t use any of the herbs or spices above, just salt and black pepper, and use parsley or basil to flavour the sauce (basil is traditionally used in some of the Greek islands); once the sauce is cooked scramble the eggs in, remove from heat when the are cooked and add crumbled feta cheese (about 100g) to finish