Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Soothing Herbal Tea - Relief for many ailments

Assorted herbal tea


COLDS & HOARSENESS
2 oz Malva flowers
1 ½ oz Mullein flowers

Use 2 tbs of mixture per 1 cup hot water. Steep 10 minutes; strain.

UPSET STOMACH
8 oz Peppermint leaves
8 oz Lemon Balm leaves
8 oz Fennel seeds

Use 1 tsp of mixture per 1 cup boiling water. Steep 10 minutes; strain.

NERVOUS STOMACH
2 tsp Angelica root
2 tsp Lemon Balm leaves
½ tsp Fennel seed

Bring Angelica root to a simmer in 4 cups water. Turn off heat,add lemon balm & lemon; steep 10 minutes & strain.

NAUSEA
½ tsp dried Ginger root
½ tsp Clove blossoms
1 tsp Chamomile flowers

Pour 1 cup boiling water over herbs. Steep 10 minutes, strain & let cool.

NERVOUS TENSION
1 1/3 oz. St. John's Wort
1 oz. Lemon Balm Leaves
1 oz. Valerian

Use 1 tsp of the herb mixture per cup of boiling water. Steep for 10 min., strain, sweeten if necessary. Drink a cup before going to bed each night for several weeks to calm nerves, lift depression, and help you fall asleep more easily.
Herbal tea

NERVOUSNESS
1 ½ oz Peppermint leaves
1 ½ oz Lemon Balm leaves

Use 1 tsp of mixture per 1 cup boiling water. Steep 10 minutes & strain.

CALMING
1 oz Lemon balm
1 oz Chamomile flowers
½ oz St Johns Wort

Steep 2 tbs of mixture in 1 cup boiled water. Cover 10 minutes; strain.

INSOMNIA
1 ½ oz dried Vervain leaves
1 oz Chamomile
½ oz Spearmint

Mix all and add to 1 cup boiling water. Steep 8 minutes; strain.

MIGRAINES
1 2/3 oz dried St Johns Wort
1 oz Valerian
1 oz Linden flowers
1/4 oz Juniper berries

Use 1 tsp of mixture per 1 cup boiling water. Steep 10 minutes & strain.

COLDS & FLU
1 oz Blackberry leaves
1 oz Elder flowers
1 oz Linden flowers
1 oz Peppermint leaves

Pour 1 cup boiling water over 2 tbs mixture. Cover & steep 10 minutes; strain.

CHRONIC COUGH
1 oz dried Blueberries
1 oz dried Blueberry leaves
1 oz Licorice root

Add 3 tbs mixture to 2 cups cold water. Bring to boil, lower heat & simmer 10 minutes; strain.


Green Tea

DETOXIFICATION
1 tsp Green Tea leaves

Simmer 1 cup water & pour over leaves. Cover & let stand 4 minutes.

FEVER REDUCER
2 tsp dried Catnip
1 tsp dry Vervain

Pour 2 cups boiling water over herbs. Steep 10 minutes & strain.

ENGLISH ROSE TEA
1/2 cup dried Red Rose petals
2 tablespoons dried Lemon Balm
1 tablespoon dried Rosemary

Mix well. Use 1 teaspoon for each cup.

ORANGE MINT TEA
2 cups dried Orange Mint leaves
8 teaspoons China Tea
1 teaspoon ground Cloves
1 cup dried Calendula petals
1 tablespoon dried Orange rind
1 tablespoon dried Lemon rind

Store mixture in airtight container.

POTPOURRI TEA
1 cup good Black tea
1/2 cup dried Rose petals
2 tablespoons dried Jasmine flowers
1 tablespoon dried Orange peel, freshly grated
1 tablespoon Cassia Bark, crumbled
3 sticks Cinnamon bark, crumbled
4 whole Star Anise
1 tablespoon ground Nutmeg
1 teaspoon whole Cloves, freshly crushed

Mix all ingredients in a mixing bowl with your hands. Store in airtight tins. Use one heaping tablespoon per pot.

Relieve for many ailments

MONTHLY RELIEF
2 teaspoons dried Lemon-Balm leaves
1 cup boiling water

Steep the leaves in the boiling water, covered, for 10 to 15 minutes. Strain. Drinking this infusion will help relieve menstrual cramps, but take no more than 2-3 cups a day.


DUAL-PURPOSE
Do not drink more than 2 cups a day.
2 teaspoons dried German Chamomile flowers
1 cup boiling water

Steep the flowers in the boiling water, covered, for 15 minutes. Strain, then slowly sip the infusion to relieve nausea, stomach upset, and lessen menstrual cramps.

RED CLOVER TONIC

WOMAN'S RED CLOVER TONIC
1 teaspoon dried Red Clover blossoms
1 cup boiling water

Add the blossoms to the boiling water. Cover and steep for 15 minutes. Strain, then sip. This infusion acts as a tonic specially suited for women.


NURSING MOTHER'S TEA
1 teaspoon crushed Fennel seeds
1 cup boiling water

Mix the seeds with the boiling water. Cover and steep for 10 minutes. Strain, and sip the infusion. Drinking a tea made with fennel helps to promote the secretion of breast milk in nursing mothers.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Soups and Broths - Mouthwatering recipes from many different nations

For those of you who love soups and broth, here are some famous soups and broths from many different nations.

Scotch Broth Soup Recipe
Scotch Broth

Traditionally Scotch Broth is a bit of everything thrown into the pot and is quite a filling soup. In olden days Scots would eat this as a main meal. In modern times many Scottish households still serve Scotch Broth as a main meal rather than a starter soup. Ingredients can be substituted depending on your own tastes. It's best made the day before to allow the full flavour to soak through. We make a huge pot of it and boil it up each day, adding more tatties and water as needed. It is very warming when eaten during the winter and is popular on New Year’s Day. Scotch broth soup is sometimes called Barley Broth soup.


Ingredients:

1kg neck of mutton or lamb (my mum sometimes uses chicken)
75g pearl barley
1 large onion
75g split peas or fresh peas
1 large leek
3 wee neeps (turnip)
1 swede
water depending on thickness required - try 2.5 litres
3 carrots
2 tablespoons of freshly chopped parsley
salt and pepper
small cabbage (optional)

Directions:

1. Pre soak the barley and split peas

2. Chop all the vegetables

3. Melt a wee bit of lard/cooking oil and add the chopped onion. Once softened add the water and meat (you can just add stock rather than boil meat) and boil, skimming off any fatty deposits from the top.

4. After boiling for about half an hour add the barley and peas and simmer for another 30 minutes.

5. Add the remaining vegetables.

6. If used, remove the bone and strip off the meat and return this to the pot.

7. Give the dog the bone once it's cooled!

8. Add parsley before serving. Great with warmed bread rolls.

9. If making a big pot full it'll keep out provided you boil and stir each day.

Classic Jewish Chicken Soup
Jewish Chicken Soup

Makes a nice big pot of cure a cold, feel-good, Friday Night chicken soup. If you are looking for crisp veggies and a light, clear broth, this is not the recipe you want. Long cooking allows for the flavor of the veggies and chicken to really penetrate the broth (leaving the veggies quite soft), and keeping the cover off concentrates the flavors further. Add fine egg noodles or kreplach (Jewish meat dumplings) and you'll want to dive into the bowl! Enjoy!

Ingredients
20 cups cold water
8 bottom chicken quarters
4 large carrots, cut to 2 . 5 "x. 5-inch pieces
3 stalks celery, cut like carrots
2 parsnips, cut like carrots
1 turnip, cubed (bite-sized)
2 large onions, cut in half
1 bunch parsley (tied up)
1 bunch dill (tied up)
salt & pepper or chicken bouillon

Directions

1 Bring water to boil, add chicken, return to boil (covered).

2 Add all vegetables except for parsley & dill and allow to cook on medium to low heat, uncovered, until reduced by about half (2-3 hours). You may skim during the cooking or refrigerate the finished soup and remove the solidified fat.

3 Add parsley & dill and cook for 20 minutes, then remove the herbs and discard.

4 Season soup with salt & pepper or boullion powder to taste. If soup is too strong, add water. If it is too weak let it boil out longer (uncovered).

5 Remove from heat and allow to cool.

6 Remove the chicken and separate out the meat into bite sized pieces (shreds). Return the chicken pieces to the pot. Serve immediately or freeze.


Traditional Ecuadorian Soups

Soup is a necessary part of almost every Ecuadorian meal. The following recipes are quick to make and use staples of a typical Ecuadorian diet.

Quick Oatmeal Soup (Sopa de avena)
Oatmeal is part of a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet, rich with vitamins E and D, and other minerals such as zinc, copper, and iron. It is also a good source of soluble fiber. This quick soup recipe uses oatmeal in a tasty new way, and is easy to make.

Ingredients

4 c. beef or chicken broth
2-3 tbs oatmeal (not instant)
½ tsp cumin
dash annatto oil (color) (optional)
salt to taste
2 potatoes, quartered
Procedure

1. Boil the broth and oatmeal in a large Dutch oven until thickened (depending on the altitude, this may take anywhere from 10-20 minutes).

2. Strain the soup. Toss the oatmeal pulp and put the broth into another pot. Add the cumin, color, salt and potatoes. Simmer 3-5 minutes longer or until potatoes are soft.

3. Serve immediately.

Easy Grated Plantain Soup (Rebanado de verde)

Plantains (sometimes referred to as cooking bananas) are common fare in Ecuadorian cuisine, used in place of potatoes or rice. Plantain soups are rich in potassium and vitamins B6 and C, as well as a good source of fiber.

Ingredients

6 c. chicken broth
1 onion, quartered
½ green pepper
1 tsp salt
½ tsp cumin
dash annatto oil (color) (optional)
1 plantain, shredded
¾ c. fresh farmer’s cheese, cubed
Procedure

1. Make the stock by adding the first 5 ingredients to a large Dutch oven and boiling for about 15 minutes. Strain and return to the pot.

2. Add the color and shredded plantain. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the soup gets cloudy and a bit thickened.

3. Put 1-2 tbs cubed cheese in the bottom of each dish. Serve the soup over the cheese.

Bread soup (Sopa de pan)

This recipe is great for times when you have leftover bread. French bread works best, although any stale, crusty bread can substitute for it.

Ingredients

6 c. water
1 onion, quartered
½ green pepper
1 tsp salt
dash annatto oil (color) (optional)
2 c. milk
day old bread (1-2 rolls or servings per plate, torn into medium-sized pieces)
¾ c. fresh farmer’s cheese, cubed
1 egg per serving

Procedure

1. Make the stock by combining the first 5 ingredients. Let boil for about 10-15 minutes.

2. While the stock boils, add the stale bread and 1-2 tbs of cubed cheese to each serving bowl. Set aside.

3. Add the milk and let simmer for another 5-10 minutes.

4. Just before serving, add a serving of the soup to a separate, smaller pot (about 2 cups). Over medium low heat, break an egg into the smaller pot and boil until just set (about 5 minutes). Keep the egg from sticking to the bottom of the pan by gently stirring the soup.

5. Once the egg is set, pour the contents of the smaller pot over the bread and cheese in the soup dish, trying not to break the egg yolk. Repeat steps 4 and 5 for each serving.

Traditional Greek Easter Soup
Traditional Greek Easter Soup

The main Easter meal (on Easter Sunday) has traditionally been an occasion to slaughter a lamb or goat, and this soup was designed to use the leftover parts so that nothing went to waste. This soup is prepared on Holy Saturday and eaten to break the fast after midnight church services. Traditionally, the soup is put on low heat to cook before leaving for church, and eaten on return. The recipe includes ingredients used in Greece.

Cook Time: 2 hours, 20 minutes
Ingredients:

About 2 pounds of lamb or kid offal (liver, heart, lungs, and other organs)
Intestines from 2 lambs or kids
juice of 2 lemons
1 onion, finely chopped
5-6 green onions, finely chopped
1/3 cup of olive oil
2-3 rounded tablespoons of fresh dill, finely chopped
2 heads of romaine lettuce, well washed and finely chopped
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons of short grain rice, well rinsed
----------

FOR THE AVGOLEMONO (EGG-LEMON SAUCE)
juice of 2 lemons
3 eggs at room temperature, separated
1 tablespoon of water

Preparation:
Wash the organs and set aside to drain. Cut the intestines lengthwise with a scissors and clean well under running water. Rub them with coarse sea salt and the lemon juice, then clean again under running water. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the organs. Boil for about 3 minutes then add the intestines and boil for another 5 minutes. Drain and chop into small pieces.

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy-bottomed soup pot. Sauté the onion and green onion for 2-3 minutes. Add the meat and sauté until browned (a few minutes). Add dill, salt, pepper, and 10 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a slow boil and cook for 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Add the chopped lettuce to a large pot of boiling water and boil for 5 minutes. Transfer to a colander to drain. 40 minutes after the soup has been slow boiling, stir in the lettuce.

10 minutes before the end of cooking time, stir in the rice.

At the end of cooking time, remove the soup from the heat.

Make the avgolemono (egg-lemon sauce): Beat the egg whites until frothy. Continue beating and add the egg yolks, 1 tablespoon of water, the lemon juice and several large spoonfuls of the soup broth. The key is to beat continuously. Add mixture to the soup, stir, and cover the pot with a towel. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Yield: serves 8

Cabbage Soup

Ingredients
1/2 medium head of chopped cabbage
4 large cubed carrots
4 stalks of cubed celery
1 sweet minced onion
3 c. of vegetable broth
1 (14.5 oz.) can of chicken broth
1 (14.5 oz.) can of peeled and diced tomatoes
3/4 c. of ketchup
1 1/2 c. of tomato-vegetable juice cocktail

Directions
First put cabbage(chopped) in a large soup pot.

Next you want to microwave chppped carrot in 2 tbsp. of water for approx. 6 min.

Then microwave chopped celery in 2 tbs. of water for 4 min.

Add the vegetables into the large pot.

To this add sweet onion, celery, and the ketchup.

Now add the cocktail, chicken and vegetable broth, and the tomatoes.

Then add around 2 cans of water to the mixture.

Bring flame to medium, letting the mixture cook for around 20 min.

Now reduce to low for approx. 2 to 3 hrs.

Ladle into bowls and serve!


French Onion Soup
French Onion Soup

many recipes for French Onion soup skimp on the time to caramelize the onions, but the lengthy caramelization is what provides that amazing depth in a loving, patiently prepared, French Onion Soup.
Keep an eye on your onions when cooking, if you notice there is too much liquid in the pan turn up the heat and make sure you dry them out a little otherwise they will boil instead of caramelize.

Ingredients

For the Soup
4 lbs yellow onions
4 ounces butter
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons flour
32 ounces beef stock

For the Croutons
1 baguette
12 ounces gruyere cheese, finely grated
olive oil
kosher salt

Directions

1 For the Soup:.
2 Cut of tops and bottoms of the onions, then cut the onions lengthwise in half.
3 Remove the peels and tough outer layers. Cut a V wedge in each one to remove the core.
4 Lay an onion half cut side down on a cutting board with the root end towards you. Note that there are lines on the outside of the onion. Cutting on the lines (with the grain) rather than against them will help the onions soften.
5 Melt the butter in a large heavy stockpot over a medium heat.
6 Add the onions and 1 tablespoon salt, and reduce the heat to low.
7 Cook stirring every 15 minutes and regulating the heat to keep the mixture bubbling gently, for about 1 hour, or until the onions have wilted and released a lot of liquid.
8 Continue to stir the onions every 15 minutes being sure to scrape the bottom and corners of the pot, for about 3 hours or until the onions are caramelized throughout.
9 Sift in the flour and cook over a medium-high heat, stirring for 2 to 3 minutes.
10 Add the beef stock, bring to a simmer, and simmer for about 1 hour.
11 Season to taste with salt, pepper.

12 For the Croutons:.
13 Preheat the broiler/grill.
14 Cut 12 3/8 inch thick slices from the baguette (reserve the remainder for another use) and place on a baking sheet.
15 Brush the bread lightly on both sides with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt.
16 Place under the broiler/grill and toast the first side until golden brown then turn and brown the second side.
17 Set aside and leave the broiler on.

18 To Complete:.
19 Place six flameproof soup bowls, with about 1 ½ cups capacity on a baking sheet to catch any spills. Add the hot soup to the bowls and lay the croutons on top.
20 Cover with Gruyere.
21 Place under the grill for a few minutes until the cheese bubbles, browns and forms a thick crust.
22 Eat carefully the soup will be very hot.

23 Cooks Note: One of the most unpleasant tasks associated with French Onion soup is chopping the mounds of onions required. I've found that if I wear my sunglasses, pushed as far up my nose as possible, the tears never really come. When sliced, onions produce a gas that mixes with your natural tears creating an acid very similar to sulfuric acid. By wearing the sunglasses so close to your eyes it doesn't allow the gas to get inches Works like a charm!


Acquacotta, the Stone Soup - Traditional Recipe from Tuscany

Though the famous popular Acquacotta soup has a very mysterious and unusual name, it is a well-known soup dish that originates from the Maremma area of Tuscany. The Italian name of this soup literally means “cooked water”.

Legend has it that the inventors of this dish, the herdsmen and coal men of Maremma, were accustomed to frequent journeys, and thus normally traveled with stale bread, dried meat, oil, garlic, onion, and a few herbs, in order to prepare acquacotta.

ACQUACOTTA
(serves 4)
ACQUACOTTA

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: about 1 hour
Recipe grading: fairly easy

INGREDIENTS

- 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 onions, thinly sliced
- 2 cups (10 oz - 300 g) fresh or frozen peas
- 1 and 1/4 cups (l7 oz - 200 g) freshly hulled broad beans
- 1 medium carrot, sliced
- 1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
- 1 crumbled dried chili pepper
- salt to taste
- 12 oz - 300 g trimmed young Swiss chard or spinach leaves, washed and shredded
- 10 oz - 300 g firm, ripe tomatoes, skinned and chopped
- 6 and 1/2 cups (2 and 1/2 pints - 1.5 liters) boiling water
- 4 large fresh eggs
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup (2 oz - 60 g) freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino cheese
- 4 slices firm-textured white bread, 2 days old
- 1 clove garlic

Suggested wine: any dry white wine

PREPARATION

Pour the oil into a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add the onions, peas, fava beans, carrot, celery, chili pepper, and a dash of salt.

Sauté for about 10 minutes until tender and lightly browned. Add the chard or spinach and the tomatoes and simmer for 15 minutes.

Pour in the boiling water and leave to simmer gently for 40 minutes, adding more salt if necessary.

Using a fork or balloon whisk, beat the eggs with salt, pepper, and the grated Parmigiano or pecorino cheese.

Toast the bread and when golden brown, rub both sides of each slice with the garlic. Place a slice in each soup bowl or in individual straight-sided earthenware dishes, and pour a quarter of the beaten egg mixture over each serving.

Give the soup a final stir and then ladle into the bowls. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and add a pinch of pepper.

Feta Haroof wa Khubz
(Lamb and Bread Soup)

Egyptian recipe can be eaten as a main course.

Serves 6

1 1/2 pound lean lamb meat without bones

2 medium onions, chopped fine

Fresh ground black pepper

6 cups plus 3/4 c. water, divided

1/2 cup rice

1/4 c. plus 2 Tablespoons ghee or butter, separated

3 large cloves garlic, crushed

1/4 c. wine vinegar

2 rounds flat bread, toasted



Cut lamb into 1 inch cubes and place in a large pot with 6 cups of the water. Bring slowly to a boil, skimming occasionally. Add onion, salt and pepper. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 1 1/2 hours or until meat is tender yet not falling apart. Meanwhile wash and drain the rice. In a medium saucepan boil one cup of water add 1 Tablespoon of ghee and 1/2 teaspoon of salt, than the rice. Bring back to a boil, stirring occasionally. Cover and simmer over low heat 15-20 minutes until tender.

Using a slotted spoon remove meat from cooking liquid. In a separate skillet melt 1 Tablespoon of ghee, add the meat and fry it a few minutes. Remove from heat. Set aside and keep it warm.

In the same frying pan used for the meat melt 1/4 cup of ghee over medium high heat. Add the garlic and sauté until it begins to take on color. Remove skillet from heat. Stir vinegar into the skillet. Return to heat and boil a few seconds. Set this mixture aside.

Place 1 round of toasted khoudiz in a large casserole or soup tureen. Spoon some of the garlic mixture over the bread then add half of the cooked rice. Pour some of the soup broth over top of this. Place second round of toasted bread then the remaining rice. Place fried lamb cubes on top the fried lamb. Top this off with the remaining garlic mixture.

Pour the remaining soup broth over this. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley.

Note: adding a clove to boiling water will help to cover the aroma of boiling lamb if desired



Moroccan Spiced Soup (Harira) - Vegetarian version
This is a simplified vegetarian adaptation of the classical Moroccan soup, Harira, which is often served in the evening as a fast-breaker (buka puasa in Malay, iftar in Arabic) during Ramadan. The version commonly served in Moroccan households usually contains lamb or chicken.

Ingredients (serves 4-6)
1 large onion, chopped
1.2 litres/2 pints/5 cups vegetable stock
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cayenne pepper or chilli powder
2 carrots, diced
2 celery sticks, diced
400 gm/14 oz can chopped tomatoes
450 gm/1 lb floury potatoes, peeled and diced
5 strands saffron
400 gm/14 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander leaves
1 tbsp lemon juice
salt and freshly ground black pepper
wedges of lemon, fried in olive oil for a few minutes, to serve

Procedure
Place the onion in a large pot with 300 ml/½ pint/1¼ cups of the vegetable stock. Simmer gently for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix the ground spices and 2 tbsp of stock to form a paste. Stir into the onion mixture with the carrots, celery and remaining stock.

Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat, then cover and gently simmer for 5 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and potatoes and simmer gently, covered, for 20 minutes. Add the saffron, chickpeas, chopped coriander and lemon juice. Season to taste and serve hot, with the fried wedges of lemon.

Barley Soup
Great served with a fresh salad and feta cheese
Serves 4-6

1 cup dried barley

1/2 c dried lentils

6 cup water

3 small diced onions

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 teaspoon of dried mint

1 teaspoon of turmeric

1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper

1 cup of cooked chick peas


Fry onions in hot olive oil until golden. Combine in a large saucepan all ingredients except for the chic peas. Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat and simmer approximately 1 to 1 1/2 hours, stir occasionally.

Add chic peas near end of cooking time.

Mediterranean Leek and Fish Soup with Tomatoes and Garlic
Mediterranean Leek and Fish Soup

This chunky soup, which is almost a stew, makes a robust and wonderfully aromatic meal in a bowl. Serve it with toasted French bread spread with a spicy garlic mayonnaise or aioli.

Ingredients (serves 4)
30 ml/2 tbsp olive oil
2 large thick leeks, white and green parts separated, both thinly sliced
5 ml/1 tsp crushed coriander seeds
good pinch of dried red chilli flakes (or grind 1 dried red chilli)
300 gm/1 1 oz small new or salad potatoes, thickly sliced (peeled if preferred)
200 gm/7 oz Italian peeled chopped plum tomatoes
600 ml/2½ cups fish stock
150 ml/ 2/3 cup fruity white wine
1 bay leaf (preferably fresh)
1 star anise
strip of pared orange rind
good pinch of saffron strands (about 12-15 strands)
450 gm/1 lb white fish fillets (suggested: cod, haddock, monkfish, sea bass)
450 gm/1 lb small squid, cleaned
250 gm/9 oz uncooked peeled prawns
2-3 tbsp chopped parsley
salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve, 1 French loaf (baguette) sliced and toasted
Spicy garlic mayonnaise or aioli

Procedure
Gently heat the oil in a pan, then add the green part of the leeks, the coriander and the chilli, and cook for 5 minutes

Add the potatoes and tomatoes and pour in the stock and wine. Add the bay leaf, star anise, orange rind and saffron.

Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and part-cover the pan. Simmer for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Cut the fish into chunks. Cut the squid sacs into rectangles and score a criss-cross pattern into them without cutting right through.

Add the fish to the stew and cook gently for 4 minutes. Add the prawns and cook for 1 minute. Add the squid and the shredded white part of the leek and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Do not overcook or the squid will be tough.

Stir in the chopped parsley and serve with the toasted French bread and spicy garlic mayonnaise/aioli.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Fresh Minty Recipes - Makes scent and sense with these lovely recipes

Fresh Mint
Here are some easy ways to use mint:

Use sprigs of mint as a pretty garnish for a special dessert.

For a casual arrangement for your dining room or kitchen table, fill an attractive glass or ceramic pitcher, vase, or other container with water. Add several long sprigs of fresh mint (being sure to strip away any mint leaves that would be covered by the water). The mint will add color to the room, scent the air, and even help keep pesky ants away.

Mint Tea

Put a few fresh spearmint or peppermint sprigs in a teapot with your favorite tea. Let steep for 2-3 minutes and serve.


Pot your favorite mint in a pretty container on your front porch to provide a welcoming fresh scent to anyone who comes to visit.

Add chopped mint leaves to scrambled eggs, omelettes, quiches, or souffles.

Mix mint in with your regular tabbouleh recipe for a refreshing summer salad.

Add mint to cooked peas, carrots, or potatoes at the end of the cooking process, then discard the mint leaves before serving the vegetables.

Make frozen mint cubes to use in many of your favorite foods and beverages. Finely chop some mint sprigs, then stuff them into ice cube trays, and fill each section of the tray with water. Freeze. When frozen, empty the trays into freezer bags. Use the mint cubes for iced tea or other beverages, or put a few cubes in your favorite casserole or stew.


More Minty Recipes

Mint Tea Punch



"Tea, mint, sugar, orange and lemon juices make this a quick and easy, refreshingly delicious drink on a hot summer's day, given to me by a true Southern lady. Goes great with Cajun or spicy foods too. Every time I serve this someone asks me for the recipe!"

INGREDIENTS
3 cups boiling water
12 sprigs fresh mint
4 tea bags
1 cup white sugar
1 cup orange juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
5 cups cold water
3 orange slices for garnish (optional)
3 lemon slices for garnish (optional)


DIRECTIONS
Place the tea bags and mint sprigs into a large pitcher. Pour boiling water over them, and allow to steep for about 8 minutes. Remove and discard the tea bags and mint leaves, squeezing out excess liquid. Stir in sugar until dissolved, then stir in the orange juice and lemon juice. Pour in the cold water. Serve over ice cubes, garnished with orange or lemon slices.

Chocolate Mint Cookies

INGREDIENTS (Nutrition)
3/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons water
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
36 chocolate mint wafer candies


DIRECTIONS
In a large pan over low heat, cook butter, sugar and water until butter is melted. Add chocolate chips and stir until partially melted. Remove from heat and continue to stir until chocolate is completely melted. Pour into a large bowl and let stand 10 minutes to cool off slightly.
At high speed, beat in eggs, one at a time into chocolate mixture. Reduce speed to low and add dry ingredients, beating until blended. Chill dough about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Roll dough into balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake 8-10 minutes. While cookies are baking unwrap mints and divide each in half. When cookies are brought out of the oven, put 1/2 mint on top of each cookie. Let the mint sit for up to 5 minutes until melted, then spread the mint on top of the cookie. Eat and enjoy!

Minted Sugar Snap Peas

Ingredients:
1-1/2 pounds sugar snap peas, trimmed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons finely shredded fresh mint leaves, divided

Directions:
In a kettle of salted boiling water cook the snap peas for 1 to 3 minutes, or until they are crisp-tender, drain them, and plunge them into a bowl of ice and cold water to stop the cooking. Drain the peas well.
In a large skillet melt the butter, add 1 tablespoon of the mint, the peas, and salt and pepper to taste, and heat the mixture over moderately low heat, stirring, until the peas are heated through.
Sprinkle the peas with the remaining 1 tablespoon mint and serve.

Serves 4 to 6.

Apple Mint Chutney

Ingredients:

5 Lb Tart Apples -- Peeled, Small Dice
2 2/3 C Light Brown Sugar
2 1/2 C Cider Vinegar
2 C Onion -- Chopped Fine
1 1/4 C Dates -- Pitted And Chopped
1 C Golden Raisins
1 Tbsp Salt
1 Tbsp Ground Ginger
4 Tbsp Fresh Mint -- Chopped Fine


Directions:
Bring to a simmer in a stainless steel pot. Stir often, cook approximately 1 1/4 hour until thick and golden brown.
Stir in mint and let cool.

Apple-Mint Jelly

Ingredients

4 cup Apple juice
1 1/2 cup Fresh mint leaves
2 tbl Lemon juice
1 pkt Powdered fruit pectin
5 1/4 cup Sugar
Green food coloring


Method :
In a Dutch oven, combine apple juice, mint leaves, lemon juice, and pectin over medium-high heat. Bring to a rolling boil. Add sugar. Stirring constantly, bring to a rolling boil again and boil 1 minute. Remove from heat; skim off foam. Strain mixture; discard mint leaves. Tint jelly green. Pour into heat-resistant jars with lids. Store in refrigerator.
Yield: about 3 pints jelly.
Tasty Christmas Gifts.

Apple Raisin and Mint Salsa

Ingredients :

1/2 cup raisins
2 lrg crisp, green apples, such as Granny Smith
1 x to 2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 sm mild onion or 4 green onions, finely chopped
Leaves from 1 large bunch fresh mint
1 tbl clear honey

Method :
Place raisins in small bowl, cover with boiling water; leave five minutes to plump. Drain well on paper towels.

Peel apples, if desired, then remove cores and chop. In medium bowl, toss apples, lemon juice and onion or green onions together.

Reserve a few mint leaves for garnish. Chop remaining mint very finely. Stir into apple mixture with raisins and honey and stir well. Spoon into serving bowl and garnish with reserved mint
leaves. Serve within 30 minutes.

This recipe is from "The Book of Dips and Salsas." It goes well with chicken or duck. It could be saved for apple-picking season.

Makes: 6 servings

Arabic Sesame Lamb Meatballs with Mint Yoghurt

Ingredients :

1 sm minced onion
1 lrg garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp dried mint, crumbled
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground allspice
a pinch of cinnamon
1/2 kg minced lamb
1 cup fine fresh bread crumbs
1 lrg egg, beaten lightly
2 tbl dried currants, (optional)
1/4 cup black sesame seeds**
1/4 cup white sesame seeds, toasted lightly
2 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup packed fresh mint leaves, chopped
1/2 tsp salt, or to taste

Method :

Saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil in a non-stick frypan until golden then transfer the mixture to a bowl and add the mint,, salt, allspice, cinnamon, lamb, breadcrumbs, egg and currants (if using) and using your hands, combine the ingredients thoroughly.

Shape the mince mixture into tablespoon size balls and set aside.

Roll half the meatballs in black sesame seeds and roll the remainder in white sesame seeds. Transfer the meatballs to a baking tray and bake at 220c. for 10 minutes until golden and cooked through. Alternatively, you can pan fry the meatballs in olive or peanut oil.

To make the yoghurt, transfer the yoghurt mixture to a sieve that has been lined with some muslin or cheesecloth and set over a bowl, covered and chilled for three hours.

Discard the liquid in the bowl and transfer yoghurt cheese to bowl. Add fresh mint and salt and stir well. Serve the cooked meatballs with the yoghurt.