About Corina

Food blogger at Searchingforspice.com

Review of Mr Singh’s Sauces

Mr singhs sauces

I love chillies and I love spices, and I am therefore always happy to try a new sauce or condiment, especially if it has the flavours I love in it.

Mr Singh’s is a family run business based in East London and they make 3 delicious sauces: Mr Singh’s Punjabi Pesto, Mr Singh’s Bbq Chilli Sauce and Mr Singh’s Hot Punjabi Chilli Sauce.   I was lucky enough to be sent samples of all three of the sauces.

My favourite was definitely the Hot Punjabi Sauce.  There can be two possible problems with chilli sauces.   Some sauces are too sweet and don’t have enough of a chilli kick.   Other sauces are all chilli heat with no other flavours.   This sauce manages to get the balance just right.   It’s very hot but it’s also really tasty too.   It’s a sauce you can enjoy for the flavour as well as the chilli.   I loved it on fried halloumi and with grilled chicken.   A little goes a long way.

Halloumi Mr Singh punjabi chilli sauce

The bbq sauce was also delicious.  Sometimes bbq sauces can be too sweet and sticky but this one is really hot instead, even hotter than the Hot Punjabi Sauce.  It went down well as a marinade for chicken, to flavour couscous, inside a cheese and onion quesadilla and to flavour homemade burgers.

Mr Singh bbq chilli sauce

The other sauce was the Punjabi pesto.  I used it as a curry paste to make a lamb curry/stew.   It’s nowhere near as spicy as the other sauces but is very tasty.   I added a few more spices for a bit more depth of flavour but you could just use the pesto. I haven’t tried it on pasta yet to make a fusion Indian Italian meal but it’s something I plan to do for a quick and easy dinner soon.

Overall I was really pleased with the sauces and would be happy to recommend them.

Disclosure: I received the sauces for free but I was under no obligation to provide a positive review and the opinions are my own.

 

 

Sticky Toffee Pudding

sticky toffee pudding

I love my puddings.  If you’re feeling a bit down, sad, tired, hungry, cold or even on top of the world already, there is nothing better than a steaming bowl of freshly baked pudding and custard.  Usually my pudding of choice would be a fruit crumble whereas my husband’s would definitely be THIS sticky toffee pudding.

Many people will tell you that sticky toffee pudding needs to have dates in it.  My husband would tell you that there is nothing worse than ordering a sticky toffee pudding for dessert and finding it full of dates.  As I have never ordered a sticky toffee pudding for myself before, it’s an argument I’m not going to take sides on.

I decided to make this one without dates as putting dates in it would just have been cruel. However, as I love fruit in puddings, cakes, scones and anything else you can think of, I suspect that I would also love a sticky toffee pudding with a few dates in.

Of course this recipe is my tribute to this week’s Great British Bake Off.   The theme was puddings and I am also itching to try some more inventive fondants now.  I regularly make a chocolate fondant and as it is so so good I have never felt the need to make any variations to it, until now.   I’m not quite sure what I’ll come up with and when it will get made but at least it has made me want to break out of my traditional chocolate fondant comfort zone!

The recipe for sticky toffee pudding is adapted from All Recipes.

Ingredients for the Sticky Toffee Sponge Pudding

190g plain flour

1.5 tsp baking powder

A pinch of salt

120g soft brown sugar

2 eggs

120ml milk

2 tsp vanilla extract

80g melted butter

Ingredients for the Toffee Sauce

150ml double cream

70g butter

120g soft brown sugar

How to Make Sticky Toffee Pudding

1. Put the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar into a large mixing bowl.  Mix together.

2. In another bowl put the eggs, milk, vanilla and melted butter.   Whisk together until the top goes frothy.

3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ones and mix together until well combined and there are no dry bits.

4. Grease a baking dish and pour the mixture in.   Bake in the oven at 170C for 20-30 minutes. Check after 20 minutes and estimate how much longer it needs.   It will depend on how wide and deep your dish is.

5. Make the sticky toffee sauce by putting all the ingredients in a saucepan.   Heat up and keep giving a stir.  Take off the heat when the sauce is the colour you want.  Let it stand for a few minutes before serving.

6. The pudding and sauce are lovely together but you could also serve with a little ice cream.

I am linking this to the Great Bloggers Bake Off, hosted by Mummy Mishaps.

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Corn on the Cob with Indian Spiced Butter

corn and butter 1

I’m going to be really sad when the pick-your-own season ends.   We’ve had another successful trip to Garsons PYO where we came away with corn on the cob, plums, courgettes and a marrow.   I didn’t realise how delicious stuffed marrow could be and hopefully I’ll get chance to blog about that too soon.

But, back to sweetcorn.  I really like corn on the cob but I don’t eat it very often.   My husband isn’t keen on it and as I try to mainly cook things we both like, it’s something I miss out on.   That’s the good thing about pick-your-own.   I have an excuse for coming home with things only I like – They are in season and we have to pick what is there!

I decided to make a spiced butter as it is such an easy way of making the corn really tasty. The lime juice is absolutely delicious in this as it goes really well with the spices and along with the butter it really brings the sweetcorn to life.   I was worried that the juice wouldn’t mash into the butter but I found that with lots of mashing it wasn’t a problem.   If, like my husband, you are not keen on corn, you could use the butter on other vegetables.  I think it would be delicious on broccoli or green beans.

Ingredients – Serves 6 (or save some of the butter for something else)

6 corn on the cob

100g butter

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp crushed chilli flakes

1/4 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp ground coriander

1/8 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp dried coriander leaf

Salt

Black pepper

Juice of half a lime

How to Make Corn on the Cob with Indian Spiced Butter

1. Put the butter in the microwave for 20 seconds to soften it.

2. Put all the ingredients except the corn into a bowl and mash with a fork until the lime juice and spices are thoroughly mixed into the butter.

3. Spoon the butter onto some cling film and roll it up into a sausage shape and put it in the fridge to harden.

4. Boil, griddle or barbecue the corn.   I boiled mine for 5 minutes.   Serve each piece of corn with a slice of butter on top.

corn and melted butter

I am linking this to Shop Local, hosted by Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary and to RenBehan’s Simple and in Season, also hosted by Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary this month. I am also linking to Recipe of the Week, hosted by A Mummy Too.

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Cheddar and Leek Muffins

leek and cheddar muffins

 

I’d never made savoury muffins before, but I had actually been planning to make them for a different challenge each month for the last three months.   Typically, it’s only now, third time lucky, that I’ve managed to get around to it.

I love muffins, although normally the sweet kind.   I have a particular fondness for blueberry ones and I would never say no to a chocolate one either.  You could say that I am a bit of a novice where savoury muffins are concerned, as I have to admit to not being able to remember ever even eating a savoury one before making and eating these.  Of course, that means I have nothing to compare these to.   I wasn’t completely sure if they had turned out exactly as they should.   That doesn’t mean they are not good.   Oh no, they are very tasty indeed, but just how much should a savoury muffin rise?   You see, they didn’t rise much at all, yet they weren’t heavy.   They still tasted light and moist, cheesy and leeky.

So what was I to do?  A search for pictures of savoury muffins of course and after trawling through Pinterest I am happy to conclude that savoury muffins are supposed to look a bit messy and unrisen.   Feeling reassured, I think these muffins have turned out as muffins should after all.   They are adaped from a recipe at the Cheese Warehouse.

Ingredients – Makes 18 small muffins

225g self-raising flour

1 leek, diced

1/2 tsp paprika

Salt

Black pepper

1/2 tsp mustard

120g mature cheddar

180ml milk

60ml olive oil

1 egg

How to Make Cheddar and Leek Muffins

1. In a large bowl add the chopped leek, grated cheese, paprika, flour, salt and pepper.  Stir so all the ingredients are coated in the flour and mixed evenly together.

2. In a measuring jug add the olive oil and milk, mustard and egg.   Beat together.

3. Pour the liquid ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients.   Mix together until just combined.

4. Spoon the mixture into a muffin tin, lined with muffin cases.   Place in a preheated oven at 200c for about 20 minutes.

5. Best served when warm and freshly baked

leek and cheddar muffin open

I am linking these to Love Cake, hosted by JibberJabberUk.   The theme this month is savoury.  As savoury muffins are a great way of using up vegetables that might otherwise go to waste (the leek was beginning to go a little bendy), I am also linking these to Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary’s No Waste Food Challenge, hosted this month by I’d Much Rather Bake Than…

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Tomato and Nigella Seed Bread Rolls

tomato nigella seed rolls 2

I used to make bread in my breadmaker all the time, at least every two or three days and that meant I almost never bought a loaf of bread.    That was before I had children.   Now I find that homemade bread disappears so quickly that I’d be making it every day if I had kept that up.   Instead, I started buying bread and before long I was hardly using my poor old breadmaker at all.

Well, with bread week on the Great British Bake Off I decided it was time I made some bread again.  I chose to make tomato and nigella seed rolls as I’d never made tomato bread before but I had been thinking of trying it at some point.   And the nigella seeds?   Well, I just love nigella seeds in bread and I often used to add them to my everyday bread.

A tomato bread could have a mediterranean feel but the nigella seeds give this one more of an Indian flavour and also make it a little bit different to any bread rolls you can buy, or at least any that I’ve seen – you’ll just have to make them yourself!   The finished rolls were a lovely orange colour, soft and very tasty, great for sandwiches and burgers so perfect for any picnics or barbecues at the moment.  The recipe made 12 and they didn’t last long at all, but of course you could freeze some.

Ingredients – Makes 12

500g strong white bread flour

7g sachet of fast action dried yeast

10g salt

1 tsp nigella seeds (black onion seeds)

3 tbsp tomato puree

Just under 350ml milk

15g olive oil

How to Make Tomato and Nigella Seed Bread Rolls

1. Put the yeast in the bottom of the bread maker.   Add the flour,  salt and nigella seeds.

2. Put the tomato puree in a measuring jug and fill it up to 350ml with the milk.   Pour it into the breadmaker and add the oil.   Set the breadmaker to the dough setting and leave it to work.

3. Take the dough out and cut it into 12 pieces by cutting the dough in half and then each piece in half again. Cut each of those pieces into 3.   Take each piece and roll it under your hand to get a round roll and put the rolls on a baking tray with a gap between each one.   Cover with a damp tea towel and leave to rise for 30 minutes.

4. Put the rolls in the oven at 200C for 15 minutes.   When they are done they should sound hollow when tapped underneath.

I am linking this to The Great Bloggers Bake Off at Mummy Mishaps, The Spice Trail at Bangers and Mash and Tea Time Treats at Lavender and Lovage, hosted on alternate months by The Hedgecombers.

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Chocolate Ice Cream Mousse

Chocolate ice cream mousse

This was not meant to be a mousse.  This is in fact just an unfrozen ice cream that has actually become the most delicious rich chocolatey almost ganache-like mousse you could possibly imagine.  I would have put it in my ice cream maker and turned it into ice cream but it was far too thick.   I have learnt from experience that if the custard is too thick the paddle jams and you just get a slightly cold custard.  Of course I could have just put it in the freezer and made it into ice cream the old-fashioned way but I’m afraid I never got that far.  In fact, it didn’t occur to me until just now.   Maybe because once I’d tasted it I just wanted to eat it as a mousse.  Maybe that’s because I’m greedy.  Or maybe it’s because I’m not really a chocolate ice cream kind of girl.  Give me fruit any day for my ice cream.

So why did I set out to make chocolate ice cream in the first place?  Well this month Random Recipes teamed up with Bloggers Scream for Ice Cream for a joint challenge. We had to pick an ice cream recipe and I ended up with the chocolate ice cream recipe from Michel Roux’ Eggs.   Unfortunately, as I haven’t ended up with ice cream, I’m not sure if that eliminates this from the challenge or not.  Of course, I could have remade the ice-cream and not let the custard get so thick, but I’d have had to wait until we’d eaten all the mousse, and buy more cream, and fit it in between all the other sweet things I want to make at the moment.  It was definitely good enough to get remade, but not this month.

Ingredients

150ml double cream

150ml milk (I used semi-skimmed)

80g caster sugar

3 egg yolks

100g plain chocolate

How to Make Chocolate Ice-Cream Mousse

1. Put the double cream, milk and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to the boil gently.   Stir to dissolve the sugar.

2. Put the sugar and egg yolks in a bowl and whisk until the mixture has turned a pale yellowy colour and forms light ribbons.

3. Pour the cream mixture onto the sugar and egg mixture, whisking as you pour.   Then pour the mixture back into the saucepan.

4. Stir the custard mixture over a low heat to thicken it.   When it begins to thicken, take it off the heat and stir in the chocolate.  I think my mistake was to let the custard get too thick at this stage.

5. Pour the custard into a measuring jug and stand the jug in a bowl of ice cubes to cool.   If you are going to make ice cream, it is easier to pour the mixture from a measuring jug. If you are planning to leave it at chocolate mousse then any container is fine.

6. Eat the mousse. OR put it in an ice cream maker and good luck turning it into ice cream!

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Crab Salad with Avocado Sorbet

Crab and avocado sorbet

I know this recipe is a little different to my usual ones.  Avocado sorbet is not something I’m in the habit of making every day, and pairing it with a crab salad is not everyday home cooking, at least not in my house.  But hey, it’s good to push yourself a little sometimes.

It’s actually inspired by a starter I had at James Martin’s restaurant at the Talbot Hotel in Malton.  I was impressed and I really liked my starter. There was something about the dish that made me want to do my own take on crab and avocado.  Now, I should make it clear that the starter I had was quite different.  It did contain crab and avocado sorbet but it also had fennel in and a few ingredients that would be impossible for me to source/prepare and so this is definitely just an inspired by dish.

I had never had avocado sorbet before but I had had avocado ice cream.   As you’d expect, avocado ice cream is very rich and creamy.  Because of the natural creaminess of avocado, this sorbet still tastes quite creamy, but it’s also zingy and fresh from the lime with just a hint of coriander.  To me it almost tastes of apple, but maybe that’s just the greenness playing tricks on my tastebuds.  It’s sweet too so you only need a small amount of sorbet with the crab.  The recipe makes much more than you will need but luckily it also makes a lovely dessert.

What about the crab salad?   Well, lime juice, chilli and crab – It’s a perfect simple combination.   What more can I say?   If you are not quite ready to whip up a batch of avocado sorbet, don’t let that stop you making the crab salad.

Ingredients for the Crab Salad

120g white crab meat

1 chilli pepper, thinly sliced, some seeds removed

Juice of 1/2 lime

1 tbsp olive oil

Salt

Black Pepper

1/2 cucumber

Ingredients for the Avocado Sorbet

2 avocados

Juice of 1 lime

1 tbsp chopped coriander leaf

80g sugar

How to Make Crab Salad with Avocado Sorbet

1. First make the avocado sorbet. Put the sugar in a saucepan with 100ml of water.  Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes until all the sugar has dissolved.  Leave to cool.

2. Put the flesh from the avocados, the lime juice, coriander leaf and sugar syrup into a food processor.

3. Pour the avocado mixture into an ice cream maker and leave to churn.

4. Make the crab salad by mixing together the crab with the lime juice, chilli, olive oil, salt and pepper.

5. Serve the crab salad with the cucumber and just a little avocado sorbet.

As this dish was bit of an experiment for me and a little outside my comfort zone, I am linking it to Our Growing Edge at Bunny Eats Design, hosted this month by Lindsey from Sneaks and Sweets. I am also linking it to Cooking with Herbs at Lavender and Lovage as the sorbet contains coriander.

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Parmesan and Basil Thins

parmesan basil thins

I have to say, I am loving the Great British Bake Off this year.   I watched the biscuit episode wanting to make everything.  So many savoury flavours in the first round, florentines in the second round and then 3d biscuit creations in the third round.  Well, I’ve started with these savoury biscuits and I stress the word, ‘started’.  I’ve got a 3d idea in my head and I would love to have a go.   It may not stand up.   It may look a mess when it’s finished but I’m itching to get creative and make more than just a biscuit next time.

But wait, this post is about parmesan and basil thins.  I must stop myself talking about my next idea and bring myself back to this one.   Yes, this one.   Firstly the biscuits have a lovely break.   Is that the correct terminology?   Or was it crack?  Or snap? Basically, they are crispy. They also score in the all important taste test.  They are scrumptious – strong and cheesey, which is what I want from a cheesy biscuit.   The parmesan is quite strong and the basil is subtle, but you can still taste it.  They are also small or at least mine are, which is good because you can eat one and then just eat another, and another, and another.  You won’t feel like you are overeating.

Go on.   Help yourself!

The recipe is adapted from Step-by-Step Baking by Caroline Bretherton

Ingredients – Makes approximately 25 small biscuits

85g plain flour

60g butter at room-temperature

60g parmesan

1 tbsp chopped fresh basil

Freshly ground black pepper

How to Make Parmesan and Basil Thins

1. Put the flour and butter in a food processor and pulse until it forms a breadcrumb consistency.

2. Add the rest of the ingredients and pulse again until they are all combined.

3. Knead the mixture briefly to make it into a smooth dough.

4. Put a little extra flour on the work surface and roll out to a thickness of about 2mm.  Cut out the biscuits using a cutter and place them directly on a baking sheet.   I needed 3 baking sheets for this amount of dough.

5. Bake the thins in the oven at 180C for 5 minutes.   They may have puffed up in the middle.  Turn them over and press them down onto the baking sheets as you turn them to make them flat again.  Cook for an extra 5 minutes on the other side.

6. Take them out and cool them on wire racks.

I am linking these to the Great Bloggers Bake Off 2014, hosted by Mummy Mishaps and Recipe of the Week at A Mummy Too. I am also linking them to Alphabakes hosted by Caroline Makes and on alternate months by The More Than Occasional Baker. The letter this month is P.

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Honey Lime Steak with Chimichurri Sauce for the SRC

honey lime steak with chimichurri sauce

The picture really doesn’t do this meal justice.  It was delicious. It was possibly the best steak I’d eaten in a long while and it is almost certainly going to have an effect on the way I prepare and cook steak in the future.

So what was the secret?

A marinade.  A lovely delicious sweet and sticky marinade.  Why do I ever cook steak without marinating it first?   Why make a super delicious sauce to serve with the steak but then serve it with an unmarinated piece of meat?  Why has this gem of wisdom not slapped me in the face before now?  I marinate chicken all the time so why not steak?  As I said, things are going to change.

There is one person I need to thank for providing me with this recipe and that is Diana from A Spoonful of Luxe.  I should also thank the Secret Recipe Club for giving me A Spoonful of Luxe as my blogging assignment for August.  There are so many lovely recipes on Diana’s blog and this is just one that caught my eye.  If you’re looking for somewhere to waste some time drooling then I would definitely recommend you take a visit.

So, you’ve gathered that the steak is good.   Well so is the chimichurri.   It’s lovely with the steak and I could happily eat this meal again and again.  I served it with some rice and salad but it is so good it would be nice with anything.   Just as long as you eat this steak you’ll be happy.

Ingredients for the Honey Lime Steak

2 steaks

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 tsp fresh ginger, grated

Juice of 1 lime

50ml soy sauce

70ml olive oil

3 tbsp honey

How to Make the Honey Lime Steak

1. Mix all the ingredients together then coat the steak in the marinade and leave in the fridge until ready to cook.

2. Cook the steak, ideally in a griddle pan or on the barbecue.

Ingredients for the Chimichurri

Large handful of parsley

Large handful of coriander

1 tbsp oil

1/2 red onion

2 cloves garlic

1/2 tsp fresh root ginger

Juice of a lemon

1/2 tsp chilli flakes

Salt

Black pepper

How to Make Chimichurri Sauce

1. Put all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until you get a paste. Taste and add a little more of anything if necessary.

2. Serve the sauce on top of the steak.

To see what other Secret Recipe Club participants have made, click on the link below:

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I am also linking this to Tasty Tuesdays at Honest Mum.

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Slow Cooked Mexican Beef Stew with Lime and Coriander Rice

Mexican beef stew 2

Beef stew in the slow cooker is one of my favourite easy homemade meals.  I have to admit though, that I am often a little unadventurous with it.  It’s one of those meals I just throw together and know it’s going to be good with little work needed in the evening.   Always a bonus.

I really would like to be more adventurous with my slow cooker and even make some cakes in it one day.  One day…

Maybe I just need some encouragement.

Anyway, this year Janice at Farmersgirl Kitchen started the Slow Cooker Challenge and I have loved looking through all the recipes that have been linked up every month.   In July, Janice made a slow cooked Mexican chicken stew from The Slow Cooker Cookbook by Gina Steer. As I was thinking about it later, I decided a variation using beef would also be lovely and a nice change from my more traditional stew, which I notice is still in my drafts folder and has never actually been posted on here.  Again, one day…

I’m sure this stew is lovely with chicken but it is absolutely gorgeous with beef.   It has a lovely rich flavour which I imagine is from the chocolate, although it doesn’t taste chocolaty.   I will definitely be making it again so thank you for the inspiration Janice.  I served it with lime and coriander rice which is my current favourite way to serve either rice or couscous as a side dish.

Ingredients – Serves 2

450g stewing steak

1 onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 chilli pepper, sliced

2 large tomatoes, diced

1 tbsp tomato puree

200ml beef stock

20g dark chocolate (I used one with 74% cocoa solids)

2 tsp cornflour

Black pepper

Salt

How to Make Slow Cooked Mexican Beef Stew

1. Put the beef, onions, garlic, chilli and tomatoes in the bottom of the slow cooker.  Stir the tomato puree into the beef stock and pour into the slow cooker.

2. Cook on low for 8-9 hours.

3. Dissolve the cornflour in a little water.   Pour it into the stew and stir to thicken.  With my slow cooker I do this by taking the pot out of the cooker and putting it on the stove top.   Add salt and black pepper to taste.

Ingredients for Coriander rice

Enough rice for 2 people

2-3 tbsp coriander leaves, chopped

2 spring onions, thinly sliced

Juice of 1 lime

Salt

Black pepper

How to Make Coriander Rice

1. Cook the rice according to the packet instructions.

2. Stir in the coriander, spring onions and lime juice.    Add a little salt and black pepper at the end to taste.

I am linking this to Tasty Tuesdays at Honest Mum, to Recipe of the Week at A Mummy Too and to the Weekend Social.

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