Popcorn Tacos

20180501_212942One of our favourite cookbook authors is Anna Jones, whose vegetarian recipes are imaginative, tasty and versatile. We have cooked this recipe a few times, and it’s perfect for an easy weeknight dinner, or a relaxed dinner with friends. We love the way corn is used three ways in this recipe; the spiced popcorn, caramelised corn salsa and corn tortillas. The cayenne pepper adds a nice warm glow to the dish without overpowering the flavours, and the crunch factor of the popcorn makes these tacos extra special. It’s also a fun novelty to serve and always impresses our friends, eve though it’s so easy to make.

We have adapted this recipe from Anna Jones’ “A Modern Way To Eat”. It serves 2 hungry people as a main, or 4 people if you’re serving some appetisers as well.

Spiced Popcorn:

  • olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp popcorn kernels
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tbsp honey

Caramelised Corn Salsa:

  • 4 corn on the cob
  • olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • grated zest and juice of 1 lime
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 red or green chilli, finely chopped
  • 100ml natural yoghurt

To Serve:

  • 2 avocados
  • juice of ½ a lime
  • 8 small corn or wheat tortillas, or 4 large tortillas
  • 100g feta cheese, drained and crumbled
  • a bunch of coriander, chopped

Method:

  1. For the popcorn, place a pan on low heat and add a little oil and the popcorn kernels. Put the lid on and shake the pan every now and then to stop the kernels from burning. After a few minutes, the corn will start to pop. Continue shaking the pan every minute or so until the popping stops. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool while you mix together the popcorn spices and honey in a small pan. Warm and mix over a low heat. Toss the honey mixture with the popcorn until it is well coated. Set aside.
  2. Cut the kernels from the corn cobs. Heat a little oil in a frying pan, and fry the kernels over a high heat until they become charred and caramelised. Add the salt and pepper, lime zest and juice, and the cayenne and chilli. Remove from the heat and stir in a tablespoon of the yoghurt. Set aside, covering with aluminium foil to keep the corn warm.
  3. Remove the flesh from the avocados and place in a small bowl. Squeeze over the lime juice and mash together.
  4. Warm your tortillas in a dry frying pan.
  5. To serve, fill each tortilla with some avocado, corn kernels and a dollop of yoghurt. Top with some crumbled feta, a pinch of coriander and a scattering of popcorn. Fold up in your hand and enjoy!

 

 

 

Recipe Road’s Waldorf Salad

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Recently we cooked a 4-course dinner for a friend’s birthday, and this salad was the first course. We wanted something light to whet the appetite, which was visually striking and delicious. We decided to create our own unique version of the classic Waldorf Salad. One of our core ingredients for the night was good-quality buttermilk, so we incorporated this into the salad dressing in place of the traditional yoghurt. To create some different textures, we kept the crunch of the witlof, celery and toasted walnuts, but added the surprising element of an apple and celery jelly. We were really happy with the result and we hope you give it a try!

Serves 4 people as an entrée or two as a main course.

Apple and Celery Jelly:

  • 250ml cloudy apple juice
  • 2 sheets gelatin (10g)
  • 3 celery leaves, finely chopped
  • sea salt and cracked pepper

Bloom the gelatin by soaking it in cold water until it softens. Heat the apple juice in a saucepan over a medium heat until simmering. Add the gelatin and stir until it dissolves, then strain into a bowl and allow to cool to room temperature. Add the celery leaves, salt and pepper, stir and refrigerate overnight.

Vinaigrette:

  • 3 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1½ Tbsp good-quality red wine or sherry vinegar
  • 80ml canola oil
  • 2 tsp good-quality buttermilk

Make the dressing by combining all ingredients in a jar, and shake until well combined.

Salad:

  • 1 celery stalk, julienned
  • 2 witlofs, leaves seperated
  • Vinaigrette
  • Apple and Celery Jelly, diced into 1cm cubes
  • 100g toasted walnuts

Combine the celery and witlof in a bowl with the Vinaigrette. Place the dressed witlof leaves on the plates, overlapping in a crisscross pattern. Top with dressed celery sticks and the cubes of jelly. Scatter with the toasted walnuts and serve.

 

Spinach crepes with goat’s curd and zucchini and pea salad.

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This week’s recipe would be a great dish for a lazy weekend brunch, or an easy midweek dinner. We have adapted these crepes from a recipe by Donna Hay, whose food is always easy but delicious, and who is a master of food styling. We love the freshness of the zucchini and pea salad, contrasted with the creaminess of the goat’s curd and the acidity of the lemon juice.

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium zucchinis, shredded
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 2 cups watercress
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • sea salt and cracked black pepper
  • 200g goat’s curd
  • lemon slices, to serve

spinach crepes:

  • 1 cup spelt flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups (500ml) almond milk
  • 3 cups (75g) baby spinach leaves
  • 1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • sea salt and cracked black pepper
  • 2 ½ Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Method:

  1. To make the spinach crepes, place the flour, eggs, milk, spinach, parsley, salt and pepper in a bowl. Using a hand-held stick blender, blend until smooth. Heat some of the oil in a non-stick frying pan over high heat, then add 80ml of the mixture, swirling to coat the base of the pan. Cook for 1-2 minutes, or until just set. Remove from the pan and set aside, keeping warm. Repeat with the remaining oil and batter.
  2. Place the zucchini, peas, watercress, oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a bowl and toss to combine.
  3. Divide the crepes between plates and top with the goat’s curd, salad and lemon slices. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper to serve.

Soba noodles with sesame tofu and crunchy cabbage.

 

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This week our recipe is an easy midweek dinner for two, but it’s still packed full of flavour! We adapted this recipe from the wonderful book A Modern Way To Eat by Anna Jones, which is full of great vegetarian recipes. You won’t miss the meat here, as there is so much interest in the textures and flavours of each component in this dish. We particularly like the quick pickled cabbage which also works well as a side dish for other meals. Best of all, this meal will be on the table in under 20 minutes.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch broccolini
  • 200g soba noodles
  • ¼ small red cabbage, finely shredded
  • sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp maple syrup
  • olive oil
  • 200g tofu (smoked tofu if you can find it), cut into 1cm strips
  • 1 Tbsp sesame seeds
  • 6 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • handful of toasted sesame seeds
  • small bunch of coriander, roughly chopped

Method:

  1. Bring a pan of water to the boil, then add the broccolini. Cook just for a few minutes, until the broccolini is no longer raw but retains its crispness and colour.
  2. Remove the broccolini with a slotted spoon, keeping the water on the heat. Set aside the broccolini and add the noodles to the pan. Cook according to the packet instructions, or until the noodles are soft with a little bit of bite. Drain, then refresh the noodles in cold water.
  3. Place the cabbage in a mixing bowl with a large pinch of salt, 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar and 1 tablespoon of maple syrup. Mix well with your hands, scrunching the cabbage firmly. Set aside.
  4. Set a non-stick frypan over a medium-high heat and add a splash of oil. Add the tofu and brown it evenly all over. Toss in the sesame seeds and stir to coat, then take the tofu out and set aside.
  5. Return the frypan to the heat with another splash of oil. Add the spring onions and cook until softened. Add the remaining tablespoon of vinegar and 2 tablespoons of maple syrup, the sesame oil, soy sauce and lemon juice. Stir and allow to reduce until the mixture becomes a thick, sweet sauce.
  6. Add the drained noodles to the frypan and toss to coat them with the sauce.
  7. Divide the noodles between two bowls, and top each bowl with half the tofu and broccolini, a handful of cabbage, some of the chopped coriander and a scattering of toasted sesame seeds.