Category Archives: Appetiser

Sriracha sardines on sourdough

This is a great and tasty snack and so easy to make too. Pan-fry some tinned sardines in a little bit of their own oil, with a generous helping of sriracha powder (or sauce) – as much as you can handle. Lay them on some toasted sourdough and drizzle with olive oil. Garnish with some chopped chives (if you have some, I didn’t). And serve.

You should also play around with this, make it your own. Substitute sriracha with any other spicy masala mix. Use any other toasted bread, seeded, brown, multigrain, whatever takes your fancy. Butter the toast if you don’t have good quality olive oil to hand. Or do both. Add some roughly mashed avocado or finely chopped onions. Open sandwiches rule and the world’s your playground!

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Avocado, mozzarella and heirloom tomatoes on toast

  
Avocado for breakfast is a continued passion for me. The creamy nuttiness of soft, ripe avocados is a taste that can be savoured again and again, and I will never tire of it. And I keep trying different combinations of what can be done with this wonderful produce, often depending on what else I have in the fridge at the time. 

This morning, I remember led a box of mixed heirloom tomatoes that I had bought the other day. Different shapes, colours and sizes, these little gems are so attractive to look at. I’m the first to admit that I’m no tomato connoisseur but even I could make out some subtle differences in taste between them. And with no sundried tomatoes in the house, what better alternative on my avocado breakfast?

  • Take one slice of toast. I used a big slice of tiger bread (or giraffe bread as some shops call it nowadays). Definitely make it crunchy, the contrast in texture to the other ingredients is a delight.
  • Layer on slices or chunks of ripe, soft avocado. You could mash it up slightly with a fork, if you feel like having a more even spread. 
  • Cut up some heirloom tomatoes into rough chunks. Don’t need to be fancy, just don’t keep the bite-sized. Scatter them across the toast. 
  • Also add chunks of mozzarella (cut around the same size as the tomatoes). 
  • Sprinkle a pinch of salt and then add dots of sriracha sauce. 
  • Serve immediately.

Cheese and chutney 

  

Sometimes it’s not about gourmet cuisine, but just about combining a few key flavours and making quick, simple but yet delicious food. And this little tidbit is a exactly that. 

Slices of homemade wholewheat and spelt seeded bread. Slivers of butter and a spread of sweet, tart sun-dried fig chutney. Topped with chunks of extra-hot Mexicana cheese. No cooking, no fuss. 

And the best part is that you can switch things around and try different combinations. Go for a different chutney. Use goats cheese or feta. Experiment with the flavours and use what works for you. 

Pea, ham and ginger soup

I love soups, and after consuming many a store-bought litre, we bought a few recipe books and started making our own. Our homemade soups are healthier, fresher and free from hidden ingredients and preservatives. What more could one ask for? The biggest problem with the recipes given in books though, is that they often have ingredients like potato for thickening. We find that we are perfectly happy either with thin or clear soups, or with the consistency got by blending the ingredients together. And after trying a few, we’re now at the stage where we have been improvising and even inventing our own soups.

One of my all-time favourite soups is the classic English pea and ham soup. Which is really surprising because I am not all that find of peas. But I love the simplicity of a good pea soup, with the meaty morsels of ham in every other spoonful. In this particular recipe though, I experimented a bit and added a bit of ginger, which I felt gave the dish a lovely back note of heat.

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‘Gone-in-ten-minutes’ Rosemary and Thyme Focaccia


This classic Italian bread is a firm favourite in our household. It rarely lasts long, so much so that I’ve nicknamed it my ‘gone-in-ten-minutes’ focaccia. It is super easy to make, requiring very low skills in bread making or kneading. What it does require though, is a little self-belief and confidence in handling wet doughs, and the faith that it will turn out alright despite appearances.

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Avocado and Crab soup

Here’s another slightly unusual soup combination. Avocado and crab both have farily subtle flavours and work really well in this warm soup. A hint of cumin and paprika provide gentle back notes of spice, but need to be carefully adminstered so as not to overpower the dish. A hint of tanginess from lemon juice makes this a comforting soup a reminder of fresh summer salads.

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Pea, Rocket, Ham and Pesto soup

Soups are a big favourite in our house, especially homemade ones, and we are constantly on the lookout for new and interesting recipes. I had got a packet of rocket leaves the other day to use in salads, but as usual, forgot to add them when making the salad. I hate wasting and throwing away food, and so started thinking of other ways to use the leaves. This soup has a brilliant attractive green colour that just pulls you in to give it a try. I kept the texture a bit thick and grainy, but it can be easily made into a smooth velvety soup as well.

Pea, rocket, ham & pesto soup

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