Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Mom's Roasted Chili Pepper Hummus

Mom's Roasted Chili Pepper Hummus by Mom @ What's for Dinner?My mom almost ran out of time to make her hummus but I did not let her leave without making it. This time she used a roasted chili pepper but blended with the chickpeas the hummus was not spicy just flavorful.

Mom's Roasted Chili Pepper Hummus
Makes 1 1/2 cups

1 cup dry chickpeas
1 small chili pepper
1 clove garlic
1/8 cup olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup tahini
red pepper flakes

Soak the chickpeas over night. Change the water, salt and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and cook until soft (about an hour) Or use unsoaked chickpeas. Pour boiling water over the chickpeas. Leave for an hour, change the water, salt and cook over a low heat until soft (1h+).
Once soft strain the chickpeas but reserve the cooking water.

Roast the chili pepper by hold it with a fork over a gas burner on high heat. Slowly rotate the pepper until the skin is blackened. Allow to cool, peel skin and remove seeds.

In a food processor place the chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, roasted chili pepper, and tahini. Add 1/8 cup of chickpeas cooking liquid. Process. Check consistancy often. Add liquid 1/8 cup at a time, until the hummus is creamy. Season with salt.

To serve, spread hummus on a large plate, top with a few reserved chickpeas and swirl with 1 tsp olive oil. Sprinkle with red peer flacks.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Mango Mint Salad

Mango Mint Salad by Mom @ Whats for Dinner?My mom has been visiting me over the past few weeks. We both had planned on cooking and eating great food while she is here but the lure of sightseeing was too great. My mom did make this lovely Mango Mint Salad to go with the chicken curry I made a few nights ago.

Mango Mint Salad
Serves 6
1 large ripe mango
1/2 English cucumber
1/2 red onion
1 orange
1/2 lime
2 Tbs mint
1 Tbs coriander
1 Tbs chives
1/4 tsp mango powder (Amchoor Powder)
1/2 tsp ground coriander seed
1 tsp of ground cumin seed
Salt, Pepper and hot red pepper flakes

Peel and slice mango into long strips. Slice cucumber into strips. Finely slice the red onion into crescents. Zest the orange, peel and slice. Zest the lime and juice half. Chop the herbs. Mix everything and add the spices and salt and pepper.

cooling mango and cucumber for hot curry by Mom @ Whats for Dinner?I would have used tons more hot pepper, but my mom wanted to make something cooling to go with the spicy curry.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Vermicelli Salad with Prawns

Vermicelli Salad with Prawns by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?Vermicelli are rice noodles. The cook really fast and are the perfect base for any summer salad. This one is Ng Thai or the cheating way that I make Thai (a mix of soy and fish sauce, sweet chill sauce and lime juice).

Vermicelli Salad with Prawns
for 4
1 package of Vermicelli
1 carrot shredded
1/2 English cucumber shredded
2 green onions chopped
1/2 cup of fresh herbs chopped (Thai basil, lemon basil, coriander, chives and parsley)
1/2 cup of cooked and peeled prawns
1/2 tsp soy sauce
1/8 tsp of fish sauce
1 tsp of sweet chill sauce
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp of sesame seeds (to top)

Cook the Vermicelli for 3 min or follow the package. Mix with the carrots, cucumber, herbs, pawns, sauces, lime and oil. Taste and add more lime to brighten or sweet chill to sweeten or fish sauce for salt. Top with more herbs and sesame seeds. Eat right away or let it hang out in the frig for a few hours and enjoy cold.

 Low fat low cal rice noddle salad by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?I like it cold.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Dakgalbi: Spicy Korean Chicken, Sweet Potatoes and Rice Noodles

Dakgalbi: Spicy Korean Chicken, Sweet Potatoes and Rice Noodles by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?I loved going to Dakgalbi resterants when I lived in Korea. My friends and I always ordered extra rice noodles and sweet potatoes but there was always too much cabbage left over. Sometimes we would even order cheese. Its a lot like Tteokbokki (spicy Korean rice cakes), but its more of a main meal rather than just a snack.
Korean street food tteokbokki made into a meal by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?Dakgalbi
for 2
1 free range chicken breast
1 small sweet potato
1 cup cabbage
1 cup of rice cakes/noodles
3 cloves of garlic
1 inch of ginger
1-2 Tbs of Gochujang (Korean Hot Pepper Paste)
1 Tbs brown suger
1 tsp oil

Cut the chicken into chunks. Peal and chop the sweet potato into thin half moons. Chop the cabbage. Mince the garlic and ginger.

Over medium heat melt the gochujang in the oil, garlic and ginger. Add the chicken and brown suger. Cover with 1 cup of water and cover with the sweet potatoes and cabbage. Let come to a low boil and cook for 15 min or until the sweet potatoes are soft and the chicken is cooked. Taste and add salt or more gochujang if its not too hot for you.

Spicy Gochujan and sweet potatos are yummy by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Sabzi Polow (Herb Rice)

Sabzi Polow (Herb Rice) by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?I have a secret. For the last few weeks we have been making our rice in a microwave. Sounds gross right? A few years ago I heard that you could steam rice in the microwave but didn't try it until my 20kg bag of basmati rice started to give microwave directions. Guess what? It really does work!

As it is summer and we have tons of fresh herbs growing I'm making Sabzi Polow (Herb Rice) using the microwave to steam the rice.
Sabzi or herbs dill, coriander or cilantro, parsley, Iranian leeks or spring onion by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?Sabzi Polow (Herb Rice)
Severs 4
2 cups of basmati rice
2 cups of washed and finely chopped fresh herbs (dill, coriander(cilantro), parsley, Iranian leeks (or spring onion)
olive oil or butter

Bring 1 liter of water to boil in a pot (like you would for pasta). Salt and add the rice. Boil for 8min. The rice will be a bit soft. Drain and mix with chopped herbs in a microwave safe bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. Poke some wholes in the plastic and microwave for 5-8 min. Our microwave is very week so it takes 8min.

Microwave Rice by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?One of the best things about making Sabzi Polow or any Iranian rice in the microwave is that you don't have add oil or butter. But if you will like to add a drop of olive oil or a pat of butter feel free to add it at the table. If you have extra herb why not make herb chicken?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Ng's Hummus

Ng's Hummus by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?My mom makes the worlds best hummus and she never ever has a recipe. She is coming to visit me next week and claims she will be able to share her method with me. That said my hummus is very good and if you haven't tasted my moms than you might say it was the worlds best. I'll post my mom's recipe soon see if you can spot the difference.

Ng's Hummus
Makes 1 Yummy Bowl

1 cup of dried chickpeas
1/2 tsp tahini
1 clove of garlic
juice of 1 lemon
1-2 Tbs olive oil
1/4-1/2 cup of the chickpea cooking water
Salt, pepper and hot pepper
Soak the chickpeas over night. Drain cover with fresh salted water. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and cover. Cook for about 45min to an hour or until the chickpeas are soft. Save some of the cooking water to blend but drain the rest.

Blend the chickpeas, tahini and garlic with half of the lemon juice and olive oil. Taste and add more lemon juice. If the hummus is too thick to blend add some of the cooking water. I end up using 1 lemon and 1/4 cup of cooking water to get a thick hummus. Add salt and pepper to taste. Feel free to add any herbs or roasted red peppers.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Cucumber Raita Gazpacho

Cucumber Raita Gazpacho by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?Given my love for yogurt and the huge cucumber plant conquering my conservatory it is no surprise that I'm posting a Cucumber Raita Gazpacho. Raita is an Indian yogurt dip made with garlic, mint and cucumber. We eat it all the time and turns out it makes a great gazpacho.
Cucumber Raita Gazpacho by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?Cucumber Raita Gazpacho
serves 2
1 1/2 English cucumbers pealed
1/2 clove of garlic
5 walnuts
1 Tbs fresh mint
1 tsp lemon basil (optional)
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup plain yogurt
salt and white pepper

Chop the cucumbers and garlic. Blend with the walnuts and herbs adding olive oil and yogurt until everything is smooth. Taste and add salt and pepper. For a thinner gazpacho add water or bread for a thicker one. My cucumbers were really juicy so I didn't need to do anything.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Creamy Beet Salad

Creamy Beet Salad by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?The beets in my garden are still filling out but luckily be found a lady selling them for 1e a bunch. One of the first recipe I made was this creamy beat salad. For years I have been grating cooked beets into bowls of plain yogurt. I even wanted it this salad at my wedding (it was vetoed by my mom). Last Dec we tried beet salad some Russian friends made. It had garlic, dried dill and creame fresh or yogurt. I've been adding garlic and dill ever since.
Creamy Beet Salad by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?The greens I used raw in salad and cooked on pizza.
Creamy Beet Salad by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?We ate a few beets raw, but mostly I roasted them. Just wash and bake them until the skin comes off. I cover the beet in tin foil and throw them in the oven when I'm baking something else. It takes about an hour before they soften.
Creamy Beet Salad by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?Creamy Beet Salad
makes one bowl
3 roasted and pealed beets
1/2 clove a garlic
1 Tbs chopped fresh dill or 1 tsp dried dill
1/2 cup plain yogurt
salt and pepper

Grate the beets. Make a paste with the garlic by mashing it with 1/4 tsp of salt. Mix the beets, garlic, dill and yogurt. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Creamy Beet Salad by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?We enjoyed this hot pink salad with homegrown cucumbers and homemade burgers. Yummy!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Baba Ganoush

Baba Ganoush by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?My mom makes the best Baba Ganoush (and hummus) in the world and I don't think she ever uses a recipe. She just blends adding more lemon, oil, or tehina until it taste right. I tried to write down a reicpe close to hers, but feel free to play around and find your own.

Baba Ganoush
Make about 1 cup
1 eggplant
1 clove of garlic
1 lemon
1 tsp tehina
1-2 tbs olive oil
salt, pepper, hot pepper
Baba Ganoush by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?
Roast the eggplant in a hot oven for about 45min. Just stick in while your baking something else. Or wrap the eggplant in foil and pop on the bbq, its done when its looks like a ballon ready to pop. Let the eggplant cool and peel.

Blend the eggplant, with the garlic, tehina and the jucie of half a lemon. Taste and add olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper as needed. I also like to add hot pepper, lemon zest and fresh herbs.

Enjoy as a dip or sandwich spread.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Dill Pickle Cucumber Salad

Dill Pickle Cucumber Salad by Ng @ Whats for Dinner? I know posted a recipe for German Cucumber and Radish Salad exactly one month ago today but its summer and I love both cucumbers and salad. Before moving to Ireland I hated cucumbers turns out I just disliked the seeds and thick skins of American cucumbers because English cucumber are great.
Homegrown Cucumbers in my conservatory by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?This is our cucumber plant. I grew it from seed and it is now trying to conquer our conservatory.
Homegrown Cucumbers in my conservatory by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?We have picked 5 large cucumbers in the last week. All week we have been living off cream cheese and cucumber sandwiches. I made this Dill Pickle Cucumber Salad to go with hamburgers and no one even bothered to open the jar of dills on the table.
Dry Roasting Caraway Seeds by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?Dill Pickle Cucumber Salad
Serves 3-4
1 English Cucumber (or 2-3 pealed and seeded American ones)
1 Spring Onion
1 Tbs of Fresh Dill
1 tsp Dry Roasted Caraway Seeds
1/2 tsp elderflower vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
1/2 tsp walnut oil
Salt and Pepper

Slice into thin rounds. Chop the spring onion and dill. Mix all together with the caraway seeds, dress with oil and vinegar. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Dill Pickle Cucumber Salad by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Mom's No Bake Cookies

Mom's No Bake Cookies by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?My mom always bakes cookies and brownies, but it the summer its way too hot to turn on the oven so she makes No Bake Cookies. I funny thing is I don't remember her making them, just a half empty cookie sheet in the frig.
Mom's No Bake Cookies by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?Mom's No Bake Cookies
makes 24-36 cookies
2 cup sugar
1 stick butter
1/2 cup milk
4 tablespoon cocoa powder
3 cups quick oatmeal
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup peanut butter
Mix together sugar,butter, milk and cocoa in big pot over med high heat. Bring to rolling boil for 90 seconds, timing very important. Remove from heat. Add the oatmeal, vanilla and peanut butter. Mix well and drop by teaspoon onto wax paper lined cookie sheet. Chill in the frig.
Mom's No Bake Cookies by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?I always thought No Bake Cookies where super healthy (because of the oatmeal) but I had no idea how much sugar there was so I halved recipe.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Peach Salsa with Homemade Corn Tortillas

Peach Salsa with Homemade Corn Tortillas by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?You can't really buy real Mexican or even Tex-Mex in Ireland. Sure they sell flour tortillas and mild salsa but who wants to eat that??? What I miss most are corn tortillas. So I had my sister bring me a bag of masa mix so I could make my own.
Peach Salsa with Homemade Corn Tortillas by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?Corn Tortillas
Makes 12-15
2 cups of Masa mix
1 1/4- 1 1/2 cup water

Slowly mix the water into the masa. Kneed with your hands. The dough should be really smooth and not too wet or dry. Divide and roll into golf ball sized balls.

Flatten each ball into a tortilla using a press (I don't have a press so I used a book). Place one ball inbetween baking paper or wax paper and flatten with big book. Put the flatten ball in the big book and sit on the book.

Bring a dry frying pan to a med high heat cook each tortilla for about 30 sec a side or until lightly browned.
Peach Salsa with Homemade Corn Tortillas by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?Peach Salsa
makes 1 1/2 cups
2 ripe peaches
1/2 small red onions
1/2 sweet red pepper
1 hot red or green pepper
1 small handful of fresh coriander or cilantro
1/2 tsp cummin
salt and pepper

Chop the peaches, onions, peppers and coriander. Mix together with cummin, salt and pepper. Enjoy right away or chill in the frig for a few hours frist.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Green and Purple Zucchini Salad: dressed with elderflower vinegar

Green and Purple Zucchini Salad: dressed with elderflower vinegar By Ng @ Whats for dinner? One of my many elderflower experiments that I've made in the last few weeks is Darina Allen's Elderflower Vinegar from her Forgotten Skill of Cooking. A simple just warmed vinegar and elderflowers but wow! I've been dressing all my salad with it including this Green and Purple Zucchini Salad.
Green and Purple Zucchini Salad: dressed with elderflower vinegar
For 1-2 people who love salad
1 zucchini
1/2 cup fresh green herbs chopped: musted cress, chives, mint and oregano
2-3 heads of purple chive flowers
a few purple thyme flowers
1 Tbs olive oil
1 tsp elderflower vinegar
salt and pepper

Peal the zucchini into long ribbons with a veggie peeler. Mix with green herbs and purple flowers. Add salt and pepper and dress with olive oil and elderflower vinegar.

I like raw zucchini but if you don't then pop the dressed ribbons on the grill and enjoy the salad warm.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Elderflower Cordial

Elderflower Cordial by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?The Elder is blooming. Last weekend I picked about 40 heads and I used half of those to made my first ever elderflower cordial. I used a recipe from but I used 2 limes rather than a lemon.
Elderflower Cordial by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?I've never even seen cordial of any kind in Kansas but here in Ireland elderflower cordial is sold everywhere. Cordial is a very sweet fruity syrup which is diluted with water or soda water.
Elderflower Cordial by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?Elderflower Cordial
Makes about 1 litre
20 elderflower heads
2 limes (sliced)
2 tsp citric acid
1.5 kg sugar
1.2 ltr water (boiling)

Dissolve the the sugar in the water. Add the elderflowers, limes and citric acid. Cover and leave for a few days (some recipes say 24 hours, 48 hours or even 5 days). I went with the 4 days as I kept forgetting find some bottles! Make sure you give the brew a mix everyday.

Strain using cheese cloth or muslin and funnel into sterile bottles.

Elderflower Cordial by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?Enjoy right way and or keep in the frig for the next year. I've mixed mine a few ways so far water, soda water, mint tea, and orange. I think I like it best with a slice of orange.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Wild Irish Garlic Kimshi

Wild Garlic Kimshi by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?As soon as I filled my kitchen with wild garlic it smelled like Korea. So i figured might as well make kimshi! Kimish can be as hot or not as you like. I really like the taste of Korean hot pepper powder so I used 1 Tbs but if you don't like it hot kimshi can be made without it.

Wild Irish Garlic Kimshi
Makes 1 jar (8oz)
4-6 cups wild Irish garlic leaves
1/2 inch grated ginger
1 tsp salt
1/8-1/2 tsp fish sauce or dried scrimp
1/2-1 Tbs Korean dried hot pepper powder

Wash the garlic leaves well. Soak the leaves overnight. Dry the leaves and mix with the ginger, salt, fish sauce and hot pepper powder. Mix well and don't worry if its dry the salt is going to bring the water out of the garlic leaves. Put into something with a lid and leave out at room temp for a few days stirring eat day. Move into the the warmest place in the frig and enjoy right away if you like young kimish.

I like older kimshi so I left mine for a month and its still not to my taste yet!!! I check on it about once a week to let out the gas.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Rosemary Parsnip Chips/Fries

Rosemary Parsnip Chips/Fries by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?I'm not really one for frying. I guess its because my mom would bake things in a bit of olive oil rather than fry. But I love fried rosemary and its way to hot to turn on the oven.
Rosemary Parsnip Chips/Fries by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?Rosemary Parsnip Chips/Fries
severs 2
2 med parsnips
1 tsp fresh rosemary chopped
oil to fry

Peal and chop the parsnips into thin chip/fries. Add oil to a large pan (I used 2 Tbs, should be minimum 1/8 inch deep.) Bring to a med heat and add the parsnips. Cook for about five min, keeping an eye on them and turning every min. Should turn a lovely dark brown. Add the rosemary for the last minute of frying. Fish the chips out of the oil and drain on some paper. Top with salt and enjoy hot.
Rosemary Parsnip Chips/Fries by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?This is fast food fast!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

German Cucumber and Radish Salad

German Cucumber and Radish Salad By Ng @ Whats for Dinner?For the last two weeks my sister was visiting us. She said that she did not like radishes, but as her older sister I made her try one and now she loves them. I guess its because the radishes were fresh from the garden. My lettuce and rocket is in and we had a nice little salad every night. We even had radish sandwiches.
But cutting up a few radishes is not really a recipe so I'm posting a German salad which is based on a dill salad dressing packet which my mom used to use when I was child.
German Cucumber and Radish Salad By Ng @ Whats for Dinner?German Cucumber and Radish Salad
serves 2
10 radishes
1/3 of a seedless cucumber or 1 whole cucumber de-seeded
1/2 tsp of caraway seeds
1/2 tsp of dried dill
1/2 tsp of walnut or olive oil
1 tsp of lemon
dash of salt and pepper

Thinly slice the radish and cucumber. In a hot pan dry roast the caraway seeds for about 10 sec or until they start to pop. Add the caraway seeds, dill, oil, lemon, salt and pepper. Mix.

German Cucumber and Radish Salad By Ng @ Whats for Dinner?
This is a very refreshing summer salad. The dressing would also be nice on just cucumbers, daikon radish or boiled potatoes.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Grated Carrot Salad

Grated Carrot Salad by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?My sister is visiting us from Kansas so I've been too busy to cook. But I always have time to make grated carrot salad. It is the perfect salad for crazy days. I've been making it for years.
Grated Carrot Salad by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?Grated Carrot Salad
per person
1 carrot
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp olive oil
salt and pepper

Peal and grate the carrots. Dry roast the mustards seeds in a hot pan until the seeds start to pop. Pour the hot seeds on top of the carrots. Add the vinegar, oil salt and pepper. Mix and eat right away.

Grated Carrot Salad by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?I like to make this salad with mustard seeds, but sometimes I make a peanut or Asian version.
For peanut salad replace the mustard seeds with warm peanuts (and olive oil with peanut oil). For Asian salad replace the mustard seeds with toasted sesame seeds, olive oil with sesame oil and salt for soy sauce. Anyway you make it grated carrots can be made into a very tasty salad.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wild Garlic Pesto, Mackerel and Prawns

Wild Garlic Pesto by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?I've been cooking with wild garlic all week using it like garlic or green onions. The wild garlic has a lighter and less sharp taste which I found really easy to cook with. So I have three recipes to share.
Wild Garlic Pesto by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?Wild Garlic Pesto
Makes about 1 cup
5 or 6 whole wild garlic (bulb and leaves) or 1 clove garlic and 6 green onions
1 cup of basil (leaves and stems)
1/4 cup of roasted sunflower seeds
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
2-3 Tbs olive oil
salt, pepper, hot pepper to taste

Blend everything slowing adding the olive oil until 95% smooth.

Wild Garlic Pesto by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?Enjoy raw on fresh bread, on pizza, in tomato soup or mixed with pasta. We did.

Mackerel by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?Wild Garlic BBQ Mackerel
for 4 small fish 2 med 1 large
4 fresh Mackerel
20 fresh wild garlic leaves
1/2 lemon cut into slices

Wash the mackerel and stuff each one with whole garlic leaves, lemon and salt. Wrap the extra garlic leaves around outside of the fish. BBQ for 10 min turning once or until the meat is white and flaky.
Prawns By Shawn @ Whats for Dinner?Shawn's Garlic Prawns
4 as a starter 2 as a main
1 pound of prawns (cleaned)
3 cloves of wild garlic or 1 normal
1 Tbs olive oil
salt and pepper

Mash the garlic into the oil. Add salt and pepper to taste (hot pepper anyone??). Fry or BBQ until pink.

Shawn really knows his prawns. These are so buttery (but with no butter).
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