Bobotie spiced beef burgers

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Generally when I make burgers I tend to keep things very simple; just some good quality minced beef, seasoning and perhaps a little chopped onion. But occasionally I fancy a burger that packs a bit more of a flavour punch. This was the mood I found myself in the other day when I was about to make burgers for the barbecue.

Flicking through a few cookbooks for some flavour ideas, I came across a recipe for bobotie, a South Africa favourite, which could be described as a curried meatloaf. I rather liked the sound of beef flavoured with curry spices and fruit chutney. This was the inspiration I needed, and my bobotie spiced burger was born. Fruity and spicy, it was a winner with the whole family, especially the kids who are big fans of dried apricots.

bobotie spiced burgers

I served my bobotie spiced burgers in sesame seed buns with some chargrilled courgettes and red peppers.

Bobotie spiced beef burgers

Makes 6

500g minced beef
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp chilli powder
pinch of nutmeg
8 dried apricots, roughly chopped
salt and pepper

Simply place the minced beef and all the other ingredients in a large bowl and combine well.

Using your hands, form the mixture into six balls and then flatten each one into a thick patty.

Cook the burgers on the barbecue for four to five minutes on each side, until just cooked through and ideally a little pink inside – although you’ll probably want to cook them a little longer for young children or pregnant women. Alternatively cook in a griddle pan or under a grill.

Serve in toasted burger buns with salad and perhaps some chargrilled vegetables.

bobotie spiced burgers

I’m entering my bobotie spiced burger into my very own Spice Trail challenge, where the theme this month is Summer Spice.

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I’m also entering my burgers in the Four Seasons Food challenge hosted by Eat Your Veg and Delicieux where the theme for July is Al Fresco.

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The Spice Trail: cumin round-up

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It’s always so much fun deciding on a spice-theme for this challenge, and then sitting back and waiting for the entries to drop into my inbox. And last month in particular was a very exciting month, providing an awesome list of delicious cumin dishes to work my way through in the weeks ahead.

So if you’re up for a little cumin-based culinary inspiration, let’s take a look through those entries…

paneer

After hosting a brilliant vanilla-themed Spice Trail challenge back in May, Solange from Pebble Soup was quick off the mark with her gorgeously Crunchy Palak Paneer. I’m a big fan of paneer with spinach and this dish looks absolutely bursting with flavour, featuring lots of fresh ginger and garlic as well as a whole host of spices – including, of course, cumin.

potato and cumin curry
Next up we have Marwardi Aloo Pyaj ki Subji from Home Cook Food, which is a glorious Rajasthani style Potato and Onion Curry, and ideal served with puris, rotis or rice.
jamaican patty pie

I always love the way Seasonal Shaheen presents her food and these Jamaican Patty Pies are as pretty as a picture, and that pastry looks oh so good. They’re filled with summer vegetables and lightly spiced with cayenne, all-spice and of course cumin.

split white gram lentils

I try to use pulses as much as I can when I’m planning our meals as they’re such a cheap food and I think these Split White Gram Lentils from Home Cook Food might be appearing on one of our meal plans very soon. The spicing sounds absolutely heavenly.

mango curry

I’m intrigued by the idea of this Raw Mango Curry, a third entry from Home Cook Food, as it’s a dish I haven’t come across before. It sounds to me like a cross between a curry and a chutney and it sounds absolutely bursting with flavour. Definitely one to bookmark!

cumin-roasted-beets

This dish of Cumin-roasted Beetroot and Chickpeas from Helen at Family-Friends-Food is exactly the kind of dish I like to experiment on my family with. And just like Helen, I’m likely to get a pretty mixed reaction. I think it looks absolutely delicious and I reckon my oldest would gobble it up, although I’m not so sure my youngest and my husband would be quite so keen. But the important thing is we keep experimenting and pushing their taste boundaries! I’ll certainly be giving this one a go.

toor dal curry

This Toor Dal Curry with Spinach from Janet at The Taste Space looks like such a healthy, hearty dish, and a beautiful combination of textures and flavours. And as ever, Janet’s photography is simply stunning.

EmanuelaCaorsi-lamb-eggplants-light-curry
I’ve only just discovered On The Flavour Road, a blog by Italian Ema who now lives in Sydney, Australia, but I know I’m going to be a frequent visitor. Ema has entered her Lamb & Eggplant Light Curry into this month’s cumin challenge, which is made using a curry-infused macadamia oil and served on coconut mashed potatoes. A very unusual dish and one I must try soon; I’m very curious to taste mashed potatoes with coconut milk!

Eat-Your-Veg-Courgette-Fritters-with-a-Yogurt-Dip
Louisa from Eat Your Veg is a master at encouraging children to eat their greens, and her Feta & Courgette Fritters  are another wonderful example. She serves them with a yoghurt, mint and cumin dip, which sounds just gorgeous and I’m intrigued by her suggestion that you can also serve the dip with strawberries. That’s just got to be tried!

vegetable and chickpea tagine
Next up we have a gloriously vibrant and wonderfully healthy Vegetable & Chickpea Tagine from We Don’t Eat Anything With a Face. Piled high with tasty veggies and an array of herbs and spices, you know this dish is going to do you good as well as tasting good.

chicken satay
It’s the season for barbecues and my Chicken Satay  take just minutes to cook over the hot coals. They’re served with a delicious coconut rice that’s oh so easy to make, and an incredibly moreish peanut sauce.

mint-cumin-roast-lamb-with-moutabal
Lamb with aubergine is one of my all-time favourite combinations and so I was thrilled when I saw this next entry appear in my inbox. It’s a Mint-Cumin Roast Lamb with Moutabal from the extremely talented Lass in the Apron. The lamb looks incredible tender, while I adore the sound of the nutty, earthy moutabal, a Lebanese puree of roasted eggplant (aubergine) with tahini, garlic, and lemon.

spicy falafel
Falafel are always my food of choice when we’re at a summer festival, but do you know what? I’ve never actually made my own at home. Such a travesty! But I have no excuse now, as I think I have discovered the perfect recipe. Don’t these Fabulously Spicy Falafel from Cooking for Kishore look fantastic? Emily describes them as a great “throw together meal” and I can’t wait to throw some together myself!

roast-carrot-dip-on-celery
Dips are extremely popular in our house and we always seem to have a bag of carrots to use up, so this Roasted Carrot Dip from Searching for Spice is an ideal recipe for me. Especially as it also features lots of tahini, one of my all-time favourite ingredients, and lots of lovely spices and garlic. Yum!

squash-fajitas-682x1024
Another delicious looking entry next from Helen at Family–Friends–Food. Here are her Spice-roasted Butternut Squash and Halloumi Fajitas and I so want to reach into my hand into the screen and grab myself a wrap. Roasted squash is a simply magical food, and Helen has smothered hers in lots of cumin, cumin seeds, coriander, oregano, cayenne, lime zest and olive oil to really pack it full of flavour. And I love the fact any leftovers taste great cold the next day.

cumin crackers
Last up are these beautiful Cumin Seed Crackers from Lapin d’or and More, flavoured of course with cumin and taken to extra heights of crispness with the addition of semolina flour. We work our way through boxes and boxes of shop-bought crackers and I think it’s high time I had a go at making some of my own. I know exactly which recipe to start with!

And the winner is…

anjumSo there you have the cumin recipe round-up; an inspiring selection, don’t you think? But who will be crowned the cumin queen? (No entries from potential kings this month.) Who will win this month’s prize: Anjum’s Quick & Easy Indian courtesy of Quadrille Publishing, a collection of 80 recipes from the fabulous Anjum Anand?

Well, the prize has to go to…

Helen at Family–Friends–Food for her Spice-roasted Butternut Squash and Halloumi Fajitas. We seem to be addicted to anything served in a wrap in the Bangers & Mash household and are on the lookout for new filling inspiration, and Helen’s spicy squash with halloumi is right up our street.

A copy of Anjum’s Quick & Easy Indian will be on its way to you very soon, Helen. Congratulations!

And thank you so much to everyone that took part in the cumin challenge. July’s Spice Trail is well underway, and the theme this month is Summer Spice. You can choose any spices you like, just so long as your dish has a seasonal summery feel! The closing date is 29 July 2014.

 

Quick and easy gazpacho

gazpacho

I like to think of this as a summer salad in a soup. A beautifully refreshing, fragrantly deliciously ice-cold soup, perfect on a hot, sticky day.

It’s an excellent way to use up those salad ingredients that have been sat in the fridge just a little too long. I always seem to be over ambitious when I buy salad stuff. Ideally you should buy your salad the day you’re going to eat it – ideally from a fabulous farmer’s market where all the produce has been grown within a few miles’ radius. But like most people, I do a weekly shop at the supermarket and by the end of the week, the contents of the salad drawer are beginning to look a little sad. This soup is definitely the solution.

What’s more, it’s a cinch to make too. I can’t be bothered to peel and seed my tomatoes, or peel and salt the cucumber, as gazpacho recipes usually demand. Clearly if I were entertaining and out to impress, I might push the boat out and make a little more effort. But when I’m rustling up a speedy lunch, I simply bung everything in a food processor, give it all a quick whizz and in seconds you have the most glorious gazpacho. Job done!

gazpacho

Quick and easy gazpacho

Serves 2

Half a cucumber, chopped
750g ripe tomatoes, chopped
2 spring onions, sliced
handful fresh mint, roughly chopped
handful fresh basil, roughly chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 tbsp olive oil, plus more for drizzling
juice of half a lemon
celery salt
pepper

This really couldn’t be easier. Simply place the cucumber, tomatoes, spring onions, herbs and garlic in a food processor and blend. I like my gazpacho to be quite smooth, while my husband prefers it a little chunky. So we usually end up somewhere in between.

Stir in the olive oil and lemon juice, and season with celery salt and pepper to taste.

Chill in the fridge for a couple of hours. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and, if you like it really cold, a couple of ice cubes.

gazpacho

I’m entering my quick and easy gazpacho into a number of blog events…

no+croutons+required

No Croutons Required is a monthly blog event for soups and salads suitable for vegetarians, hosted by Lisa’s Kitchen and Tinned Tomatoes. I think this soup fits the bill.

vegetable palette800

Vegetable Palette is a new vegetarian blog challenge from Allotment 2 Kitchen, which calls for dishes made from fruits or vegetables of a chosen colour. July’s theme is red, so I think this tomato-based soup is perfect.

Extra-Veg-Badge-003

With all that tomato and cucumber, I think this gazpacho definitely qualifies as a serving of Extra Veg, which is the theme for the blog challenge hosted each month by Fuss Free Flavours and Utterly Scrummy, and this month is being guest-hosted by Juggle Mum.

family-foodies

Of course, I’ve got to enter my soup into July’s hosted Family Foodies, the blog challenge I take turns in hosting with Louisa at Eat Your Veg. This month the theme is Chill Out, Baby!

fsf-summer

Al Fresco is the theme for this month’s Four Seasons Food, a seasonal blog event hosted by Eat Your Veg and Delicieux. I reckon this gazpacho would make a lovely lunch to eat out on the patio.

cooking with herbs

Basil is the theme for July’s Cooking with Herbs challenge hosted by Lavender & Lovage, and as my soup features lots of lovely basil (and mint too), I’ve just got to enter it.

simple

And finally, with all those seasonal salad goodies, I’ve got to enter it into Ren Behan‘s Simple and in Season challenge, hosted this month by My Custard Pie.

Raspberry, strawberry and rose millefeuille

strawberry raspberry rose millefeuille

I think I may have a new addiction. I simply can’t seem to get enough of it at the moment and I am obsessing over new ways to use it to enjoy another fix. Thankfully my new addiction isn’t harmful, although I’ve learnt it is wise to use it sparingly (a little goes a long way), and it won’t result in any lasting damage to my health or nasty side effects. Well, not as far as I’m aware anyway…

My latest foodie addiction is rosewater. Isn’t it the most heavenly ingredient? That heady, evocative perfume, mirrored so closely by that same wonderfully floral, fragrant flavour; it really is a magical and fantastical foodstuff that transports you instantly to star-swept scenes from the Arabian Nights.

raspberry strawberry rose millefeuille

Ever since my husband bought some to create Yotam Ottolenghi’s sublime Roast Chicken with Saffron, Hazelnuts & Honey (inspired in turn by another culinary idol, Claudia Roden), I’ve been dreaming up different ways to feature rosewater in our cooking.

This Raspberry, Strawberry and Rose Millefeuille was my first experiment and it was a brilliant success, even if I say so myself. Using ready-made puff pastry, it’s deceptively easy to make too, yet looks quite impressive when you serve it up for your eagerly awaiting guests.

raspberry, strawberry, rose millefeuille

Raspberry, strawberry and rose millefeuille

Serves 6

3 tbsp caster sugar
350g ready-made, pre-rolled puff pastry
300ml double cream
1 tsp rosewater
300g strawberries, hulled and quartered
300g raspberries
2 tbsp icing sugar

Preheat the oven to 200°C / gas mark 6.

Line a large baking sheet with baking parchment and sprinkle with caster sugar. Lay the pastry onto the baking parchment, scatter with more sugar and cover with more parchment. Place another baking sheet on top, and bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes until the pastry is crisp and golden-brown. Leave to cool.

For the filling, pour the cream and rosewater into a large bowl. Whisk until the cream forms soft peaks. Fold the strawberries and raspberries into the cream and then place in the fridge.

When the puff pastry is completely cool, use a sharp knife to trim the edges to form a tidy rectangle, and cut this into three equal rectangles. Place one rectangle of pastry on a plate and cover with half of the cream and fruit. Place the second layer of pastry on top and press down very gently. Top with the remaining cream mix and then place the final layer of pastry on top. Again press down gently squeeze the filling to the edges. Run a palette knife around the sides to level out the filling.

Chill until ready to serve. Liberally sprinkle the top with icing sugar and then very carefully cut the millefeuille into six elegant slices.

AlphaBakes Logo

As rosewater is the star ingredient in this millefeuille, I am entering it into July’s Alphabakes, hosted by The More than Occasional Baker and Caroline Makes, where the letter this month is R.

Lets cook with strawberries

For obvious reasons, I’m also entering my dessert into Let’s Cook With Strawberries, hosted by Simply Sensational Food.

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And last not least, I’m entering it into Ren Behan’s Simple and in Season challenge, which is this month being hosted by My Custard Pie.

Food Blog Diary

For all the latest food blogger challenges, events, giveaways and competitions, do make sure you head over to the Food Blog Diary, overseen by Jac at Tinned Tomatoes, Karen at Lavender & Lovage and Stuart at Cakeyboi. It’s a brilliant resource and a vital tool for all food bloggers everywhere!

 

The World Cup of Food

England might be out of the World Cup but as I’m not all that into football, I can’t say I’m particularly devastated. But I am rather into food though – funny that as I write a food blog… So I thought this infographic of The World Cup of Food was much more interesting than the World Cup itself.

It showcases dishes from each of the countries that have been competing in the tournament. Each dish has been selected by a different food blogger, including the very lovely Helen from The Crazy Kitchen who has chosen good old steak and ale pie for England’s dish.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.

The Spice Trail: summer spice challenge

summer spice

Enter your Summer Spice dishes to win a fantastic gift set from Holy Lama Spice Drops!

I’m giving you almost completely free reign with your choice of spice in this month’s Spice Trail challenge. So long as your dish has a sense of summer about it and a splash a spice, then it fits the bill.

Your dish could come from any of the four corners of the world, be sweet or savoury, snack or main course, drink or dessert – the choice is completely yours. Just so long as it’s a) spicy and b) summery, and I’ll be happy!

spice dropsHoly Lama! What a prize!

This month the lovely Gouri Kubair from Holy Lama (a chartered accountant turned serious foodie) is our guest judge and she’s offering an amazing prize for one very lucky winner – a gift set of summery Holy Lama Spice Drops, including fennel seed, mint, lemongrass, rose and pepper, presented in a beautiful handcrafted wooden stand.

The Spice Drops range of products, which recently came in the top 5 in Ocado’s ‘Top Supplier’ competition, are concentrated extracts of natural spices and herbs in the form of drops, offering a simpler, more consistent way to infuse food and drink with pure, vibrant flavours. Forget peeling, grinding, scraping and measuring and simply add a drop or two at any stage of the cooking process. Spice Drops contain no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives, and a few drops go a long way!

What’s more, Holy Lama manufactures their products in an ethically-run factory employing marginalised women in the local community in Kerala, India.

See the full range of Spice Drops on the Holy Lama website and read a recent interview with Gouri here.

So what are you waiting for? I really can’t wait to see your Summer Spice entries!

How to enter The Spice Trail

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  • Display the The Spice Trail badge (above and also available here) on your recipe post, and link back to this challenge post.
  • Up to three recipe links accepted per blogger, so long as they each one has a Summer Spice theme and features at least one spice.
  • Feel free to link up recipe posts from your archive, but please add the information about this challenge to the post and The Spice Trail badge.
  • Send your recipe URL to me at vanesther-at-reescommunications-dot-co-dot-uk, including your own email address and the title of your recipe or post. The closing date this month is Tuesday 29 July 2014.
  • If you tweet your post, please mention #TheSpiceTrail and me @BangerMashChat in your tweet and I’ll retweet each one I see.
  • As entries come in, links to these will be added to the bottom of this page.
  • At the end of the month a guest judge will choose a winning recipe and the winner this month will receive a gift set from Holy Lama.
  • The winner will be announced in a monthly round-up of all the entries.
  • Entries from bloggers all around the world are accepted, but unfortunately the prize can only be shipped to a UK address.
  • All entries will be added to The Spice Trail Pinterest Board.

I’m really looking forward to seeing your Summer Spice dishes and drinks. Any questions, please tweet or email me.

And thanks to everyone who entered June’s cumin challenge – the round-up and winner announcement will be coming very soon.

July’s entries

  1. Mint and Indian Cottage Cheese Patties from Home Cook Food
  2. Usirikaya Pachadi / Goose Berry Pickle from Sahasra Recipes
  3. Ginger Zinger Cake from Lancashire Food
  4. Kale Spinach Muthia from Home Cook Food
  5. Chimichurri Sauce from Home Cook Food
  6. Summer Coolant Salad from Drizzling Delicacies
  7. Chipotle Chilli Sauce from How to Cook Good Food
  8. Lemon, Lavender & Almond Cake from Family-Friends-Food
  9. Peach Streusel Kuchen Traybake from Tales From the Kitchen Shed
  10. Mejadra – Middle Eastern Rice & Lentils from Family-Friends-Food

Summer Spice image: nkzs

Family Foodies: chill out, baby!

chill out baby

It’s always hard to predict what the weather might have in store for us Brits in July. It ought to be a month of long, hot, lazy days, of trips to the seaside, cheering the kids on at their school sports days and keeping the ants off the sarnies on those impromptu picnics in the park.

In reality though, it’s very often about trying to the stop the children jumping in puddles wearing only sandals (I know, there’s really no point), countless games of cards to stop everyone getting cabin fever and spontaneous visits to museums and art galleries to escape the rain.

But ever the optimist, I’m holding out for July being a gloriously golden, sunshiny month where sunscreen and sun hats are the order of the day.

So that’s why this month’s Family Foodies challenge has the theme Chill Out, Baby! We’re calling for your tasty eats and drinks for chilling out and cooling down in the summer sun: tempting icy treats suitable for the whole family. From frozen ice creams and sorbets to refreshing salads and smoothies, we can’t wait to see your recipes for chilled and frosty delights to tantalise our taste buds while cooling our heated brows.

Recipes from my Mother for my DaughterAs usual, we have a prize for the overall winner and this month we are giving away a copy of Celebrity Masterchef winner, Lisa Faulkner’s fabulous cookbook Recipes from my Mother for my Daughter. Not bad, eh?

To get the ball rolling, I’m entering my elderflower cordial, which I posted on the blog a couple of days ago. Mixed with fizzy water and lots of ice, it’s my idea of the perfect summer cooler.

But it’s your ideas, we really want to hear about…

Family Foodie Entry Guidelines:

  • You may submit any recipe on your blog that fits this month’s theme, new or from the archive, and there is a limit of three entries per blogger. You’re also welcome to submit the post to other challenges too. If the recipe is not your own, please give the appropriate credit.
  • Send your recipe URL to me at vanesther-at-reescommunications-dot-co-dot-uk, including your own email address and the title of your recipe or post. The closing date this month is Tuesday 29 July 2014.
  • Display the Family Foodies badge (below) on your recipe post, with a link back to both Eat Your Veg and Bangers & Mash, as well as details of this month’s challenge.
  • If you’re on Twitter, then please tweet your post to myself @BangerMashChat and Lou @Eat_Your_Veg and include the hashtag #FamilyFoodies. We’ll retweet all that we see.
  • You may enter from anywhere in the blogosphere, but prizes can only be posted out to UK addresses.
  • At the end of the month a guest judge will choose a winning recipe. The winner will be announced in a monthly round-up of all the entries. Winners will get to display a Family Foodie Winner annotated badge on their blog if they wish and their recipe will go through to the Family Foodies Hall of Fame on each of our sites.
  • All entries will be added to the Family Foodies Pinterest Group Board.

Any questions, do drop me an email at the address above.

family-foodies

 

July’s entries

  1. Elderflower Cordial from Bangers & Mash
  2. Lime Ice Cream in a Ginger Snap Crust from Selma’s Table
  3. No-churn Raspberry Swirl Vanilla Bean Ice Cream with Fino Sherry from Selma’s Table 
  4. Banana Split Milkshake from Home Cook  Food
  5. Chickoo Kulfi – Sapota Indian Ice Cream from Home Cook Food
  6. Mango Coolatta and Pineapple Coolatta from Home Cook Food
  7. Four Fruity Frozen Treats from Family – Friends – Food
  8. Raspberry, Banana and Coconut Ice Lollies from Sneaky Veg
  9. Strawberry Mousse from Self Sufficient Cafe
  10. Salted Caramel Coffee Cooler from The Crafty Larder
  11. Quick and Easy Gazpacho from Bangers & Mash
  12. Frozen Peach Yoghurt & Oaty Crumb Topping from Tales From the Kitchen Shed
  13. Homemade Yoghurt from Tales from the Kitchen Shed
  14. Raspberry Ripple-White Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice Cream Bars & Bites from The Gluten Free Alchemist
  15. Chicken, Goat’s Cheese & Avocado Salad from Mad Avocado
  16. Instant Choc-Ana Ice Cream from Eat Your Veg
  17. Vegan and Raw Raspberry Ice-cream from Allotment 2 Kitchen