A foodie family's diary of travel, food, and photos

What to do with Jerusalem Artichokes

November 25th, 2012 | Posted by Ruby in Lunch | Snacks - (Comments Off on What to do with Jerusalem Artichokes)

With 3 Jerusalem artichokes in hand – the dilemma of what to do with them at lunchtime loomed.  I wanted something snacky, not too much effort and tasty to boot.  Well Jerusalem artichokes are not known for their strength of flavour so it had to be something that I could compliment with a more flavoursome paring.  The solution of course included garlic.

I finally settled on a style of fritters served with Aioli Mayonnaise

Note: The Aioli mayonnaise should be prepared ahead of time and left in the fridge to cool

To prepare the Aioli mayonnaise add ½ teaspoon of crushed garlic to ½ cup of homemade mayonnaise

I use a Bamix to make mayonnaise and also use their recipe which is absolutely foolproof and to which I add a variety of ingredients depending on my tastebud’s mood.

Recipe for Artichoke Fritters

What you’ll need to serve 2:

oil for frying

3 Jerusalem artichokes

2 tablespoons gram flour (chickpea meal)

1 tablespoon cornflour

1 tablespoon self-raising flour (I used gluten-free but any flour is ok)

¼ teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons ice cold sparkling water

To prepare:

  1. Place the oil in a deep saucepan and heat – while the oil is heating prepare the rest
  2. Peel the Jerusalem artichokes and slice into chip size pieces (pat dry)
  3. Mix all of the dry ingredients (first 4)in a small deep bowl
  4. Test the oil to check if it is ready (test with a little piece of peel – it should sizzle and float to the top in a couple of seconds)
  5. Pour the sparkling water into the dry ingredients and mix roughly into a batter (it does not need to be smooth) but should coat the back of a wooden spoon
  6. Stir the artichoke pieces into the batter
  7. Lift the pieces out 1 at a time and drop into the oil – cook a few at a time so that the oil doesn’t cool – turn each piece once
  8. When golden brown remove with a slotted spoon and drain
  9. Serve with Aioli dip

Note:  Of course you can use almost any vegetable to make these fritters – courgettes, sweet potato and peppers are particularly good


Healthy and Tasty please

November 18th, 2012 | Posted by Ruby in Mains | Snacks | Starters | Summer - (Comments Off on Healthy and Tasty please)

Vietnamese Spring Rolls

Faith is currently on the Paleo diet and she’s been asking the obvious question: “Can’t you make some meals that are healthy ie no carbs but still really tasty”.   And because I am known for taking what might, to most, be a relatively healthy dish or meal and turning into a cholesterol binge – I said I’d try.  (I’m the one that has to add lashings of syrup and pounds of butter to my cooked oats – I know I know it destroys any upside the oats might have – but oh it tastes sooo goood).

So here’s something that I make infrequently but always enjoy thoroughly.  Traditional rolls often include rice noodles in the roll but I prefer them without the noodels – it’s just empty calories.  I’d rather pack my rolls with tasty goodies.


Vietnamese Spring Rolls

Recipe for Vietnamese Spring rolls

What you’ll need for the sauce:

½ clove crushed garlic

2 limes

2 Tablespoons fish sauce

½ teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon soya

2 Tablespoons water

½ – 1 teaspoon chili (sambal oelek)

To make:

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and leave for at least 20 minutes to allow flavours to meld.


What you’ll need for the rolls:

1 small bunch fresh coriander

1 small bunch fresh mint

1 cup fresh bean sprouts

1 carrot grated (on large grate)

12 – 16 medium cooked prawns (cooled)

6 – 8 rice wrappers or lettuce leaves

To make:

  1. Wash and pat dry the coriander, mint and sprouts and arrange on a plate alongside the grated carrot and prawns
  2. To prepare rolls using rice wrappers: you need a shallow dish with warm water, dip 1 wrap into the water making sure that the wrap is completely covered and then remove from the water (the whole dipping process shouldn’t take more than 10 seconds) shake excess water off wrap.  Lay the wet wrap  flat on a plate and place a small quantity of each ingredient onto the wrap roughly 2 cm from front edge heap the ingredients on top of each other.  Make sure that you leave about 3 cm on either side.  Then roll one side edge in over the small mound, pull the edge closest to you over the side edge and roll tightly for 1 turn.  Fold the other side edge in and continue to roll to end of wrap.  Here is an example of how to roll the wraps.
  3. You would use the same method using lettuce as a wrap.

Note:  instead of prawns you can use fried tofu or cooked and shredded lamb, pork or beef – all work equally well.

Feta and Coriander Samosas

August 20th, 2012 | Posted by Ruby in Condiments | Lunch | Snacks | Starters - (Comments Off on Feta and Coriander Samosas)

Feta and Coriander Samosas

It has been a few years since I last had these tasty morsels.  In fact the last time was in Kenya.  I spent about a year living in Karen, Nairobi and one of the regular haunts for expats was the Talisman Restaurant and this was definitely one of there most popular starters (there’s is served with a tomato chilli sauce which is equally yummy).

Sitting in front of the roaring fire having pre-dinner drinks I could never resist ordering a few portions.  This is my take on an old favourite.

Recipe for Feta and coriander samosas

Ingredients (makes 12)

1 small bunch of fresh coriander finely chopped

200 grams feta cheese

4 sheets of phyllo pastry (sheets usually about 40cm x 30cm)

melted butter



  1. Crumble feta with back of fork in a bowl
  2. Add chopped coriander
  3. Lay 1 phyllo sheet on flat surface and brush with butter
  4. Lay 2nd sheet on top smoothing over buttered surface
  5. Cut this double sheet layer into 8cm lengths along the shorter dimension (see photo below)
  6. Place 1 heaped teaspoon on feta mixture in top most corner of strip and start folding tightly as shown
  7. Brush final edge with butter to seal
  8. Repeat until all pastry strips are used then repeat from point 3 with remaining pastry sheets
  9. Place samosas on greased baking tray and brush tops with butter
  10. Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden


Recipe for Sweet chilli dip


½ cup sugar

½ cup water

1 red chilli finely sliced

½ carrot finely grated along length of carrot



  1. Place water and sugar in saucepan and bring to boil
  2. Boil over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until liquid is reduced by 1/3
  3. Add chilli and carrot to liquid and allow to cool

Dip can be stored in airtight jar in fridge for 2-3 weeks