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Carrot, Sweet Potato and Squash Soup
3 large carrots
1 med sweet potato
250 grams butternut or similar squash
1 med tomato
1 or 2 shallots
1 cup of broth
200 ml coconut milk
2 tbsp fresh coriander/cilantro or parsley
1/2 tbsp garlic-ginger paste (or 2 cloves garlic and some shredded ginger.
optional: 8 cashew nuts, hot sauce
salt to taste

Peel the three "starring" vegetables, cut them into pieces, and put them in a large kettle. Pour in the broth and add enough water to cover them. Roughly chop the shallot(s) and tomato. By roughly, I don't mean beat them up and insult them, just that you don't need to cut them too small, they'll both cook quickly, even quartered.
Bring the soup to a boil, throw in the garlic-ginger, then lower to simmer 15 minutes or so, until the carrots are easily pierced with a knife. If the soup is for later, leave it alone for a half hour. Otherwise, let it cool a little, before the next step.

While the soup is cooling, turn the broiler on, put the cashews under it until they brown slightly. You could also do this in a pan on the stove. When they're a little browned (not blackened!), crush them up into small pieces.

Soup cool enough: Using a stick blender, blend all the vegetables until the texture is velvety. If you want it finer, transfer to a blender and process for 30 seconds. I find the stick blending is enough, and it's ready for the final prep.

Stir in the coconut milk, then taste and salt accordingly. Throw in some fresh coriander if you have it, and stir that in. I like to add some Tabasco or Sriracha to pepper thing up a little but that isn't to everyone's taste.

Serve the soup, sprinkling a little more fresh coriander (or parsley if you have that), then some of the crushed cashew bits.

#recipe #cooking #soup


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Roasted Zucchini and Parmesan Arancini (fried rice balls)

In Italy there is a popular fried rice fritter called Arancini. Its shape and filling will vary, from region to region. Their name means little orange, as many are rounded and will come from the deep fryer a golden color reminiscent of the orange. These little fried rice fritters are perfect for foodies+ Got Balls event.

A special nod to +Lisa Watson​, whose post and recipe for Arancini was the first I'd ever looked at.

You might compare these small bites to crispy yet also creamy risotto fritters. As for the taste: sharp, nutty and delectably meltable parmesan was a glorious counterpoint to sweet, caramelized zucchini and starchy rice. And the crunchy outside! Wow.

These rice balls were easier to keep together when they were cold, so if you notice them start to fall apart as you handle them, put them in the fridge or freezer for a bit before dipping them in egg wash and breadcrumb.

Zucchini & Parmesan Arancini

Yield: 12 - 16 (depending on size)

1 1/2 cups cooked short grain white rice
2 zucchini, sliced lengthwise to matchstick length (1/8 inch)
3 ounces finely grated parmesan
1 egg, beaten
3/4 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
Oil, for frying (any neutral oil, such as vegetable or peanut)

1. Preheat oven to 400. Toss sliced zucchini with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Lay zucchini in a single layer on a cookie sheet and then roast until soft, about 12 minutes.
2. Allow zucchini to cool, then dice and mix with rice and cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Form arancini into small balls and press firmly to compact. If they are too warm after handling cool them down.
3. Fill a small pot with about 1” of oil and heat over medium flame. Dip arancini in egg, then roll in breadcrumbs. Lay arancini in a single layer in oil and cook until the underside has become golden brown, 3 - 5 minutes, depending on size of fritter.
4. Flip and cook an additional 3 - 4 minutes.
Serve warm.



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It's foodies+s' Got Balls event--and boy have we got them!

Earl Grey Truffles

As a decadent sweet and a spherical food, these might be a pretty good segue from Foodies+s’ February quick dessert event into March’s Culinary Balls Event.

Making your own chocolate truffles at home is not a difficult task. In fact, it is surprisingly easy. Earl Grey truffles are special because the bitter tea balances with the bitter chocolate and both are mellowed out enough to bring the brassy citrus flavors of the black tea to the fore to really elevate the taste of the truffles.

Instead of tea leaves you can customize these truffles by whisking a little alcohol into your cream mixture before pouring it over the chocolate. To temper your chocolate, melt 3/4 of the chocolate reserved for the shells and bring the temperature of the melted chocolate quickly down by removing the chocolate from the heat and adding the remaining 1/4 chopped chocolate.

Earl Grey Truffles

3/4 cups cream
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and clarified
3/4 Tablespoon loose Earl Grey tea leaves
8 ounces good quality (70% or better) semi sweet dark chocolate, chopped
5 ounces good quality milk or dark chocolate, chopped

1. Create the ganache: heat cream over low heat and add tea, allowing it to steep for 10 to 20 minutes. Bring cream up to a low boil and turn heat off immediately. Add clarified butter to cream and whisk to combine.
2. Place your 8 ounces chopped dark chocolate into a stainless steel bowl and pour hot cream and butter mixture through a sieve into the chocolate.
3. Stir to melt chocolate with the heat from the cream and butter mixture. When everything has been combined and all chocolate has been melted, set aside in a dry, cool place to come to room temperature.
4. In roughly 30 minutes, when the ganache has set, form into Tablespoon sized balls. Cover tightly and set briefly in the fridge while you melt the remaining chocolate.
5. Fill the bottom of a double boiler with about 3 inches of hot water and bring to a temperature just below a simmer. Put 5 ounces chopped chocolate in the top layer of the double boiler and melt, stirring frequently to avoid burning.
6. Take melted chocolate off of the heat and dip ganache balls into it one by one, balanced on the tines of a fork. Shake excess chocolate off after each truffle is dipped. Set covered truffles on a parchment lined sheet tray to cool. Store in an airtight container in the fridge, or serve immediately to your sweetie.

P.S.: Please don't mind the holiday photo. It is by far the best picture I have of my balls.

#theyummyballsoffoodies+ #lovemyballs


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Enjoy this Summer with these yummy WATERMELON BITES:

150 gm Watermelon
1/2 cup Hung yogurt
1 big onion (cut into fine slice)
Chopped coriander
Salt & Black Pepper
1/2 Teaspoon Lemon Zest

Cut Onion into fine slice. Take open flat pan, grease it with little oil.
Spread the sliced onion into the pan and sprinkle little sugar on the top. Keep the pan on medium heat and wait till the onions become golden brown. Let these caramelised onions get cool before using them.

Cut the watermelon into cubes, and de-seed it. Then make cavity in the top centre of the cube.Keep these cubes in the refrigerator.

In a bowl, take hung yogurt, Caramelised Onion, Lemon zest, Salt, Black Pepper and some chopped coriander.
Mix them well.

Take the watermelon cubes and fill the cavity with the yogurt mixture. Garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves. 💋💋💋 Love M. #ChefMeghna #SummerFood

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Chocolate Crêpe Suzette

Chocolate. Crêpe. Suzette. Need I say more? Well, ok I should probably tell you what Crêpe Suzette is: folded crêpes enrobed in a flambéed orange scented caramel sauce. A delightful combination on its own, and when you pair it with chocolate crêpes it is absolutely wonderful: a quick, decadent dessert sure to impress your Valentine! If you've never formed crêpes before they do take a little practice. Ladle the batter in the center, then swirl gently in a circular motion to spread the batter outward. If you can get this technique down you can create perfectly thin crêpes with delicate edges. In no time at all you'll be turning out professional looking crêpes. A crêpe pan isn't absolutely necessary, but it is a big help. If you don't have one a frying pan will do; the lighter the pan the better.

*Chocolate Crêpes Suzette*

Makes 6 crêpes (if every drop of batter is used)

For the crêpes:

3/4 cup plus 1 Tablespoon AP Flour
2 eggs
1 cup milk
2 Tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
3 Tablespoons powdered baking chocolate
1 Tablespoon super fine caster sugar

1. Whisk eggs, then add milk. Whisk together, then add flour and incorporate.
2. Add chocolate powder and sugar and whisk in. Lastly, whisk butter.
3. Set aside for at least 1/2 hour. Meanwhile, make the sauce (see recipe below).
4. When the batter has sat for 30 minutes, heat a light frying pan and add enough butter to cover the bottom and sides.
5. When the butter is sizzling, add a full soup ladle full of batter into the pan toward the center. Swirl gently to spread the batter to the outer edges of the pan. Cook until starting to brown, 1 - 2 minutes. Flip and cook for an additional 1 - 2 minutes. Set aside on a plate and repeat with remaining batter until it is used up.

For the sauce suzette:

4 Tablespoons butter
4 Tablespoons sugar
Zest of 1/2 orange
Juice of 1 orange
2 Tablespoons cointreau or grand marnier
1 Tablespoons cognac
1 pinch salt

1. Melt butter in heavy bottomed sauce pan over low heat.
2. Add orange zest, sugar, and a pinch of salt and allow to melt, whisking occasionally, about 10 minutes.
3. Add liquor and ignite. Alcohol will burn off, allowing sugar to finish caramelizing.
4. Add fresh orange juice. Stir to incorporate.
5. Serve over chocolate crêpes and finish with some good quality chocolate, grated.


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Puff Pastry Hearts

I love the +foodies+ idea for this months theme: quick and delicious desserts for Valentine's Day!

One of all time favourite pastries is puff pastry with jam. One of the all time favourite Valentine's Day symbol are hearts.
Maybe it's a cliche, bit it's still easy, simple and delicious!

All you need is:
- 1 puff pastry sheet bought in the store
- jam of your desire
- 1 egg
- a bit of dark chocolate to sprinkle the hearts

Roll the puff pastry on a floured surface. Make hearts with the larger heart mould. On one piece place some jam, cover with another heart.
Press the edges with the fork to keep the hearts closed.
Beat the egg and brush it on the hearts.
Place them on a baking pan covered with parchment paper. Bake in a preheated oven for 10-12 min.

If you desire, melt a bit of dark chocolate on steam and sprinkle with the spoon on the hearts. You can sprinkle them whit icing sugar as well.

I hope you will try to surprise yourself and make some this Valentine's day :))

Enjoy :)

#foodbyJZ  #pastry #quickdesserts

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Artichoke And Parmesan Cheese Salad

I love artichoke season, even though I hate preparing artichokes. The eating of them motivates me to deal wth their spiny malevolence! The Italian artichokes you see below are very, very spiny, but once you take off the tough outer leaves, the inside ones are so tender you can eat them raw in a salad. My Italian father-in-law showed me this recipe years ago, and I make it every year when artichokes are in season.



Small Italian spiny artichokes - 4
Parmesan Cheese - approximately 30 g (1 oz)
Olive Oil - 1 Tbsp
Lemon juice - from 1/2 a lemon
Salt - to taste

First squeeze the lemon juice into the salad bowl.

Prepare the artichokes. Pull off the outer, tough leaves. Cut the top part off so you don't get pricked by the spines. Cut the bottom off and use a sharp knife or a spoon to scoop out the fluffy choke in the middle of the artichoke. Cut the artichoke in half, the slice the leaves and the base in thin slices.

Put the slices of artichoke immediately into the lemon juice and toss them. this prevents them from turning brown.

Use a vegetable peeler to shave strips of parmesan cheese into the salad bowl. Break large pieces up with your hands.

Add the olive oil and salt and toss the salad again. Add more lemon juice to taste if you would like a tarter salad.

Serve immediately.

You can find more here:

2 Photos - View album

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Root Vegetable And Kale Soup - Healthy Foodies

It's suddenly got a lot colder and the idea of a warming soup has suddenly got a lot more interesting. Kale has started making an appearance in the shops here in the South of France, so I decided it was time to try it out in a soup. I love the Jerusalem Artichokes that come out around now too, so I decided to combine the two vegetables with some extra hidden ones so that my kids would eat them without complaining. The brilliant green of the soup makes it look very inviting! Here's to a healthy start to the year!



Onion - 1
Jeruselem Artichokes - 200g
Pumpkin - 200g
Parsnip - 200g
Kale - 1 bunch
Chicken broth (or bouillion cube with water) - to cover
Salt and Pepper - to taste
Piment d'Espelette - to taste (optional)


Chop the onion finely and sauté it in 3 Tbsp of olive oil.
Peel and chop all the root vegetables into cubes of roughly similar size (for even cooking). Wash the kale, then cut it into strips.
Add the vegetables to the pot, then cover with broth or water.
Let the soup simmer at a medium heat for about 10 - 15 minutes until soft. (When you can stick a fork or knife through with little resistance).
Take the soup off the stove and blend it with a handheld blender until smooth.
Sprinkle with Piment d'Espelette (or another mild chilli powder) just before serving.

You can find more photos and information on


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Please join me in welcoming our new moderators +Rita Dolce & +Paul Binns.

Personally, though I am always happy to see new faces, I am particularly excited about long-term collaborators, and these two have been around for a while.

But they have distinguished themselves not only through longevity, but also through their consistent & exceptional contributions in the culinary arts.

Most recently, Rita introduced the Greek Christmas delicacy melomakarona in her native Madrid, creating an overnight sensation, as crowds gathered under her window begging for the recipe.

In the meantime, Paul, who hails from West Virginia, was invited to the nearby White House to produce his own version of a puff-pastry-based tart that left Michele in tears of joy.

Being a moderator at Foodies+ is a tough and, often, thankless job. The greatest challenge to all of us is, of course, what I call the "20%-AzlinBloor-Benchmark" (if I get to do 20% of what +Azlin Bloor does, then I am doing fine!)

Please help these two land on their feet in the tough tasks we have planned for them. Seriously: the more you participate, respond & facilitate this community, the more creative we can be and the more we can promote your work. And please be nice & responsive to the rest of our wonderful Foodies+ Team(+Indrani Sen, +Joy Stewart +Lisa Watson +Shana Shameer +Jasmina Brozović), who work long & hard & creatively to keep our Community going. Without them, (horrors!) you'd be posting only on FB...

Keep cooking & bon apetit,
- nomadimitri

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Our Christmas Table this Year

We have two main meals every year: Christmas eve and lunch. The pic below is Christmas day lunch, which I always cook and is always a very traditional British Christmas meal. My in-laws came over, as you can see. We had:
* Turkey, seasoned with a herbed butter
* Roast Potatoes
* Roast Parsnips
* Carrots cooked in Pomegranate Molasses
* Brussels Sprouts
* Sage, onion, cranberry and sausage stuffing
* Gravy
* Cranberry sauce
* Pear and Balsamic Vinegar Reduction
* And a couple of the fussy kids asked for pasta, peas and french fries!
* Dessert was Christmas Pudding, of course.

Just to make it interesting: we moved house in early Dec. Initially, we though the oven wasn't working, it was, just an old gas oven I didn't know how to turn on!!!
On Christmas Day, it was too old to take the parsnips, potatoes and french fries all at once, I ended up having to sauté all three! And we were only 15 minutes late, sitting down to lunch! All those years of catering, mishaps and all, certainly come in handy!

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