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Aug. 11th, 2014



[sticky post] Welcome

I have one talent in the kitchen. And that is finding good recipes.

Welcome to Culinary Therapy, my little online organiser where I keep my favourite kitchen adventures so I might find them without having to touch the dreaded paperwork pile, or where my loyal food guineapigs friends can find recipes they took a liking to, without the palaver of trying to decipher my handwriting! I've credited where I can with links to where I've found the recipe, changed whatever I felt like, and generally had a lot of fun and dinner parties.

Enjoy, get messy and thanks for visiting!

Jan. 25th, 2016



Vegan Chocolate Mousse - aquafaba magic.

Continuing the exploration into vegan recipes, I chanced upon this http://www.crazyvegankitchen.com/vegan-chocolate-mousse-made-with-aquafaba-chickpea-brine/

What I like about this recipe is that it doesn't call for strange and outlandish ingredients featuring in many other vegan recipes, all of this was easily sourced at the local supermarket. Here is my adapted version

130ml aquafaba
3 tablespoons icing sugar
1 capful vanilla essence
6 oz dark chocolate (Green and Blacks is dairy free)
Pinch of salt

1. Whisk aquafaba until it forms soft peaks, then add the icing sugar. Whisk until incorporated.

2. Melt the dark chocolate over a bain marie or very carefully in the microwave. Use the vanilla extract to help slacken, then add to aquafaba mix. Continue mixing until fully incorporated, then taste test. The chocolate I used was dark and quite bitter, so I added a pinch of salt and extra sugar to balance out this flavour, so you may want to source less bitter chocolate. When satisfied, pour into glasses, chill and serve.

It was light and fluffy, I do not think it could hold its shape by itself. I think this could be adapted to include agar-agar for a firmer set.

Fruit couli could be included to add an extra dimension of flavour


Vegan Meringue - the 'magic' of aquafaba.

Working as a chef, the requirements of the job can throw you unexpected and interesting challenges. Just before Christmas, during weeks where I was managing to just about keep my head above the metaphorical water, making endless chocolate terrines and rum sauce on very little rest or sleep, we had a vegan book in the restaurant. It hadn't occurred to me prior to this, that nothing I made was suitable for dairy-free, or vegan. I had a nice stash of gluten-free cakes, but nothing for the woman that evening. Cue furious research on my break, and whilst she decided against having a dessert that night, I still discovered something that would go on the cement my position as 'the one with the answers to the difficult requests.'
Aquafaba, bean water, that slimy liquid from the tin of chickpeas. Detailed information can be found on the official site here.http://aquafaba.com/

Experimenting on my break led to my first vegan meringue, and disbelieving colleagues.
It possibly also led to the chef agreeing to a booking of six vegans for afternoon tea last week

Egg-free meringue.

200ml aquafaba (about the liquid from a tin of chickpeas (I'm still experimenting with brands, some may yield more but can be
too dilute and need reducing before whisking)
400 g caster/icing sugar

As per regular meringue, whisk the liquid until it becomes a soft foam and tries to escape the mixing bowl.
Slowly add the sugar, a spoonful at a time, or you run the risk of collapsing the foam. You can add cream of tartar or a dash of lemon juice/vinegar to stabilise the structure, although I've not tried this yet.
When the mixture is ready, it will be stiff, have the shine of gloss paint, and will stay in the bowl without shifting when you hold it upside down over your head.
It's ready for piping. Use greaseproof/baking parchment Work as fast as you dare, and you may need to re-whip it occasionally if the piped structure starts to lose its form.
Bake in the oven on a low heat - 80-100C - too high and they will turn brown and dark bubbles will crack through the surface of the meringue, and may remain chewy on the inside.
They are done when they are dry throughout, test one to see.
If possible, turn off the oven and allow the meringues and the oven to cool by themselves.

Once you've mastered this, please try your hand at experimenting by adding different colours and flavours.
Tags: ,

Jan. 27th, 2015



Creamy coconut chicken curry (adjust spice as you like)

Found http://www.rivercottage.net/recipes/baked-chicken-curry/ On the River Cottage network, but I used my slow cooker, and two packs of chicken legs, had it on for 6 hours, which gave the spices time to synergise and the chicken to cook to melting perfection, and the sauce to simmer down to a nice gloop. Great for a big dinner, plenty of leftovers. I also cooked this with the leftover turkey after Christmas this season. Spices can be adjusted to taste, and this is a lovely, warming, flavourful curry without blowing your head off.


* 2 heaped tsp cumin seeds
* 2 heaped tsp coriander seeds
* 1 heaped tsp fennel seeds
* 2 tsp ground turmeric
* 2 tsp ground fenugreek
* 1 large onion, roughly chopped
* 3 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
* 1 large green chilli, roughly chopped
* 1 thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, roughly chopped
* 3-4 tbsp sunflower or groundnut oil
* 1 chicken, jointed into 6 pieces, or 6 skin-on, bone-in chicken pieces weighing about 1.5kg in total
* 400g tin of tomatoes
* 400ml tin of coconut milk
* Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. If you've got the time, toast the cumin, coriander and fennel seeds in a dry frying pan for a minute or two, until fragrant. Grind the whole spices (toasted or otherwise) to a rough powder in a spice grinder or with a pestle and mortar, then mix with the turmeric and fenugreek.
2. Put the onion, garlic, chilli and ginger in a food processor or blender. Blitz to a coarse paste, stopping to scrape down the sides a few times.
3. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large frying pan over a medium/high heat. Add half the chicken pieces, season well and brown them all over, making sure you get the skin a good colour. Transfer them to a large roasting dish, skin-side up. Repeat with the remaining chicken pieces.
4. Reduce the heat under the frying pan, add the spice mix and fry for a minute or two, then add the onion paste. Fry, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes, until the paste is soft, fragrant and reduced in volume. Add a little more oil if it seems to be sticking.
5. Tip the tomatoes and coconut milk into the food processor (no need to wash it out first) and blitz to combine. Pour into the frying pan and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and a grinding of pepper, then pour the sauce over the chicken pieces. Make sure they are all coated in the sauce, then push most of the sauce off the top of the chicken – if there’s too much sauce sitting on them, the skin won’t brown in the oven.
6. Place in an oven preheated to 180�C/Gas Mark 4. Bake, uncovered, for 1 hour or until the chicken is cooked through and nicely browned on top, turning and basting it a couple of times. Serve with lots of basmati rice to soak up the sauce.

Jan. 7th, 2015



Strawberry balsamic goats cheese bruschetta

This is a thing of beauty. Make sure to get decent Italian style bread, made from durum wheat if possible, and in Lostwithiel we have a little market where I get my cheese from, locally made. And try and get in-season strawberries, nothing beats the aroma of fresh strawberries that haven't been forced and shipped a thousand miles.
I'm fond of this chef, I don't usually have to change anything.
Original recipe herehttp://allrecipes.com/recipe/strawberry-goat-cheese-bruschetta/

This is perfect summer starters or snacks, with a side of Pimms and good company. Which is why I'm craving it in the middle of winter.


Original recipe makes 12 slices
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
12 slices Italian bread
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound strawberries, washed and diced
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, plus more for serving
1 cup goat cheese, room temperature
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Prep: 15 mins
Ready in: 25 mins

Heat vinegar in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Simmer until reduced by about half, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
Prepare a grill for high heat. Place bread slices on a foil-lined baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.
Combine strawberries and thyme in a small bowl and set aside.
Grill bread on the preheated grill until browned, about 3 minutes per side.
Spread goat cheese on toasted bread. Add black pepper, salt, and reduced vinegar to the strawberry mixture. Spoon over the goat cheese topped bruschetta. Garnish with additional thyme.


Bramley Apple and sausage stuffing (meat pie)

By the time the turkey and the roast vegetables were well on their way to being done, I had forgotten about the stuffing and there was no space in the oven. But I had set my heart on this recipe and I'll be damned if reason gets in the way of what I want to cook! (Like the time I made pulled pork and decided to do many other trimmings and deserts and homemade mayonaisse for the side of coleslaw and it turned into a dozen recipe circus and I had to call in assistance from the very people I was Showing off catering for. Story for another time)
So this beauty was dubbed 'Meat Pie' by the Outlaws. Because it was basically a pie dish filled with meat, with bacon for pastry, and it was delicious and nearly caused a food-fight.

So what I did is, I took the recipe from this link and 'Kerried' it. Which is a new term but it involves food. My alterations made for a flavour-packed, sweet, meaty loaf which is fantastic for sandwich filling, eating cold, generally yum. I reduced the amount of sausage meat from the original recipe but I kept the other ingredients the same, which allowed the apple to come to the forefront of the taste. The added diced bacon helped season it as it cooked and added to the decadence.

Stop talking. Ok. My modified version is below.

1 small celeriac, peeled and diced (I love celeriac, a nutty, aromatic rooting type of celery)
2 medium red onion, diced
1 x 4/500g pack sausage meat
1 Bramley apple, peeled and chopped (about 325g)
100g fresh white breadcrumbs
2 tbsp chopped fresh sage
5 tbsp chopped fresh parsley, plus extra to serve (optional)
1 large egg
4 rindless streaky bacon rashers
10 rindless streaky bacon rashers
1 tbsp lemon thyme, chopped

Peel and dice celeriac and red onions, fry on low heat until soft and starting to caramelise. Take out to cool.
Meanwhile, peel, core and dice the apple. You want the pieces approximately the same size as the onion/celeriac.
Dice the four bacon rashers (I use scissors as I find it easier)
Combine the apple, sausagemeat, diced bacon, onion, celeriac, breadcrumbs, herbs, egg and seasoning. Mix well – the easiest way is to knead it together in the bowl with your hands.
For the remainder, line a 900g loaf tin or overprotective dish with 8 rashers of streaky bacon, spoon in the stuffing, lift the bacon over and cover with the last 2 rashers.
Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and bake the stuffing for 40-50 mins. Can be made ahead up to this point and chilled for 2-3 days.
Turn out onto a baking-parchment-lined baking tray and return to the oven (once the turkey has come out) at 220C/200C fan/gas 7 for 15-20 mins more to brown the bacon. If chilled, reheat at the lower temperature for 45 mins, covered in foil, then turn out for the extra 15 mins at the higher temperature. Allow to stand, then scatter with parsley (if you like), slice and serve.


Fruity flapjack

Thought I had posted this already. Ah well. Original recipe here http://allrecipes.co.uk/recipe/3846/apricot-oat-flapjacks.aspx

A fruity snack that will keep you full and provide a nice energy kick, obviously the fruit itself contains a fair bit of sugar but it'll be better for you than refined white sugar on the micronutrient levels. Tart and tasty. Play around with spices and fruit combinations. I'm planning on making it this weekend, and with the honey harvest last year I'll be swapping the sugar for honey to personalise it!

Serves: 8
250 g (9 oz) ready-to-eat dried apricots, cut into quarters
400 ml (14 fl oz) orange juice
Grated zest of ½ orange
50 g (1¾ oz) crystallised ginger, roughly chopped
200 g (7 oz) rolled porridge oats
3 tablespoons light muscovado sugar
25 g (1 oz) sunflower seeds

Prep:10min › Cook:1hr5min › Ready in:1hr15min
Place the apricots in a pan with the orange juice and zest and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered and stirring occasionally, for 25-30 minutes until the liquid is absorbed. Purée in a food processor or with a hand-held mixer.
Meanwhile heat the oven to 180°C (350°F, gas mark 4). Line the base of a 22 cm (8½ in) round cake tin with baking paper.
Stir the ginger, oats, sugar and sunflower seeds into the apricot purée and mix well, then tip it into the tin and spread out evenly.
Bake for 30-35 minutes until firm and golden brown. Cool slightly, cut into wedges then leave the flapjacks to cool completely in the tin. Peel off the paper before serving.
Variation: for prune and pecan flapjacks, replace the apricot purée with one made from prunes simmered in apple juice, and use chopped pecan nuts in place of the sunflower seeds. For apple and cranberry flapjacks, replace the ginger with dried cranberries, and use a purée made from 3 dessert apples, peeled, cored and roughly chopped; simmer the apples, covered, in 75 ml (2½ fl oz) of cranberry juice for 15 minutes, or until soft.

Oct. 9th, 2014



Pumpkin and bacon pasta with honey and sage.

500 grams peeled and cubed pumpkin (I used Blue Prince which has a lovely dense, sweet, very orange flesh)
250 grams bacon (rare breed saddleback from a local farmer so it didn't shrink in the pan)
1 large onion, diced
Honey - generous splash (about 1-2 tablespoons) I'm a beekeeper, so I'm using a lot of honey at the moment
Sage - fresh or dried
Fennel seeds
Mozzarella ball
Butter - cubed and slightly softened.
Garlic - 2 to 4 cloves.
Tangerine or lemon - skin and juice

Put bacon in a large frying pan with the onion, fry until the onion is soft and the bacon starting to crisp.
Meanwhile, place cubed pumpkin, honey, sage, fennel seeds in a dash of water in a pan, (its not meant to cover it, so don't worry) cover with lid and cook until just tender but still retains its structure, keep stirring to avoid burning.
Place entire contents of pumpkin pan into the bacon/onion pan and turn heat down to allow the pumpkin to soften further, and to allow the liquid to evaporate. Keep stirring to avoid burning.

In a food processor, purée garlic, butter, mozzarella, tangerine skin and juice.

When pumpkin has fully softened but not started to disintegrate, take off heat and add the garlic/mozzarella purée. Quickly mix it in and serve on pasta.

Feb. 6th, 2012



Oaty red lentil gratin


Oaty red lentil gratin

Oaty red lentil gratin
1 of 1 < >
Picture by: Reader's Digest
Recipe by: Norma MacMillan

Red lentils are mixed with chestnut mushrooms and celery to form the base of this hearty gratin. The Double Gloucester cheese and oat topping becomes lightly ... See more


Red lentils are mixed with chestnut mushrooms and celery to form the base of this hearty gratin. The Double Gloucester cheese and oat topping becomes lightly browned and crunchy during the few minutes in the oven. Serve with a tomato salad and green vegetables, such as broccoli and courgettes.

  Ready in 55 mins

Saved by 22 cook(s)


  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, chopped
  • 200 g (7 oz) chestnut mushrooms, sliced
  • 250 g (8½ oz) split red lentils
  • 600 ml (1 pint) vegetable stock
  • 100 g (3½ oz) rolled oats
  • 100 g (3½ oz) Double Gloucester cheese, grated
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper

Preparation method

Prep: 45 minsCook: 10 mins
Heat the oil in a saucepan over a moderate heat, add the onion and celery, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
Add the sliced mushrooms and stir well to combine. Cook for about 5 minutes longer or until softened.
Stir in the lentils and add 500 ml (17 fl oz) of the stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and cover. Simmer for about 20 minutes or until the lentils are tender, adding the rest of the stock if the lentils appear to be drying out.
Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F, gas mark 7). Mix the oats with the grated cheese and cayenne pepper. When the lentils are cooked, season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer them to a shallow ovenproof dish and spread out evenly.
Spread the oat and cheese mixture over the top. Place the dish in the oven and bake for about 10 minutes or until the topping is crisp and golden brown. Serve hot.

Copyright by The Readers Digest Association, Inc. 2004

Some more ideas

Cook the onion and celery with 2 finely chopped garlic cloves and 1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano. * In step 2, add a pinch each of curry powder and ground cumin with the mushrooms. * To make a mixed lentil gratin, cook the onion with 1 chopped garlic clove (omit the celery). Instead of mushrooms, add 1 chopped fennel bulb and 2 sliced small leeks, and cook for about 5 minutes or until softened. Add 125 g (4½ oz) split red lentils, 125 g (4½ oz) Puy lentils and the stock, and cook as in the main recipe. Transfer to a shallow ovenproof dish and top with a mixture of 100 g (3½ oz) fresh brown breadcrumbs, 50 g (1¾ oz) freshly grated Parmesan cheese and 50 g (1¾ oz) grated Cheddar cheese. Bake as in the main recipe.

Plus points

Lentils are one of the nutritional wonders – high in protein, starchy carbohydrate and fibre, but very low in sodium and fat. * Chestnut mushrooms are usually larger, firmer and browner than other cultivated varieties. They also have a stronger flavour. All mushrooms provide useful amounts of some of the B vitamins. * Rolled oats are whole oat grains that have had their husks removed and then been rolled flat, so that they retain all the nutritional value of the whole grain.

Each serving provides

copper * B1, B6, niacin, calcium, iron, zinc * A, B2, B12, E, folate, potassium, selenium

Provided by:Reader's Digest
Last updated: 07 Apr 2011

Jan. 28th, 2012



Sweet Potato and Bean Burrito



Serves: 8
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon each of cumin, paprika and coriander
  • 1 (200g) tin baked beans
  • 1 (400g) tin red kidney beans, drained
  • 250g pumpkin, boiled and mashed
  • 4 tablespoons mild taco sauce - the recipe for which can be found here http://www.lynnskitchenadventures.com/2009/11/homemade-taco-sauce.html
  • flour tortillas
  • 3 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 large avocado, sliced
  • 200g light Cheddar cheese, grated

Taco Sauce

  • 8 ounce tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder (more if you want this hotter)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon of onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper

Mix all together in a blender until smooth. Pour sauce into pan and cook over med-low heat for 15-20 minutes. Don’t skip the cooking part of this. You need to heat the sauce up to really blend the flavors together.

Preparation method

Prep: 10 mins | Cook: 10 mins
Cook onion in some oil until golden. Add herbs and spices.
Add baked beans, kidney beans, pumpkin and taco sauce. Cook for 10 minutes.
Place a generous spoonful of mixture on each tortilla. Cover with tomato, avocado and cheese.
Roll up firmly and serve.

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