Wednesday, 25 May 2022

Thai Chicken Risotto

 



This is the simplest way to make a risotto that I have yet found. A few months ago I cooked another version of this dish, which involved standing at the stove stirring the rice for what seemed like hours. Have you been there as well cooking a risotto? With this dish, the work is mostly done by your oven and perfectly. There is some browning of chicken and the fresh ingredients initially on the stove top but then the oven does the rest. The flavours are everything you expect of Thai food, with a perfect mix of sweet, sour and spicy. The coconut cream blends all of these flavours together beautifully. This recipe is originally from the ABC Delicious magazine, with a few little deviations  along the way. The success of the meal is reliant on the beautiful flavours of coriander, kaffir lime leaves, chilli, fish sauce and red curry. I just love those flavours.

When I created my blog over 10 years ago, the reason I started was to have an online repository for my recipes, that I could refer to when travelling and visiting our children, where I generally found myself in the kitchen cooking, of course.

 I think it's time to thank you, my loyal readers sincerely for your support over the years, reading and commenting on my blog. I really appreciate it and it certainly makes the whole experience meaningful, enjoyable and worthwhile. I have made some lovely local and international foodie friends along the way, such a bonus and whom I hear from on almost a weekly basis now. Some close friends often give me personal comments about my recipes and my blog, even though they don't comment on the  actual blog so that also keeps me feeling enthusiastic and energised. Some weeks there are hardly any online comments to my posts although the statistics which I have access to show that it has been read quite a lot. When that happens I remind myself that whilst it's lovely to hear from my readers, that wasn't my original intention, and it's great that my blog has grown to the extent it has. I've grown with it in many ways, ha ha, and also really enjoy the writing process as well as the cooking. It all takes time though.

We plan to take a road trip North in a while, perhaps driving to Darwin, where there is a great food culture, so the blog posts will be less frequent however I will try to post on Instagram more frequently which is easier. If you would like to follow our adventures and cooking experiences, you can follow me or check up on me on Instagram at @happy_retirees_kitchen. I'll look forward to hearing from you all. I'll try to comment on my favourite blogs that I follow along the way, but sometimes it seems to be difficult to do that from my phone when travelling, but  reassured I won't have forgotten you. Apologies this is all a bit rushed today, there's a lot going on....

Ingredients:

Serves 6

1 tablespoon peanut or vegetable oil

500 g skinless chicken thigh fillets, trimmed, cut into 2 cm pieces

1 onion, finely chopped

1 long red chilli, seeds removed, thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, crushed

4 kaffir lime leaves, stems removed, finely shredded

1 1/2 cups (330 g) arborio rice 

1/4 cup (75 g) Thai red curry paste

2 cups (500 ml) chicken stock

1 cup (250ml) coconut cream

2 tbs fish sauce

200g green beans, trimmed, chopped

Coriander sprigs, fried Asian shallots, and lime halves (optional), to serve

Let's cook:

Preheat the oven to 180 deg. C.

Heat the oil in a stove proof and ovenproof casserole dish over medium-high heat.

 Add the chicken to the dish in batches and cook, turning for 2-3 minutes until browned.

Remove the chicken as it is cooked from the casserole dish and set aside on a rimmed plate.

Reduce the stovetop heat to medium and add the onion, chilli, garlic and half the kaffir lime leaves.

Cook, stirring constantly for 2-3 minutes until the onion is soft, then add the rice and curry paste and cook, stirring to coat the grains, for a further 1 minute.

Return the chicken to the casserole with the stock, and 1/2 cup (125 ml) water. Bring to a simmer, then cover with a lid and cook in the oven for 25 minutes or until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from the oven and stir in the coconut cream, fish sauce and beans, then cover and stand for 10 minutes.

Top risotto with coriander, fried Asian shallots if you have them, and remaining kaffir lime leaves and serve with lime halves if using.

I also served this with my Sweet Chill Jam.

Kaffir lime leaves and fried Asian shallots are available from the Asian food shops.


We are all reeling here today following the latest news about the school massacre in Texas. Australia doesn't have a gun culture, and we all find this whole situation incomprehensible. Our hearts go out to you all.

Warm wishes

Pauline







Sunday, 22 May 2022

We Are Harvesting and Preserving our Fresh Ginger, now is the right time to do it


Growing edible root ginger in the Tropics and sub-Tropics in the home garden is very easy, low maintenance and sustainable, the climate and the tropical environment is perfect for this crop. As long as the soil is fairly well drained, the crop thrives on heat and humidity, and tells us it needs to be harvested when it's flowers start to emerge from the ground on stalks and the leaves start to brown off. Sorry no photo of this.  So for us, now is the time to harvest our crop. Fresh ginger is very expensive to buy, and can be used in so many dishes both savoury and sweet, in drinks, in smoothies, teas, really the list is endless. We love the flavour. It is also known for it's anti-inflammatory and anti-antioxidant properties, with gingerol thought to be its main bioactive compound. So lets get hot, spicy and sweet and start using ginger as often as we can.

Ginger is a root herb, and when it's dug up out of the ground the green foliage needs to be removed and placed in the compost bin, the soil needs to be washed off the roots, and the ginger cleaned very well ready for preserving how you wish, such as dehydrating, freezing or just cutting up fresh for use. 

Over a cup of coffee one morning, Mr. HRK came up with the innovative idea of using our gurney to wash the ginger. What a great idea I agreed. So he placed our compost sifting rack over the compost heap box, spread the ginger over the rack and began gurneying. Ah, men and their gurneys, and women love them too here in the tropics. They are an essential piece of equipment to keep in the shed for reducing mould on driveways, garages, and all sorts of other essential things. Just can't do without them.

Cleaning the ginger with the gurney


We were unprepared for what a great job the gurney did. Not only did the jet spray of water remove all the dirt, but also removed the outer shell leaving the fresh ginger ready for use. When we broke up some of the larger ginger clumps later, there was still a little dirt left in the crevices, but that was easily washed out in the laundry sink. I think we're onto something here he said. Yes, our annual ginger harvest has just become mechanised.

Mr. HRK sorting the ginger on the frame

We harvested 2.6 kilos of ginger this time, which is a good amount for us to handle. We froze 500g in vacuum sealed pouches, and dehydrated the rest. 2.1 kilos of ginger dehydrated and ground to a powder, transformed into 319 g of dried ginger. Now, with supermarkets here selling ginger at $50.00 a kilo, no-one is going to buy ginger from the supermarket to make their own dried ginger spice. However, fresh ginger is selling at our local markets for $20.00 a kilo which sounds much more realistic. Given that the ginger we are seeing but not buying in our supermarkets is probably grown around Brisbane, being a Queensland crop, I wonder how the markup in price can be justified, when it can be sold locally for $15-$20.00 a kilo.The reality is though that a very small quantity is generally needed for cooking, so  customers will buy a small knob of ginger and pay the price. I always leave a small amount of fresh ginger in the garden for our use, but the frozen ginger works in a lot of dishes.

After washing and cleaning the ginger, it needs to be sliced finely for the dehydrator.

Ready for slicing and dicing

Mr. HRK sliced the large knobs very carefully using the mandolin, better him than me for that job, and I sliced up the small bits with a knife.


I washed some of the slices a little more in the colander to remove the last specks of dirt, dried them off with a clean tea towel, and then they were ready for the dehydrator.


Two large bowls of sliced ginger ready to be dehydrated



Washing off the last specks of dirt

We arranged thin layers of sliced ginger on each tray of the dehydrator.


Dehydrated ginger

The spice grinder is perfect for finely grinding the ginger into a powder


Oh my, the heady aroma coming from the ginger being ground up is quite intoxicating. I feel healthier by the minute.




Some of the ginger was vacuum sealed and frozen.


And now we have our annual supply of dried and frozen ginger. The dried ginger we have  made ourselves is so much more potent, aromatic and full of flavour than the ginger spice produced commercially.
 

It's quite traditional to now place a few pieces of ginger on a sunny windowsill until it starts to sprout some green shoots, which generally starts around spring time or even Summer and those pieces are then planted in the ginger garden, and become the new ginger crop for next year. However around that time, I find that even sticking a few pieces of ginger in the ground in early Summer will shoot and become healthy plants, without needing to have them shooting first.

Now for some cooking and baking, Ginger nuts, Ginger cake, Stem Ginger in Syrup, Ginger Pork, what else? I'd love to hear what your favourite recipe using ginger is.

Turmeric is also growing in tropical gardens,  and  right now is also the time to harvest and dehydrate or preserve your turmeric. Here is the link to a previous post I wrote about harvesting your turmeric.


Warm wishes
Pauline













Friday, 20 May 2022

Tropical Mango, Lime and Coconut Sago Pudding

Hi everyone, Bring a little sunshine back into your life with this delicious Mango, Lime and Coconut Sago pudding. Sago pudding and Kensington Pride mangoes pureed with lime juice, are a perfectly balanced combination in this  gorgeous dessert. Mango, lime and coconut are all flavours of the tropics and are absolutely perfect for a Summer pudding. I made this dish in our Southern Hemisphere Autumn, as I needed to make some space in my freezer. I used frozen Kensington Pride Bowen mangoes, sourced locally from nearby Bowen, as we slice the fruit and freeze bags of them each year in December. We can then eat frozen mango all year round. So whilst fresh mango can be difficult to find now, frozen mango which is always available from supermarkets, can be used for this dish.

 Sago has the magical ability of being able to set a cold pudding without any gelatine. Sago is now commonly confused as Tapioca Pearls in supermarkets, tapioca pearls are often used to make bubble tea drinks. However Sago is traditionally smaller than Tapioca. A good Health food store will stock sago. I suppose you could call Sago puddings a vintage style dessert, as sago was used as the basis for many desserts in the 1950's and 1960's, it's making a big comeback and is a very sustainable carbohydrate to cook with, and stretches the dessert budget. Children love milky sago puddings. We often also ate Lemon Sago at home when I was growing up, which was always delicious in Summer. This is the link to my Mum's recipe for Lemon Sago, which I wrote ages ago.

Mangoes have a relatively short harvesting window from about November to January where we live, however the Northern Territory mangoes where it's much hotter, are hitting the markets in October during some years and many are exported. We are very lucky to have good mango growing conditions here in North Queensland and by Christmas time we are buying buckets of  delicious Bowen mangoes for $7.00 a bucket, they don't get any cheaper than that. However every year is different for the mango producer and the year before last, there were hardly any mangoes at all because of the dry conditions. This year, very strangely, small common mangoes can be found on trees already, so I could be making my annual batch of Mango Chutney early.

I found these cute little Serving dishes at an Op (thrift) shop here where I live for only $5.00 for 6 of them. Great deal, don't you think?

 Ingredients:

Serves 4-6

80 g sago

2 cups (500 ml) coconut milk

1/2 vanilla bean, halved lengthways and seeds scraped

Finely grated zest and juice of 2 limes

2 medium or 1 very large ripe mango

1 tablespoon very thinly sliced mint

3 tablespoons toasted coconut flakes

Method:

Into a medium sized saucepan, tip the sago, the coconut milk, vanilla bean seeds and scraped vanilla bean. Pour in 3/4 cup (180 ml) water and let this mixture stand for 30 minutes, this very important to soften the sago.

Bring the saucepan to a boil on a medium heat, stirring occasionally to ensure the milk doesn't stick to the pan. Reduce the pan to low heat, and cook stirring often for 10 - 15 minutes. By this time the sago will be tender and almost translucent. Remove from the heat, remove the vanilla bean, and stir in most of the lime zest. Spoon the mixture into your serving dishes, then cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. 

Mango Puree Topping

Puree one third of the mango and any remaining flesh from around the mango seed. Place this puree in a bowl and add the finely sliced mint and stir together. 

When ready to serve, spoon the mango puree over the sago puddings, and top with the mango slices. 
Decorate with a few toasted coconut flakes, and some of the  remaining finely grated lime zest.





Cook's notes:
  • I loved the contrast of flavours of the coconut sago pudding and vanilla with the tangy lime and mango flavours, however taste the sago halfway through cooking and if you would like more vanilla flavours add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of organic vanilla bean paste. If you have trouble finding vanilla beans in your part of the world, then add 1 teaspoon of organic vanilla bean paste instead of the vanilla bean.
  • I used frozen mango from local Bowen (Kensington Pride) mangos which we had frozen ourselves , which worked beautifully, however the colour of the mango in the photos is slightly darker, because it has been frozen. The fruit of the fresh Kensington Pride mangoes are golden in colour.
  • Use any good eating mangoes that are available to you for this dish
Here are a couple of links to other Sago and Tapioca Pearl Puddings:


Thanks to the amazing Australian cook Maggie Beer who published this delightful recipe in her Maggie's Recipe for Life cookbook, a collection of 200 delicious recipes to help reduce your chances of Alzheimer's and other lifestyle diseases. I've tried to do it justice Maggie x

Warm wishes, 
Pauline


Wednesday, 18 May 2022

Vegetarian and Rustic Mini Party Pizzas



These very tasty vegetarian mini party pizzas are perfect for easy entertaining as finger food, or to eat on a lazy weekend for brunch with a salad, or as an appetizer. They can also be very economical and use up bits and pieces leftover in the refrigerator as the ingredients can be quite versatile, as you would find on most large pizzas. They don't need to be vegetarian either, add some finely chopped bacon, salami or ham as a topping, and add mushrooms or anchovies if you wish as well. The presentation can be quite rustic, as the small puff pastry shapes are never going to be uniform, even though they start out that way. I made up this batch when I was craving a slice of Italy with some pizza, and show me someone who doesn't love pizza flavours. Friends were coming over for drinks, so I made a batch of these for some simple and delicious finger food. The filling can be chopped up and mixed in advance, the night or the morning before, and stored in a covered container in the refrigerator. 

It's Summer in Europe, the USA and the rest of the Northern Hemisphere, and casual entertaining with friends has started. My son who is living in France with his beautiful family, says that currently the Summer weather is lovely following a wet and miserable Winter, and people are celebrating and entertaining outdoors. Here in tropical North Queensland it's still warm and sunny in between rainy showers, so life isn't that different, we are still entertaining outdoors even though it is technically our Winter. We are waiting for the first real cold snap with excitement.

 These Party Pizzas are so easy, that I feel a bit guilty about writing them up as a recipe. Do you sometimes just crave for something really tasty like pizza, but don't feel like making your own dough or visiting the supermarket to buy ready made pizza bases, or spending the money to buy take away pizzas? These are the easiest bite sized pizzas I have ever made. They may be just bite sized, but they have BIG-sized flavours, with zero effort. In fact you will feel as if you have had a night off from cooking and everyone will be happy to pitch in and help. Mr. HRK is is happy to cut the pastry sheets into squares for me while I oil up the muffin tins. So much of the preparation can be done in advance.

If you are planning some large scale entertaining, 90 little pizzas can be made from a 10 pack Puff Pastry box, and I have done this in the past for a party. They disappeared very quickly. Very economical when catering. This recipe is for 18 pizzas which Mr. HRK and I have been known to enjoy over a couple of days. Just increase the quantities as needed. These would also be perfect to take to work for lunches with a salad, if you are able to heat them up in a microwave. Perhaps though you are happy to eat them cold, some close members of my family are happy to eat cold pizza. I prefer it warmed up though.

Let's Cook:
Preheat your oven to 180 deg. C
Equipment: Two medium size muffin trays

Ingredients for 18 mini pizzas

2 sheets of frozen Butter puff pastry
2 cups grated tasty pizza cheese
1 finely chopped red capsicum
1 cup classic pizza sauce (homemade or purchased)
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil or oregano
1/2 cup roughly chopped black olives
Finely chopped bacon, ham or salami to sprinkle over the top of the pizzas before baking if you wish for a non-vegetarian edition of these pizzas.

Partially thaw out two sheets of Puff Pastry. Cut each Puff pastry sheet into 9 squares. (For a larger quantity of pizzas, buy a 10 pack box of Puff Pastry and cut 9 squares from each sheet until each person has at least 3-4 pizzas)

Let's cook:

Grease two muffin trays very well with vegetable or olive oil, or use a spray can of oil,  and place a pizza square in each muffin hole (18 for this recipe). Coat the pastry with tomato sauce with a small pastry brush. Prick the base of the pastries twice with fork to ensure the pastry base doesn't  swell up. Cook in the oven for 10 minutes until the puff pastry is just coloured and starting to crisp up. This can be done in advance as well. Allow them to cool very slightly and then very gently ease the edges of pastry around the top away from the tin with a knife, sometimes it sticks to the tin. If the pastry has risen up from the bottom, just press it down gently with your fingertips to make room for the filling. This first step will ensure the pastry cases come out of the tin easily when cooked. I have made them before without prebaking the pastry cases first, but it makes removing the cooked pizzas a little more fiddly. 

Throw the combined ingredients into a large bowl. Mix well together. 


3/4 fill pastry cases with ingredients and sprinkle with ham, bacon or salami if desired.



Cook in a moderate oven, at 180 deg. C,  for 10 minutes or until pastry and filling is cooked.

Straight out of the oven
Allow to cool slightly, then carefully remove from the muffin tins using a butter knife, easing the edges out gently. Garnish with individual basil or oregano leaves, but be prepared, these little pizzas will do the disappearing act as soon as your family or guests dive in.



Notes:
  • I make these mini pizzas quite regularly and they are always delicious, but when a friend asked me for the recipe, I changed the  baking process slightly to ensure she would be very happy with the result. If you are using Teflon coated muffin tins which are not scratched at all, and still quite new, and you are short of time like most of us are, you could get away with not prebaking the pastry in the oven, which is what I have generally done. The tins still need to be greased very well with oil. However, I am advising you to prebake the pastry cases if you have time and your tins are well used, to ensure the pizzas can be removed easily from the muffin holes. Always leave the cooked pizzas to cool slightly before easing them from the tin
  • Make these tropical, by adding a little finely chopped fresh or canned pineapple. Add some finely chopped ham, and there will be squeals of delight from the kids big and small, as who doesn't love ham and pineapple pizza. I know some of my readers don't like pineapple, however in my family we love it. Ham and pineapple pizza was always a favourite when our kids were growing up.

This is the link to our original "Make It Like a Man" style Pizza recipe ,which Mr. HRK makes when the Rugby League State of Origin matches are on. It is always delicious, and he adds lots of meat, however it is also delicious with a vegetarian topping similar to the one in my mini pizzas. We make one of each. Pizza toppings really are so versatile aren't they?

Bye for now,

Pauline

Thursday, 12 May 2022

Lemon Sour Cream Bundt Cake

  

My Lemon Sour Cream Bundt Cake is tangy with lemon flavours, and has a firmer texture to it, which is essential for a Bundt cake. Pouring lemon juice over the cake when hot from the oven is the final touch to ensuring very citrussy flavours, which we all love. I removed the warm cake from the tin without any problems, and let's be honest this is every cake makers concern, that it will be difficult to remove their baked cake from the Bundt tin. No worries with this recipe though, it's the perfect no fuss dough consistency for Bundt cake cooking. If however the cake didn't come out of the tin well, and ended up in pieces, heaven forbid, just turn it into a delicious trifle. I promise this won't happen though if you prepare your tin properly. Preparing the cake tin meticulously for a Bundt cake is essential to ensuring it removes cleanly from the tin. More of that later.

As I write this, we are in the middle of quite the rain event here in North Queensland, which isn't conducive to perfecting the icing on the cake. 350 millimetres was forecast, so far we've only had close to 120 mm over a few days, but it's raining again today so there's lots of humidity and moisture in the air even when it's not raining. The cake was all I wanted it to be, and it rose perfectly, but the icing needed to be a lot thicker as the extreme humidity and moisture in the air meant that after a while it just soaked into the cake. I wanted the icing to dribble delicately down the sides of the cake to accentuate the bundt shape which it did, however I resisted adding more and more icing sugar as I thought it might be too sweet. So photogenically it's not brilliant, but taste wise it is. That's what really counts isn't it? I also didn't have a lot of time to play with it, as my wonderful friend Julie was visiting for the day, up from NSW, Mr. HRK aka barista, already had the coffee machine on, so the cake was begging to be eaten. That's real life in my kitchen.

The other option is to serve it sprinkled with icing sugar which is also very effective for this kind of cake, however the icing sugar would have just soaked into the cake in this humidity. If I was working in a perfect world and a  professional kitchen and not working as a home cook and blogger, the air-conditioners would be turned on eliminating the humidity problem completely, however it's not a perfect world here in North Queensland, pretty darned close though.

Still tastes great

Bundt cakes have a firmer consistency than a lot of cakes and so they release from the tin very easily. They are called Bundt cakes because they are baked in a fluted style of tin with a hole in the middle which originated in America, however the denser type of cake mixture has more European roots from countries such as Germany. My tin isn't as fluted as some of the ones out there so the Bundt shape isn't as obvious. By any standards though it is a delicious cake and takes 1 3/4 hours to bake in the oven because I chose to make a high cake. 

The trick is to prepare the Bundt tin properly to ensure the cake just falls out easily when required. I coated the tin with butter, or oil would be ok as well, every nook and crevice needs to be coated, lined the base with a circle of baking parchment carefully cutting a hole in the middle to fit, and then sifted flour over the buttered surface, before shaking off the excess. Easy peasy. However if you are a bit nervous about using a Bundt tin, and there's no need to be with this recipe my friends, I've also baked this cake using a 23 cm round springform cake tin, and it turned out perfectly. 

Equipment: a 23 cm Bundt Tin, or a 22-23 cm springform tin

Serves 8-10

Ingredients:

250 g butter at room temperature

2 1/2 cups castor sugar

1/4 cup Self Raising flour

3/4 cup sour cream

2 teaspoons grated lemon rind

6 eggs at room temperature

2 cups plain flour

Method:

Cream butter, lemon rind and sugar until light and fluffy. 

Beat in eggs one at a time.

Stir in sifted dry ingredients alternately with the sour cream.

Spread mixture into greased deep 23 cm round cake tin or well greased Bundt cake tin which has a base lined with baking paper.

Bake in a moderately slow oven (160 deg. C-170 deg. C) for 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours, depending on your oven.

Take from oven, turn out of tin, by tipping upside down using a dinner plate on the top of the tin, so that patterned surface is now on the top, and rest on a cooling rack. Pour 1/2 cup lemon juice over the top. Then sprinkle over the top with finely sifted icing sugar or ice with lemon icing.

Lemon Icing on the cake

1 1/2 cups (225g) icing sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon melted butter

Method:  

Sift the icing sugar, add the melted butter, then add the lemon juice gradually, in a small bowl until you have a soft, drizzling consistency, then drizzle over the cake.

N.B.  If you are baking in hot, rainy or humid conditions like I was when making this, you will  need to add more icing sugar until it sets well, or the icing will just run off the cake and absorb into the cake. When the icing is set on the cake, decorate with some bling, edible flowers or whatever you have on hand, and depending on the occasion.



As I set to publish this post, hallelujah, the sun is shining today for us for the first time all week, which is wonderful. However I really feel for all the folk in Southern Queensland and further inland who are still copping bucket loads of rain, after only just recovering from the last deluge. It's either too much, or too little. The weather really has just gone crazy.

Warm wishes,

Pauline







Sunday, 8 May 2022

Lime salsa with Sweet Potato Mash


Sweet as sweet potatoes are exactly what their name suggests, lending themselves perfectly to both sweet and savoury cooking. They are in abundance right now, and along with tangy juicy limes also in season, I hope this simple recipe will tempt you to eat and celebrate the beautiful produce in season. Herby lime salsa is the perfect  counterpart to the versatile sweet potato, which is only a distant relative of the normal potato by the way. Sweet potatoes are high in fibre, and their bright orange colour tells us they are also high in the antioxidant beta-carotene and Vitamin A., all supporting our immune function.

When I first tasted this dish at our foodie friends P&J's home, I just loved it, the lime salsa combined with the sweet potato was such an exciting surprise to my palate. It really tickled my taste buds. This dish shines alongside all sorts of foods, Middle Eastern cuisine, humble grilled sausages or a vegetarian or vegan spread. I baked the sweet potatoes ahead of time and kept the mash refrigerated to be reheated later, made the salsa the same morning, which meant the dish was easy to assemble just prior to eating.

Yotam Ottolenghi also suggests that after cooking, we keep the skins, brush them lightly with olive oil and roast them again for about 8 minutes, at 200 deg. C fan forced, and eat them as a crisp-like snack. Waste not, want not. Yes, it's one of Yotam's clever recipes.

Let's cook:-

Preheat the oven to 200 deg. C fan.

Serves four to six as a side

Ingredients:

1 kg orange sweet potatoes washed, skin left on and cut in half lengthways, from top to bottom

60 ml olive oil

5 g basil leaves, chopped

5 g coriander, finely chopped

1/2 garlic clove, crushed

2 large limes, finely grate the zest to get 2 teaspoons, then juice to get 1 tablespoon

salt and black pepper

Method:

Massage the cut sweet potatoes with 1 tablespoon of oil and season with 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Line them up on a high sided baking tray lined with baking parchment, flesh side down, and roast for 30-35 minutes, until very soft. Be careful removing from the oven as some juice will have  come out of the potatoes.

While the sweet potatoes are roasting away, make the salsa.

Put the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil into a small bowl. Add the remaining ingredients with a good pinch of salt, and gently stir to combine.

Remove the sweet potatoes from the oven and allow to cool. Remove the skins, they should just slide off easily, or scoop out the flesh. Baking them this way results in a softer vegetable and better flavour. Set aside the skins to use later if you wish. Mash the flesh in a bowl with 1/8 teaspoon of salt and plenty of black pepper until quite smooth.

Transfer to a platter, make dips in the surface of the sweet potato, and spoon in the salsa. Decorate with extra herbs or some sprigs of tarragon.

Serve hot.

The 2nd edition below of Sweet Potato Mash with Lime Salsa.

Warm wishes

Pauline