Hello September!!

Hello folks,

I have been very busy over last week helping Millie Green Stylist with her wedding decorations. It has been non stop but I have tried to cook a few recipes in between the madness, below you will find a recipe for a Spicy Lamb Tagine and a seafood paella….

Firstly find some photos of Millie Green Stylists wedding set ups;

Vintage signs……

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The vintage drinks station went down a treat, a light refreshment before the ceremony. Strawberry flavoured iced water, still lemonade and cucumber & mint water served in jam jars with retro straws.

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I helped with the serving 😉

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The drinks nearly all gone 🙂

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One of my Aunts table plans

The venue…. Hotel Bates

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The grand stairway which the bride walks down to the ceremony…

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Ceremonial set up with chandelier and draped fabric…

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The kids station…

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I drew some personalised fairies on canvas bags for the kids to colour in

In the evening…

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part of the photo booth and guest book signing area

For more info please take a look at Millie Green on Facebook;

https://www.facebook.com/Milliegreenstylist?fref=ts

and on Instagram it is @milligreen_stylist see link below….

https://instagram.com/milliegreen_stylist/

On Saturday I made a really tasty Spicy Lamb Tagine. We have lots of figs in the garden that are ready to eat and I wanted to incorporate these into a dish. Figs go really well with rosemary and cardamon so I used these ingredients to make a tagine. I do seem to use rosemary quite often when making tagines, but I just the love the flavour it gives the dish.

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fresh figs picked from the garden

Lamb was the meat of choice for this recipe; it is difficult to get hold of good Lamb here in Spain, I managed to get some lamb cutlets which I chopped into chunks leaving the bones in. This worked really well and as the pieces were small they didn’t take too much time to go tender. I would have like them to be chunkier so you can use diced lamb if you can get hold of it, or chops which are cut a little thicker.

The paste I made to marinade the lamb was inspired by chermoula. Chermoula is a marinade used in Algerian, Libyan, Moroccan and Tunisian cooking used to flavour seafood or meat dishes. I took the concept of bashing the garlic with salt and adding spices and herbs to create a marinade, but I used thyme rather than coriander as again this herb is great with figs.

As the figs are fresh these are added at the end of the cooking time as you want them to keep the shape and not dissolve. I started on the hob then transferred into an oven dish then I cooked it slowly in the oven, . You can use  a Tagine…..ours was not big enough 😉 Then it is topped off with a sprinkle of toasted almonds to give a bit of crunch and rosemary flowers for decoration and they taste amazing…yum!

I have made many Tagines but this one my Aunt has said she thinks is her favourite…have a go  and tell me what you think ❤

Check out my recipe:

Spicy Lamb Tagine with Fresh figs and Potatoes

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Serves 4

Time 1- 1 1/2 hours approx depending on type of Lamb meat

Difficulty Easy

Ingredients:

1 kilo Lamb meat

Marinade:

3 cloves garlic grated

1 tsp sea salt

1 red chilli

Handful fresh thyme leaves

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tbsp tomato paste

Juice of 1 lemon

Tagine:

1 onion sliced

3 rosemary sprigs; 1 chopped finely

1 whole red chilli pricked with a knife

1 cinnamon stick

1 tbsp grated ginger

1tbsp runny honey

3 carrots sliced thickly

3 cardamon pods bashed

1/2 pint lamb stock

25g butter

1 tbsp olive oil

85g blanched almonds

4/5 baby potatoes or 2 medium-sized potatoes cut into wedges, skin left on.

Rosemary flowers for decoration (optional)

Method:

Chop your lamb into chunks.

Make your marinade. Put the grated garlic and salt into a pestle and mortar and bash until it creates a paste.

Then empty into a hand blender and add in the chilli, thyme leaves, cumin, oil, tomato paste, lemon juice and blitz to create a red paste. You can do this by hand with the pestle and mortar it just takes a little more effort ;-).

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Pour the marinade over the lamb and mix it well, leave for 1/2 hours, or if you have time do this the night before.

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Once marinated you can start the tagine.

Set the oven to the highest temperature.

Heat the oil and butter in a deep-frying pan and add in the lamb to brown, you can do this in batches. Try and get a good colour to the lamb.

Once you have good colour place the lamb in an oven dish retaining the oil in the pan.

Add in the sliced onion, the chopped rosemary sprig and the grated ginger. Cook until the onions are soft.

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Add in the cinnamon stick and the cardamons then stir and add the whole red chilli. Cook for another 2/3 minutes.

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Add this to the lamb. Tuck in the other two rosemary sprigs and tuck the carrots then mix up.

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Pour in the hot stock, also pour a little water into the hot frying pan to de-glaze and get all of the juices then pour this over the lamb mix.

Cover with foil and place in the hot oven.

After 20 minutes turn the heat down to 180 degrees and cook for around 45 minutes to an 1 hour minutes or until the lamb it tender.

As I used thin lamb pieces I added my potatoes after the initial first 20 minutes, if using chunkier lamb I would add it in a little later once the lamb is nearly tender.

Tuck the potatoes in making sure they’re covered with the stock. Let these cook until soft; about 25 minutes.

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Once cooked remove the foil stir well and taste as it might need more seasoning then place the figs in the dish and drizzle with the honey.

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Turn the heat of the oven back up to high. Cook for another 20 minutes uncovered.

This will cook the figs, reduce the sauce and give the lamb more colour. The honey adds that little bit of extra sweetness.

Whilst this is cooking dry fry the almonds until toasted.

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Remove the tagine from the oven place the Rosemary flowers on the top to decorate then sprinkle with the toasted almonds.

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Serve with buttery couscous.

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The flavours are so tasty, a good heat of spice and warmth then the figs bring a sweetness and freshness to the dish. The lamb melts in your mouth…..YUM!! ❤

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This week so far………

Happy Thursday, hope you’re all having a great week.  Here are a couple of recipes I have made this week.

I made a fig jam the other week using figs that our neighbour gave us and it got eaten straight away!! Our figs are just about ready we managed to pick enough to make some more jam, but this time I thought I would try something different and make it with Honey to give a slightly different sweetness and Ginger, it worked a treat :-)!!….

Fig & Ginger Jam

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Time 25mins

Difficulty: Easy

Makes approx 600g (2 Regular Jam jars…I made 1 normal size and two mini)

Ingredients

540g Figs chopped into chunks

500g Sugar (I used granulated as it was what we had)

50g Runny Honey

20g Ginger grated

1 Lemon

Method

Place the figs into a pan.

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Pour in the sugar.

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Add in the zest and juice of the lemon and the honey.

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Let this simmer on a medium heat for about 20 minutes until all of the figs are soft and the jam is thickened.

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With a hand blender blitz this up, I like to leave a few chunks but it’s up to you how smooth you want it.

Now sterilise the jars and add the hot jam into hot jars.

See below link:

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/how-sterilise-jars

You can also do this in a microwave, see the below link:

Tasty…

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This is such a good Jam, great on toast but also savoury with cheese ❤

xxx

The land this week is about to produce lots of new yummy things, the Figs as I said above are nearly ready….

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The first pickings

The grapes are ready now too, we really need to get on the case at making wine….

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I cannot wait for these to be ready, I LOVE them, pomegranates, to eat as a sweet but also in dressings for red meat 🙂

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The Boss next to one of the mango trees…

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Each mango tree has a slightly different coloured mango growing, this tree is violet, they are beautiful I can’t wait to try these.

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I am a little sad our tomatoes are nearly all gone, this is the last little baby plum hanging on for dear life…

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We will be planting more soon though so I don’t need to be too upset.

Finally the Bishop Crown Peppers, such a beautiful plant, so pretty, and they taste amazing!!!

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Finally, Tuesday night is now card night….crash is our game, we are in a competition for the summer with prizes/forfeits at the end for the winner/loser. So this week we had Pizza’s whilst we played. I had a go  at making my own pizza base, using Jamie Oliver’s recipe and an extra few tips from a friend.

http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/bread-recipes/basic-pizza/

I added Olive oil into mine, to make the base a little bit more crisp it worked well.

Pizza Base recipe

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Makes 8 Medium Pizza’s

Difficulty: easy

Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Ingredients

800g strong white bread flour

200g fine semolina flour

1 tbsp sugar

1 tbsp fine sea salt

2 x 7g sachets dried yeast

600ml luke warm water

1 tbsp Olive Oil

Method

Mix the two flours together with the salt.

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mix well.

Add the sugar and yeast to the water a mix well. Let stand for a few minutes.

Make a well in the flour mix and pour in the oil and the water. I used a kitchen aid , but you can follow Jamie’s method.

On medium setting and using the hook let the dough come together, once it does turn up the speed and let it knead for around 8-10 minutes until the mix is away from the sides of the bowl and a smooth dough is created.

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Once you have a smooth elastic dough pop into a greased bowl and cover with damp muslin cloth and leave to rise for around 45 minutes.

I was very excited when i looked back at the dough after this time….

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Now if you do not need 8 pizza’s then cut the dough in half wrap very well with cling film and pop in the freezer.

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broken heart 😉

Cut the other half into four, wrap with cling film and leave for another 15 minutes.

Heat the oven to the highest temperature.

While the dough is rising again get your toppings ready.

I use my tomato paste on these and it tasted great, click on photo to take you to recipe….

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I sliced red onion from the garden, a bishop crown chilli and a red chilli, some mushrooms, roasted red peppers and sliced chorizo..

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Roll your base out, it does not have to be perfectly round, we like rustic!! Then on a greased baking tray carefully place the pizza base ready to top.

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Spread on a good helping of the tomato paste.

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Top with the onion, chillies, peppers, chorizo….

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then lots of mozzarella cheese…

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Place in the oven for 10-15 minutes depending on how you like your pizza cooked.

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tasty

What was great about this pizza was the sweetness from the bishop crown chillies, but also heat from the red.

I also made a veggie pizza, by roasting broccoli and courgette first then adding to the pizza with the roasted red pepper, sliced onions and sweetcorn..

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I can’t wait to make more pizza’s from the dough in the freezer 🙂

For printable versions of these recipes please click on the recipe index page and find the recipe there.

Right gotta go, tonight I am cooking my South Indian Curry again at the request of my Aunt, but this time we are having it with crab claws in, so we need to get shopping!!

Have a great weekend.

Lulu xxxx

❤ ❤ ❤