Spicy Garlic Popcorn/Palomitas Picantes Con Ajo

What happens when you crave popcorn, but can’t have your favorite toffee flavour?(Due to Lent, I’ve given up sweets of most kinds except yoghurts.) I hear most of you say,’Just have the salted one’.. But in ‘Dinieworld'(My creative alter ego world!), nothing is ever going to be that simple and boring on my taste buds!

So if you like, a little spice(From smoked ghost chilli pepper), and garlic,make this recipe!

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INGREDIENTS

SERVES ONE

1/4 Cup of Popping Corn
1-2 Tablespoons of Oil

SPICE MIX:

1 Teaspoon of Coriander Seeds
1/2 Teaspoon of Garlic Powder
1 Whole Ghost Chilli Pepper
Upto 1 Teaspoon of Vegetable Buillion-You will probably need less.

METHOD
Firstly, grind the coriander seeds and chilli. Set aside. Put the pot to heat and add the kernels ,covering the pan. You will hear them start to pop. When you do, move the pan gently to disperse the kernels in the heated oil. It is done when you hear no more popping. Sprinkle seasonings to taste,stir and serve. Disfrutalo!!

Dinie’s Cheese Toastie-Tostada con Queso De Dinie

This is a light and flavoursome lunch, when pressed for time. Who can say no to oozing, cheese toasties? Definitely not me!! For any vegan friends, use any vegan alternatives available to you, to get that oozing cheese-like quality.

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INGREDIENTS

Two slices of  white bread-This works with baguette, ciabatta, and challah bread(which adds a sweetness/and nuttiness to the dish, when using sesame or poppy seeded challah.)

Around 8 thin slices of Petit Roblochon Cheese-This is a French Cheese, similar in mildness and texture, to Brie. Made with unpasteurised(Or “Raw”) cows milk, it has a sweet and lightly oozing  quality when uncooked. It becomes nutty with a slight hazelnut taste when cooked.

1 Tablespoon of Crispy Fried Onions, bought from a good grocery store
1 Teaspoon of Herbes De Provence,a French herb mix which uses lavender
1/2 Teaspoon or to taste of Chilli Flakes

Margarine/Butter

METHOD

Firstly, butter the bread. Then slice the cheese, and sprinkle on the chilli,onions and herbs.

Cover the sandwich with the other slice of bread, and place in a grill or Panini press/Toasted Sandwich Maker.

Leave to toast on the grill/Panini press, for around 5 minutes each side or until toasted to your liking,and the cheese has melted. The sandwich toasters normally work within the 10 minute timeframe also. Serve hot with a cup of tea. Disfrutalo!!

Dinie’s Fishcakes/Bollos De Pescado Por Dinie

What do you do with leftover saltfish? make a bunch of fishcakes of course! These are easy to make, freeze well and can be made in advance and with any leftover trimmed pieces of fish. Things such as a Fishermans Pie mix would do very well! Experiment with different fish and see how it goes!

Makes upto 12 small fishcakes

    Ingredients

1/2 A Packet of Saltfish, soaked in several changes of water overnight, stripped and set aside
3-4 Medium Sized Potatoes,peeled and cubed
A Small Bunch Of Thyme,Chopped with some leaves removed from the stalks
1 Onion, peeled and diced
2 Cloves of Garlic peeled, and crushed
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 Egg whisked
Fine Yellow Cornmeal/Polenta to dredge(To dip something in egg and then flour.. **See Fried Chicken Recipes!)the fishcakes(As needed)
Oil for frying, or to drizzle on a baking tray
Dinie’s Hot Pepper Sauce or Ketchup to taste

    METHOD

Firstly, drain the water from the saltfish, taking care to squeeze the water out of the strips, or use kitchen paper to blot out the water. Strip the fish using your thumb and forefinger and strip the pieces to around inch size chunks. Set aside until needed.

Peel, wash and cube the potatoes, and preboil a kettle. Add the preboiled water to a pan adding a pinch of salt and the potatoes. Boil for around 15 minutes, or until tender. Drain the water, and start to mash the potato without oil or butter. Add the chopped herb, onion and garlic and some seasoning. Mix well,add the saltfish and mix again. Check seasoning. Transfer the mixture in a freezerproof bowl, and allow to get firm and cold for around 45 minutes to 1 hour.

When this has chilled, prepare the ‘dredging station’, by pouring some cornmeal in a bowl, whisking an egg in a bowl, and a plate to put the dredged fishcakes, before frying. Roll a small amount of the mixture into a ball, and then use a thumb and finger to lightly spreadthe mixture out into a small disk. Dip this disk in the egg and then the cornmeal. Set aside, and continue doing this with the rest of the mixture. Heat the oil in a frying pan on a moderate heat,and add the fishcakes around 4 at a time. Cook until deep golden. Do the same with the other fishcakes. Serve hot and with Dinie’s Hot Pepper Sauce, or Ketchup and Tartare Sauce. Disfrutalo!!

Mediterranean Quiche/Quiche Mediterráneo

Another tasty variation of the quiche recipe.. Using Mediterranean flavours..Try adding roasted aubergine,or courgettes to add to the Mediterranean theme!

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INGREDIENTS

6-8 Eggs

1 Carton of Double Cream
2 Spring Onions sliced
1 Small Onion sliced
Upto 3oo grams of Mature Cheddar Cheese grated, or to taste

4 Cloves of Garlic,crushed
Salt and Black Pepper to taste
2 Pointed Peppers,chopped
1 1/2 Teaspoons of Coriander,Cumin,Smoked Sweet Paprika(Pimentón Dulce)and Dried Oregano

PASTRY

500 grams of Plain Flour/2 Cups of Harina Pan(Yellow Variety)OR other flours, to make your own pastry if gluten free pastry is unavailable.
300 grams of Vegetable Fat such as Trex/Vegetable Suet
100 grams of Margarine
A Pinch of Salt
300-500 mls of Cold Water-More may be needed(For the Harina Pan Use WARM water)

METHOD

Fry the two types of onions, thyme,seasoning and pepper until softened. Reserve and allow to cool. Make the pastry, if you cannot eat wheat, use the Harina Pan. You do this by combining the Harina Pan, Trex and margarine, and rubbing them together until crumbly.

Add upto a cup of warm water and combine to make a soft and pliable dough. Roll out and reserve in a baking dish. For the wheat version, follow all the steps and replace the warm water with COLD WATER!

Whisk the eggs for 5 minutes, adding salt(Be careful as the cheese has high salt content!) and black pepper and then add the cream whisk and set aside for a little while, and grate the cheese.

Add the onion mixture,to the custard and stir the mixture once more so that air remains in the mix. Pour the mixture into the pastry case,and then sprinkle the cheese. Heat the oven, to 170 degrees and leave to bake until, golden and the egg mixture has set, and is not runny.This should take around 40 minutes. Enjoy!

Chinese Empanadas-Empanadas Chinas

These are empanadas.. But with a twist!! These ones have a fusion of chorizo and beansprouts, almost like a chop suey filling! These are so moreish that they might go all at once..So be sure to make plenty!!

 INGREDIENTS

Half of a Chorizo Ring, diced into small pieces. Or use Chicken/Beef/Vegetarian Sausages and dice them.
2 Diced Spring Onions
To taste: Dark Soy Sauce,Light Soy Sauce,Oyster Sauce
2 Cloves of Garlic
A Drop of Rice Wine/White Rum/Brandy
Sichuan Pepper to taste
1 Packet of Preserved Vegetables(Either Mustard Greens, Turnips, or Bamboo Shoots), with the salt rinsed from them in warm water.
1 Bag of Beansprouts
4 drops of Sesame Oil
Cornflour-If desired add breadcrumbs to bind the meat mixture.
Homemade Pastry(See Mince and Mushroom Pie/Quiche Lorraine Recipe, I have used Harina Pan here!!)
Oil for Frying

METHOD

Firstly, peel and chop the spring onion and fry it in a pot for 5 minutes, on a moderate heat. Afterwards, add the sausage, and cook for 5 minutes. Add the beansprouts, preserved vegetables and  seasonings.Fry them for 3 minutes. Stir in the cornflour and a drop of water. Turn off from the heat and allow to cool.

Prepare the pastry, and roll out into a small round and fill with the meat mixture. Seal the free edges, using a brush to dab a little water onto the pastry. Continue the same pattern with the rest of the mixture and pastry. Heat a frying pan with enough oil to fry. Fry two empanadas, or maybe three at a time. Fry for 5-7 minutes, or until golden. Frying time depends on size of empanadas. Serve as part of a picnic banquet, with an assortment of salads, or serve warm straight from the oven with Green Seasoning/Dressing.

Chicharrones Picantes(Roasted Spicy Pork Fat-Lardo De Cerdo Picante Y Asado)

Chicharrones,Pork Rinds,Scratchings…These are all words for the most popular bar snack, of pork skin, which has been either fried or roasted to a crispy, and moreish food. This is served in roast dinners,salads,sprinkled over stews or put into arepas(A Central/South American cornbread). This is the spicy version!!

 

INGREDIENTS

300-600 grams of Pork Skin-Cut into 1 inch pieces or to any desired size..It can always be kept whole
 
SEASONING:
1-2 Teaspoons(2 if using 600 grams of pork skin) each of-
Garlic Powder,Black Pepper,Salt, Thyme, Chilli and Pimentón Picante(Hot Spanish Paprika).
 A little oil to help seasonings stick to the fat.

METHOD

Sprinkle the seasonings over the meat, and rub into it, along with a little trickle of oil. This can be left to marinate overnight, for better results. Place on a baking tray, in a preheated oven on 180 degrees. Roast until crisp and golden(If it colours too quickly turn down by 10-20 degrees), which can take 20-35 minutes, depending on the thickness of the skins. Leave for longer if you are leaving the skins intact and not cutting them or if they are very thick. Enjoy!

Chicharrones(Roasted Pork Fat-Lardo De Cerdo Asado)

Chicharrones,Pork Rinds,Scratchings…These are all words for the most popular bar snack, of pork skin, which has been either fried or roasted to a crispy, and moreish food. This is served in roast dinners,salads,sprinkled over stews or put into arepas(A Central/South American cornbread).

INGREDIENTS

300-600 grams of Pork Skin-Cut into 1 inch pieces or to any desired size..It can always be kept whole
 
SEASONING:
1-2 Teaspoons(2 if using 600 grams of pork skin) each of-
Garlic Powder,Black Pepper,Salt, Thyme, and Marjoram.
 

METHOD

Sprinkle the seasonings over the meat, and rub into it. This can be left to marinate overnight, for better results. Place on a baking tray, in a preheated oven on 180 degrees. Roast until crisp and golden(If it colours too quickly turn down by 10-20 degrees), which can take 20-35 minutes, depending on the thickness of the skins. Leave for longer if you are leaving the skins intact and not cutting them or if they are very thick. Enjoy!

Chorizo And Manchego Tortilla-Tortilla Espanola De Chorizo Y Queso Manchego

This is a simple supper dish, and can be served cold as well as hot…It can make a good picnic dish..

 

INGREDIENTS

SERVES 4-6 PEOPLE

6 Large Eggs
1 Onion sliced
A Little Salt and Black Pepper to taste-Don’t add too much to the eggs as the Chorizo provides the salt and the flavour, due to the Pimentón(Smoked Spanish Paprika)
 
3 Large Potatoes, sliced into rounds, and boiled in salted water until tender..But not to the point that they are breaking into pieces.
Half  of a Large Chorizo Sausage, sliced
Small amount of Oil for frying the onions
 

METHOD

Boil a kettle, and pour this into a pot. Peel and slice the potatoes, and  onions,putting the potatoes to boil in salted water. Heat a frying pan and fry the sliced onions on a moderate heat, until softened. Place the onions in a bowl. Slice the chorizo into bite sized rounds, and set aside. Drain the now cooked potatoes, and rinse through in cold water. In a round baking dish, layer the onion, potato, and chorizo. Crack and whisk the 6 eggs with a little cracked black pepper and salt, until light and fluff. Pour over the contents of the baking dish, and slice the manchego cheese, carefully removing the rind, and thinly slicing the cheese. Place the cheese on top of the miture when the eggs are just setting. Place in the oven, for 7-10 minutes, on 160 degrees, and when the eggs have nearly set, place the cheese on top and melt for 2-3 minutes on 180 degrees. Enjoy with kelp salad, or a green salad and carrot and horseradish salad. Enjoy! 

 

Pumpkin Patties-Empanadas Jamaícanas De Calabaza

Spicy and a quick and tasty snack on the go, Patties are a favourite for Jamaicans and those who know of some Jamaican snacks. This recipe uses pumpkin and cheese as a filler for vegetarians.

INGREDIENT

1 Medium sized piece of Pumpkin
1 Diced Onion
1Green Pepper diced
1 Tablespoon of Jerk Seasoning(See recipe Jerk Seasoning)
200-250 grams of Red Leicester Cheese 
Salt and Black Pepper to taste
2 Packets of Ready-Made Shortcrust Pastry or Homemade Pastry(See Mince and Mushroom Pie/Quiche Lorraine Recipe)
Yellow Food Colouring OR Turmeric (Preferably to be added to the dough, if you are making your own pastry!)

METHOD

Firstly, cut and peel the pumpkin into cubes and set aside. Chop the onion and sweet pepper and fry, for 5 minutes, on a moderate heat. Add the jerk seasoning, and the pumpkin. Add some water. Leave on a medium heat for 15 minutes or until cooked through. Meanwhile, grate the cheese. Turn off from the heat, and mix the cheese with the pumpkin, gently mashing the mixture. Allow to cool.

Prepare the pastry(adding the colouring/turmeric to give the patties that characteristic yellow colour.) meanwhile, and roll out into a small round and fill with the meat mixture. seal the free edges, and continue the same pattern with the rest of the mixture and pastry. Place on a baking tray and bake in an oven on 180 degrees for 20-30 minutes, or until golden. Serve as part of a picnic banquet, with an assortment of salads, or serve warm straight from the oven with Cocobread.

Dinie’s Beanie Bites-Rabios De Frijoles Del Dinie

These beancakes are based on the Middle Eastern Chickpea cakes, Falafel. I also tweaked a method that I found for another bean cake, called Akara which is Nigerian in origin.This has travelled to many countries by similar names such as Acaraje(Brazil) and Accras(Jamaica). I have made these gluten free instead of adding the normal wheat flour(To bind the mixture together), which was common in a lot of the Middle Eastern recipes that I looked at.

INGREDIENTS

250 grams of Chickpeas
4 Spring Onions sliced 

2 Cloves of Garlic

1/2 Teaspoons of Dried Rosemary and Parsley

Salt, Chilli and Black Pepper to taste
Teaspoon of Grated Nutmeg
1 Tablespoon of Ground Rice/Rice Flour
Cooking Oil for frying

METHOD

Soak the chickpeas for 8 hours or overnight. Drain off the water and get rid of any stones/damaged peas. Boil a kettle, and cover the beans with hot water. Leave the peas for 10 minutes, and then drain. Use the palms of your hands and slide the peas between your hands, to take the skin off the peas. If is helps, do this in a few changes of water. When this is done, add the peas , all seasonings and the ground rice and blend the mixture with around 200 mls of water. This mixture can then be chilled until ready to use, or can be used immediately. Heat some oil in a frying pan, and using a spoon, take some of the mixture and fry into flat cakes in batches of four, until golden brown and crisp, on a moderately high heat. Serve hot with Mango Chutney, Raita, or any dip of choice, as a snack or as part of a buffet. Enjoy!