Last summer, on one of those very hot- sweltering- days, one month or so before my little boy was born, I made this refreshing limeade. Making this was part of goal 154, which has to do with cooking from the vast collection of food blog recipes I’ve acquired over the years & not just letting them sit there unused. I found this limeade in Anne’s wonderful blog which I’ve been following for some years now. What’s original & interesting about it is its use of a whole lime, peel and all, instead of simply using the juice. You can find instructions on how to make it here, but really it’s very straightforward, as it involves a simple combination of a whole lime, sugar & water. It’s simplicity itself, but its really delicious & its taste & smell have stayed one my mind since I made it.
Fast forward a few months. A couple of days ago, on a grey, rainy, miserable evening here in London- the complete opposite of that hot summer day- I was sitting next to my 3 month old boy, surfing on the internet. At some point I felt I wanted something to drink. But instead of going for the usual autumney stuff- hot chocolate, hot tea, hot coffee- I suddenly had an intense craving for the tastes & smells of last summer, and so made this limeade instead, however out of season it may seem. It’s not the first time actually that I’ve felt it’s hard to let go of the summer that just passed… I think it has to do with the feeling that time is passing oh so quickly now that I’ve become a mother. Each day brings noticeable changes in my boy’s development, and with the joy that involves, there’s also a kind of bittersweet sense of constant loss too…
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Since I discovered De.li.cious I’ve been an avid hoarder of recipes from food-blogs (well ok, when I’m being good I also tag and save news articles that are relevant to my PhD research!) If you haven’t already discovered De.li.cious, please do check it out, it’s the best way to save those recipes that you keep finding & copying for future use.
This recipe is one I’d saved ages ago, and I decided to finally try it, as part of my ‘cooking from blogs’ goal (number 154). It was a great success, I’m happy to say. This was originally created by Pille at ‘Nami Nami’, a wonderful Estonian blog which I’ve been following for years. As Pille, rightly, says, ‘every Greek cook has their special moussaka recipe’. So I was pleasantly surprised (and my partner too) to discover a different way to serve moussaka to the one we’re used to… as Pille’s title suggests, this recipe, in a way, ‘deconstructs’ moussaka. It doesn’t use bechamel, making it much lighter and easier to make as a quick, everyday supper. Here’s my own version of Pille’s deconstruction. In a way, this is a… deconstruction of a deconstruction!
- 2 tbsps olive oil (I used extra-virgin)
- 1 large onion, finely chopped / minced
- 2 minced garlic cloves (I skipped these, due to my partner’s dislike of garlic)
- 500 gr. ground-lamb
- 400 gr. chopped tomatoes (I skipped these & just used diluted tomato puree instead)
- 3-4 tbsps tomato puree, diluted with water (Pille suggests only 2 tbsps puree, since she uses the chopped tomatoes too)
- 2 tsp cinnamon (I skipped this, feel free to use it if you like)
- 1/3 cup dry white wine (my addition)
- 200-300 gr. roasted-in-olive-oil aubergine pieces, roughly chopped
- 1 tsp dried oregano (my addition)
- 1 tsp dried thyme (my addition, too)
- salt & pepper
- 200 gr. Greek feta cheese, crumbled in small pieces
- some fresh mint
- Roast the aubergines, sliced & chopped in pieces, in some olive oil, at a very hot oven
- Heat the olive oil on a big saucepan
- Add onion and garlic (if using) and fry gently, until soft
- Add the ground-lamb and fry until the meat is browned. Add a bit of water if you think it’s needed
- When the lamb is fried, add the white wine
- Add the chopped tomatoes (if using) and tomato pure (in my case, I diluted the puree in quite a bit of water), season with cinnamon (if using), with oregano & thyme, and generously with salt and pepper
- Simmer on a low heat for about 20 minutes, adding the prepared aubergines, cut in smallish pieces, half way through
- To serve, sprinkle with feta and mint
This is really delicious, aromatic, and warming. However, it’s not too heavy, making it perfect as an easy dish for this time of year. I served it with some mashed potatoes as a side dish, keeping with the Greek tradition of including potatoes in a moussaka dish.
If you’re interested in other recipes of moussaka, here are a few that I found online:
Thanks to Pille for a fantastic recipe!
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My slightly-obsessional adherence to my list of goals continues. Let’s see for how long I can carry this on, taking into account that my pregnancy is making me more and more heavy & immobile.
I have to say that yesterday’s lunch (part of goal 154, cooking main dishes from various food blogs) was wonderful. Not too heavy, not too calorific, quite tasty, and very easy to make. I got the idea from Lizzie at Hollow Legs, who made a salmon & udon noodle salad. I made some slight changes, but the recipe is more or less the same as Lizzie’s. So this makes it part of goal 154, cooking from other people’s blogs.
Salmon and Udon Noodle Salad (for one or two)
- 1 red chilli, sliced finely I used a bit of red-hot cayenne pepper which worked very well
- 1 tbsp coriander and 1 of mint, chopped
- Combine the above ingredients and coat the salmon fillets in them
- Leave to marinate for 30 mins
- Place the salmon fillets including the marinade in a foil pouch and bake in the oven for 10 – 15 minutes, or until just done
- Leave to cool
- Assemble a salad with whatever veg you have – I had mixed leaves (Lizzie also suggests mushrooms, butter beans, spring onion and cherry tomatoes)
- Cook some udon noodles and run them under a bit of water to refresh (not too much water or they’ll become soggy)
- Toss in soy sauce and lay over the veg mixture (I omitted the soy sauce because I’m trying to avoid eating too much salt since I’m pregnant. It was still delicious and fresh-tasting)
- Flake the salmon on top, and combine it all with the juices from the foil pouch. Or just serve the slightly-warm-still salmon with the salad, and the noodles on the side.
Makes for a lovely, easy lunch for a warm day in May.
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