Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Spicy beef & chickpea stew with ras el hanout, orange & dates

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Spicy beef & chickpea stew with ras el hanout, orange & dates
My beef and chickpea stew with ras el hanout, orange and dates is a spicy, fragrant slow cooked dish. The dates work well with the spices and chillies and create a hot and sweet sauce for the beef and chickpeas in this recipe. 

Ras el hanout is a North African spice mix, often used in Moroccan cuisine. There are many blends available in the shops with some recipes even having up to 100 different spices and ingredients. The version I used contained chilli, fennel, allspice, fennel, cardamon and nutmeg, to name but a few. 

An easy recipe to prepare in the morning for dinner, or even better if left until the next day. Delicious served with couscous, rice or flat breads and some thick yogurt on the side. Garnish with a few extra chopped chillies if you like. 

recipe by Ema at De Tout Coeur Limousin
serves 6-8 

ingredients:
1.5 kg stewing beef chopped (roughly 2 inch cubes) 
2 x 400g tin chickpeas drained/or 500g pre-cooked chickpeas
2 x 400g tin tomatoes
250g pitted dates chopped 
2 onions chopped 
3 cloves garlic crushed
2 long red chillies 
2 tsp ras el hanout spice mix 
3 bay leaves
1 stick cinnamon 
zest of 2 oranges
juice of 1 orange
2 tsp orange flower water 
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp smoked paprika 
1 tsp caraway seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds 
500ml beef stock
salt and pepper 
2 tbsp vegetable oil 

method:

heat the oil in a large pan and brown the beef on all sides, tip into a large lidded casserole dish. Fry the onions until starting to caramelise and brown on the edges. Add the crushed garlic, chillies, orange zest, bay leaves, cinnamon stick, and all the other spices and continue to fry for a minute or 2 until fragrant. 

stir the onion and spice mix into the browned beef with the chickpeas, orange juice, chopped dates, orange flower water, tinned tomatoes and beef stock. Season with salt and pepper and cook in a covered dish on a low heat in the oven (160C/gas 3) or slow cooker for 5-7 hours, or until the beef is tender. Add a bit of water or beef stock if it is drying out during the cooking. 


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Monday, 28 March 2016

Nature is always lovely...

Nature is always lovely, invincible, glad, whatever is done and suffered by her creatures. All scars she heals, whether in rocks or water or sky or hearts. 
John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir (1938)
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An Easter weekend walk at Lac de Vassiviere with Eric le chien
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rock balancing at Lac de Vassiviere
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Lac de Vassiviere

We love getting out and about with Eric le chien and enjoying walks at Lac de Vassiviere. Spring has sprung, but it is a beautiful place to explore whatever the weather. When it's cold outside it just makes you appreciate the hot cup of tea and log fire even more when you get back home. 

The Lac de Vassiviere is one of our favourite places to share and visit with others. A magical place in the heart of rural France. 

I love this time of year, as the leaves still haven't filled the trees and we can see even more of the glimmering and glistening reflection of the lake through our woods. It definitely makes us happy to have chosen our home here. 

Wishing all a wonderful week ahead. 

Thanks for stopping by. You can say bonjour and connect with us on FacebookTwitterInstagram & Bloglovin too and sign up to our newsletter hereWe look forward to welcoming you soon at De Tout Coeur Limousin.  

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Saturday, 12 March 2016

Lapsang souchong, red wine & sea salt dark chocolate covered prunes

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Lapsang souchong, red wine & sea salt dark chocolate covered prunes

My recipe for lapsang souchong, red wine and sea salt dark chocolate covered prunes is inspired by the Polish sweet treat, śliwka w czekoladzie (chocolate covered candied dried plums/prunes). A Polish delicacy and a real family favourite too. 

In my version I soak the prunes over night, to both plump them up and add another level of flavour. I am a big fan of smoked flavours in food and drink and love to use this in my cooking. From smoky single malt whiskys, smoked meat and fish, to the Chinese black tea - lapsang souchong. 

The complex mixture of smoky lapsang souchong tea, fruity red wine and dark chocolate is lifted by the orange zest, tangy sea salt, and jammy sweetness of the prunesDelicious after dinner treats, that make a lovely homemade food gift too. An alternative chocolate gift for giving at Easter time, or a way of using up leftover chocolate eggs (which I can't say is ever a problem in this house!). 

Ingredients: 
250g large stoned prunes (I used Agen prunes) 
1 tsp lapsang souchong tea leaves
200ml boiling water 
200ml red wine 
zest of 1 orange

To coat the prunes: 
300g dark chocolate (I used 60% cocoa)
sea salt flakes 

Method:

Add the boiling water to the lapsang souchong tea leaves. Brew the tea for 5 minutes, strain and leave to cool. Mix with the red wine and orange zest and add the prunes. Leave to soak overnight (or minimum 4-5 hours). 

The next day drain the prunes and pat them dry with kitchen paper. Make sure the prunes are as dry as possible so it's easier for the melted chocolate to coat them properly.

Break the chocolate into pieces and melt in a heatproof bowl over a pan of gently simmering water.

Prepare a baking sheet/plate with grease proof paper. Dip the prunes into the chocolate making sure they are fully coated. Use a skewer or fork to remove and leave to set on the prepared baking sheet. 

Sprinkle the chocolate covered prunes with a pinch of sea salt and leave to set completely before serving. 

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Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Charred chilli, garlic & sumac roast chicken

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charred chilli, garlic and sumac roast chicken
Charred chilli, garlic & sumac roast chicken. Smoky, spicy, garlicky and fresh citrus flavours in this roast chicken recipe with a twist. Perfect for adding a bit of heat to the cold winter days. A quick and easy recipe, packed full of flavour. 

Charring the chillies and garlic adds a deep, smoked sweetness that works well with the zingy lemon and sumac. Marinating the chicken helps to tenderize the meat, and intensifies the flavours too. 

You can use the charred chilli, garlic and sumac marinade with fish and vegetables too. I love roast cauliflower and for a vegetarian and vegan roast option I would marinade 3cm thick slices of cauliflower (cutting through the cauliflower from top to root - keeping the root intact so it keeps together as it roasts) and roast in a hot oven for about 20-30 minutes or until cooked through and golden brown on the edges. Serve as a vegetarian or vegan main dish. 

Spice up your roast dinner or serve with flat breads and rice. Delicious served with my smoky charred aubergine, pepper and tequila salsa too.  Bon appetit. 

serves 4-6 

preparation time: 15 minutes (& 4-5 hours/overnight marinating time)
cooking time: 70-80 minutes

recipe by Ema at De Tout Coeur Limousin


ingredients 
1.5kg chicken 
5-6 long red/green chillies
1 garlic bulb (about 10-12 cloves)
juice of 1 lemon 
3 tbsp oil
2 tbsp ground sumac 
1 tsp paprika 
salt 

method
Dry fry the chillies and unpeeled garlic cloves in a pan until charred and softened. 

Peel the garlic & remove the chilli stalks and add with all the other ingredients (apart from the chicken) to a blender/mortar and pestle. Mix until you have a smooth paste. Add a bit more oil or water if necessary to get a thick, but pourable paste. 

Spread over the chicken and leave to marinate for 4-5 hours/overnight. You can roast straight away but it's worth the wait to give the flavours a chance to develop.

When ready to cook preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6 and roast the chicken for 70-80 minutes (or until the juices run clear when tested with a skewer). 

Leave to rest for 20-30 minutes before slicing and serving. 

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leave the chicken to marinate in the charred chilli, garlic and sumac paste
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charred chillies and garlic



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Thanks for stopping by. You can say bonjour and connect with us on FacebookTwitterInstagram & Bloglovin too and sign up to our newsletter hereWe look forward to welcoming you soon at De Tout Coeur Limousin.  

A Residence

Charlotte's Lively Kitchen - Food Year Linkup

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