Lettuce Wedge Salad with Bacon and Sour Cream Dressing

Monday, August 03, 2020

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Lettuce wedge salad is one of the easiest salads to make! It’s crunchy, smoky, juicy and so delicious with a rich, tangy sour cream dressing. Serve it on its own or as a side with a grilled steak or chicken. Both bacon and the dressing can be prepared one day ahead. Iceberg lettuce can be substituted with romaine lettuce.

Sour Cream DressingSalad
  • 150 g Sour cream
  • 3 tbsp Mayonnaise
  • 1 Garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tsp Finely grated lemon zest
  • 3 tbsp Fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp Fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 head Iceberg lettuce, cored and quartered
  • 2 tbsp Red sweet bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small bunch chives (or parsley), chopped
  • 100 g Bacon bits
  • Grape tomatoes, optional
  1. Whisk sour cream, mayonnaise, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, parsley, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl to combine. Dressing can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.
  2. In a skillet cook the bacon bits until crisp or to your liking.
  3. Core and cut the head of lettuce into 4 equal wedges. Transfer each wedge of lettuce together with a couple of grape tomatoes if using onto serving plates. Spoon over some sour cream dressing and sprinkle with finely chopped chives or parsley, diced sweet pepper and cooked bacon bits.

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Cucumber and Cilantro Salad with Ginger Garlic Dressing

Thursday, July 30, 2020

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Cool, refreshing and delicious...a little side salad with a lot of flavour is an excellent accompaniment to any grilled meat or seafood that your whole family will love.
We enjoy it year round but this it is especially good if you have a garden and are overrun with cucumbers or found a good deal at the farmer's market like I did. It's particularly healthy and you can enjoy as much as you wish.

  • 2 tbsp Peanut oil
  • 5cm-piece Ginger, peeled, cut into thin sticks
  • 1 Garlic clove, minced
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Soya sauce
  • 1 tbsp Lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Coconut sugar or honey
  • 3 Lebanese cucumbers, peeled into ribbons
  • 1 cup Cilantro
  • 1 Long red chilli, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp Sesame seeds, toasted
  1. Heat the peanut oil in a small saucepan over low heat. Add the ginger and garlic and cook, stirring until aromatic, about 1 minute. Remove from heat. Add the soya sauce, lemon juice and coconut sugar or honey and stir until the sugar dissolves. Set aside to cool. Arrange the cucumber, coriander and chilli on a serving platter. Drizzle with the dressing. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Enjoy!

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Pan-fried Halloumi with Gooseberries and Mint

Monday, July 27, 2020

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Perfect for nibbling, or as a starter with a few drizzles of sweet tangy raspberry balsamic glaze and quality olive oil, these pan-fried Halloumi cheese are crisp, sticky, chewy and totally delicious. It is best served warm and you can complement it with different kinds of seasonal fruit, fresh mint or oregano leaves. Once it cools down, halloumi will get rubbery again. It can be reheated slightly, but the taste and texture won't be the same.
Tangy and salty with squeaky spongy texture, Halloumi (or Haloumi) is a semihard, unripened, and brined cheese traditionally made with goat's and/or sheep's milk. It's most used as a grilling/frying cheese because it maintains its shape when heated. It can be found in most supermarkets or specialty stores. I bought mine in ALDI.

  • 250 g Halloumi, cut into 1cm-thick slices
  • Gooseberries or cherries, pitted
  • Fresh mint leaves
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Raspberry balsamic glaze
  • Freshly milled pepper
  1. Heat a non-stick grill pan or frying pan over medium-high heat. Brush halloumi slices lightly with olive oil, and a squeeze of lemon juice too if you like. Cook halloumi for 1-2 minutes. When it starts to brown and crisp up turn the slices over and cook on the other side for another minute or two.
  2. Arrange halloumi on a plate with the gooseberries or cherries and mint. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and balsamic glaze and season with freshly milled pepper.

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Cookie Butter Raisin Loaf

Friday, July 24, 2020

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This sweet yeast bread roll is flavourful, super moist, and so delicious. The cookie butter raisin filling give the bread a decadent depth of flavour and taste.There are many different types of cookie butters. The one I am using for this recipe has a mix of holiday spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger) and tastes just like speculoos cookie spread. I use smooth one, but crunchy would work too!

  • 20 g Fresh yeast, crumbled
  • 50 g Coconut sugar
  • 250 ml Full fat milk, luke warm
  • 500 g Plain flour (German #550)
  • 1/2 tsp Black salt (or regular)
  • 80 g Beef dripping (or butter, softened)
  • 2 Eggs, medium, room-temperature
  • 125 g Raisins
  • 150 g Cookie butter
  1. Crumble the fresh yeast in the bowl of your stand mixer fixed with a dough hook. Add in coconut sugar and lukewarm milk. Stir together and set aside for 5 minutes.
  2. Add in flour, salt, beef dripping or butter, and one egg. Mix for 5 minutes until the dough is elastic and smooth. Add in raisins and knead briefly.
  3. Place dough in a large bowl and loosely cover with plastic wrap or a clean tea towel. Set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 1 hour or until dough doubles in size.
  4. Grease and line a 30cm loaf pan with parchment paper.
  5. Gently punch dough down. Knead until smooth. Roll dough into a 24cm x 30cm rectangle. Spread the cookie butter over dough. Starting from the short end closest to you, roll up like a Swiss roll. Place in the prepared pan.
  6. Cover with lightly greased plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm place for 30 to 40 minutes or until dough has almost doubled in size. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 200C/400F.
  7. Use a knife to score the loaf and brush the top with egg. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Turn bread, top side up, onto a wire rack to cool. Serve at room temperature.

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Lollo Bianco Salad with smoked Wild Salmon and Berries

Monday, July 20, 2020

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Want a quick and easy meal option that’s light, nutritious but also flavourful and tasty? Try this colourful and deliciously healthy low-cal, low-carb, gluten-free salad that you can throw together in just 5 minutes, is loaded with smoked wild salmon– an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids and sweet juicy summer berries. For the extra crunchiness, I have added some sesame coated peanuts, but it's totally optional and you can certainly use other nuts or seeds.

  • 1/2 head Lollo bianco lettuce
  • 50 g Mushrooms, sliced
  • 150 g Smoked salmon
  • 125 g Raspberries
  • 125 g Blueberries
  • 1 Organic lemon, cut into wedges
  • 50 g Sesame coated peanuts, optional
  • 4 tbsp Avocado oil (or olive oil)
  • 2 tbsp Apple cider vinegar
  • Salt and pepper
  • Crème fraîche, optional
  • Fresh herbs (chives, parsley)
  1. Rinse, clean and dry lollo bianco or your choice of leaf lettuce thoroughly.
  2. Place lettuce, sliced mushrooms, smoked salmon and berries in a large serving bowl. Top with lemon wedges and sesame coated peanuts if using.
  3. Drizzle the sald with avocado oil and apple cider vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. ( You can also make a vinaigrette by whisking acv and oil together in a jug. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle over the sald. ) Garnish the salmon with crème fraîche and fresh herbs. Toss gently to combine. Serve immediately.

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Chilled Cucumber Soup with Prawns and Dill

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

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Cool and refreshing cucumber soup with succulent prawns is just perfect for the summer months! Probiotics in both kefir and yoghurt can help maintain regular bowel movements, especially the kefir is a powerhouse of good bacteria for your gut, and support the immune system. The addition of fresh dill also helps stimulate digestion if you struggle with bloating.

  • 2 Lebanese cucumbers, deseeded and grated
  • 1 tbsp Chopped dill fronds
  • 250 g Greek yoghurt
  • 200 g Kefir
  • Sea salt
  • Fresh milled white pepper 2 tbsp Freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 slice Sandwich bread
  • 1 tbsp Butter
  • 1 clove Garlic, minced
  • 100 g Prawns, cooked and peeled, leaving tails intact
  1. Wash the small Lebanese cucumbers well. Dry and remove the seeds. Finely grate the cucumber using a box grater. You can also cut them into the very small dices.
  2. Wash, dry and finely chop the dill. Mix the Greek yoghurt and kefir in a large bowl. Stir in grated cucumber and chopped dill. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Divide the soup in 2 soup bowls.
  3. Cut the slice of bread into cubes. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium-heat. Stir in minced garlic and bread cubes until crusty and golden. Add in prawns and cook briefly.
  4. Top the soup with crusty crountons and prawns. Garnish with more dill fronds if desired.

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Stirfried Lamb Sweetbreads with Garlic and Rosemary

Friday, July 10, 2020

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Sweetbreads are the pancreas and thymus glands of veal, lamb and pork. The thymus gland has an elongated shape, while the pancreas is larger and has an oval shape. Both of them are velvety creamy, tender and moist. And unlike many other organ meats, like kidneys or liver, sweetbreads have a rather mild flavour. Traditionally, they are given a seasoned flour coating and fried until golden and crisp. For me, that's overkilling the delicate flavour of sweetbread. So I have opted to quick stirfry them instead. They taste the tenderest and best when they just start to colour all over, about 5 minutes.
Before cooking, it's advisable to soak them in water, or milk in advance to remove impurities, and enable the sinew and membranes to be removed easily. You should also change the water a couple times. To further remove impurities from sweetbreads, you might also want to blanch them shortly and shock in ice water before cooking. This time I skipped the step and didn't taste the difference.

  • 500 g Lamb sweetbreads
  • 1 sprig Fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 clove, Garlic, minced
  • 3-4 tbsp Tallow or ghee or olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Sherry vinegar
  • Hawaiian black lava sea salt
  • Pink peppercorns, for garnishing
  • A handful of arugula
  1. Place the lamb sweetbreads in a bowl and cover with cold water. Drain the water and repeat one more time, then fill the bowl again with fresh water, leaving the sweetbreads to soak for an hour, then drain well.
  2. Finely chop rosemary and garlic. Set aside.
  3. Add the tallow to a pan, place over a moderate heat and add the chopped rosemary and garlic. Cook gently for 2 minutes until softened and aromatic. Add the sweetbreads and cook until they just start to colour all over, about 5 minutes. If you prefer them more caramelized and crisp, then continue to cook for a few more minutes.
  4. Once the sweetbreads are cooked to your liking, deglaze the pan with sherry vinegar and season well with black lava salt.
  5. To serve, arrange a bed of arugula salad on the plate. Top with the lamb sweetbreads, then crush some pink peppercorns over. Drizzle some pan sauce over.

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Chilli Honey Prawn Platter with Avocado Whip

Monday, July 06, 2020

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Ready in just 15 minutes, this recipe is easy and super-fast yet jam-packed full of layers of delicious flavours.
The sweet and spicy flavours of the honey chili sauce are perfect with the prawns. And the light and creamy avocado whip comes together with just 5 ingredients and complements the whole dish so deliciously. It can be served as a dip or as a sauce. Add your own touches with fresh herbs like coriander, basil or parsley.
I used ready-cooked prawns from ALDI, but you can of course get some raw jumbo prawns and cook yourself.

Chilli-Honey SauceAvocado Whip
  • 250 Cooked prawns
  • Coriander leaves
  • 1/2 Chilli pepper, thinly sliced
  • 2 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Shallot, finely chopped
  • 2-3 tbsp Lemon/lime juice
  • 1 tbsp Honey
  • 2 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • 2 ripe avocados, peeled, pitted
  • 60 g Full fat sour cream (or Greek yogurt)
  • 2 tbsp Freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice
  • 1 Garlic clove, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  1. To make the chilli-honey sauce, in a medium bowl, combine chilli, garlic, shallot, 2 tbsps of lemon/lime juice, honey and oil. Season chilli-honey sauce with salt and more lime juice, if necessary.
  2. To make the whipped avocado crema, in a food processor or blender, process or blend avocado, sour cream, lemon/lime juice, garlic and salt until completely smooth. Spread crema in an even layer over a serving platter.
  3. Coarsely chop 1 tbsp of the coriander. Add to the chilli-honey sauce with the prawns and toss to coat evenly.
  4. Spoon the prawn mixture over the avocado crema on the platter. Sprinkle with the remaining coriander. Drizzle the rest of sauce over.

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