My Cuisine Companion

I absolutely love my apartment. It’s light, with a fantastic view, but it has one major drawback, especially for a food blogger – the kitchen is absolutely tiny.

So when the folks at Tefal asked if I wanted to try their Cuisine Companion, I was skeptical. Did I really need another gadget taking up space on my kitchen counter (and inevitably, gathering dust?)

When I heard what the Cuisine Companion could do, though, I was really intrigued. Just check out the control panel!

Tefal - Cuisine CompanionTo put it simply, the Cuisine Companion is a food processor that also cooks. But not only can it cook, but you can use it as a slow cooker, a steamer, and to make sauces, desserts, and pastries, too. The possibilities are absolutely endless.

The same machine can make beef stock, choux pastry, risotto, creme brulee, and even ice cream. It’s about the size of a stand mixer, and given how versatile it is, I definitely think it’s fully worth all of the counter space it takes up.

Tefal - Cuisine CompanionTefal - Cuisine CompanionTefal - Cuisine CompanionI pretty much haven’t stopped raving about the Cuisine Companion since I’ve had it – I think it is absolutely amazing. I’ve made so many different things with the Cuisine Companion, but so far my favourite use for it has been for soup. It really couldn’t be easier – barely any washing up, chopping or fuss!

My favourite soup has been a carrot and orange one that I had when I was on a business trip to Portugal recently. I decided to take a stab at recreating it with the Cuisine Companion – and it is really delicious, a perfect spring soup recipe.

Cuisine Companion741Tefal Cuisine Companion - Orange and Carrot Soup

Carrot & Orange Soup
 
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A lovely warming yet refreshing soup for springtime - perfect to make in your Cuisine Companion!
Author:
Recipe type: Cuisine Companion
Cuisine: British
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 5 carrots, chopped
  • 1 onion, peeled
  • 2 small oranges
  • 1 litre chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 tsp butter or oil
  • salt & pepper
Instructions
  1. Place the ultrablade in the Cuisine Companion.
  2. To the bowl, add butter or olive oil, followed by a peeled onion.
  3. Chop the onion using the P12 setting for ten seconds.
  4. Select the slow cook option, and cook the onions for two minutes.
  5. While the onions are cooking, prepare the chicken stock and roughly chop the carrots.
  6. Using a potato peeler, peel the zest from both oranges.
  7. Once the onions have cooked, add the orange peels, carrots, stock, salt and pepper.
  8. Select the 'soup' option for 45 minutes.
  9. Once the soup has cooked, the Cuisine Companion will blend the mixture for you!
  10. Slice the two oranges in half, and squeeze the juice from both into the soup.
  11. Stir the juice through, and serve with warm bread and lots of butter!
Tefal Cuisine Companion - Orange and Carrot SoupMy favourite thing about the Cuisine Companion is that once the soup is done, I can adjust the heat settings so the soup keeps at a constant temperature. This is perfect for me, as I like eating quite early, but my boyfriend tends to work late – this way, we both get to enjoy a hot meal!

It’s also been fantastic for big gatherings, and entertaining, too. Making a chicken liver pate from scratch can be fiddly and time consuming, but the Cuisine Companion makes it almost effortless. Barely any prep, or messing around with raw chicken liver required – it’s so easy!

Tefal - Cuisine Companion, Port Chicken LiverThe Cuisine Companion comes with a big recipe book which is perfect for trying new ideas. I tried their Chicken Liver Pate with Port recipe – and it was delicious!

Tefal Cuisine Compaion - Port Chicken LiverTefal Cuisine Compaion - Port Chicken LiverTefal Cuisine Compaion - Port Chicken LiverI REALLY can’t recommend the Cuisine Companion enough – and it’s really changed the way I’m eating for the better. All the soups I’ve tried have been so great, and I’ve definitely been getting more vegetables in thanks to it.

At £699.99, it’s definitely not an impulse buy, but it is around £200 cheaper than a Thermomix – and a more attractive looking machine, too!

Do you have a kitchen gadget you really can’t live without? Be sure to comment below, or let me know on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram!

*I was gifted a Cuisine Companion for the purposes of review – as always, views are my own!

Halloumi, Lentil & Chorizo Salad

After my trip to Wales last weekend, I’ve been itching to go away. I was also away in Lisbon for work this week, but didn’t get any time to go exploring, and it’s got me thinking about my next holiday!

Meddy Steady Cook: Lentils, Halloumi and ChorizoMeddy Steady Cook: Lentils, Halloumi and ChorizoAfter my month off over Christmas, I’ve been on a bit of a budget, which means I’ll probably be spending my break somewhere in Europe.

Meddy Steady Cook: Lentils, Halloumi and ChorizoMeddy Steady Cook: Lentils, Halloumi and ChorizoMeddy Steady Cook: Lentils, Halloumi and ChorizoThe team at the Bolsover Cruise Club invited me to submit an entry for their #MeddySteadyCook competition, inspired by the flavours of the Mediterranean. I adapted my go-to barbecue sidedish recipe to include some Cypriot halloumi I was recently gifted, and it is good.

This halloumi, lentil and chorizo salad is incredibly simple to make, but is delicious and pretty fail-proof, too! It’s perfect for BBQs, or as a side dish for grilled fish or chicken.

Meddy Steady Cook: Lentils, Halloumi and Chorizo

Halloumi, Lentil & Chorizo Salad
 
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This Halloumi, Lentil & Chorizo salad is so simple to make, but so delicious! The perfect accompaniment to fish, grilled chicken, and great for BBQs too.
Author:
Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 200g puy lentils
  • 100g cherry tomatoes on the vine
  • 1 onion
  • 50g halloumi
  • 50g chorizo
  • 50g olives
  • 1 lemon
  • Rocket (for garnish)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
Instructions
  1. Boil the lentils in water for 25 minutes, until tender.
  2. Drain the lentils, and add the chopped onion, olives and tomatoes to the dish.
  3. In a frying pan, fry the halloumi until crispy, and using the same pan fry slices of chorizo.
  4. Season with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper and garnish with rocket to serve.

Meddy Steady Cook: Lentils, Halloumi and ChorizoMeddy Steady Cook: Lentils, Halloumi and Chorizo4401
Meddy Steady Cook: Lentils, Halloumi and ChorizoMeddy Steady Cook: Lentils, Halloumi and Chorizo
I haven’t quite decided where I’m off to just yet, but I’m thinking somewhere warm!

Have you booked your summer getaway yet? Be sure to comment below, or let me know on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram!

I was invited to participate in the #MeddySteadyCook competition, but all views are my solely my own.

Khmer Banoffee Pie

I’ve just spent the most amazing two and a half weeks in Cambodia – mostly pleasure, but a little work thrown in too, as I ran a social media workshop for some charities while I was out there. It was an amazing Christmas – I got to catch up with some old friends, and made some new ones too.

Khmer BananasIt made me fall in love with Cambodia all over again. I adore Cambodian cuisine – and I had such a blast filling up on my favourite fruits, like mangoes, passionfruit and bananas!

You can get some pretty unusual varieties of bananas in Cambodia – like the green ones above (they stay green, even when they’re ripe) and the famous chicken egg bananas, which are tiny, incredibly sweet, and so delicious.

Cambodian Chicken Egg BananasI wanted to do something a little different while I was out there, so I put together a gluten free banoffee pie – and it was probably the most delicious thing I have ever baked.

Cambodian BananasI used three types of bananas on top, and I also made use of some ingredients I was able to get fairly easily from the markets there, like banana sugar and desiccated coconut. I really enjoyed using some unusual ingredients, especially in the base – it made a subtle difference to your usual banoffee pie, and I skipped the whipped cream on top as I find it way too sickly sweet!

Banana Sugar, Khmer Banoffee Pie RecipeGluten free Khmer Banoffee Pie with Banana Sugar and Desiccated Coconut

Gluten Free Khmer Banoffee Pie
 
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I made use of some traditional Cambodian ingredients to do a twist on a classic - the banoffee pie.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Cambodian
Serves: 1 Pie
Ingredients
  • 100g gluten free flour
  • 150g banana sugar (demerara also works!)
  • 200g butter
  • 50g desiccated coconut
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 1 tsp gluten free baking powder
  • 3 bananas
  • 397g condensed milk
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder and desiccated coconut (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.
  2. In a saucepan on the stove, melt 100g butter, 100g sugar, and all of the condensed milk.
  3. Melt over a low heat, and then bring it to a rapid boil for a minute, stirring continuously.
  4. Once it is a golden caramel, set to one side to cool until firm.
  5. In a bowl, combine the flour, coconut, almonds, baking powder and the remaining sugar and butter.
  6. In a greased 20cm tin, add the base mixture from the bowl and bake for 15 minutes, until golden.
  7. Leave the base to cool on a rack, and then top with the caramel mixture and sliced bananas.
  8. Top with cocoa powder and desiccated coconut before serving.
Gluten free Khmer Banoffee Pie with Banana Sugar and Desiccated CoconutGluten free Khmer Banoffee Pie with Banana Sugar and Desiccated CoconutGluten free Khmer Banoffee Pie with Banana Sugar and Desiccated CoconutThe condensed milk coconut for this was so flavourful, which I think is all down to the banana sugar in the caramel mixture.

Gluten free Khmer Banoffee Pie with Banana Sugar and Desiccated CoconutI had a great time experimenting with new ingredients – it’s always fun cooking with something new!

Do you have an unusual banoffee pie recipe? Have you ever made anything with banana sugar? I’d love to hear about it! Be sure to comment below, or let me know on TwitterFacebook or Instagram!

The LiterEATure Series: Turkish Delight, The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe

Hello, lovely readers!

LiterEATure Series: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe Rose and Pistachio Turkish DelightLiterEATure Series: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe Rose and Pistachio Turkish Delight

If you’re a frequent visitor then you’ll have noticed that last month I started a new series on the blog – the LiterEATure series. I’m recreating recipes that have been mentioned in literature, and last month I recreated the avocado recipes in Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar.

LiterEATure Series: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe Rose and Pistachio Turkish DelightLiterEATure Series: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe Rose and Pistachio Turkish Delight

This month, I’ve decided to focus on material that is slightly less dark, and have taken inspiration from a childhood favourite – C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe.

I always found the White Witch terrifying as a child (I mean, always winter but never Christmas? Awful) but I could see why Edmund was tempted by Turkish Delight – it is one of my favourite treats.

LiterEATure Series: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe Rose and Pistachio Turkish DelightLiterEATure Series: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe Rose and Pistachio Turkish Delight

I’m particularly fond of rose and pistachio, which is the recipe I recreated below. I love the combination of textures – the soft rose flavor really complements the nutty texture of the pistachios.

The LiterEATure Series: Turkish Delight, The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe
 
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For the latest recipe in my LiterEATure series, I recreated Turkish Delight from C.S. Lewis' The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Turkish
Serves: 1 Batch
Ingredients
  • Sunflower oil (for greasing)
  • 25g Gelatine
  • 255ml Water
  • 2 tsp Rosewater
  • 450g Granulated Sugar
  • 3 Drops Red Food Colouring
  • 150g Shelled and Slightly Crushed Pistachios
  • 4 tbsp Icing Sugar
  • 2 tbsp Cornflour
Instructions
  1. Lightly oil a baking tin, and line with parchment paper - set to one side.
  2. On a medium heat pan, mix water, gelatine and sugar until dissolved.
  3. Keep stirring until the mixture thickens - then remove from the heat, and let cool slightly.
  4. Add the rosewater, pistachios and a few drops of food colouring until it becomes a pale pink.
  5. Add a sprinkle of cornflour and sugar to the bottom of the baking tin, and pour the pink mixture in.
  6. Leave to set overnight, or at least for four hours, in a cool, dry place.
  7. Cut into cubes and coat with icing sugar and cornflour.
  8. Store in an airtight container.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1
LiterEATure Series: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe Rose and Pistachio Turkish DelightLiterEATure Series: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe Rose and Pistachio Turkish Delight
I hope you enjoy the series – if you have any suggestions about which recipe I should recreate next, be sure to comment below, or let me know on TwitterFacebook or Instagram!

Rennie Mystery Box Challenge: Cambodian Sticky Rice & Dragonfruit

Happy Friday, everyone!

If you didn’t manage to read my post on Monday about the Rennie Happy Eating event, then go back and catch up, or else you might feel a little lost!

Rennie Happy Eating with Sorted Food
So last time I left you, I had just found out what my mystery ingredient was for Rennie‘s Mystery Box Challenge.

My mystery ingredient turned out to be…

Cambodian Sticky Rice & Mango: Rennie Mystery Box
… dragonfruit!

Luckily, I have attempted a couple of recipes using dragonfruit before (like my gluten-free pancakes!) But the stakes are high – a dinner for two at Restaurant Story, people – so I wanted to do something a little different.

The first time I had dragonfruit was when I went to visit my family in Cambodia. I was totally drawn to the colourful, exotic looking fruit, and I absolutely loved having for breakfast almost everyday while I was out there.

So I wanted to do something inspired by my time in Cambodia, which resulted in this recipe – my version of the traditional sticky rice and mango, but with a dragonfruit thrown in for good measure!

Cambodian Sticky Rice & Mango: Rennie Mystery Box
The other ingredients in this recipe are pretty summery and exotic too – I absolutely love the combination of flavours and textures in this.

Cambodian Sticky Rice & Mango: Rennie Mystery Box

Rennie Mystery Box Challenge: Cambodian Sticky Rice & Dragonfruit
 
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I was challenged by the lovely team at Rennie to come up with a recipe for my mystery box ingredient - dragonfruit! I absolutely fell in love with the stuff when I went to Cambodia for the first time, where my family now live. I wanted to recreate a Cambodian-style recipe that I had when I was over there - a sticky rice dessert made with a coconut milk and palm sugar caramel. A little taste of summer (so you can pretend its not winter outside!)
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Cambodian
Serves: 4 Portions
Ingredients
  • 2 Cups of Sticky Rice (I used arborio)
  • 4 Tablespoons of Palm Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons of Desiccated Coconut
  • Half Cup of Coconut Milk
  • 1 Ripe Mango
  • Half a Tablespoon of Butter
  • Sesame Seeds
Instructions
  1. Cook the cups of rice either in a rice cooker or on the stove.
  2. In a saucepan, heat the coconut milk until boiling.
  3. Add the palm sugar and stir until dissolved.
  4. Boil the coconut milk for about five minutes, and add butter, stirring until smooth.
  5. Place the sticky rice on a plate and arrange pieces of sliced mango and dragonfruit.
  6. Top with desiccated coconut, palm caramel and the sesame seeds.
  7. Serve warm.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 4
Cambodian Sticky Rice & Mango: Rennie Mystery Box
The palm caramel is absolutely delicious – I actually think it would be a brilliant topping or replacement for fudge.

Cambodian Sticky Rice & Mango: Rennie Mystery Box
The coconut, mango and dragonfruit make this dish really exotic and unusual, but there’s something comforting and familiar about the caramel flavours too.

Cambodian Sticky Rice & Mango: Rennie Mystery Box
I’d absolutely LOVE it if you would go over and check out the recipe over on the SORTEDfood site – and give it a cheeky vote! I’m in for the chance to win a dinner for two at Restaurant Story, and I’ve wanted to go for ages!

Have you cooked anything with dragonfruit? Let me know by commenting below, or on TwitterFacebook or Instagram!