Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Instant Pot Pressure Cooked Lamb Tagine

Delicious Instant Pot Pressure Cooked Lamb Tagine recipe with apricots, chickpeas, lambThe Instant Pot has opened a whole new world of dishes for me, things that would have usually taken way too long for a quick cook like me, now get done in minutes rather than hours. This Pressure Cooked Lamb Tagine is the perfect example. For this recipe I've taken inspiration from lovely reader and Facebook group members Nic and Amanda, as well as from the Hairy Bikers. Reader Jenny G has tested it for me and really enjoyed it so I'm hoping you will too. Fancy giving it a go?

This summer I have had more time in my hands than usual so I have had the chance to cook quite a bit and I am so glad as, with the cooler weather and shorter days round the corner, I reckon my Instant Pot is about to come into its own and I needed the practice.

How was your summer dear reader? Or your winter if you are down under. I have to say that the lack of school run has been rather welcome for me. That's Reception Year out of the way and onto Year One we go next week.

Back to the Instant Pot, don't forget to use and reuse that Keep Warm function for dishes like this and that the convenience of the Instant Pot resides in that you can decide at the last minute whether you pressure cook or slow cook or even do a combination of the both. You know, since life can be quite unpredictable!

Instant Pot Pressure Cooked Lamb Tagine

Delicious Instant Pot Pressure Cooked Lamb Tagine with apricots, chickpeas, lamb
- A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil or oil of your choice, about a tablespoon

- 850 g to 900 g lamb leg, diced

- 3 teaspoon ground cumin
- Half teaspoon cinnamon, and a pinch more for luck
- 1 teaspoon medium curry powder

- 2 medium onions, halved and sliced (or 4 if they are quite small)
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped

- 400 g tin of chopped tomatoes

- 3 tbsp clear honey

- 400 g tin of chickpeas, drained and rinsed (or of course your own prepared Instant Pot chickpeas from dry). Two ways of making them: Kirrin's Kitchen's no-soak method, with 250 g / 2 cups of dry chickpeas and water up to the halfway mark, is 30 minutes on Manual (you can always freeze any cooked unused chickpeas for next time).

- 1 lamb stock cube

- 1 medium sweet potato (approx. 300 g), diced, not too small

- 75 g no-soak dried apricots (you can use normal ones and soak them by covering them in boiling water for 10 minutes)

- 100 ml water

To serve
- fresh flat leaf parsley
- lemon zest

Before you start, this moves fast so a good way to get organised and keep up the pace is to have all the ingredients ready beforehand.

1. Press Sauté and Adjust to High, add a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and, when it says Hot on the screen (Instant Pot 7 in 1), add the lamb, the 2 sliced onions and the chopped garlic and sauté until coloured, stirring regularly. Add the spices and mix really well while it sautés for approximately 2 more minutes.

2. Add the chopped tomatoes, the 3 tablespoons of honey, the chickpeas, the sweet potato, the apricots. Crumble the stock cube on top. Give it all a good stir to mix well. Add about 100 ml water. There will be plenty of liquid already in the pot, if you think that it needs a bit more, add it.

3. Lock lid in, make sure the vent is sealed, press the Meat/Stew button and then the minus (-) button to set the time to 15 minutes, let it go to Keep Warm at the end and let it release naturally (about 15 minutes). If after this time the silver pop-up valve hasn’t dropped, do a quick release. You can of course let stay on keep warm on the Instant Pot so that it’s ready.

Friday, 31 July 2015

Pip's Perfect Thermomix Porridge for One

Perfect creamy porridge for one person (or two little ones), enjoy with your favourite magazine on the Readly appThe eponymous Pip helps me with admin in the Thermo Cooking with Feisty Tapas group. She is also often referred to as my rock but I have to tell you, she makes the creamiest porridge.

It doesn't stick to the bottom of the Thermie bowl, it takes no time and it's very easy to make when you are sleepy in the morning.

Pip's Perfect Thermomix Porridge for One


- 50 g rolled jumbo organic oats (I use normal Scottish rolled oats)

- 250 g half full fat milk, half water (I use 250 g whole milk for the little Tapita and it's so creamy, she likes it with honey)


9 minutes, 80°, speed 1, REVERSE. Done.

The August 2015 issue of BBC Good Food Magazine is now on the Readly app, don't forget the awesome Feisty Tapas Readly offer (3 months for £14.99, UK only). More details here.

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Readly Offer: the newsstand at your fingertips

A treat app to fit around your life
Valid indefinitely (end date is a few years in the future!)
A little while ago a member of my Facebook group mentioned the Readly app for reading magazines of all sorts. £9.99 a month and tons of magazines on my iPad? My three favourite food magazines included? I checked it out (I googled a lot, it sounded too good to be true)… and inevitably fell in love with it and ended up signing up.

I adore it because:

- It has a ton of back issues so it’s not just the latest magazines, it’s a ton of others going back quite a while too.

- It has an awesome search function that goes through all the magazines for you: do you need new pressure cooker recipes? Search. Do you need to know where Thermomix has been mentioned lately (including mentions by chefs in magazines that you may not have thought of? Search.

- I’m an Apple girl but it seems to have an Android app too, just look for it first wherever you look for your apps. I have it both on iPad and iPhone. Make sure it works with your device(s) here.

- You can download whole magazines to your device and read them later (ideal if you lose signal during your commute) or are going abroad where you won’t have wifi all the time or for the plane on the way there or back.

- You can add up to 5 devices to your account (extra saving if you get the family hooked up!).

- It has Delicious, BBC Good Food, Olive and others I hadn’t heard of but also the likes of Mollie Makes and Cross Stitch Crazy (I am obviously giving you my favourites. Oh Empire magazine is there, do you know how long it has been since I read Empire magazine!

- There is no extra temptation at the checkout: no sweeties or Galaxy chocolates at knocked-down prices to tempt me.

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Squid Ink Pasta with Prawns (no kitchen gadgets involved!)

Squid Ink Pasta with Prawns is one of my favourite dishes of all time, it’s so so easy that I’ve been making it for years but, I don’t know whether it is because squid-ink pasta can prove tricky to find, I actually consider it a bit of a treat.

Ever since the local deli (Allgoods of Ely) opened in Ely, I’ve been able to buy it again and I always have a packet hidden away in the cupboard as husband isn’t fussed and, in that case, I am not sharing.

No kitchen gadgets required for this one. I know, you are shocked, right? This recipe is so easy you don't need more than a pot and your hob. Ready?

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Thermomix Quark Cake

Thermomix Quark CakeI had just been making the softest Japanese Cotton Cheesecake with the Thermomix when a similar-looking recipe popped up on my Instagram feed, this time using an ingredient I had never used: quark cheese but not the Thermomix. I had to try it. I had to try to convert it to Thermie. In fact, I once made both the Cotton Cheesecake and the Quark Cacke in one day and gave them out to try to friends, the winner was the Quark Cake and the reason I was given: the extra lemony taste. Made in the Thermomix, it's easy peasy.

Based on my last few recipes anyone would think that I am a good baker but, trust me, I am more of a household baker, I am more about the taste than perfection but the Thermomix makes it easy.

Don't forget I run the Thermo Cooking UK with Feisty Tapas group over on Facebook and, if you're in the UK with your Thermie, you are most welcome to join us.

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Za’atar Pork Loin with Rosemary Potatoes - Instant Pot / Pressure cooker

Za’atar Pork Loin with Rosemary Potatoes - Instant Pot / Pressure cookerI am loving my Instant Pot (but if you follow me on social media or are a member of my group you
already know that!). I can't believe how quickly I got over the scary memories of the pressure cookers from the seventies and eighties. This pork was an improvisation based on the flavours I wanted that day and it turned out really well.

You already have Za'atar from making my flat breads, right? Well, then we are going to give it another use for this pork (and yes you could make them to mop up the sauce). In the meantime, I promise you I now have Sumac in the house and at some point I'll try making my own Za'atar.

Za'atar is a condiment made of dried oregano mixed with sesame seeds, dried sumac and salt along with other herbs and spices. I use Waitrose's own label which also contains dried marjoram.

Don't forget about the very nice Instant Pot discount offer that is running until 30th June 2015, click here to find out more about the Instant Pot's features and the offer, but basically just enter code ft20151 at the checkout on the Instant Pot website to buy the Instant Pot Duo 7 in 1 Electric Pressure Cooker, you will get £25 off (so £104 instead of £129) + free delivery + a free sealing ring. Note: There is no need to add the sealing ring to the basket (the wording of the voucher doesn't mention it but the code will trigger the warehouse to add the sealing ring). UK only.

Za’atar Pork Loin with Rosemary Potatoes - Instant Pot / Pressure cooker
Use one pork loin for 3 people, use 2 pork loins or more for more people. 

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Bollos suizos and medias noches - Spanish sweet bread in the Thermomix

Bollos suizos and medias noches - Spanish sweet bread in the ThermomixThis is the taste of my childhood. Growing up in Spain, medias noches (half moons) were always present at birthday parties, filled with ham and cheese, chorizo, whatever savouries you can think of. It’s a slightly sweet bread (a bit along the lines of brioche). On the other hand, the bollos suizos (bollos de leche as they are known where I grew up) have a sugary topping and are a classic of Spanish confiterías and they were my favourites as a child (even over croissants). My parents still bring me a couple to the airport when they pick me up when I go visit in Spain (of course I am now 41 and it’s the little Tapita who ends up eating them).

The Thermomix makes them both easy! I couldn’t believe it when I found this recipe here that I would be able to make them myself (but it did take me over 2 years of having Thermie before daring with them, they are lengthy but make lots so very much worth it) and a few goes to adapt the recipe to me (i.e. a clumsy baker).

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