If you find yourself in want of some food inspiration and you do not know where to look then you must take a look at chef, cookbook writer and all round beauty, Rachel Khoo. Her unconventional methods of cooking have been influenced by her wonderful family heritage, which happens to be a combination of Chinese and Austrian, set in the background of the United Kingdom. This amalgamation of cultures is what makes her food special as she creates British favourites and incorporates Chinese and Austrian flavours.
About Rachel Khoo
Having graduated from Le Cordon Bleu, Paris, she has since written a number of cookbooks which have been translated into more than five languages. She is also an avid traveller and each time she visits a city, she records her food findings and creations which she later creates into a television series as well as a cookbook!
Personally, she is part of my top five favourite chefs as she is not only a great chef but also a great inspiration.
Here are five easy-to-make recipes by Rachel that will leave you feeling like a Masterchef once you are done!
3 AM Frittata
(This is a great recipe after a night out as it is comforting, easy to prepare as well as it can be made with whatever is in your fridge! Get creative with the recipe and add your own ingredients like leftover chicken or bacon and different veggies!)
- 6 eggs,beaten
- ½ red onion
- 1 medium potato,peeled
- 200g spinach,frozen
- 2 handfuls of grated cheese
- Non-stick pan
Slice the onion and potato thinly. Heat the pan with a knob of butter and add the onion and potato. Fry for about 5 minutes, add the frozen spinach. Cover for about 5 minutes, stirring a few times and season. Add the beaten eggs and grated cheese. Stir until the eggs start setting. Cook for about 5 minutes. Put a plate on top of the pan. Turn the pan upside down and slide the frittata back in the pan. Cook for another 5 minutes. Eat straight away or cold.
Grilled Chicken and Pickled Pepper Salad
- 1 chicken breast (with or without skin that’s up to you)
- 2 tbsp olive oil plus a drizzle
- Handful of quinoa
- 1 small cucumber, cut into rounds
- 1 Romano pepper or 1/2 regular red pepper, sliced into strips
- 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
- 3 tbsps red wine vinegar
- Salt and pepper
Cook the quinoa as indicated on the packet. Drain and set aside until needed. Soak the red onion in the vinegar. Place the other vegetables on top. Preheat the oven to 160°c.
Meanwhile heat some olive oil in a non-stick pan. Season the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides. Add the chicken to the pan once hot. Fry on both sides until golden brown (3-4 minutes on each side). Place in the oven. Cook for 30 minutes or until the juices run clear when the chicken breast is pierced. Remove the chicken breast from the pan and wrap in aluminium foil and leave to rest for 5 minutes.
Clean the pan and heat up with a tablespoon of olive oil. Throw in the quinoa once the pan is hot. Toast the quinoa until golden and crunchy. Toss together the vegetables with the red onion and a drizzle of olive oil. Taste for seasoning. Cut the chicken breast into slices and place on top. Sprinkle with toasted quinoa.
For the pastry:
- 45 g butter, softened
- ½ tsp sugar
- ½ tsp caraway seeds, toasted and crushed
- 90g flour
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tbsp ice-cold water
- Egg wash (1 egg mixed with 1 tsp milk)
For the filling:
- 20g butter
- 2 leeks cut into thin rounds
- 50 ml white wine
- 40g cheddar cheese, grated
Make the pastry by beating together the butter, sugar, caraway seeds and a pinch of salt until soft and creamy. Mix in the flour followed by the egg yolk and water. Bring together to make a smooth ball, adding a little more water if the pastry is too crumbly. Wrap the dough in cling film and refrigerate for an hour.
Put the butter in a large pan, add the sliced leeks and season with salt. Sweat for 10 minutes on a medium heat. Add the wine, cook for a further 2 minutes and check the seasoning. Leave to cool.
Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4 and line a baking tray with parchment paper. Roll out the pastry to 3mm thick and make two circles 13cm in diameter. Place on the baking tray. Add half the leeks to the centre of each pastry circle leaving a 2.5cm border. Sprinkle with cheese. Fold up the edges of the pastry, crimp with your fingers and paint with egg wash. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until crisp and light golden.
Chocolate and Honeycomb Banana Splits
- 100g caster sugar
- 50g golden syrup
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 500ml vanilla ice cream (stored in the fridge for 30 minutes)
- 150g dark chocolate
- 200ml whipping cream
- 2 bananas
- 1 handful frozen mixed berries
- 2 glacé cherries
Line a baking tray with silicone-coated parchment paper. Heat the sugar and syrup in a heavy saucepan over a medium heat. Cook until the mixture reaches 150C, by which point it will be golden and bubbly. Take off the heat and quickly whisk in the bicarbonate of soda (it will start to rise and foam up). Pour quickly into the baking tray. Leave to cool slightly before placing in the fridge.
Once cool and firm, bash up half the honeycomb quite roughly. Remove the ice cream from the fridge and place in a large bowl. Fold in the chunks of honeycomb, place the mixture in an airtight container and put in the freezer. Leave for 30 minutes to harden to a scooping consistency.
In the meantime, melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Break off a few shards of the remaining honeycomb and dip just the tip in the melting chocolate, leaving some of the honeycomb visible. Set aside in the fridge on a lined tray or in an airtight container to firm up. Keep the remaining chocolate warm in the bowl and store the leftover honeycomb in an airtight container.
Whip the cream to soft peaks and set aside. Peel and halve the bananas lengthways. Place in separate bowls and add 2 scoops of ice cream to the centre of each. Scatter the berries over the top, drizzle with the warm chocolate and add a dollop of the cream. Top with a glacé cherry and a couple of pieces of the chocolate-dipped honeycomb.
- 3 egg yolks
- 125g caster sugar
- 2 tbsp cornflour
- 180ml milk
- 270ml double cream
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
For the pastry:
- 2-3 tbsp caster sugar
- ½ tbsp ground cinnamon
- 175g all-butter puff pastry
Preheat the oven to 220C (200C fan). To make the filling, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until pale, then incorporate the corn flour until you get a smooth paste. Heat the milk, cream and vanilla bean paste in a medium pan and bring to scalding point.
Add a splash of this to the egg yolk mixture, whisk vigorously, then incorporate the rest. Return the mixture to the pan and stir over a low heat until it thickens (this will take about 15 minutes). Do not let it boil or it will split. Cover with cling film touching the top of the surface (otherwise it will form a skin) and set aside to cool.
Dust the work surface with half the caster sugar and the cinnamon and roll out the pastry to a 15cm x 20cm rectangle. Dust with the remaining sugar and press it in with the rolling pin. Starting from the longer side closest to you, tightly roll up the pastry, then cut into six pieces. Take one piece and place it spiral side up in a hollow of a non-stick six-hole muffin tin. Use your thumb to push the dough outwards, evenly lining the base and sides. Repeat with the remaining pieces.
Add a spoonful of eggy custard to each hollow, leaving a 1cm gap at the top. Cook in the oven for 30 minutes or until the pastry is very crisp and the filling is puffy and slightly scorched. Remove from the tin and cool on a wire rack. Best eaten the same day!
For more information about Rachel Khoo, check out her website www.rachelkhoo.com and follow her on Instagram @rachelkhooks for more delicious updates!
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