Potato salad with olives


  • Kipfler potatoes
  • anchovies mashed
  • large red chillies
  • salted capers rinsed
  • olives, stoned and chopped
  • parlsey washed, stemmed and chopped
  • olive oil
  • vinegar


Boil potatoes, drain, peel if you want – I did this time – and dice. Mix in all the rest. Freshly ground pepper, but in my case I didn’t use salt, figuring the capers even though rinsed would be salty enough.


I see this being dreadful with poor ingredients: all of mine were best of everything. Red wine vinegar, large green olives. Coriole first cold pressed olive oil.

Anchovies were almost an afterthought and I imagine this would be nice without, for the vegetarians in the audience.

Egg, Avo salad

Rough notes.

I mashed an avo, added a bit of plain Greek yogurt, lemon juice and chopped coriander leaves.

Chopped up some lettuce leaves (from the garden!) and two hard boiled eggs. Cubed some Paris Creek fetta. I mention the brand because it’s quite different from a lot of fetta. Drier, slightly rubbery. I love it, and wouldn’t normally eat fetta at the fridge door, if you want the full ad. I don’t know that I’d add what I think of as normal fetta to this.


Served with toast.

Variations are no doubt infinite.


Spicy Baked Chicken Masaledar Murghi

This is a Madhur Jaffrey dish. It’s really nice at room temperature, so it makes great picnic food and also a convenient dish to cook ahead and then serve.

I wrote this in 2012:

I’ve made this many times in my life, always on a BBQ until this week. A wood or coal fire is obviously best. Use thin cuts of meat: chicken ribs if you are in Australia, maybe the stick bit of the wing in other places which don’t seem to do the ‘rib’, more’s the pity; boneless thigh cut into small chunks and put on skewers

In Geneva I can not get the cuts I would prefer to use: boneless thigh doesn’t seem to exist and as for the rib, forget it. Not to mention being BBQless. In an electric oven, I suggest thighs – I found them more successful than the drumstick, maybe because they permit more even cooking. I covered them with foil at a point where I wanted to cook them a bit more without having them burn. Not perfect by any means, but it worked.

2020 update: you can also do this in a covered pan on top of a hotplate. Make it more liquidy to begin with and dry out towards the end.

Spicy Baked Chicken Masaledar Murghi
Oven: 210C
Preparation: 30 mins
Marinating: 3 hours
Cooking: 60 mins


  • 1.5 kgs chicken pieces
  • 6 tblsp lemon juice
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, mashed
  • 3 tblsps veg oil
  • 1 tblsp cumin
  • 1 ” paprika
  • 1 ” tumeric
  • 1 1/2 teasp cayenne
  • 1 1/2 teasp black pepper1. Mix all ingredients less chicken and oil in bowl.2. Rub well over chicken pieces pushing into flaps and into slits along drumsticks.

    3. Spread on baking tray, set aside for 3 hours.

    4. Brush top of chicken with oil. Bake in preheated oven for 30 mins each side, baste occasionally.

If I don’t have cayenne, I combine hot paprika and mild. I

If cooking in a frying pan, I put oil/ghee down first and then add the chicken in all its basting paste.

Cumquats in a salad

This is especially for Phil. I have a cumquat addict in the house, against the odds by far, since nobody I have ever known likes them. It made me wonder what one could do to make them work for the population at large.

The trick is to salad them….

Rocket, Pecan and Cumquat salad

Wash and dry the rocket, place in a salad bowl.

Toast pecans and sliver, add to the rocket.

Slice the cumquats and take out the seeds, which I gather are rather nasty unless you are a true KQ addict. I expect they would be nice simply added to the mix now, but if you want to go slightly unhealthy and do something decadent with them, fry them in butter, add a little sugar to caramelise them – that didn’t happen for me, but I imagine the sugar was still a nice addition.

Deglaze the pan by adding vinegar and olive oil, mix thoroughly with the cumquats and their sauce. Put all this on the rocket and pecans, mix thoroughly.


Really not bad. Obviously one would have any number of variations. But the bottom line is, it’s a lovely thing to do with the cumquats, which will have a beautifully slightly tart, slightly sour, slightly sweet impact.

Do this with enough of them and it would make a nice sauce accompanying a piece of roast meat/chicken for example. I imagine starting with shallots and then adding cumquats could be nice too.


Puff pastry for flat tarts

How time flies. A few years ago I wrote a couple of  posts on puff pastry tarts, both based on best summer tomatoes.  Details here for one featuring tapenade and here for one with buffalo mozzarella.

Tonight I got around to doing this again.


  • 1 sheet puff pastry
  • 1-2 onions peeled and thinly sliced
  • olive oil
  • garlic
  • tomatoes – about 20 cherry or equivalent
  • avocado


Preheat the oven as per packet instructions and then on waxed paper bake the pastry for up to 10 minutes, it really depends on the oven. You don’t want to overdo it, as it’s going back in.

While you are doing all that, caramelise thinly sliced onion  at least one, in olive oil. Take out the onion and add sliced tomato – I added about 20 cherry tomatoes each sliced into three – and a little finely chopped garlic. You don’t want to overcook the tomato, just collapse it.

Take the pastry from the oven, sprinkle with the onion and tomato. Return to oven for at least five minutes. Keep an eye on it, you’ll be able to tell. Meanwhile, peel and slice an avocado.

Take the tart out of the oven, scatter the avocado on top. Slice. Eat. Yum!

And too simple for words.

Honey Mustard Chicken Wings

Belinda Jeffery’s 100 favourite recipes is a book well used in my kitchen. It doesn’t all work, but I’m always willing to give her ideas a shot and more often than not they get the thumbs up.

A couple of weeks ago I wanted to bake marinated wings and tried these. It’s hard to decide to make them because the recipe sits next to one she calls ‘the simplest and best sticky chicken wings’. This is the first opportunity I’ve had to bypass it on the basis of missing a critical ingredient. So there I was making the less than best….but still good.


  • chicken wings
  • 3/4 cup clear runny honey
  • 1/2 a cup of Dijon mustard
  • 2.5 tblsps dry white wine
  • 2.5 tablsps olive oil
  • 2 tblsps red wine vinegar
  • 1 tblesp finely chopped fresh ginger (optional)
  • salt to taste


Mix the ingredients, and let marinate for a few hours or overnight. Heat oven to 200C, place wings and the marinade in a roasting tray, spread out. Baste during cooking, they will take an hour.

Jeffrey cooks these with kumara. We had them with a soba noodle salad and a cold spinach-sesame dish.

Belinda J chicken wing marinade

Dressing for green beans a la Simon Hopkinson

I reported a dressing for green beans just recently, the star of which was two mustards. Since then I’ve been rereading Simon Hopkinson’s Week In Week Out and noticed his take on a dressing for green beans.


  • 1 tblesps Dijon mustard
  • 1 tblesps red wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • a few anchovies
  • water
  • olive oil 150 mls
  • peanut oil 150 mls
  • finely chopped shallot


Pulverise the first four ingredients, adding a little water to thin the mixture. Then add the oils in a thin stream as one  might with mayonnaise, beating at the same time. Eventually you will have a thick, creamy dressing.

Steam the beans, until suitably done for a salad, strain, cool under running water.

Serve with the dressing drizzled over the beans and the shallot sprinkled on top and a few whole anchovies for decoration.

Hopkinson suggests some sort of mechanical method for mixing. I simply vigorously stirred them after mashing the anchovies with a fork first. I added far less oil than he suggested, perhaps 1 tblsp in lieu of the 300ml he recommends. There is a variation on this recipe on his site. Instead of the peanut oil he uses cream. No anchovies, but a little parsley. Here he doesn’t cool the beans under water, but just lets them adjust to ‘warm’. That was my inclination too.

I guess my adapting this to a very low oil content really changes the nature of the dressing, but it was delicious and far less calorific. We had this dish with new season boiled potatoes and sausages. The dressing went well with both these. It’s a real winner and overall I think I prefer it to the two mustards dressing.


Green Beans with Two Mustards

Looking to make salads recently in this warm autumnal weather in Geneva, I had all the ingredients for this dish, another from Madhur Jaffrey’s Food for Family and Friends.


  • 3 tblesp lemon juice
  • 1 tblesp Dijon mustard
  • pepper and salt to taste
  • a dash of cayenne pepper
  • 6 tblesp olive oil
  • 1 11/2 tblesp yellow mustard seeds
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and cut into thin slivers
  • 675g green beans, ends trimmed


  • boil salted water
  • mix the lemon juice, mustard and spices
  • heat oil in a small pan and when hot add the mustard seeds, then, as soon as they begin to pop, the garlic. Stir until the garlic is light brown, cool briefly and add to the rest of the dressing. Beat to a creamy texture.
  • put the beans into the boiling water and boil vigorously for 3-5 minutes. They should remain crisp-tender.
  • drain thoroughly, add to the dressing and toss
  • if making ahead, refrigerate and take out 30 minutes before serving so that they aren’t fridge cold

I used maybe half the amount of oil asked for and I used grape seed oil. It was a big hit served with potato salad and a chickpea and carrot salad.

three salads

Chickpea and carrot salad

There are many recipes available for this combination. I started with this from manella on allrecipes and made a couple of changes based on my available ingredients.


  • 2 tblsp olive oil
  • 3 tblsp lemon juice
  • 2 cups grated carrot
  • 1 tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed. I peeled them too.
  • 1 clove garlic finely chopped
  • fresh coriander leaves washed and chopped in lieu of parsley
  • 2 teasp ground dhanna jeera mix 60% coriander 40% cumin in lieu of ground cumin
  • spring onion, one white finely chopped


Thoroughly whisk all ingredients except the carrot and chickpeas, which are then added. Refrigerate until 30 minutes before serving.

Fabulous and the bit that was left over was great for b/f in the morning.

Served it with potato salad and a cold green beans dish. Worked really well as a combination.

three salads

Potato salad with yoghurt dressing

One of my favourite cookbooks is Madhur Jaffrey’s Food for Family and Friends. I’m surprised I haven’t already made note of this recipe on my blog, having made it for many years.

She calls this ‘The Best, Lightest Potato Salad’ and says the waxier the potato the better.

The dressing

1 cup of plain low-fat yoghurt
1 tblesp vegetable oil
1/2 teasp cumin seeds
1 tblesp yellow mustard seeds
salt and pepper
the white of a spring onion cut into very fine rounds

The potatoes

Boil, cool and peel. Cut into pieces.


  • In a small pan, sizzle the cumin seeds in the heated oil, just for a couple of seconds, add the mustard seeds and as soon as they start popping…
  • tip the contents into the yoghurt which is in a serving bowl.
  • Mix in along with salt and pepper and onion. Stir in the potato pieces.
  • Refrigerate until needed.

Yesterday I had very young potatoes and didn’t peel them before chopping. I use full fat yoghurt.

Pictured here with her Green Beans with Two Mustards Salad and a Chickpea and Carrot salad.

three salads