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January, 2005

  1. Pico de Gallo / Guacamole

    January 2, 2005 by Lisa

    Two simple fresh garnishs for all sorts of Mexican dishes.

    Pico de Gallo:

    • 2 or 3 chopped ripe tomatoes
    • 1/2 diced red or white onion
    • 1 or 2 cloves finely chopped garlic
    • handful of chopped fresh cilantro
    • a few splashes of tabasco or a chopped red chili pepper to taste
    • salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

    Combine all ingredients and refrigerate at least an hour.


    Same as above, but stir in two mashed avocados and the juice of half a lime (prevents avocados from going brown – for a while, at least).

  2. Ceviche

    January 1, 2005 by Lisa

    This Mexican style salad/side dish is a surprise to everyone who tries it. The fish is not cooked in the traditional way, but in lime juice which gives it a cooked texture and appearance and for all I know, fulfills the qualification of “cooking”. Serves 4 to 6.


    • 250-300g fresh white fish. I used halibut, but sea bass, snapper, plaice or just about anything will work.
    • 250g cooked prawns and/or tiny bay scallops
    • Enough lime juice to cover the fish. Since limes are not so juicy, you may supplement with lemon juice if you get bored trying to squeeze enough from a lime.
    • 1/2 a large onion
    • 1 small jalepeno pepper (or 5 or 6 slices of the pickled variety we get in the uk) or one or two fresh red chili pepper
    • 2 medium tomatoes
    • 10-20 pitted green or black olives
    • 2 or 3 large spoons full capers
    • 1/4 – 1/2 spoon cumin powder
    • 1/4 – 1/2 spoon dried oregano
    • handful fresh coriander
    • 60 ml (1/4 cup) olive oil


    Remove the skin and slice the white fish into thin strips. Place in a glass bowl and cover completely with the lime juice. If you’re using uncooked scallops or prawns, put them in the bowl as well, otherwise, hold off until later. Cover and place in the refridgerator until the fish looks “cooked” – in other words opaque and flaky. This should only take a half an hour to an hour depending on the thickness of the fish or the size of the prawns/scallops.

    Meanwhile, finely chop the onion, pepper, tomatoes and olives.

    When the fish is ready drain off the lemon juice and add the chopped vegetables and the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Cover and return to the fridge for another hour or two. Some recipes suggest 24 to 48 hours, but I prefer the more subtle flavour when left not quite as long. On the other hand, my lunch of ceviche and avocado 48 hours later was quite fab.

    You could add all manner of things as well, like artichoke hearts, chopped avocado or black olives.

  3. American Giblet Stuffing

    January 1, 2005 by Lisa

    A good, American-style stuffing recipe, adapted from 4 or 5 different recipes. Best I’ve found so far. This is a rather small recipe for people who aren’t as keen on stuffing as I am. Double it for a larger turkey.


    • turkey giblets
    • water (about a cup or two)
    • two sausages – any sort – or 3 or 4 chipolatas
    • 1/2 chopped onion
    • 3 stalks chopped celery
    • 1/4 cup butter
    • 4 cups dry bread cubes (about 8 slices of brown and/or white day-old bread, chopped into 1/2 inch cubes)
    • salt
    • pepper
    • a good handful of fresh chopped herbs: sage, rosemary, tarragon and marjoram

    Cover giblets (except the liver) with water to cover in a small saucepan. Cover and simmer for about 2 hours. Add the liver and simmer for 25 minutes longer. Reserve the stock and chop the cooked giblets finely.

    Remove the skin from the sausages and fry the meat until browned thoroughly. Put aside.

    Melt the butter in a skillet and cook the onion and celery until tender. Add the butter, celery and onion, plus the cooked sausage meat to the bread crumbs, chopped giblets, herbs and seasonings. Add reserved stock, tossing lightly to moisten. Use half the dressing to stuff up to a 2.5 kilo turkey. Put any extra in a buttered baking dish and cover and bake for at least 40 to 45 minutes.