Gorgeous Maltese strawberries are in season! This is such a feel-good dessert. It’s relatively light and doesn’t take long to prepare.

First off – buy some fresh strawberries. Without removing the stalk, wash and dry them well. Chocolate will not stick to wet surfaces!

Get a bar of good cooking chocolate or your favourite plain chocolate and melt it. You can do this easily in the microwave (about 2 minutes on high) as long as you’re going to be pretty quick at making this dessert. Otherwise, melt it in bain-marie (water bath) fashion. Stir it well to ensure all the chocolate has melted before moving on to the next step.

Holding it by the stalk, dip your strawberry into the chocolate and let the excess drip into your bowl.

Immediately turn your strawberry as shown so that the chocolate now ‘drips’ towards the stalk.

Place gently on a sheet of carta forno / baking sheet. This procedure looks messy at first. but you’ll find that as the chocolate hardens the whole thing will easily come off the paper, without leaving any chocolate smudges.

When you’re done with all your strawberries insert the dish into the fridge and give it a couple of hours before serving/consuming.

“I’m on my way home”

“What would you like for dinner?”

“Something spicy!”

Soups usually take a while to prepare and cook, and are great to make whilst taking care of other chores around the house, but this one is really quick and easy, oh, and healthy too!

Start by chopping 3 spring onions. If you dont have spring onions, use normal onions sliced thinly and softened in a frying pan with a little water. Drain a small can of mushrooms. You can use fresh mushrooms, or even Shitaki mushrooms to be a bit more authentic. If you are using dried mushrooms, soak them beforehand and keep the liquid.

In a small container, measure out:

2 tbsp soy sauce

2 tbsp red wine vinegar

1 tbsp white wine vinegar or rice vinegar

1 tsp hot chilli sauce

Also prepare 1tbsp of cornflour mixed thoroughly with 1/4 cup of water

In a pot, heat up 4 cups of stock. If you used dried mushrooms, substitute 1 cup of stock with 1 cup of liquid that you soaked them in.  Add the mushrooms, onions, and soy/vinegar mix and bring to the boil.

The traditional recipe calles for diced tofu. We didnt have any, and also I felt like something a little more hearty, so I threw in a couple of handfuls of chopped, pre-cooked chicken breast.  You could also add dumplings if you wish.   If you use raw chicken, wait until the pieces are cooked through before moving on to the next step.

Once again, authenticity calls for ingredients which we dont normally have – at this point, you should be adding around 1 cup of bean sprouts but I just left these out. Add the cornflour and simmer for 5 minutes. Next, add 1 tsp of sesame oil, 1.5 tsp of ground black pepper and 1/4 tsp of salt.

The final step should be done at the very last minute, so if you are not going to eat straight away, turn off the heat. Bring the soup back to the boil 5 minutes before serving and resume.

Beat one egg, and slowly pour into the simmering soup, stirring continuously. The egg will form wisps and cook very quickly so you can serve straight away.

I had already posted this recipe, but decided to revamp it with 1) a tastier recipe and 2) a better picture 🙂

Here’s your picture, served with gluten free crackers (yum!)

2013-11-24 14.02.58

The other recipe read like this:

1 can 400g Garbanzo beans/ chickpeas – drain but do not throw the water out

2 tablespoons Lemon/lime juice

3 table spoons Olive oil

1.5 tablespoons Tahini

2 cloves of garlic

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

Blend everything. There, you’re done 🙂

Taste it – if it is too dry add some water from the garbanzo beans can. Add salt or pepper to taste. Before serving place a thin layer of olive oil (with a light sprinkle of sesame oil if you fancy) on the surface to make it more moist. If you’ll be storing it in the fridge for a while, keep it covered in cling film to avoid it drying up.

Serve cold with pita bread or crudites.

…but this time I replaced the chili powder with harissa paste (1 heaped teaspoon) and a pinch of salt and I did not use any water from the chickpeas as the juice of one lemon and an extra dash of olive oil were enough to make up a pleasant texture.