Sunday, 29 July 2007

HoTM 6: the grill

It's time to announce the theme for August's Heart of the Matter - let's hope the weather improves, because it's grilled food.

Ilva and I have been really thrilled by the response to Heart of the Matter in the six months since we set it up ... so many of you have joined in to help us make a bank of heart-healthy recipes which everyone can consult. The main points to consider in a heart-healthy diet are: drastically reduce saturated fats (found in meat, cheese, butter, cream), increase consumption of friendly fats (found in oily fish), eat lots and lots of fruit and vegetables.

This theme is going to be a huge learning curve for me, because we rarely use the barbecue here - laziness, lack of expertise, I'm not sure of the reason. A few years ago I bought a Weber kettle barbie, and love cooking a chicken or a whole leg of lamb on that for a party, but the children all turn up their noses when I suggest that for a summery lunch for friends. And so we hardly used the Weber last summer, and haven't used it at all this summer. Although that may also be something to do with the fact that, so far, this summer has felt more like winter.

But grilling is a good way to go in a heart-healthy diet - there's lots of scope for cooking vegetables (would somebody consider doing a post on the different ways to bake potatoes on a fire?), fish tastes really good grilled, and there must be good sweets to eat apart from marshmallows on sticks (which, of course, are fine in moderation because they are made with egg whites, and all the saturated fat in an egg is found in the yolk).

So I'm really looking forward to hearing all about the things you cook on your grill: anything and everything from starters to main courses to pudding (which you now all know includes desserts!). And then I'm going to get out there and cook them one by one.

I'm sure many of you know the "rules" by now, but here's a recap: all you have to do is to send me the link to your entry at joannacary AT ukonline DOT co DOT uk before 23 August, make a link to Joanna's Food and to the HotM blog as well if you like. I'll post the round up on both blogs. In order to keep this focused on heart health we ask you to consider this as a one-entry event, i.e. we prefer that you don't use your post for other events as well.

I'm really looking forward to reading all your recipes and tips ...

Wednesday, 25 July 2007

HotM #5-The roundup (updated)


Waterlife was the theme of this month's round of The Heart of the Matter
and I can tell you that there's a winner among all the entries I have got and that is the shrimp! But there are/is(?) fish as well and we have a great variety of dishes, we have soups, salads, appetizers, seconds and even a drunken shrimp! I didn't expect so many entries to arrive but they did, I thought food bloggers went on vacation but I was obviously wrong:
Updated: I apologize so much to Lorraine of Italian Foodies for leaving out her two entries, I'm so sorry (I will walk on my knees over chick peas as a sign of repentance) especially as she is such an enthusiastic HotM participant and because she sent me her entries early on. Lorraine please forgive me!

Lorraine's of Italian Foodies first entry is this really fresh Oven-baked Cod, a healthy and simple all-in-one dish that gives you the time to to other things.

Lorraine's second entry was this delicious Sea bass with fennel in a bag
where the fish is cooked or even steamed in its own juices with the fennel adding a lot of flavour to it. Absolutely worth a try!

First to send me an entry was Katie over at Thyme for Cooking (how I love that name!) who presents a Moules Gratiné that really looks good (dangerously so, I'm allergic to mussels but I'm tempted to try it anyway) and she also tells us about her meanderings before finally eating mussels herself.

I cannot but consider Aagje from Leafy Cooking as a friend, she is always here to leave me nice comments (and I even miss her when she goes on vacation) so I was happy to see that she participated in the HotM, she has made a very flavourful Salmon à la minute that she ate watching Shark, that's dedication I tell you!

Gilli of So So Simple Food is sharing an old favourite recipe with us, Fish and Tomato Bake, that seems really good and it is also simple to make, just let the ingredients bake to bring out all the flavours!

Next entry is this intriguing Sashimi of sea bass Italian style, Franz from Einfachkoestlich assures us that even those of us who don't like raw fish will like this recipe and I think he might be right!

Dear Chris from Mele Cotte has sent me this delicious entry of Pecan-crusted Tilapia, and not only does it sound good, the presentation is really pretty!

Who can resist this Asian-Style Marinated, Grilled Salmon that Christine of Christine Cooks is presenting us with? It makes me wish I could find perfect salmon here but I suspect I have to wait until I go to Sweden in a week's time. It's mouthwatering!

Here's the first shrimp, Fruit Tart serves us these delicious Orange-Ginger Shrimp Skewers, I really think the orange ginger combination must be great!

Some day very soon I will tell you about how nice Kalyn has been to me lately but now I can only recommend her Broiled Wild Salmon with Mustard-Mint-Parsley Sauce over at Kalyn's Kichen, I'm especially curious about the mint-mustard combination!

Over at The Miller Melting Pot you can check out a dish that really fits in there, it's the Miso and Herb Salmon, an interesting mix between east and west!

Guess what, Katie sent me another entry, this thyme no time it is a Composed Salad with Tuna and I wonder if it is composed as in behaving or in combination, whatever, it's an inspiring salad so click over to Thyme For Cooking!

Fruit Tart didn't intend these fish burritos to the HotM but I asked if I could include them because I like the idea of using leftover fish like this so much!

Johanna sent me this wonderful Catalán monkfish & clam "stew" or mock "bouillabaisse" which is not only good looking but sounds great, full of flavours and quick(ish) to make! You find it over at thepassionatecook

What you see in the photo are drunk prawns or should I call them ex drunk prawns because they can hardly be anything in that state but that's just better for us! Mmm lovely! Over at Teczcape you find a lovely post and the recipe of Drunken prawns.

Kebrunella is back and I'm happy she is, this time she has prepared a Cod in Phillo Pastry which should be a good alternative for puff pastry as it is far less fat! Take a look at her photos of Lanzarote as well, they are wonderful!

Sophie of Mostly Eating gives us both a delicious recipe of her Mackerel, Pepper and Bulgur Wheat Salad and some very good information about fish and heart health! Thanks Sophie!

My co-founder Joanna of Joanna's Food has been partying wildly the whole month but I'm happy that she did find time to make this Quick prawn stew which sounds really good!

I was really happy to receive this entry from Alanna who posted this great soup recipe on her Kitchen Parade blog, she doesn't know where the name come from but she assure us that Sengalese Soup is a winner!

The first of my own entries was a White Bean Salad with Dried Fish Roe.

This is a dish without a name (maybe I could hazard Shrimp Curry?) but that doesn't make it less delicious, Baghs of Crazy Curry was faced with shrimps that needed to be cooked and this is what she (or is it a he?) came up with! Just great!

My second entry was Beans with Shrimps and Onion.

Don't you think that Aagje's Small appetizers for a summer afternoon look wonderful? I do!

Hilda of Saffron & Blueberry presents us with Salmon Cucumber-Turnip Cups, her own creative adaptation of a cult recipe! Scroll down for the English version!

My third entry was a Sardine, Rucola and Sesame seed Sandwich.

Isn't Food is Love a promising name for a food blog? Here we find a hot recipe of Rose fish Diabolo served on this wonderful fish plate, that's what I call staying in tune with the theme!

Becky and husband of Columbus Foodie has made delicious Pan-Seared Salmon over Red Cabbage and Onions with Merlot Gastrique, a real gourmet meal!

Late but not too late, my great friend Tanna from My Kitchen In Half-Cups has been so busy cooking lately that she forgot to post this in time but who cares about time limits when it is something so good and neat as her Spring Rolls with Shrimps?!

And sweet Jeanne of Cook Sister was even later but as I hadn't started writing this roundup yet I was happy to include her gorgeous looking Pasta with gingered prawns, mange tout and sake! The sake touch sounds interesting!

Oj oj oj as you say in Swedish, two roundups in such a short time has taken its toll, I hope I haven't messed up links and photos, please tell me if I have! But most important, Thank You for all these wonderful entries, without you The Heart of the Matter-eating for life wouldn't exist! And please continue to participate, next month it's Joanna who is hosting the event!

Wednesday, 18 July 2007


First of all I want to remind you that Sunday the 22nd is the last day for this month's The Heart of the Matter and I'm also proud to say that Joanna and I have been nominated twice for the Blogging For Positive Change award for our initiative to make a recipe base with heart healthy recipes over at the HotM blog, Thanks Amanda and Thanks Barbara!