Delicious Magazine Recipe Feature Recipes published in Princes Trust Charity 'Trusty' Cookbook Guest panellist on UKTV Food's 'Market Kitchen' Recipes published in 'Come Dine With Me Special Occasions' book Blog named as a "Media Must-Have" in Jan & Feb issue of Olive Magazine

Launch of Sabrina's one-to-one private cookery tuition Guest critic on Gordon Ramsay's 'F-Word' series finale Organised Top Chef Charity Banquet for Haiti raising £70,000 for 'Action Against Hunger' Seasonal Food & Recipe Writer for 'Blue Tomato'

Winner of Channel 4's 'Come Dine With Me' (West London) 'Bronze' winner in professionally judged 'AA Home Cooking Competition 2009' Appointed resident cookery columnist for Foodepedia

Japanese Rice Risotto with Miso, Lemongrass and Scallops

Japanese Rice Risotto with Miso, Lemongrass and Scallops

Seasonal Penne Mediterraneo

Seasonal Penne Mediterraneo

Persian Split Pea, Dried Lime and Lamb Stew

Persian Split Pea, Dried Lime and Lamb Stew

Friday, 29 July 2011

RECIPE: Mediterranean Green Bean Salad

Summer seems like it is finally making its way to our shores, at long last and i just love making delicious but filling salad that makes a great meal in itself or a perfect accompaniment for grilled meat and fish.

I took a little inspiration from one of my favourite holiday salads, the Nicoise, but tuna and eggs aren't for everyone so my fantastic vegetarian version is an all round crowd-pleasing dish with lots of different flavours and plenty of bite! The best part of the whole thing is that it really doesn't take a hell of a lot of skill to put this great recipe together, it is more of an assembly job than anything else and of course, as with most of my recipes, you can adapt it by substituting ingredients to suit your own tastes too.

Mediterranean Green Bean Salad

2 x 200g packs of uncooked green beans
2 x 240g of Sunblush tomatoes in oil (The oil is important for the dressing!)
400g of capers (retaining their brine for dressing)
400g of Kalamata olives
1kg of baby new potatoes, halved (or any other small potatoes)
1 bunch of fresh dill, finely chopped
Olive oil
Maldon sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
**oven/baking paper**

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees and line a baking tray with some oven paper and add in your halved baby new potatoes and drizzle over some olive oil, plenty of freshly ground black pepper and a generous amount of Maldon sea salt and then mix with your hands, ensuring each potato is coasted in oil and seasoning. Then speread them all out and roast in the oven for about 30 minutes or until nicely browned. Once done, remove from oven set aside.

Bring a pot of cold water to the boil and add your green beans to the pan and boil per the packet instructions or until you get your desired texture. Dont overcook them, as no one likes mushy green beans! It is good to keep a little crunch in them so they add another texture to the salad when eating it. Once cooked, drain them and plunge the beans in cold water with a cold tap running over them to stop them from cooking, then set aside.

Using the largest bowl you have, pour in the Sunblush tomatoes and oil from both packs of your tomatoes and add in the brine and capers from one of your caper jars but just the capers from the second jar. Add in your olives at this stage and mix all the ingredients really well before adding your potatoes whilst hot into the bowl. When warm, potatoes will absorb the dressing nicely and really give you flavour in each bite. Stir the ingredients well and allow everything to cool.

Once cooled, add in your green beans, chopped dill and give the mixture a good stir. I like to use my hands for this process to lift all the ingredients from the bottom of the bowl and really make sure they get an even coating of dressing. That's it folks, the salads are done! I would recommend you serve this with a nice grilled tuna steak, roast chicken or just by itself! However you eat it, you will enjoy it!

Thursday, 28 July 2011

MEAT ODYSSEY: A La Cruz Restaurant, London

Once in a while, I get what I like to refer to as a 'Golden Ticket' invite. When a good friend of mine invited me to A La Cruz restaurant in Clerkenwell, with the promise of a whole 'Asador' BBQ'd lamb, my inner carnivore simply couldn't resist. 'Asador' comes from the Spanish word 'Asada' meaning to roast or grill and so an Asador is what you would use to grill your meat and the one at A La Cruz is the only one of it's kind in the UK.A La Cruz is a short walk from Farringdon tube station and the restaurant itself is elegant yet unpretentious and for the purpose of our evening meal, we were fortunate enough to be seated in the 'Gala' private dining room (named after the boutique brand of one of Argentina's most prestigious winemakers, Bodega Luigi Bosca). Meat is the main feature on the menu and with the average Argentinian consuming 66kg of meat each year (compared to European 25kg) I knew dinner was going to be meat-heavy. Our generous hosts Marcelo Porcu (General Manager) and John Rattigan (Menu & Kitchens Director) joined us for what will go down in my mind as one of the most memorable meat-feasts of my life.I was surprised when starters were served as with all the meat I had seen lined up to be cooked for us, I really didn't think starters would be part of the menu but being the greedy girl I am, I'm sure glad they were. A trio of Argentinian delights with a classic Empanada pastry filled with minced beef, onions, chopped egg, parsley and a little hint of chilli, were unlike any of other I'd ever tasted. The moisture and juice captured within that pastry was inexplicable and made for a delicate and moreish Empanada that was inhaled leaving little trace of its existence. A little earthenware dish containing baked Provolone cheese, perfect for baking and grilling as it retains its firmness without melting, was sprinkled with herbs and utterly delicious accompanied by a toasted bread croute. Lastly, something I am always a tad wary of... sweetbreads. Not SWEET BREAD but sweetbreads or 'Mollejas' are the thymus neck glands and whilst they don't sound very nice, I DEFY YOU to think that the classic Argentine way of cooking them is anything other than incredible. I am a total convert. They were beautifully charred on the outside, perfectly cooked and full of flavour.The next course came sizzling through the door. Literally. As the door swung open, I could hear the hissing and sizzling of two rather large fillet cuts of beef on a hot plate. This kind of noise is pure, unadultered seduction to ears like mine. As I turned my head, everything seemed to move in slow motion as the smell of charred meat wafted across my nose. The Chef then ably sliced the enormous fillet into quivveringly thick and juicy steaks and we were each served two enormous hunks, one drizzle with Bearnaise and the other with the classic Argentine Chimichurri sauce. At first bite, there were gasps and sighs around the table and then SILENCE as the meat-led ecstasy kicked in. Top quality, juicy, rare meat... the like of which I can honestly say I have not ever had the fortune of eating in the UK before. This was something truly magnificent and unless I come back to A La Cruz, there is little doubt that beef like this would ever be experienced again outside of Argentina.Despite my ever-expanding waistline, I managed to push-on through to the next course for the main attraction... Drumroll please as the doors are held open and a huge board is carried in by 2 men with the whole lamb splayed out on it along with possibly the largest knife I have ever seen in my life. The room bursts into rapturous applause and all eyes are trasnfixed on the beast that will end our feast. We all gathered round as the Chef skillfull hacked into the lamb, pulling limb from limb and making it look easy with his years of expertise. Some got leg, some got shoulder but being the spoilt brat that I am, I had my own ideas and wanted ribs, fat and loin and of course I wasn't disappointed.My plate of lamb was genuinely so stunning that it took me a while to stop admiring it and want to tuck in. Served with a simple accompaniment of just a few Padron peppers, I proceeded to tear meat from bone, wrap each morsel in a sliver of crispy, fatty skin and take my first bite. The feeling is unlike any other; the combination of the flavour and charring of slow coooked meat with crispy lamb fat was out of this world. Plain and simple. There is really not much else to say. I was rendered utterly speechless.Dessert was a crazy suggestion at this point but before we knew it, out came huge plates of pancakes filled with the classic Argentine 'Dulce de Leche' accompanied by a milk ice cream was beyond excellent but I must confess that after such a magnificent feast, I was barely able to muster the willpower to lift fork to mouth, let alone polish off a whole plate of food again. Alas, this may just have been the straw that broke the camel's back (me being the camel) but it was so very worth it and I still cannot believe my luck for receiving such an invitation. Now do you know why I called it a 'Golden Ticket' invitation?Hands down, A La Cruz is not only the best Argentinian restaurant I have ever been to but will probably be one of my top recommendations in London for serious food lovers. Where else will you be able to eat meat roasted in a proper Asador? And where else will you be able to eat such amazing quality meat prepared with such love and expertise that it will leave you wanting more? Very rarely do I implore people to try anywhere but A La Cruz MUST be experienced. So don't rest on your laurels folks, because until you've experienced A La Cruz, you really haven't experienced amazing meat. Make sure you say hello to the very lovely John and Marcelo if you ever go and tell them Sabrina sent you!

A La Cruz - 42 Northampton Road, Clerkenwell, London EC1R 0HU
Tel: 020 837 1999

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

REVIEW: Quince

Half Turkish, half Bulgarian Chef Silvena Rowe is a face that many of us recognise for television, whether Saturday Kitchen, Market Kitchen or Good Food, Silvena is by no means a new face but she has recently just opened a new restaurant in London and I went along to check it out.Silvena is a commanding figure of a woman; Incredibly statuesque, with piercing blue eyes and her signature spiked blonde hair, she isn't a face you would forget in a hurry. She has landed one of the most prime spots in town for her new restaurant Quince, which is located at the Mayfair Hotel, attracting a healthy volume of patrons, celebrities and papparazzi each week.The cookery remains true to Silvena's roots and mirrors the style of cooking featured in her two latest books 'Purple Citrus and Sweet Perfume' and 'Orient Express'. There are plenty of spices in her cookery, but never over powering and always complimentary. Food from these parts of the world are flavoursome, diverse and always have something to suit everyone's tastes.The menu has so much choice that I didn't really know what to go for, especially as I was on my own, so I chose cumin-spiced calamari with quince Aioli, lamb Börek pastry cigars and vegetable Börek bites with a lemon tahini dip, smoked aubergine dip with pomegranate molasses and lastly one of her signature dishes of giant prawns with pomegranate butter, flecked with pomegranate seeds.

This is my kind of food; food that is plentiful, with different flavours and textures but nothing that overpowers anything else. If anything, this kind of food was made to compliment each other, perfect for sharing (if you so wish) or eating, greedily, by yourself. The Böreks were perfectly crisp on the outside, crusted with nigella and sesame seeds and filled with moist almost sweet, lamb with a delicate spicing. The Börek bites had a little more kick to them, perfect for a vegetable dish.

My favourite dish had to the prawns with pomegranate butter, so elegant with a perfect acidic balance from the pomegranate molasses to cut through the lashings of delicious foaming butter. A finally scattering of pomegranate seeds and a few flowers make the dish visually stunning too. The calamari was wonderfully crunchy and the cumin was gentle and not at all overpowering, paired with the sweetened quince Aioli. The smoked aubergine dip with tahini and generous swirls of pomegranate molasses was heavenly and thankfully I refused the several offerings of bread as otherwise I would have ended up eating about 4 slices of the stuff laden with the smoky aubergine dip.

Silvena is a colourful character; Very animated, very vocal, very friendly. In fact I saw her buzzing from table to table throughout my meal and she spent at least 10 minutes with each table, which was a very nice touch and I think many clients appreciate this. Quince has an open kitchen and you can see absolutely everything that is being prepared which makes for entertaining viewing and for food geeks like myself, I find it absolutely rivoting! Not to mention the fact that some of her Chef Brigade are very cute indeed. I digress... Quince is a great place to come any time of day really and I'm told there is a great vibe in the evening with the cocktail bar in full swing. It's definitely a place I will come back to.

Quince - Stratton Street, London W1J 8LT
Tel: 020 7915 3892

Sunday, 17 July 2011

RECIPE: Spiced Lamb Tagine with Preserved Lemons & Butternut Squash

The constant rain and cooler temperatures this summer have made me crave warm sunshine food; the kind of food that reminds you of being somewhere else entirely. Spices like warming cinnamon, aromatic cumin and pungent turmeric do wonders to lift the spirits and through their flavours and smells, evoke the vibe of the Souk markets of Morocco.

In the absence of physically being somewhere warm and exotic, I decided the next best thing was to whip up a warming batch of Tagine at home. The word 'Tagine' refers to the earthenware conical dishes that are used to cook these dishes, rather than the food itself. In the absence of a Tagine dish and an open fire, a large cooking pot and a normal domestic stove does the job beautifully. The traditional meat and fruit/nut combinations of Tagine dishes actually stem from Persia, which fills me with patriotic pride, knowing that our culinary influence reaches far and wide. So here is my delicious, one-pot recipe for my own Tagine recipe;

Spiced Lamb Tagine with Preserved Lemons & Butternut Squash (Serves 4)

600g of lamb neck fillets, sliced into inch thick pieces
1/2 Jar of 'Belazu' Preserved lemons (from most supermarkets)
1 very onion (or 2 small), halved & cut into 6 chunks
The cloves from a whole bulb of garlic, crushed but left whole
500g of peeled butternut squash cut into inch thick chunks or small wedges
2 generous handfuls of pitted prunes
4 heaped teaspoons of cumin powder
3 teaspoons of cinammon powder
3 heaped teaspoons of turmeric powder
4 bay leaves
1 Knorr beef jelly stock
Maldon sea salt

In a large cooking pot (I use Le Creuset heavy based pots) preheated over a medium heat (low-medium if using gas) add your onions and brown a little, then add a good glug of all before adding the lamb into the pan. Brown the lamb a little, before adding the garlic, bay leaves, turmeric, cinnamon and cumin and a stirring well. Add the Knorr beef stock, some extra Maldon sea salt and cover the meat generously with cold water about 1 inch over the level of ingredients in the pot. Then add your prunes, preserved lemons and butternut squash and turn the heat down to low and cook for about 2.5 hours, giving it a stir every so often to make sure it doesn't stick. If the mixture looks like it is drying out, just add a little more cold water.

Once cooking time has passed, remove from heat and allow to meld for about 20 minutes before serving with a steaming hot pile of cous cous or whatever you like! It's absolutely mouthwatering!

MY COOKERY MASTERCLASSES - A Great Way To Improve Your Skills In The Kitchen!

I am now a full-time freelancing food writer, cookery teacher and private caterer. Although I have been doing private catering for over a decade and having launched my Masterclasses nearly 2 years ago, I have now made the transition to focus on this full time and I'm loving it!

I offer 3 hour or 5 hour intensive private cookery Masterclasses which are bespoke and designed to improve your skills and repertoire in the areas YOU feel you would like to improve them. My students range from amateurs to the more advanced cooks in need of some inspiration. I offer tuition on cuisines from around the world as well as different styles of cookery. From flavours of the Middle-East to Southeast Asia as well as Mediterranean and Modern European. Low-fat cookery, low GI, Gluten-free... I tailor-make menus to suit each student and ensure you get the best out of the experience. I also do interactive kids coookery classes, which are fun for 1-2-1 or groups too!

For more information on these intensive, great value and fun classes, email me at: sabrinaghayour@hotmail.com with your enquiry.

RECIPE: Authentic Greek 'Gemista' Stuffed Peppers

I love travelling and anyone who knows me, knows well that food always plays a huge part in my overseas adventures. Recently I visited some great friends in Greece and being the warm-hearted, wonderful people that they are, it is perfectly normal to meet and visit their entire family along with a splendid Sunday lunch cooked by my friend Dimitra's Mother. Mama G (as I call her) is the matriarch of the house and her cooking is really pretty special and on the Sunday we arrived for lunch, Gemista (stuffed peppers), Keftedakia (meat patties) and Horiatiki (Greek Salad) were the order of the day. All the vegetables were picked from her own garden (I love this fact!) and the recipes are classic, authentic Greek recipes using local produce. Could anything be more wonderful?

After lunch I begged Mama G to give me the recipe for Gemista and she gave me a run-down of the process (minus quantities) and upon my return to London, it was one of the very first things I tried out back in my own kitchen... and I was rather impressed with the results. So here is the fantastic recipe... Quantities are tough to gauge to be honest, as I wasn't given any but the below quantities worked for me. I have taken step-by-step pictures to try and aid the process for you so you know what each stage should look like roughly.

Gemista - Greek Stuffed Peppers

16 mixed colour whole peppers (whichever colours you choose is fine)
500g of lean minced beef
300g Basmati rice
2 large onions (or 3-4 small), peeled and finely chopped
1 large bunch of parsley, finely chopped
140g tin of tomato puree
8 ripe (or overripe) tomatoes, quartered
500g tomato passata
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
Maldon sea salt
Ground black pepper
Olive oil (quite a bit)
**Aluminium foil & baking/oven paper**

Wash your peppers and cut off 1 inch lids off the top and clean the insides out, carefully, trying not to damage or break the pepper. Make sure the lids are in tact as they will help create steam for the rice to cook properly in the peppers.In a large cooking pot over a medium high heat (or medium, if using gas) add your onions to the pan with a generous glug of oii (don't be afraid to add plenty of oil as the mixture will need it)and lightly sweat your onions til they are translucent and just a little golden but not browned. At this point, add your mince meat quickly followed by your quartered tomatoes, tomato puree and passata. Now normally, you would always brown the meat first before adding other ingredients, but in this case you want the meat to stew and remain soft, rather than browned and tough. Make sure you stir the meat really well to ensure the tomato puree and passata are evenly distributed. Then season generously (in fact over season, as you will be adding rice to this mixture later) with Maldon sea salt and just a little black pepper. Turn of the hob and remove from heat before stirring in your chopped parsley anfd setting aside. The mixture should look like this;Once the mince mixture has cooled, stir in your 300g of Basmati rice and mix evenly with the beef and tomato mixture. It should look like this;Preheat your oven to 200 degrees and add one last generous glug of olive oil to the rice and beef mixture and stir well before stuffing the peppers 3/4 full (leave about 1cm clear from the top) and place the pepper lid over them. Once done, line 2 large oven trays with a sheet of aluminium foil and then some baking paper and lay the peppers, on their sides, in the tray ensuring the caps are on securely as best as possible. **At this stage, I would like to say that different families have told me that they prefer to stand the peppers up right throughout the cooking process, so do whichever is best for you. I just chose to stick to the recipe given to me by Mama G**Once the peppers are laid out in the oven trays, drizzle them with olive oil, and scattters a few handfuls of water over them too before placing in the oven and baking for 30 minutes. Once the 30 minute period is done, carefully turn them over (I used a large spoon and a cooking spatula) and cook them for a final 30 minutes before serving. I like to enjoy them with a Greek salad (Horiatiki) of olives, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions and feta cheese with a sprinkling of dried oregano and some good olive oil. Absolutely delicious.

Friday, 15 July 2011

GIVEAWAY: Bompas & Parr Truvia Voyage of Discovery on the Roof of Selfridges


To date, I have NEVER given anything away on my blog... But this is suitable bonkers and I'm quickly becoming a fan of all things 'Bompas & Parr'.

I have 5 pairs of tickets to give away to the now SOLD OUT Bompas & Parr & Truvia event. The event will see over 400 square metres of Selfridges Roof transformed into a magical pop-up island and boating lake.

Your one hour 'Voyage of Discovery' promises to dazzle as you travel by boat to a 'Crystal Island' complete with a waterfall.


If you would like a chance to bag yourself a pair of these 'money-can't-buy' tickets then please leave a comment on this blog. Winners will be selected at random and so please leave an email that you can be contacted on.

For an extra chance to win, please tweet a link to this blog entry, adding in @SabrinaGhayour at the end of your tweet. Good luck folks!

Thursday, 7 July 2011

The 'Trusty' Cookbook - In aid of The Princes Trust

Looks like another one of my recipes has made it onto the pages of another fantastic cookbook, although this time it is for charity and I am honoured to be among some of the finest Chefs in the country including Thomasina Miers, Mitch Tonks, Michael Caines, Valentine Warner, Mat Follas, Maria Elia and my good buddy Lee Behan of Friday Food Club. There are many more Chefs that have provided recipes for this great book and I am just honoured to be among them. My recipe is true to my heritage and is the only Persian recipe in the book.

The book costs just £7.50 and I really hope that you will do a wonderful thing for charity and buy it! You can take a sneak peak of all the fantastic recipes and Chefs that make up the book on the website. www.thetrustycookbook.co.uk To purchase your copy of this great value book, please visit: and click on BUY NOW

You will be doing a wonderful thing for charity by helping them raise funds for The Princes Trust but in return you will get a wonderful keep-sake full of fab recipes, including mine! (yay!) Thanks guys.

RECIPE: Chargrilled Korean Pepper & Lemon Prawns

Asian and Oriental supermarkets are filled with little gems and one such gem I have recently discovered are Korean pepper flakes. Now spice-haters, fear ye not as these pepper flakes aren't chilli flakes and therefore not really spicy although they have a hint of spicy, smokiness which is very delicious and makes it a fantastic ingredient for recipes of all kinds.

I was experimenting in the kitchen one day and came up with a SUPER SIMPLE marinade for prawns using the pepper flakes (which indeed can be use for pork, chicken and other seafood also) and it has now become a staple in my house when I cook for guests or just for myself. Here is the recipe:

Chargrilled Korean Pepper & Lemon Prawns

Ingredients (Quantities are up to you, see method for guidance)

Large uncooked shell-on prawns
Korean pepper flakes
Whole lemons
Olive oil
Maldon sea salt

Preheat a griddle pan over the highest heat or turn on your BBQ to a medium-high heat. In a large bowl, marinate 5-6 shell-on prawns per person in lemon juice (half a lemon per 6 prawns) with 1 teaspoon of Korean chilli flakes per 6 prawns or you can use 1/4 teaspoon of regular chilli flakes per 6 prawns for a spicier marinade and drizzle with olive oil. Coat the prawns thoroughly with the lemon, chilli and oil mixture and a few pinches of Maldon sea salt.

Place your prawns onto your griddle pan or BBQ and grill for about 5 -7 minutes on each side until slightly charred. You can also have a lemon and grill it along side the prawns for about 6 minutes, flat side down. This will sweeten and intensify its juices making it perfect to squeeze over your prawns once peeled. That's all there is to it! They are delicious, summery and dare I say it, finger lickin' good.

REVIEW: Koba, W1

The fact that I love Korean food is not really a new revelation. You may remember my visit to London's Korea Town as well as a write up of one of my favourite Korean restaurants in London, Arang. So when a group of us were looking for great place to eat, I followed the recommendation of a few fellow bloggers and headed to Koba restaurant, off of Charlotte Street for a little Korean BBQ..The restaurant itself is much more elegant than most Korean restaurants although the prices are pretty standard. Eager to get a good feel for the quality of food served here, we ordered quite a lot of food between the 4 of us and proceeded to plough through them at great speed. Starting with the customary Kimchi/Kimchee pickles, (which annoyingly we had to pay for!), we crunched our way through the 3 pristine piles of perfectly pickled cabbage, Daikon radish and cucumber. Fluffy light 'Pajeon' seafood and spring onion pancakes were sensational and moreish; I could have happily just eaten that all evening.Two further starters arrive; 'Jap Cheh' sweet potato-based glass noodles with beef and vegetables and also an interesting and much-blogged about dish of strips of raw beef combined with Asian pear topped with a raw egg. Risky business. The Jap Cheh was nice but it always frustrates me that restaurants seem to charge £7-8 for this dish (Koba charges £7.20) only deliver a tiny portion that could quite easily be inhaled in seconds. This is a sneaky restaurant trick as there are only ever the tiniest strips of beef and a few vegetables in the dish so why not be generous? The real let-down came in the form of the raw beef with Asian pear and raw egg yolk (which unfortunately I didn't manage to photograph before the egg was mixed in). I read rave reviews about what an amazing dish this was on certain other blogs (mentioning no names) but I do wonder if the somewhat excessive worship of this dish relates to the fact that it is rather daring instead of the fact it is actually tasty? The fact is that it amounted to little more than an unpleasant combination of strips of raw, and actually frozen beef with Asian pear and a raw egg on top. No seasoning, no substance... No thank you.Main courses were far more successful and we chose various different dishes including belly pork slices and beef ribs as well as 'Daegibulgogi' sweet/spicy marinaded pork, classic beef 'Bulgogi' as well as prawns and squid all arriving raw and ready to be grilled in front of us (the classic Korean BBQ way) and none of it disappointed. Quality, flavour and even quantity was excellent; although not particularly cheap again, you couldn't possibly be disappointed in any way. The food is good. Very good indeed.I must admit, I would definitely come back here if wanting to take friends out to dinner somewhere Korean in town but for cheap eats, great food and good service, Arang in Golden Square wins me over, every single time.

11 Rathbone Street, London W1
Tel: 020 580 8825