Thursday 30 August 2012

Pepper Soup for a Simple African-style Supper

Last night I was looking for something to eat, something that I could make quickly and I ended up with this... Basically made from a few things I had in the freezer and the fridge married with some fresh chillies I had growing an a few fresh herbs. The best of what I had around the house. It ended up being a very tasty meal for two, made quickly with very few base ingredients.

Simple Pepper Soup with Spiced Couscous Recipe

Serves 2

For the Pepper Soup:
2 fillets of firm white fish, cubed
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 Birds eye chillies, finely chopped
2 tbsp tomato purée
1 tbsp mixed herbs (thyme, oregano, chives, savory), finely chopped
2 small red bell peppers, de-seeded and finely diced
2 tbsp olive oil salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
2 tsp curry powder
1 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch)
2 tsp fresh mint, finely shredded

For the Spiced Couscous:
120g couscous
seeds from 4 cardamom pods
1 star anise
1 dried cayenne chilli, coarsely chopped

Begin with the pepper soup. Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the onion and garlic and fry for about 4 minutes or until the onion is just soft. Scatter in the curry powder then add the fish pieces. Stir-fry for about 5 minutes, or until the fish is lightly coloured then add the bell pepper and chillies. Stir-fry for 2 minutes then add 300ml boiling water. Bring to a simmer and add the tomato purée and the chopped herbs. Reduce to a gentle simmer, cover and cook for 5 minutes.

After 5 minutes mix the cornflour (cornstarch) to a smooth slurry with 2 tbsp water then stir into the pepper soup. Bring back to a simmer, cover and continue to cook so the stock thicken as you prepare the couscous.

Combine the couscous and spices in a saucepan. Pour over 200ml boiling water then place on the hob and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute then take off the heat, cover and set aside to stand for 5 minutes. After this time, fluff up the couscous and divide between two plates.

Adjust the seasonings of the pepper soup to taste, stir in the shredded mint, divide between the tow place and serve accompanied by a nicely chilled dry white wine.

For more recipes like this, see the Celtnet Recipes Forum.

For more African Recipes, see the Celtnet Recipes Blog African Recipes page.

Recipes of Africa eBook
This list of African regions and African recipes is brought to you in association with the Recipes of Africa eBook. With over 1000 recipes covering each and every country in Africa, this is the most comprehensive book of African recipes available anywhere.

If you love African food, or are just interested in African cookery, then the Recipes of Africa eBook is a must-buy. You get information about every region of Africa and every African country along with a selection of classic and traditional recipes from that country.

This is a must-get book for anyone interested in food. Learn about a continent that to this day remains mysterious to many people. The recipes presented here are written by someone who has travelled extensively in Africa and who is a published Author. The book is a properly-produce and published eBook and the collection is immense.

Don't delay, get yourself a copy of the Recipes of Africa eBook today!

Tuesday 21 August 2012

Help the Celtnet Recipes Site

The Celtnet Recipes Site needs your help.

Welcome to Celtnet Recipes,
the home of on-line food and Recipes.
19 300 recipes, 10 free historic cookery books 180 wild foods

Help keep this site free and make it Ad-Free.

Celtnet Needs Your Help

Please help support this site to keep it on the web! I have been personally funding this site for 8 years now, but it has grown too large for its current hosting. I need to move hosting and I need to re-write the codebase. This is a lot of work and I need to raise money... You can donate via PayPal using the button, left, or you can buy one of the site's Kindle eBooks.
Just think, a typical recipe book is $9.99 and you get 500 recipes. This site gives you the equivalent of almost 40 recipe books... and more. If you want to help, then you can learn more about this campaign's aims on the Free Celtnet Recipes page.

The Celtnet Recipes site is a large food website with over 19 000 recipes and information on spices, herbs, wild food, edible flowers and much more. There you can find recipes recipes from every country on earth as well as many historic recipes.

The site also puts historic recipes on the web for free and much of its content is linked in Wikipedia. It is a large recipe and food resource. However, it has been supported solely by its creator for 8 years and now it wants to expand and needs to move hosting, codebase and provider.

This needs money and the site is asking for your help in supporting it and its expansion.

You can contribute via paypal or by buying one of the site's Kindle eBooks (all sold through Amazon). You can donate here, or you can learn more at the Free Celtnet Recipes web page.

Any donator who wishes it will have their name published on the support page and if your donation is $20 or more you get a free eBook.

If enough donate then the future of the website will be secured (it has been taken down several times of late through hacking attempts) and it will be made ad-free. But the content will still be free for everyone...

You will be securing the future of a very special recipe resource on the web.

Thursday 9 August 2012

Life as a Recipe Collector and Food Writer

I was thinking about this last night, and I realize that I have been cooking for over 35 years now and I have been collecting recipes for well over 20 years.

Even my website, Celtnet Recipes has been live for over 8 years now and for that I have written well over 20 000 recipes, with 19 300 currently live on the website. I've copied and made available 10 historic cookbooks with translations (where needed) and modern redactions of the recipes. Everything form Ancient Roman cookbooks, Medieval English cookbooks, Tudor and Elizabethan cookbooks, Stuart cookbooks, Georgian cookbooks and Victorian cookbooks. 1500 years of cookery writing form the 4th century to the 19th century.

But the truth is, compared with the amount of time required to write and publish new content almost every day, the income from the website has become pitiful. But, about a year ago a friend of mine, whom I had taken through the contents of the site asked me why I had never published the recipes as a book... That got me thinking, and being a bit of a geek I looked into eBook publishing. This resulted in my first eBook, The Guide to Spices and Their Uses, with 88 spices described and over 800 recipes given being published for the Amazon kindle eBook reader (You can find the Guide to Spices and Their Uses on Amazon and you can also find the Guide to Spices and Their Uses on

I made a few sales, but I really wasn't clued in to what I had to do. There followed a long period where I had to learn the ins and outs of publishing (both traditional and eBook). This led to my publishing an even larger eBook, The Big Book of Curry Recipes (again you can find the The Big Book of Curry Recipes on Amazon and you can also find The Big Book of Curry Recipes on

For this eBook (which covers much of the world of curries, both historic and modern and presents a global view) I got more involved in the marketing and making links to the books more visible. This one started to sell much better from the get-go than the original book and I was very pleased with it.

So pleased that I began on a new journey... I started a new blog and began to write down my experiences there. This grew into the blog Dyfed's Adventures in Publishing with articles and anecdotes on publishing and how to make the most of the programs and tools out there. And how to leverage what web marketers have been using for years, but applying that to eBooks. So, yet another project that I am invested in, but which will probably bring me little income... hey ho...

Anyway, as my latest eBook is all about curry, today's recipe will be a spiced mackerel masala from Goa in India.

Goan Mackerel Masala

6 large mackerel (bangda), cleaned and scaled
salt, to taste
1 tsp ground turmeric
80g grated coconut
5 black peppercorns
1 tbsp mustard oil
5 onions, sliced
5 cloves
1cm length of cinnamon
8 whole dried red chillies
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 small tamarind pod (or equivalent of tamarind pulp with the seeds removed)
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp ground turmeric

Wash the mackerel and cut each one into four pieces. Season liberally with salt and set aside for 5 minutes. After this time wash the fish pieces and pat dry.

Place in a pot with 1l water, a pinch of salt and 1 tsp of the turmeric. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. After this time drain the mackerel pieces and put aside to cool. When they can be handled, strip off the skins and remove any bones. Chop the flesh into small pieces.

Heat the oil in a wok and use to stir-fry the garlic, black peppercorns, cloves and cinnamon until aromatic. Remove with a slotted spoon then add the coriander seeds and chillies to the oil left in the pan. Stir fry for a few minutes, until aromatic then remove the spices with a slotted spoon.

Combine all the spices in a coffee grinder and render to a fine powder. Add the onions to the oil remaining in the pan and fry for about 8 minutes or until a dark golden brown.

Mix the spices, grated coconut, remaining turmeric and the pulp from the tamarind in a food processor and blend together (add a little water and oil if needed so that the ingredients can be chopped finely). Add this paste to the fried onions and mix well. Bring to a boil then mix in the mackerel pieces.

Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently for about 3 minutes. Take off the heat and serve hot with rice and flatbreads.

This recipe is reproduced, with permission from Celtnet Recipes and you can find the original version here: Goan Mackerel Masala Recipe.

For now, though, I am back to the Dyfed's Adventures in Publishing blog to add its latest post.

Thursday 2 August 2012

New Jersey Potato Dog

The New Jersey Potato Dog is a classic and rather unusual American-style hotdog that is ideal for barbecues. It's made from a grilled spicy hot dog in a bun served topped with stewed sweet potatoes that are flavoured with mustard.

New Jersey Potato Dog

8 spicy hot dogs
8 hot dog buns
250g (9 oz) sweet potatoes
10 tbsp Dijon mustard
4 tbsp English mustard

Bring a pan of water to a boil, peel and die the sweet potatoes, add to the pan and cook for about 20 minutes or until tender. Drain the sweet potatoes, mash and add to a pan with a little of the cooking water. Bring to a simmer and stir in the mustards. Cook until soft and almost dry then take off the heat.
In the meantime place the hot dogs on your barbecue or under a hot grill and cook, turning frequently, until nicely coloured and heated through (about 8 minutes).
Wrap the rolls in foil, place in an oven pre-heated to 150ºC (300ºF) and allow to warm through for about 15 minutes.
When done, set the grilled hot dogs in the buns and top with the spicy sweet potato mixture. Serve immediately.

This classic American hotdog recipe is brought to you by the Celtnet Recipes website's Barbecue and Grilling Recipes pages.

If you are interested in Barbecue and Grilling recipes, then you may well be interested in the 'Big Book of Barbecue Recipes' which contains over 900 recipes for barbecue and barbecue-associated foods.

You can find the Big Book of Barbecue Recipes on Amazon and you can also find The Big Book of Barbecue Recipes on

The eBook is competitively priced, and if you do not have an eBook or Kindle reader, do not worry, Amazon provides software that allows you to view and read their ebooks on iPads, iPhones, PCs and Macs. The price for The Big Book of Barbecue Recipes is very reasonable and the content is well worthwhile. Go and get your copy now! It truly is a worthwhile buy.

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