Monday, 24 July 2017

Asparagus and Gruyere tarte


If you want to make something that is so incredibly easy but very impressive at the same time this is the dish for you. 
It's a recipe given to me from my sister in law, and every time I have made it, it has been a huge success. 

Ingredients
Serves 4
1 pack of ready rolled puff pastry
A pack of asparagus
2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard
A block of gruyere cheese

Method 
Unroll the ready rolled puff pastry onto a large baking tray keeping it on the greaseproof paper that it is wrapped in . Score a line around the edge of the pastry about half an inch in, and prick the inside of the pastry with a fork to stop the pastry rising too much. Spread the Dijon mustard onto the pastry. Grate on the cheese to your liking. Lightly steam the asparagus then lay on top of the cheese. Grate a little more cheese over the Asparagus. Put the tarte in a hot oven for about 20 minutes unitil the pastry is golden and the cheese is bubbling. It can be eaten hot or cold. 

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Roasted new potatoes with Brie and sundried tomatoes




Tesco recently sent me a box of free goodies for being a good customer. It included a packet of jersey royal potatoes, some Cornish Brie, some sun dried tomatoes and a recipe card. 
Heat the oven to 200C, then roast the potatoes in olive oil with a bit of mustard power mixed in and lots of seasoning. When the potatoes are golden, slice on the Cornish Brie, add the sundried tomatoes and put back in the oven until the cheese is just starting to melt. Sprinkle with parsley when it's out of the oven. I added the Parma ham at the cheese stage and it crisps up beautifully in the oven. 
It was a very simple but delicious meal, perfect for alfresco dining in this wonderful weather we are experiencing. 

Note: if you haven't got mustard powder any mustard would be fine mixed in with the olive oil. I think a sprinkling of spring onions half way through cooking stage would add a good flavour and blue cheese melted like cambozola would be good too. 


Monday, 12 June 2017

Nigella Lawson's Peanut Butter squares



These delicious chocolate and peanut treats were made as a bribe for James to do some revision the other evening. Did it work? No, he ate and enjoyed them but still didn't do the revision required. We haven't got long to go, it will all be over by Friday and there starts a very long summer. We will then have the job of finding a prom suit for the following Friday, hopefully it won't be as difficult as the prom dress search last year. Anyway, if you like Reece's Peanut butter cups you will love these, they are very similar. The recipe is an old favourite from, 'How to be a Domestic Goddess'.

INGREDIENTS
Serves: 12


For the base
50g muscovado sugar
200g icing sugar
50g unsalted butter
200g smooth peanut butter

For the topping
200g milk chocolate
100g plain chocolate
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Method
Stir all the ingredients for the base together. You can simply use a wooden spoon and bowl or throw it all into the magimix for a couple of high powered seconds.
Press the sandy mixture into the lined brownie or similar style tin and make the surface as even as possible.
To make the topping simply put the chocolate and butter in a glass bowl and microwave for only a minute or two to melt.
Spread on base and put the tin in the fridge to set.
When the chocolate has hardened cut into mini squares. 

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Tray-roast salmon and vegetables with creme fraiche and crumbs



There is a similarity with this dish and one of my favourite salmon dishes which is the salmon with a lemon and Parmesan crust. Both are really lovely recipes and very easy to prepare. The salmon was fresh and perfectly cooked, it's a wonderful meal for the summer months. The meal is from the delicious website. I'm very tempted to subscribe to the magazine and have a change from Olive Magazine, which hasn't been inspiring me that much recently. 

Ingredients
Serves 4
700g unpeeled new potatoes, thinly sliced
Olive oil for drizzling
50g half-fat crème fraîche
2 tsp dijon mustard
2 tsp chopped fresh dill
Zest 1 lemon, plus wedges
4 sustainably sourced salmon fillets, skin removed
6 tbsp panko breadcrumbs
230g asparagus, woody ends removed, halved if thick
125g pack tenderstem broccoli, trimmed and halved if thick

METHOD
Heat the oven to 200ºC. Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Arrange the potato slices in the tray, season and drizzle with oil. Roast for 20 minutes; toss halfway through.
Mix the crème fraîche with the dijon mustard, dill, lemon zest and seasoning. Set aside.

Remove the baking tray from the oven, then add the salmon fillets. Spoon the crème fraîche mixture evenly over each fillet, then top with the breadcrumbs.
Arrange the veg
around the salmon and potatoes in the tray. Drizzle with oil and season. Roast for 12-15 minutes until the salmon is cooked, the breadcrumbs are golden and the veg are just tender. Serve with the lemon wedges.



Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Mexican Bean Burgers





Well the exams have started. Stress levels have reduced a bit, because let's face it there isn't much that can be done at this stage, apart from night before cramming, which thankfully is happening. I'll continue the good food to keep up the energy levels and feed the brain. We will just hope for the best and keep our fingers crossed. A month today it will all be over. It seems a very long way off though. 
I am surprised that the kids like this meal as they can be a bit funny about things made with beans, but these burgers went down a treat last night. Use the recipe as a guide but throw in other things to enhance the flavour. We didn't have salsa but found that sweet chilli sauce was a lovely accompaniment. They are quick and easy and I would think reasonably healthy. The recipe is from the BBC goodfood website, which suggests the burgers can also be frozen.

Ingredients
Makes 6 burgers

2 x 400g/14oz cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained
100g breadcrumb
2 tsp mild chilli powder
small bunch coriander, stalks and leaves chopped
1 egg
200g tub fresh salsa
150ml low-fat natural yogurt
juice ½ lime
Burger buns, sliced avocado, sliced red onion and salad leaves, to serve.

Method
Tip the beans into a large bowl, then roughly crush with a potato masher. Add the breadcrumbs, chilli powder, coriander stalks and ½ the leaves, egg and 2 tbsp salsa, season to taste, then mix together well with a fork. 

Divide the mixture into 6, then wet your hands and shape into burgers. The burgers can now be frozen if required. If cooking straight away fry in hot oil on each side until golden and crisp.To cook from frozen, bake at 200ºC for 20-30 mins until hot through.

While the burgers are cooking, mix the remaining coriander leaves with the yogurt, lime juice and a good grind of black pepper. Split the buns in half and spread the bases with some of the yogurt. Top each with leaves, avocado, onion, a burger, another dollop of the lime yogurt and some salsa, then serve.

Tip: I always have fresh coriander left over if I have bought it for a recipe, freeze the left overs in the packet, as they come in handy for recipes like this. 

Monday, 1 May 2017

Italian meatballs

I haven't posted in a while. This may have something to do with the fact that my son James is sitting his GCSEs in a couple of weeks time. The only person who isn't stressed in the house is James. I  have no energy left for anything but trying to make him revise . I will cook and feed him, wash his clothes,  create the right environment for him to work in, but short of removing every distraction in the house there is nothing more that as parents we can do. I curse smart phones, I curse Snapchat, I curse Instagram, I curse you tube. I even curse the piano, which he has never played as much of in his life.
The other night James asked for homemade meatballs for tea, which I made with a homemade tomato sauce and afterwards he said I think I prefer Ikea meatballs. I kept calm, really I did. 
I  haven't even got the energy to write out the recipe so I'll link to the page . Sorry. 


BBC food, Italian meatballs