Monday, 28 February 2011

Psychedelic Feta Quiche with a Beetroot crust

The colour of the filling was a little odd to look at. Really I should have crumbled the feta cheese and stirred it into the egg-milk mixture, rather than slicing and topping, but on the plus side I guess I would not have got this accidental psychedelic and mosaic effect. It tasted fine though. The Barabietola di Chioggia beetroot was quite mild compared to the the earthy deep crimson ones.
It was really wonderful to use my own home grown beetroot. I was especially excited to cut open the Beetroot - Barabietola di Chioggia and marvel at its concentric rings of pink and white inside. It reminded me of those sticker rocks you find at the seaside.
I’ve made shortcrust pastry many times with herbs and spices. This time I thought I’d experiment with some freshly grated vegetables, in this case it was with beetroot. The experiment was a success. The beetroot created colourful swirls in the pastry pastry and it baked well too. I will certainly be making it again, perhaps with carrots, courgettes, pumpkins and squash.
Beetroot and Feta Quiche with a Beetroot shortcrust
Serves 4 - 6
Ingredients
First make the shortcrust pastry
Pastry will line a 10 inch round fluted tin
Follow link for recipe
To the mixture add 1 tablespoon fresh beetroot, grated.
Beetroot and feta filling
2 medium beetroot, peeled and sliced thinly. I used my vegetable mandolin slicer.
200ml milk
2 medium eggs
75g feta, crumbled
Salt and pepper to taste
Method
Preheat the oven to Gas mark 4.
Blanch the sliced beetroot in boiling water until just tender. Drain and set aside. In a small bowl, combine the milk with the eggs. Stir in the feta and season to taste.
Arrange the beetroot slices on to the pastry case. Gently pour the egg mixture over the beetroot slices.
Bake the tart for 30 - 40 minutes, or until the filling is firm and golden in places. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Fresh Beetroot Recipe ideas

I can't remember the last time I stepped out in my garden. Over the past three months, I've managed to avoid most tasks that have involved venturing out in the garden. Tasks such as cutting and bringing up fresh hardy herbs like rosemary, sage and thyme for cooking; and emptying vegetable scraps into the compost bin had all been allocated to my husband, as the wimp in me wanted to stay cosy and warm inside, dry from the wintry weather that has been battering us all all recently.

Well today the sun shine came out and I could not ignore the gardening tasks ahead of me, so I stepped out for a little while.
Whilst pottering around a little and taking mental notes of what has to be done, I harvested the last of my vegetables: Beetroot - Barabietola di Chioggia and Detroit 2. As I dug them out, I found so many wriggly worms - an excellent sign.
After washing them thoroughly and delighting over the colours, I wondered what to make with them?

Here are a few recipe ideas to ponder on:
Beetroot Hash

Beetroot Bular Pilau

Gold Beetroot and coriander pakoras

Beetroot and cheese slices

Beetroot Cumin Pasta

Beetroot Gnocchi

Beetroot Risotto

Red and Gold Beetroot, Coriander and Feta Salad

Beetroot Fritters

Beetroot - Mint Tea cakes

Beetroot and chocolate waffles

Beetroot Muffins

Enjoy!

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Beetroot - mint tea cakes

The name of these cakes somewhat suggest that these are 'cakes' are sweet and should be served with cup of tea, but I must clarify from the onset. These Beetroot-mint tea cakes are actually savoury. The 'mint tea' in the cake serves purely as an ingredient; or a flavour enhancer, and what a lovely addition it was too. These Beetroot cakes were neither earthy or spicy, somehow the mint managed to tame the rooty flavour of the beetroot.

These Beetroot cakes were also quite dense and had a bit of chew, unlike the autumnal beetroot fritters I've made before. I think these would be fantastic in a burger bun for flavour, texture and colour.
I have to admit, originally I was just going to use dried mint, then I remembered I still had some spicy mint tea sent to me last year by my best friend, so I used some of that for this recipe. If you don't have any just substitute with dried mint, I have no doubt it will work just as well.

I am submitting this recipe to PJ of Seduce my Tastebuds who is hosting a food blogger event called Herbs and Flowers in my Platter. The idea is to cook and blog about a vegetarian or vegan dish using a herb or flower. The theme this month is mint.
Beetroot –mint tea Cakes
Makes 6
Ingredients
2 large raw beetroots, peeled and grated (about 300g)
1 small red onion, finely sliced
110g chickpea flour, plus extra if required
1 teaspoon coriander seeds, toasted and ground
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted and ground
1 teaspoon spicy mint tea or dried mint
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon red chilli flakes
Vegetable oil for frying
Method
In a mixing bowl, combine the beetroot, onion, chickpea flour, coriander and cumin seeds, mint, salt and chilli flakes. Mix until the dough hold together in a firm patties, adding more flour if necessary to aid the binding process. Divide the beetroot mixture into 6 and mould with your hands into round cakes, about 3 inches wide and ½ inch thick.
Heat the oil in a wide pan, add cakes. Fry on one side for 3 minute, before flipping over and cooking the other side, press gently with a spatula until browned and crisp. Adapted from The Artful Vegan: Fresh Flavours from the Millennium Restaurant.

Friday, 25 February 2011

Gobi Fritters with Carrot Salsa

Instead of having what some people do on a Friday night in Scotland - Fish Supper - we've had Gobi fritters and Beetroot-mint tea cakes. Many of you will be familiar with the word Gobi, its the Urdu, Punjabi and Hindi word for 'cauliflower' and I have to say they were very nice too. The Gobi fritters were lightly spiced. I'd go as far as describing them as cauliflower popcorn, as the bite size pieces were perfect to pick and eat with your fingers.

I accompanied the Gobi fritters and Beetroot-mint tea cakes with a light and refreshing carrot salsa. I really enjoyed the carrot salsa. It was sweet, spicy and herby. I will be making it again, perhaps to serve with some tortilla chips.
Those of you keen on the Beetroot -mint tea cakes will note that I have not posted the recipe, I promise to do so tomorrow.
Carrot salsa
Makes a large bowl
Ingredients
2 medium carrots, peeled and grated
1 small red onion, peeled and finely minced
2 tablespoons JalapeƱo from a jar, roughly chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon fresh coriander, minced
Method
Mix all the ingredients together in a dishing dish. Chill for an hour before serving. Adapted from 'Tis the Season.
Gobi Fritters
Ingredients

1 small cauliflower
For the spiced batter
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted and ground
1 teaspoons black mustard seeds, toasted and ground
1 teaspoon red chilli flakes
100g chickpea flour, sifted
Enough water to combine
Salt to taste
Vegetable oil for deep frying
Method
For the batter

Put all the ingredients into a mixing bowl, then pour in enough water to combine and whisk gently. Season with salt and set aside for flavours to mingle.
Remove the outer leaves of the cauliflower. Rinse the cauliflower under water and then chop into bite sized florets.
Heat oil in a deep pan.
Add some of the cauliflower into the batter and coat well, then carefully place them in the hot oil in batches. Turning them now and again, so that they are browned and crisp all over. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon onto a kitchen paper. If you are not serving them immediately, they will keep warm in the oven on low heat for a little while, but they are best eaten immediately.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Butternut squash and butterbean casserole

A couple of days ago it was snowing here in Scotland, and today its been piddling down with rain.
So lets tuck into this warm, orange tinged plate of food made up of Butternut squash, butter beans and baby onions.
D enjoyed the dish, but said he found the coriander dumplings a little dry. I told him these dumplings were meant to be crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. The butter beans provided perfect contrast as they melted in your mouth and the gravy was unctuous and flavourful.
Butternut squash and butter bean casserole with coriander dumplingsServes 4
Ingredients
For the casserole1 medium butternut squash, mine weighed 500g, but into chunks
10 - 12 baby onions or shallots, peeled
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon plain flour
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 x 400g can butter beans or chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon fresh coriander, minced
400ml vegetable stock
For the dumplings200g self raising flour
100g vegetable suet
1 tablespoon fresh coriander, minced finely
Method
For the casserolePreheat oven to gas mark 7. Place the butternut squash and onions or shallot on a large baking tray. Add the oil and coat the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper and roast for 20 – 30 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
When the veg is cooked, remove from the oven and turn the temperature down to Gas mark 4. Add a tablespoon of flour to the roasting tin, stirring to coat the vegetables to soak up the juices. Add the garlic and a little vegetable stock , making sure you scrape the bottom to release all the sticky caramelized bits.
Transfer to an ovenproof casserole and add the tomato paste, coriander, butter beans or chickpeas and remaining stock. Give it all a good stir, bring to the boil and cover. Cook in the oven for 30 minutes.
For the dumplings
While this is cooking, make the dumplings. Combine all the dry ingredient in a large bowl. Add minced coriander and enough cold water to bring them together into a soft dough. Shape the dough into 8 small balls and set aside.
Remove the casserole from the oven and carefully add the dumplings, so they float on the surface. Return to the oven for a further 20 minute. Adapted from UK Shallots.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Cumin Chickpea flat cakes

If you take a look closer, you will see some Cumin chickpea flat cakes, albeit well hidden under the roasted winter vegetables. These Cumin chickpea flat cakes are both soft and crisp. The softness on the inside reminds me of hummus, and the crispness on the outside is a bit like chickpea pakoras or chickpea chips.

One of the things I've been trying to do over the past few months is go through my store cupboards in an attempt to (empty it and) use up some of the ingredients. My store cupboard is an extension of my kitchen cupboards. I have a tiny kitchen that is not able to accommodate my dried goods such as flours, spices, lentils as well as tins of tomatoes, beans and pulses - chickpeas being one of them. I have a lot of chickpea tins in my cupboard.
This morning I had also picked up some parsnips and Jerusalem artichokes from the farmers market. So along with the green garlicky kale, these fresh, local and seasonal vegetables formed part of our meal this evening. It was all good, very good in fact.

There is one thing I should mention though, especially if you decide that you wish to attempt these. When I turned the flat cakes out onto the plate, I noted the top was lovely and crisp, but the bottom not so much (see below). So if you wish for both sides to be crispy, I recommend halfway through the cooking process to remove from the tin(s). Flip them onto a non stick baking tin. Coat with a little olive oil and bake further until lightly crisp. I will definitely be doing this later in the week, as I have four Chickpea flat cakes left to consume. These will be good for a mid week working supper.
Cumin Chickpea flat cakes
Serves 6 – 8
Makes one 12 inch or 8 x 4 ½ inch round flan tins
Ingredients
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for coating
3 medium onions, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
3 x 400g cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Salt and pepper to taste
Method
Heat the oil in a wide pan, add the onions and cover and fry gently for 10 - 15 minutes. Stirring every now and again to stop from sticking to the pan. Add the garlic and cumin seeds and cook for a few minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and add the chickpeas and some salt and pepper. Mash thoroughly. Adjust seasoning if necessary.
Put the mixture into a lightly oiled 12 inch round loose base flan tin and smooth the top. I actually used 8 individual round flan tins measuring 4 ½ inch. Gently baste the top with a little olive oil and bake in oven for 15 – 25 minutes or until golden – but don’t let it dry. Remove from the oven. Turn the flat cake out of the tin and slide it on to the dish.
NOTE: If you wish for both sides to be crispy, halfway through the cooking process remove from the tin(s) and flip onto a non stick baking tin. Coat with a little olive oil and bake further until lightly crisp. Slightly adapted from Rose Elliots Veggie Chic. Veggie Chic has also been released in paperback under the title of Sumptuous Suppers.

Friday, 18 February 2011

Chocolate Gingerbread Cake

Is it spring here yet!? It still feels so wintry.

As well as a hot drink like mulled wine or hot cider, a piece of cake spruced up with a little of ginger would not go amiss either.
On the first day of eating this Chocolate Gingerbread cake, the texture was airy light, almost mousse like. However, a day or two later, the texture firmed up a little, still very tasty. The ginger in the cake certainly kicks you in the mouth on first bite and guess what?! This cake is vegan too.
Chocolate Gingerbread
1/3 cup or 30g cocoa powder
1 1/3 cup or180g plain flour
½ teaspoon bicarbonate soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 ½ teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup or 165g brown sugar
1 cup or 200ml strong brewed coffee, cooled
½ cup or 100ml vegetable oil
¼ cup or 55g chopped crystallized ginger
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
Method
Heat the oven to Gas Mark 5. Oil an 8 inch round baking tin.
In a large bowl, sift the flour, cocoa, soda, salt, cinnamon and ginger. Stir in the sugar. In a small bowl, combine the coffee with the oil and whisk. Then beat the liquid into the dry ingredients. Stir in the crystallized ginger, and then quickly stir in the vinegar.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30 – 35 minutes, or until a toothpick in the centre of the cake comes out clean. From Moosewood Restaurant Celebrates.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Vegan ‘Prawns’ and seitan chorizo paella

This is my first attempt at making paella. Paella is a rice dish from Spain that has become very popular with Brits in the U.K. Paella is not a dish I would have ordinarily attempted, namely because of the 'meaty' ingredients, but it was at my nephews request that I make a vegetarian version of paella when his Uncle returned home. I did not wish to disappoint him, so this is what we had this evening: Vegan 'prawns' and seitan chorizo paella.
I know purists will be disappointed. For a start, I have not made it the authentic way using a paella pan, then I have missed out one of the essential ingredients - saffron strands that give the dish its golden colour (simply because I did not have any to hand). To add to this, I also veganized the dish and let me tell you it was good. The paprika and turmeric gave the dish its reddish colour and flavour. The last of the seitan chorizo gave it warmth. For those of you interested, I purchased the large vegan prawns from a Chinese supermarket in Glasgow. The vegan prawns are made from seaweed extract, gluten wheat, salt and spices. D repeated what he said once before about the vegan prawns that 'they tasted more like prawns than prawns did', this time my nephew agreed too.
The paella certainly was a complete meal in itself, no accompaniments required – perhaps a glass of red wine though.
Vegan ‘Prawns’ and seitanchorizo’ paellaIngredients
Serves 42 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, finely sliced
1 red pepper, cored, seeded and sliced (from Spain)
200g seitan chorizo. Recipe from here, sliced
1 tablespoon vegetable oil for shallow frying
1 ½ pints vegetable stock
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon ground turmeric (or a few saffron strands, if you have them)
200g long grain rice (I purchased some labelled as paella rice, but I think any long grain rice would have been fine)
Packet of vegan prawns, thawed if frozen. The packet contained 250g
100g frozen peas
Salt and pepper to taste
MethodHeat the oil in a large frying pan and cook the onion until softened and golden. Add the red pepper, garlic and rice and stir fry for a couple of minutes. Then add the paprika, turmeric (or saffron) and stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 12 - 15 minutes.
Whilst the pot is simmering, in a large frying pan heat 1 tablespoon oil and add the sliced seitan chorizo, cook for a minute on one side before flipping over and cooking on the other side. Turn off heat and set aside.
Stir in the prawns and peas into the simmering pot and cook for a further 5 minutes, until the rice and vegetables are tender. Stir in the seitan choizo and season to taste, then serve immediately. Recipe veganized from Ainsley Harriots Gourmet Express 2.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Lentil loaf with Marmite potatoes

For the past few days, we have been eating snacky kind of food. This evening I thought, I'd made more of an effort and make a proper plate of food.
Our plate consisted of Marmite roast potatoes, a slice of lentil loaf and oven roasted Brussels sprouts with garlic. I was rather surprised at my nephew as he actually liked the sprouts. Not many teenagers I know would say they like sprouts! but he did, perhaps because they were roasted. The brown lentil loaf was compact, yet light and packed with flavour.
I was just going to roast the potatoes in my usual way, but my nephew recommended coating them with Marmite. Marmite is made from yeast extract, a by-product of beer brewing. Marmite is a thick sticky, dark brown paste often used as a good spread. I've been told its very similar to the Australian Vegemite. It has a very strong and distinct flavour - savoury and salty with umami characteristics, hence the slogan Love it or hate it.
I don't love or hate Marmite. My attitude towards it is depicted by my mood. For example, I don't like it spread on toast, but I do like to drink it when feeling a little under the weather and my taste buds need awakening. I was quite curious to try his Marmite roasties. They were actually okay, though I don't think I'd be making them again too soon...maybe if I'm poorly and need some comfort eating.
Brown Lentil loafIngredients
Serves 6
320g brown lentils
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 large leek, washed thoroughly and thinly sliced
Pinch of salt
2 cloves garlic, crushes
1 tablespoon thyme
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced
60g fresh breadcrumbs
Tamari or soy sauce to taste
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon lemon juice
MethodSort through the lentils and discard any stones or grit. Rinse thoroughly. Place the lentils and bay leaves in a large saucepan with 850ml of water. Bring to the boil over a high heat and simmer for a few minutes, skimming off any form that rises to the surface. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 45 minutes, or until the lentils are tender. If there is any liquid left at the end of the cooking time, uncover and boil rapidly until the liquid is evaporated. Discard the bay leaves.
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan and add the leek and sea salt. Saute for a couple of minutes then add the garlic, thyme and rosemary. Saute for a further 5 minutes, or until the leek is tender.
Preheat the oven to gas mark 4 and grease a 8 x 4 inch loaf tin. Combine the leek mixture with the cooked lentils. Add the breadcrumbs, tamari, mustard and lemon juice and mix well. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and drizzle the remaining olive oil on top. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the top is crispy. Turn out onto a plate, before slicing and serving. Adapted from Aine McAteer Recipes to Nurture.
Marmite Roast potatoesServes 2
IngredientsVegetable oil for roasting potatoes
Floury potatoes such as Maris Piper or King Edward
1 teaspoon of Marmite
Salt and pepper
MethodPreheat the oven to gas mark 7.
Once you have parboiled the potatoes, drain and set aside. Heat vegetable oil in a large tray. Whilst the oil is heating up, season the parboiled potatoes with salt, pepper and then coat them well with the Marmite. Tip the potatoes into the hot oil and bake for 45 minutes to an hour or until crispy. Make sure you turn the potatoes every 15 minutes so that they are crisp on all sides. Serve immediately.

Monday, 14 February 2011

Seitan Chorizo chowder

The sun came out to tease us, but it was very quickly followed by hail stones - in which, of course I was caught - hitting my face icy cold like shards of sharp glass.

Anyway after getting home, drying my face and hair, a bowl of spicy seitan chorizo chowder was very much welcomed.
Seitan Chorizo chowder
Serves 4
Ingredients
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, finely sliced
450g floury potatoes such as Maris Piper or King Edward, cubed
1 leek, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 ½ pints of vegetable stock
200g - 250g seitan chorizo sausages, cut into ½ inch wide sliced. Follow link for recipe.
Salt and pepper to taste
Method
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in large pan and cook the onion, garlic and potatoes for 5 minutes until lightly golden. Add the leek and cayenne and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 20minutes until the potatoes are very soft and beginning to bread up into the soup. Using a potato masher, roughly mash the potatoes into the soup.
In another pan, heat the remaining olive oil. Add the seitan chorizo pieces and cook for a minute then flip over and cook on the other side, then add to the soup, along with the oil from the pan. Simmer gently for 5 minutes. Check the seasoning, ladle into bowls. Adapted very slightly from Ainsley Harriots Gourmet Express 2

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Carrot and orange cake

A little bit of baking today, with a little help from the nephew with the grating of the carrots.
This moist cake is not overly sweet, so if you want you can spread the top with a little sweetened cream cheese, flavoured with a little orange.
Carrot and orange cake
Serves 6 – 8
Ingredients
125g butter
125g granulated sugar
2 eggs
250g self raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
250g carrots, grated
75g sultanas
Juice and zest of 1 orange
Method
Preheat oven to Gas mark 4.
In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, then beat in the eggs. Sift in the flour, baking powder and cinnamon and gently fold in, then quickly stir in the remaining ingredients.
Spoon the mixture into a 8 or 9 inch lined and greased tin. Bake for 1 – 1 ½ hour on middle shelf. Leave for 10 -15 minutes before turning out. Cool on a wire rack.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Tacky or Tattie (Potato) People with heart

I know, I know its a little tacky - but warm (mmm) these Tattie Scones are so comforting.
Of course we all know that Valentines Day is just around the corner. To be truthful though, D and me have never really got into the Valentines Day spirit – its commercialised, plus we feel we don't need one day in the year to show how much we love each other. But I would be a liar if I said I didn’t participate somehow. Just look at my blog filled with lots of sweet hearty edibles.
Strawberry Cheesecake,
Cranberry Heart Scones,
Kahlua Pots,
Lavender Heart Scones and finally, chocolate orange brownies. The truth is these sweet, pretty and elegant delights tend to enthuse and excite me, rather than D. He is just happy to eat - whether it is heart shaped or not.
Excluding the shapely figures which are purely for my entertainment, this morning I thought I’d make something that would appeal to him, as well as make him smile as he dug his fork in - Tattie (Potato) scones. Shame though, he’s not here to eat them or laugh at them, but I think he might be a little grateful of that.

I spoke with him on the phone earlier. I always ask him what he has eaten? His response ‘potato this, potato that’. It sounded like he was getting fed up of potato based meals, so maybe I should’t tease him with my Tattie people. Instead I hope he will note that his little Missy is missing him ♥
For those of you who may not be familiar with Tattie Scones. Let me tell you that no Scottish breakfast would be complete without some Tattie Scones. Tattie scones are made with mashed potatoes. They are cooked in a wide pan, and tend to be flat, golden brown pancakes in the shape of a triangle. I’ve always known Tattie Scones as 'potato scones', but recently learned that they are also known as 'fadge' or 'potato bread' in parts of Ireland.

Tattie scones are traditionally served with a Lorne Sausage, black pudding, bacon, egg, griddled tomato and/or mushrooms. Well we, meaning me and my nephew didn’t go down that road, we just had them with a fried egg and beans.

There are so many Scottish recipes for Tattie Scones, but I am fond of this one for many reasons. First it was given to me by a Scottish friend many years ago. Secondly, its so easy to make and thirdly, I always seem to have the right amount of left over cold mash to make this.


Tattie (Potato) Scones
Serves 2
Ingredients
I generous teaspoon of salted butter
160g mashed potato, cold
50g plain flour, plus extra for rolling out
Pinch of salt
1 - 2 tablespoon oil for shallow frying
Method
Blend the butter into the mashed potatoes, then add the flour and salt. Stir continuously preferably with a wooden spoon until smooth dough like consistency is achieved.
Gently roll out the soft dough on a floured surface into a rough circle and about 6mm thick. Using a palette knife gently cut through the dough, first downwards as if you cutting in half and then horizontally, so that you have four triangles.
In a wide frying pan, heat the oil. Carefully transfer the rolled out dough pieces into the hot oil. After a minute or so, flip over and cook the other side until golden brown in places. Enjoy immediately. These are best eaten on the day, but can be reheated in the oven.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Chilli Tomato Potato Tart

I didn’t make this 'Chilli Tomato Potato Tart' solely for myself. My dear nephew has time off from work – a whole week in fact – Instead of doing what many young people do book a flight to Benidorm, Magaluf or Lanzarote to ‘party’ in the sun, he had decided to travel up from Wales to rainy Scotland to keep his aunty amused while his Uncle is away. What a considerate young man.

According to my nephew, the tart was really ‘really nice’, but to expand further on his expression of delight, let me share with you that the chilli flecked pastry was crisp. The tomato sauce was both sweet and delicately spiced, and finally the sliced potatoes on top were both soft and crisp. I served the tart with some garlicky kale. Lovely.
Chilli Tomato Potato Tart
Serves 4 – 6
Ingredients
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 -2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 x tinned tomato, chopped
1 large fresh chilli, sliced or 1 generous teaspoon chilli flakes
1 teaspoon salt
400g potatoes, boiled in their skins for 15 minutes, then peeled and sliced thinly
Salt to taste
Olive oil for drizzling
Optional: 25g Parmesan cheese or equivalent, grated. This is the brand I use. It is suitable for vegetarians.
For the chilli flecked pastry
200g plain flour
A pinch of slat
100g unsalted butter
1 teaspoon of chilli flakes
Method
First make the pastry
Put the flour and salt into a large bowl, rub in the butter until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the chilli. Add in enough cold water to make a firm dough, then chill or roll out on a lightly floured surface and use to line a 8inch fluted tart tin. Lightly prick the base with a fork. Chill for 30 minutes, then line with baking parchment paper and baking beans. Put into a preheated oven Gas mark 6. Bake on middle shelf for 15 minutes, then remove the parchment paper and beans and return to oven for another 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
For the filling
Ina pan, heat the oil, add the garlic and chilli and cook gently for 5 minutes for the flavours to infuse the oil. Then add in the tinned tomatoes and salt. Simmer for 20 minutes or until the tomato sauce is thick. Adjust seasoning if necessary. Set aside and allow to cool.
To assemble
Spread the tomato mixture evenly on the tart base, then cover with the slices in concentric circles (you may or may not use all the sliced potatoes), pressing gently. Drizzle over a little olive oil and scatter over Parmesan cheese if using. Increase the heat of the oven to Gas Mark 7 and bake for 15 – 20 minutes until the top is lightly golden.
Adapted from Annie Nichols Potatoes

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Chorizo, potato and thyme quesadillas

Did I say I was not going to eat any lazy food, well I guess I’m a fibber then.

After making the vegan chorizo sausages I had to find ways of consuming it.
First it was chorizo hash, then Quesadillas.
The chorizo sausages sliced beautifully and then upon cooking, they kept their shape well. The spicy flavour of the chorizo sausage infused the other ingredients. It was really good. I have frozen three of the sausages for when D returns, I think its only fair he tries some too.
Chorizo, potato and thyme quesadillas
Serves 2 greedy people
Ingredients
1 large potato, chopped into cubes then boiled until tender, drain and set aside
½ onion, finely sliced
1 clove garlic, sliced
200g chorizo sausage, sliced or chopped
A couple of sprigs of thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
2 – 3 flour or corn tortilla wraps
Cheddar cheese, grated
Olive oil
MethodHeat oil in pan, add the onion and cook until soft then add in the potatoes and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes, then add in the chorizo and fry for a further 5 minutes. Mix in the thyme and season with salt and pepper to taste.
To assemble the quesadillasSpread half of the chorizo mixture on one half of a tortilla wrap. Sprinkle generously with cheese, then fold over so you have a half moon.
Heat a tablespoon olive oil in a wide frying pan, then place the tortilla gently in the frying pan and cook for a minute before flipping over for the other side to be golden and crisp. Serve immediately. Repeat with the remaining tortilla(s). Cut in half and enjoy with salsa. Adapted from Thomasina Miers Mexican Food Made Simple.