Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Turkey, stilton & broccoli burgers


400g turkey mince, 200g white stilton with apricots, 1/2 head of broccoli 
Serves: 6 preparation: 40 minutes

Since I made The Boy my turkey and stilton meatballs he has been completely addicted to the combination (and to making jokes about eating balls with his friends on Facebook...) so I decided to treat him and make him a meat version of the plantain, stilton and broccoli burger I created recently.

1) Steam or boil the broccoli for about 20 minutes - this recipe needs it to be soft rather than al dente but there should still be some nutrients left in there!

2) Drain the broccoli and pulse in the blender until it resembles breadcrumbs, add the crumbled cheese and turkey mince and pulse until it has come together into a ball.

3) Divide into 6 patties, pressing firmly into your hands and rolling into a ball - these need to be relatively solid or when they cook, the turkey juices and steam will separate.

4) Sear the outside in a pan with a little olive oil before baking in the oven for about 20 minutes

Plantain, stilton & broccoli burgers


1 plantain, 100g white stilton with apricots, 5 broccoli florets 
Serves: 2 preparation: 1 hour

Plantains are fabulous. They're a kind of savoury banana that grow in tropical climates and are used quite a lot in Caribbean and Mexican cooking. When shopping for plantain please remember that the best ones are the ripe, almost completely black ones. Don't cook with unripe ones as the flavour and texture will probably put you off for life! This burger has a gorgeous thin crust, a slightly sticky soft centre and the gorgeous classic flavour combination of stilton and broccoli enriched with the sweetness of plantain and apricot.

1) Bring a pan of water to the boil and drop the entire plantain into it. Boil for 25-30 minutes. You will know it is ready as the skin will split and virtually peel itself! I like to steam the broccoli florets over the pan of boiling plantain but if you don't have a steamer, boil the broccoli in a separate pan for 20 minutes until soft.

2) Pulse the plantain in a blender, then add the crumbled cheese and drained broccoli.

3) The mixture should look a little like breadcrumbs but be moist enough to press together into patties with your hands. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes until a golden crust has formed

Southern Comfort fajitas


300g Quorn steak strips (or beef steak strips), southern comfort, tomato passata, 1 white onion, iceberg lettuce, soured cream, butter, jalepenos, cumin, cheddar, tortillas, Guacamole: 3 avocados, jalepeno, lime, coriander, soured cream, avocado oil.
Serves: 6 preparation: 20 minutes

I have never been a fan of Southern Comfort - the smell turns my stomach and I find the taste too sweet. Usually when cooking Mexican food I use tequila but a lack of tequila and the dregs of a bottle of SoCo that someone brought to a party recently made me wonder if the fruity, spicy flavour would work well as an alternative. Turns out it did! Enjoy...

1) To make guacamole, see my previous recipe.

2) Marinate the Quorn in Southern Comfort for about 5 or 10 minutes (it's like a sponge and will soak it right up - if you're using beef you might want to make it an hour beforehand).

3) Peel and finely dice the onion and sautee in a little butter until completely soft. Add the Quorn and any excess Southern Comfort and cook off the alcohol.

4) Add a little tomato passata, cumin and some chopped jalepenos to taste

5) Serve with shredded iceberg lettuce, grated cheddar, guacamole and some soured cream in a tortilla.

Sweet potato & feta burrito


1 sweet potato, 100g feta, 1/4 cucumber, tortilla, cumin, paprika, chilli powder, onion powder, dried coriander, Hummus: 
Chickpeas, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, sesame seeds
Serves: 2 preparation: 30 minutes

Now that the summer months are approaching, I'm looking forward to sitting outdoors to eat a refreshing, light lunch instead of huddled in the warmth of the office eating leftovers from the night before. This combination of soft, spicy sweet potato, crunchy cucumber, tangy feta and smooth savoury hummus is the perfect filling for a soft tortilla.

1) To make your own hummus, see previous recipe.

2) Slice the sweet potato into chunks and drizzle with olive oil before tossing in a bowl with the dry spices so that the potato is coated evenly.

3) Roast in the oven, skin side down for 20 minutes then set aside to cool.

4) Slice the feta and cucumber into chunks of similar size and along with the  sweet potato spoon on the centre of the tortilla in a straight line. I think this works best by pressing it onto a layer of hummus, though you could dollop hummus over it instead of course.

5) To fold the burrito, take the left and right side and lift to ensure the contents are dead centre, then first fold the bottom over the contents, then the left and right sides and tuck in the top. This will keep it all intact in your lunchbox. Serve cold.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Spinach, feta, olive & sun-dried tomato bean burgers


400g spinach, 1 potato, sun dried tomatoes, olives, feta, haricot beans, old bread, pistachios, sesame seeds, 1 egg.
Serves: 4 preparation: 30 minutes

This is one of my favourite recent recipes and I can see myself making these time and time again. The burgers are like an explosion of flavour - olive BAM, tomato BAM, feta BAM but there's the silky smooth potato and spinach to balance it out - the beans add a great texture and the crispy, nutty crust is fabulous.

1) Peel and dice the potato, then boil in hot, salted water until soft. Drain, mash and set aside to cool.

2) Drain the can of beans and slice them in half. This sounds laborous but it needn't be - just line them up and slice multiple beans at the same time! stir into the mashed potato.

3) Blitz the spinach in a blender and stir into the bean and potato mixture.

4) Dice the feta, tomatoes and olives and stir into the mixture.

5) Blitz your bread in a blender until fine breadcrumbs are formed. Crush a handful of pistachios in a blender and stir through the bread with some sesame seeds.

6) Whisk the egg and roll the patty into it before rolling it through the breadcrumbs, then bake in the oven for 10 minutes until the breadcrumbs are golden brown.

Spinach & ricotta bean burger


400g spinach, 1 potato, 1 can cannellini beans, nutmeg, pistachio nuts, old bread, sesame seeds, ricotta cheese.  
Serves: 4 preparation: 30 minutes

Spinach and ricotta are a match made in heaven - delicate, soft and comforting - and this bean burger is absolutely delicious.

1) Peel and dice the potato, then boil in hot, salted water until soft. Drain, mash and set aside to cool.

2) Drain the can of beans and slice them in half. This sounds laborous but it needn't be - just line them up and slice multiple beans at the same time! stir into the mashed potato.

3) Blitz the spinach in a blender and grate in some nutmeg and season with black pepper before adding 2 tablespoons of ricotta.

4) Stir the spinach and ricotta mixture into with the potato and beans and form patties.

5) Blitz your bread in a blender until fine breadcrumbs are formed. Crush a handful of pistachios in a blender and stir through the bread with some sesame seeds.

6) Roll the patties in the breadcrumb mixture, then bake in the oven for 10 minutes until the breadcrumbs are golden brown.

5 bean chilli & sweet potato melting burger


2 sweet potatoes, kidney beans, pinto beans, cannellini beans and haricot beans, maize, pistachios, sesame seeds, old bread, coriander, 5 jalepenos, Philadelphia   
Serves: 4 preparation: 30 minutes

I love bean burgers and this is a fabulously spiced with a scrumptious melting Philadelphia centre to cut through the heat.

1) Peel and dice the sweet potato, then boil it in hot, salted water until soft. Drain, mash and set aside to cool.  

2) Stir the beans into the sweet potato (Tesco sell "taco beans", 1 can of which is perfect - but rinse away the sauce, otherwise it will make the mixture too wet) and add a teaspoon of cumin and some chopped jalepenos to taste.

3) Sift in a little maize flour and stir through, adding more bit by bit until the mixture has stiffened just enough to form a patty with.

4) Blitz your bread in a blender until fine breadcrumbs are formed. Crush a handful of pistachios in a blender and stir through the bread with some sesame seeds.

5) Slice the patty in half and fill with a good teaspoon of Philadelphia. Form the patty back around the cheese to ensure there is no place for it to bubble out. Roll it in the breadcrumb mixture, then bake in the oven for 10 minutes until the breadcrumbs are golden brown.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Leek knish with a melting centre


     Jus-Rol™ puff pastry, 1 potato, 10g cheddar, 10g mozzarella, 1 leek, cream, butter 
Serves: 1 preparation: 30 minutes

When I make any dish containing mashed potato I always make far more than I need. Mainly because mashed potato is my favourite food and I am a glutton who likes to indulge herself, but also because if I don't eat it out of the bowl before it can be used and actually have leftovers - it makes the most fabulously versatile ingredient. Potato cakes, croquettes, soup, gnocchi... I'll even form bean burgers with it as you'll see in my next recipes. This recipe is one of my ultimate favourite comfort foods. A knish is a Jewish recipe though this I hasten to add is my own twist on the traditional form. The thinnest crispiest flakiest outer shell, a soft warm savoury filling with an indulgent melting centre - this is pure heaven.

1) Peel and dice the potato and boil in hot salted water for 20 minutes.

2) Drain the potato and mash thoroughly, set aside until it's cool enough to handle but is still warm.

3) Finely dice the leek and sautee in a little butter. Stir through the potato with a splash of cream and season well with salt and pepper.

4) Roll out the chilled pastry until it is as thin as possible but still thick enough to handle without poking holes through it. Remember pastry is made of butter and the potato is warm so you don't want to melt it!

5) Using a tennis ball sized scoop of potato, add it to the centre of the pastry, then cut the pastry down until it is just big enough to envelop the potato. Either poke a hole in the centre or as I did, twist the pastry together to form a spiral at the top. Press grated cheddar and mozzarella into the centre of the potato - then bake for 15 - 20 minutes until the pastry is golden brown.

I served this with pesto stuffed chicken, wrapped in bacon and creamed spinach with roast tomatoes.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Guinness beef & cabbage hash


Potato, cream, butter, stewing steak, Guinness, beef stock, leek, cabbage, plain flour.
Serves: 2 preparation: 1 hour

This came together as a sort of desperate cobbling together as leftovers but The Boy loved it so it's come on the list of recipes to post as an alternative to my Guinness pie. Yet another St Patrick's Day cliched idea!

1) Peel and dice the potato and boil in hot salted water for 20 minutes

2) Dice the leek and cabbage and sautee in a little butter. Sift in a little plain flour to form a sort of roux, then add the chunks of beef and allow to brown before pouring over just enough Guinness to cover the meat.

3) Allow the Guinness to bubble away for about 10 minutes, then add a little beef stock and cream before stirring through. By now the sauce should have thickened to a glossy, dark brown hue.

4) Spoon the beef, cabbage and leek mixture into a casserole dish and set aside.

5) Strain the potatoes and mash with a little butter and cream. Season well with salt and black pepper, then pipe over the meat. Bake in the oven for 10-20 minutes until the top is golden brown and crispy

Creamed cabbage & potato cakes


Pistachio, chilli & lime potato cakes, irish cheddar, cabbage, leeks, double cream, butter, black pepper
Serves: 2 preparation: 10 minutes

When I make potato cakes, I tend to like thick almost scone-like cakes that are crispy on the outside and meltingly perfect mash in the middle. On the rare occasion that I have "proper" flat potato cakes, I like to treat them as toast. In honour of St Patrick's Day (because what's more Irish than potatoes and cabbage?) I have created this creamed cabbage, cheddar and leek concoction to serve them with.

1) For instructions on making potato cakes see my previous recipe.

2) Dice the cabbage and leeks, then sautee in a little butter for 5 minutes, adding a tiny splash of cream once the leeks are soft.

3) Stir through some grated Irish cheddar and season well with black pepper.

Serve on the toasty hot potato cake

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Leek & bacon bread


    1 leek, 3 slices bacon, 350g wholemeal flour, 150g plain flour (plus more for dusting), 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda, 400ml Rachel's Organic Greek yoghurt
Serves: 8 Preparation: 1 hour

This is one of the most intensely savoury smelling breads I've ever created - the leek and bacon are a perfect combination and the yoghurt helps it to form a beautiful rustic crust. Perfect with soup or for Welsh rarebit.

1) Sift the flours together and add the bicarbonate of soda.

2) Finely dice the leek and cut the bacon into lardons, trimming off all of the fat.

3) Stir through the yoghurt, leek and bacon little by little until a soft, sticky dough is formed. You can use a food processor but I find it makes the bread quite dense.

4) Form a rough ball with the dough dust with flour and slash the top, or press into a loaf tin. (personally I think it looks awful - picture above - in a loaf tin and makes a much better looking round) Bake on a baking sheet for 30-45 minutes until a good crust has formed and the bottom sounds hollow when you tap it. Allow the bread to cool completely before diving in as it will remain quite moist when hot and you'll cause a soggy layer if you slice too soon.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Welsh rarebit


  Bread, Newcastle Brown Ale, lancashire cheese, double cream, english mustard.
Serves: 4 Preparation: 10 minutes

This is a dish of division. The division between people who call it Welsh Rarebit or Welsh Rabbit. The division between people who use Cheddar and those who use Lancashire cheese. The division between people who use stout versus ale, sourdough bread versus seeded wholemeal... the list is endless! I have spent the majority of this week perfecting this recipe - I used different cheeses, different ales and stouts and I can confirm with absolute confidence that you will not find a better Welsh Rarebit sauce than that made with Newcastle Brown Ale and Lancashire cheese. Cheddar is too oily, too sharp tasting - the piquancy here comes from the mustard. I also prefer to serve this on seeded wholemeal bread, but watch out for my bacon bread recipe coming later today!

1) Reduce half a cup of ale in a milk pan, stir in a teaspoon of English mustard, a tablespoon of double cream and remove from the heat.

2) Grate the lancashire cheese into the pan and stir through until a completely smooth, elastic sort of fondue has formed.

3) Toast the bread on one side before spooning about 4 tablespoons of sauce, bit by bit onto the bread, allowing it to soak up the sauce as you spread it out.  When a layer of sauce about 1/3 of a centimetre high has settled on the bread, it's ready to grill.

4) I like to grill this until the cheese has begun to form a crisp brown layer, and run down the sides of the crust - this leaves a melting, soft centre of cheese but has a wonderful flavour on the top.

Boursin mushrooms


3 slices of bread, 200g chestnut mushrooms, 50g garlic and herb Boursin, pumpkin oil, butter 
Serves: 1 preparation: 5 minutes

This recipe is The Boy's favourite breakfast - crispy melba toast topped with gooey, rich mushrooms - tangy with garlic and herb cheese and a nutty pumpkin oil finish. Being deathly allergic to mushrooms I can only promise that the sauce is magnificent, but magnificent it is.

1) Slice the crusts from the bread and press flat with a rolling pin. Toast lightly  and set aside.

2) Finely slice the mushrooms, then sautee in a frying pan for 3-4 minutes with a little butter and a drizzle of pumpkin oil. Finish by stirring through the boursin and serve, spooned onto the melba toast.

Cauliflower cheese


  1 cauliflower, 1/2 cup Guinness, 2 cups grated cheddar, 1/2 cup grated gruyere, 1/2 cup double cream, 1 tsp grainy mustard. 
Serves: 4 Preparation: 30 minutes

I love cauliflower cheese, scratch that - I love anything with cheese, but this dish is melting perfection with an unbelievably rich, tangy, sauce. The earthiness of the Guinness really works here and this is a perfect side dish for a roast dinner.

1) Prepare the cauliflower by removing the leaves and slicing the stem to the base. Slice around the stem to release the florets.

2) Steam or parboil the cauliflower for about 8 minutes, strain and set aside to rest in an ovenproof dish.

3) Reduce the Guinness by half in a milk pan and stir in the mustard and cream. Take off the heat and stir in the cheddar until it has melted into a thick, creamy sauce.

4) Pour the sauce over the cauliflower and sprinkle with the gruyere. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes, until the cheese bubbles and just begins to colour.

Banana pancakes


   2 very ripe bananas, 1 cup plain flour, 1 tbsp baking powder, 1tbsp vegetable oil, 1 tbsp honey, 2 eggs, 1/2 cup crushed pecan nuts, 1/2 cup milk
Serves: 6 (Scotch pancake style) 12 (crepe style) Preparation: 40 minutes

I'm going to deviate away from culinary references here and turn to the world of music. Jack Johnson's Banana Pancakes is one of my favourite of his songs and every time I hear it it gets stuck in my head and I have an overwhelming compulsion to make banana pancakes. These work best in my opinion as a thick stack of scotch pancakes, drizzled with honey but The Boy demolished them before I could take a picture! So here's a crepe style made with the dregs of batter... 

1) Whisk the eggs with the milk, honey and vegetable oil and pour over the dry ingredients, whisking until they are combined.

2) Blend or mash the banana and add to the batter until incorporated. Leave the batter to rest for at least 30 minutes and then stir through.

3) Heat a non-stick frying pan until very hot, then add a small knob of butter. Pour in one ladle of batter (if you want crepes, quickly turn the pan off the heat to coat the base evenly with the batter, then return to the job) and cook for about one minute, until the base is lightly browned. I like to use a spatula or palette knife to just loosen the edges of the pancake - once the air gets under it you will find it does not stick to the pan but slide about which helps it to flip!

4) Flip over the pancake (if you have a clumsy wrist, slide the pancake onto a plate, then tip the pan over the plate and turn it upside down. No one will ever know!

5) Once the pancake has cooked on both sides, serve with a drizzle of honey

Everything Goes With Toast   © 2008. Distributed by Blogger Templates. Template Recipes by Emporium Digital