September 21 | Comments (0)
The sun is still out, and the weather is still warm...so it's not time to pull out the autumn dishes quite yet.
French bread (sliced)
2 rounds of goats cheese
For the salsa:
2 tomato (diced)
1 clove of garlic (chopped)
1/2 white onion (chopped)
Basil (add a fist full)
Dash of pepper
Dash of salt
Sprinkle of lemon juice
Mix up all the ingredients for the salsa and let it sit while you prepare the other bits. Heat your oven to gas mark 6, or about 200C. Put the goats cheese rounds on a roasting tray and place in the oven...keep a close eye on them and cook them until the inside is gooey and the outside is still holding firm. While the goats cheese is cooking, slice some of the french bread and toast it. (I do mine under the grill, it somehow tastes better.)
As in the picture, place two pieces of toast on a plate, place the goats cheese on top and cut it open. Add the salsa and serve.
July 21 | Comments (0)
July 17 | Comments (0)
This dish reminds me of sitting on the pier on the island of Paxos, stuffing my face with fresh baked feta. The islanders make theirs with a pepper puree, i'm not a big fan so I use sundried tomatoes instead. Good any time of year.
1 jar of sundried tomatoes
1/2 clove of garlic
12 green olives
Preheat oven to 180C. Cut your feta into cubes and place into your ceramic baking dish. Place dishes uncovered, into the oven for 5-8 minutes (as long as it takes to make the tomato mixture). Put the tomatoes, garlic and olives into a mixer and blend them all together until they form a thick puree. Add more olives if you want it thicker. Take the feta from the oven and spoon the mixture on top of each one, just enough to cover the top. Place back in the oven for a further 15 minutes covered with tin foil. Remove the tin foil 2 minutes before its done to let it sizzle a bit. Serve with bread, or pita bread.
July 13 | Comments (0)
I like to keep my guacamole really simple. I think that many people ruin it by adding too many ingredients.
2 large avocadoes
1 sprinkle of paprika
1 clove of garlic
1 pinch of pepper
1 pinch of salt
(juice from 1 lime, if you're not going to eat it right away)
Smoosh all of the ingredients together, serve with warmed tortilla. I used bread as I didn't have any tortilla in the house, and it was quite good with a sour dough. Adding lime will keep the mixture from discolouring, so add it if you're going to keep it for a bit. If you want to add a bit of colour on top, mix a bit of paprika with some olive oil and drizzle over the guacamole.
July 8 | Comments (0)
Last night we had a wonderful meal with some friends from around the corner and she made this most delicious appetiser. It seemed to be a lengthy process to prepare all of the little bits before making the rolls, but the result is well worth the effort. If you have the time, or lots of help this would be great for a summer party. I would imagine you could use chicken to replace the shrimp if you have to feed lots of people. Make sure you put a few aside for yourself, as they're sure to be gobbled up in a hurry.
Adapted (only slightly) from Epicurious mango shrimp summer rolls.
For dipping sauce
3 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Splash of water
12 large shrimp in shell (21 to 25 per lb), peeled
3 oz vermicelli rice-stick noodles*
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 (8-inch) rice-paper rounds plus additional in case some tear*
48 fresh corriander leaves (from about 1 bunch)
48 fresh mint leaves (from about 1 bunch)
1 seedless cucumber (usually plastic-wrapped; 1 lb), peeled, cored, and cut into 1/8-inch-thick matchsticks
1 lb firm-ripe mango, peeled, pitted, and cut into 1/8-inch-thick matchsticks
Stir together all sauce ingredients in a small bowl until sugar is dissolved.
Add shrimp to a 4- to 5-quart pot of boiling salted water, then reduce heat and poach shrimp at a bare simmer, uncovered, until just cooked through, about 3 minutes. Transfer shrimp with a slotted spoon to a bowl of ice and cold water to stop cooking, then return shrimp cooking water to a boil. Chill shrimp in ice water 2 minutes, then drain and pat dry. Cut each shrimp in half lengthwise, deveining if necessary.
Add noodles to boiling water and cook until just tender, about 3 minutes. Drain in a colander, then rinse under cold running water and drain well. Stir together vinegar, sugar, and salt in a large bowl until sugar is dissolved, then add noodles and toss to coat.
Put a double thickness of paper towel on a work surface and fill a shallow baking pan with warm water. Check rice-paper rounds and use only those that have no holes. Soak 1 round in warm water until pliable, 30 seconds to 1 minute, then carefully transfer to paper towels.
Arrange 3 shrimp halves (cut sides up) in a row across bottom third (part nearest you) of soaked rice paper. Spread 1/4 cup noodles on top of shrimp and arrange 3 cilantro leaves, 3 mint leaves, 8 cucumber matchsticks, 6 scallion strips, and 10 mango matchsticks horizontally on top of noodles. Fold bottom of rice paper over filling and begin rolling up tightly, stopping at halfway point. Arrange 3 more mint leaves and 3 more cilantro leaves along crease, then fold in ends and continue rolling. Transfer summer roll, seam side down, to a plate and cover with dampened paper towels. Make 7 more rolls in same manner and serve, whole or halved diagonally, with dipping sauce.
• Summer rolls can be made 4 hours ahead and chilled, covered with dampened paper towels and then with plastic wrap. Bring to room temperature before serving.
July 1 | Comments (0)
Inspired by the Mushroom caviar posted at Simply Recipes I decided to give my own version a try. It didn't take very long to make and was a picnic hit. I'll be making this again...and I think I might even use it as a sandwich spread. I think it would probably taste fantastic with some thickly sliced roast beef.
1/2 cup of olive oil
1/2 pound of mushrooms, cleaned and chopped (you can use whatever mushrooms you have, if you've only got fresh button mushrooms add some dried porcini to add some flavour.) I suggest getting a mixture of Porcini, shiitake, morels, chanterelles and oysters.
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup of onion or shallots
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp of balsamic vinegar
Sprinkle of paprika
Heat the oil in a large frying pan, once the oil is hot add all of your ingredients and stir ensuring that all the mushrooms have a coating of oil. Reduce the mixture, stiring frequently until the mushrooms are cooked through and soft. Remove it from the heat and put everything in a mixer for a few seconds to chop things up a little more finely. Serve with toasted tortilla or pita bread.