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EAT: Herman the German friendship pizza

26 May

Last week I was given a Herman.

If you haven’t heard of Herman, you can find out lots about him here. Believed to be an Amish tradition, Herman is a yeast culture that gets fed and passed to friends. Sounds a bit like an STI, but I swear, it’s the base of some delicious baked goods…

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EAT: Egg Muffins

24 May

I spotted this recipe on Pinterest and decided to give it a go. I have been looking for some breakfasts that are light on the carbs and this seemed just the thing – mini baked frittatas that go in the fridge and are eaten throughout the week.

The full recipe is on the website link above, and I made mine by frying up a couple of spring onions, par boiling some delicious English asparagus, and then adding that to the bottom of each muffin hole. I then added 8 eggs which were beaten together with some cheddar cheese, salt and pepper.

As you can see, the eggs rise quite a lot in the baking, so I probably could have got away with just 7 eggs.

The recipe recommends that you eat 2 each day, so this was done to last me 4 days. However, I don’t eat a huge amount in the mornings, so I imagine some days I’m only going to want one egg. As such I think it will probably last me the full week. They are delicious too, so I’m definitely going to try these again!

8 eggs = £2 (Ocado)
4 asparagus spears = £1.25 (£2.50 for 8 in Brixton market)
2 spring onions = £0.20

£3.45 for 4-6 delicious breakfasts, depending on how hungry you are of a morning.

Ottolenghi – Surprise Tatin

22 Apr

If you have been lucky enough to have visited one of Yotam Ottolenghi’s restaurants or tried out his recipes from The Guardian or his books Ottolenghi: The Cookbook or Plenty then you will already know that his food his amazing. For those who aren’t already acquainted with it I suggest you put that right now with this lovely potato tart that I made last week. I never thought about putting potatoes in a tart but it’s lovely, filling and the ingredients are relatively cheap so it’s a great cheap but impressive lunch dish for friends, served with a green salad.

Serves 4

200g cherry tomatoes

2tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling over the tomatoes and for the tin

500g baby potatoes (skins on)

1 large onion, thinly sliced

40g sugar

10g butter

3 oregano sprigs

150g hard goat’s cheese, sliced

1 puff pastry sheet, rolled thinly

salt and black pepper

Preheat the oven to 130 degree/ Gas Mark 1/2. Halve the tomatoes and place them side-sound down on a baking sheet. Drizzle over some olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in the oven to dry for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the potatoes in boiling salted water for 25 minutes. Drain and let cool. Trim off a but if the top and bottom of each potato, then cut into 2cm think disks.

Saute the onion with the oil and some salt for about 10 minute, or until golden brown.

Once you’ve prepared all the vegetables, brush a 22cm cake tin with oil and line the bottom with a circle of baking parchment. In a small pan cook the sugar and butter on a high heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, to get a semi-dark caramel. Pour thw caramel evenly over the bottom. Pick the oregano leaves, tear and scatter on the caramel.

Lay the potato slices close together, cut-side down, on the bottom of the tin. Gently press the onion and tomatoes into the gaps and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Spread the slices of goat’s cheese evenly over the potatoes. Cut a puff pastry disc that us 3cm larger in diameter than the tin. Lay the pastry lid over the tart filling and gently tuck the edges down around the potatoes inside the tin. (At this stage you can chill the tart for up to 24 hours.)

Preheat the oven to 200*C/Gas mark 6. Bake for 25 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 180*C/Gas Mark 4 and continue baking for 15 minutes, or until the pastry is thoroughly cooked. Remove from the oven and let settle for 2 minutes only. Hold and inverted plate firmly on top of the tin and carefully and briskly turn them over together, then lift the tin. Serve the tart hot or cold.

EAT: Black Bean Soup

9 Apr

If you ate as much chocolate as I did yesterday, chances are you are looking for something a little bit healthier to eat today. So look no further! This soup is full of health-giving ingredients, tastes delicious and costs less that £5 for four people.

The ingredients are all laid out above. Fry off the onion in the bottom of a large pot. Add around 2 litres of chicken or veg stock (we used fresh because we had some, but a stock cube would work just fine), then add in two sweet potatoes, cut into large chunks. Add a bit of coriander and half a teaspoon of cumin. Boil until the sweet potatoes are soft.

Meanwhile, fry off some chorizo and a couple of red peppers. Keep half of it aside and add the other half into the big pot.

Remove a few of the large pieces of now soft sweet potato and cut into small cubes. Keep aside with the chorizo you have saved.

Add a very large can (or two 400g cans) of drained black beans into the pot and blitz the whole thing with a stick blender.  Stir back in the chunks of sweet potato and chorizo and add salt and pepper to taste.

I like to serve this with sour cream and fresh coriander, with a quesadilla on the side, but it’s pretty substantial on its own. I also tend to add a big dollop of my favourite hot sauce to the bottom of my bowl and stir that in too. Delicious! It easily serves four.

EAT: Flagelot bean crumble

1 Apr

It has been SUCH lovely weather in London recently, but now the weather seems to be on the turn again, and all of a sudden all the salads I was craving don’t seem warm or substantial enough.

This is a corker of a soul warming meal – it looks amazing when it comes out of the oven, and tastes absolutely delicious. It is adapted from the wonderful The Kitchen Revolution, one of my all time favourite cook books. I was lucky enough to work with the authors when it launched a few years ago, so I might be biased, but it hasn’t been displaced yet as the book I pull out whenever I need quick inspiration.

The base of the meal are cans of beans and tomatoes, so you can throw together a veggie version of this dish for a couple of quid (literally), and it serves four people. If you have last minute guests, this is a great meal as it is generally made from store cupboard ingredients and food that I tend to have leftover in the fridge.

I tend to add bacon and chorizo into the mix, because I am a big believer that bacon makes most things taste better (jam, cookies, pancakes – the sky’s the limit), and because this particular dish tastes amazing with chorizo.  In the version I’ve photographed, the OH used sausages, because we had some in the freezer.

To make it, I use some spray oil and fry off a few chopped up rashers of bacon. Add in a finely chopped onion, carrots and celery and fry off until softened.

Meanwhile, fry or grill some sausages until cooked. If you are using chorizo, throw it in with the frying veg.

Once the veg are softened, add in a couple of cloves of chopped up garlic. Stir a little bit then add two cans of flagelot beans (cannelini beans would probably work really well instead if you have those in the cupboard).

Next, the recipe calls for 200ml of cider, but I never really have cider in the house, so have used white wine instead.  Sizzle sizzle sizzle until it has reduced, then add a can of chopped tomatoes, a bay leaf and some pepper.  I don’t like using very much salt, especially because the bacon already adds so much, but taste it to see if you think it needs some.  Let everything bubble for 5 minutes or so.

Heat the grill.

Grate 60g of cheese (I have used cheddar and parmesan, as the book suggests, but I have also added in those tiny bits of leftover cheese that I seem to accumulate in the fridge which tastes AMAZING) and combine with 100g breadcrumbs and 40g butter, chopped into small pieces. Stir it all together with a tablespoon of herbes de provence.

Put the sausages into the bean stew if you are using them, then sprinkle half of the breadcrumb mix over the top. Put under the grill for around 5 minutes (until it is crunchy and browned on top), then take it out and stir the breadcrumb mix into the stew and add the other half of the breadcrumb mix over the top. Grill again for another 5 minutes or so.

WOW. So. So. Good. When it comes out from under the grill, it will be all bubbling with a crunchy top. Serve with a salad or some fresh kale or broccoli or anything green and fresh, really.

Recipe adapted from The Kitchen Revolution

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