Tag Archives: Butter

zesty and tangy summer chicken

4 Aug

From THE worst blogger in the world! I never seem to have enough time to do posts every day, not even once a week! Especially since summers in London are so short, I tend to say away from all technology, and I’m hoping this will pose as an excuse for my #noblognessdisease

asparagus

It has definitely caught up with me, since I’ve started to become a bit “low”, which is what happens when I’ve not been creative for some time.

I do hope this post will lift my spirits, and encourage your appetite!

 

mushroom

Zesty & tangy summer chicken

2 x teaspoons olive oil

season with Schwartz season all / chicken spice to taste

1 x pack of chicken thigh fillets

2 x tablespoons of capers

2 x handfuls of sliced button mushrooms

juice of a lemon

2  x handfuls of fresh oregano

2 x bunches of fresh, green asparagus

1 x red onion, finely chopped

2 x teaspoons of butter

30ml dry white wine

sprinkle of grana padano / freshly grated parmesan

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

mushroom onion

Heat the olive oil in the pan. While its heating up, season your chicken thighs with the season all / chicken spice.

mushroom asparagus

Cook the thighs about 7-10 minutes on each side, depending on their thickness. You want it to become crispy on each side.

Meanwhile, while your chicken is cooking, take another pan and melt the butter in it. Add your mushrooms and gently fry them. While you’re frying them, check your chicken thighs. As soon as it has cooked crispy on both sides, add your browned mushrooms to the chicken.

asparagus and oregano

Mix through and add half of the lemon juice. Allow to simmer for a minute or two and then add the capers and white wine.

Take the remaining butter and add to the pan the mushrooms were cooked in.

asparagus and onion

Cook the asparagus with the freshly picked leaves of the oregano in the butter, season with salt and pepper and allow to grill in the pan for a few minutes. Now add the finely chopped red onion and mix.

oregano

mushroom and asparagus

After frying slightly,  add the remaining lemon juice and white wine. Allow it to simmer away slightly, but make sure the asparagus doesn’t overcook, or it will be soggy. You want it to stay firm. Sprinkle over a little bit of freshly grated parmesan, and you’ll sing!

assembled chicken

All you do now is dish it up!

assembled chicken

If you feel like it, you can always lean over to the posh side and add a cheeky poached egg on top, either one is really tasty!

assembled chicken

Porcini Mushroom Edemame Risotto

8 Feb

A perfect love affair! I’ve never met anyone that does not appreciate a good risotto. Its just always so moreish, no matter what you add to it. Its comforting, warm, creamy and it only takes 30 minutes to make! Yes, I know a lot of people tend to avoid making risotto, because they feel it takes too long and you have to “wait” for it. I don’t necessarily agree. The therapeutic part is when you stir, and that’s all you have to do. Give it the love it deserves and it will love you back three times more! Risotto is as flexible as pasta. You can add whatever you want. My favourite though, will always be a mushroom risotto. Especially with dried porcini’s it lends a slightly wild and rich, earthy taste to the dish. Whenever I have no idea what to cook and our fridge is empty from meat for a roast on a Sunday, I turn to risotto. Its always there for me in my food cupboard and it may just be the big lion’s best friend. If I have EVER seen someone eat copious amounts of risotto, that’s my man with his mouth filled to the rims! porcini

Porcini Mushroom Risotto

Ingredients

1 x pack of dried porcini mushrooms

1 cup of fresh, chestnut mushrooms, roughly chopped

1 1/2 cups of dry white wine

1 x teaspoon crushed garlic

2 x cups Arborio rice

1 pack of bacon, cut into small bite size pieces

1 x onion, finely chopped

60g butter

2 x tablespoons olive oil

juice of one lemon

salt & pepper to taste

1 x cup fresh soya / edamame beans

1/2 cup of freshly grated parmesan

1/2 cup of chicken stock.

500ml hot water

risotto Place the porcini mushrooms in a measuring jug. Pour the boiling water over the mushrooms and allow to stand. Meanwhile, add the butter and the olive oil to a wide,big pan. Gently fry the onions for until glassy. bacon Add the bacon and cook for about 5 – 8 minutes. Add the Arborio rice and mix through, making sure all the rice is glazed with the butter and olive oil. onion Pour in the white wine and mix through. When the liquid has almost been absorbed by the rice, add a little bit of the porcini mushroom liquid. lemon Stir through again. The secret to risotto is that you must keep stirring, and as soon as the liquid has been absorbed, you add some more again and keep stirring. Lemon juice Alternate your liquid with the chicken stock and the mushroom liquid. edamame beans For step by step, I borrowed a link from WikiHow to show those that might feel they’re not sure how much liquid to add at once etc. http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Risotto-Rice lemon juice When you have used half of the liquid, add the mushrooms and the soaked porcini mushrooms. edamame beans Mix through and keep stirring until all the liquid has been used. edamame beans Add the edamame beans and the lemon juice and mix through. risotto Taste the risotto and season with salt and pepper. risotto Mix through the parmesan cheese.Plate up and grate over a little more parmesan cheese, and tuck in! risotto

Tuna Melt Casserole

1 Feb

You know what they say: A good marriage is like a casserole, only those responsible for it really know what goes in it. Where in this case, I know everyone has their little special touch for their casserole. Mine? Two things, wine & cheese! Best combination, whether you use them together in food or just as is, from where I come from in SA, it is definitely a winning pair!

This was last weekend’s indulgent Sunday coach potato food. As you know, its pretty cold in London at the moment, so no one is going out. Best thing to do is have a proper lie in, coffee in hand and then when you get up start cooking a heart warming casserole! My big guy tends to have the best ideas when I ask him on a Sunday morning what he’ll like for lunch. Even if it is a very straight forward dish, I strive to make it extra yummy and extra indulgent! Lets just say there’s no shortage of cheese in this dis. It can be gluten free by using gluten free pasta, and corn flour for the béchamel sauce ( if not using cream).

For those that choose to make the béchamel sauce, you can click on this link for a step by step guide. Just before I turn off the heat, for the béchamel sauce, I add a handful of grated cheese and mix it through until melted.

onion

http://www.wikihow.com/Make-B%C3%A9chamel-Sauce

Tuna Melt Casserole

Ingredients

Rigatoni pasta ( cooked to packet instructions)

1 x onion roughly chopped

1 x handful of chopped mushrooms

1 x teaspoon of butter

1 x teaspoon of olive oil

1 x cup bacon lardons / pieces

2 x tins of chunky tuna

1 teaspoon of chopped garlic

Salt & pepper to taste

1 x cup of cream ( if not making béchamel sauce)

2x cups of mature cheddar, grated

pinch of nutmeg

2 x tomatoes, finely sliced

1 x cup of chicken soup sachet

1 x teaspoon of Italian herbs

1 x white wine

chopped mushrooms

Add the butter and olive oil to the pan. Fry your onion in the pan for about 5-8 minutes and add the bacon lardons with the mushroom. Add the garlic and mix through.

chopped garlic

Add tuna and fry together for 5 minutes. In the meantime, add your pasta to boiling water and cook according to cooking instructions.

chopped mushrooms

Now add the soup sachet and mix through. Increase the heat and add the white wine. Mix through and lower the heat again. Keep mixing, as the wine will thicken due to the soup powder.

butter

If you’re using cream instead of béchamel, add it now and mix through. Add the pinch of nutmeg and mix through. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Flavour with salt and black pepper to taste.

grated cheese

If you’re using béchamel, mix the tuna, mushroom & bacon mixture into the sauce and mix through. Add this to your cooked pasta and mix through. Transfer the mixture to a casserole dish.

bechamel

Sprinkle the cheese over the pasta, distributing it evenly.

cooking wine

Place all the tomato slices evenly over the pasta. Sprinkle with the Italian herbs, season with salt and black pepper.

pasta

Cook in the oven under the grill until the cheese is super crispy!

pasta

To add a little extra indulgence, I’ve sliced over a little avocado for extra creaminess!

pasta

Cheeky lamb pie

25 Jan

pie

Most of us have this notion that we cook a leg of lamb for Christmas or Easter. NOT my man with his rumbling tummy!! He tends to come home with a huge piece of meat, and then stares at me with a cheeky smile. In this case, you’ve guessed what it is! He also has a way of putting in his order at the right time too!!

Our friends Franco & Sonia moved back to London from Spain, so I cooked a Sunday roast with this leg of lamb. ( recipe on the blog) Is it strange that they don’t eat as much as we do? We might eat a little too much! I won’t comment further, because we then had a fair amount of meat left. The ultimate – when you can make a pie from venison, lamb or a good cut of beef roast. My oh my!!!!

This doesn’t occur, ever! A very cheeky dish and most people will say its a waste of good meat to use lamb in a pie, but I can tell you, no wastage there!! Try it for yourself and we’ll see.

mushrooms

Ingredients

1 dish of lamb leftovers ( mine was about 2 big handfuls of lamb)

1 x teaspoon of olive oil

2 x handfuls of mushrooms, chopped

1 x onion, roughly chopped

3/4 cup of red wine

1 1/2 teaspoons corn flour

1 x pack of all butter pastry

1 x egg

3 pinches of all purpose flour

salt & pepper to taste

mushrooms

Add olive oil to the pan. Fry the chopped onions until glassy. Add the mushrooms and fry until light brown. Now add  your lamb and start mixing through. After 5 – 7 minutes, add the corn flour.

onion & mushrooms

Mix through, ensuring it coats the mushrooms and  meat. Now add the red wine. Along with the heat and the corn flour,  it will now start to thicken the red wine into a tasty gravy.

Cook this on a low heat, until thickened. Put aside and allow to cool.

diced lamb

Take a little bit of butter or non-stick cooking spray and spray a 30cm square Pyrex dish or any dish of a similar size.

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Sprinkle the flour on a kitchen top surface and swish it around a little bit to give you an area where you’ll be rolling out your puff pastry. Now get your rolling pin and start rolling!!!

puff pastry

I usually place one piece of pastry in the bottom of the dish, then I dish in the pie filling. Beat the egg and get yourself a little basting brush. Brush the edges on the bottom half of the pastry. Place the other half on top and gently squeeze the edges together. If you have any pastry left, cut little forms with cookie cutters and place it on top.

rolling pin

Brush your whole pie with the egg.

beaten egg

Last step : take a sharp knife and make a tiny hole in the middle of the pie or use an adorable pie bird!

lamb pie

Bake in the oven for 30 – 45 minutes or until golden brown. The final step is to remove it from the oven and look at the hungry buggers’ faces, waiting for the very first piece of that pie and then decide who you’ll give it to first!

lamb pie

Shrimpin business

18 Jan

AvocadosaladOr should I say “shrinking. No REAL new year’s resolution. I’m mentioning this because I’ve been reading and hearing a lot about the “I joined the gym, I’m going to lose weight”, ” I’m on a diet, I’m going to lose weight” style of conversations every year. This is just not going to work. In everything, consistency and being serious about your health is key. No crash exercises or diets.

My new year resolutions – 2 things. One is to try my utter best NOT to eat gluten. Unlike most people, I get physically ill when eating wheat, gluten or too much fibre. Its not that I don’t want to eat it, believe me, I’d just stuff my face with it all if I could, but the after effects are so bad that I have vowed to focus and just not give in. The second resolution is not to moan about how bad I feel AFTER I’ve given in. Yes. They’re naughtily tied together.

This means less carbs.. and I REFUSE to buy gluten free products, because I believe these are actually worse for you than eating gluten. Have you seen the expiry dates on those? Most of them are almost a year. You know what they say, the longer it keeps, the worse it is for you. Only fresh and healthy, that is the route.

Luckily I love seafood, and the carnivore lion man does too!! Unfortunately I always have to give him a little piece of toasted bread with some olive oil etc. to make sure that tummy of his is all filled up!!

I love having frozen seafood in the freezer. It never stays in there for too long though. In this case, I just had a pack of cooked shrimp. Many ways to make a yummy salad with those buggers, but in this case I went for a bit of retro shrimp cocktail style salad. Why did we stop making these, they’re awesome, a real classic! This is my take on shrimp cocktail.

Zesty Shrimp Cocktail

salad

Ingredients

500g frozen shrimp

handful of baby radishes

2-3 gherkins / pickles

1 curly leaf lettuce ( or your favourite lettuce)

1 pack of asparagus

1 tablespoon of butter

juice of half a lemon + 1 tablespoon of lemon juice ( for asparagus)

1 ripe avocado

1 tablespoon of tomato sauce

3 tablespoons of mayonnaise to your preference

IMG_20150110_151610~2

Melt the butter in a frying pan. Add the asparagus to the pan and toss it around in the butter. Flavour with salt and black pepper. Now add the tablespoon of lemon juice. Keep on tossing the asparagus in the pan until cooked but firm ( al dente).

salad

In the meantime, boil your kettle. Place the shrimp in a colander in your basin and pour over the shrimp.

Finely chop the gherkins/pickles. Mix it in with the mayonnaise, tomato sauce and lemon juice. Flavour with salt and freshly ground pepper.

salad

Roughly chop the lettuce and slice the radishes. Cut your avocado into squares.

salad

Arrange the lettuce in your favourite salad bowl.

Now place the asparagus on top of this and sprinkle the radishes over and around. Finally top it with your shrimp mixture and avocado and voila!!

salad

If you’re like my man, you can enjoy it with a fresh crusty bread or some toast soldiers.

 

Slow cooked meatballs

31 Oct

with winter around the corner! Indeed, I wish everything was slow. Nowadays everything feels like it is moving too fast! I barely have time to daydream about what I would like to cook for supper. Nevermind writing my recipes down. As so, my blog has also been slow, as I am sure I don’t need to point out the last time I made a post. As fast paced as life is here in london, our household is “techonologically doomed”!

First, I had problems with my laptop, which is also one of the reasons you have not seen any posts. Then Ipods.. camera’s, dehumidifiers… maybe it is all a sign to let go of all this technology.

Sometimes I wish I was outside, far away from the city, with winding country roads, the warm sun on my face and the fresh breeze of wildflowers in the air. I guess this is what I was thinking about while I was enjoying a glass of lovely red wine, with the meatballs slowly bubbling away.

I believe that our thoughts influence our cooking and so my thougts inspired a heartwarming meal, that helps me to slow down and smell the wafts of the lovely spiced aroma in our home. .. I guess I sound like my mother’s daughter now.. yearning for the farm, family and friends around my table, no rush, surrounded by love and joy.

Enough of my self pity as I sit in layers of clothing in this cold.. I hope you enjoy this recipe, and as it will show, there is so much you can do with the right combination of spices

Flavourful Meatballs with Herb ‘d Provence Cous cous

1 pack of minced beef

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 teaspoon of ground coriander

1 teaspoon of turmeric

2 teaspoons of cumin seeds, ground

2 pinches of salt

2 pinches of black pepper

2 onions, finely chopped ( use a food processor)

2 slices of stale bread

1 egg

1 teaspoon of paprika

juice of half a lemon

1 cup of chicken stock

half a cup of white wine

half a cup of warm water

2 tablespoons of butter

For the Cous Cous

2 teaspoons of butter

salt and black pepper to taste

1 1/2 teaspoons of Herb ‘d Provence

 

To start, take one onion, and half a teaspoon of all the spices, including the salt and pepper ( 1 pinch) and put them in the food processor. Process fine, just before it makes a paste. Take the bread slices and break them into crumbs. Mix this with the mince, egg and your paste you made. Start rolling the mince into little balls, about the size of a walnut.

Take the remaining spices and put it in your food processor, along with the other onion. Process to the same texture as the semi-paste you made for the meatball mixture. Add your olive oil and butter to a pan. Wait for the butter to melt. Now add the onion and spice mixture. Cook for about 8 minutes. Now, add all the remaining ingredients and allow to bubble for about 5 minutes.

Add your meatballs to the pan. Swirl the pan so that the sauce moves around the meatballs. Turn the gas down to low. Put the lid on and allow to simmer for 20 minutes. Now toss the meatballs around, so that the other side of the meatballs are also covered in the sauce. Simmer for another 10 – 15 minutes, or until cooked.

While the meatballs are cooking, measure the cous cous you required. Place it in a bowl. Now, take the Herb ‘d Provence herbs and sprinkle it over cous cous. Season with salt and black pepper. Boil water, enough to just cover the cous cous. When this has boiled, pour it over the cous cous, mixing it twice with a fork. Cover completely with a plate or some plastic wrap and allow to stand for 10 minutes.

Lift the plate / take off the plastic wrap and take 2 teaspoons of butter and mix it through the cous cous with a fork. I served the meatballs with mixed roasted vegetables, along with the cous cous, but you can serve it with any vegetables of your choice, or even a lovely fresh rocket salad.

Nutty about…

2 Aug

All the people in London, getting to work, rush hour, the olympics, but most of all, nutty about all our gold medals that we have won already!!!! Go boys, go!!! That would be SA, just to clarify 🙂 GB is not doing too bad ;-p So after a few manic weeks after returning from our heavenly Cayman trip.. yes, it is already a month ago.. I finally have time for my little baby… to get back to posting some entries. In honour of the Olympics, I would like to share this nutty recipe.. I mean come on.. everyone is freakin nuts over here, the spirit is electric! Who is to say these nutty bars that I will be sharing with you might not help with some energy for our boys in their races!!

So this is not my own recipe, but a wonderful creation from the famous Hummingbird Bakery… just around the corner from us in Notting Hill. Its simply lovely.. and I am happy to say, that my Conan simply goes “nuts” for it!

You can use your own choice of nut mixture, just make sure that the same amount is as indicated in the recipe.

Mixed Nut Slices

For the base

150g Plain Flour

40g icing sugar

120g unsalted butter, softened

For the topping

50g unsalted butter

50g Golden syrup

110g soft light brown sugar

2 large eggs

40g walnut pieces

40g pecan halves

40g shelled pistachios

40g flaked almonds

40g roughly chopped hazelnuts

One 22 x 31cm baking tray

Preheat the oven to 170 C and line the baking tray with baking parchment. Using a freestanding electric mixer with the paddle attachment, mix the flour, icing sugar and butter into a dough. Alternatively, rub the ingredients together by hand in a bowl.

Press the dough into the prepared baking tray, making a slight lip around the edge to stop the filling from pouring over the sides of the tray. Place in the oven and bake the base in the oven for approximately 20 minutes or until the edges are a light golden brown and the edges are a light golden brown and the middle is pale, but cooked.

Meanwhile, make the topping. Place the butter in a small saucepan along with the golden syrup and brown sugar, and melt together over a low heat. Remove the pan from the hob and allow to cool slightly.

Break the eggs into a bowl and lightly beat with a fork. Pour the butter and syrup mixture into the eggs and stir until all the ingredients are incorporated.

Mix all the nuts together in a separate bowl, and scatter them over the part-cooked pastry base. Carefully pour the syrup and egg mixture over the nuts, making sure it is evenly spread over the base.

Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes or until the topping is set and golden brown in colour. Allow to cool before carefully cutting into 12 slices.

Riche de poulet provençal

1 Sep

As you might have guessed, I feel like FRENCH. Yes, country, butter, butter, butter and butter! Only joking, I only used a little butter. However, in the words of Julia Child, everything is beautiful with butter, and french!

So I felt like a lady in lavender today, mostly because for once, the sun was shining! Not much, but hey, we cant ask for much when living in the UK. As I had a off day, I woke up, got dressed and went in search of viola’s, basically small pansies. I have discovered they are the only flowers that I like that can survive the vicious, cold winter here.Finally, I found some, came back and pulled out all the weeds and dead flowers in my garden. In went my violas. When I finished, I remembered that it was the time of year to trim back my lavender.

Lavender is something that reminds me so much of my mother…. can you hear it…. heartache, homesick!!! One picture is always stuck in my mind, one day, cant remember when, while I was still living at home, my mother was in her lavender and white rose garden, picking lavender. It was a hot day and she was wearing a white skirt, with a white blouse, and lavender coloured wide brimmed purple hat, with her skirt swaying in the breeze. I think that was the most beautiful picture in my mind I got from my mother, because that is basically her habitat, besides the kitchen of course. She LOVES lavender! The colours, the smell, their hardiness, they can survive anything, just like my mother.

So today, while I was trimming back my lavender, I obviously put them in a vase, and this inspired me to create a country style french meal. Which in fact, is usually quite a simple meal with very delicate and subtle flavours. Naturally, I had a few tomatoes from my own garden that turned blood red, so I had to use them too! I felt like a french lady with my own chateau in provence! So why not use provencial herbs? This is a classic mixture of herbs that the french use in their dishes, and there is a reason for it, it makes anything delicious! Add butter with that, and hey, you can’t go wrong!

Riche de poulet provencal

5 chicken thighs, skin on

2 teaspoons crushed garlic

3 teaspoons provencal herbs

8 tablespoons of butter

handful of halved tomatoes

1 onion, roughly chopped

4 potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges

1/2 cup of dry white wine

juice of 2 lemons

2 teaspoons of olive oil

Melt 4 tablespoons of butter with your garlic in a frying pan.Add one teaspoon of olive oil ( this prevents the butter from burning) Place your chicken in the pan, skin side down. The chicken will now fry to make the skin crispy.

While this is cooking, boil some water, put some salt in it and boil your potatoes for about 10 minutes. When your chicken skin is brown and slightly crispy, transfer to a baking tray. Now add your onion to the pan.

Fry until slightly brown. While they are in the pan, drain your potatoes. Add them to the onions in the pan. Toss about. Basically what you want to do is get the potatoes coated in the juices, with the onion. As soon as you think they are coated with the juices, transfer them to the baking tray as well. Now, add the remaining butter to the pan and the remaining teaspoon of olive oil.

Preheat your oven to 170 degrees celcius. Back to your frying pan,  when the butter has melted, add your tomatoes, and toss about. Flavour with salt. Sprinkle your herbs over the tomatoes. Toss them about, try not to mix it with a spatula, but just toss it in the pan. Now add your white wine. Allow to simmer for 2 minutes and now add your lemon juice. Simmer for another 2 minutes. Take the pan, and concentrate the juices over the chicken pieces. After all the juices have been poured over the chicken, arrange the tomatoes around the chicken. Now place your tray in the oven for 45 minutes or until the chicken is cooked.

Now if you’re anything like my big lion in the house, you will either want vegetables or salad. I only made a salad, but if you’d like you can make some frech beans with butter with that 🙂 Also, normal people will enjoy the potatoes with the chicken, however, the lion king wanted rice. So there you go, whatever you fancy, enjoy with veg/salad and rice.

Pièce de résistance … Home Grown Tomato tart

25 Aug

We should actually have a whole chapter on tomatoes, as my crop just keeps on giving and giving.. in the most famous and often used words of themost critical and only food taster in this house “The gift that keeps on giving”! However, there is something about tomatoes – the possibilities with these bright and beautiful red fruits are just endless! I read somewhere ( don’t ask me where, my memory is getting rusty)  something that actually just made my day – “It’s difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato”. Don’t you just love that, I feel like I am living on my own farm already!!

After talking about this tomato tart for quite a few weeks, I decided to actually just go for it!! After all, there will always be more tomatoes, and since we haven’t had tart within a week, I suppose, why not? I think it turned out so well, I heard new “hmmmmmm” noises from my hungry tiger that I haven’t heard before, and as always, the very famous ” beauuuuuuutiful”! I don’t actually know in what type of category it will fall in, because it has egg and cream, but just a touch, and it has 2 different cheeses. Maybe we should just call it “my french tart” since, it is after all, the Pièce de résistance!! It’s a real beauty, and why not, it is even my favourite colour!! There is always something exciting and daring about red! ;-p

Home Grown Tomato Tart

14 medium tomatoes, finely sliced / 10 large tomatoes

Olive oil for drizzling

salt & pepper to taste

1 cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese

1 cup of feta cheese

2 red onions, sliced in rounds

25g of butter and extra for greasing

1 teaspoon of crushed garlic

2 twigs of thyme

1 pack of short crust pastry

Flour for dusting

1 fluted tart tin

45ml cream/soya cream

1 egg

Spread your tomatoes out in a tray. Drizzle with some olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Roast in the oven for about 15- 20 minutes. While this is roasting, melt your butter in a pan, add the garlic and slowly fry your onions on a low heat.

You just want them to slowly and slightly carmelize and turn soft, juicy and sweet. When your tomatoes are ready, your onions will be ready 🙂 Dust your surface with flour and roll out your pastry. Grease your tart tin. Place your pastry in the tin and prick with a fork. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius.

Take half of your parmesan cheese and sprinkle on the pastry. Now, layer it with your onions. Sprinkle half of your feta cheese over the onions. Now place your tomatoes over the feta and layer them properly. Crumble the remaining feta over the tomatoes.

Layer the remaining tomatoes over the feta. Sprinkle with the thyme. Beat your egg and cream together. Pour it over the filling. Now sprinkle over the rest of your parmesan and place in the oven for 15- 20 minutes or until golden brown. What a lovely little surprise!! Enjoy with a crisp and fresh green salad 🙂 Just a thought…. my camera’s battery died, so these are dirty, disgusting blackberry photos, apologies, I know, it will NEVER happen again!! 😉

Mashed like a fishcake

5 Aug

…..is what I feel like today. Yesterday’s blog didn’t happen – I blame it on the buses that never arrived, which caused me to walk home. I also have to add that I was wearing tights, a VERY short dress and shoes that I won’t say won the award for most comfortable walk. As I took my long and lonely walk home, I became irritated. I just want to get off the train, get on the bus and get home. Imagine my facial expression when someone whistled at me! In that split second that it took to think about the face I was going to make and what I was going to say, I saw an extremely dashing and handsome young man across the street.

It was fate, we met across the street from each other, each one on the corner ;-p  What I wouldn’t do to get his phone number! As it turns out, I have it already! Along with this happiness, I saw a mischievous GLARE coming from the hubby’s face! He knew if it was anyone else whistling at me I would blow my top. This little surprise naturally improved my mood. How blessed I am to be so in love with my very handsome husband. “What a dashing young lad”, as my neighbour Ave (who has a huge crush on the hubby by the way) would often say.

Needless to say, I rustled up a very quick pasta, sorry guys, I will make it again and take photos and post. So last night I was “woman down”.  In better terms, exhausted. The life was sucked out of me and I still feel like this today. And so enters….. the mashed up fish cake! My mood, my brain and my body! So which better route to take than to eat some fish and hopefully you will have the speed and strength of a tuna to carry on ;-p

Of course, there are easier and quicker ways to enjoy a fish cake, but alas, the hubby wont even touch it. Home-made, however is a completely different story. Also, if you think how difficult it is to catch tuna, I suppose it shouldn’t be too easy to prepare and eat it:  “It’s hard to catch one, but it’s my favourite kind of fishing,” says Robby Coad of Edgartown, a commercial fisherman and charter captain. Tuna have incredible vision, Robby explains, and they’re fast. “They can swim over fifty miles an hour, so it’s easy to lose them, especially when they’re on the line and scared. It’s hard to do and you don’t get them every time you go.”

I also think it will give a different take on tinned tuna, using them for fishcakes. It tastes great, fresh, and healthy and it is affordable. How often does one enjoy fresh, home made fishcakes? As often as one finds fresh tuna in the shops and that is never! ;-p So, as they say, there is always a first. Let’s hope I don’t make it the last! I’m going to do a slightly different take on the tuna fishcakes than one normally would. I am going to use butter beans as a base. You can use mashed potato as well, but I think butter beans might add a lovely flavour. To make this easier, create a little station at your preparation area in a row. Start your row with a bowl of flour, then a bowl with 2 eggs, beaten and lastly, a bowl with breadcrumbs. From there you can just put your fishcakes in the frying pan.

Salsa style tuna fish cakes

½ can of butter beans, drained

1 1/2 tablespoons of mayonnaise

½ red onion, roughly chopped

handful of coriander, roughly chopped

1 teaspoon of cumin

1 teaspoon of olive oil

1 can of tuna (chunks)

Half a chilli, roughly chopped and deseeded

Clove of garlic

2 eggs, beaten

Breadcrumbs for dipping

Flour for dipping

Salt & pepper to taste

Sunflower oil for frying

Corn

2 sweetcorn cobs

1 tablespoon of butter

Asparagus 

bunch of asparagus

1 teaspoon of garlic

1 teaspoon of butter

1 teaspoon of lemon juice

1 tablespoon of dry white wine

Salsa

handful of roasted cherry tomatoes

1/2 red onion, finely chopped

1 teaspoon of capers

Handful of coriander, roughly chopped

1 tablespoon of red wine/malt vinegar

4 slices of cucumber, finely chopped

Take your butter beans, tuna, chilli,onion, cumin, olive oil,coriander, mayonnaise and garlic and mix until fine, but not complete mush, in a processor. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Make little “patties” with your hands and put them through your prepared station. Coat both sides with flour. Dip in the egg and now dip in the breadcrumbs. Do the same with the res of the mixture and place in the fridge.

Boil water and cook your corn for 8-10 minutes.While this is cooking, start with your asparagus.Melt your butter in a pan, add the garlic and fry cook your asparagus. Add your white wine and lemon juice. Flavour with salt and pepper. Take your cooked corn, drain, cut them from the cob, mix through with butter and season to taste.

For the salsa, mix everything together, season with salt and pepper and allow to stand. Now, heat a frying pan and add your sunflower oil. Fry each side of your tuna cakes till they are golden brown and place in a bowl with a paper towl.

Now dish up onto a plate and top with your salsa. Serve with sweetcorn and cous cous, or simply on it’s own 🙂