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    Sunday, August 30, 2015

    Blinis - Another way to serve - Try Prawns

    Recently I posted a recipe for Yummy Blinis click here for the recipe
    I made a couple of changes
    First, defrosted then roasted a bag of Prawns
    as below

    Just toss the defrosted prawn tails with a slosh of Olive Oil
    Some sea salt 
    A grind of Freshly Ground Black Pepper
    Grated zest of a lemon

    Into a 200C oven for just 6 mins
    Remove from the oven
    Squeeze juice of 1 small lemon and mix 
    Take about 8-10 cooked prawns and chop finely 
    Make a batch of the blini mixture
    add the prawns and 
    1 tablespoon lemon zest
    Leave to rest in the refrigerator minimum 30 minutes
    Then cook and set aside

    Meanwhile, prepare some Cream Cheese for the topping
    Whip together 1/2 cup cream cheese with a tablespoon of chopped parley
    Grind of black pepper
    1 tsp grated lemon zest
    2 tbs of a good olive oil
    Spread over cooked blinis
    Top with a cooked prawn and little bit of chopped parsley

    Another cream cheese flavouring, try this one
    Using bread and butter pickles
    They add a crunch and that sweet and sour
    Oooh just special
    1/2 cup cream cheese
    4-5 slices of bread and butter pickles
    about a teaspoon of the juice
    Zest of half a lemon
    2 tablespoons chopped chives Pinch salt and good rind of freshly ground black pepper
    Spread on the blinis and pop a prawn on top

    Everything packed up ready to take to Granddaughter Sophia's 18th Birthday
    Seems like it was months ago she was this beautiful baby
    I also provided some Pinwheels with an Italian Flavour, Tomato, Basil and Pecorino Cheese and 
    Little mushroom filled bread cases
    We just warmed them up
    All perfect with drinks

    Cauliflower - So Trendy - So Tasty - This Recipe Not Paleo Though

    In fact this is from Ottolenghi’s “Plenty More” book
    I love his recipes and this is a winner
    Cauliflower Cake
    When I started to cook this little delight, I realised that I had forgotten to top up my cheddar cheese supply, so instead of running out to the supermarket.
    I used the Castello White Cheese that I had in the fridge
    It was delicious but was very rich, next time I will use  Cheddar or Parmesan

    To serve, I just sautéed some mushrooms, garlic and spinach
    Very tasty.

    With the leftovers, Popped some beetroot relish on the side. Yum
    I reckon served with a  lovely crisp Salad and some French Bread. That would be superb

    1 small cauliflower, outer leaves removed, broken into 3cm florets (450g)
    1 medium red onion (170g)
    75ml olive oil ½ tsp finely chopped rosemary
    7 eggs
    15g basil, chopped
    120g plain flour, sifted
    1½ tsp baking powder
    ⅓ tsp ground turmeric
    150g coarsely grated Parmesan, or another mature cheese
    melted butter, to line the tin
    1 tbsp white sesame seeds
    1 tsp nigella seeds salt and black pepper

    Preheat the oven to 200ºC/180ºC/Gas Mark 4.
    Place the cauliflower florets in a saucepan and add 1 teaspoon of salt.
    Cover with water and simmer for 15 minutes, until the florets are quite soft:
    they should break when pressed with a spoon.
    Strain and set aside in a colander to dry

    Cut 4 round slices, each 0.5cm thick, off one end of the onion and set aside.
    Coarsely chop the rest of the onion and place this in a small pan, with the oil and rosemary.
    Cook gently for 10 minutes on a medium heat, stirring from time to time, until soft.
    Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
    Transfer the cooked onion to a large bowl, add the eggs and basil, whisk well and then
    add the flour, baking powder, turmeric, Parmesan, 1 teaspoon of salt and plenty of pepper. Whisk until smooth before adding the cauliflower and stirring gently, trying not to break up all the florets.

    Line the base and sides of a 24cm springform cake tin with baking parchment.
    Brush the sides with melted butter, mix together the sesame and nigella seeds and toss them around the inside of the tin so that they stick to the sides.

    Tip in the cauliflower mix and arrange the reserved onion rings on top. 
    Place in the centre of the oven and bake for 45 minutes, until golden-brown and set:
    a knife inserted into the centre of the cake should come out clean.
    Remove from the oven and leave for at least 20 minutes before serving:
    it needs to be served just warm, rather than hot, or at room temperature

    Sunday, August 23, 2015

    Flavours of Morocco - Pinwheels - Perfect to have with drinks

    Off to a Family dinner. Theme is Moroccan.
    I frequently make my Pastry Pinwheels for pre-food drinks
    Always very popular and I have developed many different flavours, so why not Moroccan
    Here is my little Cooks treat. Yum
     As luck would have it, in my fridge and pantry, I had enough interesting goodies that would deliver what I was wanting
    I haven't put quantities, use as much or as little as you like

    In this case, I had some Goat Feta, the crumbly kind
    But a soft Goats cheese would be best
    Actually that is quite expensive, so I usually use Feta

    For some other flavour ideas of these yummy pinwheels… click Here

    By the way, I used two products from Local Chef’s and I want to mention them, as I find both excellent


     Al Browns Orange and Chili Olive Oil

     Simon Gault's Moroccan Seasoning

    Sheets of Frozen Puff Pastry
    Goats Feta Cheese
    Zest of 1 orange
    Slosh of Al Brown’s Orange and Chili Olive oil

    Black Olives stoned and chopped
    Semi dried tomatoes in oil (I used a tablespoon of this oil as well)

    Simon Gault’s Moroccan Seasoning
    Beaten egg

    Lay out the pastry on the bench
    Mix together, the Feta, Orange zest, Orange and Chili Olive Oil
    Plus  1 tablespoon Moroccan Seasoning
    Beat till you can spread it

    Cover bottom 2/3 of the pastry sheet
    Sprinkle over the olives and the semi dried tomatoes

    Brush the beaten egg over the top third of the sheet
    Refrigerate the egg in a container, to finish off the pastries

    Roll up,
    Press down gently

    Cover and chill for at least 2 hours, overnight is fine
    Heat oven to 200C

    Cut into pinwheels and place on baking sheet covered with baking paper
    Brush with reserved beaten egg, sprinkle over with some more seasoning
    Bake for about 15 minutes, till golden and crisp

    Best served just warm or room temperature to get the best flavour
    And my word, they went very well with
    Helen’s Celery Gimlet, which is divine.
    Bloody fantastic, even if I do say so, my self

    Friday, August 21, 2015

    Red Soup - For The Want of a Better Name

    This delicious soup came about by chance, as many great dishes are evolved
    It was a bleak day, I was bored, spent the afternoon catching up on some food programmes that I had recorded…Too early for a wine
    My oven wasn't working, so it was all stove top cooking in our house
    I had some chicken stock left over and thought I should turn it into soup
    So into the vegetable bin I dove.
    I found  a Red pepper, Red onion. Beetroot. Red chili
    Let's put them together
    What a fabulous colourful soup that would make, and it did
    So good I have made for guests and it got the thumbs up
    By the way I did a little cheating the other day and bought cooked  fresh beetroot from the
    supermarket. It is more expensive but saved me time.
    If you use concentrated chicken stock, dissolve it in the stock produced, by boiling the beetroot

    For 4 People
    2 tablespoons Olive oil
    2 Red Peppers
    2 Medium Beetroot, roasted or boiled for about an hour, peeled and chopped
    1 Red Onion, chopped
    1 Red Chili, chopped
    4 cups Chicken stock
    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
    1 tablespoon cider vinegar

    Optional -  slosh of hot pepper sauce 
    Sour cream and dill for garnish
    So I cooked the beetroot till tender, that can take about an hour
    If boil, don't waste the stock, save it for cooing the soup
    You can either roast or boil
    Peel and chop

    Meanwhile chop the red onion
    The red pepper and the chili

    Sauté the vege in the olive oil
    Season with salt and pepper

    Cover with Chicken stock
    Bring to boil and simmer about 20 minutes
    Add vinegar and hot sauce (optional but I like the kick it gives)

    Into the blender.
    Taste and adjust if needed

    Mix dill with the Creme Fraiche
    and dob it on top
    This is wonderful
    Not only looking fabulous but tasting fabulous as well
    A keeper