Sunday, 30 August 2015

Jumbleberry Crumble

For pudding I made a berry crumble. I used a mixture or loganberries and blueberries from my garden, blackberries from Walthamstow Marshes and strawberries from the supermarket as I never get a very good crop of strawberries. This was delicious, I love a crumble and the mixture before I baked it looked so pretty, just like jewels.

Jumbleberry Crumble (from Good Food Magazine July 2014)
(Serves 6)

100g plain flour
50g rolled oats
100g butter, cut into cubes
50g golden caster sugar

For the fruit filling:
900g mixed berries and currants, such as strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, redcurrants or blackcurrants
50g caster sugar
1½ tbsp cornflour

Heat oven to 200C. Put the flour, oats, butter and sugar in a bowl, squash together with your fingers into a crumble texture.

Meanwhile, put the berries, sugar and cornflour in a large pan. Stir together and set over a medium heat. Cook until the berries just start to release their juices. Transfer to an ovenproof baking dish.

Sprinkle the crumble topping over the fruit, and bake in the oven for 30-40 mins until bubbling and golden. Leave for 5 mins before serving with ice cream or custard.

Friday, 28 August 2015


As an appetizer when people arrived I served hummus with carrots from the garden.

Hummus (from Leiths Cookery Bible)
(Serves 4)

1 400g tin chickpeas, drained keeping the liquid
salt and pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
2 cloves garlic, crushed
juice 1 lemon
4 tbsp olive oil
pinch cayenne pepper

Put the chickpeas into a food processor. Whizz and add the remaining ingredients. Add enough of the chickpea juice to produce a soft cream. Serve.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Caramelised Red Onion and Rocket Tartlets

I had some friends over for lunch a couple of weeks ago and I made these lovely quiches along with a variety of salads. They were a bit of a faff to make with layering up the filo but they were well worth it. Very tasty.

Caramelised Red Onion and Rocket Tartlets (from The Times)
(Serves 4)

1 large red onion
20g butter
2 tsp olive oil
1 large egg
150ml double cream
salt and pepper
15g rocket leaves
25g Parmesan cheese, grated
25g cheddar cheese, grated

For the pastry cases
25g butter, melted
2-3 large sheets shop bought filo
4 tsp thyme leaves

Finely slice the onion. Heat the butter and oil in a large, non-stick frying pan until the butter has melted. Add the onion slices and fry over a medium-low heat for about 15 mins, stirring occasionally, until soft and caramelised. Remove the onion, drain on kitchen towel and set aside to cool. Preheat the oven to 190C.

Prepare the filo pastry cases: brush a little of the melted butter in the hollows of a Yorkshire pudding tin. Using a sharp knife, cut 16 squares, measuring 11cm x 11cm, from the filo sheets. Layer 4 filo squares per hole, each at an angle to the previous squares, brushing melted butter and sprinkling thyme over each layer. Scrunch up the pastry edges to add a bit of height.

In a small bowl, beat the egg, then stir in the cream and salt and pepper. Roughly chop the rocket, setting aside a few leaves for garnish. In a separate bowl, combine the two cheeses.

Carefully spoon the onion into the pastry cases. Scatter over half the cheese and the chopped rocket. Pour in the egg mixtuire, then top with the rest of the cheese.

Bake for 15-20 mins or until the filling is just set and starting to turn golden brown at the edges. Remove from the tin and serve warm.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Meal Planning Monday

I wasn't going to do a meal plan this week what with the tube strikes and one thing and another, but the strike has been called off and I have a better idea of what is happening this week. I still haven't figured out Friday's lunch but as I'm not staying at home on Thursday night I might treat myself to something yummy for lunch around work on Friday.

Chicken and Mayo Sandwich with Crisps 
Out at Pizza Express

Get fed at work
Seren's Prawn Cakes with Steamed Buns

Cheese and Onion Quiche and Salad


Beetroot and Goat's Cheese Pizza

Wild Rabbit with Broad Beans and Bacon

Mexican Mackerel Nachos
Cajun Steak with Smoky Baked Beans (15 Min Meals)

Orange and Coriander Marinated Salmon

This was the other main course I made for my friends. My Mum had made it a few weeks before and said it was absolutely delicious and she was right, this is a fantastic cold salmon dish, which packs a lot of flavour.

Orange and Coriander Marinated Salmon (from Nick Nairn's Top 100 Salmon Recipes)
(Serves 4)

150ml olive oil
4 salmon fillets, skinned
1 tbsp coriander seeds
6 spring onions, shredded
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 red chillies, seeded and sliced
3 bay leaves
2 tbsp chopped coriander
finely pared rind and juice 1 orange
3 tbsp dry white wine
3 tbsp white wine vinegar
salt and pepper

Wipe a non-stick frying pan with a little olive oil and fry the salmon fillets for 2-3 mins on each side until just cooked through. Remove from the pan and lay in a single layer in a non-metallic dish.

Wipe out the pan again until clean and dry-fry the coriander seeds until they begin to release their aroma. Tip out of the pan and lightly crush.

Mix the coriander seeds with all the other ingredients and pour over the salmon. Cover with cling film and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 12 hours. Serve the salmon fillets at room temperature with a couple of tbsp of marinade.

Monday, 24 August 2015

Lime and Sumac Halloumi Kebabs

To go with the flatbreads I made some halloumi kebabs. I also added courgettes but they didn't cook properly, so I would stick to just tomatoes, which were from the garden, burst and were wonderfully sweet. There is also an onion relish to with the kebabs which I want to try.

Lime and Sumac Halloumi (from The Sunday Times Magazine)
(Serves 4)

2 250g pack halloumi, cut into 2cm pieces
250g cherry tomatoes
1 tbsp sumac
juice and zest 1 lime
2 tbsp sesame seeds

Put the halloumi pieces into a bowl with the tomatoes, sumac, lime zest, juice of half the lime and the sesame seeds. Mix with your hands and leave to let the flavours mingle.

Heat the barbecue or griddle pan and thread the tomatoes and halloumi onto skewers.

Once your barbecue has died down form a very fierce heat, add the kebabs and cook for 2 mins on each side. Spoon the halloumi and tomatoes onto the flatbreads and serve.

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Summer Food Happenings

As I haven't done a Meal Planning Monday for a little while, I thought I'd just do a post of some of the interesting things I have eaten this summer!

I tried over the summer to go out for lunch one day a week, primarily to try out some of the places in Soho that I've been wanting to try for ages.

First off we have a Biskie from Cutter and Squidge. This one is Mango and White Chocolate and it was really good.


Then I tried Bunnychow in Soho, it's a South African restaurant that specialises in, well, Bunnychow, which are a small loaf ofbread filled with stew or curry. I had the Durban Bunny, which is a mutton curry in a grainy loaf with coleslaw. I loved the curry soaked bread.


For pudding that day I headed to Crosstown Doughnuts. I went for one of their summer special doughnuts a peach and nectarine crumble doughnut. It was delicious and really tasted of the summer fruits.

I then tried Walthamstow Market for lunch and stopped at Yummy Falafel on the Market. I went for a falafel wrap with halloumi, with spicy potatoes, pickles, red cabbage, tomato and lettuce.

This is what it looked like inside:


I would totally recommend the wrap, it was delicious and only £3.
For dinner one night before the theatre I went to La Porchettaon Stroud Green Road in Finsbury Park. I shared a Garlic Bread with my Father, which is topped with tomato and full of garlic and one of the best things I have ever eaten.

Then I had a Calzone Vedura, which I found a bit big and it had way too much cheese. Plus it seemed to major on artichokes and not much other veg. I could have done with some tomato sauce inside the pizza as well as outside.


After the barbecue I had in my garden we had a cream tea. My friend Rhainnon made the scones and I made the jam and we had clotted cream!

I went back to Yummy Falafel last week to eat with some marinated mozzarella. It is usually £1 for 4 but as they were a bit flat she chucked an extra one in! I also got the pickles and red cabbage from the stall.

I bought a new small camping gas barbecue when we were in Warkworth, and I thought I'd have a go and grill some red mullet fresh from Borough Market that morning. However, the barbecue didn't work, so I grilled it instead and served it with sweetcorn picked fresh from the garden minutes before, marinated mozzarella and tomato, samphire, rosemary and olive oil bread and salad. The red mullet was fantastic, lovely and fresh.

Today we toddled off to South Bank to watch a filming of The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice. Unfortunately we didn't arrive early enough to get in, so we went to the National Theatre foyer and shared the bakes that we had brought with us. I made Baked Apple Dumplings, which rather exploded in the oven!

My friend made Pumpkin Tiramisu which was very tasty.

So that's my food filled summer! Back to work tomorrow and no Meal Plan because I can't quite get my head around what's happening with the tube strike.

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Barbecued Yoghurt Flatbreads

A friend came over and we had a barbecue a couple of weekends ago and I had come across a recipe for barbecued bread that I had to try, they were so easy and such fun to make. I heard excited shouts and came running out to see them puffed up on the barbecue. They were delicious and I served them with Lime and Sumac Halloumi which I'll post in the next couple of days.

Barbecued Yoghurt Flatbreads (from The Sunday Times Magazine)
(Serves 4)

200g white spelt flour
1 tsp baking powder
200g Greek yoghurt or 150ml warm water

Put all the ingredients into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the mixture forms a ball.

Dust a clean work surface with flour and tip the dough onto it. Knead for a minute or so to bring it all together. This is a quick flatbread recipe, so you don't need to knead if for long. Put the dough into a flour dusted or oiled bowl and cover with a plate. Leave to one side for 10-15 mins; it may puff up a tiny bit but it won't rise like normal dough.

Heat the barbecue or put a large frying pan or griddle pan over a medium heat.

Dust a work surface and rolling pin with flour, then divide the dough into four equal pieces. Pat and flatten out the dough, then roll out into about a 15cm round, 2-3mm thick.

Once the barbecue flames have died down, cook each flatbread for 1-2 mins on each side, turning with tongs until it is puffed up and crisp.

Friday, 21 August 2015

Afternoon Tea at Chelsea Physic Garden

I had a fantastic afternoon at Chelsea Physic Garden today. We went on a guided tour of the garden and then had a walk around the garden ourselves. The garden is the oldest botanic garden in London founded by the Society of Apothcaries in 1673 and unsurprisingly I loved the edible part of the garden.

Then, we had afternoon tea, my second of the week! We got pots of tea and I had hot chocolate as well as water with mint for the table.

The savouries were smoked salmon, cucumber and egg sandwiches and a sundried tomato and goat's cheese quiche. All of which were delicious.

One of the highlights of tea were the lavender scones with clotted cream and jam, which were fantastic. We then had lemon drizzle cake, brownie, and orange and almond cake. The orange and almond cake was so moist and the brownie lovely and squidgy in the middle.

I would totally recommend a visit to Chelsea Physic Garden and the afternoon tea. It was a lovely way to spend an afternoon.

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Har Gow (Prawn Dumplings)

Whilst on holiday me and my Mum made Chinese dumplings on our own. We made three different sorts at the cookery course but we decided to concentrate on the prawn ones as they were the most simple. They were much more simple to make and a lot less scary than we thought. They were really very easy and I had lots of food fooling about sealing them in different ways and making pretty shapes.

Har Gow (Prawn Dumplings)
(Makes 10)
For the filling:
80g raw king prawns, deveined and chopped
1 tsp water chestnuts, finely chopped
ginger, finely chopped
1/3 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp cornflour
pinch white pepper
For the dough:
30g wheat starch
20g tapioca flour
20g cornflour
1/2 tsp sugar
pinch salt
60g boiling water
1 tsp vegetable oil
Mix together all the filling ingredients.
To make the dough; Put all of the dry ingredients into a small plastic bowl. Weigh out the boiling water into a jug and add it to the dry ingredients, mix rapidly with a spoon for 15-20 secs then cover with a plate for 2 mins to cook the flour.
Add 1 tsp vegetable oil and knead the dough like you do bread for about 5 mins until it forms a soft dough.
Divide the dough into 10 equal portions. Flatten each piece of dough and roll into a 3 in circle, add the filling, fold in half, pleat and seal well. Steam for 8 mins.