Saturday, 24 September 2016

Crab-Stuffed Grilled Squid with Shaved Courgette and Sweetcorn Salad

This was a really simple fresh salad. The squid was very tasty and the courgette, corn and tomato salad was lovely and fresh. I'm still trying to use all those veggies from the garden!

Crab-Stuffed Grilled Squid with Shaved Courgette and Sweetcorn Salad
(adapted from The Perfectly Tossed Salad by Mindy Fox)
(Serves 4)

225g white crab meat
2 tbsp mayonnaise
pinch cayenne pepper
salt and pepper
8 cleaned squid bodies with tentacles
1 1/2 tbsp oil
1 corn on the cob, kernels removed
1 shallot, chopped
300g cherry tomatoes, halved
1 large courgette, peeled into strips
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
handful basil leaves, large ones torn

Mix together the crab, mayonnaise, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Stuff the squid with the crab mixture, leaving a 1cm space at the top. Seal the squid with toothpicks.

Heat the 1 tbsp oil in a frying pan over a medium high heat. Add the sweetcorn, shallot, salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook for 3 mins, stirring occasionally, until tender. Add the tomatoes, toss and cook for 1 min. Transfer to a plate and leave to cool.

Put the courgette ribbons into a bowl, add the olive oil, basil and salt and pepper and toss together.

Heat a griddle pan over a medium high heat. Drizzle the squid with the remaining 1/2 tbsp oil and season. Lightly brush the griddle pan with oil, then grill the squid bodies for 13-15 mins, turning frequently until golden in spots. Cook the tentacles for 2-3 mins.

Mix the courgette and sweetcorn together and put into bowls. Top with the squid. Serve.

Friday, 23 September 2016

Cannelloni Nicoise Style

This was absolutely delicious. Really simple to make but oh so flavourful. I used the cherry tomatoes from my garden and they are so sweet cooked this way. 

Cannelloni Nicoise Style (from Rachel Khoo's Kitchen Notebook)
(Serves 4)

For the tomato sauce
500g cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tbsp oil
pinch salt

For the filling
2 courgettes
8 large fresh lasagne sheets
8 tsp olive tapenade
200g grilled peppers
200g cooked artichokes
200g creme fraiche
100g mozzarella, sliced or grated

Preheat the oven to 180C. Put the tomatoes, oil and salt into a small saucepan. Cover with a lid and cook over a medium heat for 8 mins or until the tomatoes have burst. Meanwhile, using a peeler, slice the courgettes into ribbons.

Spread the tapenade thinly over the lasagne sheets. Lay a few of the courgette ribbons down the length of the sheet just to cover them.

Mix the peppers and artichokes and spoon three tbsp of the mixture down the centre of each sheet, then roll up tightly from the long side, keeping the filling inside. Put 2 tbsp of sauce in a baking dish and then put the roll on top. Repeat with the rest of the sheets.

Pour the tomatoes over the lasagne rolls. Stir some pepper into the creme fraiche until smooth and put tbspfuls randomly on top of the cannelloni. Top with the mozzarella and put in the oven and back for 30 mins until golden and bubbly. Serve.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Blueberry, Oat and Chia Seed Muffins

These muffins are a bit dense but they are very tasty. They used up lots of stuff I had in cupboards and they are slightly more complicated than a straight forward muffin but tasty.

Blueberry, Oat and Chia Seed Muffins (from Time Out)
(Makes 12)

75g wholemeal flour
125g plain flour
200g rolled oats
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
3 tbsp chia seeds
2 really ripe bananas, peeled
2 large eggs, separated
250 milk
2 tbsp runny honey
3 tbsp oil
125g blueberries

Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a muffin tray with paper cases.

Cobmine the flours, oats, baking powder, cinnamon, chia seeds and a pinch of salt in a bowl, the create a well in the middle.

Mash the banana in a separate bowl, then add the egg yolks, milk, honey and oil. Mix well, then pour it into the well. Mix everything gently until a wet batter forms.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Fold them into the muffing batter with the blueberries until evenly mixed.

Divide the muffin mix between the paper cases and bake for 25 mins or until cooked through and golden.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Courgette and Mozzarella Piadina

This was a delicious sandwich, with really easy flatbread made in minutes. It used courgette from my garden and gorgeous mozzarella. Really tasty.

Courgette and Mozzarella Piadina (from Waitrose Autumn)
(Serves 2)

2 courgettes, cut into thin slices
olive oil
1 tsp red wine
1 small garlic clove, crushed
1/2 chilli, deseeded and finely sliced
zest 1 lemon, grated
250g self-raising flour
125g buffalo mozzarella
handful basil leaves

Preheat the grill to high. Brush the courgette slices with oil and season. Spread out on the grill pan and grill for 4-5 mins per side until softened and golden. Mix together the vinegar, garlic, chilli and lemon zest. Add 1 tbsp olive oil and the courgette slices and mix well.

Meanwhile, place the flour into a bowl with a pinch of salt and 6-7 tbsp cold water. Mix well with a fork until it starts to come together as a soft dough. Divide into two pieces, place on a lightly floured surface and roll each one into a 18cm circle.

Warm a frying pan over a medium heat. Spray with oil, add one of the dough circles and spray the top with more oil. Cook for 2-3 mins on each side until just golden and slightly risen. Repeat with the second piece of dough.

Lay the courgette slices and any juices onto half of each bread circle and sop with the mozzarella and basil. Fold over the other half of the bread to cover the filling and press down gently. Slide one piadina back into the pan, place a large heavy saucepan on top and press down gently.  Cook for 3-4 mins on each side until golden and the cheese has melted. Serve.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Sweetcorn Fritters with Avocado and Bacon

Most of my sweetcorn failed to come to anything, they had no kernels of corn on them! My Mum gave me one of hers and so I made these fritters. They were very filling but delicious and went perfectly with the bacon and avocado. I also served it with a gorgeous tomato and onion salad.

Sweetcorn Fritters with Avocado and Bacon (from Cook Yourself Thin by Gizzi Erskine)
(Serves 2)

1 large egg
150g Greek yoghurt
1 tbsp cornflour
60g plain flour
salt and pepper
200g tin sweetcorn, well drained
2 spring onions, thinly sliced
1 tbsp oil

4 slices smoked bacon
1/2 avocado sliced
1 tbsp maple syrup

Put the egg, yogurt, cornflour, flour and salt and pepper in a bowl and whisk together until it becomes a smooth batter. Add the corn and spring onion and mix thoroughly.

Heat a frying pan until it is fairly hot and add 1 tbsp oil.  Drop ladlefuls of the mixture into the pan until you have 4 fritters. Cook for 2-3 mins or until the bottom is crisp and golden. Then turn over and cook the other side for 2-3 mins. You might need to do this in 2 batches.

Add a little more oil if you need to, then add the bacon to the pan and cook for 1-2 mins on each side, until cooked through.

Serve 2 fritters on each plate, top with 2 slices of bacon and a few slices of avocado. Drizzle with the maple syrup.

Monday, 19 September 2016

Duck Kebab

Something different to do with a duck leg! These were very tasty. The original recipe is for 1 but 2 duck legs was too much for me, so I think it serves 2 better. The coriander chutney is lovely too.

Duck Kebab (from The Times)
(Serves 2)

For the coriander chutney
200g fresh coriander leaves
1 green chilli
small garlic clove
100g fresh root ginger
2 tbsp natural yoghurt
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp lemon juice

For the duck kebabs
2 duck legs
1 green chilli, finely chopped
10g shallots, diced
2 tbsp breadcrumbs
5g fresh root ginger, grated
5g garlic, finely diced
5g fresh coriander, chopped
½ tsp garam masala
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tomato, deseeded and sliced
1/4 red onion, sliced
100g cucumber, julienned
juice 1/2 lemon
2 pitta breads

Put the coriander chutney ingredients in a food processor and blitz. Store the chutney in the fridge until ready to use.

Remove the meat from the duck legs and blitz it to a fine mince in a food processor. Transfer to a bowl.

Add the chilli, shallots, breadcrumbs, root ginger, garlic, coriander and garam masala to the mince and mix well. Form four patties with the mince.

Heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the patties for 4 mins on each side until golden.

Meanwhile, combine the tomato, red onion slices, cucumber and lemon juice to make a salad. Toast the pitta breads for 2 mins. Cut each one in half and spread some coriander chutney on the inside. Finally, add the salad and duck kebabs. Serve.

Meal Planning Monday

Nothing much happened last week. I had a lovely take-away from Pizza Toto last weekend that I forgot to add to last weeks meal plan. We had garlic bread.

Followed by Vegetable Calzone. Both were absolutely delicious and I will definitely order from them again.

As you can see I've got a bit of my cooking mojo back. I'm loving using fresh ingredients from the garden and next week I am continuing to do that and I am also continuing to use those recipe cuttings for the majority of my meals. I am going out a couple of times next week. First to Mildred's in King's Cross for lunch on Monday and then to Borough Market on Tuesday. Next weekend I'm going to my parents on Sunday and hopefully to Compton Verney to see the 1950s design exhibition.

Out with a friend
Chicken Tikka Masala with Rice

Cauliflower, Chickpea and Cumin Broth with a Scone
Out with a friend

Summer Veg Pizza Pies with Salad
Tagliatelle Gratin with Pancetta

Lentil, Beetroot, Herb and Rose Salad
Creamy Smoked Fish and Spinach Gratin

Warm Prawn with Indian Spiced Lentils (Perfectly Tossed Salad)
Sausage and Bean Pie with Veg

Smoked Salmon Cream Cheese Wrap
Three Bean Chilli Bake

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Cretan Pastries with Courgettes, Mint and Feta

It's that time of year, a glut of courgettes. I started using the ones from my garden to make these lovely Cretan pastries. The recipe said that it served 4, so I halved the recipe and I ended up with 15 of them! They are small but I only managed to eat 3 for lunch! So I'd say they served more like 8! Although if you have a hungry man maybe less people! It take a bit of time to make them but actually really simple.

Cretan Pastries with Courgettes, Mint and Feta (from The Times Magazine)
(Serves 6-8)

500g flour
100ml olive oil
1 tsp salt
lukewarm water

for the filling
4 medium courgettes, grated
150g feta, crumbled
3 tbsp mint, shredded
300ml oil for frying

Put the flour into a bowl, pour in the olive oil and the salt. Mix by hand, slowly adding lukewarm water until you have a smooth elastic dough. It should be soft but not sticky. Cover the dough with a damp cloth and leave it to rest for 30 mins.

Put the courgette into a bowl, season with salt and leave for 10 mins. Meanwhile, put the feta and mint into another bowl. Put the grated courgette into a clean tea-towel, gather up the edges and squeeze the liquid out of the courgette, and add to the feta and mint. Season with pepper.

Dust board or counter top with flour and roll the pastry out as thinly as you can. Use a small bowl, about 10cm in diameter, to cut out the discs and dust with flour to stop them sticking. Place 1 tbsp of the filling in the centre of each disc. Close them gently in half and press the edges with a form to seal the edges.

Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. When it is hot add the pastries and cook gently on both sides until golden. Remove from the pan and place on kitchen roll to absorb the excess oil. Serve.

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Bruschetta with Roasted Tomatoes, Poached Egg and Dukkah

This is probably one of the best breakfasts I have eaten. I love love love roasted tomatoes, especially when they come from my garden, and these are just so tasty. The addition of the egg is fantastic. You have to try this!

Bruschetta with Roasted Tomatoes, Poached Egg and Dukkah (from The Guardian)
(Serves 4)

900g mixed tomatoes (cherry, plum, round, yellow, orange, red, black), halved or quartered
4 cloves garlic, peeled, 3 thinly sliced and 1 crushed
2 tbsp oregano leaves, roughly chopped
salt and pepper
100ml olive oil
10g parsley leaves, finely chopped
4 slices sourdough or ciabatta
4 eggs, poached just before serving
50g dukkah

Preheat the oven to 180C. 
Put all the tomatoes cut side up on a large, greaseproof lined baking tray. Sprinkle over the garlic slices, oregano, a pinch of salt, pepper and two tbsp of oil, and roast for 25030 mins. Remove and set aside. 
Change the oven to a grill setting. In a small bowl, mix the remaining oil with the crushed garlic and parsley. Brush this over both sides of the bread and lay them out on a large baking tray. Grill for 2-3 mins on each side, until golden-brown. Spoon the warm tomatoes on top, followed by a poached egg, sprinkle with dukkah and serve at once.

Friday, 16 September 2016

Tapenade Salmon with Runner Beans and Preserved Lemons

This was absolutely delicious, really flavourful. I used tomatoes from my garden and runner beans from my Mum's garden, lovely and fresh tasting.

Tapenade Salmon with Runner Beans and Preserved Lemons
(from Waitrose Weekend 14 August 2014)
(Serves 4)

450g runner beans, cut into thin ribbons
2 preserved lemons, chopped
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
200g cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tbsp olive oil
4 salmon fillets
2 tsp tapenade

Preheat the oven to 200C.

Toss the runner beans with the preserved lemons, onion and tomatoes. Arrange over the base of a small roasting tin. Season and drizzle with oil.

Make several slashes in the skin of the salmon and spread with the tapenade push it into the slits. Place skin side up on the beans.

Cook in the oven for 20-25 mins until the fish is cooked through. Serve with potatoes.