Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tarty Tuesday...

I have recently cut down from working 5 days a week to 4, one of the things I have been doing on my extra day off is "cooking ahead", cooking dishes that can be frozen and the heated up for dinner on the days when I do work. Tarts are great for this so I've been dishing them up once a week lately.

This tart was a great way to use up some odd bits and pieces that were lurking in the fridge. I cut up some Pumpkin, Eggplant and Zucchini, tossed them in some Olive Oil and sprinkled them with Morroccan Seasoning. They went into a moderate oven until they were cooked and starting to brown a little.

I set these aside to cool while I sliced up a Leek and cooked it gently until it was soft.

The Pastry was just a sheet and a half of bought Puff Pastry, I cooked this first and then spread Ricotta with Salt, Pepper, Fresh Oregano and Finely Grated Lemon Zest on top of it.

The Roasted Vegies and Leeks went on top and then a good sprinkling of Crumbled Bulgarian Fetta, back in the oven for ten minutes and it's ready!

I froze it when it had cooled down and it heated up beautifully a few days later.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Saturday Seafood...

I usually go food shopping first thing Saturday morning so if we're going to have a seafood meal it will usually be on a Saturday evening while the seafood is nice and fresh. This Saturday I made a dish that is fast becoming my favorite, I always like to add something from the garden to whatever I'm cooking and as the only thing that seems to be growing at the moment is Coriander, this dish was an obvious choice! I started by gently cooking a diced Onion, a couple of cloves of Crushed Garlic and when they were softened, added 2 sticks of Sliced Celery and a Sliced Fennel Bulb.

Once these had cooked for 5 minutes, I added half a teaspoon of Chilli Powder and a teaspoon of Smoked Paprika, a can of
Chopped Tomatoes and 500mls of Chicken Stock, also a couple of Bay Leaves.

Once the sauce had simmered for about 20 minutes I added the Seafood, you can add whatever Seafood you like so long as it adds up to roughly 800gms. I used 500gms of a good quality Marinara Mix, a couple of Basa Fillets and 150gms of prawns. I have used other combinations and it always seems to work well.

I added the prawns along with a good handful of roughly torn Coriander when everything else was nearly cooked. A squeeze of Lemon Juice, a few Coriander Sprigs on top and you have the most delicious and healthy Seafood dish that I know of!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Comfort Food

I had dinner with a group of friends on the weekend, we try to meet about every six weeks at someone's home, everyone brings food and drink and often there is a theme. This time we all wore our pyjamas and brought our favorite Comfort Food! It was hard to choose a favorite! I am comfortable with most food!

I ended up deciding on this Chicken with Lime and Red Onion dish that I have made so often that it feels like an old friend! I love that it is really simple to make and reheats so well. I have been known to eat it cold the next day too!

I also made a favorite Biscuit recipe, it was given to me by my Grandma and the actual recipe is in her handwriting on a scrap of paper, all the more precious as she is no longer with us. She called them Coconut Dainties, although mine tend to be on the hefty side! I tweaked them a bit by adding Marmalade to some, not much escapes my kitchen lately without some form of Citrus fruit involved.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Healthy Snacks...

I have been trying to eat a bit more healthily for the past few months and I've worked out that I have no real problem with eating healthily at meal times, I love veggies and I can live without bread and butter, much as I like it.

Where I really struggle is in the after dinner snack department, I adore cheese and crackers, especially with a bit of our homemade Quince Paste. I have been trying out some really healthy dips, I've long been a fan of homemade Hommus and I've made a Roast Pumpkin Dip a couple of times lately.

It's as simple as roasting pumpkin that has been drizzled with Olive Oil and sprinkled with Morrocan Seasoning (my new best friend). Whizz it in the food processor adding a bit of water if it's too stiff. Great for using up some of the glut if you've had a bumper Pumpkin harvest!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

I'm back!

I can hardly believe that I haven't posted anything since April! I have still been playing in the garden and the kitchen though and my latest ventures have mainly involved citrus fruit.

The only citrus fruit that has actually come from my garden is this one lonely lemon! I have been given some beautiful Grapefruits and I scored some lovely Lemons and Limes from this month's Food Swap.

My only, lonely Lemon had its peel added to the peel of 9 Food Swap Lemons to be steeped in Vodka to make Limoncello for Christmas gifts, I then juiced the lemons and added the juice of some Limes to make Lemon/Lime Cordial.

I've also made 4 batches of Marmalade and very few meals make it to the table lately without the addition of some sort of Citrus!