Monthly Archives: April 2007

Watercress, Feta & Pesto Quiche

Every couple of weeks I get a craving for quiche. Tonight I decided to use up the feta & eggs in the fridge so made a watercress, feta & pesto quiche, crushed new potatoes with (local) asparagus. I’ve never had watercress before, but really liked it. With a quiche you can essentially use any “filling” ingredients you want. When we’re feeling unhealthy I make it with mushrooms, cheese, bacon and single cream or tomato sauce and sausages.

Watercress, feta & pesto quiche

1 plain pastry base (I’m rubbish at pastry and buy a ready made base)
3 eggs
100ml milk
1 bag of watercress, wilted
2 tsp of pesto
big handful of feta cubes
salt & pepper

1. Preheat oven to 160oc. Spread pesto on base, then sprinkle on feta. Wilt watercress in a pan, cool and squeeze out excess water then spread this over the feta.

2. Whisk egg, milk plus seasoning and pour into base. Don’t overfill, I learnt this the hard way once when I opened the oven to find burnt quiche mix all over the bottom of the oven.

3. Bake for 30-40 till golden. Let it cool for 10 min before serving.

Crushed new potatoes

New potatoes
olive oil
seasoning
mint

1. Boil potatoes for around 10 minutes. Drain and spread out on a baking tray, lightly crush with fork/masher. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle on seasoning. Bake for about 25 min.

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Raspberry and Vanilla Baked Custard

Although they are not in season yet (these came from Spain), I couldn’t resist buying a punnet of raspberries, they are by far my fave fruit. I can’t wait for July when the PYO farm down the road opens.

This recipe is in this months Prima and is so stupidly easy, and delicious!

Raspberry and vanilla baked custard

(serves 4)

125g/4oz raspberries
1 vanilla pod
2 eggs
1/2 pt of whole milk
25g/1oz caster sugar (if you have vanilla sugar you can omit the vanilla pod)
4 ramekins, lightly buttered

1. Preheat the over to 170oc (160oc fan) scatter raspberries on base of each ramekin.

2. Scrape out vanilla seeds and whisk into the other ingredients until you have a smooth custard. Divide the mixture between the ramekins, place in a baking tin.

3. Pour 1cm of hot (not boiling) water into baking tin and place in over for 30 min, till just set. Leave to cool and chill before setting.

Hmmm…I think I need to tidy up my kitchen cupboards! Space is limited in my teeny tiny kitchen and ingredients literally get thrown into where ever they fit. This weekend I may have a good clean out.
I haven’t baked much in the last few days due to me eating far too much easter chocolate, though I’m tempted to make some cinder toffee.

Chunky Tomato Soup

Yesterday my friend and her Hubbie came over for lunch and I made Chunky Tomato Soup. Tastewise this is the closest I’ve got to the taste of Heinz Tomato Soup. Rather than smooth consistancy of the Heinz version it does have chunks of tomato in it (which I like). Once my friends got home they brought us a Breville Stick blender off our wedding list, so I wonder if they are giving me a subtle hint!

Chunky Tomato Soup
Serves 4
Adapted from GFM – Feb 07

1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed (or 1 or 2 teaspoons of garlic paste)
1 can of chopped tomatoes
300ml/ 1/2pt tomato juice (or passata)
300ml/ 1/2pt veg stock
1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
big dollop of creme fraiche

1) Cook onion and garlic over low heat until softened, not browned.

2) Add tomatoes, tomato juice, stock & Worcestershire sauce. Simmer for 15 min. Season for taste. Just before serving stir in a spoonful of creme fraiche.

Hot Cross Buns


As promised my attempt at Hot Cross Buns. The recipe is from GFM – April 07. I think they went well apart from probably the most important part…the crosses. They certainly don’t look as posh as shop brought ones, but they taste better! At first the cross paste was too thick so I thinned it down, then it was too thin and just dribbled off the buns. Next time I’ll make the cross indents deeper in the hope the paste will stay better.

Hot Cross Buns
Makes 16

FOR THE DOUGH
175ml/6fl oz milk
50g/2oz butter
zest of 1 orange
1 clove
2cardamom pods
400g/14oz bread flour
1 tbsp caster sugar
7g (1 pkt) easy blend yeast
100g/oz mixed dried fruit
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp ground ginger
1 egg
1 egg beaten with a little milk

FOR THE CROSS ON THE BUN
3 tbsp plain flour
½ tbsp caster sugar
2 tbsp water

FOR THE SUGAR GLAZE
1 tbsp caster sugar
1 tbsp boiling water

1) Heat the milk, butter, zest, clove and cardamom pods in a saucepan until the butter melts, then leave to infuse. Mix flour, sugar, yeast, dried fruit and spices. When the milk has reached body temperature, take ourt clove and cardamom pods and beat in egg. Pour this liquid into the flour mix.

2) Knead the dough until it is silky and elastic. Add a little more warm milk if it is too dry. Form into a ball and place in a butter bowl covered in cling film and leave to prove overnight in the fridge.

3) Take the dough out of the fridge and let it come to room temp. Knead dough again until it is smooth and elastic. Divide into 16 balls (each should be about the size of a ping pong ball)

4) Sit the buns on a lined baking sheet close together, but not touching. Lightly score a cross on the top of each bun. Cover with a tea towel and prove for another 45 min.

5) Heat oven to 220oc (200oc fan). Brush buns with egg wash, then mix flour, sugar and water together to make a thick smooth paste. Using a teaspoon dribble a cross into the indents. Bake for 15-20 min.

6) When the hot cross buns come out of the oven mix sugar and boiling water and brush over buns.

Lamb Burgers

I’m always trying to improve recipes I have and yesterday it was lamb burgers turn. I usually just add a healthy amount of mint to the lamb mince, but this time used a recipe I found on www.nzlambrecipes.info When you read the list of ingredients it does seem odd, but they tasted delicious.

Lamb Burgers
makes 2 large burgers

250g/ 1/2lb minced lamb
1 tsp whole grain mustard
1 1/2 tsp chilli sauce
1 1/2 tsp worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp mint
1 small egg, beaten
salt and pepper

1) Mix lamb with mustard, chilli, worcestershire sauce, lemon and mint.

2) Bind with egg and season.

3) Shape and cook. You can fry, grill, BBQ or cook in the oven.

Chocolate Chip Cookies



Now it’s Easter Hols and I have time off work it gives me the opportunity to get back to baking (or experimenting as I’m sure H2B would like to call it!). Todays baking disaster was cookies. I’ve made them loads of times before, but this time I didn’t leave enough gap between each blob of cookie dough and I ended up with one giant cookie. Thankfully the old workmates I had made them for didn’t mind.

Last night was such a cold night, and I had some bread & cream to use up I decided to make bread & butter pudding. Not something I should be eating with my next wedding dress fitting on Tuesday but you can’t beat bread & butter pudding piping hot from the oven with a huge dollop of G&B vanilla icecream….heaven.

Bread & Butter pudding (serves 6)
350g white bread (about 1/2 a loaf)
150g butter
ground nutmeg
about 2 handfuls of sultantas/currents/rasins
3 tbsp sugar
3 medium eggs, beaten
100g caster sugar (I use the vanilla caster sugar we made at xmas)
450ml single cream

1) Preheat oven to 180oc, butter bread, cut off crusts and place in deef 20x30cm baking dish. Sprinkle with raisins and nutmeg

2) Lightly whisk eggs, sugar and cream. Pour over bread. Dot with a few extra dollops of butter.

3) Sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 40-50min until risen and golden.

Appologies for the odd formating of this entry, I’m still trying to get used to Blogger!

Lebkuchen


Hmmm …. I really should post more. I bake so many things, take so many picture but never get around to posting them. Easter Resolution: to blog more.

Possibly some of my most impressive baking since I last posted was my Lebkuchen and Christmas biscuits (these doubled up as Christmas tree decorations)

Lebkuchen Makes around 30
INGREDIENTS:
250g plain flour
85g ground almonds
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
½tsp bicarbonate of soda pinch each ground cloves, grated nutmeg and black pepper (I like them quite peppery)
200ml clear honey
85g butter
1 lemon, finely grated zest
FOR THE ICING:
100g icing sugar
1 egg white, beaten

1 Tip the dry ingredients into a large bowl. Heat the honey and butter in a pan over a low heat until the butter melts, then pour into the flour mixture along with the lemon zest. Mix well until the dough is combined and fairly solid. Cover and leave to cool (this will make it a great deal easier to roll).
2 Heat oven to 180C/fan160C/gas 4. Using your hands, roll dough into about 30 balls, each 3cm wide, then flatten each one slightly into a disk. Divide the biscuits between two baking trays lined with baking parchment, leaving room for them to expand. Bake for 15 mins, then cool on a wire rack.
3 To ice the biscuits, mix together the icing sugar, egg white and 1-2 tbsp water to form a smooth, runny icing. Dip the top of each biscuit in the icing and spread with the back of a knife. Leave to dry.

Thursdays more seasonal challenge is to make Hot Cross Buns from Nigella’s recipe in last months GFM. Wish me luck!

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