Florentina Traybake

This is a delicious traybake, long in the oven but easy to prepare. Ideal for a lazy Sunday where you have the time but not the will to do much. The veggies are mixed with a mustardy dressing and roasted, in the last couple of minutes, the eggs are cracked in to have a lovely runny yolk. In Jamie’s ‘Veg’ there is no accompaniment to this and I had it on it’s own also but I did think it would be a great side to some fish or a vegetarian alternative.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 celeriac
  • 2 onions
  • 500g potatoes (Jamie recommends Maris Piper)
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 bunch fresh chives
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • 4 large eggs

Method

1.) Preheat the oven to 220 degrees C

2.) Peel the celeriac, potatoes, onions and carrots

3.) Slice the celeriac and potatoes finely. Chop the carrots into batons and the onions into slices.

4.) Chop the chives finely

5.) In a large mixing bowl, add the vegetables, the mustard, the chives the oil and some seasoning.

6.) Get right in with your hands to get all the dressing in

7.) Pour the veg into a roasting tin and cover with some tin foil

8.) Roast for 1 hour, take off the foil and roast for a further 10 minutes

9.) Make four dents in the layer of vegetables and in each crack in an egg

10.) Put back in the oven for a final 3 minutes until the eggs are poached and serve.

Broccoli and blue cheese soup

Being on holiday this week, I bought tickets for a National Trust site, Lyme Park – the stately home used as Pemberley in the adaptation of Pride and Prejudice (the BBC one, not the rubbish film with Keira Knightley). However, being in England, shortly after we arrived it started to hail and it was too cold to stay more than an hour despite it being April and I didn’t even manage to stay long enough to find the Mr Darcy statue in the lake. When I got home, I just wanted to warm up with this winter soup that I adapted almost to non-recognition from ‘Jamie’s Great Britain’. This recipe works best with the strongest blue cheese you can get i.e. the British Stilton.

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 4 small heads of broccoli
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 onion
  • small bunch of thyme
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • seasoning
  • 1.5 litres flavour chicken stock (or vegetable)
  • 100g Stilton cheese

Method

1.) Chop up the stalks of the broccoli into pieces and heat the oil in a large pan/crockpot

2.) Add the stalks on a low heat and peel and chop up the onion

3.) Add the onion to the pan with 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

4.) Strip the rosemary leaves from the sprigs and finely chop. Strip the thyme leaves and chuck all the herbs into the pan

5.) Add 200ml water to the pan and put on the lid. Cook on a low heat for 40 minutes

6.) When the 40 minutes is nearly up, make up the stock and chop up the florets of the broccoli

7.) Add both to the pan and put the lid back on, cook for another 15 minutes

8.) When done, take off the heat and blitz with an immersion blender until smooth.

9.) Add the cheese and stir until melted, season and serve.

cheese and Chive flapjacks

If I remember correctly, in the US, if you spoke about flapjacks you’d be referring to pancakes. In the UK, however, you’d generally be referring to golden syrup (light amber coloured molasses), mixed with oats and butter and baked. It’s a very well-loved treat here so I was going a bit left field with this savoury version which I found on the BBC good food website but it was a revelation. Unfortunately, as I discovered it only keeps for a couple of days so it’s best making to share.

Serves 16

Ingredients

  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 250g porridge oats
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 100g mature cheddar cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • 10g chives
  • 2 tbsp sunflower seeds
  • 2 tbsp golden linseeds

Method

1.) Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C (180 degrees C fan oven)

2.) Peel and grate the carrots

3.) Melt the butter in a large pan then add the oats, chia seeds and carrots

3.) Grate the cheese

4.) Chop the chives finely

5.) Beat the eggs in a mixing bowl

6.) Add the oat mixture, the cheese, chives and the seeds to the bowl and give it a stir

7.) Spray a 20 x 20cm baking tin with oil and tip in the oats

8.) Spread out the mixture and press down so it covers the tin evenly

9.) Bake for 25 – 30 minutes until golden

10.) Leave to cool and cut into slices to serve.

Roasted Veg and grain Salad

4 more working days until a week off work and I’m very excited about it even though I’m not sure what I’m going to do with the time as everything is closed! Still, just a couple of weeks until I can hit the gym and give the hairdresser a heart attack with my wonky self-cut fringe.

This is a great recipe if you’re like me and wanting to off-set some of the lockdown unhealthiness by getting in your 5 a day. Capers and mustard in the dressing pack a flavour punch as healthy does not need to be bland. I took this recipe from BBC Good Food.

Serves 4 (as a main)

Ingredients

  • 1 cauliflower
  • 400g carrots
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 200g spelt
  • 100g green beans
  • 10g parsley
  • 10g mint leaves
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • 1/2 tbsp mustard
  • 100ml oil
  • 1 tsp cider vinegar

Method

1.) Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C

2.) Line a roasting tin

3.) Break up the cauliflower into florets and add to a mixing bowl

4.) Peel the carrots, top and tail them then slice into strips and with the cauliflower

5.) In the bowl, add 2 tbsp of the oil, the honey, the cumin and some salt and pepper.

6.) Mix it all up, I think the only way is to get your hands in.

7.) Stick in the oven to roast for 30 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn over the veg to make sure all sides brown.

8.) While the vegetables are roasting, put a kettle on to boil, and add the pearl barley and the water to the pan. Cook for about 18 minutes.

9.) Trim the edges of the green beans and add to the pan with the barley and cook for another 7 minutes until the beans and barley are tender.

10.) While the veg and barley is cooking, make the dressing, chop finely the herbs, add to your container of choice, pour in the oil and vinegar, stir through the mustard, add the capers and a bit of seasoning and give it a good mix.

11.) Drain the pearl barley and beans. Tip it over the tray roasted veg. Dollop the dressing around the tray and serve.

Cottage pie

Cottage pie/shepherd’s pie is a classic British dish. Shepherd’s pie is generally made with lamb and Cottage pie with beef. Of course this is made with neither and contains quorn mince. It’s normally not a meal that would excite me but I came across a recipe in a Good Housekeeping magazine which mixes it up a bit by adding a layer of kale pesto underneath the mashed potato. I’d already made a lasagne recently and I hadn’t judged my baking dish very well so I had half of the ragu to use up. The full ragu quantity could be used in this pie if you increased the amount of mash on the top.

Ingredients

  • spray oil
  • 1 onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 stick celery
  • 300g quorn mince
  • 1 glass Italian red wine
  • 700ml passata
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 450g potatoes (after peeling)
  • 2 heaped tsp cream cheese
  • salt and pepper
  • 30g cheese
  • 250g kale
  • 70g pine nuts
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 60ml olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon

Method

1.) For the ragu, peel and chop the onion, carrot and celery

2.) Fry them in some spray oil until soft

3.) Add in the quorn until its defrosted and some salt and pepper

4.) Add the wine and cook down until it’s mostly evaporated

5.) Add the passata and tomato purée and turn the heat down

6.) Slowly cook the sauce until it thickens.

7.) While this is cooking, peel and chop up the potatoes. Add to a pan with some boiling water and cook until tender.

8.) To prepare the green sauce, cook the kale in some boiling water in another pan for 5 minutes. Drain and add to a food processor.

9.) Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C

10.) Toast 70g pine nuts on a low heat and add to the food processor.

11.) Peel the clove of garlic and add.

12.) Measure out the oil and add this too.

13.) Blitz the green sauce until there are no lumps

14.) Grate 30g cheese

15.) When the ragu is done cooking, add half to the bottom of an oven proof dish

16.) Pour and spread over the green sauce.

17.) When the potatoes are done, drain the water and add back to the pan. Sprinkle in some salt and add the cream cheese. Mash up until smooth.

18.) Spread over the mash on top of the green sauce.

19.) Sprinkle over the cheese

20.) Bake for 40 minutes

Haggis Part 2 – Haggis Pasties

To make the most of the veggie haggis you can buy around Burns’ Night, I bought another pack but did something a little different with it. In Britain, we like our pies and they’re usually savoury. A pasty is generally in the form of a folded circle containing the filling and the most famous pasty is the Cornish pasty. The Cornish pasty has a protected status in Europe so Cornish pasties must contain beef, swede, potato and onion. My version isn’t too different ingredients-wise though I didn’t manage to get the traditional 20 crimps to hold the pastry together.

For my pastry I used whole-wheat flour and learnt why you don’t often see people using it on the Bake-off. I did manage to cobble it together but I gave up on the presentation. The end result was light and flaky though and well-suited the spiced haggis is contained. I’ve seen recipes which put the swede and potato in raw but when I’ve tried that the filling hasn’t been quite as soft as I’d like and I find simmering in a bit of stock adds some flavour. The pasties freeze really well – stick them in the freezer at the point before the egg-wash.

Serves 8 (with a bit of filling left over)

Ingredients

For the filling:

1 pack Simon Howe vegetarian haggis

2/3 swede

1 large potato

2 leeks

300ml beef flavour stock

spray oil

For the pastry:

250g unsalted block of butter

250g strong flour

6 tbsp very cold water

1 egg

Method

1.) Boil a kettle full of water. Take the haggis out of the packet, wrap it in foil. Put in the pan, completely cover with the water and simmer for 40 minutes.

2.) Clean and chop the leeks. Fry in a frying pan.

4.) Peel and chop up the potato and swede. Add to the leeks when they’re soft. Cook down for 5 minutes.

5.) Make up the stock and add to the potato and swede and cook on a medium-low heat until the stock has cooked off.

6.) Remove the haggis from the water and unwrap. Cut off the plastic casing and add the haggis to the potato and mix.

7.) Whilst the haggis and potatoes are cooking, start to make the pastry.

8.) Add the flour to a food processor with 1/2 tsp salt. Cut the butter into small cubes and add to the flour.

9.) Blitz until it becomes breadcrumbs. I just pulse it pressing on and off the button to not overheat the mixture.

10.) Pour into a large bowl and add the water. Use your hands to shape into a ball but work the dough as little as as possible.

11.) Stick in the fridge for 30 minutes.

12.) After thirty minutes, lightly dust your surface and rolling pin with flour. Roll out the ball into a large rectangle. Mine was a bit dry due to the flour and crumbled a bit at the edges but I pushed them together.

13.) Fold 1/3 over and then the other third, like a letter.

14.) Turn the dough around and roll out back into a rectangle.

15.) Fold and roll out twice more then fold again, wrap up and put in the fridge for another half hour. (I put it on the fridge on a baking tray to make it easier). After about 15 minutes, preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.

16.) Once more, roll out the pastry and divide into 8 pieces.

17.) Spoon over about 4 tbsp filling (it should be room-temperature by now otherwise it will ruin the pastry)

18.) Fold the two sides over the filling and crimp them together.

19.) Separate the egg yolk into a bowl and mix with a tbsp milk. (I didn’t add the milk and the egg yolk is showing up on the whole-wheat pastry)

20.) Line a baking tray with baking paper

21.) Put the pasties on the tray and brush with the egg wash.

22.) Bake for 40 minutes.