Kippers with spicy potatoes

Probably shouldn’t be posting this recipe now during working hours but my manager’s out of office and I’m saving my motivation for my new job. Half of tomorrow will be spent planning my mini-trip to Paris and Reims which may result in some rose biscuits on this blog, just in time for the new series of the Great British Bake off which starts in under a week now! I found this recipe in ‘Palestine on a Plate’ and was fairly surprised that there was no Ras al Hanout or Harissa used and I might give that a go next time I make it or maybe even some pesto or some other spicesg mixed with the oil used. The oil in the recipe was 175ml which was a bit too much in my opinion, probably you’re better off with about 110ml but I very much liked this recipe, it was so quick to put together and obviously as a Brit I love potatoes. As you may expect, the original recipe did not contain kippers and rather halibut but when I did the online food shopping, searching for halibut just gave me options for the coconut rum – Malibu! I thought that kippers would be more appropriate but feel free to use any kind of fish.

Ingredients

  • 2 large potatoes
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 red chilli
  • 110ml olive oil
  • 2 plum tomatoes (or 10 mini plum tomatoes)
  • 10g parsley
  • 100g green beans
  • 1 lemon
  • salt
  • 4 fish fillets

Method

1.) Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C

2.) Slice up the potatoes thinly (no need to peel). Layer them on a baking tray so they’re slightly overlapping.

3.) Chop up the tomatoes, add them to a mixing bowl, peel and chop up the garlic and finely dice the chilli and add that too.

4.) Pour in the olive oil, chop up the parsley and add that, slice the lemon in half and squeeze in the juice. Add some salt and mix.

5.) Pour 3/4 of this mixture over the potatoes and bake for 20 minutes.

6.) Trim the green beans.

7.) Put the kippers in the middle of the tray, arrange the beans around the outside. Pour over the remainder of the oil mixture.

8.) Bake for another 10 – 12 minutes and serve.

Cheese & Potato Nests

A little behind on the posting yet again but I did have three interviews for two jobs this last week. I did end up with two job offers so at least it was time well spent. I have a good feeling about the job I picked as my new employer has at least one cat who nearly made an appearance on Microsoft Teams during our interview. I find that having a cat is always a sign of good character! This is my last French recipe for the time being as I can’t realistically pretend I’m on holiday anymore even with a mini-two day heatwave in Manchester. Cheese and potato is a big crowd pleaser and I served these with some pan fried fish. Again, this was from Rachel Khoo’s ‘Little Paris Kitchen’ as it’s the only French cookbook I own. Weirdly, this is a recipe made up by the Reblochon company to try to sell their cheese.

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 500g waxy potatoes (Maris Peer or Charlotte are recommended)
  • 1 onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 pack quorn bacon
  • 100ml white wine/stock
  • 250g Reblochon (or 250g of a mix of Reblochon and brie as I used)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Method

  1. ) Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C
  2. ) Melt the butter in a microwave for 10 seconds
  3. ) Brush a 12 space cupcake tin or a 6 space muffin tin with the butter
  4. ) Peel the potatoes and chop into matchsticks. Then set aside. You could use a mandolin but I’ve abandoned these after cutting my fingers to shreds.

5.) Peel and finely chop the onion.

6.) Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the onion and the bay leaf. Fry for about 5 minutes until starting to soften. In the meantime, chop up the quorn bacon into cubes. Then add to the pan and fry for another couple of minutes.

7.) Break up the cheese into blobs.

8.) Add the wine or stock and cook down until there’s just a couple of tablespoons left.

9.) Remove the bay leaf and tip the mixture into the bowl with the potatoes.

10.) Add the cheese and give it all a stir.

11.) Divide it between the 12 cupcake places or 6 muffin places.

12.) Bake for 15 – 20 minutes. I’m not sure you can really overdo these. If the potato sticks are a bit burnt at the top, all the better.

13.) Serve by scooping out with a spoon.

Sticky Onion Tart

This sticky onion tart is a kind of savoury tarte tatin but isn’t so tricky to make. I used pre-made puff pastry, I wouldn’t really make the effort to make puff pastry unless it’s for baking. Find the most buttery puff pastry you can for the maximum flavour. I felt that the tart was burning in the oven so I just covered the tart with some foil. The recipe was from Jamie Oliver’s ‘Veg’ which I’ve already waxed lyrical about enough on this blog.

Serves 6 (as a starter)

Ingredients

  • 6 medium onions
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 4 fresh bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 320g sheet puff pastry

Method

1.) Preheat the oven to 220 degrees C

2.) Peel and finely chop the garlic and measure out 100ml water

3.) Peel and halve the onions

4.) Add the butter to an ovenproof frying pan and melt

5.) Strip the leaves from the thyme sprigs into the pan and add the bay leaves

6.) Add the sugar, vinegar and 100ml water

7.) Add the onions, flat half down, arrange the garlic between the onions

8.) Season with salt and pepper and turn the heat down to low

9.) Steam for 10 minutes then turn up the heat until the sauce starts to caramelise

10.) Cut the pastry into a square that will cover the majority of the pan. Slice the remaining pastry into two halves.

11.) Place the pastry over the onions and push into the sides with a wooden spoon. Place the other strips at both sides.

12.) Bake in the oven for 35 minutes (you might want to place a piece of foil over it)

13.) Take out the oven and carefully flip out the tart.

Roasted cauli with tomato anchovy sauce

Cauliflower is a dream for anyone looking to cut down on meat or carbs. This dish tastes so opulent due to the cauliflower leaves being fried in butter and the cream in the sauce. I really love this recipe that I found on BBC Good Food but found that with the serving of 6 recommended there wasn’t enough cauliflower so I would roast 2 cauliflowers in future. Anchovies, tomatoes and cream make a beautiful sauce and the smell will have you salivating.

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 2 whole cauliflowers
  • spray oil
  • 2 banana shallots
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • pinch chilli flakes
  • tin anchovies
  • 600g tomatoes
  • 75ml veg stock
  • 100ml cream
  • 50g butter
  • salt and pepper

Method

1.) Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C and line a large baking tray. Trim the leaves from the cauliflower and set to one side.

2.) Bring some water to the boil in a large pan, par boil the cauliflowers for 5 minutes.

3.) Place the cauliflowers on the baking tray, spray with the spray oil and sprinkle with salt.

4.) Roast for 40 – 50 minutes

5.) In the meantime, make the sauce. Start by peeling and finely chopping the garlic and the shallots.

6.) In a pan, tip in the oil from the tin of anchovies and heat it up. Add the shallots and cook for about 10 minutes.

7.) Chop up the tomatoes.

8.) Add half of the garlic to the pan and cook for another couple of minutes. Add the anchovies and let them break down. Add the chilli flakes.

9.) Add the tomatoes and cook until they start to break down then add the vegetable stock and continue to cook.

10.) In a frying pan, melt the butter then add the garlic and cook for a minute. Fry the leaves until soft. Season with salt and pepper.

11.) Measure out the cream then when the tomatoes have completely broken down, take off the hob and pour in the cream.

12.) Slice the roasted cauliflower up, serve with a side of the leaves and spoon over some of the beautiful sauce.

Date & Goat Cheese quiche

In the UK we do love a quiche, it’s great picnic food along with a scotch egg, pork pie and some Pimms. I make these on a regular basis so expect to see some more on the blog in future. On the Great British Bake Off, there seems to be a snobbery towards having super fine pastry but personally I like a nice thick pastry as long as it’s cooked properly and no ‘soggy bottom’ as they say in the show. When I complained to a colleague about no longer being able to eat pork pie as I don’t eat meat but I love the pastry he said ‘You are so Northern’ so maybe it’s a Northern thing. I went a bit overboard on making the pastry as my tin is quite deep (5cm) and I had some leftovers. I would go for 250g flour to 125g butter if I was doing it again which I will put below. Typically with pastry you want to go with half fat to flour. Goat and date cheese is my own combination. That’s the beauty of quiches – you can pretty much put whatever you want in them.

Serves 8 – 12

Ingredients

  • 125g unsalted butter
  • 250g plain flour
  • 2 egg yolks
  • cold water – about 30ml
  • pinch salt
  • 150g goat cheese
  • 130g stoned dates
  • 4 eggs plus 2 egg yolks
  • 300g crème fraiche

Method

1.) Chop up the butter into cubes and add to a mixing bowl. Measure in the flour and add a pinch of salt.

2.) Rub the butter into the flour with your fingers until it turns into breadcrumbs.

3.) Crack the two egg yolks into a bowl and beat with a fork then add the egg to the pastry,

4.) Mix a little with a wooden spoon then gradually add the water. Mix with a spoon until it looks like it will hold together then bring it together into a ball with your hands. Only add the water you need to bring it together. Squash the ball of pastry into a disc, wrap with clingfilm and put in the fridge. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

5.) Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.

6.) Lightly dust a surface and a rolling pin with flour. Roll out the pastry and line a 20cm tart tin. Use a bit of pastry to push the pastry into all the corners. This will help it to not shrink down the side as it bakes. Put parchment paper over the pastry and drop in some baking beads.

7.) Bake for 15 minutes. Take out the oven and remove the baking beads and paper. Bake for another 10 minutes.

8.) While the pastry is baking, make up the filling, beat the eggs and add the crème fraiche. Slice up the goat cheese and chop up the dates. Dot the sliced goat cheese around the pastry and sprinkle over the dates. The pastry does tend to puff up a bit in the middle and I got a bit impatient and pushed it down to put the filling in. Pour in the egg/crème fraiche combination.

9.) Bake for about 40 minutes until the middle is set and golden brown. You should be able to test it with a fork and it will come out clean.

Brie and peach salad

I’d never been a huge fan of Brie up until I participated in a virtual wine and cheese night over Christmas. We all looked on the Waitrose website, chose a mini bottle of wine each and a type of cheese to go with it, My friend picked Brie de Meaux which I’d never tried before. I picked some up and needless to say, it became a fast favourite. When I went for a walk recently and just ended up in M&S, like you do, I couldn’t resist taking some home. Although serving it with crackers is perfectly delicious, I wanted to do something different, so I had a look on BBC Good Food and found an interesting salad recipe. I added peach – because why not. The candied walnuts sadly burned in the oven on the recommended temperature whilst not melting any of the sugar so next time I’ll do them in the pan.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 peaches
  • 200g rocket
  • 1 packet of brie de meaux – I think about 200g
  • 40g dates
  • 50g croutons
  • 50g walnuts
  • 12g caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp honey
  • 3 tbsp walnut oil

Method

1.) Slice the peaches and put them under the grill, flipping so each side is grilled. When done, remove to a bowl and pour over the honey, give it a stir.

2.) Measure out the sugar and add to a frying pan. Measure the walnuts and break in half and add to the pan. Heat on a low heat until the sugar melts and coats the walnuts. Set aside.

3.) Slice all the rind off the Brie. Put the brie in a bowl and stick in the microwave for 15 seconds. You should then be able to whisk it up with a spoon.

4.) In a mixing bowl, add the rocket, the dates, the oil and the balsamic vinegar and toss.

5.) Plate up the rocket and dates, sprinkle over some walnuts, some croutons and divide the peaches between the plates.

6.) Finally spoon blobs of the Brie into the middle of each plate.