Isn’t it funny how certain foods can transport you back to the time and place where you first had them? I’m sure these american biscuits will always remind me of our road trips through the Great Smoky Mountains in our little red MX5. Whilst biscuits […]
I’ve taken the delicious salad that Rach from our little community shared on here last summer as the flavour inspiration for these. I bloomin’ love beetroot and dill, alone or together, they put me in veggie heaven. These little vegetable patties are so delicious, crisp […]
I love most Indian food but I think that my absolute favourite dish is a paneer dosa. I love the crisp, delicate crepe and contrasting soft, fluffy spiced potato filling. I am not, however, any good at making them. The filling isn’t a problem, it’s the dosa crepe. I don’t think that I have the skill and dexterity required to produce such wonderfully thin pancakes.
So I’ve turned to filo pastry to help me get my fix of crisp exterior and fluffy spicy interior. It works well too – like a cross between spanokopita and a dosa!
700g floury potatoes
2 inch piece of ginger
2 fat cloves of garlic
1 tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp garam masala
chili powder and salt and pepper to taste
2-3 huge handfuls of spinach
150g filo sheets
1 tbsp sesame seeds
Dice the potato into small cubes, you can peel them if you like but I don’t bother. Put them in a large pan of boiling water and cook until they are quite tender. Drain and set aside.
Melt the butter in a large frying pan and then pour most of it into a small dish for later. Thinly slice the onion and fry this in the butter that’s left in the pan until it is just starting to brown. Peel and grate the garlic and ginger before adding to the pan and cooking for a minute or two. Sprinkle in the spices and seasonings. Cube the paneer and mix it with everything in the pan, keeping the heat low but allowing it to brown a little.
Combine the cooked potato with everything else and then toss it with the spinach. Add a tablespoon or so of water and let the spinach wilt down before removing from the heat.
Pre-heat your oven to 200°c and lightly grease a baking tray.
Now time to assemble the pie! Beat the egg and set it aside and keep the filo sheets under a damp tea towel. Cover your work top with about a meter of clingfilm. Lay out a couple of sheets of filo, over-laping by at least an inch and brush them with the melted butter. Build up the layers of filo and melted butter, working as quickly as you can because the filo will dry out very quickly.
Spread the filling along the length of the filo at the edge closest to you and brush the far edge with beaten egg. Using the cling film to help you roll the pastry away from you to create a sausage shape. Curl the sausage around itself to form a pin wheel. Again, using the cling film to help you, transfer the pie to the baking tray. Brush it really well with the rest of the beaten egg and sprinkle the top with sesame seeds.
Bake the pie for 35 minutes until it is lovely and golden. Serve hot or cold.
I know that for the last couple of years (whilst I was living in the USA) I’ve offered you recipes for sweet treats to celebrate St Patrick’s day, but this year I thought that I might go down a more traditional route.
I’ve only made soda bread once before, a long time ago, and if I’m honest, I wasn’t a massive fan of it. It was a plain recipe and with no other flavourings I found the taste of the baking soda to be a bit overpowering. Thankfully though that’s not the case with this one! The buttery leeks and rich, tangy cheddar make this a delicious loaf. It’s wonderful for mopping up soups and stews and all manner of hearty meals.
makes 1 loaf
1 medium leek
150g spelt flour
150g whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
100g grated cheddar
mixed seeds (optional)
Pre-heat your oven to 220°c and if you have a baking stone then put that in the oven to pre-heat.
Melt the butter in a frying pan and then set aside two-thirds of it. Thinly slice the leek and gently fry it in the remaining butter until it is just starting to become golden. Set aside.
Whisk together the flours and raising agents in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the leeks and grated cheese (keep a little cheese back to top the loaf).
Combine the melted butter that you put aside earlier with the buttermilk and then use this to bring everything together to form a soft ball of dough. Give this a very brief knead on a floured surface before shaping it into a neat ball. Cut a cross in the top of the loaf and then sprinkle on the reserved cheese and the seeds if you’re using them.
Transfer the loaf to either the hot baking stone or a lightly greased tray and bake it for about 40 minutes, by which time it should be crusty and golden brown.
This tasty little vegetarian number makes a fairly regular appearance on our week night dinner menus. It’s a really quick and easy one pan wonder. It’s not limited to dinner time either, this is a great dish for brunch or lunch too. And it’s not just for veggies, there’s plenty of flavour here so you won’t feel like you’re missing the meat.
If I’m really pressed for time I use prepared butternut squash ‘noodles’ but otherwise just plain old grated squash seems to work well. I like to serve this with a simple side salad and perhaps a hunk of crusty fresh bread if you’re feeling especially ravenous.
serves 2 greedy people
250g squash (grated or spiralized)
handful of spinach
4 eggs (2 separated)
splash of milk or cream
1/2 tsp chipoltle powder
salt and pepper
100g feta (I like the stuff that’s marinated in chili oil)
oil for frying
Thinly slice the shallots and gently fry them in a medium frying pan over a moderate to low heat. Add the squash and continue to cook until it starts to become tender and the shallots are just starting to brown.
Separate two of the eggs and put the whites into a large mixing bowl. Whip them until they hold a soft peak.
Lightly beat together the yolks with the remaining two eggs and a splash of milk or cream. Season this with salt and pepper and the chipotle powder and then gently fold the whipped egg whites into this.
Add the spinach to the frying pan and cook it very briefly before pouring over the egg mix. Keep the heat low and sprinkle over the thyme and feta. Pre-heat your grill and once the fritatta is partially set and cooked underneath so that it is nicely brown put the pan under the grill to finish cooking and allow the top to brown.
Serve immediately with a crisp side salad.