When you get really good ingredients it’s worth using them in a recipe that really shows off their full potential. That’s how I feel about these beautiful heirloom tomatoes anyway. So often the fruits you find in supermarkets are insipid and disappointing but if you […]
When other women go to New York they head to 5th Avenue to buy designer shoes and handbags. Not me. I head to The Bowery and trawl through the restaurant supply stores. When we went recently Mr Colonial Cravings treated me to a tortilla press (in my world this totally counts as a romantic gift!) I used to see these all the time in our local thrift store when we were living in Maryland but I never thought to buy one because ready-made tortillas were always pretty cheap and pretty good. Something I really regretted when we moved back to the UK.
I realise that I don’t actually need a tortilla press to make my own tortillas but it does make the process a bit more fun! I’ve also been using it to make some delicious flatbreads for summer picnics and barbecues.
Freshly made flat breads really are so much nicer than anything that you’ll buy in a supermarket and they really are so quick and easy to make, with or without a fancy-pants tortilla press.
makes about 8
225g plain flour
75g wholewheat flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp seasalt
2 tbsp mixed fresh herbs, finely chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, crushed
30g butter, melted
Sift together the flours and baking powder. Whisk in the salt, crushed garlic and finely chopped herbs. Combine the melted butter, milk and water and then use this to bring the dry ingredients together to form a soft dough. Add it a little at a time, you may not need all of the liquid and you don’t want the dough to be sticky. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and briefly knead it. Divide it into eight equal chunks and then roll them into thin flat discs with a rolling-pin, or if you’re fancy like me then squish them into shape with a tortilla press!
Set a heavy based frying pan over a low heat and dry-fry the flat breads until the outsides are golden. It’s easiest to do this immediately after you’ve shaped them as they do tend to spring back a bit. Serve warm or cooled with your favourite dip, they’re especially good with this channa dal hummus!
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 […]
Crab was a particular speciality where we were living in the USA. Hauled out of the Chesapeake and boiled up with Old Bay seasoning or turned into delicious crab cakes.
It’s a delicacy back home in Cornwall too, freshly picked and eaten in sandwiches. I’ve gone super-Cornish with this recipe, which I made for St Piran’s day, and wrapped up the delicious sweet white crab meat into little pasties using a wonderful all butter pastry.
Using strong flour in the pastry dough makes it much stretchier and easier to work with when you’re shaping your pasties.
225g strong white flour
85ml (ish) cold water
120g white crab meat (tinned works fine)
1 small red chili
small bunch of fresh coriander
zest of 1 lemon
To make the pastry sift the flour and gently rub the cold butter into it until you have a breadcrumb-like mixture. Slowly add enough water to bring this all together to form a ball of dough. You can do all this in a food processor if you prefer. It’s a good idea at this point to wrap the dough in cling film and let it rest in the fridge whilst you prep the filling. Pre-heat the oven now to 200°c.
Thinly slice the shallot and finely chop the chili. Combine this with the crab meat, black pepper and the lemon zest. Roughly chop the coriander and stir this through the mixture.
Unwrap the dough and gently roll it out to about 3-4mm. Using a small plate or saucer as a guide cut out 4 discs from the dough, re-rolling as necessary. Divide the filling evenly between the pastry discs, heaping it in the centre. Brush the edge of the dough with beaten egg, fold the pastry over the filling and firmly press down the edges.
Now time to crimp! Not nearly as hard to do as it is to describe I promise. Place your index finger on the edge of the pastry at one end of the pasty. Now take the pastry just in front of it and pull it over your finger. Pull out your finger and repeat the process all around the edge and then simply tuck in the end. If that all sounds a bit too challenging them simply press around the edge with a fork.
Cut a couple of steam holes in the top of each pasty and brush with egg wash. Arrange on a greased baking tray and bake for about 30 minutes until they’re beautifully golden. Enjoy hot or cold!
I love visiting Brittany, probably because it’s quite similar to Cornwall. And because the food is so delicious. I can’t go to Brittany and not eat a galette at some point. Preferably filled with gooey, melty Emmental. Mr Colonial Cravings is a fan too, although he favours salty cured meat and runny eggs. I love the nuttiness of these buckwheat pancakes, paper-thin and crisp around the edges. I may even prefer them to their sweet crepe cousins. They’re one of my favourite lazy weekend breakfasts!
makes about 4
150g buckwheat flour
fillings of your choice; egg, cured meats, grated cheese, fresh herbs, tomatoes, spinach, mushrooms…
Put the flour in a mixing bowl and make a well in the centre. Melt the butter and lightly beat it with the egg and the water.
Pour a little of the mixture into the centre of the flour and gradually whisk it in. Keep repeating this until all of the liquid has been used and you have a smooth batter. Set this aside to rest for an hour.
Very lightly oil a large frying pan (obviously use a crepe pan if you have one) and place it over a moderate heat. Pour a ladleful of the batter into the pan and spread it out into quite a thin layer. Leave it to cook for about a minute before loosening the edges and flipping the galette over. Immediately add whatever topping your using so that they have ample time to cook and warm through. Once the under side has browned a little fold up the edges and then transfer the galette to a plate for serving.