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 […]
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 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.
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 […]