Archive for the 'Breakfast' Category

Feta, tomato and herb toasts – a cheeky little snack with a hint of Greece

August 30, 2010

Grilled feta, tomato and herbs

This is a bit of a twist on grilled cheese on toast with a little bit of Greece thrown into the mix.

Ingredients

Good bread or rolls
1 block of feta (approx 200 grams)
1 tasty tomato
1/2 small red onion
Fresh herbs (I used parsley, mint, chives, thyme)
Dried oregano
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and Pepper

Method

Finely dice onion and tomato and add to a bowl with crumbled feta. Add finely chopped fresh herbs removing any touch stalks. Add 1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano and a healthy glug of olive oil. Mash together and season.

Pile on top of halved rolls of slices of good bread, drizzle with olive oil and grill until golden.

Eat with relish.

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Traditional Spanish Tortilla so very delicious

August 30, 2010

Spanish tortilla

So there is practically nothing in the house to eat. Some eggs, some potatoes and some onions. (home-grown onions and potatoes by the way – quick brag!) So what to make? Kind of a rhetorical question really as in the real world there is only one option. Spanish Tortilla of course! Or chips and fried eggs I suppose (also delicious but slightly less sophisticated.) That actually reminds me of a holiday my sister went on to Andalusia staying at her friend’s parents holiday house. Fiona is a mad foodie like myself. Prior to leaving for the holiday she was given the “top tips” on the local food and best places to eat. There were many lovely places and meals to experience however Fiona’s friend had made her promise that she would try her all time favorite meal at her favorite restaurant. So with a lot of anticipation Fiona went to the recommended restaurant and ordered “las patatas y huevo fritas” and was presented with chips and egg. She said it was delicious however not exactly what she was expecting.

Long story cut short – I am a massive fan of Spanish tortilla (and chips and egg for that matter!)

Ingredients: serves 4

4 large potatoes
3 medium sizes brown onions (I only had red ones)
8 large eggs
Salt and Pepper
Olive oil

Method

Potatoes peeled

Peel and thinly slice the potatoes (approx 2-3 mm slices). Toss the potatoes in a large pinch of salt and steam until tender.

Finely sliced potato seasoned with salt

Peel and finely slice the onions and saute in a non stick frying pan in a good quantity of olive oil and a large pinch of salt.

Finely sliced onions

Saute until they are soft, sweet and have a bit of colour.

Sauting onions

Sauted onions in bowl

Crack eggs into a jug season with salt and pepper and whisk with a fork – try not to get too much air into the mixture, just whisk until combined.

Eggs in jug seasoned and whisked

Heat a non stick omelet pan with approx 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

Spanish tortilla

Add layers of potatoes and fried onions then add the egg mix. Keep approx 1/4 of the egg mix to the side. Cook on a medium heat until the tortilla is cooked through and the base is golden.

Flip the tortilla onto a dinner plate.

Add a little bit of oil to the pan again. Slide the tortilla back into the pan with the cooked side up.

Slide tortilla onto plate prior to flipping

Pour the rest of the egg mix into the pan – down the side so that it fills in any gaps on the base.

Cook until base is golden brown then flip out onto a plate and leave to cool for approx 30 mins.

Slice and serve with some mixed salad leaves. Or cut into small squares and eat as a tapas dish with drinks.

It is really important not to skimp on the salt with this dish – salt is the key to success!!

Corn and ricotta fritters – easy, cheap and super versatile

August 18, 2010

Corn and ricotta fritters

I recently catered for a party, the brief was no warm food – in Scotland!!!! Certainly a challenge. One of the things I decided to try was corn fritters. My mum used to make them for us when we were kids and I loved them. However they were warm….so I did I test run and I am pleased to say that they are just as lovely cold as they are warm.

So I made about 70 of them, little weenie bite sized ones and topped them with a herby cream cheese and a baby roasted Roma tomato.

Success, every single one of them was gobbled up.

Now you don’t have to have them cold obviously, they are great eaten straight from the frying pan or toasted the next day or dare I say microwaved for little bit to warm them. Actually toast them – I hate microwaves!!!

Corn fritters are easy quick and tasty and can be eaten as a snack, for breakfast with some crispy bacon or as a light lunch or dinner with a salad and a tasty tomato and mint salsa….yummy:

Ingredients (makes about 20 mini ones or 8 – 10 larger ones)

7 tablespoons of plain flour
1/2 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon of cream of tartar
Salt and Pepper
200 grams of fresh full fat ricotta
50 grams of finely grated Parmesan (fresh not dried of course)
1 large onion
1 large egg
2 cobs of fresh sweetcorn
Milk (approx 500 mls)
50 grams of unsalted butter

Method

Flour egg cream of tartar bicarb

Sift flour, cream of tartar and bicarb into a large mixing bowl. Add the egg and some milk and beat until combined. Add more milk, a large pinch of salt and several grinds of the pepper mill. The batter should be relatively thick – about the same consistency of drop scones (Scottish pancakes) or picklets.

Place in the fridge covered in cling wrap.

onions and butter

Finely dice onion and saute on a low to medium heat with the butter and a pinch of salt until soft sweet and translucent. Leave to the side.

Removing corn kernals from cobs

Remove husk from corn and wash the cobs. Cut the kernels from the cobs.

Batter corn onions ricotta and parmesan

Add sautéed onion, corn, ricotta and finely grated parmesan to the pancake batter and stir through to combine.

Batter mixed through

You may need to add a little bit more milk to loosen the batter if it feels a bit too stiff.

Fritters in pan

Heat a non stick frying and grease with a little butter.

Dollop spoonfuls of the pancake batter into the pan giving each spoonful a little room as they will spread a bit.

Keep the temp at a medium heat as you do not want them to be burnt on the outside and uncooked in the middle.

Turn fritters when golden

Turn when golden brown and bubbles have formed and burst on the top side of the pancake/fritter.

Cook until both sides are golden and the pancake is cooked through. If the outside is cooked and the inside is not you will need to reduce the temperature.

Cool in a clean tea towel – it will absorb any moisture and keep them nice and crisp on the outside.

Eat straight away or cool completely in tea towel then seal in a Tupperware box and refrigerate until you want to eat them. They should keep for a couple of days and I don’t see why you wouldn’t be able to freeze them actually….

Quick and easy spinach, tomato and Parmesan omelette

May 27, 2010

Spinach tomato and Parmesan omelette

Omelette is one of those things that vegetarians get for dinner when people don’t know what to cook for a vegetarian. Flooded in cheese and resembling a big greasy rubbery frisbee – delicious (note heavy sarcasm).

It just doesn’t have to be that way.

A good omelette is fabulous. It’s quick and tasty.

I don’t make them very often and when I do it is usually for breakfast – it kind of feels like a bit of a cop-out to make it for dinner.

The success of a good omelette, I believe, lies in the pan. It has to be a good non stick frying pan or omelette pan.

Another essential is not to over cook the omelette. It will keep cooking when it is on the plate so make sure that you remove it from the heat before it is “ready”.

Anyway I cooked a cracking omelette the other day and thought I would share it with you, I had it for breakfast but I won’t judge you if you want to cook it for dinner – honestly.

Ingredients

3 free range eggs
Approx 100 grams of baby spinach
1/2 medium red onion
1 ripe tomato
Parmesan (Reggiano or Padano)
Olive oil and/or butter
Salt and pepper

Finely dice onion and saute in frying pan with a little olive oil, a little knob of butter and a pinch of salt.

Sauted onion

When cooked through and soft add tomato diced.

Add tomato

Crack eggs into a bowl and lightly whisk with a fork. Add a pinch of salt and some freshly ground black pepper.

Add roughly chopped spinach

Roughly chop spinach and add to the frying pan with the onion and tomato, cook until wilted then remove from the pan.

Wipe out frying pan and add a little more butter and olive oil.

Pour eggs into pan and stir a little

Pour egg into pan and stir a little bit.

Sprinkle Parmesan on omelette

Sprinkle about a tablespoon of finely grated Parmesan onto the omelette and place the spinach down the middle and then fold over.

Add spinach

Pop onto a plate and eat immediately.