Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Artichoke and Butter bean dip for CDWM.

At last we hosted another CDWM. This time it was my turn to cook up a storm.
Like I say in one of my other post, I think so much about what to cook. We do drinks, nibbles, and all sort of recipes which we have never cooked before.
I decided to start with this very tasty dip from Olive Magazine  and it takes seconds to put together. I served it with spiced pitta bread but you can serve it with almost anything.. chips, tortillas, raw vegetables... the possibilities are endless. Great for BBQ weather ahead.
You will need:

1 x 280g jar of artichoke hearts, drained
1 garlic clove
1 x 400g tin of butter beans, drained and rinsed
 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 lemon, juiced
150g pot low-fat yoghurt
salt and pepper


Put the artichokes, garlic, butter beans, cumin and some salt and pepper in a food processor and blend until smooth. Add the lemon juice and yoghurt and blend.

Happy Dipping.


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Jenni's Shortbread



I cannot believe we are already at the end of March. What a couple of busy  months for me. February came along too quickly and suddenly it was half term and we went on holiday to Mallorca. Then March arrived and with it, my birthday. Enough said, I know, I haven't got a really good excuse for not doing any posts but I am back with bags of energy.

I just love love shortbread, but it has to be home made. I am very lucky to have a dear friend in the family who makes the best. whenever we get together she comes bearing tins of the most delicious shortbread you have ever tasted. So she gave me the recipe, and I promise, you will never buy short bread again.



I like to make it in my 18 cm sandwich tin and you  only need  three ingredients for this, it cannot be any easier.

You will need:
115 grms plain flour
60   grms caster sugar
85   grms  soft unsalted butter
caster sugar to sprinkle 
Preheat your oven at 175C
Mix flour and sugar together.
Rub in the butter until it comes together and makes a smooth dough.
I press mine into my greased  sandwich tin but you could roll it  out between parchment paper about half an inch thick,  even use a shortbread mould if you have one.
Prick with a fork to decorate and flute the edges if you wish.
You can also put all of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse a few times till the dough comes together.
Bake for 25/30 minutes at 175c.
Dust with a little caster sugar while cooling.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Eggs en Cocotte and a Happy New Year





They say all good things come to an end, and it is true. I got back yesterday from Madrid after spending Christmas  with my family.
It is so great, that I have real trouble to pack the case and come back home, but I always think of our next time with them.
We were going to be back home for dinner and wanted a very quick dinner. So I left a few key ingredients in the fridge and grabbed a bag of salad at the airport.

How can something so easy be so comforting?.. really, all you need is , eggs,  crème fraîche, salt,pepper, nutmeg and some dill if you happen to have  it to hand.


Season the crème fraîche with salt, freshly ground pepper and a pinch of nutmeg.
Place a heaped tablespoon of crème fraîche in the bottom of a ramekin, followed by a little dill.
Crack an egg on top, add a second tablespoon of crème fraîche and sprinkle with a pinch each of salt, pepper and nutmeg. Repeat with two more ramekins.


Place the ramekins in a baking dish and pour enough lukewarm water into the dish to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
Bake for 15 minutes or until the egg yolks are set to your liking.

Enjoy.xx

You will need:
150g creme fraiche
salt and freshly ground back pepper
pinch of nutmeg
handful of chopped dill
3 free-rance eggs

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Season the crème fraîche with salt, freshly ground pepper and a pinch of nutmeg.

Place a heaped tablespoon of crème fraîche in the bottom of a ramekin, followed by a little dill.

Crack an egg on top, add a second tablespoon of crème fraîche and sprinkle with a pinch each of salt, pepper and nutmeg. Repeat with three more ramekins.

Place the ramekins in a baking dish and pour enough lukewarm water into the dish to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

Bake for 15 minutes or until the egg yolks are set to your liking.

If you like, finish each serving with a sprig or two of dill.


Saturday, November 30, 2013

Edible Christmas Gifts Part 2, Cinnamon Sugar Pastry Wheels




I bring you another idea for an edible gift. I am sure you can find a more elaborate method for these beauties but mine is very simple, well my daughter makes them on her own.
I buy a pretty plate and make it part of the gift.
 


Ingredients
Plain flour, for dusting
1 x 320g ready roll puff pastry
75g golden caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
2 tsp ground cinnamon

My version is very simple:

Preheat the oven to 200C. 

On a floured surface (I use the blue film that comes with the pastry), roll out the pastry to a rectangle. Or leave as it rolls out.



Sprinkle the sugar and cinnamon over the pastry and roll it over with the rolling pin. 


Roll the rectangle from the short side to make a sausage and Chill for 10 minutes until firm.



Cut into slices with a serrated knife
and lay flat-side down on tray lined with baking parchment and press them lightly.

Chill for 20 minutes.

Sprinkle with some more sugar and bake for 18-20 minutes. 




Friday, November 29, 2013

Edible Christmas Gifts Part 1, Roasted Almonds



Christmas is just in a few weeks and I cannot wait! Christmas is my favourite time of the year. I get to go back to Spain and see all my family and friends.
But before going is time to think about presents of all kinds, but specially the edible ones.
I love to give edible gifts for Christmas. I always make some for my daughter's teachers.

These almonds will keep for a couple of weeks in a cellophane bag or longer in an air-proof jar. They are great with drinks too.So happy making or eating.


You will need:
500g blanched whole almonds ( I used Spanish Marcona almonds)
2 tbsp sea salt

Heat a pan on a high heat and add the almonds.
Shake the pan to avoid burning them until they turn golden.
Sprinkle with a little water. This will dry out and will make the salt cling to the nuts.
Sprinkle with the sea salt, tossing to ensure that they are all well coated.
Shake the pan for a few for minutes and they are ready.
Spread the almonds on some kitchen or baking paper until they are cool if you are giving them as presents  or serve straight away.