Sundried Tomato and Green Vegetable Frittata

It does not get easier than this.  I have your breakfast, lunch, dinner or snack attack all sorted for you today.  Isn’t this the perfect meal ?  I love a meal that can be for whatever meal you want it to be.  Throw in a salad and you have lunch or dinner…who is complaining !  🙂 .

You know I seem to have this thing about zucchini’s.  Well, instead of having them sliced, diced or spiralized, this time I have grated them !  I know !  For some reason biting into a chunk of zucchini didn’t appeal to me today, cooked or not, soooo I present to you, grated zucchini.  This needs a teeny bit of work to get the excess water out, which I highly suggest otherwise the frittata will be a bit on the soggy side.  The sundried tomatoes are heavenly with this and add such an amazing flavour.  Guys, this frittata is insane !!!! in a good way, trust me.  And…..it can be eaten hot or cold !!!

In fact, it may be a good idea to make two at once, because if your family are anything like mine, one will be gone in a blink of an eye… In fact, let’s get real here, mine came out of the oven, piping hot and everyone wanted… It didn’t last long and I was requested to make another.  Either it was really good, or my family was starving.  Either or, another was made, but this time the hungry mouths were put on hold so photograph’s could be taken.

Sundried Tomato and Green Vegetable Frittata

Preparation time:  25 minutes

Cooking time:  20 minutes

Total time:  45 minutes

Ingredients:

1 cup (250 milliliters) packed grated zucchini/courgette/marrow

6 free-range, jumbo-sized eggs

1/4 cup buttermilk

a little oil/butter or ghee for saute’ing

1 cup (250 milliliters) packed diced onion

1 large fat garlic clove finely chopped (just over 2 teaspoons)

1 cup (250 milliliters) packed chopped baby spinach

2 Tablespoons chopped sundried tomatoes

1 cup (250 milliliters) grated cheese (I used 1/2 cup matured and 1/2 cup white cheddar

Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius /350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Grate the zucchini using the largest hole from the box grater.

Put grated zucchini on a dish towel, and add salt.  (This will help bring out the excess water from the zucchini) Bring all the sides of the dish towel together and let it sit whilst preparing the rest of the ingredients.

Place the eggs and buttermilk into a medium-sized bowl and whisk well together. (I used an electric beater for this)

Heat up a medium-sized skillet or pan (approximately 9 inches / 23 centimeters) on the stove with the butter and saute’ the onion and garlic together.

Squeeze out all the excess water from the zucchini. Add the zucchini to the onion and garlic.  Stir around.

Add the sundried tomatoes.

Taste, and season with salt and pepper.

Add the whisked eggs and buttermilk and stir with a wooden spoon.

Add the grated cheese, stir again until all the ingredients are nicely combined.

Place the skillet or pan into the oven and bake for approximately 20 minutes or until eggs have set and the frittata is a nice light shade of golden.

Enjoy 🙂

NB*

Please make sure the skillet or pan is able to go into a heated oven.

If the arm/handle of the skillet or pan retains heat, please wrap the arm/handle with aluminium foil.

Alternatively, you can always pour the contents of your pan/skillet into an oven proof dish once all the stove top cooking is done and then place into the oven.

 

 

 

 

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Potato and Zucchini Rosti

So, I am desperately trying to get more creative in the breakfast side of things, for me breakfast = egg, maybe toast or oats and of course some form of fruit.  I remembered these little morsels of fried up joy and wondered if I could just put an egg on it and call it breakfast…. nah, probably not, but then again ….. probably ??? Oh well, end result,  I caved, I was not feeling adventurous and did not do the egg. But maybe next time.  You know, as much as I love these I still do not like the frying part.  I do not know what it is with me and oil, I am just not a fan.

Anyway, these are really simple to do for any time of the day, and for whatever meal you want them for. A bit of grating and chopping is involved, and you are good to go, throw it all together, make balls, squeeze and fry.  I mean, what could be easier.  Personally, I can eat them as is, but if I want to get a bit fancier, I crumble up some feta on the top and they are even great with feta and some roasted peppers….I know, I know, all these possibilities and then imagine an egg on the top 🙂 if your heart desires.

Potato and Zucchini Rosti

Preparation time:  15 minutes

Cooking time:  20 minutes

Total time:  35 minutes

Makes 4

Ingredients:

1 cup grated potato

1 cup grated zucchini/courgettes/large marrow

Freshly cracked salt and pepper

1 Tablespoon finely chopped garlic

4 Tablespoons (60 milliliters) finely chopped onion

Sprinkling of dried chilli flakes

Oil for frying

To serve:  feta cheese and roasted peppers

Instructions:

Grate the potato and place in a dish towel and squeeze out any excess water. Place in a medium-sized bowl.

Grate the zucchini and place in the same dish towel and squeeze out any excess water.  Place in the same bowl as the potato.

Season well with salt and pepper.

Place the prepared garlic and onion to the bowl with the potato and zucchini.

Add the chilli flakes. Stir well to combine.

In a medium sized skillet or frying pan, heat up some oil to cover the bottom of the pan.

With a tablespoon, scoop out a heaped tablespoon of the mixture.  Take this tablespoon of mixture in your hands and over a bowl, squeeze.  You will find there is even more water content which needs to be released, and this is from the salt, so this is okay.  Once the water has been released, place the ball of potato and zucchini into the hot skillet and fry.  Flatten the ball slightly and fry evenly on both sides until golden brown.

Eat whilst hot.

Enjoy 🙂

NB*  If you are going to serve these with the roasted peppers, make sure the peppers are roasting in the oven, whilst you are frying.  That way, everything will be hot.

Chickpea and Spinach Cakes

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Happy New Year 🙂  Yes, I know we are nearly half way into the month, I have been slack…there, I said it.

Well, whilst some of you have been all bundled up in scarves and boots, I have been sweltering in the sun.  It is not all bad though, I have a nice tan, and feel healthy!

And, on the plus side, I made these Chickpea and Spinach Cakes !!! I think these are my new fave cakes, super easy to make and literally a few ingredients.  Warning:  you may be seeing more chickpea experiments happening here on this blog….just saying!!!

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Chickpea and Spinach Cakes

Preparation time:  15 minutes

Cooking time:  30 minutes

Total time:  45 minutes

Makes about 9

Ingredients:

500 grams (approx 2 cups) cooked chickpeas

large handful of chopped spring onions

2 big handfuls of baby spinach, chopped

2 medium-sized carrots, grated

large handful of coriander, stems included, chopped

2 rounds feta cheese (approximately 200 grams)

2 eggs, jumbo-sized

salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

Add all the above ingredients into a food processor and blitz.  I personally like a bit of a chunky texture.  Once done, make into fair-sized balls (I made mine into heaped tablespoon size) flatten slightly and place on a greased baking tray.  Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees Celsius / 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 – 35 minutes or until golden brown.

Enjoy 🙂

 

Creamy Chicken and Peppadew Souffle’s

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I have been eyeing out these little gems for quite some time.  Again, I found the recipe from a magazine cut out, who knows where and who knows when.

Anyway I had some left over chicken from last night, so these little souffle’s, just had to happen! I have to admit, I was a bit nervous as souffle’s can be a little intimidating to say the least, but then again, thought, who cares? so long as they are scrumptious and a mouthful of deliciousness…it really does not matter what they look like, I mean, it is not as if the Queen was going to see them or eat them! Well, I have to admit, they were easy to do.  I am now over the fear of souffle’ making…and they were amazing, light and everything I had hoped for. I am now in souffle’ heaven!!!

You can also do a vegetarian version, which is equally as delicious, just substitute the chicken with mushrooms 🙂  Yummy !!!

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Creamy Chicken and Peppadew Souffle’s

Preparation time:  35 minutes

Cooking time:  20 – 25 minutes plus an extra 15 minutes just before serving.

Total time:  1 hour 10 minutes – 1 hour

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

15 minutes

Ingredients:

120 gram butter

1/2 cup (125 milliliters) cake wheat flour

2 cups (500 milliliters) full cream milk

400 gram feta cheese, crumbled

160 gram peppadews

1 teaspoon (5 milliliters) ground nutmeg

freshly ground salt and black pepper

5 free-range jumbo-sized eggs, separated

spray ‘n cook or extra butter for greasing ramekins

To Serve:

2 cooked chicken breasts, shredded

4 spring onions, sliced

1 cup fresh cream (not whipped)

herbs and salad

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius / 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Grease your ramekins (I used 8 ramekins, which hold approximately 125 milliliters of liquid) Put a kitchen towel inside a large deep baking tray and place the greased ramekins into the baking tray and on the kitchen towel.

Now, in a medium-sized pot melt the butter over a medium heat.  Take the pot off the stove and add the flour, stir.  Put the pot back onto the stove and stir continuously for a few minutes.  Gradually add the milk, continue to stir until your white sauce is nice and smooth.  After several minutes your sauce will start to boil, don’t stop stirring. Eventually the sauce will thicken. Once this happens you can remove the pot from the heat.

Add the feta, peppadews and ground nutmeg.  Taste.  If you feel it needs a little more seasoning, do it ! If you feel it needs a bit more peppadew oomph, go for it !  More feta…. knock yourself out.  Remember, these are your souffle’s and they have to be great !!!

When you are happy with the flavour, remove one cup of the mixture and set aside. This will be used later, once cooled thoroughly.

Now whisk the egg yolks into the remainder of the sauce in the pot.  Set aside.

In a separate medium-sized bowl, whisk up the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Scoop out some of the egg whites and fold them through the sauce.  Do this in batches until all the egg whites are folded through. This process needs to be done quickly.

Yay!  Now the fun part 🙂 .

Fill the ramekins with the sauce.  Mine ended up being pretty full.  Pour boiling water into the deep baking tray with the filled ramekins in.  The water should come up at least halfway up the actual ramekins.

Carefully place the baking tray into the oven and allow to bake for about 20 – 25 minutes or until they are nicely puffed and golden in colour.

Once done, be really careful  and remove the baking tray with the ramekins from the oven. Set aside and let them cool slightly before turning them out.

About 15 minutes before serving, make sure your oven is heated at 200 degrees Celsius/ 390 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place the souffle’s carefully onto a heat-proof serving plate/platter.  This is when the reserved mixture is used. Mix the reserved mixture with the shredded chicken and spring onions. With a teaspoon, stack the chicken mixture on top of the cooked souffle’s.  Pour the cream over and bake in the oven for about 15 minutes until the chicken mixture on top of the souffle’s are heated through and a light golden brown.  The edges of the cream on the plate will brown, do not be alarmed, this is perfectly normal.

Serve hot with herbs and salad.

Enjoy 🙂

 

Baby Spinach and Yellow Pepper Frittata

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OMW !!! Where do I begin?  I think this is my fave thing to eat right now. Today was Frittata day for me, well lunch was.  I just had to…….I had all the ingredients and a mountain of eggs, so Fritatta it was.  Super easy, one pan, throw everything in, cook and eat !!!  It just doesn’t get better than that.  Not only that, but Frittata’s are sooooo versatile.  If you want meat, just add it in, if you want just veggies, just go for it, and if you want to just finish off all the bits and pieces in the fridge at the end of the week, no problem, no judgement here 🙂 . Throw in some eggs and feta; bomb in the oven and that is it. In no time at all the Frittata is done, sitting in front of you just waiting to be devoured and trust me, your tummy will be happy 🙂 .

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Baby Spinach and Yellow Pepper Frittata

Preparation time:  25 minutes

Cooking time:  15 minutes

Total time:  40 minutes

Serves 4

Ingredients:

3 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 large yellow pepper, sliced thinly

1 large white onion, sliced thinly

3 large garlic cloves, chopped finely or crushed

2-3 handfuls of baby spinach

10 free range jumbo eggs, beaten

2 disc’s of feta cheese (approximately 200 gram)

1/2 – 1 thinly sliced red chilli

Salt and Pepper to taste

Sweet Chilli Sauce to serve (optional)

Instructions:

Turn on oven/grill.

In a large ovenproof frying pan, add the extra virgin olive oil on a medium heat.

Add the peppers, onion, garlic cloves and chilli and saute’.

Add the baby spinach and stir with a spatula or wooden spoon until the spinach begins to wilt.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Pour in the beaten eggs.

Crumble the feta over the beaten eggs and allow to cook on the stove top over a medium heat until the bottom of the base of the frittata is cooked.

Then transfer the pan into the oven/grill.  Let cook for about 15 minutes until the top puffs up and it becomes golden. (If you find that your frittata is browning around the edges too quickly, place some aluminium foil over to prevent burning) Once cooked and puffed, remove the frittata from the oven.

Slice and enjoy with a little sweet chilli sauce and salad.

Enjoy 🙂

  •  This is also enjoyable cold.

 

 

 

Phyllo Breakfast Pie

 

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For me to do a cooked breakfast during the week, just does not happen. Everyone is rushing around, so to throw something down quickly is what happens.  I look forward to something different over the weekends, and egg and bacon always hits the spot.

Anyway, this last weekend, I made this Breakfast Pie, made with phyllo pastry! I have done it before with puff pastry and loved it (but not with the phyllo).  I love not having the fat splattering around my stove which inevitably happens when frying eggs.  I now, either grill or microwave my bacon, again to elevate the fat splatter…I am pathetic hey, …but it is what it is… 🙂

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So, usually the concept of this Breakfast Pie would be done with normal puff pastry in a pie shell, but I had the phyllo pastry and thought why not? lets change it up a bit and so the Phyllo Breakfast Pie was born.  A ovenproof pie dish, seemed apt as I was using the phyllo pastry, and the vision of the phyllo pastry hanging over the pie dish, just seemed appealing.  Not only that, but the substantial amount of bacon and eggs filling the pie dish…..there just aren’t words……

Once the pie had cooked for 35 minutes.  The egg contents plumped up beautifully to the height of my ovenproof pie dish and was set to perfection.

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This was a filling brunch for us and was so delicious.  I particularly enjoyed the thin layers of the crunchy pastry as I bit into it.

The hubby is still trying to understand the concept of the phyllo …well, it’s just a change…and a change is as good as a holiday ! I mean I could do the good old puff pastry pie, but then it is not different.  Oh well, he still ate it and wanted more, so …I will say no more.

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Apologies for the pictures, they are not great, but you can just imagine the deliciousness of the ingredients all intermingled into a pie form with crunchy, crispy phyllo.  Total awesomeness !!!

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Phyllo Breakfast Pie

Preparation time:  30 minutes (you can cut down on prep time if bacon bits are already cooked)

Cooking time:  35 minutes

Total time:  1 hour and 5 minutes

Ingredients:

500 grams bacon bits, cooked

6 – 8 phyllo pastry sheets

a little melted butter to baste on the phyllo pastry sheets

10 – 12 cherry tomatoes, halved

2 – 3 spring onions, chopped

8 free-range jumbo eggs

1 tablespoon of fresh herbs (I used chives)

freshly ground salt and pepper to taste

1 extra egg and milk until egg and milk reach 125 milliliters (1/2 cup) for pouring over the top of pie

Instructions:

Firstly, preheat your oven to 180 degrees C/350 degrees F.

Grease a ovenproof pie dish, (approximately 18 – 20.5 centimeter / 7 – 8 inch) Then separate one phyllo pastry layer and place in the ovenproof loaf dish, allowing it to overlap the sides of the dish.  Using a basting brush, baste  the entire phyllo pastry sheet with a little melted butter. Continue this method of layering the 6 – 8 phyllo pastry sheets until finished.

Then, place a layer of cooked bacon bits, cherry tomatoes, sprinkling of spring onions, herbs and freshly ground salt and pepper. Repeat again until all the ingredients are used up.

Make an indentation in the mixture and crack an egg into the indentation.  Do this until all 8 eggs are used up.

Break the extra egg into a measuring jug, and whisk with a fork.  Add some milk to the egg until it reaches 125 milliliters (1/2 cup). Whisk with fork until thoroughly mixed.  Pour this egg and milk mixture over all the ingredients and with a knife, make holes in the mixture to allow the egg and milk mixture to fill the holes.

Place the ovenproof dish into the preheated oven and cook for 35 minutes. You will see the actual mixture will rise, and the phyllo pastry will become golden brown. Test if set with a sharp knife, then remove from the oven and serve hot.

Enjoy 🙂

 

Mom’s Cornish Pasties

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These are just the best.  Super easy to do, and so quick.

Wow, these always bring back memories.

I remember growing up and my mom, made them often.  We all enjoyed them. She usually had to do a double batch as, no sooner had the trays come out of the oven these pasties vanished in the blink of an eye.  My dad always was the instigator, always sneakily removing one from the cooling rack thinking my mom had not seen him….my mom would give him a look, and his response would be “oh, I am just testing one” giving my mom a kiss on the cheek when he ‘got caught’. Of course my mom didn’t mind, it must have been so gratifying to her, to know her food was so well appreciated and loved.

My mom, only ever used rump steak with these, and I must be honest I have never made them with anything else.  Its fascinating to know that literally a few ingredients could make such a tasty pie.

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These pasties are great cold as well, so are wonderful to make and take on picnic’s or have the next day for lunch…whatever, they are the best.

The pastry could not be easier.  I usually make sure I have a batch in the freezer, its my go-to pastry.

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For the Pastry:

Mom’s Quick and Easy Pastry

Preparation time:  5 minutes

Total time:  10 minutes

Ingredients:

425 grams Holsum or white Wooden Spoon Margarine

1 cup boiling water

4 cups of All Purpose Flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions:

In a large bowl, add the white wooden spoon margarine, cut up with a knife into smaller pieces.  Do not melt.

Add the boiling water, and stir with a wooden spoon or metal tablespoon.  Stir till the margarine has practically melted.  Don’t worry if there are a few bits of margarine that you can see.

Stir in the flour and salt, well.

Place the pastry in cling wrap or a plastic packet/bag and  put in the fridge until it firms up.

You can freeze this pastry perfectly.  Just when wanting to use it, take it out of the freezer and allow it to de-frost.

For the Cornish Pasties:

Mom’s Cornish Pasties

Preparation time: 25 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Total time: 55 minutes

Makes 16

Ingredients:

500 – 560 grams rump steak

2 large potatoes or 4 smaller ones

1 large onion

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns, ground

1 tablespoon of finely chopped fresh rosemary

Instructions:

Firstly, roll out the pastry on a clean, floured surface, until about 2 millimetres in thickness.

I used a saucer to create the size of the pasties I wanted.  Place the saucer on top of the rolled out pastry and with a sharp knife, cut around the saucer, using the saucer as your guide. Continue this method until all the pastry is used up.  You will need to re-roll the pastry a few times in order to finish up the pastry.  Set all the pastry circles aside and then place them on two lightly floured baking sheets. My baking sheets were  approximately  22 x 32 centimeters/ 8.75 x 12.50 inches in size.

Cut up the rump steak into bite size pieces, and set aside.

Dice the onion up finely, and add to the rump steak.

Heat up a large frying pan on medium heat with a little oil, and lightly brown the rump steak and onions.  Add a little water to create a natural gravy if necessary instead of adding more oil.

Grate the potatoes with a fairly large grating blade and place in a large bowl.

Add the browned cut up rump steak pieces to the bowl, together with the onions.

Add the salt, pepper and rosemary.

Mix together with a metal tablespoon.

Now, add a tablespoon or two of the meat mixture into each pastry casing. But only on half the pastry casing, and not too close to the edge of the pastry edge. (The other half of the pastry will need to be flipped over a little later in order to cover the meat mixture.)

(If you have any meat mixture left, like I did, place in a sealed tupperware container and freeze till you have more pastry to make more)

Dampen the edges of the pastry casings with a little water.

Then, flip the half that does not have meat mixture on it, over, in order to cover the meat mixture.

Seal the edges by pinching them together with either a fork or by using two fingers.

Make a few holes on the top of the pastie, using the end of a knife sharpener or just a knife.  This will allow heat to escape from the pastie whilst cooking.

Now, with any left over juices from the meat mixture, get a teaspoon and add a little juice into each hole in all the pasties.

Place the trays in the preheated oven at 220 degrees C/425 degrees F.

After 10 minutes, reduce the oven to 160 degrees C/ 325 degrees F and allow to cook for 20 minutes.

Frequently watch and make sure the pasties do not cook too quickly and burn. If you do find they are browning too quickly, place a piece of aluminium foil over them to avoid burning.

Enjoy 🙂

Caramelised Beetroot, Feta, Rocket and Walnut Tart

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Okay, this recipe sort of came by chance.  I had some beetroots in my fridge that were starting to look a bit sad, so decided that they better be cooked up and eaten and like now !  I hate any form of waste, so …. I was wondering how I could incorporate cooked beetroot into like a pie kind of thing or pizza.  The pizza idea intrigued me, but sadly I didn’t have enough gluten-free flour at hand, so that idea went out the window.  Then I remembered I had some frozen store-bought puff pastry ….yes, don’t stone me, it happens, I am all for the quick and easy sometimes :-), and really lets get real, all that effort in making pastry, for a quick little pie goodie…..store-bought wins! well, today it did !!!

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Once the pastry had de-frosted it was all plain sailing.  I caramelised the beets in syrup and butter, this is a trick my mom used to use for caramelising beets for a beets salad, and it works like a dream, so thought, why the heck not now… It’s quick and so delicious, I can literally eat the beets from the pot this way (just saying).

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The combo of feta and beetroot always works for me, so the rest was history with my fresh rocket in the garden looking a bit bedraggled with the weather we have been having…and of course, it wouldn’t be an invention with me if nuts weren’t involved.  I dry toasted the walnuts.  I am sure any nuts would do for that crunch, it is just that I had walnuts and I was sort of in the mood to use whatever I had at hand without venturing out to the shops.

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Need I say, this Caramelised Beetroot, Feta, Rocket and Walnut Tart is a keeper… It takes a bit of time to do, but it is definitely worth it 🙂 .  The time issue is really with the pastry, and really no biggie.  I just found it best to actually bake the pasty first to ensure that the pastry cooked through perfectly.

It is great just straight from the oven, of course…but it also is equally as nice cold.

Oh, and before I forget, please excuse the crazy shaped tart base…it just happened, and I honestly was so wanting this tart to happen…I just could not be bothered to re-roll it again…so it is, sort of rustic looking 🙂 .

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Caramelised Beetroot, Feta, Rocket and Walnut Tart

Preparation time:  20 minutes

Cooking time:  1 hour and 5 minutes

Total time:  1 hour and 25 minutes

Serves 2 – 4

Ingredients:

80 grams salted butter

130 grams traditional golden syrup

280 grams fresh sliced beetroot

400 grams puff pastry

100 – 120 grams feta cheese disc, crumbled

handful of fresh rocket

handful of toasted walnuts

melted butter for basting pastry

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius /350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Line a baking tray (approximately 40 x 28 centimeters/15.5 x 11.00 inches in size) with baking paper and dust with a little flour to prevent any sticking.

Cut the tops and bottoms off the beetroots and peel.  Slice the beetroots into fairly thin-ish slices.  This is quite a messy job, and your hands will end up looking ….ummmm not so good with pink/red beetroot stains all over.  Just work quite quickly with the beets and then wash your hands and hopefully they stains will go and you won’t look as if you were involved in a crime scene! (or put gloves on, or if you can operate with plastic bags over your hands, go for it).

Anyway once that is done, the worst is over.

Melt the butter in a small pot, this will take a few seconds, then add the syrup, stir around quickly. Place the sliced beetroot into the syrup mixture and allow to cook for literally 8 minutes on high, turn the heat off and remove the pot from the stove.

Then, sprinkle some flour on a flat surface and start to roll out your pastry to about 2 – 3 millimeters in thickness.  To give it a rustic feel (like mine), don’t be too pedantic about what shape it happens to be.

Place the pastry on your greased and floured baking tray.

Then, with a knife, gently but firmly make an indentation about 2 – 3 centimeters from the edge of your pastry shell all the way around, but not actually piercing the pastry straight through. (This acts as a guide for the pastry, and when it cooks that 2 -3 centimeter section actually rises very slightly and forms like a lip around the pastry base…quite cool hey.)

Using a fork, prick the inside of the pastry base.  Do not prick the section from the edge of the pastry to the line that you made 2 – 3 centimeters in from the pastry.

Brush the entire pastry shell with the melted butter for basting.

Now, place the pastry shell into the oven, and allow to cook for about 35 minutes and then check it. Mine by this time was getting slightly golden, but it still was not cooked properly through, so I put a piece of aluminium foil over with the shiny side upwards from the pastry and let it cook for a further 15 minutes.  Once the base is cooked, take it out of the oven.

Take the caramelised beetroot from the pot with a slotted spoon and place on top of all the fork holes (on your pastry shell)

Baste the edges of the pastry again with a little melted butter.

Place in the preheated oven for a further 15 minutes or until the pastry has turned a nice golden brown.

Once done, remove from the oven,  top with chunks and crumblings of feta cheese, loads of fresh rocket leaves and dry toasted walnuts.

This is best straight from the oven, so cut and serve hot !

Enjoy 🙂

NB*  To dry toast walnuts:  Place raw walnuts in a frying pan, do not add any oil, as nuts contain their own natural oils.  With a spatula, keep moving the walnuts around, otherwise they could burn.  After a few minutes you will find the walnuts starting to toast.  Do not leave them unattended on the stove or they will burn. Once done, remove the pan from the stove and allow to cool.

 

Gluten-Free Pizza Base

 

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I have been on the search for a perfect Gluten-Free Pizza base that I can make from scratch, for I do not know how long.  I have also tried probably every Gluten-Free pre-mixed box pizza bases, and they just have not been overly impressive (sorry 😦 just my opinion).  In the end, in desperation I had put the pizza bases aside and just opted for having a gluten-free bread base for the pizza base…(I know, really sad…) or just not have pizza 😦 .

Anyhow, thank goodness for my passion of collecting recipes.  The other day I was going through some of my recipe cut outs in the hopes to find something that jumped out at me to bake and found a Gluten-Free Pizza Base recipe which I had obviously cut from some Gluten-Free boxed flour awhile ago…Well, I thought I had it the jackpot ! (and I think between you and me, I did a little happy dance)

The recipe was super easy using only five ingredients! So it was nothing over the top, no yeast, no fuss ! I was in my element, so Gluten-Free Pizza was made for lunch that day.

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The recipe stated ‘flour’ so I took a chance and used self-raising flour,  (as I did not know whether the cut out came from a Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour box or a Gluten-Free Self Raising Flour box…… silly me, I did not make a note of that !) I also used less salt than the recipe stipulated.  Apart from that I followed the ingredients according to the box recipe and all my opinions are my own.

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I opted for an avo and egg topping with a drizzle of olive oil, just purely for my craving of avo and egg, but obviously any topping you want, will do.

I finally after all this time, made the pizza base that I liked.  It was made to perfection.  It didn’t make a massive amount, probably about, just a little bigger than a side plate size, but it was the perfect snack attack for lunch.

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If you are wanting to make double the amount I would suggest making two amounts at the same time instead of doubling up on ingredients and making a larger pizza.  That way too, you could do different toppings and share maybe

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Gluten-Free Pizza Base

Preparation time:  10 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Total time:  30 minutes

Serves 1 or 2 people depending on how hungry you are 🙂

Ingredients:

1 cup (160 grams) self-raising Gluten-Free Flour *

1/4 teaspoon of salt

1 jumbo sized free range egg

60 millilitres of water or milk of your choice

15 millilitres (3 teaspoons) olive oil

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C/ 350 degrees F.

In a medium-sized bowl, add the flour and salt.

In the same bowl add the egg, water or milk and the olive oil.

Stir with a metal tablespoon until combined.

After a minute or two the mixture will start to clump together and eventually form a ball.  When this happens, put the tablespoon aside, and get your hands into that bowl.  Yip…time to get your hands dirty ! Gently roll that dough with your hands.  You may find the dough a bit sticky, but it is nothing over the top. It is not like you are going to need a knife to scrape the dough from your fingers !  With gentle hand rolling, and the flour really coming together, that little stickiness will soon disappear.  Roll the dough into a ball.  Let the ball of dough sit in the bowl for about 5 minutes.  I was expecting my ball of dough to rise, but I didn’t see any major increase in size.  Do not despair, this does not mean that the base has flopped!  Hang in there, the results will be great :-).

Lightly sprinkle some Gluten-Free Flour on a baking tray.

Once the 5 minutes are up, again put your hands into the bowl, gently grab the ball of dough and place on the floured baking tray.

Now the fun begins…with your hands, carefully roll the dough, and press the dough down with the palm of your hand, to create a round base.

Continue working this really gently, till the base is approximately 1/2 – 3/4 centimeter thick.

Now put the baking tray and pizza base into the oven.

This is where the time will differ:

  1.  if the topping needs to be slightly cooked or melted, cook base for 10 minutes, then take out of the oven, and put topping on.  Then return to the oven for a further 7 – 10 minutes, with your preferred topping.
  2. if the topping does not need to be cooked (as in the case of mine, being avo, egg, tomato and feta) then, cook base for 18 – 20 minutes until light golden brown and take out of the oven, and then add the topping.

Enjoy 🙂

  •  I used a digital scale for this measurement.

NB *  I am not an expert, but in my experience working with Gluten-Free Flours, need to be done delicately, otherwise the end result could be tough to eat.

Grilled Brinjal (Aubergine or Eggplant) Sandwich

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Brinjal, Aubergine, Eggplant…they are all the same vegetable :-).

Here in South Africa we generally use the word Brinjal.  I believe that the word, Aubergine is used in Britain and in the States, the word Eggplant is used.  It has always intrigued me that the same vegetable can have numerous names depending on which country one lives in….why is that???

Well, no matter which word you use or prefer, this is the ultimate vegetarian grilled sandwich !!!

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The original recipe came from a Your Family magazine, which I cut out years ago and put into my recipe file.  Desperately wanting something vegetarian to braai (barbecue), and knowing that the combination of brinjal (aubergine or eggplant), tomato, mozzarella and basil just all compliment each other so well, this was a no brainer.  I had to try it.  I have changed the actual quantities slightly, and found this to be necessary due to the size of the various vegetables.

Ideally, these are perfect if you are ‘braai-ing’ (another South African word) or ‘barbecuing’ as a no meat alternative.  They are actually so delicious, even the typical meat and potato man would love them !

I am all for trying out different foods and with the warmer weather approaching us, I am keen to get some new ideas for when we braai (or barbecue).

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Just for interest, I have attempted these on the stove, and it works, but it’s just so messy with oil splattering all over the show, and then you need to squash them down, as they are quite chunky, in order to make them in a sandwich form…..hmmmm not really worth it….Braai-ing (or barbecuing) is the way to go and all you need is one of those grill goodies (braai grid), and then it works like a dream :-).

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These healthy little babies are a winner, there is no doubt, and I love the added touch of baby marrow (zucchini).  So, this super easy recipe is definitely going to stay.

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Grilled Brinjal (Aubergine/Eggplant) Sandwich

Preparation time:  10 minutes

Cooking time:  25 – 30 minutes

Total time:  35 – 40 minutes

Makes 6 sandwiches

Ingredients:

1 x large brinjal (aubergine or eggplant)

2 x medium-sized tomatoes

1 x block of mozzarella cheese, approximately 400 grams

a handful of fresh basil leaves

4 – 5 baby marrows (depending on size)

Freshly ground salt and pepper

Olive oil for basting

Instructions:

Ideally arrange a ‘braai grid’ for the braai or barbecue.

Prepare the braai (barbecue).

Slice the top and bottom off from the brinjal (aubergine or eggplant).

Then, at 1 centimeter intervals, slice the brinjal (aubergine or eggplant) into discs.

Lay these discs on a board.

Then, slice the tomatoes at approximately 1 centimeter intervals as well.

Place a slice of tomato onto half of the brinjals (aubergine or eggplant). The other half will be used later to top and finish off the sandwich, so don’t stress.

Top the tomato with a healthy slice/s of mozzarella cheese.  I also cut the cheese into approximately 1 centimeter slices.

Wash the basil leaves under water, and add the fresh leaves onto the mozzarella slices.

Then, with a potato peeler, slice up the baby marrows (zucchini) and place on top of the basil leaves.

Now, grind a generous helping of salt and pepper on the baby marrows (zucchini).

Place the other half of the brinjal (aubergine or eggplant) on top of the towering sandwich.

Baste the top of the brinjal (aubergine or eggplant) with a little olive oil.

Gently put the towering sandwiches in the ‘braai grid’, close and secure.  You will notice that the sandwiches get squashed quite a bit. Pop any veggies that popped out, right back into the sandwich 🙂

Put the ‘braai grid’ over the medium coals of the braai (barbecue).

A good sign that they are ready is the cheese will start to melt.

Allow to cook for about 30 minutes.

Take off the braai (barbecue).

Enjoy 🙂