Gastronomically Terrific

January 31, 2016

Stilton and leek tarts

Filed under: starter, vegetarian — Tags: , , , , , , , — lawsonanna @ 2:13 pm

And so, on to the three courses I made for my dinner party in mid January… I had to pick vegetarian or fish courses, and make sure everybody coming liked what was on offer! So, for starters I chose this stilton and leek tarts.

The hardest part of this starter was making the cheese pastry. Not that this was especially hard, as long as you are used to making pastry! It took me 20 minutes or so rub all the ingredients together, roll out the pastry and cut out circles to line a yorkshire pudding tin.

The topping for the tarts is fried leek, topped with grated cheese and chopped parsley. An egg, cream and nutmeg mixture is then poured into each tart before being baked for 20 minutes. When I first poured in the wet mixture it spilled out the side of each tart a little (I had to cut the pastry rounds slightly smaller than recommended as I didn’t have a big enough cutter), and I was worried that the mixture would spill out over the sides once baked and look awful. It turns out I needn’t have worried – the whole thing rose (upwards, rather than outwards) in the oven, and they looked pretty impressive once baked. They tasted pretty good too!

Who made it: Anna

Recipe: Mary Berry’s Christmas Collection, pg. 39-40

July 3, 2015

Sweetcorn soup

Filed under: lunch, Uncategorized, vegetarian — Tags: , , , , , — lawsonanna @ 6:10 pm

Another lunch that I made when my mum was visiting for the week (hence the continuing lack of photos), this would have been easy… if the baby hadn’t woken up, deciding she wanted a really long feed… resulting in me leaving the vegetables cooking for too long and burning them slightly.

The vegetables that burnt slightly were leek, carrot and potato, which boiled slightly dry. Luckily my mum saved it just in time. I then added sweetcorn, and whizzed together all the vegetables in a blender. I then added a stock cube and some milk before serving up the soup.

Had I not nearly burnt the soup, it would have tasted pretty good. It was also a little too thick because a little too much of the water had boiled off. But if I didn’t have a crying, hungry baby, I’d attempt this easy soup again!

Who made it: Anna

Recipe: Hallelujah! Easter! By Wendy Dyer, Honor Harris and Judith Merrell, pg. 10-11

February 23, 2011

Italian Cod/Halloumi

Filed under: main — Tags: , , , , , — thinkingdan @ 9:36 pm

This slightly surprising way of eating cod was well adapted to Halloumi, although Anna assures me the cod was better. Still, it was a very pleasant dinner for not a huge amount of effort.

"Italian" Cod with breadcrumbs, with tasty potato cakes.

As you can see from the picture, the basic idea is to bake some cod with a breadcrumb topping that goes all crisp, and stops the fish from charring.  Onto this is placed a “dressing”, which is basically herbs and lemon – as usual I went overboard with the parsley 🙂

Halloumi baked with breadcrumbs and mixed yumminess.

The halloumi replacement works very well, although the flavours don’t compliment the subtle flavourings in the drizzle and breadcrumbs in the way cod probably does.  It also sticks if you forget to grease the pan (which is why all the breadcrumbs fell off mine, and then were piled up on top…)  What makes it Italian is up for discussion – perhaps the herbs?  I’m pretty sure that the Halloumi is not served “Italian style” at any rate!

We had these with a favourite way of cooking potatoes – “leek and potato cakes with Gruyère”.

The Cod/Halloumi recipe (about 3 servings…)

To make the breadcrumbs: Melt a knob of butter and then mix well with a crumbled slice of bread, the rind and juice of half a lemon, 15g chopped walnuts, a sprig of rosemary and a tbsp chopped parsley.

To bake the cod/halloumi: grease and line a baking tray with tinfoil; cut 75g of halloumi into strips and lay our, or 150g cod fillet (per person). Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over and bake at 200 degrees celcius for 20-25 minutes.

To make the dressing: chop 1 tbsp parsley, 1 crushed garlic clove, the remaining lemon juice and rind, 1 sprig rosemary and mix in 2 tbsp oil; sprinkle over the cooked food when serving.

The potato cake recipe:

Boil 250g peeled potatoes, add milk or butter as needed and mash.  Meanwhile, Fry 1 well chopped leek  with 2 garlic cloves in butter.  Mix the potato and leek mixtures together when both are cooked, and remove from the heat.

Mix well with 1 beaten egg, 50g grated Gruyère cheese, 60g creme fraiche, 1 1/2 tbsp parsley and salt and pepper to taste.

Place the mixture on a greased tin and bake for 20-25 minutes at 200 degrees celcius until well browned (whether as cakes, or in muffin/yorkshire pudding tins).

From experience, it does seem that cheddar isn’t as good for this, although it doesn’t matter hugely.  Gruyère seems to make for a more solid cake.

The vegetables:

Remember to eat some greens!  Saute in melted butter if you are feeling naughty*.

Who made it: We both did different things as a combined effort.

Recipe: Leek and potato cakes with Gruyère: “The complete vegetarian Cookbook” by Sarah Brown, page 177. Italian cod: “The daily cook book” by Love Food, February 20th.

* The vegetables, obviously.  What were you thinking of?

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