Tag Archives: Oranges

Christmas Recipes…Meat free.

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Chard, Lemon and cheese pie

 

Ingredients:

  • 300 gm ricotta
  • 500 gm chard, remove stalks
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ leek, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 finely chopped cloves garlic
  • 1 green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 2 slices preserved lemon, pith and flesh removed and finely sliced
  • pinch of cumin seeds
  • pinch of fennel seeds
  • 100 gm bunch of parsley, chervil or any fresh green herb of your choice, roughly chopped
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 3 eggs
  • 300 gm feta
  • 1 whole nutmeg
  • 270 gm pack filo pastry
  • rapeseed oil, for brushing

 

Let’s Cook!

Pre-heat the oven 190C/170C fan/Gas 5

 

Drain the ricotta in a sieve for a few mins to remove the whey. Thoroughly wash the chard, and in a clean tea towel, dry the chard, then finely slice.

 

Heat the olive oil in a wok over a medium heat, add the leek, onion, garlic, chilli, preserved lemon, cumin and fennel seeds with a big pinch of salt and cook until the leek and onion are softened and fragrant – about 10 mins.

 

Add the chard, herbs and a good squeeze of lemon juice and season, cook for a few mins until the leaves are wilted but not mushy. Allow to cool, and then squeeze the chard in a sieve to remove any excess moisture.

 

Whisk the eggs in a bowl until a little frothy and mix in the ricotta and feta. Stir in the greens mixture until well combined and grate over some nutmeg.

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Remove the filo from the pack. Brush the inside of a 20 x 9cm deep cake tin with a little rapeseed oil, and lay a sheet of filo in it, smoothing over the base and up the sides with your fingers – it should cover the bottom and reach up to the sides, overhanging the edge.

 

Brush with more oil to cover the pastry and repeat, laying another sheet to make sure the base is completely covered. Gradually build up the layers, brushing with plenty of oil between sheets, adjusting the positioning of the sheets to get even coverage until the tin is fully lined.

 

Fill the tin with the cheese and greens mixture and cover with the filo, brushing with oil between layers and on the top. Add herbs between the layers for a pretty touch. Crumple the filo in the middle of the pie for an extra crispy ruffled texture and scatter with a few more fennel seeds.

 

Bake for 50 mins until golden and the filling is set. Allow to settle for at least 20 mins before removing from the tin.

 

Cool completely and chill in the fridge until ready to serve.

I personally like this pie warm with some steamed vegetables and roasted tomatoes on the vine…although it is also very nice served chilled…

Mince pie Baklava

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Ingredients:

  • 1 x 411 gm jar mincemeat
  • 100 gm pistachios, chopped
  • 100 gm ground almonds
  • 1 orange, zested
  • 150 gm butter
  • 2 x 270 gm packs of filo pastry

For the syrup

  • 150 gm granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp Grand Marnier or brandy

Let’s Cook!

Heat the oven to 160 C/140 C fan/Gas 3

Mix the mincemeat with the pistachios, almonds, orange zest and a good pinch of salt, then set to one side.

Melt the butter, then use a little to brush the bottom and sides of a 20 x 30 baking tin. Cut the sheets of filo so they are the same size as the tin, then cover them with a damp tea towel to stop them from drying out.

 

Press one sheet of filo pastry into the tin and brush with the melted butter. Continue to layer the pastry in this way until you have used up one pack of pastry (around 10 sheets). Evenly spread the mincemeat mixture over. Top with the remaining pastry, continuing to brush the layers with melted butter as you go. Brush the final layer generously with melted butter. Using a very sharp knife, cut deep, diagonal lines all the way through the pastry to form a diamond pattern. Bake in the oven for 1 hr until golden.

 

Meanwhile, make the syrup. Put the sugar and 75 ml water into a saucepan, and cook over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Simmer until the syrup is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat and stir in the Grand Marnier or brandy. Once the baklava has baked, remove from the oven and increase the temperature to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Pour the syrup over the baklava, then return it to the oven for 5 mins or until the syrup has been absorbed. Leave to cool completely in the tin, then slice into pieces along the diagonal lines. Will keep for up to one week in an airtight container.

Enjoy!

I hope you love these meat free dishes as much as I do and the Baklava makes a nice change from traditional mince pies.

Last minute presents then pop over to my other blog Orienthailiving and see what I have found for you xxx

 

 

Smorgasbord Health – Cook from Scratch with Sally and Carol Taylor – Watercress More Iron than Spinach

It’s watercress this week and I hope you enjoy mine and Sally’s collaboration…It also highlights that depending on where you live your watercress my be a different variety but still watercress and delicious. I will say it is the first time I have added it to rice and it was lovely….

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to this week’s cook from scratch with Sally and Carol Taylor and we are going to be looking at the health benefits of Watercress and Carol will be showing us how to incorporate into our daily diet.

First… what is so good about Watercress.

Its Latin name is Nasturtium officinale and it is part of the mustard family

Watercress history goes back over three thousand years to the Persians, Greeks and Romans. In the past it has been used as a breath freshener and palate cleanser as well as for its medicinal properties. Apparently Captain Cook included it in his sailors’ diet to combat scurvy and there are rumours that it is an aphrodisiac. But, before you all rush out to get your packet of watercress we better cover some of this lovely green vegetable’s other health benefits.

imagesWHAT IS THE NUTRITIONAL CONTENT OF WATERCRESS?

Like all fresh fruit…

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Have you made your Christmas pudding yet??

My oh, my is the time not flying now???

Time to make the puddings and mincemeat for Mince pies…

Christmas Pudding

This first recipe is gluten free..for all of my friends who have to eat gluten free for a diagnosed medical condition and it is delicious and quite frankly just as nice as my tried and tested recipe I always make..not much difference in taste.

So I am giving you both recipes one Gluten free and my tried and tested one which if you used gluten free breadcrumbs and flour would also be Gluten free..

Hopefully this year I will have proper rolls of wrapping paper as one’s son is in England and will be bringing some back for me…Yehhhh no juggling with those silly little rolls which are just enough to wrap a matchbox…I am not kidding!

 

 So here is the first recipe for a… Gluten FREE Christmas pudding… Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 100gm currants.
  • 100gm sultanas.
  • 100gm sour cherries.
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • Grated zest and juice of half an Orange.
  • 1tsp of mixed spice and cinnamon.
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg.
  • 100ml of brandy..this is where my hand slipped…haha
  • 180gm dark brown sugar
  • 1 granny smith Apple( I can’t these) so used a new Zealand apple which is quite tart.
  • 1 large carrot, grated.
  • 250gm ground almonds.
  • 50gm gluten-free cornflour.
  • 1tsp gluten-free baking powder.
  • 2 med free-range eggs.
  • 50ml vegetable oil( I use coconut oil)
  • plus extra for greasing.
  • 2 tbsp black treacle.
  • This makes enough for a 2-pint pudding basin or two 1 pints.

To make:

In a large bowl put dried fruit, zest, and juice, spice, and brandy stir to combine, cover and leave for 24hrs.

Then mix in sugar, apple, and carrot, add beaten eggs then stir in oil and treacle.

Lastly,  stir in dry ingredients with a pinch of salt.

Put mixture into a greased pudding basin it should be two-thirds full. Cover the top with a round of greaseproof paper the cover with pleated tin foil and secure with string.

You can now either set the pudding in a saucepan on an upturned plate and fill the pan with boiling water about halfway up the basin. Put the lid on and steam for 4 hours remembering to top up the water as necessary.

I always use a steamer and in this case, it was my wicker rice steamer which the bowl sits in nicely over the pot of water.

If you have made a lot of puddings over the years like me  I think you find your own preferred method of steaming your puds.

Once steamed, cool and rewrap pudding and store in a cool, dry place. It is the fridge for me as too humid…I do miss my cool pantry…

To serve simmer or steam the pudding for 1-2 hrs, then invert onto a plate and flame the pud or serve with sauce, brandy butter or cream…

It’s cream all the way for me …and lots of it!

My second recipe is slightly different but adaptable to make gluten-free and the one I make year after year…I could do it blindfold now…lol

So for all of you who want to get your Christmas Puddings made so they develop the lovely flavours then here is my tried and tested recipe….. 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 300gm fresh breadcrumbs ( I use brown)
  • 100gm self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ whole nutmeg, very finely grated
  • 225gm raisins
  • 100g mixed peel
  • 50gm flaked almonds
  • 250gm suet
  • 225gm Demerara sugar
  • 225gm sultanas
  • 225gm currants
  • 2 carrots, peeled and very finely grated
  • 2 cooking apples, peeled and very finely grated
  • (shhhh)Wet ingredients
  • Zest and juice of 1 orange
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 small wine glass of brandy  shhhhh and a tad more..ha ha
  • 2 tbsp black treacle
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten

Method:

Put the breadcrumbs in the biggest mixing bowl you can find. Sieve the flour into the bowl with the mixed spice, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Then add the remaining dry ingredients, up to and including the grated apples. Combine all the wet ingredients in a jug. Pour the mixture over the dry ingredients and mix together, with a big wooden spoon. Take it in turns to give it a stir, closing your eyes and making a wish.

Cover the bowl with a clean, damp cloth and leave overnight.

Butter 2 x 1.2-litre pudding basins and spoon the mix into them. Place a disc of baking paper on top of the puddings, then seal with a big sheet of baking paper with a central pleat, to allow expansion. Cover with a cotton or muslin cloth and tie with string or foil. Steam for 6 hours in steamers, or in pans with simmering water that reaches two-thirds up the sides of the basins – be sure to keep the water topped up. Remove and allow to cool.

When cool, re-cover the basins and store in a cool, dry place. On Christmas day, or the day you’re going to eat the puddings, steam for another 1-2 hours. Turn the pudding onto a plate, then pour 75ml of brandy into a ladle and carefully warm over low heat for 1 minute or so. Light the match and viola a flaming pud 🙂

N.B. As I live in sunny climes then I store mine in the fridge as they ferment very quickly here and that’s not quite what we want.

Happy Cooking and don’t forget to make a wish 🙂

Just in case you missed it, my turkey babies…  Down on the farmThe turkeys are growing nicely so my Christmas dinner for the first time in two years will be…Turkey!

The recipe for sweet mincemeat will follow maybe next week…lol…But you will get it ..If you can’t wait then it is here Sweet Mincemeat..the same recipe every year but tried and tested… family ones are the best…No nasties and made from scratch…

I hope by now you have forgiven me for using the dreaded C word…..But it is creeping up and fast… It is only 107 sleeps!!!

Stay safe, have fun and laugh a lot as you know what I am going to say it is Free and proven to be good for your health…..

Laughter aside…My thoughts and prayers are with all the people who have been or will be affected by Hurrican Irma we are all thinking and praying for your safety and well-being…Much love and prayers…

 

Fresh Fruit Salad anyone?

 

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The beauty of a fresh fruit salad is that you can make it as large or as small as you like one portion or ten. You can use any fruit that you have and it can different every time.

 

The one I always make is very simple I use Oranges, Apples, Grapes, Pear, and section and slice them and add lemon/ lime juice to stop the fruit going brown.

Sometimes I  also add some freshly squeezed orange juice or other fruit juice.

This is now when it gets interesting as you can add a little freshly grated ginger, some crushed lemon grass even treat yourself to one of those exotic fruits you have seen in your local shop or farmers market just to liven it up, change it.

Maybe even a touch of chilli???

Some sesame seeds? Some poppy seeds??

And of course and how could I forget? Well, I did and it was only when my dear blogging friend Marian told me of her gift of a mint plant and that she was going to pair it with some strawberries that I remembered I had forgotten one of my favourite herbs. So thank you, Marian Beaman, from Plain and Fancygirl   

If I use a soft fruit like banana, melon,  mango, strawberries, peaches, apricots, watermelon or kiwi then I put those in about 15 mins before I serve the fruit salad. Otherwise, they can go too mushy and we like our fruit salad fresh and vibrant, nice and crisp.

And of course here I have access to plenty of fresh pineapples, Lychees and Dragon fruit are plentiful and in season here at the moment so into the mix they go…What is your favourite fruit salad mix???

You can use any combination of fruit that you like just make sure you use lemon/ lime

juice to stop the fruit from discolouring and keep in the fridge until you are ready to serve.

It can be served quite simply with fresh cream or clotted cream if you can get it… Ice cream or even custard which hubby prefers.

Serve it with your porridge oats or other cereal with natural yoghurt… the possibilities are endless… Have fun when you make one and try different fruits.

Enjoy!