Pea fritters with roast tomatoes and hot smoked salmon

This recipe is my adaptation of a recipe in Waitrose Kitchen magazine of February 2015. Serves 2:

For the roast tomatoes:

  • 8 small tomatoes (halved)Pea_Pancakes
  • Leaves from 2 thyme sprigs
  • 1 clove garlic (crushed)
  • 1/2 tsp caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • Black pepper (a few ‘turns’)

For the fritters etc:

  • 100g frozen peas (defrosted – use the cheap peas for this recipe)
  • 2 spring onions
  • Leaves from 6 mint sprigs
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 tbsp milk
  • 70g plain flour
  • 1 rounded tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp oil (for cooking)
  • 150g pack of kiln roasted salmon (flaked)
  • Soured cream

Place the tomatoes halves, cut side up, on a baking sheet lined with silicone paper. Shake together the thyme, garlic, sugar, oil, lemon juice and black pepper, in a small jar, and drizzle over the tomatoes. Roast at 200C (Gas Mark 6) for 20 to 25 minutes, until they start to char.

Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan.

Place the peas, onions, mint, egg and milk in a food processor, and process until smooth.

Sift together the flour and the baking powder. Add this to the food processor. Once the mixture is smooth, spoon it into the frying pan to make 4 even fritters. Cook over a medium heat (2 minutes either side) until golden.

Serve with the tomatoes and the flaked salmon, with a dollop of soured cream.

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Lentil and coconut dhal

This is good to eat on a cold winter’s day! Adapted from a recipe in Waitrose’s ‘Harvest 2015’ booklet. Enough for 4 people:

  • 1 tbsp oilLentil&Coconut_Dhal (2)
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
  • 3cm cube of ginger (finely chopped)
  • 1 red chilli (deseeded and finely chopped)
  • 2 large carrots (diced)
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 250g red split lentils
  • 160ml can of coconut cream
  • 550ml vegetable stock
  • 100g frozen peas
  • 50g chopped almonds
  • 2 large tomatoes (skinned, deseeded and chopped)
  • Torn fresh coriander
  • Lemon juice (to taste)
  • Flat breads (heated in accordance with the instructions on the packet)

Heat the oil in a heavy pan. Add the onion and cook gently for 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, ginger and chilli, and continue cooking for 2 minutes. Stir in the carrots and cook for a further 2 minutes.

Add the curry powder, lentils, coconut cream and the stock. Bring to the boil and simmer (covered) for about 20 minutes (until the carrots and the lentils are soft). Take off the heat and roughly mash the mixture with a potato masher.

Add the peas and the chopped almonds, and gently cook for a further 5 minutes. Then stir in the tomatoes and add lemon juice to taste.

Sprinkle with coriander and serve with warm flat breads.

 

Jambalaya

jambalya

Jambalaya is a fairly quick one-pot Cajun rice dish. This version is based on a recipe from the Hairy Bikers. Enough for 3:

  • Chicken thighs (boned and cut into smallish chunks
  • 40g cooking chorizo (thinly sliced)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion (thinly sliced)
  • 2 celery sticks (sliced 1cm thick)
  • 1 green pepper (cored, deseeded and cut into rough 2cm chunks)
  • 2 large ripe tomatoes
  • 1 clove garlic (crushed/finely chopped)
  • 1 heaped tsp paprika
  • A dash of cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano (chopped)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 90g brown rice
  • 200ml chicken stock
  • 1 courgette (cut into chunks), so other equivalent green vegetable(s)
  • 40g peeled uncooked king prawns (defrosted)
  • 2 spring onions (sliced)
  • Lemon juice & black pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a large heavy bottomed pan. Fry the chicken over a medium heat until it starts to brown. Add the chorizo and stir-fry for another minute. Remove the chicken and chorizo from the pan.

Stir in the onion, celery and green pepper, and cook very gently for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, skin the tomatoes, cut into quarters and remove the seeds (save the liquid from the tomatoes by rubbing the seeds though a sieve, and reserve together with any other accumulated tomato liquid on the chopping board). Roughly chop the tomatoes flesh.

Stir the garlic, paprika, cayenne, thyme, oregano, and bay leaf into the onion, celery and green pepper mixture. Cook for about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and the reserved liquid and cook over a moderate heat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have softened.

Return the chicken and chorizo to the pan, stir in the rice, and cook gently for 1 minute. Pour over the stock and cook for about 20 minutes (stir occasionally, and if the rice is drying out add more water or stock) until the rice is just cooked.

Stir in the prawns and spring onions and cook for a further 2 minutes, or until the prawns are cooked. Serve.

Caponata

CaponataTileEnough for 3:

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1  aubergine (chopped into largish chunks)
  • 1 red onion (thinly sliced)
  • 2 celery sticks (thinly sliced)
  • 1/2 a large red pepper (thinly sliced)
  • 1 tbsp capers (rinsed)
  • 2 garlic cloves (crushed or finely chopped)
  • 1 tbsp raisins
  • 750g ripe tomatoes (cored, deseeded and sliced (save the liquid from the tomatoes by rubbing the seeds though a sieve))
  • Black pepper
  • 1/4 of a lemon
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • A handful of basil leaves

Heat 3 tbsp of oil in a large heavy pan. Fry the aubergine chunks in hot oil until they begin to colour. Turn down the heat and add the remaining oil. Add the onion, celery, pepper, capers, garlic and raisins, and cook gently until the mixture is soft.

Spread the mixture over a large baking tray and scatter the tomatoes over the top. Mix together the tomato liquid, pepper, lemon juice, vinegar and sugar, and pour this mixture over the vegetables.

Cook in the oven at 140C (Gas mark 1) for about a hour or until the tomatoes begin to fall apart (I cooked mine (in the top of the oven) with slow roasted lamb, increasing the oven temperature to 140C for the final hour). mix in the basil leaves before serving.

Greek salad

Greek_salad_tile

Enough for lunch for 2 (served with bread):

  • 100g feta (cut into small cubes, or crumbled)
  • 2 spring onions (sliced)
  • 1/3rd of a cucumber (diced)
  • 14 cherry tomatoes (quartered)
  • 12 olives (stoned and halved)
  • A few sprigs of mint
  • A few sprigs of flat parsley
  • 1 clove garlic (crushed/chopped)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • less than 1 tbsp wine vinegar
  • Black pepper

Combine the feta, spring onions, cucumber tomatoes and olives in a bowl.

Make the dressing by whisking together the herbs, garlic, oil, vinegar and black pepper. Stir into the salad.

Serve.

Sausage, bacon, egg & tomato pie

Sausage_Pie_Tile

The other day I recalled eating something like this decades ago – probably in the 1960s. I suppose you could call it ‘Full English Pie’ and maybe serve it hot with baked beans. It seems fine served at any temperature – hot, warm or cold. I think I recall eating it on family picnics. Serves 4 to 6:

  • Shortcrust pastry (made with 100g butter and 200g plain flour)
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 small onion (finely chopped)
  • 4 large tomatoes
  • Boiling water
  • 4 sprigs of thyme (stems removed and chopped (or a pinch of dried thyme))
  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • 450g sausagemeat (I used Waitrose Gourmet Pork Sausagemeat)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 4 rashers of streaky bacon (each cut into 4 shorter pieces)
  • Black pepper
  • A little cold water
  • A little double cream (for brushing the top of the pie, prior to baking)

Heat the oil in a small saucepan. Stir in the onion and cook very gently for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile skin the tomatoes by scoring each one with a cross at its base, and steeping in boiling water for 1 minute. Drain and cover in cold water. The skins should then have split and can easily be removed.

Quarter the skinned tomatoes and cut out any part of the green stems. Scrape out the seeds and place these on a sieve over a jug. When all the seeds have been removed, rub the seeds and the juice that surrounds them through the sieve. Then add the juice to the cooked onions together with the maple syrup and the thyme. Bring the mixture to the boil and carry on heating so that most of the liquid evaporates. Turn the onion mixture into a dish to cool.

Cut each tomato quarter lengthwise into about 5 slices, and set aside.

Roll out 2/3rds of the pastry to line an ovenproof pie dish or tin (I used a tin with a 20cm diameter base which got wider towards the top). Trim the pastry (so that it covers the rim of the pie dish) and knead the trimmings into the remaining 1/3rd (of the unused pastry). Place the lined pie dish and remaining pastry in the fridge for at least 15 minutes.

Heat the oven to 200C (Gas Mark 6).

Knead together the sausagemeat and the onion mixture and place in the base of the pastry case, making 3 depressions to hold the eggs. Break an egg into each depression and season with black pepper. Cover the eggs and sausagemeat with the bacon pieces. Arrange the tomato slices on top of the bacon.

Roll out the remaining pastry (to cover the top of the pie). Dampen the pastry lying over the rim of the pie dish with cold water. Place the pastry on top of the pie, and ‘knock together’ edges with a knife. I also made a pattern round the edge with a fork and scored the top with a sharp knife.

Finally paint the top of the pie with a thin film of double cream and bake for 15 minutes. Then turn down the temperate to 160C (Gas Mark 3) and bake for a further hour or until the pastry if golden brown and begins to shrink away from the edges of the pie dish.

If serving hot, allow the pie to cool slightly – say for 10 minutes before serving. Otherwise cool and store in the fridge.

Another tuna lunchbox

Tuna_Lunchbox

No beetroot today.

This one consists of spicy tuna salad (omit the red kidney beans; add some black olives – enough for two servings), carrot sticks (they also serve as a barrier between the two salads), and little gem lettuce, cherry tomatoes, cucumber and fresh coriander salad).