Saturday, 16 August 2014

Baked sardines with fennel, courgette and green pepper


More easy and yummy food!! :)

For 2 people, you will need:
- 2 or 3 sardines
- 1 courgette 
- half a fennel
- a green bell pepper
- oil and spices and/or herbs (I used mild pepper flavoured oil that little peppers stuffed with cheese came in -we ate those before dinner, and the oil tasted too good not to use in something- and ras-el-hanout, a traditional Moroccan spice mix)

Preparation
1. Cut up the veggies and toss them with the oil and spices/herbs.

2. Bake at 230 degrees for 35 min. 
You'll probably want to stir it a bit halfway so it doesn't end up a bit too brown at the top and just about cooked at the bottom like mine...

3. Pan fry the sardines, with a bit of herbs and spices too (I added the fennel tops).

Done!



Thursday, 14 August 2014

Easy and Yummy Strawberry Tart

Kristof's team takes turns to make cakes for their Show and Tell meeting, every two weeks (a great habit if you ask me!).

This week was his turn, and since I wasn't around to help (Girls' Night!), I gave him some pointers for an easy strawberry tart I made a few years ago for my birthday. Here's the recipe:

Ingredients

1 pie crust (puff pastry or shortbread)
1 basket of strawberries (about 500g)
1kg of mascarpone
vanilla sugar, to taste


Preparation

1. Unroll the crust in a pie dish, prick it all over with a fork and bake it "blind" according to the packaging's directions (in his case, that was 35min at 210 degrees Celsius).

2. Whisk the vanilla sugar into the mascarpone (Kristof used 4 packs, about 45g, but if you have more of a sweet tooth you might want to add more).

3. When the pie crust has cooled down, fill it with the mascarpone mixture and top it with strawberries.

Ta Dah!


It was yummy and disappeared quite quickly;) 
His colleagues complained that it was bad for their figure (apparently software developers are watching their figure these days!) but still went for seconds and thirds...


And here's the proud cook with his creation:



Sunday, 11 May 2014

Homemade muesli

This is more of a "look how easy it is to do this" than an actual recipe.

I once had homemade muesli in a B&B in Austria, and it was the best muesli I've ever tasted.
After a discussion with my friend/colleague/fellow foodie Shalet as to whether the oats would need to be cooked first, I decided to look it up and try it out.
I used regular oat flakes, and those are fine without prior cooking. With other types of oats (she mentioned steel cut rolled oats, which look pretty different in a google image search), I guess your mileage may vary...

So basically the idea is to just layer the ingredients (your choice of cereals, nuts, seeds, dried fruit...) in the proportions you want, shake, and you're done... 

This is what I used...
You'll probably recognise oat flakes and sunflower seeds, and the thing in the middle is a mix of dried fruits and nuts from the local supermarket (it has dried apples, apricots, cranberries and raisins, plus hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, pistachios and almonds).

So here it is:
Layer...
Shake...
And done...

And it's very yummy, much nicer than supermarket muesli that sometimes tastes a bit cardboard-y.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Goat cheese, bacon, leek and rosemary quiche

This is the best tasting quiche I've made so far (OK I don't make quiche that often, but that one is really really good!).
I used this as a starting point.

Ingredients

Pie crust (I just use a store bought one, easy peasy)
1 leek
100g bacon (diced)
1 log of goat cheese (about 150-200g)
200g cream cheese
1 egg
a little milk
rosemary (preferably fresh)


Preparation

1. Preheat the oven to the temperature indicated on the pie crust packaging (mine said 210 degrees -celsius!- but this oven is a bit slow/weak so I set it to 220).
In the meantime, slice your leek, sauté it in a bit of olive oil, and add the bacon when the leek is almost cooked.

2. Cook your pastry "blind" for 10 minutes. This basically means: unroll it in your pie dish, prick it with a fork, and set something kind of heavy on it so the bottom doesn't rise when cooking. The original recipe said to use uncooked rice or pastry weights (I've never come across those!), but I just put a smaller and heavier pie dish on top, on some baking paper to not pile on the washing up!

While this is cooking, whisk the cream cheese, egg and milk, and add some chopped up rosemary.
(I thought I had added way too much milk -a generous splash- but it turned out OK in the end).

3. Get your pastry out of the oven and add the leek and bacon mix, and the egg mix to it. Spread it nice and evenly, then slice the goat cheese and arrange the slices on top of the rest.
You can add a little olive oil and pepper if you want (I'd avoid extra salt, the bacon and goat cheese are salty enough!).

4. Cook it for the remainder of the time indicated on the package, or a little more if like me you went a little heavy on the milk and your oven likes to take its time (that was 25 minutes for me, still at the same temperature).

5. Check that it is actually cooked by sticking a knife into it (not too much stabbing, that'll ruin the look;) ), let it cool down just a little and enjoy!

P.S. That extra milk/extra cooking time thing was totally worth it, it turned out really creamy and light!
P.P.S. The saltiness of the bacon and goat cheese, the soft taste of the leek, the creaminess of the filling, the hint of rosemary... Yum!!! I really hope the rest of it tastes as nice cold tomorrow!