Last Wednesday my kids fancied jacket potatoes – they wanted the ones I do with parmesan and butter. But I had other ideas…..and I had a block of feta! So once the jacket spuds were cooked- olive oil rubbed and salted, I let them cool and split them. Then into a bowl I added the feta, cubed small ( do not forget to rinse your feta first to desalt it ) , 5 spring onions chopped, a red chilli deseeded and chopped, a generous knob of butter and a little pepper and a grind – only a grind mind – of rock salt.
Then once the potato flesh had cooled, I scooped it out and added it to the bowl, taking care not to split the silken crispen skins.
Then after a hearty mix to melt the butter and break down the feta, I restuffed the skins – this amount was more than enough for 8 halves. Then pop them back into the oven at 160c for 10 minutes.
I served these tuberous gems with rocket salad and bresaola.
A simple yet phenomenally taste bud tingling supper – perfect for warming one up in sub zero temperatures. Or simply dispelling the damp January blues that pervade my corner of Hampshire at present.
Busy busy time at work at the moment so will not be posting too much for a few days…but lunch today was a wrap-simple and delicious. Garlic and coriander wraps laid out flat – one half spread with a layer of serrano ham, then some finely chopped spring onions, sliced manzana tomatoes, slices of buffalo mozzarella , a few slices of red chilli, basil leaves and then another layer of serrano ham. Fold over the empty half – lightly dust a frying pan with olive oil – heat it up, then carefully slide in two of these babies. After a minute or so carefully turn them with a spatula or fish slice. They are hummingly yummy.
Play about with the fillings until I get back!
The day began well…pink sun rise, apple soft clouds..then around 2pm the heavens opened and a gentle melancholia set in…could the summer really have fled? Is this the beginning of autumn? Chills ran down my spine for the first time since March…I have already begun dreaming about next summer and where to escape to. Enough! Time to make a culinary mental gear shift…stop with the salads and the ozone infused paellas…time to get the autumnal hard hat on and make with the dishes that will sustain us through until the time when we can emerge from the English winter and sally forth to heat laden lands. But for the time being – let’s start thinking end of summer fare. And this simple supper dish this evening was just right for the frame of mind I found myself in. Memories of the dying summer, coupled with the heat and smoke of the on coming solstice fires.
And it felt healthy too.
4 chicken fillets cut into strips
For the marinade – a tbsp of balsamic vinegar, a sprinkle of fennel seeds, cumin seeds, dried thyme and a dash of hot smoky paprika, a little rock salt
A quarter of an iceberg lettuce shredded finely
4 spring onions chopped finely
12 baby plum tomatoes halved
Quarter of a cucumber finely chopped
Red or green jalapeños
4 slices of parma ham
4 tortilla wraps
Pop all the marinade ingredients in a shallow bowl and then add the chicken pieces – coat in the wonderfully unctuous sauce and leave for around 30 minutes to an hour.
Mix the shredded lettuce in a bowl with the spring onions, cucumber and tomatoes.
Add a tablespoon of olive oil to a wok or large frying pan – add the chicken fillets once the oil is hot and sizzle for a good 10 minutes until cooked.
Add the slices of parma ham, whole to the pan, gently. Let them just start to crisp.
Warm the tortillas in a small frying pan and pop one on each plate. Share out the salad mic between each wrap – then add the chicken and top with the parma ham. I then added several slices of red jalapeños because I like the heat….serve open with a range of sauces and chutneys.
This is so simple and yet so mouth-fillingly sumptuous.
And as always, you can play with it how you will…adding other ingredients that are lolling around the fridge or cupboard – be creative!
I used to love egg and chips for supper as a child – in fact I still do…who doesn’t…but these eggs, with a mediterranean twist, are just a wee bit posher, yet still simple. I will give you the ingredients for one person and then you can multiply it to your heart’s content…this is a very social dish.
Olive oil & vegetable oil
2/3 potatoes, par boiled for 15 minutes – I used Maris Pipers
2 spring onions, chopped quite finely
A good handful of cherry or baby plum tomatoes, sliced
1 good free range or organic egg
Fresh rosemary – a good tbsp chopped roughly
1 clove of garlic chopped finely.
Black pepper and sea salt
Once the potatoes have cooled – I leave them for about 15 minutes or so in a sieve over a pan – slice them into rounds-some may split but that does not matter. In a really serious splash of olive oil, pan fry the potato slices until starting to brown – be patient and turn gently with a spatula – great word that – spatula…love it! Add a few grinds of black pepper and sea salt.
Then add the spring onions, garlic, tomatoes and rosemary. Continue to fry gently for about another five minutes – at this stage you could also add some slices of serrano or parma ham if you felt so inclined and in a more meaty mood.
In another frying pan, heat a splash of vegetable oil and fry the eggs until the white sets but the yolk is still unctiously runny. I used eggs from Old Cotswold Legbars last night – a favourite of mine – so tasty and deep golden. And their shells are a rather funky pastel blue colour!
Serve the spuds in a dish and slide the egg on top…I split some of the white doing this…as you can see above…blast…so take care…but, hey , it still tasted wonderfully wonderful! I love a little zing with this dish- so I also threw a few slices of red jalapenos on mine.
The eggs, olive oil and rosemary just meld so well flavour wise. A great Saturday supper….or indeed anytime!
The picture below is of the ingredients making friends in the pan…..Happy Sunday to you all!
Lunch today out in the garden in what felt like the hottest day of the year to date was a simple affair but satisfying and mouth -filling. Not least as I was of a mind to make a plate of bocadillos – literally little mouthfuls. I bought a bag of these rather fab little bread rolls which came in a bag of 13 – a baker’s dozen – I popped them in the oven for 5 minutes at 160c – let them cool a little and filled them with a mix of sweet red chilli peppers called peppadews finely sliced, spring onions finely chopped, some Italian smoked ham, slivers of tomatoes and rocket. The faintest drizzle of olive oil finished them off. You can play about with the fillings – everything from manchego to parma ham to anchovies – just mix in whatever you have in. These are fun sandwiches. We sat out and munched on them with a crisp glass of white to wash them down. I have a new app called Mystic which is very creative when it comes to food photography so this is one of the first experiments with it. Anyways, this has been a good day and I hope you enjoyed your Sunday too. Bless you all!
Peas always put me in a quandary – never quite sure when people serve me them just on their own as a side dish what to make of them, let alone how to eat them! I like mushy peas, being a Mancunian by birth, and I like the colour they add to paella. I love them in risotto. But on their own? Well, to go with our wonderful belly pork yesterday, I thought I would give the humble pea a second coming. See if I could convince myself that they are a proper vegetable and can hang with the big boys of the green world. So, although this is one I am looking forward to making with the first crop of fresh peas this summer, I decided to experiment with frozen petit poids. I simmered them, then in a pan I fried a courgette sliced and cubed in olive oil, with 3 finely chopped spring onions and a clove of garlic chopped. Once the courgette was nicely golden I added the drained peas, a little s & p. The flavours were terrific – and the peas did their bit. It went very well with the sweet potato that sat alongside the pork – and I reckon it is a simple side dish that would go well with many meats – and even some fresh fish. I even think I could happily eat a bowl of this on its own too – or with pasta. Cue the pea jokes – it was apPEAling, a fine recipea etc etc – oh dear-time to sign off – but do give it a go!
This is a family favourite for a light lunch or supper. Take a block of feta. Rinse it under a cold running tap for a moment to wash off the salty brine. Chop up and deseed a red chilli. Chop up a couple of spring onions. Pan fry lightly, very lightly in olive oil. Move to one side and place the block of feta in the pan, whole. Grind a little black pepper over it. Turn up the heat a little and pan fry until it just starts to melt around the edges. Top with the chilli and spring onions. Cut into quarters. Lightly toast 4 halved ciabatta rolls.
Drizzle with a little olive oil. Place a quarter of the feta on each with a share of the chilli and onion mixture. Pop on the top half of the roll, squashing the cheese slightly. Serve as quickly as you are able….!