I have been wanting this salad for weeks, I finally spotted some figs at Waitrose last week and went for it…

Not a recipe more of a shopping list type post…

You need;
A slice of tasty bread, I used sourdough, drizzled with olive oil and baked for 10 minutes at a low heat
A good large slice of goats cheese, again backed at a low heat for 5 minutes
Figs, 1 per person, baked, you guessed it, on a low heat for 5-10 minutes
Salad leaves, I like baby leaves.

Plus great olive oil and honey, seat salt and black pepper. I also added some plus tomatoes.

That’s it… so great, the gooey cheese and warm figs with the sweet honey is just a classic combination I love.

It’s also great with blue cheese.

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This simple and delicious salad was served to us at a BBQ at our lovely B&B in Byron Bay on Christmas Eve.

I had to share the recipe even if mango is a little harder to get hold of here it is definitely possible.

You need;
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
salt and pepper
2 ripe mangoes, peeled and grated into large slices
1 big cucumber, grated same slices as 1 handful coriander
You could also add… toasted sesame seeds and mint leaves

There’s nothing to tell really just toss it all together. So good with seafood.

We threw some shrimp on the barbie (sorry)

Some asparaus too.

Such a simple and delicious meal, how summer eating should be.

 

Huge thanks to Baystay for a lovely stay and making us feel so special and welcome. 

Baked Eggs

February 27, 2012

I am busy writing lots of blogs of my best finds in Thailand at the moment, please be patient it was all such a long time ago!

In the meantime I thought I would share a little breakfast idea.

My new favourite way of making eggs at the weekend is baking them.

No fuss, no mess and so delicious. It’s like the grown up, extra tasty soft boiled egg.

For 2 you need;
4 eggs
handful of spinach
1 large tomato, chopped into small chunks
4 rashers of bacon, grilled, chopped
small spring of rosemary and thyme
seat salt and black pepper

plus 2 ramekins
oven at 200c

Get the best eggs you can, it makes all the difference and usually you don’t pay that much more, my current favourites are Burford Browns

First I put a little spinach in the bottom of each ramekin, no need to cook in advance.

Then I cooked off the tomato, chopped into small pieces with half of the rosemary and thyme for a couple of minutes

Then add the tomato and (already grilled) bacon to the ramekins with the spinach

Then you just crack your eggs over the top and season, sprinkling the rest of the herbs over the top

Then pop the ramekins on a baking tray and bake for 13-15 minutes at 200c meanwhile toasting yourself some sourdough bread

Then serve, dipping your soldiers into your delicious pot of egg and spooning the tasty treats and the white beneath.

So good.

Think of all the different combos you can make…

My next try is going to involve mushrooms and cream, or maybe chorizo. Bring on the weekend.

I am sorry it has taken me so long to post this after showing you my starter to this great summer entertaining menu…

A busy week of planning and shopping for the wedding, with one month to go I am trying to get everything I need together so I can relax a little, meant very little time to get this up!

So anyway, here is a great dish for entertaining, it makes lots and is easy and delicious!

You need;
5 lemons
12 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
10cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
4 tsp ground ginger
4 tsp ground coriander
3 tbsp runny honey
2 tbsp olive oil
8-12 skin on chicken pieces (legs, wings and thighs)
sea salt and cracked black pepper

1. Juice a lemon and set the lemon halves to one side then with a pestle and mortar, ground together the lemon juice, all of the garlic, fresh and ground ginger, coriander and honey then add some olive oil, until you have a rough paste. Make it quite thick, so it doesn’t just slide off.

2. Cover the chicken pieces in your paste, working it into cracks and creases, and set aside to marinate in the fridge for as long as possible, I left mine for about an hour but you should do overnight if you can.

3. About 45 minutes before you want to eat the chicken, preheat the oven to 190°C
Chop the squeezed lemon halves and the remaining whole lemons into small chunks, each with a bit of skin then heat a little olive oil in your roasting trays on the hob and wipe most of the marinade off the chicken, season and lay skin-side down in the trays and brown them a little before putting them in the oven.

4. Chuck the lemon pieces into the trays, turn them in the oil, then turn all the chicken pieces skin-side up. Put the trays in the oven for 30-40 minutes.
Keep an eye on the chicken – because of the honey, it can burn easily.
It will be golden and slightly sticky when ready. Allow to sit for five minutes before serving.

I served with steamed summer vegetables, I didn’t really mess with them too much.

I par-boiled some local new potatoes, then threw them about in a skillet with some fresh thyme before chucking in the oven for 15 minutes.

I got some podded peas, which I popped whilst serving the bruschetta and chatting with my friends, love that!

I boiled these for about 2 minutes. No more needed!

Don’t forget unless you’re serving straight away dunk in an ice water bath quickly after removing from the hob before draining and they’ll keep their bite.

Some local carrots chopped, steamed and seasoned with salt and pepper.

And some fresh corn on the cob, I truly forgot how delicious this stuff is and haven’t eaten it in years, this corn was so good we didn’t even add butter!

And that was it. My favourite meal to ever have served, fresh, and so great for a Saturday night dinner or Sunday lunch with friends and good wine.

LOVE.

Recipe from Red Magazine

So another post, linking to yet another blog. I do read a lot of different blogs.

Eat Like a Girl is written by Niamh who is based in London and is a very accomplished blogger and chef, her blog is highly acclaimed and full of delicious recipes and comprehensive, very honest restaurant reviews. I love her recipes and although I am yet to cook many of them it is purely because I need to dedicate time to them.

She has a book coming out soon, Comfort and Spice. I will definitely be buying this.

They have a bit more detail than I am used to, and as you can see if you compare the below result with her fish cakes, I need to pay more attention next time, n my defense it was Friday, I had, had a couple of glasses of wine and I was exhausted.

So the below is what I made, you can compare with the original recipe and what I was supposed to make here

This makes 8 main size fishcakes.

You need;
400g undyed smoked haddock
900g (before cooking) mashed potato
1 litre of milk
3 bay leaves
3 spring onions/scallions
50g butter (optional – adds to the flavour but not essential)
a handful of flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped

1. You need to boil your potatoes, I always leave the skin on for those vitamins and because I like it but you can peel if you prefer. I can them to small chunks and boiled for 7-8 minutes.

2. Simmer the milk, add the bay leaves and the fish, lying flat if you can, making sure it is covered by the milk. Do not burn the milk, watch that temperature. This should pouch in about 10-15 minutes. When its finished, drain keeping the milk and flake the fish into the mash.

3. To your mashed potatoes add the  parsley, butter and spring onions. You can use with the poaching milk here if your mash needs it. Season and mix it up!

4. Shape into the size you can and fry in a hot pan with some olive oil to get a nice crispy skin on them.

I have no doubt if I had gone the extra mile and used Niamh’s full recipe they would have been even better, but I didn’t have any bread, and I forgot the onion… like I said it was Friday, it was late and I was tipsy!

So give my cheater version a go if you want something quick and super easy, but Niamh’s requires a little more effort for what I imagine is a better fish cake. I will try again soon, and make sure I have everything I need!

Bruschetta 3 Ways

March 2, 2011

It seems another busy week is upon me, another easy recipe.

Monday night, my bf and I arrived home later than we normally do and remembered we have a loaf of ciabatta from Marks Bread in the cupboard so I raiding the fridge and made up a snacky dinner that I love!

Red onion and Goats Cheese

Griddled Courgette and Goats Cheese

Roasted Tomato, Fresh Basil and Buffalo Mozzarella

You need;
ciabatta loaf
1 red onion
1 courgette
1 tomato
100g goats cheese
1 ball buffalo mozzarella
olive oil
cracked black pepper and seat salt
soft brown sugar
2 fresh basil leaves

Preheat your oven to 200c

1.  Drizzle your slices of ciabatta with olive oil and bake in the oven for 5-10 minutes, slice your tomatoes and pop in same oven with lots of salt and pepper for the same time.

At the same time start to cook the sliced red onion with a bit of oil and sugar until it caramelises, and griddle your sliced courgette.

2. When all the ingredients are ready assemble your bruschetta, I put red onion with goats cheese on a couple, griddled courgette with goats cheese on a couple and tour up the mozzarella with the roasted tomatoes, then drizzle with a little more olive oil and lots of salt and pepper and bake for a further 5-10 minutes.

Butter Bean Stew

March 1, 2011

A quick, warming really tasty dinner for you… I live on dishes like this when it’s cold, so comforting, healthy but still so good!

You need;
For the stew…
1 tsp oil
1 onion , halved and thinly sliced 
150g bacon lardons/panchetta 
1 tsp soft brown sugar
1 tsp smoked paprika (do buy if you don’t already have some, it makes this stew amazing)
400g can chopped tomatoes
200ml stock from a cube
410g can butter or haricot beans in water
For the wedges
1 tbsp white flour (plain or self-raising)
0.5 tsp cayenne pepper , paprika or mild chilli powder
1 tsp dried mixed herb
2 red skinned potatoes cut into wedges
2 tsp oil

Heat oven to 200C.

1. For the wedges, mix the flour, cayenne and herbs, add some salt and pepper, then toss with the potatoes and oil until well coated.

Tip into a roasting tin, then bake for about 35 mins until crisp and cooked through.

2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a non-stick pan, then gently fry the onion and bacon together for 5-10 mins until the onions are softened and just starting to turn golden.
Stir in the sugar, tomatoes, stock and seasoning to taste, then simmer the sauce for 5 mins.
Add the beans, then simmer for another 5 mins until the sauce has thickened.

Serve with the wedges.

Enjoy!