Wednesday, 26 December 2012

red onion and goats cheese tart.

shopping list
♥ two red onions, chopped
♥ one small goats cheese
♥ five eggs
♥ 150ml milk
♥ ready to roll shortcrust pastry
 
both this red onion and goats cheese tart and the asparagus and cheddar tart below made up my starter this christmas day. we went over to my grandparents this year, with me providing the starter, my grandma in charge of the main event, my mum and sister in charge of desserts and my aunt bringing along a fab cheese board.
 
so for this tart, you follow the same whisking eggs and milk together for the tart. then, for the filling, add the chopped onion followed by the egg and milk mixture.
 
for the sheet of pastry to fit, you can see (to my mother's horror) i went for a rustic look. i laid the pastry sheet on top as i came in a rectangle, then tore off any excess and played jigsaw with the pastry.
 
i then baked for around 25 minutes at 200 degrees and once set (ish) placed the slices of cheese on top and baked for another 10 minutes, or until the crust and goats cheese rind goes golden. mmmmm!
 

asparagus and cheddar tart.

shopping list
♥ 250g asparagus, boiled for 5 minutes
♥ 200g cheddar cheese, grated
♥ five eggs
♥ a sheet of ready made shortcrust pastry
♥ 150ml milk


so this christmas, my job was to made the starter for christmas dinner. it had to be for 11 people, from teenagers to grandparents - so nothing too fussy. i couldn't use the oven as that would be taken up with turkey and trimmings. but i didn't fancy just making a prawn cocktail, tomato soup or pate on toast!

i decided i would make a couple of flavours of tart. this one being asparagus and cheddar and one goats cheese and red onion tart - which is in the next post.

as i have been working during christmas and wanted something quick and simple (so i could go out on christmas eve!) i used jus roll ready to roll shortcrust pastry. this recipe is really simple with lovely results whatever your filling of choice! plus - i was super lucky in that the sheet of pastry fitted my baking tray perfectly.

preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

both follow a similar start - whisking the 5 eggs in a jug and then adding the milk. next add the filling to the base. this was a layer of most of the grated cheese followed by rows of asparagus on top. then slowly pour over the egg and milk mixture, followed by the last bits of cheese.

bake in the oven for at least 30 minutes, check with a little shake of the tin to see if it has set. if it still looks gooey or you just want a more golden finish, bake for another 10 minutes.

i served with a simple side of rocket and cherry tomatoes, with balsamic dressing.

Monday, 17 December 2012

south indian style potato curry.

shopping list
♥ 500g new potatoes
♥ one tomato, chopped

 one onion, chopped
 200ml coconut milk
 15 fresh basil leaves
♥ 2 teaspoons of mustard seeds 2 teaspoons of garam masala
 2 chillies, or two teaspoons of lazy chilli  2 teaspoons ground coriander
 1/2 teaspoon of cayanne pepper handful of fresh coriander, chopped 500ml boiling water at the ready


so next challenge... a meat free curry that still feels like a proper wholesome meal. this potato curry is a winner - all the flavours marry together whilst not being too hot. i'm told this is characteristic of south indian dishes as they tend to use lots of coconut milk.

begin by pouring a little oil into a pan and throwing in the mustard seeds on a medium heat, shortly followed by the chillis. i used the very lazy variety - just can't get enough of the stuff at the moment.

as the seeds begin to pop, stir in the basil leaves and onion as in picture 3 and 4. lower the heat a little and stir for around 5 minutes.

next, add in the tomato, ground coriander, garam masala and cayenne pepper. once combined, add in the potatoes and half of the water, like in picture 6.

allow to boil for around 30 minutes to let the potatoes soften. add more water if they begin to dry up.

lastly add the coconut milk, fresh coriander and rest of the water. cook for a further 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are a good softness. enjoy!

if you liked this but prefer meat and seafood, maybe have a go at this haddock korma. :)


Monday, 3 December 2012

the posh pantry, ashby-de-la-zouch.

this weekend i went back to my hometown of
ashby-de-la-zouch to visit family and friends. it was lovely - the castle looked stunning against the autumn backdrop and the christmas market lined the streets.

so when i came across the posh pantry in rushton's yard i was really excited to see what local delights it had to offer. the cute little place is split into two shops; one side full of local produce such as cheese, meats and olives,  with the other lovingly stacked with jars of condiments, interesting pasta, tins of posh biscuits, sweet treats and brilliant christmas gift ideas. you can even have hampers made up to order!

i just had to try something - so went for a cheeky packet of vanilla and walnut shortbread to have with a cup of tea when i got in from the cold. they were delightful - really crumbly and sweet with chunky bits of walnut - just how shortbread should be. 

i love seeing new businesses like this and really hope it does well. especially since i'm hoping to try their cheeses when i visit over christmas. so if you're ever passing ashby-de-la-zouch (yes it is a real place!) why not take a little look inside?