St David’s Day dinner

In honour of St David’s Day, I made something with leeks for tonight’s dinner. St David’s Day is like St Patrick’s Day for Irish peeps but for the Welsh peeps. This recipe is from the GoodFood magazine.

Leek tart with ricotta and Gruyere

You need:

  • 500g all-butter shortcrust pastry
  • 25g butter
  • 2 large leeks, sliced
  • 250g ricotta
  • 100ml double cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp chopped tarragon (or you can substitute thyme)
  • 100g Gruyere
  • 23cm loose-bottomed tart tin

What to do:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 200˚C
  2. Roll-out pastry on to the tin. Prick the pastry with fork. Line with baking sheet and put baking beans. Bake for 10 mins then remove baking paper and baking beans and cook for another 5 mins until pale golden. Reduce heat to 180˚C
  3. Melt butter in a large saucepan. Gently cook leeks for 10 mins or until softened.
  4. Beat ricotta, double cream, eggs, and chopped tarragon. Add a pinch of salt and generous pepper. Mix in cooked leeks and a third of cheese.
  5. Pour mix into the tart case and then scatter rest of cheese on top. Bake from 25-30 mins until set.
  6. Leave to settle for 5 mins before serving.
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Spring onion and cheese tart

spring onion and cheese tart © dan and tuesday

spring onion and cheese tart © dan and tuesday

I wasn’t planning to blog this recipe just yet since I just posted one yesterday. But my dear friend, K-Man, requested it so here it is.

It’s fairly easy to make, however, it takes about an hour and a half to prepare and cook.

spring onions © dan and tuesday

spring onions © dan and tuesday

I got the spring onion from the Sunday Riverside market in Cardiff. I bought it from an organic farmer and a big bunch only costs £1 and the bulbs came in different sizes and still with soil attached to them. I love it!

The rest of the ingredients are supermarket-bought and the pastry I used are even ready rolled. If using a block of pastry then roll it out in a floured surface before using it.

"intense" tarragon © dan and tuesday

"intense" tarragon © dan and tuesday

You need:

  • 250 g shortcrust pastry
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • About 12 spring onions, sliced in 1.5 inch lenths
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 200 g crème fraîche
  • 3 large free-range eggs, beaten
  • 150 ml milk (I used semi-skimmed milk)
  • 2 tsp tarragon leaves, chopped
  • 125 mature cheddar (I prefer extra-mature!)
    grey poupon © dan and tuesday

    grey poupon © dan and tuesday

What to do:

  1. Line a fluted tart tin or bakeware with the pastry. Gently press them down the fluted sides. Remove extra pastry from the edges. Prick the base with a fork so it doesn’t expand later on. Chill in the fridge for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, pre-heat the oven to 200˚C.

    blind baking shortcrust pastry © dan and tuesday

    blind baking shortcrust pastry © dan and tuesday

  2. Line the pastry with baking paper or grease-proof paper or foil and then fill it with baking beans. I use ceramic baking beans but if you don’t want to buy those, you can use uncooked beans or chickpea. I think you can also use pasta shells. Bake for 20 mins. Take it out of the oven, remove the cover and the baking beans and cook for another 5 minutes, until it’s golden brown.
  3. Lower the oven temperature to 190˚C.
  4. Now the filling – heat the olive oil and stir-fry the spring onions on high heat for about 3 minutes.

    stir-frying spring onions © dan and tuesday

    stir-frying spring onions © dan and tuesday

  5. In a mixing bowl, combine the Dijon mustard and crème fraîche. Slowly mix the eggs and then the milk. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Tip the spring onions and half the cheese into the pastry case. Scatter the chopped tarragon. Then pour the egg mixture. Topped with the rest of the cheese.

    spring onion and cheese tart © dan and tuesday

    spring onion and cheese tart © dan and tuesday

  7. Bake for about 28-30 minutes, until it has set. It looks like a big omelette!

    spring onion and cheese tart © dan and tuesday

    spring onion and cheese tart © dan and tuesday

  8. Serve with salad. I also served it with onion jam which I made with some Rowan jelly. It’s divine. See how my jam glistens! 🙂

    spring onion and cheese tart with onion jam © dan and tuesday

    spring onion and cheese tart with onion jam © dan and tuesday

Squid, pine nuts and parsley

Squid on the gridle © dan and tuesday

Squid on the gridle © dan and tuesday

Since Dan is working from home getting his syllabus ready before the academic year starts, he is also the designated cook. He makes such lovely dinner that I don’t complain when I do the tidying up after. It’s only fair, I guess.

Today’s special is doing something with the squid in the freezer. I wish I know how to make adobong pusit so I can give Dan the recipe. The truth is that I am probably one of the few Filipinos who cannot adobo anything.

Squid on the gridle © dan and tuesday

Squid on the gridle © dan and tuesday

Back to the squid. Dan prepared the squid by removing the tentacles and opening it up. Dan marinated it in olive oil, freshly ground cumin, cumin seeds, lemon zest, salt and pepper for about 2 hours.

squid on the gridle © dan and tuesday

squid on the gridle © dan and tuesday

Lay the squid flat but after a couple of minutes, they start to curl. Nice!

dicing cucumber © dan and tuesday

dicing cucumber © dan and tuesday

Dan served the squid with a lovely low-carb version of tabbouleh. It’s from The Low-Carb Gourmet cookbook by Karen Barnaby. It lemon-y dressing really complements the squid.

dry roasted pine nuts © dan and tuesday

dry roasted pine nuts © dan and tuesday

For the salad:

  • 125 g of fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 60 g fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • 60 g fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • 40 g cucumber, diced
  • 2 spring onions, chopped
  • 75 g pine nuts, dry roasted
freshly squeezed lemon juice © dan and tuesday

freshly squeezed lemon juice © dan and tuesday

Dressing

  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

What you need to is to combine the salad bits in a big bowl, combine the ingredients in another bowl, and then dress the salad. That’s it! A nice and light dinner that’s perfect for a summer evening.

Smoked mackerel with horseradish dressing

Smoked mackerel, apple and potato horseradish salad © dan and tuesday

Smoked mackerel, apple and potato horseradish salad © dan and tuesday

Who would have thought that mackerel and apple would work together? But it sure does in this dish. It’s gorgeous and light and contains two of my favourite foods: mackerel and watercress.

crispy apples © dan and tuesday

crispy apples © dan and tuesday

I’ve never actually made this dish; Dan always makes it for us. I like it that way because I can just sit and wait for one of my favourite meals be handed to me 🙂

This dish is from Good Housekeeping’s easy to make low GI cookbook that is now permanently in our kitchen. It serves 4 as a starter but to be honest between the two of us, we can easily finish this off as a main course.

flaking mackerel © dan and tuesday

flaking mackerel © dan and tuesday

You need:

  • 350g new potatoes, washed, cooked, boiled for about 15-20 mins
  • 2 tbsp horseradish sauce
  • 2 tbsp crème fraîche
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 crispy apples
  • 2 smoked mackerel fillets, skinned and flaked
  • watercress

Smoked mackerel and apple salad (iPhone) © dan and tuesday

Smoked mackerel and apple salad (iPhone) © dan and tuesday

What to do

  1. Roughly chop the cooked potatoes and apple.
  2. In a large bowl, mix potatoes, apple, smoked mackerel, and watercress.
  3. Mix the horseradish sauce, crème fraîche, lemon juice and oil. Season with freshly ground pepper.
  4. Toss the dressing with the rest of the ingredients and serve!

Calories: 320  Fat: 23g  Carbohydrates: 22g  Salt: 0.7 g

What I’d like to try next time

  • I’d like to use less potatoes and more mackerel for less carbs and more protein
  • Try wholegrain Dijon mustard for the dressing
  • Try green apples

There are a few more photos of this dish and making this dish on flickr.

Salmon en croûte

Salmon en croûte

Salmon en croûte © dan & tuesy

This is a Jamie Oliver recipe from the BBC GoodFood magazine (December 2009). Elisabeth at work loaned me the magazine and it is filled with wonderful recipes including the florentines I made yesterday.

But I won’t talk about the florentines just yet. Maybe next post. So about the salmon en croûte, you’ll need big piece of salmon fillet. I am lucky that I live just a couple of minutes walk to the central market in Cardiff which has a fishmonger. I asked for a piece of fresh salmon fillet and they cut me a lovely piece.

Black olive tapenade on salmon fillet © dan&tuesy

Black olive tapenade on salmon fillet © dan & tuesy

You need:

  • 500g all-butter puff pastry
  • about 800g salmon fillet
  • black olive tapenade paste
  • bunch of fresh basil
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, sliced
  • 150g mozzarella cheese
  • 1 large free-range egg
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Tools:

  • rolling pin
  • 2 large baking tray
  • baking sheet
  • pre-heated oven at 200˚C
Salmon en croûte © dan & tuesy

Salmon en croûte © dan & tuesy

What to do:

  1. Drizzle olive oil on the salmon fillet and sprinkle some freshly ground pepper and salt.
  2. Flour a work surface and then roll out the puff pastry about the size of the large baking tray. Dust the large baking tray with flour then place the puff pastry on the baking tray.
  3. Put the seasoned salmon fillet on top of the pastry, skin-side down.

    Working the pastry © dan & tuesy

  4. Spread black olive tapenade on top of the salmon then the basil and tomatoes. Tear the mozarella into pieces and put it on top, too! Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil.
  5. Gather the sides of the pastry. Beat an egg and brush the pastry with egg.
  6. Put the baking tray at the bottom of the preheated oven. Put a baking tray on the shelf above so that the pastry is not getting too much heat.
  7. Cook for about 35-40 minutes and then serve with vegetables. We like roasted baby potatoes, steamed brocolli, and peas.

More photos here.

Salmon en croûte © dan & tuesy

Basic pasta dough recipe

The basic pasta dough recipe is really simple but making pasta takes time and best done with company. The more people, the better! Let everyone take turns using the pasta machine. Another way of putting it:  let your friends work for their meal!

The recipe below is good enough for a serving for 4 people. Someone (ie Dan) attempted a double recipe and, consequently, messed up my kitchen. Nice one, Dan.

You don’t have a pasta machine? Personally, I would not make my own pasta without a machine as I will have to roll out the dough using a rolling pin for ages! But if you have the energy or enough pent up frustration, go for it!

You need:

  • 2 large free-range eggs
  • 200 g pasta or ’00’ grade flour (if you can’t find this, use strong white bread flour)

Tools:

  • pasta machine
  • baking sheets or trays lined with tea towel or kitchen towel, dusted lightly with flour
  • rolling pin (optional)

What to do:

  1. Put the flour on a clean work space. Create a little well in the centre.

    creating a well for pasta recipe © danandtuesday

    creating a well for pasta recipe © danandtuesday

  2. Beat the eggs lightly using a fork then gradually start to blend the flour to the eggs. Do this until you have a a crumbly mixture. Ditch the fork and start using your hands.

    blending pasta © danandtuesday

    blending pasta © danandtuesday

  3. Work the mixture by kneading the dough. If it starts to stick to the work surface, just sprinkle more flour in. Knead until it feels smooth and elastic.The dough should feel firm. It should be slightly firmer than a bread dough.
  4. Wrap the dough in cling wrap and then leave it to stand at room temperature for 20mins. If you don’t want to use all your dough, you can freeze it.
  5. Before using the pasta machine, divide the dough into about 6 parts.

    rolling the dough © danandtuesday

    rolling the dough © danandtuesday

  6. Set the pasta machine setting to its widest setting and then begin rolling out the dough. Change setting to a narrower one and roll the dough again. Do this until you have reached the right thickness for your pasta. the thickness really depends on how what you want to do with your pasta. If the pasta becomes too long, just cut it in half.

    Monette helping to make pasta © danandtuesday

    Monette helping to make pasta © danandtuesday

  7. Put the rolled out pasta on top of the lined trays while rolling out the rest.
  8. Once the pasta is rolled, you can do many things with them such as make flavoured pasta or ravioli. The pasta we made here was used to make a “silhouette” pasta (recipe soon!) which has different herbs between thin sheets of pasta. I used a clothes drying rack for drying my pasta before cooking them. You can leave them for 5 – 10 mins, if you have the time. Or you can cook them straight away in boiling water for about 3 mins.
  1. drying silhouette pasta © danandtuesday

    drying silhouette pasta © danandtuesday

Moroccan fish tagine

Moroccan fish tagine © dan & tuesday

Moroccan fish tagine © dan & tuesday

This is another recipe from our favourite recipe book, Hamlyn Cookery School. If you want easy to follow recipes, get yourself a copy here.

We used monkfish for this dish but you can also use seabass or cod or any other firm fish. Serve your tagine with couscous and a slice of lemon.

You need:

  • 750g skinned, firm white fish (try seabass, cod, or monkfish) – cut into large chunks, about 2 inches (5 cm) square, then season
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 5 pcs of cardamom pods
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 small onions, slice thinly
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 40g sultanas
  • 25g pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • 150 ml fish stock
  • finely grated rind of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp juice
  • salt and pepper
  • chopped parsley

Cooking tools:

  • mortar and pestle
  • Dutch oven or ovenproof casserole dish
  • Preheated oven at 160˚C
mixing spices © dan and tuesy

mixing spices © dan & tuesday

What to do:

  1. Using a pestle and mortar to crush the cardamom pods and cumin and coriander seeds. Take out the cardamom husks, leaving the seeds.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a shallow frying pan and gently fry the onions until golden. Then add the garlic and spices and cook for another 2 mins.
  3. Add fish to the pan. Turn gently, making sure that they are coated with oil.
  4. Transfer the fish and onions to an ovenproof casserole dish. Scatter the sultanas and pine nuts.

    tagine on Dutch oven © dan and tuesday

    tagine on Dutch oven © dan & tuesday

  5. Add the stock, lemon rind, lemon juice to the frying pan and bring to the boil. Then pour the mixture around the fish, cover with a lid, and bake in the oven for 40 mins.

Dan ~ Best thing about this recipe, aside from the undeniable awesomeness of its flavour, is the way it looks. You’re really just throwing a bunch of stuff into a pot, but it looks like “proper” food without too much effort on the presentation front. There’s quite a bit of preparation (or maybe I’m just slow at crushing spices and things like that), but it’s well worth it, and very impressive for your guests…

tagine on couscous © dan & tuesday

tagine on couscous © dan & tuesday

Sausage Hash Browns

dsc04921

350g medium-sized potatoes

Pork sausages (as many as you like, I’m going to have three)

A large knob of butter

1 small onion

2 small red onions or one big one

200g small vine-ripened tomatoes

Since Tuesy is away on a series of globetrotting work trips (follow her progress in the Flickr photos you’ll find in the right-hand column on the main page of this blog), I have to do all the cooking for myself. And with nobody to cook for and impress, I might just slack off and eat a lot of processed food. But I’ll try to keep up with the home cuisine and learn a few new things, sometimes involving meat, which I don’t cook for Tuesy. I’m starting with something easy – hash browns with sausage. Seems simple, but in my recipe book, there are no pictures, so I’m not sure exactly what it’s supposed to look like. It won’t look like the delicious monolith-shaped frozen potato cakes that normally get sold as “hash browns”, unfortunately. So, let’s get started. I’ll write as I go. I’ve begun by putting about 700g of medium-sized potatoes into a pan of cold salted water and started them heating up. I’ll parboil them for about 10 mins, then drain them and chop them into 2cm cubes. I’m using King Edwards. There’s no need to peel them.

dsc04917

Melt the butter in a heavy-based frying pan, and add the onion, chopped into little bits. Fry for a couple of minutes, then add the potatoes and fry it all up together for about 25 minutes, or until it’s nicely browned. Meanwhile, start grilling the sausages until they’re cooked all the way through.

Chop the red onions into rings, brush them with sunflower oil and add them to the grill pan with the sausages. You can also halve the tomatoes and throw them in, too. One that’s all cooked You can serve the contents of the grill pan on top of the has brown potatoes. Very easy, and a reminder that the best kind of junk food is the stuff you make yourself.

Smoked trout on pappardelle pasta

Smoked trout in parpadelle

Smoked trout in pappardelle pasta

This recipe comes from Gordon Ramsay’s Fast Food book. I wouldn’t describe it as “fast”, but probably because I was making it for the first time and it takes me a while to make something fiddly like a sauce. Next time will be quicker. I tried getting into the Ramsay style of cooking, but I had nobody to shout and swear at, so I don’t think it worked. Cooked this for guests, and it went down very well. They could tell by the mess in the kitchen (Tuesy: yes, he messed up my kitchen!) that I’d made an effort.

You need:

  • 6 medium vine plum tomatoes
  • 85g of sun-dried tomatoes in oil (about 15 pcs)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 banana shallots (or 4 regular ones), roughly choppped
  • 175ml olive oil
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 500g fresh pappardelle (or you can use tagliatelle)
  • 600g skinless smoked trout fillets, flaked into large chunks
  • grated parmesan
  • salt and pepper
chopped banana shallots

chopped banana shallots

What to do:

  1. Skin tomatoes – this is easy Tuesday did this for the roasted tomato soup recipe. Chop the tomatoes in half and take out the seeds. I found it a bit tricky to squeeze out the seeds, so I left a lot of them in there. Don’t tell Tuesy. I don’t think anyone noticed.

    skinning vine-riped tomatoes

    skinning vine-riped tomatoes

  2. Put the tomatoes, garlic, shallots, olive oil, and lemon juice in a food processor until you have a smooth sauce. Season to your taste.

    ingredients on food processor

    ingredients on food processor

  3. Pour the sauce into a pan and warm on a medium heat. Be careful not to boil it too quickly.
  4. Cook the pasta until al dente then toss with the tomato sauce and flaked trout (don’t flake that trout too much – it looks and tastes great with big chunks of fish in it. Serve with parmesan. Lots of parmesan. And probably some fresh black pepper.

Spanish omelette

Spanish omelette © kloza

Spanish omelette © kloza

Dan is busy writing for his blog so I am posting this omelette recipe for him. He cooked, I ate 🙂

You need:

  • 5 large free-range eggs
  • 275g potatoes, thinly sliced
  • medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and fresh pepper

Tools: frying pan with lid

Spanish omelette © kloza

Spanish omelette © kloza

What to do:

  1. Heat 2 tbsp of the olive oil in the pan.
  2. When the oil is hot, toss the potatoes and onions until they are well-coated and then turn the heat down.
  3. Sprinkle with salt and pepper then put the lid on to let the onions and potatoes cook gently stew in oil for 20 minutes, shaking once in awhile.
  4. Break eggs in a bowl, use a fork to whisk lightly. Season.
  5. When the potatoes and onion are cooked, transfer to the bowl with eggs. Mix thoroughly.
  6. In the same frying pan, put 1 tbsp of oil then put on medium heat.
  7. Pour the eggs mixture to the heated pan then put heat to low setting.
  8. Cook gently for about 20 minutes making sure that the omelette is cooked thoroughly.