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
500g all-butter shortcrust pastry
2 large leeks, sliced
100ml double cream
2 tbsp chopped tarragon (or you can substitute thyme)
23cm loose-bottomed tart tin
What to do:
Pre-heat oven to 200˚C
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
Melt butter in a large saucepan. Gently cook leeks for 10 mins or until softened.
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.
Pour mix into the tart case and then scatter rest of cheese on top. Bake from 25-30 mins until set.
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.
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.
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.
Lower the oven temperature to 190˚C.
Now the filling – heat the olive oil and stir-fry the spring onions on high heat for about 3 minutes.
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.
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.
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!
2 large free-range eggs
200 g pasta or ’00’ grade flour (if you can’t find this, use strong white bread flour)
baking sheets or trays lined with tea towel or kitchen towel, dusted lightly with flour
rolling pin (optional)
What to do:
Put the flour on a clean work space. Create a little well in the centre.
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.
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.
Before using the pasta machine, divide the dough into about 6 parts.
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.
Put the rolled out pasta on top of the lined trays while rolling out the rest.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
500g fresh pappardelle (or you can use tagliatelle)
600g skinless smoked trout fillets, flaked into large chunks
salt and pepper
chopped banana shallots
What to do:
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
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
Pour the sauce into a pan and warm on a medium heat. Be careful not to boil it too quickly.
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.