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.

Cheesecake and poppy seed tartlets

lemon cheesecake tartlets © dan and tuesday

lemon cheesecake tartlets © dan and tuesday

Last weekend, I saw a recipe which I couldn’t resist: tartlet cheesecake and you make your own pastry from scratch! It’s a recipe that calls for lemon and poppy seeds which are lovely together. I love a really tart lemon poppy seed loaf!

This lemon cheesecake tartlet is really, really good! The cheesecake just melts in your mouth and the pastry is soft with a hint of lemon tartness mixed with the poppy seeds. It is a Yotam Ottolenghi recipe published in The Guardian Weekend last week. For the non-UK blog visitors, it’s a magazine which comes out every Saturday with The Guardian newspaper.

It’s very easy to make but it takes awhile for the tarts to be ready.

poppy seeds © kirsten loza

poppy seeds © dan and tuesday

For the poppy seed pastry you need:

  • 170 g plain flour plus extra
  • 50 g icing sugar
  • 90 g cold butter, diced
  • 1/2 tbsp grated lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp poppy seed
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 free-range egg yolk
  • about 1 tbsp cold water

For the cheesecake you need:

  • 200 g cream cheese (I used extra light Philadelphia cream cheese, perhaps it would set better if I used the full-fat version? I’ll let you know next time!)
  • 60g caster sugar
  • 2 small free-range eggs
  • 90 g sour cream
  • 2 small lemons for 50 ml lemon juice and 1 tbsp zest
  • butter for brushing the tins
  • icing sugar to sprinkle

Tools

  • mixing bowls
  • lemon juicer and zester
  • shallow muffin tins or tartlet tins or silicone bakeware
  • rolling pin
  • food processor
  • hand whisk
  • baking beans

What to do:

  1. Make the pastry by putting the flour, sugar, butter, zest, poppy seed, and salt in a food processor and let it mix for a bit. Then mix the egg yolk and just enough water so that it’s all together.

    pastry dough © kirsten loza

    pastry dough © dan and tuesday

  2. Take the pastry out, wrap in a cling wrap and put it in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  3. Pre-heat oven to 160˚C. Grease the baking tin or silicone bakeware with butter.
  4. Flour your work space and roll out the pastry  until it’s about 1/2 cm thick.
  5. Cut circles- the recipe says 8 but I manage to get a dozen out of my pastry. Line the tin with pastry circles. The put it back on the fridge for 20 minutes.

    cutting circles © dan and tuesday

    cutting circles © dan and tuesday

  6. Line each pastry case with baking parchment and fill it with baking beans. Bake for 15 minutes until golden. Take out of the oven, remove the beans out and let the pastry cool down. Lower the oven temperature to 150˚C.

    baking beans © dan and tuesday

    baking beans © dan and tuesday

  7. Now to make the cheesecake – whisk the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add the sour cream,  lemon juice and zest.
  8. Fill the pastry cases with cream cheese to the top and bake for 15 minutes until it has set.

    lemon cheesecake tartlet © dan and tuesday

    lemon cheesecake tartlet © dan and tuesday

  9. Leave to cool then chill for about an hour before removing from the tin.
  10. Dust with icing sugar before serving, if you like.

    Very, very delicious cheesecake tartlet © dan and tuesday

    Very, very delicious cheesecake tartlet © dan and tuesday

Rhubarb crumble

Making rhubarb crumble © dan&tuesday

Making rhubarb crumble © dan&tuesday

Last Friday, Gill from work brought about 2 k of rhubarb! I took half not really knowing what to do with them. I’ve never seen them in the Philippines and I’ve only tried them since living in in the UK. Still, I’ve always wanted to try making my own crumble and getting a bunch of rhubarb from Gill is my perfect excuse.

Next step is trawling my cookbooks for the easiest rhubarb recipe. Nigella Lawson’s How to be a Domestic Goddess suggests a few things you can do with your rhubarb:

  • make a brown sauce (!!)
  • rhubarb cornmeal cake
  • rhubarb grunt
  • rhubarb schnapps (!)
  • rhubarb tart
  • variation of Victoria sponge
  • rhubarb-crumble kuchen

She did say you can’t have too many rhubarb recipes in a cookbook.

NL’s rhubarb crumble looks more complicated so I decided to go for the ever reliable Delia. This recipe from her book Delia’s Vegetarian Collection calls for ginger to be mixed with the rhubarb and almonds on your crumble. It’s is gorgeous!

Making the crumble © dan&tuesday

Making the crumble © dan&tuesday

You need:

  • about 900g of rhubarb, wash then trim the ends and cut in 1inch sections
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 110g golden caster sugar (get fairtrade if you can)
  • 110g raw whole almonds (with skin)
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 100g cold butter, cut in small cubes
  • 175 g sifted self-raising flour
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 110g demerra sugar
  • something to serve it with: I prefer vanilla ice-cream. I’m not a big fan of custard or cream

Tools

  • food processor
  • pre-heated oven at 200˚C
  • mixing bowl
  • baking dish about 9in wide, 2in deep

What to do:

  1. Mix the rhubarb with sugar and ginger and put it on the baking dish. Make sure the rhubard is well-covered with sugar. Set it aside and work on the crumble.
  2. Put the butter, ground ginger, ground cinnamon, flour, and sugar in the food processor. Blast it until it looks like a crumble. Add the almonds and do a quick pulse so that the almond is broken down into small chunks. And it’s done!
  3. Before putting the crumble on top of the sugared rhubarb. make sure that there are no big gaps in the baking dish. Just spread the crumble and over the rhubarb. Press it down and then run a fork lightly on the surface.

    Rhubarb crumble © dan&tuesday

    Rhubarb crumble © dan&tuesday

  4. Cook for 35-40 mins (40 mins on my oven!) and then leave it to stand for about 15 mins before serving.
  5. Best served warm with vanilla ice-cream. Or if you are not me, maybe you would like custard or pouring cream.

Smoked fish kedgeree

smoked fish kedgeree © dan and tuesday

smoked fish kedgeree © dan and tuesday

Kedgeree is the best thing for breakfast or brunch on a lazy weekend. It doesn’t take long to make and the mixed flavours of the smoked fish and spices are absolutely divine. Dan used kipper when he made it for Chris and Lilly. I used smoked mackerel when Monette was visiting last weekend.

Rica asked me on facebook what kedgeree was. Clinton replied that it is “tinapa wth cream mixed with lugaw =)” Tinapa is a smoked milkfish or bangus; lugaw is a type of congee. Since I don’t put cream on my kedgeree and it doesn’t look like lugaw to me, I looked it up and found out that this is a variety of kedgeree. I also read that kedgeree is a popular breakfast dish during the Victorian time. More on kedgeree here.

This recipe serves 4.

You need

  • 4 boiled free-range eggs, quartered lengthwise
  • cooked boiled rice* (2 cups uncooked)
  • 500g smoked fish (mackerel, kipper, haddock, tinapa), flaked
  • 8 cardamom pods
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 25g butter
  • 1 small onion
  • salt and pepper
  • chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • lemon or lime wedges (we prefer lime)

Tools

  • mortar and pestle
  • frying pan

What to do:

  1. Crush fennel seed and cardamom pods using mortar and pestle. Remove the cardamom husks, leaving the seeds.
  2. Melt butter in frying pan then fry onion and all the spices in medium heat for about 5 mins.
  3. Stir the fish and rice. Make sure that the rice is covered in turmeric so it will have a yellowish colour.
  4. Add the eggs and parsley, stirring gently so as not to destroy the eggs.
  5. Serve with lime or lemon wedge.

* I cheated here as we used a rice cooker. I got my rice cooker on my birthday from a group of Pinoys living in the UK who probably cannot believe that I do not own one. I used 2 cups of rice for this recipe, about 250g. More picture of making the kedgeree from the slideshow below or from my flickr account here.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “smoked fish kedgeree“, posted with vodpod

Béchamel sauce

Béchamel sauce © dan and tuesy

Béchamel sauce © dan and tuesy

There are so many version of this sauce out there. Try the most convenient one for you, practice making it until it’s perfect and you can do it with your eyes closed!

The recipe below is from a new cookbook I just bought on discount called Hamlyn Cookery School. It is my new favourite book with easy to do recipes with step-by-step photos. It’s what we would like our recipes here to look like!

This recipe makes enough for 4 servings.

You need:

  • 300ml, full-cream milk
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp peppercorns
  • 3-4 flat-leaf parsley stalks
  • 15g butter
  • 15g flour
  • nutmeg, freshly grated
  • salt and pepper

What to do:

  1. In a saucepan, put the milk, onion, bay leaf, peppercorns and parsley stalk. Bring almost to a boil then remove the pan from the heat and leave it to infuse for 20mins. Strain milk into a jug.
  2. Melt butter in saucepan until bubbling. Put flour and cook gently, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon for about 1-2 mins.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk the milk gradually, still stirring until the sauce is completely smooth.
  4. Return the pan to medium heat and cook, stirring, until the sauce comes to the boil then reduce heat to low. Cook for another 5 mins, still stirring until the sauce is smooth and glossy and thinly coats the back of the spoon.
  5. Season to taste, adding lots of nutmeg.

Butternut Squash and Spinach Lasagne

This is in the oven right now as I start writing this. It’s my first attempt at lasagne. Ever. And the greengrocer seems to have sold me some slightly dodgy spinach, so I can’t really vouch for its quality just yet. Maybe Tuesy can report back after I serve it up.

Here’s what you need to do:

1 Butternut squash
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and sliced
salt and pepper

Peel and halve the squash. De-seed that thing. Chop it into big chunks (1 inch square has to be good enough, I reckon), toss it all in a roasting tin with the olive oil, chopped onion and a tablespoon of water. Season with salt n’ pepper. Roast at about 200 degrees (or considerably less if your oven is a fan-assisted raging furnace like Tuesy’s) for 25 mins. While that’s going on, you can get started on the sauce:

25g butter
25g plain flour
1 pint milk

Melt the butter in a pan, stir in the flour and cook for a couple of minutes. Gradually add the milk, stirring all the time (you don’t want it to go too lumpy) and then simmer it for about five minutes. It’ll go a bit thick, but not too stodgy.

In the meantime, cook 250g of baby leaf spinach in a few dribbles of water (use a separate pan!). Add salt and pepper.

To finish the sauce, you’ll need:

250g carton of ricotta
1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg (Tuesy: I did the grating!!)
6 sheets of that
lasagne that doesn’t need pre-cooking (Tuesy: this means, use regular lasagne sheets but you don’t have to pre-cook even if the packet says so. As this is very saucy, the pasta will cook anyway!)
50g of parmesan cheese, grated (we like it cheesy, so we’d go up to 80g for this one. I know, we’re just wild…)

Mix the ricotta into the sauce, add the nutmeg and a bit of salt n’ pepper if you haven’t got enough seasoning already. Here, for atmosphere, is a picture of some nutmeg during the grating process:

Now you get to build your lasagne. In an ovenproof dish, put the squash and onion stuff, nicely roasted by now, in the bottom, add the spinach on top and in between and all over, then about a third of the sauce. Layer the lasagne sheets on top, pour on the rest of the sauce. Finally, sprinkle the cheese on top and still more salt n’ pepper if that’s your thing.

Bake for about half an hour, or until the top part achieves your ideal level of crispy, golden goodness. Mine is nearly ready. Hope it’s good. Tuesy’s getting ready to test out her new food processor with some cup cakes, so there may be a delicious dessert blog to come shortly.

Tuesy: The lasagne Dan made is the best lasagne I have ever had in my flat tee hee… it was the FIRST lasagne I’ve ever had in my flat 🙂 But but but! It was also the best lasagne in the whole world! I absolutely love it!

The picture below is a macro shot of the lasagne. We love a crispy top!

PS. Dan used the Good Housekeeping guide to cookery for this recipe. He got it from his brother for xmas and it has changed his life! And I am grateful, of course 🙂

PPS. Recipe for the delicious dark chocolate cup cake to be published soon!