Monday, 3 March 2014
This is a dish I have developed from various recipes that I've tried, but the addition of walnuts give it more of a local South West France feel. Once you've prepared your onions it's a very quick and easy supper dish.
Ingredients for 4 people
400 gms of penne pasta (or any pasta you like)
150 gms of crumbled gorgonzola or similar mild blue cheese
3 large red onions
6 tbsp of olive oil
2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
A good handful of roughly chopped flat leaf parsley
About 70 gms of toasted chopped walnuts
Salt & ground black pepper to taste
First prepare the red onions which will go into the sauce for the dish. Peel and slice them into rings about 1 cm thick. Toss them into a roasting tin with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar, add a sprinkling of salt and ground pepper then roast at 190 degrees centigrade
for 30-40 minutes. Give the tin an occasional shake during the cooking to make sure the onions cook evenly. They should be tender but slightly caramelised when ready.
Cook the pasta as per the instructions on the packet. Drain and return to the pan, with a little of the cooking liquid retained.
Add the crumbled blue cheese, onions with all their juices, walnuts and chopped parsley.
Stir quickly and serve immediately.
Wednesday, 11 July 2012
Monday, 14 November 2011
Here’s a wonderful savoury ‘apero’ snack often referred to in France as ‘Le Cake’. During our “Draw it, paint it, cook it, eat it” weekend this proved to be a huge success particularly when consumed with a sparkling kir!Ingredients
200g plain flour
150g grated Comté cheese (Cheddar works fine too)
100g melted butter
150g Lardons (smoked or unsmoked)
50g chopped pitted black olives
3 large eggs
7g sachet of quick action dry yeast
A few sprigs of thyme & rosemary, stripped & chopped
Salt & pepper to taste
2 tablespoons of milk
Butter & line a 2lb loaf tin & preheat your oven to 200°c /gas mark 6.
Mix the cheese, flour, yeast, lardons, olives, herbs all into the melted butter. Then add the whisked eggs & milk plus a little salt & pepper.
Mix well and pour into the prepared tin. Bake in the oven for 10 mins at 200° then turn down to 180° and cook for a further 20 minutes or until risen and browned.
Don’t worry if there is a little bubbling butter on the top at this stage because it should be absorbed during cooling.
Leave in the tin on a wire rack to cool for about 20 minutes, then turn out and eat warm.
It's also very tasty cold and keeps for a few days.
Tuesday, 22 February 2011
180g unsalted butter
180g dark brown soft sugar
160g golden syrup
1 x tbs of black treacle
340g porridge oats
250g chopped walnuts
Grated zest of 1 large orange
1 x tsp powdered ginger
Melt the butter in a saucepan then add the golden syrup, treacle and sugar.
When the sugar is completely dissolved in the butter remove the pan from the heat and stir in the porridge oats, chopped walnuts, ginger powder and grated zest of orange.
Line a 20 cm square greased baking tin with greaseproof paper.
Pour the mixture into the tin, squashing down evenly.
Bake in a preheated oven 150° c for 30-40 minutes until firm to the touch but don’t let it go too hard.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool for about 10-15 minutes.
Take out of the tin and cut into squares – it’s easier to do this before it gets too cold.
As an alternative to the walnuts I sometimes use chopped up dried apricots which give you a chewier version.
Monday, 14 February 2011
1 stick finely chopped celery
1 finely chopped red onion
100g bacon lardons – I use smoked ones
About 10 chopped walnut halves
Salt & pepper to taste
Remove the stalks from the mushrooms and reserve to use for another day/dish – I use the chestnut brown ones which I buy in our local market, but any good sized mushrooms will be fine
Gently sauté either side of the mushrooms in a non stick pan using a tablespoon of hot oil. Cook for a few minutes to soften slightly then place them open side up in a greased ovenproof dish ready for stuffing.
Sauté the celery and onion in the rest of the oil until soft then add bacon & walnuts and continue cooking for about 5 minutes until the bacon is cooked.
Take off the heat and leave for a few minutes to cool a little before putting all of this mixture into a blender along with the soft goat’s cheese. Blitz the mixture to make a rough paste which you can use to stuff the mushrooms, adding salt & pepper to taste – you probably won’t need much salt if you have used smoked bacon.
Place the stuffed mushrooms in a preheated oven (180° C) for half an hour.
Serve two mushrooms per person with a few sprigs of water cress or mixed salad leaves of your choice and drizzle with a simple vinaigrette dressing.
Sunday, 6 February 2011
Ingredients - enough for twelve wedges.
175 g plain flour
110g unsalted butter
50g caster sugar
MethodPut softened butter into a mixing bowl.
Add the flour and the sugar and knead with your hands until you have made a dough. This takes about five minutes depending on how soft your butter is.
Roll out the dough on a flat surface to fit into a lined round baking tin (20cm diameter).
Press the mixture down gently into the baking tin and crimp the edges with a fork to make a pattern all the way round, making sure the top is fairly flat.
Prick all over with a fork so that during cooking it doesn't rise.
Put into a heated oven 175° C for 20 minutes then turn the oven down to 150°C for a further fifteen minutes or so, until the shortbread is a light golden brown.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool, gently sprinkling a little caster sugar over the top whilst it is cooling.
When cool remove from the tin and cut into 12 wedges and store in an airtight container.
For a yummy dessert leave the shortbread whole, cover with Creme fraiche or whipped cream and place summer fruits like strawberries and raspberries on top - delicious!
Tuesday, 25 January 2011
This is a really lovely light supper or lunch dish for four people and doesn’t take long to prepare and cook. If you happen to have any leftover cooked salmon this is a perfect way to use it up.
300 g of fillet of salmon
250 g of small broccoli florets
Packet of puff pastry
2 tbs Creme fraiche
3 large eggs
½ litre of water
Salt, pepper & grated nutmeg
Poach the Salmon gently in a pan with ½ litre of water, juice of a lemon and salt & pepper until cooked (I put the fish into cold water which I bring to the boil, turn off and leave for about 5 minutes).
Put salmon to one side to cool. Once cooled drain and flake the fish and discard the liquid (could be used for fish stock).
Cook the broccoli florets in boiling water until al dente. Drain and plunge into cold water to keep the colour nice and bright.
Roll the puff pastry out to fit the lightly greased or lined flan tin and trim to fit. We’re lucky in France because we buy it pre-rolled and cut for a round flan dish.
Whisk the eggs and a pinch of salt & pepper up to together in a bowl. When light and fluffy gently fold in the crème fraiche and add the cool, flaked salmon.
Pour the mixture into the flan case and carefully arrange the broccoli florets on the top.
Sprinkle a little grated nutmeg over the finished dish and place in a preheated oven (200 degrees) for about 30 minutes.
When cooked serve with water cress or a green salad. As an alternative you could serve it with the Crunchy winter salad which I posted on the blog a couple of weeks ago.