Pasta with Bacon, Garlic, Chilli and Parsley

pasta with bacon garlic chilli and parsley

 

We have had masses of building work done over the summer, hence my silence on these pages.  Some days I had a kitchen to use, other days not so much.  Once the Aga was decommissioned I moved onto a two ring gas hob (no oven) and once that was a goner it was braais or picnics.  There have certainly been some stressful moments and I have deposited more money in the swear box than I care to think about.  My poor husband and children have had to put up with a lot of unusual suppers from a rather mad-eyed cook but it was worth it and we now have a fabulous new kitchen.

The thing about being put on the spot kit wise is that it really focuses the mind.  If all the gadgetry has been boxed up (or just covered in dust) and there is only a pan to hand then one must make do.  One such recipe that came into play was this pasta with bacon, garlic, chilli and parsley.  Comprising of store cupboard and garden ingredients this can be reliably whipped up with the minimum of equipment, time or energy.  On one occasion I also added a pile of halved cherry tomatoes because I had some that needed using up.  It is certainly just as good without and I wouldn’t use tasteless winter (or jetset) tomatoes for the sake of it.

I highly recommend making this whether you are enjoying building works or not – it is cheap, very cheerful and everyone, particularly the children love it – what could be better (apart from a new kitchen).

Pasta with bacon, garlic, chilli and parsley

As with many of my recipes this is open to interpretation – if you adore bacon then add more;  if your children can’t bear chilli then leave it out.  The parsley is very much an ingredient here rather than merely a garnish but if the green stuff horrifies your little ones……

6 good fat rashers of smoked streaky bacon

2 large cloves of garlic

1/4 teaspoon dried chilli flakes

1/2 bunch parsley

300g pasta of your choice

Olive oil

Get your pasta cooking in a large pan of generously salted water.   Put a tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan and snip (I find scissors easiest here) the bacon into it.  Cook until just turning crispy then add the garlic and chilli, stir it around over a gentle heat ensuring the garlic doesn’t brown.  When the pasta is done, drain it retaining a little of the cooking water.  Tumble the pasta into the frying pan and mix well with the bacon, garlic and chilli adding a splash or two of cooking water to keep the whole thing quite slippery.  Chop the parsley over the top, season well and serve with parmesan if you like.  This amount is enough for two adults and two children.

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Summer eating

Stawberry Mivvi

The garden is demanding much of my time.  With this crazy combination of belting sun followed by pouring rain the weeds in particular are flourishing.  Encouragingly though all the other goodies I have planted are also thriving and we are already enjoying radishes, lettuces and peas.  The first of the beans are nearly big enough to pick and various salad leaves make it to the table most evenings.

What with all this horticultural activity, a couple of busy weeks judging and lots of visitors my recipe writing has had to take a back seat.  It’s not that I don’t have any ideas up my sleeve, on the contrary my head is buzzing with new things to do with this seasons fabulous produce.  We are coming to that time of year when we are truly spoilt and very little needs to be done to show off new vegetables and berries to their max.   Simply I haven’t had time to write any of my new recipes down or photograph them.  So forgive me if I take this opportunity to remind you of a few favourites, the recipes for which you’ll find on these pages, of what we are enjoying at the moment.

Above you’ll see the Mighty Strawberry Mivvi, (June 2014) an enormous version of that old childhood favourite ice lolly the Cornish Strawberry Mivvi.  This is one of my son’s favourite puddings and as he had been away for a few days last week I made it to greet him on his return.  He has nearly worked his way though it.

Anna May everyday Tomato bruschetta

This bruschetta finds its way onto our tables at least once a week.  British tomatoes are now available and along with some good bread, sourdough being my choice, this makes a sublime starter or lunch.  You will feel like you are holiday.  Tomato Bruschetta (July 2013).    One of my absolute favourite puddings is pannacotta, not only deeply delicious but also a doddle to make and perfect for entertaining.  Of the three you will find here in the archives it is the vanilla version, served with blackcurrants (July 2014) that is the absolute winner.

Vanilla pannacotta 2

For barbecues I would recommend this Fresh Herb Sauce (July 2013), totally lip smacking and the perfect accompaniment to meat, fish or veggies.  I served it as the dressing for a tomato salad the other day, there wasn’t any left….  I couldn’t mention summer eating without one of my salads, either the Roast Vegetables with Pomegranate Molasses (July 2014) or Roast Aubergine, Feta and Mint salad (July 2015), easy, quick and delicious.  Of course you might also need some Quick Pickled Onions to go with all this too (August 2014), and if you happen to have any cherries or nectarines knocking around I can’t think of any better use for them than this galette (August 2013)

Anna May everyday Nectarine and Cherry Tart

Whatever you are doing, home or away, on holiday or still at school, enjoy some fabulous summer treats and I will be back next month with new ideas to hopefully tempt you.

 

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Iced buns

iced buns-2

When I went to collect my son from a friends’ house the other day I took some iced buns I’d just made as a thank you.   On handing them to the father he took a whiff and started rhapsodising about iced buns he’d had as treat when young and we merrily reminisced about trips to the bakers as children.   It seems the iced bun has been around for a long time (remember those in the Railway Children on Bobby’s birthday?), stood the test of time and is pretty much loved by everyone.

Essentially just a bread roll, sometimes sweetened, sometimes with raisins but always finished off with a slick of white icing.   I’m all for children having treats but as some of the offerings in the shops seem so full of sugar, preservatives or other suspect ingredients, I would rather make my own and know what is going into the treats (and my children).   These buns are so plain I can live with the small amount of icing on each one.

I make these on a regular basis and realising how popular they are thought I should share the recipe with you quick sharp.  Fantastically easy, the only requirement when making them is to allow a bit of time for the dough to rise.

This recipe uses my regular plain white bread recipe (March 2016) but you could ramp these up by using the slightly richer dough of my Milk Loaf (July 2014).  As often as not I will use half the dough to make a small loaf and the rest to make iced buns (or indeed any small rolls/flatbreads/pizzas etc you may need).  Half the dough will yield around 12 small finger buns but of course you can make fewer, bigger ones – simply extend the cooking time a little.

Incidentally, the friends father asked for Cinnamon buns next time…..

iced buns 2

White bread for a loaf or Iced Buns

It you have a stand mixer then this dough will take literally minutes of your time to rustle up.  Before I got ours though I still made and happily kneaded it for around 10 minutes.  It is a calming way to spend 10 minutes (come on, it is only 10 minutes!) and you will be rewarded tenfold!  I haven’t specified the amount of icing sugar because it really depends on how many buns you make.  Put some in a bowl, cautiously add a few drops of water, you don’t need much and then mix hard.

500g strong white bread flour

10g salt

10g dried yeast

300ml lukewarm water

Icing sugar

Put the flour into a large bowl (or the bowl for your mixer) with the salt on one side and the yeast on the other.  Add the water and bring it all together from a sticky mess into a dough.  Then using the dough hook put your mixer on for 6-7 minutes or knead by hand for 10.  Sprinkle the inside of the bowl with a little extra flour, put the dough into the bowl, cover with a cloth and leave somewhere warm and draught free for an hour.  After this time you will see your dough has risen so punch the air out of it by kneading a couple of times then either split it in two if you want to make a loaf and buns or just make a load of buns.  Take small balls of dough and roll them to form a sausage shape.  Place on a flour dusted baking sheet.  Form the remaining ball into a loaf shape and place on another flour dusted baking sheet.   Cover again and leave for a further hour.  Towards the end of this time preheat your oven to 200.  Bake the rolls for 10-15 minutes depending on size until they are bronzed on the top and bottom, the loaf will take around 20-25 and sound hollow when you cautiously tap the bottom.  Let them cool on a wire rack, the rolls need to be completely cool so the icing doesn’t run straight off them.  Mix up icing sugar with a few drops of hot water until you get the desired consistency and ice the top of the buns.   Serve to very happy faces.

iced buns 3

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Spaghetti with sundried tomatoes

sundried tomato pasta

Recently I felt I may have overdone the wild garlic and as my hand hovered over a bunch the other day to make more pesto I decided to take another direction for lunch.  Pasta was already on the menu in some guise, being so quick and cheap and popular with 75% of my family (the remaining 25% was out for the day).  It was just necessary to have a rifle around the fridge to see what could go with it.

I have mixed feelings about sundried tomatoes – in the right context they can be knock out, conveying their deep intense flavour with some force.  By the same token they can overpower other ingredients, be a little shouty if you know what I mean.  The answer I find is to let them shine, be the main star (have no one to argue with) and so it is in this pasta dish.  Utterly simple, super quick and really plate lickingly good.  I’m not sure you could call it a pesto, devoid as it is of pine nuts, basil and parmesan (that comes later) but it is very much that style of sauce which coats pasta but doesn’t drown it.

As you will see below, this takes a matter of minutes to make, literally less time than the pasta will take to cook.  A great little number to add to your quick and easy repertoire.

Sundried Tomato Pasta

I have also tried adding a few black olives.    This brings it more into tapenade territory but if you particularly like olives they make a punchy and flavourful addition.

8 sundried tomatoes

15g parsley, plus a little extra to sprinkle over before serving

1 small clove garlic

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/4 teaspoon chilli flakes

Salt and pepper

300g linguine or spaghetti

Parmesan to serve

Put the pasta on to cook.  Place the sundried tomatoes, parsley, garlic, oil and chilli flakes into a mini blender and pulse (alternatively put them all into a jug and use a hand blender).  You don’t want it entirely smooth, a bit of texture is good.  Taste for seasoning and add a little more chilli if you want or oil if it needs loosening.   When the pasta is cooked, drain and then add the sauce.  Mix well and serve sprinkled with the reserved parsley and with parmesan if you so wish.  Enough for two adults and two children.

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Why do I write?

cookbooks

I have been asked (occasionally by myself) why I endlessly try out new recipes, spend half my time in the kitchen and write this blog.  There are several reason but the fundamental ones remain the same.  For the first I refer you to the About page above.  It describes how as life changes so what we need from our kitchen and cookbooks also changes.  From supper parties for my London crowd, through feeding my babies/children and on to now – still cooking for my family (honestly my raison d’etre) but also cooking up a storm for friends and their children which I love to do.   I needed recipes for all these situations and despite a mountain of cookbooks there were recipes missing so I decided to come up with my own.   That I was then the first to offer a suggestion when friends asked for ideas on what to cook for tea/lunch/supper/dinner etc prompted them to ask me to put them all in writing somewhere.

Also, I have never been keen on “kids” food and was (possibly blindly) determined that my babes would, as soon as practical, eat the same as us.  Partly because from an early age they would eye what we were eating with far more enthusiasm than their pureed veg so it made sense to give them a taste from our plates, encouraging their palates to happily experience new flavours.  Also for ease.  I want us to sit around a table together every day laughing, chatting, shouting, arguing (the latter two in a good way obviously) but primarily eating the same thing.  My experience has shown that giving into demands for the same food on a loop causes problems when the customer is presented with something new or unfamiliar….  Anyway, this is how I try and do it – not without its problems of course.  Whilst my daughter will eat anything (but ideally meat and potatoes) my son is a little more particular (his ideal being hummus and tomatoes).  It drives me a slightly mad but I continue in my merry way, put a variety of things (old and new) on the table and hope for the best.  The point is food is such a fabulous part of life and I would like my children to try everything*, have a healthy and happy approach to food and also to be able to cook, to feed themselves when the time comes.

One more reason springs to mind.  In the picture above you see some of the collection of books in which I write my recipes.  Scribbled as I cook, endlessly splattered with food, marked by crossings out and additions.  Some dishes never make it beyond these pages but many are eaten on a regular basis in our house.  So I had some dreamy idea of handing over the fabled book of recipes to each of my children when the dreaded day comes that they leave home.  Handing it over like the baton of life.  Huh, said another voice in my head, what if neither of them wants it and hands it back to you, you’ll feel a right fool.  Thus the obvious answer was to put it all onto a blog, this way they could dip into it whenever they pleased, cook things they love and have grown up eating but I would never know if they didn’t….

 

*This has backfired on me, in my quest that nothing is off limits, to be open minded and everything deserves a taste I have had to buy both pot noodles and pop tarts.  Once.

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Chorizo Meatballs with Tomato Sauce, Greens and Dirty Rice

Chorizo meatballs 2

Do you ever wonder what to cook for supper?  Despite spending a considerable number of my waking moments thinking about food I do struggle to come up with new recipes to present to my family.  Just as I get bored of cooking the same things I’m sure they tire of eating they same old same old.  I have never been one for Monday means roast chicken, Tuesday means sausages etc although I’m sure it can make life easier to fall into such a routine.

So I made a list of all the things my lot love, took note of what some of them really don’t like (a list whilst not long, is certainly frustrating) and came up with various new ideas.  These chorizo meatballs are one such.  The whole family love meatballs but I wanted to jazz my usual recipe up and this was the route I took.  The spices add a pleasing warmth and the combination of the greens, pilaff and tomato sauce just work really well.  Blob a little yogurt and chilli sauce over the whole if you like and some toasted pumpkin or sunflower seeds are another welcome touch.

Make a big pile of this, however much I rustle up, it all goes everytime…

Chorizo meatballs

 

Chorizo Meatballs

I stick with the two paprikas in this and add a little chilli sauce separately if the mood takes me but do by all means add some cayenne pepper or similar if your family like heat.  Should you have minced beef and pork left over may I point you in the direction of my Meatloaf, Sliders and Meatballs (November 2015).  You can use all pork mince if that is what you have, just as delicious.  I know this looks like a great long list of ingredients but many will be in your cupboard and remember, it is essentially, four different recipes – just make as many as you want (although the combination of all is fantastic!)

1 tablespoon olive oil plus a little extra

1 large onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

50g breadcrumbs

2 tablespoons milk

1 1/2 teaspoons paprika

1 1/2 teaspoons sweet smoked paprika

250g minced beef

250g minced pork

Tomato sauce -

1 tin chopped tomatoes or similar amount of passata

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 clove garlic finely chopped

1 teaspoon sugar

Kale or Spring greens finely shredded

Knob of butter

200g rice

400ml chicken stock

1/4 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon fine salt

Chopped parsley/coriandr, yogurt, chilli sauce or toasted seeds to serve (optional)

Heat a tablespoon of oil in a pan and gently cook the onion until soft then add the garlic.  Stir for a couple of minutes but don’t let the garlic colour, tip it all into a bowl along with the breadcrumbs and milk.  Add  the mince, both the paprikas and 1/2 a teaspoon of salt and mix well.  Divide into small balls approximately the size of a walnut.  Add a small amount of oil to a large frying pan and cook the meatballs, turning gently to colour all the sides.

Meanwhile for the tomato sauce put the second tablespoon of oil into a small pan with the garlic, heat gently and as soon as it sizzles add the tinned tomatoes, sugar and a good pinch of salt.  Let this simmer for twenty minutes.

Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the rice, cumin and salt followed by the stock, stir well.  Simmer gently for 4 minutes then remove from the heat, put a tea towel under the lid to absorb the steam and leave for a further 20 minutes then fluff up with a fork and check the seasoning.

Wash the greens and put into a large pan, cover with a lid and cook gently – the water left from rinsing them will be enough for them to cook in.

When you are ready to serve tip the rice into a warm bowl, top with the greens followed by the meatballs, then the tomato sauce.  Finally sprinkle over some parsley or coriander if using and the yogurt and seeds.  Serves 4.

 

 

 

 

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Moutabal

Moutabal

I just love a mezze type lunch.  The table spread with an array of different things to pick and weave through, a bit of this and a bit of that.  More often than not I have a bit too much as it is all to easy to sit, chat and graze.  Not that that should be an issue, one of the best things in life is sitting around a food laden table with both family and friends.  Usefully I find all these little tapas like dishes a great way for the children to try new things.  Whilst a whole plate of something new and unfamiliar might raise an eyebrow, a little taster alongside old favourites works well.    Regulars to our table include Artichoke Crostini (March 2013), Tomato Bruschetta (July 2013), Focaccia, wild garlic or otherwise (May 2014), Green Beans with Tomato and Feta (June 2014), Herby Ricotta with Pickled Cucumber (September 2014), Roast Cauliflower (February 2015), Cannellini Bean, Parsley and Lemon dip (April 2015), Grissini (May 2015), any of my salads and this Moutabal.

I believe I first tasted this with my Grandfather, an amazing and inventive cook.  He cooked all manner of things which seemed both unusual and exotic to me when I was young, often containing huge amounts of ginger and garlic.  Many middle eastern dishes which involved much pounding with his enormous mortar and pestle which I was lucky enough to inherit.  He was familiar with spices now taken for granted but which, at the time, I felt came direct from Ali Barbars’ caves.   One such was this Moutabal.  Grandpa loved aubergines and true to form it has a hearty smack of garlic along with softening tahini and yogurt.  Delicious though it is no doubt I eyed it with great suspicion, it is not a looker.

Anyway, I implore you to see past its drab appearance and give it a go, it is divine on toast but my current chosen route is to serve it with roasted sweet potatoes and a good sprinkling of sunflower seeds, just fabulous.

Moutabal

You can put the foil wrapped aubergine in the oven whilst something else is cooking if that suits rather than putting it on for one thing.  You can also cook it on a barbecue.

1 large aubergine

1 clove garlic, finely minced

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon tahini

1 tablespoon Greek yogurt

1/4 bunch parsley, finely chopped

Preheat the oven to 200, wrap the aubergine in foil and cook for 40-60 minutes or until very soft.  When you can handle it peel and discard the skin and let the flesh fall into a bowl.  Add all the other ingredients and mash well, season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serves 4 alongside other things or two with some roast sweet potato wedges (which you can do in the oven at the same time).

 

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Blackcurrant Mousse

Blackcurrant mousse

What? you cry, what is going on?  Blackcurrant Mousse in January?  I know, crazy though it may sound that is indeed the recipe for today.   I am usually one to bang the gong  for seasonal produce and wouldn’t dream of buying Peruvian asparagus or the suchlike at this time of year.  That said the sky was grey and gloomy last week, the ground squelchy with the mass of recent rain and I felt we needed a blast of sunshine, a promise of summer.

After discussion I found that my children were also keen for a break from my repertoire of apple puddings of which I am so fond at this time of year, the endless array of apple tarts, pies, crumbles, turnovers and strudels was wearing a bit thin.  I knew the last of the blackcurrants we picked in the summer were languishing in the freezer plus a bag of raspberries kindly donated by lovely Hayley when ours had produced their last.

So it was based on these various factors that we ate mousse upon mousse last week.   The first was the raspberry version, mouth puckering in its tartness with that amazing raspberry fragrance still present in abundance.  The second version was the blackcurrant, heady with the smell of blackcurrant leaves and packed with fruity deliciousness.  My bubble was pricked somewhat by my children not liking the bits of fruit I had added to give a little texture, you might want to go the totally smooth route if this complaint resonates with you.

I highly recommend you try one if not both of these puds – whilst I wouldn’t buy fresh berries at this time of year, too well travelled and too expensive, I think frozen fruits are a saviour in the chillier months.   Raspberries, blackcurrants, forest fruits, mixed berry – the choice is up to you.

Blackcurrant or Raspberry Mousse

I had 500g of raspberries but only 478g of blackcurrants – it didn’t make a dot of difference so don’t get too hung up on it if you are a little short of one or the other.

500g frozen raspberries or blackcurrants, thawed

120g golden caster sugar

2 tablespoons water

3 leaves of gelatine

2 egg whites

150ml cream

Put the berries, sugar and water and cook over a gentle heat until the sugar is melted and the fruit broken down.   Pass the fruit through a sieve into a bowl.  Meanwhile soak the gelatine in a bowl of cold water until completely soft then add it to the warm fruit puree, stir well and leave to cool, giving it the odd stir.  If the fruit puree had cooled completely you will need to warm it a little before adding the gelatine as this needs to melt.

Whisk the egg whites until stiff and then using the same beaters whisk the cream (in a separate bowl) until it just holds its shape.  Don’t do it the other way round or the cream residue will stop the egg whites whisking.   Gently mix the egg whites into the fruit mixture followed by the cream.  It will still look rather runny and unpromising but persevere.  Pour into dishes or glasses and chill for at least 4 hours.  Serves 4 generously but could stretch to 6.

 

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Gougeres and Christmas do ahead tips

Gougeres 5

My daughter asked yesterday whether we could be super organised this Christmas so that I could spend loads of time with the family and not be fiddling in the kitchen….  I usually try to get a lot done and stashed away in the freezer before the main event but last year, as we were a smaller gathering than previously, I left more to do on the day.  This may be to what she was referring.  Whilst I was still fairly organised I could, as I was told many times at school, have done better.

The mistake I made was not to slavishly refer to all my do ahead tips.  I am all for whipping things out of the freezer and cooking them in the stylish silver containers (Christmas sparkle) they were frozen in.  I will then transfer them to warm serving dishes, chuck the foil containers and won’t have a mountain of sauce pans glaring at me from the sink.  On this point I implore you to heat your serving plates – there are many components to the Christmas feast and getting them from the stove to peoples plates takes more than a minute of two.  You want it served hot and warm dishes and plates makes a huge difference, that and piping hot gravy too.

So this year I will be making and freezing the stuffing, cranberry sauce, bread sauce (add a little milk on heating) and gravy (add meat juices after resting to boost this) for the big event.  Don’t laugh I will even be parboiling and freezing the roast potatoes (see tips).  Sausage rolls, Cheese Sables with Rosemary Salt (December 2013) and Gougeres (recipe below) will be frozen in good time to accompany drinks alongside Spiced Cherries in Bacon which I am preparing now (and recommend you do the same!).  Firecracker red cabbage (November 2013) to serve with Christmas Eve’s baked ham, a curry, a stew and lots of mince pies will also make their way into the frozen holding pen.

Have I mentioned my Christmas tips (Do ahead Christmas tips and Spiced Cherries November 2013 and Feta and Spinach Parcels a couple more make ahead tips November 2013)?!   I will be referring back to them again and again.  It may sound bossy to suggest you do too but I know they make a world of difference on a day that is notoriously hectic.

To get you started here are my Cheese Gougeres, warm little clouds of cheesy savoury deliciousness.  I honestly struggled not to eat all the ones you see in the pictures.  Very easy to make (baked not fried despite their light and fluffy appearance) and they freeze and reheat a dream.  Make them now then open freeze flat on a tray, once frozen tumble into a bag or plastic tub.   Serve these warm with drinks and you will undoubtedly be the hostess with the mostess.

Gougeres 4

Cheese Gougeres

A good strong cheese is required here.  I use a mouth tingling cheddar or a combination of cheddar and parmesan.  You could take an Alpine route with gruyere to great effect.  I sometimes like to add mustard or cayenne pepper for further pep and bite in which case sprinkle some tiny dried chilli flakes on the gougeres before you cook to indicate heat.  Other times I might add thyme leaves or sprinkle grated parmesan as in the picture above but am just as happy to leave them unadorned and boldly goldly resplendent.

100g butter

250ml water

1 teaspoon salt

150g plain flour

100g strong cheese

4 eggs

Mustard powder/cayenne pepper/thyme leaves – see above.

Preheat the oven to 200 and line a couple of baking sheets with parchment.  Put the butter, water and salt in a pan, heat until the butter is melted then whoosh in the flour in one go and beat hard.  Add the eggs one by one (the mixture will become a little sloppy between each addition but persevere) then add the cheese and stir until well combined followed by any additional flavourings (mustard/chilli).  Either pipe small blobs onto the baking sheet or use two teaspoons dipped in hot water.  I am no piping expert but find it the easiest route with this thick and sticky mixture.  With a wet finger push down any pointy bits as these may catch and burn in the oven.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, they need to be a good burnished gold and feel crisp if you tap one (cautiously).  If underdone they will deflate on cooling.  Cool on a wire rack if you are going to freeze (or keep in a tin for a day or two) or serve straight away.  Reheat in a hot oven for 5 minutes.  Makes 20-30 depending on size.

Gougeres 2

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…Turnovers and leftovers

Apple turnovers

There is nothing more satisfying than fashioning the proverbial silk purse out of a pigs ear.  By that I don’t mean I regularly keep pigs’ ears in the fridge – although why I don’t know as they can be a proper treat.  No rather that it pleases me immensely to make something out of leftovers or those hotch potch random ingredients that sometimes peer at me from the fridge.  If it turns out to be delicious and a recipe to keep then so much the better.

I can’t bear throwing things away and will search my memory long and hard for any ideas or snippets gleaned from my endless reading of recipe books and magazines if it helps to keep a sad carrot or scrap of cheese from the food bin.  Many vegetable soups have been created from such fridge clearing, trays of roasted veg and bubble and squeak too. Overly soft berries go in a smoothie and orchard fruits head for crumble heaven.  Hard bits of old mousetrap end up as cheese sables or gougeres  and so it goes on…

Following hallowe’en there were a lot of apples left from the bobbing.  Those with rows of teeth marks went to the chickens but the pile of untouched ones have been gazing balefully at me for a week or so and the time had come to crack on.  Apple sauce with last Sundays pork belly was a happy way for two or three to go and a crumble waits for tea today.  Yesterday I made these apple and cinnamon turnovers and on this occasion rather than my usual shortcrust or puff pastry route I chose to use up the half pack of filo left from the samosa recipe published previously.  With butter, sugar and cinnamon being on hand I had nothing to trouble the shops for and served warm with vanilla ice cream the children were thrilled too.   Happy customers 1 – Food bin 0.

Apple turnovers 3

Apple and Cinnamon Turnovers

If you keep some filo in the fridge these would make a speedy and easy pudding over Christmas (or anytime).  The extra dusting of icing sugar combined with cinnamon would give a suitably snowy finish and what could be more festive than cinnamon.

3 good size eating apples

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, plus extra for dusting if you like

Large knob of butter, melted

3 sheets of filo, halved longways

Icing sugar

Preheat the oven to 200 and line a baking tray with parchment.  Peel and finely slice the apples, put them in a bowl with the sugar and cinnamon, stir well and leave for 10 minutes.  Lay out a sheet of filo with the short end facing you, brush lightly with melted butter, put a spoonful of apple on the top corner and fold the pastry over to the side, keep folding the parcel towards you, it will form a triangle (see pictures on previous recipe). Make the other 5 triangles, brush any remaining butter over the top and bake for 20 minutes turning half way until crispy and golden.  Cool a little then dust with icing sugar (add a little cinnamon to this if you want).  Makes 6 which are wonderful served warm with ice cream or cream.

Apple turnovers 2

 

 

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