joi, 19 aprilie 2012

Caribbean banana & raisin strudel

A quick recipe by Delia Smith, without sugar, so it's healthy, but very sweet because of the bananas...

4 medium bananas, 50g raisins, the grated zest of 1 large navel orange, 2 tablespoons rum, 100g pecan nuts, 75g butter, 4 sheets filo pastry, about 24 x 50cm, defrosted, 2 heaped tablespoons crème fraîche, 1 tablespoon icing sugar, for sprinkling

Soak the raisins and orange zest in the rum for one hour. After that, drain the raisins and zest in a sieve over a bowl to catch the juices, pressing to extract as much juice as possible.
When you're ready to start preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4 and pop
the nuts on the baking sheet to toast for 5-6 minutes and at the same time melt the butter in a saucepan. Then remove the nuts and pulse them in a processor to chop them small.
Now spread out a sheet of baking parchment on the baking sheet. Follow th
is with one sheet of filo pastry (cover the others with a clean tea towel). Brush the filo pastry all over with melted butter and sprinkle on a quarter of the nuts. Do this another three times with the rest of the filo pastry (saving some butter for the top).
Now peel the bananas and lay two, end to end, about 5cm (2in) from one edge of the pastry. Place the other two bananas directly next to them towards the middle. Next scatter the raisins and zest over the bananas. The strained rum juice now needs to be whisked into the crème fraîche, then spoon this over the bananas.
Use the baking parchment to help you roll the filo pastry over the bananas and then over again. Trim 2.5cm (1in) off each end of the filo parcel, then tuck the ends under - so you are left with the seam and the ends underneath - and discard the parchment.
Brush the rest of the butter all over and bake on the centre shelf for 40 minutes. If you like you can make the strudel a few hours in advance and bake it when you want to serve it.
Sprinkle with icing sugar before serving.

duminică, 15 aprilie 2012

Sundried tomato and pancetta quiche with parmesan pastry

A tasty quiche by Irish Chef Catherine Fulvio ;)

200g plain flour, plus extra for dusting, 100g butter, chilled and diced, 2 tbsp grated Parmesan, 1⁄2 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme, 1 egg yolk, beaten, 2–3 tbsp chilled water (you may need less) For the filling: 4 sundried tomatoes, chopped, 2 large eggs + 2 egg yolks, 100g pancetta, cubed, 150ml cream, 100g crème fraîche, Salt and freshly ground black pepper, 100g soft goat’s cheese green salad, to serve

Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4. Grease a 23cm flan tin with a removable base or 6 x 9cm tartlet tins.
Sieve the flour into a mixing bowl. Add the butter, Parmesan and thyme and rub them into the flour with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk and just enough water to form a dough. Wrap the dough in cling film and allow to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
On a floured surface, roll out the pastry until it’s slightly larger than the tin. Line the tin with the pastry and trim the edges. Place a circle of parchment paper over the pastry and fill with baking beans.Transfer to the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the beans and paper and return to the oven for 2 minutes to crisp the base. Set aside.
For the filling, place all the ingredients except for the goat’s cheese into a large bowl and mix gently. Pour the filling into the pastry case and divide the goat’s cheese over the top. Bake the quiche for 20–25 minutes, or until the filling is set. Serve warm or cold with a green salad.

marți, 10 aprilie 2012

Zucchini and Leek Soup

1 big zucchini, 1 tablespoon sunflower oil, 750 g cold water, 1 Maggi Mix for Leek Cream Soup, 1 box Garden Cress, 125 g plain yoghurt

Peel and cut the zucchini in cubes, saute them in oil, add the water and the soup mix, boil for 10 minutes. Puree everything, add the cress and yoghurt. Serve warm with croutons.

vineri, 6 aprilie 2012

From Russia with love....

I saw the Todes Ballet tonight and I was fascinated... especially by Pavel Volosov.
He is goooooorgeous :D

marți, 3 aprilie 2012

Ham and Cheese Slab Pies

I found this recipe in Better Homes and Gardens magazine, I've tried it and it's taaaasty :D

200 g cream cheese, softened, 2 tablespoons honey mustard, 1 package frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed (2 sheets), 200 g thinly sliced Black Forest ham, 1 red onion, thinly sliced, 200 g thinly sliced Gruyere, Swiss, or cheddar cheese, 1 egg, 1 tablespoon water

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. In a small bowl stir together cream cheese and mustard. On a lightly floured surface roll each sheet of thawed puff pastry into a 15x12-inch rectangle. Transfer each pastry sheet to a prepared baking sheet; spread half of each pastry lengthwise with cream cheese mixture, leaving a 1/2-inch border around outside edges.
Add individual layers of ham, onion, and Gruyere cheese over cream cheese layer, leaving a 1/2-inch border around outside edges. In a small bowl whisk together egg and the water. Brush some of the egg mixture on the uncovered edges of the pastries. Fold uncovered portion of each pastry rectangle up and over filling. Use a fork to seal edges together. Brush tops with egg mixture. Cut decorative slits in top of each pastry for steam to escape.
Bake about 25 minutes or until pastries are golden on both the top and bottom. If top browns more quickly than the bottom, cover with foil. Slide pies and parchment paper onto wire racks; cool slightly. To serve, cut crosswise into strips.

duminică, 1 aprilie 2012

April Fool's Day

Did you really think penguins can fly?