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Tag Archives: cheese

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Well, this blog hasn’t been updated for some time now, mainly because I think there are far better things out there. Anyway, a few people have said I should update it, so here we go.

Annoyingly my last recipe was also a tart recipe, but I am still going for this one – courgettes are in season and I have many in my garden, it is quick and easy, so this is what I have been cooking.

My friend Julia put me onto this recipe a year or two ago, it is an adaptation of one she found on Good Food. A great way to use up courgettes and very tasty hot or cold.

Serves 4 with a salad or 6 with a side dish

Freezing – No freezing

Ingredients

Puff Pastry – 1 pack of pre-rolled (or make your own) – I used the reduced fat version

1  Whisked Egg (optional)

Mascarpone – 4 Tablespoons (low fat soft cheese will also work)

Grana Padano or Parmesan grated – 2 Heaped Tablespoons 

Medium Courgettes x 2

Garlic Cloves x 4

Red Chilli x 1 (or 1 tsp dried chilli flakes)

Olive oil x 1 dessert spoon

Small Red Onion x 1

Salt and Pepper

Method

  • Heat the oven to gas mark 6, 200c, 400f
  • Line a large baking tray with some baking paper or grease and flour it
  • Place your pre-rolled pastry on the tray
  • Mark an inch (2cm) border round the edge
  • Optional – Brush the border with the whisked egg. (This will give the pastry a shine but is not imperative to the dish, milk could be used or nothing at all)
  • Take the courgettes and slice them very thinly, putting them in a bowl
  • Peel the garlic cloves and crush them into the slices courgettes
  • Add salt and pepper to your taste (I used about a 1/4 tsp of each)
  • Slice the chilli and add it to the courgettes along with the olive oil
  • Coat the courgettes by tossing the ingredients, I find it easier with my hands as the courgettes can break with a spoon
  • Very finely slice the red onion, put to one side
  • In a separate bowl mix the mascarpone and about 3/4 of the cheese
  • Spread the mixture on the pastry leaving the border clear
  • Place the courgettes on the mascarpone base overlapping them slightly
  • Once complete tip any excess chilli or garlic on top
  • Place in the centre of the oven for 15 minutes and bake
  • After the 15 minutes, add the left over cheese and sliced red onion
  • Bake for another 15 minutes until the courgettes start to brown
  • Remove from the oven, leave to sit for 5 minutes and serve. Or serve cold if you prefer
  • This is great with a salad

 

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More chorizo and potato! This time in quesadillas. Quesadillas are a huge hit in our house and very versatile, lovely fillings include refried beans, grated courgette (zucchini) and carrot, goats cheese and sun blush tomatoes. Potato and chorizo however are two of my favourite ingredients, so this is what I have used for this recipe which is one of my favourite meals of all time.

Serves 2 (with left overs for lunch!)

Freezing – Does not freeze, but makes great leftovers cold the next day

Ingredients

Chorizo 100g  (the ring type, not the cooking sausage or the slices)

Potato x 1 large (or 2 small)

Red onion x 1

Grated mozzarella 100g (1 cup)

Dried chilli x 1 teaspoon (optional, leave out if you don’t like too much heat)

Salt and Pepper + extra salt for boiling potatoes

Olive oil  x 2 Teaspoons + extra for greasing

Tortilla Bread Slices x 2

  • Fill and boil the kettle
  • Peel and cube the potatoes into 1.5 cm pieces and place in a saucepan
  • Add the boiling water to the saucepan, salt the water and bring the potatoes back to the boil
  • Lower the heat and simmer potatoes for about 5 minutes until they are just cooked, but still firm (important not to overcook at this point), then drain into a colander and set aside
  • While the potatoes are boiling slice the onion finely
  • Chop the chorizo into cubes – about 1cm
  • Place chorizo in a non-stick pan and turn on the heat
  • Cook the chorizo, stirring occasionally until you can no longer the see white fat and it has melted into oil within the pan.
  • Remove the chorizo with a slotted spoon and set aside
  • Add olive oil to the melted chorizo fat and heat on high
  • Once boiling hot, reduce heat to medium
  • Add cooked potatoes to the fat
  • Whatever you do from this point onwards DO NOT STIR – it will turn the potatoes to mush
  • Add salt and pepper
  • Give the pan a good shake to coat the potatoes in oil
  • Cook for 5 minutes, shaking once in-between
  • Add the onion cook for 5 more minutes,  shaking once or twice in-between
  • By now the potatoes should have browned nicely  and the onions should be soft
  • Add the chorizo back to the pan cook for a few more minutes
  • Turn off the heat cover and set aside
  • If you are making guacamole prepare this now
  • Next take a large frying pan and drizzle with a little olive oil
  • Rub the oil in with kitchen roll so it covers the pan
  • Place the frying pan on the highest heat
  • Take a tortilla
  • Put in on a plate
  • Put half the chorizo potato mix and half the grated mozzarella on the right half of your tortilla, leaving the left half empty
  • Fold the left half over the right half so you have a semi-circle filled with ingredients
  • Do the same with the other tortilla using the other half of the ingredients
  • Once the pan is hot turn the heat down to medium
  • Slide both tortillas into the frying pan and cook for 2 minutes on each side or until they are crispy and browing (being careful not to burn)
  • Once ready place on a chopping board and leave for a couple of minutes, then cut each one into four pieces – I find this is easier with a pizza slicer
  • Serve with guacamole and salad – enjoy!

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Meat free ricotta balls are a great alternative to meatballs when combined with  lovely tomato sauce and pasta. They are also yummy as a snack.

You will find these are so versatile  and you can experiment by adding different flavours to them like paprika, cayenne, chilli, cumin or even chopped up sundried tomato. If you are going for a less healthy option you could add a square of mozzarella for a melt in the middle finish.

Kids love these, my 2-year-old son ate nearly half a batch yesterday over lunch. Here is the basic recipe.

Note to my American followers – I have added American measurements in – these are approximate, but I believe they are correct, please let me know if you have any issues

Serves 4 if serving in tomato sauce with pasta or bread –25  balls

Freezing

Freeze these once the are cooked. To reheat thaw, wrap in foil and heat in the oven on 190C, 170C Fan, 373F, Gas 5 for 10 minutes

Ingredients

Ricotta – 1 Tub (250g) – 1 cup

Egg x 1 yolk only

Grana Padano grated  50g – 1/2 cup

Garlic clove crushed x 1

Bread crumbs – panko/dried  – 60 g  – 1 /2 Cup

Black pepper and a pinch of salt

Oil for greasing baking tray

Method

  • Heat oven to 190C, 170C Fan, 373F, Gas 5
  • Lightly grease a baking tray with oil
  • Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl

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  • Ensure they are well mixed with a fork
  • Shape into little balls about 2cm/1 inch balls (mixture makes around 25 balls)
  • Place on a baking tray
  • Place in oven on a medium to high shelf
  • Bake  for about 15 minutes until golden
  • Serve in tomato sauce with pasta or bread – alternatively eat them on their own as a snack
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