Recipe of the Month
Courgette Bake - how to use up all those homegrown courgettes
450g grated courgette
150g plain flour
150g grated cheese
150ml cold pressed rapeseed oil
3 eggs beaten
1 onion chopped
salt and pepper
Mix all the ingredients together and pour into a lined and greased traybake tray. Bake for 40mins at 170 centigrade. Leave to cool in the tray fro 10 mins before turning out - can be served warm or cold.
If not make a veggie one then add some chopped bacon or parma ham at the mixing stage.
Ingredients - Aubergines (and/or Courgettes), Cold Pressed Rapeseed Oil, Grated Parmesan or Manchego, salt & pepper
Method - Heat a griddle pan or frying pan on a medium heat and thinly slice the aubergine/courgette. Place in a bowl and season with salt and pepper and pour over enough oil to cover the vegetables. Turn the vegetables in the oil to coat and place on the griddle pan. Heat for two or three minutes until coloured, turn, and colour on the other side. Remove from heat and sprinkle with the grated cheese. Continue until all the aubergine and courgette have been cooked. Check seasoning and serve - optionally sprinkle over some more rapeseed oil.
A veggie buffet item and versatile to allow for several variation to meet different tastes.
4 large tomatoes, small red onion, one or two cloves of garlic, handful of fresh parsley and 3 sprigs of fresh thyme, 3 slices of bread, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, salt and pepper, 3 tablespoons olive oil.
Slice the tops off the tomatoes (and save) then scoop out the seeds and put these to one side. Season the inside of the tomatoes. Put the bread in a food processor and make into bread crumbs then add the onion – halved, and the rest of the ingredients, including two scoops of the reserved tomato seed mix. Whiz the mixture and if the texture is too dry add some more oil or lemon juice or tomato seeds. Taste for seasoning and then scoop into hollowed tomatoes and put the lids on. Place tomatoes on a baking tray and drizzle with some olive oil and bake for 25-30 mins in a medium oven – 160 C. Allow to cool for 5 or 10 mins and serve warm.
Couscous or cooked rice could be substituted for the bread crumbs and you could add other herbs such as mint or tarragon and serve with a simple tomato sauce if required,
Mulligatawny Soup - Due to popular demand from the squash team I have included this recipe which is a variation on an old Eliza Acton recipe (circa 1840) detailed in a 1978 Delia Cookbook. Although it is a good way to use up marrows, you can also just use courgettes or any type of squash.
3 large onions chopped
700g marrow/courgette/squash chopped
1 large potato
2 tins chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp worcester sauce
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp turmeric
1 cup long grain rice
1 tin coconut milk
salt and pepper
Melt butter and soften the onions and potato, then add the marrow and curry powder and cook for a few minutes covered. Add the tomatoes, season well and cook covered on a low heat for 20-30mins.
Meanwhile cook the rice, 1 cup of rice to two cups of boiling water, adding turmeric, salt and pepper to the cooking water. I use a microwave and cook for 7 mins then stir and then cook for a further 6 mins and leave to absorb the water for a further 5 mins.
Liquidise the tomato/vegetable mix, return to the pan and add the coconut milk and stock. Bring up to a simmer and add the worcester sauce and rice and check flavourings in case you want more curry powder or worcester sauce - it should have quite a tangy flavour.
Serve with some fresh chopped coriander and a swirl of yoghurt.
Chocolate Beetroot Cake
Yes it is that time of year again for home grown beetroot and we made this cake for an event recently with an excess from someone's allotment - it makes a dekicius change from pickling it!
175g cooked beetroot - roughly chopped, 200g plain flour
100g cocoa powder, 1 tablespoon baking powder,
250g caster sugar, 3 eggs, 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
200ml sunflower oil, 100g dark chocolate - chopped
Heat the oven to 190C fan then tip the beetroot into a blender and blitz. Add a pinch of salt and the rest of the ingredients except the oil and chocolate and blitz until completely mixed. Add the oil in a steady stream while blitzing.
When the oil has been added, stir in the chocolate then tip the mix into a 2lb, lined loaf tin or a grill pan sized tray. Cook for 1 hour until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Leaf the loaf to cool on a rack and serve or make some chocolate icing and leave to set before serving.
Brazilian Coconut Flan - Quindin
We made these for a recent Latin American Night they are really different and delicious.
Quindin is baked in a water bath, and the coconut rises to the top while it's baking. The cakes are then flipped out of the molds to reveal their sparkly golden cap of custard. The coconut becomes the sweet chewy crust.
• 8 tablespoons butter, plus 2 tablespoons melted butter for greasing the pans
• 1 1/3 cup sugar, plus more for dusting the pans
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 14 egg yolks plus 1 whole egg
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
• 1 2/3 cups dessicated coconut
1. With a pastry brush, paint melted butter inside a muffin tray.
2. Sprinkle sugar liberally over all of the molds, then turn the tray over and tap out the excess.
3. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees, and heat a pot of water on the stove.
4. Cream the butter with the sugar and the salt until fluffy.
5. Make sure the egg yolks and egg are at room temperature (you can warm them very briefly in the microwave if necessary). Add the eggs one at a time, blending well after each. The batter should be smooth. Stir in the coconut flavoring and the vanilla.
6. Fold in the coconut.
7. Place the muffin tray inside a roasting pan. Fill each muffin mould almost full with batter.
8. Pour the hot water into the larger pan to a depth of about 3/4 of an inch, so that the muffin pan is sitting in a water bath, being careful not to let water splash into the batter. It sometimes helps to put the pans in the oven first, and then pour the water into the bottom pan, so that the water doesn't slosh around as you are moving the pans to the oven.
9. Bake custards for about 15 minutes, or until they are firm to the touch and light golden brown.
10. Let cool for 15 minutes on a rack. To remove custards, run a knife around the edge to loosen them from the pan and then gently flip them or lift them out. If they will not come out easily, chill them first.
11. Serve chilled.
(Greek Baked Aubergine)
This is a recipe given to us by the lovely Helen who taught us a few authentic Greek dishes on our holiday to the Greek Islands last year. As with many oven baked Greek dishes, it is best not to eat straight from the oven but to let it cool down for 30 minutes or so.
3 medium aubergines, 3 chopped onions, big handful of chopped parsley, 2 large chopped tomatoes, 6 chopped garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon chilli powder, pepper, 2 tsp cumin, 2 tsp salt, 2 tsp sugar, 1/2 glass olive oil, 1/2 glass tomato juice.
Make 3 parrallel cuts along the aubergine to about halfway then half turn the aubergine and make another 2 cuts to achieve a criss-cross tentacle effect. Mix everything, apart from the oil and tomato juice, together and then mix with 2 tablespoons of the oil. Stuff the mixture into the criss-crossed base of the aubergine, place in a baking tray and pour over the rest of the oil and the tomato juice.
Cover tightly with tinfoil and bake at 200C for one hour. Check there is still enough liquid after the hour (add some water if not), tightly cover again and bake for a further 20-30 minutes.
Cool before eating and serve with a fresh Greek salad and some tzatziki, mmmm..... great for summer.
We use freshly made focaccia in many of our buffets and dinners as it is a versatile and tasty bread. Use hot with soups and pasta dishes, as a dipper in good oil or balsamic vinegar as starter or to make a yummy Italian sandwich filled with pesto, tomatoes, mozzarella, salami and rocket.
Follow the recipe as below or put all the ingredients (except the rosemary and sea salt) into a bread maker on the dough setting then pick up the recipe from from placing dough in a shallow tray.
300ml/½ pint tepid water, 1½ tsp dried yeast, 500g/1lb 2oz strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting, 1½ tsp salt, 3 tbsp olive oill, plus extra for greasing, medium coarse sea salt, 2 sprigs rosemary, torn into small pieces.
Mix the flour, yeast and salt together in a large mixing bowl.
Make a well in the centre of the flour and salt mixture. Pour some water into the well along with the olive oil. Mix thoroughly. Gradually add the rest of the tepid water until a sticky dough is formed.
Transfer the dough onto a floured surface and knead the dough for about 10 minutes, adding a little extra flour if necessary, until smooth and elastic and the dough no longer sticks to your hand.
Oil a bowl and place the dough inside and cover with either oiled cling film or a damp tea towel. Leave in a warm place to rise until doubled in size - about 1½ hours depending on the room temperature.
Use your fist to knock it back, then knead it again for a further two minutes.
Shape by placing into a shallow baking tray, using your hands to spread it out to a depth of about 1.5cm/¾in, then allow to rise again, covered with a tea towel, until doubled in size - this will take about 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 200C.
Create a dimpled effect by pushing your fingertips gently into the surface of the dough. Drizzle a generous amount of olive oil evenly over the dough. Sprinkle over the sea salt and push the small pieces of rosemary into the dough.
Bake for 25-35 minutes or until the top is crusty and cooked through to the base.
Try a variation by adding a tbsp of tomato puree to the water when making the dough, leave out the rosemary and sprinkle over some parmesan cheese about ten minutes before the end of cooking for a cheesy tomato bread.
Pheasant Casserole - served up to 60 hungry diners at a Strathmore Rugby Hospitality Day
Ingredients (serves 4 generously)
2 oven ready pheasant, 2 onions roughly chopped, 8 carrots and 1 swede thickly chopped, 3 sticks of celery chopped, zest and juice of one orange, 1 bottle of cider, 8 rashers of bacon, 6 juniper berries crushed, handful of fresh thyme, 3 cloves garlic chopped, 1 tablespoon cornflour, chicken stock.
Cut each pheasant into two halves and brown in some oil. Use the same oil to saute the onions, celery and garlic until soft. Meanwhile grill and thickly chop the bacon rashers.
Add the cornflour, juniper berries and thyme to the pan and cook for 2 minutes. Add the pheasant, bacon, orange zest and juice and cider and cook for a few minutes to burn off the alcohol.
Pour in enough chicken stock to just cover pheasant and add the carrots and swede and season to taste. Cook on stove top or transfer to the oven and cook gently on a medium heat for 90 minutes or so.
Before serving check seasoning and add some fresh thyme and freshly chopped celery leaves.