Roasted Red Pepper and Courgette Frittata

Visiting my parents over the Jubilee weekend, our family had tickets to the local Party in the Park and we had to come up with a picnic meal to take with us. Along with the usual wine, beer and other nibbles, we decided to make this delicious frittata, after my Mum found it in a Marks & Spencer Recipe magazine!

After I cooked the peppers, mixed the ingredients together with the eggs, I then sat watching the whole thing cook diligently for about 15 minutes and it turned out fantastic! We thought we could cook it last thing and it would still be warm when we arrived and started eating, which it was. After all the rain we had had throughout the day, this really did bring the sun out when we started serving and eating it. It is definitely a great foundation recipe that could have lots of other ingredients added to make different flavours.

Ready in 45 minutes and full of flavour, this frittata requires only a small amount of ingredients and can be created in five easy to follow steps:

Ingredients:
2 Red Peppers, halved and deseeded
500g New Potatoes, thinly sliced
2 tbsp Olive Oil
1 Red Onion, thinly sliced
1 Courgette, trimmed and sliced
8 Medium Eggs
120g Mature Cheddar, grated

1. Heat the grill to high. Arrange the peppers cut-side down in a roasting tray and grill for 8-10 minutes until the skins are charred and blistered. Transfer to a plastic food bag and seal. Set aside for 10 minutes to steam.

2. Meanwhile, cook the potatoes in a pan of lightly salted boiling water for 10 minutes or until just tender. Drain well.

3. Heat half the olive oil in a large non-stick, ovenproof frying pan, about 25cm diameter, and fry the onion and courgette for 4-5 minutes until softened and slightly coloured, then remove from the pan. Wipe the frying pan clean with kitchen paper.

4. Take the peppers out of the bag and remove the skins, then cut the flesh into thick strips. In a large jug or bowl, lightly beat the eggs and add the onion and courgette mixture, peppers, potatoes and half the cheese. Season to taste.

5. Heat the remaining oil in the clean frying pan and pour in the egg mixture. Cook over a very low heat for 10-12 minutes or until the mixture is set on the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and grill for 2-3 minutes until browned and completely set.

Enjoy!

Quick Recipe – Asparagus baked in Parma Ham

This is another recipe that we used over the Jubilee weekend when we went back to Somerset to visit the family. It is so simple and quick to cook up, either as a starter or to go with a main meal.

As my Mum has always said and to which I agree:

‘I love English asparagus and wait every year for it to appear at a local fruit farm or even supermarkets. It is a short season but I will not buy asparagus from foreign sources, somehow in the autumn and winter it just doesn’t seem right. One day when my vegetable garden is enlarged I shall grow it myself.’

Asparagus is really versatile and can be cooked in various ways, just steamed, with butter (plain or garlic), or hollandaise sauce. Grilled on the barbecue or baked in the oven. The woody ends, which are snapped off before cooking, can be added to stocks for an additional flavour.

This recipe was first made when my Mum had a bunch of asparagus and some Parma Ham and wanted to stretch both to make a starter go further. The Parma ham can be cut into strips and rolled around each spear before baking, but it is fiddly and this is the simplest and quickest method as the Parma Ham always breaks up during cooking. We have made this loads over the years, so thought I would share it with everyone.

The flavour of the Asparagus is simply delicious after roasting with the Parma Ham!

Ingredients:
1 Bundle of fresh Asparagus – (English)
8 Slices of Parma Ham or Prosciutto
Olive or rapeseed oil
Parmesan shavings
Freshly ground black pepper
1 non-stick baking tray

Oven 200C; 400F; Fan 180C Gas Mark 5/6

1. Wash the asparagus then take hold of the woody end and snap it.

2. Lay four slices of Parma Ham onto the baking tray and place the asparagus on top, brush the spears lightly with a little of the oil.

3. Sprinkle with black pepper to taste

4. Lay the other slices of Parma Ham on top.

5. Put in the oven for about 10-15 minutes, checking to make sure the ham is not burnt and the asparagus is soft (al dente is preferred)

6. Remove from the oven and put on a warm dish and using a potato peeler shave Parmesan cheese over the top if required.

7. Serve with crusty bread and/or a rocket and tomato salad, dressed with a balsamic and oil dressing.

NB – this can be part of an antipasto or a starter.

Enjoy!

Homemade Mincemeat (Gluten Free)

This is a post that I have had on the backburner, since the USB stick with the photos on went walkabout… until now!

Finally updated, I thought it was about time to share it, even if it is several months late, or several months early now. πŸ™‚

My Mum used to buy mincemeat from a supermarket until she couldn’t eat Gluten and my sister oranges. My Great Grandma would have been horrified that my mum did that, as when she was a little girl she used to help her make it. The beginning of October was the best time as the family would use faller apples.

My Mum told me:

It seemed to take ages as the fruit came unwashed and unpicked, in blue paper bags, from the greengrocers just down the road. Everything was weighed as it was needed from Williams and Treadgold (a shop in Bournemouth). With only a radio and chat as company for this job we set to work to make pounds of mincemeat to give out to friends and family and to use ourselves at Christmas.

Then, after looking around for a good and fairly easy recipe, good old Delia came up trumps – so thought we would share it.

Delia’s Homemade Mincemeat:

Ingredients:
Makes 6-8 jars
1 lb (450g) Bramley apples, cored and finely chopped – no need to peel
*8oz (225g) Shredded suet
12 oz (350g) Raisins
8oz (225g) Sultanas
8oz (225g) Currants
8oz (225g) Whole candied peel chopped finely
12oz (350g) Dark soft brown sugar
4oz (100g) glacΓ© cherries chopped – my addition
2oz (50g) whole almonds chopped
Grated zest and juice of two oranges
Grated zest and juice of two lemons
4 teaspoons mixed spice
Β½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Β½ nutmeg grated
6 tablespoons brandy

Preheat oven to 120C; 100 Fan; Gas Mark ΒΌ

1. Check the fruit over for stalks and stones.

2. Then combine all the ingredients in a large oven-proof bowl, mixing them thoroughly.

3. Cover with a tea towel and leave overnight.

4. Pre-heat the oven and place the bowl covered with foil in the oven for 3 hours. It will be swimming in fat. Do not worry!

5. Remove from the oven and leave to cool, stirring every so often, the fat will coagulate and instead of being in tiny shreds, (like the suet looks) it will coat everything.

6. When it is cold stir in the brandy.

7. Put into sterilised jars and seal.

*NB Using vegetarian, suet drenched in rice flour, means that it is Gluten-free and if using gluten-free pastry, you have a real treat for Christmas – Mince Pies!

Enjoy!

Monkfish Moilee

I thought it was about time I tried a new curry recipe on here, after having had several requests from family and friends, for something they could try too!

Gordon Ramsay’s big yellow ‘Great Escape’ Curry book was staring at me from the bookshelf as soon as I thought about doing a new blog post, so decided to use it, to look for a fish curry recipe, as a change from all the meat I normally use.

As soon as saw this recipe, I knew it was perfect, as I had never cooked with Monkfish but it was something I had always wanted to try, especially after seeing countless chefs on TV show how easy it was to remove the large bone and then cook with it.

According to Gordon, a fish moilee is simple coconut fish curry from Kerala on the west coast of India. Some consider it an Anglo-Indian dish as it was commonly found in other Southeast Asian cuisines connected through the British Empire.

It is perfect for this time of year, especially with the warm weather we have been having, as it is not too heavy, even with the meaty Monkfish tail. Definitely one recipe to pin on the side of the fridge!

Serves 4

Ingredients:
500g skinless and boneless Monkfish tails
ΒΌ tsp Ground Turmeric
Β½ tsp Sea Salt
Juice of 1 Lime
2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
1 Large Onion, peeled and finely chopped
3cm Ginger, peeled and finely grated
3 Garlic Cloves, peeled and finely crushed
3 Green Chillies, deseeded and sliced in half lengthways
4 Curry Leaves
400ml tin Coconut Milk
6 Cherry Tomatoes, quartered
Coriander leaves to garnish

1. Cut the monkfish tails into bite sized chunks and place in a bowl.

2. Mix together the turmeric, salt and lime juice to create a wet paste, then mix this with the monkfish chunks and leave to marinate for about 20 minutes.

3. Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium to high heat.

4. Add the onion, ginger, garlic, chillies, curry leaves and salt. Stir frequently for 5-6 minutes until the onion is translucent and soft.

5. Pour in the coconut milk and bring to a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally.

6. Add the marinated fish and cherry tomatoes and gently simmer for another 4-5 minutes until the fish is cooked through.

To serve, ladle the curry into a warm bowl and garnish with coriander leaves. Serve with plain rice.

Enjoy!

Jubilee Baked Blueberry Cheesecake (Gluten Free)

I’m not sure the exact relevance that a baked cheesecake has to the Jubilee but we were making this at the weekend for everyone to enjoy during the bank holiday celebrations.

We have been making this recipe in the family for over twenty years and once, an American friend told us ‘it tastes just like an American Cheesecake’, which is always a great compliment πŸ™‚

This is the best baked cheesecake recipe I have tried to date and I know everyone who tries it will love it too!

Serves 8

Ingredients:
For the Biscuit Base...
100g/4oz Gluten free digestive biscuits
50g/2oz Butter, plus extra
25g/1oz Plain Chocolate, broken into pieces
For the Filling...
500g/18oz Ricotta Cheese
Grated rind of 1 Lemon
Juice of Β½ Lemon
2 Eggs
100g/4oz Caster Sugar
Seeds of 1 Vanilla pod
350g/12oz Blueberries
1 tbsp Gluten free plain flour

1. Make the base: butter a loose-bottomed 8in round cake tin.

2. Crush the biscuits until fine (use a rolling pin).

3. Melt the butter and chocolate in a small bowl over a pan of hot water.

4. Stir into the biscuit mixture, then spread over the base of the tin and chill.

5. Pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.

6. Put the cheese into a bowl and add the lemon rind and juice, eggs, sugar and vanilla seeds; beat to a smooth batter.

7. Toss blueberries in flour, then fold into the batter. Pour over the base and bake for 35 minutes or until just set. Turn off oven, leave door ajar and leave to cool.

8. Chill for a few hours or overnight.

Amaretti biscuits (gluten free) can be used instead of digestives. This can also be made with Strawberries, Raspberries, Blackberries, Blackcurrants and Cherries (stoned).

Enjoy!

For Jessica x