Advertisements
RSS Feed

Monthly Archives: October 2015

Jamie Oliver Figgy Banana Bread

IMG_8673IMG_8662

Another lovely recipe from Jamie Oliver’s healthy cookbook Everyday Super Food. It’s a banana bread that is very flavoursome and sweet with remarkably, no sugar! The sweetness comes from the bananas, dried figs and apple. This quirky writer has a sweet tooth, and this recipe really satisfies me.

Reading and cooking recipes from Jamie’s book I’m appreciating that cooking with healthy eating in mind doesn’t mean cutting down on deliciousness. Jamie’s Smoothie Pancakes full of blueberries that I cooked recently, are luscious, sweet and satisfying.

Ingredients

250g dried figs

75ml cold pressed rapeseed oil

125g natural yoghurt

1 tbs vanilla extract

4 ripe bananas

2 large free-range eggs

150g wholemeal self-raising flour

1 heaped tsp baking powder

100g ground almonds

1 tbs poppy seeds

1/2 tsp ground turmeric

1 apple

50g whole almonds (skin on)

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Line a 25cm baking tin with with scrunched sheet of wet greaseproof paper. (You could bake the mixture in a large loaf tin for the more conventional banana bread look. I like the cake tin idea as the bread is so sweet and so rather cake-like.)

Place 200g of the figs in food processor with the oil, yoghurt, vanilla extract, peeled and roughly chopped bananas and eggs. Blitz until smooth.

Add the flour, baking powder, ground almonds, poppy seeds and turmeric and pulse until only just combined. Coarsely grate and then stir in the apple.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and spread out evenly. Tear or chop the remaining 50g figs into pieces. Scatter over the mixture, pushing them in slightly. Chop the almonds and scatter over. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until until a skewer inserted into the bread comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Serve as is, or with any combination of yoghurt, honey and home-made nut butter. I made brazil nut butter to serve with my banana bread.

IMG_8695

Nut butter

To make 1 jar:

Place 200g of any unsalted nuts in a preheated 180 degrees C oven on a baking tray. Bake for 8-10 minutes, then remove from the oven and leave to cool for at least 5 minutes. Tip the nuts into the food processor with a small pinch of sea salt and blitz. The blitzing takes a while for the nuts to be finely ground and then to turn into nut butter. Stop blitzing occasionally and scrape down the the sides of the processor. When the nut butter is the consistency you personally like – from crunchy through to super smooth – store in a jar.

IMG_8679

 

 

 

Advertisements

Strawberry Jam Crostata

IMG_8227

Quirky Niece No 1 gave me a really easy recipe for Crostata, or Italian jam tart. She acquired the recipe on a recent trip to Italy. She tells a lovely story, below in this post, of her time in Italy with Companion to Quirky Niece.

“So, as part of our spontaneous European holiday, we decided to hire a car and drive around Tuscany for 5 days. After a hairy hour or so battling peak-hour Florence traffic due to a GPS mayhap, we finally found ourselves out in the countryside and at our first airbnb accommodation, a sprawling country house on an agriturismo near Montepulciano. In the warm summer evenings we sat on the balcony, looking out at the glittering lights of the ancient city, and every morning, we ate a sumptuous breakfast prepared by our beautiful hosts, which included fresh cheeses, sliced meats and a wonderful jam tart. We could never finish it, so we took it with us on our adventures, only to find another one freshly baked the next day! On our final day, I asked our friendly host which baker she bought it from. Highly amused, she responded that she was a terrible cook, but this was her special foolproof recipe. In an instant, she quickly set her baby down and wrote up the ingredients on a post-it. And now, it has become my go-to entertaining recipe as well!  I use all kinds of jam, so long as they have delicious chunks of fruit, and I remember our host’s exhortations to prick the base thoroughly with a fork before spooning in the jam.”
 bratkartoffeln58
I made the crostata recently using this recipe. I made a quick strawberry jam for the filling, but any good quality store bought jam would do. In hindsight, my pastry was too thick – I would use a larger baking mold next time, for a more manageable pastry base.
IMG_8232

Ingredients

300g plain flour
½ sachet of baking powder (1 sachet = 11g)
150g sugar
100g butter
1 whole egg
2 egg yolks

Quantity of any good jam for the filling ( I used strawberry here)

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.  Line a tart mold with baking paper or you could simply grease a baking tray if you want a true rustic crostata.

Place the flour, baking powder and sugar in a food processor and pulse till the mixture just comes together.

Make a well  in the centre  and add the butter and egg and egg yolks and mix in gently until combined but not overworked.

Roll out the dough roughly  – remember this is not a precise tart – and line the tart mold. Or gently shape the dough into a round with a pastry rim on the baking tray. And prick the base – something I forgot to do this time!

Fill the tart with the jam and bake for 30-40 minutes until the pastry is golden and the jam bubbling.

IMG_8220IMG_8247

 

Jamie Oliver Smoothie Pancakes with Berries, Banana, Yoghurt and Nuts

IMG_8581

IMG_8574

Super food, super easy and super good! Jamie’s latest book Everyday Super Food is a bit of a revelation, crammed full of beautiful, colourful, easy recipes that are really healthy.

The research, the nutritional information, and the carefully planned and written recipes make this book a must-read and a must-cook. I’m big on flavour, and what I’ve cooked so far is bursting with it …I can’t  wait to cook more!

If you love cooking, love really tasty food, and would like to feel that you are doing your bit to eat healthily, then get Everday Super Food. It’s common sense, not faddish, and do-able!

I made Smoothie Pancakes with Berries, Banana, Yoghurt and Nuts today. I went for blueberries, next time I’ll try raspberries. I didn’t realize till I was making the recipe that there was no sugar – the blueberries are sweet enough – even for the sweet tooth of this quirky writer! The drizzle of honey on the pancakes themselves when serving adds that little extra sweetness which is nice. Here is Jamie’s recipe very slightly tweaked.

Ingredients

320g blueberries or raspberries

1 ripe banana

170ml semi-skimmed milk

1 large free-range egg

250g wholemeal self raising flour

To serve

4 tbs natural yoghurt

Sprinkle of ground cinnamon

30g mixed unsalted nuts, chopped

Drizzle of honey

Method

Blitz half the berries, peeled banana, milk, egg and flour in a food processor or blender to make a smooth pancake batter. Fold in the remaining berries. Place a large non-stick frying pan on a medium high heat. When hot, put some batter into the frying pan to make large pancakes or small ones. I went for smallish. Cook for a couple of minutes on each side, or until crisp and browned. Jamie suggests flipping them for an additional 30 seconds each side to ensure they are super crispy. This seemed to work for me.

You can serve whole, or slice the pancakes in half so you can see the fruit. Serve with a spoonful or two of yoghurt, a sprinkling of cinnamon, some chopped nuts and a drizzle of honey over the whole lot. Delish.

IMG_8606

 

 

Jamie Oliver’s Salmon Tacos with Avocado and a Quick Cucumber Pickle

IMG_8456 (1)

IMG_9348

A quick and easy recipe from Jamie Oliver’s Save with Jamie. It’s a recipe to use up left over roast salmon, but like me, you can easily cook a salmon fillet or two if you don’t happen to have any left over salmon on hand.

The basic flatbread recipe for the tacos is excellent. I make a lot of breads, and this non-yeast ie”flat” bread is the best recipe I’ve found. And it takes a only few minutes to make the dough and a few minutes more to cook the tacos. Easy and quick!

Ingredients

 

Tacos (Flatbread)

250 g plain flour, plus extra for dusting

2 tbs olive oil

150 ml water

 

Quick Pickle

½ a red onion

¼ of a cucumber

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

Avocado Salsa

2 ripe avocados

6 tablespoons fat-free natural yoghurt

2 limes

30 g fresh mint

Cooked Salmon

375 g leftover cooked salmon

Optional: salmon skin

Method

Put the flour and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the olive oil and water. Mix with a fork, and when the mixture comes together, lightly knead on a floured board until the dough is smooth. Divide into 12 portions for small (15cm diameter) tacos, or 6 for larger ones. I went for the bigger as they were easier to fill. Cover with a damp tea towel until you are ready to cook. The tacos are best left to be cooked last so they stay soft and warm.

Peel the onion and slice very finely. Cut the cucumber into matchsticks – but not too thin. Put both into a bowl with a grind of sea salt and mix. Leave till the last minute to develop a “pickly” flavour.

Chop the avocados in half, peel and scoop out the flesh, chop roughly and put into a bowl with the yoghurt and the juice of 1 lime. Add half the mint, chopped. Mash all of this together, or pulse a few times in the food processor. You want the texture to be still a bit chunky.

At this stage, you will need to cook the salmon if you’re not using left overs.  I cooked a salmon fillet over a medium heat in a frying pan in a little olive oil. Skin side down for 4 minutes, skin side up for  2 minutes, or until you can see that the fillet is cooked through on the sides. Remove from the pan, and if you want crispy skin on your tacos, remove the skin and crisp up on both sides in the frying pan for a minute or two.

For the flatbread tacos, roll out a dough ball on a floured board, dusting with more flour if it’s sticking. Roll out to a 15cm circle for small tacos or 30cm for larger tacos. Heat a frying pan over medium heat (it should be quite hot) and cook the taco for about a minute on each side or until the taco has a few specks of charring. Don’t overcook – you want the taco to be soft and pliable. Repeat with the other dough balls, stacking them in foil as you go so they stay warm.

Squeeze the excess liquid from the pickle and put into a little bowl. Put the avocado salsa in a bowl too, and put the salmon and its crispy skin if using, on a plate.

Put these onto a board or serving platter. Pile up the tacos. Put the extra lime, mint and optional crispy skin onto the board or serving platter and you are ready for “build  your own tacos”.

IMG_8470

 

%d bloggers like this: