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Tag Archives: leek

Easter Friday Lunch

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On Good Friday 2014 we enjoyed the warm Sydney autumn weather with a fish lunch out in the garden. It was a chance to revisit some recipes  – with varying degrees of success!

Hot smoking salmon is really easy and I have now almost perfected the technique. Coconut rice is great with fish, and I added in Bill Granger’s  Asparagus, Pea and Feta Salad, minus the broad beans, of which I’m not overly fond.

Dessert was another attempt at cooking soufflés, this time a mixed berry soufflé. They looked cooked – but unfortunately erupted in a meringue Vesuvius when a spoon was plunged into the centre!

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So it’s back to the drawing board as far as soufflés go…

Hot Smoked Salmon with Coconut Rice:  https://thequirkandthecool.com/2014/03/26/hot-smoked-chili-salmon/

Asparagus, Pea and Feta Salad

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Ingredients
1 tbsp olive oil
1 leek, roughly chopped
250 g asparagus, halved lengthways and widthways
A handful of fresh or frozen peas
75 ml vegetable stock
100 g feta cheese, crumbled
A few mint leaves, torn
½ lemon, zested

Method

Heat the oil in a pan over a medium heat. Add the leek and asparagus, season with sea salt and cook for 5 minutes to soften.
Add the broad beans and peas, pour in the stock and simmer for 2-3 minutes until the vegetables are just tender and the stock has reduced. Serve topped with the feta, mint and lemon zest.

Berry Soufflé:  https://thequirkandthecool.com/2014/04/05/passionfruit-souffle/

I substituted a cooked berry, almost jam like mixture for the passionfruit.IMG_0670

Berry Mixture

Put 150 g mixed berries and 3  tbsp caster sugar in a saucepan and cook  gently until liquid is reduced and the fruit is of a jam-like consistency.

The prescribed 8 minute cooking time gave me soufflés that were cooked on top and runny in the middle. So longer cooking at a slightly lower temperature??

 

 

 

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Leek and Free Range Bacon Quiche

IMG_5806A leek and bacon quiche is more interesting than straight quiche Lorraine, the leeks adding a subtle depth of flavour.

I also made a little vegetarian quiche with just leeks and onion as well – just follow the recipe below omitting the bacon. You will need to fry the leeks and onions in butter, adding this at the start of cooking.

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The short crust pastry recipe for the pastry base is Maggie Beer’s full proof sour cream pastry – very easy to make, easy to roll out and tastes delicious.

Maggie Beer’s Sour Cream Pastry
Ingredients
200g chilled unsalted butter
250g plain flour
135g sour cream

Method
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C, 170 degrees C fan forced.
To make the sour cream pastry, pulse butter and flour in a food processor until it looks like coarse breadcrumbs. Add the sour cream and continue to pulse until the dough starts to incorporate into a ball. Using your hands, shape pastry into a ball. Wrap in plastic film and refrigerate for 10 minutes.
 Roll the pastry out to 3mm thick and place in a well greased fluted quiche tin.
Rest for 15 minutes in refrigerator. This helps reduce shrinkage when cooking. Remove from the fridge, place some pie weights on baking paper inside the tart, and bake blind in the pre-heated oven for 10-15 minutes. Remove the pie weights and baking paper.
Decrease oven temperature to 170 degrees C, 160 degrees C fan forced.

Filling
Ingredients
6 rashers of free range bacon
I large onion finely chopped
1 extra large leek or 2 medium leeks, finely chopped
A knob of butter
Salt, pepper
4 free range eggs
1/2 cup cream
3/4 cup milk
Salt, pepper and freshly grated nutmeg
Handful of grated cheddar

Method
Heat a large non-stick frying pan. Add finely chopped bacon rashers over medium heat, and fry till bacon fat is translucent. Add finely chopped onion, and cook for a couple of minutes.
Add finely chopped leek and the knob of butter.
Stir gently, cover and cook on very low heat until onions and leeks are soft. (About 10 minutes).
Meanwhile, in a bowl or large jug (the latter is very useful as you can pour the custard into the quiche tin easily), beat the eggs, cream and milk together until thoroughly combined. Add salt, pepper, fresh nutmeg and cheddar.
Spoon the leek, onion and bacon mixture into the tart.
Carefully pour the custard mixture into the tin. (I find it easiest to place the tin in the oven first before pouring).
Bake until the custard is just set but still wobbly – about 30-40 mintues depending on your oven.
Carefully remove and leave to cool slightly before serving, or alternatively leave to cool before freezing.

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Winter Pies: Beef and red wine pasties + Ham, leek and mushroom baby pies

 

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Beef and Red Wine Pasties

Ingredients
For the beef and red wine stew:
1 tbl olive oil
1 tbl plain flour
300 gms shin beef cut into small pieces
4 eschallots, chopped
1 carrot finely chopped
1 tin whole peeled tomatoes
1 glass red wine
1 tsp vegemite dissolved in 1/2 cup boiling water
Sea salt, black pepper and a big pinch of sugar to season

For the rough puff pastry:
2 cups all-purpose flour
A pinch of sea salt
2/3 cup chilled unsalted butter, cut into small cubes

To finish:
1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 teaspoon milk, for glazing

Method
Beef Stew
Pre-heat oven to 160 degrees C.

Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed casserole on the stove top. Dust the beef pieces in the flour by placing both in a zip lock bag and shake.

Fry the beef in small quantities to avoid “stewing” the meat, until brown on all sides. Remove the beef to a plate, add a little more oil to the pan if necessary, and fry the eschallots and carrot.

Return the  meat to the casserole. Add the tomatoes, roughly chopping as you mix in to the casserole. Add the red wine and vegemite and water.
Season to taste.

Cook on a medium heat with lid off for 5 minutes, then transfer the casserole, with lid on, to the pre-heated oven. Cook for about 1. 5 hours or until beef is very tender.

Remove from oven, leave to cool before filling pasties. The stew can be refrigerated or frozen until you are ready to use.

Rough Puff Pastry (This recipe is Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall’s from River Cottage Everyday – and I think it is much better than the recipe I described in my Custard Slice post).
Mix the flour with the salt, then add the cubed butter and toss until the pieces are coated with flour. Stir in just enough ice water (8 to 10 tablespoons) to bring the mixture together into a fairly firm dough.

Shape the dough into a rectangle with your hands and, on a well-floured surface, roll it out in one direction, away from you, so you end up with a rectangle about 3/8 inch thick. Fold the far third towards you, then fold the nearest third over that (rather like folding a business letter), so that you now have a rectangle made up of 3 equal layers. Give the pastry a quarter-turn, then repeat the rolling, folding, and turning process 5 more times. Wrap the pastry in plastic wrap and rest it in the fridge for about 30 minutes, or up to an hour.

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C.

Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured work surface to about 3mm thick. Using a plate or a cake tin as a template, cut out four 20cm circles; you may have to gather up the trimmings and re-roll them to get your fourth circle.

Spoon the stew on to one half of each circle. Brush the pastry edges with water, fold the other half of the pastry over the filling to form a half-moon shape and crimp well to seal.

Place the pasties on a lightly oiled baking sheet and brush the tops with beaten egg. Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 20-25 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown. Eat pasties warm or cold.

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Ham, Leek and Mushroom Baby Pies

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Ingredients
Pastry
3 sheets ready rolled butter puff pastry *
1 egg +1 tbs water mixed together for an egg wash

White Sauce
1 tbl butter
1 tbl plain flour
1/2 – 3/4 cup milk
Handful of grated cheddar cheese
Sea salt to season

Filling
A knob of butter
1 medium size leek, sliced thinly
Sea salt
6 button mushrooms sliced thinly
150 gms free range leg ham

Method
Pre-heat the oven to 190 degrees C.

Cut circles from 2 of the puff pastry sheets with a cutter or plate as guide, big enough to line the holes in a regular muffin tin. Grease the holes, and gently ease the pastry circles into the holes. These pies are rustic, so a perfect fit isn’t important. Brush each pastry circle with the egg wash.

Bake in the oven for 10 minutes or until the pastry is lightly brown and puffed. Remove from the oven to cool.

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While the pastry is cooling, make the white sauce. Melt the butter in heavy bottomed saucepan. Add the flour, stirring carefully with a wooden spoon to make sure there are no lumps. Cook the flour out for a minute or so. Add the milk, and cook gently, stirring all the time, until the sauce thickens. Add the cheese and salt to taste, stirring until cheese is well incorporated.

For the filling, heat the butter in frying pan, sweat the leeks with a little sea salt until softened. Add the mushrooms and cook until mushrooms are just softened also. Roughly chop the ham. Combine the filings ingredients in a bowl with the white sauce.  You may not need all the white sauce – remember you don’t want the pie filling too sloppy.

Fill the pastry cases with a generous amount of the filling. Cut out circles from the remaining puff pastry sheet, big enough to cover each pie. Brush the lids with more egg wash.

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Return the pies to the oven for another 10 minutes or until the pastry lids are lightly brown and puffed.

Serve warm or cold – delicious either way!

* NOTE You can re-roll any left over scraps of pastry both for the pastry cases and lids. And if you really find you don’t have quite enough pastry, then just use another sheet.

 

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