Gratin Dauphinois

Gratin Dauphinois

Cheese or no cheese?!? That’s the question!
Cheese for me of course and you …well it’s for you to decide.

Gratin Dauphinois

serves 3-4

Ingredients
½ kg potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
½ tsp butter
2 tsp plain flour
3-4 tbsp cheddar cheese, grated
100 ml double cream
100 ml milk
fresh chives, few springs, chopped
salt
pepper

Boil potatoes in hot water for 5 minutes and then drain and cool for few minutes.
Layer the slices of potatoes in a buttered dish, sprinkling each layer with chives, salt and pepper.
Gently beat milk and double cream with the flour until smooth and pour over the potatoes. Sprinkle cheese over the top and bake at 200ºC for 30-40 minutes till brown at the top. When ready sprinkle more chives and serve hot!

Voila! Enjoy!

Fried Eggs With Samphire

Fried Egg With Samphire

Weekend is approaching so why not to treat yourself to a nice breakfast. Fried eggs with a little twist. Samphire! ! ! Quite new to me! Somehow exotic! Trust me …simply delicious!
And all nicely done in 5-10 minutes! How does it sounds?

Fried Eggs With Samphire
serves 2

Ingredients:
2-3 eggs
60-80 g samphire
700 ml water
1tbsp butter, unsalted
black pepper
2-3 pieces of toast bread

In a medium size cooking pan boil water. Do not put any salt as samphire is really salty. Boil for 3-4 minutes.
Meanwhile melt butter in a frying pan and fry eggs to your liking. Sprinkle with black pepper.
Toast bread in a toaster.
Drain samphire and place on bread, followed by a fried egg.

Bon appetit.

Asparagus with butter

Asparagus with butter

Mmmm asparagus. Scrumptious! Wonderfully luxurious! And simple steaming brings out the unbeatable flavour. Add small knob of butter and voila all ready to serve! It’s so simple!

 

Asparagus with butter

Ingredients:
1 bunch fresh asparagus
2-3 tsp butter, melted
salt to season

Wash asparagus and trim off bottom of stems by about 2-3 cm. Melt the butter in a small bowl in the microwave and set aside.
Prepare your steamer and when it’s ready place asparagus in the middle. Steam for 5 to 7 minutes depending on the thickness of the asparagus or until asparagus is tender.
Serve immediately on warm dish and pour butter over the tops.

Bon appetit!

French Madeleines

French Madeleines

It is French Open season so why not to try this French yummies!?!
Well I am off. Show time …semis are going to be exciting: Nadal to face Djokovic …can’t wait! Vamos Rafa!

French Madeleines

Ingredients:
150g self-rising flour
130g caster sugar
150g butter, melted and cooled
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
icing sugar for sprinkling

Pre-heat oven to 220°C (fan).
Lightly grease and dust with flour a madeleine tray.
In a large bowl beat eggs and sugar until pale and fluffy. Then add flour, baking powder and gently whisk. Slowly add the melted butter and beat away until the mixture is smooth.
Put a generous spoonful of the mixture in each mould so that it is just about a level with the tops.
Bake in the center of the oven for about 10 minutes but be aware that they can go from not cooked to burned in a very short time. They should be well risen and brown round the edges.

Cool on a wire rack. Re-grease and flour the tins and repeat until all the mixture has been used up.
Sprinkle icing sugar on a top and serve.

Bon appetit.

Figs With Honey

Figs with honey

Figs with honey are my fave ‘quick fix’. They look and taste delicious. Perfect dessert.

Figs with Honey

Ingredients:

3-4 fresh figs
3-4 tbsp honey
1 tsp butter, unsalted
ground nutmeg , for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Using a small knife make a 1 cm cross into one side of each fruit. Gently open each fig, spoon the honey into each fruit, sprinkle with nutmeg and place in a greased, shallow baking dish or roasting tin. Roast for 12-15 minutes.

Serve hot with mascarpone or crème fraiche.

Bon appetit.

Raspberry, White Chocolate & Macadamia Nuts Muffins

Raspberry, White Chocolate & Macadamia Nuts Muffins

Happy Birthday To Me!!!

Raspberry, White Chocolate & Macadamia Nuts Muffins

Makes: 10-14 (depending on a case sizes)
Ingredients:

300 g self-raising flour
150 g caster sugar
70 g butter, melted
200 ml buttermilk
1 egg, lightly whisked
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
80 g macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped
80-100 g fresh raspberries, halved
100 g white chocolate, coarsely chopped
muffins cases and muffin tin

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Place paper cases in muffin tin. I always double line with paper cases.

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, white chocolate and macadamia nuts. In separate bowl place buttermilk, egg, vanilla essence and gently whisk with a handheld electric whisk. Then slowly pour into the flour mixture and beat on slow speed. Add melted butter and beat until incorporated. Stir in gently all raspberries and spoon the mixture into the paper cases until two-thirds full. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.
Cool muffins on a wire rack.

Enjoy.

Pea & Camembert Soup

Peas Soup

Pea & Camembert Soup
serves 2-3

Ingredients:

200 g frozen peas
60 g camembert cheese, roughly chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
500 ml vegetable stock
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp dried mint
1 tsp dried tarragon
pinch cayenne pepper
optional for serving: soured cream

Heat the butter in a medium size saucepan, add the onion and cook gently, stirring, for 5 minutes.
Add peas, herbs, cayenne papper and pour in the vegetable stock. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring from time to time.

Add camembert cheese and stir until it has completely melted.
Then puree the soup in a food processor or blender.

Pour into soup bowls and garnish with soured cream.
Serve at once with fresh bread rolls, baguette or focaccia bread.

Bon appetit.

Maple syrup and Pecan Muffins

Maple syrup and Pecan Muffins

Maple syrup and Pecan Muffins

Ingredients:

350 g plain flour
150 g caster sugar
70 g butter, melted
350 ml milk
100 – 120 ml maple syrup
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 baking soda
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla essence
200 g pecan nuts, chopped and 12-14 halves to decorate
muffins cases and muffin tin

Preheat the oven to 170 C. Place paper cases in muffin tin. I always double line with paper cases.

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda. In separate bowl place milk, egg and vanilla essence and gently whisk with a handheld electric whisk. Then slowly pour into the flour mixture and beat on slow speed. Add melted butter and beat until incorporated. Stir in all the chopped pecans and 3/4 maple syrup, reserving some for drizzling over the top of the muffins.
Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until two-thirds full. Place a pecan half in the centre of each muffin and drizzle remaining maple syrup over the top. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.
Cool muffins on a wire rack.
Enjoy.

Pancakes with whipped cream and cherries

Pancakes with whipped cream and cherries

Pancakes with whipped cream and cherries.

Ingredients:
For the batter:
180 g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
300 ml milk
1 egg
1 tbsp butter, melted
salt, pinch
oil

For the cherry topping:
150-200 g cherries, pitted, juice reserved
4 tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp cornflour

For the whipped cream:
150-200 ml double cream
2-3 tbsp caster sugar

In a small mixing bowl beat the egg with the milk.
Sieve the flour into a separate, large mixing bowl and add the baking powder and salt.
Make a well in the centre and gently pour egg and milk mixture and beat well until smooth (use a hand mixer). Beat in the melted butter. Then let the batter set for a 2-3 minutes. If too thick add 2-3 tbsp of milk.

Lightly grease a large frying pan with oil and heat over a medium heat.
Drop a large tablespoonful of the batter into the pan to make pancakes about 9 cm across. Make two at a time. Cook the pancakes for 2-3 minutes until small bubbles appear on the surface of each pancake. Then turn over with a palette knife or wooden spatula and cook for another 2-3 minutes until golden.
Place on a plate or serving dish and keep in a pre-heated oven while you make the remaining pancakes.

Topping:

To make the cherry topping: put the sugar in a saucepan with the cherry juice and bring to the boil. Dilute the cornflour in a little water and stir into the sauce. Simmer for a 2 minutes, remove from the heat and leave to cool for a while. If required add a bit of water.  Then add the cherries.

To make a whipped cream: in a large mixing bowl place double cream and sugar and whip till thick.

Place 1 tbsp of whipped cream on a warm, but not hot pancake, arrange cherries and spoon a bit of sauce over.

Bon appetit.

Pancakes with whipped cream, strawberries and blueberries

Pancakes with whipped cream, strawberries and blueberries

Happy Pancake Day All!

Pancakes with whipped cream, strawberries and blueberries.

Ingredients:
For the batter:
180 g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
300 ml milk
1 egg
1 tbsp butter, melted
salt, pinch
oil

For topping:
150-200 ml double cream
2-3 tbsp caster sugar
100 g blueberries
100 g strawberries, cut into wedges

In a small mixing bowl beat the egg with the milk.
Sieve the flour into a separate, large mixing bowl and add the baking powder and salt.
Make a well in the centre and gently pour egg and milk mixture and beat well until smooth (use a hand mixer). Beat in the melted butter. Then let the batter set for a 2-3 minutes. If too thick add 2-3 tbsp of milk.

Lightly grease a large frying pan with oil and heat over a medium heat.
Drop a large tablespoonful of the batter into the pan to make pancakes about 9 cm across. Make two at a time. Cook the pancakes for 2-3 minutes until small bubbles appear on the surface of each pancake. Then turn over with a palette knife or wooden spatula and cook for another 2-3 minutes until golden.
Place on a plate or serving dish and keep in a pre-heated oven while you make the remaining pancakes.

Topping:
In a large mixing bowl place double cream and sugar and whip till thick.

Place 1 tbsp of whipped cream on a warm, but not hot pancake, arrange fruit and voila all ready!
Bon appetit.