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!

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Butternut Squash Chips

Chips 700

Craving chips? Well here is my healthy alternative that actually taste good and is simply dietriffic! Give it a go.  I guarantee that you will love it!

Butternut Squash Chips

Ingredients:
medium size butternut squash, peeled, de-seeded and cut into stripes
3-4 tbsp oil
salt
black pepper

Preheat oven to 200°C.

Peel butternut squash, cut in half and scoop all the seeds out.
Using a sharp knife cut butternut squash again in half (width wise) and then cut into wedges or matchsticks so that they resemble french fries shape. More or less chunky. You choose!

Place on a roasting tin and drizzle generously with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Cook for 20-30 minutes, turning a few times through baking process to avoid burning.
Chips are done when they are starting to brown on the edges and get crispy.

Serve hot. Sprinkle generously with salt.

Healthy 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!

Rosemary wedges

Rosemary wedges 700

Crusty and delicious. And what’s more they are extremely easy to make! Great with tomato ketchup and mayo!

Ingredients:
500-600 g potatoes, cut into wedges
6-8 fresh rosemary springs
3 tbsp oil
black pepper
sea salt

Preheat oven to 190°C.
Cut potatoes into wedges; no need to peel them.
Place in a roasting tin, pour 3 tbsp of oil over and scatter rosemary. Season well with salt and pepper and bake for 35 minutes, or until crisp on the outside and lovely and fluffy on the inside.

Voila! All ready to serve.
Enjoy.

Focaccia bread with spinach & romano peppers

Focaccia bread with spinach & romano peppers w

Well. I was told that it might be tricky and I might not succeed the first time so I had my hesitations ( it took me three days to find a strength and make it …three looooong days)  but actually it turned out beautifully. Had no problems whatsoever. Fare un tentativo and enjoy!

Focaccia bread with spinach & romano peppers

Ingredients:

500 g strong white bread flour
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp salt
2X7g sachets dried yeast
400 ml cold water
1 tsp dried oregano
2-3 handfulls spinach, rafly chopped
red romano peppers, cut into strips
extra olive oil for drizzling
1 tsp coarse sea salt

Put the flour into large mixing bowl. Add yeast, salt, olive oil, oregano and half of the water. Mix gently with a wooden spoon. Then with your hands, knead the dough in the bowl for 5 minutes, gradually adding the remaining water. Knead the dough until smooth and elastic for another 5 minutes and then place in a lightly oiled large bowl and cover with cling film. Leave to rise in a warm place for about 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size.

Then turn out the dough on to a lightly oiled work surface. Put few drops of olive oil also on your hands. Divide dough into two portions. Add spinach to one portion and knead the dough for 5 minutes. Then place on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Flatten to around 5cm thick oval or whatever shape you prefer.
Repeat the same with second part of the dough. And again leave in a warm place for 1 hour to rise.

Preheat the oven to 190°C (170°C fan).
Scatter and gently press in romano peppers, coarse sea salt and drizzle olive oil. Bake one of the doughs for 20-25 minutes in a middle of the oven. When cooked, drizzle with a little more olive oil. Then cook another one.

Best served warm. Bon appetit.

Gnocchi and Mozzarella Bake

Gnocchi and Mozzarella Bake

Gnocchi and Mozzarella Bake

Ingredients:

500 g ready-made gnocchi
150 g mozzarella, drained and roughly chopped
2 medium red onions, cut into wedges
400 g tin tomatoes, chopped
3-4 handfuls spinach
8-10 fresh basil leaves, roughly torn
parmesan cheese, grated
2-3 tsp sugar
3 tbsp oil
salt
pepper
optional: 4  rashers of bacon or parma ham

Serves 2-3

Preheat the grill.
In a large frying pan, heat the oil and fry onions (and bacon if you are going for meat version),  for 5 minutes and then transfer all to the plate.  In same frying pan pour chopped tomatoes, add spinach, half of the basil, salt, sugar, pepper and simmer for few minutes. Then transfer tomato sauce into ovenproof dish or baking tray.

In large pan, cook the gnocchi according to the packet instructions. Drain the gnocchi, add to the tomato sauce, scatter onions (and bacon), basil and dot over the mozzarella.

Grill for 6-8 minutes until golden and then sprinkle a little grated parmesan to serve.

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.

Ratatouille with Chorizo

Ratatouille with Chorizo

Delicious ratatouille with Unearthed Chorizo. Easy and heart-warming dish for winter days.

Ratatouille with Chorizo

Ingredients:
2 large courgettes, sliced
1 green pepper, cut into stripes
1 red pepper, cut into stripes
2 small white onions, cut into wedges
2 small red onions, cut into wedges
400-500 g tin chopped tomatoes
200 g Unearthed Chorizo de Leon stick, or other good quality chorizo, cut into bitesize chunks
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp ground paprika,
2-3 tsp sugar
salt, pepper
5 tbsp of oil

Cut peppers into stripes then slice onions and courgettes. Cut chorizo into bitesize chunks. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Add the onions and peppers and cook slowly for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until soft. Add courgettes, garlic, chorizo and tomatoes. Season with salt, sugar, pepper and ground paprika. Cook for further 15 minutes until the courgettes are tender. Serve with fresh garlic focaccia bread or bread rolls.

It’s a truly fabulous dish with a pinch of heat and unearthed smoky flavour of chorizo. 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.