I’ve been on leave since last week, so most of my time has been spent “starfishing” on the couch watching bbc lifestyle (when the christmas foodie specials are on…Jamie, Gordon and Nigella), christmas shopping and glorious afternoon naps to recover from the shopping. It’s almost like my my brain has switched off and a little “reciped” out for this year! Looking forward to the upcoming christmas festivities and our 2 weeks away! Hopefully I’ll get my mojo back from all the inspiration around me!
Lately, my cooking has been very simple and minimal, but I do have 3 winners to share with you, they are not “christmassy”, but more, holiday food.
The first dish was inspired by Nigella(from all the telly watching, you see). My healthier version of Stuffed potato skins.
You will need: serves 4
4 large floury potatoes
Coarse sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
2 spring onions, sliced
1 tub fat free smooth cottage cheese or sour cream(Nigella way)
1/2 cup grated mature cheddar
extra grated cheese to sprinkle
Place a handful of salt onto a baking tray(this helps crisp up the skin), prick holes into the washed and dried potatoes and place them on top of the salt. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Roast the potatoes in a 200 degrees preheated oven for 1 1/2 hours or until the skin is crispy and the inside in tender.
Cut them in half and scoop the flesh out of the skins and into a mixing bowl. Place the skins back onto the baking tray. Add the remaining ingredients to the flesh and mix until well combined. Season well. Spoon mixture into the skins and sprinkle with cheese.
Pop back into the oven the heat through and to crisp up the topping, +- 15- 20 minutes.
Serve with roast chicken and a light salad.
You can assemble these in advance and just pop in the oven when ready to serve!
Try adding tuna, bacon or ham to the mixture – to make up a complete meal.
Top with crispy bacon bits(Nigella).
Smoked Chicken and forelle pear salad
This fresh and vibrant salad hits all the right notes! Try it x
You will need: serves 2
1 smoked chicken breast, thinly sliced
1 firm forelle pear or any other pear of your choice, thinly sliced
1 spring onion, thinly sliced lengthways
100 g salad greens
125 ml smooth cottage cheese
zest of 1 lemon
freshly ground pepper and salt
Arrange the chicken, pear, spring onion and greens onto a plate/platter.
Place dollops of cottage cheese onto the salad.
Drizzle lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with zest, salt and pepper.
Delish with baked potato or crusty bread.
Bacon, spinach and feta quiche
Homemade pastry, no blind baking and major crowd pleaser!
You will need: makes 1 large quiche
250 ml cake flour
3 ml baking powder
pinch of salt
50 g cold butter
1 egg yolk
+- 45 ml cold water
250 g shoulder bacon, chopped
1 onion, chopped
300 g spinach(swiss chard), trimmed and chopped or use baby spinach
15 ml cake flour
100 – 150 g feta cheese, cubed
2 large eggs
125 ml cream or milk or smooth cottage cheese
100 ml milk
salt and pepper
250 ml grated cheddar cheese
Sieve the dry ingredients together into a bowl.
Grate the butter into the bowl and rub into the flour to form a fine texture.
Combine the egg and water and slowly add to the mixture using a knife to combine/cut in. It should from a ball of dough. Flatten slightly, wrap with clingfilm and refrigerate for 20 minutes(this gives you time the prep the filling).
In a non stick pan, saute the bacon until cooked then remove and set aside. In the same pan, fry the onions until golden, then add the spinach and continue frying until it wilts. Remove from the heat and stir in the flour to absorb the excess liquid from the spinach. Add the feta and set aside.
Combine the egg custard ingredients together and season well.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees
Roll the pastry out and place into a greased quiche pan. Sprinkle the base with half of the cheese, followed by the filling. Pour the egg custard over the filling and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
Bake for +- 25 – 35 minutes depending on how deep your dish is.
Eat this dish as is, it’s a meal on it’s own!
Best served at room temperature.
I suspect that this will be my last post for this year, so I had to make it worthwhile! I wish you all a blessed christmas, happy holidays and a splendid new year!
See you in 2011 – Looking forward to sharing many more recipes next year!