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Showing posts from September, 2013

Italian Style Fish & Chips

Fish & Chips, one of the greatest British culinary institutions! Although I love this satisfactory naughty treat once in a while, it's not one that we should indulge in very often due to its super high fat content. Here is my tasty and healthier Italian twist on this famous dish.

(Serves Two)
2 Large Potatoes, peeled and roughly cut into chips1 Shallot, finely chopped300g Chopped Tin Tomatoes12 Green Olives in Chili, pitted2 Sea Bass Fillets, lightly scored on the skinSalt & PepperExtra Virgin Olive Oil
Preheat Oven to 200C

Pat dry your cut potato chips with a sheet of kitchen towel then put them onto a baking tray, drizzle 1tbsp of olive oil and toss the chips with your hands making sure each one is evenly coated. Roast for 25-30mins stirring once, until golden and crispy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside.

Heat 1tbsp of oil in a pan, cook onion for 1min until soft. Add the tomatoes, bring to a gentle boil then simmer for 10mins until thick, stir…

Sausages with Tenderstem Broccoli & Porcini Mushrooms

This recipe is inspired by the traditional Salsiccia Con Cima Di Rapa, a typical dish found in Southern Italy and one of my husband's favourites. Broccoli Rabe isn't the easiest of ingredients to find here in the UK so I use Tenderstem Broccoli that's ready available in many supermarkets and just as tasty.

(Serves Four)
Handful of Dried Porcini Mushrooms400g Tenderstem Broccoli x1 Shallot, choppedx12 Good Quality Sausages1/2 Glass White Wine (Optional) 1/2 Stir Fry Chilli, deseeded and finely choppedExtra Virgin Olive Oil  Rinse the porcini mushrooms then soak in hot water, set aside.

Add the tenderstem broccoli to a saucepan of salted boiling water and cook for 5-7mins.

Meanwhile, heat a frying pan, add a drizzle of olive oil followed by the chopped shallot and cook until soft. Brown the sausages for 3mins on each side then add the white wine and stir until evaporated.

Add the chilli, 4tbsp of the porcini mushroom water followed by the drained porcini mushroo…

Stuffed Courgettes with Cous Cous & Feta

Similar to the Aubergine Boats recipe featured last week there are so many fillings one can opt for when stuffing a vegetable :) I chose to go with a mixture of  North African and Mediterranean ingredients.

(Serves Two)

2 Large Courgettes1 Small Shallot, chopped60g Cherry tomatoes70g Cous Cous100ml Boiling Water1/2 Vegetable Stock Cube 1 tbsp Shredded Aubergine in Olive Oil (from an Italian delicatessen) 50g Feta CheeseExtra Virgin Olive Oil Pre-heat oven to 180C.

Halve the courgettes lengthways and scoop out the middle leaving a 1cm border. Dice the flesh into small pieces, set aside.

Place the courgette casings onto a greaseproof baking tray, and brush with a little olive oil. Bake for 10mins.

CHEATS WAY: Add the stock cube to the boiling water and stir until melted. In a bowl unite the cous cous with the liquid stock and stir, cover with clingfilm, set aside.

Heat approximately 1 tbsp. of olive oil in a pan then add the shallot for 1min. Stir in the diced  courgette a…

Strawberry & Forest Fruits Tart with Crema Pasticcera

On Sunday evening my "baby sis" returned from a month Au Pairing in France, so to mark her return home I decided to make a mouthwatering delicious Strawberry & Forest Fruits Tart with an Italian touch of my favourite Crema Pasticcera filling... no leftovers here!

(Serves Eight to Ten)

 180g Plain Flour100g Cold Butter, diced1 tbsp Icing Sugar1 egg yolk1 tbsp Cold Water Crema Pasticcera (Italian Custard Cream)
500ml Whole Milk80g Plain Flour150g Caster Sugar1 Vanilla Pod 4 Egg Yolks Zest of 1 lemon, cut in large pieces with a knifeTopping
Strawberries BlackberriesBlueberriesRaspberries Red Currents 1 tbsp of Marmalade/Jam of your choice1 tsp boiling water To make the Pastry put the flour, butter, icing sugar, egg yolk and water into a food processor and pulse until the mixture starts to bind - do not overwork the pastry!

Put the pastry onto a lightly floured surface, gather until smooth then roll out and line a  23cm x 2.5cm loose-bottom flan tin. Neaten t…

Mini Beef & Mushroom Pie

If staying in on a Saturday night I always like to go for a comforting dish and now that the weather is getting slightly chillier both my husband and I fancied a proper English style pie while watching X-Factor.

(Serves Two)
Handful of Dried Porcini Mushroomsx2 Small Beef Fillets1 tbsp Butter x2 Shallots, chopped1/2 Garlic clove, chopped  x2 packs of Chestnut Mushrooms, finely chopped50ml Sherry/White Wine (Optional)  Thyme1 pack of Jus Roll Puff Ready Rolled PastryParsley1 Egg, beatenSalt & PepperExtra Virgin Olive Oil Preheat Oven to 180C.

Soak the porcini mushrooms in hot water, set aside.

Heat a pan until piping hot, add a drizle of olive oil, season the meat with salt and pepper and sear on each side for about a 1min on each side, set aside on a plate. 

Add the butter to the pan followed by the shallots and garlic, cook until soft. Add the fresh mushrooms and cook for about 5mins stirring regularly. Drain the porcini mushrooms, roughly chop then add to the pan wit…

Aubergine Boats

After a busy London Fashion Week the craving for simple, fresh and home cooked food was greatly needed. I love this recipe and there are so many ways to adapt it from adding mushrooms and peppers to even a little minced beef, but I enjoy it just like this...

(Serves Two as a Main / Four as a Starter)

2 Large Aubergines1 Garlic Clove, crushed400g Chopped Tomatoes40g Black Olives, pitted2 tbsp. Capers1 Buffalo Mozzarella (125g), slicedExtra Virgin Olive Oil Pre-heat oven to 180C.

Halve the aubergines lengthways and scoop out the middle leaving a 1cm border. Dice the flesh into small cubes, set aside.

Place the aubergine boats onto a greaseproof baking tray, and brush with a little olive oil. Bake for 20mins.

Heat approximately 2 tbsp. of olive oil in a pan then add the garlic for 1min. Stir in the diced aubergine and fry for 10mins followed by the chopped tomatoes, black olives and capers. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15mins.

Divide the filling equally between the aubergi…

Slow Roast Leg of Lamb & Red Wine Gravy

I love this recipe, especially when accompanied by a beautiful glass of southern Italian full-bodied red wine like the Primitivo or Aglianico... my idea of Sunday lunch heaven!

(Serves Two)
1/2 leg of lamb (approx 800g)Ground black pepper1 onion, chopped2 garlic cloves, whole2 anchovy fillets2 sprigs rosemary2 bay leaves200ml vegetable stock180ml red wine50ml boiling water2 tbsp flour Preheat oven to 160C

Pat the olive oil onto the lamb then season with a generous helping of black pepper. Brown the lamb in a roasting tray on the hob.

When the lamb is sealed all over add the onion, garlic, anchovies, rosemary and bay leaves into the tray followed by the wine and vegetable stock, bring to a simmer.

Remove from the hob, carefully cover with foil and place in the oven for two hours turning the lamb at halftime.

Remove the lamb to a serving dish and cover with foil, leave to rest.

To make the gravy, place the roasting tray back on the hob, add the boiling water to loosen the le…

Lemon & Citrus Liqueur Cake

TIME TO CELEBRATE! This weekend it was mum's birthday; when it comes to cake she prefers the light and fluffy kind as opposed to the rich and decedent and was not disappointed!

(Serves Eight - Twelve)

200g unsalted butter200g caster sugarPinch of saltGrated zest of 2 lemons (un-waxed)4 eggs 200g self-raising flour Liqueur Syrup
100ml lemon juiced (freshly squeezed)75g caster sugar50ml " My Zia Maria's (Auntie)" citrus liqueur / limoncello Lemon Buttercream
100g unsalted butter100g icing sugarpinch of salt60g lemon curd
Preheat oven to 160C.

Grease two round cake tins (23-25cm diameter) and line with greaseproof paper, do this also round the side of the tin, this helps to avoid the crispy edges from forming.

Cream together the butter, sugar, salt and lemon zest in a mixing bowl until pale and fluffy.

In a separate bowl beat the eggs and slowly add to the butter mixture while whisking.

Sift in the flour slowly while stirring into the batter mixture unti…

Chocolate-Marshmallow Pots

If you are strapped for time this is a super fast and easy recipe to prepare for a dinner party. Not overly indulgent and just the right portion size for a chocoholic like myself in need of a fix!

(Serves 5)

50g Butter
50ml boiling water
250g Dark Chocolate
170g Mini Marshmallows (20g for decoration)
284ml Double Cream
2 Vanilla Pods

Prepare a bain-marie (water bath), ensure a deep medium sized bowl is used.

Once the bain-marie is well heated and the water below is simmering, slowly add the following items and constantly stir until melted at each stage: butter, water, alternate between chocolate and marshmallows. Remove from the heat.

Split the vanilla pods and remove the seeds, add to the seeds to the cream and whip until soft peaks.

Fold the cream evenly into the chocolate mixture.

Pour into 5 small wine glasses and chill for at least 2hrs.

Decorate with remaining marshmallows upon serving.

Tried It? Liked It? Tweaked It? Let me know!

Patz x

Turkey Meatballs

Rather than choosing lamb or beef, to help lower my intake of red meat I regularly opt for turkey as a leaner option where possible and it works great as an alternative to the classic meatball recipe.

(Makes 9-10 meatballs)
500g Minced Turkey1 Onion 1/2 Stir Fry Red Chilli1 Slice of Wholemeal Bread Salt & pepper1 tsp Cayenne Pepper2 tbsp Parmesan, grated1 Large EggExtra Virgin Olive Oil1/2 Glass of White Wine (optional)
Deseed the chilli and chop finely with the onion (or whizz in a food processor), transfer to a bowl then add 3/4 of the mixture to a pan with a little olive oil and sweat for a few minutes to sweeten slightly, set aside.

Put the bread slice, generous pinch of salt and pepper, and cayenne pepper in the food processor and pulse until turned into crumbs. Add the turkey, the cooked onion and chilli mix, parmesan and large egg into a food processor and pulse until evenly mixed.

Make 9-10 meatballs with your hands then pop in the fridge for 10-15mins to help harde…