Archive | September, 2012

Saturday Sandwiches

29 Sep


I have some alliteration thing going on with my titles, not sure why… but anyway…

This morning I rustled up a quick, easy and delicious grilled open sandwich, using the pumpernickle and rye bread we bought from the Saturday market in town. The cheese on toast/pizza bread concept is not new and easily varied, so use your imagination but, for reference, my recipe is below:

Ingredients and method

4 slices of  pumpernickle and rye bread (or any malty or sour dough bread)

Meat feast topping
2 tbsp of my mum’s home-made home grown tomato and pepper sauce (alt. use a peperonata type sauce or tomato salsa)
3 mini mozzerella balls, or equivalent from large ball
8-10 thin slices chorizo sausage
slice of ham
parmesan/hard cheese of your choice

Turn the grill on, at about 200 degrees C.

Divide and spread the tomato sauce across 2 slices of the bread, right to the edge. Top evenly with the chorizo and ham, pieces of mozzerella, then grate a thin layer of hard cheese over the top. Place under the grill until the cheese is melty, bubbling with patches of golden brown.

Fruit and nut topping
2 tbsp ricotta cheese
1 small ripe fig
5 walnuts roughly chopped
sprinkling of pumpkin seeds

Divide and spread the ricotta across 2 slices of the bread, top with thin slices of fig, covering the whole slice. Place under the grill for 3 mins, then sprinkle on the nuts and seeds and grill for 3 more minutes until the fig is starting to soften and the nuts are looking (and smelling) toasted.

Top with freshly ground salt and pepper. Serve with a mixed salad, and if you fancy it a slice of quiche (the pics are one made my by mum, soooo good) I will aim to add the recipe in a future post.

It was a happy husband making lunch – despite the expression on his face.


Caramel crisis

11 Sep

do not follow this recipe for caramel

I ended up with tablet / crumbly fudge.

So, for anyone who read the previous post, you might now be realising the custard tarts didn’t quite go to plan…

Will be taking my learnings through to the final version, or at least the version that’ll make it to the office and will make or break my star baker reputation…

Coming-of-age custard tarts

11 Sep

This week is my birthday, the big three-O. Tonight it is the Great British Bake-Off (BBC1. 8pm. Unmissable). So with those thoughts in mind I have set myself a baking show-stopper challenge (a la round 3 of GBBO).

My self-formulated challenge is to create 3 (one for each decade) bite-size bakes for my work colleagues. I still don’t quite get why its the person whose birthday it is who supplies the birthday treats for the office, surely they should get given one… but hey ho I am not complaining, it is great excuse to bake!

The shortlist has a number of variations, sweet and savoury; chocolately, fruity, cheesy, bread, cake, tart. But the final ideas I am playing with are:

– a rocky road brownie
– Portuguese custard and caramel tarts
– ricotta, homegrown tomato and basil mini pizzas

A savoury scone is still a possibility (goats cheese, fig and walnut, or sage, squash and feta?), but I maybe saving those for another bake.

So to start I have scoured the worldwideweb for an authentic looking Portuguese tart recipe (aka Pastéis de Nata) and found authentic doesn’t mean standard. There are loads of variations in terms of flavouring, faffyness and fat content! So experiment #1, based on recipes from the Telegraph, Bill Grainger and BBC Good Food, following play-offs between double cream vs semi-skimmed milk, egg yolks vs the odd whole egg and the addition of a hidden dollop or caramel, I’m ready to begin.

Lessons learned, a semi-perfected recipe and pictures will appear soon.

portuguese custard tarts

some someone made earlier