Cheese Souffle with Watercress and Tomato Salad

It would have been my late dad’s birthday yesterday so in his memory I made one of his favourite meals: cheese souffle with watercress and tomato salad. I like my souffle gooey and runny in the middle, but cook it for a little longer if you prefer it firmer.

For three to four portions you need
Four eggs
50g butter
50g plain flour
200ml milk
salt and pepper
150g grated cheese (strong cheddar and gruyere are a good combo)
1 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp french mustard

Begin by making a roux from the butter and flour. Once melted, cooked out for a few mins then add the milk. Heat and beat to ensure no lumps then remove from the heat and add the mustard powder, mustard and grated cheese. Mix well.

Separate the eggs and whisk the whites to firm peaks. Add the yolks to the cooled cheese roux base and mis thoroughly. Let it down with a couple of spoonfuls of the whisked whites and then fold in the remainder of the whites. Scrape into a buttered souffle dish and bake in a bain marie in a moderate (170 degree) oven for 30 mins.

Serve with a tomato salad (see the recipe here for a good one!) and some saute potatoes if you need to be totally stuffed at the end! Enjoy 🙂 and Happy Birthday Dad xx

Quick Tomato and Mozzarella Brushchetta

This was a simple, quick and tasty Sunday lunch thrown together to use up some leftovers and lagging ingredients.

For two portions you need
2 thick slices of bread
1 clove garlic
Olive oil
Red wine vinegar
salt and pepper
Fresh tomatoes
Red onions
Mozzarella cheese

Begin by placing the bread on a baking sheet and drizzling with a little olive oil. Bake in a hot oven for about 5 mins. Remove, and rub with the garlic clove. Place back in the oven for a further 5 mins until lightly golden brown.

Meanwhile slice the tomatoes and onions and place in a shallow bowl. Drizzle over about 1 tbsp red wine vinegar and 2 tbsp olive oil. Season well with salt and pepper and sprinkle over some chopped fresh basil.

Once the bread is toasted, slice the cheese and place on the bread. Top with the tomatoes and serve. Summer on a plate!

Chorizo and Butter Bean Savoury Crumble (v)

Over Easter we visited the continental market in Norwich and I got suckered in to buying seven salamis for £10. So of course now I need to use them up…! We’ve done pizza and risotto but I think this savoury crumble is my favourite. It uses two different types of smoked paprika to add depth to the flavour and the breadcrumb topping is a great way to use up a stale heel of bread. If you’re veggie/vegan then Redwood Vegan chorizo is an excellent substitute.

For 4 portions you need
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 salami chopped into bite sized chunks
2 tins chopped tomatoes
1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
1 tsp hot smoked paprika
1 can butter beans, drained
1 tsp vegan stock powder
salt and pepper
1/2 tsp sugar

Crumble Topping
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1/2 cup mixed freshly chopped parsley and coriander
1/4 cup grated cheddar (omit if vegan)

In a large oven proof pan, sauté the onion, salami and garlic in the oil until the onions are translucent and the salami has released it’s fat. Add the remaining stew ingredients and bring to the boil. Check the seasoning and leave to simmer for 5-10 mins whilst you prepare the crumble topping.

For the crumble, mix the breadcrumbs with the cheese and herbs, and sprinkle over the top. Bake in a hot oven for 20 mins until the crumble is crunchy and browned and the stew underneath is bubbling. Delicious served with green veggies to contrast the spicy rich stew.

Clam, Prawn and Smoked Haddock Chowder

Fuz loves fish. I am not that keen. Upon Ocado delivering the ingredients for this, we realised the cat also loves fish! This is quite a rich recipe and not one I would make on a regular basis, but for a nice dinner with friends it was the perfect choice. It didn’t take long to make either and is based on a recipe by Marcus Wareing in How to Cook the Perfect….

For 4 portions you need
500g frozen, cooked clams, defrosted
300g cooked and peeled prawns
450g smoked haddock, skin left on and cut into four portions
200g waxy potatoes, peeled and cut into 1cm dice
1 large leek, cut into 1cm dice
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
50g plain flour and 50g butter for a beurre marnie
100g butter
200ml dry white wine
750ml fish stock
150g can sweetcorn, drained and rinsed
150ml double cream
Handful of roughly chopped fresh parsley

Begin by mixing the butter and flour together to make the beurre marnie. Leave to one side.

Melt the 100g butter in a large heavy pan and fry the onion, garlic and leek until softened. Add the potatoes and cover. Cook gently for 10 mins until slightly softened. Make sure it doesn’t catch or colour.

Meanwhile, place the wine and stock in a shallow pan and bring to the boil. Add the fish and poach for 2-3 mins until cooked. Remove the fish and leave to one side. Thicken the wine and stock mixture with the beurre marnie and add the cream.

Pour the stock into the cooked potato mixture and leave to simmer gently until the potatoes are 1-2 mins away from being cooked. Add the sweetcorn, clams and prawns and bring back to a simmer. Finally add the cooked fish to the soup to re-heat gently.

Serve in large bowls, garnished with the parsley.

Perfect Pavlova

I don’t often make pavlovas as they end up being too big for a few people to eat, and all those calories over a few days is not a good idea! But a couple of friends came round to see us on Fri so I made one and it was luuuuuush! I prefer to keep my pavlovas simple, no crunchy, pippy passion fruit toppings for me thank you very much! So this recipe can pretty much be thrown together out of store/fridge/freezer staples and looks like you’ve made a huge effort. Result! The rule of thumb you need when making a pavlova is 62.5g of caster sugar per egg white, this way you can make one as big or small as you like!

For 6-8 portions you need
5 egg whites
310g caster sugar
2 tsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp cornflower
600ml double cream
300g frozen raspberries (or any fruit of your choice), defrosted
1 tbsp icing sugar

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees. Begin by whisking the egg whites until they form stiff peaks in a free standing mixer. With the motor running, add the sugar a tablespoon at a time until thoroughly incorporated. Add the vinegar and cornflower and mix in well.

Spoon the meringue on to a lined baking sheet. I usually take care to make a well in the middle with banked up sides to hold the filling in place but you can do it however you wish! Pop into the oven and turn the heat down to 140 degrees. Cook for 90 minutes and then turn off the oven. Leave the door open a little and leave the pavlova to cool in the oven.

Whip the cream to soft peaks then spread onto the pavlova. Add the raspberries and then sift over the icing sugar. Utterly delicious!