Friday, 29 October 2010

Spinach & Goats Cheese Tarte

I've been making this lovely lunchtime meal for a little over 18 months now, and there's honestly nothing i can do to improve on it - it's simple, quick to cook, healthy and if you're that way inclined - vegetarian. Yes, i know, the 'V' word is not something i like to mention, being a self confessed carnivore! However, served with some salad and crushed potato's, you can forgive it for having no meat in it! :)

You will need the following ingredients:

4 Eggs
500g of Flat Leaf Spinach, no stalks (frozen is fine)
1 clove of crushed Garlic
Milk (preferably whole or semi-skimmed, skimmed is entirely pointless)
Large knob of Butter
Crumbly Goats Cheese (you can substitute for feta if you're put off by the idea of goats cheese)
Ready Roll Puff Pastry

Utensils needed:

Pyrex mixing bowl
Medium Saucepan w/Lid
Flan Tin
Wooden Spoon
Sharp Knife
Fork or Mini-Whisk

Okay - first thing you want to do, is sort out the filling. Take the spinach, and cook it in a pan. If frozen, just put it on a low heat for a while with the lid on. Once cooked, you want to squeeze it and make sure any water is drained away. Add a large knob of butter and a clove of crushed garlic. Mix well & put it to one side to cool down a bit.

Now you want to crack two eggs into a bowl, and the YOLKS of the other two (save the white for a meringue or something). Add a large pinch of salt and a good amount of black pepper. Add about two tablespoons of milk. Whisk until creamy.

Now, take the Flan tin, or a round baking tray and grease it thoroughly with a little oil. Pop in a dessertspoon of flour, and tap it round, so that the tin is covered, both the wall, and the base. This stops the pastry from sticking.

I use ready roll to make this a quick and easy task, but by all means make your own - shortcrust does equally well, but i prefer the lightness of puff. Line the tin, but dont bother cutting any excess off - just leave it looking rustic!

Put the spinach evenly across the pastry, and then top it with chunks of the goats cheese. Now you can use whatever kind you like, but i prefer the crumbly type.

On top of that, pour in the egg mix.

Put it in the gas mark 6 for about 15-20 minutes, until the pastry has gone golden brown, and the filling has set.

Then all thats left to do, is take it out of the oven and eat it! :D

See? Simple!

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Cous Cous

This is a very quick and easy way to make cous cous - without the aid of a saucepan. This goes perfectly with the Tajin recipe,

You will need the following ingredients:

2 cups of dry cous cous
Small Knob of Butter
Coriander Leaf (Dried or Fresh - personal preference!)

Utensils needed:

Medium sized pyrex or plastic bowl
Plate large enough to cover the top of the bowl

Decant 2 cups worth of couscous into the bowl. Level it out (give it a bit of a shake), and pour boiling water over it, just enough to cover it. Leave it to settle for a minute and it should increase in size. Add a knob of butter, some coriander & a large pinch of salt (like, 1 heaped teaspoon). Pour boiling water over it again, this time, just enough to cover it. Put a plate on top, and put in the microwave for a minute, minute and a half tops.

Take out of the microwave, remove the plate, fluff up with a fork, and you're all done :)


A bit of a departure from the standard fayre presented previously, this is a dish primarily of my own concoction, with a Moroccan influence (hence the name). It's a single pot dish - requiring only the most basic of utensils. It's spicy, but mild, and contains your entire daily intake of vegetables - a good way to get them into a picky family!

It's also highly adaptable - as long as your base ingredients are there, you can use pretty much whatever meat you like, chicken, pork, beef, camel - whatever you like really, simply use my recipe as a 'serving suggestion' and see what your personal preference would be.

You will need the following ingredients:

1 tablespoon of Olive Oil
1 large white onion (one and a half ideally)
2 cloves crushed Garlic
1 Large Courgette or Two small ones
Small Tin Chick Peas
3 Fresh Tomato's
Yellow, Orange or Red Bell Pepper (i prefer orange if i can get it)
6 Pack of Merguez Sausages (i work on the basis of two sausages for every person)
1 large Chorizo Sausage (or any spiced dry cured beef sausage)
1 carton of Passata OR Tin of Chopped Tomato's
Hot chilli grinder (optional)

Utensils needed:

Large Saucepan w/Lid
Wooden Spoon
Chopping Board
Sharp Knife

Chop up your onions reasonably small, but not too fine, add to a saucepan with a LID, with the crushed garlic and a pinch of coarse sea salt. Sweat the onions til they're soft, on a medium-low heat. While they're sweating, chop up the courgettes however you prefer and add them to the onions, stir just to mix things through a little. Chop up the bell peppers & the tomato's, again, however you prefer, add those, leave the lid ON! After about 10 minutes, add about a tablespoon of paprika, and stir through, there should be enough water in the dish to stop anything from sticking.

Add the merguez sausages at this stage, chop into bitesize chunks, stir in. Take the skin off the chorizo (make a cut in the top, use your fingernails to grab the skin, peel off - easy). Chop into small chunks as well, throw that in. After 10 minutes, you want to add EITHER 1 cup of passata (3/4 of a half carton) or a whole tin of chopped tomato's. I use a hot chilli grinder (like a peppermill, with chilli's in) at this stage, and stir in. Leave the lid on to slowly cook through for about 20 minutes.

Voila, all done! Serve with couscous or rice.