Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Grilled Peaches with Ricotta & Toasted Pistachios

Hey there! Yes you, why don't you come on over and keep reading, it will only take a few minutes, I promise.

And as will this lovely sweet treat that can work well as a breakfast as well as a fancy, light dessert. Perfect for a Summer evening after a big barbecue or dinner party.

I would say this dish is a mix between sweet and savoury, as the ricotta isn't particularly sweet, but that suited me juuuust fine, as the sweetness from the peach and the syrup was just enough to make it all come together nicely. Optionally instead of the ricotta, you can use a light cream cheese filling instead, using one tablespoon of soft cheese per person along with about 1 tsp or so of icing sugar - et voila! Or you could mix the agave or honey in with the ricotta/cream cheese instead, incorporating the sweet to the creamy topping.

It takes no more than 10 minutes to whip up - and that's a maximum! SHOULD you have any hints and tips on how to perfectly halve peaches, please let me know, and this one got a bit of a doing as I was trying to get to nice halves...I guess what the topping is for!

Grilled Peaches with Ricotta & Toasted Pistachios
(Serves 1, but easily multiplied for whoever many people!)

1 peach, stone and halved
about 1 tsp of (light) butter
1-2 tbsp dark runny honey or agave syrup
1 tbsp ricotta cheese (or soft cheese)
1-2 handful of shelled, unsalted pistachios

- Start by heating a griddle pan or turn up the grill on medium-hot.

- Rub the peach halved all over with the butter. And place either in the griddle pan on in the oven under the grill. Turn them after a couple of minutes if frying them, and then fry on the other side for a few minutes, or have them under the grill for five minutes, until soft and sweet.

- As the peaches are in the oven, lightly toast the pistachios.

- Once the peaches are done, top each with 1/2 tbsp ricotta cheese each and sprinkle over the toasted nuts and honey or agave, and it's ready to serve!

Original source:
From Season to Season, p. 179

- Jules

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Pineapple & Mint Slushy Sorbet or Granita

The weekend is coming to an end, but that doesn't mean you can't treat yourself, right?

OK, so originally this was meant to be a granita, BUT I felt bad about potentially having to discard all the delicious pineapple pulp and so I ended up with delicious, thick, slushy sorbet instead! Fret not though, I will add both the methods to the tropical madness here.

Pineapple & Mint Slushy Sorbet or Granita
(Serves 2-3)

1 pineapple, skin and core removed, cut into chunks
1 large sprig of fresh mint
1-2 tbsp agave syrup

For Granita:
- Have the pineapple chunks in a food processor and blend until smooth. Now, strain the pineapple juice with a fine sieve or jam cloth.

- Boil up water and have in a heatproof bowl and blanch the mint sprig, once wilted, immediately run under icy cold water. Chop the mint finely and add to the pineapple juice. Add agave syrup to taste.

- Pour the mixture into a shallow metal container, and leave for about an hour and a half (2 hours if doubling the amount). Use a wooden spatula or the like to break up the ice, and refreeze for another hour and a half, repeating the breaking of the ice.

- Shave the frozen pineapple into glasses and serve.

For the (slushy) sorbet:
- Start by wilting the mint in hot water in a heatproof bowl, then run under cold water and strain.

- Add pineapple to the bowl, or transfer both fruit and mint into a food processor along with a bit of agave syrup, and whizz until smooth. Transfer into a metal container (I used a small cooking pot) and place in the freezer for an hour and a half.

- Now, use a wooden spatula and mix the slush well. Refreeze for another hour and a half and repeat. Leave for about an hour extra if you want scoopable sorbet (Scoopable is totally a word by the way). Serve garnished with fresh mint leaves and enjoy!

Original source:
From Season to Season, p. 241 (By now you must be convinved to buy the book, surely? So many amazing recipes in there!)

- Jules

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Tomato Tofu & Basil Scramble

Good morning! I hope you've had a great start to your weekend so far. I kick-started it with...a nap yesterday after work(Hard-core, I know...hehe). Gotta top up on energy before the weekend, right? Later on I got to spend the evening with one of my best friends, and we just goofed around before going out dancing for a bit - it was fun! Got back at a decent time, and now it's a new day. The weather might not be so great just now, but that doesn't mean you can have a good start to your day!

Because here is a delicious recipe for a savoury dish that is perfect for the mornings. Omit the feta for vegan cheese if desired. I had this for breakfast before work, and although the original recipe stated that double this amount was one serving, I decided to half it as it seemed a little too generous, especially if serving it with toast on the side, which I did. It was absolutely delicious though!

Tomato Tofu & Basil Scramble
(Serves 1)

1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 small or half a garlic clove, finely chopped
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
A small handful basil leaves, roughly torn
1 tbsp tomato purée + a splash of water
About 80g tofu, crumbled
1 tsp vegetable stock
20g feta, crumbled
Pepper to taste

- Start by simply heating the oil up in a medium-sized frying pan, and add the garlic. Cook for about a minute before adding the tomatoes, basil and tomato purée along with a splash of water. Soften for about 5 minutes or so.

- Now, add the vegetable stock, tofu and feta cheese. Stir and heat up thoroughly, adding a little bit more water if the mixture gets too dry. Season to taste with some pepper (and salt if needed) and served with freshly toasted bread, mmmm!

As for the next couple of weeks coming up, they'll be mighty busy on my side, but I am really excited! I hope you have a lovely day, happy scramblin'!

Original source:
From Season to Season, p. 181

- Jules

Friday, 18 July 2014

Ricotta Strawberry Pancakes

Hello, good morning and thank Faramir it's Friday!

Yesterday was a bit crazy, but things have levelled themselves out though, although I'm pretty excited about the weekend! Anyway, let's talk food!

It was a hot Summer's day, and Julie thought "Nyawk I don't want anything too heavy for dinner, nor too warm...." *lightbulb* PANCAKES! Then I thought that this is the kind of dinner that every child will dream of when being told to eat their vegetables, and say: "When I become a grown up, I can decide to have whatever I want for dinner, even pancakes!", and so....pancakes I had, and they were delicious!

The addition of cheese to the batter makes them a little more filling, and the addition of strawberries goes lovely with the not so sweet pancakes and a drizzle of syrup! Plus, now you have an excuse to treat yourself to pancakes for breakfast - maybe even tomorrow?

Ricotta Strawberry Pancakes
(Serves 1, makes 7 small ones, or 3 larger ones)

120g ricotta
1 egg, separated
100 ml milk
1/2 cup (gluten free spelt) flour (this is about 4 heaped tablespoons' worth)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vegetable or coconut oil, for frying
A handful of strawberries, finely chopped
Maple- or agave syrup for drizzling, or honey!

- In a medium mixing bowl, have the ricotta, milk and the egg yolk. Whisk well until combined, before sifting in the flour and the baking powder. Stir until you have a smooth batter free of lumps.

- The next step is to heat the oil in a frying pan, and hopefully by now having decided whether you're having small or big pancakes, you pour in batter accordingly. About 2 tbsp of batter for the small ones, or a little less than a ladleful for the bigger ones. Fry over medium heat.

- Once they start to bubble on the surface, sprinkle a little bit of the strawberries on top, before flipping them, cooking on the other side for a couple of minutes. When they're done, stack them with the prettiest side up.

- When you have ran out of batter, top the tower of goodness with some extra strawberries and drizzle over syrup. and you're done!

...I always seem to take one Pacman photo whenever I make pancakes, wagga wagga *winks*

Have you got much planned for the weekend? Either which was, I hope you have a good one!

Original source:
From Season to Season, p. 185

- Jules

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Ceviche with Prawns and Avocado

When I saw the instructions for this recipe, I was puzzled. Why? Because it didn't state when you were to cook the prawns. After having done a little research online though, it seems that just marinating them in the lime juice alone causes them to "cook", however that makes sense - I don't know.

Being the sissy I am, I didn't take any chances, and so I used already cooked prawns (SORRY!), it still turned out delicious though, and it only meant that when I got home hungry form work - I didn't have to wait for them to sit in the fridge for an hour before dinner was ready. I will still add the original instructions though... Because I know that that's the way that a proper ceviche is done, and next time I will definitely do it that way, I just hadn't heard of that method before!
My flatmate told me later that ceviche was really good, and if done properly, has a slightly different texture, which is pretty cool if you asl me!

This dish was a little hot hot hot! So if you're not a big fan of spicy dishes, just omit the chilli - and let the zingy prawns speak for themselves, because they were tasty as! I only just realised I forgot to use the fresh greens here - it happens! Do use it if you have it though ^ ^

Ceviche with Prawns and Avocado
(Serves 1 as a main, 2 as a starter or lunch)

125g raw prawns
Juice of 1 big lime (or 1 1/2 normal ones)
1 ripe tomatoes, finely chopped
1 Spring onion, finely chopped
1/2 chilli, deseeded and finely chopped (optional)
A pinch of dried chilli flakes (or a bit of salt and pepper for milder version)
A small handful fresh parsley, chopped
A small handful fresh cilantro or coriander, chopped
1 ripe avocado
Sliced buttered toast for serving - two per person

- Start by having the prawns in a bowl, squeeze over all the lime juice and set to refrigerate for an hour to allow them to "cook".

- Now, add the chopped tomato, Spring onion, chilli (if using) and seasoning as well as the herbs. Right before serving, dice up the avocado and swirl through.

Serve it up with some freshly toasted, buttered bread and enjoy!

Ever made (a proper!) ceviche before? Or is this concept new to you as well? Hehe, I hope you have a great day!

Original source:
From Season to Season, p. 203

- Jules

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Avocado Nut Milk Smoothie

Fruity, creamy and delicious! I think that pretty much sums this recipe up *smiles* The perfect pick-me-up in the middle of the week, be it for breakfast, lunch, or as a snack!

Avocado Nut Milk Smoothie
(Makes 1, easily doubled)

1/2 ripe avocado, or 1 small, cut into chunks
1-2 tbsp blanched almonds (can also use ground almonds)
1 small frozen banana, chunks (easier if you freeze them cut up)
250ml skimmed or soy milk (I imagine almond milk would be delicious too!)
1-2 tsp agave syrup (for vegan) or honey

- Simply have all the ingredients in a processor us use a stick blender to whizz smooth, and enjoy cold with a couple of ice cubes!

I hope you have a great day!

Original source:
From Season to Season by S. Dahl, p. 130

- Jules

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Deconstructed Tofu Lasagne

Hey! And good day to you ^ ^

Fancy a little something comforting yet classy all the same? How about this original take on lasagne? I was in a bit of a hurry when I had to make it, but was relieved to see that it required no baking, and so in about 20 minutes, I had this little number awaiting me. Fantasmic!

Deconstructed Tofu Lasagne
(Serves 1, easily peasily doubled, tripled or multiplied by as much as you want!)

120-150g firm tofu, drained, patted dry with kitchen towel and chopped into rectangles
1 tbsp finely grated parmesan
Salt and black pepper for seasoning
1 tbsp olive oil, divided
1 portobello mushrooms (same as breakfast mushrooms, I'm sure!), thickly sliced
50g cherry tomatoes (I used four), washed and kept whole
1 small/half a garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar + a splash of water
A small handful fresh basil leaves
2-3 pasta sheets

- Start by preparing the tofu. Mix parmesan salt and pepper and have on a plate. Cut the tofu into rectangles (about 1-2cm), pat them dry with some kitchen towel. Heat 1/2 tbsp oil in a frying pan. Dip the pieces of tofu into the parmesan mixture and fry until golden. Set aside.

- In the meantime, cook up water for the lasagne sheets and cook according to the instructions on the packet, for about 7-10 minutes.

- Heat up the remaining oil in another pan, and add the mushrooms, garlic and cherry tomatoes. Cook until the mushrooms have started to release their juices and the cherry tomatoes are blistered.

- Once the lasagne sheets are cooked, strain, and pour in a little olive oil to keep them from sticking together.

- In the pan with the mushrooms, add the balsamic vinegar and a splash of water along with the basil and cool for a couple of minutes until it starts to bubble and thicken.

- Now, it's composing time! Plate up the vegetables, tofu and pasta sheets in layers, and spoon over the balsamic sauce, garnish with a little fresh basil, and enjoy!

Origina source:
From Season to Season, p. 46

- Jules