Thursday, 28 June 2018

Easy peasy and lemon squeezy - revisited


My kitchen is all green and yellow to celebrate the win in the World Cup against Serbia yesterday.
 
Whenever the Brazilian or English team play - in the evenings or at the weekends - we invite some friends over to watch the games with us. 

Last night, it was all about Seleção Canarinho, as we affectionate call our Brazilian squad. I reached for my infallible lucky charm recipe for fresh broad beans “hummus”. The score was Brazil 2 x 0 Serbia. The green hummus was also a winner!

Check the recipe here.

Till next week! 
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Thursday, 21 June 2018

A galette s'il vous plait


The French are the masters of pastries, as most of you may know. One of my favourite French pastries is the galette, an open rustic crusty pie. It can be sweet or savoury. I have been craving this dish for some time. So, I set out to make one for our family this week.

The first ingredient arrived in my vegetable box: a beautiful bunch of asparagus, which is in full season now. I came across the other ingredient in an Italian deli in Soho that I visit regularly: a creamy and lovely ricotta di bufala. When I thought of putting both ingredients together in a galette, my mouth watered. France meets Italy.

What a joie de vivre!


Ingredients for the filling.
Spread the filling over the dough...
...and fold the edges towards the centre.
My rustic asparagus galette.

Hazelnut galette with ricotta di bufala and asparagus

This recipe will make enough dough for two galettes that serve 6 people for a starter, or 4 people for a main. The filling recipe is for 1 disc.

I love making my galette dough using hazelnuts. They add a nutty flavour and crunchier texture.

Ingredients for the dough

125g organic whole grain spelt
125g organic white spelt
200g organic unsalted butter, chilled and cut in small square pieces
60g organic blanched hazelnuts
1 tsp fine sea-salt
1 tsp sugar
6-7 Tablespoons ice water

Method

Mix the hazelnuts, flour, salt and sugar, and pulse to combine. If you are not using a food processor, grind the hazelnuts and mix with the rest of the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

Add the pieces of butter and pulse until the mixture becomes coarse (don’t over-process). With the food processor pulsing, add the ice water gradually until the dough holds together.

Take the dough mixture out of the food processor and onto a work surface. Form into one ball. Divide the ball in half and firmly flatten each ball into a disk. Wrap tightly in cling film (preferably a non PVC brand) and chill them for at least 30 minutes before rolling out and using the filling. This dough will keep well for 1-2 days in the fridge, and in the freezer for a few weeks.

Ingredients for the filling

Extra-virgin olive oil
1 leek, big size and sliced
1 small onion, diced
½ fresh fennel, diced (optional)
2 garlic cloves, diced
150g ricotta di bufala or any other type of ricotta
Zest of 1 lemon
30g pecorino or parmesan cheese, grated
1 Tablespoon capers
Asparagus - as many you can fit on top
Egg for eggwash (optional)
Sea salt and pepper

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 200C degrees.

Sautée the leeks on extra-virgin olive oil, fennel and onions until caramelized; add the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes.

In the meantime, mix the ricotta, lemon zest, capers and pecorino cheese.

When the leeks and onion mixture is ready, turn off the heat. Leave it to cool for a while so it’s not too hot to place on top of the ricotta mix.

Take one disk of the pastry from the fridge. On a lightly floured surface roll out the disk into a 30cm circle. Transfer the dough to a parchment-lined baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 1⁄2 hour before using.

Spread the ricotta mixture followed by the leeks mixture on the refrigerated rolled-out dough, leaving about 3 cm of edges. Place the asparagus on top then fold the empty edges of the dough towards the centre.

If using eggs, brush the edges of the crust with them.

Sprinkle the remaining pecorino over the whole galette.

Bake the galette for 25 to 30 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling.

A healthy note: Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis): contains selenium, calcium, zinc, copper and folic acid. It has some powerful compounds (indoles, isothiocyanates and sulforaphane), that promote cellular regeneration. It is a powerful stimulant to the liver and kidneys. Studies have shown that asparagus protects the liver from the effects of alcohol. It is a natural diuretic; helps to cleanse the arteries of cholesterol and is useful to control hypertension. It is used to alleviate menstrual difficulties.

Till next week!
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Thursday, 7 June 2018

Slow-roasted cherry tomatoes


I Camisa & Son is an Italian deli that has had its doors open in Soho since 1961. It’s an institution. There you can buy authentic Italian produce. The main bulk of the food on sale still comes from small Italian producers and suppliers.

Whenever I am in the area, I can’t resist going to the shop to get something for my supper. Today was no different, as I had been craving for a good burrata*. There was no better place for me to buy the main ingredients I needed. There, I also got this vibrant punnet of plum cherry tomatoes (or cherry Roma tomatoes) which gave me the idea to slow roast them and having both ingredients together.

Back in my kitchen, I washed the cherry tomatoes (500g), halved them, placed them in a tray, marinated them with organic extra-virgin olive oil (cover them well), garlic (5 cloves, whole and crushed), Maldon sea salt and pepper. I slow roasted them for 1h30min at 160C degrees until golden. When they are ready I drizzle some balsamico vinegar on them. I put the burrata on a plate with some rocket leaves, basil leaves, and served with two or more spoonfuls of the cherry tomatoes. Yum! 


beautiful cherry tomatoes.
Ready to be slow roasted.
Roasted!
My slow roasted cherry tomatoes & garlic with burrata, rocket and basil.
Simplicity at its best!

You can keep the roasted tomatoes in an air tight container in the fridge for up to two weeks. Just cover them with some extra-virgin olive oil.

* Burrata is a buttery and creamy fresh Italian cheese. It's made using mozzarella scraps blended with fresh cream.
 
A healthy note: Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) stimulates the regeneration of liver tissue, tonifies the stomach, and purifies the blood. It helps relieve high blood pressure and headache. Although tomato is an acidic fruit, it alkalizes the blood after digestion. It contains the antioxidant lycopene. Cooking or eating it with olive oil, avocado or nuts, has been shown to increase its antioxidant properties. The carotenoids present in tomatoes are fat soluble and are well absorbed into the body with the fats mentioned above.

Till next week!
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