The Italian dream

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So I’m going through a pasta-making craze at the moment. Following an hour and a half “Pasta Master” class, I’ve convinced myself that I’ve a yet undiscovered Italian heritage, hence my natural pasta making talent!

The truth is that,…. Continue reading

Easter salt and sugar-free bakes

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These are a healthy, sugar and salt free little treat for little tummies.  The fruit makes them just sweet enough so they don’t last very long!

 

 

The what:

30g dried pitted dates, chopped

30g dried cranberries, chopped

130g flour

1tsp baking powder

60g unsalted butter

30ml water

The how:

Melt the butter in a small saucepan and set aside to cool.  Meanwhile puree the dates and cranberries with a hand-held blender, adding the 30 ml of water. Sieve the flour and baking powder into a large bowl.  Next add the butter and puree and mix well.  Shape into a ball, wrap in cling film and rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Pre-heat the oven to 200 (180 fan).  Remove the cookie dough from the fridge and soften a little between your hands.  Roll out on a floured surface using a rolling-pin until it is about 1cm thick.  Then cut your biscuit shapes and add to a lightly greased baking tray.  Cook in the oven for about 10 minutes, until golden.

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Enjoy!

Potato and veggie dauphinoise

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This is my tasty little twist on a traditional potato dauphinoise.  It’s easy to make and great as a side to a fish or meat dish, or even just on it’s own as a veggie option.

Makes 3 large or 5 small portions

The what:

a knob of unsalted butter

1 onion, finely sliced

4 baby leeks, trimmed and finely sliced

1 small courgette, finely sliced

3 medium potatoes, peeled and finely sliced

100ml full-fat milk

200ml cream

100g cheddar cheese, grated

a little nutmeg, grated

Tip: To get really thin slices of potato use a mandolin slicer. The potatoes crisp up nicely in the oven.

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The how:

Preheat the oven to 200 (180 fan).

Melt the butter in a saucepan and saute the onion, leeks and courgette until soft (about 2-3 minutes).  In a separate saucepan heat the milk, cream and nutmeg on medium heat for 5 minutes.

Rub an ovenproof dish with some unsalted butter and empty the onion, leeks and courgette into it.  Next add layers of potato until you have used all of them.  Pour over the sauce and sprinkle with grated cheese.

Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden.  This dish is suitable for freezing.