Sunday, 24 March 2013

Cheesy Rarebit

The other day we needed something tasty and speedy for lunch... an offer of cheese omelette had been made to Sous Chef J but was rejected.  So, thinking quickly, and re-packaging the ingredients we had to hand, I suggested Cheesy Rarebit... which was accepted.

So, we took the bread (we used Genius Gluten Free Seeded), eggs, cheese and black pepper and set up our 'production line'.  Sous Chef J laid the bread out on the grill pan and was in charge of toasting.  I grated the cheese and beat the eggs.

The cheese was added to the beaten and seasoned eggs.

Once the toast was ready, the eggy cheese mix was spooned on... the tray of the grill pan had been covered with a silicone sheet to make it easier to clean 'in case of spillages'.

The whole lot was placed under a hot grill for 2-3 minutes (with the timer set to ensure we didn't forget) until the Rarebits were ready...

... and very good they were too.  

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Fruit and Nut Bar

Sous Chef J has been losing weight... not a good thing when you're "a growing lad" so, in conjunction with a trip to the dentist who said "don't eat sugar" and the GP who said "eat healthy fat and calorie containing foods" we needed ideas.  Calorie filled food, that's not bulky, has the 'right' texture and doesn't have too much (if any) sucrose within.  Nut bars came to mind... with fruit... and perhaps a drizzle of dark chocolate.

We assembled 200g mixed nuts, 100g mixed fruits, 75g dessicated coconut, 90ml apple juice, some pumpkin seeds and a sprinkling of sunflower seeds.

The nuts we used were pecans, walnuts, flaked almonds and hazelnuts.

It was a simple matter of putting all the dry ingredients in the food processor, pulsing til chopped and then adding half the apple juice and blending.  Once the mix was starting to come together, it was turned out into bowl and mixed, by hand, with the remaining apple juice.

A ready greased baking sheet was then covered with the mix, it was flattened out as evenly as possible, scattered with flaked almonds and sunflower seeds.  The bars were marked out into the mix before the tray was placed in a 180ÂșC oven to bake for 10-12 minutes.  The length of time it will take to bake depends on the size of tin used/thickness of your mix so you'll need to check.  If you add nothing more to than this to the bars then, when they come out of the oven, they make a good sugar free snack.

However, Sous Chef J liked the idea of drizzling chocolate over the top.  So he melted a handful of dark chocolate pieces in a bowl and then 'artfully' covered the top of the bars, whilst still on the baking tray, with the chocolate.  The bars were left to cool on the tray for 10 minutes before being moved to a cooling rack to cool completely.


The cooled bars were stacked in an airtight container and will last for a few days - assuming Sous Chef J doesn't eat them all before then.

You can make these bars using your choice of nuts, fruits and liquid - you can use nut milk, coconut milk or other fruit juice to make the dough... it's up to you.  Have fun, try different mixes and see which you like the best. 

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Speedy Salmon Supper

Another long standing recipe to share with you today.  This meal has been something I have cooked for many, many years... and, luckily, it's something Sous Chef J likes to eat.

The ingredients were assembled, as usual... 

2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 onion, chopped
1 red pepper, deseeded and sliced
300g salmon (poached/steamed and skin removed if fresh - or drain a 418g tinned salmon)
Juice of one lemon
400g can of chopped tomatoes

This time we were using fresh salmon, so it was steamed whilst the onion and peppers were being cooked.  To start with, the oil was heated in a large frying pan and the onion was gently fried for about 5 minutes.   At this point, the salmon was removed from the heat and left to cool.  Then the sliced red pepper was added to the frying pan with the onion and the mix was cooked for a further 5 minutes. 

Having flaked the salmon, it was added, with the lemon juice and tomatoes to the frying pan. 

After generously seasoning the mix with freshly ground black pepper, it was cooked for another 5 minutes. 

We served it with green salad and a few potatoes but you can also serve with rice.

It's a great dish to 'make salmon go further' and can be expanded to feed more than 4 people by the addition of more sliced peppers and a couple more salmon steaks.  As Sous Chef J observed "if you multiply the salmon pieces by 2, you find out how many you can feed".... and if we make it using yellow and orange peppers instead of just red ones, we call it Colourful Salmon Supper.