Rustic Butternut and Feta Tartlets

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This is a great way to use leftover veggies to make a lovely lunch dish. Eaten with a side salad of aragula or mache, healthy and filling all at once.And best, it is meant to be a rustic looking dish, so no need for you to spend hours trying to make the circles perfect in size and shape. You can add chunks of bacon, chorizo, leftover chicken if you want to make it more filling. Children can help prepare their own individual tartlet and if there is any leftover pastry, how about a bit of fruit and jam to make a dessert one as well. So, let’s get cooking…

Serves 4

Ingredients:

500 g / 1 lb butternut, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces
1 red onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup feta cheese, cubed
1 roll shortcrust pastry
1 egg

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 200 C / 400 F
Place the butternut cubes and onion slices on a baking sheet
Drizzle the oil and add salt and pepper
Mix well with your hands
Roast for about 25 minutes, set aside
Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface
Cut out 4 equally sized discs using a saucer, (about 18 cm / 7 ” each)
Place the pastry disc on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper
Divide the butternut mixture, spooning a heaped pile in the centre of each, leaving an empty border of pastry around the edges
Add the feta cubes to each
Fold the edges of each disc towards the centre and press together lightly
Brush each tartlet lightly with the beaten egg
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes
Sprinkle with fresh herbs
Enjoy!

 

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Calamari and chorizo with aïoli

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img_8768So many people have memories of overcooked, over-chewy calamari, a bit like rubber. But fresh or good quality frozen squid, cooked either very quickly or very slowly, is melt in the mouth tender. The in-between area is where things get very tough and rubbery.  The long and slow cooking in this recipe is certainly worth it for a very tender and delicious result. It is a one pot meal and all it needs is some warm, crusty bread to mop all the juices up with. A dish to be enjoyed in summer as well as winter with a glass of cool white wine.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

220 g / 8 oz chorizo, skin removed and sliced
1 onion, finely chopped
Thyme, a few sprigs, leaves only
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
125 ml / 1/2 cup dry white wine
450 g / 1 lb cherry tomatoes, cut into halves
500 g / 1 lb 2 oz calamari tubes, cut into rings
450 g / 1 lb baby new potatoes, scrubbed and cut into bite sized pieces
Parsley, fresh, about a handful, roughly chopped
1 lemon, cut into quarters, to serve
aïoli
1 garlic clove, crushed
5 tablespoons good quality mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Smoked paprika, as garnish

Preparation:

Heat a large sauté pan or pot over medium high heat, do not add oil
Add the chorizo and cook for about 2 minutes
Add the onion and thyme and cook another 2 to 3 minutes
Add the paprika, wine and tomatoes
Cover and simmer for 10 minutes
Add the calamari, make sure it is well nestled in the juice, cover and simmer for 45 minutes
Add the potatoes and cook another 20 minutes until the potatoes are tender
Meanwhile prepare the aïoli
Mix the garlic, mayonnaise and lemon juice
Sprinkle with paprika and set aside
Test the calamari, it should be so tender that you can cut it with a spoon
Sprinkle with the chopped parsley
Serve immediately with the aïoli, a piece of lemon and warm crusty bread
Enjoy!

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French Apple and cream tart / Tarte aux pommes à la crème

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This must be one of the easiest apple tart recipes yet it is absolutely delicious. This recipe comes from Normandy, the land of apples and cream.

img_2539Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients:

1 pâte brisée, prebaked
4 large apples such as Granny Smith, peeled, cored and quartered
3 egg yolks
180 ml / 3/4 cup heavy cream or crème fraîche
60 g / 5 tablespoons sugar

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 190 C / 380 F
Take your pastry shell and layer the apple slices in concentric circles, working towards the centre – overlap the slices slightly
Beat the egg yolks with a fork
Add the cream and half the sugar and mix well
Pour the cream mixture over the apples
Sprinkle on the remaining sugar
Bake the tart for about 45 minutes
Serve warm or at room temperature with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream
Enjoy!

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