Monthly Archives: November 2010

Breakfast Oven Casserole

Ready

Or Strata if you want to sound classy

This will be Breakfast for 2 people in the morning which I think is quite greedy- I tried to use just 4 Eggs but it didn’t fill the dish well enough, detox Monday! If you had more guests you could add extra ingredients but I think 6 eggs is sufficient for 4 people 🙂

Ingredients

6 Eggs

5 Slices of Crusty Bread, Sliced (I used a stale seeded loaf)

1 Cup Milk OR 1/2 Cup Milk & 1/2 Cup Double Cream

2 Breakfast Sausages, Sliced into bite sized pieces (I used Chicken Frankfurters as that’s all I have but would have rather Pork Breakfast Sausage)

2 Streaky Bacon Rashers, Chopped up OR Pancetta Cubes

2 Tomatoes, Chopped into wedges

4 Mushrooms, Sliced

1 Tbs Fresh Parsley, Chopped

1 Tbs Fresh Chives, Chopped

1 Cup Gouda Cheese, Grated

Salt & Pepper

Grated Gouda

Method

  1. Grease an oven proof dish (I will check the size of mine & add this later)
  2. Cover the base of the dish with Sliced Bread
  3. Fry Bacon till crisp- tip over the Bread
  4. Fry Sausage pieces till cooked- tip over the Bacon
  5. Fry Mushrooms till brown- tip over the Sausages
  6. Fry Tomatoes till starting to brown at the edges- tip over the Mushrooms
  7. Sprinkle Chopped Herbs over
  8. Sprinkle Grated Cheese over
  9. Lightly beat Eggs in a jug
  10. Add the Milk & Season well with Salt & Pepper
  11. Pour this over everything in the casserole dish
  12. Refrigerate over night
  13. Pre heat oven to 180 oc/ 350 f
  14. Bake for 30 mins (until Egg mixture is cooked through)

Bread Layer

Sprinkle Herbs

Pour Eggs Over

Brunch

NB

I enjoyed this for Brunch, just a shame the grill isn’t working as i would have liked the top to go crispy!

Try to arrange the ingredients so they are equally spread out as you will be dividing it up and you want a bit of each ingredient in your piece!

You can substitute other kind of Sausage & Cheese, you can use Bread Cubes instead of Slices, you could add other Herbs, Spring Onions, Bell Peppers– whatever you like! I wanted to add Potato but didn’t have any 😦

Next I will try this in the slow cooker!


Advertisements

Nando’s (Not) Peri Peri Sauce

Corn & Sauce

I bought some Fresh Sweetcorn yesterday in the supermarket, I really do need some pointers on choosing good Corn because despite checking the colour of the silk (still golden) and piercing a kernel (milky stuff came out) when I cooked this last night the Corn was still a bit strange, I boiled it for a few minutes & then dry fried it in a really hot griddle pan for another couple of minutes to get it slightly blackened so it wasn’t over cooked or under cooked. I am yet to purchase a good Sweet Corn here 😦

Never the less I ate it simply because the sauce I made to go with it was delicious & I felt like eating something spicy!

I have a fridge drawer full of Lemons (Green ones!) and nothing to do with them, they were a present freshly picked off a tree so I don’t want them to go to waste. I started to think maybe I could make some Lemon Puree and save it in freezer cubes for adding to things when needed. Do you think there are any recipes on-line for Lemon Puree? The answer is NO but there are lots of people asking for one.. So here is mine

Lemon Puree

  • Using a Micro Plane grater remove zest from Lemons & save for another recipe- I personally recommend you make Limoncello! (I will post my recipe for this later)
  • Peel what is left off the skins from the Lemons & discard (or throw on the compost heap)
  • Quarter Lemons & remove seeds
  • Put Lemons into your blender & pulverise!
  • You now have Lemon Puree which can be sweetened if necessary or used in savoury dishes or cocktails!

Lemon Puree

NB I blended my Lemons with their skin on as I am lazy- its fine but next time I would remove the skin 🙂

Anyway whilst browsing for Lemon Puree recipes I happened upon Nando’s Peri Peri Extra Hot Sauce ingredients list and one of these happened to be Lemon Puree (strange I know) so with my Fresh Corn I thought it would be nice to make some of their hot sauce!

They list the following ingredients: Water, Vinegar, Lemon Puree, Salt, Onion Puree, Serrano Chillies, African Birds Eye Chillies, Sunflower Oil, Cayenne Pepper, Paprika, Stabiliser, Garlic. Unfortunately I only had one type of fresh Chilli Pepper and it has no name on the packet but I used these and they worked well, surely only a Chilli connoisseur can pick out the flavours of ‘Serrano’ and ‘African Birds Eye’ Chillies.. Nando’s use Xanthan Gum to keep their sauce both fluid & stable but I didn’t think I needed to go to quite that extreme.

Ingredients Line Up

Not Peri Peri Hot Sauce (or Not Piri Piri)

Ingredients:

1/4 Lemon (remove pips but leave the skin on)
1/4 Onion
6 Tbs Olive Oil
3 Tbs Vinegar (I used Apple Cider)
7 Fresh Red Chillies
1 Garlic Clove
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Cayenne
Water

Blend Lemon, Onion & Garlic till they are a puree- add a few tsp of Water if the mixture gets stuck
Add Red Chillies, Salt, Spices & Oil, blend
Add Vinegar, blend
If the sauce seems too thick add a few Tbs of Water to make it pourable (I added 3 Tbs)

Mix & Blend

Finished Sauce

Realistically its more the colour of their Medium sauce (I know this as I have Medium 🙂 ) if you wanted to get that dark red/brown colour & super hot heat I think you would need to use some Dried Red Chillies- I have dried Red Birds Eye chillies in the kitchen (the ones needed for TRUE Peri Peri) so I think I’ll have a little experiment with them this weekend!

If you don’t want to taste any Lemon in the sauce I recommend halving the amount I used as it has quite a Lemony kick

If you are using this as a marinade (as I am tonight) but don’t use it all up you can save the rest in the fridge for a few weeks

You can mix it with Mayonnaise and make Not Peri Peri Mayonnaise A la Nando’s!

Chicken Marinade

 


I Didn’t Know Sprouting Is So Popular!

I have noticed people searching for information on Sprouting so I thought I’d give a quick update to say I have Black Eyed Beans/Peas in soak now so I shall start them off sprouting in my BioSnacky Jar in the morning and I also have some White Beans in soak, that is all it says on the packet so I am not sure which white bean they are I will have to do some Google searches for images! I thought they may be Cannellini Beans but looking at photos of them they have a pink hue..

And just to re cap don’t sprout Kidney Beans (I noticed one search for that came up in my Blog Stats!)

Black Eyed Beans/Peas

White Beans

Today I managed to buy (on the Greek Side, Carrefour) a few new beans to try sprouting; Adzuki, Soya & Flageolet. They had lots of others I will try next time like Puy Lentils. I also restocked on Mung Beans!

I have the Adzuki & Soya Beans soaking now..

Soya Beans Soak

 

Soya Beans Start to Sprout

I let the Soya Beans sprout longer & I think this made them too tough- I just threw them on the vegetable patch! I think I will try them again but in a colander with a weight pressing down (like with Mung Beans)..

 

Adzuki Beans Soak

Adzuki Beans are still in the Bio Snacky jar- I’m not sure about these! I keep trying them but they aren’t my favourite..

The White Beans don’t seem to be doing very well, I have moved them to a colander as maybe they are cramped in the jam jar, a few of them are just starting to bulge where the sprout will be.. ** Well as an update they started to smell bad & I threw them away, I wonder if they had been treated which stopped them from growing **

White Beans in Colander

The Black Eye Beans/Peas are doing well, I went through picking the skins off as they are floating about when I rinse them, I ate a couple that were ready- they are nice..

Black Eyed Beans Some with Sprouts

Black Eyed Bean Sprout

 

Chick Peas- Good Size Sprouts

 

 

Chick Peas- Sprouted too Long

 

 

I can see why Chick Peas are one of the mostly popular sprouts.. I don’t even like Chick Peas normally but sprouted they taste different! They are nice raw on salad or also boiled for 5 minutes to have hot.. Don’t sprout them for too long, they tasted best when the sprouts were quite small!

This week I am going to try Flageolet Beans


Pizza Express at Home

 

Pizza, Done

 

 

I decided earlier I’d like to try and make Dough Balls, the kind you get at Pizza Express with the Garlic Butter. Then I decided I may as well go the whole hog & try to make some Pizza as well. I say try as my previous attempts at making Pizza or Bread haven’t gone very well. I think I am impatient and I suppose this isn’t a good trait when you are kneading dough!

Got a Dough Ball in the Oven

The last (and first) thing I tried to bake here was Hot Cross Buns, as they don’t seem to be available here. They turned out like rocks, you could have smashed a whole green house with the tray of them, I think my Yeast was past its use by date!

The plan was to take the Dogs out for an afternoon walk & then start making the dough but we now have to do an airport run so I am leaving the whole dough experiment till tomorrow.

One thing has annoyed me, I found this link (below) ‘Exclusive Pizza Express Recipe’. I am going to use their dough recipe, maybe with a couple of tweaks and also the advice for shaping the pizza sounds useful, however, their Tomato Sauce recipe is totally wrong.. You only have to compare it to the ingredients you can find online for one of their Pizza Express At Home Pizzas and you can see for yourself! I don’t know why they bother to give a recipe and call it exclusive, as though they are telling you a secret and then deliberately give you a recipe that isn’t like what they use on their own pizza..

The Times Sauce- After the blender- No Thanks

Rant over! I have made their Tomato Sauce just to be fair, and I won’t be using it on my Pizza, I will be saving it to put on a pasta one day for lunch and using my own recipe for the Tomato Base Sauce.. PS They don’t tell you to blend it, but since when did their sauce have huge chunks of onion, tomato & garlic in? Hmmm..

Ingredients (Serves 2)

For Pizza Dough

See link below

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/food_and_drink/recipes/article7017727.ece

For Tomato Pizza Base Sauce

My Pizza Base Sauce

 

  • 250g Tomato Passata (Sieved Tomatoes)
  • 1 Plum Tomato (From a Can) plus 2 Tbs of its Juice
  • 2 Tbs Tomato Puree
  • 5 Fresh Basil Leaves, Chopped Finely or 1 tsp Dried Basil
  • 1 Tsp Sugar
  • Salt & Pepper to Taste

Method

For Tomato Base Sauce

  1. Place all ingredients in a pan
  2. Mash up the Plum Tomato & stir well
  3. Bring to the boil and then simmer for approx 25 mins until you have a very thick sauce
  4. Leave to one side to cool

Beginning

End

Kitchen Helper

 

So assuming you have your dough ready after following the recipe link- you can now get it ready for baking! Personally I turned my oven up as high as it would go (gas Mark 9) and left it to preheat for over 30 minutes.. I actually found it quite easy to roll the dough out & to keep it thin. I have noticed a lot of people saying on line that their Pizza Base springs back and won’t stay stretched out, if this happens you should leave the dough to rest again for 20 minutes and then have another go! One thing I could NOT do was get the edge to curl in the way the Pizza Express ones do, annoying but I suppose practise makes perfect..

 

Roll up Roll up

 

 

  • Then you need to spoon some Tomato Sauce on, you need to put a decent amount on as some will dry out during cooking, but not so much that it will be soggy.
  • Then you need to put your cubes of Mozarella Cheese over the top. What toppings you choose is up to you! I used a Pepperoni, Jalapeno (from a jar), some White Onion and some Green Bell Pepper.
  • Finally a sprinkle of Oregano, Black Pepper & a drizzle of Olive Oil.
  • Place it directly onto your oven rack & cook for 10 minutes (or until it looks nice & brown!)

 

Pizza Ready for Oven

 

 

 

Pizza after Oven

 

 

For the Dough Balls

  • The Pizza Dough recipe makes 2 Pizzas or 1 Pizza & 6 Dough Balls..
  • Follow the recipe for Pizza Dough but instead of shaping into two balls which will become Pizza, shape into 6 balls which become Dough Balls!
  • Once again I put my oven at its highest setting & baked the Dough Balls on a tray for just over 5 minutes (until turning golden)
  • Serve with Garlic Bread

 

Dough Balls

 

 

 

Garlic Butter for Dough Balls

 

 

NB

Problems I had!

I have now made this dough 3 times- the first time I started making it when I noticed the Flour looked a bit off colour, it wasn’t PURE white so I made that batch but also opened some other Flour (remember I am in a foreign country and I tend to go by the pictures for purchases!) this was Snow White so I made a second batch with that. The first batch barely rose at all, the second (really white) batch rose lots. So I think if you are a novice baker use a White Flour, don’t try to experiment with other flours until you understand the dough a bit better. I used the White dough to make the Pizza & the Off  White (pictured top Dough Ball) to make Dough Balls and they both turned out well- if anything the Pizza was too thin! I don’t have pictures as I was otherwise occupied (having a strop).

So third time lucky & I used my White Flour to make up a batch today, it didn’t rise as well as last time I don’t know why (any suggestions?) I think maybe I didn’t knead it long enough, despite doing it for the same length of time (2 songs on my IPod) somehow it didn’t feel the same (hindsight, a great thing). The rolling went just as well, the dough didn’t shrink back etc, my issue is the Oven.. The racks in my oven have huge gaps in between, so I had to start the Pizza off on a tray till it firmed up a bit & then place it directly onto the rack (for some reason this pizza was smaller than the last one which was fine on the rack!) This meant it wasn’t AS crispy as last time but it was thin & crispy so I can’t complain.

I need work on getting the edge bit right.. But overall it went well & if nothing else I think I will make Dough Balls quite often 🙂


Grow Your Own

We have such hot weather in Northern Cyprus that it makes it a lot more enjoyable attempting to grow fruit, vegetables and herbs in the garden or on the balcony. It seems like whatever you plant grows before your eyes, I even grew some tiny Melons from seeds leftover from the fruit we had eaten one evening.

One problem I have had is trying to grow things that I would have grown in England at the height of the summer here, its just too hot for some herbs and fruit to grow here. In future I won’t try to plant them until now (its November!)!

After visiting Mexico a few years ago and loving their green salsa I was desperate to grow some Tomatillo plants so I could make my own, unfortunately I was slightly over zealous with my planting and ended up with far too many plants. Some have been neglected and died, but I am keeping an eye on my ‘best’ ones and waiting for the fruit to get bigger, at the moment they are tiny, like Cherry Tomatoes. I have kept any that drop to try to save the seeds to replant next year! And next time I will use a cage as the branches snap from swaying in the wind (it gets very windy here!) and also the Dogs & Cats love to brush past them and damage them! The plants are like magnets to animals!

Behind this Tomatillo you can just see I have Garlic Chives or Chinese Chives growing, another thing I didn’t realise is that these are hardy enough to cope with our hot weather unlike the normal Chives in England which would perish. The Garlic Chives are flat instead of tube like & they flower with pretty white flowers apparently pests dislike them so next year I will be putting them everywhere!!

Tomatillo

I’m also growing some different varieties of Chilli Pepper Orange Habanero, Scotch Bonnet, Ancho Poblano, Jalapeno & I have one mystery plant that I am told is Cayenne. In the picture below you can just see the new stems coming through on the Ancho Poblano plant, it really is a strange looking thing I didn’t realise they are multi stemmed till today!

Ancho Poblano

Jalapeno Early

Cayenne?

Cayenne Pepper?

Its impossible to buy certain ingredients here, so fresh Lemongrass (I hate the kind in a jar) and Thai Basil were two of my first plants. I have had on going problems with Aphids and Leaf Miners since I began gardening here. They particularly love the Thai Basil, Siam Queen and at one stage I wrote the plants off and left them by themselves, occasionally plucking off the infected leaves and throwing them onto the BBQ, somehow slightly sadistic but necessary! Now the plants are thriving and I have so many I have started to give them away, it makes quite a nice present to give a plant, particularly one you can’t buy here.

Siam Queen

Siam Queen Flower Tip

I ran out of Cells to plant seeds & seedlings into, with the amount of  bottled water we get through a week I decided to chop the tops off the bottle, poke holes in for drainage and use these! Recycling! I have just planed some Red Basil into a yoghurt pot, and transferred some Siam Queen Thai Basil and Genovese Basil into water bottles till they get a bit larger.

Red Basil

Siam Queen Seedlings

Genovese Basil

Things I Can’t Get To Grow

Lovage- I can’t even get these seeds to germinate! I am not sure if its the climate here or my seeds

Lemon Grass from seed- I can’t germinate this either, the only way I get Lemon Grass is leaving a stalk in water till it forms roots & then planting into a pot. Apparently it likes to be root bound, I just gave this one a hair cut as now its cooling down the temperature is lower at night & the ends were turning brown.

Lemon Grass Hair Cut

Borage- I can get it to grow into a tiny plant but then it yellows & dies or gets eaten by the Leaf Miners!

Sheep’s Sorrel- Seedlings pop up, then disappear

Thai Holy Basil- I had some seedlings which withered & died and I have had no luck germinating any since!

To be Continued (need pictures of my other plants!)


Mini Pie and Mash

Tea Spoon

I had some of the Flaky Pastry left in the freezer along with Suet Pastry I made the other week so I thought I’d get these out & try making some Mini Pies in my Cupcake 12 hole tin. I used my same Pie and Mash Recipe that I have already written about but this time I used Lamb Mince as I also had some of that leftover. I couldn’t taste any difference so I think the moral of the story is use Beef as its cheaper and under all the Vinegar who is going to know what animal is in the pie!

Oh and I thought ‘I’ll just leave those for a few more minutes’ and wandered off, forgot about them & came back to find them a bit burnt, still I suppose they are more authentic that way!

And the Bain Marie is a must in future, I didn’t use a tray filled with water like last time and the suet pastry doesn’t stay as soft as last time..


Banana & Chocolate Cupcakes

HUGE Cupcake

It was a friend of ours Birthday yesterday and as Northern Cyprus tends to be short of gift shops (or any nice ladies shops) I opted to make some cakes for her present using my The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook.

I had 4 very brown Bananas on the kitchen side (why do we buy them when no one eats them, I do wonder!) so I chose Banana & Chocolate Cupcakes as these would look prettier than a slice of Banana Loaf!

The Recipe!

Silver Dragees

NB

  • The recipe says it makes 12 Large Cupcakes (American Size, Muffin Case) or 18 Small Cupcakes- I made 16 Small & 1 Large out of my mix
  • The Frosting recipe is very generous I had quite a bit left over
  • Once I realised my Frosting was too warm (it IS Cyprus) I put it in the fridge & then it was so much easier to use with a palette knife!
  • I will be posting some of my own Cupcake recipes shortly
  • Its a really good book!

Moussaka

There are lots of different recipes for Moussaka available- some with Potato, some without Potato. Some with Potato on top, some with Potato at the bottom. Some have Lamb, some have Beef.. Its a bit like Lasagne in that respect- everyone has ‘their’ version & these recipes create much debate on food forums across the internet! Well I don’t claim to know the answer, I have simply put together the bits I like and left outs the bits I’m not so keen on & hopefully I have made it look simple as its not a very difficult dish to prepare but lots of recipes for it that I have read seem a bit daunting.. Let me know what you think!

Mini Cocotte

 

Ingredients (Serves 4-6 Depending on your Greed!)

4 Potatoes, Par Boiled & Sliced into Rounds

500g Lamb Mince (use Beef if preferred)
2 Medium Yellow Onions, Finely Chopped
2 Garlic Cloves, Finely Chopped
1 Tbsp Fresh Parsley, Chopped
1 Tbsp Fresh Mint, Chopped
1/4 tsp Dried Oregano
1/4 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Ground All Spice
1/4 tsp Ground Cumin
1/3 Cup/80ml Red Wine
1/2 Cup Lamb (or Beef) Stock
1 Cup Tinned Tomatoes, Chopped
2 Tbs Tomato Puree
Salt & Pepper, to Taste

More Chop Chopping!

For The Bechamel Topping

35g Butter
35g Plain White Flour
275ml Whole Milk
1/4 Tsp Ground Nutmeg
1 Large Egg
1 Bay Leaf
1 Tbs Parmesan, Grated
Method

For The Aubergines:

  • First you need to remove any bitterness that may be lurking in the Aubergines- to do this, remove the stalks (leave the skin on) and slice them lengthways into 1cm thick pieces
  • Place these into a colander & sprinkle with salt
  • Put a small plate on top of the aubergines & something heavy on top of the plate (I used a small heavy bottomed saucepan)
  • Put a plate under the colander to collect the liquid from the Aubergines- Leave them for one hour
  • Pre Heat the Oven to Gas Mark 7, 220oc
  • Rinse the Aubergines & dry thoroughly with a clean tea towel
  • Cover a baking sheet with the Aubergine Slices, drizzle with 1 Tbs of Olive Oil & place them in the oven for 30 mins
  • Remove to a plate lined with Paper Towels to absorb excess oil

Salted!

Bye Bye Bitterness

Bronzed

For The Meat Sauce:

  • Heat a Large frying pan & brown Lamb Mince (I didn’t use any Oil as the Lamb releases fat as its cooking)
  • Tip the Lamb into a colander & let the excess fat drain off
  • Meanwhile tip the Onions & Garlic into the pan you just fried the Mince in & gently soften in the residual oil
  • Tip the Lamb back into the pan with the Onions & Garlic- stir well to combine
  • Add the Fresh & Dried Herbs/Spices
  • Add the Tinned Tomatoes & Tomato Puree
  • Add the Red Wine & Lamb Stock
  • Season to Taste & simmer for 20 mins or until almost all of the Liquid has evaporated
  • Set aside for later

Good Consistency

For The Topping

  • Place Flour, Butter, Bay Leaf & Nutmeg in a pan- Slowly using a Whisk add the Milk, keep whisking until smooth & thickened
  • Turn the heat to Low, cook for 5 mins- Throw away the Bay Leaf & Season with Salt & Pepper
  • Place to one side to cool slightly, then Whisk in the Egg till perfectly combined

Assembly

  • Preheat Oven to Gas Mark 5, 190oc
  • Line the base of your Casserole Dish with a layer of Potatoes
  • Cover the Potatoes with a layer of Meat Sauce
  • Cover the Meat Sauce with a layer of Aubergines
  • Do another layer of Meat Sauce
  • Then finish with a layer of Aubergines
  • Spoon the Topping over & cover with Grated Cheese
  • Place in the oven for 45 mins (or until the topping has puffed up & turned brown)
  • Leave to cool for 10 mins before serving
  • Serve with a Simple Salad, dressed with Olive Oil & Lemon Juice

Potato Slices

Mince Layer

Aubergine Layer

Topping

Top with Cheese

Golden Brown

Layered

Moussaka & Salad

Season & Dress

NB

A 250g tub of Ricotta cheese added to your Topping Mix before assembly gives a nice rich Moussaka

A handful of Breadcrumbs sprinkled over your Topping before baking adds some texture

Experiment with different Herbs- Fresh Mint goes nicely with Lamb



Red Lentil Soup

Or kırmızı mercimek corbası (if you speak Turkish)

Late Lunch

 

Ingredients

For the Soup

1 Tbs Olive Oil

1 Cup Red Lentils, Rinsed & Drained (they do not need over night soaking)

3 Cups Boiling Water

1 Onion, Finely Chopped

1 Garlic Clove, Minced

2 Tbs Chopped Tinned Tomatoes

1/2 tsp Red Chilli Pepper Paste (canned)

1 Chicken Stock Cube

For the Garnish

1 Fresh Lemon, Cut into Wedges

1 Handful Fresh Parsley, Chopped

1/2 tsp Sumac

1/2 tsp Red Pepper Chilli Flakes (Pul Biber)

1 Cup

Method

  1. Heat Olive Oil in a Saucepan
  2. Add Onions & Garlic, cook gently over a medium heat until they are translucent (do not brown!)
  3. Add Lentils, Water & Stock Cube
  4. Add Tinned Tomatoes & Red Chilli Paste, Stir well
  5. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to a Simmer with lid partially covering for approx 20 minutes
  6. Test, add Salt if necessary
  7. Now if you like the soup smooth, blend adding more water if its too thick OR if you like it chunky gently use a whisk to break up the lentils
  8. Ladle into bowls, sprinkle over the Sumac & Chilli Flakes, top with Parsley.
  9. Serve with Warm Bread & a Lemon Wedge on the side

Sumac (Purple) Left, Red Pepper Right

NB

I have read of another soup similar to this called The Brides Soup which also includes Rice, Bulgur Wheat & Dried Mint, I am yet to try it..

I added 1/2 a cup of Water more after roughly blending to loosen the soup slightly. If you have any leftovers keep them in the fridge & simply add more water when reheating, as you will find the lentils expand making the soup thicker..

Do try to find some Sumac- it has a really unusual taste & smell, flowery, earthy, citrus. It actually reminds me of Sherbet! It really enhances the taste of the soup & the fresh Lemon Juice you squeeze in before eating..

Sumac- Some Information

The word Sumac takes its name from many ancient languages meaning ‘red’.

There are approximately 250 types of Sumac (a Flowering Shrub) around the world.

The spice is popular in Middle Eastern cooking as a seasoning & also a garnish- It is used in countries ranging from Turkey to Persia.

The Red Berries are picked and crushed by hand, giving an earthy spice with a strong citrus flavour. It is particularly well suited to fish, poultry, pulses and rice based dishes.




Sausage,Bean & Cheese Melt

More Sausage bits than You Know Who

No I’m not a Pie Monster despite how it seems, some weeks you just don’t fancy another Meze & all you can think about is eating things you can’t get here. I think its called mental torture.. But seeing that I don’t have a Self Sadistic attitude I decided to start making the things I miss from England. (Ha ha No I didn’t buy the weather machine from The Russians to make it Rain- that’s not one of the things I miss!)

 

 

 

Only the Best for my Pastie..

 

 

Greggs The Bakers sell a delicious Sausage, Bean & Cheese Melt which is matched perfectly with a carton of Ribena & a dreadful hangover. Since I can’t get Greggs here but unfortunately I can still get the dreadful hangovers I developed the following recipe in case of Emergencies..

4 Ingredients (again!)

Ingredients (Makes 2)

Ready Rolled Puff Pastry (remember I have a hangover)– I like to use these Mille Feuille Squares, but use any Puff and cut out whatever shape you like, 1 square folded over is like a Turnover Pie.

1 Small Can Heinz Baked Beans with Pork Sausages (alternatively use standard Heinz Beans with some Pre Cooked & Chopped Breakfast Sausages)

1 Small Handful Mild Cheddar, Grated

Milk (to glaze)

The White Stuff

3 Tablespoons

Method

  1. Pre heat oven to Gas Mark 5, 190 oc (or whatever your Puff Pastry packet says)
  2. Place one Pastry Square onto a baking tray
  3. Open the can & remove the Sausages to a plate, slice them up & place half onto one Pastry Square
  4. Pour the Beans onto the plate & lightly mash with the back of a spoon, spoon half of this (approx 2.5 Tbs) on top of the Sausage Pieces on the Pastry Square
  5. Grate Cheese & Sprinkle over the Sausage & Beans on the Pastry Square- Be sensible, if you put too much filling in it will not be possible to seal it!
  6. Place Second Pastry Square on top of the filling & lightly press round the edge with a fork to seal
  7. Brush with milk  & put into the oven for approx 20 mins (or follow the instructions on your packet)
  8. When it is nicely brown remove & leave to cool slightly- yes it will burn your mouth!

Cheese & Beans Mountain

Press Press Press

Greggs Minus the Slash Marks

NB

If you wish to, before the Pastie goes into the oven you can Score a few lines across it to give that authentic Greggs look!

Greggs Sausage & Bean Melt actually has tiny Sausage Meatballs inside- this wouldn’t be hard, remove some sausage meat from the skin, roll into tiny balls & lightly fry (do not allow to colour)

The best thing about making your own one is that its Hot & Crispy- unfortunately unless you get to Greggs first thing in the morning when its just been baked you are more likely to get one that has been sitting, going limp under a heating lamp for hours.. Also getting ANY Sausage at all in your ‘Sausage’ & Bean melt seems to be a bit hit and miss!

I recommend cutting a corner off & letting the steam escape for 5 minutes- don’t try to bite straight into it 😮