Double cheddar cheese and chive quiche with chive flowers

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Pies, tart’s and quiches are never perfect looking when I make them. I like the rustic look when I make them for the household, cliche I know but it looks homemade then.

The thing is I am not actually a great quiche lover, well I have to say, I don’t really like most shop bought ones, they have to be really good quality and then you find that the price is quite shocking for a small pastry case filled with egg. So believe it or not, when it comes to this time of year through the asparagus season and just before Wimbledon, I always fancy a quiche!
They are quite good when you think about it as you can use produce up including eggs, milk, cream. Any veg you have or when you come to the end of a packet of bacon or sliced ham and not quite sure what to do with that last slice. However for this recipe I had an abundance of beautiful chives that had flowered and I wanted to showcase how tasty eating the flowers are. What a perfect recipe to do for my regular slot on BBC radio Leicester with Ben Jackson. You can hear the recording of myself and Ben HERE
Whatever occasion you may have coming up wether it be a friend coming round for a cuppa, an alternative tea or even a picnic. A quiche can be a winner.

National picnic week falls from the 11th-19th June 2016, one of my favourite National weeks.

 

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Ingredients:

Pastry:

250g plain flour
150g Stork margarine chopped into cubes
a good pinch of sea salt
a pinch of caster sugar
1 egg
1 tbsp cold milk

Filling:

4 eggs
125ml double cream
100ml milk
a handful of chives chopped into 1.5cm length
sea salt and cracked black pepper to season
75g welsh slate cheddar grated
75g mature cheddar grated
( You can use any cheddar you like as long as they are different to each other but give a bit of a punch in flavour)

Method:

Place the flour in a heap onto your work surface and make a well. Add in your butter, pop an egg on top, add your salt and sugar and then start to mix in together with your fingertips.

 

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Once the dough starts coming together add your milk. Bring the pastry together to form a ball, then cover with cling film and chill in the fridge until using.

 

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Preheat your oven to 190c. On a floured surface.Roll out your pastry to 2mm thickness. Line your chosen tin with the pastry and then with baking parchment and “Blind bake” with baking beans/lentils or rice for 15 mins.

After 15 minutes reduce take out your baking beans and then cook for a further 5 minutes.

Whisk your eggs, cream, milk and seasoning together in a jug. Add a layer of cheese, then custard mix, then chives, repeat again to fill your pastry case.

 

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Place in the oven for 30-40 mins.

 

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* Once cooked all the way through and golden on top, add your picked chive flowers, place on a cooling wrack to cool before slicing. Or as I did, place in the fridge overnight, then eat.

 

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Leftover Moroccan Lamb cous cous

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I want to share this recipe with you before the week is over as this week is all about promoting British Lamb week, ( 1st Sep-7th Sep 2015 ) something I feel very passionate about. I wrote this recipe for my column last month but I feel that now would be a right time to be reminded of it.

Here below is what I originally wrote:

Sometimes on a Sunday if the weather isn’t too hot then we will have a roast of some kind and if we are even more lucky it may even be lamb. Normally we go for a breast of Lamb as its cheaper however I bought this particular shoulder of lamb as it was reduced right down from £19 to £6! Bargain! An offer too good to be missed.

Because this lamb was so big for my partner and I its great for creating other dishes from it and thats what I am showing here. Sometimes the leftover recipes are the best.
So for this time of year cous cous is a lovely light alternative to have and I have included the lovely British courgettes being right in season at the minute to add a lovely texture, colour and added sweetness to the dish. Give leftovers a chance, it may even be better than the first dish was.
Leftover Moroccan lamb cous cous:

 

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Ingredients:

Cooked shoulder of lamb ( Could use shanks, breast or leg if you wanted )
1 tsp was el hangout spice ( widely available in most supermarkets or online) I use spice kitchen’s blend.
approximately 200g cous cous
1/4 tub of chicken stock gel pot
1/4 litre of boiling water
Sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste
3 tbsp Rapeseed oil
1 tbsp mild curry powder
small handful of almonds sliced
few sprigs of fresh mint finely chopped
few sprigs of fresh coriander finely chopped
1 courgette sliced into half moons
half a small green pepper diced
half a small red pepper diced
Half a red onion finely diced
1 clove of garlic finely chopped
Thumb nail size of fresh ginger grated
1 tsp ground coriander (Spice Kitchen)
1 tsp ground cumin (Spice Kitchen)
1 tsp ground cinnamon (Spice Kitchen)
Method:

Take your cold cooked lamb and marinate with a little rapeseed oil and the ras el hanout.

In the meantime take the cous cous and cover with approximately 1/4 litre of boiling water with the chicken stock added so it just covers the cous cous and cover with foil.

Fry off your courgettes in a little rapeseed oil and after a minute or two add your peppers and cook until starting to colour and soften. Add in the garlic, ginger and chillies and cook for a further minute or two.

Stir in the ground coriander, cumin and cinnamon, add in the lamb and stir allowing the lamb to warm up. Season to taste

Stir the cous cous with a fork, add a drizzle of rapeseed oil and the cous cous should be light and fluffy. Add the curry powder a little salt and pepper if need be and pop in your chopped coriander and mint.

* Add the Lamb mixture into the bowl of cous cous, mix all through and serve.

 

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Summer Tart for Food Friday on BBC Radio Leicester

Between Saturday 13th and Sunday 21st of June this year it is National Picnic week.  A great opportunity for families and friends to get outdoors and involve food and drink.
  I personally love picnics, I don’t do enough of them but am determined to have more this year, as I love being outdoors and love the countryside. I feel it’s a great way for children to experiment more with food and also learn things such as the wildlife around them from being outdoors.

  Picnics are a great frugal way of spending time together with your loved ones and getting people involved with food.  Now it doesn’t have to be all about “beige food” either, be as colourful as you can with food on picnics, use up your leftovers to create rice, pasta and noodle salads.  Look in your fridge and come up with what you can. Don’t feel you have to go and buy a load of food in, thats the beauty of it, creating what you can on a budget, and thats exactly what I did here for this weeks Food Friday with Ben Jackson on my regular slot on BBC Radio Leicester. (Listen here)
   I took a look at what I had that was on its last legs, of which were my lovely British vine tomatoes and an Aubergine I bought the day before for 10p!
  I decided to do a lovely Summer tart, It is super easy to do, will cost you less to nothing but has some great punchy flavours. 

  Even if Picnics aren’t your thing, you may have some friends over for some “Al fresco” dining which I can assure you, this will impress them immensely! 
One thing to also state is the versatility of this, you can change the vegetables to something such as Peppers or courgettes. Or as Ben suggested, crumble some feta on top. 
  I know one thing, I will be making many different versions of this including a courgette one, when mine come to harvest and look out for some more Picnic recipes for you to try soon.

Summer Tart:



Ingredients:

(One Block of 500g Puff Pastry will make 2 Tarts)

*One Tart


–  Some Plain flour for sprinkling
–  Half block of 5oog Puff Pastry
–  One medium sized Red Onion sliced
–  2-3 large tomatoes sliced into wedges
–  A Few thin slices of Aubergine
–  2 cloves of Garlic finely chopped
–  A selection of fresh herbs, I used Thyme, Lemon Thyme, Oregano, Rosemary
–  Sea salt and Cracked Black pepper to season
–  Drizzle of Chilli oil over the top if you wish or You could use Rapeseed or Olive oil

Method:

*  Preheat Oven to 200-220c

*  Roll out your Pastry on a floured surface with a Rolling pin to just under a Pound coin’s thickness.

*  Score slightly with a knife a couple of cm’s in around the Edge of the Pastry to allow to puff up at the sides.

*   Prick with a fork a good few times so that the Pastry won’t rise to high.

*  Place your Red onion slices on, then your Tomatoes, Season with salt and pepper and pop in the Oven for 10 minutes.

*  After 10 minutes, place your Aubergine slices in between the slices of tomato, add your Garlic, herbs and drizzle your oil over and place back into the Oven for a further 10 minutes or when the tart is Golden brown with no “Soggy bottom”













Breakfast Boost Bars



I realise that this isn’t  a Recipe post that is a “New Thing” or “Trend” in the Culinary world,  but it is something that I always used to make and have been meaning to come up with a new recipe for a while now. 

  Today,  As usual, I had some bananas that were way overripe.  So instead of me putting them into a bread or muffin like I normally do, I decided to come up with a Bar of some sort.  Now I say, “some sort” because, well, I am not sure If this recipe is a Flapjack or a Granola Bar? as, in my eyes, it qualifies for both! 

   I have to say, I am not great at eating breakfasts, especially in summer.  I do get easily bored and like something that I can eat quite efficiently  whilst reading my emails, doing my “To Do list” for that day AND drink my morning Coffee. I know, its bad! But I have to find something that suits me, we all do! and I feel with these bars, it will certainly keep me going for a while. Lets hope it will help others too.
  Now I am no nutritional expert but I have tried to keep the recipe packed full of nutrients with the fruit, nuts and seeds. Also adding no extra sugar to the syrup.

  I can’t wait to let my Fiance try these before he goes for his morning run at the weekend.  He’s been trying to find that certain something that works for him as many others have their own energy fix before a run/workout.  I will let you know what happens there on that note at a later date. Not forgetting aswell how great these are for Children, for breakfast or as a boost over those summer holidays! 
  For now, I will be trying these as my breakfast hit for the next few days…These Boost bars are moist, chewy, packed full of goodness and they’re Vegan too!


Breakfast Boost Bars:

Ingredients:

(This mixture made 9 2″x2″ Squares)

–  100g of Soy Spread ( I used Pure Dairy Free)

–  100g of Golden Syrup
–  1 Tbsp of Raw Organic Coconut Oil ( I used Lucy Bee)
–  200g of Whole Rolled Porridge Oats
–  40g of Grated Raw Carrot
–  2 Over ripe Bananas mashed
–  40g Dried Soft Apricots
–  20g Pistachios (De- shelled)
–  40g of Dried mixed Boosting Berries (i.e Blueberries, Cranberries, Goji, Raisins, etc…)
–  Sprinkling of mixed Seeds for on top (i.e Sunflower, Pumpkin, Linseed etc…)

Method:

–  Preheat Oven to 170c

–  Melt the Soya Spread in a Heavy bottomed pan on a low-medium heat and add the Golden Syrup to it.

–  Into a small hand blender/mixer or processor blitz loosely all the dried fruit together and the pistachio nuts.

–  Add the Oats to the Pan and stir coating all the mixture. Then add the Coconut oil, Bananas and grated carrot to the mixture. Stir and turn off the heat.

–  Line a baking tray with baking parchment and add the mixture creating a nice rectangular even shape.

–  Pop into the Oven for about 20 mins.

–  After 20 minutes sprinkle over your seed mix and pop back into the oven for another 20 mins.

–  Once done, take out and allow to cool before cutting into squares/slices.

If you pop these in a larder/Pantry they will keep for a good few days if kept in a sealed cake tin.