Tag Archives: chutney

The Art of the Tart-ine!

24 Nov

It’s a posh word for an open sandwich but it makes all the difference in the world to your lunch break if you can take that sandwich to another level by making it look and taste really beautiful.

The thing is, it is really easy, all you have to do is look in your fridge, come up with a theme and fire up your grill. At the moment, here in Spain, we have a mountain of  ripe tomatoes and avocados both in the height of season, flavourful and well priced.

That’s where my inspiration came from for this Tartine Tricolore. My favourite Italian salad as a toasted sandwich…

 It all starts with the bread, buy some nice bread. Italian would be good to follow the theme. A nice Ciabatta or even Focaccia.

Tartine Tricolore

Serves 2 Vegetarian

  • 1 small ciabatta about 18 – 20 cm
  • 1 ripe avocado, cut in half, scooped out and sliced
  • 1 ball mozzarella, sliced
  • 1 large tomato(or 2 small plum tomatoes) sliced
  • mayonnaise
  • basil pesto
  • fresh basil leaves
  • olive oil
  • rocket
  • salt & black pepper

Slice the ciabatta in half lengthways so you have flat sides to pile your filling on. Preheat the grill to high and line a baking sheet with foil. Spread each side with some mayonnaise then spread a small amount of pesto on top of the mayo. Place your avocado slices on each half, then the tomato slices, season with a little salt then top with the mozzarella slices. Drizzle with olive oil then add some freshly cracked black pepper and put the open sandwiches on the baking sheet under the grill for about 2 or 3 minutes until the cheese is melting nicely. To serve scatter some fresh basil leaves & rocket over the top and drizzle with a bit more olive oil. This is the kind of sandwich you need a knife and fork for either that or a very large napkin!!

This next idea started when our friends Terry & Joan kindly brought us some Lancashire Crumbly cheese over from England. The Washer Up is a Lancashire lad and he has cravings for it occasionally. It is a creamy, mild but sharp, crumbly cheese that is really delicious served with something sweet & fruity. This got me thinking about a proper old English lunch called The Ploughman’s. A 60’s/70’s thing served in pubs which consisted of a big wedge of cheese (normally Cheddar), pickled onions, Branston pickle and some sort of scary salad.

I decided to take the Cheese & Pickle thing and bring it up to date by serving the Lancashire Crumbly topped with two types of chutney and watercress…

 Start with the bread again, it should really be something English and crusty, like a Bloomer or something similar. We can’t get that sort of thing here so I used a baguette (sacrilege, I know)! You can use whichever chutney you have around but this combination of Mango & Fig was heaven…

Posh Cheese & 2 Pickle Tartines

Serves 2 Vegetarian

Preheat the grill to high and line a baking tray with foil. Get your four slices of bread or baguette sliced lengthways drizzle with a little olive oil, layer over some generous slices of the cheese and top with a couple of spoonfuls of chutney. I like the contrast of using 2 different types, it stops you getting bored half way through. Stick it under the grill for few minutes until the cheese melts then scatter over some watercress…

The Washer Up says this should be enjoyed with a nice hand pulled pint of warm bitter….mmm. I’d go for a nice chilled glass of Albarino myself.

The next version uses Halloumi, a Cypriot Sheep’s milk cheese that is totally addictive. If you have never tried Halloumi give this a try, I promise you, you will be hooked…

Marinaded Halloumi Tartine 

serves 2 or 3 vegetarian

  • some nice bread, maybe pita or a flatbread (I used a baguette because that’s what I had)
  • 1 pack halloumi, thinly sliced about 1/2 cm
  • 2 tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 80ml olive oil
  • fresh mint, parsley & coriander, chopped
  • the juice of 1 lime or lemon
  • 1 red chilli deseeded & finely chopped or 1/2 tsp of chilli flakes
  • black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp sumac* (optional)

*Sumac is a crushed dried berry sold in flakes which is used a lot in Middle Eastern dishes it has a smoky, lemony flavour which is fantastic with the Halloumi.

In a shallow dish large enough to fit in all the Halloumi slices, mix together the olive oil, lime juice, chopped herbs, spices, black pepper and chilli and set aside.

Dry fry the Halloumi slices in a hot pan for about 2 minutes on each side until browned and crispy(you will probably need to do it in 2 batches). When each batch is done place in the oil & lime juice marinade and toss to coat on both sides.

Meanwhile preheat the grill to hot, drizzle your bread with olive oil, place the sliced tomatoes on the bread, season with salt, pepper & olive oil and put under the grill for a minute or so to toast the bread and warm the tomatoes.

When the bread & tomatoes are toasted, layer over the cooked, marinaded Halloumi and pour over some of the herby marinade.

This really is an amazing sandwich, the combination of the salty Halloumi with the fresh herbs, chilli & lime juice is fingerlicking good! If a little messy…. Prepare to feed your Halloumi addiction!

Indian Dhal Soup with Potato Stuffed Parathas

20 Nov

Dhal is the Indian word for lentils. There a lots of different types of dhal; moong dal, urad dal, the list goes on and on. For this quick and easy recipe I cheated and used a jar of cooked lentils because it is a lot faster and the consistency is perfect for a soup as they are really soft and mushy anyway. I wouldn’t use them for a dish like a lentil salad because you need the firmer texture & bite you get from cooking dried lentils. You can, of course, cook your own lentils for this recipe as well.

Indian Dhal Soup Recipe

serves 2 -4 vegan

  • 1 jar/tin cooked lentils (400gr), drained and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1/2 large onion chopped (you will need the other 1/2 for the parathas)
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • salt & black pepper
  • 1/2 – 1 litre veg stock (depending on how thick you want & for how many people)
  • a handful of fresh coriander, chopped
  • the juice of 1/2 a lemon

Cook the onion & cumin seeds in the oil, over a medium heat, until the onion is soft. Add the garlic, ginger and the rest of the spices and cook for a minute. Tip in the lentils and cook  for another minute while coating in the spices. Add 1/2 litre veg stock, take off  the heat and carefully blend with a stick blender(you don’t want to splash yourself or the kitchen!) until it is smooth ish but still has texture. Put it back on the heat, add the lemon juice, fresh coriander, salt & black pepper then taste it. You may need more salt or lemon juice.

You can serve it like this as a thick soup with the parathas to scoop it up or, if you want it thinner, add some more veg stock, that way it also serves more people.

This is also really delicious served at room temperature as a dip with some mini poppadoms or batons of carrot and cucumber. Just don’t add the veg stock and blend to the desired consistency.

The reason I made this dhal soup was because I wanted to make Aloo Parathas and needed something to dip them into. I had seen a recipe on The Hairy Bikers and on a lovely food blog I follow called For The Love Of  Yum. I saw both of these recipes in the same week, so it was like they were calling to me, I just had to make them….

Aloo Parathas Recipe (Potato Stuffed Indian Bread)

Adapted from The Hairy Bikers recipe

Makes 3 Vegetarian

For the dough:

  • 2oo gr plain flour plus extra for dusting
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • about 100 ml milk

For the filling:

  • 1 tbsp veg oil
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger
  • 1/2 onion finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic finely chopped
  • 1 green chilli finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 2 medium potatoes boiled & mashed (or some leftover mashed potato)
  • salt & black pepper
  •  a handful of fresh coriander, chopped
  • 3 or 4 tbsp veg oil

First make the dough. Sieve the flour, salt, sugar and baking powder into a large bowl then add the beaten egg and gradually pour in the milk  mixing with a wooden spoon to bring it together. With your hands, make it into a ball of dough then knead it on a floured surface for about 5 minutes until smooth (You may need to sprinkle over more flour to stop it being sticky).

When the dough is smooth, put it back in the bowl, cover with cling film and leave it to rest for about 15 minutes or until you are ready to make the parathas.

Meanwhile make the filling. Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onion, fry for 2 minutes, then add the garlic, ginger & fresh chilli and fry until everything is soft. Add the spices and cook for 2 minutes then stir in the mashed potato. When the mash is incorporated into the spice mix season well with salt &  pepper and stir in the fresh coriander.

Leave to cool slightly then roll the potato mixture into 3 equal sized balls and set aside.

Back to the dough. Divide it into 3 equal sized balls, flour your work surface and rolling pin and roll each ball into a round about 1/2 cm thick. Place a ball of potato mixture in the middle of  each circle of dough and bring the edges up around the filling so it looks like a big dim sum dumpling then twist the top to seal it. Turn the ball-shaped paratha over (so the seal is underneath), sprinkle the top with flour and very gently roll it into a flat circle again about 1 cm thick. Preheat oven to 160 degrees.

When all your parathas are made, grease a frying with oil and heat until hot. Place a paratha in the pan with the twisted side down and leave for 2 minutes to cook. Brush a layer of veg oil on the top side and flip it over then leave it to cook for another 2 minutes. Cook until golden on both sides then put it in the oven to keep warm while you cook the rest.

Serve hot with the dhal or whatever curry you like. Some yoghurt & mint raita would be nice with this just mix some chopped mint, salt, pepper, cumin seeds, & lemon juice into a pot of Greek yoghurt.

Or why not make some delicious Mango & Tomato Chutney to go with it. This recipe is really easy, it is a great accompaniment with any curry dish and it also makes fantastic homemade presents for people..

Mango & Tomato Chutney Recipe

Makes about 1 jar maybe slightly more. Vegan

  • 1 large mango chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes chopped
  • 1/2 red onion chopped
  • 1 red chilli chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp red chilli powder
  • the juice of 1/2 a lime
  • 1 tsp balsamic/sherry vinegar
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 2 tsp punch pooran*  (or use 1 tsp fennel seeds & 1 tsp onion seeds)

*Punch pooran is a whole spice mix made up from cumin, fennel, fenugreek, black mustard & onion seeds. It gives a great rounded flavour to any indian dishes & is available from East End Foods.

Blend all the ingredients except the oil and punch pooran until smooth ish. Pour into a saucepan and cook on a low heat for about 30 – 40 minutes, stirring occasionally until it is well thickened and reduced.

Heat the oil in a pan, add the punch pooran seeds and fry till they splutter. Pour this over the chutney and mix well. Taste for seasoning you may need more salt/sugar/lime juice.

Pour into a hot sterilized jar and seal with a lid. Leave to cool then store in the fridge. Serve as a side with curries or samosas or as a gorgeous addition to a cheese board..

Enjoy!!

Fiery Fig Chutney Recipe

18 Sep

Fig Tree

At the moment we have a mountain of delicious gooey green figs picked on our morning walks with the dog. They are fab for breakfast & in salads with goats cheese but having exhausted all these recipes I thought I would use up a load at once by making a spicy chutney to eat with some Manchego cheese. Manchego is a hard, Spanish, cured sheeps cheese which would be perfect with these figs. This chutney is also great  to serve with a cheese board or with cheddar cheese on toast yum!

Fig Chutney

 

Fiery Fig Chutney
Vegan

 makes 1 Jam Jar

  • About 10-12 small green figs chopped into rough quarters
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small red onion finely chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp onion seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 tsp punch pooran*
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 4 tbsp soft brown sugar
  • 4tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 red chilli deseeded & chopped finely (use more or less depending on strength of chilli)
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  •  salt & black pepper to taste

*Punch pooran is a whole spice mix made up from cumin, fennel, fenugreek, black mustard & onion seeds. It gives a great rounded flavour to any indian dishes & is available from East End Foods.

1. Heat the oil in a large pan and put in the onion, sugar, spices, chilli, ginger & vinegar. Cook over a medium low heat until the onion is completely softened

2. Add the fig quarters/chunks and cook on low for a further 10-15 mins untill you have a sticky chutney consistencey.

3. Pour into a hot sterilized chutney/jam jar, seal & leave to cool. Then refrigerate for as long as you can wait.

It gets better the longer you leave it!

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