Tag Archives: soft

Fresh Cranberry and Chestnut Gingerbread Scones

30 Dec

These are gorgeous. I had to share them with you quickly before the festive season is over and they are kind of irrelevant.

I bought a punnet of fresh cranberries just before Christmas because I had never seen or tried fresh ones before. When I got them home I was sort of unsure about what to do with them. Cranberry sauce was too boring, I wanted something where you can taste the cranberry in its natural state and feel the texture.

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Tyrokafteri – A Greek Chilli Cheese Dip with Homemade Goat’s Cheese

24 Aug

I’ve made Middle Eastern yoghurt cheese (labneh) before by straining Greek yoghurt in the fridge overnight but I’d never gone one step back and actually made the yoghurt as well.

I read about it at Chica Andaluza. She made yoghurt from cow’s milk and then drained it for longer to make a soft cheese. I really wanted to try this with goat’s milk to see if I could make my own soft goat’s cheese.

It took a little longer than expected to “turn” which may have had something to do with the unseasonably cloudy weather we had as soon as I decided I wanted to put my milk out in the sun, but it worked. I made soft goat’s cheese from goat’s milk and it was easy.

A litre carton of goat’s milk made about 250 gr goat’s cheese spread, which is the size of a tub of Philadelphia, it’s that sort of texture too.

Now I could get on with making a Greek chilli cheese dip called Tyrokafteri that had been wanting to try for a while. The original recipe is a mixture of feta cheese and ricotta blended with chillis, lemon juice and olive oil. I just replaced those with my soft goat’s cheese.

Tyrokafteri Chilli Cheese Dip/Sauce Recipe

Makes about 300 ml, vegetarian, gluten-free. Adapted from Epicurious

  • 4 red & 4 green chillis, I used birds eye chillis (use 20 gr if using the larger mild chillies)
  • 250 gr soft goat’s cheese (or 165 gr feta & 85 gr ricotta)
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 35 ml extra virgen olive oil
  • salt & black pepper

Wash the chillis, remove the stalks, cut them in half lengthways and remove the seeds and membrane. Wear gloves or your hands will sting for ages and don’t touch your eyes.

Boil them in a small pan of boiling water for 15 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and peel off the skin (if using larger chillies) using gloves. If you used small chillies no need to peel. Boiling them takes away some of the heat but not the flavour.

Put the rest of the ingredients and  in a blender/processor and blend together well. I added my chillies two at a time because I was worried about it being too hot, and blended again. Taste and add more chillies until you are happy with the heat. I added all eight in the end and it was perfect. Blend until smooth and season with salt & black pepper. If  you are using feta you may not need any salt.

Pour into a serving bowl and refrigerate until using. It tastes even better the next day.

Serve with toasted pita bread or crudites for dipping or drizzle over roasted or chargrilled Mediterranean vegetables. It’s addictive. I served mine with some baked zucchini fries and I will be posting the recipe tomorrow…

Things That Made Me Smile Today……

I love these flowers, they look like a multi-layered gerbera…..

The bees seem pretty taken with them too….

Hasta Manana!

Guacamole and Soft Boiled Egg Salad

9 Nov

 

This will be the first of many avocado recipes now that they are in season. I love avocado. We collected some windfalls this morning while walking the dog. We both had a real fruitarian moment!

When my Dad lived in Spain a lovely girl called Patricia who was a fruitarian used to teach him Spanish. Her and a group of her friends lived in tents along the river, it was a sort of hippy commune really. Anyway they were all fruitarians which meant that they only ate fruit & nuts that had fallen naturally from the tree. 

They also did odd jobs for people. Her boyfriend built a rabbit run with two separate hutches in my Dad’s garden when we first moved to Spain 10 years ago. We brought our two rabbits (Prada & Gucci) from England with us. We flew Easyjet and they flew British Airways the day before so my dad had to pick them up from the airport in Malaga. He said that the airport staff couldn’t believe what he was doing when they came out in their little carry cases on the baggage reclaim belt! The Spanish don’t have rabbits as pets they are food. They all had a good laugh at him anyway.

So Patricia’s boyfriend Xema had to build two separate rabbit  runs beacuse Prada & Gucci were brothers and would fight all the time if we didn’t keep them apart. They thought we were mad.

Patricia rode her bike everywhere in a handmade straw hat. She was one of the most beautiful women I have ever met, she always looked healthy and glowing. One day my dad offered her a drink of something (probably wine!) and she declined saying “solo agua como un flor” which means” just water like a flower”. And she was a beautiful flower….

So back to our windfallen avocados. A quick, easy and tasty salad was on the menu as we were both starving and a bit windbeaten after our walk.

Guacamole & Soft Boiled Egg Salad

serves 2 vegetarian

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 2 eggs
  • some mixed salad leaves (watercress or rocket is good)
  • a small amount of red onion finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic & chilli
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 a lime
  • 1 or 2 tbsp mayonnaise 
  • salt & black pepper
  • olive oil
  •  breadcrumbs (Fried in olive oil with salt, pepper & chilli flakes)
  • fresh chives or coriander

First put a small pan of water on to boil. When the water is boiling carefully lower in the eggs, on a large spoon, into the water. Turn the heat down to medium high and boil for 6/7 minutes.

Meanwhile scoop out the avocado flesh, put it into a bowl with some lime juice (about 1/4 lime) and mash it with a fork. Add the onion, chilli, garlic, cumin, mayonnaise and season well with salt and pepper. Mix together well.

After 6/7 minutes of cooking tip the boiling water out of the pan and run the cold water tap  into the pan to cool down the eggs. Roll the eggs on a surface to break the shells and then peel them. Cut into quarters.

Put the salad leaves on a plate, dress with olive oil, a squeeze of lime juice, salt & pepper. Put a couple of spoonfuls of the  guacamole in the centre and place the eggs around it. Top with chopped chives and toasted breadcrumbs.

Serve with some nice bread or maybe some warmed tortillas. Watch out for the wasps, can you spot it?!

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