Archive for the ‘Nutmeg’ Category

Ham, Cheese & Leek Pasta Bake

Friday, January 18th, 2013

Leeks
3 small leeks
1 tsp olive oil
300g small pasta shapes
1/2 pint milk
1 tbsp flour (or rice flour)
1 tbsp butter
pinch nutmeg
1 stock cube (chicken or veg)
2 cups grated cheddar
4 slices ham

Chop off the tough end of the leeks and peel off a couple of layers.  Cut the rest into smallish rings and rinse thoroughly.  Fry in the olive oil until soft then leave to cool.

Boil the pasta in salted water until tender, then drain. Preheat the oven to 180C

Place the milk, nutmeg, crumbled stock cube, flour and butter in a saucepan.  Whisk over a medium heat until it thickens then stir in half of the cheese.  If it doesn’t thicken by the time the mixture comes to boil, add a little more flour.  If it is too thick (more dough than sauce-like) then add a little more milk.

Chop the ham into small squares.  Mix the ham, leeks and pasta into the cheese sauce.  Put the whole lot into an oven proof dish and sprinkle over the rest of the cheese.

Bake for 20 mins or until the cheese is browning slightly on top.

Mulled stuff (wine, apple juice, tea)

Sunday, December 9th, 2012

Make a mulling syrup:

2 pints water
2 tsp cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
2 cups sugar
2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg

Boil the lot for around an hour until thick and syrupy.  Strain into jar and bottle when cool. 

Mulled wine

1 bottle wine
2 mugs orange juice
1 mug strong black tea
1 mug mulling syrup
1 lemon (juice only)

Mix it all together in a pan and heat gently.  Do not boil!  Taste and add more syrup if necessary.  You can mix this in advance and then heat it up anywhere!

Mulled Apple juice

1 litre cloudy apple juice
1 lemon (juice only)
1 mug cold water
1 mug mulling syrup

Mix it all together in a pan and heat gently.  If it is too sweet/strong, add a little more water.

Mulled Tea (a bit like a quick chai)

Stir a spoonful or two of syrup into your tea!

Cherry tomato and goat’s cheese quiche

Monday, December 12th, 2011

raw tomato

2 punnets cherry tomatoes
1 ‘log’ goat’s cheese
6 eggs
1/2 pint milk
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp dried thyme or 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
1/2 tsp salt
couple of grinds black pepper

for the pastry:
8 oz flour
4oz fat (I use salted butter)
cold water to mix

Make the pastry by rubbing the fat into the flour (or using a food processor) and then, using a knife, slowly stir in a little cold water until it comes together.  Gently, with the tips of your fingers bring together into a dough, then leave to chill for an hour in the fridge (covered in clingfilm).

Halve the cherry tomatoes and thinly slice the cheese along the log (you should end up with around 20 slices).  Whisk the eggs with the milk, nutmeg, salt, pepper and thyme.

Heat the oven to 170 degrees.  Thinly roll out the pastry and use it to line a deep flat dish such as a lasange dish (mine is 18 x 25cm and around 5cm deep).  Place in the oven to blind bake for 5 mins.

Remove dish from oven and fill: cover the bottom with half the cherry tomatoes.  Cover them with half the cheese.  Repeat with the rest of the tomatoes, then the rest of the cheese.  Pour over the egg mix.

Cook in the oven for between 40 and 60 mins.  To check if done, stick in a knife and pull a bit to the side.  If you can see runny egg, it needs a bit longer.  Bare in mind you will see runny goat’s cheese, so make sure it is definitely the egg that is still not done.

This is lovely served with a peppery salad and reheats well for work lunches.

Smoked Haddock Chowder

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

Freshly Cut LeekRaw Potato

200g smoked haddock
1/2 pint milk
2 large potatoes
2 leeks
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp oil
1/2 pint boiling water
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 veg stock cube (I used kallo)
1 tin sweetcorn
handful of parsley leaves to garnish

Cover the haddock with the milk in a frying pan and slowly heat to a simmer, then switch off.  Turn the fish over after 5 mins.

Meanwhile peel the potatoes and finely dice.  Wash and chop the leeks. Heat the butter and oil in a large saucepan and add leek and potatoes, stirring frequently.

Lift the haddock out of the milk and put on a plate; pour the haddock milk into the saucepan with the leeks and potato.  Add the nutmeg.  Mix the stock cube with the boiling water and add to the pan.  Drain and add sweetcorn.

With your fingers, gently flake the haddock off the skin, carefully avoiding any bones.

Once the potato cubes in the soup are tender, add the flakes of fish.  Using a stick blender carefully blend some of the soup; don’t continue until all the texture has gone.

 Season to taste, and serve topped with chopped parsley and toasted buttered bagels or some crusty bread.