CHEESE & ONION SCONES

If I remember correctly, it was Christmas break 1990– we went to Thames and it rained every day. The most memorable part of that trip was eating cream and jam filled scones straight from the oven with a cup of tea. I know some scones are just so stodgy and tough – this could be because of overmixing. My daughter is somewhat of an expert in scone making and she reckons I taught her but I’ve never made scones until now. In fact, my daughter kind of showed me her technique which I will share with you.

Cheese and onion is a classic combination if you ask me. I always like to add a touch of cayenne to make them extra savoury. Use a sharp tasting cheese like cheddar. You can easily double the recipe if you are making for a crowd.

Cheese & Onion Scone

INGREDIENTS

3 onions, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons oil, for frying the onions

3 cups flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

3 cups grated cheddar or tasty cheese, plus extra for topping

300ml milk plus extra for brushing on top

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CAULIFLOWER FRITTERS

During lockdown, my daughter started her sourdough project and after a few trials and errors, her sourdough starter has been going strong now for a few months now. There is a regular stream of discard that comes with keeping a sourdough starter alive. This is not my own recipe but came across it in a Miele newsletter – I forgot to take note of the author!

These fritters are delicious – I served them for breakfast with some lemony Greek style yoghurt.

Cauliflower fritters

INGREDIENTS

1/2 head of cauliflower (about 400g)

2 tablespoons curry powder

2 tablespoons sunflower oil

2 eggs

220 ml milk

60 grams melted butter

180 grams flour

5 grams baking powder

2 grams salt

5 grams sugar

80 grams starter

To serve:

Grated zest from one small lemon

Coriander leaves

150ml Greek style yoghurt

METHOD

Chop cauliflower into small florets and cook in a fry pan with 2 tablespoons of sunflower oil until a rich coffee colour is evenly achieved.

 Measure all dry ingredients straight into a large bowl.

Add milk and melted butter and mix straight away to avoid lumps. Then add starter, followed by eggs and mix until just combined.

Fold through the cooked cauliflower and curry powder.

Pan fry this batter in small batches on a pre heated non-stick skillet and serve straight away piping hot.

To serve: Place a sprig of coriander in between the fritters and top with Greek style yoghurt. Sprinkle the zest.

Makes 12 fritters

POORIS WITH POTATOES

In India, pooris are often eaten for breakfast along with a potato preparation. What’s not to love about a poori that is beautifully puffed and deliciously light even though it has been fried in oil? My mother reminisces the time when she prepared the dough wanting to make rotis for lunch and had gone shopping. I must have been just about 10 years and I don’t remember it but I used that dough to make pooris for everyone instead of rotis! Such is the love for pooris in India, however these days it has become a very occasional treat.

For all my Indian breads I use atta that one can buy in the Indian store – it is not the same as wholemeal flour but personally feel atta is milled fine.

Frying pooris

INGREDIENTS FOR POORIS

400g atta

¾ to 1 cup warm water (40 degrees Celsius)

Pinch of salt

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POHA & BEAN SUNDAL – a different kind of salad

In India, poha (rice flakes) is a staple breakfast in many households because it is quick to prepare. Just soak poha in water for fifteen minutes and it is ready. Poha is unique because rice is flaked in the husk and handmade following traditional methods. Poha is the name of the dish as well as the name for rice flakes in Hindi.

My Amma (mum) likes to make sure there is enough protein in each meal and this is one of her recipes where she uses poha the same way you would use rice in rice salad. It is a lovely, gluten free and vegan lunch dish.

INGREDIENTS

100g black eyed beans, soaked overnight

150g poha

50g onions, finely diced

100g carrots, peeled and grated fine

75g coconut, shredded (I use frozen)

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EGG QUESADILLA

These quesadillas are great at breakfast, lunch or brunch. They are so satisfying and I bet it will become a favourite for you as well. These are made with wheat flour tortillas and as a guide, it is one egg per one tortilla. These are best eaten straight out of the pan, so the maker gets to eat last!

My son made these for me for lunch a few months back and I just loved them. Here is his recipe.

Making of egg quesadilla

INGREDIENTS

8 eggs

2-3 jalapenos, finely chopped

50g red onion, finely chopped

½ cup of finely chopped coriander stems and leaves

200g tasty or gruyere cheese, grated

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TOMATO & CHEESE SCROLLS

I don’t have much of a sweet tooth – I prefer savoury stuff any day and these are perfect with a cup of coffee and great to take on a picnic.

You can use pesto or Branston pickles instead of tomato relish.

Tomato & cheese scrolls

INGREDIENTS

DOUGH

400g strong bread flour

8g salt

7g instant dry yeast (contents of one packet)

15g olive oil

250ml water

Additional flour for dusting

FILLING

5-6 tbsps tomato relish

150g tasty or any sharp tasting cheese, grated

Extra virgin olive oil, for brushing

METHOD

Place flour, salt, yeast and oil in a large bowl and mix together. Add the water and using a wooden spoon, combine to form a dough mass. Tip dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 10 -15 minutes, resting it for 1 minute every 2-3 minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and leave in a  warm place for approximately 45 minutes, until almost double in size.

Tip dough onto the work surface and gently deflate by folding it a few times. Return it to the bowl, cover and let rest again for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 220 degrees C. Line two baking trays with baking paper. Divide the dough into two equal portions. Tip one portion onto a well-floured work surface and roll out to about 30cm x 25cm.

Spread the tomato relish up to half way through your rolled out dough. Sprinkle the cheese to cover the relish. Gently roll the dough like you would roll a carpet. Using a sharp knife, cut cross-ways about 3 centimetre wide scrolls. You should get between 8 -10 scrolls. Lay them on the baking tray and cover with the kitchen towel. Let them prove for another 30 minutes. Repeat with the other portion.

Bake for 15-18 minutes. Remove from the oven, brush immediately with olive oil and place on a wire rack to cool.

BIRCHER MUESLI

Bircher Muesli

Eating oats daily can lower bad cholesterol because of the soluble fibre, help control high blood pressure and maintain your blood glucose level, all the while making you feel fuller for longer. That’s not too bad for one of the cheapest and most versatile grains on the supermarket shelf. I sometimes wonder why we don’t call this a super food.

INGREDIENTS

2 cups rolled oats

2 tablespoons chia seeds

1/3 cup of desiccated coconut

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BANANA BREAD

Banana Bread (gluten free)

Banana bread elevates ordinary breakfast to something special especially if it’s toasted and slathered with super crunchy peanut butter. This is a gluten free recipe and I used buckwheat flour and rice flour instead of a readymade gluten free mix.

INGREDIENTS

½ cup sunflower oil

½ cup brown sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon powder

400 grams over-ripe bananas (4 small)

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BUCKWHEAT PANCAKES WITH RHUBARB COMPOTE

Buckwheat pancakes with rhubarb compote

Did you know that buckwheat is not a grain but is actually the fruit of a plant related to the rhubarb and sorrel? It is widely popular in many cuisines for its nutritional benefits. Another interesting fact is that rhubarb is a native of Russia and is really a vegetables but is often treated as a fruit. I love the rose pink colour of cooked rhubarb and the natural sharpness works well with the pancakes.

Just a note the leaves of rhubarb have a very high oxalic acid content and are poisonous. Please discard them and cook only the stalks.

BUCKWHEAT PANCAKES

INGREDIENTS

1 plus 1/3 cup buckwheat flour

1 tablespoon sugar

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