February 26, 2010
This week all the selections have cauliflower and I made fritters with cumin and was rather pleased with the results. I also added a green chilli and some coriander then had them with a yogurt dip. Very tasty!! You could also serve them on a bed of salad and have them as a starter or light lunch. I reckon they are perfect as a kind of casual nibble to have with beers before dinner.
Cauliflower fritters (enough for 6 as nibbles/ 4 as a starter)
1 small head of cauliflower (about 280gr) broken into florets
100gr plain flour Read the rest of this entry »
June 19, 2009
It’s starting to look like summer and all those wintery bakey kind of things that seemed to hit the spot a couple of months/weeks ago are the last thing you want to eat. It’s time for lighter food and Frittata is one of those great summer dishes. Frittata is an Italian dish and is basically an open-faced omelette. Unlike other omelettes, it is not folded and it’s texture is firm and set (but never dry) rather then creamy or runny. Another difference is that it is cooked slowly over a low heat. In terms of fillings, it’s like the rest of Italian cuisine i.e. it tends to have only a few (sometimes just one or two) but very well-chosen ingredients as opposed to the fifteen you tend to get when ordering a vegetable/vegetarian omelette in many Irish restaurants.
Frittatas are served hot, warm or at room temperature. I think hot tends to kill some of the flavour and serving them from (or even putting them in) the fridge does something horrible to them so I’d favour warm or room temperature myself. They can be eaten alone or as part of a selection of antipasto style dishes and they make a great sandwich.
The basic technique for cooking a Frittata is the same for all the types below and is as follows: Beat 6 Organic (in a dish like this you can really taste the difference between organic and non) Eggs adding Salt and freshly ground Pepper to taste. One thing though – never crack and beat eggs until you are ready to use them – if they sit around premixed before you start cooking something very strange happens to their flavour and texture. Melt Butter or Olive Oil on a 10 inch non-stick pan. When it heats up and in the case of butter, begins to foam pour in the egg mixture and turn the heat down low. When the Eggs have set and thickened and only the surface is runny you can either a) put it under a preheated grill taking it out when the top of the frittata has set (but not browned) or b) place a large plate or board on top of the pan and turn the pan over onto it, then slide the frittata back onto the pan (the top uncooked side will now be on the bottom) and cook for a few more minutes. This technique, also used for the Spanish style potato omelette, sounds trickier than it actually is and has the added advantage of impressing dinner guests no end. A whole other technique, which also works well, is to pour your egg mixture into a buttered baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes in a preheated oven or until the frittata is no longer runny.
Frittata with Courgettes
1 small Onion (sliced very thinly)
Olive Oil 350-400gr.
Courgettes (about what you have in this week’s bag)
6 Organic Eggs 2 Tablespoons grated Pamesan Cheese
Torn Basil Leaves (if you have them)
Sauté the Onion in a dash of Olive Oil with a pinch of Salt until it softens and begins to brown. Wash the Courgette(s) and slice into 3mm discs. Add to the Onions with a pinch of Salt and cook until golden brown. Take the vegetables off the heat, drain them and allow to cool slightly. Make the Frittata as described above adding the vegetables and 2 Tablespoons of freshly grated Parmesan along with some torn Basil leaves if you have them to the egg mixture first.
Variation: Instead of adding the Parmesan you could top off your Frittata with discs of Goat’s cheese and brown under the grill at the end. If you cook the Frittata in the oven the Goat’s cheese can go on at the beginning
Frittata with Onions
2 medium sized Onions (finely sliced)
6 Organic Eggs
2 Tablespoons Parmesan Cheese grated
Slowly sauté the Onions in about 3 Tablespoon Olive Oil and some Salt in a covered pan. When the Onions soften, uncover the pan and cook until they turn a rich golden brown. Drain and allow to cool slightly then add them to the eggs with a couple of tablespoons Parmesan (or do the Goat’s Cheese thing described above) then proceed as described above.
Frittata with Tomatoes, Feta cheese and basil
2 medium sized tomatoes
6 Organic Eggs
125gr. crumbled Feta (or Goat’s Cheese)
10 torn Basil leaves.
Chop the Tomato and add to the beaten eggs along with the Feta and Basil leaves. Proceed as above.
The above are some of the more classic fillings (at least the first two are). If you want to try others, Asparagus and Artichokes make amazing Frittata fillers. Green Beans are also a classic. After that it’s really up to you. The only thing I’d caution against are Mushrooms, which, while they taste great, tend to turn the Frittata a rather disturbing murky brown colour so I’d leave them for a French style omelette. On a heavier note, the Italians also make Frittata with leftover Spaghetti (!!!). This has always struck me as a comedy type dish so having never tried it, I can’t vouch for it (If anyone decides to go for laughs of disbelief at their dinnertable I’d be very interested to know how you get on). For three eggs you need 220gr. Spaghetti (sauced with anything except clams or shellfish which would dry out. If you don’t have any leftover pasta you can make some and toss it in Butter, Parmesan and Chopped Parsley, then leave to cool a little before continuing), and 2 Tablespoons of freshly grated Parmesan.
Our Fruit and Mediterranean selections all have Apricots this week which are probably good to go this weekend – Enjoy!
Hope you enjoy these recipes,
Have a great weekend,
June 12, 2009
This week the Garlic in your bag is the Fresh or Wet kind. It’s the same as the other stuff but it hasn’t been dried and as a result should be kept in the fridge and used within the week. More subtle and delicate than the regular kind, you can use lots more of it when cooking and it can be used raw in salads along with the stem which adds lovely colour. It’s amazing roasted and served on bread. Just top and tail the head and drizzle with Olive Oil, Salt and Pepper then roast for about 40 minutes in a medium oven. If you’ve nothing in the fridge before we deliver next week saute as much as you like in plenty of Olive Oil and a little Chili and you’ve got a pasta sauce that even a child (train ’em young!) could make. This Garlic reminded me that it’s been ages since I’d made Aioli (the Catalan version of Garlic Mayo) so I made some last night which we ate with some chips and veggie kebabs. When I learnt how to make Aioli years ago in Barcelona everyone had something to say about it – don’t use eggs at all, add a little piece of bread dipped in vinegar at the beginning, add the oil drop by drop etc etc. The best way was shown to me one day after I had tried to make it at least 3 times unsuccessfully and it was getting very dangerously close to lunchtime. You use a whole egg as opposed to just the yolk and a blender and it is pretty foolproof…
1 Egg at room temperature
2 Cloves Garlic
200ml/roughly 1/2 Pint light Olive Oil – don’t use extra or even virgin Olive Oil as it gives a very strong flavour. If all you have is virgin Olive mix it with a vegetable Oil
I use a handheld blender and I find that things are easier to manage if your receptacle isn’t too much wider than the blender. If you don’t have something that’s made to go with the blender try using a pint glass.
Chop up the Garlic and drop it into the glass along with an Egg, a pinch of Salt and a glug of oil. Put in the blender turn it on and very gently move it up and down (I’m taking about an inch) until the egg and oil have emulsified (you’ll see a thick creamy paste almost like whipped cream). Continue adding the Oil moving the blender a bit more to ensure the oil gets incorporated properly) until you have a thick emulsion then set aside (in the fridge as there’s raw egg).
Serve as I did with chips, baked Potatoes or roast veggies.
I’ve been making Bhajis a lot recently which are vegetable fritters from India. They can be made with pretty much anything so last night I tried them with this week’s fresh Garlic and some green Chili. They are very quick to make but you’ll need to get some Gram Flour in as they really do work best with it. Any of the Eastern shops around will have this as will a decent health food shop. We usually eat them with Mango Chutney but some plain yogurt is lovely too..
Fresh Garlic Bhajis with Green Chilli and Coriander
1 Head of Fresh Garlic very finely sliced
1 Green Chili deseeded and finely chopped
75gr Gram Flour
2 Tablespoon Chopped fresh Coriander Leaves
1/2 Teaspoon ground Coriander
1/2 Teaspoon Onion Seeds
A pinch of Salt
60 ml Sparkling Water or Beer (the bubbles add lightness)
Groundnut Oil for frying
Sieve the Flour, Salt and Coriander Powder. Add the Garlic, Onion Seeds and Chilli. Stir in the Beer or water and make a smooth batter.
Heat the Oil in a pan then drop tablespoonfuls of the Batter into the pan and fry each side until golden (about 2 mins). When they’re done drain on some kitchen paper then eat immediately with some Chutney and/or yogurt.
Hope you enjoy these recipes,
Have a great weekend,