Recipes

Supper Club : Grilled Peach + Whipped Feta Toasts

Grilled Peach Whipped Feta.jpg

I'm currently in the middle of some exciting recipe testing for our November supper club and at the moment, I'm trying out some flavour combinations for possible canapés. I picked up a load of peaches at the greengrocers yesterday and spent the rest of the afternoon figuring out if they could come in handy.  Most of the recipes I found for 'savoury' recipes, all seemed to involve goats cheese or cured meats and whilst i love goats cheese (meat, not so much!), it just felt a bit predictable.

Enter stage left, FETA!  I knew it would work deliciously next to those sticky, sweet peaches so I whipped it up with a little cream cheese, before piling it onto these little toasts. Once I'd added the peaches, and drizzled a little basil dressing over them, they really were delicious. They were really quick and simple to make, you just need to get your toast, really thin and crispy, so you have a combination of textures. If the bread is too thick, it won't work half as well.


Grilled Peach & Whipped Feta Toasts

Ingredients (makes 8 toasts):

  • ciabatta loaf, sliced very thin (8 slices)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • handful of basil leaves, chopped
  • 100g feta
  • 80g cream cheese
  • 3-4 peaches, sliced (you'll want 2-3 slices on each toast)
  • balsamic glaze (i used pre-bought - good recipe to make your own here )
  • rose petals totally optional - perfect for a party though ;)

Method:

  1. First up, griddle your ciabatta slices until really crisp, then set aside.
  2. Next, make the basil dressing by combining the chopped basil, extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar.  Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  3. Next, make the whipped feta: in a small bowl spoon in the cream cheese and crumble in the feta. Keep stirring until all the feta is combined and the consistency resembles whipped cream. Set aside.
  4. Grill your peaches over a medium / high heat on a griddle pan. Keep an eye on them and once they have scorch marks on one side, carefully turn over until you get the same on the other side. Turn off the heat.
  5. Assemble the toasts by firstly spreading over your whipped feta. Next, drizzle over a little of the basil dressing, followed by a couple of slices of grilled peach, before finishing with the balsamic. 
  6. Enjoy!

 

WEEKEND BAKE OFF WITH THE KIDS

Peanut Butter Cups

So, this weekend we decided to have a kids Bake Off. This was partly because we were all drained and partly because we thought the weather was going to be significantly worst than it actually turned out to be.  

Toblerone Cheesecake

All three of them chose what they wanted to make and got cracking in the kitchen. It's so lovely to see the older two confident enough to do everything on their own now (I wasn't even allowed in the kitchen!) and it's great to see that India is almost there too. She obviously still needs me there for safety reasons, and will do for a couple more years yet, but she can read a recipe and translate it into actions pretty much on her own.

Lemon & Polenta Biscuits

D made these Peanut Butter Cups 

F made this  Toblerone Salted Caramel Cheesecake  

India made the Lemon & Polenta Biscuits from Jamies 5 ingredients book.

All delicious, how could we possibly pick a winner?

Halloumi Grilled Cheese w/ Honey + Harissa

Halloumi Grilled Cheese

I heart grilled cheese. Let that be known.

It's the only comfort food on the planet that is guaranteed to hit the spot for me. When I need to hunker down, knee-deep in Autumn bliss, with some culinary stodge on my lap, a grilled cheese sandwich is the only thing I want.

Ever since I was a little girl, I've been eating grilled cheese in one form or another and it all started with the good old 'cheese-on-toast'. I have vivid memories of sitting on the kitchen worktops as a child, probably about four years old, eating cheese-on-toast with heaps of piccalilli.

As a teen, desperate for the pizza deliveries like the ones I saw on the TV (living in Devon, this wasn't going to be an option until 1999) I would improvise and found that by excitedly spreading some tomato puree between the toast and cheese, i had 'created' a pizza. Kind of. 

At university, whilst drunk for pretty much four years straight, i doubt little more than a couple of days went by without the famous bean and cheese toastie being consumed by myself and my housemates with Daddies brown sauce being the essential dip. I mean, show me a student of the 90's that didn't go off to university with a toastie maker in their back pocket! 

Thankfully, now that I am a semi-responsible adult, I have the freedom to try out any combination I like whenever the mood takes me (blue cheese and gherkin for the win, fyi) and I also have the luxury of trying to discover which which bread works best (sourdough) and which way one should cook said sandwich. However, through all of the experiments, i've never been able to incorporate Halloumi into the traditional sandwich that we all know.

UNTIL TODAY, FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 8th, 2017

Ladies and gents, may I present to you this delicious, sweet, salty, fresh, fiery and above all else, absolutely perfect sandwich. Whilst this sandwich isn't traditional in the American "Grilled Cheese" sense of the word (the cheese is grilled, but the bread is toasted here) I still, very much urge you to try it.

Halloumi Grilled Cheese w/ Honey and Harissa

Ingredients

  • 3 slices of slightly toasted sourdough
  • 125g halloumi sliced into 6 slices
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp harissa
  • 3 cherry plum toms, sliced
  • handful of lightly flavoured green leaves, I used pea shoots

Method

  1. In a small bowl mix together the honey and the harissa. Set aside.
  2. Heat a little oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat and fry your halloumi until browned on both sides. Remove and place on a paper towel.
  3. Meanwhile, toast your sourdough, until the edges are beginning to char, but its still lightly toasted on the sides.
  4. Whilst still hot, brush the honey and harissa mix over the slices of halloumi.
  5. When the sourdough is ready, build your sandwich: Sourdough > leaves > toms > halloumi - drizzle of harissa mix - sourdough > leaves > toms > halloumi - drizzle of harissa mix. Then pop on the final sourdough on top, et viola.
  6. Lie back and think of England

Tempeh BLT on toasted sourdough

So, it turns out that trying to get a good photo of a sandwich, whilst on your own with rubbish lighting, is near impossible. 

I've never used tempeh before this morning. I'd always looked at it, in health food shops but I always thought it looked a bit daunting. "Give me tofu any day" I used to think because I knew where I was with good old tofu, but actually, I think I prefer this! The tempeh I used to assemble this ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS sandwich (don't worry, i'm not claiming this to be a recipe) was smoked and salty - hence the bacon reference, but i'm excited to try some plain tempeh soon and mix it up a bit.  I'd say if you haven't tried it, then go for it. Don't be scared like I was! If you use it already, i'd love to hear what you do with it.

TEMPEH BLT ON TOASTED SOURDOUGH

Ingredients:

  • 2 - 3 slices of tempeh
  • 2 slices of beef tomato
  • a handful of baby spinach leaves
  • vegan mayo (I use Chippa, my favourite)
  • ketchup 
  • 2 slices of a good sourdough

Method:

  1. Toast your sourdough at the same time that you're frying your tempeh, as they'll take similar times, the simply build your sandwich!
  2. That was easy, wasn't it.
  3. I know you don't need to be told how to make a sandwich, but what else was I meant to put here.

 

Vegan Quinoa, Coconut & Chocolate slices

We made some delicious cereal bars last week; they were chocolatey, sticky, crunchy - really, really good so I thought I'd share them with you this morning. Then I went to the cupboard, and soon realised that my 10 year old had eaten all the dates and finished off the cocoa whilst making hot chocolate. Brilliant, thanks for telling me! So instead, i thought i'd make some healthy yet still appealing flapjack type things with stuff I had hanging out at the back of the cupboard. They turned out pretty good & they are vegan, gluten-free as an added bonus. 

Disclaimer: yes, I do have coconut palm sugar and quinoa flakes lying around (£3.20 for a large bag if you're wondering). Don't judge, I live in Bath & they practically force you to buy this stuff ;) If you need to you can easily sub the palm sugar for brown sugar and you can probably sub the quinoa for oats too, but you'll probably only need to use a 1-1/2 cups, instead.


Vegan Quinoa, Coconut & Chocolate Slices

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups quinoa flakes

  • 1 cup desiccated coconut

  • 1 tbsp chia seeds

  • pinch of cinnamon

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil in liquid form

  • 1 1/2 tbsp coconut palm sugar

  • 1 tbsp nut butter (i used cashew, but almond would work)

  • Sweet Freedom Choco Shot for drizzling

Method:

  1. In a large bowl mix together the quinoa flakes, coconut, chia seeds and cinnamon.

  2. Melt enough coconut oil to fill half a cup, on a low - medium heat, before adding the nut butter and sugar. Whisk gently until the nut butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved.

  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir well to fully combine.

  4. Empty onto a lined baking tray and press down well, so the mixture is packed.

  5. Pop in the fridge for 1-2 hrs before slicing into approx 12 slices. Drizzle over the Choco Shot and store in the fridge for up to a week.

Cocoa + Turmeric Energy Bites

It's 2:30 in the afternoon, it's pissing it down with rain and that cup of tea has your name on it. You are also seconds away from collapsing, in a post-lunch heap on your sofa/desk/toddler.  Do you; A) Open a pack of Jaffa Cakes and inhale the lot? B) Reach for the rice cakes, with the enthusiasm of someone eating cardboard? or C) Settle down with said cuppa and one of these Cocoa + Turmeric Energy bites? 

You know it makes sense, people!

These little beauties will curb that sugar craving until it's wine o'clock, give you a little energising lift and won't break the bank because you don't need 4 hundred bloody Medjool Dates to make them (thanks to Deliciously Ella I had to remortgage my home). Plus, they've got turmeric in them, because well, what hasn't these days?!

COCOA & TURMERIC ENERGY BALLS

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup ground almonds
  • 1 cup seedless raisins
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of ground black pepper

Method:

  1. Place the ground almonds, raisins and pumpkin seeds in a food processor and pulse until the pumpkin seeds and raisins have broken down to small pieces but not totally blitzed.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse until combined.
  3. Remove the mixture and roll into small balls and place on a baking tray. The mixture should make about 15-20 depending on their size.
  4. Place in a fridge for a couple of hours to firm up slightly. Keep in an airtight container, in the fridge for up to a week.