Just Rolling Down This Road

Ok, so I have no idea what happened to January! Christmas is a blur of friends and family. I had 15 people over for Christmas dinner. Totally packed them in like sardines. It was a blast. Kids, dogs, friends of friends I have never met. It was the perfect mix of familiar and new. I cooked enough to feed 30 people and my neighbour Will cooked the about the same amount so we were eating Christmas dinner for days afterwards, as it should be.

My title is very apt for January my god I feel like my blood has been replaced by goose fat! So boringly and as usual and it only lasts about a week or two I am trying my best to be super healthy. I am not in anyway aspiring to be a vegan but I can definitely dip my toe in.  In a way I like the discipline of less ingredients. Not that there isn’t a gazillion different veg that are a available at this time of year. In fact January is wonderfully full of green stuff. Brassicas and all things hardy and dark green.

I have a couple of recipes to share with you this week. So simple and healthy and filling. I made whole roast cauliflower with a spice rub alongside a chana (chickpea) daal and sautéed kale, spinach with fennel. The vegan contingency were happy!

I leave you with a recipe and a few pics. Oh and Rufus got a new skateboard and insisted I showed everyone!

Have a lovely end of the month!

 

fennel and rocket salad KidsOven ruskateboard VeganSupper

Roast Fennel and Rocket Salad

I made this today because a Ridley Road Market stall was selling 3 fennel bulbs for £1. Its a delicious winter salad, you can add some shavings of parmesan or any sharp cheese. I think it will also work with a good goats cheese too.

Ingredients

  • 1 fennel bulb – sliced lenthwise
  • bag of wild rocket
  • handful of mixed seeds
  • handful of dried berries
  • splash of olive oil
  • a capful of red wine vinegar
  • Maldon sea salt and black pepper

Method

Turn on the oven to 200C and place the sliced fennel bulb in a shallow dish, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle sea salt over then roast for 20 minutes. Until the fennel is golden and soft.

On a plate toss the rocket, berries and mixed seeds then place the warm fennel on top and drizzle with a little olive oil and red wine vinegar and season with salt and pepper.

 


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If You See Her Say Hello

In the last couple of weeks I have realised that boy children are sort of like well, boy men! I feel  since he turned three he has decided to age mentally by about 20yrs. I have been working a bit more from home in the last week or so and if I even dare to get into a conversation with Pav (his nanny) he literally stands between us and shouts “Stop talking mummy and Pavlina, stop its not funny” Oh and he told Pavlina that he didn’t like it when we talked because we were “talking rubbish” Huh. Well excuse me Mr ‘I have slightly banged my knee and will act like someone has just cut my leg off for about 2 hours’!

I can forgive him though, he is surrounded by women all the time. Poor kid doesn’t stand a chance.  Last week I caught Lola painting his fingernails neon pink and green! Oh and lets just say he can walk in a pair of 4 inch heels like a pro!

Anyway aside from being bossed about and shushed by a three year old. I have had a really varied week or so.

I did a shoot with Phil Sills. His work is amazing and beautiful and I totally enjoyed the challenge of the day (slicing apple seeds in half and wiring them back into the apple). I also went to the last Street Feast with the kids inhaled pulled pork buns courtesy of Lardo. This in turn made me think of ribs, which in turn made me think of the fabulous butcher on Morning Lane. Halal meat and really reasonably priced and good quality meat. Off we tripped straight from Street Feast. Chicken wings and beef ribs were claimed.

I very rarely cook beef ribs. In fact I very rarely cook beef for myself and the kids and if I was to do a rib dish for the kids it would be pork all the time. I have done my research when it comes to short ribs.  Oh yeah Man vs Food…I am slightly addicted (I use the word slightly in the most untrue sense of the word). The trick with beef ribs is to make a rub. Then slow roast them uncovered for about 3 hours on a low heat 150C. Then make a BBQ sauce to coat the ribs when they come out of the oven.

I made a rub consisting of (you can do as you wish I just used what was in the cupboard and there are loads of recipes online). Mustard powder, sugar, dried thyme, smoked paprika, chilli powder, salt and black pepper. Quantities? I used less mustard powder and sugar then the rest of the ingredients…Sorry just taste it and amend if something seems a bit  too strong. You want a savoury sweetish smoky rub. Then coat the ribs and rub into the meat.

You can leave this rub on overnight give it at least an hour to flavour the meat. Chuck in the oven and then in a saucepan put a couple of cups of tomato ketchup, 2 crushed garlic cloves, a tablespoon of chilli flakes, two or three big dashes of worcestershire sauce, a tablespoon of dark brown sugar and a little water to loosen.  Simmer this gently for 20 mins or so. Coat the meat and then devour. Wonderful.

I leave you with some photos of said dish, well actually a photo of Tilda eating ribs. I wasn’t really happy with the photo I took of the ribs. I  also give you  my favourite recipe for Hummus. Make it and you will never buy it again..

Have a great week

Rachelle x

jammydodgers tildastreetfeast BBQWings streetfeast tildaribs

Hummus

I watched the Ottolenghi Mediterranean Feast episode where he is in Tel Aviv and the amazing hummus which is a million miles away from the dull grey stuff you buy here. My recipe is a kind of inspired by him and that program and as usual slightly improvised by what was at hand. Its good though. You can use dry chickpeas, I am sure purists would be horrified at my use of tinned. Whatever!

 

  • 1 tin of chickpeas (rinsed and drained)
  • 150 g light tahini paste
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon  cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 100mil of ice cold water
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground coriander
  • t tables spoon of sambal olek
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of pine kernels (lightly toasted)
  • Fresh coriander finely chopped to garnish (optional)
  • Big fat pinch of sea salt

Directions

Place the chickpeas, tahini paste, lemon juice, cumin, ground coriander, crushed garlic, sea salt in a food processor. Whizz till all is combined into a thick paste. Then with the processor on pour in the water until you get a smooth paste.

Decant into a bowl and spoon the sambal olek on top of the hummus, sprinkle on the pine kernels and coriander then pour over a big glug of olive oil. Squeeze some extra lemon juice on top too if you wish…..I am writing this and now I am going to make it again…Its so good……Enjoy x


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Me and Baby Got This Situation

Yeah sunshine. Actual real sunshine. Daylight, no grey, blue skies. It feels like Spring may have finally arrived! Whoop whoop. My god doesn’t feel like the longest winter ever?

I love London in the summer. I know it isn’t quite summer yet. Seriously 2 days of sunshine and I start planning picnics, friends over for BBQ’s.

The downside is the kids have already made me loose the will to live re: “Can I have an ice cream” Oh my god its only April! This is the constant mantra until September. Unfortunately for me, the Ice Cream van parks about 20 ft from my flat everyday come rain or shine.

As I am typing this TMC (The Middle Child) Tilda has sat next to me repeating over and over again the summer mantra. I say no she says (about 40 times) “Why?” By the 40th time I look up and say if you do not go away I will give your bike away to the first child I see when I leave here! She locks eyes with me and then backs off with a look that was far far beyond her years. It can only get worse!

Popcorn! I am kind of loving it right now. I am experimenting with various “dressings” Is that the right word? Do you dress popcorn? I have no idea but my popcorn is getting dressed at the moment. I don’t have a microwave and if I did I would still make my popcorn “old School”. My mum used to make it in a big heavy pan and throw butter and salt on it. Sunday night treat.

I was out out this weekend with my lovely friend and the kids nanny, Pavlina. I hadn’t really eaten before we went out. A few glasses of wine later and I am starving. Late night munchies have to happen.

I made this recipe up on the spot and my god it is soo good. Smoked paprika, butter, salt and sugar. I have no idea what to call it “Paprika Popcorn” I guess!

Enjoy and I leave you with a few pics from the weekend. Eton Mess courtesy of my lovely friend Sam Starbuck and the obligatory kids stuffing their faces!

Rachelle X
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Paprika Popcorn

(Serves 4)

Not really a recipe. I would serve this at a little cocktail party. Not that I ever host cocktail parties.

Ingredients

250g popping corn

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

For the dressing

3 tablespoons butter

1 large pinch of sea salt

1 teaspoon of sugar

1 half teaspoons of smoked paprika.

Directions

In a large heavy cast iron pan with a lid, over a medium high heat add the vegetable oil and popping corn. Stir the corn so it is slicked in the oil. Put the lid on and wait for the popping to begin. When the corn starts to pop move the pan around on the heat, to make sure all the corn gets even heat and this minimises the corn over cooking.

When it starts to go quiet, take the corn off the heat and place all the ingredients for the dressing in a small saucepan. Heat until the butter is melted and the sugar dissolved in the mixture. Tip onto the warm popcorn and mis thoroughly. Apply to face! X

 

 

 


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Oi Bird!

The summer holidays are torture. They are! I don’t care what anyone says. I raise my hat to all single mums and dads who have to juggle work and kids. Especially when living on a tight budget.

My kids have a pretty low bar when it comes to entertainment. Last year we went to the car wash,  they were beside themselves! In fact they liked it so much the first time, we went back at the end of the holidays and I packed popcorn!

Usually entertainment for my family involves some kind of eating experience. Going out for lunch is a treat and happens rarely but when it does happen the kids are beside themselves

Dalston is great for cheap eats. The Red Art Cafe is mine and my kids favourite. I can feed the rabble and have a glass of wine for under 20quid. My kids love the jacket potatoes (they are huge) and they come with a really delicious salad of grated carrot, lettuce, beetroot and have a great tangy dressing.

I would like to say that my kids were appreciative wonderful darlings after that experience….Hmm well lets just say the day ended with the two girls standing in the doorway of their bedroom shoutiing “Your the worst mummy in the world and we are never speaking to you again”!! The small one even agreed with  a “Yeah”. Oh its so rewarding being a mum……

I am rewarding you with a basic recipe for roast chicken with roast veg. It is a staple in my house and if you are on a budget then one chicken goes very far. A chicken in my house has about 3 incarnations before its tired dry bones finally get trashed!  I stir fry the meat with noodles, cover the carcass with water throw some root veg in unpeeled with a few peppercorns and bay, simmer for an hour or so. You then have a base for a soup. I throw rice in and more veg to make a hearty soup.

Take care

Rachelle x

 

Kids at the Red Art Cafe Dalston

A holiday treat. Bounty Bars

I designed a wedding this week

Poor Lola my trustee assistant helped me deliver the wedding. She was up early!

Roast Chicken with Roast Potatoes and Roast Parsnips

This is a simple Roast lunch/dinner which will also provide left over’s for lunch or supper the next day.  All you need are a few tips in order to get the best out of your bird.

Ingredients

For the Roast Chicken

  • 1 Free Range / Organic Chicken
  • Olive Oil
  • 1 Bulb of Garlic (optional)
  • 1 Lemon (optional)
  • Salt and Pepper

For the Roast Potatoes

  • Maris Piper Potatoes (1-1.5 per person)
  • Goose Fat or Vegetable Oil
  • Cornmeal or Polenta
  • Sea Salt

For the Roast Parsnips

  • Parsnips (1-1.5 per person)
  • Veg Oil
  • Runny Honey
  • Sea Salt

For the Gravy

  • 1 Brown Onion (optional)
  • Cornflour or Plain Flour about a Tablespoon
  • Stock Cube and hot water (optional)
  • Salt and Pepper

Method

Timing is everything with a Roast Dinner, here are a few tips to help you plan your meal.

  1. Take your bird out of the fridge at least half an hour before putting in the oven. This will help shorten the time the bird needs in the oven.
  2. Pat the chicken dry, and sprinkle with Sea Salt, this will give your roast bird a lovely crisp skin
  3. A bulb of garlic sliced in half and half a lemon inside the chicken, not only flavours the chicken from the inside, but also enhance any soup or left over dish you make the next day.
  4. To check that your bird is cooked through, you can use a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the bird (thigh or breast).  Or you can insert a knife between the thigh leg and breast of the bird, if the juices run clear then your bird is cooked. You can also insert a sharp knife into the thickest part of the bird and place it very briefly (flat side down) on your lip, if it makes you go “Ow”, the bird is cooked
  5. Cut your potatoes and any Veg you are roasting the same size to enable them to cook at the same time.
  6. Add a sprinkling of dry herbs such as Rosemary, Thyme, Sage before you roast the vegetables. The herbs taste wonderful with all roast veg

Roast Chicken

(serves 4-6)

Temp 180.C Gas Mark 6

Place your bird on in a roasting dish which is just a bit bigger then the bird itself. Season the bird inside (with Salt and Pepper) and fill the cavity with a bulb of garlic halved and half a lemon (optional). Drizzle some olive oil on the bird and season well with salt.  Place in the oven and Roast for 1hr and 20 mins. Check after an hour and give it a baste with the juice if you wish.  When the Chicken is cooked take it out of the oven, cover with foil and leave to rest for 20mins before carving.

Roast Potatoes

Peel and cut your potatoes into 3rds, you want the maximum amount of surface area on each potato in order to get lots of crunch.  Place the cut potatoes into a pan with plenty of salty water and gently boil until the potatoes are beginning to soften around the edges and they are halfway cooked. While your potatoes are cooking now you should be heating the oil or goose fat.

If you are lucky enough to have a separate oven then put the heat on maximum and place a good cup or so of oil into the pan, or your goose fat. Heat the oil until it is smoking or as near to smoking as you can get it. If you don’t have a separate oven, place the roasting dish on the top shelve of the oven at the same time you put the roast in

When your potatoes are ready drain and give them a gentle shake in the colander so the edges become ruffled (maximum crispiness with occur with this method). Sprinkle a handful or so of Cornmeal onto the potatoes, this enables a crust to form on the potatoes, you don’t have to do this but somehow it feels wrong not to.

Gently tip the potatoes (away from you) into the hot oil and place back in the oven until brown and crispy on the outside. This should take 45mins to an hour depending on how hot your oven is.

Roast Parsnips

There is nothing to stop you placing the parsnips into the goose fat or oil with the potatoes. If your pan is big enough just add them to their own side of the pan. Admittedly if you are coating your Parsnips with Honey, they may char a little but that has never bothered me.

If you wish your Parsnips to roast independently then take your Parsnips and cut them in half, then half again lengthwise. You can peel them if you want to, I don’t bother unless they are particularly woody.  Place all your quarters in a roasting dish and drizzle them with vegetable oil and honey, toss them until they are slick and coated then season with salt.

Place in a hot oven for half an hour to 45mins until they are crisp and golden.

Gravy from your Roast Chicken

I sometimes quarter an unpeeled  brown onion, and throw the pieces in to the roasting dish with the chicken, this adds flavour and colour to the Chicken juices, which in turn adds flavour and colour to your gravy.

When the chicken is cooked remove the chicken and cover with foil tip the juices from the pan (remove the onion if using) into a pyrex jug. Tip off the excess oil which will float to the top. The rest of the liquid is pure flavour.  I simply place the roasting dish on top of the stove on a low heat and tip a tablespoon of corn flour or plain flour into the pan and mix it around scraping and picking up as much of the brown bits on the bottom of the pan then very slowly return the juices back to the pan, stirring fast so the gravy doesn’t form any lumps. Turn the heat up to medium and keep stirring until the gravy thickens.  Taste and if need be add a little more stock (hot water and a stock cube will do). Adjust the seasoning and pour into a jug and serve.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Its a Chilli Thing

It’s a school day, its 7.00 am and the kids are up and shouting names of various breakfast cereals at me,  except for The Ru, who of course is demanding “Ha” (ham). Tilda is running around chasing The Ru and shouting “Torti”..Lola is lying on her back with her legs in the air singing Marry the Night…I tune it all out and start cooking breakfast…”Uhh mum what are you cooking?” asks Lola, “Huevous Rancheros darling”. She looks at me and rolls her eyes..”Your weird”………..go figure.

I started the week assisting Lisa Barber who is shooting David Everitt-Matthias new book. He is the chef at Le Champignon Savauge. His food is sublime, we tried, amongst other things his truffle infused risotto, it was heavenly!  Tomorrow Lisa and I will be finishing the week photographing pestos and gremolata’s.  I have been designing recipes that are not only delicious but look great too.

A pesto doesn’t just have to be the usual basil, olive oil, pecorino, pine kernels combo. I love to experiment with different ingredients. My addiction at the moment is rocket. It works as a wonderful peppery base for a pesto. I add goats cheese or any soft mild cheese. I also love to add walnuts, or sunflower seeds, or hazelnuts. Then bring out the flavours with a little lemon  juice and season. Its all about balance, pepper, mild, deep, sharp, sweet.

As well as making pestos I have been cooking vietnamese inspired food. I think it is one of my favourite cuisines. Its totally addictive, mainly because of the chlli, lime and sugar elements in a lot of the classic dishes.

I leave you with a few photos of this weeks eclectic cooking and also my recipe for rice paper wraps and chilli dipping sauce.

Have a wonderful day

Rachelle x

These I cooked for about an hour and then placed in the fridge with a glug of olive oil. I use them as and when I need them. Hence Huevous Rancheros for breakfast.

Green olive and thyme and a ton of olive oil

Gluten free and divine. I topped this with vanilla cream and cocoa powder.

I told you it was a pretty eclectic week!

Rice Paper Wraps with Chilli Dipping Sauce

These are wonderful they make me happy and the kids help me make them sometimes. It is a great Saturday lunch activity.

For the Rice Paper Wraps

  • 1 pack of rice paper sheets (the round ones)
  • 150g of cooked prawns
  • Half a cucumber cut into half inch lengths
  • Handful of mint leaves
  • 2 spring onions cut into matchsticks
  • 50g Firm tofu (optional) cut into matchsticks
  • 1 packet of mung bean glass noodles (soaked in hot water and drained)
For the Dipping Sauce
  • 1 tbs water
  • 1 tbs light soy sauce
  • 3 small red chillis (diced as small as you can)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (mashed)
  • Juice of a lime
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar
Ok these measurements are a guideline. Taste and add more or less of any of the ingredients to make it more spicy more sweet more citrus. Its up to you.
Making the wraps
Prepare all you ingredients and fill a large bowl with warm water.
Take a chopping board and place a clean tea towel on top. Take your rice paper round and dip it in the warm water, turning it evenly so the wrap softens (if the water is too hot it will disintegrate).
Then carefully place the soft wrap on top of the tea towel, this absorbs the excess water. then a 3rd of the way from the bottom of the wrap layer your ingredients, leaving at least 2cms on either side of the wrap clear.  Fold the sides of the wrap in and so you seal the sides and then fold the bottom of the wrap over the filling and roll away from you so you end up with a spring roll shaped wrap. Cut in half and then repeat until you have used all the ingredients.
Dip in the dipping sauce and eat and be happy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Children are a Blessing………………..

I am drinking a glass of wine. It’s 6.30pm.  To be honest I started thinking about the said glass of wine around…hmmm 4ish (and that’s a barefaced lie)!

And breathe. I just don’t understand how, boy children and girl children can be so different. The boy decided it was his mission to say “Mama” as many times as is humanly possible in a day. He also decided that he would throw all his toys individually at me, the wall, the floor and the windows. Today was a great day for the boy to: raid my make up bag, (it went ominously quiet in the other room) and put my favourite lippy on, (not really on, more like over himself) and demand that “Gaga” would be played on the Ipod on a loop. Oh and as you can see by the photos, it was very very important that he wore as many different hats as possible today.

All I wanted to do today was test two recipes for my English inspired Indian shoot on Friday.  I managed by some miracle to test one. Asparagus Pakora.  It was worth it.

I also managed to cook the kids a simple pasta dish too. It looked pretty so took a photo.

I hope your day was less obstructive then mine.

Rachelle x

10 minutes of shouting “Ha” I obviously thought Ham! How wrong I was…Hat Hat!!

Another Hat was demanded!

He spent a lot of time under the bed.

Asparagus Pakora…..finally

Pasta for the kids.

 

Asparagus Pakora

  • 250g Aspargus peeled and cut into rough half inch lengths
  • 6 Spring onions chopped

For the batter

  • 250g gram (chickpea) flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 heaped tsp ground cumin
  • 2 heaped tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/3 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 250ml cold water

Method

Mix the asparagus with the spring onions and set aside. Heat ½ -1cm sunflower oil in a frying pan.

For the batter, put the flour in a large bowl and give it a whisk to get rid of any lumps, add all the dry ingredients and whisk again to combine. Continue whisking as you add the water.

Fold the asparagus and spring onion into the batter.

When the oil is hot add spoonfuls of the pakora mix, and fry gently for 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove from the oil and drain on kitchen paper.


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Rhubarb Rhubarb Rhubarb…..you get my drift.

I’m not going to talk about the weather. I’m not going to talk about how depressing it is, to be wearing woolly socks, boots and a hat in mid June. I refuse to bang on about how miserable I feel because I can’t sit outside my flat in my little back yard and have a glass of wine in the evening because it is raining. No, not even going to go there!

Ugh what a horrid week so far! Ever had one of those weeks where every where you turn there is a problem an issue or someone is venting at you? What’s the solution? Well today  I am looking at the positives, I’m shooting with Lisa Barber tomorrow at Petersham Nurseries. I am really looking forward to it and meeting Greg Malouf, who is the new chef.  I  have completed a ton of the most painfully dull paperwork and faced a few demons head on. I WON!…. Well I definitely didn’t lose.

Today I was at home with the Ru, I brought Rhubarb. It is one of those ingredients that I believe is best when it is cooked in the most simplest of forms. Is it a fruit? Is it a vegetable?  You know I don’t know, I probably should.

The kids all cried out “Crumble” when I asked what I should make…of course, no surprise there.

I totally and utterly love crumble. To be honest it is the only way I eat cooked fruit. I mostly like my fruit raw and undressed. Rhubarb lends itself perfectly to a crumble and I use orange zest and juice in this recipe. This is a Gluten Free recipe (I used GF Flour) and oats. Oh and I always use self raising flour, I think it adds a lightness to the crumble, but feel free to use plain flour. Also I love a tart crumble, feel free to adjust the amount of sugar to your taste. I usually serve it with a bowl of sugar on the table, especially if the kids are eating it.

I hope the sun is shining where you are, have a fabulous week

Rachelle x

 

Rhubarb Crumble (GF)

Makes 4 individual crumbles

  • 3 sticks of rhubarb
  • 100g Oats
  • 100g SR Flour (gluten free if required)
  • Juice and zest of 1 orange
  • 5 tablespoons of sugar
  • 30g of cold unsalted butter cut into cubes
  • Pinch of sea salt

Method

Butter your dishes or dish. If you are using a single dish use a medium sized ceramic baking dish.

Turn the oven on to 180C and cut up your rhubarb into about 2inch pieces and place in a roasting dish.  Roast for about 10 mins until the rhubarb is soft and beginning to release its juices.

In a medium bowl, place oats and flour salt, then rub in your butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Put the bowl back in the fridge until your rhubarb is ready.

Place your pieces of cooked rhubarb in lightly buttered dishes. Sprinkle the sugar over each dish, (feel free to taste the rhubarb first and adjust the amount of sugar) Then grate the zest of one orange over them and squeeze the juice of the orange over each dish evenly. Sprinkle your crumble on top and put it back in the oven for 20mins until bubbling and browning on top.

Serve with Cream

 

 

 


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Keep it Together Girl

“Mummy I don’t want you to get old” says the 5yr old as I’m attempting to put a head scarf on sitting down in front of the oversized mirror. I take that as a hint that the headscarf wasn’t really doing it for me.   Tilda or “The Spanky One” as she has recently been nicknamed, has now placed her hands around my face and is pulling my cheeks upwards. Yeah thanks Tilda you have just given me a facelift. “You look pretty Mummy”. Am I supposed to take that as a hint that I need some surgery?

After this week a few hours under anaesthetic sounds very appealing.   I think sometimes you just have to roll with the punches and try to let go of the drama. I have completed lots of very tedious but important tasks and now its time to enjoy this fabulous weather.

Its all about the salads this week. As I am typing this I have black eyed peas soaking soon to be turned into a bean and corn salad.  My favourite Salad this week has to be Tomato, Feta and Mint Salad its such an easy recipe to make. I grow the mint in a pot in my tiny back yard. Its best grown this way otherwise it takes over borders like nobody’s business.   There is something so very summery about the mint and feta combination. Measurements are really superfluous but I added them just in case.

Easy Salad Recipe

Fresh Summer Salad

Feta Tomato and Mint Salad
  • 3 medium ripe tomatoes cut into chunks
  • 50g feta cheese crumbled
  • Small handful of mint leaves approx 10 leaves
  • 25mil extra virgin olive oil
  • juice and zest of half a lemon
  • black pepper to season
Serves 2 people
Mix all the ingredients together, feel free to adjust the amount of lemon juice and olive oil to taste.

 

 

 


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Goodbyes and a Birthday

When I am not working on a Sunday, I spend it with the kids. I try to get a lie in, its not always possible as the noisy 2yr old will usually try to hold court either by shouting “mama” from his cot or by coming into my bedroom and demanding “Ha”!

“Ha” is ham, he has a ham thing at the moment. Its all about the ham. Why?  Probably because I have been buying it recently for his sisters packed lunches and he often helps himself from the fridge and its a word we all understand. Its a perfect storm of ham.

This Sunday was the last day my friends from the States were with me and its also Ru’s 2nd birthday (the ham loving one).

I did not have a class booked so dedicated the day to cooking gluten free. We had gluten free pancakes for breakfast, I made silver dollar banana pancakes, they turned out really fluffy, I served them with butter and golden syrup.  For Ru’s birthday tea, I made GF pizza and a GF blueberry cake.

I am designing a Gluten Free Cooking Class this week, to trial at the Henley Cooking School. I will post dates as soon as I have them.

Here is some photos of the day, Lisa Barber picked up my I Phone and took some snaps.

I would love to hear some comments about my Gluten Free recipes. I’m sure I will be cooking GF food regularly as it has been a great experience and so much easier then I thought it would be.  Have a great week!

Rachelle x

 

 

Vegetarian Option

Drizzled with Olive Oil

Hummus with Lemon and Olive Oil

I let this cool then cut in half to ice with cream cheese frosting

 

Totally Divine!

 Gluten Free Pizza Dough 

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of gluten free bread flour
  • 1 sachet dried yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1half teaspoons xanthum gum
  • 1half teaspoons Maldon sea salt
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 450mil tepid water

Method

In a large mixing bowl place all the dried ingredients and mix well.  In a measuring jug mix water, egg yolk and olive oil together. Then pour the wet ingredients into the dry.  Don’t pour all your liquid in at once do it in stages as certain flours absorb liquid differently. It should be a sticky dough but not wet. If you need to add more water then that is fine. Better then adding more flour and changing the balance of the rising agent.

Knead your dough for a couple of minutes on a lightly floured surface. Then wash out your mixing bowl and lightly oil the bottom of the bowl, roll your dough around so it gets a nice covering of oil, cover with cling and put somewhere warm for an hour or so, or until your dough has risen by at least half its size.

I find GF dough does not rise as much as wheat flour, I’m sure there is a scientific explanation for this, I’m sure you probably know more than I do.

Turn on the oven to its highest setting. Place your pizza stone in, or if you do not have one, use a baking sheet lightly oiled with olive oil.   Take your dough and pull of pieces about the size of a golf ball. On a floured surface roll out the dough and place on the toppings of your choice.

Cook in the oven for 10mins. Pizza needs to get heat from below so if you are using a baking sheet, about 5 mins into cooking the pizza, just tip the pizza off the baking sheet and finish it on the rack. This will help the dough to get a really lovely crisp.


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The Sun is Shining

Well not really, its London in May and we have seen a tiny splash of sunshine for about 10 minutes. I keep telling my friends who are visiting from the West Coast of America, tomorrow, mañana as they say in Spanish, the sun will appear, I am the eternal optimist.

My Gluten Free repertoire is growing daily. I am arming my friend Annie with a ton of recipes to take home.  Today I made a ton of GF pasta and I also tweaked a Nigella recipe for Almond Cake for her and it was delicious.  My friend  is now slightly concerned she is going to leave 10lbs heavier then when she arrived!

The Almond Cake is so ridiculously easy to make and it is light and the crumb is perfect.

I took a photo of the cake close up so you can see the texture.

 

 

I haven’t written the recipe up yet, I will post it as soon as I can

So this week it has been all about Italy, lots of GF Pasta and Chianti,  we brought some sunshine to us. Maybe next week it will be all about Tapas and Rioja!!

Here is my recipe for Gluten Free Ravioli filled with Goats Cheese and Rocket Pesto.   don’t even know how the pesto recipe came to me, but thank goodness it did.

Goats Cheese and Rocket Ravioli (GF)

Ingredients

For the Pasta

  • 1half cups of gluten free bread flour
  • 1half cups of rice flour
  • 1half tsp xanthum gum
  • Big pinch of Maldon sea salt
  • 5 large eggs

For the Ravioli Filling

  • 100g soft goat cheese
  • 100g wild rocket
  • 50g sunflower Seeds (dry toasted)
  • 75mil extra virgin olive oil

For the dressing

  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • Couple of big glugs of extra virgin olive oil
  • 25g soft goat cheese (if you have it left over)

Makes about 20 Ravioli

Method

Measure out the dry ingredients directly onto a clean surface, give them a mix to make sure all the ingredients are evenly distributed. Then make a little well in the middle and break your eggs into the flour. Mix together with your hands and gently knead into a firm dough. Wrap the dough in some cling film and place in the fridge for 15mins or so.

Now you can make the filling.  I used a Kenwood Mini Chopper but you can totally do this in a Mortar and Pestle.  If you are using the food processor, then put the seeds in first and give them a good whizz. Then add the rocket in stages as there is too much to go in all at once. Then add the Olive Oil, not all at once judge it, you need a paste that is the consistency of pesto. Not too runny as you want it to sit nicely on the sheets of rolled out pasta.

If you are doing it in a Mortar and Pestle then put the sunflower seeds in first with small pinch of sea salt and grind them down, then add the rocket in stages with the Olive Oil.

Tip out the Pesto into a small bowl then crumble the goat cheese into the pesto and stir through. When you have filled your pasta, do not wash this bowl up as you are going to use it to make your dressing in.

Take your pasta out of the fridge and cut the dough in half.  On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pasta into a rectangle approx 20cms x 30cms as thin as you can (2mm). You want the cut the pasta into 4 strips approx 2half inches wide.  Then put a teaspoon of the pesto approx 1cms apart in the centre of the strip. Then using a pasty brush (or your fingers) brush a little water onto the pasta and place the other strip on top. Gently press down around the pesto bump making sure that the pasta is truly glued down. Repeat with the other 2 strips then cut between the bumps. You can use your fingers to scallop the edges of the pasta or leave it plain. Repeat the process with other half of the pasta dough.

Put a large saucepan of water on to boil, add a good big pinch of salt. When the water comes to the boil gently place your ravioli into the water. They take a bit longer then fresh wheat pasta to cook approx 6mins.

While they are cooking, taking the bowl you made the pesto in add a big glug of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, the juice and zest of the lemon, then if you have any left over goats cheese crumble that in too. You want this mixture to have a drizzle consistency.

When your pasta is ready. Drain plate and drizzle the dressing over. Serve with a green salad and fresh grated parmesan. Heaven!

 

 


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