Tag Archives: feta

Roast tomato and feta quiche

Roasted tomato and feta cheese tart
Serves 8-10 portions ideal for lunches!

300g cherry tomatoes – cut in half
Drizzle olive oil
Feta cheese 100g
2 eggs
284ml pot double cream
Handful basil leaves, shredded, plus a few small ones left whole for scattering.

For the Pastry
280g plain flour , plus extra for dusting
140g cold butter , cut into pieces

Depending on how busy your lifestyle is you can approach this quiche making in two ways:

Option one – Make time for yourself on Sunday to create the quiche in one go then enjoy it when you like!

Option Two – You can start this on the Saturday evening, complete it on the Sunday and then enjoy it for the whole working week.

To start make your pastry: Tip the flour and butter into a bowl, then rub together with your fingertips until completely mixed and crumbly. Add 8 tbsp cold water, then bring everything together with your hands until just combined.

(Option one) Roll into a ball and use straight away or (Option two) chill for up to 2 days.
The pastry can also be frozen for up to a month.

When you are ready to start the quiche creation, roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to a circle, about 5cm larger than a 25cm tin. Carefully lift your pastry it up, then drape over the tart case so there is an overhang of pastry on the sides, push the pastry into the corners of the tin. Chill in the fridge or freezer for 20 mins.

Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6.

In a small roasting tin, drizzle the tomatoes with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Put the tomatoes in a low shelf of the oven.

Lightly prick the base of the tart with a fork, line the tart case with a large circle of greaseproof paper or foil, then fill with baking beans or rice. Blind-bake the tart for 20 mins, remove the paper and beans, then continue to cook for 5-10 mins until biscuit brown.

While the tart is cooking, beat the eggs in a large bowl. Gradually add the cream, then stir in the basil and season.

When you remove the tart case from the oven, take out the tomatoes, too. This will have given your tomatoes approximately 30mins in the oven

When the case is ready, sprinkle half the cheese over the base, scatter over the tomatoes, pour over the cream mix, then finally scatter over the rest of the cheese.

Bake for 20-25 mins until set and golden brown. Leave to cool in the case, trim the edges of the pastry, then remove from the tin. Scatter over the remaining basil and serve in slices.

Before 20120801-073227.jpg After  20120801-073245.jpg

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Broccoli and feta tart – work lunch

For this weeks’ lunch I’m going to have homemade tart or quiche. I think this becomes a quiche due to the egg content, but either way this should make 4 portions which is ideal as I’ll be out for lunch for one midweek meeting.

Pastry – You could use a shop bought base if you really have no time!
50g softened butter
50g wholemeal flour
50g self raising flour
A few drops of water

Filling
8 pieces of tenderstem broccoli
3 eggs
220g crème fraiche
175g feta

Practical things
1 tart dish with a removable base, buttered
Preheated oven set to 180C

Create
First make your pastry adding the butter and flour to the food processor and pulsing until the mixture looks like small crumbs. Then pour in a small amount of water while the processor is still on, until the mixture comes together into a ball. Then place the pastry ball into cling film and sit it in the fridge for about half an hour.

Now crack the eggs into a jug and whisk, then pour in the crème fraiche. Next chop the feta into small chunks and mix this into the egg mix.

Take the pastry out of the fridge and roll out onto a floured surface. Make sure the pastry is large enough to sit into your buttered tart dish. Prick the base with a fork all over, to stop the pastry rising. Now add the tart to the pre heated oven for about 20mins.

As the tart will serve 4 portions I used 8 pieces of tenderstem broccoli. Cook these for a short time making sure that the broccoli still has a crunch and doesn’t go soggy.

When the 20mins are up take your cooked pastry out of the oven and create your tart. Add the broccoli to the base and pour over the egg and feta mix, now put the tart into the oven again for a further 30mins.

Allow to cool and then slice up for your lunches! Alternatively serve this up with salad while it’s hot. If you are dividing this into 4 portions, 1 portion is 435 calories.

Lamb stuffed with spinach, feta and olives

With the weather slowly starting to turn, so do our taste buds. Over the winter we tend to eat plenty of comforting foods, usually in the shape of warm hearty dishes, one pot dishes and pies. But last weekend the weather began to pick up the pace, the temperatures reminded us all that the cold months of winter might  be starting to fade. 12c isn’t bad for February, considering we had snow only the week before!  During the warm weekend, I found this dish in Lucas Hollweg Good Thing’s to Eat, with a stuffing of spinach, olives and feta, my mind was sent back to my holiday in Greece. To me it shouted spring, so I created this for last Sunday’s dinner.

This should serve 6 people or 6 dinners throughout your week! The olive and feta mix should give the meat a good salad, add a few more to the mix when you serve with roast potatoes. You might end up with extra stuffing, (don’t over stuff your lamb it will just fall out!) I used the remainder as a topping to white fish, this works very well if you’re cooking for any pescetarians!

Ingredients
Leg of lamb, 1.5 – 2kg
4 garlic cloves
200g feta roughly broken up
1 handful of mint
1 handful of parsley
3 handfuls spinach
12 olives, pitted and drained
lemon zest
2 sprigs of thyme
3tbsp olive oil
200ml dry white wine

Pre heat your oven to 220C
This dish was simple, but to make sure you get it right, you will need to pay attention to the oven temperature.

 Take 2 garlic cloves, olives spinach, mint, parsley and 2 sprigs of thyme and add them to the food processor. Grate your lemon, season with black pepper and add a tablespoon of olive oil. Now whizz this up to make your paste. Remove the blade from your processor and crumble in your feta

 Blend  Crumble  Stuff

I spilt my leg of lamb in half but making sure to keep the bone in. spoon out your mixture into the centre of your lamb. Alternatively ask your butcher to tunnel bone a leg of lamb, leaving the shank bone attached. This will give you a cavity to fill with your stuffing. Once stuffed you will need to knit you lamb back together, with string or skewers so that the filling is sealed inside.

Place your lamb on a baking tray with the fatty side upwards. Stab your lamb and push in the two remaining garlic cloves, you could split them in half and make 4 incisions, should you wish.
Rub the remaining oil into the skin, season and scatter the last spring of thyme over the fat, squeeze your lemon juice over the thyme before putting the lamb in the oven.

Roast the lamb for 20 mins, on the high temperature of 220C. Remove the lamb from the oven and reduce the oven temperature down to 180C. Add your wine to the baking tray, scrape any dark juices up to mix ni with the wine. Once your oven temperature had reduced put your lamb back into the oven.
Oven timings: 1 hour for 1.5kg.  1.5 hour for 2kg.

Once your oven beeps (if you put a timer on that is!) rest the lamb for 20mins cover the lamb with a loose tent of foil. Carve you meat into slices, use the juices as a gravy, you can warm these up in a small saucepan if it has turned cool during the resting time.

Ease of cooking: If you ask your butcher to tunnel bone the leg, there is very little that can go wrong! The stuffing is simple and tasty.
Time spent: Allow 2.5hrs from start to finish, 30mins of prep. Approx 1hr 30min in oven and 30mins to rest, carve and serve.

Winter couscous salad

Over the summer I went to Greece for my holidays, Saturday’s meal was inspired from some of the delicious meals I’d had during my week in Halkidiki.

I appreciate that a salad in late October could be viewed as a strange idea, if  this is your thought, then  fair enough, but belive me there are so many ways of creating a winter salad and lettuce doesn’t have to play any part.

Couscous
Last night I had a couscous salad something that I don’t usually have, I had recently found quinoa and enjoyed this in salads so I thought I’d give couscous another chance. Couscous is quite a plain food, but that can also be what makes it great to work with, it can be a great base for creating an exciting and tasty meal. this post is merely to highlight its variety to anyone wondering what to do with the packet they have in the cupboard. My salad took a total of 40 mins to create, and 30mins of this was taken by simply roasting my pepper.

Sainsburys
Oxford’s Sainsburys at Heyford Hill has been undergoing a huge re-furb, so with my vague meal plan in my head and a new layout to explore I headed down to do my weekly shop. The layout of the new Sainsburys was very different from before, I’m sure I’ll get used to it in time!  I liked the counters at the back, they looked neat and clean, in a very Sainsburys sort of way! They included a Delicatessen counter, Create your own Pizza counter, a Fishmonger and a Butchers. I made great use of the Deli counter for my additions to my salad.

Ingredients

  • 100g Couscous – 50g pp
  • Chicken stock – to soak the couscous
  • Cotwswold Gold Oil– smoked variety
  • Hot peppadaw pepper stuffed with cream cheese – Sainsburys deli small pot (small pot to serve 2)
  • Green and black olives with feta – Sainsburys deli (small pot to serve2)
  • Sunblush tomatoes – Sainsburys deli (small pot to serve 2)
  • Chunk of cucumber
  • 1 Orange
  • 1 Heaped tbsp Plain Yoghurt
  • 1 Orange Pepper – to roast 
  • Salt and Pepper

A friend of mine has requested that I add more photos, so this is for her! Although the photo was taken after I had started my dinner, so it doesn’t really have the presentation impact that it should have, but you’ll get the idea… even a salad can be warming in Autumn colours!

To start
Pre heat the oven to 150C
I chopped up my orange pepper, discarded the seeds, then added to a baking tray with a drizzle of vegetable oil and balsamic vinegar. I put this in the oven for approximately 30mins.

Meanwhile..
I cubed a small amount of cucumber (3″ in length) and roughly chopped my orange, I added this to a small glass bowl with a pinch of Maldon sea salt and a heaped spoonful of plain yoghurt, then mixed and added equal portions to the plates.

I split the peppadaw pepper pot between the plates and did the same to my olive and feta mix, I halved my olives to avoid the inevitable fork/olive battle. (Where the olive pings off your plate!)

5 minutes before the peppers came out of the oven,  I added my boiling chicken stock to the couscous, as instructed on the side of the packet, and left to soak for the remaining 5 minutes.

Once the couscous and peppers were ready I added the peppers to the couscous, with the use of some tongs, to minimise the oil from the baking tray.

Magic
It was at this point I added what I would call the ‘magic’ to this dish: A drizzle of Cotswold Gold smoked oil to the couscous and peppers. I had a choice of Garlic, Chilli or Smoked and I was very impressed with how well the Smoked oil complimented the salad.

I added the couscous mix to the plates and scattered the sunblush tomatoes on top with a good grinding of black pepper.