Friday, 2 August 2013

Savoury week!

Savoury week began with a little bit of a disaster and a reminder to always check that your equipment is right for the job.  I made the mistake of assuming that a ceramic dish - same brand as another I have used - was ok to use on the stove top.  And to be fair it probably would have worked if I hadn't had the temperature up so high.  Anyways, this is what my dish looks like now ...
Let's have a moment of silence ... RIP dish, you were well loved, one of my favourites in fact.

Even though this was a sad occasion, it was not in vain!  The meal I was making turned out to be one of my best :)  In the words of my husband "This is restaurant quality!  You could charge $35 a plate for this!"  Needless to say, I was rather happy with that comment.

This meal was another of Jamie Olivers lovely creations.  I highly recommend purchasing his 15 minute meals book - so many great recipes in there!  And everytime I cook chicken the way he says to, it turns out so juicy and tender.  It was accompanied by the best potato gratin I have ever made, and a side of snowpeas, peas and spinach, all topped off with some crispy bacon ... mmmm ... bacon ...

What's that you say?  You can't see the chicken?  It's under that pile of bacon!  The recipe said to use two bits, but I had a packet of streaky bacon that needed eating.  You can never have too much bacon.  It's just not possible.

The potato gratin is actually what I was making when my dish began to split.  And yea it may not look like much in the pic, but seriously ... the ... best ... ever!  You start off by putting sliced onions in a hot roasting dish with some oil on stove top, add salt and pepper and crumble up a chicken stock cube.  Stir.  To keep it from sticking, you can add a splash of water.  Meanwhile you want your potatoes (thinly sliced) in a pot of boiling water, boiling for a few minutes.  Drain and then add to the onions.  Stir together to coat them in the onions and seasoning.  Pour some cream over and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.  Pop under the grill until bubbling and golden brown.
I challenge you to make this and not go back for seconds!

Now to blow your mind again!  Smoked Salmon, Cream Cheese and Spinach Filo Parcels!
These are so easy to make and taste divine.  A good meal to make when you have guests coming over.

First of all, you start with your filo sheets - I normally cut these in half.  You want to lay one sheet on a clean dry surface and brush with melted butter.  Place another sheet over top and brush with butter also, add one more layer. 
Spread cream cheese in centre at shortest edge, sprinkle over some smoked salmon - not the tinned stuff - and some baby spinach on top of that.
*Make sure you keep the pastry that's not being used, covered so that it doesn't dry up.
Next step is to fold up the two sides
Then you roll the remainder up into a log.  Place on a baking tray and brush with more melted butter.  Put a couple of slices in the top. 
Put in the oven at 180C until they are golden and crisp.  Serve with a salad and some roast potatoes.

You can also make these wraps using chicken (precooked), cream cheese and apricots - absolutely delicious!

I have one more meal for you, and this one is really simple.  I made pizza dough in the breadmaker - yes I know, lazy, but why not make it a little easier on myself?  It's been a busy week!
So, while dough is being made, heat up a pan with some oil in it.  Cook an onion until softened.  Add mince and brown.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add a tin of chopped tomatoes and a couple of fresh tomatoes, chopped.  A splash of lemon juice.  Simmer until reduced and thicker.

Put pizza dough on a pizza tray and spread with cream cheese.  Spread the cooled mince mix overtop.  Dollop a bit more cream cheese on top, sprinkle with grated cheese (I used that pizza cheese) and a little sumac sprinkled on top.  Put in the oven 180C until base is golden and cooked through, and cheese bubbling.

So there you have it.  I made it through a whole blog without adding anything sweet or chocolatey!  Yay for me!  I hope you try some of these meals, cos they are all great, and actually quite easy to make.

Happy cooking everyone!  Enjoy your weekend!