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Chicken, Chorizo and Chickpea Stew

11 May

CCC Stew ServedI need to admit right away that there isn’t terribly much skill involved in this recipe.  In fact all you need to get it right are some chopping skills and a good dollop of patience. Although it’s an easy recipe, it’s not a quick one.  In fact it does take quite a bit of time, but when it’s a blustery, rainy day outside it is a recipe that is very soothing, both to prepare and to eat. You know how stress reliving punching a punching bag and imagining your boss/landlord/noisy neighbour/the guy who cut you off on your way to work’s face can be.  Well with this recipe there is an awful lot of chopping and trust me imagining the face of you boss/landlord/noisy neighbour/the guy who cut you off on your way to work under your knife is ENORMOUSLY stress busting.

CCC Stew INGTo start take:

  • 6 chicken thighs
  • two small chorizo sausages
  • 2 tins of chopped tomato
  • 1 tin of chickpeas
  • 2 onions
  • a few garlic cloves (to taste)
  • 2 leeks
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 red pepper
  • 3-4 courgettes
  • olive oil
  • salt, pepper and smoked parika
  • Fresh Thyme (to taste) and a Bayleaf or two.

CCC Stew ChickenRub the olive oil into the chicken breasts and season them with salt and pepper.  Heat your largest wok and place the the chicken skin side down in the pan.

CCC Stew Crisp ChickenCook on both sides for ten to fifteen minutes until the juices from the chicken clear and the skin is golden and crispy. Remove the chicken from the pan, but leave the oil that has been rendered from the chicken in the pan.

CCC Stew OnionsFinely slice the onion imagining your boss/landlord/noisy neighbour/the guy who cut you off on your way to work’s face under your knife.

CCC Stew GarlicChop the garlic into really fine pieces and then add both the onion and the garlic to the wok with the chicken oil and cook over a low heat until soft and translucent.  This should take about 5-10 minutes (Did I remember to mention the  patience as well as chopping skills needed for this ? )

CCC Stew Softened OnionsAdd the smoked paprika to the onions and leave to simmer and then chop the rest of the vegetables.

CCC Stew LeeksChop the leeks and celery into very fine pieces.

CCC Stew CarrotsDice the carrots.  Each of these ingredients adds a beautiful level of flavour to the dish, the carrots add a soft sweetness and the celery a delicious pepperiness.

CCC Stew with Bay LeafAdd these ingredients along with the bay leaf to the onion mix and allow it to all soften together.

CCC Stew ChorizoChop your chorizo, courgettes and red pepper and add to the vegetable mix in your wok and cook on a slow heat to let the flavours mingle (about 10 mins)

CCC Stew TomatoOpen your tins of tomato and your chickpeas, add them to your veggie mix.

CCC Stew BoilBring your stew to the boil and allow it to thicken for about 10 to 15 minutes. Add the chicken and let it cook over a low heat for about half an hour.

CCC Stew Served

Serve with rice, cous cous or mashed potato!  Enjoy.



Mished Mash Potato

8 Apr

TPT with eggOn some weekend mornings you wake up feeling a little more delicate than you should.  We won’t go into any detail why, but your head is tender, loud noises hurt and for some unfathomable reason you are STARVING. On mornings like this you need coffee and you know your day is going to consist of trashy TV and sitting on the couch. Period.  On mornings like this I NEED Mished Mash Potato, a dish that is greasy, salty, stodgy and amazingly restorative.  There isn’t anything too technical with this recipe, but if your head can stand it, there is a bit of chopping.  If you don’t think you can do in in the morning, do your chopping the night before (before you go out) and have everything ready to just pop in the oven.

TPT IngTo start take:

  • about three potatoes per person
  • 2 eggs per person
  • bacon (as much as you think you need, usually 1 pkt for two people)
  • Half an onion (very finely diced)
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 smallish chorizo per person
  • 1 glug of Olive oil
  • 1tsp of smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp of dried thyme
  • 1 grind of black pepper

TPT Diced Potato

Preheat your oven to 200 °C and chop your potatoes, peel on, into about 1cm-ish cubes.  Put the ruler away, this is not an exact science, besides you’re feeling delicate.

Diced IngVery finely dice your onion and roughly chop your pepper into strips and combine with the potato.

Chopped Chorizo

Slice each Chorizo in half and then thinly slice and do the same to the bacon.

MixedMix the bacon and chorizo with the potatoes and add a tsp each of smoked paprika and dried thyme and add a good glug of olive oil and a grind of black pepper.  And with all that chorizo and bacon, you don’t need to add any salt.

TPT baked

Place all the ingredients into a lined baking dish and bake for about forty minutes.  The potatoes should be soft and the bacon and choritzo nice and crispy.  At the 35 minute mark or there abouts poach your eggs.  Now trust me on this, even if you like your egg yolks hard, leave them on the soft side for this.  Once the eggs and the potatoes are done, make a nice pile of potato on a plate and top with that lovely, runny egg.  Cut into your egg and let the yolk make an amazing sauce.  Sit back and enjoy the laziest day ever.

TPT Egg yolk

Man Steaks!

28 Sep

Allow me to introduce myself… I am your regular blogger’s BH and I’ll be guest blogging this installment.  My role as BH means that I am basically the happy and willing guinea pig for all of the recipes that have come and gone on this blog.  To paraphrase Monty Python, I’m not a foodie, but I know what I like! In our house, I am normally the one that cooks up the steaks. (I’m not all that shabby in the kitchen, and have been known to cook food that has been survived by actual guests in our home.) One thing led to another, and we decided that I should have a shot at this food blogging thing. This then, is the result… 

Steaks. The Final Frontier. 

Every man should be able to cook a good steak. From cavemen to pampered hipsters, we should all possess the skills necessary to cook up some meat for our loved ones. Whether you are cooking on a barbecue, or on a stove top, a good piece of meat deserves to be cooked properly. And whilst most men would be satisfied with a hunk of meat and nothing else for dinner, my wife will always insist on some vegetable matter of some description. We’ve compromised, and I made potatoes. So this then is a proper steak and chips meal. This entire meal should take you no longer than 35 minutes, from raw ingredients to plating and eating.

First off, our line up of ingredients. Obviously, you’ll need steaks. Don’t try and buy the flaccid excuse for meat that most supermarkets have pre-packed in their fridges. Take the time to go to a butcher, or the butchery counter and get some steaks cut for you. You want them thick, and you want the meat to be of the best quality you can afford. I settled for some Aberdeen Angus 28-day aged Sirloin Steaks. They’re roughly 375g each. (That’s about 13oz for you Imperials.) Don’t worry overmuch about the weight though, it is the thickness that counts. I always ask for the steaks to be cut at least an inch thick. Insist on it, and check that all the steaks are the same thickness so that your cooking time is consistent. You will need potatoes, a good Olive Oil, Sunflower Oil, Sea Salt, Black Pepper and some Smoked Paprika. You don’t need anything special in terms of cooking equipment, although a cast-iron grill-pan and flat cooking tongs are going to see you through this with a minimum of fuss.

Assemble your ingredients and start the clock! Pre-heat your oven to 185 degrees. (That’s gas mark 4, 370 Degrees Fahrenheit)


Wash your potatoes thoroughly. Nobody wants cajun-style fried dirt with their steaks. Then cut the potatoes into medallions roughly a half centimeter thick. (I’m not working that out in inches, Imperials can go buy a ruler.) Toss them into a metal bowl. (Hot tip – Metal bowls are MUCH easier to clean cooking oil out of than glass bowls. Trust me.) To the potatoes you need to add about two level teaspoons of Smoked Paprika, a good wallop of salt and good grinding of black pepper. Liberally splash your Olive Oil over this mixture and then get your hands dirty, and mix it all through. You’re aiming for a consistent mix of spices and a smooth coating of oil over all the pieces. All of the spices are to your taste, of course, although I would urge caution with the Smoked Paprika… it gets really strong in large doses, and too much of a good thing will kill your potatoes. You can also use barbecue spicing, mixed herbs, fresh rosemary and thyme, garlic, onion or curry powder instead of the Paprika. (Let’s face it, you can dress up potatoes in a LOT of ways.) When you are done, your potatoes will have gone from the picture on the left to the picture in the middle. Pour your potatoes into a baking tray and spread evenly. (No need to pre-grease the tray, the potatoes are oiled enough) Bang them into the oven, and leave them there for 25 minutes.

Crack open a beer, and have a swig. You deserve it. Time for the steaks. Take a flat dish and pour some Sunflower Oil into it. Put your steaks in the dish and rub them in the oil, flipping them to ensure that both sides are well coated. Then sprinkle a LOT of salt over the steaks. A good two or three pinches per steak, per side. Grind black pepper over the steak to taste. Do this for both sides of the steak, and leave for about 3 or 4 minutes. Use this time to heat your grill-pan. There is no science to this, I set mine up to maximum heat and let it sit there for a good 3 minutes. Do not oil the pan, the oil is already on your steaks. Basically, you want your grill-pan to be a scarily hot piece of metal when you start this up.  When the 3 or 4 minutes is up, it is time to get cooking. (Your potatoes should have roughly 15 minutes to go at this point.) You can use other oils for your steaks, but be aware of the smoke-point of the oils you use. Sunflower oil has a high smoke point, meaning that it only gets smoking at high temperatures. Olive oil has a much lower smoke point, and can actually burn if you’re not careful.

Put the steaks into the pan. If there is a lot of fat on the steaks, press that against the edge of the pan so that it grills too. The idea here is to put the steaks into the pan in one smooth movement, and then NOT to touch them. DON’T fiddle. DON’T move them about. Give them 2 minutes. When those 2 minutes are up, flip them. Again, DON’T fiddle with them. Leave them alone. The salt and pepper mixture will sear with the meat, creating a seal, and also gifting your meat with that awesome grill pattern. Give them 2 minutes. Then flip them again. How much longer you cook them is up to you at this point. I like my steaks Medium Rare, so I tend to do the steaks in for 2 minutes each side, then 1 minute each side. You be the judge. For a one inch thick steak, 2 minutes each side with another 2 minutes each side is roughly medium well. Going much beyond that mark costs you tenderness and taste. When you have your steaks done the way you like them, put them in a dish and cover them to let them rest. They can rest for 5 minutes.

By now, your potatoes are about done. Get them out the oven, shake, scrap or bang them loose from the baking tray and serve. Bring your steaks from their place of rest, and serve. During the rest, your steaks will have bled juices. Pour these juices back over the steak once you have plated them. It serves as an excellent sauce for the meat. And there you have it. Steak and potatoes. Man-Style!

Salmon en Croute

18 Aug

So the BH hasn’t been feeling well for the last two days.  Not well as in running a temperature of 39°C and unable to eat ANYTHING except for BRAT – Bananas, Rice, Applesauce  and Toast.  That’s two whole days of really boring cooking.  I tried gamely to eat the same things in sympathy, but I’m afraid I cracked this evening.  I needed both real food and to actually cook something that had more than one ingredient.  The problem was I needed to cook for one and in looking after the poor invalid I didn’t have time to go to the store, so I had to make do with what was in the fridge or freezer.  My needs being the mother of this creation, I give you my first attempt at an individual Salmon en Croute.  I don’t think it will be the last either.  This is honestly one of the easiest dishes I’ve put together and maybe it was the two day BRAT diet, but damn – it was tasty.


  • 2 fillets of lightly smoked salmon
  • 1 sheet of puff pastry
  • 100 gm of spinach leaves
  • 200 gm of cream cheese
  • 1 tps paprika
  • the zest of one lemon
  • salt and pepper to season
  • 1 egg (to make an egg wash)

If the salmon still has the skin on carefully remove with a really sharp knife and cut each fillet in half then preheat the oven to 180°C.

To make the cream cheese filling, add the cheese, spinach, lemon zest, paprika and salt and pepper to taste into the bowl of your food processor.

Process until smooth and creamy.  If any visible spinach stalks remain, remove them before continuing.

Now we get to assemble.  Roll out a piece of pastry until it’s large enough to cover the fish.  Then place two heaped tablespoons of the cream cheese filling in the centre of the pastry and place the salmon on top.

Brush the sides of the pastry with egg wash and then fold the two longer sides in. Then fold the two short sides in, so the pastry completely covers the fish and the filling.

Score the top on the pastry to allow the steam created from the cooking salmon to escape and place on a baking tray.  Brush with the remaining egg wash and bake for 20-25 mins until golden brown.  Seriously rich, seriously good!

Slow Roasted Chicken with Lemon and Thyme

10 Jul

Everyone needs a recipe that turns out perfectly EVERY TIME.  A recipe that you can trust to take care of itself.  A recipe that you can prepare in advance and then pretty much ignore until it’s time to serve it.  This is the recipe I serve when family are coming over and I’d rather spend time with them than time in the kitchen.  The truly great thing about slow roasting the chicken this way is that the wine and stock keep it beautifully moist while the butter crisps the skin up to an amazing golden brown.  It does take time though.  Two and a half hours in the oven, but it honestly only takes about ten minutes actual work.

For the Stuffing take:

  • 300gm minced pork
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 1 Tbs of thyme leaves
  • the zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 finely chopped onion

For the Chicken take:

  • 1 medium whole chicken
  • 100ml of white wine
  • 100ml of chicken stock
  • 100 gm butter (softened)
  • 2 lemons
  • 2 Tbs of thyme leaves
  • 1 head of garlic (cut into eighths)
  • 1 onion (cut into wedges)
  • 10-15 new potatoes halved ( I couldn’t fit these in the picture attractively, sorry)

Preheat the oven to 160°C.   To make the stuffing,  add the mince, thyme, lemon zest, onion and egg to a bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Then, after washing your hands, get stuck in with your fingers and mix it all together.  Fill the cavity of the chicken, making sure you’ve removed the giblets.  Depending on how big the bird is, you might have some stuffing left over.  If you do this makes an awesome burger or delicious meat balls.

In a separate bowl mix the lemon zest, thyme for the chicken and the butter together, until well combined.  Then stick your fingers beneath the skin at the neck of the bird and loosen it.  Take the butter put it in the space between the skin and the chicken breast.   Rub whatever is left on top of the chicken.

Is is possible to take an attractive picture of an uncooked chicken?  I don’t think so.  Ah well, put the chicken in a roasting tin and add the wine, the stock, the garlic and the onion and cover tightly with tinfoil.  Put it in the oven and roast for an hour.  Wash your hair, have a glass of wine, read a good book, don’t worry about the chicken.  When the buzzer goes, remove the foil and add the lemon, cut into wedges to the tin.   Pop it back in the oven uncovered and continue roasting for another fifty minutes.  Paint your nails, have another glass of wine, call your BF.  When  the buzzer goes turn the oven temperature up to 200°C and continue roasting for another half hour.

Take the chicken out the oven and await praise and adulation.

Bacon, Asparagus and Cheddar Quiche

13 May

I adore quiches.  I really do!  I know that makes me sound like a 1970s housewife, but I don’t really care.  They’re tasty, they’re versatile, they look good on the table and compared to other mains, they’re surprisingly good value for money.  They’re also the perfect way to showcase spring’s asparagus!

Many moons back, when I was a veggie, quiches were my “go to meal” when entertaining,  as veggies and carnivores alike enjoyed them.  That said it’s been many moons since I last made one. While they’re super easy and economical, they are fiddly and demand quite a bit of kitchen time and a lot of waiting time.  It’s one of those dishes that demand a good book.   It’s not something you’ll whip up when unexpected guests pop over.  Does that still happen by the way?  I can’t remember when I last had unexpected guests.  We’ve become far to polite as a society to dare drop by without phoning ahead.  I think we should campaign to bring back the unannounced visit.   BUT I digress.

For the crust take:

  • 170 gms of plain flour (AP flour)
  • 1 egg yolk (Beaten)
  • 100gm of butter
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • cold water to mix (about 2 Tbls)

For the filling take:

  • 3 eggs
  • 150 ml of cream
  • 1 pkt bacon (grilled and chopped)
  • 1 bunch of fine asparagus (lightly steamed)
  • 2 onions (Finely sliced)
  • 60 gms of butter
  • 100 gms of cheddar cheese

To start, sift the flour with the paprika and and then mix in the butter.  You could use a pastry blender, your hands or a food processor.  I prefer to use a processor as it’s quick and you don’t have to worry about the heat from your hands melting the butter.

Mix them until just starting to resemble crumbs and then add the yolk and as much water as you dare.  The mixture should resemble the mix below.   The less water you use the harder the dough will be to work with, but it will have a much shorter texture.

Wrap the dough in cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for half an hour.   This allows the gluten to relax, which stops the crust from shrinking as much when it is baked.   After half an hour preheat the oven to 180 °C and remove the dough from the fridge and place on a lightly floured surface.  Kneed the dough for a minute or two and then roll it into a rough circle.   Then place the dough into a greased and floured quiche tin.  Press it firmly into the tin and then let it rest for another half hour.

Once the dough has rested, line the tine with parchment paper and baking beans and bake it for 20 mins.   Remove the beans and then continue to bake for another 10mins to crisp. Remove from the oven and let it cool.  This, while the crust is baking, it the perfect time to prepare the filling.

Lightly steam the asparagus for about 10 minutes and grill or fry the bacon.  Over a very low heat, melt the butter in a pan that has a lid and once melted add the sliced onions and the thyme.  Cover them and allow them to cook slowly for about 20 mins until just starting to caramelise.  Stir occasionally to prevent them from catching.   Once they are just starting to brown, remove them from the heat and add the bacon and the cheese.

Once the pasty has cooled place the onion mix in in and arrange the asparagus on top.  Then beat two eggs with one egg yolk and the cream and pour over the top.

Then pop the quiche into the oven, still set at 180°C and bake for about 30-40 mins.  The middle should have the slightest of wobbles and the top should be brown and poofy.   Enjoy!

Tomato Pasta

30 Apr

At least once a year I manage to fool myself into buying a jar of pasta sauce.  Usually when I’m pressed for time.  I’ll pick up a jar and fall prey to descriptions of juicy tomatoes and fresh basil and before I know it the jar has been popped into my basket.  Then, when it comes time to use it, I’m always hugely disappointed.  The flavours never really come through.  I think the reason this upsets me is that I know how easy it is to whip up an amazing sauce  in the time it takes to cook the pasta.

If I’m really in a rush, I will literally just roast tomatoes and garlic together and then blend them with some aged Pecorino and some fresh basil.   If I have a little more time on my hands, I make this sauce.

To start, take:

  • 6-8 small ripe tomatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 10 cloves of garlic
  • 50 gms of a hard, sharp cheese like Pecorino or Parmesan
  • 1 Tbs of tomato puree
  • olive oil
  • a splash of white wine or white wine vinegar
  • fresh basil to taste
  • coarse salt

Cut the tomatoes in halves or quarters and place, with the garlic cloves, skins still on,  on a baking tray.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and then roast at 200°C for about 20-30 mins.

Pour a good glug of olive oil into a medium pot and bring to a low heat.  Then add the finely sliced onion and allow it to cook slowly for about 20 mins until just starting to caramelize.  Now would also be a good time to start bringing a large pot of water to boil to cook the pasta.

Dice the carrot and celery as finely as you can and add to the just starting to caramelize onion and allow to cook for a further 5 mins.

While the carrot and celery are cooking, remove the roasting tin with the garlic and the tomatoes from the oven.  Once the garlic cloves have cooled slightly, grab them from the base and squeeze the garlic out of it’s skin.  Add this and the tomatoes to the onion, carrot, celery mix.  Don’t be alarmed at the number of garlic cloves.  They will have softened in flavour during roasting.

Now add the wine and tomato puree to the mix and leave it to cook for another 10 – 15 mins, until it resembles the picture above.

Add the basil and cheese to your blender and then top with the tomato sauce.  Whiz them together until smooth.

Cook the pasta as per the packet instructions and then drain the pasta in a colander and put back into the pot it was cooked in.  Top with the tomato sauce and serve with some crunchy garlic bread.  Simple and seriously tasty!

Chicken Pie

27 Feb

Sorry, it’s been a while since I last posted.  Time  has not been my friend this week and speaking of weeks, this week is British Pie Week!  Now my better half, BH, has a more than serious little pie addiction.  In fact I still believe one of the reasons “we” chose to settle in the UK is how readily available pies are here.  You’re smiling and saying she must surely be joking, but this is a man who spent an entire road trip in search of the perfect chicken pie.

It of course, had to be a chicken pie.  The chicken pie is to savoury pies what the apple it to sweet, the pie standard if you will.  The judging criteria were strict, that it had to be tasty went without saying. The pastry had to be fluffy and light. There had to be more filling than sauce and solid chunks of chicken rather than tiny shredded bits. Potatoes, peas and any other ingredients used to bulk up the filling were a strict no-no.  The final factor was that it had to be awesome hot as well as cold.  The winner, by the way was the Steam Whistle Stop Shop in Sedgefield.  Below is my attempt, not to recreate the winning pie, but to meet all the criteria and kick its arse!

First rustle up some ingredients.  In the interest of saving time at a later stage, I always make enough filling for two pies and freeze half.

  • 1 kg of chicken, I use both thigh and breast meat (cut into chunks)
  • 1 pkt of bacon (sliced)
  • 1 punnet mushrooms (sliced)
  • 1 onion (finely diced)
  • 1 carrot (finely diced)
  • 1 stalk of celery (finely diced)
  • 1 leek (finely diced)
  • 5-6 sprigs of thyme
  • the juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 100 gms of flour
  • 1 heaped tsp of paprika
  • 1 heaped tsp of dried thyme
  • 1 heaped tsp of salt
  • 500 mls of chicken stock
  • a glug of olive oil
  • 150mls of white wine
  • 1 sheet of puff pastry

First add a good glug of olive oil to a deap pan and fry the bacon until cooked, but not crisp.  Set the bacon aside in a bowl and fry the mushrooms in the bacon fat.  Put the cooked mushroom in the  bowl with the bacon.  Then add the salt, dried thyme and paprika to the flour and dredge the chicken chunks in it.  For maximum shaking fun and minimum mess, I like to do this in a zip lock bag. Fry the chicken pieces,  on a medium heat, in batches until GBD, that’s golden brown and delicious!

Set the chicken pie chunks aside in a separate bowl to the mushroom and bacon.  Now look at your pan.  The flour has left it looking crusty and impossible to clean, right?  Don’t despair.  This is what’s going to make the tastiest sauce ever.   Lower the heat and add the wine to deglaze the pan.  Stir until all those browned bits dissolve into the wine.  Add the onion to the wine and let it soften for about 5 mins.  Then add the rest of the aromatics, the leek, carrot and celery, cover the pan and cook for about 10 mins. Add the left-over dredging flour and slowly stir in the chicken stock, lemon juice and zest.  Add the bacon, mushrooms and chicken back to the pan and allow to simmer for about ten minutes.  Remove from the heat and allow the filling to cool.

While the filling is cooling, preheat the oven to 180°C and then cut the pastry sheet in half and roll out two circles.  Line a greased, floured pie tin with one of the circles and, once the filling has cooled, fill the pie pan with half the filling. (Freeze the other half. )

Brush the pastry with egg wash and top the pie with the second circle of pastry.  Crimp the edges, cut a few “breathing holes” into the pastry and brush the top pastry with egg. Use the left over pastry bits to cut out shapes to decorate the top of the pie and pop it into the oven for 40 mins.

Once the pie is done, take it out of the oven and serve it with something fresh like a tomato salad and green peas to make you feel less like crying when you think of your cholesterol levels.

So, how did my pie compare?  Well thanks to the holy trinity of lemon, thyme and wine invoking memories of roast chicken, BH was impressed with the taste.  Adding bacon helped with this criterion, because bacon makes EVERYTHING taste better.  We scored well on chunks and the lack of bulking ingredients.  I’d like to take credit for the fact that BH liked the GBD pastry, but my friends at Jus-Rol, get credit for that.  In fact it was almost a clean sweep, but we were disqualified right at the end as there was insufficient judging material to judge the pie cold.  I guess I’ll just have to make another one, but I think that’s the way BH wants it.  Can I claim a moral victory?

The Greatest Sandwich EVER!

12 Feb

The BH and I don’t really celebrate Valentine’s day.  Why spend a fortune telling someone you love them on Valentine’s day, when you really should be doing it everyday?  OK, maybe not everyday, but at least more than once a year.  That said, it’s also important to spoil them around this time of year, so last night I offered to make him anything he wanted from the kitchen as his gift.  You can imagine how floored I was when he opted for a sandwich, and not just any sandwich, but a VEGETARIAN  sandwich.

Most people find it hard to believe that the BH and I were vegetarians for over ten years.  We just don’t fit the pale, skinny and interesting look most people associate with vegetarians, which probably has something to do with my love for cooking with cream and butter.

It was during the Vegetarian Years that we went looking for a sandwich that would satisfy the burger craving.  Had we been in the West with ready access to quorn, we might never have discovered it. Even though we are now hardened carnivores with all the meat-eating zeal of the reformed, we still enjoy this at least once a month.  I hope you do too.

There are no exact measures on this one, so go with your gut and eyeball it, to mix metaphors.

You’ll need:

  • Aubergine/Eggplant (depending on which side of the pond you live)
  • Olive Oil
  • Garlic
  • Rosemary
  • Cheese (the meltier, the better)
  • Bread
  • Sun Dried Tomato Pesto

First chop the garlic as finely as possible, pour the olive oil in a cup or ramekin and allow it to infuse for about 15 min

Preheat the oven to 200 ° C.  Slice the aubergine in 1cm thick slices an place on an oiled baking tray. Brush with the garlic infused oil making sure at least one piece of garlic finishes up on a piece of aubergine.   In Taiwan I used to use Japanese eggplant which are longer, thinner and less bitter than the aubergines found here, but with the advances we’ve made in food cultivation,  I don’t think it’s necessary to peal, salt or soak, this vegetable.  Tear up the rosemary and scatter about the tray.

Place the baking tray in the oven and cook for 30-40 minutes until they are soft and golden brown.

Slice open the bread and spread the SDT pesto on the bottom and then top with as much cheese as you can.  Place the hot from the oven aubergine on top of the cheese and close the sandwich and leave for 3-4 mins so the aubergine melts the cheese.

Serve with potato wedges and a green salad.

For the potato wedges, mix canola oil (or any other oil that has a high smoke point and a mild flavour) in a large bowl with a tsp of smoked paprika, pinch of salt and a tsp of dried thyme.  Cut your potatoes into wedges and toss in the oil.  Bake at 200° C for 30-40mins, until soft and fluffy on the inside and crispy on the outside.

the port elizabeth blogger

The Banting Cook

Banting recipes – low carb, sugar free and gluten free. Banting recipes I have tried - those that have failed and those that have been a success! I am not a dietician, I'm just a gal who loves to cook banting food, and keep it as good as possible! Obviously all recommendations throughout this and other posts are not intended as an alternative, treatment, or prevention of diseases, medical treatments or advice. The reader takes full responsibility for counting nutritional information such as carbs, while trying any and all recipes :-)

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