Tag Archives: Christmas

Camembert Stars

9 Nov

Camembert StarsSo Halloween has come and gone and in my book that means it’s time to start getting excited about Christmas! I adore Christmas and lets face it – what’s not to love?  You get family and friends time, pressie time and most importantly to me FOOD TIME!  But with all those times happening,  the one thing I tend to be quite short on is time itself.  Enter my best friend when it comes to canapés – store bought puff pastry.  I think it’s okay to admit you don’t make your own puff pastry because let’s face it, with the exception of sweaty contestants on the Great British Bake Off, NOBODY makes their own puff pastry.

You can do wonderful things with puff pastry that are super easy and yet still manage to knock the socks off of the people you are feeding.  Take these savoury palmiers or seeing that it is almost the silly season, these melty-cheesey puff pastry stars that only need 4 ingredients.

CS INGTo make twelve stars take:

  • two sheets of puff pastry
  • a camembert round
  • a chutney of your choice (I went for an apple and walnut because it felt quite Christmasy, but cranberry or sweet chilli would also work beautifully.)
  • and an egg.

CS PrepPreheat the oven to 200°C and then dust the surface you are working on with a quick shake of flour and place one sheet of puff pastry on top.

C Egg WashBeat the egg and brush it liberally onto your pastry. Don’t throw the egg wash away -you’ll need it a bit later.

CS CheeseCut your cheese into twelve bite sized chunks. This will only use about half the round of camembert – save the rest for crackers!

CS fillingPlace about half a teaspoon of chutney on your egg washed sheet of pastry and then place a chunk of the cheese on top of that.

CS CuttingPlace the second sheet of pastry on top of the first one.  Then using a star-shaped cookie cutter cut out twelve stars.

CS Wash and toppingPlace your stars on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.  Use the rest of the egg wash to wash the stars and if you want sprinkle them with some sesame seeds to give them some character.

CS GBD

Bake until golden brown and delicious – about twenty minutes and then bite into the most amazing melted cheesy bit of gooey goodness. ENJOY!

Piggy Bites

22 Jan

There are lots of reasons not to start a food blog. It takes huge amounts of time. I don’t have picture perfect cooking equipment and I have a kitchen the size of a postage stamp. I am not now nor will I ever be a photographer. There are about a zillion other food bloggers out there who have all done a better job than I could ever hope to. I mean they’re real chefs or food stylists or BOTH! Did I mention how much time it takes?

There are however a couple of reasons to start one though. The first being a love for cooking and coming up with new recipes and an incessant need to talk about food. The second being when your better half, or BH.  tells you that if you don’t stop talking about food blogging and actually start doing it, he’s never going to talk to you again.  And you love him all the more for it.

So this it the outcome. The first recipe we’re going to tackle is a new favourite of my BH. I like to call them caramelised apple, sage and pork stuffing balls lovingly wrapped in crisp salty bacon.  He likes to call them Piggy Bites.

First up, the ingredients. These don’t have to be exact.  The list below will make ten bites with left over filling.

  • 250 gm minced pork
  • 2 apples
  • 20 rashers of streaky bacon
  • 50 gm bread crumbs
  • 16 sage leaves (10 whole and 6 finely chopped)
  • 1 egg
  • 30 gm butter
  • salt
  • pepper

First you’re going to need to toast the bread crumbs until they’re lightly golden and crispy.  They should resemble panko crumbs.   Alternatively just use panko crumbs.  I toast the bread at 200°C and then leave the oven on so it’s ready to bake the bites.

While these are toasting, peal and cut the apples into wedges.   Then melt the butter in a small pan and caramelise the apples to sweeten and soften their flavour.  They should land up looking something like this.

Once the apples have cooled, chop them really finely or even process them into a puree, depending on your taste.  Add the apples, pork, crumbs, egg, salt, pepper and the finely chopped sage into a bowl and get stuck in with both hands and mix.

Then haul out your muffin tin and place a piece of bacon in one of the cups.  Top the bacon with a sage leaf and then place another piece of bacon at a right angle on top of that.  Make a small stuffing ball and place it on top of the bacon and then fold the over lapping bacon pieces over the stuffing.  Secure with a cocktail stick. Something like this.

Once you have ten muffin tin holes filled with bacon-ey goodness, pop the tin into the preheated oven and bake for 40 -45 mins.  I tend to serve these for breakfast and this gives me enough time to get eggs scrambled, bread toasted juice squeezed and coffee percolated.  Enjoy!

P.S.  They also work really well as a stuffing side for your Christmas/Thanksgiving turkey.

oh.four.one.

the port elizabeth blogger

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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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