Nduja, red pepper and feta baked brunch eggs

Featured

I’m just going to come out and say it… I love baked eggs! They are the perfect weekend breakfast or brunch that’s quick and easy so you still have plenty of time to read the papers and keep the tea and coffee coming. You can also use this recipe as a base recipe for tweaking as you go. I often add fresh baby spinach or kale and red onion is also delicious but the key is to keep it as light as possible.

Ingredients- serves 2
2 garlic cloves- finely sliced
1/2 tbsp nduja
Tin of chopped tomatoes
2 jarred roasted red peppers
Dried oregano, salt and pepper
50g feta
2 eggs

1. Preheat the oven to 180c/ 160 fan. Take a small overproof frying pan or ceramic dish that is big enough to fi the tomatoes into. Add a small glug of oil over a medium heat; fry the garlic for a minute before adding the nduja to melt into the mix. Sprinkle in the oregano, add the tomatoes and peppers. Season to taste, Bring to a gentle simmer and cook until thickened slightly.

2. Crumble over the feta. Make two slight hollows in the tomato mix and crack the eggs into it. Finish off in the oven until the egg white is set. Serve immediately with plenty of fresh sourdough.

Nduja, red pepper and feta baked brunch eggs- grab your bread and dip until your heart and stomach’s content!

Advertisements

Chorizo, manchego and pepper muffin tin fritattas

Featured

Muffin tin fritattas are as the name suggests- mini fritattas that are made in muffin tins! They are great for picnics, lunchboxes for work or school and even breakfast. Fritattas are an ideal go to spring or summer recipe and they can be useful to use up any vegetables or cheese that is in the fridge but has started to see better days. For this recipe I used a combination of chorizo, manchego and roasted red pepper so pack them with flavour but also to give them appealing colour. They are delicious warm from the oven or at room temperature. They can keep in a well sealed container in the fridge for a couple of days- if they’re not all devoured before then!

Ingredients- makes 12 fritattas
7 large free range eggs
1 large red onion
100g chorizo
2 large jarred roasted red peppers- chopped
130g manchego cheese
Fresh basil
Salt and pepper
Vegetable oil

1. Preheat the oven to 190c/ 170 fan. Prepare the muffin tin by lightly brushing each hole with vegetable oil using a pastry brush.

2. Peel and slice the chorizo into slices and then quarter each slice. Heat a dry frying pan and fry over a medium- high heat; fry the chorizo until golden and remove from the pan. Add the red onion in and fry until it has softened. Set aside and allow to cool.

3. Take a large bowl and crack all the eggs into it. Lightly beat them with a fork. Add the sliced red pepper and grate 100g of the manchego into the egg. Tear in some fresh basil and add the onion and chorizo. Season well with pepper and a small amount of salt.

4. Carefully use a ladle and divide the mixture between the 12 muffin tin holes. Do not fill them to the brim as they will naturally rise during cooking. Grate a little more manchego on the top of each hole and bake in the oven for around 15 minutes or until the egg has set and the fritattas are golden. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. When cool remove the fritattas from the tin; you may need to loosen them a little by carefully running the blade of a small, flexible knife around the edge of the tin holes. Serve by themselves or with a simple salad.

Muffin tin fritattas- your answer to breakfast, lunch or dinner!

Baked melting mozzarella stuffed nduja meatballs

Like meatballs? Like melting cheese? Yes, of course you do! You’d be mad not to! Well this is your ticket to an easy, crowd pleasing dinner. I try to use the best quality mince I can as you really do taste the difference compared to cheaper ones on offer. This recipe calls for a mixture of beef and veal mince but you can use one variety if you prefer. Veal mince keeps the meatballs moist and it is worth a try if you have not tried it before. It has a more subtle flavour than beef and I also love using it in spaghetti bolognese.

Now this is not the first time I have used nduja in recipes on this blog and it certainly won’t be the last. This soft, spicy Calabrian beauty’s popularity has risen over the last few years and is now readily available in delis and supermarkets. The lovely people at Duchy Charcuterie very kindly sent me some of their award winning nduja to try and I was smitten. Compared to some other ndujas I have cooked with in the past, this one is more mellow but still packed with flavour. You can find out more about the nduja from Duchy Charcuterie from marc@duchycharcuterie.co.uk.

Red pepper and nduja are a match made in heaven so I have laced the tomato sauce with roasted pepper. The ready roasted jarred peppers are always in my cupboard on hand and are perfect for a quick fix. They soften into the sauce beautifully but of course can be substituted with fresh red peppers if you like.

IMG_20160521_210009

Ingredients- serves 4
200g beef mince
200g veal mince
Salt and pepper to season
2 mozzarella balls- cut into small chunks
2 tbsp nduja
1 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion- finely chopped
2 garlic cloves
2 tins of chopped tomatoes
3 jarred roasted red peppers- sliced
Handful of freshly torn basil to finish- optional

1. Kick off by choosing the correct pan that can be used to fry off the meatballs and that is suitable for popping in the oven- purely a washing up saving device! Get started by making the meatballs and this can be done in advance. Take the two types of mince and add the nduja into it; season well. Some nduja is more solid than others so I tend to pinch small pieces off and then distribute through the mince mixture. Squish together well to bring the mixture together- the meat will bind after a bit of working and that’s when it is ready to shape so it holds. I find that using egg to bind mince can result in a stodgy meatball but trust me that these will still keep their shape! You are after meatballs which are slightly larger than a golf ball. Take the mince, flatten it in the palm of your hand and then pop a cube of mozzarella in the middle before wrapping the mince around it. Repeat until all the mince has been used. Make sure the cheese is well wrapped as you don’t want it oozing out. Pop the balls on a tray and chill until you’re ready to cook.

2. Take the pan of choice and add a glug of olive oil. Heat to medium and take the meatballs in batches and fry until golden on the outside. Remove from the pan and set aside whilst you make the tomato and red pepper sauce. Preheat the oven to 180c/ 160 fan in preparation.

3. If there is a lot of fat from the mince then drain some off to leave about a tablespoon of it. Don’t throw it all away as it is full of flavour! Over a medium heat, add the onion and cook until softening. As garlic cooks more quickly, add this in a minute or two before the onion is done. Pour in the chopped tomatoes and sliced roasted red pepper and bring to a simmer. If using fresh peppers you may like to add the pepper in first and cook for a couple of minutes before adding the tomatoes.

4. Add the golden meatballs back to the pan and arrange so they are not all crammed in and they have space between. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until the meatballs are cooked and the sauce is nicely reduced. Finish with some roughly torn basil if you like and serve. These meatballs are as delicious with pasta as they are with a hunk of bread so it’s up to you!

Baked melting middle nduja meatballs- pimp up your midweek dinner!

 

 

 

Red pepper and nduja baked eggs

Bakes eggs are such a fabulous way to kick start the day when you have a few minutes to spare. They are also a great way to line the stomach before Christmas festivities take over and the booze starts to flow freely! Use this recipe as a basis and tweak by adding extras if you like. Baked eggs are forgiving and most things will work. I have used red pepper paired with red onion, garlic and nduja to spice things up. I often include a bit of greenery such as spinach and this is also delicious. Ingredients such as chorizo, kale and feta also work really well so get experimenting.

You can bake these in individual ceramic dishes or one larger one so everyone can dig in!. I like to serve my eggs with fresh sourdough bread so read on and get cooking!

IMG_20151214_133855

Ingredients- serves 2 hungry people
Glug of oil
1-2 garlic cloves- finely chopped or crushed
1 red onion- finely chopped
2 ready roasted bell pepper- sliced
1 tbsp nduja
1 tsp oregano
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
Salt and pepper to season
2 large eggs

1.Preheat the oven to 190c/ 170 fan ready for the eggs in a short while. In the meantime, get going with the sauce. Take a saucepan and heat a glug of oil over a medium heat. Add in the garlic and onion and cook for a few minutes until softening nicely. Pop in the pepper, nduja and oregano and cook for a further couple of minutes. Add in the tomatoes and season well. Simmer for a few minutes before placing the sauce into one or two ovenproof ceramic dishes, depending on if you want to make individual portions or one sharing dish. Crack the eggs into the middle of the dishes and cook for around 10 minutes until the egg white is set and the yolk is soft. Serve with lightly toasted sourdough and get dipping!

Spicy baked eggs- perfect for a little festive indulgence!

Sweet potato, lentil and red pepper soup

At this time of year minds turn to soup as warming, comforting lunch or dinner. Sweet potato, lentil and red pepper soup hits all the right notes on the flavour front to give a satisfying meal that you will definitely want more of! If you like a hit of chilli then you can also add this to add some warmth but the flavours of the soup are just as lovely without.

IMG_20150906_184159

Ingredients- serves 4
Knob of unsalted butter
1 large red onion- chopped
2 garlic cloves- chopped
1 large red pepper- cut into chunks
1 large sweet potato- peeled and cut into inch chunks
200g red lentils- washed and drained
600ml hot vegetable stock
30ml milk (optional)
Salt and pepper

1. Start off by making sure that all the vegetables are chopped and ready to go. Heat the knob of butter in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the red onion, garlic and red pepper and cook until the onion and pepper has softened.

2. Next up goes the potato chunks and stir to make sure they get a buttery coating. Cook until the potato is catching a little colour on the outside before adding the lentils and stock. Bring the stock to a boil before lowering to a simmer; cover the pan and simmer until the potato is softened and the lentils are tender. Take the pan off the heat and allow to cool slightly before blending with a hand blender; you can make this as chunky or as smooth as you like. At this point you can add a little milk if you would like a creamier finish but it was delicious without too! Check the seasoning and adjust to taste.

Sweet potato, lentil and red pepper soup- autumn in a bowl!

Warming chickpea and lamb kofta tagine

Treat yourself to this chickpea and lamb kofta tagine this week for a Middle Eastern flavour fix. This recipe is simple but packed with spices and vegetables which the whole family will enjoy. When you think of tagines you tend to think of fluffy cous cous which is served with it but with the chickpeas all you need is a fork! Flatbread is also delicious with it and a perfect scoop for the sauce.

IMG_20150924_192722

Ingredients- serves 4
For the lamb kofta
400g lamb mince- I used 20% fat
1 large red onion- finely chopped
2 garlic cloves- crushed
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper

For the sauce
1 red onion- finely chopped
2 garlic cloves- finely sliced or crushed
1 red pepper- finely sliced
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tbsp harissa
1 tin of chickpeas- drained and rinsed
2 tins of chopped tomatoes- blended with a hand blender
1 bag of baby spinach
1 block of feta- approx. 200g
Fresh coriander to serve

1. Start off by simply combining all the ingredients for the kofta, making sure you season it well. I don’t use egg or breadcrumbs because if you are using a good quality mince it will hold together in koftas after working it in the bowl. Get your hands into the mixture and start working the mince until it comes together and firms up. Shape into small sausage shape koftas. Take a frying pan and heat a little vegetable oil over a medium heat; fry off the kofta in small batches until they are golden on the outside. Remove from the pan and set aside; repeat until all have been fried.

2. Preheat the oven to 200c/ 180 fan for later. Now for the sauce! Take a large frying pan and heat a little vegetable oil. Cook the red onion, garlic and red pepper over a low to medium heat until softened and getting a little colour. I like to add salt to the onion at this stage to draw out some the moisture from the onion. Add in the cumin, coriander, paprika and cayenne and cook for a further minute before stirring in the harissa. I then add the rinsed chickpeas into the pan and toss in the spices so they get a lovely coating.

3. Add the tinned tomatoes in the pan and bring to a simmer. I blended the tomatoes using a hand blender for a smoother finish but you can keep them chunkier if you prefer. Shred the spinach roughly and add into the pan in a couple of batches to wilt it down. Next, pop the kofta in the pan and make sure they are covered with some tomato so they don’t catch in the oven. Top with crumbled feta and cook in the oven still in the frying pan for around 30 minutes until the kofta are cooked through and the feta is getting some colour. Finish with a sprinkling of fresh chopped coriander and away you go!

Chickpea and lamb kofta tagine- a warming and hearty meal perfect for a midweek dinner! One more photo? Go on then!

IMG_20150924_192537

Spanish style marinaded quail with morcilla and pepper potatoes

A wonderous thing happened a few weeks ago when walking around Borough Market. We stumbled across a Spanish produce stall and morcilla jumped into my hands and propelled me towards the counter to seal the deal and I’m glad it did! Morcilla is a Spanish blood sausage which is perfect crumbled through dishes so this is when this recipe was born. I allowed two quail per person for a main meal but this recipe is easy to double as needed. I also served this with a dressed green bean side dish which is well worth a try so read on for the recipes for the quail, potatoes and beans!

IMG_20150808_112144

 

Ingredients- serves 2
For the quail
4 prepared quail
60ml sherry wine vinegar
40ml olive oil
1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp runny honey
Salt and pepper

IMG_20150703_095511

 


For the potatoes
Glug of olive oil
250g new potatoes
1 large roasted red pepper- sliced
Handful of crumbled morcilla
Roughly chopped flatleaf parsley

wpid-wp-1423067302480.jpeg

For the green beans
100g green beans- trimmed and cut in half
Glug of oil
1 garlic clove – finely sliced
1 shallot- finely sliced

1. Get started by making the marinade for the quail by combining the sherry wine vinegar, oil, paprika, oregano, honey and seasoning. Cover and set aside for at least an hour but longer if you have a bit more time.

2. Preheat the oven to 180c/ 160 fan when you are ready to get going, pop the quails in a roast dish and cook for around half an hour until cooked through and the juices run clear. During cooking I basted the quail in the excess marinade to keep them moist. I also covered them with foil for the first half of the cooking time before removing for the last part.

3. While the quail is roasting you can start the potatoes. Par boil the potatoes for a few minutes before removing and halving. If you halve them before cooking they can get a little soggy so this way round is better. Drain well and set aside as you heat a glug of oil in a frying pan. Pop the potatoes in the pan over a medium heat for 10 minutes until they are starting to become a little more tender and turning a light golden colour. Add in the pepper slices and crumble in the morcilla and cook for another few minutes. Sprinkle over the parsley when ready.

4. At this stage you can think about boiling a separate small pan for the green beans- multi-tasking at its best! The beans need to be boiled for 5 minutes and then removed with a slotted spoon before refreshing in a bowl of cold water. Reserve 100ml of the cooking water. Using the same pan, heat a small amount of oil and cook off the garlic and shallot for a minute or two before adding the reserved water and beans back into the pan. Pop the lid on the pan and cook for an additional few minutes until the beans are tender and the water has reduced. The water, garlic and shallot creates its own little kind of dressing.

Serve the quail, morcilla potatoes and green beans in warmed dishes so everyone can help themselves.

Spanish style quail with morcilla potatoes and dressed green beans- a perfect way to try morcilla!