Simple Supper 5

This ‘Simple Supper’ was actually lunch today!  But it would be easy to prepare for a simple supper after coming home from work, and I think eggs and cheese are wonderful comfort foods after a hard day at work.  This meal was also a good option to use up some leftovers.  Two leeks were sat in the fridge, after I’d made some leek & potato soup last week.  Over the weekend we purchased small amounts of different cheeses and this was a good way to use some of it up.  Eggs were a day out-of-date and I really didn’t want to waste them.

P1070560Leek & Cheese Frittata(for 1-2)

Leeks

Butter

Eggs

Cheese

Put a frying pan over a moderate heat with the lid on, to start to heat.  Wash and chop the leeks into small/thin slices.  Add to the hot pan, keep the lid on. Add the desired amount of butter to the pan, to sauté the leeks until they are soft.  Turn the heat down slightly to prevent the leeks from burning. Turn the grill to high.

In a jug, whisk up the eggs with a little salt and plenty of fresh black pepper.  When leeks are soft, pour the egg mix over the leeks in the pan and swirly around the pan so it is fairly even.  Replace the lid, and leave to cook until the edges start to look set, not runny.  Leave for another 1 minute then remove the lid.

Place the uncovered pan under the grill and allow to cook until the egg is firm, not runny.  Scatter the cheese over the frittata then place the pan – uncovered – under the grill and allow the cheese to melt.  Slide the frittata from the pan onto a plate, and enjoy!

P1070557This ‘recipe’ is very versatile.  I haven’t specified quantities.  Use any vegetables you think will taste good fried off in some butter to go in an omelette – onions, tomatoes, peppers, peas, potatoes(will need to be pre-cooked).  Use as much/as little as you wish, and mix vegetables together if you wish.  In this dish I used 2 medium leeks.

For a large frying-pan you will need at least three eggs, to be able to coat the vegetables and bottom of the pan.  I used four in this dish as I didn’t want to throw any away.  If I tried using only two eggs it would probably be necessary to make the vegetables into a mound in the middle of the pan, pour the eggs over and try to keep it all together with the mound in the middle – good luck!

The cheese option could be anything!  I used some Applewood Cheddar – smoked cheese with a pungent flavour, which was absolutely delicious.  And a little Aged Red Leicester(the orange blobs!) - again, that was a tasty option.  I really wanted to include a little Stilton but it was off :-(  After I had finished cooking I wondered whether some small dabs of cream cheese poked into the mix could be good, to give a mild creaminess.  I dotted over small slices of cheese – saves time not having to grate(and wash the grater afterwards).

P1070563If served with a salad and some crusty bread this would serve two people.  I had no crusty bread to hand, and served the whole thing with some beautiful cherry tomatoes fresh from the garden – a delight!  This frittata could also be left to go cold and served as a cold/pack-up lunch the following day, or take on a picnic.

Which vegetables would you use?

Simple Supper 4

I’ve developed a series – wahey!  Simple Suppers.  But please don’t feel restricted – these ideas could also serve as lunch or brunch too.

Simple Supper

Simple Supper 2

Simple Supper 3

I goat’s cheese, if you didn’t already know!  And it goes very well with caramelised onions, like so.

P1060961Goat’s Cheese & Caramelised Onion Tortilla (for 1)

3 medium onions, peeled and sliced

1 tbsp oil

1 tortilla wrap

salt & fresh black pepper

1 slice goat’s cheese, chopped/crumbled

salad to serve

Heat the oil in a frying pan over a low-medium heat, add the sliced onions and cover the pan with a lid.  Allow the onions to soften, keeping covered with the lid to prevent the onions caramelising(burning!) too early – they need to be soft first.  Once softened, remove the lid, add a little salt and fresh black pepper, increase the heat to medium and stir the onions until they have caramelised.  So they will be browned/starting to look a little crispy.  Set the onions aside in a bowl.

With the heat turned off:  Place the tortilla in the hot pan, place the onions on top of the tortilla and sprinkle the goat’s cheese over the onions.  Cover the pan with the lid again and turn the heat to ‘low’ to allow the tortilla and goat’s cheese to heat.  Once the goat’s cheese is warm, fold the tortilla in half and slide onto a plate to serve with the salad.  Enjoy!
P1060960There’s wonderful melty goat’s cheese poking out of the tortilla, and you can just see dark, caramelised onions which are slightly sweet and very good for you  :-)

This makes for a hot, tasty, satisfying and quick meal with a good dose of vitamins and minerals all round.  The large amount of onions makes it a big fat tortilla to slice into.

What is your favourite simple supper?

Another Salad

With a sweet edge.

Cored and sliced juicy pear.

P1060939Mixed with walnut pieces and some crumbled Stilton. P1060940‘Dumped’ on a bed of greens – spinach or lamb’s lettuce, rocket would be too strong for this salad combination.  Not pictured – sorry!  But sweet and savoury, crunchy and most enjoyable.  Very flavoursome.

Why aren’t there more lovely salad mixes for eating out…?

Whippy

Oh my!  We went to a local Farm Shop for lunch last weekend – the Cafe at the Allington Farm Shop.

P1070091Look how whippy and creamy the froth was on top of this cappuccino – it looked like dessert!

P1070092Trifle topping, or tiramisu perhaps…?!!  Nope.  Just good ole coffee.

Your favourite coffee shop and drink?

Grilled

My passionate love affair with Goat’s Cheese continues  :-)

Heat the grill to high.  Prepare one bright, cheery salad base:

P1070109Take a slice of goat’s cheese, thickness of slice as desired. Place on a piece of tin foil, which is placed on top of the grill-pan rack.  Pop under the grill – it will take approx 2 minutes to grill to a toasted, golden colour:

P1070114

It will be bubbling, and golden, and smell wonderfully toasted. Take care lifting the cheese slice – the middle may slide out of the crust where it has become so melty and good! Arrange on top of the salad, and drizzle over a little sweet chilli dipping sauce.  Enjoy!

P1070111P1070113 P1070118This is an official ‘lick the screen’ moment…  I don’t know what made me prepare this for lunch.  I just fancied it.  Sweet, savoury, salty, slightly tangy, spicy and earthy.  All on one plate, all balancing beautifully with the freshness of the vegetables.  Melty, soft cheese which is gooey in the middle, and the lovely toasted crust.

The rocket shown in the picture was a little too much flavour – next time I would use spinach or lamb’s lettuce.  Really, I only wanted the wonderful flavour of the goat’s cheese and sauce, with no other flavours to interfere.

Restaurant food @ Chez Pam’s  :-)

Have you fallen for goat’s cheese?

Easter Birthday Cake

This is a week+ late, but I wanted to share this.  I so enjoyed making it!  The purpose was for a family celebration of Mum’s birthday which fell on Easter Sunday.  One cake for two celebrations.

The batter was very runny but the cake worked out perfectly.

P1070035P1070037P1070040The icing was made in the food processor – a doddle!P1070042Iced, with Maltesers plopped on top!P1070043P1070045This was a Maltesers Cake from Nigella’s cookery book ‘Feast’.  The secret ingredient – in the cake batter and in the icing – was…Horlicks!  Nigella promises the flavour is subtle, but I was worried it might overpower, depending on whether one actually likes Horlicks.

I cannot bear the smell of the stuff, so have never tasted the drink.  Many years ago as a child, after Church each Sunday evening we would go visit an Aunt and I used to prepare a hot Horlicks drink for her at each visit.  Bleugh…!  A colleague who I worked with some years ago used to suck/chew on Horlicks tablets(sort of sweets) – vile!  But she loved them.

It smells – and I presume tastes – of the malted part of Maltesers.  Maltesers are great!  Horlicks is not.  Anyway, I digress…

I bravely taste-tested the icing – the Horlicks flavour was indeed subtle, and I added some extra cocoa powder for a slightly stronger chocolate flavour.

The overall result was sticky but light.  The sponge cake is fairly low-fat which makes it moist.  I wouldn’t have attempted a slice without one of my beloved cake forks.  It most certainly went down well with the family  :-)

P1070052

And it was so easy to make – it’s renewed my enthusiasm for cooking and baking, to get some variety rather than preparing the same dishes repeatedly.

Do you have a favourite cake?

A Year Without…

…Supermarkets.  The title of a blog I recently found, which is written by Team Pugh.

A Year Without Supermarkets.

It’s obviously all about a year without supermarkets, but please take a look at their site for more information.  They also have a Twitter feed which I follow for updates.  Their idea, and their achievement, is pretty inspiring.  They were featured on BBC Radio 4′s ‘You and Yours’ Programme on 03.04.2013 - you might still be able to find it on BBC iPlayer Radio.

The many-and-varied things this family have learned as they set out to achieve this provide much food for thought.  It has highlighted multiple issues when trying to shop ethically.  It’s interesting to consider:  How can this be applied to my situation, living in a small town…?  What are one’s priorities…?  The discussion from contributors in the comments sections also adds to the debate, and it can hurt the mind to decide what’s important!

Please head over to their blog to find lots of inspiration  :-)