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?

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Oh No…

…another simple eat!  But in their defense, they are nutritious, tasty and satisfying 🙂

Take some goat’s cheese, slice it and spread over a tortilla in a cold frying-pan.  Cover the goat’s cheese with some roasted vegetables.  Mine was a mix of onions, peppers and tomatoes.  Cover with another tortilla.

Cover the pan with a lid and turn on a low heat.  Heat for approx 2-3 minutes, and then slide from the pan on to a plate.  I decided to scatter a bunch of rocket inside of this one, for some extra flavour and nutrition.

Some people will heat rocket, but I find it goes ‘slimy’ which I cannot bear – just the same as heated spinach – yuk!

Mmmm…enjoy that melty goat cheese goodness!

You Shall Have…

…a fishy on a little dishy, you shall have a fishy when the boat comes in!  Origin

My mind is strange….but I know I love good food!  This sandwich was de.lish.ous.

Some cream cheese spread on to two slices of bread, add some smoked salmon and a bundle of rocket.

I could look at the colours of this food all day long…

I wasn’t sure about the addition of the rocket, but wanted some for nutrition and bulk.  It.was.good.  The flavours mingled and popped. 🙂

Don’t certain foods and pictures just make you want to lick some of the flavour off the screen…?  Just to see if it will work…?  Ha!

Tell me you love smoked salmon…

Stew & No Dumplings

I watched a Nigel Slater cooking programme recently and he made a really good winter vegetable stew.  It’s likely the recipe is in one of his cook-books somewhere, although I don’t know where.  But for credit I have linked to his website above.

His – very helpful – view was that for a vegetable stew there needs to be plenty of base and background flavours to go with the vegetables, which will result in an interesting and flavoursome sauce.  He also has the great approach of ‘adding whichever veg you like or have hanging around’ – suits me perfectly!  This is the recipe I made on this occasion.

Winter Vegetable Stew(servings depends on your portion size!)

1 large onion, peeled and diced

2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

6 Juniper Berries, crushed in a pestle & mortar

1 swede, peeled and diced

2 parsnips, peeled and diced

2 potatoes, peeled and diced

2 carrots, peeled and sliced

2 leeks, cleaned and sliced

100ml Sherry

Vegetable stock – to cover the vegetables, and top up if needed

Fresh black pepper

2 Tablespoons Cranberry Sauce

2 Tablespoons whole grain mustard

1 pack cooked chestnuts

Heat the olive oil in a large pan and gently saute the onion until soft and translucent.  Add the crushed Juniper Berries, stir and cook for 2 minutes.  Add the swede through leeks, stir well and cook for 2 minutes to heat and coat in juniper flavour.  Grind in some fresh black pepper to taste.  Pour in the sherry and sufficient stock to cover the vegetables + 1″ extra.  Cover the pan with a lid, and bring to the boil.  Reduce the heat but maintain at a rapid simmer for approx 25 minutes, until the vegetables are just tender.

Stir in the mustard, cranberry sauce and pack of chestnuts.  Taste for seasoning, and allow to heat for a further 5 minutes.

Serve and enjoy!

This dish was so tasty, and I concur – the additional flavours really are a bonus.  I had made a similar vegetable stew years ago, using the vegetable stew-packs which could be purchased in Supermarkets for 80p(ish) – I think they’re more like £1 – £1.20 per pack now.  But I only relied on the flavour from stock and black pepper at that time.  It was ok, but bland in comparison to this version.

Nigel Slater added flour to thicken his sauce – I prefer potatoes for thickness:

Colour and goodness in the pan.

Bump up the flava!The chestnuts added some texture with a good bite.

End result – a bowl of delicious, warming goodness.

I had some leftover cooked broccoli which I stirred in towards the end.  I also wish I had added some peas, as I love those in stews and casseroles.  Another good addition would be some Butter Beans, for chunky texture and protein.

I have used Juniper Berries in a dish before – they are a strong flavour and are used in producing gin.  A berry to chew on provides that distinctive gin flavour – wahoo!  But I also found it to be overpowering – and now I’m wondering whether it was because they were added whole to the previous dish, or whether it was due to the large quantity added.  Nigel recommended one teaspoon of berries for this stew – I was too scared!  And added only 6 crushed berries – there was some flavour of juniper, but not a lot.  I’ll try a teaspoonful next time, but will crush them so I don’t end up chewing on whole berries.  I think that’s where the secret lies.

A bowl of this was substantial and satisfying.  It would be good served with warm, crusty bread to dip into the sauce.  And I wonder what it would be like transformed into soup, with the chestnuts left whole…?

Have Juniper Berries featured in your food?

Simple Sunday Supper

Further to my freezer totally defrosting last week, I’m currently in mourning…and very dubious about the wisdom of storing food in the freezer for fear it happens again.

And you wouldn’t believe how often I have thought, ‘I’ll just get some soup from the freezer’ or ‘I really fancy some peas with this meal’…or maybe you would?

Supper last night was a simple affair.  There’s no recipe as it was ‘thrown together’ really, and based on ingredients that I fancied.

Washed and sliced into rounds – two sweet potatoes…

A bit rough-looking around the edges, but plenty of fresh black pepper and a grinding of salt with some Extra Virgin Olive Oil makes them glossy:

And ready to go on a baking sheet – protection for the tray is highly recommended as these potatoes aren’t called ‘sweet’ for nothing!

Bake in the oven(200*C fan) for 30 minutes, turn half-way through.

Trim and rinse two leeks – rinsing removes bits of soil, but if you prefer to crunch on that then…just don’t!

Chop into chunks and saute in a frying pan with a little butter.  On a low heat with the lid on, so they can sweat until soft.

Serve like so, and enjoy!

A sprinkle of strong grated Cheddar on the leeks, and a good dollop of Sweet Chilli Dipping Sauce for the sweet potatoes – heaven!

The potatoes are so sweet and satisfying, and the salt & pepper give them a contrasting savoury hint, combined with the oh-so-savoury flavour of the leeks…and the sharpness of the cheddar with the garlic and chilli in the sauce provide a plate that will cause your taste buds to explode.

Tell me your favourite ‘throw together’ meal.

Gourmet…

…Sandwiches says my Beloved, who created these for supper the other evening:

Gourmet Grilled Sandwiches – with cheese and tomato filling.  They were so tasty…

He used grated Strong Cheddar, chopped tomatoes and then mixed in a tiny amount of Italian Herbs.  All grilled anywhichway you can think of!  And even a little Cheddar grilled on top with the tomatoes(no – they’re not cherries!!!).

And he really did serve them in that design, above!  I just forgot the pic until I’d taken a bite.  The coleslaw went really well with the flavours.

A simple supper, lovingly prepared…

What is your favourite sandwich filling?  Grilled or fresh sandwiches?