Category Archives: Entrees

Olive, herb and parmesan loaf

Olive, herb and paremesan loafThis is a bread that I keep baking over and over and all my lunch guests love!! Just the smell of this savoury loaf, packed with cheese, herbs, olives and roasted capsicums will make your mouth water!! It’s very easy to make and is delicious for lunch with a bowl of soup and a big salad.

It’s too good to keep

The bread is best eaten really fresh from the oven, but will keep for a couple of days. You can wrap it in aluminium foil and warm it through in the oven or slice it and toast it, though, if it’s like in my house, there probably won’t be any leftovers anyway.

Ingredients to serve 4-6 people

butter for greasing
75g stuffed olives
75g roasted capsicums (found them in jars at the supermarket)
1tbsp. thyme leaves
1tbsp. chives finely chopped
125g parmesan, grated (I always use Grana Padano but it’s up to you which one to use)
350g plain flour
2tsp baking powder
1/2tsp bicarbonate of soda
1tsp each salt and black pepper
1tsp dry mustard
2 eggs, beaten
300ml buttermilk or buttermilk and plain yoghurt, mixed
2-3tbsp olive oil
eggwash made with 1 egg and a little cold water, beaten
springs of thyme, slices of capsicums and flakes of sea salt for topping.

The equipment you will need is a 900g silicone loaf pan

1- Preheat the oven to 180C. Butter the loaf pan and either line it with baking paper or lightly dust it with flour.

2- Cut the olives and the capsicums into slices, Strip the thyme leaves off their stalks and strip the chives into small pieces. Grate the parmesan.

3- Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt, pepper and the mustard powder together into a large bowl.

4- Whisk the eggs in a separate bowl. Whisk the buttermilk or yoghurt in a jug with the olive oil, then add them to the eggs and beat together.

5- Mix the olives, capsicums, herbs and cheese into the flour mixture. Make a well in the centre and pour in the buttermilk mixture and stir until you achieve a thick, sticky batter.

6- Use a spatula to scrape the mixture into the prepared loaf pan.

7- Smooth the top of the loaf and paint with eggwash. Decorate with extra springs of thyme and slices of capsicums. Scatter with flakes of sea salt. Bake the loaf in the oven for 40-45 minutes or until the top is risen and golden, and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean,

8- Cool the loaf in the pan for at least 10 minutes and then turn it onto a rack to finish cooling. Slice and serve.

Cook’s tip

Substitute sun-dried tomatoes for the capsicums or, if you like a bit of bite, slice up some pepperoncini and add those. Which ever you choose, drain off any oil and brine and pat dry before using.

Please give it a try, you won’t regret it and POST ANY COMMENTS YOU HAVE AND LET ME KNOW HOW YOU WENT. ENJOY AND HAPPY BAKING!!

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Potato Gnocchi with gorgonzola, asparagus and walnuts

gnocchi

I love gnocchi! Who doesn’t really? I always make gnocchi when I’m in a hurry and I want something nice and easy and this is one of those yummy recipes.

It serves 4 – 6 people

To prepare it use the following:

2 bunches asparagus, woody ends trimmed, halved
2 cups (500ml) pure (thin) cream
100g gorgonzola picante cheese (this a strong Italian blue cheese that you can find in delis) roughly chopped
1/2 cup (40g) grated parmesan, plus extra to serve
500g homemade potato gnocchi or good-quality bought gnocchi in any supermarket
1 cup (100g) walnut halves, toasted, chopped

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Blanch asparagus for 2 minutes, remove with tongs, then refresh in iced water. Return cooking water to the boil.

Warm cream and gorgonzola in a pan on low heat for 2-3 minutes, crushing cheese with a fork so it melts into cream. Stir in parmesan until smooth.

Meanwhile, cook gnocchi in the boiling water in 2 batches. Remove with a slotted spoon when they rise to surface (30-60 seconds). Place on a plate and repeat with remaining gnocchi. Add gnocchi to sauce with nuts and asparagus. Toss gently on low heat for 1 minute to warm through.

Serve with extra parmesan and pepper.

Enjoy it and don’t forget to post your comments! Happy eating!

Tuna polpette with salmoriglio

tuna polpette with salmoriglio

Hi everyone!!!

I’m finally back!! My sincere apologies for being away for so long. Having children and an almost full time job leaves you with very little spare time, but I don’t need to tell you this I’m sure you know how it is already!. Although I didn’t have time to post I did have time to cook! Today I will share with you my tuna polpette and salmoriglio recipe, which is reasonably easy to prepare, and makes a very yummy entrĂ©e to serve to your friends next time you invite them over for lunch or dinner!

This recipe serves 4 people, if you give them 4 each, and therefore it makes 16!

If you are wondering what Salmoriglio is.. well.. it is a Sicilian herb salsa that you will love it!

Ingredients:
250g tuna fillet, cut into 2.5cm cubes
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
100ml olive oil
2tbs pine nuts
1 large (70g) egg, lightly beaten
2/3 cup (50g) stale breadcrumbs, plus 1 tbs extra if needed
1/2 cup (40g) freshly grated parmesan
Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
1 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
2 1/2 tsp chopped fresh oregano
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
400g can whole tomatoes
Rocket, to garnish (optional)
Crusty bread, to serve

Salmoriglio
1 small anchovy fillet
1 small garlic clove
2 sage leaves
1/2 tsp fresh rosemary leaves
1/4 cup (60ml) extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp fresh oregano leaves
1 1/2 tbs lemon juice

For salsa, pound anchovy, garlic, sage and rosemary to a paste in a mortar and pestle (or finely chop together). Stir in oil, oregano and juice, then season. Stand for at least 1 hour.

Meanwhile, season tuna with salt, pepper and cinnamon. Heat 2 tbs oil in a pan over medium heat. Add tuna and pine nuts and cook, turning, for 1 minute or until nuts are toasted and tuna is seared but still pink in centre. Cool in a bowl for 5 minutes, then add egg, crumbs, cheese, zest and juice, half the parsley and 1 1/2 tsp oregano.

Mix well with your hands, breaking up the tuna, until the tuna is incorporated and mixture holds together – add extra crumbs if too sticky. With wet hands, roll sixteen 4cm-diameter balls. Chill on a lined tray for 30 minutes.

Heat 1 tbs oil in a large pan over low heat. Cook onion and garlic, stirring for 10 minutes until soft. Add tomato and remaining parsley and oregano.

Season, bring to the boil and simmer 15 minutes. Cool slightly, then blend until smooth. Season and keep warm. Heat remaining 2 tbs oil in a large frypan over medium heat. Add polpette and cook for 2-3 minutes, turning, until light golden. Add to sauce and stir to coat. Serve on rocket if desired, with salmoriglio and crusty bread.

ENJOY IT!! Please post your comments and let me know if you liked it or not! I would love to hear from you!:-)