Strawberry, nectarine and walnuts bake

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A confession: I have been looking for gluten free recipes as of late. Apparently, i am gluten intolerant  according to my doctor. Considering I am also lactose intolerant, this is making my breakfast more and more difficult. Even muesli *may* be an issue –  especially if you live in the country who invented the thing and swears by it. But, one manages to find alternatives and eventually find happiness in dishes like this. For sure there is life beyond gluten…

Strawberry, nectarine and walnuts bake  (adapted from a recipe found in the Minimalist Baker blog)

Ingredients

  • 4 cups strawberries and nectarines, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup (app 85g) oats
  • 1/2 cup (app 45g) almond meal
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup (app 50g) of light brown sugar
  • pinch sea salt
  • 60g of cold butter
  • Plain yoghurt to serve

Method

Preheat oven to 180oC  (350cF).

Butter and flower a baking dish.

Chop the fruit in big chunks. Reserve.

Put the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix them until the butter is well incorporate (probably best done by hand).

Put the fruit in the previously buttered dish, making sure it well spread. On top of it, add a layer of  the flour and butter mix

Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the fruit is bubbling and the top is crisp and golden.

Let it cool. Serve with a dollop of yughurt


Gordon Ramsay’s North African eggs

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Your sunday brunch cannot get much better than this – this is a warm, comforting and tasty dish, which while please the toughest crowds. For extra points, the pepper and tomato sauce can be made in advance. Just a technical tip, though. Do not forget to cover the pan while the eggs are poaching.  The steam will set the white on the top of egg leaving the yolk runny and golden, just like you want it.

Gordon Ramsay’s North African eggs (adapted from Gordon Ramsay’s Ultimate Cookery Course) .

Ingredients

  • 2 shallots finely diced (replaced by 2 medium likes finely sliced as one of the guests is allergic)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and sliced
  • 1 green pepper, deseeded and sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon of flaked piri-piri (or red chilli finely sliced)
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
  • 5 fresh tomatoes roughly chopped
  •  Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons chopped coriander
  • 2 tablespoons finely sliced spring onion

Method

Heat the oil in a heavy based pan until is piping hot.  Add  the chopped shallots, season with salt and pepper and let them sweat for 5 minutes. When the onions are soft,  add the sliced peppers and continue to sweat for another 5 minutes more

Add the cumin seeds, garlic and chilli, give it a good stir to coat them in oil. Let them cook for a couple of minutes, and the then add the tomatoes.

Bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes until the mixture has the consistency of a thick sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Make 4 wells in the vegetable mixture and break an egg into each. Cover the pan and poach the eggs until set, about 10 minutes. Scatter the surface with the chopped coriander and a good grinding of black pepper. Serve immediately with crusty bread to mop up the juices.


Buckwheat cheddar soda bread

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Maybe not the real soda bread, but still a very good version it. Actually, perfect to eat with a bowl of soup or with some salad.

Buckwheat cheddar soda bread (adapted from Dan Lepard’s column in the Guardian).

Ingredients 

  • Makes one large loaf
  • 300g buckwheat flour
  • 50g potato flour (potato starch; i used potato mash flakes)
  • 50g unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tsp gluten-free baking powder
  • 3 tsp mustard powder or curry powder
  • 125g strong cheddar, coarsely grated
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 50g low-fat yoghurt
  • 200ml cold milk

To finish
Extra cheese
Poppy seeds
Buckwheat flour

Method

Put the buckwheat and potato flours into a bowl and then rub in the butter. Add the baking powder, mustard powder and cheddar and toss through well.

Beat the eggs, yoghurt and milk together , then pour the mix on the dry ingredients and stir well to a soft dough. Line a baking tray with nonstick paper and spoon the mixture on as one big lump in the middle. Dust the top with buckwheat flour then pat it into a rectangle about 3cm high.

Cover the top with more grated cheese and poppy seeds, cut with a knife into 8-12 pieces, then bake at 220C/200C fan/425F/gas mark 7 for about 20 minutes until the cheese on top begins to brown. Remove from the tray and paper and leave to cool on a wire rack before serving.


Pea Tortilla with Mint and Yogurt

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Tortilla or frittata? You can go on for hours debating over the correct name for this dish… still, my strong recommendation would be to eat it straight away from the over with a bit of toasted bread and a dollop of yogurt.

Pea Tortilla with Mint and Yogurt (adapted from a recipe by Francis Mallmann found in Food and Wine magazine)

Ingredients

  •  4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 250g of  frozen baby peas—thawed, drained and patted dry
  • 1 1/2 cups (=350 mL)  plain Greek-style yogurt
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped mint
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Method

Preheat the griller.

In a large, ovenproof, nonstick skillet, melt the butter. Add the peas and cook over moderate heat until warm, about 3 minutes.

In a large bowl, beat the yogurt with the eggs, mint, salt and pepper until smooth.

Pour the eggs over the peas and cook over moderately high heat until set on the bottom and around the edges, about 4 minutes.

Transfer the skillet to the oven and broil 20cm  from the heat for about 3 minutes, until the top of the tortilla is set and lightly golden in spots. Slide the tortilla onto a plate, cut into wedges and serve with the remaining  yogurt.


Brunch pina colada

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A no brainer for brunches… very easy to do and always a smashing success. Add a little bit of rum for a more festive occasion.

Breakfast pina colada (adapted from a recipe by Allegra McEvedy found in the Guardian)

Ingredients 

  • 1 400g can of pineapple pieces (no skin or core)
  • 6-8 leaves Thai basil
  • 400 mL of coconut milk
  • 400 mL of coconut water
  • Shredded coconut to taste

Method

Put the pineapple and basil in the blender and top up with half coconut milk and half coconut water. Blend to form a liquid.

Taste and adjust the flavours if necessary. Add the shredded coconut.

Garnish  with basil and serve


Polenta cake with mascarpone and rosemary

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The name reads  really well – the sort of high maintenance dish that requires hours of dedicated work in the kitchen. The truth is that it is a lot easier to bake than it sounds… After all, it is a slightly modified pound cake, with 2 very easy elements on the side.  The cake itself has a pleasantly crumbly and grainy texture, ideal to combine with the rosemary infused honey. The creamy mascarpone sauce just makes everything come together. Try it with a double expresso for even better results…

Polenta cake with mascarpone and rosemary (adapted from a Eddie Russel recipe found in Food and Wine Magazine)

Ingredients

Cake

  • 1 3/4  cup (=220g)  flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1/2 cup (=65g)  polenta
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 sticks (=220g) of unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup (110g) of  sugar
  • 6 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice 

Rosemary syrup

  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 rosemary sprigs

Mascarpone sauce 

  • 1 cup (=225g) mascarpone, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (200mL)  heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped

Method

Preheat the oven to 325°F (= 190°C). Butter and flour a metal loaf pan. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the polenta and salt.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the softened butter with the sugar at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well between additions. Beat in the vanilla extract and lemon juice.

Gradually add the flour mixture to the egg mixture, beating the batter at low speed until just incorporated. Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for about 1 hour, until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out with a few moist crumbs attached.

Turn the cake onto a rack and let it cool until warm.

In a small saucepan, combine the honey with the water and rosemary sprigs and simmer over moderate heat for 2 minutes. Let the syrup cool to room temperature, about 15 minutes. Discard the rosemary sprigs. While the cake is still warm, lightly brush the top of the cake with the rosemary syrup.

In a medium bowl, whisk the mascarpone with the cream, sugar and vanilla-bean seeds.

Using a serrated knife, cut the  cake into thick slices and transfer to plates. Top each slice with a large dollop of mascarpone, drizzle with the rosemary syrup and serve.


Gluten-free carrot coconut spiced cake

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Can gluten free cake be as good as “normal” cake? Well, it depends… in this case, it was. It is also a very long list of ingredients to make it taste like and feel like cake. Worthwhile the effort? Well, yes. It was pretty good cake, with a unusual texture. The beasts My lovely co-workers had it all in a single meeting… I still have to let them know this was a specially healthy version of what they usually get…

Carrot cake (gluten free; adapted from Dias com Mafalda blog)

Ingredients

  • 100g of brown or unrefined sugar
  • 100mL of vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • 3 slightly beaten eggs
  • 3 grated carrots
  • 1 grated apple
  • 100g of crated cocunut
  • 100g raisin
  • the zest of one orange and 1 tablespoon of orange juice
  • 175g gluten-free flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/2 of powdered clove.

 

Method

Grease a loaf tin and preheat the oven to 180oC

Combine the sugar, oil, vanilla and eggs with  wooden spoon. Fold in the grated carrots, apple and coconut together with the raisins, the orange zest and juice. On top of this mix, sift the flour, the spices, baking-powder and baking soda.

Put the batter in the tin  and transfer to the oven. Let it bake for about 20min. Test with a knife before taking it out – it should come out dry.

Take it out from the tin while still hot, and let it cool down before serving.


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