As Tasty as a Spring Lamb

eggs

 

‘Don’t touch my eggs or my chocolate’

-Anon

Greetings my beloved foodie fanatics! Ample servings is literally boiling over with excitement at the thought of all the wonderful recipes, techniques and food related facts it has in store for you today. This year, April has had few showers and an abundance of sunshine and culinary frivolity. Prepare yourselves for some truly divine dishes packed with spiced flavours, fresh ingredients and oodles of texture! This Easter weekend is going to be good!

Technique of the Week

How to cut an onion like a pro straight from the Ample Kitchen

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vp9YPMqTqGY&feature=youtu.be&hd=1

Seemingly Seasonal

Vegetables:

  • Spinach
  • Samphire
  • Watercress
  • Jersey new potatoes
  • Purple sprouting broccoli

 

Meat and Fish:

  • Lamb
  • Wood pigeon
  • Langoustine
  • Cockles
  • Crab
  • Whitebait

Fruit:

  • Bananas
  • Rhubarb
  • Kiwi fruit

Culinary Query:

Frankie Miller, Leeds

I’ve tried in vain to make a decent tarte tatin and am still stumped. Any suggestions?

Personally, I believe the key to making your tarte tatin a roaring success is by do three things; getting the right consistency in your caramel, not overcrowding your pan with lots of pieces of apple so it cooks evenly and by choosing the right kind of pan aka non-stick with a metal handle. If the caramel is not sticky enough, it simply won’t work when you attempt to flip it over and then you have a disaster on your hands! The best recipe I have yet to come by is by Jamie Oliver and here is a video to see how it is made. Bonne chance!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=veuXU0hiT_I&hd=1

This Weeks’ Recipes

The first tantalising dish of the day is a gorgeous Lebanese style lamb tart. I came across this recipe desperately searching for a mince dish that wasn’t a lasagne or a standard Thursday night moussaka and honestly, this is an absolute delight. This dish is incredibly simple and wonderfully tasty. Perfect for both dinner or lunch with a little green side salad with a crumbling of zingy feta cheese. I served my tart with a dollop of natural yoghurt on the side to cool down any particularly hot chillies in the mince.

Mince tart

Spiced Lamb Tart

Ingredients:

375g ready-rolled puff pastry

1 tbsp semolina or polenta

1 large free-range egg, beaten

1 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

500g lean lamb mince

1½ tbsp pomegranate molasses (we like Al Rabih, from Sainsbury’s)

2 tsp ground allspice

1 tsp ground cinnamon

2 chillies, 1 deseeded and finely chopped, 1 sliced

25g pine nuts, toasted

200ml chicken stock, hot

Bunch of fresh flatleaf parsley, chopped, plus extra to garnish

Bunch of fresh coriander, chopped

Handful of pomegranate seeds

 

Method:

http://www.deliciousmagazine.co.uk/recipes/spicy-lebanese-lamb-tart

feta and spinach

Have you ever wanted to indulge in a basket of chips without the guilt of the calories? Well, Rachel Khoo may just have answer to all our problems. While perusing her first book ‘Little Paris Kitchen’ earlier this week, I came across her root vegetable chips marinated in ground almonds and sunflower oil which act as a perfect partner to a mighty steak. Unlike regular chips, these babies are roasted in the oven rather than drowned in hot oil but don’t lose any of that naughty chip-like flavour. I made my chips with sweet potato and courgettes batons and recommend that you make the courgette batons a little thicker as they contain a lot of water, and can be a little limp and soggy if cut thin.

steak

Root Vegetables Chips with Ground Almonds

 Ingredients:

25 g ground almonds

2 tbsp sunflower oil

salt and pepper

1 sweet potato cut into strips

½ courgette cut thick batons

Method:

Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix together well. Roast the vegetables in an oven for half an hour or so until crisp at 200ºC. Remember to shake them after the first 15 minutes. Eat straight away.

Finally, something a little sweet to tantalise your taste buds! While desperately rifling through my fridge in search of a dessert based inspiration, I came across a rather large bag of lemons simply sitting there. I was in the mood for cake at this point and in attempt to deviate from a traditional lemon drizzle cake, I decided to throw in a couple handfuls of blueberries into the sponge mix to add both taste and appearance value to my lemon cake. I have to say, that blueberries look absolutely divine when baked in a cake as they almost burst due to the heat exposure and turn the most delicious colour! With a little lemon icing, this cake is a real treat on a spring afternoon with a good cup of earl grey!

blueberry mix

Blueberry and Lemon Cake

Ingredients:

100g self-raising flour

100g unsalted butter

100g caster sugar

2 eggs

Tsp vanilla essence

Two handfuls of blueberries

Rind of one lemon

Method:

Cream the butter and the sugar with a wooden spoon and add the vanilla essence. Beat in the eggs, sift the flour and mix together well. Throw in the blueberries and lemon rind and gently stir. Pour the mixture into a greased baking tin (I used a 7”) and place in the oven at 180ºC for 25-30 minutes. When you can put a skewer in the centre and pull it out clean and/or the cake bounces lightly against your touch, it’s ready! Place on a cooling rack until completely cooled and serve with a delicious cup of earl grey tea.

sponge in tin

cake on stand

That’s it for this week! Have a very happy Easter and keep checking my blog for updates on my bake and bike service!

Lots of love,

E. Wells X

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