Mint & Basil Pesto Risoni with Pea & Feta

Mint & Basil Pesto Risoni with Pea and Feta

Basil and mint seems to love growing in the tropics and my patio herb garden always have these in stock so why not put them to good use in a yummy simple salad for a meatless Monday lunch. Add a glass of dry white wine and you have double yum.

Ingredients

1 cup uncooked Risoni
water for boiling
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1 cup fresh mint leaves
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
15 – 20 almonds
1/2 cup olive oil
juice of half a medium lemon
2/3 cup of frozen peas
1/2 cup feta cheese cubed
salt and black pepper
shaved parmesan to serve

Method

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook the risen for 9 – 10 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool. Place your frozen peas in a microwave safe plastic jug and fill with water till about 2 cm above the peas. Microwave on high for 2.5 minutes, strain and set aside.

While the pasta is boiling prepare your pesto. Process the basil, mint, lemon juice, olive oil, almonds, grated parmesan and salt and pepper to taste in a food processor until finely chopped and well combined.

Once pasta has cooled down slightly mix together your pesto, feta, pasta and peas and serve with the shaved parmesan cheese. Enjoy

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Cinnamon Apple Tarts with Salted Caramel Sauce & Vanilla Cream

Cinnamon Apple Tarts with Salted Caramel & Vanilla Cream

One for the sweet tooth out there. Salted caramel as you all know if YUM! This is a great way to serve dessert that is quick and easy to make and a great way of finding a use for those odd apples lying around the fridge.

This recipe will make approximately 4 servings.

Ingredients – Salted Caramel

2/3 cups white sugar
1.5 tbsp water
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup thickened cream
1/2 tsp sea salt

Method

Heat sugar and water in a pot or pan and allow to cook until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture starts to turn a golden colour. It is difficult to guess when the caramel is ready. Basically is up to you and how dark or light you prefer your caramel. Once sugar has dissolved and it has reached your desired colour, add butter and stir well to combine. Remove from heat and add the cream and salt. Stir to combine and set aside to cool.

Tip: In my experience the caramel will continue to cook and will turn darker after the butter and cream is added so do take it to a shade of colour just a bit lighter than you prefer and see how it turns out.

Ingredients – Vanilla Cream

200ml thickened cream
1 tsp vanilla bean extract

Method

Whip the cream and mix in the vanilla.

Ingredients – Tarts

store bought puff pastry sheets
1 granny smith apple, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3 tbsp butter

Method

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Prepare your puff pastry. If frozen thaw and cut out 10cm rounds. With the back of a butter knife score the pastry about 1cm from the edge without cutting all the way through the pastry to create a border. Brush the borders with the beaten egg (I use my finger) and place in the fridge on a baking tray lined with baking paper to cool while you prepare the toppings.

Mix the sliced apple, cinnamon and sugar together. Remove puff pastry from fridge and arrange the apple slices on the pastry. Break butter into little blobs and divide on top of all the tarts. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and apples are soft.

Serve warm with the vanilla cream and salted caramel. Enjoy

Balsamic Onion, Feta & Prosciutto Tarts

Balsamic Onion, Feta & Prosciutto Tarts

Balsamic onions is literally one of my favourite things to eat ever. It is just yummy, sticky black goodness that seems to go with everything. I present to you puff pastry play time no. 2.

Ingredients

store bought sheets of puff pastry
1 egg, beaten
2 red onions, sliced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup feta cheese
prosciutto to serve

Method

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Prepare your puff pastry. If frozen thaw and cut out 10cm squares. With the back of a butter knife score the pastry about 1cm from the edge without cutting all the way through the pastry to create a border. Brush the borders with the beaten egg (I use my finger) and place in the fridge on a baking tray lined with baking paper to cool while you prepare the toppings.

Fry the sliced onion and oil in a non stick pan until the onions are soft. Add the brown sugar and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Once dissolved add the balsamic vinegar, lower heat and simmer until it has become a sticky onion sauce (almost jam like).

Remove pastry from fridge, top with balsamic onions followed by feta cheese and bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown. Top with prosciutto and serve while still hot. Enjoy

Tomato, Olive and Mozzarella Puff Pastry Tarts

Tomato, Olive & Mozzarella Tarts

Yes, there will be three puff pastry recipes after each other because I just thought, since the puff is out I might as well work it. So herewith the first of a puff trio made on the weekend.

Ps. I do not make my own puff pastry yet… Would I like to? YES… Have I tried? YES… But unfortunately I live in an oven called Singapore and working with that amount of butter is just too frustrating. I will attempt to make it again in the future as I have learned some tricks to potentially help cool the work surface down but for now… Store bought puff pastry it is.

Ingredients

store bought sheets puff pastry
1/2 cup of kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
basil leaves to serve
1 egg, beaten

Method

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Prepare your puff pastry. If frozen thaw and cut out 10cm rounds. With the back of a butter knife score the pastry about 1cm from the edge without cutting all the way through the pastry to create a border. Brush the borders with the beaten egg (I use my finger) and place in the fridge on a baking tray lined with baking paper to cool while you prepare the toppings.

Once toppings are ready remove pastry from fridge and top with the mozzarella, olives and tomatoes. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until the pastry is a nice golden brown colour. Serve hot with the fresh basil leaves on top and enjoy.

Roasted Tomato & Quinoa Salad

Roasted Tomato & Quinoa Salad

Since we have been doing meatless Monday’s I have had to find new things to make and it has been quite nice to experiment with all the veggies around. I love quinoa salads and my philosophy has always been that if you have a base of either couscous, salad leaves or any other salad base and add what you love it will be tasty. This is one of my all time favourite meals.

Ingredients

1 cup quinoa
2 cups boiling water
250g cherrie tomatoes, halved
1 stick rosemary
2 cloves garlic, slightly crushed but whole
1/3 cup kalamata olives
200g feta cheese roughly crumbled
200g fresh rocket leaves
juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp chilli flakes or chilli salt
2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil plus extra for roasting the tomatoes
salt and pepper

Method

Heat your oven to 180 degrees celcuis. Place the tomatoes, garlic and rosemary in a oven proof dish. Drizzle with oil, season with salt and pepper and allow to cook in the oven for approximately 40 minutes. Cook the quinoa with the boiling water for 12 – 15 minutes or until the water has been absorbed, remove from heat and allow to rest with lid on for another 15 minutes.

For the dressing whisk together the chilli flakes, lemon juice and oil for your dressing. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Once the tomatoes are roasted remove from oven and discard the garlic cloves and rosemary stick. Add the tomatoes as well as its juices to the quinoa. Add the feta cheese, olives and rocket leaves and mix. Add the dressing and mix through. Eat while it is still a bit warm and enjoy.

Deep fried Brie with Creamy Raspberry sauce

Deep fried Brie with Creamy Raspberry Sauce

Cheese in all forms is yummy. I saw mini brie’ in the shops and though that they looked perfect for deep frying. Super quick and yummy and perfect accompaniment to a nice bottle of dry Rose wine.

Ingredients – Raspberry cream sauce

340g fresh raspberries
1/4 cup sugar
juice of half a lemon
300ml thickened cream

Method

Heat the raspberries, sugar and lemon juice in a pot and stir until all dissolved into a sauce. Strain through a sieve and allow to cool for 30 minutes. Whip the cream and set aside. Once the raspberry sauce has cooled down mix in with the whipped cream.

Ingredients – Brie

10 mini brie’s or a big brie cut into small wedges
2 eggs
2 cups dried bread crumbs
1/2 cup flour
oil for deep frying

Method

Heat the oil in a pot until hot and ready to deep fry. Start the dipping sequence… First the flour, then the egg and then the bread crumbs. I repeat the egg and breadcrumbs to make sure there are no gaps for the cheese to escape. Fry in the oil until golden and move to a plate with kitchen towel to drain off excess oil. Serve hot with the raspberry cream sauce. Enjoy