Beetroot & Feta Dip with Salt Crackers

Beetroot & Feta Dip with Crackers

Quick, easy and delicious. Yes, you can buy all this easily but I’m sure friends would appreciate something you made yourself. For me I love trying to make simple things myself… That way I am able to improvise when I have people come over unexpectedly and need to serve something with theirs drinks at short notice.

Beetroot & Feta Dip

Ingredients

2 medium cooked and peeled beetroots
1/3 cup feta cheese
1/3 cup walnuts
juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper to season

Method

Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and process until your desired consistency. I processed mine till it was still a bit chunky. As easy as that.

Salt Crackers

Ingredients

1.5 cups flour
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp lime juice
3 tbsp olive oil
smoked flake sea salt

Method

Pre heat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Mix all the above ingredients together and knead the dough for a few minutes on a floured surface. Allow to rest for 20 – 25 minutes. Using a rolling pin roll out on a floured surface to approximately 1.5 mm thick. Brush with oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Cut into desired cracker shapes and place in a baking tray lined with baking. Bake for 10 minutes or until and crispy.

Serve with the dip and some fresh veggies. Enjoy

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Baby Peppers stuffed with Brown Rice

Brown Rice Stuffed Baby Peppers 2

I have made these before (the bigger pepper version) and forgot to post on my blog and when I saw these cute little peppers in the shop, of course I had to buy it and add to my recipe collection. It might sound silly to get excited about baby peppers but since everything in Singapore is imported you have to grab it when you can. And believe it or not, its the first time I saw these! This is a very easy meal to make. It is vegetarian and its is packed with loads of flavour. Hope you enjoy.

Ingredients

2 cups cooked brown rice
1 corn, kernels removed
1 red chili, deseeded and finely chopped
1 shallot, finely chopped
1/3 cup coriander, chopped
1/2 cup of kidney beans, drained
1 cup grated monterey jack cheese
12 – 15 small peppers or 4 big peppers
extra cheese to top the peppers

Method

Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees celcuis. Cut the tops off your peppers and remove the core and seeds without cutting through the flesh. If the pepper aren’t able to stand up by themselves, cut a little bit off the top to stabilise them. Drizzle and rub therewith olive oil. Set aside.

Cook you rice as per the packet instructions and set aside. I cooked my brown rice in chicken stock with a little bit of butter. Once the rice is cooked allow to sit for 10 minutes and mix together with all the other ingredients. Season the mixture with salt and pepper. Using a spoon get a good amount of stuffing in each pepper and cover with a little bit of cheese. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes if using small peppers or 35 minutes when using the big peppers. Make sure that the peppers are soft but still holds their shape. Serve hot and enjoy

Cherry Tomato Bruschetta

Tomato Bruschetta

This to me is a perfect and also filling snack. Probably because I am such a acidity lover and this is full of it! I am not a baker but did make the bread by following Jamie Oliver’s basic bread recipe. It is really easy to use and has not let me down yet. (http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/bread-recipes/basic-bread-recipe/)

Ingredients

Fresh Bread (either make your own or store bought)
400g cherry tomatoes, halved and quartered
1/4 cup fresh basil, coarsely chopped
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and black pepper
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup olive oil

Method

Do try to make your own bread. It is such a rewarding feeling when you cut into that beautiful crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside home made bread still warm from the oven and the smell of fresh bread through the whole house in itself is to die for.

Crush the garlic with the back of a knife and combine with the 1/4 cup olive oil. Allow to infuse for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Slice your bread and brush generously with the garlic oil before grilling on a griddle pan to get a nice char on your bread slices, make sure to grill both sides. Mix together the tomatoes, balsamic, extra virgin olive oil, basil, salt and black pepper and spoon onto the grilled slices of bread. Drizzle with some more of the juices left in the bowl and serve. Yum

Smoked Salmon Salad

Smoked Salmon Salad

I have only recently started eating fish again as the fish I had as a child was from a box and tasted horrible so I eventually decided to give it another try (not from a box) 10 years later and what do you know, now I love it. This is a simple salad and a great meal for a light lunch. For me smoked salmon has to be accompanied by capers and my all time favourite… lemon!

Ingredients

store bought smoked salmon
capers, drained
1 radish, thinly sliced
6 strips of english cucumber, thinly sliced
rocket leaves
1 tbsp chopped dill
zest of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup cream cheese, softened
salt and black pepper
fresh lemon to serve

Method

Using a mandoline definitely makes this job much easier but if you do not have one you can use a peeler to get thin slices of your cucumber. The radish (being small) would probably be better off being sliced with a knife if you don’t have a mandoline and watch those fingers no matter which one of these you choose to use.

Mix the cream cheese, dill, lemon zest, salt and pepper together. For my assembly I rolled up the salmon and cucumber and used dollops of the cream cheese to be the anchors for my radish slices. Finished off with capers, rocket and fresh lemon. It could not be easier. Make sure to get a mouth full of everything together when you chow down.

You could also roll the salmon and cream cheese mixture into the cucumber. I do this often, but I decided to go for a different presentation for this photo. Enjoy

Zucchini Salad

Zuchinni Salad

This salad is crisp, light and fresh and is great on its own or with roasted chicken legs. Its pretty quick to make. Just prep work, no cooking involved.

Ingredients

2 large zucchini’s
200 g cherry tomatoes
2 cups basil leaves
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic
salt and pepper

Method

Put the basil, garlic, parmesan and oil in a food processor and process until all chopped. If it seems dry add a bit more oil until it is the correct consistency. Season with salt to taste.

Using a mandoline julien the zucchini. You can do this without a mandoline but it will take some time. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half. Mix the zucchini, pesto and tomatoes together and serve cold. Enjoy

Cheese Platter

Cheese Platter

Sharing platters is one of my favourite ways to eat when having a lot of people over. I love being able to nibble and pick rather than having one big meal. These recipes are great for a social gathering or break it up and you have a beautiful starter to serve to your guests. I know there are a lot of recipes listed below so use what you wish and I hope you enjoy.

Camembert

Ingredients

1 rounds camembert
1 sprig of rosemary, leaves picked
1 clove of garlic, sliced
extra virgin olive oil
sea salt

Method

Pre heat the oven to 200 degrees celcius. Line a small cake tin or casserole with some baking paper. Place the camembert in the lined tin and score the top of the cheese. Push the garlic and rosemary into the holes. Drizzel with oil and season with salt. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until the cheese is nice and soft.

Feta

Ingredients

1 block of greek feta
1/2 cup of sesame seeds
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup of flour
olive oil for frying

Method

Dry the feta with some paper towel and cut into desirable shapes. Next dip the feta in the flour first, followed by the egg and then the sesame seeds. Heat oil in a pan and once it is hot fry the feta on all sides. If your pan is hot it should only take about 20 seconds a side as the sesame seeds will burn easily so do keep and eye on them.

Cranberry & Lime Syrup (Dipping sauce for feta)

Ingredients

2 cups cranberries
3/4 cup castor sugar
1 cup water
zest and juice of 1 lime
Method

Add all the ingredients into a small saucepan and bring to boil. Simmer for 10 minutes remove from heat and strain through a fine sieve leaving it to drip through for 30 minutes. Place back in the saucepan, if it seems thick add a bit more water. Bring back to boil and simmer for a further 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, transfer to serving bowls and place in the fridge to cool or until needed.

Sesame Crackers

Ingredients

1.5 cups flour
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp lime juice
1/4 cup sesame seeds
3 tbsp olive oil

Method

Pre heat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Mix all the above ingredients together and knead the dough for a few minutes on a floured surface. Allow to rest for 20 – 25 minutes. Using a rolling pin roll out on a floured surface to approximately 1.5 mm thick. Cut into desired cracker shapes and place in a baking tray lined with baking paper brushed with a bit of oil. Brush the top of the crackers with egg for a golden cracker or with olive oil for a more blonde cracker and bake for 8 – 10 minutes or until nice and crispy.

I served my cheese platter with a beautiful French wine – http://www.vignerons-saint-tropez.com/eshop/cep-d-or/35-rose-cep-d-or.html#.VBen0hb_hU8