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Monday, 31 December 2012

Turkey, Bacon and Brie Tart

It's always a pleasure to make new dishes from food left over from other meals.  Christmas is the greatest opportunity to be creative with leftovers and I am drawn to the tart, flan or quiche as a vehicle to use up those bits and pieces of delicious food.

Turkey, Bacon and Brie Tart

Serves 6 

1 quantity of shortcrust pastry, baked blind in a flan tin.
1 small onion, finely chopped
100g streaky bacon, chopped
Approx. 200-300g cold cooked turkey
250ml double cream
3 large eggs
100g ripe Brie
25g Parmesan, grated
zest of half a lemon
salt & freshly ground pepper

Heat the oven to 170C

1. Gently saute the onion in a little butter, add the bacon pieces and cook until golden, leave to cool.
2. Spread the onion and bacon in the base of the flan, chop the turkey into generously sized pieces and scatter over the onion and bacon.
3. Break off pieces of Brie and distribute evenly across the flan base.
4. Whisk the eggs, add the cream, lemon zest, seasoning and grated Parmesan, pour into the flan case.
5. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the filling is golden brown and just set in the centre.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes before serving.

This is a very rich tart and only needs a green vegetable or salad to make a meal. 

What did you do with your leftovers?

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Sunday, 30 December 2012

Your favourites and mine from 2012

 It's traditional to have a round up of blog posts for the year and there are a lot to choose from in 2012.  For each month I have chosen the recipe  with the most page views, your favourite, and the one that I like best, my favourite.  I've excluded those posts which had major giveaways as those do rather skew the page views!  Many thanks to all who viewed and/or commented  and to the hosts of all the challenges that I have entered.  


Haddock Mornay Leek Bake
Flamiche - Flemish Leek Tart


Nigella's Sticky Chocolate Pudding

Slow Cooked Aromatic Pork


Tapas Tasting at La Tasca
My first restaurant review at La Tasca in Glasgow

Lemon Meringue Pie


Bulgar Wheat Salad

Turkey Saltimboca Piqante


Cupcake Decorating Masterclass
A fun day with Jacqueline from Tinned Tomatoes and Claire from A Kiss of Cookies

The Great Macaron Challenge


Rhubarb and Ginger Jam
This is the most viewed post of the year with 2612  page views

Diamond Jubilee - 'Elizabeth' Sandwich
We celebrated my mother-in-law's birthday and the Jubilee with a festive tea including this Victoria Sandwich filled with cream and lemon curd which I named an 'Elizabeth' Sandwich.


Walnut Brownie Cupcakes

Chocolate and Berry Pavlova


Mediterranean Fish on Herbed Potato Gratin


Paella People
A visit to La Tasca in Glasgow for a demonstration of Paella making proved popular.

Pina Colada Cupcakes and that video!


La Tasca Paella de Carne Recipe

Sticky Toffee Pudding Cupcakes for Macmillan Cancer Research


 How to Bake Paul Hollywood's Christmas Cake

Who says Vanilla isn't sexy?  Salted Vanilla Chip Oatmeal Cookies
These unassuming cookies have been a huge hit with everyone who has tried them, I gave some to my sister at Christmas and she phoned me up after trying one to ask what was in them and tell me how good they were.


Choc-ful Christmas Muffins

Chocolate Orange Pudding

Let's raise a glass to the year gone by and salute the year to come Happy New Year

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Friday, 28 December 2012

Christmas 'Coronation' Turkey

The festive feasting started a week ago with my office lunch and it seems that I have been eating constantly ever since. Today I felt no inclination to eat rich, sweet or savoury dishes, instead I craved something light and fresh.  In the fridge, beside the turkey leftovers, cheeses and cream, I spied a bag of salad leaves, half a cucumber, a pack of mini sweet peppers and a jar of Geeta's Mango and Chilli Chutney (Hot). All the basic ingredients for that great summer standard 'Coronation Chicken', a dish created for celebration buffets by Constance Spry and Rosemary Hume for Queen Elizabeth II coronation in 1953. I've reduced the richness of the orignal recipe by using mainly cottage cheese and light mayonnaise in my dressing.

Christmas Coronation Turkey

200-300g cold cooked turkey
100g cottage cheese
3 tbsp cream
4tbsp light mayonnaise
1 tsp curry paste
1 tbsp Geeta's Mango &Chilli Chutney
pinch of salt
Salad to serve

1. Chop the turkey into bite sized pieces and put aside
2. Put the cottage cheese, cream, mayonnaise and curry paste into a food processor and blend until smooth, add a little extra cream if the mixture is too thick.  You want it to be the consistency of thick cream.
3. Put the mixture into a bowl, season and stir in the chutney and the turkey pieces.
4. Serve with a mixed salad.

Sweet and crunchy, creamy and spicy, this salad provided the ideal contrast to the excesses of the last few days.  It's also a delicious way to use up some leftovers, so I am entering it for the No Waste Challenge run by Kate at Turquoise Lemons.

Many thanks to Geeta's for supplying me with a jar of Mango and Chilli Chutney to try, I was not required to provide a positive review, all opinions are my own.

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Monday, 24 December 2012

Happy Holidays 2012

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and
a happy festive season.


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Saturday, 22 December 2012

Paprika Spiced Mixed Nuts

This is a very quick and easy recipe to make some lovely spicy nuts to nibble with your drinks on Christmas Eve or before dinner on Christmas Day.  They are also perfect for a last minute gift.

Paprika Spiced Mixed Nuts

500g mixed nuts
1 1/2 tbsp coarse sea salt
1/2 tsp smoked sweet Spanish paprika or hot paprika (Pimenton)
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1.  Preheat the oven to 200C. Place the sea salt and paprika in a mortar and grind with the pestle to a fine powder. 
2. Place the nuts on a baking tray and toast in the oven for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden and giving off a tasted aroma.  Watch after 7 minutes because they burn quickly.  Pour into a heatproof bowl.
3. Drizzle over the olive oil and stir to ensure all the nuts are lightly and evenly coated.  Add extra oil if necessary.  Sprinkle with the salt and paprika mixture and stir again.
4. Transfer to a small bowl and serve at room temperature.

I used the hot Pimenton and the nuts are not too spicy, just nicely piquant!  Perfect with a nice chilled glass of Fino Sherry, red or white wine or even a beer.

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Monday, 17 December 2012

A Woodland Dell Christmas Cake

My Christmas cake for 2012 has a woodland theme, with some little toadstools and a miniature deer.  Yes I know it's not in proportion, I really wanted a fairy, but had to make do with this teeny little deer!  Although I covered the cake with fondant icing,  I needed to stick the toadstools together with something and also make sure they would stand up on the cake.

What I needed was some Royal Icing, but I only needed a little bit.  That's where Sugar and Crumbs Royal Icing mix is ideal.  I only needed to mix up as much as I needed as this Royal Icing has been developed using the best quality fine particle icing sugar available on the UK market together with a fully pasteurised "high whip" egg white powder.  High whip basically allows the egg white to create peaks/get firmer much quicker and it can also be used for run out icing because of the quality of the egg white. It's not yet available to purchase, but I can certainly recommend it for ease of use and performance.
I added some colour to the icing I had left after using the Sugar and Crumbs Royal Icing to fix the toadstools and leaves, then added some food colouring and piped Merry Christmas onto the cake.  My piping skills are not so great, but at least I didn't mis-spell it!

You can see the cake and the recipe by Paul Hollywood in my review of  'How to Bake'

I was supplied by Sugar and Crumbs with a number of products for trial, including Royal Icing.  I was not required to provide a positive review, all views are my own.

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Saturday, 15 December 2012

Delia's Christmas Dried Fruit Compote

Over at Belleau Kitchen, dear Dom has challenged us with his usual Random Recipe teaser.  However, in my haste, I misread the challenge and instead of choosing a recipe from a cookbook that I received as a gift last Christmas, I thought we were to choose a 'Christmas Cookbook'.  Doh!

I don't have too many Christmas cookbooks, just a couple of Delia's and the Home and Freezer books that I blogged about last week.  The original Delia Smith's Christmas was the one that came to the top of the pile and I opened it randomly and was delighted to find myself looking at 'Christmas Dried Fruit Compote'.This version of the fruit compote isn't on Delia's website, but I found it published in the Telegraph online.

When I went to my larder, inevitably, I didn't have everything I needed for the recipe, so substituted some different dried fruits.  No figs and no prunes, I could have sworn I had some prunes but must have used them in the instant mincemeat.  I had some lovely Medjool dates from the hamper I got from Olives from Spain and some dried mandarins and cranberries, all lovely Christmassy flavours.

The original recipe calls for a liberal dose of Port, well my husband can't drink Port, it gives him migraines, so I used a couple of tablespoons of Amaretto, one of my favourite liqueurs.  In the book Delia suggests that the fruit compote is served with flaked almonds, well I didn't have any of those either, so for this, by now VERY, Random Recipe, I used some nice green pistachio nuts to add to the festive colours.

I made the compote last night and was sorely tempted to have some on my porridge this morning, but remembered just in time that it was full of booze and I had to drive into town to the hairdressers!  We had it this evening served with Greek yogurt and it was delicious, would be great with vanilla ice cream too.  All in all I'm rather pleased that I misread the challenge as I wouldn't have come across this recipe otherwise.

I put up the Christmas tree today, it lives in the kitchen between the cook books and the stove, and is decorated with an eclectic mixture of totally uncoordinated baubles and pretty things I have been collecting since 1980 when we bought our first flat, indeed the coloured lights were a flat warming gift from a friend and they are still working.  I used the tree and lights as a background behind the first photo of the Dried Fruit Compote.  In the spirit of the Random Recipe challenge, here is a Random Christmas decoration from my tree.

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Monday, 10 December 2012

St Clements Marinade for Olives from Spain

The world is divided into those who love olives and those who don't.  When I was a child, I couldn't understand why my Mum loved these strange green or black fruits, to me they didn't taste good at all.  However, as I reached my twenties somehow I too found a taste for olives.  I was totally converted by olives stuffed with anchovies which I first tasted in Spain.

Olive expert and chef, Omar Allibhoy has created some fantastic marinade recipes for 'Olives from Spain' just in time for the party season.  I've also been included in a group of bloggers who have been challenged to come up with our own festive marinade for Spanish Olives.  Last week, I received a bumper hamper full of lovely Spanish ingredients, olives, olive oil, Manchego cheese, chorizo and a selection of fruits and herbs.

I wanted to create a marinade full of festive colours and flavours so chose to use oranges and lemons, reminding me of the rhyme 'Oranges and Lemons say the bells of St Clements' hence the title for my marinade.

St Clements Marinade for Olives

 150g black olives in brine (drained and rinsed)
1 clementine
1/2 lemon
1 tsp pink peppercorns
10 cloves
1 tbsp honey
6 tbsp Spanish Olive Oil
3 tbsp dry white wine
1 sprig rosemary

1. Cut the clementine and the half lemon into small pieces.
2. Put Spanish Olive Oil, dry white wine and honey into a bowl and mix well.
3. Add the pink peppercorns, cloves, clementine, lemon pieces and rosemary.

 4. Add the Spanish olives.
 5. Leave to stand for at least an hour, but the flavour will be even better if you put them into a plastic bag and refrigerate overnight.
 I was delighted with the light fresh flavour of the olives and marinade.  I deliberately didn't use vinegar or lemon juice in the marinade because of the citrus fruit that was already included and this meant that he olives have a fresh but mild flavour.  The fruit pieces are also edible and have absorbed some of the oil and wine so are also delicious.  I loved the pretty colours, the contrasts of  the reddish pink peppercorns, green rosemary and orange and yellow fruits against the shiny black olives.

We enjoyed the olives with some Manchego cheese and Medjool dates with a glass of wine before dinner.

Why not visit the Olives from Spain website, the Facebook page 'Taste of Spain' for more information and recipes and follow Taste of Spain on Twitter for all the updates.

I received a hamper from Olives from Spain and have created a marinade recipe using some of the ingredients from the hamper and some ingredients from my own kitchen.

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