Mushroom Broccoli Phyllo Pockets

Mushroom Broccoli Parcels With a full week and weekend I was happy to stay at home on Sunday and dedicate myself to a little cooking. Sunday to me is the no sports day, which means I have more time on my hands. Continue reading

With time on my hands and a pack of phyllo pastry waiting in the fridge I got down to preparing these veggie filled pockets. The broccoli and mushroom filling is easy to make and to actually put the pockets together, after the first one or two pieces, you’ll easily get the hang of it. I found it trickier to actually describe the procedure than to make it. These savoury treats are easy to hold in your hands and they will work well for an aperitif or a friendly buffet… one of my favourite ways to spend a meal.

 

 

Mushroom Broccoli Phyllo Pockets

Recipe for 8 pieces

Prep time: 35-40 min

Cook time: 30-35 min

 

Ingredients:

180 g chestnut mushrooms

1 red onion

260 g broccoli florets roughly chopped

180 g sour cream

6 sheets rectangular phyllo pastry

2 tbsp. olive oil

40 g melted butter

45 g grated cheese (I used parmesan)

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe:

Slice the mushrooms into ½ cm pieces. Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in a non-stick pan and add the mushrooms to brown. Make sure the pieces are all on one layer, otherwise do it in more batches. Once done set the mushrooms aside.

Wipe the pan and add the second tbsp. olive oil along with the chopped onion. Cook until soft for 4-5 on a low-medium fire then add the broccoli florets. Season with salt and pepper and cook on a medium fire until the broccoli turn bright green, stirring regularly. Once the greens are done add the mushrooms and the sour cream and cook for another couple of minutes. Correct seasoning if needed and set aside.

Take one sheet of phyllo pastry and brush it with the melted butter. Take a second piece and place it on top. Brush the second piece of phyllo pastry and add a third one on top. Place the three sheets with the width in front of you. With a pair of kitchen scissors cut the layered pastry in half, then cut each piece into half again. While you are working with phyllo pastry make sure the sheets you’re not using are sealed in some aluminium paper so they don’t dry.

Take one of the four strips and place a tbsp. of the prepared vegetables at one of the two extremities, on top sprinkle a tsp. of the grated cheese. Fold the pastry where the filling is by placing an angle towards the other side of the strip (see picture). Now that you have the main shape continue to fold the pastry until the end of the strip. Seal the pastry parcel by brushing a little butter on the last fold. Place fold down on a baking tray lined with oven paper. Repeat with the rest of the strips and repeat the whole operation with the last three sheets of phyllo pastry.

Broccoli Sweet Potato Cakes

Broccoli Sweet Potato CakesVegetarian sharing friendly food is something I love to eat with my mother. When she came over I served these cakes with a salad and a glass of white wine. Continue reading

That it is either for an aperitif or a meal, I like to place this kind of food in the middle of the table so that everyone can help themselves. The broccoli & sweet potato cakes are easy and made with few ingredients. Also, while I chose to bake them (for fat content purpose as I’m trying to shed a couple of kilos) you can also easily pan-fry them. The second option will make the cooking process shorter. Whether you want to serve these cakes for an aperitif or as a side dish during dinner, you can easily prepare the potatoes and broccoli in advance so you can save up time when preparing the rest of the food.

PS: I’ll take a week off blogging as I need to get ahead with my studies, chores and of course my wedding planning. Meanwhile I wish everyone a nice weekend!

Broccoli Sweet Potato Cakes

Broccoli Sweet Potato Cakes

 

 

Broccoli Sweet Potato Cakes

 

Recipe for 16 pieces (1-2 p.p. for an aperitif / 3-4 as a side dish for a meal)

Prep time: 10 min

Cook time: 45 for baked version / 25 for pan fried version

 

Ingredients

400 g sweet potatoes, peeled

400 g broccoli florets

120 g grated hard/semi-hard goat cheese

1 egg

Pepper

Optional: salt and cayenne pepper to taste (and olive oil if you chose to fry the croquettes)

 

Recipe

Blanch the broccoli by placing them in a pot of salted boiling water for 1 ½ – 2 min. Then remove them from the water with a slotted spoon and tranfer them to a bowl of icy water.

Cut the sweet potatoes into chunks and boil them in the water you used to blanch the broccoli (eventually remove a little water). Cook the sweet potatoes until they are soft, about 8-10 minutes.

Meanwhile evenly chop the broccoli florets.

Once the sweet potatoes are ready mash them and let them cool a little. Add the chopped broccoli, egg, pepper and eventually cayenne pepper and a little salt and mix all together.

You can either bake the cakes in the oven or fry them in a pan. So to cook with less fat I chose to bake them.

Baked: take a tbsp. of the preparation and place it on a baking tray lined with oven paper. Repeat with the rest of the mass. Bake in the oven for 20 min at 200°C then turn them around to brown on the second side.

Pan fried: Heat 2 tbsp. olive oil on a medium fire and portion the cakes with the help of a tbsp. Brown the potato cakes on both sides for about 5 min per side.

Asparagus and Egg Quesadilla

Asparagus and Egg Quesadilla I love it when a new season comes, besides the changes; I love checking out the new seasonal products. A few weeks ago I saw the first asparaguses but I refuse to buy something as fresh as a vegetable that has travelled from another continent. I don’t know when these vegetables were picked and by the time they arrive they have lost so much of their nutritional value. Continue reading

When I do my groceries I often wonder how many people look at where their vegetables and fruits come from. Well, the asparaguses I found came from Spain, it’s not local but at least the distance isn’t measured in oceans. I was really excited to finally eat them again so I decided to make something quick and which I can eat with my hands. I wanted to combine eggs and asparagus because it’s a combination I love and from there I could have either made a quiche or something like this, or I could make something quicker like a sandwich… or a quesadilla. Finally I went for the quesadilla and here is the result.

Asparagus and Egg Quesadilla

 

 

Asparagus and Egg Quesadilla

 

Recipe for 1 unit – for about 4 as an appetizer or for 2 as a meal

Prep time: 5 min

Cook time: 10-12 min

 

Ingredients

3 eggs

160 g asparagus

50 g grated Gruyere cheese

10 g butter

1 heaped tbsp. sour cream

Salt and pepper

2 large flour tortilla

3/4 tbsp. rapeseed oil

 

Recipe

Cut the asparagus into about 0.5cm pieces.

On a medium fire, heat the oil and add the chopped asparagus to brown for 5-7 minutes. Once ready set the vegetables aside and wipe the pan with some kitchen paper.

In a small pan break the three eggs and add the butter. Then place it on a low heat blending the ingredients together. Continue to whisk until the eggs are cooked (more or less 5 min). Remove from the fire and add the sour cream with salt and pepper to taste. Then combine the asparagus.

Take one flour tortilla and sprinkle half of the cheese on top, then spread over the egg/asparagus mix, then the remaining cheese and finally top with the second tortilla. Cook 1 min. on each side. Cut the quesadilla into slices and serve.

Sweet Potato Wedges with Goat Cheese Dip

Sweet Potato Wedges with Goat Cheese Dip Today my mother came over for our weekly lunch and since my last night was quite short, I didn’t really feel like thinking too much about what to cook for the two of us so I went to look for an idea for our lunch among my cookbooks. Continue reading

It didn’t take long to find something that appealed to me. If there is one book I totally love it’s Ottolenghi’s Plenty, the recipes there are just wonderful, fresh and delicious. I chose his “Sweet potato wedges with lemongrass crème fraiche” and adapted it according to what I had at home. This simple recipe turned out to be just delicious and I will surely make this again.

 

Sweet Potato Wedges with Goat Cheese Dip 

 

Sweet Potato Wedges with Goat Cheese Dip

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 10 min

Cook time: 20-25 min

 

Ingredients:

900 g sweet potatoes

1 ½ tsp. garlic powder

¾ tsp. fine salt

A handful chopped coriander leaves

1 red chilli finely chopped

 

Dip:

100g fresh goat cheese

4 tbsp. sour cream

3 tbsp. chives

The zest of 1 lemon

4 tbsp. lemon juice

salt

 

Recipe:

Heat oven at 200°C.

Cut the sweet potatoes in half lengthwise and then (always lengthwise) divide each half into four wedges.

Place the wedges in a bowl (or a Ziploc bag) pour the olive oil and toss to evenly coat. Sprinkle the garlic powder and salt on top and toss again. Place the wedges on a parchment lined baking tray and cook in the oven for 20-25 min.

Meanwhile prepare the dip by softening the goat cheese with a fork. Add the sour cream and blend. Finally add the rest of the ingredients.

Once the sweet potato wedges are done, remove them from the oven and place the on a serving plate. Top the wedges with the chopped coriander leaves and the red peppers and serve with the goat cheese dip.

Carrot Hummus

Carrot HummusLast weekend was a very relaxed moment for me and since my fiancé is busy going around for his political campaign, I made myself busy in the kitchen and prepared this lighter hummus made with carrots. I didn’t really have lunch but with a little toasted pita bread I enjoyed it while re-watching a documentary on Henry VIII (I already know so much about the subject but still enjoy hearing about it, history is my drug). It was the second time in my life I was making hummus and the first time (which was a few years ago) was not a satisfying experience. This time on the other hand was much better. I more or less followed the recipe written on the jar of my tahini but for tips on how to proceed I looked up on this site. It’s actually a fun and easy recipe to make and after this test, next time I’ll have guests over, I’ll give it another try, maybe then I’ll use bell peppers or tomatoes…

Carrot Hummus

 

Carrot Hummus

 

Recipe for about 8

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time:15 min

 

Ingredients:

350 g peeled carrots

150 g cooked chickpeas

4 tbsp. olive oil (+ extra to serve)

1 tsp. minced garlic

3 tbsp. lemon juice

70 g tahini

(optional: 3 tbsp. chopped coriander leaves)

 

Recipe:

Cut the carrots in four parts lengthwise and then dice it. Place them in a steamer or a steaming pan and cook them until soft (about 10-15 min). Set them aside.

In a food processor place the tahini and lemon juice and blend for a about a minute. Add the chickpeas and process them for another minute. Repeat with the carrots and olive oil. At this point add the coriander leaves if using them. Place the hummus in a bowl, drizzle a little olive oil on top and serve with pita bread, toasted bread or vegetables.

Chicken & Blue Cheese Salad

Chicken & Blue Cheese SaladI don’t know about you but the transition from winter to spring is always a challenge for me. Between mood and energy swings, I never know how the day will turn out. One solution I found to help me was to simplify everything, even my cooking. This is why I made this straightforward chicken and blue cheese salad with celery. Using leftover chicken, I found this recipe to be versatile as I can spread it on a sandwich for a quick lunch or serve it on toasts for an aperitif or eat it the way it is with some green salad. It’s a refreshing recipe, which is ready in no time; it’s creamy but with a crunch coming from the celery.

Chicken & Blue Cheese Salad

 

Chicken & Blue Cheese Salad

 

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 10-15 min

 

Ingredients:

280 g cooked chicken

140 g celery stalks

100 g mascarpone

100 g Gorgonzola

80 g sour cream

3-4 tbsp. chopped chives

1 tbsp. walnut oil

Pepper

Either 4 buns or some sliced bread

 

Recipe:

Cut the chicken into thin strips and finely slice the celery.

In a bowl mix together the mascarpone, Gorgonzola and sour cream. To it, add the chicken celery, walnuts, chives pepper. Mix all together and either use it for an aperitif on some bread or as a flavourful sandwich filling.

Broccoli Fries

Broccoli FriesI admit I like munching in front of a film, with the fireplace burning and my dog begging for some food. Continue reading

My fiancé is in regional politics and the campaign is starting so I know that when I’m not accompanying him, I will be enriching my film culture. The good thing is that I will get to watch films in original version 🙂 – In order not to feel too guilty when I treat myself, I try to make lighter and healthier snacks instead of fried chips or salty meats… well, sometimes I succumb to cheese, but I try to limit eating too much of it by using it in smaller quantities. A little of the dairy delight can go a long way and this is what I did for with this recipe. A little cheese for these baked broccoli fries is all that is needed… along with the other ingredients of course.

 

Broccoli Fries

 

Recipe for 2-3 people

Prep time: 10-15 min

Cook time: about 8 min

 

Ingredients

250 g broccoli florets

3 tbsp. breadcrumbs

3 tbsp. finely chopped walnuts

2-3 tbsp. finely grated cheese

¼ – ½ tsp. smoked paprika

1 dl cream

Salt

 

Recipe:

Heat oven at 210°C.

Clean and cut the broccoli florets into bite sized pieces.

In a bowl place the cream; in another bowl place the breadcrumbs, walnuts, grated cheese and smoked paprika.

Take a few pieces of broccoli and soak them in the cream, let excess drip and then coat them with the breadcrumb, walnut mixture. To prevent the dry mixture from getting too soaked I divided the quantity and used them one at the time.

Once they are coated place them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and cook in the oven for 8-9 min. Serve.

 

 

Goat Cheese Toasts

Goat Cheese ToastsSeeing old Dutch acquaintances over the Christmas holidays made me think about the time I lived in Amsterdam. Continue reading

Besides being a city I absolutely fell in love with, I also often enjoyed having the nice sandwiches you could find around town. Actually, I don’t think I’ve ever eaten as many sandwiches as during that year. Among my favourite combinations was one I often chose, with goat cheese and honey. Thinking about that year made me want to eat something similar and so I made these toasts. In this recipe I added some beetroots and arugula because they add taste, texture and the eye also wants its part. These toasts can work for a quick lunch (1-2 p.p.) maybe with a salad, or a brunch or whenever you feel like it.

 

 

Goat Cheese Toasts

Recipe for 4 pieces

Prep time: 5-10 min

Cooke time: 15-20 min

 

Ingredients:

4 slices bread (1.5-2 cm thick, I used brown bread)

Butter

120 g goat cheese log

2 tbsp. sour cream

2 tbsp. dry roasted pine nuts

4 tsp. runny honey

12 thin beetroots wedges (a few millimetres thick)

Arugula leaves

Pepper

 

Recipe

Heat oven at 180°C.

Spread a little butter on each side of the bread slices and place them in the oven until lightly toasted, about 5-7 min.

Meanwhile crumble the cheese in a bowl and add the sour cream with some pepper. Mix the ingredients together.

Take the bread slices out of the oven and spoon over the goat cheese sour cream mix. Replace the slices in upper part the oven and cook them for about 15 min. Once the cheese starts to slightly brown, take them out.

Drizzle 1 tsp. honey over each slice, then; on each bread piece place 3 beetroot wedges and a few arugula leaves on top. Sprinkle with the pine nuts as a finishing touch. Serve.

Quinoa Carrot and Sweet Potato Muffin Tin Frittatas

Quinoa Carrot and Sweet Potato Muffin Tin FrittatasHappy New Year! I hope everyone had a nice festive period filled with great and tasty food and hopefully a lot of laughter and joy, too. We left for a short week to Crans-Montana in a search for winter, which we only found up to a certain point (in fact the last day it rained, and we were at 1500 above sea level). Continue reading

Here in Ticino, the weather feels like spring time and although the temperatures are relatively pleasant, it feels wrong for the season. One week during the festive time of the year is not made for dieting and among the foods that have passed through our mouths are a lot of cheese (melted and non), Argentinian beef, dried meat, crêpes, sweet treats, wine, champagne….

When we came back on Saturday I couldn’t wait to go for lighter and healthier food, which I actually craved. After a good night rest, I wanted to make myself something I enjoy but which is lighter and healthier than what my belly had seen during the previous week, so after my jog I prepared these Quinoa Carrot and Sweet Potato Muffin Tin Frittatas. This easy recipe with its colourful combination tasted great with a salad. I think I could almost hear my body saying “Thank you”.

 

 

Quinoa Carrot and Sweet Potato Muffin Tin Frittatas

 

Recipe for 12 pieces

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 35 min

 

Ingredients:

70 g quinoa

75 g coarsely grated carrots

75 g sweet potatoes

1 small onion

2.3 dl water

2 tsp. olive oil

¼ – ½ tsp. smoked paprika

2 heaped tbsp. chopped parsley

salt and pepper

3 eggs

3 tbsp. milk (or cream)

80 g fresh goat cheese

Salt

 

Recipe:

Cut the sweet potatoes into ½ cm cubes and finely chop the onion.

Add the olive oil and onion to a pan on a medium fire and fry for 4-5 min, until onion is soft. Mix in the grated carrots and cubed sweet potatoes, toss and cook for another couple of minutes before adding the quinoa. Cook for two more minutes stirring often. Add the water and a generous pinch of salt to the pan. Once the water is boiling cook the onion, carrots, sweet potatoes and quinoa for about 12 minutes on a gentle rolling boil (make sure that all the water has evaporated/been absorbed). Stir regularly and once ready remove from fire and leave it to cool almost completely.

Grease a muffin tin with olive oil.

Beat the eggs together with the milk, goat cheese, paprika and salt to taste and parsley (don’t worry if the mix has a few lumps).

Add the quinoa, carrot, sweet potato and onion to the egg mix, stir together and evenly fill the muffin cups.

Cook in the oven for about 16 min at 180°C, until the top looks cooked and dry. Take the muffin tin out of the oven and leave it to set for a few minutes before removing the mini frittatas from their mould (detach them with the help of a pairing knife). Serve.

Phyllo Leek Tart

Phyllo Leek TartDo you also always struggle finding which dish you will prepare for Christmas dinner? I do, usually I face this dilemma each time I have someone coming over. Continue reading

Finally this yeas I’ll be making a Beef and Ale Casserole and as starter I will be making this Phyllo Leek Tart which I tried out last week. Last weekend, in my fridge I found some phyllo pastry I had to use soon so I decided to make this tart. As much as I’m not a huge puff pastry fan, I love the consistence and lightness of layered phyllo pastry. Other of the main ingredients in this tart are the leeks, which the more I read and learn, are so common in Swiss cuisine (Papet Vaudois, gateau Savièse…). Leeks are an easy local produce to find and it’s a good seasonal produce to take advantage of. I don’t know about you but I love eating leeks with something creamy so to complete the recipe I used crème fraiche, which is a little like for the flammkuchen recipe. The festive season is here and this recipe would work well as a starter as it’s in season and relatively easy to put together.

 

 

 

Phyllo Leek Tart

 

Recipe for 4-6

Prep time:

Cook time: 20 min

 

Ingredients:

300 g leeks

6-7 sheets phyllo pastry (average size of 29cm x 37 cm)

190 g crème fraiche

6 tbsp. butter

2 tbsp. thyme leaves

2 tbsp. roughly chopped hazelnuts

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe:

Heat oven at 210°C.

Cut the leeks into about 7-9 cm long pieces. Lengthwise divide each piece into half being careful to keep the layers into place.

Melt one tbsp. butter in a pan and add the leeks to cook for about 4-5 min per side on a medium fire. Season them with salt, pepper and thyme. Be gentle when turning the leeks as they tend to get undone. Once the leeks are cooked set them aside.

Take one sheet of phyllo pastry and brush it with the melted butter. Top it with another sheet of pastry and repeat the process until all sheets are used.

Make a small crust by folding the edges of the pastry a couple of times. If it doesn’t hold, press it gently down. Brush the crust with a little more butter.

Spread the sour cream on the bottom of the tart and, distribute the leeks on top.

Bake in the oven for 10 min, take the tart out and sprinkle the chopped hazelnuts on top and serve.