Tag Archives: Simple and in Season

Anchovy, Parmesan and PSB Tart

PSB Tart

Finally the Purple Sprouting Broccoli has come good. After a year’s impatient, and doubtful, waiting all five of my plants are yielding a glutinous harvest. And what a wonderful veg to glut out on, one of the very finest in my opinion and interestingly one that the French don’t seem to do. Well at least I’ve never seen it for sale here. They really don’t know what they’re missing.

PSB

PSB

So it’s been a bit of PSB frenzy around here the last couple of weeks and one of my favourite recipes has to be this very Tart. A rich peppered shortcrust pastry (or you could cheat and buy ready-made), filled with as much PSB as you can possibly fit, bathed in a layer of eggy, creme fraiche & Parmesan loveliness and topped with preserved anchovies. Probably not a tart for the littlies in your life as it’s heavy on salty anchovies, which incidentally are a match made in foodie heaven with PSB. Though you could always omit them and still make a very tasty tart indeed, or pick them off as my kids happily did (and I charitably gobbled down on their behalves).

I know homemade pastry is considered a bit of a faff by most people but it’s surprisingly easy and generally faultless to make yourself. To cut down on faff time you can make in large batches and line and ‘bake blind’ a number of tart cases all at once, and freeze the excess for a later and convenient quickie dinner. Then the prep of the filling and baking is genuinely a doddle.

Simple and in SeasonSince PSB is so in season right now I’m entering my recipe to Fabulicious Food’s Simple and in Season event, which I was delighted to host myself in March and this month is being held by Ren herself. Not being a very regular baker it’s rare that I get a chance to enter the wonderful baking events out in the blogosphere, but this month I AlphaBakes Logohappened to notice that AlphaBakes (jointed hosted by Caroline from Caroline Makes and this month by Ros from One-Ingredient-April-Cheese-300x247More than an Occasional Baker) is on the Letter A (for Anchovy). So I’m delighted to be making my first ever entry! And last but most certainly not least as Cheese is the theme I shall be entering my tart to this month’s One Ingredient Challenge, an event hosted by Laura at How to Cook Good Food and this month by Nazima at Franglais Kitchen

Please don't be fooled that we're eating out and basking in sunshine here. This was taken in a few minutes of warm sun we had last week - and it's rained ever since!

Please don’t be fooled we’re eating out and basking in glorious sunshine here. This was taken in the very few warm minutes of sun we had last week – and it’s rained ever since

PSB Tart

Enough for 4:

For the Pastry: (double, treble, quadruple if you want to stock up on savory tart cases)

130g of Plain Flour, plus a little extra for rolling

35g of Butter, straight from the fridge, cut into small blocks. Plus a little extra for greasing the case

30g of hard Vegetable Fat, straight from the fridge, cut unto small blocks

a level teaspoon of coarsely ground Black Pepper

a pinch of Salt

an Egg yolk, lightly beaten

For the Filling: 

200 to 250g of Purple Sprouting Broccoli (essentially as much as you can squeeze in the tart base), washed

3 medium free range Eggs

200ml of half fat Creme Fraiche (a small tub)

2 heaped tablespoons of finely grated Parmesan

a large pinch of Black Pepper

6 Anchovy fillets, preserved in oil or salt

Special Equipment: a 19 to 25cm width quiche/tart case

Start by making your pastry. I use a food processor for speed but you can make it by hand too. If you’re using a processor place all the ingredients in the bowl, except for the egg yolk, and whiz until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk and whiz again. When it starts to come together in a ball it’s ready, if it doesn’t add a few drops of cold water until it does. Remove from the processor and shape together. Wrap in cling film and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before using.

If you’re making the pastry by hand place all the ingredients, bar the egg yolk, in a mixing bowl. Rub the fat into the flour with your fingers until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk and mix into the flour and fat with your hands, trying to bring it all together. Add a few drops of cold water if the dough fails to come together. Wrap in cling film and rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Pre-heat the oven to 190ºC (gas mark 5, 375ºF).

Whilst the pastry’s resting make your filling. Slice the tougher ends of the broccoli into roughly inch long strips, leaving a generous couple of inches for the delicate purple florets. Steam over boiling water for 3 to 5 minutes until almost tender. Set aside.

Lightly beat the eggs then beat in the creme fraiche, Parmesan and black pepper. Set aside.

Lightly grease your chosen flan case with butter.

The pastry should now be rested. Roll out on a floured surface into a round that will fit your case. Transfer to the case. Cut off any excess pastry; there should be just enough pastry to overlap the sides by a few mms (the pastry will shrink a little when cooked). Prick the base all over with a fork. Place a piece of greaseproof paper over and fill with baking beans to weight down the pastry. Bake for 20 minutes in the hot oven, remove the beans and bake for a further 5 minutes.

Now you’re ready for tart assembly. Place as much PSB in the tart case as it will hold. Pour over the eggy mix. Finally decoratively lay the anchovy fillets over the top.  Slide in the oven and bake for about 35 minutes until firm to touch and a little golden on top.

Perfect with a leafy green salad. And new potatoes if you find them yet.

You might also like: 

Leek & Goats Cheese Tart

Leek & Goats Cheese Tart

Butternut, Feta & Red Onion Tart with Thyme

Butternut, Feta & Red Onion Tart with Thyme


March’s Simple and in Season Round-Up

simple2012small

Well I’ve so loved hosting my first ever bloggie challenge, thanks again for entrusting me with your baby Ren!. Not only have I discovered some wonderful new and super-seasonal recipes but a whole host of new-to-me foodie bloggers which is always exciting. And what a cold, wet, snowy and miserable month March has been? Here’s hoping April might just remember it’s supposed to be British Summer Time and show us some sun and warmth. On a happier note my Purple Sprouting Broccoli has finally come good, after almost a year of excited but impatient waiting I now have more than I possibly know what to do with! So I’ll be eagerly watching out for some recipes appearing on April’s Simple and in Season, to be hosted by Ren herself.

So without further ado here’s March’s tasty offerings. Perhaps the most unusual recipe of all came in first from Sarah of The Garden Deli with her Sumac spiced Nettles and Beans. Being a big cannellini bean fan myself and handily having half a garden full of nettles (that I’ve yet to put to use in the kitchen) I’m really excited about trying this recipe soon.

nettles-and-beans

Another intriguing recipe came from Janet at The Taste Space with her incredibly moorish looking Crispy Beer-Soaked Sweet Potato Fries. I must admit I’ve never heard of  soaking chips (white potato or sweet potato) in beer before but I’m so going to give them a go, especially as they’re healthily oven roasted rather than fried which is always my preference. She’s also compiled a list of other wonderful culinary ideas for cooking with beer.

dsc_1488

And then we had Vanesther of Bangers & Mash’s Beetroot and Carrot Pancakes with Herby Mascarpone. Er hello, yes puuuurlease! Another newbie on me, savory pancake batter. They have to be good. I’m reckoning these might just go down a storm with my pancake-loving kids too, and be a fab novel way to sneak in a few extra veggies to little tums.

Carrot & Beetroot Pancakes

Next up came a recipe from myself, Winter Roasted Roots and an Easy Roasted Roots Pizza. A very quick and easy wholemeal scone-based pizza which is a perfect (and healthy) mid-week supper for the little ones in your life.

Roasted Roots Scone-based Pizza

Jen from Blue Kitchen Bakes came up with a bowl of seasonal green loveliness with her cheese-less dairy-free and thus vegan Watercress, Rocket, Spinach & Almond PestoAnd anyone who reads my blog will well know I’m a bit of pesto fiend/obsessive these days, so I totally approve Jen!. And I so further approve of serving a dollop of the green loveliness on a sweet baked potato AND even more so with pasta and flaked trout – I’ve yet to try pesto with fish but I’m betting it’s a delicious combo!

Pesto - Blue Kitchen Bakes

Next up was a recipe for delicious Thyme Courgettes with Leeks and Feta from London Busy Body. I must admit to being a bit boring when it comes to cooking my courgettes, usually only plain steamed or griddled, but the addition of leeks, feta and thyme would make such a wonderfully interesting side dish.

osso-bucco-001

Jen of Blue Kitchen Bakes entered again with her lovely Leftover Roast Lamb Shepherd’s Pie and I could have a good punt that using extra flavoursome pre-roasted lamb must really add oomphs of flavour to this pie. Jen’s also running a linky for all your ideas of how to use up roast dinner leftovers so do bob along for a bit of inspiration or to add your own recipe to the collection.

Shepherd's Pie

Fabulicious Food‘s Ren herself sent over a recipe for ‘Almost Spring’ Lamb Hotpot, and with the now-beyond-ridiculously-awful so called ‘spring’ we’ve been having I think you’ll all agree this one pot wonder of deliciousness could be the perfect antidote.

Lamb-Hotpot-1-2

There followed a one pot wonder from myself, one of my own family favourites, Spanish Stylie Baked Chicken, Rice & Seasonal Veggies. My kids LOVE this and it’s a great way of getting them to eat plenty of veggies.

Spanish Chicken and Rice

Now on to a wonderful winter Roasted Vegetable Salad from It’s a Fine, Fine Life using roasted yellow beetroot (I agree to loving the flavour of ordinary red beetroot but get a tad grumpy at it’s staining of absolutely everything it comes into contact with!), celeriac (my veggie of the moment!), apple, carrots and topped with goats cheese. Now that’s my kind of salad.

winter-salad

Next up yet another Chez Foti recipe I’m afraid, but I promise it’s the last for this month!. This time a hearty pie made with roasted rosemary winter roots encased in lashings of Gruyère and Parmesan sauce and topped with homemade rough puff pastry. Veggie foodie heaven if you ask me!. A Winter Roasted Roots & Gruyère Pie.

Roasted Roots Pie

From Katie of Feeding Boys and a Firefighter we had a gorgeously vibrant and Polish inspired Beetroot Soupinteresting made with juiced beetroot rather than the whole veggie so as to yield a smoother, clearer and lighter soup. Even better that it’s 5:2 diet friendly, a diet I’m determined to start myself this week having just finished reading The Fast Diet book and so spurred on by all the positive feedback I’m getting from the foodie blogging world.

feeding-boys36-1024x682

Next up was a wonderfully warming and oh so tempting Parsnip & Bacon Gratin with Leeks, Hazelnuts & Blue Cheese from Recipe Junkie. What a fabulously heady mix of flavours?! Which also reminds me AGAIN I still haven’t been for a dig around to see if there are any Chez Foti parsnips still lurking within the weeds, fingers crossed.

on the plate!

Last but most certainly not least we had a glorious Mussel Puttanesca Barley Risotto from Anneli at Delicieux. I’m thinking this dish has my name written all over it. LOVE Puttanesca, LOVE Risotto, LOVE Mussels. I’ve yet to make a barley risotto but I’m sooo going to go for it now with this exact same recipe, and especially as mussels are in season right now!.

1-IMG_27401-610x300-1

So Round-Up complete. A huge thank you to everyone who kindly linked up their fabulously seasonal and innovative recipes. It’s back home to Fabulicious Food for April’s Simple and in Season. Thanks again for entrusting me with hosting Ren, I’ve loved it!

Louisa

My PSB has finally come good!

My PSB has finally come good!

simple2012small


Spanish Stylie Baked Chicken and Rice

Spanish Style Baked Chicken & Rice

I can’t believe I’ve been blogging for nearly a year and a half and this firm family favourite of weekend dinners has thus far failed to make an appearance. It’s a recipe I originally stole from my Mum, who stole from Delia, that’s chopped and changed dramatically over the years and probably bares little resemblance to it’s original form. Changed to make it quicker, easier and more suitable family fodder, and it never disappoints my lot. It’s a cheap and frugal dish (the one pot usually stretching to at least two dinners), flavoursome (think smoked paprika, chorizo, orange, olives), wholesome (brown rice and a barrage of veggies), hearty and substantial. And can handily be partly or wholly made in advance. Perfect for a weekend lunch or dinner and the tasty leftovers re-heated for a quickie dinner in the week, or even eaten cold for lunch. And my kids LOVE it, Jacques devours it. But then they are fiends for anything rice these days. If your monsters are veggie adverse like mine it’s a handy dish to hide a multitude of the good stuff, just chop them unidentifiably small!.

Spanish Chicken and Rice

Chop and change your veggies as to what’s in season. In this particular recipe I used red pepper (the only veggie I would highly recommend you always add) chopped pumpkin (as we still have an inordinate amount to get through!), celery, carrots and french green beans from the freezer. Courgettes, peas, squash, sweet potato, broccoli or mushrooms all work equally as well, just mix and match as to what’s seasonal and you have in.

Since I’m using seasonal veggies aplenty I’m entering this post to Simple and In Season, a monthly challenge that showcases seasonal produce and is the baby of Ren of Fabulicious Food.  This month I so happen to be hosting the event!. I’m also entering Javelin Warrior‘s Made with Love Mondays, as it’s a dish made from scratch, and finally to Credit Crunch Munch as it’s a pretty frugal dish that stretches a long way. Credit Crunch Munch is held jointly by Camilla of Fab Food 4 All and this month by Helen of Fuss Free Flavours. Now on with the recipe….

Credit-Crunch-Munch

Simple and In Season

Made with Love Mondays

Jacques tucking into to his chicken and rice. He's still not a pretty eater.

Jacques chowing down on his beloved chicken and rice. He’s not a pretty eater!

Spanish Stylie Baked Chicken & Rice

Great for Toddlers & Young Children, Hiding Veggies, Bigger Kids, Family or Grown up Dinners, Mains, One Pot Wonders, Week-end Slowies

Serves 6 or a family of 4 twice

a tablespoon of Olive Oil

6 free range Chicken pieces – legs or thighs or a mixture of the two, skin removed

a large Onion, large dice

3 cloves of Garlic, finely sliced

a stick of Celery, finely sliced*

2 Carrots, fine dice*

300g of Pumpkin or Butternut, large dice*

2 Red Peppers, large dice

150g of French Green Beans, cut into inch long lengths*

120g of Chorizo, sliced into 0.5cm thick slices

a heaped teaspoon of Hot Smoked Paprika

300g of Brown Rice

200ml of White Wine

500ml of Chicken Stock

a 400g can of Chopped Tomatoes

2 Bay Leaves

a small bunch of fresh Thyme sprigs, tied together

Black Pepper

½ an Orange, cut into 6 segments

60g of de-stoned Black or Green Olives

Special Equipment: A large lidded ovenproof casserole or Le Creuset style dish that can go on a hob

* Please feel free to vary your veggies as to what’s in season or you have in

Pre-heat your oven to 180ºC/Gas Mark 4.

Heat the oil in your casserole or Le Creuset on a medium to high heat. Once hot fry off the chicken pieces until golden on all sides. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Turn down the heat and add the onion, garlic, celery and carrots, there should be plenty of residual fat from the chicken, but if not add a splash more olive oil. Saute for 5 minutes before adding the pumpkin and peppers. Cook for a further 5 minutes.

Now throw in the green beans and chorizo and cook for a further few minutes until the chorizo is oozing it’s lovely juices.  Stir in the hot smoked paprika and cook for a moment or two before stirring in the rice. Ensure all the grains are coated in the oily spicy loveliness before pouring in the white wine, chicken stock, chopped tomatoes, bay leaves, thyme and a generous pinch or two of black pepper. Give everything a thorough stir and bring to a gentle simmer.

Take the pot off the heat and place the set aside chicken pieces on the top, pressing them down into the rice. Slot the orange segments where ever there’s space and scatter over the olives. Place the lid on the pot and slide into the oven.

Bake for 45 minutes. The rice and veggies should all be perfectly tender. Eat and enjoy!.

You might also like:

Paella

Paella

Mediterranean Pot Roast Chicken

Mediterranean Pot Roast Chicken


Roasted Roots and an Easy Roasted Roots Pizza

Roasted Roots Scone-based Pizza swallow-recipes-for-lifeWhat to do with Carrots, Beetroot and Cheese? These were the three ingredients chosen for March’s Recipes for Life challenge, a new monthly event held by Vanesther at Bangers & Mash. The challenge is run in partnership with the Somerset based charity Swallow who work with adults with learning difficulties. Every month they’ll be a new trio of ingredients and bloggers are challenged to come up with tasty, healthy and easy to prepare dishes that may even appear in Swallow’s new cookbook. What a lovely challenge I say!.

Admittedly not an obvious choice of ingredients at first but after a few brief moments of ponder I realised this remit would not only include one of our regular quickie dinners at Chez Foti, Roasted Veggies with Feta and Couscous but also my Roasted Veggie Lasagna too. My wholehearted apologies for the awful photos on both these blogs, but in my defense they were taken in my very early days of blogging!. I’m a bit of a regular veggie roaster and tend to make huge seasonal batches that get used over the course of a few days. Not only are they an interesting veggie side to a roast dinner or even bangers and mash but they’re perfect in a lasagna or thrown on a tart or pizza, wonderful in a sandwich (hot or cold, with cheese or hummus or just plain) or simply enjoyed in their own right with couscous, pasta or brown rice or as an antipasta.

Roasted Roots with Feta and Couscous

Roasted Roots with Feta and Couscous

For today’s recipe I have my seasonal Roasted Roots. I’m particularly partial to my Roasted Winter Roots as they bring such flavour and cheer to an otherwise verging-on-dull selection of veggies. Go for whatever you have to hand but beetroot, carrots, parsnips, celeriac, sweet potatoes, butternut squash and red onions all work marvellously together and tend to cook in the same amount of time. I like to boost flavours with plenty of fresh chopped Rosemary but you could happily substitute with fresh Thyme or dried herbs.

Winter Roots

My entry for  the challenge is an easy-peasy Scone-Based Wholemeal Pizza topped with plenty of Roasted Roots and a ball of Mozzarella (or Cheddar, Goats Cheese or Feta if you prefer). Funnily enough I haven’t eaten a scone based pizza since I was a child myself (they seemed to be all the rage in the 80s!) but have been eager to give one a whirl for ages now. Mainly as they’re so easy and quick to put together with no need for kneading or rising. Results were very good though admittedly incomparable to a thin crust homemade bread dough. But very tasty nevertheless, and my kids happily wolfed it down for their tea roasted roots and all!. The perfect instant and healthy pizza if you ask me, and one I shall definitely be baking again.

Roasted Roots

simple2012smallSince you can’t get much more Seasonal than my Roasted Roots I’m also entering my blog to Ren’s Simple and in Season challenge which so happens to be being hosted by myself this month!.

And as there’s fresh rosemary or thyme with the Roots I’m also entering it to Karen of Lavender and Lovage’s Herbs on Saturday event, this month hosted by London Busy Body.herbsonsaturday

Credit-Crunch-MunchAnd last but not least as this so happens to be a particularly frugal eat I’m entering it to Credit Crunch Munch, a joint event by Camila of Fab Food 4 All and this month by Helen of Fuss Free Flavours.

Roasted Roots

Roasted Roots

Great for Pizza (see below!) or Tart toppings, Lasagnas, Sandwiches, Antipasta, Veggie Sides or eaten with Couscous, Pasta or Brown rice. 

To make enough for at least two meals for a Family of Four (halve the quantity if you wish to make less)

2 Red Onions, very large dice

6 cloves of Garlic, left whole with skin on

3 Carrots*, peeled and sliced into 0.5 cm slices

2 – 3 Beetroot*, scrubbed (skin left on) and cubed to a 1.5 cm dice

1 – 2 Parsnips, peeled and cubed to a 1.5 cm dice

300g of Sweet Potatoes, Butternut Squash or Pumpkin* (or a mixture of any of these), peeled and cubed to a 1.5cm dice

300g of Celeriac*, peeled and cubed to a 1.5cm dice

a tablespoon of chopped fresh Rosemary OR 2 teaspoons of fresh Thyme or dried Oregano or Mixed Herbs

Salt and Pepper

4 tablespoons of Olive Oil

Special Equipment: 2 large oven baking trays

* Feel free to vary your veggies!

Pre-heat your oven to 200ºC.

Simply place all the peeled and cut veggies on two large baking trays. Sprinkle with the herbs, a large pinch of salt and pepper and the oil. Using your hands ensure all the veggies have an even coating.

Place in the oven and roast for 45 minutes. Turn twice during the cooking time. The veggies should all be very tender and a little golden.

Scone based  pizza recipe

Easy Scone-based Wholemeal Roasted Root Pizza

Great for Toddlers and Young Children, Bigger Kids, Family Dinners, Mid-Week Suppers, Vegetarians, Quick Homemade Pizza.

Serves a Family of 4:

125g Wholemeal Self-Raising Flour

100g of White Self-Raising Flour, plus a little extra for rolling

a teaspoon of Baking Powder

a pinch of Salt and Pepper

30g of Butter

1 Egg, lightly beaten

a little Milk

a heaped dessert spoon of Tomato puree, plus 2 dessert spoons of water

2 large handfuls (or more!) of Roasted Roots

100g of sliced Mozzarella OR 75g of cheddar/goats cheese/feta

Special Equipment: A baking tray, rolling-pin

Pre-heat your oven to 200ºC.

Place the flours, baking powder, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl and combine together. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

Add the egg and using your hands try to get the mixture to come together. You may need to add a little milk, keep adding until the mixture comes together in one piece.

Turn out the dough onto a work top or large board, shape into a ball and carefully roll out with a rolling-pin until you have your desired pizza size and thickness (as thin as possible is best, but harder to do with scone dough!).

Combine the tomato puree with the water and spread over the pizza base. Scatter over as many Roasted Roots as you can fit and then finish with a layer of cheese.

Place in the oven for 20 minutes. The pizza’s ready when the cheese is golden and bubbling.

You might also like: 

Spinach & Ricotta Cannelloni with Hidden Veggies Tommie Sauce

Spinach & Ricotta Cannelloni with Hidden Veggies Tommie Sauce

Super-Vegged Up Chilli con Carne

Super-Vegged Up Chilli con Carne


March Simple and in Season: Now Open!

Simple and in Season

I’m most delighted to be guest hosting March’s Simple and in Season event, a bloggie challenge dear to my heart that promotes seasonal produce, of which I’ve now entered many a time. Thanking you very kindly Ren (of the fabulous Fabulicious Food) for entrusting me with your baby and allowing me to host this month. In fact this will also be my first ever hosting of a bloggie challenge, so wish me luck!

So what’s in Season in March? On the veggie front it’s definitely the time of year for the Brassicas to shine: Purple Sprouting Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Celeriac, Spring Greens, Kale, Turnips and Swede are all pretty abundant. There’s also plenty of Carrots and Parsnips, Beetroot, Leeks, Celery, Jerusalem Artichokes, Lambs Lettuce, Mushrooms, Spinach, Pumpkin and Potatoes. As for the fruit, it’s a little thinner on the ground at this time of the year, but there’s still plenty of lovely Rhubarb plus Apples and Pears stored from the Autumn. On the meat and fish front, it’s a good time for Venison, Cockles, Cod, Crab, John Dory, Salmon, Sea Bass and Sea Trout.

Obviously what’s in season would vary considerably as to where exactly in the world you’re blogging from! Please feel free to blog your local seasonal goodies, wherever you are.

In my own garden in SW France I’m currently munching my way through Savoy Cabbages, Calabrese, Romanesco Cauliflowers, Brussels Sprouts and very soon, fingers crossed, LOTS of lovely Purple Sprouting Broccoli (one of my favourite veggies ever!). We also still have a few Carrots and Parsnips in the ground, scattered Lettuces, Celery & Rocket and my dye hard Mr Wonder Veg Swiss Chard. And yesterday my husband took very delighted delivery (as I’m currently in the UK with the littlies lavishing in the world of central heating) of half a local muntjac deer kindly given to us by the local hunters. And I mean half, I’ve seen the gory photos!

Romanesco Cauliflower

One of my Romanesco Caulies

One of my homegrown cabbages, sadly just the one left now :(

My last homegrown Cabbage 😦

In need of a little more seasonal inspiration? Then Ren has kindly compiled a list of her favourite websites dedicated to seasonality:

  • What’s in Season (a great website with an A-Z picture guide of what’s in season in Britain)
  • Eat the Seasons (tells you what’s good this week, e.g jersey royal new potatoes, asparagus etc)
  • Well Seasoned (more about what’s in season in the UK including seasonality charts)
  • Sustainable Table – seasonal produce further afield

Here’s a few guidelines for entering Simple and in Season:

1) All you have to do is come up with a dish using any seasonal produce you like (savoury or sweet) and post it on your blog, LINK TO THIS PAGE and to Ren’s Simple and in Season page and email me (loufoti@gmail.com) the name of your dish and the URL link. I’ll add your link to this blog as soon as it’s received.

2) Feel free to use the Simple and in Season badge in your post (it’s at the top and bottom of this blog).

3) March’s round starts today, 1st March 2013, and ends on 31st March 2013. I’ll be doing a Round-Up shortly after showcasing all your seasonal goodies.

4) You can take inspiration from anywhere – adapt a recipe from your favourite cookbook, try something from a magazine, make up your own creation or share a family favourite. The usual rules apply when using someone else’s recipe, please either get permission from the author to post it or adapt it in some way stating how/why you’ve changed it.

5) Include any seasonal produce you fancy including fruit, veg, herbs, meat or fish.

6) Link as many recipes as you like. You can link posts entered into other blog events or carnivals as long as it involves a seasonal food item (and fits in with their rules).

7) The linky-up is open to anyone, anywhere.

8) If you’re on Twitter, tweet to myself @ChezFoti and @RenBehan using the hashtag #SimpleandinSeason and we’ll re-tweet all that we see

If you have questions or problems, email me or leave me a comment in the comment box at the bottom of the post.

So looking forward to all your entries, and thanks again for letting me host Ren!

Louisa

1) In Praise of Nettles – Nettles & Beans

2) Crispy Beer-Soaked Sweet Potato Fries

3) Beetroot & Carrot Pancakes with Herby Mascarpone

4) Roasted Roots and an Easy Roasted Roots Pizza

5) Vegan Watercress, Rocket, Spinach & Almond Pesto

6) Thyme Courgettes with Leeks and Feta

7) Shepherds Pie using Leftover Roast Lamb

8) ‘Almost Spring’ Lamb Hotpot

9) Spanish Stylie Baked Chicken, Rice & Seasonal Veggies

simple2012small

10) Roasted Vegetable Salad

11) A Wintery Roasted Roots & Gruyere Pie

12) Beetroot Soup

13) Parsnip & Bacon Gratin with Leeks, Hazelnuts & Blue Cheese

14) Marvelous Mussel Risotto

I'm still getting a good weekly picking of Calabrese Broccoli, my kids fave veggie!

I’m still getting a generous weekly picking of Calabrese Broccoli, my kids fave veggie!


Sausage, Bean and Veggie Hotpot

Sausage & Bean Hotpot

Now I love a bloggie challenge and when Vanesther, of the gorgeous family food blog Bangers and Mash, launched her new Recipes for Life Challenge I was really excited, particularly as it’s right up my foodie street. Each month she’ll be picking three ingredients and challenging fellow bloggers to come up with something tasty, wholesome and easy-to-cook with them. And the best recipes will be included in a new cookbook for the Somerset based charity Swallow. Swallow support adults with learning difficulties to lead more independent lives, including the running cookery courses to help members learn to prepare simple, inexpensive and nutritious meals.

swallow-recipes-for-life

This month the three ingredients are Sausages, Onions & Tomatoes and I knew exactly what I wanted to make for Swallow. My much-loved family favourite Sausage, Bean & Veggie Hotpot that I’ve thus far failed to get snapped and blogged. It’s a lovely winter warmer one pot wonder dish, that’s so easy to throw together yet hearty, healthy and heavy on the veggies. And my kids LOVE it as much as us grown up folk. And you can chuck in whatever beans or veggies you so happen to have in, anything goes!.

Sausage, Bean & Veggie Hotpot

Sausage, Bean & Veggie Hotpot

Great for family or grown up dinners, toddlers, bigger kids, vegetarians (using veggie sausages obviously!), mid-week suppers, weekend slowies, winter warming

Serves 4 to 6 big appetites (or a family of 4 TWICE!)

a tablespoon of Sunflower Oil

6 – 8 Sausages, meaty or veggie

an Onion, diced

2 cloves of Garlic, finely chopped

2 Carrots, sliced

a Parsnip*, diced

300g of Pumpkin or Butternut Squash*, large dice

a generous pinch of Chili Powder

2 teaspoons of dried Oregano or Mixed Herbs**

2 x 400g tins of Chopped Tomatoes

2 x 400g tins of Beans (Cannellini/Butter/Kidney/Haricot/Flageolet all work brilliantly or a mixture of any of them!), drained and rinsed

Salt & Pepper

600g of washed and peeled Potatoes (about 3 medium sized), finely sliced

300ml of hot Beef Stock (or veggie stock if you’re using veggie sausages)

Special Equipment: A Large Lidded Oven-proof Casserole Dish that can also go on the hob

* Please feel free to vary your veggies as to what you have in, you can happily substitute with any sturdy veggies like sweet potatoes, swede, turnip, peppers, celery, celeriac, chard, green beans, cauliflower etc.

** Or fresh herbs like rosemary or thyme all work wonderfully if you so happen to have any, my preference is for fresh rosemary.

Pre-heat your oven to 190ºC/Gas Mark 5.

Heat the oil in the Casserole Dish. Fry the sausages until a little browned all over. Set aside to cool, and when cool enough to handle cut into 3 or 4 pieces. Set aside until later.

In the same casserole dish add the onions and garlic and fry in the fat left from the sausages on a medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring regularly so nothing catches. Then throw in the carrots, parsnip and pumpkin or butternut (or your other chosen veggies). Continue to cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring at intervals.

Stir in the chili powder and herbs, quickly followed by the chopped tomatoes, beans and the set aside sausages.

Bring everything to a simmer and season generously with salt and pepper.

Sausage, Bean & Veggie Hotpot

Take off the heat and arrange the sliced potatoes over the top of the hotpot. Pour the hot stock over the potatoes, place the lid on the top and slide into the pre-heated oven for 45 minutes. Remove the lid and bake for a further 45 minutes.

Hotpot

The hotpot’s ready when the potatoes have browned a little on top and are completely soft and tender.

Sausage, Bean & Veggie Hotpot

simple2012smallCredit-Crunch-Munch

I’m also entering my recipe to Ren of Fabulicious Food‘s Simple and In Season challenge, since it uses plenty of seasonal goodies. This month the event’s hosted by Cake, Crumbs and Cooking. And to Helen of Fuss Free Flavours and Camilla of Fab Food 4 All‘s Credit Crunch Munch event, as this is a particularly frugal munch!.

A Year Ago on the Blog: Cheesy Biscuits for Half Term

You might also like:

Chicken, Borlotti & Pumpkin Stew

Chicken, Borlotti & Pumpkin Stew

Chicken & Apricot Tagine

Chicken & Apricot Tagine


Parsnip, Pecan and Maple Syrup Cake

Parsnip and Maple Syrup Cake

The recipe for this cake caught my eye recently on the BBC Good Food site and begged to be baked! Funnily enough I’d been searching for a little birthday cake inspiration and this happened to be the first one that popped up. Not the obvious choice for a birthday cake, but I made it nevertheless for Mr F’s recent Big Day. And being the winner of the Good Food’s 20th Birthday Cake Competition and coming complete with an enormity of rave reviews how could I not?.

I’ve been meaning to try my hand at baking with parsnips all parsnip season, and was particularly delighted to find such a gorgeous recipe. So far my foray into veggie baking has taken me to Beetroot (wonderful in a choccie cake, sadly baked pre-blog but must be made again!), Squash, Pumpkin (Chocolate Pumpkin Cake), Courgettes (Courgette Cake with Homemade Lemon Curd) and of course Carrots. Do please enlighten me if there’re any other veggies worthy of caking up?

Parsnip, Pecan & Maple Syrup Cake

Since I barely changed a bean of this recipe (other than slightly lowering the sugar content and upping the amount of apple), I’m not going to re-write the recipe but it can be found on the BBC site by clicking here: Caroline Berwick’s Parsnip & Maple Syrup Cake.  Please do try it too, it’s a wonderfully moist and wonderfully flavoured cake that’ll wow the most ardent of parsnip haters.  And the mascarpone and maple syrup centre is truly heavenly!.

Being a ‘bookmarked recipe’, I shall be entering it to Jacqueline of Tinned Tomatoes February Bookmarked Recipes Round-Up.

bookmarked recipes new logo

As parsnips are well and truly in season (though I fear I only have two or three biggies left in the ground) I’m entering the recipe to Ren’s Fabulicious Food Simple and in Season event, this month hosted  by Cake, Crumbs and Cooking.

Simple and In Season

Parsnip Cake

One Year Ago:     Beef in Guinness

You might also like:

Chocolate  Pumpkin Cake

Chocolate Pumpkin Cake

Clementine & Almond Cake

Clementine & Almond Cake


Parsnip and Pear Soup

Parsnip & Pear Soup

There’s been a frenzy of activity in the Chez Foti kitchen this last week, brought on by my sudden and slightly panicked realisation we will be ten for christmas. Which obviously is very wonderful but I’ve got my work cut out! And after a few trials this is the soup I’ve decided to kick off christmas day lunch with, using our lovely parsnips and the last of the pears from the garden. It’s quite a light, yet creamy, soup flavoured with plenty of nutmeg and white pepper, and will be served with Parsnip Crisps (time permitting on the day!) and Mini Pear, Stilton & Shallot Tarts (blog coming soon!).

Parsnips

We’ve opted out of turkey for the main event this year and I’ve purchased a rather large piece of  imported British Beef instead (thanks to the lovely people at the Singing Frog Farm). The Roast Beef will be served with Yorkshire Puds, Chipolatas, Duck Fat Roasted Spuds, Roast Parsnips, Sprouts with Chestnuts, Roasted Pumpkin with Lardons and Lemon Butter Carrots. With lashings of Red Wine Gravy and Horseradish Sauce of course. As for the pud they’ll be my Great Granny’s Christmas Pudding, that my mum’s very kindly made this year and will be bringing over by special delivery. And for the christmas pud haters a Chocolate & Chestnut Bouche Noel (or Yule Log to you and me, but sounds a tad more sophisticated in French, made, photographed and now frozen and also coming to you in a blog very soon!). Oh I’m hungry just thinking about it. 10 days to go,  yikes!  Here’s a sneeky peek of the log:

My Chocolate & Chestnut Buche Noel, coming in a blog very soon!

My Chocolate & Chestnut Buche Noel, coming in a blog very soon!

Being full of seasonal goodness I’m entering my Soup to Ren Behan of Fabulicious Food‘s Simple and in Season bloggie event, this month hosted by Karen of Lavender and Lovage.

Simple and In Season

Parsnip & Pear Soup

Parsnip and Pear Soup

Serves 8 to 10

2 tablespoons of olive oil

25g of butter

a very large onion, or 2 mediums, diced

a kilo of parsnips, scrubbed and peeled

220g of pears, peeled and cored

a level teaspoon of ground white pepper

a level teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg

2 bay leaves

2 litres of good quality chicken or vegetable stock

5 heaped tablespoons of half fat creme fraiche

A little milk for thinning (optional)

Heat the oil and butter in a very large pan on a gentle heat. Add the onions and saute gently for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile prep the parsnips. As mine are organic and homegrown I tend to leave the skins on but it’s probably best to peel them otherwise. Cut into 2 to 3 cm chunks. Throw the parsnips into the pan. Allow to cook for a further 10 minutes, regularly giving the pan a good stir so nothing catches.

Stir in the pears, white pepper, nutmeg and bay leaves. Then pour over the stock. Bring to a simmer. Allow to bubble away for 15 to 20 minutes or until the parsnips are very soft. Take off the heat and leave to cool for a few minutes.

Remove the bay leaves then blitz in a food processor or blender or with a stick blender until silky smooth. Stir in the creme fraiche until it’s perfectly incorporated. I like my soups around this thickness but you may wish to thin some more with a little extra milk.

Serve immediately!

Here’s some other Chez Foti seasonal soups:

Butternut Squash & Chorizo Soup with Chorizo Croutons

Pumpkin & Bacon Soup

Caldo Verde (Portuguese Greens Soup)

Parsnip & Pear Soup


Roasted Wild Mushroom Pizza

There’s been a good deal of wild mushroom foraging recently at Chez Foti. Magnificent Parasol Mushrooms have been popping up literally all over our garden the last couple of weeks and I’ve been on a bit of a picking and eating frenzy. I wasn’t too sure what they were at first but after consultation with two sets of very knowledgeable neighbours and my trusty mushroom book I was pretty excited to find they were exceptionally good to eat!. And in fact some of the finest mushrooms I’ve ever tasted. We also have ceps and chanterelles growing in our garden, but there’s been very few this year (and neither in my opinion have been as good as the Parasols).

And so there’s been no end of wonderful freebie wild mushroom dinners lately at Chez Foti. Mushroom bruschetta, tarts, pizzas and risottos a plenty. Times like this make living here pretty special, when you really can eat off the land.

Parasol Mushroom

I make a lot of pizzas as at Chez Foti. Mainly because we have an original wood-fired bread oven in the lounge of our house which bakes amazing pizzas throughout the colder months (it’s too hot to light up most of the summer). But this pizza was actually baked in my new oven, testing out it’s pizza baking capabilities. And I wasn’t disappointed, it did the wonderful foraged mushrooms the justice they deserve.

I’ve been experimenting lately with tomato-less bases or ‘white’ pizzas, well since the tomatoes finished anyway (although it seems I have half a freezer of tomato sauce to use up!) . The ricotta, lemon zest, chili and parsley base on this pizza complements the heavenly rich roasted garlic and thyme wild mushrooms. Incidentally don’t skip on the pre-roasting of the mushrooms; roasting gives them a much stronger, richer and somehow more meaty texture and flavour. Truly divine.

If you can’t forage or buy your own wild mushrooms choose some interesting shop bought ones, big or small. Ideally anything but the boring and bland button mushies anyway!.

Jacques looking pretty happy with our find

I’m entering this blog to a couple of bloggie challenges. Firstly, as there’s a fair flavouring of herbs, to the lovely Herbs on Saturday challenge, the baby of Karen @ Lavender & Lovage, and this month hosted by Blue Kitchen Bakes.

And secondly to Simple and in Season, held by Ren Behan of the fabulous Fabulicious Food blog!

Roasted Wild Mushroom Pizza

Serves 1 – 2 (depending on your appetite for pizza!)

One quantity of pizza dough (I usually stick to a Jamie Oliver recipe, using part semolina flour when I can get it)

175g of wild or interesting shop bought mushrooms, wiped but not washed

2 tablespoons of olive oil

20g of butter

a few sprigs of thyme, leaves removed

4 cloves of garlic, peeled and cut in half

salt & freshly ground black pepper

120g of ricotta

zest of ½ a lemon, plus a little juice

½ a red chili (or a whole one if you prefer), seeds removed and finely sliced

a heaped tablespoon of finely chopped flat leaved parsley

a heaped tablespoon of finely grated parmesan

extra virgin olive oil or truffle oil to finish

Pre-heat your oven to 200ºC.

Start by roasting off your mushrooms. Tear or cut the mushrooms into large bite size pieces. Combine in a small baking dish with the olive oil, butter, thyme, garlic and a pinch of salt and pepper. Place in the oven for 10 minutes, giving everything a good move around half way through.

Meanwhile prepare the ricotta base. Mix together the ricotta, lemon zest, chili, parsley and a pinch of salt and pepper in a small bowl.

Once the mushrooms have roasted remove the garlic from the pan and finely slice. Add the garlic back to the mushrooms. Turn the oven temperature up to the hottest it will go and put your pizza stone or baking tray in to heat up.

Now for the pizza. Roll out your pizza dough to your desired size and thickness. I personally prefer mine very thin. Place on your hot pizza stone or baking tray.

Spread the ricotta evenly over the base. Scatter on the mushrooms and sliced garlic and sprinkle over the grated parmesan. Finally give the pizza a squeeze of lemon and a generous drizzling of some very good extra virgin olive oil OR if you’re lucky enough to have any (I’m not!) I’m pretty sure truffle oil would be sublime.

Place in your extremely hot oven and cook until crisp and golden. This could be anywhere between 5 and 15 minutes! Our woodfired bread/pizza oven usually takes less than 5 minutes.

Lots of lovely Parasols

Master J having a good look through Mummy’s Mushroom Book!

%d bloggers like this: