Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Onion squash stuffed with butterbeans and vegetables (4 colours)

We found these adorable onion squashes at the market and just had to get them:

The recipe makes enough filling to stuff a pumpkin and was too much for two onion squashes, but was very good reheated the next day. Similarly, the cheese sauce wouldn't all fit inside the squash, but we served the remaining sauce on the side.

Squash - 2 small or 1 large
Olive oil - 1 tbsp
Garlic - 2 cloves, finely chopped
Onions - 2, chopped
Carrots - 2, sliced
Celery - 1 stick, sliced
Red pepper - 1, deseeded and chopped
Plum tomatoes - 3, chopped
Butterbeans - 400g can, drained
Dried breadcrumbs - quantity depends on size of squash

For the cheese sauce:
Butter - 30 g
Flour - 30 g
Milk - 250 ml
Cheese - 100 g

1) Prepare the squashes by cutting off a lid and scooping out the seeds and pith. If the squash aren't balanced slice a small section from the base so that they stand upright.
2) Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the garlic and onion and cook until softened. Add the carrots, celery, pepper and tomatoes. Cook for 10 minutes.
3) Add the butterbeans and stir well.
4) Make the cheese sauce: heat the butter in a small pan and when melted stir in the flour. Slowly add the milk, stirring. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring constantly or until the sauce thickens. Add the cheese and stir.

5) Assemble the squash by first filling with the butterbean and vegetable mixture, remembering to leave some room in the top. Sprinkle over the breadcrumbs and pour the cheese sauce on top. Place the lids on and bake for 1 hour at 170°C. Serves 2.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Blackberry and coconut traybake (1 colour)

Another delicious blackberry cake recipe...

Self-raising flour - 250 g
Rolled oats - 25 g
Soft brown sugar - 200 g
Cold butter - 200 g, cut into pieces
Dessicated coconut - 75 g
Eggs - 2, beaten
Blackberries - 350 g

1) Put the flour, oats and sugar in a mixing bowl. Rub in the butter until only very small pieces remain (my butter was a bit too warm so I ended up with a gooey mess, but the cake was delicious anyway). Add the coconut and stir well.
2) Fill a cup with some of the mixture and set aside.
3) Add the eggs to the bowl and stir. Pour the mixture into a lined baking tin (around 30 x 20 cm). Smooth the surface with the back of a spoon, then scatter over the blackberries.
4) Scatter over the reserved mixture and bake for 1 hour at 160°C until golden and a skewer comes out clean. Cut into squares and serve warm or cold. Makes 16-20 squares.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Highlanders with blackberries (1 colour)

Ian made these delicious shortcakes this week. They're delicious with blackberries which is just as well given how many we have in the fridge at the moment.

Butter - 100 g
Caster sugar - 50 g
Plain flour - 100 g
Rice flour - 50 g
Demerara sugar to coat
Blackberries to serve

1) Cream the butter and caster sugar together in a large bowl. Sieve in the plain and rice flour and mix. Knead well with your hands.
2) Roll into a thick sausage and roll in the demerara sugar.

3) Cut into 15 slices and bake on a greased baking tray for 15 minutes at 190°C until golden brown.

Friday, 5 August 2011

Apple, blackberry and almond cake (2 colours)

This cake has a lovely combination of flavours. If you prefer it to taste less of almonds then exclude the almond essence.

Soft brown sugar - 175 g
Soft margarine - 125 g
Plain flour - 175 g
Eggs - 2
Baking powder - 1 tsp
Ground almonds - 60 g
Almond essence - 0.5 tsp
Bramley apples - 2 large
Blackberries - 125 g
Flaked almonds - 60 g

1) Cream the sugar and butter together in a large mixing bowl. Sieve 50 g of the flour into the bowl, add the eggs and mix. Beat in the ground almonds and almond essence.
2) Add the rest of the flour and the baking powder and mix well. Pour two thirds of the cake mixture into a greased and lined 8 inch round tin.
3) Peel, core and slice the apples and layer the slices over the cake mixture.
4) Mix the blackberries with the remaining cake mixture and pour on top of the apples. Sprinkle over the flaked almonds and bake for 30 minutes at 190°C. Turn the oven down to 180°C and cook for a further 30 minutes. Be careful handling it while it's hot because it's very soft and breaks easily. Serves 8.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Tuna balls (1 colour)

Serve this alternative to meatballs on top of spaghetti with a jar of pasta sauce.

Tuna - 185 g can in sunflower oil, drained with the oil set aside
Pine nuts - 1 tbsp
Half a lemon - grated rind of
Parsley - small handful
Dried breadcrumbs - 25 g
Egg - 1, beaten

1) Flake the tuna into a mixing bowl. Add the pine nuts, lemon rind, parsley and breadcrumbs and stir well.
2) Add half the egg and mix together with your hands, adding more egg if necessary to get the mixture to stick together. Form into 6-8 balls.
3) Fry in the sunflower oil for a few minutes, turning regularly until golden brown. Serves 2.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Blackberry ice cream (1 colour)

A couple of days ago we went for a walk along the river Exe, North of Exeter. We were pleased to find some more ripe blackberries and so today we made blackberry ice cream. It's a really simple recipe with only four ingredients.

Fresh blackberries - 500 g, washed
Water - 2 tbsp
Caster sugar - 75 g
Whipping cream - 300 ml

1) Put the blackberries, water and caster sugar in a saucepan and simmer with the lid on for 15 minutes. Be careful not to put them on too high a temperature or they'll boil over quite quickly.
2) Strain the blackberry juice over a pyrex bowl using a sieve. The juice goes through very quickly, but it takes a few minutes to press the rest of the pulp through the sieve with a wooden spoon. Discard the seeds.
3) When the blackberry syrup has cooled put the bowl in the fridge and whip the cream in a separate bowl until it's soft, but still falls off the whisk. Combine with the blackberry syrup and stir well.
4) Pour into a freezable container (with a lid) and freeze for 2 hours. Remove from the freezer and mash with a fork to break up the ice crystals. Return to the freezer and repeat after another 2 hours. The ice cream should take a further couple of hours to set completely. Defrost for 15 minutes to allow it to soften before serving. Makes 900 ml.