As a late comer to making frittata my enthusiasm for this simple dish is as yet unabated. Its versatility is particularly welcome in this hot and muggy weather – it can serve as breakfast, lunch, dinner or an anytime-snack and is just as good hot or cold. And of course, the variations are endless, making it easy to use different seasonal combinations throughout the year.

Facing the annual courgette glut (a bounty I wholeheartedly welcome), a frittata leapt immediately to mind when thinking of how best to enjoy our harvest.

I love the combination of courgette and mint, and knew a tangy creamy goat’s cheese would balance the sweetness of courgette.

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Courgette, Goat’s Cheese & Mint Frittata

Serves 4-6

Ingredients
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, for cooking
500 grams courgette, washed and diced into approximately 1 cm cubes
Salt and pepper
Handful mint leaves, washed and finely chopped
6 large eggs, beaten and seasoned with salt and pepper
150 grams of soft goat’s cheese, chopped into small pieces

Method

  • Heat the vegetable oil in large frying pan or sauté pan that is suitable for use on stovetop and under the grill.
  • Add courgettes, seasoning with a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper and the mint leaves.
  • Cook for several minutes until the courgette is cooked all the way through.
  • Switch on your grill to preheat, on a high setting.
  • Pour the beaten egg into the pan and about a third of the goat’s cheese, mix gently and allow to cook for a couple of minutes.
  • Use a spatula to pull the egg in a little from the edges of the pan and cook for another couple of minutes.
  • To check whether the base has set, shake the pan to check whether the frittata is starting to come loose; if it hasn’t, give it another minute or two on the hob.
  • Spread the remaining goat’s cheese across the top of the egg and courgette mix.
  • Transfer the pan to the grill and cook for a few minutes, until the egg has set and the goat’s cheese has taken on some colour.
  • Remove from the grill and give the pan another shake. The frittata should now be loose on the bottom of the pan; if it’s not quite loose, use a spatula to help free it.
  • Place a large plate over the pan and flip to turn the frittata out. I like the goat’s cheese to show on top, so use a second plate to turn it the right way up again.
  • The frittata can be enjoyed piping hot, warm or cold from the fridge. Slice into wedges to serve.

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Here are more great frittata ideas:

What are your favourite ingredients to add into a frittata?

 

An affordable recipe perfect for alfresco dining, making use of British ingredients.

That’s what I was asked to create when vouchercodes.co.uk invited me to film another recipe video with them. (For my first, I shared the recipe for my mum’s tandoori roast lamb, an alternative suggestion for Christmas dinner.)

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This time, I made a frittata, opting for a combination of chorizo, spinach, onion & potato.

I’m calling this a frittata but it’s probably more accurate to say it’s a combination of an Italian frittata and tortilla Espanola. From the Spanish tortilla I’ve taken the combination of eggs, potatoes and onions and from the Italian frittata, the addition of meats, cheeses and vegetables.

The dish is very versatile – it can be served hot, warm or cold, works for brunch, lunch or dinner, stores well in the fridge and is easy to transport. That makes it perfect for picnics or alfresco dining in the back garden.

It’s wonderfully easy to adapt this recipe by switching out the chorizo and spinach. In place of chorizo, try cubed pancetta or bacon, or for a vegetarian option, goat’s cheese is fabulous stirred in or scattered over the top just before grilling. Instead of spinach, use peas (I use frozen petit pois) or long stem broccoli, parboiled ahead of being added to the pan.

You might also take inspiration from kookoo, a Persian version in which eggs are loaded with lots and lots of chopped mixed fresh green herbs. Mint, basil, dill, parsley – all would work well here.

Chorizo, Spinach, Onion & Potato Frittata Recipe

Serves 4 as a main or 6-8 as part of a wider selection

Ingredients
3-4 tablespoons vegetable oil
100 grams British cooking chorizo, diced (0.5 cm)
400 grams white onions, thinly sliced
350 grams large floury potatoes, peeled and diced (1 cm)
100 grams baby spinach leaves, washed
6 large free range eggs, beaten, with salt and pepper

Method

  • Add 3 tablespoons of oil to the pan.
  • Cook the diced chorizo in the oil for 4-5 minutes over a medium heat.

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  • Remove the chorizo with a slatted spoon, leaving the coloured oil in the pan.
  • Add the sliced onions, stir to coat in the oil and spread evenly across the pan. Cover and cook on a medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

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  • Add the diced potato, stir to mix into the onions and oil. Cover and cook on a medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. If the pan looks dry at any point, add a few teaspoons of water. The potatoes should be cooked through.

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  • Uncover the pan and turn up the heat a little. Fry for a couple of minutes, to give the potatoes a touch of colour.

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  • Add the spinach leaves and stir until wilted – this doesn’t take long.
  • Make sure the ingredients are evenly distributed, drizzle a another teaspoon or two of oil around the outside edges of the pan and then pour in the eggs.

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  • Preheat the grill on a medium setting.
  • Cook the frittata for about 5 minutes, drawing the edges in a little until the base sets.
  • To check whether it’s set, use a spatula to lift up the edges and shake the pan to check whether the frittata will come loose.
  • Transfer the pan to the grill and cook for 2-3 minutes, to cook and colour the top of the frittata.
  • Place a large plate over the pan and turn over plate and pan together, to remove the frittata from the pan.
  • Use a second plate to turn the frittata right side up, if you prefer.
  • Serve in slices, hot, warm or cold.

Chorizo-Spinach-Onion-Potato-Frittata-KFavelle-KaveyEats-VouchercodesUK-1 Chorizo-Spinach-Onion-Potato-Frittata-KFavelle-KaveyEats-VouchercodesUK-2

Thanks to vouchercodes.co.uk for inviting me to create this recipe video, and Tall Order Films for doing such a great job of filming and editing. Kavey Eats received a fee for creating this content.

 

Every time we make pancakes I say the same thing: we don’t make pancakes enough! They are simple and quick to make and so versatile when it comes to fillings or toppings. On those rare occasions we actually get crêpeing, I tend to veer towards the sweet side more often than not. This time it was the turn of savoury.

Cheese and ham are a classic pairing and a favourite in our house. We often add a smear of sweet hot chilli jam when making cheese and ham on toast, so I was confident the same combination would work in a pancake. For the Madame version, we simply added an egg! (I’ve provided recipes for both versions, below).

CheeseHamChilliJamCrepes-5110 CheeseHamChilliJamCrepes-5123

To make the pancakes, you can use your standard crêpe recipe – we’re looking for thin French-style pancakes here, not the thick and fluffy kind. I tend to refer to Delia for this. Alternatively, use the Asda Mix-o-meter which helpfully scales the batter recipe up or down for you depending on how many pancakes you want to make.

I’d suggest making all the pancakes first, so you can find your rhythm and get your cooking time and flipping technique down pat.

 

Recipe: Pancakes Cheese, Ham & Chilli Jam

Ingredients (per pancake)
1 crêpe
1 slice good quality ham
1-2 teaspoons chilli jam
Approximately 2 tablespoons grated cheddar cheese

Note: I recommend two pancakes per person.

Method

CheeseHamChilliJamCrepes-5107

  • Spread the chilli jam onto one side of the ham.

CheeseHamChilliJamCrepes-5108

  • Place the crêpe into a flat-bottomed frying pan on low to medium heat. Put the ham on top – chilli jam side up – and sprinkle the cheese over it.
  • Fold the pancake in half and cook on one side for a minute or two before turning over to heat the other side. This shouldn’t need long as you’re just heating through and melting the cheese.
  • Serve hot.

CheeseHamChilliJamCrepes-5113

 

Recipe: Pancakes Cheese, Ham & Chilli Jam, Madame!

Ingredients (per pancake)
1 crêpe
1 slice good quality ham
1-2 teaspoons chilli jam
Approximately 2 tablespoons grated cheddar cheese
1 egg

Note: I recommend two pancakes per person.

Method

  • Turn your grill on to medium-high heat.
  • Spread the chilli jam onto one side of the ham.

CheeseHamChilliJamCrepes-5115 CheeseHamChilliJamCrepes-5116

  • Place the crêpe into an oven-proof pan. Put the ham on top – chilli jam side up – and sprinkle the cheese over it.

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  • Carefully break the egg into the centre of the pancake and fold the sides in to form a square. The egg yolk should be uncovered, in the centre (nudge with your finger if necessary).
  • Place the pan under the grill for a few minutes until the egg white is cooked.
  • Serve hot.

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This is a paid post for ASDA. Kavey Eats has been paid for developing and sharing this recipe.

 

Like many of you, I pick up ideas from other blogs, TV and Pinterest all the time. It’s wonderful to have so many sources of inspiration!

The idea of forming bacon into little cups in which to bake eggs is one I’ve encountered so often I can no longer recall where I saw it first but it’s a very simple thing to do and a way to present the same old ingredients a little differently.

BakedBaconEggs-102712

Bacon Baked Eggs

Ingredients
1 slice of back bacon or 1.5 slices streaky bacon per egg
Eggs
Salt and pepper

  • Arrange your bacon slices into a muffin tray to make cups, pushing firmly where the pieces overlap, to make a better seal. Using back bacon, we found it easiest to cut each slice into two pieces first, and use the large end at the bottom of the compartment.

BakedBaconEggs-100440

  • Crack an egg into each compartment and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

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  • Bake in a preheated (180 C, fan) oven until the egg whites have set, approximately 10-15 minutes.

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  • The bacon baked eggs should pop out of the tin easily, as the bacon fat will have naturally greased the compartments as they cooked.

BakedBaconEggs-102757

  • Serve hot, with fresh bread and perhaps some silky home-made Hollandaise.

Next time, I may add some baby spinach leaves under the eggs, or grate some aged Comte over the top before baking.

 

I remember very clearly when the all new Sainsbury’s magazine was launched back in May 1993. Back then, supermarket magazines were pretty wretched; thin and cheaply produced with a dearth of compelling content.

The Sainsbury’s magazine pumped oxygen into a stagnant pond and I loved it from the get go! Delia Smith and husband Michael Wynn-Jones were at its helm and commissioned great content, assembling a team of talented food writers, cooks and chefs. Some were at the start of their careers and others already well established; together they produced a rich collection of material for every single issue. And for just £1 it was excellent value, even in those days!

One of the strengths of the magazine was the reliability of the recipes featured. They were always properly tested and clearly written so those of us who made them did so with confidence.

Fast forward 20 years and while the quality of the field has definitely improved (and dropped again, as in the case of Waitrose Food Illustrated when it changed to Waitrose Kitchen), Sainsbury’s magazine is still going strong.

To mark its 20th anniversary, Sainsbury’s has produced a celebratory cookbook featuring over 100 recipes chosen from an extensive archive.

Unlike some glossier and trendier recipe books I’ve flicked through lately, what I love about this collection is how many of them I want to make (and feel confident that I can make).

SainsburysMag

The good news is that I have one copy of the book to give away to a lucky reader.

But first, let me share the first recipe we made from the book, Brian Glover’s pea, new potato and feta frittata.

Frittata-1420

Frittata is such a versatile dish – it can be enjoyed both hot and cold, it’s ideal for lunch or dinner, for picnics or packed lunch boxes and it’s very simple to make.

We took Brian’s suggestion to substitute the feta for goat’s cheese, as we much prefer it.

Frittata-1392

 

Pea, New Potato & Goat’s Cheese Frittata

Serves 4

Ingredients
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
500 grams new potatoes, peeled and sliced
1 teaspoon fresh thyme chopped or 0.5 teaspoon dried
200 grams frozen peas*
a good knob of butter
6 large eggs, beaten
100 grams goat’s cheese (or feta), crumbled
optional: a handful of peashoots

*The original recipe specifies podded peas, but we bought fresh pods and discovered enormous, tough-skinned, tasteless peas within so we substituted with sweet little frozen peas instead. We weighed them frozen, then left them in a bowl of tepid water for a few minutes before draining and using. The recipe calls for boiling the podded fresh peas for 4 minutes before adding to the frittata pan.

Frittata-1397 Frittata-1400 Frittata-1403

Method

  • Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a 23-25 cm non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and 2-3 pinches of salt, and stir. Cover, turn down the heat and sweat the onions for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Frittata-1394

  • Add the potatoes and thyme to the pan and cook, still covered, for 10-12 minutes until the potatoes are just tender, adding the extra oil if they are drying out.

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  • Uncover the pan and turn up the heat until the potatoes start to colour.

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  • Add the butter and, when melted, add the peas, Season the eggs and pour into the pan, stirring in the cheese and pea shoots. Preheat the grill.

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Frittata-1410
Frittata-1412

  • Cook the frittata over a medium heat, drawing in the edge with a spatula until the base sets. After 4-5 minutes, when the underside has browned, put the pan under the grill for 2-3 minutes to just set the top.

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  • Place a large plate over the pan and turn over plate and pan together, to remove the frittata from the pan.

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We really enjoyed the frittata, both hot out of the pan for dinner and cold for lunch the next day.

Frittata-1425 Frittata-1428

COMPETITION

Sainsbury’s have offered a copy of their 20th anniversary Sainsbury’s Magazine Cookbook to one of my readers. The prize includes free delivery within the UK.

HOW TO ENTER

You can enter the competition in 3 ways:

Entry 1 – Blog Comment
Leave a comment below, telling me about one of your family’s favourite recipes.

Entry 2 – Facebook
Like the Kavey Eats Facebook page and leave a (separate) comment on this blog post with your Facebook user name.

Entry 3 – Twitter
Follow @Kavey on Twitter. Existing followers are, of course, welcome to enter! Then tweet the (exact) sentence below.
I’d love to win the 20th anniversary @sainsburysPR Magazine Cookbook from Kavey Eats! http://goo.gl/im02D9 #KaveyEatsSainsburysCookbook
(Please do not add my twitter handle into the tweet; I track entries using the competition hashtag. And you don’t need to leave a blog comment about your tweet either, thanks!)

RULES & DETAILS

  • The deadline for entries is midnight GMT Friday 6th September 2013.
  • Kavey Eats reserves the right to alter the closing date of the competition. Changes to the closing date, if they occur, will be shown on this page.
  • The winner will be selected from all valid entries using a random number generator.
  • Entry instructions form part of the terms and conditions.
  • Where prizes are to be provided by a third party, Kavey Eats accepts no responsibility for the acts or defaults of that third party.
  • The prize is a copy of the 20th Anniversary Sainsbury’s Magazine Cookbook, with free delivery within the UK.
  • The prize cannot be redeemed for a cash value.
  • The prize is offered and provided by Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Ltd.
  • One blog entry per person only. One Twitter entry per person only. One Facebook entry per person only. You do not have to enter all three ways for your entries to be valid.
  • For Twitter entries, winners must be following @Kavey at the time of notification. For Facebook entries, winners must Like the Kavey Eats Facebook page at time of notification.
  • Blog comment entries must provide a valid email address for contacting the winner.
  • The winners will be notified by email, Twitter or Facebook. If no response is received within 7 days of notification, the prize will be forfeit and a new winner will be picked and contacted.

 

Kavey Eats was sent a review copy of the Sainsbury’s Magazine Cookbook.

This competition is closed. The randomly selected winner was Tracy Nixon.

 

One of the highlights of our visit to Takayama was our stroll through the Miyagawa Morning Market, along the East bank of the Miyagawa River. Stalls and shops sell fresh produce from local farms, traditional pickles, a wide range of other specialist ingredients, sweets, drinks and much more.

Alerted by the small crowd, we stopped to see what was on offer at a small shop manned by a smiling elderly couple.

Japan2012-2406 Japan2012-2420

Inside, the gentleman prepared the food; outside the lady took orders and payments.

A sign above the shop window read:

“Owara Tamaten: I pass when it beats an egg white and enter and cut the honey which came to the boil of sugar and agar to a pip after cooling it and soak it in the liquid which added sweet sake to and egg yolk, and it is the Japanese sweet that it is unusual which baked 6.”

Aided by the lady’s further prompt of “marshmallow”, we placed our order to give it try.

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Japan2012-2408

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A few moments later, a hot cube of honey-sweet marshmallow was carefully handed across.

Wow! So fresh and light, it melted away in the mouth in moments!

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Some research helps makes more sense of how these delicacies are made: Egg whites are beaten with sugar and agar to create floaty light uncooked marshmallow. Once set and cut into cubes, these are dipped into a glaze of beaten eggs, sake, mirin and honey before being fried to a pale golden brown.

 

Rinseido has two locations in Takayama, one on the Miyagawa River road, between between Kaji-bashi and Yayoi-bashi (bridges), and another at Shimoichinomachi 88-1.

With thanks to Akiko Tanabe at Ryokan Tanabe, Takayama for her kind help with address details.

 

Did you know there’s a British Egg Information Service? No? Me neither, but there is and its job is to promote British eggs, answer public queries about them and publish all kinds of eggcellent content. Sorry!

During British Egg Week at the beginning of October, they wrote to me about a new recipe book full of ideas on how to make good use of one of my favourite ingredients. Take a Box of Eggs promises 100 easy and irresistible recipes. It’s part of the Dairy Cookbooks range which includes titles on cakes, home cooking, recipes for one or two and one pot cooking.

I was sent a copy to review and have three copies to giveaway to readers, in the competition below.

CheeseMuffins-3884 CheeseMuffins-3893

A glossy, easy-wipe hard back cover opens to a ring binder format inside.

Recipes are divided 6 chapters covering toasts and snacks, vegetarian, fish, meat, bakes and desserts. In some, eggs are the star ingredient, in others they are more of a supporting ingredient.

Individual recipes are simply and clearly explained, all with full colour photographs.

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A great touch is the QR code on each recipe page which can be scanned by smart phones to automatically display a full list of ingredients – a neat way of generating a shopping list fast. This is the first really helpful use of QR codes I’ve seen and wish more publishers would follow suit. (Our phone failed to display the fraction symbol but as the unit was a teaspoon, we knew it couldn’t be more than one or two, or it would have been measured in tablespoons instead.)

CheeseMuffins-3860

The Extra Mature Cheddar Muffins were very simple to make.

CheeseMuffins-3864 CheeseMuffins-3868 CheeseMuffins-3872
CheeseMuffins-3879 CheeseMuffins-3881 CheeseMuffins-3886

The muffins turned out well, cooked perfectly in the allotted time and had a pleasant texture.

Although we used good quality extra mature cheddar, the flavour of cheese was a little muted. This surprised us, as the recipe calls for 150 grams of cheese for 300 grams of flour, which is the same ratio as other cheese muffin recipes online. Perhaps this is how cheese muffins are meant to be, and we were wrong to expect stronger cheesiness?

Certainly, these would work well in a meal alongside a nicely dressed salad and some cured meats. On their own, I find them bland, and might try the recipe again with bacon added for more flavour.

The other issue was that the muffins stuck like glue to the paper cases. After a couple of days storage in a plastic box, they came away from the paper a little more easily but it did mean enjoying them fresh resulted in some wastage.

CheeseMuffins-3892 CheeseMuffins-3894

 

COMPETITION

The British Egg Information Service and Eaglemoss Consumer Publishing are offering three copies of Take A Box Of Eggs to readers of Kavey Eats.

The prize includes delivery within the UK.

 

HOW TO ENTER

You can enter the competition in 2 ways:

Entry 1 – Blog Comment
Leave a comment below, answering the following question:
What’s your favourite recipe to make the most of eggs?

Entry 2 – Twitter
Follow @KaveyF on twitter. Existing followers are, of course, welcome to enter!
Then tweet the (exact) sentence below. You don’t need to leave a blog comment about your tweet.
I’d love to win the Take A Box of Eggs cookery book from Kavey Eats! #KaveyEatsBritishEggs

 

RULES & DETAILS

  • The deadline for entries is midnight GMT Monday 10th December 2012.
  • Kavey Eats reserves the right to alter the closing date of the competition. Changes to the closing date, if they occur, will be shown on this page.
  • The winners will be selected from all valid entries using a random number generator.
  • Entry instructions form part of the terms and conditions.
  • Where prizes are to be provided by a third party, Kavey Eats accepts no responsibility for the acts or defaults of that third party.
  • The prizes are a copy for each winner of Take A Box Of Eggs cookery book and include delivery to any UK address.
  • The prizes cannot be redeemed for a cash value.
  • The prizes are offered by The British Egg Information Service and provided by Eaglemoss Consumer Publishing.
  • One blog entry per person only. One Twitter entry per person only. You do not have to enter both ways for your entries to be valid.
  • For twitter entries, winners must be following @KaveyF at the time of notification, as this will be sent by Direct Message.
  • Blog comment entries must provide a valid email address for contacting the winner.
  • The winners will be notified by email or twitter (for twitter entries). If no response is received within 7 days of notification, the prize will be forfeit and a new winner will be picked and contacted.

Kavey Eats received a review copy of the book from The British Egg Information Service.

 

With just under 200 grams of shortcrust flan pastry leftover from making the pea, mushroom and mint flan plus a generous harvest of purple sprouting broccoli from the allotment, I decided to use both in a second flan.

PSB-Flan-0287 PSB-Flan-0280

The pastry was just enough to line a smaller oven dish, and I used the scraps to make one small individual flan too.

My rolling wasn’t too great (as I didn’t have Pete to do that for me this time!) but the pastry was soft enough to tear off bits from the overhang and use them to patch up the cracks and thin bits.

I didn’t weigh the broccoli, so I can’t give a complete recipe, but I made up the liquid mix using 170 ml double cream (based on the size of the pots my supermarket sells) and two eggs. Michel Roux’s mix for the pea, mushroom and mint flan uses one egg and two additional yolks, but I didn’t want to have more egg whites left over.

This post is really about encouraging you to make up your own flan recipe, using whatever vegetables you have to hand. If you’d like to make a larger flan just increase the amount of pastry, fillings and liquid accordingly.

Rough Recipe for Purple Sprouting Broccoli Flan

Ingredients
200 grams shortcrust flan pastry
Purple sprouting broccoli to fill flan dish
170 ml double cream
2 large eggs
Salt and pepper

Method

  • Preheat oven to 190 C.

PSB-Flan-0258

  • Roll out pastry and line your dish. Use offcuts from the edges to patch up cracks or thin areas.
  • Trim the edges, leaving a generous amount of pastry around the rim.
  • Line with baking paper and fill with baking beads.
  • Bake for 15 minutes, then remove from oven, take out baking beads and paper and bake for another 5 to 10 minutes, until pastry appears pale golden brown.

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  • Set aside to cool, leaving the oven on at 190 C.

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  • Optional: Chop off the thicker part of the stems from the purple sprouting broccoli and cook them in the microwave for 30 seconds to soften. If you do not have a microwave, you could steam for a couple of minutes instead.

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  • Line the bottom of the flan case with the stems, and cover with the broccoli florets.

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  • In a bowl, combine the double cream and eggs, season generously with salt and pepper and mix thoroughly.
  • Pour gently over the broccoli.

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  • Bake for 25 to 35 minutes until the surface shows some browning and a knife inserted into the flan comes out clean. Smaller individual flans will take less time than larger ones.

PSB-Flan-0282 PSB-Flan-0285

  • Leave to cool for a few minutes before serving warm.

This was a delicious way to enjoy our home grown produce and use up leftover pastry and it’s definitely encouraged me to make more flans going forward. I’d always imagined I’d need to follow an exact recipe, but using my own estimates worked very well this time and has given me more confidence.

 

I already own Eggs and Sauces, the first two titles in Michel Roux’s series of reference books on classic techniques and recipes. So I was very happy to receive a review copy of Pastry: Savoury and Sweet.

There are chapters for shortcrust pastries, enriched sweet pastries, puff pastry, raised pie pastry, brioche dough, croissant dough, choux pastry, pizza dough and filo pastry and each chapter starts with the basic dough recipe and then provides a wide range of recipes making use of it.

One of the things I like about the book is its use of step by step pictures and instructions for pastry techniques such as lining a flan tin with pastry, making a pastry lattice top and decorative borders, shaping croissants and so on. In addition each type of pastry has several photographs of how the dough looks as you make it. And there are lots of recipe photographs too.

Knowing what you are aiming for gives much greater confidence during the process, for me anyway.

PeaMushroomMintFlan-0226

Pete is pastry king in our house so I got him to make the pastry, roll it out into the flan dish and bake it for me, ready for me to do the rest.

Together, we made this absolutely delicious pea, mushroom and mint flan – a recipe I shall definitely be making again once our home-grown peas start cropping.

PeaMushroomMintFlan-0215

The flan calls on two recipes in the book, the first for flan pastry and the second for the flan itself.

The two shortcrust pastry recipes provided are for pâte brisée and flan pastry. The former is described in the book as a more delicate, crumbly and light; the latter as less fragile, crisper and just as good in taste.

One downside of the pastry recipe is that it creates about 430 grams of pastry, whereas the flan recipe calls for 260 grams. We used the rest to make some simple purple sprouting broccoli quiches a couple of days later.

The recipe also calls for 500 grams of mushrooms. We used only 400 grams, which filled our our flan dish pretty well.

We also substituted frozen petit pois for fresh peas.

Where the recipe requires steeping the mint in the cream, blending it and then sieving it through a chinois, I went for the rustic approach and decided to leave mine in. My stick blender didn’t do a great job on the leaves, and I’ve amended the recipe for next time to simply chop the leaves much smaller and leave out the blending altogether.

You can also see that our mushroom and peas stuck out proud from the creamy custard flan, which I thought looked lovely, but didn’t resemble the clean flat top of the one in the book.

PeaMushroomMintFlan-0218 PeaMushroomMintFlan-0228

Pea, Mushroom & Mint Flan

Ingredients
260 grams of shortcrust (flan) pastry, cold from the fridge
500 grams very firm medium button mushrooms, trimmed and cleaned
60 grams butter
250 grams fresh or frozen peas
200 ml double cream
25 grams fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
1 egg
2 egg yolks
Salt and pepper

Note: We made the pastry according to the recipe provided earlier in the book. It came together very quickly indeed and was easy to roll out and use. You could use ready made if you prefer.

Method

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  • Preheat the oven to 190 C.
  • Roll out the pastry to a thickness of 3mm and line a 20 cm diameter flan dish.

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  • Lightly prick the base, line with paper, fill with baking beads, and bake blind for 20 minutes. Remove the beads and paper and bake for another 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  • Increase the oven temperature to 200 C.
  • Halve or quarter the mushrooms, then sauté in butter until they have released their liquid. Drain, season and leave to cool.
  • Cook the peas briefly. I used the microwave on its defrost setting for about 2 minutes, as I didn’t want to the frozen peas to lose their freshness.
  • Heat the cream and mint leaves in a saucepan, over low heat, allowing the flavours to infuse.
  • Whisk the minted cream with the egg, egg yolks, salt and pepper.

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  • Put the mushrooms and peas into the pastry case.

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  • Pour the minted cream and egg mixture over the fillings. Mine had clumps of mint leaves, which I could have removed from the surface, but decided to leave in.

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  • Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 180 C and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes until ready. Test by inserting a knife tip into the flan; it should come out clean.

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  • As our flan ring doesn’t allow the flan to easily be removed onto a plate or rack, we left it to cool down in the dish for 5 minutes before serving.

We both really enjoyed the flan – the combination of flavours was excellent with earthy mushrooms, fresh sweet peas and vibrant mint. Our flan bottom was a little soggy, perhaps we needed to bake it a little longer, or possibly brush with egg to create a protective layer against the wet custard.

As I mentioned, there are plenty of classic pastries in the book. Pete’s already made the brioche dough, which he used to make brioche bacon twists, also in the book. We didn’t take any notes or photograph these but they were delicious, if rather less beautifully shaped than those in the pictures!

This promises to be another great reference book to have in our collection.

 

Kavey Eats received a sample review copy of this book from Quadrille Publishing.

Pastry: Savoury and Sweet by Michel Roux is currently available in paperback on Amazon for £6.79 (RRP £9.99).

 

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When we were sent a Waring Deep Fill Sandwich Maker to review, I was quite surprised to see a note in the accompanying PR bumf that it could be used to make omelettes. I’d never come across such an idea and was intrigued, but disappointed that the instruction pamphlet made no mention of this.

Google came to the rescue, with this odd but charming home-video of a gentleman using his sandwich toaster to make omelettes, wandering off to answer the phone in the middle, leaving his cameraman wife to pan around the room until he came back to reveal the finished omelettes!

Of course, we had to try it!

 

The sandwich maker itself is a simple stainless steel design, quite heavy and seems robust.

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It’s not hugely deeper than your ordinary sandwich toaster, though that little extra depth does seem to result in less leakage of toastie fillings, so it’s enough to make a difference. But the biggest innovation, in my mind, is the introduction of the removable plates, which are also dishwasher safe. I think these are cunning and rather fabulous.

There are three heat settings, low, medium and core-of-the-sun hot. Thus far, we’ve found that low and medium are our friends and hot is rather too hot, as you can see from the slightly browned butter in the images below!

 

Omelettes In A Sandwich Toaster

Ingredients
Butter or vegetable oil
A couple of eggs, beaten
Salt and pepper, to taste
Optional: a handful finely diced or grated cheese

  • Switch on your sandwich toaster and give it a little time to heat up.
  • Add butter or vegetable oil to each of the sections, and allow to heat.
  • Pour the beaten egg into the sections. If adding cheese, sprinkle over the egg.
  • Close the lid and allow to cook for a minute or two, until the surface shows some browning.

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So how were our little triangle omelettes? Surprisingly good, actually, with a light and fluffy interior and decent texture on the surfaces. Let me know what you think if you have a go.

Coming soon, a post on our favourite toasties!

Kavey Eats received a complimentary sandwich toaster from Waring.

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