Vegetarian Mini ‘Chicken’ & Leek Pies

Vegetarian Mini ‘Chicken’ & Leek Pies

Since I stopped eating meat I’ve become a huge fan of Quorn, it’s so versatile and really delicious. I’ve made these Vegetarian Mini ‘Chicken’ & Leek Pies three times now, and I can’t get enough! The pastry is so simple to make, with no blind baking needed, and bakes to a gorgeously golden and crispy finish. The filling is creamy and indulgent, and full of flavour from the herbs. They can be served hot or cold, I’ve enjoyed them hot with mash and gravy and I’ve also served them cold at parties where they haven’t lasted long!

Jump straight to the recipe!

To make the pastry I rubbed together the plain flour and butter with my fingers until it looked like breadcrumbs.

I added the eggs and formed it into a dough and wrapped it in cling film, I put it in the fridge to chill for 1 hour

To make the filling I heated up 1 tsp vegetable oil in a pan and fried the leek until it had softened. I added the Quorn chicken pieces, and let them cook for a 2-3 minutes. Then I poured in the double cream, dried thyme, dried rosemary and salt. I mixed it together and let it cook for 5 minutes. Then I took it off the heat, transferred it to a bowl and let it cool down fully.

I rolled the pastry out onto a floured surface and cut out the pie bases using a 10cm round cutter.

Then I re-rolled the dough out and cut out the pid lids using a 7.5cm round cutter. I also used a round fondant plunger to cut out little circles in the middle.

To make sure the pies didn’t stick, I greased a muffin tin and lined each hole with strips of baking paper, and I filled it with the pastry bases.

Then I filled each base with the filling, then brushed some beaten egg around the edge and stuck the lids on. I brushed more beaten egg over the tops.

They baked for 25 minutes until they were golden and bubbling. I removed them from the tray and let them cool as I served them cold.

I got 14 Vegetarian Mini ‘Chicken’ & Leek Pies out of this batch, although there was some filling leftover. It’s always a bit hit and miss with pastry as it depends how thin you roll it, but you’ll get at least 12 mini Vegetarian Mini ‘Chicken’ & Leek Pies out of this recipe. You could push it to 16 if you roll the pastry out thin enough every time and use every last bit. If you have any leftover filling, it will keep in the fridge for a couple of days and it’s yummy with rice and green veg!

The Vegetarian Mini ‘Chicken’ & Leek Pies have quite a rustic appearance but I think pies like this should! Their golden colour and tempting filling oozing out of the centre make me want to eat them all up! The Quorn chicken pieces make these pies really hearty and filling, I honestly don’t think you could tell the difference between them and real chicken! I’ve served these to many meat eaters and had fantastic feedback!

           

I’m linking this recipe up with Recipe of the Week hosted by A Mummy Too, Cook Blog Share hosted by Recipes Made Easy, and Cook Once Eat Twice by Searching For Spice.

 

5 from 1 vote
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Mini Chicken & Leek Pies (Vegetarian)

Ingredients

For the pastry

  • 2 Eggs large
  • 350 g Plain flour
  • 170 g Butter

For the filling

  • 2 Leeks medium sized
  • 350 g Quorn chicken style pieces
  • 250 ml Double cream
  • 1 tsp Vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp Dried thyme
  • 1 tsp Dried Rosemary
  • 1 tsp Salt

Other

  • 1 Egg beaten, for glazing
  • Butter for greasing

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 220C/200C Fan/425F/Gas Mark 7, grease a muffin tin with butter and strips of baking paper

  2. To make the pastry, in a large bowl rub together the plain flour and butter with your fingers until it looks like breadcrumbs

  3. Add the eggs and form it into a dough,  be careful not to knead it or over work it, then wrap it in cling film and put it in the fridge to chill for 1 hour

  4. To make the filling heated up the vegetable oil in a pan on a low-medium heat, fry the leeks until soft

  5. Add the Quorn chicken pieces, and let them cook for a 2-3 minutes

  6. Pour in the double cream, dried thyme, dried rosemary and salt, mix it together and let it cook for 5 minutes

  7. Take the mixture off the heat, transfer it to a bowl and let it cool down fully

  8. Roll the pastry out onto a floured surface to a thickness of around 3mm, and cut out the pie bases using a 10cm round cutter. Cut out 12 to start with, then more if you have any remaining pastry after cutting out the lids

  9. Re-rolled the dough out and cut out the pid lids using a 7.5cm round cutter. Use a round fondant plunger, or a round piping nozzle, or a knife to cut out little circles in the middle

  10. Place the pastry bases into the muffin tray, use your fingers to press them against the bottom and sides

  11. Fill one with the filling, then brush the beaten egg around the edge and stick the lids on, pressing them around the sides to seal the edges. Brush more beaten egg over the tops

  12. Bake them for 20-25 minutes until they are golden and bubbling. Remove them from the tray and either serve immediately or let them cool and serve them cold (refridgerate once cool)

You can find more of my Savoury recipes by clicking here!

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Cheese, Sundried Tomato & Pesto Scones

Cheese, Sundried Tomato & Pesto Scones
We had a bit of sunshine in Manchester last week. As we don’t get it very often I always feel a social pressure to get out there and spend time in the sun, sit in a beer garden, enjoy it while it lasts etc. Well folks, I don’t like being out in the sun. That’s right! I’m ginger and pale, and sunshine is not my friend. Don’t get me wrong, sunshine is beautiful! It makes the world look so pretty, and I’ll quite happily gaze at the beautiful sunlit world… (through sunglasses while sitting in the shade). I always feel like a minority when I dare to voice this opinion, and I probably am, but I enjoy sunny days in my own way and I’m happy with that. Sometimes you just have to go with how you feel and what makes you comfortable, no matter what everyone else is doing. Making these Cheese, Sundried Tomato & Pesto Scones and drinking cold cider in my flat with the windows open is how I chose to enjoy a sunny day recently. They are a combination of some of my favourite savoury flavours and to me they scream summer. They would be great at a picnic out in the sunshine…if you enjoy that kind of thing!

Jump straight to the recipe!

In a bowl I whisked together 100ml milk, 70g pesto and 1 egg.

In a second bowl I mixed together 250g self raising flour, 1 1/2 tsp baking powder and a pinch of salt.

I added 150g grated mature cheddar and 60g sundried tomatoes. Then I used kitchen towel to soak the oil from the tomatoes first then cut them up using scissors.

I poured the pesto mixture into the flour and made a dough. I patted it down to about 1 inch thick, then cut 7cm rounds out of it. Reshape the dough and cut out more rounds until it’s all used up.

Then I placed the rounds onto a lined baking tray and brushed them on top with beaten egg.

I baked them on 180C/160C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 20 minutes and until they were golden brown.

The scones are extremely moreish and perfect warm with butter! They also pack up great for on the move, lunches and picnics. The pesto really comes through and is a perfect match for the cheese, and the sundried tomatoes add extra fruity flavour. I’d love to try these with chutney on and even more cheese!

Cheese, Sundried Tomato & Pesto Scones

Ingredients

  • 100 ml Milk
  • 70 ml Pesto
  • 2 Eggs large
  • 250 g Self raising flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • A pinch of Salt
  • 150 g Mature cheddar grated
  • 60 g Sundried tomatoes

Instructions

  1. Pr-heat your oven to 180C/160C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4

  2. In a bowl whisk together the milk, pesto and 1 of the eggs
  3. In a second bowl mix together the self raising flour, baking powder and salt
  4. Use kitchen towel to soak the oil from the tomatoes then cut them up using scissors. Add them along with the mature cheddar to the flour and mix
  5. Pour the pesto mixture into the flour and make a quick dough. Pat it down to about 1 inch thick, then cut 7cm rounds out of it. Reshape the dough and cut out more rounds until it's all used up
  6. Place the rounds onto a lined baking tray and brush them on top with beaten egg
  7. Bake them for 20 minutes and until they are golden brown

You can find more of my Scone recipes by clicking here!

Butternut Squash, Leek & Ricotta Lattice Pie

Butternut Squash, Leek & Ricotta Lattice Pie
Did you know that 75% of people eat pie once a month? You can’t beat a good pie, and I’m certainly a fan. Pastry is made with such basic ingredients, but when cooked it becomes so crispy and delicious. This week is British Pie Week and the only way to celebrate is to make yourself some pie! I chose this vegetarian Butternut Squash, Leek & Ricotta Lattice Pie option from the Jus Rol website, and they kindly supplied me with the pastry. It was a tough decision as their website is filled some seriously drool worthy pies, tarts, and other pastry goodness! There is a lot of debate over what makes a pie – is a pastry lid acceptable, or does it have to have a bottom and sides too? I personally think it needs to be encased in pastry! Let me know your thoughts!

Jump straight to the recipe!

I started by chopping up butternut squash into chunks and putting in a roasting tray with a good drizzle of oil. They roasted in the oven for 15 minutes.

I then added chopped leeks, a little more oil, and cooked for 20 more minutes. Once done, I put them in a bowl and left them to cool down completely.

I used a 500g block of Jus Rol shortcrust pastry for this pie. I also picked up a couple of the ready rolled puff pastry sheets as I like to make quick and simple tarts with them – they make a very tasty weeknight dinner.

Then I rolled out 350g of the pastry on some cling film.

I placed the pastry in a pie tin, and trimmed the edges, leaving a little overhang. I blind baked it for 15 minutes with baking beans, then a further 10 minutes without.

To the cooled squash and leek I added ricotta, parmesan, dried sage and nutmeg.

I filled the pastry base with the filling.

Then I rolled out the rest of the pastry and cut out strips, and made a lattice top by weaving them together.

I brushed all around the edge of the pastry with beaten egg, then put the lattice on top and trimmed the edges. I pressed the lattice down to the edge of the pie, then brushed more beaten egg all over the pastry top.

It baked it on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for about 35 minutes until it was golden brown. This Butternut Squash, Leek & Ricotta Lattice Pie was the perfect beginning to British Pie Week. Myself and my boyfriend really enjoyed the crisp buttery pastry, and the hearty filling. I’ll definitely make this Butternut Squash, Leek & Ricotta Lattice Pie again!

       

I’m linking this up to Food Year Link Up hosted by Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen, Tea Time Treats hosted by Hedgecombers, Meat Free Mondays hosted by Tinned Tomatoes, Cooking With Herbs, hosted by Lavendar & Lovage, and Cook Once Eat Twice hosted by Searching For Spice.

Butternut Squash, Leek & Ricotta Lattice Pie

Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 2 Butternut squash small-medium sized
  • 3 Leeks
  • 2 tbsp Oil
  • 500 g Ricotta
  • 100 g Parmesan
  • 500 g Jus Rol shortcrust pastry
  • 3 tsp Dried sage
  • A pinch of Nutmeg
  • 1 Egg beaten

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 180C Fan/200C/375F/Gas Mark 5

  2. Peel the butternut squash and chop into chunks, toss them in 1 tbsp of the oil and place into a roasting tray or onto a baking tray. Roast them for 15 minutes

  3. Meanwhile, chop up the leeks and toss them in 1 tbsp oil. Remove the tray with the butternut squash from the oven and add the leeks to the tray. Roast for 20 more minutes

  4. Once done, put the roasted leek and squash in a bowl and leave them to cool down completely

  5. Pre-heat the oven to 160C Fan/180C/350F/Gas Mark 4

  6. Roll out 350g of the pastry on some cling film or a floured surface
  7. Line the tin with the pastry and trim the edges, leaving a little overhang. Prick with a fork all over

  8. Line the pastry with baking paper and add baking beans or dried rice, bake for 15 minutes, then remove the paper and baking beans/rice, and bake for a further 10 minutes

  9. To the cooled squash and leek add the ricotta, parmesan, dried sage and nutmeg. Fill the pastry base with the filling
  10. Roll out the rest of the pastry and cut out strips. Make a lattice top by weaving them together. Brush all around the edge of the pie with beaten egg, then put the lattice on top and trim the edges. Press the lattice down to the edge of the pie, then brush more beaten egg all over the pastry

  11. Bake the pie for 35 minutes until it is golden brown all over and bubbling

You can find more of my Pie recipes by clicking here!

Leftovers Savoury Bread Bake

Leftovers Savoury Bread Bake
I am always looking for ways to use up leftovers as food waste is something I really can’t stand. Did you know that we throw away 7 million tonnes of food every year? Reducing food waste not only helps the environment, but it helps your bank account too! We’re so lucky to have access to food whenever we need it that most people forget it isn’t like that everywhere in the world. So, I think it’s really important to try not to waste any of it. Joseph Joseph and Love Food Hate Waste have joined forces against food waste this month and in order to help with their campaign I’ve created this Leftovers Savoury Bread Bake, which you can fill and flavour with a variety of leftovers. This Leftovers Savoury Bread Bake will also easily feed a family of four.

Jump straight to the recipe!

I love Joseph Joseph’s Nest Storage Set for storing leftovers in. They are space saving in your cupboard when they are not filled with leftovers as they all stack into each other. They come in sizes perfect for taking your lunch into work, storing cupcakes and biscuits or of course any leftovers in the fridge! Plus they’re colour coded so you can quickly match up the tubs to their lids.

The leftovers I had in my fridge were half an onion, a red pepper and about 8 cherry tomatoes. You could also put other veg in this like mushrooms, leeks, courgettes or aubergine. And if you’re a meat eater, any leftover meat like chicken, chorizo or ham would work well. I pre-cooked my onion and pepper in some olive oil and garlic. I’d advise pre-cooking any veg you decide to use.

I sliced 5 slices of bread into diagonals, buttered each one, and arranged them neatly in my dish. I used my Berndes 27x18cm dish. The crust of the loaf is perfect for this recipe and often gets leftover.

I whisked up eggs, semi skimmed milk and double cream. If you don’t want to add the cream, just replace it with more milk. I also added mixed herbs and salt. You can add your favourite spices or herbs to flavour this to your taste.

I spooned the cooked veg in between and around the slices of bread, I then added the cherry tomatoes which I sliced in half.

Next, I poured the egg mixture into the dish and left it to soak into the bread for 5 minutes.

Finally I sprinkled over mature cheddar, and popped it into the oven on 180C/160C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 40 minutes.

I left it for 10 minutes or so, as it sets better together, a bit like a lasagne. Then I dug in! This Leftovers Savoury Bread Bake is great served with salad, fresh spinach or any green veg like broccoli.

Leftovers Savoury Bread Bake

The Leftovers Savoury Bread Bake was so yummy! I loved the soft eggy bread and vegetables, but then the crispy cheesey topping was equally as satisfying. This Leftovers Savoury Bread Bake is a fabulous way to use up lots of different types of leftovers and feed hungry family and friends!

      

I’m entering this bake into Simply Eggcellent, hosted by Belleau Kitchen. This month’s theme is anything goes! And into the No Waste Food Challenge hosted by Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary. And this month’s Credit Crunch Munch hosted by Fuss Free Flavours and Fab Food 4 All. And Extra Veg hosted by Utterly Scrummy and Fuss Free Flavours.


Leftovers Savoury Bread Bake

Ingredients

  • 1/2 an Onion
  • 8 Cherry tomatos
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 2 cloves of Garlic
  • 1 Red pepper
  • 5 slices of Bread
  • Butter
  • 4 Eggs large
  • 500 ml Semi skimmed milk
  • 50 ml Double cream
  • 1 tsp Mixed herbs
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 75 g Mature cheddar

Instructions

  1. Dice up then fry the onion, garlic and pepper in the olive oil
  2. Slice the into diagonals, butter each piece, and arrange them neatly in a 27x18cm dish
  3. Whisk up the eggs, milk and double cream. Add the mixed herbs and salt
  4. Spoon the cooked veg in between and around the slices of bread, then slice the cherry tomatoes in half and add them too
  5. Pour the egg mixture into the dish and leave it to soak into the bread for 5 minutes
  6. Sprinkle over the mature cheddar, and pop it into the oven on 180C/160C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 40 minutes

You can find more of my Savoury recipes by clicking here!

Brie, Leek & Onion Quiche

Brie, Leek & Onion Quiche

Ever since I saw Nancy Birtwhistle at the BBC Good Food Show I’ve wanted to try out her recipe for a Sage & Onion Tart. As luck would have it, Christmas left me with some onions that needed using up. It also left me with leeks and brie, so I decided to add those in too because yum! This is a great recipe because it’s easy to make, it’s low cost, a vegetarian friendly dish, and it makes a delicious lunch or dinner. I ate it cold with salad and sweet potato fries, but you could also serve it hot, either way you’re going to enjoy a tasty meal!

Jump straight to the recipe!

I recently got sent this quiche tin from Boswells & Co, who are a large department store in Oxford. The tin is the 20cm Masterclass Crusty Bake Quiche Tin, which has holes all over it to allow moisture to escape and ultimately aid you in avoiding the dreaded soggy bottom! It’s also non stick and comes with a 20 year guarantee, so they must be pretty confident about it’s long lasting ability.

I started by making the pastry. I didn’t follow Nancy’s recipe as I have my own pastry recipe that always works for me. I rubbed butter into plain flour, then added an egg.

I combined the mixture until it came together into a dough. I wrapped it in cling film and chilled it in the fridge while I got on with preparing the filling.

I made less filling than Nancy too as the Masterclass tin is 20cm and Nancy’s recipe was for a 22cm tin. I cooked a mixture of leek and onion (use whatever you have, I had 2 onions and 1 leek) in a pan on a medium heat along with of butter, allspice and salt. Once the onions and leeks were soft I took them off the heat to cool slightly.

In a bowl I whisked up eggs, parmesan and single cream.

In a food processor I whizzed up the cooked onions and leeks along with single cream.

I added the onion mixture to the egg mixture, and then added freshly chopped sage leaves.

I set the filling aside while I rolled out the pastry between two sheets of cling film. This stops your pastry from drying out, and saves on cleaning up all that flour from the work surface!

I lined the tin and trimmed the edges.

I baked the pastry case for 10 minutes with baking beans. Nancy had a great tip about screwing the baking paper into a ball then flattening it out first, as it’s easier to line the tin with it once it’s been wrinkled.

I removed the baking paper and beans and baked the pastry case again for 7 minutes at the same temperature.

I filled the pastry case with the filling, then arranged slices of brie on top and sprinkled with some more fresh sage. I baked this for 35 minutes until golden brown.

The quiche came out of the tin extremely easily, and the pastry had a lovely golden colour.

The quiche was very tasty, with a milder onion flavour than I expected, but I was pleasantly surprised. The melted brie on top was my favourite bit, and the crisp pastry came a close second! This is a very economical recipe due to the cheap ingredients used, and this quiche would feed 4 people. If you’re not a brie fan you could top it with cheddar, or some parmesan.


Brie, Leek & Onion Quiche

Ingredients

For the pastry

  • 85 g Butter
  • 175 g Plain flour
  • 1 Egg large

For the filling

  • 525 g Leeks and/or onions
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 1/4 tsp Allspice
  • A pinch Salt
  • 3 Eggs large
  • 1 tbsp Parmesan check if vegetarian
  • 195 ml Single cream
  • 1 tbsp Fresh sage
  • 6 slices Brie

Instructions

  1. For the pastry, rub the butter into the flour, then the egg. Combine the mixture until it comes together into a dough. Wrap it in cling film and chill it in the fridge

  2. For the filling, cook the leeks and onion in a pan on a medium heat along with the butter, allspice and salt. Once the onions and leeks are soft, take them off the heat to cool slightly

  3. In a bowl whisk up the eggs, the parmesan and 95ml of the single cream

  4. In a food processor whizz up the cooked onions and leeks along with 100ml of the single cream
  5. Add the onion mixture to the egg mixture, and then add the sage leaves. Set the filling aside
  6. Pre-heat your oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6

  7. Roll out the pastry between two sheets of cling film. Line a 20cm loose bottomed pie tin and trim the edges

  8. Line the pastry with baking paper and add baking beans. Blind bake the pastry case for 10 minutes. Remove the baking paper and beans and bake the pastry case again for 7 minutes at the same temperature

  9. Remove the pastry from the oven and reduce the temperature to 160C Fan/180C/350F/Gas Mark 4

  10. Fill the pastry case with the filling, arrange slices of the brie on top and sprinkle with some more fresh sage. Bake for 35 minutes until golden brown

You can find more of my Pastry recipes by clicking here!

Prosciutto, Manchego and Balsamic Onion Soda Bread: GBBO Week #3

Prosciutto, Manchego and Balsamic Onion Soda Bread: GBBO Week #3

I have to say, bread week on The Great British Bake Off was absolutely phenomenal! The contestants started by making a quick bread, also called soda bread. This is a bread that is made without yeast, therefore requires no kneading or proving. Instead the rising agents used are baking powder or bicarbonate of soda. Mary and Paul warned against using too much raising agent as this would affect the taste of the bread.

Jump straight to the recipe!

There were a mixture of sweet and savoury flavours from the bakers. Both Mat and Nadiya made a Mexican style bread, Ian picked wild garlic from some nearby woods for his bread, and Sandy used a family recipe containing bacon that she often makes on trips to Ireland. Ugne went for the sweetest flavour with a chocolate quick bread topped with salted caramel sauce, and Paul made a cranberry and orange quick bread – which he got a Paul Hollywood handshake for!

Cheese featured in both Tamal, Alvin and Dorret’s breads. Tamal used goats cheese, Dorret went for Stilton and Alvin chose Manchego. Paul called Alvin’s bread a ‘thing of beauty’. They loved Tamal’s bread too, but weren’t overly positive about Dorret’s. Overall, everyone did fairly well, with only a few disparaging comments.

This week’s technical challenge was to make 4 identical crusty baguettes. Of course Paul left out major parts of the recipe, for example how long to prove the dough, and to put water in the oven to create steam when baking. A few of the bakers figured this out and added water, but the rest did not. They all left the dough to prove for an hour, whenever I watch them waiting for things to prove I always wonder why they are not allowed to take a book with them!

The bakers weren’t sure where to put the dough during proving, or how to score the top of the bread before baking. I love how such a simple thing, like a baguette, can lead to so much over thinking and confusion! Paul was very brutal during judging and Mary really had to push him to say something nice. Paul, Mat and Nadiya were the bottom three, Tamal came third, Flora came second and Ian came first. Although Paul still wasn’t 100% happy even with the better baguettes!

The showstopper challenge was to make a 3D bread sculpture using up to three types of dough, and one of the type had to be a filled bread. A very tricky challenge! Paul Hollywood noted that as dough grows it can loose definition so this was a particularly difficult remit for the bakers. This however, did not affect most of the bakers as they produced some fabulous results! Paul stood out with his brilliant bread sculpture of a lion. I was blown away by how good it was! Paul Hollywood said it was exceptional and the best thing he had seen made in bread ever.

I also loved Ian’s flower pot sculpture, it was so clever. He brought another home made baking tin with him to make it, such a talented guy! Alvin also made an absolute ton of bread, and he made it all beautifully for his cornucopia sculpture. Paul Hollywood said his bread baking skills were perfect.

 

Tamal made a very impressive bicycle sculpture, which was even more amazing because it stood up. Paul Hollywood called it spectacular and loved his range of techniques. And Nadiya made a fabulous snake coming out of a woven basket. The level of creativity and skill was stunning.

Dorret and Sandy didn’t do too well. Dorret’s unmade bed sculpture was not baked through, and Paul Hollywood did not think it looked like 5 hours worth of work. Sandy’s bread sculpture looked messy and was told her pitta bread poppies tasted like cardboard.

Dorret left us this week, to be honest I have thought she was lagging behind everyone else since the first episode, but she had managed to stay under the radar. With this week’s amazing bakes, hers just could not compete. Ian was awarded star baker for a second week running, deservedly so! Paul also got a special mention for his lion sculpture as even Paul Hollywood said he would never have attempted something like that. Next episode: desserts!

I absolutely loved the sound of Alvin’s quick bread and I found the recipe for it on the BBC website, so I decided to give it a go myself. As it includes meat, I made two of them, one without any prosciutto for my vegetarian boyfriend. I’ll detail the ingredients for just one loaf below, so if you want to make two, double the ingredients. Or if you want to make a vegetarian version, just omit the prosciutto.

I started by cooking red onion in olive oil. When it was soft I added balsamic vinegar and soft light brown sugar. I let them simmer for around 15 minutes. The recipe suggested more balsamic vinegar, but when I added half it looked more than enough.

I diced up manchego cheese. I’ve never tried manchego before, it’s pretty expensive! But it is very tasty so for a one off recipe I felt it was ok. I also cut up prosciutto.

In a bowl I sieved out plain flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt. I rubbed cold diced butter into the flour until it resembled breadcrumbs.

I mixed the cheese, prosciutto and onion into the flour along with a squeeze of basil puree, I reserved a small amount of the fillings for topping the bread.

In a jug I mixed buttermilk with water.

I added the buttermilk to the flour and brought it together to make a dough. I worked it as little as needed. I shaped it on a lined baking tray, dusted with flour and scored it with a cross down the middle.

I topped it with the reserved cheese, onion and prosciutto.

I baked the loaf for an hour. It took a bit longer than the recipe suggested. I covered it with foil after the first 40 minutes as it was browning enough. I waited until it sounded hollow when tapped on the bottom to take it out. The kitchen certainly smelled good! I brushed it with melted butter and left it to cool.

Well my bread certainly didn’t look as good as Alvin’s! But for a first attempt I was pleased, it was cooked all the way through and it tasted really delicious. My boyfriend loved his vegetarian version too and we both gobbled up a chunk of the bread with some soup.


Prosciutto, Manchego and Balsamic Onion Soda Bread

Ingredients

  • 1 Red onion finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Light brown sugar
  • 200 g Manchego cheese
  • 80 g Prosciutto omit for a vegetarian version
  • 450 g Plain flour
  • 1 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
  • 30 g Butter cold and diced
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 300 ml Buttermilk
  • 25 ml Water
  • 1 tsp Basil puree

Instructions

  1. Cook the red onion in the olive oil. When it is soft add the balsamic vinegar and light brown sugar. Let it simmer for around 15 minutes
  2. Dice up the manchego cheese and cut up the prosciutto
  3. Sieve the plain flour into a bowl and add the bicarbonate of soda and salt. Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs
  4. Mix the cheese, prosciutto and onion into the flour along with a squeeze of the basil puree, reserve a small amount of the fillings for topping the bread
  5. In a jug mix the buttermilk with the water
  6. Add the buttermilk to the flour and bring it together to make a dough. Work it as little as needed. Shape it onto a lined baking tray, dust it with flour and score it with a cross down the middle and top it with the reserved cheese, onion and prosciutto
  7. Bake the loaf on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for an hour. Cover it with foil if it gets too dark. When it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom it's done. Brush with melted butter and leave it to cool

You can find more of my Bread recipes by clicking here!

Baked Vegetable Omelette

Baked Vegetable Omelette
As an office worker I’m always on the lookout for healthy and nutritious lunch ideas. I like things that are easy to make, can be frozen and are transported easily. This Baked Vegetable Omelette fits all those requirements perfectly! Plus it’s also delicious, low calorie, packed with protein and can be adapted to suit different tastes. Simply Health are a company that help businesses to support the health of their employees and they are currently focusing on promoting healthy lunches at work. It’s proven that eating a healthy lunch improves your performance at work, which is the perfect information you need when convincing your boss to get a fruit bowl in the office or to arrange cooking classes for staff! You can read more tips from Simply Health on their website.

Jump straight to the recipe!

I started by pre-cooking the vegetables in a pan with a little oil. The spray oil in a can is the best kind if you are watching your calories. I used spring onions, red pepper, white onion and garlic puree. Then I fried them until they were soft.

I used a rectangular dish to bake my omelette in and I brushed it with oil first to ensure the omelette didn’t stick. I find a rectangular dish better as square pieces of baked omelette are easier to portion.

To make the Baked Vegetable Omelette I whisked together eggs, egg whites (for recipe to use up the egg yolks click here) and semi-skimmed milk. You can season with salt and pepper at this point to your liking.

I tipped the vegetables into the dish, then poured in the egg mixture. I sprinkled parmesan cheese over the top.

It baked for 35 minutes until the omelette was golden and didn’t have a wobble to it anymore.

I like to eat this Baked Vegetable Omelette with salad and cous cous. When it’s fully cooled you can cut the Baked Vegetable Omelette into squares and you will get 6 good sized portions from it. It can be frozen too and defrosted overnight – perfect to grab and go for lunchtime!

Baked Vegetable Omelette

Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 1 Red pepper
  • Half an Onion
  • Garlic puree
  • Bunch of Spring onions
  • 1 tsp Olive oil
  • 3 Eggs large
  • 3 Egg whites
  • 185 ml Semi skimmed milk
  • 65 g Parmesan , grated

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4, and brush a 27x18cm rectangular dish with oil

  2. Pre-cook the vegetables in a pan with a little oil. Fry them until they are soft
  3. Whisk together the eggs, egg whites and semi-skimmed milk. You can season with salt and pepper at this point to your liking
  4. Tip the vegetables into the dish, then pour in the egg mixture. Sprinkle the parmesan cheese over the top
  5. Bake the omelette for 35 minutes until it is golden and doesn't have a wobble to it anymore

  6. Slice into portions and eat hot or cold

You can find more of my Savoury Meal recipes by clicking here!

Cheese & Red Pepper Muffins

Cheese & Red Pepper Muffins

Muffins are usually sweet, but sometimes it’s nice to have a savoury treat. Whenever I think savoury my mind immediately goes to cheese! These Cheese & Red Pepper Muffins are a perfect savoury treat, flavoured with yummy mature cheddar, italian herbs, sweet red pepper and half a juicy cherry tomato on top. They have gone down a storm at several bake sales I’ve taken them too, plus parties I’ve taken them too, even those skeptical about savoury muffins are soon won over!

Jump straight to the recipe!

I started by mixing the plain flour, wholemeal flour, baking powder, dried mixed herbs and salt together in a bowl.

In a separate bowl I whisked together the vegetable oil, milk and eggs.

  

I added the wet ingredient to the dry ingredients and mixed in, then added the diced red pepper, and grated extra mature cheddar and mixed until combined.

  

Next I put it into muffin cases in a baking tray, it filled 18 cases. Then I pushed half a cherry tomato into the top of each one and sprinkled some grated cheese on top.

I baked the muffins on 25 minutes until they were risen, golden and smelling good.

Cheese & Red Pepper Muffins

Damn these Cheese & Red Pepper Muffins are tasty! I even got a profession of love from one of my colleagues, although I think it was directed more at the muffins than me personally! You could easily adapt them too with other flavours, maybe by adding onion or sweetcorn.

Cheese & Red Pepper Muffins

Servings 18

Ingredients

For the muffins

  • 300 g Plain flour
  • 135 g Wholemeal flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp Baking powder
  • 1 tsp Mixed herbs I used a mix of oregano, basil, thyme, parsley, sage and marjoram
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 215 ml Vegetable oil
  • 230 ml Milk
  • 4 Eggs large
  • 1 Red pepper diced
  • 100 g Mature cheddar grated

For the topping

  • 9 Cherry tomatoes cut in half
  • 25 g Mature cheddar grated

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 180C/160C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4 and line two cupcake tins with paper cases

  2. Mix the plain flour, wholemeal flour, baking powder, mixed herbs and salt in a bowl

  3. In a separate bowl whisk together the oil, milk and eggs
  4. Add the wet ingredient to the dry ingredients and mix in. Then add the red pepper, and the mature cheddar and mixe until combined

  5. Divide the batter between the cases

  6. Push half a cherry tomato into the top of each one and sprinkle the remaining grated cheese on top
  7. Bake the muffins for 25-30 minutes until they are risen and golden

You can find more of my Muffin recipes by clicking here!

Cheese & Red Pepper Muffins

Spinach & Feta Tart

Spinach & Feta Tart
For Christmas I was very excited to receive a rectangular shaped ‘Tarte Maison’ tart tin. It’s something I’ve wanted for a while as I love the appearance of tarts in this shape as opposed to circular ones. They look more elegant I think. For the tins first outing I decided to make a Spinach & Feta Tart. I was inspired by Greek food, such as Spanakopita, which is filled with a spinach and feta mixture. The filling varies with leeks sometimes added and different cheeses, so this is my twist on it.

Jump straight to the recipe!

I made enough filling for two tarts, which is why it looks a lot more in the photos, but I’ll just give you the amounts to fill one tart. I started by cooking garlic, onion and spring onions in a pan on a medium heat in oil. Once soft, I set them aside in a bowl.

I added a drizzle more oil to the same pan and wilted fresh spinach, once it began to wilt I added butter and a sprinkling of nutmeg. When it was all wilted I put it in a sieve over a bowl to drain out the excess water. I pressed it down with a spoon to get plenty of water out.

I mixed the spinach with the onions in a bowl.

Then I chopped up fresh flat leaf parsley and fresh dill. Fresh herbs are a must for this recipe, the flavour can’t be matched by dried herbs!

I added the herb to the spinach mixture and stirred in well.

In a separate bowl I weighed out natural breadcrumbs, parmesan, crumbled feta, and crumbled goats cheese.

I added the cheese mixture to the spinach and stirred in well. Finally I added egg and mixed it in, as well as some salt to taste.

 

To make the pastry I used the same method and amounts from my Pumpkin Pie recipe. I rolled out 2/3 of the pastry onto some cling film (this makes it easy to pick up!)

I greased my tin and lined it with the pastry, cutting off any excess and pricking the bottom with a fork. Next I put baking paper in the pastry and poured in some baking beans. I baked it for 10-15 minutes until the pastry started to brown around the edges.

I took the paper and baking beans out and baked it again for 5-10 minutes until the bottom looked fully cooked.

Then I filled the pastry case with the filling and packed it in quite well, filling the tin right to the top.

I rolled out the final third of the pastry and cut out strips, using beaten egg as ‘glue’ I brushed the edges of the tart, stuck the strips in a lattice pattern and trimmed the edges. I also brushed the egg white on the bottom layer of pastry where it crossed over. When I was done I brushed the tart all over with the beaten egg.

I baked the Spinach & Feta Tart for 20-25 minutes until it was golden brown.

I recommend serving the Spinach & Feta Tart with mash and vegetables! However if you’re serving the tart cold it would be really good with salad. Both myself and my boyfriend ate this up quick, it was really tasty. The freshness of the herbs really comes through in the filling and the pastry was perfectly crisp. A delicious week night dinner!

Spinach & Feta Tart

Ingredients

For the pastry

  • 350 g Plain flour
  • 170 g Butter
  • 3 Eggs large

For the filling

  • 1 clove of Garlic
  • 1/2 an Onion
  • 1/2 tbsp Olive oil
  • 6 Spring onion
  • 350 g Fresh spinach
  • 1 tsp Butter
  • 1/4 tsp Nutmeg
  • 15 g Fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 15 g Fresh dill
  • 50 g Natural breadcrumbs
  • 25 g Parmesan
  • 140 g Feta
  • 60 g Goats cheese
  • 1 Eggs large
  • 1/4 tsp Salt

Instructions

  1. Cook the garlic, onion and spring onions in a pan on a medium heat in the olive oil. Once soft, set aside in a bowl
  2. In the same pan, cook the fresh spinach. Once it begins to wilt add the butter and the nutmeg. When fully wilted put it in a sieve over a bowl to drain out the excess water. Press down on it with a spoon to get plenty of water out

  3. Mix the spinach with the onions in a bowl
  4. Chop up the fresh flat leaf parsley and fresh dill. Add the herbs to the spinach mixture and stir in well
  5. In a separate bowl mix the natural breadcrumbs, parmesan, crumbled feta, and crumbled goats cheese
  6. Add the cheese mixture to the spinach and stir in well. Add the egg and mix in, then the salt

  7. Pre-heat your oven to 160C Fan/180C/350F/Gas Mark 4

  8. To make the pastry rub together the plain flour and butter until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add 2 eggs and form a dough. Wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes

  9. Roll out 2/3 of the pastry onto some cling film. Grease the tin and line it with the pastry, cutting off any excess and pricking the bottom with a fork. Put baking paper in the pastry and pour in some baking beans. Bake for 10-15 minutes until the pastry starts to brown around the edges

  10. Take the paper and baking beans out and bake it again for 5-10 minutes until the bottom looks fully cooked
  11. Fill the pastry case with the filling and pack it in quite well, filling right to the top
  12. Roll out the final third of the pastry and cut out strips, brush the edges of the tart with a beaten egg, stick the strips in a lattice pattern and trim the edges. Also brush the beaten egg on the bottom layer of pastry where it crosses over. When finished, brush the tart all over with the beaten egg

  13. Bake the tart for 20-25 minutes until golden brown

You can find more of my Tart recipes by clicking here!

Staffordshire Oatcakes

Staffordshire Oatcakes

Staffordshire Oatcakes are a traditional savoury pancake from the North of England. You can top them with sweet or savoury toppings and have as a main meal, a snack, or for breakfast. There are a few different variations on oatcakes (Scottish, Derbyshire, Canadian) but they all have the same basic ingredients of oats, yeast and flour. The batter for Staffordshire Oatcakes does have to be made in advance as it has to be left for 1-2 hours for the yeast to develop. You can also leave it overnight in the fridge if you’re having them for breakfast.

Jump straight to the recipe!

I used a food processor on normal porridge oats to grind them down until they had a finer texture Then in a large bowl I mixed together the oats, wholemeal plain flour, plain flour, yeast and salt.

In a jug I mixed the warm water and milk together, then I poured it slowly into the flour mixture and whisked to form a batter.

I covered the mixture with cling film and left for just over an hour until bubbles formed on the surface.

 

Using a frying pan on a medium heat I cooked the oatcakes for about 2 minutes on each side until golden brown.

Staffordshire Oatcakes

The Staffordshire Oatcakes were very delicious and filling. I would say two per serving along with toppings is plenty for the average person. It’s nice to have something a bit different for breakfast, and they are so versatile as you can add different toppings depending on personal taste and dietary requirements. You also don’t have to restrict them just to breakfast, they’d make a great evening meal or lunch too with vegetables and cheese. I hope you enjoy them!


Staffordshire Oatcakes

Ingredients

For the oatcakes

  • 200 g Oats Ideally fine oatmeal, or use a food processor to grind down regular porridge oats for a finer texture
  • 100 g Wholemeal plain flour
  • 100 g Plain flour
  • 7 g Sachet of fast action yeast
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 400 ml Warm water
  • 300 ml Milk (Cow's or plant milk will both work)

For the toppings - pick your favourite toppings, but I recommend...

  • Cheese
  • Mushrooms
  • Veggie sausages or bacon
  • Eggs
  • Tomatoes
  • Baked beans

Instructions

  1. You will need to make the oatcakes in advance as they need to sit for at least an hour before cooking

  2. Use a food processor to grind down the porridge oats for a minute or so. In a large bowl mix together the oats, wholemeal plain flour, plain flour, yeast and salt

  3. In another bowl stir the milk and warm water together

  4. Pour the wet mixture into the flour mixture and whisk to form a batter. Cover with cling film and leave for 1-2 hours until bubbles form on the surface

  5. Prepare your toppings in the meantime

  6. Heat a pan on the hob at a medium heat, add a knob of butter, and it should sizzle and melt fairly quickly. Then add a ladle full of batter and cook the oatcakes for about 2 minutes on each side until golden brown

  7. Keep making oatcakes until the batter runs out, adding butter to the pan before adding fresh batter

  8. Keep the cooked oatcakes warm either in the oven on a low heat, or covered with foil and a tea towel on a warmed plate

  9. If you are topping with cheese, you can melt it under the grill or in the pan on top of the oatcake when it the second side is cooking

  10. Serve immediately with warm toppings, they can be served flat or in a roll with the toppings inside

  11. The oatcakes on their own without toppings can be frozen with baking paper between each one

  12. You can also serve the oatcakes with sweet toppings like fresh fruit, maple syrup or Nutella!

You can find more of my Savoury recipes by clicking here!

Staffordshire Oatcakes

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