Peas with bacon and onions

These buttery and sweet peas make a fantastic side dish to go with meat or fish, or your Sunday Roast dinner. This dish is very much inspired from a Yotam Ottolenghi recipe I saw in Feast magazine and I hope you will like my take on it. If you prefer to make this vegetarian, simply ignore the bacon and add a bit more olive oil when cooking instead.

More with peas: Pan Seared Duck Breasts with Braised PeasEntertaining: Spring Menu for 10 – Poached salmon with Dauphinose potatoes and more

Peas with bacon and onions

IMG_5692

Serves 4 | Prep 15 mins | Cook 30 mins
Easy | Gluten-Free

You’ll need:

  • 100g bacon or pancetta, diced;
  • 30ml olive oil;
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter;
  • 2 onions, finely chopped;
  • 500g frozen peas, defrosted;
  • 10g chives, finely chopped.

Heat half the oil in a large saute pan and add the bacon. Cook on a high heat until browned and cooked through. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon.

Add the butter, alongside the chopped onions to the pan and cook over medium heat for 10-15 minutes until softened and browned, stirring regularly. Remove from the pan using a slotted spoon and add to the bacon.

Add the peas, 350 ml water, the remaining olive oil and plenty of salt to the pan. Cover and cook for about 10-15 minutes over a medium heat, until nice and tender. Stir in the chives and transfer to a shallow serving bowl. Top with the bacon and onions and serve.

Inspired by Yotam Ottolenghi’s Peas and Onions recipe, available online here.

Help yourself brunch for a crowd

With Christmas holidays looming, you may well find yourself with lots of family and friends around and having to be prepared not only for dinners and lunches, but breakfasts too. Personally, I’m quite happy with any excuse for a brunch! These recipes are perfect for a no-fuss brunch were everyone can just help themselves to breakfast. It can be quite ‘stress-free’ too as you can prepare most of the dishes the evening before and just put in the oven for the final step on the day.

We have three recipes today:

  • Mini Omelette Cups;
  • Breakfast Sliders;
  • Bacon wrapped asparagus.

4b470351-c800-47e8-99ff-46e956d5e683

As I mentioned, you can prepare everything the night before and leave covered in the fridge. I have highlighted in each recipe where you should do this if you are planning to prepare stuff in advance. Click below for each recipe or do them all for a perfect breakfast menu. The only thing that’s missing as a Bloody Mary…

More menus to try: Christmas Eve, the Bulgarian WayNew Year’s Eve Potluck | Entertaining: Spring Menu for 10 – Poached salmon with Dauphinose potatoes and more

Click through for each recipe below:

[expand title=”Healthy Egg Omelette Cups”]

Healthy Egg Omelette Cups

Makes 12 | Prep 10 mins | Cook 35 mins
Easy | Vegetarian | Gluten & dairy free

You’ll need:

  • sunflower or vegetable oil cooking spray;
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil;
  • 1 red pepper, chopped;
  • 1 green pepper, chopped;
  • 1 onion, chopped;
  • 2 cups baby spinach, chopped;
  • 1 cup mushrooms, chopped;
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped;
  • salt to taste
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 4 egg whites
  • Optional: hot sauce for serving.

Heat oven to 180C | 160C fan |gas mark 4. (If making ahead, preheat oven about 15 mins on the day of cooking).

Grease a standard non stick 12-slot muffin pan with cooking spray and set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a large non stick pan over medium heat. Once hot, add in the chopped peppers and onion and saute for 5-7 minutes, or until peppers are tender. Add in the spinach and mushrooms and cook for an additional 2 minutes. In the last 30 seconds, add in the garlic. Season with salt and remove from heat.

Whisk the eggs and egg whites. Once the veggies have cooled slightly, whisk them in the egg mixture. Pour the egg/veggie mixture evenly into the prepared muffin pan.

At this point you can cover and leave them in the fridge over night, until ready to cook the following day.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the tops are firm to the touch and eggs are cooked. Cool slightly and serve immediately. You can use a knife to help you carefully take the egg cups from the muffin tin.

Tip: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for about 4 days. These may also be frozen. To reheat, pop them in the microwave until warm.

Original recipe from Show Me The Yummy, available online here.[/expand]

[expand title=”Breakfast Sliders”]

Breakfast Sliders

Makes 12-16 | Prep 10 mins | Cook 20 mins
Easy

You’ll need

  • 12 eggs;
  • 2 tablespoon butter + 1/4 cup butter for the topping;
  • 12-16 slider rolls or mini burger buns
  • 1 packet pre-sliced Gouda or Cheddar cheese (or so) or 12-16 slices of cheese;
  • 12-16 slices deli ham (or so);
  • 1 1/5 tbsp brown sugar;
  • 1 tbsp prepared yellow mustard.

Whisk the eggs with salt and pepper together in a bowl until frothy. Melt the 2 tablespoons butter in a large pan over medium-low heat. Pour eggs into the pan and scramble them: cook and stir with spatula until set, 3 to 6 minutes . Remove from heat.

Cut rolls in half horizontally. Lay bottoms in a single layer in a 9×13-inch baking dish. Add a layer of cheese, then scrambled eggs, then a layer of ham, then provolone cheese, then ham, then provolone cheese again. Cover with roll tops. Cut through ham and provolone cheese layers to make individual sandwiches.

You can cover and put in the fridge at this point for up to 1 day. Proceed with the final steps on the day.

Melt 1/4 cup butter, brown sugar, and mustard together in a small saucepan over medium heat; cook and stir until sugar is dissolved. Spread mixture over roll tops. Cover baking dish with aluminum foil and let stand, about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Remove aluminum foil from baking dish.

Bake in preheated oven until tops are golden brown and cheese has melted, 15 to 20 minutes.

Original recipe from All Recipes, available online here. [/expand]

[expand title=”Bacon wrapped asparagus”]

Bacon Wrapped Asparagus

Makes 12-16 | Prep 10 mins + soaking | Cook 10 mins
Easy | Dairy and Gluten free

You’ll need:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil;
  • 150g asparagus;
  • 150g streaky bacon;
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges.

First prepare the skewers. Soak 4-5 wooden skewers in cold water for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the asparagus and bacon. Cut the asparagus in two or three pieces, depending on their size, you want them a little bigger than bite size. Take bacon pieces and halve them horizontally. Wrap a slice of bacon around each asparagus bite and set aside.

When the skewers have finished soaking, skewer around 5 bacon wrapped asparagus per skewer. At this point you can cover and leave them to chill in the fridge until needed – up to 1 day.

When ready to cook, heat the olive oil in griddle pan. When hot, carefully place the skewers in the pan. You might have to cut the skewer if they are too large – I usually cut down the unnecessary wooden bits in the bottom if needed. Cook until the bacon and asparagus have cooked through – about 10 minutes, rotating regularly. Serve with the lemon wedges on the side. [/expand]

785803ed-62a3-4ccd-b284-dafe6a46eedf.jpg

Bon Apetit!

~Em

Brussels sprouts with bacon, leek and Nigella seeds

I really not don’t like Brussels sprouts, or so I thought until a couple of months. Turns out I really don’t like them when they are boiled and served. But! Stir fried or sauteed with the right ingredients, they do indeed make a lovely side dish in winter. So, let’s show some love for Brussels sprouts after the Christmas season with this easy side dish from Delicious magazine. I’ve used Nigella seeds instead of Caraway seeds which the original recipe uses.

Brussels sprouts with bacon, leek and Nigella seeds

Serves 4 | Prep 10 mins | Cook 20 mins
Easy | Dairy & Gluten Free

Sprouts 1

You’ll need:

  • 1-2 drizzles of olive oil;
  • 150g smoked bacon, finely sliced;
  • 200g Brussels sprouts, finely sliced;
  • 1 leek, finely sliced;
  • 1 heaped tsp Nigella seeds;
  • 1 tbsp blanched hazelnuts, roughly chopped.

Heat a pan with the olive oil over a medium heat. Add the bacon and fry until crisp, then add the sprouts, leek and Nigella seeds. Season well and fry for 7-10 minutes, adding more olive oil if necessary, until the veg are just tender. Toss through the hazelnuts and season to serve.

Original recipe from Delicious magazine “Brussels sporuts with bacon, leek and caraway”, issue December 2013, available online here.

Bacon, avocado and chimichurri sandwich

Avocado and chimichurri was a new combination for me, and I wish I had met this amazing combo earlier! Chimichurri is a herb, olive oil and chili dressing/salsa which you’ll usually find paired with grilled fish or cheese. And, as it turns out, it is excellent with avocado as well. This new combination has created many new ideas in my head and this is probably not the last you’ll read about it on my blog. This recipe was from an Olive magazine (Summer 2014 Issue), slightly modified. You can make it into a breakfast treat simply by adding a poached or fried egg on top. It can also be served as a delicious lunch, accompanied by a fresh salad.

Bacon, avocado and chimichurri sandwich

Serves 2 | Prep 10 minutes | Cook 5 minutes
Easy

bacon-chimichurri-sandwich-1

You’ll need:

  • 2 tbsp finely chopped parsley;
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped oregano;
  • ½ shallot, finely chopped;
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed;
  • ½ red chilli, finely chopped (optional, if you like a bit of kick);
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil;
  • Red wine vinegar;
  • 1 avocado, peeled and sliced;
  • 4 rashers of back bacon;
  • 4 slices sourdough bread, toasted.
  • 2 eggs, for poaching (optional)

For the chimichurri, mix the herbs, shallot, garlic and chilli (if using) together. Add a glog of olive oil and vinegar to make a thick dressing. Season well.

Coat the avocado in the dressing. If you are serving with poached eggs, prepare them at this point. Grill the bacon until crisp.

To serve: top two of the sourdough toasts with two rashers of bacon and half the avocado mix. Top with a sourdough toast or with a poached egg. Sprinkle a little crushed chilli on top, or enjoy as it is!

Unfortunately the recipe is no longer available online, but it was taken from Olive magazine, issue Summer 2014.