Menemen with peppers and feta

Menemen is a Turkish dish which is very similar to a Bulgarian dish called Mish-Mash. Fair bit of Bulgarian cuisine is inspired by Turkish and Mediterranean cuisine so it’s hardly surprising. The main ingredients are onions, tomatoes, peppers and eggs. While the finished version doesn’t look the most appealing, it is indeed really tasty, especially when topped with feta and served with crusty bread or warm flatbreads. This makes a nice light dinner dish when served with salad, but it’s equally lovely for breakfast. Slightly adapted from a Waitrose & Partners Food magazine recipe.

More dishes with eggs: Green Eggs; Spanish Baked Eggs; Two Ways with Eggs & Chorizo.

Menemen with peppers and feta

Serves 3-4 | Prep 10 mins | Cooking time 15 mins
Easy | Vegetarian | Gluten-Free

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You’ll need:

  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil;
  • 227g can chopped tomatoes;
  • 1 onion, finely chopped;
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed;
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes, plus extra to serve;
  • ½ tsp dried oregano;
  • 2 pointed peppers, sliced;
  • 8 eggs, beaten;
  • 100g feta, crumbled;
  • ¼ x 25g pack flat leaf parsley, leaves roughly chopped

Put the oil in a large non-stick pan and set over a medium heat. Add the onion, chilli flakes, oregano and peppers and cook for a couple of minutes until slightly softened. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, before you add the tomatoes. Season and cook gently for 10 minutes, until the onions have softened and the sauce has reduced.

Add the beaten egg, season and gently stir until scrambled and barely set. Remove from the heat, scatter over the feta, parsley and a few more chilli flakes. Serve with pickled chillies, crispy bread or warm flatbread. You can also serve with salad if making for lunch or dinner.

Original recipe from Waitrose & Partners Food, April 2019 issue, available online here.

Asparagus with lemon & hazelnut crumb

Asparagus are just coming into season in the UK and I thought this is the perfect time to share this delicious easy side dish. Cooking with asparagus is fairly new to me as I didn’t really eat them until about a year ago. I am really pleased that I decided to try them again and discovered that, like most things, it’s really all about the cooking. Overcook them and they become texturless green mush. Cook them well, and serve them with a perfect garnish – and indeed you have delight on a plate. This is an easy side dish that I got from an old BBC Good Food magazine.

More in sides: Brussels sprouts with bacon, leek and Nigella seedsCauliflower fritters with herby dipping saucePimientos de Padrón.

Asparagus with lemon & hazelnut crumb

Serves 3 | Prep 10 mins | Cook 5 mins
Easy | Dairy Free | Vegan

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You’ll need:

  • 25g breadcrumbs;
  • 25g chopped hazelnuts;
  • zest from 1/2 lemon;
  • 1 tbsp olive oil;
  • 350g asparagus spears, sliced in 2-3cm pieces;
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • A little lemon juice;
  • 1 tbsp chopped dill.

Bring a small pan of salted water to a boil. Combine the breadcrumbs, hazelnuts, lemon zest and season. Heat the olive oil in a small frying pan and cook the crumb mixture until  golden and crispy. Meanwhile cook the sliced asparagus spears in the boiling water for 2 minutes until tender, but still crunchy. Drain, then toss with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil & a squeeze of lemon juice. Transfer to a serving plate, top with the crumbs and the chopped dill.

Original Recipe from BBC Good Food issue May 2013, no longer available online

Summer Nectarine Buttermilk Pancakes

Coming from a sunny country, I absolutely cannot get enough of juicy and flavoursome summer fruits. I would happily just eat watermelon, cherries, peaches, apricots and nectarines day in and day out. And because of this, I absolutely want to make the best out of what summer produce can offer us. No surprise there then, when I tell you that I have adapted one of the winter appropriate pancake recipes (caramelised banana & pecan buttermilk pancakes) to a delicious summer one. This recipe used the same buttermilk pancake mix as the above mentioned recipe, but instead it is topped with fresh and zesty nectarines and whipped cream. If this doesn’t shout summer, I don’t know what does.

Zesty Nectarine Buttermilk Pancakes

Serves 3 | Prep time: 15 minutes | Cook time: 15 minutes | Easy
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Ingredients
  • 175g plain flour;
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt;
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder;
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda;
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar;
  • 2 eggs, separated;
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract;
  • 25g butter + a bit of extra to cook the pancakes;
  • 200ml buttermilk;
  • 100ml milk.
For the zesty nectarines
  • 3 nectarines, sliced.
  • 1 lime, juiced,
  • 1 tbsp honey.

Serve with: yogurt, crème fraîche or whipped cream.
Method:

  1. First prepare the nectarines. Cover the sliced nectarines with the lime juice and honey and stir well. Leave to marinate for about 20 minutes or while you are preparing and cooking the pancakes.
  2. For the pancakes, melt the butter in the pan where you will cook the pancakes and let it cool a bit. Mix the flour, salt, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and sugar. Add the egg yolks, vanilla extract, melted butter, buttermilk and milk and mix until smooth with a mixer or by hand. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until they are soft and have formed floppy peaks, then fold into the batter – be careful not to overmix it so you don’t lose the fluffiness of the mix.
  3. Re-heat the pan until hot, add a bit more butter if needed. Using a small ladle, our in the batter to make pancakes about 10cm in diameter. Cook for about 1 min until the tops are set and little holes appear on the surface. Flip the pancakes over, brown lightly on the other side, then transfer to a plate and keep warm in a low-heated oven. Repeat with the remaining batter, stacking the pancakes as they are cooked, and adding butter to the pan, if required.
  4. To serve, pile up the pancakes on three plates. Drain the nectarines (but reserve the juice and the top each pancake pile with them. You can serve with whipped cream, yogurt or more honey if you’d like.

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I hope you enjoy these delicious pancakes in the glorious sunshine that the UK has been offering these days!

~Em

Large, Fluffy Pancakes with Pancetta & Maple

There are few things that make a Sunday spent with loved ones even more perfect than a large stack of pancakes in the middle of the table. Last weekend, for the first time, I tried the combination of bacon & maple syrup. It always sounded weird to me – sweet pancakes & maple syrup against a salty smoked bacon?! However, now that I’ve tasted it, I’m sold. The smoked pancetta worked so well against the sweet maple, and almost tasted like salted caramel! You should definitely give this combination a try, if you haven’t already. This recipe for pancakes is a bit different to others I’ve tried – they come out really large but also really fluffy. This is another recipe from BBCGoodFood which I found in one of their issues from 2012.

Large, Fluffy Pancakes with Pancetta & Maple

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Serves 3-4 | Prep 10 mins | Cook 20 mins | Easy
You’ll need
  • 8-10 slices smoked pancetta;
  • butter for cooking;
  • 300g self-rising flour;
  • 1 tsp baking powder;
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar;
  • 2 medium eggs, beaten;
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup + extra to serve;
  • 300 ml milk;
  • blueberries, to serve (if you wish).

For the pancetta. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Line a baking tray with baking parchment and lay on the pancetta in a single layer. Put another piece of parchment on top, followed by a second baking tray, and bake for 12-15 mins until crisp. Keep warm until you make the pancakes.

Meanwhile, make the pancakes. In a large bowl mix the flour, baking powder and sugar together. In another bowl, mix the milk, eggs and maple syrup. Make a well in the dry mix and start adding the milk mixture slowly, stirring well before adding more. Continue until everything is mixed well together and there are no lumps.

Melt some butter in a non-stick pan over a medium heat. Add table spoons full of batter to make the batter as large as you like. Cook for a couple of minutes or until bubbles start to appear on the surface. Flip and cook for another couple of minutes. Keep the pancakes warm in a warm oven while you make the rest of the pancakes.

Original recipe from BBCGoodFood, issue March 2012, available here.

 

 

Baked croissant French toast

I found this breakfast idea in an old Co-operative Food Magazine and thought it looked interesting. French toast and Croissant in one breakfast – sounds great, right?! However, this breakfast divided opinions at home. I liked it more than my other half did. Because the croissants are baked in the eggy milk mix, they are a bit soft and soggy at the bottom yet crunchy at the top. I actually liked the sweetness and softness of the croissants against the zing of the berries and thought it worked well, but even I have to admit it took me a couple of bites before I appreciated it. Give this a try and let me know what you think!

Baked croissant French toast

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Serves 2-3 | Prep 15 minutes | Cook 45 minutesEasy | Vegetarian

You’ll need:

  • 2 – 3 croissants, quartered;
  • 275ml semi-skimmed milk;
  • 2 eggs;
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon;
  • 25g caster sugar;
  • Zest from 1/2 orange;
  • 200g frozen mixed berries;
  • 1 tbsp clear honey;
  • 1 tbsp fresh orange juice.

For the croissants. Pre-heat the oven to 170C/140C fan. Arrange the croissants in a medium baking dish. Beat the milk, eggs, sugar, ground cinnamon and half the orange zest in a jug. Pour over the croissants.  Bake for 45 minutes, until golden.

For the berries. About 7 minutes at the end of the croissants baking time, gently heat the berries, honey, remaining zest and orange juice in a pan for 5-7 minutes, stirring regularly. Drain any excess liquid.

To serve. Put each croissant on a plate and spoon over the berries on top.

Original recipe from Co-operative Food magazine.