Tagged: flour

Halloumi and Lentils with Sweetcorn and Pea Purée

No, I am not turning into a vegetarian – as I mentioned in my last post, all food is good. Well that’s not entirely true is it. Tesco value cottage pie isn’t up there and neither is a Ginster’s pasty, which is strange seeing as they specialise in pasties. [You can’t go far wrong with the pasty I bought in Porthleven in Cornwall but I digress. I love pasties…]

I have to confess, I’m a halloumi virgin. I’ve never had the need to buy some or even the urge, as I like my cheese with crackers or with a chunk of crusty bread and a good chutney. So this was a first for me. I did my research on cooking it and, as I had only a few weeks previously, thrown out, in a “I’ll never use that again and it takes up too much room” way, a griddle pan, I was not going to get those photogenic stripes you see on recipes. So I decided to go for frying it.

What you need along with Halloumi, Green Lentils, Sweetcorn and Peas are…

Vegetable stock, a cube will do.
Garlic.
Flour.
Smoked Paprika
Half an onion
Chilli flakes, just a pinch

The first thing I did was to cook my lentils, which just involved boiling until they were tender – don’t add salt to the water as it makes the skin hard, I believe. I drained them after maybe 20 or 30 minutes and let them cool.

Next, I made the sweetcorn purée by blitzing half a can of sweetcorn with some vegetable stock and then passing it through a sieve to remove the tough, outer skins

I then put the puree in a pan and added some more stock and simmered, tasting all the time till I was happy with the flavour and the thickness.

I blitzed some peas in the same way and kept them in a bowl ready to serve later

In a large saucepan I added a glug of olive oil and gently fried the onion and garlic till softened then added the lentils and chilli flakes with a splash of stock and cooked till the stock was gone.

Now for the halloumi. I cut it into 6 large fish finger sized pieces

I then dusted them with a smoked paprika and flour mix, making sure they had a good coating. Then I gently fried them in olive oil on all sides till they looked nice and crisp.

Now time to plate up. Reheat your purées and lentils and spoon the lentils on to a plate. Top with the halloumi and put your purées where you want.  I tried one of those splodgy spoon scrape with the sweetcorn (like you see all the time by all those TV chefs) but as I’m no chef, it looked a bit wrong so I in-filled with the pea purée.

My dinner guest for the evening was my co-blogger, Frank, who is not a halloumi virgin, but had never had it coated and fried. We both thought it was excellent and another feather in my vegetarian cap.

Then came the movie. We watched Prometheus, Verdict , stay clear if you like plausible plots and coherent storyline, watch if you like cgi effects.  The lad’s night in was topped with a plate each of very fiery, lip tingling chicken wings.

But I’m not finished with halloumi. I will definately be coming back to this as Carol has yet to try it and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Say cheese. Mugsie


Bacon, Mushroom, and Stilton Quiche or is it a Flan, You Decide.

 

I don’t know really why I started this one, but all I can say is what a success it has been.

I originally set out to use some leftovers from a 90th Birthday bash held at my house the day before. You know, boiled new potatoes, chicken drumsticks, cheese, cream but in the end I went for flavour, in true FaBfoodblog style.

This was one small step for man, but a huge leap for Mugsiekind as I actually made my own pastry. I would agree with Frank that if you want to use a puff pastry, buy it. But as for a short, or flaky pastry, make your own, it’s dead easy.

When making pastry you will have to ditch the handful of this, glug of that mentality as you need fairly exact amounts.

For the pastry, buy it, or blitz together in your blender 175ish grams of flour with 75ish grams of fat with a little water to bind the lot together. I used half lard and butter as I only had that much of each in the fridge. Then wrap in clingfilm and put it in the fridge for 30 mins.

Meanwhile for the filling you will need

Mushrooms, half a punnet
Bacon, a couple of slices – I also added some Chorizo Salami
Cheese Cheddar grated about 200g
Stilton Cheese or a good Blue of your choice, about 150 g crumbled
4 Eggs
150ml of Double Cream
100ml of Milk, your choice.
Herbs, from Chives, Parsley, Thyme.
And anything else you feel like chucking in eg sliced Tomatoes etc.

Finely slice all the dry ingredients

And then fry them in a little oil, I mean a little as there will be fat from the bacon
Now you need to combine the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl and at this stage I added an extra ingredient.
Mushroom Powder. Yes that stuff that was created in the last post.

 

Now you need to get the pastry out of the fridge and roll it out. try not to overwork it as you want a nice light texture to it. Line your flan case, you know, the kind that the bottom comes out. Make sure to press the pastry into all the corners. Don’t trim the pastry, leave those bits hanging over the edge, you cut these off later.

Next you need to blind bake the pastry. That means bake the pastry without the filling. I came a bit unstuck here as you really need some sort of wieght to stop the pastry from rising in the tin. You can buy baking beans or ceramic beans for this purpose but I had none!

What could I use? I had half a Jack Daniels bottle with 5p pieces in it, not enough, then a brainwave. “Hmmm Carol’s got some decorative glass marbles in a bowl in the bathroom. At last a use for the feckers!”.

I thought. So after a wash, I placed some greaseproof paper on the pastry and filled it with marbles. and baked at 180C for 15-20 minutes

I then took the flan tin out of the oven, removed the paper and marbles, and baked for another 5 mins at a slightly lower temperature.

Now all you do is fill the pastry case with your filling and bake at 160-170C for 30-40 minutes, take out and leave to cool.

We had ths with a nice pesto pasta and salad and a glass of wine

Now up to you folks, quiche or flan?

Mugsie