Boozy Roasted Apples

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A great way to have a tasty dessert without the pastry.   Added bonus of being quick to prepare, you’ll have most of the ingredients on hand, and pretty much guaranteed to be a winner with the eaters.

Mr MWCED had picked some of our end of season apples, better we have them than the possums!  Or the dog;  she loves to play ball with an apple and then when tired out will stretch out on the lawn and eat every last bit.

Our apples are definitely cookers, quite tart.  I think tarter apples will work best in this recipe, but if a sweeter apple is all you’ve got then use and enjoy.   The apples burst out of the skin, are very very soft, and the topping is Delicious.  Add cream, yoghurt or ice-cream.  Mr MWCED and VFF (very fabulous friend) enjoyed maple and walnut ice-cream on the side,  I had a little dairy-free coconut ice-cream.   Both went well.

INGREDIENTS

5–6 medium apples, halved through the stem  (ours are like Granny Smiths)
50 grams butter, melted
3 tablespoons brown sugar
½ teaspoon each ground cinnamon and ginger
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
¼ teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons rum or other spirit

(the original recipe had 3 tablespoons of cream, which would give a more caramel sauce, however I didn’t use this as ‘trying’ to do low fat  (haha).

Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Combine all the ingredients except the apples in a large bowl.

Add the apples and turn to coat. Place the apples cut side up in a baking dish lined with baking paper and spoon over all the mixture left in the bowl.

Roast for 30 minutes, basting the tops every 10 minutes, until the apples are very tender and caramelised and the flesh is pulling away from the skins. Add a splash of apple juice or water to the dish if needed to ensure there are lovely caramel juices for serving.

 

 

(original recipe from dish magazine – a great site!

 

Merry Merry 2017

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A very quiet one for us – but great nonetheless to kick back,  relax and feast.  The day was sunny and warm – no wind – perfect for a mid-afternoon lunch outside.  The Champagne got opened while putting the finishing touches to lunch – and ‘mmmmmmm’ it was a great drop –  Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut – delectably dry and a perfect complement to the entrées.

Our feast menu was far far too much food, but isn’t that what you do on Christmas day?  The menu:

  • Barbeque prawns with chilli and lime dressing
  • Scallop tarts with pea and mint purée
  • Ham on the bone glazed with Bourbon, orange marmalade and ginger
  • Chicken breast rolled in Bacon stuffed with Cranberries and Pinenuts
  • Roast beetroot salad, with Feta, Red Pepper and Red Onion
  • New potatoes

It was great team-work with Mr MWCED and I in the kitchen.   All came together perfectly and we even managed to have a clean kitchen at the end of the day.

BUT….. I hear you say…….. where was dessert?   Can you REALLY believe we could fit dessert in after all of the above?   We just couldn’t.  Not even later in the evening.  And Mr MWCED had made some special almond tuilles for an easy ice-cream sandwich.  Yup, we even said ‘no’ to ice-cream.

Most of the food we have made before and roll out from time to time – but the newbie for us was the Scallop Tarts.   Will definitely repeat – and hope you might enjoy trying these too:

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2 sheets frozen puff pastry
40g butter chopped
1 small onion, chopped finely ( I used a shallot)
¾ cup (90g) frozen peas
¼ cup fresh mint leaves
18 large (400g) scallops without roe
30 g micro greens
1-1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
lemon wedges to serve

Preheat oven to 220.celsius (200.celsius fan-forced). Line two oven trays with baking paper.

Cut out 8 x 10cm rounds (or whatever size you want – I made mine quite small to fit just one scallop on); place on trays. Top with another sheet of baking paper, then another baking tray (this stops pastry puffing during cooking). Bake pastry for around 12 minutes or until golden or crisp.

Melt butter in a medium pan over medium heat; cook onion until soft but not coloured. Add peas and water and bring to boil. Simmer for around 3 minutes until peas are tender. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.   Process pea mixture and mint in a small food processor until smooth, taste and adjust seasoning if required.     If made ahead, put covered in fridge and then reheat slowly in oven prior to using.

Either barbeque scallops, briefly on each side, or heat oil in frying pan and cook on stove-top.

Divide pea puree between the pastry rounds, scatter micro-greens over puree, top with scallop/s and serve.

the above will serve 8 as a starter – I halved the ingredients for 3 of us – this is an easy recipe to increase or decrease as required.

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Pork, Spinach & Ricotta Cannelloni

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If you have read my previous posts, you’ll probably have a sense that I am pretty comfortable with easy and quick.   This is one of those recipes too.  I bought pre-prepared lasagne sheets and used a can of Italian chopped tomatoes for the ‘pasta sauce’.  This doesn’t take much time to put together, is tasty and allows you to spend more time watching a movie, sharing a glass of wine, or going for a walk (yes, that’s right, the last option is the one we all do).

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Serves 6.   Turn on oven to around 180C.

  • 500g Pork mince
  • 150g Ricotta Cheese
  • 100 g baby Spinach roughly chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp mixed herbs
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • Lasagne Sheets (one packet)
  • 400g can tinned Italian diced tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons pesto
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 cups grated mozzarella
  • Combine pork, ricotta, spinach, eggs, mixed herbs and pepper in a large bowl. Mix until well combined.
  • Take lasagna sheets and cut into 2 or 3 sections depending on the size of your lasagna sheet.
  • Spoon the pork mixture onto the centre of each sheet of lasagna, then roll the sheet to enclose the filling. Brush each edge with milk to seal the join.
  • Mix canned tomatoes, pesto and tomato paste in a small bowl (to save dishes perhaps the one you already mixed the pork in – I would)
  • Put a tablespoon or so of the tomato mixture into the bottom of the dish you are going to bake the cannelloni in.
  • Place each roll, seal side down in a baking dish in a single layer.
  • Pour the tomato mixture over the cannelloni and sprinkle the top with the grated cheese.
  • Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until the cheese is bubbling.
  • Serve warm with salad or vegetables.   We had fresh lettuce from the garden (first of the season – and it is Very Good), with some sliced red pepper, finely chopped chives and shredded fresh basil leaves, finished with a bit of raspberry vinegar and olive oil.
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Ready for the oven