Party Food

Week 83: Egg Stuffed Tomatoes

I genuinely love the book, right from the moment I first found it in TK Maxx in 2012. It’s so well presented, and inventive, and all the dishes look delicious. Other than an unsuccessful batch of scones I’ve never actually cooked anything, until now.

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Week 61: Spanish Omelette

Ole! Nothing warms a December teatime more than eating something foreign. And simple food always tastes better, right? I had made myself the Gammon and Peas from Nigella’s Express book, and was flicking through the rest and liked the picture.

I do like a good omelette, with this one containing potatoes I didn’t have to do oven chips to go with it. Another bonus is that because you’re meant to eat it cold it’ll do 2 days – I’m not sure if I’m supposed to make it last 2 days, but we didn’t die…

To make this for 4 (or 8 if you’re doing a load more Tapas to go with it) you will need: 225g baby new potatoes, 4 eggs, 75g flame-roasted jarred peppers, 3 spring onions, 75g manchego/cheddar cheese, butter, oil, salt & pepper. You’ll need to finely chop the onions, roughly chop the peppers, and halve the potatoes.

Also, you’ll need a small-ish heavy bottomed frying pan that can go in the oven/under the grill – non of your plastic handles here!

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I always think these look like tongues…

Depending on your grill you’ll need to turn it on so its hot enough to finish off the omelette.  My grill needs about a weeks notice before doing a round of toast so I have to turn it on really early – but you might be able turn your on when you start frying the omelette.  Boil the potatoes for 15 minutes, then drain them.  While they’re boiling grate the cheese, then whisk the eggs together in a bowl/a big jug. Throw in the peppers, onions, cheese and free potatoes, then season to taste.

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Heat 1 tsp of oil and a splash of oil in the frying pan, when it’s hot (but not crazily hot) pour the omelette mix in. Now apparently you don’t need to stir this, so didn’t. When my lover makes omelettes there’s grunting and pushing and alsorts – I quite like this sedate form of omelettry.

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After the omelette has cooked for 5 minutes move the pan under the grill to finish off.  This is instead of turning it over, which I guess would stop it being Spanish Omelette shaped.  Leave it under the grill for a few minutes until it’s pretty much set, then take it from under the grill and turn it upside-down onto a plate. If you can do it without burning yourself that would be great.

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Nigella says that the omelette will keep cooking as it cools down so you don’t need to worry if it’s a bit wobbly in the middle – I can’t comment on this as mine came out a little charred, so there’s no way that bad boy was uncooked when I turned it out.  Leave it to cool down the. Cut it into wedges.

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I even remembered to buy some salad!  I’d definitely make this again, nice and simple and really tasty – and I’ll have a crack at some other Spanish-y bits.

 

Nigella Express, by Nigella Lawson (Chatto & Windus 2007 ISBN 9780701181840)

nigella express

Week 45: Goat’s Cheese, Toasted Hazelnut & Honey Quesadillas

This week I was really busy at work so I asked my lover to have a look through the books to find something quick for dinner… And he chose these: quesadillas!

This recipe from Lorraine Pascale’s Fast Fresh and Easy Food makes four quesadillas, which can be cut into 16 triangles to serve as finger food – ideal for a party!  Like a Fiesta Friday kinda party!

To make four quesadillas you will need:  4 tablespoons roasted hazelnuts, fresh coriander, 4 tortillas (corn or wheat) 250g goats cheese and 4 teaspoons runny honey.  It’s a complicated recipe in that you need to put the oven on and use two frying pans to make sure everything cooks properly and stays warm.  If you’ve got one of those hotplate things I’d imagine you could use that, and if you’re cooking these as canapes I would skip the second pan and just make them one at a time.  I had chips in the oven so I used two pans.

Turn the oven on to 100c (gas 1/4) and then put two medium frying pans on medium with a drizzle of sunflower oil in each pan.  While these are heating up break the hazel nuts with a pestle and mortar, but don’t grind them too small.  Chop the coriander leaves (I used dried ones that were in the cupboard)

Lob a tortilla into each pan and toast them for a minute, then crumble some of the cheese (roughly 60g) onto each tortilla, then scatter some hazelnuts, coriander, and a tsp of honey over the cheese.

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Now listen up, don’t do what I did and spread it out all pretty like in the picture; pile it in the middle or it’ll all fall out the sides after you’ve folded the tortilla over on itself – then press it down slightly.  Reduce the heat down low, cook for a minute and then flip them over to cook for another 5 minutes.

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So if you’re making 4 at once this is where you want to slide them onto an oven tray and put them in the oven to keep them warm while you turn the pans back to medium and make the second pair of quesadillas.  I just scraped mine off the pans and cut them in to 4 and served them up with oven chips and rocket for our tea.

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I think that these were slightly stickier than they should have been after all the filling poured out, and I should have bought some new nuts rather than the ones from the back of the cupboard; but I’d definitely give these another try – and maybe even serve them as canapes.!

 

Fast Fresh and Easy Food by Lorraine Pascale (Harper Collins 2012 ISBN: 978-0-00-793482-9)

Lorraine Pascale