Tag Archives: oven

Cannelloni with ricotta and minced meat

The husband and I are huge fans of Italian food, So I am always happy to try out something new and exciting. Normally I use a very basic cannelloni recipe à la bolognaise. It’s a wonderful recipe and I just know I ll keep using it till I am old an grey. But sometimes I want to try new recipes and new flavours. I found the base for this recipe while looking for some stock cubes on a website. The website suggested to use the cubes in a Ricotta cannelloni and I was won over. The idea of a ricotta cannelloni without spinach sounded like something different. So I added a little bit of this and a little bit of that and I ended up with those lovely creamy cannelloni.

 INGREDIENTS
8 tubes of cannelloni
½ red onions finely chopped
125 grams ricotta cheese
1 jar of tomato sauce (I used home made sauce about 250 ml)
50 grams of grated parmigiano reggiano cheese
½ red pepper chopped in small cubes
½ green pepper chopped in small cubes
200 grams minced meat
30 grams of pine nuts
2 teaspoons of Italian herb mix
2 tablespoons of olive oil

In a large sauté pan over medium heat warm the olive oil. Add the minced meat and crumble it with a fork while it turns lightly brown and is cooked through. Now add the onion and the peppers and stir fry this for a about 10 minutes.
Now add the ricotta to the pan and mix it all together.
Season with a little bit of salt, pepper and the Italian herb mix.

Now add 25 grams of parmigiano reggiano cheese and the pine nuts to the mixture.
I had to pre-boil the cannelloni before using. Be sure to check the instructions on your package before using.
 Now fill the tubes with the meat-ricotta mixture. I did this using a small wooden spoon. Look out that the tubes don’t tear up completely.

 Place the filled tubes in a oven dish and poor over the tomato sauce. Make sure that the cannelloni is covered completely with sauce; else it will go hard an dry while baking in the oven. Now sprinkle with the remaining parmigiano reggiano cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes in an oven of 200 degrees. Uncover and bake further until the cannelloni is golden brown an bubbling, this takes approx. another 15 minutes.

Sundried tomatoes chicken with twice baked feta potato

I love sundried tomatoes. Not the all dried out version. No I have a thing for the half dried tomatoes who bath in oil. I know it probably is not healthy. Its not good for your figure… but it is delicious as hell. So for once I just don’t care. Normally I serve these tomatoes with a little aperitif, but to make it all a little healthier I made them into a lovely marinade.

These lovely marinated chicken breast are very quick to make and taste very Mediterranean.

I served them with twice baked potatoes and some feta. I just love feta and I love potatoes, so why not combine them into this lovely dish!

 INGREDIENTS FOR THE CHICKEN BREASTS

2 chicken breasts
12 half sundried tomatoes
6 leaves of basil
½ onion
1 clove of garlic
350 grams of tomato coulisse
250 mls of olive oil

INGREDIENTS FOR THE TWICE BAKED POTATOES

6 medium potatoes
Olive oil
200 grams of crumbled feta cheese and an extra 50 grams
2 teaspoons of finely chopped rosemary
2 teaspoons of finely chopped thyme
2 teaspoons of finely chopped sage
Salt and pepper

 

For the chicken breasts

Lets start of with the lovely chicken breasts. This is a really fast and easy marinate that you can use for any kind of meat. I just love it with chicken. The tenderness of the chicken goes wonderful with the sweetness of the tomatoes. But enough chit chat start chopping those sundried tomatoes and the basil leaves in rough pieces. When your done, do the some to the onion and the garlic.

Now take a large, deep plate or a large bowl and combine the chopped ingredients. Now add the tomato coulisse and the olive oil. Whisk it all together till everything is nicely combined.

Now take your chicken breasts and here comes the nice part…. Bash them with something heavy till they are nicely thin. Think about your bad day at work, about your husband loosing his socks for the seventh time this week, about your kids who never clean up their toys, about the dog who jumped on your pretty white dress with his dirty pawls. Anyone let the anger flow and just bash those chicken breast!

When the chicken breasts are nice and thin, you just toss them into the marinate, cover it up and place it for at least 2 hours in the fridge.

 Now heat a pan (even more lovely is a grill or a grill pan!) without adding any more oil or butter. Now take the chicken breast out of the marinate and fry them for about 2,5 minutes at each side.

FOR THE TWICE BAKED POTATOES

Preheat the oven at 180 degrees. Now scrub the potatoes and poke some holes in them with a fork. Isn’t this a lovely aggressive diner?

Now place the potatoes hole side up on a baking sheet and drizzle them with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and some sea salt. Now bake them for about 50 minutes in the oven. The potatoes are ready when you can insert a fork easily into the crispy skin of the potato.

Now remove the potatoes from the oven and let them cool for about 10 minutes. Slice the potatoes in halve in length and scoop out that lovely, fluffy flesh into a bowl. Keep the skins on the side.

Now add 200 grams of crumbled feta cheese, the finely chopped herbs and some salt and pepper to the potato flesh. Mix this together into a creamy mixture and fill the potato skins with it. Top this of with the remaining feta cheese, some salt and pepper and return this to the oven for another 15 minutes.

Indian style wedges

You must have noticed I like Indian curries. No wait… I love Indian curries. Most of the time I serve it with rice and papadums. But today I was craving potatoes. I am Belgian and Belgians love their potatoes. Did you know that we eat potatoes for diner 96% of the time? Well, I guess the husband and I are not a traditional Belgian family, cause I don’t think we get to that number. I would guess its around 50% with us. But sometimes I indeed crave potatoes. Not the very dull boiled potato like most Belgian people eat them. No I wanted an exciting potato. I was thinking crispiness, a little spicy and a nice warm feeling to the tongue.
So that’s how these Indian wedges came to life. I add a little of this, I squeezed in a little of that and I top it of with a little of everything.

INGREDIENTS

Potatoes (any kind will do, but I prefer a hard boiling potato.)
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
1 tablespoon of chilli powder
1 tablespoon of ground coriander
2 tablespoons of garam masala
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1 teaspoon of ginger powder
6 curry leaves
A pinch of sea salt

 Was the potatoes, but don’t peel them. I think potato wedges should have skins. That’s what makes them so lovely and crisp. So no peeling for this dish! Just simply cut the potatoes into wedges form. Then put all the wedges together in a large bowl and pour over the vegetable oil. Start adding the herbs and stir it all together. When you use a bowl with a lit, just put on the lit and give the bowl a good shake. All the wedges should be cover with the spice mixture.
Then lay the wedges out on a baking tray cover with baking paper and place the tray in an oven of 175 degrees for about 25 minutes. Then take out the wedges, turn them around and place them back for 15 to 20 minutes.

When the wedges start to look golden brown, have a taste. They are done when the exterior is crispy and the interior is soft inside.

Tortilla al Horno

The day after we returned from vacation my parents in law came for diner. My head was still in the lovely Perigord; so I did not want to spend my whole day in the kitchen. Do you know that lovely rush that follows you a couple of days after you returned home. That feeling of complete inner peace. Its like walking in a cloud of good vibrations and still the holiday feeling. The husband choose to serve them paella. Quick, easy but delicious. I shared the recipe with you before and it always is a big hit when I make it. As a started I made a little buffet of Spanish tapas. Chorizo, gambas a la plancha, calamari, jamon, manchego cheese, some good olives and this tortilla al horno.
I ll just be plain honest with you guys.. I cant make a regular tortilla baked in a pan. It does not work for me. I always end up with scrambled eggs and hard potatoes. Horrible! So I fled from that challenge months ago and I go with this “It just cant go wrong recipe”. Tortilla baked in an oven. I was ashamed to tell anybody, but when I finally told my friend Maria, who happens to be Spanish and lives in Sevilla, she yelled: “What do you mean, you just recently discover that? That how I been doing that for years! And not just me, also my mom and grandma.” And to be honest, when a Spanish grandma does it, it cant be wrong, right?

INGREDIENTS

olive oil
1 large clove of garlic (pureed)
4 spring onions (cut into small rounds)
1 red bell pepper (deseeded and cut into small pieces)
175 grams potatoes partly boiled (they don’t need to be cooked through) sliced
75 grams of hot chorizo (cut into small cubes)
5 large eggs
175 grams of grated manchego cheese
Salt
Pepper
A pinch of cayenne pepper

I used my crème brulee forms to bake the tortilla in. But you can do it just aswel in a square baking form. Just cover the backing form with some baking paper and grease it with a little olive oil.
Now add the oil, the mashed garlic, the spring onions and the paprika to a large pan and let it simmer for about 10 minutes on a medium heat. Remove the garlic, onions and paprika from the pan and add the chorizo cubes. Let it bake for about 2 to 3 minutes.
Take a large bowl and add whisk the eggs together with the cheese, the salt, pepper en the cayenne pepper.
Now poor in the garlic, onions, paprika, chorizo and potatoes. Fold it together carefully. Don’t be to enthusiastic, cause you don’t want the potatoes to break into little pieces.

Now poor the egg mixture into your forms and place them in a preheated oven op 190 degrees for about 30 minutes or until the tortilla looks golden brown.
The tortilla is ready when it feels pretty firm, but still a little springy when you push it with your finger.
Let the tortilla cool on a rack before removing it from the spring. The cool down time will allow the tortilla to firm up some more. Then cut the edges with a sharp knife and turn place a serving plate on top of the form. Turn it around and remove the form. Remove the baking paper carefully.

You can serve the tortilla hot or cold.

Purslane salad with a creamy dressing and crushed potatoes

In the supermarket I noticed this little package of purslane. Time and time again I held the package in my hands but placed it back in the rack. Because I kept wondering what I could do wit purslane. Obviously it was mend to eat… but how did you eat it. Did it need steaming, bowling, mixing or mincing? I had absolutely no idea. At my recent trip to the supermarket I noticed that the purslane was very cheap so I finally bought a package and told myself “I would figure out a way to serve it later”. The internet suggest 101 different types of recipes, going from purslanesoup over baked purslane to purslane gratin. I also learned that in the US purslane not considered a vegetable and that in Indian it’s a very popular ingredient.
In Belgium it’s a little bit of a forgotten vegetable. Very popular with my grandparents, but the next generations forgot about it totally. Its hard to come by in the stores even. I silently chuckled when I saw the girl at the counter twist and turn my package like seven times to figure out what I actually was buying.
Eventually I gave the purslane my own twist and neglected all the very well meant internet advices. I served it in a lovely creamy salad dressing. And ow boy, did we love it! The leaves are thick and very meaty for a vegetable. They have a lovely light sour flavour that makes me think of a mixture between spinach, chard and endive.
I wont doubt a minute on my next grocery hunt to bring another package!
I served the salad with “Crashed hot potatoes” which is a recipe I got from Ree, the Pioneer woman. She is a wonderful cook and I am always enchanted by the lovely recipes and the way she writes.
The lovely, hot potatoes have crusty skin and a soft, fluffy filling. My kitchen smelled wonderful with all the fresh herbs I used from my herb garden.

INGREDIENTS PURSLANE SALAD1 package of purslane
cherry tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic
fresh parsley
fresh chives
2 tablespoons of mayonaise
3 tablespoons of sour cream
1 tablespoon of heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon of harissa (can easely be replaced by tabasco)
1 teaspoon paprikapowder
pepper and salt
Lets start with assembling the dressing for our purslanesalad.
Minced the garlic really fine with a good knife. Do the same with the fresh herbs.
To make life easier on myself I use the following method: take a large glass (type long drink) and place the herbs in the glass.
Now use a scissor the cut the herbs into really small pieces. Very easy and no flying pieces of herb in your kitchen!
Now add the mayonnaise and the sour cream to a small bowl and mix them together.
Then add the garlic, the fresh herbs, the harissa and the paprika powder.
Mix this all very well.
If the dressing is not runny enough you add a tablespoon of cream. (If you like runny salad dressings you can even add a little more.)
Now season this with salt an pepper.

INGREDIENTS POTATOES6 potatoes
3 tablespoons of olive oil
pepper and salt
2 stalks of rosemary
2 stalks of thyme

Purslanesalad 


Potatoes 

These potatoes are so simple and still so very delicious.
And there must be a million ways to combine them. I can imagine that they ll taste wonderful with some bacon or slice of cheddar cheese on top of them.
boil the potatoes (with their skins!) in some salted water. They don’t need to be cooked thoroughly. You just need to be able to prick them with your knife.
Drain them and let them rest for a couple of minutes.
In the mean time get an oven tray ready and drizzle it with some olive oil. (To make this even more delicious I used garlic infused olive oil.)
Now toss in the potatoes, just make sure they have plenty of space around them. Although it is cosy so close to each other, they need the room to go nice and crispy.
Now take your potato masher and press it very carefully down until each potato slightly mashes, now rotate the masher 90 degrees and mash it again.
You will see the potatoes burst open and from the little cracks in their skin the soft, fluffy interior will poor out.
Now brush the potatoes with some olive oil. Sprinkle some black pepper and sea salt on top of the potatoes en plunch in the fresh herbs.
Pop the tray in the oven for about 20 minutes on 175 degrees.

The recipe for the potatoes is from The Pioneer Woman.