My mum had a load of her university friends over today, and what was meant to be a brunch ended up as lunch, but I tried out a few new things that I wanted to share with you! I had a variety of ideas that I wanted to play around with, but due to time constraints and other factors I had to settle down.
Being Greek I felt it was about time I attempted to make Hummus. I have to say, its not in my blood, I definitely need to work on my chickpea skills.
To give me a start I used the instructions on the Tahini pot to make it, but I would not recommend doing this as it does not give you the right consistency or flavour! A rough outline of what I did is as follows:
- 1 can of chickpeas
-A lot of Lemon Juice
- A lot of Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 6 Garlic Cloves (Use more or less depending on what you like)
1) In a food processor blend the chickpeas and tahini
2) Add Lemon Juice, Olive Oil, Seasoning and the Paprika and Cumin
3) Add approx. 3 tbsp tap water until you get the consistency you desire
4) Serve with a dash of paprika on the top, a swizzle of oil and a sprinkling of parsley (which I forgot to do - typical)
The second dip I made was a basil pesto. (I also made enough to work as a pasta sauce). Compared to my hummus this worked out very well and I shall definitely be making it again and trying weird adaptations to see what flavours can be enhanced.
- 2 cups of fresh basil
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2/3 cup of olive oil
- 1/4 cup of pine nuts (+ extra to serve)
- 1/2 cup of cheese (Pecorino, or another sheep's milk cheese)
- In a food processor blend all of the ingredients together until you have a nice thick paste
- Toast some pine nuts and mix through the pesto for an alternative texture
- Serve and garnish as desired :)
|Basil Pesto Pasta|
Because I love Spain and all the foods it has to offer I decided to also use some chorizo to make a simple yet delicious halloumi and chorizo salad. All I did was dry fry the chorizo to release its fats in a frying pan. Then when it had gained a bit of colour I added cubed halloumi and a little seasoning. It is cooked once browned but not burnt. I tossed this over some fresh salad leaves and a little lemon juice. I would recommend to eat this immediately to get the full juiciness of the cheese and chorizo.
My next venture was Roasted Vegetables (Well
actually my mum put them together, I just stated what was to happen to them!) This is a really simple but yummy dish. All you do is chop up your desired vegetables, we used; peppers, garlic, aubergine, courgettes, red onion and baby vine tomatoes. Toss these with olive oil, balsamic, seasoning and a bit of thyme and fling in the oven for about 40 mins (make sure to cover the tray with aluminium foil to keep all the lovely flavours inside!) Just before serving I crumbled some goats cheese that helps accentuate the sweetness of the vegetables to make a wonderful harmony of flavours and colours!
|Marinated baby artichokes|
For this part we had a variety of cheeses, grapes, chocolates, ice cream, crackers and a couple of other things I attempted. The first is pictured here on the right. Caramelised Onion Jam. This is REALLY simple to make but one of my favourite things of all time and if you love cheese boards this makes a wonderful compliment. To make this all you need is a little oil, balsamic, honey/dark brown sugar and 3 onions (red or white - though I've tried both and red is definitely nicer!) To begin with heat 3 tbsp oil on a low heat. Place the chopped onion and slowly sautee for about 15-20 mins, until softened through completely. Then to caramelise add 3 tbsp of balsamic and honey (or sugar) for another 10 mins, still on a low heat. Serve immediately if you like it warm, for example on a burger. Or place in a clean jar and store in the fridge. This would also work as a fantastic topping on pastry with a little cheese crumbled on top. This is definitely worth a try!!!
My final venture was a recipe by Raymond Blanc (But I tweaked it a little - mostly because we didn't have all the ingredients). This is a very nice light cake, perfect after a hoard of food.
|oven explosion :D|
The only changes I made were I used brandy instead of dark rum and golden caster sugar instead of caster sugar (enhances the lemon flavour I think!)
Hope you enjoyed some of the things I had to show and that you get to try some out!