Devilled Eggs on Sourdough

Devilled Eggs on Sourdough | Selma's Table The bastion of all things butter, Lurpak, commissioned a study into lunches and found that we are creatures of habit, eating the same things pretty much everyday. Other than food bloggers (who seem to eat the most amazing meals, if Instagram is anything to go by), most people seem to eat sandwiches, usually cheese and/or ham. Sandwiches do make a very easy option at lunch time but the filings don’t have to be so mundane. 10 minutes of preparation the night before ensures that you have a tasty, nutritious and delicious lunch for the next day that you will be really looking forward to. And probably eating at 11 a.m. because you can’t think of anything else! Devilled Eggs on Sourdough | Selma's TableFillings can be made on Sunday or in the evening after work and the sandwiches assembled in the morning or even at your desk/office kitchen. To stop sandwiches going soggy, butter your bread (with Lurpak, naturally) but pop your filing into a small container. The container can go into the fridge at work, while the bread can stay at room temperature. Then all you have to do is a quick assembly job before tucking into a freshly made and delicious sandwich. Below are some easy but tasty fillings. When Jake used to take a packed lunch, I used to make his sandwiches in the morning. It was usually a small baguette stuffed with one of the fillings below and lots of salad leaves too. At least once a week, by request, I also used to make one for one of his best friends – I don’t think his mum ever knew…

  • Fry off or roast some red and yellow peppers with a couple of sliced onions and keep them in the fridge. Spread a wrap generously with soft goats cheese, strew with the peppers, a little freshly chopped mint and rocket leaves and roll up, slice in half and wrap. (The cooked peppers and onions keep for 5 days at least, well covered, in the fridge.
  • Chop up a packet of pre-cooked prawns, a couple of spring onions, a little bundle of chives, half a mango, a few fresh coriander leaves. Include tiny squares of finely chopped red chilli if you like a little heat. Squeeze over some lemon juice and grind over some pepper. Taste to adjust seasoning. Take in a container along with a few whole baby gem lettuce leaves. Spoon the mixture into each lettuce leaf for a carb free lunch! (Fish and shellfish do not keep well so make this the night before.)
  • Chop up a portion of left over roast chicken (or roast off some thighs) and stir in a spoonful of pesto and a little creme fraiche or mayonnaise. Stuff into a buttered baguette and top with sliced tomatoes and a few basil leaves. (Roast chicken keeps for 3 or 4 days in the fridge)
  • Chop up a packet of chicken tikka pieces and stir through a little tzatziki and fresh mint. Spread a little mango chutney on a wrap, top with the chicken mix and a few salad leaves. Roll, slice and wrap.
  • Homous, shredded left over roast lamb and mâche lettuce are delicious in a wrap. You can substitute shredded carrot for the lamb to make it vegetarian and vegan.
  • A tin of well drained tuna and a finely chopped stick of celery, mixed with a really small amount of mayonnaise, lots of freshly ground black pepper and lemon juice can be put in a container along with a handful of cucumber slices and buttered bread of your choice. Assemble just before eating.

If you are avoiding carbs, most of these fillings can be eaten using lettuce leaves as the “bread” or just dolloped on top of lots of salad leaves and slices of cucumber. Elaine has a lovely recipe for mayonnaise on her blog, foodbod, if you want to have a go at making it yourself. Devilled Eggs on Sourdough | Selma's TableThese smoky devilled eggs are a favourite and the mixture keeps well for a couple of days in the fridge. Buy the best eggs you can afford – battery eggs taste of nothing – please don’t buy them. Look at the deep yellow colour of the yolks of these…

Eggs are a soft in texture and benefit from something crisp and salty on top. I had mine with salmon but Jake had his with crispy fried turkey bacon and it was a much nicer contrast in textures. Devilled Eggs on Sourdough | Selma's TableThe sharp, lemony beetroot or radish slices make a welcome contrast to the richness of the eggs. Devilled Eggs on Sourdough | Selma's TableThis is the crumb shot of my home made sourdough loaf made with my starter, Twinkle.

Devilled Eggs on Sourdough

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 large fresh eggs – organic or free range at room temperature
  • 3 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp smoky paprika
  • ¼ – ½ tsp cayenne pepper – adjust this to your palate or leave it out if there are young children involved.
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • lots of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley and or chives
  • 4 slices of sourdough bread
  • Lurpak butter

TOPPINGS

  • smoked salmon
  • crisp fried shallots or
  • crispy bacon/turkey bacon (chop and fry in a non stick pan with no added fat) or
  • chorizo cubes (fry in a non stick pan with no added fat, stirring frequently until it’s oil runs and the edges crisp up)
  • thinly sliced raw chioggia beetroots or radishes, tossed in a little lemon juice and salt.

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Place the eggs in a small lidded pot and cover with cold water. (If the eggs are fridge cold, cover with tap-hot water for 5 minutes then drain. The shells will crack otherwise) Place over medium low heat and bring to a boil. Let them boil for 1 minute then remove from the heat and let them sit, covered in the pot for 9-10 minutes. Drain and fill the pot with cold water to stop them cooking any further. Crack the shells (I give the fat end a bash in the sink) and put back in the cold water. The water gets between the membrane and the egg and makes it very easy to peel.
  2. While the eggs are cooking;  1. Put the shallots or bacon or chorizo on to fry. 2. Whisk together the mayo, smoky paprika, cayenne, salt and pepper in a medium sized bowl. 3. Slice the chioggia beetroot or radishes as thinly as you can and toss in lemon juice. 4. Chop the parsley/chives.
  3. Chop the boiled eggs  (smaller that in my photos as they are less likely to fall off the bread than chunky pieces) and stir into the mayonnaise mixture together with the parsley/chives. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. I don’t like too much mayonnaise but feel free to add more if you like your fillings creamier.
  4. Butter the bread and top with the eggs and crispy topping of your choice and a few slices of the lemony chioggia or radish slices on the side.
© Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table, 2015. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material, including photographs without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Advertisements

Plum and Cinnamon Cake

Plum and Cinnamon Cake | Selma's TableAs this blog has gathered pace and found it’s feet, so Jake has learned his place in the hierarchy – photos first, then he gets to eat. He always asks before cutting into a cake or digging into a casserole – well, until Sunday just gone. I baked this Plum and Cinnamon Cake, uploaded a quick snap to Instagram with a flippant remark about not being able to wait a day for it to settle and mature and woke up in the morning to find that there was a huge, messily cut piece missing from it!

Plum and Cinnamon Cake | Selma's TableJake had got in late, couldn’t resist the smell or the look of it, didn’t dare try to take the ring off the springform pan so cut it out the best he could. He said he thought I was sleeping which is why he didn’t ask. Well, I’m not one to get upset when it comes to food being eaten so I determined to do the best I could with it, when it came to the photos. A bit of crumb tidying, fruit prodding and a dusting of icing sugar took care of most of it but the missing slice is well and truly missing!!

This recipe was printed every autumn in the New York Times from 1983 until 1995 when Marian Burros, the food columnist (who got the recipe from Lois Levine, co-author of Elegant but Easy) said that it would not be re-printed, so this was the last chance to clip it out. I have seen it numerous times and in various versions around the web but Deb Perleman of Smitten Kitchen, who always manages to make me want to cook anything she makes, posted it recently and I caved.

Plum and Cinnamon Cake | Selma's TableThe batter is quite meagre and you will feel that it won’t be enough, once you spread it out and that maybe an additional egg or more baking powder or a smaller tin…don’t panic, don’t fiddle – it comes out perfectly. The original recipe calls for halved plums skin side up but I quartered mine so that some of flesh got the heat of the oven. And you want to go for tart, ripe ones for the best result. It does seem better the next day – the whole thing softens and the plums get jammy. And the smell – no wonder Jake couldn’t resist helping himself to a slice!!

Plum and Cinnamon Cake | Selma's TableThe cake rises just enough to cushion but not encase the plums and the combination of the sweet, tender, vanilla sponge, the tart juicy, jammy plums and the sugar and cinnamon dusted top is utterly heavenly! I am helping a friend host a Macmillian Coffee Morning fundraiser next week and this is definitely going to be served.

Plum and Cinnamon Cake | Selma's TableI’ve tweaked it a little – I’ve added vanilla to the batter and added less cinnamon to the top. Next time I may reduce the sugar a little too but if the plums are more on the tart side than the sweet sponge is the perfect foil for them. And it’s really easy to make. Quarter the plums and set aside. Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl and set aside. Cream the softened butter and sugar then add the eggs, one at a time, finally mix in the flour and scrape into the prepared tin. Arrange the plums over the top, sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar and bake!

Plum and Cinnamon Cake | Selma's Table
Plum and Cinnamon Cake | Selma's Table

Today, Elaine the inspirational blogger behind Foodbod and I are co-hosting Fiesta Friday #34 which is held by the generous, creative and wonderful Angie @ The Novice Gardener. Do take a look at Angie’s latest post – I mean, can food from the garden look any prettier? You can also see who has been featured from last week’s submissions. And what can I say about Elaine – she makes the most delicious looking and sounding food all of which is dairy, wheat and meat free – she also makes and sells her flavour packed dips and goodness bars so do take a look at her blog.

Click on the Fiesta Friday badge below to join the party – you can submit a post (be sure to include a link to Angie  FF#34 post – it’s only polite and also ensures that you can be considered for a feature next week!)  or just take a look at others are up to!  If you are new to blogging, Fiesta Friday is a great way to gain exposure and make new friends too.

If you’re new to Fiesta Friday, please read the guidelines.

fiesta-friday-badge-button-click-to-join1

Plum and Cinnamon Cake

  • Servings: 8 generous -12 skinny slices
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Adapted from Marian Burros’ Famous Purple Plum Torte  and Deb Perleman’s Smitten Kitchen Purple Plum Torte

INGREDIENTS

  • 140 g plain/AP flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of table salt
  • 150 g of golden, unrefined caster/superfine sugar
  • 115 g softened unsalted butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste or extract
  • 8 medium ripe, tart plums
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 2 Tbsp Demerara sugar

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 C/ 170C Fan assisted/ 350 F and prepare a 9 inch spring form pan by buttering the base and sides or using grease proof paper – see my tips and tricks page (Baking – tip 3) to read how to do this.
  2. Halve the plums and twist to remove the pits, then halve again and set aside.
  3. Place the flour, baking powder and salt in a cereal bowl and hand whisk to incorporate the 3 ingredients throughly.
  4. Place the butter and sugar in a medium sized mixing bowl and cream until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl a couple of times.
  5. Beat in the eggs, one at a time until well incorporated – scrape down the sides after each addition. It may look curdled but if you add a spoonful of the flour mixture all will be well again.
  6. Add the flour mixture and the vanilla paste/extract and beat only just until incorporated. Using a rubber spatula, scrape under to make sure that there is no raw flour and mix in if there is.
  7. Scrape into the prepared tin and smooth it out to cover the base. It will seem very scant but don’t worry – it will be enough!
  8. Arrange the plums from the outside into the middle, keeping it quite tight.
  9. Scatter over the cinnamon and the Demerara sugar and place in the pre-heated oven.
  10. Bake for 40-50 minutes. Insert a tester (toothpick or a bit of dry spaghetti) into the cakey part – if no batter is left clinging to it then it’s done. If there is batter clinging to it then pop it back in for 5 mins increments and keep checking.
  11. Try and make this the night before to let it mellow, covered and at room temperature, when it will be at it’s best.

© Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table, 2013, 2014. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material, including photographs without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Courgette, Red Pepper & Mint Gratin with Chèvre

Courgette and Red Pepper Gratin with Chèvre | Selma's Table

Such a glut of courgettes (zucchini) around – do you know that right now, the most popular recipe on my blog is Quick Summer Pickle – Sweet and Sour Courgettes? It gets more views every day than anything else at the moment! I love courgettes but unfortunately, Jake does not. No matter how I cook them, oven fries, griddled, sautéed, grated raw or ribboned  in a salad – he just picks them out and says that it is a texture thing. I can’t even fool him anymore by saying that it’s cucumber – he’s waaaay beyond that stage now!

So in order to satisfy my craving for them, I tend to cook them so that they will keep for a couple of days at least – that means gratins and stews. This one is a riff on the very first recipe I posted a year ago, Courgette, Feta and Thyme Bake. I still can’t photograph it that well – it’s not a looker but it tastes fabulous warm, room temperature  or cold.

This Courgette, Red Pepper & Mint Gratin with Chèvre is a good dish for a picnic or a barbecue as it can be made ahead and ideal for a buffet table as well. I like it on a slice of toasted sourdough with a rocket salad – it makes the perfect light lunch or supper. The combination of courgettes, mint, red pepper and goats cheese is lovely and fresh – perfect to see off the summer with.

Courgette and Red Pepper Gratin with Chèvre | Selma's Table

Courgette and Red Pepper Gratin with Chèvre | Selma's Table

My Courgette, Red Pepper & Mint Gratin with Chèvre is terribly easy to make. Sauté some shallots and peppers, then add the coins of courgettes, garlic and seasonings. While that is going on, mix up the custard – the eggs, creme fraiche and parmesan cheese. Then it’s just a matter of layering it all together and dotting it with chunks of chèvre (goats cheese) and popping it in the oven for half and hour or so. Now the trick with layering is to start off really parsimoniously – be as mean as you can get away with so that you have generous amounts left for the top layers. Printable recipe follows below, as always!

Courgette and Red Pepper Gratin with Chèvre | Selma's Table

Courgette and Red Pepper Gratin with Chèvre | Selma's Table

Courgette, Red Pepper & Mint Gratin with Chèvre

  • Servings: 4 - 8 servings
  • Print

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Tbsp rapeseed or mild olive oil
  • 2 large banana shallots or 1 medium onion
  • 1 large sweet red pointed pepper
  • 4 medium courgettes/zucchini
  • pinch of salt
  • pepper
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp vegetable bouillon powder
  • a splash of water
  • 1 tbsp fresh mint leaves finely chopped
  • 3 medium free range or organic eggs
  • 150 ml reduced fat creme fraiche
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 2 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese
  • 100 g of soft goats cheese/chèvre

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Pre-heat oven to 220 C/450F and butter an oven proof dish.
  2. Warm oil in a large frying pan over a medium low flame
  3. Slice shallots into half moons and stir in.
  4. De-seed and slice the red pepper and stir in. Add a pinch of salt and give it all a stir.
  5. Slice the courgettes into ½ cm coins. When the shallots start to caramelise and the peppers are starting to soften, stir in the courgettes. Let these sauté for about 5 – 7 minutes, stirring frequently so that the shallots don’t catch. The courgettes should be just cooked through and a little browned in places. It does help to use a big frying pan.
  6. Stir in the minced garlic, the rosemary and the bouillon powder and add a little splash of water and scrape up the delicious caramelised juices that will have stuck to the pan. Turn off the heat, stir in the mint and set aside to  cool while you get on with the eggs.
  7. Lightly whisk the eggs in a medium sized mixing bowl. Whisk in the creme fraiche , the lemon juice and the parmesan cheese. It will look slightly curdled and will thicken from the lemon juice but it is fine.
  8. In a well buttered ovenproof dish, layer a scant half of the vegetables and cover with a very scant half of the custard. Repeat, finishing by dotting blobs of the soft goats cheese over the top.
  9. Bake for 25-35 minutes until set and golden brown in places.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Serves 6/8 as side dish or 4 as a light lunch with salad

Also fabulous to take on picnics or in packed lunches.

© Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table, 2013, 2014. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material, including photographs without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Flourless Chocolate and Raspberry Torte

flourless-chocolate-and-raspberry-torteIt’s Friday and time to head on over to the friendliest virtual party going –  Angie’s Fiesta Friday; to catch up with everyone and enjoy the offerings they bring to the party. It’s not just food you know, although admittedly, that is the main thrust – just look at what else we’ve had recently…

  • Pang@CircaHappy brought these utterly stunning floral arrangements – Pang is a talented dynamo; her food is equally as beautiful and her photography is fabulous.
  • Megan@Firebonnet brought these amazing old Ladies Home Journals full of glorious hats from the early 1900’s. Megan has a joyful blog full of happiness, hope and art.
  • Rakhi@BlissBook  told us how she and her brother threw a surprise 30th anniversary party  for their parents, pulling it off magnificently despite her mother’s honed detective skills – a touching post with photos of pure happiness and joy that did make me well up a bit! 
  • Justine@ElecticOddsnSods brought some music to cook by and asked us to share our favourites too. Justine is at heart a writer and has three, yes I said three blogs, written in her inimitable and witty style.
  • Loretta@SafariOfTheMind shared her glorious gardens with us and they are quite something – jaw droppingly spectacular. Loretta has started blogging quite recently and her post on her trip to Kenya is quite the read.

So it’s not all delicious food, decadent puds and glamourous cocktails. Pour yourself an ice cold tall drink enjoy Fiesta Friday #20 which is very ably  hosted this week by Fae@Fae’sTwistandTango and Suzanne@PugintheKitchen. Fae needs little introduction – the original blog mother hen, she has nurtured and encouraged so many whilst maintaing a truly international, inspirational and delicious blog. Suzanne is a very creative and prolific cook who creates recipes for Wholefoods and my favourite website Food52. And how adorable are her pugs? Thank you ladies – it is going to be a blast!

If you blog, please do join in, reading the the guidelines first to get you going.

flourless-chocolate-and-raspberry-torteI, of course, stay true to my nature and bring something for the table. A rather grown up and glorious Flourless Chocolate and Raspberry Torte. A torte is defined as

a sweet cake or tart; from German Torte, via Italian from late Latin torta ’round loaf, cake’. Compare with tortilla

Oh, I do like a little word-history…

flourless-chocolate-and-raspberry-torteInspired by The River Cafe’s Easy Chocolate Nemesis Cake and Nigella’s Chocolate Meringue (which is my dinner party pudding of choice) , this is a dinner party pudding cake. With a crisp meringue exterior and a rich, dense, raspberry studded interior, it is a rather decadent affair. The espresso powder intensifies the chocolate flavour and the tart raspberries offset the sweetness.

flourless-chocolate-and-raspberry-torteWhile the torte is straightforward enough to make, there are a few crucial points that would be remiss of me not to highlight;

  • Take some time to line the sides and base of the tin with waxed paper.
  • The eggs must be at room temperature – they will not whip up to the volume required otherwise.
  • Ensure that the bowl and beaters for the egg whites are scrupulously clean – any bits of grease or egg yolk and they will not whip up as voluminously. Unless you have 2 sets of beaters, start with the whites first and then move onto the yolks.
  • Use large bowls – the whites whip up to 4-5 times their original volume.
  • When you are whipping the whites, add the sugar a little at a time.
  • This is a great article on the various stages of whipping egg whites (and cream)
  • Use a large metal spoon to fold in the egg whites – rubber spatulas destroy the volume.
  • When folding the second and third batches of egg whites, be gentle – don’t knock out the air. The whites are the only leavening agent.

flourless-chocolate-and-raspberry-torte

flourless-chocolate-and-raspberry-torte

flourless-chocolate-and-raspberry-torte

IMG_8172

flourless-chocolate-and-raspberry-torte
flourless-chocolate-and-raspberry-torte

Flourless Chocolate and Raspberry Torte

  • Servings: 10 - 12 slices
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

INGREDIENTS

  • 50 g (3 Tbsp) butter
  • 200 g (7 oz) 70% cocoa, dark chocolate, broken up
  • 6 large room temperature eggs, yolks and whites separated into 2 large bowls
  • 225 g (1 cup) caster/superfine sugar, divided in half
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp expresso powder
  • ¼ tsp salt (I used Maldon sea salt flakes)
  • 225g ripe raspberries
  • 1 x 23 cm/9″ springform baking tin, sides and bottom lined  with waxed paper

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Place the butter and the chocolate in a heat proof bowl and set over a pan of simmering water. The water should not  touch the bowl – the steam will heat and melt the chocolate and butter. Stir it every so often until melted, amalgamated and smooth. Alternatively, place in a microwave safe bowl, cover loosely and heat on 50% power, stirring every 30 seconds until melted and smooth – this should take about 2 minutes. I used the microwave. Leave it to cool whilst getting the rest of the ingredients ready.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F.
  3. Line the base and sides of the tin with waxed paper using a little butter to help it stick to the tin.
  4. Whip the egg whites in a large grease free bowl until foamy on a medium setting.
  5. Add the balsamic vinegar and whisk briefly.
  6. Increase the setting to high and start adding half the sugar very gradually. The mixture will start getting glossy and increase greatly in volume. Keep going until you get to the stiff peaks stage – when you pull your beaters out, the mixture forms a peak that doesn’t flop over.  Set aside while you get on with the egg yolks.
  7. Whip the egg yolks with the other half the sugar for about 3 or 4 minutes scraping down the sides of the bowl from time to time – the mixture will turn from gloopy and bright orange to a pale, thick and creamy mass.
  8. Add the espresso powder and the salt and whip to incorporate.
  9. Add the cooled but still liquid chocolate/butter mixture and whip again until it is evenly mixed.
  10. Using a large metal spoon, fold in the egg whites to the yolk/chocolate mixture in 3 batches. The first batch is really to temper or loosen up and lighten the yolk/chocolate mixture; fold in the remaining whites carefully trying to keep as much of the volume as you can.
  11. Scrape  into the prepared pan and top with the raspberries, pushing them in slightly.
  12. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out without any batter clinging to it.
  13. Cool in the pan, on a wire rack – it should collapse in the middle with a crisp meringue like shell and a fudgey centre, studded with raspberries.
  14. Serve in small slices with a little cream and a few fresh raspberries.

© Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table, 2013, 2014. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material, including photographs without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Orange and Coconut French Toast with Fruit

orange_coconut_french_toastEaster holidays are in full swing, which this year means LOTS of revision for GCSEs which start shortly after the beginning of next term. I made French Toast aka Pain Perdu aka Eggy Bread aka Gypsy Toast over the weekend and thought that you might appreciate a little reminder that it makes a really lovely and seasonal breakfast.

orange_coconut_french_toast

Years ago, when I lived in Weybridge, my brother came over from Canada to visit. He was probably about 19 or 20 and had a HUGE appetite in those days – I remember being astounded at how much food he could get through. He loves pointing out all the cultural differences between England and Canada – just recently commenting on how the English love living in tiny properties…I digress. We had a friend who owned a Novelle Cuisine restaurant in Hersham and she invited us to have a meal with her there. If this food fad passed you by, please click on the link for a visual. We started with a selection of tiny but beautiful amuse bouche with our aperitifs. Eventually our first course arrived –  a stunning looking plate of 3 slender asparagus spears, one quail’s egg with a 5 drops/dots/daubs of  hollandaise sauce. I deliberately avoided eye contact with my brother at this point. Our main course was served – my brother had chosen the steak – 3 tiny tournedos of filet mignon looking stylish and very, very  small indeed on the large white plate…I choked back a giggle and didn’t dare look at him for fear of disgracing myself – I mean it was such a lovely gesture for our friend to host us at her restaurant, right? He  leaned over to me and said, “What’s this? A snack?!” Yes, I was both mortified and hysterical with laughter. We ended up getting some pizzas on the way back that evening…

orange_coconut_french_toast

I remember making a version of this French Toast for him which I think had rum or brandy in it; whichI baked in the oven – I  really was a novice in the kitchen back then and didn’t feel confident enough to fry them. It had a great flavour but not such a nice mouth feel.  I now always add something to the eggy mix and it is usually orange zest and cinnamon. This time I thought that coconut might be nice and it was. I also knocked up a quick fruit topping which was absolutely delicious.

orange_coconut_french_toast

So this is what you do…

orange_coconut_french_toastFirst, get the fruit ready – it really elevates this fairly simple dish into something weekend-worthy…Put a pan on to heat and slice up one banana per person. Put a pat of butter in and let it sizzle over med low heat. Add the banana slices and let their natural sugars caramelise (not on too high a heat or they will just burn) on one side – start segmenting an orange in the meantime – I had a blood orange left so used that. Then flip the banana slices over and carry on segmenting the orange. If the butter browns a little that is great – just keep an eye on the heat so that nothing burns. Once the banana slices are done, turn off the heat and toss in the orange segments, squeeze over any juice left in the membrane and in the bowl and toss in a few blueberries. The residual heat will warm everything up and make it absolutely delicious! (Please click the link to watch a short demo on segmenting citrus fruit, if you are unfamiliar with the technique.)

orange_coconut_french_toastThen get on with the egg mixture. Beat some eggs and a splash of milk in a dish; sprinkle over some cinnamon, grate in the zest of an orange

orange_coconut_french_toastand stir in some coconut.

orange_coconut_french_toastPut a large frypan on medium low flame to heat up and  dunk the bread in the eggy mix. (And yes, that is Hovis, Best of Both – my concession to Jake’s inevitable request for – what I call – white plastic bread, in the holidays.)

orange_coconut_french_toastPut some butter in the pan to heat up and flip the slices of bread over to soak on the other side. This type of bread soaks up an amazing amount of liquid…

orange_coconut_french_toastOnce the butter is sizzling, place the bread in the pan and cook gently for 2 or 3 minutes. I don’t add sugar to the egg mix because I find that then the  bread burns on the outside and is raw in the middle – I serve maple syrup on the side instead. Check the state of play by lifting a corner of the bread slices to see how they are coming along. Once they have browned nicely on one side, flip them over and  do the same – they won’t need as long on the second side.

orange_coconut_french_toast

Serve with maple syrup, honey, icing sugar, fruit – whatever takes your fancy.

 

orange_coconut_french_toast

Orange and Coconut French Toast with Fruit

  • Servings: 1-2 depending on the bread
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

INGREDIENTS

For the fruit

  • 1 medium banana per person cut into 1 cm slices
  • 1 small orange per person, segmented – save the any juice including what is left in the membrane
  • ¼ cup of blueberries per person
  • 1 tsp of butter per person

For the french toast

  • 2 large eggs
  • ⅓ cup of milk (approx 3 tablespoons)
  • ½ tsp of cinnamon
  • ½ tsp of vanilla extract
  • zest of one orange
  • 1 Tbsp coconut – desiccated
  • 2 slices of large sandwich bread or 4 slices of something smaller and not as absorbent!
  • 1 tsp of butter – please – just eyeball it!
  • ½ tsp icing sugar

To serve

  • Maple syrup, golden syrup, honey, agave nectar…
  • creme fraiche or yoghurt
  • Fresh fruit if you prefer – strawberries, blueberries, bananas, peaches, mango etc.
  • Fruit compote

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Put a small frying pan on a medium flame to heat up. Add butter when the pan is hot and once the butter is sizzling a little, add the banana slices in one layer , turning down the heat if necessary and allow to caramelise on one side.  Check after 1 or 2 minutes and when ready, flip over and do the same with the other side.  Once the slices are done, turn the heat off, scatter over the orange segments, juice and blueberries, shaking the pan gently to mix.
  2. Crack eggs into a container which will comfortably fit at least one slice of bread – one large enough for two or more slices would be better. Add the milk, cinnamon and vanilla and whisk until there are no traces of yolk or white remaining. Zest the orange directly over the egg mix and sprinkle in the coconut – mix well.
  3. Put a frying pan on a medium flame to heat up.
  4. Lay the bread in the egg mix and allow to soak for about 30 seconds to a minute, depending on what type of bread you are using. 2 slices of sandwich bread soaked up all the eggy mix but if you use smaller, less absorbent bread you should be able to double the amount you can make.
  5. Put the butter in the hot pan to melt and turn the heat down a little.
  6. Flip the slices of bread over and let them soak up the remaining eggy mix.
  7. Swirl the butter round the bottom of the pan to coat it well then transfer the soaked slices of bread into the pan.
  8. Let this cook for about 3 minutes or so but do check from time to time, that it is not burning – the idea is to cook the egg through to the centre of the bread whilst the bottom turns golden brown and crispy. It is better to lower the heat and cook for a little longer rather than have the heat too high and char the bread, obviously.
  9. Flip the bread over and cook the second side for 2 minutes or so.
  10. Remove to plates and serve with the warm fruit, a dollop of creme fraiche and the syrup of your choice

 

 

Courgette, Feta and Thyme Bake

IMG_3752

Pinterest is the rabbit hole of the internet for me. It has led me to many a new discovery; from art to icons, amazing interiors and gardens and food of course. If there is one thing that can be said about Pinterest is that it is absolutely bursting at the seams with food pictures from pinners all over the world.

We have had an amazing summer this year and the courgettes have been absolutely delicious. Whilst I love them raw, shredded and dressed with lemon, olive oil with shavings of parmesan cheese and a sprinkle of fresh mint or griddlled and added to a couscous, I am always on the lookout for new recipes. So when I came across this pin which led me to this recipe, I knew that it would become a summer regular at my table. It is light and lemony with depth from the golden onions, salty with feta and with a wonderful herbal note from the thyme. It is absolutely delicious!

IMG_3737

You gently sauté an onion until it is golden, stir in some minced garlic and thyme leaves then sauté courgette slices until they have just started to soften and are coated in the delicious flavoured oil.

IMG_3741

You take a couple of eggs; and these are some of the most delicious eggs I have ever eaten, from a biodynamic farm in Sussex that I get from our local Farmers Market.

IMG_3742

Whisk them lightly, then stir in lemon juice, sour cream, grated parmesan and feta cheese.

IMG_3743

Layer a scant half of the courgettes in the bottom of a well buttered baking dish

IMG_3744

and cover with a really scant half of the egg mixture, spreading it as necessary to cover the courgettes.

IMG_3746

Then do the same again, finishing with a handful of halved cherry tomatoes.

After baking, let it cool down a little to have warm with some seared salmon or roast chicken or have as a lovely light lunch with a salad. It would also be terrific to take on a picnic.

IMG_3749

I had half a pack of feta left over which I find always goes off before I can use it. So this time I cubed and packed it into a tiny little jar with thyme and covered the cubes with olive oil and popped it in the fridge.  Use in salads or when roasting red peppers…

Courgette, Feta and Thyme Bake

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Adapted from Kalyn’s Kitchen.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 4 medium courgettes
  • 1-2 Tbsp worth of fresh thyme leaves depending on how much you like thyme
  • 1 Tbsp mild olive oil (don’t waste extra virgin on frying)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 150g sour cream which is half a tub
  • 100g feta cubed or crumbled
  • 2 Tbsp grated parmesan which you can judge by eyeballing the pile
  • 1/2 a lemon
  • A handful of cherry tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees C.
  2. Start by warming the olive oil in the pan on a medium heat. Peel, halve and slice the onion into half moons and tip into pan, sprinkling with a little salt to help release the water in the onions. Wash the courgettes and slice into rounds that are about as thick a pound coin. Keep an eye on the onions, stirring from time to time so that they don’t catch and burn. Stir in the garlic and the thyme leaves. I added a splash of water to help keep everything going at this point. Then tip in the sliced courgettes and sauté for about 4 or 5 minutes – long enough to only just soften them and coat them in the lovely oil. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  3. Lightly whisk the eggs then stir in the sour cream, parmesan, feta, the juice from squeezing that lemon half and some cracked black pepper. It will feel thick and look a little curdled from the lemon juice. The cheeses are both quite salty so you shouldn’t need any additional salt.
  4. In a well buttered ovenproof dish, layer a scant half of the courgettes and cover with a very scant half of the egg mix. Repeat, finishing with a scattering of the halved cherry tomatoes.
  5. Bake for 25- 30 minutes. The original recipe call for 40 minutes but that is much too long in my oven that seems super hot. I checked after 20 minutes and it was almost done so I took it out after 30 minutes.
  6. Let it cool a little before serving warm.

Serves 6 as side dish or 4 as a light lunch with salad

© Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table, 2013. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material, including photographs without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.