Potato and Spinach Bake

I saw this recipe on Pinch of Yum site and immediately wanted to try it. The suggestion was that it’s a breakfast/bruch casserole dish, but I think it’s great at any time of day on its own with some nice crispy salad or as a side dish perhaps. I’ve slightly adapted this to match my taste, but you can check out the original recipe here. It’s a lovely site, by the way, if you haven’t heard about it.

POTATO AND SPINACH BAKE

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

4 any preferred good quality sausages

2 teaspoons chilli powder

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1 tablespoon minced garlic

3 handfuls of fresh spinach, roughly chopped

2 large eggs

1/3 cup of milk

1 cup of grated raw potatoes

1/2 cup of grated mozzarella cheese

salt & pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Heat up the oven to 200C. Grease the medium oven proof dish and set aside.
  2. Heat up the flying pan over medium heat with the 1 tablespoon of olive oil, add the chopped onions and sauté it until it becomes soft and translucent.
  3. Take the sausages, peel off their outer skin by gently cutting the skin in the middle and peeling it off with your fingers. Then crumble the sausage meat in rough chunks over the onion. Then add chilli powder and onion powder. Mix well and continue cooking until it brown and fully cooked. Transfer this mixture to the prepared oven dish, distribute evenly on the bottom.
  4. Add the rest of the olive oil to the frying pan, add the garlic and gently cook t for a few minutes, do not allow it to burn. Add the spinach and stir until whilted for a few more minutes. Then scatter over the sausage mixture.
  5. In a mixing bowl, using fork, mix together the eggs, milk, mozzarella cheese, raw potatoes, salt and pepper. Pour over the sausage and spinach mixture.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the top is golden brown or until it springs back when touched.
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Cheesy Leek and Potato Soup

There was a program on TV this morning, explaining the origin of St. David’t Day and traditional Welsh food. They had laverbread (unfortunately, I’ve never tried it yet 😦 ), Glamorgam Sausages (which I’ve tried once and I loved it!), Cawl (it is a Welsh stew with lamb and leeks), Welsh cakes and many other delicious and authentic food. I thought I have to make something today at least remotely close to Welsh cuisine. As I had a nice looking couple of leeks in the fridge and recently saw a recipe for Potato and Leek soup on Andrea’s blog here, decision was made quickly 🙂 I also made dinner rolls, based on stout and honey, to go with the soup. Although, in her recipe Andrea uses Stilton, which I love but we had only Cheddar today and it paired well too. Also, I didn’t have cream and I could supplement with some milk but after blending I had a taste and it was perfect as it was.

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CHEESY LEEK AND POTATO SOUP

(Based on Andrea’s recipe taken from her blog Ten More Bites)

Ingredients:

2 tab spoons of butter

2 medium leeks or 1 huge one (in my case), sliced

4 potatoes, peeled and cubed,

1 stalk celery, chopped

1.5 litres vegetables stock

salt & pepper to taste

grated Cheddar to serve

Method:

1. Heat the butter in a large pan and add the leeks. Cook for 3-4 minutes until starting to soften, add the potatoes and sauté for a few more minutes, after add vegetable stock, season well with salt and pepper.

2. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the vegetables are tender, for about 20-25 minutes.

3. Remove from the heat, whizz with a hand blender or in a blender until smooth. Serve with grated Cheddar (or Stilton, or any other your favourite cheese) on top, with some fresh crusty bread.

Happy St. David’s Day! 🙂

Layered Fish Salad ‘Mimosa’

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This is my interpretation of one of the traditional Russian/Latvian salads called ‘Mimosa’  and originally made during big celebrations/holiday, especially Easter time, because of the colours and the eggs in it. You can use any tinned fish for this salad but most importantly, the salad must be prepared a few hours before serving to allow layers to soak (it is perfect for dinner parties as it could be made the day before and kept in the fridge). Originally these type of salads are always are made with mayonnaise, so it is not for those who are on a diet, and it is another reason why it is a special treat only for the special occasions, but  the taste is very tender and light.

LAYERED SALAD ‘MIMOSA’

Ingredients:

1 tin tuna (or any other preferred fish)

2 potatoes

2 carrots

4 hard boiled eggs

1 small onion (finely chopped)

2 pickled gherkins

1 cup mayonnaise

Method:

1. Do not peel potatoes and carrots. Just wash them and place in a pot with boiling water, adjust the heat and leave it to cook until they feel tender when you prod them with a knife. When vegetables are ready, just take them out of the water and leave it to cool so you can peel their skin off. When the vegetables are skinned and cool, start assemble the salad.

2. In a small bawl mix the tuna, onion and couple spoons of mayonnaise. Spread the mix on a dish you are going to serve from.

3. Then layers go as following: grated potatoes, mayonnaise, grated gherkins, mayonnaise, grated carrots, mayonnaise, then grated egg whites and top it with grated egg yolks.

4. Leave it in fridge over night or at least for a few hours. Serve as a starter.

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Parcel-Pie


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I’ve been making this pie (originally adopted from Nigela’s Domestic Goddess book)  a lot recently and I’ve tried all sort of fillings, using rice, cous cous, lentil along with different vegy selection, but this version still remains my favourite.

 

COURGETTE, SPINACH AND CHICK PEA FILO PIE

Ingredients:

1 pack of ready made filo pastry

100 g melted butter

1 yellow onion

3 courgettes (diced, unpeeled)

300 g spinach

1 can of chick peas, drained

200 g feta cheese (cut in cubes)

2 medium cooked potatoes (cubed)

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon ground coriander

2 tablespoon olive oil

salt, pepper

Plus: 22cm springform tin

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 200C.

2. In a large frying pan gently fry the cumin seeds and onion in the olive oil until the onion is soft. Add the rest of the spices, courgette and cook on a fairly high heat to prevent the courgettes becoming watery. When they are soft but still holding their shape, add the spinach and quickly cook until it just starts to wilt. Tip it over in a big bowl, let it to cool slightly.

3. Add cut potatoes, can of drained chick peas and cubed feta cheese, mix everything to combine and check seasoning.

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4. Brush the inside of the springform tin with some melted butter. Line the bottom and sides of the tin with 3/4 of the filo pastry, buttering each sheet as you layer. Leave a little filo overlapping the sides, and keep 3-4 layers for the top. Carefully put in your filling and then fold in the overlaps. Cover with the final coat of butter and put in the oven for about 20 minutes or until the filo is golden.

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P.S: As you can see there are some carrots on a last picture and there are no carrots in my recipe. I have to confess, I just had a two carrots left from the roast night before, so I just added the into the pie too (I hate to waste:))

Sorrel Soup

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It is one of my favourite spring soups from my childhood. Deliciously tart, light but rich in vitamins soup, which is equally good hot or cold! The main ingredient of this soup of course, sorrel.

The sorrel leaves contain a set of vitamins and minerals – potassium, iron, copper, magnesium, sodium, fluorine, zinc.

The sorrel soup is usually prepared very quickly: the whole process takes no more than 20 minutes. What takes the longest is to make a stock (or you can use a ready made, if you wish). My personal preferences to make it stock. 

The main thing to remember is that sorrel cooks very quickly: to add it to the soup should be a few minutes before end of cooking.

SORREL SOUP

Ingredients:

4-5 (500g) potatoes 

2 carrots grated

1 medium yellow onion finely chopped

500 g sorrel

2 tablespoon olive oil

4-5 hard boiled eggs (cooked and roughly chopped)

3.5 litres water or stock

salt
spring onions 

Method:

1. If you are not using ready made stock, start with the cooking it first. I think the best stock for this soup is made from chicken or pork. This time I made the second one, simply by using a few pork chops on a bone, cook it until it boils in about 3 litres of water, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 40 minutes until pork is cooked and tender, and stock is rich and flavoursome. Fish the meat out and leave aside.

 

2. Potatoes cleaned, washed and cut into cubes. Add the potatoes in a saucepan with the prepared stock. Boil potatoes until tender.

3. Meanwhile, sauté the onion in olive oil till it tender, add the grated carrot, continue cooking until vegetable slightly golden, add to the soup.

3. Sort out and wash the sorrel, cut roughly. Add it to the soup, bring it to the boil and turn off the heat. Season to your taste.

4. Serve soup garnished with the chopped eggs, spring onion and generous dollop of sour cream.