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Posts Tagged ‘feta’

Bubble & squeak with a simple Greek-style salad

Erika and I wanted to watch the tennis last night so didn’t spend too much time either thinking about or making dinner. In the end we ran into the kitchen at the start of the third set and were back not too many minutes later, just as it started to get interesting.

Whilst I made some bubble and squeak with leftover cabbage and mash from Sunday night, Erika prepared a simple salad of lettuce, cherry tomatoes, diced cucumber, feta and croutons which she dressed with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and oregano. We had the bubble and squeak and salad alongside a hard boiled egg, some sliced mature cheddar and plenty of crackers and rice cakes.

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Roasted peppers stuffed with rice, vegetables and feta cheese

Rob and I don’t always eat together as one of us may be set on having a particular meal, but the other’s just not interested! Tonight, Rob wanted fajitas so I let him go ahead while I set about trying to create something.

I fancied something that felt fresh and light and feta cheese came to mind, this reminded me of the feta-stuffed romano peppers we’d had and I decided that I’d stuff some peppers with a savoury rice, top it with feta and then bake it in the oven.

First thing’s first, the oven needed to preheat to about 200c. For the rice, I sweated off half a red onion (diced) with a crushed clove of garlic, a large flat mushroom (chopped) and seven quartered cherry tomatoes. When this had all softened I added 1/3 cup of rice (65g) and then 2/3 cup of water along with a sprinkling of vegetable stock powder. I gave it a quick stir and then brought it to the boil before reducing the heat as low as it would go and covering the pan. Ten minutes later, I took the pan off the heat and left the lid on to allow the rice to steam for a further 10 minutes (without the veg, this has been my foolproof method of cooking rice since I first discovered it a few years ago). Once the rice was cooked, I added some leftover cabbage and carrot from last night’s dinner, stirred through some chopped fresh basil and fresh thyme leaves along with a generous grind of black pepper.

At this point the rice smelt very strongly of mushrooms, which I hadn’t really wanted – I was after tomato more than anything. It didn’t taste too mushroomy though, but neither was it particularly tomatoey! I considered adding some tomato purée but concluded that this could just ruin it completely and settled for more quartered cherry tomatoes.

I halved two medium-sized red peppers lengthways and removed the stalk and seeds before stuffing them with the rice, topping them with cubes of feta (65g in total) and placing them on a baking tray (there was still enough rice left for a further two peppers – I’ll have it for lunch tomorrow). They were then baked for 30 minutes until the edges of the peppers were getting soft and crinkly and starting to get a little charred.

When I took the peppers out of the oven I was a little disappointed and wasn’t particularly looking forward to eating them, expecting them to be a little dry and really needing something to accompany them. I’m happy to tell you that I was wrong! The peppers themselves were sweet and juicy (I think roasted peppers may be one of the most delicious foods around) and the extra tomatoes I’d added had oozed into the rice to give the extra moisture and flavour that it needed. The feta was crisp on the outside and soft and creamy inside and lifted the rest of the dish from good to really really good.

P.S. The photo shows two pepper halves, but that portion was for aesthetic reasons only and I finished off both peppers!

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Sweet potato, spinach, feta & roasted pepper frittata

Rob is definitely the only proper cook in this household. I can competently follow a recipe and deliver something delicious at the end of it, but when it comes to having to think for myself I’m pretty rubbish. So I’m going to try and challenge that and see if I can sometimes just look to recipes for inspiration rather than prescription. Rob had a large lunch out today, so I was left to my own devices this evening and felt I owed you, our lovely readers, something a little more thoughtful than yet more tortellini!

I flicked through BBC Good Food’s 101 Meals for Two book and came across a recipe for feta and tuna frittata. The idea of frittata sounded good and I absolutely adore feta cheese, but I wasn’t really feeling the tuna so turned to Google to see where else I could take these ideas. I came across a Gordon Ramsay recipe for Sweet Potato, Spinach and Feta Fritatta and decided that sounded like a much nicer idea – I’d use the recipe’s flavours, but make it up as I went along.

First things first, I switched on the grill to let it preheat to a medium heat. I peeled and cut a medium sweet potato into chunks and then tossed them into a frying pan with some olive oil – I made my first two mistakes here, the pieces of sweet potato were much too large so never cooked through properly and the pan was on too high a heat so they browned a little too quickly. While the sweet potato cooked(ish), I diagonally sliced 4 small red spring onions (I’d have been quite happy using two normal spring onions, but Monday nights seem to be an awful time for food shopping – I had to go to three supermarkets just to find a sweet potato!) and added them to the pan. Next, I chopped up some baby spinach leaves, rescued a few bits of roasted pepper from an oily jar (washing them well) and then cracked four large free-range eggs into a bowl, whisking them together with a little salt and pepper. I then stirred the spinach and peppers into the sweet potato and spring onions along with some crumbled feta and a few shavings of Grana Padano cheese before adding the egg.

After a few minutes, when I could see the egg starting to set around the sides, I transferred the pan to the grill for a further few minutes until the top of the frittata had set. Mistake number three had now occurred; I ran a spatula around the sides of the pan and slid it onto a plate, but when I cut into it I realised that the egg hadn’t set completely in the middle and was still runny, boo 😦

I cut the frittata into quarters and had two of them alongside a simple salad of baby spinach, halved British santini tomatoes, some slices of that lovely red spring onion and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. The flavours of the frittata were lovely and worked beautifully together, but the slightly-too-firm sweet potato and sloppy egg didn’t offer the most amazing of textures. Oh well Erika, better luck next time!

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