Saturday, August 04, 2007

August 4th, 2007

Sorry for taking a while to post again. Been a bit hectic and busy here. First off it is summer break from school(my place of employment) Anyway break starts out okay and I have a few days of rest.... then we decided to do a bit of DIY. Thought hmmmm we will do the bathroom as that is the smallest room in the house.... Ended up taking at least two days before it was finished!!!! Then my stepson and his partner were coming for lunch on the weekend so I had to decide what to cook and start cooking. Sorry but I just didn't take any photos. I went Carribean for the meal. Well tried to. My starter the one I had posted earlier of Avacado mousse and prawns, I did modify and added crab to the mousse along with some chopped red pepper. It was much better.
Then I fixed redbeans and coconut rice and a tropical veg ratatouille and we had baked spicy halibut and swordfish with a mango salsa. By that time we were stuffed!!!! But I had made them their fav biscuits(cookies for the Americans) Snickerdoodles and also made some Zucchini(Courgette for the Brits) Bread. They were well impressed with the bread. I will need to make some more and post the recipe for all my British friends who have never tried using Courgettes as a sweet. It is such a versatile vegetable and I have lots of different recipes for using it. Guess that is why it is one of my favourites.
Well anyway it was either the same day or the day after, Brian said he wasn't feeling well. We had thought he had pulled a muscle while painting or gardening and he said he thought he had a cold. By the next day we both were feeling like we had colds and a bit on the fluey side. Then he got a bit of a rash. Well off to the docs..... I wasn't sure if I had poisoned him or not. LOL I made him take an echinacea pill to help make the cold easier. I took one also....but didn't get a rash. Anyway come to find out it wasn't the pill, thank goodness it was Shingles!!! Neither of us has dealt with this before and it really does hurt and makes you listless and tired. Along with the rash turing to blisters. Well after about 4 or so days he is doing a bit better now. And I didn't have any time to be ill. Just got on with things. So that is why I haven't been posting lately.
I did look up on the internet some things that can help with this illness. Vitamin A, C and E and chocolate.... Sooooo I bought him some Kitkats for the chocolate part and I have been making him Smoothies for the past few days to help with his vitamins. And he is on a meds from the docs and has his calamine lotion. He asked the doc what he should avoid (thinking about wine and the likes) and she says Pregnant women. I told him he couldn't have any of them anyway.

Here we have a Tropical smoothie in the making!! In the blender went 1/2 papaya, 1/2 mango, 1 banana, 4 strawberries, juice of a lime, 1/2 tin pineappler chunks and a bit of juice and some orange juice, a tray of ice cubes and about 3 tablespoons yougurt. Whizz it all up and enjoy!!!

My friend Fiona (Cottage Small Holder) and I were having a little chit chat about Chips. I love chips probably almost as much as her Danny. These are the ones I make from scratch when I don't have any frozen ones in the freezer. You can use any oil you like and can either spray the chips with it or put a glug in the roasting tin and then toss the chips in the oil. I take a couple of potatoes and wash them and cut into half lengthwise. Then cut each half into four. Either spray with oil (Olive or rapeseed) or toss in oil. I have two very huge lovely rosemary bushes that are growing in my front garden so I just pick a couple of sprigs and tear the leaves off and sprinkle over the potatoes. (I do wash the sprigs off first) then you can either toss in some whole unpeeled garlic cloves or peel and slice. Depends on my mood which I do.

Bake in a 200°C oven for about 20 to 30 minutes until brown. Depends on how crispy you like your chips.

Ohhh getting hungry now!!!

Savoury Cake
Okay I have done it again. I have attempted to make the French savoury cake recipe again. Mine still doesn't quite look like the one in the photo of the magazine I have. I will post both my recipe and the French version too, so that anyone that can translate may tell me what I am not doing quite right.
Courgette and Ham Cake with a Lemon Yogurt Sauce.
(I didn't make the lemon yogurt sauce, just the cake)
150 g ham chopped fine
400g courgettes grated
250 g plain flour
1/2 pkt yeast *****UPDATE (This should be Baking Soda as per an anonymous comment below) Thanks!!!!
1 Tablespoon mustard (optional, only because I forgot to add it this time)
100 g grated emmental or cheddar cheese
3 eggs
100 ml olive oil
salt and pepper
Lemon zest
200ml yogurt separated into 100 mls
1/2 onion chopped fine
1 large garlic clove
2 teaspoons dried oregano
First mix your flour, yeast, and salt (I added about two teaspoons of sugar this time to help the yeast) in a large bowl. Mix eggs, 100ml yogurt and the olive oil together and add to the flour mixture.

Let this set for about 20 to 25 minutes to let the yeast work a bit.

Meanwhile grate the courgette and squeeze out as much moisture as you can. I bet I got about 1/2 cup or more from this amount of grated courgettes. I didn't save the liquid, but I bet it would be good in a soup or something like that.

Chop the ham up into a fine dice and I added the oregano to this.

Next sweat off the onion and the minced clove of garlic. And then add to the ham mix.

After the 20 minutes or so, mix in the ham mixture, the grated cheese (I used Cheddar this time round) and squeeze out the courgette and add this all to the flour mixture and stir till blended.
Preheat oven to 200°C. Put mixture into a greased and floured loaf tin and bake for 45 minutes. Turn down heat to 180 °C and bake for another 10 minutes. If it starts to brown too quickly you can cover with foil. Serve with Yogurt and lemon zest.

It was a bit salty tasting this time and not as wet as last time. It is sort of a cross between a souflé, a quiche and a bread. Very hard to describe. Can be eaten warm or cold.

Okay here is the French version in French of course!

Cake aux courgettes et au jambon, sauce au citron
Pour 6 à 7 personnes
La veille. Prépartion: 35 mn. Cuisson: 45 mn
Le jour même. Finition: 5mn
1 talon de jambon blanc de 150g
400g de courgettes
250 g de farine
1/2 paquet de levure chimique
1 c. à soupe de moutard forte
100 g d'emmental râpé
2 yaourts nature
3 oeufs
8 cl d'huile d'olive
poivre du moulin
le zeste d'1 citron
La veille: laver les courgettes, en réserver une. Râper les autres grossiérement. Les mettre dans une passoire., les saler et les laisser dégorger 20 mn. Couper le jambon en petits dés.
Dans un saladier, verser la farine en fontaine avec une pincée de sel et la levure. Ajouter au centre les oeufs, 1 yaourt et l'huile d'olive. Mélanger progressivement à l'aide d'une cuillé-
re en bois jusqu'à l'obtention d'une préparation homogéne. Ajouter la moutarde, le fromage, les courgettes râpées dégorgées. Saler et poivrer. Bein mélanger.
Préchauffer le four à 200 °C. Verser la pâte dans un moule à cake antiadhésif et mettre au four pendant 45 mn en baissant la température à 180 °C au bout de 10 mn. Laisser tiédir le cake avant de le démouler. L'evelopper dans aun papier d'aluminium jusqu'au lendemain.
Le jour Même: à l'aide d'un Économe, prélever de larges bandes dans la courgette restante. Les blanchir 30 sec à l'eau bouillante salée puis les fafraîchir et les égoutter. Mélanger le dernier yaourt avec le zeste du citron. Saler et poivrer. Décorer la sauce d'une bande de courgette et disposer les autres en accordéon sur le cake. Le trancher et le déguster à l'apéritif (dans ce cas, le couper en petits dés), lors d'un pique-nique ou bien en hours0d'oeuvre avec la sauce.

I have several French cooking magazines and there are different versions of this cake in some of them. All of which look really appetizing. If I can perfect the actual bread like cake bit to this recipe I would like to try different combinations. But at the moment the experiments are rather tasty!!!!


Cottage Smallholder said...

Oh Pat, what bad luck to get Shingles (poor Brian too). I do hope that you are feeling better soon.

All your recipes look enticing. I must try those chips, Danny will love them!

Pat said...

Thanks Fiona!! It has been a bad week or so here. He really hasn't been feeling well, but luckily he is getting better and that means he will be back to eating again. So I will be cooking more again.
Hope Danny likes the chips!!

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

I wish him a speedy recovery. I lived with my Grandmother for years when I was growing up and I remember her getting shingles. She was laid up for quite a while and I know she found the pain dreadful.

I'm sure your lovely food will see him well in no time.

Cynthia said...

I hope that Shingles and Brian get better soon.

Boy, what a comeback you make after an absence, the smoothie, chips, cake etc all look yummy. They've made me hungry too so I'm off to get a bite now.

Pat said...

Thanks Amanda and Cynthia, he is on the road to recovery now. We had another of those smoothies yesterday minus the lime and strawberries and it was quite refreshing in this heat we are having.

Crafty Gardener said...

Pat, didn't know you worked in a school too. Your chips look delicious, gotta try them when it cools down enough to put the oven on. Hope Brian is feeling better soon.

Pat said...

Thanks Linda, Yup I am a Reprographics Technician, actually an asstitant one now. LOL I only work two mornings a week during term time. Hope you enjoy the chips!

Patricia Scarpin said...

Pat, it's great to have you posting again! :)

And you're back in grand style, aren't you? Those potatoes are mouthwatering!

Pat said...

Thanks Patricia!!!

Anonymous said...

"Levure chimique" is "baking powder" NOT yeast. This isn't a yeast bread it is a "quick bread."

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