Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Italian inspired tomato sauce

I made this up when creating a tomato and mushroom tart and it seemed to work out really well and I enjoyed it :)

2 large tomatoes, (sliced thinly)
5 cherry tomatoes, (halved)
1 onion, (thinly sliced)
3 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
5 'large' button mushrooms, (sliced as thinly as you prefer)
1/4 red bell pepper, (cubed/roughly chopped)
1 400g tin of chopped tomatoes,
1 tbsp dried mixed herbs,
1/2 tsp salt,
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper,
Pinch of white pepper,
Pinch of cayenne pepper.

In a small saucepan add 1 tsp of butter with 1 tsp rapeseed oil (or any flavourless oil of your choosing) and add the sliced onion and sauté for about 10 minutes until golden and translucent. Add the garlic and the sliced large tomatoes and cherry tomatoes. Put the lid on the pan and cook on a very low heat for 5/10 minutes, checking halfway for any sticking to the bottom of the pan. Add the bell pepper, turning the heat up, cook for a minute or two. Add the tin of chopped tomatoes, herbs and seasoning and simmer for 10 minutes. If the sauce is too thick add some water. 10 minutes before serving, add the mushrooms so they are tender but still have 'bite' to them.

Suitable for serving in a tart, with pasta or spaghetti or with baguette!

I served this in my italian inspired shortcrust pastry with a layer of egg...
2 eggs, (whisked)
50ml milk,
Large pinch of salt,
Pinch of white pepper,
Pinch of cracked black pepper,
Pinch of cayenne pepper.

This creates a contrast between the rich sauce and the neutral flavour of the egg base.


Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Italian inspired savoury shortcrust pastry

This was just something I made for a tomato and mushroom tart and I came up with this pastry basically on the spot. And it worked out really really well...


1 cup chilled cubed butter,
2 1/2 cups self-raising flour,  (this is all I had in and it worked really good)
1/2 cup cold water,
2 heaped tbsp finely grated parmasean cheese,
1 tbsp dried mixed herbs,
1/2 tsp salt,
1/2 tsp black pepper,
1/4 tsp white pepper.


Mix together the flour, cheese, herbs and seasoning in a bowl.
(For the next step, I used an electric hand mixer with the dough attatchment) a stand mixer would be perfect.
Turn the mixer on low and slowly add the butter. This should take about 5 minutes. Then whisk for another minute or so on high until the mixture looks like golden break crumbs, you may still have clumps of butter left, but as long as they are no bigger than a 5p peice its fine. If you have clumps much bigger than this then continue mixing on high for another minute or two.
Then with the mixer on low again, slowly poor in the water approximately a tablespoon at a time. When big clumps of pastry begin to form, touch to check its not too sticky or crumbly so you know when to stop adding water.
Then form a thick pastry disk and wrap it in foil or cling film and place im freezer for 10-20 minutes. This is allow it to firm up slightly and allow the gluten in the flour to relax after being worked when being mixed.
Then very lightly flour your surface, the part of your pastry facing upward and your rolling pin.
Roll out to fit your dish and chill again once in dish.

(I rolled it out to a thickness of about 1/4 of an inch in a 9.5" ceramic dish and blind baked it for 10 minutes in a 210 degree fan oven, before adding a thin filling.)

Enjoy :) x


Hey! I've not looked or even thought about this site for a while! Apologies!!
Its been way too long and id like to get back on this :)
Ive been away from blogger/blogspot since started exams and being busy 24/7 but now that I have way too much time on my hands then I thought why not start back up on this. Ive also been cooking a lot recently after a short hiatus.
I start college soon on a catering course so my interest has spiked again, finally.
I hope to release new and improved recipes soon :):):)

HK x