Category Archives: Cheese

Baked Ricotta With Oregano

This is a great gluten free alternative to quiche and savoury tarts.

If you don’t have Pecorino Romano, a sheeps milk hard cheese, Parmesan works brilliantly too and the oregano can be swapped with fresh thyme.

Serves 4-6.

Ingredients

750g smooth soft ricotta

4 eggs, beaten

150g Pecorino Romano, finely grated

12 oregano sprigs, leaves picked and roughly chopped

Freshly ground pepper

Method

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Centigrade.

Grease a 21cm side sprung loose bottomed cake tin. Line the base and sides with baking parchment, make sure that you have an overlap on the base to ensure nothing can leak out.

In a large bowl whisk all of the ingredients reserving a little cheese and oregano to top the ricotta.

Spoon the ricotta mixture into the prepared tin, smooth out the top and then sprinkle over the reserved cheese and oregano.

Place the cake tin on a baking sheet and slide into the oven. Bake for 30 minutes and then turn the oven down to 160 degrees Centigrade and bake for a further 15-20minutes until the ricotta is golden and set. 

Allow to cool a little in the tin before gently loosening the sides and pulling off the baking parchment.

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Cheese And Bacon Puffs

I have shared my cheese puff recipe before but these combine two of my all time favourite foods.

These little gems are crispy on the outside, slightly gooey on the inside and utterly delicious!

I like to use a smoked bacon as it gives more flavour.

Makes 48-60 mini muffin sized puffs. Leftover batter happily lives in the fridge for 48hours.

Ingredients

200g bacon

350g tapioca flour

170g Cheddar, grated

2 eggs

150mls oil

350mls milk

A pinch of cayenne pepper

A little salt

Method

Over a high heat, fry the bacon until crispy and the fat has rendered.

Spoon the cooked bacon onto some absorbent kitchen towel and squeeze to get as much fat out as you can.

Place the bacon in a food processor and pulse to create bacon crumbs.

Now add all of the remaining ingredients and whizz to form a thick batter.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Centigrade.

Grease 2 x 24 hole mini muffin tin, I just use the fat from the bacon!

Fill the muffin hole to two thirds and pop the tin in the oven.

Bake for 15-18 minutes. 

Depending on the size of your muffin tins you may have batter leftover, you can repeat the above or cover and keep it in the fridge, it will last 48 hours.

Spinach And Edamame Curry With Feta

Don’t you just love the colour of this curry?

It started of life with the plan to make a spinach and paneer curry, one of my favourites but in a bid to fill the boys up and get even more green into them I added the edamame, otherwise known as soy beans, you can find them in the freezer of your local Asian supermarket.

If you can’t find edamame frozen peas would work well too, just add them at the end so they don’t get over cooked.

Serves 6.

Ingredients

380g baby spinach leaves

Thumb sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced

2 large garlic cloves, peeled

1 onion, peeled and quartered

30ml oil

1 dried red chilli

1x5cm cinnamon stick

5 black peppercorns

400g shelled edamame/soy beans

200mls cream

200g feta, drained and cut into chunks

Salt to taste

Method

Boil a kettle full of water.

Place the spinach in a colander and slowly pour the entire kettle of just boiled water over.

Set aside to cool.

Once cool, squeeze the liquid out of the spinach by hand.

With a stick blender, whizz the ginger, garlic, onion, 100mls water and one third of the spinach to a paste.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat.

Once hot, add the chilli, cinnamon and peppercorns and fry for 1 minute.

Add the spinach and ginger paste and slowly simmer for 20 minutes, stirring frequently.

Now whizz the remaining spinach with 175mls water and add this to the pan.

Simmer for 20 minutes.

Add the cream and edamame, simmer for 3 minutes and then add the feta, heat for around one minute and then serve.

Warm Cheese Dip

The magical combination of cheese and chilli in a dip.

This is one of those fab dips that you can make ahead of time and just pop it into the oven to warm up again. It freezes well and if you want to make it a bit more substantial add some cooked chopped meat, this one has some cooked chicken stirred through. Pulled pork, chorizo and slow cooked beef work well too.

Ingredients

50g butter

1 large onion, finely diced

4 garlic cloves, crushed

2 tablespoons smoked paprika

1 teaspoon chipotle chilli powder

1 tablespoon dried oregano

3 tablespoons gluten free plain flour

375mls milk

1x400g tin crushed tomatoes

200-300g cheddar cheese

Salt and pepper

Method

In a large pan, melt the butter, add the onion, cook until soft. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.

Add the flour, smoked paprika, chipotle chilli and oregano to the pan and stir over medium heat for 1 minute.

Add the milk and tinned tomatoes and stir constantly until thickened.

Turn off the heat, add most of the grated cheese and stir until the cheese has melted.

Serve now or pour into oven proof dish, top with the remaining cheese and bake in a 200 degree oven until the cheese has melted and is golden.

Chickpea Pizza Base

Another pizza base!

I love how quickly these can be made and then personalised and the base only has three ingredients, chickpea flour/besan which I always have a box of,water and salt, too easy!

This pizza is topped with passata, chorizo, Parmesan and spring onions.

To make this vegan, just use oil in your pan and select your usual toppings.

Makes 5-6 pizza bases.

Ingredients

275g chickpea flour

750mls water

Pinch of salt

Butter and or oil

Method

Measure the flour into a large bowl.

Make a well in the centre and slowly whisk the water into the flour to form a very runny batter. Set aside for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, heat your grill or broiler to high.

Take a non stick, oven proof, 22/24cm frying pan and heat over medium to high heat with 10g butter and 10mls oil.

Whisk the batter, season and whisk again.

Once the butter has melted, swirl around the pan and add 200mls of batter.

Swirl the pan and pop back on the heat.

Cook for 3-4 minutes until the surface appears to dry a little.

Now slide the pan under the grill, my pan doesn’t have an oven proof handle so I have it sticking out away from the heat!

Grill for 3-4 minutes until colouring.

Now you can choose to top the pizza and grill again to melt your toppings or as I do, make all the bases and then bake them in a 210 degree Centigrade oven until the toppings have melted, less than a minute for the pizza in the picture.

Pink Stuffed Potatoes

This is what happens when I bake too many potatoes the night before!

A great way of sneaking some more veg into the kids and in a house full of males I need some pink in my life!

Serves 4-6 depending on the size of your potatoes.

Ingredients

4 medium to large potatoes, baked and cooled

30g butter

1 small onion, finely diced

230g beetroot, peeled and grated

100g gruyere cheese, finely grated plus a little to top 

1 teaspoon fresh parsley, chopped

Freshly ground pepper

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Centigrade. Line a baking tray with baking parchment.

Half the potatoes, scooop out the flesh, leaving the skin intact. Place the cooked potato in a large bowl.

In a large frying pan, heat the butter over a medium heat and add the onion. Cook for 5-7 minutes until it begins to soften.

Add the beetroot to the pan and cook for 10 minutes stirring occasionally.

While the beetroot cooks, lightly mash the potato with a fork, add the grated cheese and pepper, mix lightly.

Once the beetroot is cooked, add to the potato mix and combine thourghly.

Divide the beetroot mix into eight and spoon into the potato skins.

Sprinkle with a pinch of parsley and top with a little cheese. Lay the filled skins onto the baking tray.

Bake for 20 minutes until the cheese is golden and the filling is hot.

Party Pizzas

These super cute pizzas were originally planned as a party food for my youngest sons birthday party this week but he has decided to have a Mexican feast instead! 

I am delighted that I can still share them with you, they are gluten and nut free. Great as school lunch box fillers and you can make them ahead of time and top them later.

This recipe makes 6 10cm pizza bases. I just topped mine with a little passata, mozzarella, tomato and oregano but let your imagination run wild.

Ingredients

100g Greek natural yogurt

1 egg, beaten

50g rice flour

50g potato starch

20g buckwheat flour

1 teaspoon gluten free baking powder

Method

Preheat the oven to 210 degrees centigrade. Slide a baking sheet into the oven while it heats up.

In a bowl, whisk the yogurt and egg.

Add the remaining ingredients and whisk until there are no lumps.

Remove the hot baking sheet from the oven and cover with a piece of baking parchment.

Spoon six equal quantities of batter onto the baking parchment and then using a wet spoon swirl with the back of the spoon until you have six 7-10cm circles.

Pop the tray into the oven and bake for 7 minutes.

Remove and top with your favourite toppings, return to the oven for 4-7 minutes until the toppings are hot and any cheese is golden.