Saturday, February 9, 2013

Pa de llet

Pa de llet with sunflower seeds
WORTH THE EFFORT 
BREAKFAST,LUNCH,SNACK
CAN BE FROZEN
Hands on & cooking time 2 hours

It really isn´t as hard as you may think making your own Pa de llet.I am still mastering how to get a good shaped roll and I like experimenting with different toppings, I love poppy seeds but my daughter and husband like sunflower seeds the best.(without salt) I make these with my daughter she helps me knead the dough.  I have no machine, we do everything by hand. These are great for breakfast with a little jam, for an after school snack or in the lunchbox with cheese spreed. I make about 10 rolls and freeze some.  You need to eat them on the same day or the following morning.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Crunchy crust Hake

VERY EASY
LUNCH, DINNER
Hands on & cook time 25 mins

It doesn´t get any easier than this. Quick,easy and cheap, perfect ! Great weekday dinner.


I did this last week for my dad when he came to visit, he loved it! my daughter always clears her plate and it even pleases the non-fish lover...Daddy.
I buy a full Fresh Hake (lluç) most weeks in fillets, it´s a cheap fish and nice and lean which makes it easy to digest. I serve my daughter the tail end of the fish which normally means no bones.

INGREDIENTS

4 Hake Fillets (with of without skin)
60g (2 1/2oz) melted butter
zest of 1 small lemon, finely grated
1 clove of garlic, crushed
100g (3 1/2 oz) breadcrumbs ( I use fresh which I keep frozen)
Mayonnaise

METHOD

**Tip** This dish works well with any white fish fillets.
Heat the oven to 180·C. Place the Hake fillets on foil on a large baking tray (skin side down).
Spread a thin layer of  mayonnaise over each fillet. Combine the breadcrumbs, garlic and lemon zest, pour in the butter and mix with a fork.  Cover the fillets with the crumbs.  Transfer to the oven and roast for about 18 -20 minutes, or until the crust is golden. (don´t over cook the fish it becomes dry).
When the fish is cooked it´s easy to remove from the baking tray, leaving the skin on the foil.



Saturday, December 22, 2012

Christmas Biscuit Treats



 
TREATS,SNACKS,PARTY, BISCUITS
Prep & cooking time 22 mins 
Plus chilling time


Everyone is doing it.....so I thought why not. Biscuits or cut-out cookies are now in fashion in Barcelona.
I have been to a couple of workshops for handy tips and to see how the professionals do it...and it´s really not too difficult.  Bearing in mind I have no fancy equipment, no mixer (maybe Santa will bring me one!!) and no special rolling pin to ensure the thickness is the same and look they have turned out quite well.  I have made these for gorgeous edible tree decorations, for friends & family gifts and for my daughters teachers too, a lovely treat!



You can freeze the dough sheets to make the biscuits later.




I brought some lovely Christmas cookie cutters and some ready to roll icing, some special edible glue and a small brush.








Don´t over cook your biscuits - keep an eye on them. They are perfect with a slightly golden edge.











**Tips**
This recipe mixes up quickly and it keeps well.  The dough freezes perfectly, it makes a very large quantity of biscuits so either roll out a few sheets of dough and freeze flat in the freezer between wax paper for quick cut-out biscuits later. Or simply half the ingredients.
Make sure you chill the dough before cutting for at least an hour  (I chill mine for a couple of hours)
If you roll the dough at least 1/4 inch (or  2 pound coins) thick children should have no problem cutting and picking up the biscuit shapes. I roll mine out on parchment paper so they are easy to remove. You can re-use the parchment paper.  The biscuits can be kept up to a couple of weeks in an air tight tupper without icing. If you want to use for Tree decorations make a small hole in the biscuit before cooking with a skewer.

INGREDIENTS

250gr unsalted butter at room temperature
250gr icing sugar (sucre glas)
500gr flour (farina de rebosteria)
2 egg whites
1 tsp vanilla extract
*ready to roll icings / or icing sugar for decorating, edible glue*

 

METHOD

Cream together the butter and icing sugar (sieve first) in a bowl, until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and the egg whites. Add the flour gradually until it forms a dough, wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for at least an hour.
Pre - heat the oven 180·C. Roll out the dough on top of parchment paper (about 1/4 inch, cut out your Christmas shapes and place on a baking sheet on top of parchment paper. Bake for about 10 - 12 mins, I prefer mine not to have much colour. The cooking time will depend on your cooker, and the size of your biscuits.
Let the biscuits completely cool before decorating. Decorate as you wish, you could keep it simple if you have no ready to roll icing, simply add a few drops of water to icing sugar ( a drop of food colouring ) and spread over biscuits.


LET ME KNOW HOW YOURS TURN OUT AND MERRY CHRISTMAS !




Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Easy Cheesy Fish Pie

Easy Cheesy Fish Pie
EASY
LUNCH, DINNER

Hands on time & cook time 45

This is a great dish for fussy fish eaters (like husbands!) It's very easy to make, my daughter prefers individual pies with veg served on the side, but you can opt for a large pie with chopped carrots or peas inside.  Poaching the fish is so quick and the cheesy creamy sauce  is always a winner in my house.  I sometimes make these in advance and freeze the fish pie but without the mash potato. You could also top them with a mix of potato and sweet potato for extra vitamin C.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Fishy Footballs

Fishy Footballs
EASY
LUNCH, DINNER, PICNIC

Hands on & cook time 40 mins











 
Finger foods are great for young kids especially if you are introducing new foods - it just makes it more interesting.  Here in Cataluna croquetas are really popular and I love the fact that fish cakes are now back in fashion in England so these are a  mixture of the two.  My daughter started to eat these when she was 9 months, they are lovely and soft, the salmon is not too strong and they are very nutritious. I love parsley, capers and spring onions in my footballs but Aina and Daddy don´t do green bits so I leave them out.  My daughter also says she doesn´t like onion but these need a little which is why I grate it to hide it !!


Fresh Breadcrumbs
I always use fresh breadcrumbs from fresh
granary, wholemeal or rye bread - a lot healthier than the shop bought breadcrumbs.  When you have crusts or a few slices of bread leftover whizz them up and keep them in the freezer so you always have them to hand which can be used directly frozen when cooking.
You can always add Parmesan to the breadcrumbs which adds a great cheesy crunch to the footballs !





The essential flavours and juices are retained in the parcel, leaving the fish moist and juicy.












Ingredients

300 gms  potatoes
100 gms fresh salmon fillet
half an onion (grated)
1 large  free range egg (beaten)
2 tbsp of mayonnaise
half a lemon
fresh breadcrumbs with Rye bread (centeno / espelta) I used 2 slices of bread
plain flour
olive oil

Method 

Boil the potatoes in salted water for about 20 mins, they need to be nice and soft - lumpy mash is not good!
Wrap the salmon in a parcel of parchment paper or foil with a squeeze of lemon and a little ground pepper. Cook in the oven 180 ·C for about 15 -18 mins. Grate the onion and cook in a little oil.  Drain the potatoes leave to cool a little, mash with 2 tbsp of mayonnaise and mix in the grated onion.  Flake the cooked salmon into the potatoes and be sure to remove any bones, mix it up really well.
Dusting your hands with flour shape into small footballs (I made 16). cover each with flour, dip into the beaten egg and roll into fresh breadcrumbs. Pop them into the fridge for an hour before cooking - this allows them to firm up slightly.  I´m not a big fan of frying food so I place the footballs on a lined baking sheet , spray with a little oil and grill for a couple of minutes until crisp.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Courgette and chocolate muffins

Courgette and chocolate muffins
EASY
SNACK, LUNCHBOX PARTY

Prep & cooking time 1 hour








These are lovely and chocolaty you would never guess they have courgette in them.  I put a good quality cocoa powder in mine and they are quite fudgey too.  Like almost all of my baking and cooking I make these with my daughter.  She helps me grate the courgette so it´s no secret to her the ingredients and yet she never normally eats courgette. I take the skin off the courgette so there are no ¨green bits¨, but you can leave it on if you wish.  Courgette has no strong flavour it helps to make the cakes lovely and moist. My daughter and husband love these and my neighbours!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Number Biscuits


VERY EASY
SNACK, LUNCHBOX, PARTY

can be frozen
Prep & cook time 25 min approx

I'm not a big fan of giving biscuits to children,I have never carried biscuits in my bag for snacks and I never buy biscuits. But these are a little different , it´s a nice activity to do together and beats play dough...least you can eat it.

My daughter is only four and we often make these biscuits together so she can practice numbers.  You can make any biscuit shapes, we use our number cutters, this dough makes lots of biscuits so I freeze some too. They are great for birthday parties or to make with your child's friends.  My daughter likes to play shops with them as well as eat them.