Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Mornings After

Just a couple of recipes for you today as still not quite got back into my stride. The first makes use of 'stuff we have around' and much can be prepared in advance ready to 'throw the lot together'. An easy one for learner cooks or those hard-pressed for time (take note of the tips).
Sort of an Egg Casserole: serves 8 with leftovers
6 slices of toasting bread cut into cubes
2 oz (50g) butter, melted
4 oz (100g) Gruyere or Jarlsberg cheese
2 cloves garlice, peeled and crushed
salt and pepper
2 tsp mild paprika
8 fl oz (225ml) creme fraiche or sour cream
8 fl oz (225ml) plain yogurt
4 spring onions, minced or finely chopped
8 hardboiled eggs, sliced
8 oz (225g) cooked bacon, crumbled
1 pint measure grated Cheddar cheese
Mix together the bread, butter, grated Swiss cheese, garlic, half the paprika, and salt and pepper to taste, and spread over a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes at 200C, 400F, gas 6 until the bread is toasted and the cheese melted. Cool, then blitz in a food processor or blender in small batches until well combined.
Into a bowl put the creme fraiche, yogurt, spring onions, the remaining paprika, and salt and pepper to taste. Thin with a little more yogurt and/or milk if too thick. It need to be as a pouring sauce.
Put the crumbed mixture into the base of a 13" x 9" x 2" (33 x 23 x 5 cm) casserole dish. Arrange the sliced eggs over the crumbs and sprinkle the bacon over the eggs. Top with the cream sauce. Sprinkle over the grated Cheddar and bake at the same temperature (200C etc) for 15 minutes or so until heated through and the cheese melted and golden. Serve hot with cooked meats, salads, or leftovers (whatever that might be).
Tips: The crumb mixture can be prepared days in advance and once cooked and processed can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge. The whole dish can be prepared and then kept chilled in the fridge and cooked the following day.

This final recipe makes a really good side dish to serve with a Chinese stir-fry (which in itself can make use of oddments of vegetables , plus some shredded cooked turkey).
Curried Pineapple: serves 6
2 oz (50g) butter
1 fresh pineapple, cut into chunks (or used canned/drained)
pinch salt
1 - 2 tblsp curry powder
3 oz (75g) brown sugar
1 small onion, finely chopped
Melt the butter in a saucepan over high heat. Stir in the curry powder, the sugar, salt, onion and fry for 3 minutes, then stir in the pineapple and heat through for approx 3 minutes. Serve hot.