31 October 2008

Vegetable Pie


  1. Ingredients: 1 puff pastry sheet (I decided to buy it in the supermarket rather than doing it myself. I used Jus Rol puff pastry I bought from ASDA but any other brand will do); 1 mini orange pepper; 2/3 mature tomatoes; mushrooms (fresh or tinned ones); 4/5 green olives finely sliced; 1/3 of courgette sliced in straws lengthwise; spring onions (just the green part) sliced in rings; 1 mozarella cheese sliced into 6-8 halves; chopped parsley; margarine; bread crumbs; olive oil; 1 egg
  2. Preparing & Cooking: Lay the pastry down in a baking pan, previously greased with margarine and sprinkled with bread crumbs. Make sure the pastry fits within the pan. Try to mould the borders. Start covering as much surface as possible with the tomato slices. It will be your base. Then, in an organized way (try to create a star effect), add the orange pepper, the courgette, the olives and the spring onion slices. Fill the remaining spaces with the mushrooms. On top of it, place all mozarella slices in circle plus 1 in the middle. When placing all these ingredients, try not making it too busy - it's a pie not a pizza, and since the pastry will grow in the oven, you don't want ingredients to spill over. Season with a sprinkle of olive oil and some parsley on top of the mozarella slices. Brush the borders of the pie with egg. Use the rest of the egg in the pie itself (fill in empty spaces equally). Bake in the oven for 20 minutes maximum. Serve.

30 October 2008

Raspberry Desert


  1. Ingredients: raspberries; a light dairy cream (I use Anchor's dairy cream, but any brand will do); chocolate sprinkles; 1 teaspoon of strawberry jam; sugar
  2. Preparing: In a small desert bowl, put the raspberries. Sprinkle some caster or white sugar in case you like it sweeter, add the cream in circles creating a swirl effect. Then, drop a teaspoon of strawberry jam in the top middle and finish with some chocolate sprinkles. Put in the fridge before serving.

29 October 2008

Sausages with stir-fried vegetables


  1. Ingredients: 4 fresh sausages; 4-8 slices of smoked ham; 1 red oninon finely sliced; parsley; a few pinches of white pepper; olive oil
  2. Cooking and Seasoning: Pinch lightly the skin of the sausages and rub them with the pepper. Wrap them with 1 or 2 slices of smoked ham and a bit of parsley leaves. Stitch with a toothpick. Put it in a tray in the oven for about 10-15 minutes, at medium heat. Serve.
  1. Ingredients: broccoli; spring onion sliced in small rings; sweet red pepper sliced; a few drops of balsamic vinegar; herbs salt; olive oil
  2. Cooking and Seasoning: Just cover a saucepan with a tablespoon of olive oil, add the vegetables and let them stir-fry, at medium-high heat. Pour a bit of balsamic vinegar, a pinch of herbs salt and serve. You can cook them for 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the cooker heat and on how you like your veggie - tender or slightly cooked.

28 October 2008

Gratinated mushrooms


  1. Ingredients: 4 big mushrooms (I bought them at Sainsbury's, which is for me the freshest place to buy vegetables and fruit);1 mozarella cheese (any brand, they're all good!); 4 spring oninons chopped in small rings; 1/4 of chouriço chopped in tiny little bites (I had to use Spanish chouriço, instead of Portuguese chouriço, because it's the only one available around here); a few pinches of oregano (fresh or dried - I used dried and it works really well, but one can also chop some fresh oregano leaves); olive oil
  2. Cooking and Seasoning: Wash the mushrooms. Dry them with some paper or cloth. Turn them upside down and start making 4 small incisions, cross type, very superficial. The purpose is to allow the mushroom water to come out better, i e, without the mushroom colapsing too much, and also for the mushroom to absorb better the seasoning and flavour of the ingredients that go along with them. Put the spring onion and the chouriço in an anti-adherent frying-pan and wait until th echouriço starts releasing its juice and the onion becomes tender. Then, with the help of a tweezer or a teaspoon, place the chouriço and the spring onion inside the cavities of the mushroom. Then, pour some of the available chouriço's drops of juice on the cavities. Cover the mushrooms with a 0,5 mm slice of mozarella (1 mozarella is enough to cover 4 medium-sized mushrooms). Sprinkle with the oregano and a thin drop of olive oil. Put the mushrooms on the oven and let them cook for about 10-15 minutes, a turn on the grill to gratinate a bit.

27 October 2008

Spinach soup

SPINACH SOUP as suggested by Elvira's Bistrot

  1. Ingredients: 1,5 kg of potatoes, peeled and chopped in cubes (I used 4 big potatoes - the ones I used were those with which jacket potatoes are done); 200 g of spinach leaves; a handful of fresh parsley; 200 g of fine slices of bacon cut in small slices; 2 cooked eggs chopped; 4 spoons of olive oil; 2 litres of water; salt (according to taste)
  2. Cooking: Using a deep saucepan, bring the water to the boil and add the potatoes. Then, add some salt, the olive oil and the parsley. Cook for 20 minutes over medium-high heat. Grill the bacon slices in dry, in an anti-adherent frying-pan, until they become golden and crispy. Drain on an absorbent paper and reserve. Remove the saucepan from the cooker. Blend the soup with a liquidiser/food processor or a hand blender until it becomes homogeneous and velvety. Put the saucepan back on the cooker, and bring to the boil. Add the spinach leaves and check the salt to your taste. Cook for 5 minutes. Distribute the soup in a deep bowl or plate. Decorate with the chopped eggs and the grilled bacon.

26 October 2008

Lambs lettuce salad; Toasts with garlic and pepper mayonnaise



  1. Ingredients: 4 leaves of lettuce chopped in julienne; a handful of lambs lettuce; 4 cherry tomatos chopped in half; a small slice of cucumber chopped in sticks; 2 spoons of walnuts, crushed roughly with the hands; 2 spoons of olive oil; 1 spoon of balsamic vinegar (I'm using the Balsamic Vinegar di Modena, which is very soft and was bought at ALDI for only 99 p); herbs salt (this is the one I've been using for years and I do prefer it to regular salt; it's possible to buy it both in Portugal and UK, but not in regular supermarkets);
  2. Dressing: Put the ingredients in a bowl. Season with the herbs salt and pour the olive oil and the balsamic vinegar. Mix well the ingredients and serve in a plate with 2 slices of toasted.


  1. Ingredients: 2 slices of Polish bread toasted (on sale on Polish stores); 4/5 spoons of light mayonaise; 1 garlic clove finely chopped; 1 baby orange pepper; 1 small mature tomato; balsamic vinegar
  2. Cooking & Seasoning: Cut both the tomato and the pepper into 2 halves and grill them with a sprinkle of balsamic vinegar. When cold, chop them finely and mix them with the mayonnaise in a small bowl. Add the garlic and batter it with a tea spoon until it gets a smooth consistency. Put in the fridge until serving time.

Roast chicken drumsticks w/ mashed potato


  1. Ingredients: 10 chicken drumsticks from Sainsbury's (cost: 1,88 £); 5 garlic cloves finely chopped + 1/2 of a lemon juice + 1 tsp of white pepper powder + 1 tsp of cooking salt; olive oil (ingredients from the cupboard)

  2. Seasoning: Smash all ingredients in a mortar or electric food mill. Spread the paste, massaging the drumsticks so they absorb it well.

  3. Cooking: Pour some olive oil on a tray (enough to cover it roughly) and place the drumsticks in. Cook them at 180º C for about 25-30 minutes. Turn the roasting on by minute 20, for about 10 minutes. Roast both sides of the drumsticks.


  1. Ingredients: 6 new potatoes finely chopped (I use the Nicer Dicer); 1/2 a mug of milk; 1 tsp of dried tarragon; 1 tsp of salt; 1 spoon of butter; 1/2 tsp of nutmeg; 1 slice of Gouda cheese from LIDL.

  2. Seasoning: Bring the water to the boil, add the potatoes, the salt and the tarragon. Let it cook till the potatoes become fully tender (5-8 minutes).

  3. Cooking: Drain the potatoes. Melt the butter on the saucepan where you cooked the potatoes, add the potatoes and blend. Start mashing with the help of a potato masher. Pour the milk in small bits, and add the cheese slice and the nutmeg. With the help of a wood spoon, blend it altogether. Spread the mash in a non sticky tray, sprinkle some fine bread crumbs and put it in the oven to roast for about 10 minutes.