Goat’s Cheese and Rosemary Rolls – My First Culinary Adventure of 2016

Happy New Year everyone!

I’ve spent today getting reacquainted with my baking spirits, which is always a worthwhile activity, even when it is stinking hot. And even when it’s not always appreciated by others.

And it was important that it happen today. You see, I am starting a new tradition. Okay, more like ‘borrowing’ and running with someone else’s tradition.

 

Goat's Cheese and Rosemary Rolls 1

 

As some of you know, I bought Nigel Slater’s The Kitchen Diaries III when it first came out – no way was I risking that one on the Christmas list… what if no one bought it for me??? I would be bereft of Nigel…

So I had already read his entry for New Year’s Day, which he called Rising. In it, Nigel talks about how the new year comes to his kitchen quietly, with a pot of soup and freshly baked bread. He writes:

‘I like the notion of yeast rising, of new life in the kitchen on the first day of the New Year. Eccentric, daft even, but to me it just feels right.’

Is that not a glorious notion?

And I think that those with bakers’ souls will feel a certain affinity with this notion…

 

Goat's Cheese and Rosemary Rolls 2

 

Yeast rising in the kitchen on the first day of the new year can become a quite a compelling metaphor for an unbelievable number of different things, for an unbelievable number of different people. So don’t forget to make 2016 the best year you can for yourself.

And you can start by joining the fiesta party! Our hostess with the mostess, Angie @The Novice Gardener, and her lovely co-hosts – Judi @Cooking with Aunt JujuMolly @Frugal HausfrauSteffi @Ginger & Bread and Suzanne @A Pug in the Kitchen – are extending the party over the festive season, so come along and share your first dishes of 2016.

 

Goat’s Cheese and Rosemary Rolls

  • Servings: makes 6 rolls
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Goat's Cheese and Rosemary Rolls 1

 

Ingredients

  • 500g white bread flour
  • 7g sachets instant dried yeast
  • 10g salt
  • 350ml water
  • 3 large sprigs of rosemary (finely chopped)
  • 100g goat’s cheese (cut into small chunks)

Method

  1. Mix the flour, yeast and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add almost all the water and mix to a sticky dough.
  2. Continue to mix for a further minute or so – the dough will gradually become less sticky. Add a touch more flour or water until you are left with a dough that is soft and springy, yet slightly sticky to the touch.
  3. Flour a large work surface and gently knead the dough for 10 minutes without treating it aggressively. It should feel soft, smooth, light and springy.
  4. Place the dough in a clean bowl, cover it with cling film and leave it to prove for an hour in a warm place.
  5. When the dough has doubled in size, tip it back onto a floured surface. Knead it again for 30 seconds.
  6. Work the rosemary and cheese into the dough so that they are evenly distributed.
  7. Cut the dough into six equal pieces and shape each piece into small rolls.
  8. Lay the rolls on a floured baking tray, leaving a good amount of space between them.
  9. Decorate each roll with a few rosemary needles on top.
  10. Leave to rise in a warm place under a tea towel for 45 minutes.
  11. Preheat the oven to 220°C.
  12. Bake the rolls for 30 minutes, or until risen and golden-brown. Turn onto a wire rack to cool.
  13. Great as a burger bun. Fantastic eaten warm and slathered in butter.

 

Recipe by Nigel Slater as found on BBC website.

 

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Red Rice Salad with Avocado and Grilled Corn

I have a list. Well, I have many lists, but in particular, I have a list for which recipes to post and when.

All bloggers have a list like that, right??

Well, the problem I find is that I cook way, way, WAY more than I post. Now because of this, my precious list is in constant flux. Seasonal dishes have to move down the list, waiting for their time to come around again because I just didn’t get to them.

And for that, I blame the Internet.

There are just too many recipes out there to try, and when you throw in all the cookbooks, magazines and trying to recreate meals you’ve had at restraints, it becomes a hell of a feat to create the weekly menu. We’ve spoken about this before.
Red Rice Salad with Avocado and Grilled Corn

That’s exactly what happened this week. I was supposed to post a yummy, go-to lentil salad that actually makes lentils look pretty, but Yotam struck again with his weekly column in The Guardian and I just had to try this red rice salad with grilled corn and other goodies. And then, once I had tried it, I had to post it. Immediately.

It. Was. That. Good.
Red Rice Salad with Avocado and Grilled Corn

This red rice salad is nothing short of amazing. It is perfectly balanced in both flavour and texture, and is great both warm for dinner and cold the next day for lunch – if you are lucky enough to have leftovers. And the dressing… Just yum.

I’m sharing this salad with the happy revellers at Fiesta Friday #89 and this week’s co-hosts, Angie @The Novice Gardener, Mila @Milk and Bun and Kaila @GF Life 24/7. There will be extra dressing for all who link up to the party!

Red Rice Salad with Avocado and Grilled Corn

  • Servings: serves 4 to 6
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Red Rice Salad with Avocado and Grilled Corn

Ingredients

  • 150g Camargue red rice
  • 1 large red onion (peeled, quartered and the individual layers separated)
  • 1 tablespoon groundnut oil
  • Salt
  • 2 corn cobs (peeled if in husks, trimmed and cleaned)
  • 6-7 spring onions (trimmed)
  • 150g edamame beans (blanched for 30 seconds and drained)
  • 80g snow peas (cut diagonally)
  • 2 medium avocados (peeled and stoned just before serving, then cut into 2cm dice)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds (toasted, to serve)
  • 15g coriander leaves (optional)
  • 1 lime (cut into wedges, to serve)

For the dressing

  • 1½ tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • ¾ teaspoon caster sugar
  • ½ teaspoon flaked chilli
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
  • 3 tablespoon groundnut oil
  • ¾ teaspoon sesame oil

Method

  1. Fill a medium saucepan with plenty of water and place on a high heat. Once boiling, add the rice and cook for 25 minutes, until soft but still retaining a bite. Drain, refresh under cold water, set aside in a colander to dry, then transfer to a large bowl.
  2. While the rice is cooking, use a freestanding or hand-blender to blitz all the dressing ingredients with a quarter teaspoon of salt until smooth and thick, then set aside.
  3. Put a ridged griddle pan on a high heat and ventilate your kitchen. In a medium bowl, mix the onion with the oil and a quarter teaspoon of salt. When the pan starts to smoke, add the onion and cook for four minutes, turning over every 30 seconds, until the individual leaves are soft and charred all over, then transfer to the rice bowl.
  4. Lay the corn cobs on the griddle and cook for six minutes, turning them every minute or so, until charred on all sides. Remove from the heat and, once cool enough to handle, hold each cob upright on a board and use a sharp knife to shave off the kernels in clumps. Add these to the rice bowl.
  5. Lay the spring onions in the griddle and cook for six minutes, turning them over often, until charred and smoky all over. Remove from the heat, chop into 5cm-long pieces and add to the bowl.
  6. When you’re ready to serve, add the snow peas and avocados to the bowl, pour over the dressing and toss Serve in individual portions, sprinkling each with sesame seeds and picked coriander, if you like, with a lime wedge on the side.

Note: Yotam tosses the salad very gently; preferring to not have the ingredients completely evenly distributed. Apparently I need to work on this… Otherwise, toss the whole thing into one mixed salad and serve.

Recipe from Yotam Ottolenghi’s column in The Guardian.

Salad and Burrata Piadina Wraps

For a little over a year now, I have been waiting for quinces to come back into season so I can make a version of Philippa Sibley’s Hansel and Gretel dessert.

Last month, I bought some quinces and some apples, and I poached and I baked and I churned and I caramelised and I made a seriously tasty dessert.

But all those little notes, change and tips that we all make to recipes are messily scrawled across multiple bits of paper. Bits of paper that I do not have the time to transcribe at the moment.

You see, things are happening… things that require boxes, and tape and bubble wrap…

I have only done it twice, but I know that I do not like moving. It’s messy, dusty and my usual method of ordered chaos has disintegrated into pure disorganisation. I don’t think it helps that the cat jumps out at me from behind boxes like a ninja.

So, seeing as though the majority of my spare time is now devoted to boxing up my life, I offer you all not the beautifully poached quinces and apple crumble ice cream that has been the plan for two weeks now; instead, I present a quick (plus resting time!) and easy recipe that can be adapted according to your mood, cravings, time and whatever it is you have in the fridge.

Salad and Burrata Piadina

Piadina is Italy’s lesser-know flatbread, after pizza and focaccia, can be just as tasty – there’s a lot of bad pizza out there – and is much easier to make. It’s great as a snack or as a base to top with a variety of ingredients from cheeses to cold cuts to vegetables. I love them folded over and stuffed with pesto, rocket, tomato, avocado and lots of burrata.

And I promise to share the poached quinces and ice cream dessert very soon. But until then, grab a piadina and enjoy this week’s festivities at Fiesta Friday #76 with Angie @The Novice Gardener, who is this week encouraging all of us to slow down, pause, and to appreciate and value each other.

Salad and Burrata Piadina Wraps

  • Servings: makes 6 piadina
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Salad and Burrata Piadina

Ingredients

  • 500g plain flour (plus extra to dust)
  • 250ml milk
  • 100g vegetable oil (or half vegetable oil and half extra virgin olive oil, or lard or duck fat)
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 6 tablespoons pesto (your favourite kind is the best choice here)
  • 100g rocket (or any salad leaves)
  • 3 tomatoes (finely sliced)
  • 1 to 2 avocados (flesh sliced)
  • 1 burrata ball (sliced as neatly as possible)

Method

  1. Combine flour, milk, vegetable oil, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
  2. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 5 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  3. Divide the mixture into 6 balls and, using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out each ball on a lightly floured work surface until 2mm thick.
  4. Heat a large frying pan or chargrill pan over medium heat and cook each flatbread for 2 minutes each side or until golden.
  5. Spread each piadina with a tablespoon of pesto, top with rocket, tomato, avocado and burrata, fold over and serve.

Recipe by Matteo Carboni via the SBS Food website.

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