Category Archives: Appetizers

Quick Quiche with Ham, Broccoli, caramelized Onions and Basil

Quiche ham broccoli

This recipe for a super quick and easy Quiche is one of those recipes you’ll make time and time again.  I love a good fool-proof recipe that you can have on the table in 30 minutes or less.  Add a salad and voila, dinner is served.
I have made this Quiche with pre rolled ready made Puff pastry, which I consider a freezer/pantry essential. So this really comes together in no-time. You can vary the ingredients according to what you have (leftover) in your fridge too, should you not have ham or Broccoli.  Think seafood, meat, poultry, veggies,  cold cuts, you name it. In fact it’s a great way to use up your leftovers.  But for now, this is one of our favourite combos. Try it, you’ll see why.

INGREDIENTS:

1 Sheet ready made puff pastry
2 cups broccoli florets
4 oz/ 100 gr. cooked ham
4 oz./100 gr. grated cheese
2 medium onions
Some olive oil or butter
2 tsp. honey
Salt and pepper
A handful of fresh Basil
1 cup light cream
4 eggs

Quiche ham broccoli

INSTRUCTIONS:

Begin by defrosting your puff pastry if it is frozen.
Pre heat oven to 180C/350F.
Next, peel the onions, slice in half and cut into half rings.
Heat a frying pan to medium heat, add the butter or oil.  Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes,  add the honey and cook for a few more minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from heat and set aside.
Meanwhile cut broccoli into florets and steam in microwave for 3 minutes or in a pan of boiling water,  make sure to drain very well after so that there is no extra water.
Cut ham into cubes,or slice thinly.
Line a baking tin, about 8×8 inch/ 20×20 cm or 9×9 inch/22x22cm. with parchment paper.
Place the puff pastry in the tin making sure you go up the sides as well.
Divide onions, ham, broccoli and basil (reserve some for decorating) over the crust.
In a bowl beat the eggs with the cream, season generously and pour over the filling. Sprinkle  the cheese over the top. 
Bake in the middle of the oven for 30 -35 minutes or until set when you tap the side of the tin. It should wiggle just a tiny bit in the middle.
Serve immediately.
Enjoy!

The best Garlicky Herbs and Cheese Fries

We had these garlicky herbs and cheese fries for the first in New York last year and loved them so much that I knew I had to make them at home. 
It’s no rocket science really, just oven fries, with good seasoning and good melting cheese on top, but so good!

For the best crispy home made fries you need to parboil the potato chips first, I know it seems like a lot of trouble but it is totally worth it.

Serves: 4 as a side

INGREDIENTS:

2 lbs. potatoes, peeled and cut
2 tbsp. Olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
Fresh ground pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. oregano, dried
1/2 tsp. rosemary, dried
1/4 cup Parmesan grated
1/4 cup strong cheese like cheddar or mature gouda
1/3 cup mozzarella grated.

INSTRUCTIONS:

Peel and cut your potatoes into fries, and rinse.
Bring a large pot of water to the boil,  add a good amount of salt.
Once its boiling, add the potato chips,  bring to a boil and cook for two minutes.
Drain well, and place potato chips on a tea towel to dry completely.
Meanwhile pre heat oven to 210 C,
Get a large baking tray out and place the potato chips on it, drizzle with the olive oil and toss to cover each fry. Season with salt.
Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, turn the fries over so the brown evenly and bake for another 20 minutes. Meanwhile mix the grated cheeses with the herbs. Quickly remove the tray from the oven, push the fries a bit to the middle of the tray with a wooden spoon and sprinkle with the herbs and cheese mix. Bake for 20 more minutes until melted and golden.
Eat straight away,  these are great with some Aïoli. Enjoy!

Melted Grilled Cheese Dip

This has to be my favourite starter, and anyone who loves cheese will go mad over this. I mean who doesn’t love melted cheese?
The great thing about this recipe is that you can use any leftover cheese you may have lying around, they just have to be full fat ,  light cheeses don’t really melt properly and end up being rubbery.
You want the whole melted gooey, cheesy, stringy experience.
On the bottom of the dish there is a layer of onion confit, made by cooking a lot of onions with some brown sugar and dark balsamic vinegar. You can make your own or use a jar of store-bought onion jam or onion chutney whichever you prefer. Or even just golden fried onions will work too.
Then it’s topped with a layer of Cranberry sauce, again store-bought is fine or make your own.
Finally the whole thing is topped with mixed grated and cubed cheeses. Use whatever you have lying around. I tend to make it with leftovers, so each time its a bit different, sometimes with some added Gruyère or Roquefort, and every time its delicious and disappears in about 10 minutes (and that’s because guests are trying to polite).
It’s made in about 10 minutes plus oven!!!

⏰ Prep time : 10 minutes
🍝 Cooking time : 20 minutes
🍴 Serves : 4 as a starter
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INGREDIENTS:
• 1/2 Cup Onion Confit , Onion jam or Onion chutney
• 1/2 cup Cranberry Sauce
• a grating of pepper
• 2 tbsp. milk
• 2 tsp cornflour
• 150 gr / 5.2 oz Brie, crust remove and cut into cubes
• 150 gr. / 5.2 oz Cheddar, grated
• 100 gr. / 3.5 oz Gouda, grated

INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Pre heat the oven to 220 C / 425 F
2. Place all the cheese in a bowl.
3. Mix the milk with the corn flour and mix through the cheeses.
4. Get out your baking dish and spread the onion jam, confit or chutney on the bottom
5. Then top with a layer of the cranberry sauce.
6. Cover with all the cheese from the bowl.
7. Place in the middle of a hot oven and bake for about 20 minutes until golden and bubbly.
8. Place on a big plate surrounded by crackers and bread and serve straight away.
Enjoy!
Myra XO

Classic Shrimp Cocktail

Shrimp Cocktail has to be one of the most classic starters I can think of. It’s one of those dishes that almost everyone loves, and is perfect for dinner parties since it’s light, fresh, delicious and elegant. Leaving you plenty of room for the main course.

You can make the sauce in advance, cook the shrimp in advance and assemble the Shrimp Cocktail just before serving, which is fairly easy.
The sauce is really delicious and that tiny bit of vanilla takes it to the next level.


Use just a small amount of Tarragon, you want a hint in the background without overpowering the Shrimp.

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Prep time : 20 minutes
Cooking time : 5 minutes
Serves 4
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INGREDIENTS:

• 110 ml. / 1/2 cup tomato ketchup
• 100 ml. / 1/2 cup mayonnaise
• 50 ml. / 1/4 cup crème fraîche
• 1/4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
• A splash of tabasco (optional)
• Salt and black pepper
• 1/4 vanilla bean, scraped
• 1 tsp fresh chopped Tarragon
———————————————-
• 450 gr. / 1 lb. cooked shelled prawns
• 1 iceberg lettuce, finely shredded
• 1 avocado, peeled and diced
• Some lime wedges and pomegranate arils for decorating.

INSTRUCTIONS:

Combine the ketchup, mayonnaise, crème fraîche, Worcestershire sauce, tabasco, salt and pepper in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Add the vanilla and chopped Tarragon
If you’re cooking the shrimp yourself; this is how.
Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil, add the shrimp all at once, bring back to the boil and lower the heat to a simmer, cook until the shrimp change color to a beautiful coral. Normally for medium sized shrimp this will take about 5 minutes at the most. Remove from the water with a slotted spoon and transfer to an ice bath to stop the cooking process.
Drain and cool. Then peel the shrimp and discard the shells.
Add the shrimp to the sauce and stir to coat, reserving some larger shrimp to decorate and place on top.
Place the shredded lettuce on the bottom of four glasses or glass bowls, followed by the avocado, then a generous spoonful of prawns and sauce.
Decorate with lime wedges and Pomegranate arils.
Serve straight away.

Enjoy!
Myra XO

Salmon and Zucchini Phyllo Quiche

 

salmon phyllo quiche5

I have always wanted to make a Quiche with Phyllo dough, it’s been in the back of my mind for ages, but I always wondered if it could stand up to the filling or even become crispy enough on the bottom.
Well, please to report, …a big fat, yes!

The phyllo is really wonderful. It gets so crispy along the edges and so pretty too. I may have gone a little overboard with the top but I was having so much fun playing with the dough. You can leave the top completely plain if you prefer to show more filling. That’s up to you.

I must add that it’surprisingly easy, very forgiving dough. I had a bit of a hard time separating the sheets, but half torn pieces worked perfectly, it really makes no difference in the end result.

Obviously for me the game changer was the fact that Phyllo is virtually fat free. So there is no going back to any other kind of dough for me. 

salmon phyllo quiche2

Serves: 8


INGREDIENTS:

1 medium zucchini, cut into 1 cm/0.5 inch slices and then quartered

1 leek, washed and sliced

1/4 cup drained corn 

1 tbsp. olive oil for cooking

200 gr. / 7 oz. smoked salmon, cut into pieces

4 large eggs

1 cup light cream or whole milk

1/4 tsp. sumach 

1/4 tsp. dried dill

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

10 sheets 9×14 phyllo dough (225 gr)

3 tbsp. olive oil or melted butter for brushing phyllo

4 ounces shredded Gruyere cheese, or your favorite semi strong cheese

3 tablespoons sliced green onion

 

 

salmon phyllo quiche3INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat your oven to 175 C / 350 degrees.

Heat a frying pan with half a  tablespoon of olive oil and cook the leek and onion on medium heat until soft. Set aside.

Add the remaining half tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and cook the zucchini on medium high heat just until golden on all sides and fork tender.

Remove from heat and add to the a large bowl to cool. A lot of liquid will release from the zucchini, you need to discard this before using.

In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the cream or milk,  salt, pepper, sumach and dill and whisk to combine. Set aside.

Brush a 20 cm/8 inch round baking dish (I used a cake tin) with a bit of olive oil. Layer the sheets of phyllo in the dish, see pictures. Brushing the layers with olive oil or butter as you go. Torn sheets are fine.

Place the drained veggies, corn and salmon over the phyllo layer, then add the shredded cheese and green onion. Pour the egg mixture over the top.

Bake the quiche for 60 minutes or until set when you wiggle the pan.

Serve warm or chilled with a salad.

Enjoy!

Myra XO

salmon phyllo quiche10

salmon phyllo quiche4

pesto bread knots

Pesto Knots with Garlic Butter

pesto bread knots

This has to be the best dinner roll of all times. Soft dough filled with pesto and tied in a cute little knot.

pesto bread knots

INGREDIENTS:
• 200 ml / 1 cup minus 2 tbsp. hand warm milk (you can use unsweetened soy)
• 42 gr. / 1.5 oz. fresh yeast
• 2 tbsp. honey
• 500 gr. / 1 3/4 cup Spelt flour (type 630) or all purpose flour
• 1 tsp salt
• 2 medium eggs at room temperature
• 100 gr. butter at room temperature
• 2 tbsp. Pesto
• 1/4 cup butter
• 1 tbsp. chopped parsley
• 2 garlic cloves, peeled and grated

pesto bread knots

pesto bread knots

pesto bread knots

INSTRUCTIONS:
Bring the milk to hand warm temperature, either in the microwave or on top of the stove. Make sure it’s not to warm or you will kill the yeast.
Crumble in the yeast and the honey. Give it a stir and set aside. It will start to bubble up.
In the bowl of your stand mixer add the flour and salt and stir to combine. Make a well in the middle and add the butter, the two eggs and the milk mixture. Knead on medium for about 6 minutes. Add a little more flour if it seems too wet. It will be a sticky dough however.
Cover with cling film and leave to rise for thirty minutes.
Roll out the dough into a rectangle of about 35 x 45 cm / 14 x 16 ” , cut in half lengthwise and spread one tablespoon of pesto down the middle.
Roll each half into a long rope and cut each roll into 6 equal parts.
Shape into knots tucking the ends under, free style it because you can’t go wrong here
Leave the knots to rise for 10 minutes while the oven is heating up at 400 F / 200 C.
Heat the butter with the garlic in a small pan until melted. Add the parsley. Brush knots lightly with butter, avoid the parsley as best you can at this point because it might burn.
Bake for about 13 – 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and brush with more garlic butter.

Serve and enjoy.
Myra XO

pesto bread knots