Saturday, 20 December 2014

Creamy lentil vol-au-vents

Vol-au-vents seem so 80s but officially in love with this Yotam Ottolenghi recipe from his cookbook "Plenty". Half way through making these I thought, oops, this is a recipe for starters but the sheet of pastry made about 12 bases which satisfied the two of us nicely. Note to self though, they would make awesome entrees when entertaining, as you can make the topping ahead of time.

Ingredients 
serves 2-3 (as main)
takes about 60 mins 

  • 1 cup puy or green lentils, rinsed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2-3 handfuls of baby spinach, stems trimmed, leaves roughly chopped
  • 1 handful each fresh coriander and mint, picked and roughly chopped
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 x sheet of puff pastry
  • dash of milk, to brush pastry

Method

  1. Rinse the lentils first in case there are any little stones,
    then add to a pot with four cups of water and the bay leaves & bring to the boil, then simmer for 15-20 minutes. Rinse in cold water and set aside.
  2. Dry fry the cumin and coriander on a medium heat for two minutes until the aromas are released, then grind. Set aside.
  3. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a pan and gently fry the onion for five minutes, until golden & soft. Add the ground spices and garlic, cook for two minutes, then mix in the lentils. When cool, stir in the yogurt, spinach, herbs, splash of oil, lemon juice and seasoning. Preheat the oven to 180oC.
  4. Unroll the pastry so it's 3mm thick and cut out as many circles as you can get that are roughly about 8cm in diameter. If they are smaller, no worries, means you can have more. 
  5. Place them on a baking sheet & refrigerate for 30 minutes. 
  6. Brush the chilled pastry with milk and bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden on top and underneath. Allow to cool slightly. 
  7. To serve, place a disc on a plate, pile on a heap of lentils so you can just see the edges of the pastry, and drizzle with olive oil. So good!

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Cacao Chip Banana Bread

Found some bananas hiding in the fridge that were looking a bit sad so why not make banana bread, no sugar and cacao chips thrown in for some texture & chocolatey taste.

Ingredients

  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup natural yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp rice syrup 
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup cacao chips
  • 1 1/2 cups wholemeal flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

Instructions

  1. Pre heat oven to 160oC and line a loaf tin with baking paper
  2. Mash together bananas, olive oil, yoghurt, rice syrup, eggs, chips & vanilla. Sift in flour, baking soda & baking powder & stir until well combined.
  3. Pour into the loaf tin and cook for 50 minutes or until skewer comes out clean and loaf is golden brown. So good!