The New Toasted Sandwich

So, as part of setting up our new kitchen I bought a nice combination sandwich press/griller. It makes a good toasted sandwich and I’m very happy with it… but it hasn’t been used as much as I expected because I stumbled upon an even better way to make them using the oven griller.

Tuna Toasted Sandwich

This recipe for a tuna toasted sandwich is an example of the technique. It can easily be modified for any fillings you like although I recommend keeping the tapenade no matter what else you change!

Ingredients (per sandwich)

  • Turkish bread (ideally not the Quality Baker brand – it’s very dense)
  • 1/2 small can of lemon-pepper tuna, drained
  • About 1/2 tbsp tapenade (recommend Genoese brand)
  • About 1tbsp basil pesto (recommend Genoese brand)
  • Half a tomato, thinly sliced
  • Small amount of grated mozzarella cheese
  • Handful of lettuce

Instructions

1. Turn on your oven’s griller (I think this is the broiler in US-speak)
2. Cut the bread into sandwich sized sections
3. Carefully slice the bread to separate the top and bottom
4. Lightly toast the outer sides of the bread (careful, it doesn’t take long)

5. Spread pesto on bottom piece of bread
6. Spread tapenade on the top piece

Spread that bread
7. Put the tomatoes on the bottom
8. Spread the tuna on top of the tomato
9. Put the cheese on top of the tapenade

10. Place back under the grill (again, it doesn’t take long)
11. Remove from the grill (to assist you with getting it just right, I carefully cooked the one in the picture one a little bit too much)


12. Put the lettuce on
13. Put the sandwich together and eat

Guacamole Pizza

For the past while I’ve been fixated on adding olives, feta and pesto to nearly all my savoury meals. Everything tastes better with olives/feta/pesto right? Well, yes and no. After realizing that my last three meals had included all these ingredients I decided it was time to branch out again.

So, I present to you pizza without the OFP combination.

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The base spread is tomato salsa with left over Guacamole, topped with chargrilled capsicum, red onion, chillies, cheddar and mozzarella.

A delicious combo. I didn’t miss OFP one bit.

For general pizza making instruction view:

Broccoli or Mushroom Simple Pizza

For other yummy pizza toppings view:

Zucchini and Onion Pizza.

Potato and Leek Pizza

Pumpkin and Ginger Felafels

Here is another lovely recipe I was emailed by Marie (from Traits).

I really enjoyed them as burger patties even though I’m a little uncomfortable with the taste of ginger. It won’t replace my standard comfort burger but it will be a nice change when I feel like going a little more gourmet.

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I’ve included Marie’s email text below as I love the way she writes. If you have recipes for me to try email them to me at Kim@WhatKimAte.co.nz.

Pumpkin and Ginger Felafels

“Here is a recipe from Allyson Grofton (food in a minute lady).

We had them just as described but I think would be magic as burger patties! (and can be a change from the regular tofu patty.)

– 250gms firm pumpkin
– 425 gm can cannellini (butter) beans. Drained
– 2 tsp minced fresh garlic
– 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
– 1 tbsp chopped fresh chilli
– 3 cups fresh bread crumbs
– oil for frying
– 200 gm tub hummus
– 1/2 cup yoghurt
mango salsa ingredients

Mix the hummus and yoghurt together – cover and back to fridge

In a bowl combine all the mango salsa ingredients – cover and back to fridge

Peel & cook pumpkin in a little boiling water, drain and then put back into pan to dry it out – a couple of minutes, just to its not too wet. In a processor (I don’t have one so I used a potato masher) cannellini beans, garlic, ginger, chilli and 1/2 breadcrumbs.

Season with salt and pepper.

Mould into 12 patties (or burger sized patties) and roll in remaining breadcrumbs.

Fry with a little oil until golden and heated through, keep warm while others are being cooked.

Serve as it or with a plain salad or make mega burgers!

Andrew loves this and I’m looking forward to getting out the barbie and making these bad boys in summer. Keep up the great blog!

Marie xx”

The Silver Spoon – Spaghetti with Broccoli

The Silver Spoon provided us with this treasure.

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We cooked Spaghetti with Broccoli as the main for our weekly dinner party and it was so, so, good!

Spaghetti with Broccoli

  • 500g of broccoli
  • 3 tables spoons of olive oil
  • 25g of margerine
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cashews soaked for half an hour then blended
  • 350g spaghetti
  • 25g vegan parmesan(optional)
  • salt and pepper
  • Parboil the broccoli in salted water for 10 minutes.
  • Heat the oil and butter in frying pan.
  • Add the onion and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
  • Drain the broccoli, add to the skillet and mix well
  • Stir in the cashew cream and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Transfer the mixture to a food processor and process to a puree.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in a large pan of salted, boiling water until al dente, then drain, toss with broccoli mixture.
  • Sprinkle with Parmesan if using and serve.

Greek Influenced Scallop Salad with Lemon Dressing.

This is a very quick and tasty light meal. I was worried that the olives would overwhelm the dish so I only put a few in. It ended up working well. It had the tartness of the olives, the saltiness of the feta and the sourness of the lemon dressing. If you don’t like olives I suspect capers would be a nice alternative.

scallop-salad.jpg

Ingredients

  • Scallops
  • Feta
  • Olives
  • Avocado
  • Small Spinach Leaves
  • Garlic
  • Lemon
  • Extra Light Olive Oil or Canola Oil

Chop feta, olives, avocado and add to a bowl with the spinach leaves.

Heat the oil in pan to a high temperature. Add garlic and scallops. Don’t cook the scallops too long, as soon as they loose their translucency and turn opaque they’re done. I normally cook until lightly seared on each side, turning once (around 5 mintues cooking).

Once the scallops are cooked place on top of the salad. Quickly add some lemon to the remaining oil and garlic, stir for 20 seconds then remove from heat. Pour a little on to the salad as a dressing.

Potato, Chickpea and Tomato Casserole

Living in the middle of town has changed what and how I eat. It’s too easy to go out and buy yummy seafood mee goreng from KK or visit a cafe for coffee and a toasted panini. While it’s very pleasant it costs a bit more and isn’t always so good for the whole “healthy eating” thing.

Tonight I resolved to cook something, anything, using just the ingredients that I had on hand. This was complicated by the fact that we’re house sitting at the moment and don’t have a well-stocked larder. I came up with the following and it was damn good.

Potato, Chickpea and Tomato Casserole

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Ingredients (serves 3-4)

  • 3 tbsp extra light olive oil
  • 3 medium potatoes
  • 3 tsp ‘cajun spices’
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 can chickpeas (drained)
  • 1 can tomatoes in juice (not drained)
  • 1 cube vegetable stock and a little hot water
  • salt
  • A bit of grated Parmesan to go on top

Method

potato.jpg

1. Wash and chop up the potatoes into small chunks (I am a fan of leaving the skin on)
2. Put the olive oil into a large frying pan and bring to a medium-hot temp
3. Add in the potatoes and then sprinkle the spices over them
4. Turn occasionally and cook until fried golden and worth snacking on
5. Drain any excess oil and turn down the heat to medium
6. Chop the onion and add it
7. Stir the potatoes and onions until the onion is just done
8. Drain the chickpeas and add them
9. Chuck in the tomatoes
10. Dissolve the stock cube in a little bit of hot water and add it
11. Put the plates in the oven to warm up, and simmer the dish for 10 minutes or so
12. Add salt to taste
13. Serve and sprinkle some parmesan on top
14. Get the person who didn’t cook to wash the dishes

~Thomas

New Improved Mushrooms on Toast

You might have seen my earlier post about the problems I have with cooking mushrooms. Things had improved, but I knew there was room to do better…and today I found it (with the help of a little pointer from a magazine).

For this technique you need:

  • mushrooms (say 20 brown caps)
  • a good non-stick frying pan
  • a little bit of butter (about 1tsp)

And for serving/eating I I also suggest having:

  • salt and
  • hot buttered toast
  • parmesan

Method

1. Remove any obvious grit from the mushrooms and chop into thick slices.
2. Put the frying pan on to a high heat (don’t leave it there too long, they tend to buckle).
3. Put the mushrooms in and stir occasionally.They’ll heat up and generate their own juice.
4. When they look a bit browner/smaller and nearly cooked, add in the butter. You’ll need less than you think.
5. Quickly stir the mushrooms around to absorb the melted butter.
6. Leave in for another minute or two, stirring.

Serve on hot buttered toast and sprinkle with shaved parmesan.

~Thomas.

Fresh Scallops

Now is the time, Now is the season. It is the fresh scallop time of year.

For our first scallop dish we made a fettucine, aioli and dill pasta. We made it the easy way, just added a bit of “Cotterill and Rouse” aioli and dill sauce (4 tablespoons) to the pasta before serving.

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The scallops were fried lightly in oil and a little bit of butter.

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It took about 10 minutes and worked really well, the light sauce was a nice highlight without being so strong that it overwhelmed the subtle scallop flavours.

Scallops are still expensive though. This meal cost $7 per person (7 scallops each).

Vegetarian Hash Stack

A vegetarian hash stack is a great Sunday brunch idea, especially when you’re trying to find the middle ground between fruit salad and a full on heart attack producing traditional big breakfast.

Hash Stack

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Ingredients (per person)

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Layer the ingredients, trail a line of pesto and aioli sauce across the stack. Serve with avocado pieces on the side.

Simple, Yum.

Enjoy, Kim.

Potato and Leek Pizza

Potato Pizza is a simple way of combining both major food groups into one delicious meal.

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In the past I’ve always had problems getting the potatoes just how I want them. Either they’re too leathery, or too hard and underdone, or … just not as good as they should be. Indeed, I would say that I generally have problems with frying things and it’s my worst cooking method (although I seem to have finally got the hang of frying eggs).

Tonight I decided to take a different approach and decided to roast/fry the potatoes in the oven – and it worked just great and the pizza was delicious. Here’s how I did it.

Potato and Leek Pizza
(serves 1-2 depending on desired belly fullness)

Ingredients
– One small pizza base (yes, I’m lazy, feel free to make your own)
– 2 tbsp basil pesto
– One large potato
– 1 sprig fresh rosemary, or 1-2 tsp dry rosemary (inferior, less classy, easier)
– Extra light olive oil, or other cooking oil
– One leek (or about four spring onions)
– 30gm grated mozzarella cheese
– 30gm grated cheddar cheese
– salt grinder

Method
1. Heat oven to 200c
2. Scrub the potato and cut into thin slices. Cut the slices in half if they’re too big.
3. Pour a little oil into a baking dish and make sure the bottom is covered.
4. Put in the potatoes, drizzle over the rest of the oil.
5. Sprinkle the rosemary over it.
6. Cook until half-done (5-10 minutes) and then turn. Complete cooking.

While waiting for the potatoes:

7. Spread the pesto on the pizza base
8. Chop the leeks. They can be small to large depending on your whim.
9. Nibble on some of the cheese (we call this “emergency cheese” as we’re normally pretty hungry by the time we start cooking).

And now the potatoes are done:

8. Put the potatoes in a single layer on the pizza. Eat the rest.
9. Arrange the leeks over the potatoes.
10. Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese.
11. Sprinkle the cheddar cheese (yes, the order is important).
12. Put on a baking tray at the top of the oven, cook until golden and bubbly (5-10 minutes)
13. Grind some salt over it, cut it up and serve. Don’t be too hasty and burn the roof of your mouth.

Enjoy, Thomas.