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Sunday, 31 July 2011

Tummy fillers for the summer holidays

Quick and easy lunch/snack ideas for hungry children, grown ups, and the inevitable unexpected visitors this time of year.  The Courgette and Rosemary Bread is fab for a picnic lunch and makes sandwiches much more flavoursome.  I love the Basic Muffin Recipe as you can use what ever you have available to whip up a batch in no time.  The Vegetable Parcels are so versatile and can be a quick lunch or light dinner with a side salad or you can take them on a picnic for a tasty snack.

Courgette and Rosemary Bread

500g (3 1/2 cups) self-raising flour

200ml luke warm water

2 sachets (2 x 7g) instant yeast

1 Tbsp sugar

2 tsp salt

2 courgettes, grated

2 Tbsp fresh finely chopped rosemary leaves, plus extra to sprinkle on top

80g Feta, crumbled

Preheat oven to 200C. Grease a large loaf tin.

Sift the flour into a bowl and make a well in the centre. Pour the water in to the well and then add the yeast, sugar, salt, grated courgettes and finely chopped fresh rosemary.

Gradually add flour to the wet ingredients in the centre.  Mix together very gently, until all the flour has been incorporated.  Coat your hands with flour and then knead the dough on a smooth floured surface for 5 -10 minutes, until smooth.  Or you can cheat like I do and bung it all in my stand mixer and knead the dough for 5 - 7 minutes. 

Put the dough in a lightly greased bowl to rise.  Cover the bowl with cling film and leave in a warm place for 30 minutes, or until the dough has doubled in size.

Knock back the dough with your hands for about 1 minute.  Knead the goat’s cheese into the dough, until it's well combined.

Put the dough into a greased loaf tin, cover with cling film and leave for another 30 minutes, until the dough has risen again.

Either stick some rosemary springs into the top of the bread, or just sprinkle some on top and bake for 30 minutes, or until bread is cooked and golden on top.
 


Basic Muffin Mix

2 cups self-raising flour

80g butter, melted

1 egg

250ml (1 cup) buttermilk

Preheat oven to 200C. Grease a 12-hole, 1/3 cup capacity, muffin tin.

Sift the flour into a bowl.  Combine the melted butter, egg and buttermilk then add to the flour.  You can add any filling you like to the basic mix.  If adding berries or dried fruit for sweet muffins you may want to add 1/3 cup of sugar.  We felt like some savoury muffins so we made Pizza Muffins.  Here's the recipe:

Pizza Muffins

4 bacon rashers with rind removed, chopped finely (optional) Could use ham instead or leave it out.

1 onion, finely chopped

1 capsicum, finely chopped

3/4 cup grated cheese (roughly 1 handful)

1/2 tsp chilli flakes (optional)

1/2 tsp dried oregano

Preheat oven to 200C. Grease a 12-hole muffin tin or line each muffin hole with paper muffin cases.

Cook bacon in a frypan on a medium heat, stirring it around until it's lightly browned. Add the finely chopped onion and pepper, then  cook, stirring until onion and pepper softens. Leave to cool whilst you make the basic muffin mix.

Once you've made the basic muffin mix, add the cheese, chilli flakes, dried oregano and bacon, onion and pepper mixture to the basic muffin mix.  Mix everything gently to combine. Do not overmix, the  mixture should be lumpy.

Divide the mixture amongst the cases in the muffin tin. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes. Stand the muffins for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool. Serve the muffins warm if you can but they are also just fine at room temperature, if they aren't all eaten by the time they've cooled.




Vegetable Parcels

This recipe is easily doubled or halved and can be made quickly using whatever you have available.  I'm a fan of sundried tomato, spinach and ricotta but we've used some tinned chilli beans and frozen corn in these parcels which was rather tasty too.  You can use any vegetables you have available - tinned or frozen sweetcorn, frozen peas, grated carrot, chopped leftover cooked potato or pumpkin, etc

2 sheets ready-rolled puff pastry

3 Tblsp tomato paste or chutney

1 pepper, diced (any clour will do)

4 mushrooms, sliced

1 courgette, diced

2 fresh tomatoes, sliced

1/2 cup grated mature cheddar cheese

Preheat your oven to 200°C.

Cut each pastry sheet into eight triangles. Put the pastry triangles onto baking trays.  Spread the tomato paste or chutney over the pastry.  Top with the diced pepper, courgette, mushrooms and tomatoes.

Fold the corners of the pastry inward and pinch to seal the parcel.  Sprinkle a little cheese on  top before you bake them for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.

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