Coconut and Key Lime Pie

Hello lovelies! Sorry I haven’t been posting much lately! I have been busy loving life! 

Jokes! I haven’t had much time to cook beautiful meals unfortunately! I have had the day off today and have craved for key lime pie for weeks, so I couldn’t pass on the opportunity to make it! 

  

The ingredients you will need: 

  • 200g digestive biscuits
  •  20g desiccated coconut
  •  100g butter, melted
  • 397g can condensed milk
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lime zest 
  • 125ml lime juice
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 150ml coconut cream
  • 3 tablespoons icing sugar

 For the meringue: 

  • 4 egg white at room temperature
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 100g caster sugar 

Place the can of coconut cream in the fridge overnight to settle.

Preheat oven to 160C. Grease a tart pan with removable base. Place the biscuits in a food processor and process until finely crushed. Add the dissecated coconut and butter and mix until combined. Spoon into prepared pan and use the back of a spoon to press the mixture evenly over the base and side of the pan. Fine crust or thick crust is up to you! Place in the fridge for at least 30min to chill and harden. 

Whisk the condensed milk, lime zest, lime juice and egg yolks together in a large bowl. Pour over the chilled crust base. Place on a baking tray. Bake for 30 mins or until just set. Once it’s done, set a side to cool down and put it in the fridge. 

To make the coconut cream, open the can of coconut cream and scoop the hard cream at the top into a bowl. You won’t be needing the coconut water/liquid. Add thickened cream and icing sugar. Use an electric mixer to beat until it’s soft then spoon the coconut cream over the pie. 

  
For the meringues, reheat the oven to 100C . Put the egg whites on a non plastic bowl and beat them on medium speed with an electric whisk until the mixture resembles a fluffy clouds and stands up in stiff peaks when you lift the whisk. 

Now turn the speed up and start to add the caster sugar, spoonful at a time. Continue beating while you add the sugar slowly. However, don’t over-beat. When ready, the mixture should be thick and glossy. Sift icing sugar over the mixture and gently fold it in. Continue to sift and fold in the rest of the icing sugar bit by bit. Again, don’t over-mix. The mixture should look smooth! 

I’ve used silicone muffin trays to keep them the same size, once spooned you can sprinkle with lime zest or thinly sliced lemon zest like I did. Bake for an hour and a half in the oven, until the meringues look crisp. Leave to cool on the tray and put them on top of the coconut cream to decorate. 

Scricchiolio Signore Muffins 

Beautiful Sunday to stay in bed! 

After sleeping for 12hours, all I had in my mind was a big fat breakfast! But because I have this conflicting feelings and ideas in my head that I want to lose weight and be fit, the 2 sausages, 2 bacon, 2 eggs and 2 toasts fly out of my mind. 

I then rembembered that a few years back I used to make Rachel Khoo’s croque Monsieur muffins on a regular basis! Had a look in my fridge and I didn’t have the ingridients for a traditional croque monsieur, so I had to improvise and make an Italian version with pancetta and mozzarella! 

  
Ingridients:

  • Butter
  • 2 slices of white bread
  • 2 tablespoons of fried chopped pancetta 
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons of grated mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tablespoons of whipped double cream
  • Salt and black pepper

Start of for melting a little butter for coating both sides of the bread
Star of my cutting the crusts off the bread and roll the bread with a rolling pin to about half its original thickness. Melt a little of the butter and coat the bread.

Place the slices into the muffin tray to create cup shapes, then add the fried chopped pancetta  into the bottom of each bread cup. Break a raw egg on top of the pancetta – remember to drain off most of the egg white before adding otherwise it will overfill! 

Add one tablespoon of the cream in each cup then add the grated mozzarella  on too until it’s all covered. Cost the edges of the bread cups with some more of the melted butter, it will make it crispy! There’s never enough butter! 

Place in oven at 180C for 15 mins for runny egg or 20mins for firmer egg. 

  

Blueberry Muffins

 I am not the biggest fan of sweets, so it will take a lot for me to actually make something something sweet. I am more inclined to bake during the cold weather because who doesn’t like a nice warm muffin?

I was having a look in my fridge the other day,  and saw that I had frozen blueberries. The first thing I thought I could make, was blueberry muffins.

What you’ll need to succeed:

  • 110g plain flour
  • 110g butter
  • 85g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  •  1½ teaspoons of baking powder
  • 125 frozen blueberries


Cream the butter and sugar together then slowly add the eggs. Add the flour, baking powder and stir to combine. This is the hardest part: refrigerate the mixture overnight.

Place a spoonful of muffin mixture into each muffin case, filling each to just over half way.

Bake in an oven set at 200C/400F/Gas 6 for 20 minutes, or until golden on top.


Best served  warm out of the oven! You do not want to have these cold.. It won’t taste the same!
Ana xx

Pumpkin Soup 

It’s autumn and we love it right? We love the leaves, we love pumpkin lattes and pumpkin spice, pumpkin all things everything!

So I have a really easy and quick pumpkin soup recipe!

 

What you’ll need:

  • Splash of olive oil
  • 1 chopped onion
  • Half of a small pumpkin (chopped, deseeded and peeled) – let’s say about 500g
  • 400ml chicken stock (or vegetable if you’re vegetarian)
  • Double cream to serve

Heat some olive oil in a large saucepan, then gently cook the chopped onions until soft but not coloured. Add the pumpkin to the pan, then carry on cooking stirring occasionally until it starts to soften and turn golden.

Pour the stock into the pan, then season with salt, pepper and some smoked paprika. Bring everything to the boil, then simmer on a low fire until the pumpkin is very soft. Purée the ingredients in a blender and the most important part: push the soup through a fine sieve into another pan for a smooth consistancy!

Once you’re ready to serve, add a tablespoon of double cream! And taaaadaaah! Smooth delicious pumpkin soup!

Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!
Ana X

When in Switzerland

I haven’t been anywhere this summer, so to treat myself, I decided to go see a friend in Switzerland.

I have to say that the country has stolen a piece of my heart. Cheese and chocolate, what else do I need?  Yesterday, was my last night in Basel and we decided to have cheese fondue at home!

 
I have had a lot of fondues in my life.. Like meat fondue, chocolate fondue or the Chinese fondue. Never really had cheese fondue until last night.

The classic dip for this would be bread, but I went a bit crazy.. I started googling ingridients that would be nice for dipping… No, unfortunately no nachos! On the table we have boiled cauliflower and new baby potatoes. Also have pears, cured sausage, pears and our main guest: bread.

You’ve guessed right, there was no cheese left behind.

We have bought ready grated cheese pack for fondue. I’ve done my research and the simple version seems to be from Neuchâtel, which only uses Emmantel and Gruyere. Add about 200ml of white wine – I cannot stress enough about this, but please use a wine that you would drink. If you wouldn’t drink that wine then why would you use it to cook and eat? To the wine, add two tablespoons of strong white flour or ideally cornstarch, once the mixture is warm, add the cheese and melt it. The consistency should be thick but a bit runny.

It’s the perfect social dish for winter.

Ana xx

Mamamia Pan Grill Pizza 

 
We all love a good pizza take away! But I like my pizza crispy thin, like a cracker! So no take away pizza will ever satisfy me. This recipe is quick and too easy!

I’ve cheated on the dough and used pizza base mix from sainsbury’s, I can make two thin crust pizzas with one pack. You will need 100ml of water to add to the mix, combine it well and leave it to rest for a bit. While your dough is resting you start on your tomato sauce. For mine I used tomato purée, olive oil, water, 1 shallot and 2 cloves of onion, some salt and pepper. Blitz it in your blender or food processor, I don’t like the the sauce too smooth, so I leave small chunks of the shallot and garlic.

For the filling, I used smoked mozzarella and chili luganica sausage meat, but it’s your pizza so you can use whatever tickles your fancy.

I roll out half of the dough thinly, and fold the “corners in”, spread the tomato sauce, add the grated cheese and then the meat… Then the cheese again! In a frying pan (big enough to fit your pizza), heat some olive oil and transfer the pizza to the pan once the oil is hot. Yes, we are “frying” the pizza base first.

 
Once the base gets dark, take the pan off the stove and put it under the grill. Make sure you keep an eye out on the pizza, as you don’t wanna burn it.

The cheese will start to bubble and you’re pretty much done once the meat and the crust gets a bit of colour!

If you can get your hands on some rocket, I would definitely suggest adding at the end to give this crisp freshness to your pizza.

Not to blow my own trumpet, but I make a good damn pizza!

I hope you enjoy!

Toulouse Sausage Roll 

Sunday fun day!

Hello my darling readers, today I have made sausage rolls made with Toulouse sausage meat, thy are usually gluten free and quite garlicky.

 

For this recipe, I used left over puff pastry sheet (half a sheet more or less!), finely chopped spring onion, smoked paprika, salt and black pepper. Combine all ingredients and unroll the pastry sheet.

I find it easier to shape the sausage meat in cling film first, make sure the mixture is solid and lay it in a long ‘roll’ just off centre down the pastry length. Brush the edges of the pastry lightly with egg wash and bring the sides up to meet over the filling. Pinch the edges firmly together to form a seal.

Make four slits in one side of the rolls, to allow steam to escape.Brush the pastry with the remaining egg wash and bake for 20-30 minutes or until pastry risen and golden brown on gas mark 7.

You can serve it with some nice mustard or chili sauce. Guess what’s my preferred sauce? 😉

Let me know what you think!
Ana xx

Pastéis de Bacalhau – Salted Cod Cakes. 

I love my Portuguese roots and I am a bit disappointed that I don’t cook enough Portuguese dishes!

To show my appreciation, I’ve decided to make one of our most popular snacks. To be honest with you, I had left over mash potato from my lamb stew earlier this week, so why the heck not.

 
You can get Bacalhau in any Portuguese food store, or for the cheaper option, you can go to any Afro Caribbean food store, and you will be able find salt fish!

Depending on the thickness of the dry fish, you will have to soak it in water for 1 to 2 days. Don’t forget to change the water every 12 hours. Pinch some of the cod and taste it, it should not taste salty but slightly salty is right. If it doesn’t taste of any salt you will need to adjust the salt in the recipe later.

  • 400g Salted Cod
  • 200g Mash Potatoes
  • 1/2 onion (minced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • Handful of finely chopped parsley
  • Vegetable oil for frying

Boil the cod. You can boil the cod without any flavourings. When the cod is cooked it will come apart when probed with a fork. When this is cold, you will need to debone, skin and shred the fish.

If you do not have mash potato laying around like me, you will need to make some. Boil them potatoes and mash them.

Add the cod with the mash, and mix this well, then add the rest of the ingredients. Add salt and pepper to your taste. Mix everything very well again until all is incorporated and homogenized. Make quenelles shaped of any size and take it to refrigerate for 15 to 30 minutes.

 
Fry in a very hot and generous amount of oil. At least half of the cakes must be covered when frying. Let it golden and then turn the cakes around and golden the other side. Remove from pan and let the cakes dry in paper towel for few seconds and then serve.

 
It should be deliciously crunchy. Serve it with a lime wedge or some hot sauce!

I’m Mac N’ Cheese Balls 

If you knew my person, you would know that I absolutely love mac and cheese! I love pasta and I love cheese! 

I had deep friend Mac and Cheese balls before but they were quite big size – not as small as a golf ball but not as big as a tennis ball! In my opinion, this sort of food is good in bite size! 

For this recipe, you will need left over mac and cheese. 

I used ditalini rigati pasta, lots of single cream, butter, Parmesan cheese, cheddar cheese and mozzarella. Make sure you leave the Mac and Cheese in your fridge for over night before using it for the recipe. 

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove the macaroni mixture from the refrigerator, and scoop into balls.

Whisk the bread crumbs with the paprika, chili powder and black pepper  in a shallow dish; set aside. Beat the 1 egg with the 3 tablespoons milk in a small bowl. Coat the balls in the egg wash, and then dredge in breading.

Fry the mac balls in small batches until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain briefly on a paper towel plate; serve hot – I should have made a salsa sauce to go with it. 

I’ve made a quick sauce out of tomato purée, honey, soya sauce and chili. 

  

  Enjoy!

Ana x

Beef Spring Rolls

I am sorry I have not been posting anything! I have been busy celebrating my birthday and that my foot cast is finally off!

I have been busy trying to walk again.

Two weekends ago, we have made beef spring rolls!

 For the spring roll filling, we used shredded carrots, beansprouts and sliced beef. Stir-fried these until cooked with some pepper and some soya sauce. You might want to drain this on a colander. The more liquid drained the better – you don’t want the spring roll wraps to be soggy when you roll them up

Most wrappers come frozen, so make sure you defrost them beforehand.

Place wrapper like diamond, on a clean, dry surface. Place 1 tablespoon of filling near corner. Fold over the corner, and roll tight.

 
To fry the spring rolls, you’ll to heat up a good amount of oil – if you have a deep fryer that’s even better!

Keep turning them to brown evenly. Once they are golden brown, they are done.

I will try to make more at home but with different fillings, maybe a lobster filling!

Let me know what you think
Ana xx