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Days 3 and 4 of our meat-free month have seen some good old favourites appear – the quesadilla and baked potato.  Quesadillas we most often make meat-free, but baked potatoes are often adorned with crispy bits of bacon or fragrant honey roast smoked salmon – but not this week.

Wednesday 11th January

quesadillas with roasted peppers and onion

Quesadillas filled with onion, jarred roasted peppers, jarred jalepeno peppers, grated cheese and coriander.  I gently fry the sliced onions, peppers and jalepeno peppers so they’re cooked, then it’s just a case of popping a flour tortilla into a fry pan, sprinkling over some cheese, the onion-pepper mixture and some coriander, then slapping another tortilla on top.  Once the underneath starts to go golden you carefully flip it over and wait for that side to go golden and crisp.  We pop the finished ones in a warm oven while we make the rest.

We eat them with homemade salsa (sliced spring onions marinated in red wine vinegar and salt, then chopped cherry tomatoes added along with salt and pepper – quite a lot of liquid will appear, I’m weird and like to drink it with a spoon while I’m waiting for the quesadillas to cook – my husband thinks I’m weird, but you could always just strain it off) and a dollop or sour cream or cream cheese.

Thursday 12th January

colcannon baked potato poached egg

Colcannon filled baked potatoes with a poached egg.  Hot potato with a bit of boiled celeriac mashed into it, then mixed with gently fried leeks, sprout tops, and savoy cabbage, and the likes of salty butter, a dash of milk and seasoning.  Quickly baked again before topping off with a poached egg.

Last week we watched How to Cook Like Heston – I must admit I was sceptical about it, and didn’t think much of many of his suggestions (his way of cooking scrambled eggs sounded way too fangled), but I was interested to see how he recommended making poached eggs.  We find poaching eggs hit and miss, so we thought we’d give his poaching method a go.  In short – we won’t be trying his method again, it didn’t work for us.

colcannon baked potato poached egg

When I’ve got the time I love making those baked potatoes where you take the potato out of the skin once they’re baked and mix nice ingredients into, then pop it back into its skin, scatter cheese over the top and cook it a bit longer.  Inspired by a colcannon recipe in an Abel & Cole leaflet that came through our door yesterday, I wonder why not apply it to my filled baked potatoes.

The whole idea of colcannon filled baked potatoes with a poached egg on top was delicious, and I would definitely make them again.

Friday 13th January

At the end of a very tiring week we didn’t have the energy to cook from scratch, so it was two plain frozen pizzas – once they were cooked I added to mine a handful of salad leaves and a drizzle of truffle oil, which made them more palatable.  I am too disappointed by readymade food that it makes me feel terrible for giving into conveniance.  Not worth a photo.

Last night’s dinner was something I dreamt up and I’m so delighted with the results I had to share it with you.  The amounts are largely guessed as I do a lot of “made-up” cooking by looking and tasting, rather than measuring.  I’m sure – should you wish to make it yourself – that you will be able make it your own and just as yummy.

I couldn’t resist using lots of chives – my plants are full and healthy at the moment and are treating us to another display of pretty purple flowers.

Warning – these photos are taken with my camera that is broken…the screen is broken but it turns out it still takes pictures…I just can’t see what I’m photographing – as a result my photos are not very well composed or focused!

Baked potatoes with honey roast smoked salmon, cream cheese, wholegrain mustard and chives

Feeds 2

2 large baking potatoes
approx 135g hot smoked roast salmon
200g cream cheese
couple of generous spoonfuls of wholegrain mustard
bunch of chives
sea salt
black pepper
olive oil
splash of milk
purple chive flowers (optional)

First of all bake your potatoes – my favourite way to cook baked potatoes is to rub them with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt before baking them on skewers – the end result is gorgeous slightly chewy and crispy skins.

In a bowl, mix together the cream cheese with a splash of milk to loosen it.  Stir in the wholegrain mustard and snip in lots of chives.  Leave some chives to decorate at the end.

Season with salt and pepper to taste and mix well.  Finally, gently stir through about two thirds of the flaked salmon – don’t overmix as you don’t want the salmon to break down to mush.

When your potatoes are baked, remove from the oven and cut them in half.  Scoop out all the hot potato into a mixing bowl and pop the empty skins onto plates.

Mix most of the cream cheese mixture into the hot potato – leave a little if you want to dollop on top at the end.

Once the potato is mixed into the cream cheese mixture, spoon it into the potato skins.  Dollop on the remaining cream cheese mixture and top with the remaining flakes of salmon.

Snip over some chives and top with chive flowers – just pull the tiny purple flowers away from the green bit.  Eat with a crisp green salad (we’re loving red-tinged Little Gem lettuces and Lambs Lettuce at the moment) – I squeezed over a little lemon and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

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Eat the Earth

I love food, especially locally grown and seasonal food. This is my place to share my food finds and the food I like to eat.

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