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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.

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So excited – treated myself to the new Jamie Oliver recipe book that was on deal in Waterstones!  It looks fantastic, loads of lovely meals and recipes, and I love his family-style sharing way of presenting food and eating it.

Can’t wait to try some out!  Anyone else made any of his 30-minute meal recipes?  Where should I start?

I love the sound of the kimchee slaw that goes with this green curry…

Or maybe his Swedish style fish cakes with zingy salsa…

Or this gorgeous platter of smoked salmon with beets and cottage cheese…

Sweetcorn fritters are part of my childhood memories.  When I was younger my neighbour’s house was always full of lots of kids and she would often feed us all – sweetcorn fritters, simply made and cooked quickly on her Aga were what I remember her making us.

The making and cooking of them is just one of those childhood memories that will always stick with me, all us kids crowded round a big wooden table digging in to the hot fritters as they came off the stove.  So with sweetcorn season upon us this is what we had for dinner.

With a new but delicious recipe from the Riverford Farm Cookbook we dug into a plateful of hot fritters with a green salad, hot radish sprouts and a simple tomato salsa.  The fritter batter contained polenta and flecks of fresh (and homegrown I might add!) red chilli and fresh herbs from the garden.

No Aga in sight, I used one of my favourite cast iron enamel frying pans and they crisped up to a gorgeous golden brown.

A Local Kitchen is a fabulous food blog with lashings of great recipes and lots of local food info for those living in New York’s Hudson Valley.  So I might live a million miles away from Kaela’s local food haven, but I share her love for local and regional food.

At the moment it is a treasure trove of recipes for chutneys, preserves and vinegars – to name but a few!  This recipe for Roasted Tomato and Chipotle Salsa sounds divine.

Image: A Local Kitchen

Last night, with the weather still balmy, we ate outside.  I made a simple dinner from a recipe posted by The Pioneer Woman which was her Mexican Layer Dip. 

Yes…this was our dinner, not a snack.  It was easy to prepare, delicious to eat, and not a lot of washing up involved.  The recipe is here – the only tweaks I made were making my own salsa rather than The Pioneer Woman’s pico de gallo recipe.  I used tomatoes, red onion, lime juice, coriander and some seasoning. 

It looked pretty and tasted delicious, so if you’re tempted do try it out!  The photos also feature my newly acquired vintage tablecloth that I found at the carboot on the weekend.

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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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