For those of you who read my blog a few weeks ago on “lockdown snacks” as promised, I am back with part 2, which includes a few more adventurous ideas!
I’ve also conducted a little bit of market research (from friends, family & neighbours) and have discovered that the favourites from my last blog were the lemon drizzle cake, savoury muffins and vegetarian scotch eggs! (I still can’t get over the Richmond “no-meat” sausages, they are simply amazing!)
I’ve been using two of my favourite cookbooks “Fresh India” by Meera Sodha and “Lean in 15” by Joe Wicks. (BTW who is so sad that P.E with Joe is coming to an end?!) and over the past couple of weeks I’ve tried to make a few things I wouldn’t have ordinarily thought to do.
First up were Meera’s Baked Onion Bhaji’s. I had a bit of a nightmare with these, as I went to three shops to find chickpea flour, finally found it, then when I actually made them used corn flour instead by mistake! The recipients have sworn they were still tasty, but I am not so sure. They were easier than I thought, and the recipe made 24 bhaji’s which was fab. The link to the recipe is here for anyone that wants to give them a go. Personally, I always use more chilli’s than recommended but then again, I LOVE spice. Just remember to use the right flour!
An absolute winner for me was Joe Wicks’ Cheddar and Marmite straws, a simple twist (excuse the pun) to the original cheese … twist, but oh my, what a difference! The menu isn’t available online but is super simple:
- 1 pack of ready-rolled puff pasty (yes this is cheating but it’s so quick and easy!)
- 1 tbsp of Marmite
- 100g of mature cheddar finely grated
- A sprinkle (with happiness!) of flour for rolling.
And basically, all you need to do is:
- Roll the pastry
- Zap the marmite in the microwave for 15 seconds so it becomes runny
- Drizzle it over the pastry and scatter ¾ of the cheese over the marmite
- Fold the pastry in half so it becomes like a book and then re-roll it out to the thickness of a £1 coin
- Cut the pastry into 2cm strips along the shortest side and then use your fingers to twizzle two strips into a cork-screw shaped cheese straw
- Place them on a lined baking tray, sprinkle over the remaining cheese and bake for 15 minutes in a oven at 220 degrees, checking and turning half way through
They are divine – give them a go!
Realising how easy the readymade puff pastry is to cook with, I would really recommend buying some to leave in the fridge, you can make so many tasty sweet and savoury snacks, so quickly and using up bits you already have.
This week I had tomatoes, red peppers and chilli’s going out of date, so I cooked them through on the hob, added garlic, black pepper, salt and blitzed it all with a blender, smothered it over the pastry, topped with cheese, roughly cut the pastry into strips and then rolled two strips together to make savoury swirls, they were delicious.
Chocolate “surprise” muffins are also something I have baked recently. A simple chocolate muffin recipe which I jazzed up by putting different things in the middle of the mixture in each muffin case, including white chocolate, raspberries and nuts. When I am baking, I try and do a mix of something savoury and sweet and as I have been doing doorstep deliveries for my loved ones, these are perfect to transport, fit nicely into boxes/ easy to wrap and they always go down a treat!
Back to Joe Wicks and something really fun to make was his “Barbecue butternut quesadilla” they are to die for. The recipe can be seen here and it was such a satisfying make. I would say this is perfect for a dinner and not just a snack. Absolutely delicious, nutritious and filling.
So there’s my update on what I have been experimenting with recently. I am really enjoying spending more time baking and cooking whilst we are in lock-down and it has definitely become a new hobby and being known as the “doorstep fairy” I am obviously loving!
I know I said it last time, but my next foodie blog will definitely be about the dinners I have been cooking recently, so watch this space!
Keep sprinkling your happiness.