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What you need:

1 litre vegetable stock or cold water
250g polenta or coarse maize
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dried oregano
1-2 tbsp olive oil
Fig and red onion relish
75g goat’s cheese
Freshly ground black pepper

What you do:

Bring the stock to the boil in a large saucepan. Combine the polenta, salt and oregano then quickly whisk them into the boiling liquid. As soon as it comes to the boil again, reduce the heat and exchange your whisk for a wooden spoon. Simmer the polenta, stirring regularly, for about 10 minutes or until thick and porridge-like. Be careful as it will splatter volcanically.

Line a baking tray with parchment paper and quickly spread the polenta evenly over it so it is no more than 1cm (½in) thick. Use a dampened pallet for at least 30 minutes. (The recipe can be prepared up to two days in advance to this stage.)

Using a 3-4cm (1¼-1½ in) round cutter, cut out rounds from the polenta. Brush both sides of each round with olive oil and cook the wedges either under a hot grill or in a griddle pan, turning once, until golden and crisp. Alternatively heat 1 tbsp oil in a non-stick frying pan and fry both sides until golden brown, about 2 minutes each side.

Place the polenta rounds on a serving platter. Put a dollop of Fig and red onion relish on each round and top with a small cube or crumble of goat’s cheese and a grind of black pepper.
Serve warm or at room temperature.

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What you need:

10 slices of French stick or ciabatta about 2cm thick
3tbsp olive oil
2 small leeks, washed and finely sliced
2 garlic cloves, 1 crushed 1 left whole
100ml white wine
200ml cream (double or whipping)
½ tsp fresh thyme
1tbsp chopped fresh parsley
20g parmesan cheese
5 rashers of streaky bacon
Small handful of fresh chopped mint

What you do:

Cook the bacon under the grill until crisp, cool and chop into small pieces. In a medium frying pan heat 1tbsp of the olive oil and cook the leeks over a moderate heat for 2 minutes.

Now add the crushed garlic, thyme and continue frying for a further minute before adding the white wine and reduce to almost evaporated. Next pour in cream and bring to the boil, season with salt and milled pepper add the parmesan and chopped parsley and keep warm until needed.

Drizzle the remaining olive oil over the slices of bread and cook either under the grill or ideally on a griddle pan until crisp and golden. Take the whole piece of garlic and rub a little over one half of the bread and lay them onto a serving plate. Top each with a spoonful of the creamed leeks, crispy bacon and finally a little chopped mint and a drizzle of olive oil.

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What you need:

1 large steak , such as sirloin, rib-eye or rump
1 tsp olive oil
1 ciabatta bread roll, halved
1 tsp Dijon mustard
handful watercress
50g Stilton
splash balsamic vinegar

What you do:

Heat a frying pan or a griddle pan. Rub the steak with the olive oil, season, then cook for 2-4 mins on each side or until done to your liking. Put the steak on a plate to rest.

Put the roll halves cut-side down in the pan for 2 mins to soak up the meat juices and toast until golden brown. Spread the toasted side with the mustard and pile the watercress on top.

Cut the steak in half, sit on top of the watercress, then crumble over the Stilton. Drizzle with a splash of balsamic vinegar, tip over any steak resting juices and serve.

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