Deconstructed Mince Pies

So we experimented! The plan was to try out a deconstructed mince pie, and this one has very little sugar and is gluten free. We haven’t included exact measurements as this was a test.

We chopped up some dried fruit, organic apricots, dates and figs, and left them overnight in a bowl with some water and Armagnac.

The next day we melted 2 tbsp of organic cold pressed coconut oil, and combined it with ground walnuts, chestnut flour, cinnamon, pinch of sea salt and rolled oats. We then kneaded it into a pastry and placed it in the fridge for a couple of hours. Once chilled we rolled out carefully and cut out small disks using a small cookie cutter. We then baked in the oven on 180 degrees on a baking sheet covered in baking paper for about 15 minutes.

Once cooked, we left them to cool and then topped with the fruit mixture and some charred clementine segments.

There really is no need for sugar when using dried fruit as they have so much natural sweetness to them. Experiment with the quantities for the pastry like we did, you can switch out the nuts and the flours, as long as you make the right pastry dough consistency and chill it before baking.

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Brussel Sprouts 3 Ways #3 Roasted with Gruyère

The key to cooking brussel sprouts is to keep it simple! They have such a lovely flavour that you want to compliment, not cover up. It’s also important not to overcook them as they will not only lose their nutritional value but also their taste.

Ingredients

200ml white wine vinegar
2 tbsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp fennel seeds
500g brussels sprouts
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and black pepper
Gruyère cheese, to serve

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Method 

  1. Heat the vinegar with the spices gently on a low heat (do not boil)
  2. In a bowl add the sprouts and let them sit for 1 to 4 hours, then drain
  3. Heat a heavy bottom pan on the stove and fry the sprouts for 5 mins, then place in an oven dish and cook until tender (around 10-15mins)
  4. Serve with grated Gruyere cheese

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Brussel Sprouts 3 Ways #2 Roasted Warm Salad with Yoghurt, Tahini and Fennel

One of our favourite cuisines is Middle Eastern because we love spices and fresh herbs to jazz up our dishes and compliment key ingredients. In our second brussel sprout dish we have oven cooked them with red onions and fennel and spooned them over a lovely yoghurt, tahini and lemon juice dressing, finishing with nuts and seeds for texture and further flavour.

Ingredients 

500g Brussels sprouts, washed, trimmed
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp coriander seeds
1 medium red onion, sliced
1 bulb of fennel, sliced
2 tbsp of olive oil
200 g Organic Greek yoghurt
1 heaped teaspoon tahini
1 clove of garlic
1 lemon
1 tsp of sumac
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
25 g hazelnuts
½ a bunch of fresh coriander, dill and mint, washed and chopped

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Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees
  2. Bring a saucepan of water to a simmer, add some salt and blanch the sprouts for about 3 mins then drain and set aside
  3. Mix the yoghurt, with the lemon juice, tahini, crushed raw garlic and sumac
  4. In a small heavy bottom frying pan toast the coriander and cumin seeds over a medium heat until they start to release their aromas
  5. Remove from the heat and crush the spices in a pestle and mortar
  6. Using the same pan toast the hazelnuts and once they start to turn golden add the sesame seeds until they too turn golden and set aside
  7. In a baking dish, add the sliced red onion, fennel and some olive oil, and spread out so the veggies are in an even layer then add the spices and season with salt and pepper
  8. Roast in the oven for 20-30 minutes until the onion and fennel is tender and golden
  9. On a serving dish, spread out the yoghurt mixture
  10. Spoon out the veggies on top of the yoghurt and sprinkle with the fresh herbs, chilli flakes and toasted nuts and seeds and serve immediately

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Brussel Sprouts 3 Ways #1 Barley Risotto

In the run up to Christmas we have been experimenting with the humble green sprout. Gone are the days where sprouts are served up boiled, and soggy with your turkey and the kids all pull faces! We love them at Feed and find them so very versatile, whether slicing them finely on a mandolin and tossing into salads or roasting them in the oven with lemon juice and olive oil. They are full of valuable nutrients and so they should be brought to centre stage. Try this lovely risotto with hearty, filling, whole grain barley instead of the traditional white rice.

Ingredients

400g brussels sprouts, quartered
1 apple, peeled and diced
1 tsp smoked paprika
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp of olive oil
1.5 pints (aprox) homemade or good quality vegetable stock
1 medium onion, diced small
200g barley
2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
1/4 preserved lemon, finely chopped
100g kale, washed and chopped
30g finely grated Parmesan cheese
Small handful of toasted hazelnuts, crushed
Chopped parsley to garnish
Salt and black pepper, to taste

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Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees
  2. Wash, trim and quarter the sprouts
  3. Peel, core and cube the apple
  4. Mix the sprouts with the apple, lemon juice, 1 tbsp olive oil, paprika and season
  5. Roast in the oven for 20 mins or until they start to turn golden brown, remove and cool
  6. Warm a pan with the stock and keep on a simmer
  7. Heat a medium heavy bottomed frying pan, add the remaining olive oil, and then gently fry the onions for about 10 mins until they go translucent
  8. Add the pearl barley, and cook for a further 3 mins
  9. Now add a ladle of the stock, and cook stirring constantly until all the liquid has evaporated
  10. Keep adding the stock, a ladle at a time, until the barley has almost cooked (it should be soft on the outside with a slight bite on the inside)
  11. Add the preserved lemon, wholegrain mustard and kale and cook until the kale has wilted
  12. Stir through the Parmesan and season with lots of freshly ground pepper, and salt to taste
  13. Ladle out the risotto into a warmed dish, and sprinkle with the toasted hazelnuts, and chopped parsley and serve

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