Saturday, 30 November 2013

Freestyle Friday #19, Brownie Bites and Barley Broth with Flatbreads

Last night was my university's Christmas lights switch on. I ate before I went so I wouldn't be tempted by all the food that was there! My ingredient to use this week was a few new potatoes, so I decided simply to make potato cakes. But flavoured not simply of course ;-) Potato cake one was inspired by something I saw on Masterchef: The Professionals. It was a dish that had raisins and capers in, so I added the last few of my raisins and a teaspoon of capers. For cake two I mixed mustard into the mash and put a piece of ham in the middle. Number three was a little bit of mozzarella surrounded by tomato and basil mash. Number four was supposed to be an egg in the middle of plain mash, but I didn't leave enough mash to surround it... So I just mixed it in with the potato! In for a penny, in for a pound... However, I did use some of the white for something else. I tried to make a little tart base with a crushed cracker... But to be honest I couldn't be bothered to properly crush the cracker because I was getting short on time (despite starting in plenty of time!) It did kind of work though! Definitely potential there... I spread the last of my genuine French pâté on top, which softened and melted just  a little bit. It was unusual as I've never had pâté warm like that, but it was good.

Left to right: eggy mess cake, tomat, basil and mozzarella cake, ham and mustard and caper and raisin. Plus my tasty little tart. And a carrot. I needed some veggies in there!
Melty mozzarella... yum, is all I can say!
My mum and dad are visiting tomorrow, and I wanted to make them a little something. Last Christmas I received the Snog Healthy Treats Cookbook, which I still haven't used, so I decided on the chocolate brownie bites. All you do is blend walnuts, cocoa powder or cacao powder and salt, then blend in agave nectar, vanilla extract and dates. Roll them into little balls, make a little indentation and pop on a fresh raspberry. Done. I will admit, I used tinned raspberries. If I made them again I would use fresh, as the tinned ones kind of turned into pulp! I haven't tried one yet, but I am looking forward to it. I have also never used agave before, so am looking forward to trying it for that reason as well. I am quite excited that now I have the agave nectar I can make other things from the book as well!

Soooo not as neat as the ones in the book, but I prefer the homemade look to be honest!

Last up, my barley broth and flatbreads. My narrowed down choices for tea this week were cauliflower curry and pearl barley broth- both from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's Veg! book. I plumped for the barley broth, but thought I would make the flatbreads that were suggested to go with the curry anyway. I already had all the ingredients, and I would have had bread with the soup anyway, so it seemed a natural conclusion. The dough recipe was actuall 'the magic bread dough', which can be used for different things such as pizza bases, flatbreads, pittas and breadsticks to name a few! I made the whole amount of dough and portioned it up to freeze. I'll have three portions spare from the soup, and I already have an idea for one of them... You'll see. I like the flatbreads because once you've made the dough, it is literally three minutes tops to cook them, which I could do while the soup was simmering. So it worked well all round.

Doesn't look pretty, but it tasted ten times better than it looked. It is also a coincidence because on a Paul Hollywood cookery programme I watched today, he had never used nutmeg in a savoury dish, and this had nutmeg in. It was good!

Nice brown spots, just as it should be. And yes those are nibble marks you see at the top...

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