The Best Smashed Avocado with a Runny Poached Egg

Get fired up right now with this zingy dish!

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 5 minutes 

Serves: 2

Ingredients

  • 1 large avocado
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice 
  • 1/4tsp chilli flakes
  • 1tsp olive oil
  • Pinch sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • White wine vinegar, a dash

To serve (optional): 

  • Balsamic vinegar, little splash of
  • Toasted sourdough, couple of slices

Method

  • Halve and pit the avocado 
  • Scoop out the flesh onto a chopping board and cut into little cubes
  • Place the avocado in a small bowl and smash it! Add the lemon juice, olive oil, chilli and seasoning. Stir well to combine 
  • Toast the sourdough and, while the egg cooks, spoon the avocado over it
  • Meanwhile boil a pan full of water and add a dash of white wine vinegar to help the egg white set faster. Add the eggs and cook for around 3 minutes or until the white is set and the yolk is still runny. Tip: if you’re cooking one egg, swirl the water before adding it as this helps wrap the egg white around the yolk and make it look more restaurant-worthy. With two eggs this becomes more problematic (egg bumper cars anyone?)
  • Lift the eggs out with a slotted spoon and – important point – dab off the water with kitchen roll to avoid soggy eggs 
  • Arrange the egg on top of the avocado and add a little splash of balsamic vinegar
  • Season and enjoy x

copyright (c) misterrands.com

The Super Quick Vegan Low-Carb Super Pea Soup

Omit the potato base for a waistline friendly soup

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 1tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 4 spring onions, chopped
  • 800g peas (petits pois for a sweeter flavour, or regular garden peas) – fresh or frozen
  • 480ml vegetable stock
  • lemon juice, splash of
  • pinch of sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

To garnish:

  • peas, reserved from cooking
  • pea shoots, handful of (if you’re feeling fancy)
  • coconut cream, swirl of

Method

  • Heat the oil over a medium heat and add the garlic, frying for a minute
  • Add both types of onions and sweat until cooked (translucent and soft to the touch)
  • Add the peas and the stock and increase the heat to a rapid boil, then turn down the temperature and  simmer for 10 minutes
  • Reserve a handful of peas for the garnish then puree using a hand blender
  • Add a splash of lemon juice, a pinch of sea salt and a crack of black pepper and stir
  • Serve garnished with some of the reserved peas, pea shoots (optional) and a swirl of coconut cream

Absolutely delicious hot or cold x

copyright (c) misterrands.com

Super-Quick and Delicious Pan-Seared Butternut Squash with Fried Sage Leaves and Feta

This time of year, when the weather is cold and the days are short, we yearn for something heart-warming to eat. May I introduce you to Pan-Seared Butternut Squash with Fried Sage Leaves and Feta?

It’s my go to recipe when short on time because it’s so quick, so delicious and so seasonal.

Sage is quite simply the taste of winter for me. It’s in all the hearty dishes this time of year – I like to melt it with butter and add to gutsy pasta dishes or pair with chicken and parsnip in a warming casserole.

But, I digress…

Pan-seared Butternut Squash with Fried Sage Leaves and Feta is one wintry dish you simply won’t forget in a hurry.

Enjoy x

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 medium butternut squash (around 900g), rough chopped in to palm-sized chunks
  • ½ tsp. course sea salt
  • 200g feta cheese
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bunch fresh sage, leaves picked
  • 1tbsp. olive oil

Olive oil, to drizzle

Sourdough bread, toasted, to serve

Method

  • Heat the vegetable oil in a skillet over medium-high heat then add the squash and toss to coat. Cook for 5 minutes, tossing once more
  • Lower the heat to medium and cook for a further 10 minutes, tossing a couple of times
  • Check they’re done by testing with a fork – each piece should be tender all the way through and the sides should have taken on some colour (light to dark brown)
  • In a small frying pan heat 1 tbsp. of olive oil then fry 6-8 sage leaves until crisp (2-3 seconds). Transfer to a kitchen roll, dab off the excess oil and sprinkle generously with coarse sea salt
  • Rough crumble the feta in to the skillet with the squash and cook for a minute
  • Arrange the squash and sage leaves atop the feta, drizzle with olive oil and season with a generous crack of pepper and small pinch of course sea salt

Serve while still warm with a hunk of toasted sourdough, a simple and super-delicious supper x

copyright © misterrands.com

Super-Fast and Scrumptious Salmon & Leek Tart

This tart is ready in no time thanks to shop-bought shortcrust pastry!

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 45 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 250g shortcrust pastry
  • 100g salmon fillet
  • 30g butter
  • 1 leek (white part only), finely sliced
  • 1tsp wholegrain mustard
  • 2 eggs
  • 150ml double cream (or for a healthier filling, replace half the cream with half-fat crème fraiche)
  • 100g Gruyere cheese, grated
  • ½ tbsp. fresh chives, chopped
  • Salt and ground white pepper
  • Plain flour, to dust

Green salad, to serve

Method

  • Preheat your oven to 190C / 170C fan / gas mark 5
  • While the butter melts in a saucepan, slice the leek lengthways then into half-rings and add to the pan. Put a lid on it and allow the leeks to soften over a gentle heat for around 20 minutes (they should be soft to the touch and slightly translucent without having taken on any colour). Drain the leeks or take the lid off and let the liquid evaporate then set aside to cool
  • On a lightly floured work surface roll the pastry to 3mm in thickness (like a £1 coin)
  • Find a 20.5cm flan tin and line it with the pastry then prick the base lightly with a fork. Line the pastry with baking parchment paper and blind bake using baking beans for around 12 minutes, then remove the paper and beans and cook for around a further 5 minutes, or until the pastry looks dry and is sandy to the touch
  • Remove from the oven and turn down the oven to 150C / 130C fan / gas mark 2
  • Spread mustard over the base then add bite-sized chunks of salmon
  • Add the eggs and cream to a small bowl and mix together with a fork. Pass this mixture through a fine sieve into a clean medium bowl and add the cooled leek together with 85g of the grated Gruyere – mix well and season with salt and pepper. Pour the mixture over the salmon then sprinkle over the remaining Gruyere and the chives and bake for around 25 minutes, or until the mixture has set – check for a pale yellow colour to the custard and a little softness in the centre

Serve with a simple green salad. My favourite is a leafy butterhead dressed with a splash of white wine vinegar and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. It’s simple and delicious!

Enjoy x

copyright (c) misterrands.com

The Super Quick & Easy Healthy and Humble Plum Crumble

Well, it feels like a crumble sort of a day

it’s cold,

it’s dreary,

and, it’s dank.

Fear not, a crumble will sort you out, if your heart has sank.

It’s cosy and warming to the core,

(that’s good to know as I’m chilled to the bone),

given today’s weather, a crumble certainly fits the tone.

A humble plum crumble with lashings of steaming hot custard.

The food equivalent of a roaring log fire; cosy and warming to the core,

here’s a super quick recipe, for when you walk through the door x

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 25 minutes

Serves: 6

Recipe —

For the plum compote

Ingredients

  • 800g plums (2x 400g punnet)
  • 300ml boiling water
  • 1 dessert spoon mixed spice
  • 2 whole star anise
  • Optional – 30g light brown sugar, or to taste

Method

  • Remove the stones from the plums and rough chop
  • Pour the boiling water into a saucepan
  • Add any sugar and bring to the boil for 30 seconds
  • Now add the plums, mixed spice and star anise and simmer for around 10 minutes
  • Towards the end, stir gently until the compote thickens. Remove the star anise then pour into an oven safe gratin dish

For the crumble topping

Ingredients

  • 100g wholemeal flour
  • 50g rolled porridge oats
  • 30g light brown sugar
  • 75g vegan margarine (or regular butter if non-vegan, at room temperature, cut into pieces)

Custard, to serve (or see recipe below)

Method

  • Now make the crumble topping. Start by heating your oven to 190C/ 170C fan/ gas mark 5
  • Add the flour, oats and sugar in to a large bowl and stir well to combine
  • Add the margarine by rubbing into the flour mix using your fingertips and being careful not to overwork the crumble or it will become heavy. Aim for a light breadcrumb texture
  • Spread the breadcrumbs over the plum compote and cook in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until the crumble topping has taken on a little colour

For the custard

Ingredients

  • 450ml soya milk (or, full-fat milk if you’re not vegan)
  • 2tbsp light brown sugar
  • 2tsp vanilla extract
  • 2tbsp organic cornflour
  • 2tbsp cold water

Method

  • While the crumble is in the oven prepare the custard
  • Add the milk, vanilla extract and sugar to a saucepan and simmer
  • In a small bowl dissolve the cornflour in the water and add this to the saucepan, continuing to simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Whisk regularly to thicken the custard

When ready, pour into a custard jug then place in the centre of your table alongside the plum crumble and dig in! x

copyright (c) misterrands.com

Fougasse: the super quick and easy method

Sourdough was the breakout recipe back in spring but, the burning question is, are you bored of it yet?

For instance, have you considered the simple beauty of a Pain De Campagne? Savoured a homemade crusty and flavourful Baguette? Or, delighted in the Provençal charm of a Fougasse?

They may sound unusual and complex but fear not these babies are super easy to make

I’ll start with a fougasse because it’s so good with meze and tapas (the staples in our house because they’re so quick and easy to make!). Place it in the middle of your table and surround with cured hams, cheeses and dips and get ready to be in tear-and-share heaven!

Sure, sourdough would work as well but where’s the tear-and-share fun in that?               

So, let your teeth have a rest (it’ll be for the best) and give these softer doughs a test 🙂

Bread Recipe #2 Fougasse (Quick & Easy Method)

Previously, I walked through the proper artisan method of producing Fougasse, used by most quality bakeries and restaurants because it creates a better flavour and texture. However, as a lot of people are short on time, here’s my quick and easy method instead : )

Prep time: 2 hours (half an hour of real work with an hour and a half for the dough to rise & prove)

Cooking time: less than 15 minutes

Serves: makes two large loaves / four small ones

Ingredients

  • 500g strong white bread flour
  • 40g wholegrain rye flour
  • 8g fine sea salt, plus extra to finish
  • 7g dried/instant yeast
  • 380ml lukewarm (not hot) water
  • A little olive oil for brushing

Method

The fougasse uses a classic baguette recipe with a slightly different method

  • In a bowl stir the yeast in to the flours then add the salt and 280ml of the water
  • Combine the ingredients using an electric mixer with dough hook attachment set on low speed
  • When the dough starts to form, add the remaining water very slowly and mix for a further 10 minutes on medium. Check the dough is ready by stretching it – it should be very stretchy!
  • Form a ball with the dough by turning it over and over in your hand then place it back in the bowl and cover with cling film. Leave to rise in a warm place for about an hour to double in size
  • Preheat your oven to 250C/fan 230C/gas mark 9 or as hot as it’ll go!
  • Line a baking tray with baking parchment paper
  • Uncover the dough and, as gently as possible to keep it full of air, divide in two, and on a work surface very gently stretch each one in to a flat oval shape
  • Now — and here comes the fun part — make a traditional leaf pattern on the dough. Place your dough onto the baking tray and with a sharp knife (or pizza cutter) make a single cut down the centre of the dough, top to bottom, making sure you cut right through the dough but stop around an inch from each end. Make three cuts either side of the line to finish the leaf pattern
  • Gently stretch the dough to widen the cuts and brush with a little olive oil
  • Cover the baking tray with cling film and leave to prove somewhere warm for 30 minutes (if you’re really short on time, skip this step and put it straight in the oven)
  • Uncover the dough and if the cuts have started to join together gently pull them apart
  • Place your tray in the oven and lightly spray inside the oven with water spray
  • Bake for 12-14 minutes (or until the fougasse sounds hollow when tapped on the base)
  • Remove from the oven, brush with a little more olive oil and add a sprinkle of sea salt
  • Serve while still hot (perhaps with a selection of hams, cheeses and dips) and enjoy!

copyright © misterrands.com

Lockdown 2.0 Burning Questions: Are You Bored Of Sourdough, Yet? Try These Delicious Breads Instead…

Sourdough was the breakout recipe back in spring but, the burning question is, are you bored of it yet?

For instance, have you considered the simple beauty of a Pain De Campagne? Savoured a homemade crusty and flavourful Baguette? Or, delighted in the Provençal charm of a Fougasse?

They may sound unusual and complex but fear not these babies are super easy to make

I’ll start with a fougasse because it’s so good with meze and tapas (the staples in our house because they’re so quick and easy to make!). Place it in the middle of your table and surround with cured hams, cheeses and dips and get ready to be in tear-and-share heaven!

Sure, sourdough would work as well but where’s the tear-and-share fun in that?               

So, let your teeth have a rest (it’ll be for the best) and give these softer doughs a test : )

Today’s Bread Recipe – Fougasse

I’ll start with the artisan method today which is the pro-baker’s choice. If you’re short on time, the quick cheat method (coming tomorrow) is for you but, like any quick fix, the result won’t be as tasty

Most quality bakeries and restaurants use this method which incorporates a starter. A starter is a simple mixture of wheat flour, water and yeast (or sourdough culture) which is allowed to ferment for a period of time (a day in this case). The starter is added to bread dough as a substitute for more yeast. Pre-ferments, such as this, are critical for best tasting bread – the flavour and texture is nearly impossible to achieve without it. While it’s not a complex process, it’s not a quick one either. It takes over two days to complete because of the fermentation process but, to be fair, what’s the rush these days…

Prep time: 1-2 hours

Cooking time: less than 15 minutes

Serves: makes two loaves

Ingredients

Day 1 – The Starter

  • 50g cold water
  • 2g fresh yeast (or 1.5g dried yeast)
  • 50g strong white bread flour

Day 2 – The Dough

  • The Starter (see ‘Day 1’)
  • 250g strong white bread flour
  • 20g wholegrain rye flour
  • 4g fine sea salt
  • 4g fresh yeast (or 2g dried yeast)
  • 140g cold water

Method

The fougasse uses a classic baguette recipe with a slightly different method

Day 1 – The Starter

  • In a bowl, mix the fresh yeast and water until fully combined (if using dried yeast, skip this step)
  • Add flour and stir to fully combine (if using dried yeast – stir the yeast through the flour, then add the water, it’ll be easier to combine this way)
  • Cover with cling film and leave at room temperature for 2 hours then place in the fridge overnight (for 12-24 hours)

Day 2 – The Dough

  • Take your Starter out of the fridge and check for a bubbly consistency and slightly alcoholic aroma : )
  • Combine in a bowl the two flours and the salt (if using dried yeast – stir the yeast through the flour as well)
  • In an another bowl, mix the fresh yeast and water until combined (if using dried yeast, you’ll just need the water)
  • Make a well in the centre of the flour and add the liquid and your Starter. Gently bring the dough together, which is easier said than done, I know! Here’s how I do it: gently move a wooden spoon in an increasingly-large circular motion to gradually pull in more of the dry ingredients around the edge of the well then, when the majority comes together, use a hand to gently move the sticky messy ball around the bowl to gather the remaining dry ingredients
  • Remove the dough on to a work surface (tip: don’t add any flour to the work surface – it messes with the recipe)
  • Use the heel of your hand to push and stretch the dough a good full arm’s length into the work surface for around 10 minutes. The longer the better as this creates the elasticity to shape your bread later on
  • Place the dough back in to your bowl (if making two small loafs, divide the dough in half now), cover with cling film and leave at room temperature for an hour
  • Gently shape the dough into a round by turning it over and over in your hands. Then it’s back in the bowl, cover with cling and leave to rest for 10 minutes
  • Line a baking tray with baking parchment paper
  • Uncover the dough and on the work surface stretch it out in to a flat oval shape
  • Now — and here comes the fun part — make a traditional leaf pattern on the dough. Place your dough onto the tray and with a sharp knife (or pizza cutter) make a single cut down the centre of the dough, top to bottom, stopping around an inch from each end. Then make three cuts either side of the line to finish the leaf pattern
  • Stretch the dough to widen the cuts and brush with olive oil
  • Cover the baking tray with cling film and leave to prove for an hour
  • Preheat your oven to 250C/fan 230C/gas mark 9 or as hot as it’ll go!
  • Uncover the dough and if the cuts have started to join together gently pull them apart
  • Place your tray in the oven and lightly spray inside the oven with water spray
  • Bake for 12-14 minutes (or until the fougasse sounds hollow when tapped on the base)
  • Remove from the oven, brush with a little more olive oil and add a sprinkle of sea salt
  • Serve while still hot (perhaps with a selection of hams, cheeses and dips) and enjoy!

copyright © misterrands.com