Tag Archives: olives

Savoury sacristains

12 Oct

sacristans

Sacristains are made by spreading a sheet of pastry with something tasty, slicing it into strips, then twisting each strip before baking. I usually make them when I have puff pastry to use up.

Sacristains can be savoury or sweet. These are made with tapenade, but I’ve made sacristains with pesto, mustard and grated cheese, sundried tomato paste, Nutella, cinnamon sugar… Continue reading

Tomato, olive and feta galette

27 Jul

Tomato, olive and feta galette

“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”

And when life takes away the cucumber you need to make Greek salad, make tomato, feta and olive galette?”

Not as catchy, but the principle is the same. Plus, it’s how this recipe came about…;-) Continue reading

Spaghetti puttanesca

30 Jul

Spaghetti puttanesca

Sugo alla puttanesca – or “whore’s sauce” – is a savoury, spicy, lip-smacking combination of tomatoes, chilli, capers, anchovies and olives. Usually served with spaghetti, I’d choose it over a bolognese sauce any day of the week.

The Neapolitan version of puttanesca doesn’t include anchovies, so I’ve listed them as optional. I love the depth of saltiness they bring to the dish (and once they’ve cooked down, the girls are blissfully unaware they’re in there) so I usually sneak some in.

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Scott’s martini

24 Jun

Scott's martini

There are a lot of strong opinions about what makes a great martini. Personally, I’m pretty flexible. I’ve enjoyed them with gin and vodka – dry, wet or dirty. I’m happy with olives, lemon peel or a cocktail onion (though actually I think that’s a Gibson).

Two essentials for me: A great martini must be icy cold. And it must achieve a satisfying balance between its elements. Otherwise, it’s just a cold glass of gin…

I’m in the happy position of having two good friends who make great martinis. As Scott is visiting from Canada this week, I’m featuring his version here (with permission).  Continue reading

Nachos

5 Aug

Nachos

Done well, nachos are a wonderful thing. And when it’s so easy to do them well, it’s frustrating how often they are a disappointment.

Here are some tips, based on my experience of making nachos at home:

  1. Chips: Use the right sort of tortilla chips – plain, triangular, no fancy flavourings or shapes.
  2. Layering. Build your stack of nachos in layers, scattering toppings each time you add more chips.  You want melted cheese throughout the heap fusing the chips together, not sulking in unappetizing puddles. And don’t overdress the top – this just steams the chips.
  3. Toppings: Grated cheese, sliced black olives, sliced green onions, finely chopped tomato, or pickled jalapenos – all good. Meat products not so much, and coriander leaves just burn, so save them for the salsa. Anything else is a no-go around here.
  4. Temperature: Don’t cook nachos at too high a temperature, or the top will burn before all the chips have a chance to crisp up. 375°F is about right. I’ve also used the gas barbeque, well heated then dropped to medium-low. Three or four minutes with the lid down resulted in perfect nachos.
  5. Dips: Salsa, guacamole, sour cream – either dolloped on top after taking the nachos out of the oven, or served on the side. You need to eat them more quickly with them on top – but that’s never been a problem…

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