Featured on the feedfeed

The lovely folks over at the feedfeed featured one of my recipes (which you can find here!) on their easy weeknight dinners feed. You can check the feed over at this link here– there’s plenty of inspiration to be found over there in making your dinners during busy weeks just a little bit more exciting!

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Honey-roast figs and mozzarella on sourdough toast

Ah, figs and cheese on toast. This isn’t really bringing anything revolutionary to the table, but let’s be honest, I’m not even trying to do so. This combo is a classic, and for good reason. This is another assembley-list with figs, but I love figs on toast, and I also just sort of wanted to show off my pictures for this one (shameless).

Serves 4, as a snack.

You’ll be needing;

4 slices of sourdough bread
4 figs, halved
2 tbsp of runny honey
pinch of sea salt
200g of mozzarella
black pepper for serving

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C. Lightly oil a small roasting tin, and pop in the fig halves. Drizzle with honey and sprinkle over the sea salt, and roast for twenty minutes. Near the end of the roasting time, preheat the grill (or BBQ, I guess), and grill the bread on one side, before turning over, tearing the mozzarella and scattering it over the toast. Grill again until the cheese has melted, then remove both the toast and figs from the heat.

Serve two fig halves over each slice of toast, and finish with some cracked black pepper if desired.

Goats cheese, roasted fig & honey sourdough toast

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This is more of an assembly-line list than an actual recipe. But, when the snack attack feelings kick in, this is a great and delicious way to up the ante on your usual toast!

It helps to focus on the cheese here; I chose rocamadour goats cheese, which is rather pungent, soft and spreadable, and a rich taste, but of course, feel free to choose your favourite! I recommend one that melts slightly when it meets the hot toast.

So, you will need;

2 slices of sourdough bread
roughly 4 small figs, halved, or sliced if using rather large figs
75g of goats cheese
1 tbsp of runny honey
sea salt

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees centigrade. Lightly oil a roasting tin, and pop in the figs for fifteen minutes or so, or longer if you have time to spare. Near the end of its roasting time, toast the sourdough and spread over the goats cheese on both slices. Top with the figs, and drizzle over some honey. Finish with a sprinkle of the salt, and enjoy!

Fig, goat’s cheese & rocket pizza

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I am so over store-bought pizzas. I guess I should be saying I’m over a lot of store-bought pizzas, but store-bought pizzas are just depressing me lately. Soggy crust, or just plain uncooked and floury, too much toppings or too little, not enough crunch, not enough flavour–no thanks.

Thankfully, what I am so into at the moment, is making my own pizzas. Okay, I cheat a little because I usually use a pre-made base (basically, I buy a frozen pizza dough which you defrost and roll out yourself — if you’re in the UK, I really recommend this company, since my dough always comes out crispy, it only takes four hours to defrost on the counter-top, or 12 in the fridge, there’s no icky flour mixture for me to freak out over (I have a phobia of the texture of flour), and they have interesting flavour combos–chilli is the next on my list). But, hey, we all cheat a little sometimes, and this way things work out the best for our family.

If, however, you’re interested in being a champ of pizza, here’s a recipe to make your own, which I’ve shared before as I think it’s pretty good (makes a heck of a lot of dough though, so keep that in mind!)

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Ever since my summer of dairy basically being a full on no-no for my body, I’ve been loving cheeseless and tomato-sauce less pizzas. I’ve found some pretty great lactose-free cheeses since then, even soy varieties, that I think are pretty good, but I am really loving the delicate flavour combos you can get by getting rid of the classic margherita base of cheese and passata.

This uses goat’s cheese, which I think is under-rated in general anyway, and I used a classic pairing with figs (which I had forgotten just how delicious they are, particularly after they spend some time in a hot oven!), and topped with fresh rocket once out the oven. I imagine drizzling honey over would make it even better, pity I hadn’t thought of that at the time…

Serves 2 for lunch or a light dinner.  Read More

Trip to Naples, FL, USA – Dec 2014.

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You may well have noticed I’ve been AWOL for a while. I have to admit, in amidst everything going on, I completely forgot to check my posting schedule. Oooops. However, part of that blip in posting has been due to being away for quite a while in Naples, Florida, just a few hours away from Tampa and on the opposite coast from Miami.

In case you were interested in catching up on all the good food I ate (there was SO much), I sincerely recommend checking out my instagram (there’s a link to the right that should help, and my username would be emmasarahax), and scrolling a little bit down to see all the delicious plates.

And, man, I get the hype about Florida now.

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I mean, it’s just gorgeous. Blue sea, blue skies, so green, and errr….gators? Great times. But to get back to things, it’s such a beautiful state, full of good food and good sceneries. I totally see why it’s a retirement haven. So in amongst all the outlet shopping and lazing like a gator on the beach, I did have some killer food. Those chicken, avocado, three cheese, salsa and veg quesadillas? Killer.

This lobster roll?

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Fab. Enough lobster to feed an army. I’ll tentatively say I get the love for lobster rolls now. It’s pretty damn good.

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We stayed right by the beach in Naples, but most of the place is just so lush and green. I’m totally in love.

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And to have a quick glance at some other things I ate, here’s a few other snaps (but like I said, instagram’s gonna be the best catch-up around for my trip. Just scroll down a little until you hit mid-Dec–you’ll be able to tell by the palm trees!)

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A fantastic dulce de leche sponge cake. So fluffy!

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Some brown-rice sushi from the Whole Foods Store for breakfast in bed. This was just a normal store in Naples, but it kicks the butts off the ones in London for sure! I wonder what the giant flagship ones would be like…

So all in all, I’m a bit like this gator right now…can’t…move…after…eating. Hope everyone had a lovely Christmas, and have a wonderful New Years!

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Review; Lunch at the Sun Inn, Dedham, Essex

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This is a pub (the fancier gastro kind mind you) that’s fairly local, in that it lies in a village/small town not to far from my own little village, and you can walk a few miles along the river to get to it, crossing the border between Suffolk and Essex. Basically, you get to exercise for your food! If EB is full of gingerbread little houses, Dedham have beautiful town houses, more like Georgian style in various colours along the small streets. Like EB, there’s a few pubs, three if I’m not mistaken, plus a tearoom and a lunch place, but the Sun Inn is where we remain faithful to.

Above is my usual, the antipasto platter–they change these regularly, often every few weeks (the menu itself rotates every single day depending on fresh produce), and can be served for just one or for a few people. For one, it makes a perfect light lunch. Here we have parma ham, the most amazing oiled anchovies, tomato bruschetta, pulled lamb bites (delicious), wild black mushroom bruschetta, and country salami. Often in the months of availability, you also get oysters in various styles; I really recommend them.

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My friends both took the English classic–a country ploughman’s each, a cheese board with chutney and pickled vegetables and plenty of fresh, fluffy, home-baked bread.

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And my father took on the role of my mother in having the crab with tomato bruschetta. Hidden behind the tomatoes was a second pile of crab just visible there, so there was plenty enough from just a starter portion. The sizes are pretty generous! The dishes cost around £7-12, so it’s not the worst price ever for a good amount of lovely food.

The Sun Inn
High Street
Dedham
Essex
CO7 6DF

01206 323351

Their website.

Prosciutto & Goat’s Cheese Caramelised Onion Tart

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Sometimes things are best kept easy. In part because it’s getting darker already (waaah, where’s my natural light gone?!), so I can’t be slow cooking all day long if I want pretty pictures, to put it in a brutally honest way. And also, sometimes it’s just nice to not have a lot of faff with recipes. And simple and easy still tastes pretty good in this case.

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Nom. I whole-heartedly have a love for most things including caramelised onions, so we’re off to a great start. This recipe actually calls for red onions, which are slightly sweeter though the pictures show one made with normal yellow onions, which are less naturally sweet. Your call.

This is adapted from a recipe by Bill Granger, whose cookbooks are the epitome of simple and easy but still the best of those worlds. Taste is by no means compromised (I really recommend his Everyday Asian book, actually–a mix of classic, authentic, but still easy enough for everyday cooking, and the pictures are gorgeous. I’ve made probably about eighty percent of the recipes in there, and we have not had a single dud).

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Serves approx 4-5 as a main meal. I’ve added the prosciutto as an extra, but you could skip it and keep the dish vegetarian, or go wild with other toppings!
Adapted from Bill Granger’s Easy Read More