Showing posts with label olives. Show all posts
Showing posts with label olives. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

One Pot Potatoes - Diced Potatoes with Lentils and Olives

I don’t tend to eat potatoes very often. As in, normal, white potatoes. And it’s not because of the bad-wrap they got in the carb-hating phase that swept the world. I’m just not a big fan of them. Unless they’re roasted, I tend to find them pretty boring. A sweet potato I can microwave or boil and eat without anything else done to it. A white potato for me always needs a little extra help. I know other people will disagree with me. I know some people love them. That’s the brilliance of difference.

I did have a few potatoes left over from when I bought them to do a roast (because then they are an absolute necessity), and when I was given some lamb chops by a wonderful friend of mine (from her parents’ sheep farm, no less!) I thought they could be the perfect side. One of my favourite ways of preparing potatoes is this combination of fry/boil in a pan. I’m sure there’s a technical term for this type of preparation, I don’t know what it is. I just know that it’s easy and results in extremely flavourful potatoes. It also means that I can cook lentils in with it in the one pan.

Whilst you can serve these potatoes with any other meats and veg you have on hand I think this combination works extremely well. The caramelized sweet grilled figs, the rich juicy lamb and the salty creamy textured potatoes just….work, you know? The potato was enough to serve two for dinner and me for lunch the next day. The accompaniments were just for the dinner.

Diced Potatoes with Lentils and Olives
5-6 baby potatoes
1 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 sprig rosemary leaves, minced (about 1 tbsp)
¼ cup uncooked French lentils (du Puy lentils), rinsed and picked through
1 cup water
½ tsp sea salt
Good few pinches of black pepper
6 olives, de-pitted and finely sliced
Sprinkling flat leaf parsley, chopped
Splash of grapefruit juice (or lime)

 Served with
4 Lamb chops
4 Figs, halved
1 Sweet paprika, halved lengthwise, core removed
1 Small zucchini, sliced into 1cm slices, lengthwise

Peel and dice the potatoes into 2cm chunks. In a high sided frypan with a lid (or a makeshift lid of aluminium foil), heat the olive oil to medium heat. Add the garlic and rosemary and cook until fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Add the potatoes and lentils and stir well to coat in the garlicky oil for about 2 minutes. Crack some pepper over the top to taste. Add the water and sea salt, mix through and turn the heat up to bring to the boil. Once there, turn down to low, cover with the lid and allow to cook until the lentils and potatoes are tender – around 25 minutes.

After about 10 minutes, heat your BBQ, lightly oil and grill the vegetables. Place the figs cut side down and don’t turn. The zucchini and paprika need to be turned after about 5 minutes on each side. Grill the lamb to your liking, I do mine about 3 minutes either side for a touch of pink in the middle.

When the potatoes are ready, turn the heat off and stir through the olives, parsley and a splash of grapefruit juice to ‘brighten’. Check for seasoning.

Serve with the lamb chops and grilled vegetables.


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

How the Focaccia - Lemon and Olive Wholemeal Focaccia

You know how sometimes you get given an appliance and it sits there? Or sometimes you even buy yourself an appliance and it just sits there. Well, I’ve got a few of those in cupboards around the house. And I feel bad, because I know they are probably really useful. But when you don’t have a great deal of time to cook already, it can be just too difficult to get out a new appliance and learn how to use it. Or even think about it sitting there. It may even be revolutionary in it’s time-saving-ness and it’s something you should be using every day…but it’s in the box and you need to read the instructions and. And. And…you don’t use it. And it sits there. You need a kick to get it out and use it.

One of those said appliances for me is a breadmaker. Stupidly, I grew up with a breadmaker, mum stopped buying bread and made it all when I was in high school, but I still didn’t rush to use my own. We don’t eat a great deal of bread in our house, so it just didn’t make sense to make my own. I already have to freeze a loaf and thaw/toast it as I need it. But then l I fell in love with pretzel rolls. Beautiful, fluffy pretzel rolls. Not having a proper standmixer yet, I had to work out another way of mixing the dough. And then it hit me. The breadmaker. Well, that folks, was the revelation I needed to start using my breadmaker.

Lance and I host an annual day-long BBQ for friends and family in October and being a full-day of drinking and celebrating – we need decent filling snacks to keep things from getting too rowdy. Bread is perfect for that.  This recipe makes a foccacia the size of a whole baking tray, so it's perfect for entertaining a large group of people.

I served this with maple butter. A little trick I learnt on the Sweet Escape Retreat. Drizzle a little maple syrup into room temperature butter and mix in well. Delicious.

Lemon and Olive Wholemeal Focaccia
2 cups warm water
1 tbsp yeast
3 tbsp sugar
2 ½ cups plain flour
2 ½ cups wholemeal flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tbsp salt
1/2 cup olive oil
zest from one lemon

2 sprigs thyme, leaves picked off
20 or so pitted olives, sliced into rings
Coarse sea salt
2 tsp raw sugar
Drizzle of olive oil

In the base of your bread maker, stir the warm water, sugar and yeast together. Let it sit until foamy. Add the olive oil, then the flours, cinnamon, ginger and salt. Select the ‘dough’ setting and leave it to do it’s thing. Once finished, it should be a risen slightly sticky dough.

(If you don’t have a bread maker, follow the steps above but mix in a standmixer. Then put the dough in a large oiled bowl , cover, and place bowl somewhere warm for an hour or so to double in size.)

Preheat the oven to 200C. Line a baking tray with paper and dump the dough out into the middle . Stretch the dough out until it covers the whole baking tray. Poke bumps and holes into the dough. Leave it to rise in a warm area.

Drizzle a little olive oil over the top and gently rub it across. You should only need a few tablespoons. Then poke the olives into the dough a little, so it ‘holds’ them. Sprinkle with the lemon zest, thyme, salt and sugar.

Bake until golden and slightly crispy at the edges. Serve with maple butter.