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Gloucester Road WI

The WI for Bristol's most interesting and independent high street. Meeting the 3rd Tues monthly.

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Harissa Veg with Cous-cous

Ingredients

  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 2 butternut squash
  • 2 courgettes
  • Garlic to taste
  • 1 red onion
  • 1tbsp harissa paste/harissa powder
  • 50g blanched almonds
  • 250g giant cous-cous

Method

  1. Pre heat oven and chop the veg into bite sized pieces. Tip into a roasting tray, add oil, harissa and garlic. Roast for 20 minutes.
  2. Add the almonds and roast for a further 10-20 minutes.
  3. Cook cous-cous according to packet instructions.
  4. Mix it all together. Best served at room temperature.

Pork Jambalaya

Ingredients

  • 4 Pork loin steaks 
  • Medium onion
  • Two bell peppers
  • Tin chopped tomatoes
  • Brown rice large mug full
  • Teaspoon x 2 Turmeric
  • 2 Garlic cloves
  • Tin kidney beans
  • Chilli powder to taste
  • Dried mixed herbs or fresh
  • Teaspoon of smoked paprika

Method

  1. Prepare in a large pan that can be covered.
  2. Dice pork and onion.
  3. Heat some oil and fry these together with the chopped garlic until soft.
  4. Then add the turmeric and chilli powder, stir in the uncooked rice.
  5. Add the tin of tomatoes and a canful of hot water. Stir well.
  6. Add chopped bell peppers herbs and kidney beans.
  7. Stir again cover and leave to simmer for about half an hour or until all the fluids have been absorbed.

Pimms Layer Cake

Inspired by an iconic summertime tipple, this stacked cake is soaked with fruity Pimm’s and topped with mascarpone cream, fresh strawberries and strips of cucumber. This showstopping bake is surprisingly easy to make and perfect for serving up at your next street party.

Ingredients

  • 225g (8oz) unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
  • 225g (8oz) golden caster sugar
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1 orange, finely zested
  • 225g (8oz) self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp milk

For the Pimm’s syrup

  • 300ml (10fl oz) Pimm’s
  • 100g (3 1/2oz) caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp orange juice

For the mascarpone cream

  • 200g (7oz) light mascarpone
  • 100ml (3 1/2fl oz) whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar
  • 1/2 orange, zested, plus 1 tbsp juice

For the filling and decoration

  • 300g (10oz) strawberries, hulled and sliced lengthways
  • handful fresh mint, leaves picked
  • 1/2 cucumber, cut into ribbons
  • 1/2 orange, zested

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C. Lightly grease 2 x 20cm (8in) loose-bottom sandwich tins. Line the bases with non-stick baking paper. 
  2. In a mixing bowl, beat the butter and caster sugar with an electric whisk until smooth. Gradually add the beaten egg, mixing continuously until pale and fluffy. Beat in the almond extract and orange zest.
  3. Sift over the dry ingredients and fold in using a large metal spoon. Stir in the milk. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared tins and smooth the surface. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until risen, golden and just starting to come away from the sides. Leave to cool in the tins for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  4. Meanwhile, make the Pimm’s syrup. Put the Pimm’s, sugar and orange juice in a small pan. Warm over a low heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat and bring to the boil. Boil briskly for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until syrupy and reduced by half. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
  5. To make the mascarpone cream, put the the mascarpone, cream, icing sugar, most of the orange zest and all of the juice in a mixing bowl. Beat with an electric whisk, until combined and smooth.
  6. To assemble the cake, put one sponge on a serving plate and drizzle over 2 tbsp of the cooled Pimm’s syrup. Using a large piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle, pipe the mascarpone cream over the cake. Alternatively use a palette knife, spreading it thickly.
  7. Layer up three quarters of the strawberries over the cream, working from the outside edge in. Top with the second sponge and pipe or spread with the remaining cream.
  8. Decorate the cake with the remaining strawberries, mint and cucumber ribbons. Drizzle over 2-3 tbsp more of the Pimm’s syrup, then scatter over the orange zest. To serve, cut into small slices.
  9. Tip: To avoid a soggy show- stopper, decorate your cake with the remaining strawberries, mint, cucumber and Pimm’s syrup just before serving.

Parmesan Bites

Ingredients

  • 100g/3½ oz cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 100g/3½ oz plain flour, plus extra for flouring
  • pinch salt
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 heaped tsp mustard powder
  • 50g/1¾ oz finely grated mature cheddar
  • 50g/1¾ oz finely grated parmesan, plus a little extra
  • egg, beaten

Method

  1. Place the butter and flour into the bowl of a food processor or Kenwood with the salt, cayenne, mustard powder and cheeses. Process together to begin with, and then finely pulse the mixture in short spurts as you notice the mixture coming together – it will eventually bind without the need for egg or water. Wrap in cling film and leave to chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
  3. Lightly flour a work surface and gently roll out the pastry to about the thickness of two pound coins. Cut out the biscuits to the size and shape you wish: about 3cm round makes approx. 2 dozen.  Alternatively, roll into a sausage, wrap in cling film and chill then slice into rounds to bake.  The sausage can be frozen then partially defrosted before slicing. 
  4. Lay them out on a greased baking tray about 2cm apart.  Carefully brush the surfaces of each bite with the egg and sprinkle over a little finely grated parmesan. Bake for 10 minutes, until they are golden-brown in colour.
  5. Carefully lift the bite off the tray using a palette knife and place on a rack to cool.  The biscuits will keep well in a sealed container for a few days if they get the chance!

Lady-like Earl Grey Tea Cocktail

Ingredients

  • 6 fl oz cold Earl Grey tea
  • 1 ¼ fl oz gin
  • 1 ¼ fl oz honey syrup *
  • ½ fl oz lemon juice

* Honey syrup – Warm 5 parts water to 1 part honey (eg 5 cups water and 1 cup of honey). Once dissolved cool completely and store in the fridge

Method

  1. Add all the ingredients to a cocktail shaker (or large jam jar) filled with ice, and shake vigorously.
  2. Strain into glass over ice and lemon slice

Tip: Makes excellent large batch cocktail!

Hummus

Ingredients

  • 1 tin of chickpeas in water, drained, with the water reserved.
  • 1 clove garlic
  • juice of half a lemon
  • a glug of extra virgin olive oil – about a dessertspoonful.
  • 1 dessertspoon of light tahini (optional)
  • pinch of salt

Method

  1. Put all the ingredients, with the exception of the drained water in a blender. Add a couple of tablespoons of the water. Blend. Add some more water if it needs it. You are looking to have a thick hummus-like consistency.
  2. This is how I like my hummus but feel free to add more garlic, more lemon, more oil, more tahini or none at all.

Chard, Leek and Parmesan Frittata

Ingredients

  • A big pillow bag of supermarket spinach, or a similar amount of chard, washed and shredded.
  • 1 leek
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 6 eggs
  • parmesan or another cheese of your choice
  • salt and pepper

Method

  1. Steam the spinach in a pan with a lid, over a low heat, with a little added water until reduced in size, about 2-3 minutes. If using chard, this stage will take longer, 4-5 minutes.
  2. Drain the greens and leave to cool. When cool enough to handle, squeeze out any excess water and set aside. This stops the frittata being too wet to cook properly.
  3. Chop the leek widthways and rinse under the tap to clean.
  4. Chop the garlic
  5. Put a knob of butter into a frying pan, under a low heat and sweat the chopped leek and garlic until soft, stirring from time to time, without browning.
  6. Beat together 6 eggs and season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
  7. Lightly oil a non stick shallow baking dish – doesn’t really matter what shape or kind of tin, but it should be wide and deep enough to hold the uncooked frittata with a bit of room for expansion.
  8. Add your cooked greens to the baking dish, spreading out to cover the bottom of the dish.
  9. Add the leeks, then half the cheese, then the beaten eggs, then the rest of the cheese on top, flattening down with a spoon so it’s level.
  10. Bake in a medium oven, about 175 C Fan, 195 C regular or Gas mark 5-6 for about half an hour until the top of the frittata is set.
  11. The frittata is a good vehicle for using up veg so feel free to experiment with anything you need to use up – peppers, potatoes, onions would all be good. The onions and potatoes should be cooked beforehand. Any cheese you have lying around is good too – grated cheddar, soft goats cheese or feta would all be good. I have made a good frittata with frozen peas, cooked for a few minutes, plus feta and chopped mint, or try a Spanish style potato and onion one with a pinch of smoky paprika. It’s good for making in advance for lunchboxes or picnics too.

Ingredients

Approx 300 g of thawed frozen spinach

White onion

1 tbs spoon butter

250 g grated cheddar cheese

200g cream cheese

150ml soured cream

Approx 150g mozzarella ball

Tin of artichokes

Tabasco

Method

Drain artichokes and chop roughly

Squeeze water from spinach, then chop roughly.  Put to one side with chopped artichokes

Dice onion and gently fry in butter on low-medium heat until tender

Add the cheddar, cream cheese and soured cream to the onions.  Stir on low-medium heat until melted.

Add chopped mozzarella and melt, then add spinach and artichokes.

Add quite a bit of Tabasco – it can take a lot.  Keep adding to taste and season if necessary

Transfer mixture to oven proof dish

Sprinkle more cheddar if you wish – you can never have too much – and top with bread crumbs

Cook in oven – approx. 170 degrees centigrade for 15-20 minutes or until golden and bubbling.

Serve with pitta – get cheesy and enjoy!

Tip

Always use frozen spinach.  Fresh just isn’t as good.

You can make the mix in advance and store in an oven proof dish in the fridge until guests arrive.  Then simply pop in the oven.

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