I enjoyed taking part in the first instalment of the Ready Steady Cook! challenge so much that when I found out Tandy was hosting the second instalment I signed up immediately. The premise of the challenge, like the TV show that inspired it, is that each contestant is given a mystery bag (list) of seven ingredients along with a pantry full of staples with which they are to create a three course meal. My list was supplied by Jessica from Tiny Oven Adventures.
- Red Onions
- Exotic Mushrooms
- Any cheese you choose
Here is what I made.
Starter: Sweetcorn Fritters
Based on this recipe, I used the sweetcorn from my list, cornflour and coconut oil to make these crispy fritters. I mixed a tin of cream style sweetcorn with four heaped tablespoons of cornflour. Once thoroughly mixed I shallow fried spoonfuls of the mixture for a few minutes on each side until golden and crispy.
Main Course: Stuffed Butternut
For my main course I chose to make stuffed butternut. I removed the seeds from the bowls of two small butternuts and filled the cavities with roughly chopped red onion, bacon lardons, the cubed flesh from the butternut stems, shimeji mushrooms and some fresh thyme (from the pantry). I then baked them covered in foil for an hour at 180°C. Removing the foil after forty minutes and placing a slice of chevin cheese on top of each butternut to melt into the filling.
Dessert: Plum Tarts
For dessert I chose to make plum tarts based on this recipe. I cheated a bit here by using ready made puff pastry instead of using the pantry ingredients flour and butter to make my own. I cut squares out of the pastry, folded the edges in using a little water to help stick them down and then arranged slices of yellow and red plums on top. I brushed the tarts with a diluted honey (from the pantry) mixture before baking at 200°C for twenty minutes. I glazed them with the remainder of the honey mixture while they cooled.
Posted in Recipes
Tagged bacon, butternut, cheese, chevin, plum, plum tart, ready steady cook, red onions, shimeji mushrooms, stuffed butternut, sweetcorn, sweetcorn fritters
As much as I try to keep my lunches healthy and lean sometimes it’s nice to break the rules a little. Who can resist a piece of yummy bacon anyway? I think I struck a nice balance between the sweet, smoky, crispy bacon and the lentils and other crunchy veggies in this salad.
- Lentil and bacon salad with mixed lettuce leaves, red onion, carrot, mange tout and baby tomato,
- some grapes and
- a plum.
OK so here it finally is… the first course of my Ready Steak Cook challenge entry. After deliberating over my list of ingredients I decided to make these cute little bacon and brie tartlets. More on the canapé side of things then a starter, still a perfect option to serve as a pre-meal snack with drinks while you wait for all your dinner guests to arrive.
Having all the necessary ingredients in the challenge pantry, I decided to go with a shortcrust pastry for the tartlet shells. For a little help I followed this thorough how to on Delia Online.
- 110g cake flour
- 50g butter – at room temperature cut into small pieces
- 1 Tbsp water
- 125g bacon – chopped into small pieces
- 125g brie – chopped into small pieces
- Place flour and butter in a large bowl and rub the butter into the flour using your fingertips.
- Once the flour and butter is combined and has the consistency of breadcrumbs add the water a little at a time. While you are adding the water bring the dough together with your hands until you have a solid mass.
- Cover the dough and let it chill out in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Turn your oven on to preheat at 180°C.
- Remove the dough from the fridge and roll out to a thickness of 3mm.
- Cut 15 rounds out of the rolled dough, you can use a cookie cutter or glass for this task.
- Line a 15 hole silicone mini muffin try with the 15 rounds, pressing the dough down into each hole to form a little shell.
- Place the muffin tray in the fridge for the dough to chill out some more.
- While the unbaked shells are chilling, chop the bacon and brie into small pieces.
- Remove the lined muffin tray from the fridge and place a teaspoon each of the chopped bacon and brie into each shell.
- Place the muffin tray in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
These tartlets are delicious served warm or cold. Besides being a lovely start to a multi course meal I think they would also be a welcome addition to a packed lunch or picnic spread.