Lyn’s Kitchen 6th September 2018
By Lyn Hagin Meade
Leek, Sweet Potato and Goats Cheese Pie
Serves 4 leftovers taste great for up to two days. Can be made in advance.
This is Tom’s favourite dinner. I think he would eat it every night if he could. I love the fact that everything is cooked in one pot and one dish. Less messing, less washing up.
My son has always declared he hates this dish. For some reason last night he decided to give it a second go. Within five minutes he was asking for seconds!
75g butter or 75ml olive oil
150g spelt or plain flour
Lots of black pepper
25g grated parmesan
3 big leeks, trimmed and washed (use the green parts too)
4 big sweet potatoes peeled
100ml crème fraiche/ soya yoghurt/soya cream
200ml hot water mixed with1 teaspoon stock powder (I use Swiss marigold bouillon)
1 200g log chevre (goats cheese log)
Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in the largest pan you have. While that’s heating, slice the leeks thickly and chop the potatoes into 2cm chunks. Add them to the pan as they are cut. Once everything is in the pan, cook on a medium-high heat for 10 minutes, until the vegetables are softening. Now add the stock, put a lid over the pan(I don’t have a lid big enough so I just use the biggest I have) and let the mixture simmer for 15 minutes. The liquid will reduce by 2/3rds.
While that is cooking, make the pastry by rubbing the butter into the flour (or stirring it in if using oil). Add the cheese if using and the black pepper. Then, add enough water to make a firm dough. Put in the fridge for a few minutes to rest.
Now preheat the oven to 180C and get out a large casserole dish/pyrex.
Add the crème fraiche to the sauce and let cook for a minute or two. Meanwhile slice the cheese and then halve each slice.
Roll the pastry out to roughly fit the top of the casseroles. Pour the vegetables into the pyrex and poke pieces of the goats cheese into the mixture. Top with the pastry, making a slit in it to allow steam to escape.
Now bake in the oven for 35 minutes.
This recipe of mine first appeared in Alexandra College Junior School Cookbook 2015.
Lasagne with a ratatouille sauce
My signature dish. I love ratatouille. The big thing is the length of time it takes to make it really well – the secret? Sauté each vegetable separately and keep your vegetables tasting of the Mediterranean sunshine.
Using wholemeal spelt flour and olive oil to make the white sauce gives it an earthy wholesome taste, perfect for a wintery day.
For the ratatouille
You will only need half the recipe to make the lasagne, but I find for some reason it cooks better in larger quantities. It’s perfect to freeze and there are some other ideas of what to do with the ratatouille below.
2 tins chopped tomatoes
2 large red onions, halved and sliced
4 cloves garlic, diced or crushed
2 large courgettes, halved then sliced
1 large aubergine, diced into 1cm cubes
2 red peppers, halved and sliced
2 yellow peppers, halved and sliced
200g chestnut mushrooms, wiped and sliced
100ml Olive oil
Optional bay leaf, a few sprigs of thyme, rosemary and oregano (or just use 2 teaspoons dried Italian herb seasoning)
For the white sauce
50g butter/50ml olive oil
50g spelt/plain flour
500ml milk of your choice
For the lasagne
9 -12 sheets dried lasagne, to fit the shape of your lasagne dish– I prefer the Roma “wavy” lasagne
(optional) 200g white mature cheddar or 200g crumbled feta
You will need the largest pot (such as a stock pot) you have, and 2 pans if possible to cook this as it will take a long time to do each one individually.
Start by preparing the onions and then fry them gently on a low-medium heat for 10 minutes, with the lid on the pot.
Then, heat 2 teaspoons of oil in each pan and when its hot, add the mushrooms to one pan, and the peppers to the other. Fry the vegetables on a medium heat stirring regularly.
After about five minutes, the vegetables should be softening and releasing their juices. Tip them and their juices into the big pot with the onions and add the garlic, stir and put the lid back on, turning the heat to low.
Heat 1-2 tablespoons of oil in each pan and add the courgettes to one and aubergines to the other. Fry for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softening, but not brown. Add these vegetables to the stockpot and stir everything.
Add the tomatoes, seasoning, a bay leaf and herbs. Put the lid back on and leave to cook. If you are in a rush, use a medium-low heat for 20 minutes. If you have time, turn the heat low, so the sauce barely simmers and the delicious scents waft through the kitchen for up to 1 hour. Remove the bay leaf and sprigs of thyme. Taste and season if needed. The sauce is ready to use or to freeze.
For the lasagne, make a white sauce, by heating the oil or butter in a small saucepan. Add the flour and whisk for one minute, to cook, on a medium heat.
Slowly add the milk, a little at the time and keep whisking to combine well. When all the milk is added, add the seasoning and a sprinkling of nutmeg. Bring to the boil, whisking all the time and then add ½ the cheese, whisking until combined. Take off the heat and put aside.
Using a large lasagne dish and half the ratatouille , spoon 1/3 ratatouille evenly across the lasagne dsih, top with a single layer of lasagne sheets (3-4).
Add 1/3 ratatouille, then 1/3 white sauce, a sprinkling of cheese, if using, and 3 -4 lasagne sheets.
Continue with the next layer, top with the lasagne sheets and then finish with the remaining white sauce, and sprinkle over the remaining cheese.
Bake in the oven at 180C for 35 -45 minutes – until a knife goes smoothly through the lasagne layers. Serve with a salad or in the winter I serve it with slices of roasted herbed potatoes.
Other uses for your ratatouille:
Add a tin of white beans to 500ml of ratatouille and make it into a stew
Add a tin of white beans to 500ml of ratatouille, a tablespoon of tomato puree, 250ml water and a tablespoon of cream. Puree and reheat for a delicious soup.
Use as a fresh pasta sauce for spaghetti, fettuccine or penne, topped with parmesan
Use the ratatouille for a filling for crepes, with polenta or a sauce for mousakka
For a pasta bake, mix with 500g shell pasta and top with a white sauce and bake for 20 minutes.
Pancake Stack – (serves 8 – easily halved or doubled – can be served next day)
Can be made in advance. Can be vegan.
This is my version of a recipe I have been cooking for years from Tamsin Day-Lewis wonderful book “Weekend Food”. Here pancakes are stacked like a lasagne with layers of gooey mozzarella and a tangy tomato sauce. Decadent and delicious and a complete crowd pleaser. I serve it on play dates and sometimes on Fridays as a nod to junk food.
If you are worried about the lack of veg, you could use a hidden vegetable sauce – add a few chopped carrots and mushrooms to the sauce and a tin of white beans. Cook as normal and make sure to puree it well before using!
For the pancakes
100g buckwheat or spelt flour (or plain if thats what you have in)
3 eggs (for vegan pancakes, use 2 tablespoons flax seeds soaked in 2 tablespoons water for 5 minutes)
250ml milk (I use goats or almond, rice milk will make them crispy)
For the sauce
2 cartons passata or 2 tins chopped tomatoes
2 onions, sliced
2 sticks celery sliced
2 cloves garlic
1 desertspoon pesto/tapenade/tomato pesto/ tomato puree (optional – to add depth to the flavour)
For the white sauce
50g butter/50ml olive oil
50g spelt/plain flour
500ml milk of your choice
2 125g balls fresh mozerella, diced (you could use vegan cheese or feta)
50g parmesan (optional)
12 basil leaves
Make the pancakes by putting everything in the blender and blending for 2 minutes, until there is no lumps. Leave to one side for the time it takes to get the tomato sauce into the pot.
For the sauce, use a large saucepan and heat a teaspoon of oil in the pan, add the onion and celery (and any other veg you may be using) and sauté on medium for 5 mins, add the garlic for another minute. Pour in the tomato and bring to the boil. Pop the lid on and bring to a simmer.
Make the white sauce by heating the oil or butter in a small saucepan. Add the flour and whisk for one minute, to cook, on a medium heat.
Slowly add the milk, a little at the time and keep whisking to combine well. When all the milk is added, add the seasoning and a sprinkling of nutmeg. Bring to the boil, whisking all the time and take off the heat and put aside.
Now make the pancakes
You are aiming for about 12 pancakes, so heat a teaspoon of oil in a large pan and add a soup ladle of the batter to the pan and rotate the pan to spread it out.
Cook for a minute or so on medium-high until the edges are well set and the middle has bubbles. Turn over and cook for 20-30 seconds. Stack on a plate, don’t worry about them staying warm.
Continue to cook the rest of the pancakes – I usually add more oil between every third pancake and I always turn down the heat if I see the pan smoking.
By the time the pancakes are done, the sauce should be reducing (thickening) nicely. Add the pesto/puree (if using) and stir well. Now, puree the sauce in a blender or with a blending stick. Add the white sauce to the tomato sauce and stir. Leave the sauce bubbling away with the heat off while you assemble the dish.
In a greased soufflé or deep quiche dish add one pancake. Top with 1 – 2 tablespoons of tomato sauce and spread as you would on a pizza. Dot with mozzarella and one torn basil leaf.
Add a second pancake and repeat the sauce, mozerella and basil. Continue until the top layer. When all the pancakes are added top with any remaining sauce – it will drip over the sides and enrobe the whole dish. Sprinkle the parmesan on top.
You could put this dish in the fridge now and cook it later or tomorrow.
Bake in the oven for 25 minutes at 180C until the parmasen is browned and . Serve sliced like a cake, with a green salad and garlic bread!
Copyright © 2018 Lyn Hagin Meade, All Rights Reserved.