Monday, June 27, 2011

France - Gougères

I wanted to make something cheap this week since I'm a bit low on funds so I looked around and found these French cheese puffs. I only had to buy some Gruyere and I had everything else in stock. Woo! Plus, they look really tasty and like something my kids would enjoy too.

Ingredients:

* 1/2 cup of water
* 3 tbls of butter
* 1/4 tsp of salt
* pinch of chilli powder
* 1/2 cup of flour
* 2 eggs
* 1 cup of grated Gruyere



Heat the butter, water, salt and chilli powder in a small pan.



When the butter has melted, stir well and add the flour. Stir until the mixture is a smooth ball with none stuck to the sides of the pan.



Rest for 2 minutes so it cools a bit and then add the eggs and stir quickly until it's smooth again.



Add 3/4 of the cheese and stir in. Put the mixture in a piping bag and pipe balls onto a lined oven tray.



Use the remaining cheese to sprinkle on the top of each ball. Erin helped me by doing this!





Bake for 10 minutes on Gas Mark 7 and then 25 minutes on Gas Mark 5.



Serve and eat while still warm!



I was a bit disappointed mine didn't puff up very well but the taste more than made up for that. They're delicious! The outside is nice and crispy with the melted cheese and the inside is soft and light. Yum!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Portugal - Francesinha

This dish consists of a mixed meat sandwich covered in melted cheese and a tomato based sauce. It seems really decadent so I'm looking forward to it!

Ingredients:

* 2 slices of bread
* 1 bottle of beer
* smoked sausage
* smoked ham
* 1 beef steak
* sliced cheese
* passata



First heat up the passata in a pan and add half of the beer.



Start to assemble the sandwich by placing a slice of bread in a dish and add a slice of smoked ham.



Slice the smoked sausage and add that to the sandwich.



Cook the steak and add that to the sandwich.



Top with the other slice of bread and cover with cheese slices. My recipe said to microwave to melt the cheese but since I don't have a microwave I grilled it and that worked out well too.



Pour over the passata/beer sauce and serve. The portugese usually serve their Francesinha with french fries on the side but the sandwich seemed filling enough on it's own to me.





It was different to eat a sandwich with a knife and fork but very enjoyable. I'm not usually a fan of beer but it was a nice addition to the passata and complimented the meats well. It was a really tasty sandwich variety and I'd definitely try it again with some alternative meat combinations like other regions of Portugal do.