Spicy Halloumi Fries

This is a really quick recipe for Cajun spiced halloumi fries.  Crunchy on the outside, but soft and slightly melting on the inside, they are rather moreish and should probably come with a warning.

Halloumi Fries

I don’t have a deep fat fryer, these are shallow fried in batches and then finished off in the oven so they are all ready at the same time.

Halloumi Fries3

I bought some halloumi with chilli in as we like things hot and I served the fries with a spicy salsa too, but plain halloumi, served with yoghurt is a milder alternative.

Ingredients:
2 packs of halloumi cheese – I used halloumi with chilli
3tbs plain/all-purpose flour
1-2tbs Cajun seasoning
2-3tbs sunflower oil for frying
Handful of coriander
1-2 chillies, thinly sliced
Salsa for serving

Halloumi Fries2

Method:
Pre-heat the oven to 220°C/430°F and line a baking sheet with foil.

Mix the flour and Cajun seasoning together in a dish.

Slice the halloumi lengthways then again down the middle to cut them into fries and turn in the seasoned flour. Tap off any excess coating back into the dish.

Heat the oil and fry the cheese for 2-3 minutes, turning until each side is crisp and golden.  Place on the lined baking sheet and continue until all the fries are ready.

Bake for 5-7 minutes in the hot oven while you chop the coriander and slice the chillies.  They are ready when they are sizzling, piping hot and crisp.  Place onto paper towels to absorb any excess oil before sprinkling over the chopped herbs and chilli.

Halloumi Fries1

Serve immediately with spicy salsa for dipping and enjoy with drinks

Mushroom and Stilton Wellington

The mushrooms in this are a great alternative to meat and make a substantial and delicious supper dish for a cold winter night.

Mushroom Wellington5

This serves 2, but you could easily double this to feed 4 people. I would serve this with a side salad, but the addition of sweet potato fries would be good too!

Mushroom Wellington4

Ingredients:
5 field mushrooms – stalks removed and one of them chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1.5tbs olive oil
1tsp salt and freshly ground black pepper
Small bunch of thyme – leaves removed and roughly chopped
Small bunch of Cavolo Nero – tough ribs removed and roughly chopped
100g mature blue Stilton cheese, crumbled
1 pack of puff pastry
1 egg beaten with a little milk to make a wash

Mushroom Wellington3

Method:
Heat oven to 220°C/425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment or a non-stick liner

Heat 1tbs of the oil in a large pan and fry 4 of the mushrooms for around 4 mins on each side until golden and cooked through. Set aside on kitchen paper to absorb the excess oil and moisture.

Place the pan back on the heat and add the rest of the oil. Add the chopped mushroom, onion, thyme, salt and pepper. Fry until the onion is soft and translucent. Then add the kale and continue to cook until wilted, before setting aside to cool.

On a lightly floured board, roll out the puff pastry until it is a little under half a centimetre thick.

Using a large cookie cutter or a small bowl; cut out two circles that are 2cm wider than the mushrooms. These will be the bases. Then cut another two circles about 8cm wider for the tops. You need the tops to be big enough to cover the mushrooms without stretching, so go bigger if your mushrooms are on the large size.

Mushroom Wellington2

Place the two base circles on the baking sheet and add a quarter of the vegetable mixture, taking care not to spread it wider than the mushrooms.

Place a mushroom, cap down and top with half of the cheese. Place another mushroom cap side up and add another quarter of the vegetable mixture.

Brush the pastry base border around each mushroom with egg and then layer the top circle of party over the filling, like a large ravioli.

Use your hand to gently smooth the pasty over the mushrooms and make sure you have not trapped any air in the parcel. Just take care not to stretch the pastry, as it can shrink in the oven and open up.

Seal the edges together using a fork.

Mushroom Wellington

Trim any untidy edges – I used a small bowl over the parcels and cut around the edge.

Brush each wellington with egg and bake for 30-40 mins until golden brown and puffed.

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Serve with a green salad and sweet potato fries for a delicious vegetarian dinner.

Spinach makes a good alternative to the kale and feel free to up the cheese content for an extra indulgent treat.

Stilton, Spinach & Walnut Stuffed Mushrooms

I don’t care what people think, life is definitely not too short to stuff a mushroom!

Stuffed mushrooms2

I love stuffed mushrooms and these meaty, Portobello ones have delicious Colston Bassett Stilton cheese, fresh spinach, walnuts and sage.  They make a really nice lunch that’s perfect for this time of year and make a great side dish for nice juicy steak.

I have also made smaller versions of this recipe, using chestnut mushrooms and served them warm as a canapé.

Stuffed mushrooms

Serves 2

Ingredients:
3 Portobello Mushrooms, with stems removed
1tbs olive oil
Knob of butter
Salt and pepper
1 small onion, finely chopped
Freshly chopped sage
Large bunch of fresh spinach leaves
180g Stilton cheese, broken up into large crumbles
Handful of walnuts, roughly chopped
Two slices of lightly stale white bread, just leave it out for an hour. Remove crusts and whizz up in the food processor until you have crumbs
Small bunch of flat leaf parsley, chopped
4tbs double cream

Stuffed mushroom

Method:
Pre-heat the oven to 190°C/375°F

Add the parsley to the breadcrumbs and stir to combine and set aside.

Heat the oil and butter in a non-stick pan.

Very finely chop one of the mushrooms and add to the pan, along with the chopped onion, sage and a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook until the onion has softened, add the spinach until wilted and then stir in the cream. Cook for a further minute, before turning off the heat. Stir in the stilton, walnuts and herby breadcrumbs.

Stuffed mushroom closeup

Using a spatula, gently press the mixture into the mushroom caps, dividing the mixture equally between the two mushrooms.

Stuffed Mushroom slice

Bake for around 30 minutes, until melted, golden and crisp. Serve as a first course with salad, or on the side of a steak.