Wednesday 19 April 2017

Experiment Recipe: Moussagna (Moussaka Lasagna Hybrid!) (meaty or veggie)

This little creation was born when I went shopping and had a bit of a split personality moment. I was in two minds whether to make moussaka or lasagna so I bought the ingredients for both!

Moussagna (Moussaka Lasagna Hybrid!)

This little creation was born when I went shopping and had a bit of a split personality moment. I was in two minds whether to make moussaka or lasagna so I bought the ingredients for both!

The diced gherkins make a great addition to the mince, adding a nice texture and a little sharpness which balances the fat from the mince!

This recipe does have a some meat, but considering the size of the dish it’s not much. A touch of veggie mince would make this a top veggie dish.

* cooking
prep time 45-60m
cooking time 25m @ 200C

storage after it’s cooked
fridge (1-4C) ~7days
freezable cut it into portions and bag or wrap in cling film before freezing!

oven defrost, remove plastic wrapper then 20-30m @ 180C
microwavable defrost, remove plastic wrapper then 3mins / 400g @ 800W

28x14cm baking tin (at least 6cm deep )
(GN 1/3 6cm)

ingredients (serves 6-8)

for the red sauce
2 red peppers (2cm square pieces)
2 red onion (1cm dice)
50ml olive oil
1/2 courgette (washed, peeled, 1cm dice)
25g butter
400g fried tomatoes (recipe here)
25g Sriracha hot sauce
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp sugar (optional)

for the white sauce
500ml milk
50g butter (room temp)
200g mature cheddar (grated)
1/2 tsp black pepper (freshly ground)
1/2 tsp maldon salt (1/4 normal salt)
1 tbsp corn flour (mixed into 100ml of water)

for the minced component (meat or veggie)
1 large onion (~200g, 1cm dice)
4 sweet pickled gherkins (~5mm dice)
250g minced beef / lamb / veggie mince
4 cloves garlic

for the aubergine
1 large aubergine
50ml olive oil

for the topping
65g bread crumbs
10g parsley (fine chop)
squeeze of lemon
slug of olive oil

for the assembly
250g fresh egg pasta sheets


red sauce
Prep the red pepper, onion and mix them with the oil in a medium pot.
Cook with the lid on, on a medium heat for 35 mins, string occasionally. (The red pepper should end up soft.)
Use the time to prep the aubergine & white sauce.
To finish the red sauce, sauté the courgette with the butter, then add it to the onion & pepper mix.
Add the fried tomato, hot sauce, sugar and vinegar. 
Mix well and leave on a medium low heat to simmer until you need it to assemble the dish.

white sauce
Warm the milk and butter in a medium saucepan until the butter has melted.
Mix the water and corn flour in a cup and pour it into the cheesy milk, stirring as you do.
Stir the bottom of the pan with the flat end of a flat ended spatula until the sauce has thickened.
Add the cheese and stir until smooth. 

The sauce won’t look that thick, but don’t forget that the lasagna sheets will absorb a lot of moisture.

The reason for using a flat ended spatula instead of a spoon, is that much more of the sauce is moved from the (hot) bottom of the pan stopping it burning and meaning that it thickens more quickly and evenly!!

for the minced component (meat or veggie)
Sweat off the onions and garlic in a frying pan on a medium heat, once translucent add the mince.
Break it apart and leave it alone until the meat has started to brown.
Mix it again and repeat until the all the mix is a lovely golden brown. 
Season it and add the gherkins, mixing well. Put to one side until needed.

Slice aubergine into 1/2 cm slices. 
Coat a frying pan with oil, removing the excess by pouring it into a heatproof jug.
place the sobering in the pan and turn once.

Season and mix well.

So at this point you should have all the layers ready!!
Arrange the ingredients in layers and cook at 200C for 25min.

= = = = = TOP = = = = = 
breadcrumb mix
white sauce
white sauce
——— pasta
red sauce
——— pasta
white sauce
meaty mix
white sauce
——— pasta
red sauce
——— pasta
meaty mix
white sauce
——— pasta
red sauce
= = = = = BOTTOM = = = = = 

Baked lawn anyone?? : )

Friday 31 March 2017

Recipe: Leek & Lemon Verbena Soup w/ Rosemary Croutons

I naused up one of our delivery orders last week, and wasn’t there to receive it. Result? 5kg of leeks surplus to requirements!! Oops!

Time to get inventive and create some recipes for the blog, without putting on too much weight!! I went for the obvious one first and used them to create a soup, and the base for a few other recipes! 

Now there’s no way the kids are going to go for a leek soup no matter how class it tastes, so I made them fried chicken with sweet and sour leek tagleatelli. With half a kilo of (unidentifiable - he he) leeks in it! That has to count as one of your five a day, surely!!

For the grown ups I made stuffed pheasant thighs w/ creamy mash, leek verbena puree and quince and orange sauce. A+!! Even if I do say so myself ; )

Anyway that swiftly dealt with our leek problem! 

Here’s the soup recipe . . .  coming in at 50 kcal / 100g it’s über healthy! Ahem don’t mention the croutons.

for the leek soup (makes 3L - serves 8-12)
2.5kg leeks (cleaned, trimmed, coarsely chopped)
70g (16) garlic (16 cloves, peeled & crushed)
2 onions (diced & caramelised)
50ml extra virgin olive oil
3 carrots (I’d leave these out next time, just needed to use them!)
1L vegetable stock (2 veg stock cubes + 1L boiling water)
16g lemon verbena (chopped at last minute)
1 lemon (zest & juice)
5g salt
Prep the ingredients.
Caramelise the onions in a pot big enough for everything.
Then add the rest of the ingredients. 
Bring to the boil and simmer for 45m with the lid on.
Use a stick blender to turn it into a smooth soup.
Pass it if you’re feeling a bit an4l! ; )
Personally I liked the consistency, but if you want to thicken it up a little add 1-2tbsp of cornflour mixed with water and stir the soup until thickened.

for the rosemary croutons
125g butter
15g rosemary (4 sprigs, bruised)
8 thick sliced bread
In a small saucepan melt the butter keep the heat up until it stops sizzling. (which means all the water has evaporated.)
Add the bruised rosemary carefully. It may spit, specially if the rosemary is wet.
Take it off the heat & leave it to infuse for 30 minutes.
Once infused toast the bread and brush it with butter on both sides.
Cut into large dice and put it in a 120C oven for 60 minutes.

for the garnish
lemon verbena
Serve the soup in hot bowls and top with croutons and a lemon verbena leaf!

Stick blender.

thinking ahead
You can freeze this and it will last in the fridge for at least a week.

Tuesday 31 January 2017

Recipe: Red Pepper & Goats Cheese Hotpot (Bruisers In The Darkness)

by Simon Fernandez of ferdiesfoodlab

I was out for my first bike ride yesterday in our new location. It was a beautifully sunny day so I decided to take the bike out for a spin and explore the area. But first, time to tackle the shed!! In the end I probably left it a little too late to leave and I nearly got caught out by the setting sun. I’d forgotten just how dark it gets with out street lights!!!! Bloody hell!!! 

After feeling my way home I set about making some tea. In this neck of the woods every hill is a what my uncle would describe as ‘a bruiser’ and when I got back I was starving!

I realised immediately that there was NO garlic!!! After what I can only describe as an extremely mild panic I set about making something from what I did have. 

I can safely say this recipe is a keeper so I decided to put it up on the blog! Although I put chicken in this version, it wouldn’t be missed in a vegetarian version!!

Red pepper and goats cheese make a great combo and that’s no exception here!! No garlic required after all!!

Please excuse the photography, my camera is still in transit : / 

ingredients (serves 2-4)

for the red pepper & goats cheese stew
80g red pepper puree [will add a link]
2 onions (in sixths)
2 ripe tomatoes (in eights)
40g goats cheese (in chunks)
chicken bits (wings, legs boney bits - browned)
1 large potato (microwave 5mins - diced)
200g butter beans 
4 leaves cavolo nero (sliced)
1L chicken / veg stock
Section the chicken, season it, and brown it off in a frying pan.
Prep he rest of the ingredients and put everything except the cavolo nero into as oven proof dish.
Pop it into the oven at 180C for 45m. Then remove it from the oven add the cavolo nero.
Return it to the over to soften for another 10-15mins.

for the accompaniment
1 sour dough french stick
Tear the french stick into generous pieces, toast them, or roast them in the oven for 10min.
And serve warm with butter.

for the topping
2-4 eggs (1 each)
Just before you serve add the eggs to the top of the stew and leave for 3-7 minutes, depending how soft you like your eggs!

Serve in a warm bow with the rustic french stick along side! 

What a fantastic winter warmer, and I got to test run the aga!

As I mentioned if you leave the chicken out this would make a great veggie dinner!

Great the next day mixed with spring onion chicken stock broth:

tasty & light!

Friday 6 January 2017

Recipe: Soft Shell Crab Bao Buns with Aubergine Caviar (para Reyes)

Un mensaje para la familia: Aquí tenéis las instrucciones por el regalo extraño que os he regalado!! : )
Que el Día de los Reyes Magos sea feliz y lo pasemos bien todos!

Ahora, a practicar el Ingles!!

Whilst visiting the family in Spain I was looking for ingredients for a Japanese style soft-shell crab sushi roll (something a little different from the classic Spanish fair) and I came across some Taiwanese bao buns!! I’ve experimenting with these and I just couldn’t resist!!! Excitement!

I put together a bao version of the sushi roll:

Order of execution:
Then prepare the dip and the mayoneizu and garnishes.
Make the aubergine caviar.
Once all the bits are ready steam the bao buns and, put the crab on to fry.
Assemble while it’s all hot. 

Here’s what you need . . .

ingredients (makes 2 bao buns)
for the dip / sauce
2 tbsp honey
1 garlic (finely shopped)
2 tbsp OJ
1 lime (juiced)
1 tsp vinegar (to balance the honey - optional - or more lime)
1/2 chilli (finely diced)
Mix all the ingredients together, and put aside to infuse while cooking the other elements.

for the aubergine caviar
1/2 aubergine (1/2cm dice)
2 tbsp EVO (for frying)
salt & pepper to season
1 spring onion (the white bit from above)
Slice the aubergine into small chunks.
Add a little oil into frying pan, and toss the aubergine to coat it.
Cook on a medium heat until browned (about 5min) and turning a couple of time to brown all over.
Once soft, but not mushy, put in a serving bowl to dress.
Dress with dipping sauce and coriander.

for the soft shell crab
2 soft shell crab
1 egg
2 tbsp milk
2 tbsp rice flour 
pinch salt
vegetable oil for shallow frying
Defrost the crab, prepare if needed. (See notes) (Los que os he regalado ya estan preparadas)
Pat them dry with some kitchen towel.
Mix the milk & egg & beat.
Season the crab with a little salt.
Dip the crab into the egg and coat completely, then coat in flour and repeat once more.
I’ve used rice flour because it results in a crispier finish.
Fry on a high heat (180C) turning once.
They should be a beautiful golden colour!

for the toppings
2 tsp tobiko
10g coriander (fried)
1g sugar (confectioners)
1g fine salt
5g coriander (washed)
1 spring onion (sliced green part)
5g chives (chopped)
Fry the coriander until it stops sizzling. 
It will stop sizzling when all the water has evaporated which means it will stay crispy.
Dust it with a little salt and sugar. (Icing sugar - azucar de polvo)

for the mayoneisu (quick and dirty version - more rounded version here)
1/2 lemon (juiced)
150g mayonaise
1/2g MSG (Chinese salt)
Dissolve the MSG in the lemon juice.
Once completely dissolve add a third of the mayonnaise and mix until smooth.
Repeat, twice more until you have a smooth sauce!

for the bao buns
2 bao buns
Defrost the buns, then steam them for 8minutes

to serve
Spread a little mayoneizu on the buns, add the cooked crab and dress with coriander, spring onion & tobiko!
Serve immediately!

Que disfrutéis mucho!! Abrazos Simon!

Picture guide:

How To Book / Attend

How To Book / Attend
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More Techniques, Basics and Corker Recipes

More Techniques, Basics and Corker Recipes
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