Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Italian inspired tomato sauce

I made this up when creating a tomato and mushroom tart and it seemed to work out really well and I enjoyed it :)

2 large tomatoes, (sliced thinly)
5 cherry tomatoes, (halved)
1 onion, (thinly sliced)
3 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
5 'large' button mushrooms, (sliced as thinly as you prefer)
1/4 red bell pepper, (cubed/roughly chopped)
1 400g tin of chopped tomatoes,
1 tbsp dried mixed herbs,
1/2 tsp salt,
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper,
Pinch of white pepper,
Pinch of cayenne pepper.

In a small saucepan add 1 tsp of butter with 1 tsp rapeseed oil (or any flavourless oil of your choosing) and add the sliced onion and sauté for about 10 minutes until golden and translucent. Add the garlic and the sliced large tomatoes and cherry tomatoes. Put the lid on the pan and cook on a very low heat for 5/10 minutes, checking halfway for any sticking to the bottom of the pan. Add the bell pepper, turning the heat up, cook for a minute or two. Add the tin of chopped tomatoes, herbs and seasoning and simmer for 10 minutes. If the sauce is too thick add some water. 10 minutes before serving, add the mushrooms so they are tender but still have 'bite' to them.

Suitable for serving in a tart, with pasta or spaghetti or with baguette!

I served this in my italian inspired shortcrust pastry with a layer of egg...
2 eggs, (whisked)
50ml milk,
Large pinch of salt,
Pinch of white pepper,
Pinch of cracked black pepper,
Pinch of cayenne pepper.

This creates a contrast between the rich sauce and the neutral flavour of the egg base.


Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Italian inspired savoury shortcrust pastry

This was just something I made for a tomato and mushroom tart and I came up with this pastry basically on the spot. And it worked out really really well...


1 cup chilled cubed butter,
2 1/2 cups self-raising flour,  (this is all I had in and it worked really good)
1/2 cup cold water,
2 heaped tbsp finely grated parmasean cheese,
1 tbsp dried mixed herbs,
1/2 tsp salt,
1/2 tsp black pepper,
1/4 tsp white pepper.


Mix together the flour, cheese, herbs and seasoning in a bowl.
(For the next step, I used an electric hand mixer with the dough attatchment) a stand mixer would be perfect.
Turn the mixer on low and slowly add the butter. This should take about 5 minutes. Then whisk for another minute or so on high until the mixture looks like golden break crumbs, you may still have clumps of butter left, but as long as they are no bigger than a 5p peice its fine. If you have clumps much bigger than this then continue mixing on high for another minute or two.
Then with the mixer on low again, slowly poor in the water approximately a tablespoon at a time. When big clumps of pastry begin to form, touch to check its not too sticky or crumbly so you know when to stop adding water.
Then form a thick pastry disk and wrap it in foil or cling film and place im freezer for 10-20 minutes. This is allow it to firm up slightly and allow the gluten in the flour to relax after being worked when being mixed.
Then very lightly flour your surface, the part of your pastry facing upward and your rolling pin.
Roll out to fit your dish and chill again once in dish.

(I rolled it out to a thickness of about 1/4 of an inch in a 9.5" ceramic dish and blind baked it for 10 minutes in a 210 degree fan oven, before adding a thin filling.)

Enjoy :) x


Hey! I've not looked or even thought about this site for a while! Apologies!!
Its been way too long and id like to get back on this :)
Ive been away from blogger/blogspot since started exams and being busy 24/7 but now that I have way too much time on my hands then I thought why not start back up on this. Ive also been cooking a lot recently after a short hiatus.
I start college soon on a catering course so my interest has spiked again, finally.
I hope to release new and improved recipes soon :):):)

HK x

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Suicide Awareness

Suicide is an extremely sensitive subject for me, and even more lately for me and my friends. I'm not trying to exploit the situation but recently losing a friend and seeing my friends lose a friend has definitely changed me and my outlook on things.
Suicide should never ever ever be looked upon as a joke and people who are suicidal or depressed should be treated right by all. Some people have a lot of problems and people should be helped.
Suicide happens all the time, everyday, and to all groups of people. There is people I've heard of being suicidal at 8 years old and serious about it, which is appalling. People shouldn't feel like this, it's completely not fair and just another glitch on society... It happens to children, teenagers- with school/bullying/work ect... adults... it happens to every type of person. All the time.
If anyone reads this or anything similar, its a hell of a cliché but, get help. I've googled my fair share and its always got to the end of the paragraph with it saying "get help." Its true though . Unfortunately I must admit Its gotten to the point were I'd planned to get help the very next morning. Its not a laughing subject and if you yourself feel suicidal or fear someone you know is, help. Help yourself/help others. Its a serious subject and we lose so many people due to it.
So help.



This is a serious matter.
It happens everyday and is something that needs to be sorted out and highly decreased, immediately. is a brilliant website for anyone who needs information, seriously I've explored the website and it is full of useful information and a lot of link to link pages. is another one were you can have an online counsellor, share your stories, read others (if wanted public) everything said to a counsellor is completely confidential and they constantly state that on the website.