SAVOURY CHEESE AND ONION FLAN 6 oz shortcrust pastry ½ oz butter
1 medium-sized onion, chopped 4 oz cheese, grated
½ teasp chopped fresh savory or
a pinch of dried savory Salt and pepper ¾ pt single cream
Pre-heat oven 200°C, 400°F, Mark 6. Line a 7-in flan ring, placed on a baking sheet, with pastry. Melt butter in a frying pan, fry chopped onion until softened but not browned, remove from pan, drain. Mix cheese, eggs, savory, salt, pepper and cream together in a bowl, using a whisk or fork. Cover base of flan with the onion, pour over the egg mixture and bake towards the top of oven for about 30 min, until filling is set and pastry cooked through. Serve hot.
POACHED EGGS WITH SORREL
1 lb very young sorrel leaves, any discoloured ones removed Salt and pepper
2 tablesp double cream or small knob of butter 4 poached eggs
Wash sorrel and cook in the water clinging to the leaves (no other water) with lid on the pan for about 15 minutes. Drain, chop finely, add seasonings and butter or cream, cook gently, stirring, for 5 min. Place in a warm dish, top with poached eggs and serve piping hot.
ANCHOVIES AND SPAGHETTI
2 tablesp oil
1 oz butter
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 lb tomatoes, roughly chopped
Sprig of basil
1 small onion, chopped
4 anchovies, pounded
Salt and pepper
6—8 oz freshly-cooked spaghetti
Mix butter and oil in a frying pan, add garlic, tomatoes, onion and basil, cover and cook gently, shaking occasionally, for 20 min, add pounded anchovies, and cook for a further 10 minutes; sieve, season to taste, re-heat and serve with the hot spaghetti. Hand grated cheese separately.
STUFFED HERBY EGGS 1 large slice wholemeal bread 4 eggs, hard-boiled
3 oz cream cheese
1 oz butter
A little cream, if necessary Fresh marjoram, or dried, to taste Fresh parsley sprigs
Cut bread into four small rounds. Cut eggs lengthwise, remove yolks. Place yolks, cream cheese and butter in a basin, beat until mixture is smooth, adding a little cream if required. Stir in marjoram to taste. Spoon or pipe most of the mixture into the egg cases, spread the remaining filling on the bread rounds. Stand one egg on each piece of bread; garnish the tops with small parsley sprigs.
CLASSIC OMELET AUX FINES HERBES
3 teasp cold water
Salt and pepper
½ oz butter
1 rounded tablesp chopped mixed parsley, chives, tarragon and chervil
Put pan over low heat to get hot. Break eggs into a basin, add water, salt, pepper and herbs. Beat lightly. Put butter in the pan, allow butter to sizzle but not turn brown, then pour in omelet mixture. Draw mixture from the sides to the middle of the pan with a fork, palette knife or wooden spatula, repeat until all the runny egg is lightly cooked. Fold over and serve.
There are many herb mixtures that can be added to a basic omelet, and for something different try chopped chervil and mint mixed together.
EGGS WITH A DIFFERENCE
1 teasp chopped parsley 1 teasp chopped mint
4 oz lean cooked ham or cold boiled bacon, finely chopped
About 1 oz butter
Hot buttered toast
Pre-heat oven to 180°C, 350°F, Mark 4. Mix herbs with the ham or bacon. Generously butter six small, deep patty pans, dariole moulds or small cups. Sprinkle herb mixture thickly round bottom and sides, shaking out any that does not stick. Carefully break an egg into each container, sprinkle with salt, paprika pepper and top with a small dot of butter. Place containers in roasting tin or on a baking sheet and cook in centre of oven until eggs are set — about 8 min. Turn out carefully on to small pieces of buttered toast.
HEFTY OMELET 1 tablesp top-of-the-milk 1 tablesp chopped chives 1 oz full fat soft cheese 3 tablesp cold water Salt and pepper 3 eggs, lightly beaten About 3/4A oz butter Small sprig parsley
Stir top-of-the-milk and chives into the cream cheese. Stir water and seasoning into the eggs. Melt butter in a 7-in omelet pan and when it is sizzling (do not let it brown), pour in egg mixture; cook omelet in usual way. Place cream cheese mixture across the centre, fold over one-third of the omelet away from the handle of pan, hold the handle, palm upwards, shake the omelet forward and turn out, making another fold, on to a warm plate. Garnish with a sprig of parsley and serve immediately.
1 large helping
6 oz brown, unpolished rice
1 dessertsp chopped mixed fresh herbs
2 large carrots, grated
1 Spanish onion, finely chopped
Chicken stock (can be made with stock cubes)
Strongly-flavoured grated cheese
Thoroughly wash the rice, place in saucepan, or double boiler, with the herbs, carrots and onion. Cover with boiling chicken stock. Put lid on pan and cook, adding a little more stock if necessary, until the rice is tender, by which time it should be soft and separate and the liquid absorbed (about 45—55 minutes). Serve with a stew or on its own, accompanied by a strongly-flavoured grated cheese.
N.B. If white, polished rice is used, cooking time 15—20 min.