Monday, September 11, 2006

Pomp and Circumstance

After our trip to the Proms at the end of August I hatched a plan and invited Sarah and Juul over for dinner with J and me to celebrate the last night of the Proms. Sarah brought her Union flag along and there was much merriement and flag waving - but whatever happened to the well known tunes - I didn't find out. It seems that the BBC's scheduling cut off the end of the broadcast from the Albert Hall. A shame but it didn't detract from our evening. I had been perusing my cook books for something quintessentially english for dinner and what better than a really good bit of roast beef and yorkshire puds!! Waitrose did us proud with a beautiful piece of sirloin that just melted in the mouth. For starters I played around with Delia's recipe for feta and courgette cakes to make them a little less fatty and for pud a fabulous golden plum rataffia crumble (no photo of this one as we ate it all!!)

Courgette and feta cakes

3 courgettes
2 potatoes
200g feta cheese
200g cottage cheese
6 spring onions
2 red chillies
1 egg
handful of fresh mint leaves

plain yoghurt to serve

Preheat the oven to 220°C.

Grate the courgettes and potatoes together and then finely chop the spring onions and chillies (removing the membranes and seeds if you don't like it reall hot, like me) and roughly chop the mint. Put everything in a bowl and add the egg and cheeses. Mix everything together with your hands until well mixed but the feta is still a little chunky. Then dollop tablespoons of the mixture on to baking trays and cook in the oven for 15min. Remove from the oven and turn over the little cakes. I actually let mine cool down at this point and then flipped them over and cooked them on the other side just before I was ready to serve them as a starter but you could cook them straight away too. Serve them with a little plain yoghurt for dipping.

Golden plum rattafia crumble

700g plums
75g dark brown sugar
55g plain flour
55g rattafia biscuits
55g butter
30g soft brown sugar

Preheat your oven to 180°C. Cut the plums into bite sized chuncks removing the stones too. Then layer them in the bottom of a large baking dish. Sprinkle with the dark brown sugar. In a blender whizz the butter and flour together and then add the rattafia biscuits and whizz again until they are crumbs. Stir in the sugar. Use this mix to cover the plums. Then bake for 35min. Allow to cool and serve warm with vanilla ice cream, yoghurt, custard...... the choice is yours.

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