Dinner consisted of a smoked salmon trout salad with a balsamic vinegar and strawberry reduction. [Via]
A quick recipe for caramelised onion and blue cheese tarts. We normally make this on a Friday for our weekly pizza night, but this time I wanted to use light and crispy puff pastry. I served this as an accompaniment to the beetroot gazpacho. The sweetness of the balsamic caramelised onion and the creaminess of the blue cheese was a great contrast to the vinegary gazpacho.
- 4 tbs olive oil
- 6 large red onions, sliced
- 30ml thyme
- 4 tbs brown sugar
- 4 tbs balsamic vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 packet puff pastry, thawed
- 1 egg
- wedge of blue cheese, crumbled
- 1 cup roasted cashew nuts
- Heat oil in a large frypan over medium-low heat. Add the onions, thyme, a pinch of salt and pepper and cook slowly for 20 minutes. The onions cook down quite a bit, therefore the amount of onions required.
- When onions are softened, add sugar and balsamic. Cook over low heat for a further 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sticky and caramelised. Set aside.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 C and roll out the puff pastry to fit a baking tray. Fold over the edges to make a wall and brush with beaten egg. Pierce the base of the pastry with a fork.
- Spread the onions, crumbed blue cheese and cashews evenly to cover the base of the pastry.
- Bake for about 25-30 minutes until golden.
As mentioned, this complimented the beetroot gazpacho, but you can serve this with a rocket and tomato salad.
Tonight we had absolutely no idea what to make for dinner. We’ve had our fair share of fish, chicken and vegetarian the last few days and I was craving some read meat.
The problem of course is that it was getting late (food shopping after 6pm) and I wasn’t feeling like building a braai or smoking out the house by grilling meat in the oven.
Then I remembered a quick and easy method for a balsamic reduction, which would go nicely with some pan fried rosemary lamb chops.
A quick meal in 15 minutes.
Lamb chops with balsamic reduction
- 6 lamb chops
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion peeled and chopped
- 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- 3/4 cup chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Sprinkle rosemary, salt and pepper over lamb chops.
- Heat olive oil over medium-high heat and cook lamb chops for about 3 1/2 minutes on each side (medium rare).
- Remove lamb and set aside to rest. Add onion to pan and sautee until slightly browned.
- Add the balsamic vinegar and chicken stock.
- Allow mixture to cook until reduced by half, this takes about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add butter.
- Pour sauce over lamb and serve with some seasonal veggies and couscous.
This seemed to be a roaring success. Our 18-month old son even grabbed some of the balsamic reduction off my plate by the handfulls and helped himself to a chop too.
Of course I complety forgot to take a pic of the end result. I hope the one of the uncooked chops, is not too gnarly for some folk. I may have to do this again soon.
Whilst trying to sleep off a bout of ill health this afternoon I dreamt up an interesting salad dressing, with the main ingredient being orange juice instead of lemon or vinegar. There are 2 options here:
- Orange juice, olive oil, fresh herbs from the garden, sugar (if necessary), salt and pepper to taste
- Orange juice, balsamic vinegar (or perhaps soy sauce), olive oil, fresh herbs, sugar, salt and pepper to taste.
When it comes to salad dressings I tend to grab the first ingredients that pop into my head at the moment I am making them and gradually develop them to taste, so I can’t say that this will even work! I think I’m going to try one of the above on a roasted butternut salad to accompany the chicken espetada we’re planning on braaing. I will be returning with comments and photos…