I have recently been trying out some more interesting ideas for meals which came to me and thought I would share these three.
1. Pizza chips
This dish consists of homemade oven chips covered with cheese and pizza toppings (pineapple, chilli, olives, sweetcorn and sweet pepper) and grilled to resemble pizza. It is served with a spicy tomato salsa, onion rings and rocket. It worked surprisingly well! A deeper pallet of chips might have been good, and onion rings are awesome with salsa, we learn.Do your chips in the oven to make the dish less horrifically unhealthy and serve with vegetable pizza toppings and salad. Greasy toppings would not have worked.
This simple dish is made by finely chopping half anonion (I used a herb chopper) and a couple of thumbs of ginger, mixing with flour and water to form a dough and steaming in small lumps. It only takes a couple of minutes to steam dumplings. Serve with a tomato sauce or spicy salsa that does not contain ginger – the flavour will ooze out of the dumplings as you eat them and add a tang to the sauce flavours. Cheese and rocket also go well.
3. 4-layer pie
This crazy invention comes from comining already known concepts. Four layers are prepared and fill the base from bottom to top. The pie is left open topped and French cheese is put on top. I don’t know why I feel this dish is French… it just is.
The four layers from bottom to top are:
a) Spinach, nuts and cranberries
A little spinach is wilted or defrosted and combined with some toasted pine nuts and cranberries. I added in a large spoonful of herby cream cheese for mixing and to dilute the flavour a bit. You also have to add plenty of salt to properly bring out the spinach flavour. Try splitting it in half, adding salt to one half until you think it tastes too salty, then recombining it with the unsalted half. You need considerably more salt in spinach than you would think.
b) Creamy button mushrooms
Lightly fried then stirred with herby cream cheese, flour and milk to make a thick cheesey sauce. Let the cheese sauce simmer a short time until the correct thickness is reached. Add in finely chopped rosemary and fresh garlic to flavour.
c) Roasted pepper and smokey tomato
This is made by blending together some roasted red pepper, lemon juice and tomato puree. You can also add more cream cheese…! I also added in a few dashes of smoked paprika and some larger, chopped chunks of roasted red pepper. You will need to add a touch of salt to this layer as well.
d) Grilled aubergines stirredwith caramalised onions
Grill the aubergines separately, caramalise the onions in butter and the tiniest amount of sugar by using a low heat and caramalisingl slowly, then mix together afterwards. Layer the aubergine over the top with onion all over it and filling the gaps.
Top with cheese and warm in the oven before serving. Mmmm.