Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Recipes for entertaining friends

Nachos with Guacamole

Guacamole is today a classic snack that taste even better if you pick the perfect ripe avocados and make at home.  For me sea salt is a must in the recipe and also choose the chilli variety that adjust more with your taste. Guacamole is to  enjoy with your friends. Also you can make your home-made nachos if you want to skip the artificial nachos. The precooked white maize flour is not easy to find in regular supermarkets, try gourmets places like Taj in Brighton.

For the Guacamole you need:  1-2 serrano chillies to taste or fresh green chillies (finely chopped) -
 ½ red onion (finely chopped) - 2  tsp sea salt - 3 Hass avocados (ripe) - 2 ripe tomatoes (peeled, deseeded and chopped) Juice of 2 limes – 3 tbsp fresh coriander (chopped) or parsley -

Guacamole in a pestle and mortar
1. Put half of the chilli and half of the onion with the salt in a pestle and mortar and mash to a rough paste. Check the seasoning
2. Cut open the avocados and put  the flesh into the pestle. Roughly mash the flesh with a fork or the mortar leaving some texture, add half the lime juice as you are mashing.
3. Stir in the remaining chillies, red onion and tomatoes, and half of the coriander and mix very well. If your mortar is no big enough continue the guacamole in a bowl.
4. Sprinkle over the rest of the lime juice and coriander, and season with black pepper. Check is the season, coriander or lime adjust to your taste, if not you can add more.

For the home-made nachos you need:   2 cups of Precooked white maize flour – 2 ½ cups of lukewarm water – 1 tsp salt – Corn oil or vegetable oil to fry

Flatten Nachos dough
Nachos triangle shape

1. In a bowl pour in the water, and the salt, slowly add the maize flour mixing with a wooden spoon as you go. Then with your hands make the dough.
2. Move the dough to a working surface and knead for about 7 minutes until you have smooth dough. Leave to  rest covered  in the fridge for half an hour
3. Put the dough between 2 cling film sheet, and with the rolling pin flatten the dough to about 3-5 mm (kitchen towel thick)
4. With a sharp knife, pizza cutter or a triangle shape cutter cut the flattened dough in nachos triangles (about 4cm base x 5cm side)

Home-made nachos
Deep frying nachos

5. Heat your oil until smoky and deep fry the nachos in batches. A minute each side will be enough to be golden brown.  Keep warm the first batches over a kitchen towel.
6. When you have all the nachos ready serve with your guacamole!

Quick Pizza dough
My alla diavola pizza with fennel tomato sauce
This  quick pizza is in the Jamie´s 30 minutes meals book and I really love it, choose the topping that you or your mates most like, because the dough is quick and dead easy.

You need for the dough:  215g of self- rising flour and 150ml tepid water with 2tbsp of olive oil
For the tomato sauce:  1 can chopped tomatoes -   6 sprigs of basil with leaves – 1 garlic clove (peeled) – 2 tbsp. olive oil - 1 tbsp.  Red wine vinegar – 1 tsp. fennel seeds

Making the sauce

1. With a mortar crush the fennel seeds and keep apart.
2. Put the remaining ingredients in a blender or liquidiser, and smooth nicely. Season.
3. Add the fennel seeds.

Making the dough and pizza

Sprinkle some parmesan and pepper and ready to bake
1. Put 215g of self-rising flour in the food processor, start to whiz meanwhile you are adding the water, with the olive oil and a pinch of salt. Whiz until you have smooth dough.
2. Then sprinkle with some flour a working surface, move in the dough and sprinkle some flour over, also flour a rolling pin and start to roll the pin until the dough is 1 cm thick.
3. Heat a pizza tray or a big pan brushed with olive oil in the oven or on the hob (if the pan is not big enough split the dough in 2), when it is very hot move the flat dough to the pizza tray or pan. With your finger push down the edges of the dough into the sides of the pan.
4. Pour over the tomato sauce just in the middle of the dough, spread evenly all over.
5. Add your favourite topping, mine is alla diaviola!

More: Cornichons burger - Fish Finger sandwich - Organic home-made chicken nuggets

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