Harcha is one of the most delicious Moroccan snacks that I came across thanks to my beautiful Moroccan friend, Sarah, who never turns up to a get-together empty handed. So when she arrived for a coffee with a giant harcha fresh from the pan, we wasted no time devouring it with multiple toppings and/or fillings. Harcha is a semolina bread that you can make in any size and fill with savoury fillings such as cheese or sweet such as honey.
1 1/2 cups (250 grams) semolina
2 tablespoons white granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
7 tablespoons (100 grams) butter
1/2 cup (100 ml) milk (or as needed)
Preparing the Dough:
Place the semolina in a bowl, add the sugar, baking powder and the salt. Mix well. You need semolina for this recipe so do not try to substitute it.
Melt the butter in the microwave or a saucepan then add the butter to the semolina and mix with a spoon. When it gets hard with the spoon, mix with your hands, Moroccan style!
Add the milk and mix until you get a smooth dough. Then let the dough rest for 5 minutes.
Shaping the Harcha:
Turn on the heat to medium and heat up a heavy cast iron pan!
Back to the dough… you will notice that it is drier as the semolina has absorbed the milk. If it’s too dry, add a little more milk.
To get perfect shapes, use a cookie cutter to make medium sized Harcha. You can make a large one, or mini-ones – whatever you like. The discs should be ¼” thick or a bit thicker. When shaping the disks use parchment paper, so it’s easy to transfer them to the pan.
Cooking the Harcha:
Reduce the heat to low – very important otherwise the harcha will burn from outside and not cook from inside – transfer the harcha to the pan, and cook for 5 minutes on each side. You will see that the surface gets a beautiful golden brown colour and that the discs start to dry. If you try to push on them, they will feel dry. Flip and cook the other side.
Let the harcha cool a bit and cut it in half with a sharp knife. If the harcha is still too hot and the knife not sharp, it will crumble.
Fill with cheese, jam, honey, or anything you like!
Okay, so I’ve posted a few scone recipes before but I think I’ve topped myself with this one. It all came about like most of my recipes, because I had particular ingredients to use up. This time it was bacon and spring onions. These scones are rough and ready but delicious and full f bacon and cheese goodness. Crunchy and knobbly on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside with savoury onion and bacon bits running throughout, these scones are sensational eaten warm from the oven with butter and ground pepper… and lots of coffee. Treat yourself!
8 rashers streaky bacon, diced
5 spring onions
150g mature cheddar, grated
340g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
85g butter, diced and chilled
135ml whole milk
1 large egg (plus extra for glazing)
2 tbsp dukkah
To make the scones preheat the oven to 180C and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
Place the bacon into a non-stick frying pan and cook until beginning to crisp. Tip out onto a plate and allow to cool before mixing together with the spring onions and the cheese.
Place the flour, baking powder and sugar into a large bowl and mix together to combine. Add the diced butter and using a pastry blender or two knives cut in the fat until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs – some pieces should be about pea sized. Add the bacon, spring onions and cheese and mix together. In a jug whisk together the milk and the egg.
Make a well in the flour mixture and pour in the liquid. Using a knife bring the mixture together. Once a shaggy dough has been formed tip out on a lightly floured work surface and bring together into a uniform dough – don’t work too much or your scones will be tough.
Pat the dough into a flat round a couple centimetres thick then use a knife to cut into 8 equal sized pieces. Place onto the prepared baking tray and brush the tops of the scones with a little egg or milk and sprinkle with the dukkah. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving. Best served warm on the day baked.
Yes, you read that correctly – wheels of cheesy bacon! Simple to make, yet deliciously moreish to eat, these bacon rolls make a great savoury snack, picnic staple, or side for soups and stews. A tasty filling of bacon, cheddar and cream cheese is rolled in an easy pastry, and then these little rolls only take 15 minutes to bake.
8 bacon rashers
1 medium onion, finely chopped
100g of soft cheese
100g of cheddar, grated
1/2 bunch of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
250g of plain flour
3 tsp baking powder
75g of unsalted butter, diced and cold
225ml of milk
1/2 tsp salt
20g of butter, melted
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
Place the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Crumb the butter into the flour using your thumbs and forefingers. Mix in the milk until just combined.
Place onto a floured work surface and roll into a 1cm thick rectangle, trimming the edges of the dough if desired.
Brush the dough with some of the melted butter then layer the bacon on top to cover the pastry, making sure to leave a 2cm edge free on one of the long sides of the dough,
Mix the onion, cheeses, parsley and garlic together and spread over the bacon.
Brush the gap at the edge of the dough with water then roll into a spiral, sealing the edge brushed with water to the body of the roll.
Wrap the roll in cling film and refrigerate for 20 minutes
Slice the roll into 1.5cm slices and place, spiral side up, onto the baking tray. Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden. Serve warm.
I’ve been wanting to try wild garlic for ages but have never been able to find it… until now. I came across some at a local market and in my excitement, bought way more than one person could possibly eat. I have now stocked up the freezer with a variety of garlicky infused meals and baked goods. It’s going to be a good week.
These scones are wonderfully fluffy, and cheesy. The wild garlic is quite different to using garlic cloves. It has a more subtle onion flavour, very similar to chives but more… well, garlicky.
Makes about 6 whoppers
220g self-raising flour
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
1 egg beaten
120g grated cheddar cheese
a generous handful of wild garlic, finely chopped (if you haven’t got any wild garlic snipped chives work well instead)
a pinch of cayenne pepper
a good pinch of English mustard powder
Preheat the oven to 200°C
Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl
Rub the butter in until it resembles fine breadcrumbs
Stir in the grated cheese and finely chopped wild garlic or chives
Add the pepper and mustard and mix
Add enough milk to the beaten egg to make it up to 150ml of liquid
Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and pour in the egg/milk mixture
Mix to a soft dough with a metal knife
Turn onto a floured surface and knead gently and lightly until it is just smooth
Press out to about 2½cm deep and cut out rounds with a 7cm pastry cutter gathering the scraps together each time, re-rolling and stamping until you have 6 or 7 scones
Pop the scones onto a lightly oiled baking sheet, brush the tops with a little milk and bake them for 15 – 20 minutes until well risen and golden brown and your kitchen smells divine
Leave to cool on a wire rack or scoff straight from the oven!
Pasties! As the weather begins to turn, nothing hits the spot more than a comforting pasty with crisp, golden pastry with an oozing cheesy filling. Mmmmm
Different fats produce different characteristics in baked or fried foods and hard fat will produce a crisper texture than any other. I have tried using beef dripping with this pastry and lard. Both have given extremely crisp results with their own savoury character.
The use of some strong flour in the pastry also makes the dough a little more resilient to make shaping easier without sacrificing tenderness.
The mix of different mustards is purely my preference so if you have any favourites then feel free to experiment.
Either way, the mix of fresh spring onions with hearty potato, autumnal swede and melting strong cheddar is an absolute winner encased in a crisp, buttery house of loveliness.
For the rough puff dripping crust:
300g plain flour, plus extra for rolling
100g strong white flour
1 teaspoon fine salt
50g unsalted butter, softened
150g beef dripping or lard, at room temperature
150ml lukewarm water
For the filling:
150g Extra mature cheddar (I used Barber’s Cruncher)
100g peeled and diced swede
100g peeled and diced potato
3-4 large spring onions, chopped
1 teaspoon fine salt
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon plain flour
1 heaped teaspoon each of wholegrain mustard, Dijon mustard and English mustard powder
A few sprigs of thyme – optional
1 egg, beaten, for egg wash
For the rough puff dripping crust:
Place the flours and salt in a mixing bowl. Cut the butter into little pieces and rub into the flour then cut the dripping or lard into 1cm pieces and toss it through. Do not rub it in. Stir the water in without kneading until the dough just combines then leave for 10 minutes.
Generously flour the work surface to stop the dough sticking then roll out the dough to 50cm x 20cm. Fold the dough in by thirds then roll out again towards the unfolded ends and fold in by thirds once more. Cover the dough or place in a bag and let it rest somewhere cool (but not as cold as the fridge) for 30 minutes.
Repeat the rolling, folding and resting twice more. The pastry is then ready to be used. You can also freeze it at this point in a sealed ziplock bag then just allow to thaw completely before using.
For the filling:
Place the grated cheese and spring onions in a bowl with the swede and potato, add the salt, pepper, flour and thyme, if using, and toss this together and chill.
Roll the pastry out to about ½cm thick and cut out circles using a side plate as a guide.
Mix the mustards and mustard powder together in a small bowl. Lightly coat the centre of each pastry circle with the mustard and brush the edges with water. Place a generous spoonful of filling on one half of the pastry leaving a clean ½cm border.
Fold the pastry over the filling and press the edges together gently to seal. Crimp as you like. Repeat with the remaining pasties then place on a greaseproof lined baking tray.
Chill the pasties in the fridge while you heat the oven to 200C then brush them with egg wash and bake them for 45 minutes until the pastry is rich and golden and the filling is piping hot.
Super easy, versatile and flippin’ tasty (pun intended)!
Serves 2-4 (depending on appetite and will power)
100g plain flour
300ml semi-skimmed milk
Vegetable oil for frying
Put the flour and a pinch of salt into a large mixing bowl and make a well in the centre. Crack the egg into the middle then pour in about 50ml milk. Start whisking from the centre, gradually drawing the flour into the egg and milk. Once all the flour is incorporated, beat until you have a smooth, thick paste. Add a little more milk if it is too stiff to beat.
Add a good splash of milk and whisk to loosen the thick batter. While still whisking, pour in a steady stream of the remaining milk. Continue pouring and whisking until you have a batter that is the consistency of slightly thick single cream. Traditionally, people would say to now leave the batter for 30 mins, to allow the starch in the flour to swell, but there’s no need.
Heat the pan over a moderate heat then wipe it with oiled kitchen paper. Ladle some batter into the pan, tilting the pan to move the mixture around for a thin and even layer then leave to cook, undisturbed, for about 60 seconds. If the pan is the right temperature, the pancake should turn golden underneath after about 60 seconds and will be ready to turn.
Hold the pan handle, ease a fish slice under the pancake then quickly lift and flip it over. Make sure the pancake is lying flat against base of the pan with no folds and cook for another 30-60 seconds before turning out onto a warm plate. Continue with the rest of the batter, serving them as you cook or stack onto a plate. You can freeze the pancakes for 1 month, wrapped in cling film or make them up to a day ahead.
Sprinkle, squeeze and pour your favourite toppings and fillings over and tuck in.
To oven reheat, stack the pancakes on a heatproof plate; cover with foil. Warm at 180C/fan 160C for 10-15 mins from cold or 5-10 mins from room temperature. To microwave, stack, cover with cling film, pierce the film. Reheat on High for 1 min.
Classic citrus and sugar: sprinkle each cooked pancake with sugar, roll up, sprinkle a little more sugar and squeeze over fresh lemon or orange juice.
Nutella and banana: Roll pancakes, spread with Nutella and top with chopped banana and chopped, toasted hazelnuts.
Spinach and ricotta: Wilt spinach, strain well, stir through ricotta and season with nutmeg, salt and pepper. Stuff and roll pancakes.
Creamy mushroom: Fry chopped mushrooms and stir through some garlic roule. Add some wilted spinach or kale if desired. Stuff and roll pancakes.
Onion, cheese & bacon: Fry a chopped onion, then add chopped streaky bacon and cook until golden. Tip onto pancakes, grate over cheddar, fold up and eat hot.
Tropical fruit & ginger: Fresh tropical fruits, stem ginger syrup and Greek yogurt.
This recipe makes 8 huge scones but I can’t get enough of them at the moment so only huge will do. I love cheese scones anyway but the Marmite in them makes for an extra tasty, flavourful bake. The Marmite is not too over-powering but blends with the cheese to create a gorgeous savoury scone.
The use of cream cheese in the spread means the scone stays moist and creamy throughout. No extra butter needed here, just a big appetite and a cuppa!
I think the key with this recipe is not to overwork the dough. Mix it until it has only just come together and lightly press and roll it to shape.
450g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tbsp baking powder
A pinch of salt
3 tsp Marmite
1 large egg
about 250ml milk
1 tbsp sunflower oil
140g mature cheddar, grated, plus optional extra for topping
100g full-fat cream cheese
Heat oven to 220C/200C fan and dust a baking tray with a little flour. Mix the flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Put 1 tsp Marmite in a jug, add the egg and make up to 300ml with the milk. Stir in the oil then beat really well to dissolve the Marmite.
Tip 85g of the cheddar into a bowl and mix with the cream cheese and remaining Marmite to make a spread. Toss the rest of the cheese through the flour mixture, then pour in the milk mixture and stir with the blade of a knife until it comes together. (You need to work quickly once you’ve added the liquid as it activates the baking powder.) Tip onto a lightly floured work surface and gently knead the mix, taking care not to overwork it, as it will make the scones heavy.
Lightly roll the dough into an oblong about 20 x 25cm. Spread with the Marmite mixture and roll up from the longest side to create a tight, fat cylinder. Pat the ends of the cylinder to straighten them then slice into 8 pinwheels and put on the baking tray, patting them to make flattish rounds. Top with more cheese if desired. Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden and cooked.
Leave for a few moments on the tray to allow the cheese centre to harden a little then transfer to a wire rack to cool. Eat warm or cold. These are best eaten on the day they are made but freeze very well and are just as good defrosted and warmed through in the oven.