Spinach & Cheese Stuffed Kachapuri-style Bread

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kachapuri2 03/04/2019

This Georgian khachapuri-inspired spinach and cheese stuffed bread tastes amazing. This is not an authentic Georgian version but it definitely delivers flavour and comfort. You can make one large bread or two medium ones from the amount of dough.

Ingredients:

For the dough:

  • 1 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • 330g flour (2 2/3 cups)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 egg, whisked

For the filling:

  • 50g spinach, chopped (1/4 cup packed)
  • 200g firm mozzarella, grated (1.5 cups)
  • 100g feta, crumbled (2/3 cups)
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 70g butter (1/3 cup)

Instructions:

To make the dough:

  1. First we’ll begin by adding the yeast to the warm water in a small bowl. Let it sit until creamy, about 7-10 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, add the flour, salt and sugar. Make a well in the middle and add the wet ingredients: oil, yeast-water, milk and egg. The original recipe made double the amount, so here we only need half of the egg, so make sure not to add the entire egg in there.
  3. Starting from the middle of the bowl, first mix the wet ingredients and gradually mix in the flour, continuing until all the flour is mixed and you have a nice dough. It shouldn’t be too wet or too dry. After it is all incorporated, cover with cling film and let it rest until doubled in size, about 1.5 hours.
  4. Halfway through the rise, turn on the oven to the highest temperature. The oven needs to be hot, hot, hot. You can use a pizza stone or turn a baking sheet upside down in the lower half of your oven (but not at the bottom).
  5. When it has risen, separate the dough from the side of the bowl and add a handful of flour and knead the dough inside the bowl. It should be soft and pillowy. If the dough is too wet, continue adding flour.
  6. Form into a ball, remove from the bowl and set aside to rest for 10 minutes.

To make the filling:

  1. While the dough is resting, combine the shredded mozzarella and crumbled feta. Remove 1/4 of the mixture and place it in a separate bowl and set aside. This will go on top of the bread.
  2. In the larger bowl (with 3/4 of the cheese mixture), add one egg, 50 grams (1/4 cup) of butter, chopped spinach, and garlic and mix.

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Putting it all together:

  1. Separate the remaining egg, saving only the egg yolk (you can use the egg white for meringues or a healthier omelette). Whisk it briefly in a small bowl and set it aside. It will be used to glaze the dough.
  2. Place a large piece of baking paper on your counter and add some flour on top.
  3. Now that the dough has rested, stretch the dough in a nice round shape and place it on top of the baking paper. Add the spinach and cheese filling in the center of the dough.
  4. Fold up the edges around the filling and seal the dough. It should look like a ball. Now carefully flatten it by pushing down on the stuffed dough with your palms and finger tips. Make sure to create a lip or “ridge” around the edge of the dough, with a large “valley” in the middle where the cheese will sit.
  5. Add the cheese in this “valley” and then glaze the “ridge” with the egg yolk. This will give the cheese stuffed bread a nice golden color.
  6. The stuffed dough will be heavy. What I do is I slide the dough and baking paper on a sturdy cutting board, and then slide the baking paper and dough onto the pizza stone or upside-down baking sheet.
  7. After about 5-7 minutes in the oven, the dough will puff up beautifully. Bake until the bread has a deep golden brown color and the cheese is brown and bubbling, about 15 minutes in total.
  8. Remove carefully from oven by sliding the bread and baking paper on a cutting board. Take the remaining butter and slather it on the outside of the bread. You can slice immediately for the gooey cheese effect, or probably wait a few minutes so that you don’t burn yourself. Bon appetit!

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Stromboli

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strom 16/11/2017

Italian Stromboli loaf loaded with artichokes, olives, sausage, gooey mozzarella and rich tomato sauce. I seem to be making a lot of stuff under the guise of baked bread stuffed with cheese recently but it’s not something I plan to change any time soon. This is a really satisfying, comfort food. It takes a while to put together but is surprisingly simple and totally worth the effort. You can put whatever you want in the middle. Jalapeño and chorizo is another winning combo. My little brother even likes ham and pineapple in his.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 quantity pizza dough (see my recipe for pizza dough on ‘pizza’ post)
  • 1 jar pizza topping sauce
  • 1 bunch fresh basil
  • 3/4 cup artichoke heart pieces, drained
  • 1/2 cup chopped green olives
  • 1/2 pound cooked Italian sausage, crumbled
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • Cracked black pepper

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C. Roll out the pizza dough on a piece of parchment paper, into an 11 X 15 inch rectangle.
  2. Spread 1/2 cup pizza sauce over the dough, leaving a 2 inch border around all sides.
  3. Top the tomato sauce with fresh basil leaves. Layer the sausage, olives, artichokes and cheese over the basil leaves.
  4. Then lifting the parchment paper, gently roll one short end toward the other short end, creating a log with the seam facing down.
  5. Brush the loaf with melted butter then sprinkle with pepper. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown. Allow the Stromboli to rest 10 minutes before slicing. Serve the remaining pizza sauce in a bowl to dip the Stromboli slices into.

Omurice

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omuu 27/05/2017

Take the flavours of the classic comfort food to new heights with this omurice with crab and curry sauce. Omurice is a Japanese favourite consisting of omelette covering a bed of fried rice slathered in sauce. This particular version involves a generous dose of rich and flavourful curry sauce that works perfectly with the fluffy omelette and veg and crab-filled fried rice inside.

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • ½ onion, finely chopped
  • 2 chestnut mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 2 crabsticks, chopped
  • 50g cooked, cold jasmine rice
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp mirin
  • 1 cube curry roux
  • 150ml hot water
  • Chives, chopped

Method:

  1. Fry the onion and mushrooms in a small saucepan over a medium heat for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the rice, crabsticks and soy sauce. Stir until everything is evenly distributed. Remove from the heat.
  3. Make the curry sauce by mixing the roux with hot water in a mug then microwave for 1-2 minutes until thickened to your liking. Set aside.
  4. Whisk the eggs and mirin together in a small bowl.
  5. Heat a little oil in a large frying pan over a medium high heat. When the pan is hot, pour the eggs into the pan and quickly spread to cover the bottom of the pan.
  6. Lower the heat and put the fried rice on top of the omelette. Fold both sides of the omelette toward the middle of the rice to cover.
  7. When the eggs have cooked, cover the frying pan with a plate and carefully flip over to place the omurice on the plate. Serve the curry sauce over the omurice and sprinkle with chopped chives.

omu

Cheesy Stuffed Garlic Dough Balls

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Screenshot_2016-08-25-14-56-09-1[1] 28/08/2016

I only made these because I had a bit of pizza dough that needed using up in the fridge but this is how most of my tasty creations begin and this is no exception. Warm fresh dough encases a gooey cheese centre topped with rich garlic butter. They are fantastic served with a fresh tomato and basil sauce to dunk into. Far superior to anything you can buy, these go down an absolute storm when served in the middle of the table for everyone to dive into.

Ingredients:

  • 300g Strong White Bread Flour
  • 1/2 tsp Fine Sea Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Instant dried yeast
  • 1/2 tsp Sugar
  • 1/2 Garlic granules
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 30g Butter, softened
  • 160ml luke warm Water
  • 50g-60g block of Mozzarella Cheese
  • Boursin, optional

For the garlic butter:

  • 20g Butter, melted.
  • 2 Garlic cloves, grated

Screenshot_2016-08-25-14-59-23-1[1] Screenshot_2016-08-25-14-58-33-1[1]

Screenshot_2016-08-25-14-57-50-1[1] Screenshot_2016-08-25-14-54-12-1[1]

Directions:

  1. Measure the flour into a bowl.
  2. Add the yeast to one side of the bowl and the salt, sugar and garlic to the other side.
  3. Add the oil and butter and begin to mix, slowly add the water until the dough comes together. Once it has all come together, don’t add any more.
  4. Knead the dough for 5-10 minutes on a lightly floured surface until the dough begins to look glossy and becomes stretchy.
  5. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave the dough somewhere warm to rise for an hour or so until the dough has doubled in size.
  6. Preheat the oven to 220C/200Cfan.
  7. Tip the dough out onto a floured surface and knock back to remove the air bubbles.
  8. Weigh the dough out into balls weighing approximately 30g
  9. Add roughly 3g of the cubed mozzarella to each piece of dough. At this point you can also sneak a mini scoop of garlic and herb boursin into the centre to intensify the oozy cheesy goodness. I only did it because I had a bit to use up but am so glad I did. Fold the dough around the cheese and roll into a ball.
  10. Arrange the doughballs (you should have about 15-20) onto a greaseproof lined baking sheet in a circle, leaving a little gap in between each one.
  11. Mix the melted butter and garlic together and brush half over the top of each dough ball.
  12. Place the dough balls in the oven for 15 minutes until golden. Brush the remaining garlic butter over the balls once baked for an extra garlicky flavour.

Cheesy Stuffed Jackets

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IMG_20150518_221237[1] 18/05/2015

This is almost too simple to even bother posting. A regular go to recipe that is filling, cheap, easy, healthy and most importantly, really tasty. Just taking a little extra effort to mix some goodies into the potato and twice bake turns a run of the mill baked potato into a fresh and delicious meal.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 Large baking potatoes
  • 1 ½ oz mature cheddar, coarsely grated
  • 50g garlic and herb Boursin
  • 1 Tbsp milk or cream
  • Salt and ground white pepper
  • 3-4 Spring onions, thinly sliced

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Bake the potatoes in the oven for an hour or until fluffy on the inside and crispy on the outside.
  2. After that, put the Boursin into a medium-sized bowl and cut the potatoes in half lengthways.
  3. Protecting your hands with a cloth, scoop out the centres of the potatoes into the bowl containing the Boursin, add the milk or cream and spring onions and season well with salt and freshly milled black pepper.
  4. Now quickly mash or whisk everything together, then pile the whole lot back into the potato skins.
  5. Now scatter the grated Cheddar on top, pressing it down lightly with your hand, then place on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until the edges are golden brown and the cheese is bubbling.
  6. Serve with a nice crisp salad and baked beans. If you’re anything like me then a baked potato without beans is like The Bible without Jesus! Enjoy.

Chile Relleno Casserole

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IMG_20140729_212329[1] 07/08/2014

This is my version of a Mexican dish I had on my travels called chile relleno. I had it with spicy rice and refried beans and it (my single portion) was served on a platter the size of… an extremely large platter. The peppers were loaded with gooey cheese and dipped and fried in an eggy batter.

My baked casserole version is slightly healthier but just as fulfilling and oozing. The feta cheese lends a salty edge to the dish which cuts through the richness but I sometimes leave it out all together to enhance the chorizo flavour. The green bell peppers are because I can’t find traditional poblano peppers here in Nottingham, England but they work well as the firm flesh holds well and still provides texture once charred and peeled.  

Ingredients (Serves 2):

  • 3 green bell peppers
  • 2 green or red chillies
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • ½ chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ carton passatta
  • Salt
  • 3 chorizo sausages (skin removed)
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano leaves
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Cheddar cheese, grated

 

Instructions:

  1. Cook chilies and peppers on stove top until blistering and black all over, a few minutes on all sides. Put chilies and peppers in a bowl and cover with cling film. Let sit 15 minutes.
  2. While the chilies and peppers are cooling, heat olive oil in a large pan on a medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for a minute more. Add the passatta and a pinch of salt. Bring to a simmer and lower the heat to low. Gently simmer for 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Carefully peel and discard the blackened skin off of the chilies and peppers. Cut off the stem ends, remove the seeds and discard. Set peppers aside on a layer of paper towels to dry. Slice and add chilies (with their seeds for a nice heat) to the passatta.
  4. In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, cook chorizo, stirring occasionally to break up the meat, until cooked through, about 4 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 180°C. Pour tomato sauce into the bottom of an 8×12 inch baking dish (the tomato sauce should be the consistency of a thin spaghetti sauce. If it is too thick, thin it out with a little water).
  6. In a large bowl, mix chorizo, feta, and oregano. Stuff the bell peppers with sausage mixture and lay them on top of the tomato sauce in the pan.
  7. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs thoroughly. Whisk in the flour, baking powder, and a pinch of salt. Sprinkle peppers with half of the cheddar cheese. Pour egg mixture over the peppers and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
  8. Bake until top starts to brown and the eggs are set but still soft, about 30 minutes.