Friday, October 01, 2010

friday forte: food for thought

caramelising the peppers
caramelising peppers and trying to stay upright

After a ridiculous amount of thinking and plotting and planning over the summer, I've decided to Really Give The Business A Go and also Build Up My Portfolio so I can go back to school.
This of course looks better on paper (and even more plausible floating around in the ether of my brain) but will require some Serious Discipline on the home working front. I know I can do it. I was ruthlessly efficient writing up my PhD thesis At Home (but that was in the days before the internet .... gasp!) and I still consider myself well organised (it's just the family that gets in the way).

So, how am I trying to streamline my days, working smarter and not longer?
The answer is, in part, scheduling. Yes, I'm even meal planning - a whole month's worth of dinner menus. Don't hate!
It's not as boring or as obsessed as it sounds, and has cut down on gazing dumbly round the kitchen at 6pm. I cannot think rationally when hungry at the end of the day and our budget won't allow eating out very often. So at the end of the month I settle down with notepad, a pen, a gin and a stack of cookery books/magazines. I mark off special events, weeks when mr ebb is away, evenings when a fast or frozen meal is vital, and construct my list. So far, I've shaved time off the evening prep, almost never run out of ingredients or had nothing to eat, and we've tried some great new recipes from my undiscovered collections. S.m.u.g.

Let me share!
This one's a real quick supper, not complicated and acceptable (mostly) to fussy little palates. It's also highly nutritious, calcium-packed superfood for a mid life crisis :)

food setting

Caramelised Pepper and Goat Cheese Flan

  • 8-9 inch short crust flan case; ready prep, homemade or pastry sheets
  • 3 red, orange, yellow bell peppers, sliced into your preference of shapes
  • half a red onion, diced fine or sliced long
  • caster sugar, a sprinkling
  • olive oil
  • 3-4 eggs
  • cream, plain yogurt or milk 
  • goat cheese, creamy or crumbly
  • seasoning if preferred

  1. Heat a splash of olive oil in a frying pan, then gently fry the onion and peppers until soft. Sprinkle with a couple of teaspoons of the caster sugar, mix and turn the heat up. Stir until the sugar has caramelised around the veggies. The aim here is not too charred but interestingly burnt!
  2. Meanwhile, beat the eggs with a couple of tablespoons of cream, milk or yogurt.
  3. Add the peppers, etc to the prepared flan case. Crumble the goat cheese over the top then pour in the egg mixture.
  4. Bake 20-30 minutes at 385 F until set (there should be no runny stuff).
  5. Best served warm with a green leafy salad. Also good cold, will freeze if wrapped then defrosted at room temperature.
Substitute milder creamy cheese for less-receptive palates - feta can be good too, or maybe mini bocconcini.

Bon appetit! and forte ...

PS: Real Simple usually has some one month dinner road maps to get you on the right track.

caramelised peppers quiche

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