I hate food waste, but like everyone else I’m not perfect.
One of the things I always ended up throwing out was Greek yogurt. The small pots weren’t enough, and the larger containers meant I always had some left over.
A friend told me about this recipe and I love it. Most people are put off making bread bread because it can take time to prove, knead etc. This couldn’t be quicker or easier.
Equal amounts of flour and yoghurt, and like making scones these rolls benefit from not handling to much. This recipe makes 4 rolls, but you can double the recipe if you want more. You can brush the uncooked rolls with egg or melted butter if you want a glazed top, but I just sprinkled with flour.
I haven’t given exact weights. I literally just used a mug to ensure I was measuring equal amounts.
These also freeze really well.
1 Cup self raising flour 1 Cup of Greek yogurt (I used full fat yoghurt as this is what I had, it also gives a softer texture, but use what you have)
Measure out the flour and yoghurt and add to a bowl.
Pre heat your oven to 180 degrees
Stir with a wooden spoon until the dough is combined and turn onto a lightly floured surface
Divide the dough into 4 equal parts and roll into balls
Place on a baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes or until the bottoms sound hollow when tapped
Mardi gras didn’t really happen this year, but this time of year reminds me of New Orleans.
I was talking to a friend last week about places we had really enjoyed visiting and the food that reminded us of them and it sparked a memory of New Orleans.
About a million years ago when I was a student I worked in a US Summer camp and went travelling afterwards. I ended up in New Orleans and everyone recommended I try a visit to Cafe du Mond in the French Quarter. Their signature dish is a little plate of 3 beignets (little oblong donuts, doused in icing sugar) and a cafe au lait. The place is an institution and recalling it had me craving them. I had my very own Marcel Proust moment eating these, it was amazing (Rememberance of Things Past, is quite a dull book but is famous for passage about how food triggers memories)
This is probably best made at the weekend due to the amount of time you need to prove the dough, but other than that the beignets are pretty simple to make.
I used evaporated milk because I think it makes a richer dough, but ordinary milk is fine if you don’t have it.
N.B. When deep frying, cook at a medium heat. They will brown very quickly because of the sugar in the dough, but the first few I made had raw dough in the middle which was disgusting. I cooked rest at a lower heat and they were fine.
430 Grams Flour, I used strong bread flour, but plain flour is fine
125 ml Evaporated milk (ordinary milk is also fine)
175 ml Warm water (about skin temperature, not too hot or you’ll kill the yeast)
1/2 Tsp Dried yeast
50 Grams Sugar
1/2 Tsp Salt
1 Egg (beaten)
30 Grams Butter (melted, and allowed to cool a little)
Icing sugar for dusting
Vegetable oil for frying
In a large bowl, add half the water, a teaspoon of sugar, and the yeast and stir, leave in a warm room (I use an airing cupboard because there are drafts) for 15 mins. The mix start to form a froth on top.
Mix in the rest of the water, sugar, salt, milk and the egg and mix well
Stir in half the flour, and then add the melted butter and remaining flour and mix well. The douch will be pretty sticky so transfer to a greased bowl and cover with cling film and keep in a fridge over night or at least 3 hours
After dough has proved in the fridge its time to roll out. I’ve tried flouring the surface and rolling pin and found it stuck really badly. So the next batch I tried using a thin layer of oil on the surface and rolling and for me it worked better (I know some people prefer using a floured surface so work with what works for you
Roll the dough in to an oblong and trim the edges. I use a pizza cutter to cut the dough into 18 oblongs (you can use a knife, but I found this worked well
Heat your oil, until its warm enough that a cube of bread will sizzle when you drop it in. Cook the beignets in small batches, turning after a minute or two. You really need to pay attention to these as the colour very quickly. As I said early don’t let your oil get too hot or you’ll end up with raw dough in the middle
Drain the cooked beignets on kitchen paper as soon as you take them out of the oil and then sprinkle liberally with icing sugar for a proper taste of New Orelans
I love the spring rolls I usually get from my local Chinese take away, but am conscious that they are deep fried and probably not great for my first waistline.
I wanted to make a slightly healthier version, so these are packed with vegetables and using filo pastry which can be baked rather than deep fried. This version is vegan, but you could also add cooked chicken or prawns if you wanted to add more protein. I used shop bought filo pastry which makes things quicker (anyone who makes their own probably needs to get out more), and is a great way to use up left over veggies.
The dipping sauce was a bit of store cupboard throw together, (my favourite dip is usually shop bought sweet chilli sauce). I have a friend who is much more experienced cooking Asian cuisine and she told me that all good dipping suaces should include sweet, sour, salt, and heat. I’m definately making this again. These are great as a starter or side dish, but I enjoy them as a snack along with a cold beer.
For the spring rolls
270 Gram Pack Filo pastry
1 Onion (finely sliced)
1 Carrot (cut into matchsticks)
1 Red Pepper (finely sliced)
2 Handfuls Cabbage or any greens you prefer (I used some left over cooked cabbage I had, but if using raw cabbage make sure it’s very finely sliced)
4-6 cm Knob of ginger (grated)
2 Cloves of garlic (grated or finely chopped)
1 Tsp Chinese 5 spice powder
2 Tbsp Oil
1 Tbsp Sesame seeds (optional)
For the dipping sauce
1 Tbsp Sesame oil
1 Tsp Chilli flakes/fresh chilli
1 Clove of garlic (grated or finely chopped)
1 Tsp Honey
1 Tsp Soy sauce
1 Tbsp Warm water
1 Tbsp Vinegar (if you have rice wine vinegar is probably best, I didn’t have this so used red wine vinegar and it was fine)
Heat a tablespoon of oil in a pan/wok, and add the vegetables, cook lightly for a few minutes and add the Chinese 5 spice powder, garlic and ginger, fry for another minute or two until the vegetables start to soften. Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely before trying to assemble the spring rolls
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees. Open your packet of pastry, most packs recommend that you cover the pastry with a slightly damp tea towel if you are not able to work quickly. This prevents the pastry from drying out and becoming brittle and difficult to work with
I cut sheets of around 8-10 cm long and 6-8 cm wide (you can make smaller rolls if you prefer). Lay a sheet on your work surface and brush or spray with oil (those low cal oil sprays now a available are really handy, but just brush lightly with oil if you don’t have this) and top with another sheet of pastry, and repeat until you have 3 layers of filo pastry
With the pastry lengthways in front of you, lay a good heaped tablesoon of your vegetable filling and place near the right hand corner of the pastry. Tuck short corner of the pastry over the vegetables and tuck on the sides and roll (as shown in the photo)
Brush/spray the rolls with oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds if you are using them and place on a baking tray. Place in your heated oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until crisp and golden
The dipping sauce is strainght forward, simply combine all the ingredients in a bowl and stir before checking the taste (you mighy want more heat, sweetness etc). Put into separate serving bowls, Serve along side the spring rolls