Parsnip and potato rosti with cherry tomatoes and poached eggs

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I’ve just come back from a wonderful Christmas over at Greg’s family home in Horsham. He comes from a big family with 3 other siblings, whom have partners and 2 children amongst them. So you can imagine the house was completely full… However it was a special moment as it’s very rare that all of the kids are together in one place as their scattered all over the UK as far as Norwich then one in South Hampton!

And as there were a lot expected on Christmas day itself, we came up with the idea of doing a course each to have plenty of food which now only gave a variety of dishes, but most importantly it offered all the responsibility and not the one person being left in charge to panic over cooking for so many! I can’t share images as they’re not the best but they can be seen on my Instagram 🙂

Today however, I’d like to share this wonderful breakfast/brunch dish I made with left over parsnips and potatoes from the ingredients used for the Christmas meal. Sometimes, it truly is the leftovers that make even more delicious meals!

See this wonderful parsnip and potato rosti with cherry tomatoes and poached eggs. (Any topping can be used and you can use just potatoes, however the parsnips for me are the main attraction here!).

Serves 2 people.

2 potatoes, peeled and kept whole

2 parsnips, peeled and chopped in half

Butter

Olive oil

1 onion, sliced thinly

Small handful of parsley, chopped

2 handful of cherry tomatoes

1 tablespoon dried rosemary

2 eggs, poached

Preheat the oven to 180c. Place the potatoes and parsnips in a large pan of salted boiling water and simmer for 15mins, then drain and leave to cool a bit.

Get the cherry tomatoes into a baking tray and season generously, sprinkle the dried rosemary and pour olive oil over, then place in the oven to cook for about 20-25mins till the skin goes slightly wrinkly. I love doing these under a low temperature for a lot longer as it makes the tomatoes deliciously sweet.

Heat about 1 tablespoon of butter and cook the onions on a low to medium heat till softened and slightly browned. Season then tip into a large bowl. In this bowl, coarsely grate the potatoes and parsnips, add the parsley and season more, then mix it all together.

Heat up about half a tablespoon of butter and some olive oil in a non-stick pan and either spoon out or use your hands to make patties out of the mix, then pat them down and gently fry about 1 or 2 patties in the pan on both sides till golden. Repeat with the butter and oil with the rest of the patties.

You can keep some patties in the oven to stay warm whilst poaching the eggs.

Serve immediately with the cherry tomatoes and poached eggs with more parsley on top.

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Hangover and Food Charity

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I’m feeling pretty hung over today, so I won’t be writing much. But I want to share a few experiences I’ve had in the last 24 hours.

First of all, I’m very lucky that with this new move to Bristol, I’ve been able to land a job with people who are very genuine, fun and very sociable… If not somewhat geeky; but this adds to their lovely personalities. This also makes it a lot easier to be able to go out, have a great time and not worry about making so many friends so quickly.

Which brings me to my hangover from our work Christmas party last night, which was proudly planned by yours truly J. It was held in Folly Farm based just on the outskirts of Bristol in dramatic and beautiful countryside. They are a fantastic venue and almost come second to my choice in wedding venues (after River Cottage and only if I can get Hugh to marry us!)… Check their website out here: http://www.follyfarm.org/

Although the venue is extremely lovely, we hired out our own catering company rather than using theirs; which brings me to my second experience. Having come across charity, Fare Share, through my research all things Bristol, this organisation is just simply fantastic in the work they carry out and the contribution they make to the community. See a quote I found that sums them up quite nicely.

FareShare is an award-winning charity aimed at relieving food poverty and reducing food waste in the UK. It does this by rescuing good quality surplus food that would otherwise have gone to waste and sending it to over 700 charity and community projects across the United Kingdom.

FareShare only redistributes food inside its best before and use by date; in 2012 they rescued 3,600 tonnes of food which would have otherwise gone to landfill. FareShare works with all sectors of the supply chain; producers, manufacturers and retailers. All of the major UK food retailers have encouraged their suppliers to work with FareShare to minimise food waste. FareShare has also run two successful food drives with both Sainsbury’s and Tesco.

FareShare contributed towards more than 8.6 million meals in 2012, which equates to feeding 36,500 people a day. This food is delivered to a broad range of grass root organisations all across the UK including homeless shelters, day centres, women’s refuge centres and children’s breakfast clubs.

It’s obvious that they’re doing incredible work and I hope to get involved with them again someday. See more information about the South West team here: http://www.faresharesouthwest.org.uk/

Now my third experience is what I have as a visual for you on this blog post. My hangover cure for the day. Nothing special but it was definitely amazing and exactly what I needed. I turned for comfort and satisfaction to these Chinese pork buns, home-made Singapore noodles and oh yes you CAN believe your eyes… Japanese peanut mochi…! I think this could’ve been all I needed to be fair but the rest helped me get to this stage I’m in now, sat on a sofa, hot drink next to me, blanket over my legs and typing with my head tilted slightly as I’m ready to stick some Saturday Kitchen catch-up on the laptop.

Although fairly brief, I hope I’ve helped share some interesting and useful information for today though. Have a great weekend 🙂

Christmas Tree Decorations

This year, Greg and I bought our first Christmas tree together for our new flat 🙂

We also decided to not buy any decorations or ready-made ornaments but instead, have taken some time in the evenings to create our own decorations that are simple, creative and tasteful. Let’s admit that most pre-made tree decorations can be quite tacky..!

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The decorations consist of mainly origami stars and birds using a couple of wrapping paper designs and then these cookies, which is from good ol’ Nigella Lawson’s ‘Feast’ book. I’ll do another blog post if I get time to share how we made some of the origami decorations, should you wish to make some of your own – which I can say is really worth it as they’re not too complicated (I made some too after all) and it gives a sense of achievement seeing them from paper to pretty on the tree…

Let me first share the Christmas cookie recipes, which are also simple and straightforward to make but also taste everything a Christmas cookie should taste; sweet and rich from the brown sugar then warm and spiced from the cinnamon and clove.

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Ingredients:

  • 300 grams plain flour (plus more for dusting)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 100 grams soft butter
  • 100 grams soft dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs (beaten)
  • 4 tablespoons runny honey

Method:

  • Line 2 baking sheets with parchment and preheat the oven to 170°C/gas mark 3/350ºF.
  • Combine the flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves and pepper in a food processor and, with the motor on, add the butter and sugar, then, slowly, the beaten eggs and runny honey, though don’t use all of this liquid if the pastry has come together before it’s used up.
  • Form 2 fat discs and put one, covered in clingfilm or in a freezer bag, in the fridge while you get started on the other.
  • Then dust a work surface with flour, roll out the disc, also floured, to about 5mm / ¼ inch and cut out your Christmas decorations with cutters of your choice, which could include fir-tree shapes, angels, stars, snowflakes, and so on.
  • Re-roll and cut out some more, setting aside the residue from this first disc, well covered, while you get on with rolling out the second. When you’ve got both sets of leftover clumps of dough, roll out and cut out again, and keep doing so till all the dough’s used up.
  • Now take a small icing nozzle and use the pointy end to cut out a hole just below the top of each biscuit (through which ribbon can later be threaded).
  • Arrange the pastry shapes on the lined baking sheets and cook for about 20 minutes: it’s hard to see when they’re cooked, but you can feel; if the underside is no longer doughy, they’re ready. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool.
  • Make up the instant royal icing, beating it until it’s thick enough to be able to cover the biscuits with a just-dripping blanket of white; but don’t beat it for as long as the packet says or you’ll have icing so thick it will need to be spread with a spatula and you won’t get such a neat outline.
  • Carefully ice the cold decorations, using a teaspoon (the tip for dripping, the back for smoothing), and scatter sparkles or sprinkles as you like. When the icing is set, thread ribbon through the holes and hang on your tree.

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