Antonia Landi

Posts Tagged ‘bacon’

Baked potatoes with two fillings – Better than Toast

In Food, Student life on November 19, 2011 at 7:51 pm

Picture: bbc.co.uk

Aah, the good old baked potato. Crunchy on the outside, fluffy on the inside, there’s not many dishes that can make one feel warm and fuzzy inside quite like this one. Pair that with how easy it is to make one, and you got the perfect lazy day dinner.

In Switzerland, there’s a dish we make called ‘gschwellti’ which basically consists of boiled potatoes accompanied by an extensive cheese platter, so the idea of pairing potatoes with cheese isn’t foreign to me (especially if you consider the more well-known raclette). But that’s just about how far the Swiss will go. Over here, the classic baked potato is loaded with a mound of cheddar, but there are so many other great toppings to choose from too. From baked beans to a posh chilli, from a simple helping of cheese to a healthier veg alternative – there is nothing the baked potato can’t handle. And that’s what’s so great about this dish – the potato is like a blank canvas, itching to be painted on and you can make it as simple or as elaborate as you wish. Today, I’ve chosen two of my favourite toppings – tuna mayo, because it’s so easy to make, and Brie, bacon and cranberry sauce, because the sweetish-salty-creamy combo of this fancy topping is just divine. Plus, it’s got cranberry sauce in it, which’ll give it a nice Christmassy twist! But do have a look at any of my previous recipes, as some of them would make fantastic toppings – the homemade chilli and the boozy mushroom sauce from the polenta recipe are only two of the many options to choose from! So do go out and get yourself a bag of baking potatoes and bake the winter away – and do share your favourite topping combos in the comments below!

Makes 2 baked potatoes (1 of each)

2 baking potatoes, roughly the same size

Olive oil

Salt

Bake the potatoes for approximately 1 hour (depending on size) on a medium-high heat

For the tuna mayo:

1/2 tin responsibly sourced canned tuna

1/2 tbsp mayonnaise

Capers (optional)

Salt, pepper, dill to taste

Small handful grated cheddar

For the Brie, bacon & cranberry:

4-5 slices Brie

2-3 bacon rashes (best cut with scissors!)

2 tsp cranberry sauce

Watch the video for instructions, and do get in touch if you have any questions, as silly as you think they might be!

And finally, have a look at these great links for inspiration and information.

First time potato baker? Here are fourteen helpful tips on how to make your baked potato a success!

For those who want to be more spud-literate, here is a great link that summarizes which kind of potato is best for which kind of dish. Incredibly helpful, and yes, that’s a purple potato.

And for the purists among us, here is a simple recipe on how to make your very own cranberry sauce.

Antonia Landi for the Useful Times.

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Savoury Gugelhupf – Better than Toast

In Food, Student life on October 16, 2011 at 5:06 pm

Picture: kuechengoetter.de

It’s October and for some reason half the people I know (including myself!) were born during this month, which means that I’ve been busy baking cakes for everyone! Even though I love baking, I rarely eat more than a little slice of cake myself. So this week I thought I’d treat myself and bake my favourite kind of cake – a savoury cake!

Now, before you all go ‘Gugelwhat?’ I should add that it is not in any case vital that you bake this cake in the recommended shape. The Gugelhupf is just very common where I come from and a welcome treat at any house, but more of that later. Apart from being very popular, this kind of cake is also known for coming in sweet as well as savoury varieties. Adapting the recipe just a little will make the world of a difference. The base recipe is ideal to carry any flavours – I used pancetta and onion in mine, but you could easily make a vegetarian version by adding a strong flavoured cheese and chopped walnuts. If your supermarket doesn’t carry cubed pancetta you can very easily go for lardons instead – just make sure you cut them into a more agreeable size. As a rough guideline, you’d like the ingredients to be small enough to be manageable when working into the dough, but you don’t want to pulverise them – finding a cube of meat in your cake is just as delightful as the odd chocolate chunk! If you’d like to go herby, try adding parsley to this recipe. And finally, I must vouch for investing in a proper Gugelhupf tin – you can get them as cheaply as for a fiver (I got mine from TKMaxx!) and they come in a variety of shapes, which make the whole thing a bit more special. And with this I give you permission to tuck into your cake as soon as it comes out of the oven – what better way to spend tea time than to have a piece of soft, warm, homemade Gugelhupf.

Makes 1 Gugelhupf (which serves 8 or more, depending on your portions)

500g plain flour

1 egg

1 packet of dried yeast (7g)

200ml milk

100g butter, plus extra for greasing

200g cubed pancetta (or lardons)

1 medium onion, finely chopped

Make dough and leave to rise for one hour. Knead in pancetta and onion and leave to rise for a further 15 minutes in tin. Bake for approx 1 hour on a medium heat. You may cover the top loosely with tinfoil towards the end to prevent it from browning too much. Turn over and serve!

Watch the video for instructions, and do get in touch if you have any questions, as silly as you think they might be!

And finally, have a look at these great links for inspiration and information.

You’ve heard of a bundt cake before but Gugelhupf just sounds too bizarre? Follow this link to learn all about this (largely) German teatime treat (and how to pronounce it!). Packed with essential information and links to some lovely recipes.

If you’d like to try a sweet version before going for the full-on savoury one, search no more. This website has an easy to follow simple recipe for sweet Gugelhupf aimed at children, PLUS your very first German lesson! Learn as you eat, I say!

Last but not least, here is some inspiration on how to take your savoury cake baking further. I highly recommend the Goat’s cheese with raisins and hazelunts cake – a match made in heaven!

 

Antonia Landi for the Useful Times.

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