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A walk in the sun, a lunch in the pub and big ears
Stuff and Clutter. I don't want any more of it.

The U3A cooking group met at my house this week. When wondering what to make, I thought, like last December, we could make some canapés. There are hundreds of canapé recipes, so after a bit of thinking, I settled on three.

First up we made puchkas, and more of that later!

Antipasti Skewers

Antipasti Skewers
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Then we did antipasti skewers. Beautiful balance of flavours, very very tasty, and literally, just putting small pieces of things on skewers. I used a quarter of a slice of salami, feta, approved foods black olives and pieces of pepper from a jar. That recipe has gone into my recipe book, it was fab and I’ll  be taking some of these to the WI Christmas party next week.

Spanish Skewers

Spanish Skewers
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I thought these Spanish Skewers would be my favourites, but in fact, I found them almost bland. Surprising with that chorizo on there.

The pictures for the Skewers recipes are both from BBC Good Food, where I found the recipes. Oh that my photos were that good

Puchkas

This recipe came from Anjam Anands book, I ❤️ Curry.  Anjam’s recipe uses small puris and puts a couple of chick peas, a small piece of potato, a quarter teaspoon of tamarind chutney, the same of herb chutney and a dribble of yogurt inside each puri. I have made these a couple of times before and they are utterly gorgeous, fabulous flavours. There is the crunch of the puri, a little heat of chilli, fresh and vibrant herbs and a creamy finish from the yogurt. Wonderful.

When making them, I was pretty sure it would work as a main course in a pastry case. And let me tell you, it worked beautifully. The pastry case could have been a little less crisp, and was actually better the next day when it had softened a little.
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Puchka tart
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Tamarind chutney

Priced at Asda
1 heaped teaspoon tamarind paste, £2/95g, 10p
20g jaggery or muscovado sugar, around £1/450g, 4p
Good pinch salt
Good pinch black pepper
Scant teaspoon cumin, 80p/41g, 4p
Total cost 18p

Put the tamarind, sugar, salt and pepper in a saucepan together with 3 tablespoons water. Bring to the boil and simmer gently until thickened to a jammy consistency.

Meanwhile, put the ground cumin in a dry frying pan and toast gently until it smells cooked. Be careful, it will burn easily.

When the chutney has thickened, cool and add the cumin.

Tangy Herb Chutney

25g pack fresh coriander, 60p/25g, 60p
Tblsp lemon juice, 58p/250ml, 3p
6g fresh mint leaves, 80p/25g, 19p
Total cost 82p

Blend all the ingredients together with 2 tblsps water until smooth.
Will keep in the fridge for about a week, or freeze.
Include a few nuts and a little chilli if you like

Puchka

100g thick Greek yogurt, full fat, 90p/500g, 18p
Salt and pepper

300g potato, 2.5kg/£1.25, 15p
100g cooked chickpeas, 35p tin, 17p

total cost 50p

Pastry case

150g self raising flour, 45p/1.5kg, 4p
75g vegetable oil, 6p
50ml water
Total cost 10p

Total cost for the tart, including the tamarind and herb chutneys 18p+82p+50p+10p=£1.60. Serves 4, so 40p each

Mix the flour and oil, together with most of the water to make the pastry and line a 20cm flan tin. Blind bake the pastry case until cooked through.

Season the yogurt with a little salt and pepper.

Cook the potato. You can boil it, peeled or unpeeled, or microwave it. Once cooked and cooled, chop into small pieces. Scatter over the pastry case base.

Scatter over the cooked chickpeas. Put small spoonfuls and dribbles of the herb chutney, the tamarind chutney and the yogurt over the chickpeas and potato and that’s it, you’re done.

Verdict and variations

I had this two days running. The first day I had it with lots of green salad. The pastry was very crisp, probably a bit too crisp, so could have done with a little less time in the oven. The second day, the pastry had softened a little from the moisture in the filling, and I warmed the filled tart a bit in the oven. Both versions were lovely and I really enjoyed them. I think next time I would make individual tarts rather than one big one.

You could use all potato, all chickpea, swap out the potatoes for sweet potatoes; carrots; leeks or onions; parsnip or swede. Use any bean, including rinsed baked beans instead of the chickpeas. And of course any combination you fancy.

Use a vegan yogurt and this will be vegan. Or use coconut cream, double cream, creme fraiche or cream cheese.

The tamarind chutney is wonderful, tangy, strong and delicious. It would make a great addition to many sandwiches, wraps, jacket potato toppings etc. I urge you to make just that if nothing else, it will be so useful.

The tangy herb chutney is vibrantly fresh and singing with herbs. It would be wonderful with many things. In a wrap with chopped boiled eggs, ham, sliced chicken or pork; on the side with a vegetable dahl; to liven and freshen a bowl of plain steamed vegetables; or just about anything that you would have chutney with.

The pastry case could be made with gluten free flour, with gram flour for a protein boost; you could add some fine chopped rosemary or sage to add even more herby flavour; or mix in some ground almonds, coconut flour or fine chopped nuts.

So, as with many things we do here, there is a lot of versatility with this. I  hope you try it! 

 

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A walk in the sun, a lunch in the pub and big ears
Stuff and Clutter. I don't want any more of it.
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