Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Midweek Two Courser; Crispy Greek Pie, Leek and Bacon Risotto

Ohhh Nativity Play! I love and hate you in equal amounts! It was sadly/happily my classes last performance of theirs this week, so now we can start enjoying Christmas properly! Crafts galore! However, even though I've been incredibly busy I managed to cook a two course meal on a week night last week (unheard of!). These recipes were really quick and simple, meaning I got home at 5pm and had the first course on the table for 6pm, with the main following not long after. Give 'em a whirl!

For starters I tried a recipe for crispy Greek pie, found on the awardwinning weight loss blog 'Where Are My Knees'. Don't let the idea of a 'low fat' recipe but you off; this pie packs a tasty punch while being really quick and easy to put together. Have a little look at the recipe and give it a go. It's basically just mix together the filling of feta cheese, sundried tomatoes, spinach and egg, wrap in filo pastry and bake for 30mins.

The family loved it and it was just right for a starter; a creamy and crunchy Spanakopita with the added kick of sundried tomatoes giving it a tangy lift.

As we served the starter I could put the main course in as we were making Oven-baked leek & bacon risotto. I've only attempted risotto once before and it was a claggy disaster, so I was very dubious about this too good to be true sounding dish. "Yeaaaa don't worry about all that tiresome stirring and stock adding malarky! Just wack it int oven!" Ah well I gave it a whirl...

Olive oil
6 rashers bacon, chopped
2 leeks, chopped
250g risotto rice
700ml hot chicken stock
175g frozen peas
3 tbsp soft cheese
Zest 1 lemon (oops, just realised in all the oven baked excitement I forgot to add this!)

1. Heat oven to 200C. Splash olive oil into an ovenproof casserole dish. Add bacon and fry for 2 mins. Then add the leeks for 4-5 mins.

2. pour in the rice for 1 min more. Pour over stock. Cover and place in the oven for 20 mins, stirring halfway. Worry throughout.

3. When rice is just tender and all liquid is absorbed, remove from oven and stir in peas. Place back in oven for 2 mins more. Remove and stir in cheese. Add zest (if you've remembered) and season.
Much to my surprise, this really, really worked! It wasn't quite as lovely and oozy as a regular risotto; but was tasty and not claggy at all. Dead, dead easy too, especially if you have a few courses to think about.

The peas, leeks and bacons collided with an exciting
overall flavour, that would only have been slightly improved by a bit of garlic. I served it up as a side to some fatty, medium rare lamb chops. All in all a really scrummy tea time treat.

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