Mouthwatering Munches

This delicious and easy to create dish can be served as a starter with a light salad or makes a great breakfast/brunch dish served with bacon or eggs.

Chickpea and Feta Fritters – Serves 6-8

2x 300g cans chickpea, rinsed and drained
1 Large free range egg
100ml thick yoghurt
2 Tablespoons Tahini paste
1 Teaspoon of salt
1 Teaspoon baking powder
2 Tablespoons cornflour
150g feta cheese, cut into 1/2 cm cubes or if you prefer roughly crumbled
4 Spring onion, finely sliced
Oil or butter for frying

1. Place 3/4 of the chickpeas in a food processor with egg, yoghurt, tahini, salt, baking powder and cornflour. Puree to a coarse paste.
2. Place in a bowl and mix in remaining chickpeas, feta and spring onions. Stand for 15 minutes.
3. Heat a little oil or butter in a frying pan and dollop in a spoonful of mixture. Cook over a moderate heat until golden, then gently flip over and cook until just set.
4. Fritters are very soft and can break if flipped too soon, so handle them gently and only flip when almost set.
5. You are now ready to serve the chickpeas fritters either as a starter or (my favourite) for breakfast/brunch with eggs and crispy bacon. The choice is yours Enjoy!

Suggested Wine: Sauvignon Blanc (New Zealand)

Stuffed Red Peppers – Serves 4

2 Large Red Peppers
500g Beef mince meat
3 slice of white bread
50g of parmesan cheese
1 glass of milk
50ml olive oil
150g of cheddar cheese cut in to small cubes
1 Egg, flour
Salt and black pepper to taste
30g of breadcrumbs
Olive oil

1. Start by preparing the stuffing. Place the mince meat, parmesan cheese and cheddar cheese cut into small cubes, into a large mixing bowl. Break the slice of bread into pieces and add to the mix. Finally add the milk and salt and pepper. I personally also like to add a bit of chopped parsley. Start to mix it all together by hand until a well blended mixture is achieved.
2. Now prepare the red peppers. First thing to do is to wash the peppers and with a small sharp knife cut them in half and remove all the seeds and the white filaments inside. Wash them once again making sure there are no seeds left inside.
3. Once they are dry, salt the inside of the peppers to help cook them better. Now fill the half peppers with the mixture. Make sure the peppers are stuffed well. Then take the breadcrumbs and mix with some olive oil. Now spread the breadcrumbs on top of the stuffing, this will help to make it golden and crispy.
4. Place stuffed peppers on a baking tray and place in a preheated oven at 200c or Mark 8 for 45 minutes. Once ready let them cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.

Suggested Wine: Pinot Grigio (Italy)

Panna Cotta with Fresh Strawberries – Serves 4

500ml fresh double cream
8gr gelatine sheets (you can find then in any supermarket)
80g sugar
4 small moulds (cupcake or muffin moulds)

1. Start by putting the gelatine sheets in cold water to soften them up!
2. Pour the double cream into a medium saucepan and heat it up until close to boil. NOTE: it is very important that the double cream doesn’t reach boiling temperature.
3. Let the cream cool off for 2-3 minutes and then add the gelatine sheets with the help of a wooden spoon. Mix it nicely for a couple of minutes until the texture is nice and smooth.
4. Pour the cream into 4 small moulds and leave it to settle in the fridge for at least 5 hours. NOTE: you can use cupcakes or muffins mould, silicone or metal.
5. Finally let’s cut some fresh strawberries in a small mixing bowl and dress them with sugar and lemon to taste. Give it a gentle stir.
6. When the panna cotta is ready to serve remove it from the moulds into individual small plates and top it up with the fresh strawberries. Enjoy!

Suggested Wine: Rose’ Spanish Cava

Simone Conti

Enjoying these recipes? You can read more of Simone’s meals HERE.

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