Tag Archive for Lunch

Omelet Wrap

Tortilla wraps with cream cheese and smoked salmon are a classic. I decided to make a variation on this, it is nice to do something different sometimes.
These wraps are very nice for lunch.

OmeletWrap2

Omelet Wrap (1 wrap)

2 eggs
splash of milk
salt and pepper
few leafs of lettuce
1-2 tbsp light cream cheese
some chopped up parsley and chives
smoked fish (I like mackerel or trout for this recipe)

Mix the eggs with a splash of milk and some salt and pepper. Bake into a thin omelet.
Mix the cream cheese with some salt and pepper, and the chopped herbs.
Place the lettuce on the omelet, spread with the cream cheese, then sprinkle over the smoked fish. Roll up as a wrap.

Sun-dried tomato, feta and tuna picnic loaf

Delicious ingredients stuffed into a bread, what’s not to love? Also see the Mediterranean and tuna versions I made before.

TomatoFetaPicnicBread2

Sun-dried tomato, feta and tuna picnic loaf (serves 2-4)
1 boule
1 clove of garlic
100 g sun-dried tomatoes
a few sprigs of oregano
1 jar roasted paprika
1 can tuna
100 g feta

Slice the top from the boule. Hollow out. Keep the breadcrumbs for another dish. Rub the inside of the loaf with the garlic (cut in half).
Coarsely chop the tomatoes together with the oregano.
Line the loaf with the paprika, spread 1/2 of the tomatoes on top, and then the tuna. Cover with a paprika, then a layer of the tomatoes again, then crumble the feta on top. End with another paprika to cover everything.
Ideally, wrap tightly in cling film and let infuse for an hour or so, but you can eat the loaf immediately if you want.

Buckwheat galettes with ham, egg and cheese

If you’ve been to Brittany (France), you’ve probably eaten them; these are also called “galette bretonne compl├Ęte” sometimes. They make them a bit different over there, but since I need to do with the standard kitchen equipment, this is the way to go. Traditionally the buckwheat flour is used because it was the only grain that would grow on the poor grounds in Brittany. Nowadays it’s mainly about the flavour, it gives the galettes a savouriness that wheat flour doesn’t give it. And topping something with ham, cheese and eggs is always a good plan.

Buckwheat Galette with Ham, Egg and Cheese

Buckwheat galettes with ham, egg and cheese (makes 8)
Adapted from Rick Stein’s French Odyssey

75 g buckwheat flour
25 g flour
large pinch of salt
120 ml milk
~120 ml water
2 eggs
25 g butter, melted

8 eggs
200 g cooked ham, sliced
200 g gruyere (or gouda), coarsely grated

Mix the buckwheat flour and plain flour with the salt and make a well in the middle. Add the milk and whisk into a smooth batter. Add the eggs and butter, and mix. Don’t overbeat, this will make the pancakes tough. Leave to stand for at least 30 minutes.
Shortly before baking, thin the batter with water until it has the consistency of cream. The exact amount will depend on your flour and eggs.
Pour a thin layer of batter in a heated large frying pan and swirl so that the mixture lightly coats the base. Cook over a fairly high heat for about 2 minutes until lightly browned. Flip the galette over and break one of the eggs in the centre. Break the yolk with the back of a spoon, and spread over the surface of the galette, leaving the edge free. Sprinkle with 1/8 of the ham and 1/8 of the cheese. Fold two opposite sides of the galette towards the centre, then the other two sides, forming a square and leaving the middle open. Flip over and cook briefly to heat the ham through and melt the cheese. Repeat for the remaining galettes. Serve straight away.

Quark-Cheese Muffuns

Usually muffins are sweet, but why not make them savoury? I adapted this recipe from a sweet one, because I had some leftover cheese and quark, and it worked perfectly. They are moist, fluffy and savoury. We ate them with our dinner, to mop up sauce. But they also work well as a lunch or picnic dish. They have enough flavour and are moist enough to eat them without accompaniments, but they don’t have such a strong flavour that they overwhelm everything you eat with them. I do think that they are nicest when they are freshly baked.

Quark-Cheese Muffins

Quark-cheese muffins (makes 12)
Adapted from “Das Grosse Backbuch – Kochen und Geniessen”

225 g low fat quark
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup oil (something neutral as sunflour or rapeseed)
pinch of sugar
pinch of salt
200 g grated cheese
250 g self-raising flour

Prepare a muffin tin by lining the holes with paper liners. Preheat the oven to 175C.
Mix quark, egg, milk, oil, sugar and salt. Add the cheese and mix. Add the flour and use a dough hook to mix well.
Divide the batter over the holes of the muffin tin. Place in the preheated oven and bake about 25 minutes, until golden and cooked. Leave to cool for a few minutes, then take from the tin. Serve warm or leave to cool further on a rack.

Sandwiches

As most Dutch people, I lunch with a sandwich. Usually it is wholegrain bread, one slice with something savoury (usually cheese), and one slice with something sweet (usually apple butter or jam). Occasionally a slice of raisin bread with butter. But sometimes you want something different. Something where the standard “broodje gezond” (“healthy bun”: ham, cheese, boiled egg, lettuce, cucumber, tomato) or BLTE (bacon, lettuce, tomato, egg) or chicken sandwich (smoked or poached chicken, halvanaise, tomato) are not different enough. Luckily I stumbled upon a different recipe: toasted whole grain bread smeared with houmous, with slices of tomato and boiled egg on top, sprinkled with a little salt. A combination of which you wouldn’t expect it would work (at least, I didn’t), but it is delicious. Houmous sometimes gives me a bit of a “dry” mouth-feeling, the tomato prevents that, and also refreshes your palate. And the boiled egg adds a delicious creaminess to the whole thing. It fills you up well, and it can be made fast. So this has become my to-go sandwich for when I want something different.

Houmous Egg Tomato Sandwich

Picnic loaf with tuna

Stuffing delicious ingredients into a loaf is a great idea. The picnic loaf I made before was a bit more mediterranean, while this one is a bit more Dutch, but both are very jummy!

Picnic Loaf with Tuna

Picnic loaf with tuna (serves 2 as a main, 4 as a lunch/picnic dish)
Adapted from allerhande

1 petit beurre (small rustic loaf)
2 eggs 7
1 baby romaine lettuce 1 6 11
1 tomato 2
4 tbsp dijonnaise 3 8
3 gherkins 5
110 g tuna 9
salt and pepper4 10

Slice the top from the loaf and take most of the crumb out. Reserve for another dish.
Layer the ingredients (pack everything well to fit it in): a few leafs of lettuce, a few slices of tomato, 2 tbsp dijonnaise, salt and pepper, the slices of gherkin, a few leafs of lettuce, the slices of egg, a sprinkle of salt, 2 tbsp dijonnaise, the tuna, salt and pepper, and finish with a few leafs of lettuce (there are numbers behind the ingredients in the sequence of packing the ingredients). Place the top back on top, and serve immediately. Alternatively, wrap in cling film and place in the fridge for a maximum of 1 day.

Two appetizers

I love tuna salad, because it is very versatile. You can scoop it on top of all kinds of (toasted) bread or crackers, pile it on vegetables like tomato and cucumber or serve it over lettuce as a salad. It works as a lunch, a snack or even as part of diner. And it’s healthy… at least the tuna. Most people don’t eat enough fish and this is an easy way to add some more, and tuna is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids as well. Make sure you buy MSC certified sustainable tuna, because cans of tuna that don’t have the MSC stamp usually contain tuna from places where this fish is almost extinct… when the tuna is gone, it is gone, and we can’t eat tuna any more. There are all kind of other certifications (usually invented by the companies themselves), but MSC (for wild fish and seafood) and ASC (for farmed fish and seafood) are the only ones that really mean something.
I’ve been on the hunt for a good tuna salad for a long time. Buying a tub of tuna salad of course is the easiest way, but not the tastiest. Usually it has only a little bit of fish in it, and it is quite runny. So I started to experiment making my own. I always use cans of tuna on water, not on oil, because the salad would get to greasy with the latter variant. I started with only using mayonnaise, but that lacked some freshness. Adding lemon juice helped, as did adding yoghurt. But finally I found that using 1 can of tuna, 1 tbsp yogonaise and 1 tbsp (light) cream cheese worked the best. It is fresh and creamy, and very thick (so that it doesn’t fall of your sandwich). And because both the yogonaise and the light cream cheese are lower in fat than their regular variants, you keep the fat/calorie count in check as well. I season my salad with salt and pepper, and sometimes a pinch of garlic powder and a drop of worcestershire sauce.
You could add some finely chopped (spring) onion, gherkins, celery, cucumber, mustard, (dried) fruit or curry powder to the recipe (these are some of the things I found when I was looking for recipes), but that really doesn’t work for me. You can substitute the tuna with a can of salmon, steamed mackerel or even cooked chicken. And tuna salad is also very delicious to fill eggs with, just make the basic recipe, add the cooked egg yolks and pipe the mixture in the cooked egg-white halves.

And then the other appetizer. I love endive (white heads with a light green top, not the lettuce-like green stuff… there is some name confusion sometimes) and I usually eat it as a salad or a gratin, but some variation now and then is nice as well. Endive works really well with creamy, sharp cheeses, sweet things and nuts. So for very a very nice appetizer, separate the heads of endive in separate leaves/spears and fill them with fresh goat’s cheese, a drizzle of honey and some toasted walnuts; or blue cheese (I like St. Augur) and walnuts. Delicious!

Gram crepes with salmon

I’ve had a bag of gram flour in my pantry for quite some time now. It was a present, and I did not have any clue what to do with it. Luckily, nowadays you can find about anything on the internet. So that is how I found out that gram flour is also known as chickpea flour or as besan, and is widely used in Indian cooking, but also in some parts of France and Italy to make kind of a crepe. I decided to give the crepes a try.

The crepes worked out great, but I wouldn’t call them crepes. Crepes you can roll very easily, they are flexible, but these crepes are quite firm and when you bend them, they will break. So I didn’t roll for this dish, I stacked. The crepes are tender and have a mellow chickpea flavour, that matches well with all kind of other flavours, and you can also add herbs and spices to the batter. In this case I left the crepes plain and combined them with cream cheese, lemon, dill, lettuce, cucumber and smoked salmon. A delicious lunch!

Gram Crepes with Salmon

Gram crepes (about 4)

140 gram gram flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp oil (can be any kind, depending on what you serve with the crepes)
250 ml water
extra oil for frying

Mix the gram flour with the salt in a bowl. Add the oil, then slowly add the water while mixing, to form a smooth and quite runny batter. If it is too thick, it is difficult to bake nice thin crepes. Set aside 15 minutes.
Place a frying pan on medium heat, drizzle a little oil in it and spread out over the bottom of the pan. Stir the batter and pour a ladle in the frying pan. Quickly tilt the pan in all directions to spread out the batter. Cook about 3 minutes, then turn over and bake for about 1 minute. Repeat the process for the remaining batter. Keep warm between two plates and serve warm or at room temperature.

Picnic Loaf

A picnic loaf was featured on the BBC bread baking programme of Paul Hollywood, and shortly after that James Martin also prepared a picnic loaf in Saturday Kitchen (also a BBC tv programme). Both looked very delicious, but it took me quite a while to make one for myself. It is a variation on pan bagna, a speciality from Nice (France), where they fill bread with a nicoise salad (tomato, onion, anchovies, boiled eggs, olives, paprika, tuna, artichoke hearts and olive oil). But where the vegetables are raw in a pan bagna, they are grilled in this recipe, which gives the bread extra flavour and a really nice texture. If you’re not a fan of chicken, you could use canned tuna instead.

The bread can serve up to 8 people as lunch, especially if you also serve some other dishes. Because the bread is very sturdy (you pack it full with all the ingredients and then wrap it tightly with cling film) and can be made a day in advance, it is also great for picnics… hence the name. But it is also delicious as dinner, accompany the bread with a salad and it will serve 4 generously.

Of course you will have a lot of bread crumbs left after hollowing out the bread. A great way to use this is frying it in some butter, combining it with roasted and coarsely chopped hazelnuts and then sprinkling it over a salad. Add a slice of pate and you have a light and delicious summer meal.

Picnic Bread

Picnic Loaf (serves 4-8)
Slightly adapted from James Martin in Saturday Kitchen

For the pesto
60 g basil leaves
50 g pine nuts
50 g parmesan
3 garlic cloves
1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
75-125 ml extra virgin olive oil

For the loaf
2 red paprikas
2 yellow paprikas
2 courgettes
1-2 tsp olive oil
salt and pepper
1 large red onion
2 chicken breasts
2 balls buffalo mozzarella
1 beef tomato
1 large round loaf (23cm)

Note: to make a small version as on the photo, use half of all the ingredients. It will fill 2 Italian buns and will leave you with some extra vegetables on the side. This will feed two persons very generously.

Slice the paprikas in two, place skin side up in an oven dish and place under a very hot oven grill until the skin is blackened and the flesh is soft. Cover and set aside.
Slice the courgettes in long, thin strips. Place in an oven dish, brush lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cut the red onion in chunks, place in an oven dish, sprinkle with salt and pepper (alternatively you can slice the onion thinly and leave it raw). Place the courgette and onion in the hot oven until nicely cooked/grilled.
Heat a skillet on high heat. Place the chicken breasts in the hot pan, leave on one side until golden, then turn over and leave until the other side is golden as well. Turn the heat down, place a lid on the skillet and leave until cooked. Set aside for a few minutes to rest, then cut into thin slices and season with salt and pepper.
Cut the mozzarella in thick slices and tomato in thin slices.
Make the pesto. Some people just throw all ingredients in the food processor and then gradually add oil, but I like to do it in an pestle and mortar. Start by roasting the pine nuts, I like them quite brown to give the pesto an extra nutty flavour, but make sure you roast them on medium low heat, toss them regularly and keep an eye on them: pine nuts burn in seconds, which makes them black and inedible. Meanwhile (while keeping an eye on the pine nuts!) peel the garlic, place in the mortar and pestle, add the sea salt and crush until it is a fine paste. Add the roasted pine nuts (while they are still hot, this will take the harshness of the garlic) and crush until it is a fine paste. Add the basil leaves and crush again. Then grate in the parmesan cheese and mix well. Add the oil in a thin stream while mixing, add enough to thin the pesto to a medium paste. Taste: sometimes it needs a little more salt, basil, cheese or oil.
Slice off the top of the loaf of bread. Hollow out the loaf by scooping out the soft bread, leaving 3cm of bread around the edge. Smear pesto all over the inside. Fill the hollow loaf with layers of the peppers, chicken, red onion, courgettes, mozzarella, tomatoes and pesto, pressing it down in between to fill the bread as full as possible. Place the lid of the loaf back on and push down, you can wrap it in cling film and leave overnight or slice straight away. To serve, slice the loaf and place on serving plates.

Club sandwich

The club sandwich is one of the real classics, containing flavours that complement each other perfectly. It is usually made with two layers of filling between three slices of white bread (sometimes toasted), sliced diagonal to form two triangles and pinned with a cocktail stick to prevent falling apart. I make my variant with a multigrain demi-baguette to make it a bit more substantial as a diner sandwich.

Classic accompaniments for sandwiches are chips, soup, coleslaw, pasta salad, fruit yoghurt or a baked goodie like a chocolate chip cookie or a brownie. Because the sandwich alone is already quite a substantial meal I usually choose a soup, coleslaw, another vegetable salad or some fruit yoghurt to prevent the feeling of eating ‘just’ a sandwich for diner, but not upping the calories/fat/sugar content too much.

Club sandwich

1 multigrain demi-baguette
3 slices of bacon
1/2 chicken breast
pepper (optional: herbs and spices of choice)
1 slice of cheese
a few little gem leaves or other lettuce (enough to cover the baguette generously)
a few slices of tomato
2 gherkins, slices thinly (enough to just cover the baguette)
1 tbsp mayonnaise

Fry the bacon until crisp. In the remaining fat, fry the chicken until cooked. I think the flavour of the bacon fat together with some pepper is enough to season the chicken, but of course you can add all sorts of herbs and spices.
Slice the baguette in two. Divide the mayonnaise over both halves and spread it out. Then start layering the ingredients on the bottom halve. I start with the lettuce, then the tomato, then the gherkins, then the chicken, then the bacon and then the cheese. Top off with the other baguette halve. It is the tastiest when you divide the ingredients in such way over the sandwich that you have a little of everything in each mouthful, for example by slicing the chicken and cheese in longish strips.
Serve immediately or wrap tightly in cling film to eat in a few hours. The bread will get a bit soggy when you make the sandwich in advance, so if you don’t like soggy bread, choose another sandwich to make in advance.