Tag Archives: lunch

Posh Cheese Toastie – Croque Rarebit or Welsh Monsieur?

This is basically an indulgent cheese toastie with bechamel sauce and it’s delicious. It’s neither a croque monsieur nor a welsh rarebit due to the lack of ham and cheese sauce (not to mention I couldn’t find welsh cheddar on island), but something between the two.

Perfect lunch for a rainy Saturday afternoon or a late tea/early supper when you can’t be bothered to cook a proper meal.

I have to add that the vegan worcestershire sauce was perfect for this. A little bit thicker than the traditional lea & perrins (plus minus the anchovies – yuck) and in my opinion, a much better taste.

You can watch me make the recipe here:

Croque Rarebit or Welsh Monsieur?

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp butter (plus extra for buttering)
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 200ml milk
  • Fresh nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 slices sourdough bread
  • 160g cheese (ideally a cominabtion of welsh cheddar and gruyere)
  • 4 tsps vegan worcestershire sauce (I used Annie’s)
  • 5 or 6 cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • A mustard of your choice ( I have used both old style mustard and country dijon before)

Directions

  1. Put the pasta into a large pan with boiling salted water and cook to the instructions on the packet. Also pop the broccoli into a pan of boiling water and cook for around 6 minutes. Drain both when done.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 200c/400f and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
  3. Lightly toast the bread on both sides.
  4. Heat your oven to 180C/350F. In a frying pan, heat the olive oil and saute the onions and peppers for a few minutes until just softened.
  5. On a low to medium heat, melt the butter in a pan, and the flour and combine, then slowly whisk in the milk until you have a smooth sauce. Grate in some nutmeg and season to taste with salt and pepper. The sauce will thicken gradually as you continue to whisk.
  6. Butter each slice of toasted bread, pop onto the baking tray and spread mustard onto two slices. Spread half of your thickened bechamel on top of the slices with mustard, then sprinkle 3/4 of the grated cheese between them. Add the cherry tomatoes and 1 tsp of worcestershire sauce on each.
  7. Top with remaining slice of toasted bread (butter side down), spread the remaining bechamel on the toast and add the cheese. Add another 1 tsp of worcestershire sauce on top of each and pop into the oven. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes or until the cheese has melted and browned.

Serve with a side salad or even a tasty tomato salsa.

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Enjoy!

Creamy Spring Pasta // Recipe

Whenever I go to make pasta for us, I always automatically reach for the tomatoes  to make the base sauce. So when I spotted some leeks on offer in the supermarket and had some fresh broccoli left over from Sunday lunch, I thought I’d try something different for lunch last Monday.

I used farfalle in this instance, but penne, fusilli or any other similar sized pasta would work too. Cooking the pasta with a stock cube really helps to add a subtle flavour, especially when saving some of that starchy pasta water to loosen the sauce.

A quick and easy recipe, taking no longer that the time to cook the pasta and vegetables, perfect for a quick win straight after work. It was a success judging by the clean bowls left behind by three hungry toddlers. I popped what was left into the fridge in an air tight container and it was good for another five days and tasted delicious straight from the fridge; ideal if prepping a week’s worth of packed lunches in advance.

Ingredients

300g dried farfalle
1 vegetable stock cube
1 small head of broccoli, cut into florets
1 leek, halved and sliced
175g green beans
40g butter
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
40g flour
300ml milk
Juice of half a lemon
30g light philadelphia (or other cream cheese)
2 tbsp parmesan (vegetarian or regular)
Salt & pepper
100ml water, from the pasta cooking water

Boil the kettle and pop the pasta on to cook according to the packet instructions. Crumble the stock cube into the water along with the pasta.

Boil or steam your broccoli, leeks and green beans all together for around 7-10 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large pan, on a low heat. Once melted, add the chopped garlic, stir for around 30 seconds and then whisk in the flour to create a roux. Gradually whisk in the milk, 100ml at a time, making sure the sauce is smooth and free of lumps. I like to use a fork but a regular whisk will work just as well. Add the lemon juice, philadephia and parmesan and stir until melted.

Drain your cooked pasta into a colander, retaining 100ml of the cooking water.

Whisk the pasta water into the sauce and season to taste. Remove from the heat and add your cooked pasta to the sauce, stirring through. Finally stir in your vegetables and torn basil leaves and serve with a sprinkling of extra parmesan.

If prepping in advance, allow to cool before covering and putting into the fridge.

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Enjoy!