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The Afternoon ShowRTÉ One, Weekdays, 4.00pm

Stuffed Baked Tomatoes with Lorraine Fitzmaurice

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Our chefs will be giving away their secrets to show how to create simple recipes that have the wow factor so you ca recreate them easily at home. If you like to entertain at home and but want to serve up restaurant quality food while doing so, then this is for you. And to show how easy it will be, our presenters do each bit step by step!

Lorraine Fitzmaurice - professional cook and proprietor of Blazing Salads
Blazing Salads began in 1982 as a wholefood/vegetarian restaurant. The best quality ingredients were used in their whole form, the recipes came out of experimentation and a wide reading of cookbooks and food magazines and a menu that was interesting, tasty and nutritious was created. Word soon spread and it became one of the busiest and popular eating spots in Dublin.
In 2000 we decided that Dublin needed a wholefood/vegetarian take-away, serving high quality, tasty food, full of nutrition to take home or back to the office. Since opening the Deli we see a demand for quality breads, salads and ready made meals. We have now closed the restaurant so that we can meet this demand.
Towards the end of 2004 we opened a certified organic bakery which supplies daily specilised food shops with quality hand rolled sourdough breads was expanded 2 weeks ago with the intention of supplying outside the Dublin area and supplying other baked goods.


Baked Tomatoes stuffed with rice, pine nuts and parmesan cheese
Ingredients:
Serves 6
. 6 beef tomatoes, ripe but firm, (not too soft)
. extra virgin olive oil
. 1 clove of garlic, minced
. 1 onion, finely chopped
. 100g basmati rice
. vegetable stock cube
. 25g toasted pine nuts
. 1 tablespoon of finely chopped fresh mint
. 1 tablespoon of finely chopped fresh parsley
. 25g of finely grated parmesan cheese
. sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper

Method:
1. Wash the rice and place in a pot with a tight lid.
2. Crumble in the stock cube and pour in water.
3. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and place the lid on top. Simmer for 45 minutes.
4. Cut the top off the tomatoes. Scoop out the pulp and scrape some of the tomato from the top. Chop and save the juices.
5. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan, add the onion and garlic and cook over a medium heat until the onion is soft.
6. Add the tomato and juices and a pinch of sea salt and cook until the juices are reduced. Check the seasoning.
7. Fluff up and add the mint, parsley, pine nuts, tomato and onion, and parmesan cheese.
8. Season with salt and pepper.
9. Heat the oven to Gas 4, 180C.
10. Using a spoon, fill the tomatoes with the filling. Leave a little room to allow the rice to expand. Place the lids on top and drizzle with olive oil.
11. Bake for 1 hour.

Serve with Tzatziki.

Tzatziki;
. 1 cucumber.
. 1 clove of garlic minced
. 500g Greek style yoghurt
. 2 tablespoons of finely chopped fresh mint
. 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
. lemon or lime juice
. salt and pepper

Method
1. Peel the cucumber, and coarsely grate.
2. Place in a clean tea towel and squeeze out the liquid.
3. Allow to rest for a further ½ hour and squeeze out any further liquid.
4. Place the yoghurt into a bowl. Add the cucumber, mint, parsley, garlic, olive oil, and stir.
5. Season with lemon or lime and salt and pepper to taste.


Potential problems AND solutions:
P:Tomato will cave in while cutting the top off.
S : the tomatoes were too soft. They must be ripe but firm. Also use a sharp knife, a blunt knife will ruin the effect


Pancake Cannelloni with Spinach and 4 cheeses
Serves 6

Pancakes;
. 4oz (110g) fine whole meal or plain flour
. sea salt
. 2 free range eggs, beaten
. 7 fl oz milk mixed with 3 fl oz water
. 2oz (50g) melted water

sauce
. 1 pint (570 ml) milk
. 2 oz (50g) butter
. 1 tablespoon plain flour
. 1 bay leaf
. Fresh nutmeg
. sea salt and fresh ground black pepper

Filling
. 1 lb (450g) spinach
. Extra virgin olive oil
. 5 oz (150g) ricotta cheese
. 5 oz (150g) Cashel blue
. 2 oz (50g) parmesan cheese
. 1 bunch of chives, finely chopped
. 4 oz (110g) mozzarella cheese
. 2 oz (50g) parmesan cheese

Method:
1. Make the pancakes. Sift the flour and a pinch of salt into a large roomy bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in the beaten eggs. Whisk.
2. Slowly pour the milk and water mixture into the flour mix continually whisking until a smooth batter has been reached.
3. Stir in 2 tablespoons of melted butter. Pour the rest into a bowl to use when cooking the pancakes.
4. Heat a pan over a medium heat and begin to make the pancakes.
5. Using a piece of kitchen paper, dip it in the reserved melted butter, and rub over the heated pan.
6. Pour 2 tablespoons of the batter into the pan, swirl to cover the base.
7. When the bottom is golden, flip over to brown the other side.
8. Slide onto a plate and repeat until all the batter has been used. There should be 12-14 pancakes. These can be made a day in advance.
9. Store on a plate with pieces of greaseproof paper between each pancake and cover with cling film and refrigerate.

Make the spinach filling.
1. Wash the spinach well and shake any water from the leaves and place in a heated pot with a little extra virgin olive oil.
2. Cook until wilted and drain in a colander to remove any excess liquid. Place the ricotta, Cashel blue, parmesan cheese into a bowl.
3. Squeeze the spinach to remove any more liquid and roughly chop.
4. Add to the cheeses along with a grating of fresh nutmeg. Season with a little salt.
5. Make the sauce.
6. Melt the butter in a pot and add the flour and cook for a few minutes to brown a little. Remove form the heat and whisk in the milk until combined, taking care to avoid any lumps.
7. Return to the heat and add the bay leaf and a pinch of salt, whisking continually until the sauce thickens. Season with salt, pepper, and a grating of nutmeg.

Assemble the dish.
1. Stir 2 tablespoons of the sauce into the spinach and cheese mixture.
2. Butter an oven proof dish,(approx; 9in x 11 in).
3. Lay a pancake onto a flat surface and place a tablespoon of filling down the centre. Roll up the pancake and place in the dish, seam side down.
4. Repeat until all the pancakes and filling have been used.
5. Pour over the sauce and sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese. Bake in a preheated oven Gas6, 200C for 30 minutes until golden and bubbling.


Potential problems and Solutions:
P: the cannelloni sauce could become lumpy
S: blending it would solve that.

P: The pancakes could dry out if not covered properly if making the day before
S: A light spraying with water would solve this.

P: The pancakes could stick to the oven dish
S: Butter the oven dish

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