Greek Style Pita Bread Nachos


 
Greek Style Pita Bread Nachos - Homemade pita bread chips are layered with roasted red pepper hummus, feta cheese, red peppers, tomatoes and cucumbers, and loaded up with parsley. A delicious take on the classic nacho meal. #pitabread #greeknachos #hummusnachos #saladnachos #vegetarian
Greek Style Pita Bread Nachos - Homemade pita bread chips are layered with roasted red pepper hummus, feta cheese, red peppers, tomatoes and cucumbers, and loaded up with parsley. A delicious take on the classic nacho meal. #pitabread #greeknachos #hummusnachos #saladnachos #vegetarian
Greek Style Pita Bread Nachos - Homemade pita bread chips are layered with roasted red pepper hummus, feta cheese, red peppers, tomatoes and cucumbers, and loaded up with parsley. A delicious take on the classic nacho meal. #pitabread #greeknachos #hummusnachos #saladnachos #vegetarian
Greek Style Pita Bread Nachos - Homemade pita bread chips are layered with roasted red pepper hummus, feta cheese, red peppers, tomatoes and cucumbers, and loaded up with parsley. A delicious take on the classic nacho meal. #pitabread #greeknachos #hummusnachos #saladnachos #vegetarian
Greek Style Pita Bread Nachos - Homemade pita bread chips are layered with roasted red pepper hummus, feta cheese, red peppers, tomatoes and cucumbers, and loaded up with parsley. A delicious take on the classic nacho meal. #pitabread #greeknachos #hummusnachos #saladnachos #vegetarian

Word on the street is that it's almost Football Season! Despite my Poppa's incredibly enthusiastic attempts to explain the rules of American Football to me every time I go and stay, I don't think I will ever quite grasp the rules. There are just so many people, so much swapping, flag throwing, and weird lines on the field for someone like me who grew up in a rugby mad country. We went to a game when we first moved to NYC and it's even more confusing watching it in real life than it is on TV. 

The part I like the best about watching it though, or any game in general, are the snacks. I can always get behind some good game snacks. I come from a sports-mad family who are willing to get up at any hour to watch New Zealand play. While I've never been particularly interested in the game itself (have you ever watched a full game of cricket on TV? I wouldn't recommend, sometimes it goes for FIVE DAYS), I have always been all about the food that goes alongside whatever sport happens to be on. Back home, gatherings are often centered around watching the rugby - people will get together for dinner, then cram themselves into a room to yell at the TV for a few hours. With snacks. Always with snacks. If I have anything to do with it anyway. 

This month I have teamed up with Blue Moose of Boulder to share with you the perfect game snack idea! I decided to go with a simple riff on Nachos and use a base of home made pita chips, loaded up with Roasted Red pepper hummus, red onion, red pepper, tomato, and feta. The dish goes for a quick spin in the oven, then is finished with cucumber and parsley when it comes out. If you are an olive person (which I am not), you could add some of those too! This dish comes together quickly, and is perfect to serve a crowd. The components can easily be prepared ahead of time, then assembled when you are ready. It would also be perfect for a quick weeknight dinner, or light weekend lunch! Who doesn't love Nachos?

 

 

Greek Style Pita Bread Nachos

- Serves 3-4 people -

6 - 8 medium pita breads (the thin ones are the best), or 1-2 bags pita chips
Olive oil to brush pita breads
Flaky sea salt
1 container Blue Moose of Boulder Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
1/2 medium red onion, very finely diced
1 red pepper, finely diced
1 medium tomato, finely diced
6 oz (170g) feta, crumbled
1 small cucumber, chopped into cubes
Chopped parsley to garnish
 

- PROCESS -

Preheat the oven to 400˚f / 180˚c. Brush each side of the pita breads with olive oil, and cut into 8-10 wedges. Arrange on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until lightly golden and crunchy. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before transferring to a 9" x 13" baking dish. 

Dollop the container of hummus evenly over the pita chips, then evenly layer the onion, red pepper, tomato and feta over the top. 

Bake in the oven for 9-10 minutes, until the hummus and toppings are warmed through. 

Top with the cucumber, and chopped parsley. Serve immediately.

 

Thank you so much to Blue Moose of Boulder for sponsoring this post! All opinions are my own.

Cheeseboard with zucchini relish


 
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It's happened. It almost happened overnight. New York has become a smelly, sweaty puddle of angry people, AKA summer. Yesterday I was wearing leggings and a long top (as per usual - I look like I have been dragged through a bush 90% of the time), and today I am all of the sweaty. So gross. I closed the windows and snuck the aircon on today 'for the kittens', because mama cat gets too hot and crazy stressed as soon as I even think about turning on the oven, so I gotta keep it pleasant for her. That's what i'm saying anyway. The kittens are suddenly almost 6 weeks, and have grown up so fast from teeny little squirmy sausages to the cutest things IN THE WORLD. I am low key obsessed with them, and I am already scared about saying goodbye to them. Does anyone want to adopt them? Ideally you will be ok with me coming around every day to snuggle them. I'll bring treats. I promise! 

One of the only good things about this gross hot weather, aside from day drinking and excessive amounts of rosé, is cheese boards! Actually, that is a lie, cheese boards are amazing all year round, but there is something about sitting outside with friends and having an epic cheese board! 

I usually have at least 5 types of cheese in my fridge at any given time, because I am often hungry when I go to whole foods and therefore have zero control, which results in excessive cheese purchasing. The number of cheese I have at any given time has only increased since I started spending time with my New York Mum, who is the cheese wizard. Every time I go around to her house I try a new crazy sort of cheese that she has, get addicted to it, and have to immediately make a special trip just to buy it. We went on a little adventure yesterday and ended up at a whole foods, where I got even more types to try! The best. 

I tend to just throw whatever I have in the fridge on the board. I usually try to go for something soft, something harder, something interesting, and something goaty, and then just some interesting add-ons, something sweet, and some sort of relish. This time I went with a cumin seed gouda, a marinated sheep and goat feta that I am OBSESSED WITH and you must try immediately, and a Vermont Creamery Coupole. I had plans to also pop on a bit of sharp cheddar, but I think I got hungry and carried away, and found it on the bench after the shoot. I also added some almonds for a bit of texture, a really nice salami, and some preserved lemons, because they go on / in everything these days since I made a giant jar a few months ago. Then there was a little brick of home-made quince paste, which I inadvertently made a GIANT TRAY of back in quince season (will share the recipe this season), so we are still working our way though it 6 months later. Luckily it keeps well. I finished the board off with some crackers, a little fresh mint, and a home-made zucchini relish, which has become a total fave in our house! 

The relish is a cheese board game changer.  When we have guests round for dinner (which is usually 2-3 times a week because I much prefer having people round than going out), I plonk whatever cheese I have in the fridge on a board, and pop a jar of the relish next to it, so everyone can just make their own snacks. The relish is a lovely combination of sweet and tart, and is crazy easy to make. I always, always get asked for the recipe, so figured I would finally pop it up here! Provided you grate and sweat the zucchini and onion ahead of time, the actual cooking process is only about 20 minutes, and is super easy to scale if you were wanting to make a bigger batch. It's also great on sandwiches, sausages, scones, stirred into quiche, anything that needs a little lift in flavour. 

A few wee notes:

  • If you are planning to store this, make sure that you have sterilised jars. I tend to use pint-sized mason jars, and I give the glass jars 15-20 minutes in the oven to kill any bugs. Make sure that you always use new lids - these can be bought separately
  • Use a larger pot than you think you will need - this has turmeric in it, so splashes can stain easily. I like to also use plastic or metal utensils rather than wood to avoid turning them yellow.
  • Provided you get a good seal on your jars, this can be kept at room temperature until you are ready to use it. Once it is open, store it in the fridge. 

 

 

 

Zucchini Relish
- Makes enough for 3 pint jars-

1 kg (2.2 lbs) Zucchini, washed and grated
2 medium brown onions, peeled and diced finely
approx 1/3 cup salt (To sweat the zucchini and onions. I used Kosher salt)
3 cups (600g) white sugar
2 cups (480ml), white vinegar, plus a little extra to make a paste with the flour
4 tsp mustard seeds, or 5 tsp mustard powder
2 tsp celery seed or celery salt
3 tsp turmeric powder
3 Tbsp flour
approx 1/3 cup salt (I used Kosher salt)

- PROCESS -

Wash and grate the zucchini. Place into a large bowl. Add the finely diced onions. Salt heavily, and stir well to combine. Leave for at least 2 hours to allow the zucchini and onion to sweat.

In a large pot, combine the sugar, vinegar, mustard seeds, celery seeds and turmeric. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Drain and rinse the zucchini and onion, squeezing out any excess moisture. Add to the pot and cook for 10 minutes, stirring to ensure it does not catch. 

Mix the flour with a little vinegar to make a smooth runny paste. Add to the pot, and cook until the relish thickens slightly. 

Pour into sterilised jars, and screw on lids tightly. Allow to cool completely before using. Store in the fridge once open.

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Crispy prosciutto macaroni and cheese


 
Crispy prosciutto mac and cheese with a crispy breadcrumb topping
Crispy prosciutto mac and cheese with a crispy breadcrumb topping
Crispy prosciutto mac and cheese with a crispy breadcrumb topping
Crispy prosciutto mac and cheese with a crispy breadcrumb topping
Crispy prosciutto mac and cheese with a crispy breadcrumb topping
Crispy prosciutto mac and cheese with a crispy breadcrumb topping
Crispy prosciutto mac and cheese with a crispy breadcrumb topping

A few weeks ago, I had a prosciutto situation. We don't eat a huge amount of it, but every now and then we buy it for a kickass pesto-burrata-pesto-pizza situation. I tend to buy it freshly sliced, and up until recently I had bought it at whole foods. There's this awful woman who works there, who would easily win the award for slowest prosciutto slicer in the world. The first time I encountered her I had just come from the gym, and she hit me with "Oh, so you just went to the gym, and now you're buying prosciutto? Ok then. Whatever works for you", then proceeded to take the longest time in the world to slice me a quarter pound of the stuff. Not impressed. 

My second encounter (This is the most boring story ever), I did the usual, asked for a quarter pound, then started to wait. She said to me "If you have any other shopping to do, you could do it now and come back, because this is going to take a while". Judging from the last experience I took her word for it, did the rest of my shopping, and came back to find she had mis-heard me and cut one and a quarter pounds of prosciutto. It was a MOUNTAIN. And because I am too chicken to say anything, I took it from her, and hid it in the back of the fridge for fear of Rich judging me and my terrible track record of standing up for myself. 

So clearly, the only thing to do with it was to eat it! We had two pizza nights, and only made a tiny dent in pork mountain. The only option I had left was to put it into something that Rich inhales: Mac and cheese. Turns out if you pan fry prosciutto, it goes amazingly crispy, which is the perfect addition to mac and cheese! I used a mixture of cheddar cheese and mozzarella for this one, which added a nice stringy-ness, although you can really go ahead and use whatever cheese you like. This is the ultimate comfort food, something that friends often request when they are coming around for dinner. It is easy to make ahead - prepare it up to the stage where it is ready for the oven, then store in the fridge until ready to bake. Leftovers also heat up perfectly. 

I made this in four individual cocottes, which works perfectly for us because I suck at sharing. A 9x9 baking dish would also work too. 

 

 

Crispy Prosciutto macaroni and cheese
- Serves 4-6 people -

1/4 lb (115g) prosciutto
11oz (300g) medium pasta shells
4 Tbsp (60g) butter
4 Tbsp (36g) flour
3 cups (730ml) milk
5 oz (140g) sharp cheddar cheese, grated
5 oz (140g) mozzarella cheese, grated
4 oz (120g) parmesan cheese, freshly grated
1/2 cup (25g) panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup (55g) regular bread crumbs

 

- PROCESS -

Preheat oven to 400˚f/200˚c. In a frying pan over medium to high heat, fry the prosciutto slices until crispy. Remove and leave to cool. Roughly chop and set aside. 

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta according to the directions on the packet. Drain and set aside. 

While the pasta is cooking, in a large pot over high heat, melt the butter. Add the flour and, stirring constantly, cook until foamy. Continue to cook for a further 30 seconds - 1 minute. Turn the heat to low and, whisking constantly, slowly add the milk. Return the heat to high and cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring often, until thickened. Season well with salt and pepper. 

Remove the sauce from the heat, and add the cheddar, mozzarella and half the parmesan cheese. Stir well until the cheese has melted and the sauce is homogenous. Taste and season again if necessary. Add the cooked pasta and chopped prosciutto to the pot, and stir well to combine. Pour into baking dish / dishes. 

Combine the panko breadcrumbs, regular breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese. Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture evenly over the surface of the pasta. 

Place the baking dish on a baking sheet, and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbling and the topping is golden brown. Allow to cool slightly before serving. 

Crispy prosciutto mac and cheese with a crispy breadcrumb topping