Sometimes when I'm developing a recipe I'll get a little carried away. I may taste it and think "Ermahgerd these are SO good that I should really sell these for a living!" I then picture my new life where I have a shower that doesn't run out of hot water and a driver and several small dogs that I dress up in ludicrous diamond crusted outfits. Mr NQN and I then get plastic surgery so that we look nothing like we used to and one day I wake up next to him but he looks like a woman (which I'm positive happens to a lot of men that get plastic surgery as surgeons are more accustomed to operating on women).
Exhibits A and B - Bruce Jenner and Wayne Newton
Then I come crashing back to reality and reconsider the whole plan. These recipes are inevitably turned into my "pushy" recipes where I urge readers to make a recipe that I really, really, really love. Now if I were developing a gluten free line of items, these would be one of the first items that I would make. I was initially inspired by Shashi who made sweet beetroot bars. While I love sweets, my kitchen was absolutely awash with sugary treats this week so I decided to make something that I could give to Mr NQN in his lunchbox.
I had a rough recipe written out but somehow I misplaced it (and have been yet to find it!) so I went on feel and taste. I actually forgot to add any oil or butter yet I would soon discover this recipe didn't need it at all. I'm not claiming that this is fat free - there is feta in it but it is ridiculously good. You simply will not notice that it is gluten free or has no added oil based on the texture.
Anyway, I leave you with one funny anecdote. Recently a man emailed me about my Halloween popcorn brains. He told me that he wanted to make these commercially. The bit that I found most cheeky was when he asked me to cost out the brains for him to make them for his business. As if I had nothing better to do than give him a recipe for free to make commercially and then cost out the process for him. Ho hum!
So tell me Dear Reader, what happens in your dream life? And would you get plastic surgery if you had lots of money and if so, what would you have done?
Beetroot & Feta Bars
An Original Recipe by Not Quite Nigella
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 30 minutes
- 500g/1lb. roasted beetroot*
- 1/2 cup milk or vegetable stock
- 1 large red onion, peeled and diced
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup rice flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 2-3 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- 250g/0.5lb feta cheese (I used Danish feta) cut into cubes
How to roast beetroot from scratch: wash the beetroot leaving the head and tail on and place in a ovenproof pot with an ovenproof lid (I use a cast iron pot). Add 2 tablespoons of oil and place in a 200C/400F oven for 1-1.5 hours (check that they are tender by inserting a sharp knife). Allow to cool and then while wearing gloves, peel them. The skins, top and tail should slip off easily and you shouldn't need a peeler
Step 1 - Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Line a baking tray with parchment. Quarter the beetroot and process the beetroot with the milk or vegetable stock until smooth-ish puree. Place into a large bowl and add the diced onion, eggs, rice flour, baking powder, sugar, vinegar, salt, cumin and 1 teaspoon of the oregano and allspice. Stir until mixed together.
Step 2 - Add two thirds of the feta and stir gently and spoon the mix into the prepared tray. Dot with the extra third of the feta and the remaining teaspoon of oregano. Bake for 30 minutes. Allow to cool in tray and then slice up.