Hermit No More

In an effort to do as I promised in my New Year’s resolutions list, I have recently been making a concerted effort to be more sociable.¬† Don’t get me wrong.¬† I’m not an utter recluse.¬† It’s only when school is in session that I tend to retreat from the world of chummy human contact and immerse myself completely in a work/home-hermit routine.¬†

Still, I wasn’t happy with the situation and, so, last month I decided to get proactive and start seeing my friends and family much more whether I was busy at work or not.

The result has been a lot of¬†folk coming to my place for dinner and I’ve been loving it.¬†¬†Lasagnes and curries and pies and ribs and tapas¬†have all been shared around my table recently¬†and, to my utter amazement, it has only made me more energetic not less as I had feared.

It’s like my friend Shona used to tell me: the¬†more you do, the more you can do.¬†

Anyhoo, I’m particularly enjoying making starters at the moment.¬†¬†Unike Nigella (who in How to Eat focuses on two course meals with a dessert rather than a starter) I’d much rather have a starter and a main than a main and a dessert.¬† There’s something about little portions of food that I absolutely adore.¬†

The following is one of my two current favourite starters and a wee beauty of a recipe it is too.¬† These pastry-less mini quiche-like tarts are wonderfully light, tasty and easy to prepare.¬† Not fond of goat’s cheese?¬† Try parmesan.¬† Want something meaty?¬† Add some ham or chorizo.¬† More veg?¬† Go for it.¬† Much like a normal quiche, there are a million directions one could take these wee tarts.

Red Pepper and Goat’s Cheese Tarty Things (inspired by Jill Duplieux and Charlotte)

(makes 8)

2 red peppers – roasted, skinned and sliced thinly

50g (or to taste) crumbly goat’s cheese

6 eggs

50ml milk

2 heaped tablespoons ricotta cheese

2 tblspn chopped parsley

Seasoning

  • Preheat an oven to 180oC and lne a muffin tray with 8 circles of baking paper.
  • Pop a few slices of roasted pepper into each muffin mould.
  • In a large bowl mix together the eggs, milk and ricotta.¬† Stir through the parsley and crumbled goats cheese.¬† Season.
  • Divide the egg mixture between the 8 moulds, ensuring the goats cheese isn’t all left to the end.
  • Bake in the oven for 15 minutes until risen.¬† If the tarts aren’t golden on top I tend to pop them under a hot grill for a minute rather than over cook them.
  • Eat warm rather than hot.