LFHW ten cities campaign

Savoury cornmeal cake

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This is a recipe I have been playing with for years and I finalised it recently whilst delivering the Love Food Hate Waste campaign in Roath. I was looking for recipes in my notebook that can help people use their leftovers and what they have in the fridge/freezer. The savoury cake was one our roadshow freebies and was sampled at our last Love Food Haste Waste event on 10 Mach at Cardiff Students’ Union in return for pledges to take action to reduce waste.

It is a delicious recipe that can be adapted to help you use greens and smaller quantities of leftover vegetable. The batter can remain the same and you can be as creative and daring as you like with what flavours you create. You end up with an amazing tasty snack on its own or with some relish or chutney on top and a (gluten-free) substitute to bread which is fantastic with soups or a tin of baked beans.

Cornmeal is a basic ingredient for one of my favourite Greek breads called Bobota. Grated pumpkin and marrow with cornmeal and feta cheese has always been one of my most favourite bakes that my southern Greek Granma Vasiliki used to make for us. And five years ago the lovely Zoe English, of Bird to Market, handed over Nenneh Cherry’s cornbread recipe to me after my excited squeals on tasting it for the first time in my life. So this savoury cake recipe is born from all these influences and is fast becoming one my favourite things to make this spring. I have adapted it to be gluten free – through the use of gluten free plain flour. And with courgette and tomato season approaching and rainbow chard already on the tables at our Farmers’ markets I am very excited for the many versions of the savoury cakes you could be imagining. Enjoy!

 Ingredients (1 Bundt or other round 23-25cm baking tin)

  • 350g Plain flour, preferably gluten free mix
  • 250g Cornmeal (coarse or medium)
  • 4 tsp Baking powder
  • 80g Sugar (caster)
  • 100g Butter melted
  • 2 Eggs
  • 450-480ml Milk
  • 1-2 pinches of salt
  • Some extra butter and flour for lining the baking tin
  • 1 Small bunch fresh basil or other mixed or frozen herbs, including stems (around 30g)
  • 225g Cherry or mini plum tomatoes (up to 300g)
  • 1 Onion
  • 2 medium or 1 large courgette diced OR
  • 1 aubergine diced
  • 1 Medium courgette coarsely grated
  • 150g grated cheese, parmesan and cheddar mixed (or whatever you have available)
  • salt & paper to season

Olive oil for the frying

Preparation (1hr and 15 minutes)

  1. Prepare your vegetable mixture first to allow enough time to cool.
  2. Fry the sliced onion with a pinch of salt, cover and let to nearly caramelise whilst you prepare the rest.
  3. Dice the courgettes or aubergine and halve the cherry or plum tomatoes.
  4. Add the courgette or aubergine with another pinch of salt and fry for 5 minutes.
  5. Add the tomatoes and basil, stir and cover until all ingredients soften- for around 5 minutes.
  6. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed. Remove from heat to cool down.
  7. Grate the last courgette and the cheese.
  8. Mix the flour, cornmeal and baking powder.
  9. Add the rest of the dough ingredients and mix well so that there are no lumps.
  10. Add your fried ingredients, raw courgette and cheese.
  11. Pour into a lined baking tin and bake on 180 Celsius for 40-50 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

Lia’s Tips:

  • The batter should be moist but not too runny. You can add 450ml of the milk first and see if you need to add more after you add the tomatoes and vegetable.
  • You can use spinach and other greens such as Kale. Feel free to experiment with various herbs ad ingredients. Use what you have in the fridge and for inspiration on flavours look up focaccia recipes.
  • This is a great recipe for using those herbs that you have in the freezer or the ones that are about to go off in the fridge!
  • For a bread tin and smaller quantity of the cake halve the recipe ingredient.
  • The cake rises quite a lot and it keeps well in the fridge for about a week.
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Egg and Banana Pancakes

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egg and banana pancake

Pancake day is one of my favourite food calendar highlights. Spelt flour or buckwheat flour pancakes are on the top of my list. For your savoury pancakes nothing can beat a good galette bretonne with some melted butter in the mixture. As for fillings spinach, ricotta and sundried tomato and good quality cheddar and ham are two I always choose. And for my sweet tooth I can’t find two more satisfying than a chocolate spread and banana filling or a simple drizzle of maple syrup with cinnamon and crushed walnuts.

But today I am suggesting you try a different kind of pancake, without flour and one that can use those over ripened, even black bananas which you squashed forgotten at the bottom of your fruit bowl.

Egg and banana pancakes, as sung by Jack Johnson the troubadour of the surf, are a fantastic breakfast but can make a great gluten free alternative for pancake day. And all of our Love Food Hate Waste cooking workshop participants, who learned how to make those on 7 February, will tell you they are simple and quick to make. So don’t hesitate to give them a go.

Ingredients:

  • 1 mashed overripe banana(large)
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1-2 Tablespoon flax/lineseed ground (optional)
    Or
  • 2 Tablespoons peanut or almond butter (optional)
  • Pinch of salt
  • Olive oil/butter/or coconut oil.

Preparation:

  1. Mash the banana well.
  2. Mix with the beaten eggs.
  3. Sprinkle the baking powder, cinnamon and salt and mix well.
  4. If you are adding ground seeds and peanut butter do this last and mix well.
  5. Alternative just throw everything in a mixer/blender and mix well.
  6. Add 1-2 tablespoons of the mixture to a slightly oiled pan.
  7. Cook on very low heat for up to a minute or until the edges seem set and the middle seems almost set.
  8. Flip with a spatula and cook for another 30 seconds max.
  9. Serve with crispy bacon and maple syrup, or fruit, yoghurt and honey.

Tips: You can add chopped or mashed fruit in the pancakes. The ground seeds or the peanut butter can help bind the mixture. Don’t worry if the mixture seems too runny. Just cook the pancake at a lower temperature until the edges of the pancake seem set and the middle almost set. You can prepare the mixture the night before and leave in your fridge ready for breakfast.