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James McIntosh

Summer Night City

Posted by James McIntosh Monday, 21st July 2014

It’s here; grab your bucket and spade… If only I was still young enough to enjoy the innocence of playing on the beach. But living in London that’s one of the issues, even when the river Thames is at low tide it’s not somewhere to use as a beach.  

 

Southern trains do go to Brighton, but that’s a rocky beach, however I do love to go to Rye to visit Camber Sands, a beautiful beach every summer with a few friends for a picnic. That is when I’m not at a summer food festival somewhere or other, and the AGA Rangemaster Cookery Theatre will be out all over the UK this year. In previous years I’ve attended many of these all over the country and some of the food festivals are fantastic, local artisan producers, celebrity chefs on stage, new food and drink ideas and at some there are master-classes too. 

 

I find it really interesting to see my friends who are teachers on Facebook; it always seems that just as soon as school is out they are off on holiday. Every year it’s the same, a mass exodus on Social Media; seeing my friend in London go on cruises, North America and the Mediterranean give me daily updates.

 

So, how do you entertain the kids over the holidays? Have a look through the Rangemaster website, there are oodles of recipes and ideas, brownies, cakes, you name it, we have written about it and tested them so they will work every time.

 

So, where am I off to for my summer holidays I hear you ask? Kefalonia; - a volcanic Greek island. It’s got a pebble beach so no need for that bucket and spade. However, it’s a Mamma Mia inspired wedding I’m here for, and not mine! I can’t sing, I don’t look like Pierce Brosnan, but I’m here to join the happy couple.

 

This month’s recipe is a quick one Spanakopita, a Greek spinach and feta pie.  And it’s yummy, easy to make in the Rangemaster and certainly worth the flight out for the research. Traditionally served with a Greek Salad or a pasta dish.  Kefalonia where I’m writing this from (by the pool, sorry) is not far from Italy, hence the pasta to serve it with. 

 

Tomorrow is the wedding, 2 hours boat ride from the hotel, Mamma Mia! I do get seasick. Oops, here we go again, I can’t see this voyage as Super Trooper, I’m Under Attack in this Summer Night City, What’s the Name of the Game? As Chiquitia this Waterloo I can’t bare to Take a Chance on Me, S.O.S. but After All is Said and Done, next year I will say Fernando, do you remember Our Last Summer? As our friends looked into each other’s Angel Eyes and said I do, I do, I do, I do I do. I hope they Have a Dream together for their Happy Ever After and they don’t need to consider The Winner Takes It All. And make many Happy New Years together.

 

Veffa Alexiadou is the Greek equivalent to Delia in the UK, she is the “mother of modern Greek food”, and I’ve known her for years. Her daughter who is a close personal friend Alexia has a magazine called “Real Food”. Alexia has helped with today’s recipe to get the real flavour of Greece into Rangemaster homes in the UK. You can find out more about Alexia https://www.facebook.com/realfoodalexia she has featured me many times in her Greek Food Magazine.

 

Spanakopita

Serves 4-6

Greek Spinach Pie2

 

Ingredients  

  • 200g shop bought filo pastry
  • Melted butter for brushing the pastry

 

Filling

  • 1kg spinach, washed
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
  • Freshly grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 200g feta
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds

 

Method

  • Heat a large pan with a lid over a medium heat.  Add the spinach to the hot pan cook for a few minutes until wilted.  Add the salt and pepper, nutmeg and lemon zest. Remove from the heat and cool.

 

  • Take one handful of spinach at a time and squeeze over the sink to get the water out. Press down with kitchen paper and return to the pan to remove the last bits of moisture.

 

  • Add the egg, crumble in the feta and mix together.  Check the seasoning adding more if required. 

 

  • Pre-heat the Rangemaster oven to 180C / Gas Mark 4.

 

  • Lay out the pastry, many layers on top of each other, brushing each with the melted butter before adding the next on top.  Place the spinach feta mixture on top in a sausage shape.  Roll up, brush with melted butter and sprinkle the sesame seeds on top.

 

  • Bake for 30 – 35 minutes until golden brown on top, serve in slices.

 

 

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