food

Spicy rockfish for Midsummer’s night

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Ingredients: 450 g rockfish, 2 tbsp fish sauce, 2 tbsp soy sauce, 2 tbsp lime juice, 1 tbsp sugar, 2 tbsp peanut oil, 2 cloves of garlic (pressed), 2 spring onions, 2 tbsp coriander (finely chopped), 1 red chilli, salt&pepper, 2 eggs (beaten), 2 tbsp mayonnaise, 1 tbsp lime juice, 1 lime (zest), olive oil

Spicy rockfish

Steam or poach the fish until done. Drain and separate the fish meat. Put the fish meat in a large bowl with the fish sauce, soy sauce, lime juice, sugar, groundnut oil, garlic, spring onion, coriander and chilli. Mix well and season with salt and pepper.

Fishcakes

Add the beaten eggs, the mayonnaise and half (50 g) of the crumbled rusks to the fish biscuits. Mix into a firm mass, divide into 12 portions and form into biscuits. Put the remaining rusk crumbs in a plate and use them to bread the biscuits.

Lime mayonnaise

Mix the mayonnaise with the grated lime peel and 1 tbsp lime juice.

Finishingtouch

Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the fishcakes 3 to 4 minutes on each side until golden brown and crispy. Serve as an appetiser or starter with the lime mayonnaise.

Summer soltice, breads, donkey and Priapos the God of fertilty

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Back in the 1970s, a bakery from an oven line was excavated in Hungary, in the so called Aquincum village, located in Old-Buda (near Budapest) which probably served to supply the soldiers of the Roman legion. The ancient bakery included a mill, a bakery and a bread shop. In the old days, as we know, grinding grain was hard work – flour was made on millstones that rotated on a number of wheels – and these mills were turned by hand or animal power. To make the tedious work of kneading easier, stone and wooden kneading machines and centrifugal kneading machines were made. The excavations also revealed that they already knew how to make leaven, which was usually made from older, fermented dough. Baking in these workshops was done in ovens with chemicals similar to those used in wheat ovens. While bakers in Italy baked only wheat bread, in Pannonia other cereals were also used. The breads were then varied according to the spices mixed into the raw dough. White bread was called panis candidus or panis mundus and was made from the finest flour. The second-rate bread was panis secundarius (a favourite of the Emperor Augustus). The third-order bread was made from coarsely sifted, bran flour, and was the black bread, panis plebeius or acerosus, as the name suggests, the bread of the poor. In the city of Aquincum, bread was baked specially for the soldiers, although excavations have revealed that in the barracks and watchtowers the crew themselves provided the bread. They would grind the grain they received as rations on a hand grinder and make either porridge or bread.

In Roman times, Pliny (the senior, was a historian), who lived in Roman times, listed nine types of bread made with the addition of milk and eggs, and we can only guess what kind of bread they baked, unlike in Sicily, where in the National Museum of Naples we can see charred examples of bread from the last baking of the Pompeii bakery, and interestingly, they are exactly like a modern pizza, only thicker, because the loaves were divided into small pieces so that they could be torn more easily. One thing is for sure, the consumption of bread was probably as important in Aquincum as it is today and some bakers must have made a fortune from their craft! In Rome, for example, the tomb of a master baker called Eurysaces illustrates that in ancient times a bread baker was as famous as a celebrity today. In addition, millers and bakers had their own special feast day, Vestialia, which was celebrated from 7 to 15 June.

Feat of Vesta, the donkey, the bread and Priapus with the huge penis

Vesta is known to have been the goddess of the hearth and the burning continuer of the Roman sacred fire. In her honour, the feast of the goddess of the house and the spirits of the chamber – Vesta and the Penates – was celebrated on Vestialia, the feast of the house and family life in general. On the first day of the feast, on 7th June, the sanctuary of the temple of Vesta, was opened once a year, for the women to make offerings. While the curtain was drawn, mothers could come barefoot and dishevelled to leave offerings to the goddess in return for blessings for themselves and their families.

The animal dedicated to Vesta, the donkey, was crowned with garlands of flowers and pieces of bread on 9 June. According to Ovid, the donkeys were adorned with a necklace made of pieces of bread to commemorate the myth in which Vesta was almost desecrated by Priapus, the fertility god with the great phallus. In this myth, the untimely braying of a donkey frightens Priapus away from the sexual act, forcing him to flee.

The “great phallused” Priapus was the son of Aphrodite and Dionysus. His father went to India when he was conceived. While away, Aphrodite cheated on the god of wine and intoxication. Hera, outraged, arranged for the goddess of love to give birth to a deformed child. The body of Priapus was accentuated by a disproportionately large penis. Although her mother got rid of it and dumped it in the forest, the inhabitants of Lampsacus found it, raised it and spread her divine cult. Thus Priapus became the patron saint of vineyards and orchards, where it was customary to erect his small statue (which was often nothing more than a large, mounding phallus). In ancient Greece, the statue of Priapus became a symbol of fertility. In some Pompeii frescoes, he wore an apron full of fruit and held a pruning knife and a cornucopia in his hands.

According to another legend, Priapus wanted to embrace not Vesta but a nymph called Lotus. The beauty of Lothis aroused immense desire in the god, but he refused her advances, so Priapos decided to make the sleeping woman his wife one night, but while he was doing this, the nearby donkey of Silenus brayed. The inhabitants, awakened by the donkey’s voice, then let out a loud gasp of laughter. In his rage, the god struck the donkey to death and turned Lothis into a lotus tree (the collection of Latin poems in pig’s ear that was dedicated to him was called Priapeia). Now, the Lotus incident is the reason bakers sacrifice donkeys to the god on 9th of June, but they were celebrated for the first time in a long time, in gratitude for their services in bakeries.

On June 15, the last day of the Feast of the Last Days, was the day of the “legal removal of dung”. On this day, the Penus Vestae was solemnly closed, the Flaminica Dialis held a funeral service, and the church was subjected to a purification called stercoratio: the dirt was swept out of the church and carried along the road called the Clivus Capitolinus and then thrown into the Tiber. Work in the bakeries was suspended for 3 days during the feast.

The main food of the festive season, for instance the porridge, remained an important and indispensable food for the population for a long time, as we know from Cato (an ancient historian and statesman), who recorded several of its recipes: for example, punic porridge, wheat porridge and the scones that were served on festive occasions!

“Make a sacrificial cake like this: Crumble 2 pounds of cottage cheese in a mortar. When well crumbled, add 1 pound of wheat flour, or if you want something finer, half a pound of fine flour. Mix well with the cottage cheese. Beat in 1 egg and mix well. Form into loaves, put bay leaves underneath, and bake slowly over a hot fire under a pot lid!

According to Roman myths, the Etruscan goddess Anna Perenna, usually represented as an old hag, also fed her worshippers with this bread. Legend has it that Anna, who lived in Bovillae near Rome, fed the plebeians who had gone to the Holy Mountain with a home-baked flatbread for three days as a sign of her protest. After the reconciliation of the plebeians and the patricians, the name perenna, or Eternal, was attached to her name (mentioned by Ovid in his Fasti).

Cato also mentions plaited cakes, perhaps similar to our modern plaited loaf. It was made of flaky dough and was woven into strips like a rope.

But what’s exciting is that Cato also has a recipe for a cake called Scriblita, which was also a favourite treat at the summer equinox. Scribilita (also known as Scriblita or Scriplita ) was a thin cake in ancient Rome, a kind of cheesecake. It was eaten hot and consisted of flour and cheese with honey poured over it. According to another source, the original scribilitae was made from semolina. It was made with sheep’s cheese, honey, eggs, pine nuts and salt; the mixture was then put on a pastry made of wheat flour, eggs, butter and salt and baked. The recipe is described in the book Catos De agri cultura.

‘To make a cake: for 9 and a half kilos: take 2 pounds of common wheat flour, make the bottom dough base, for the sheets take 4 pounds of flour, 2 pounds of spelt flour. Pour the meal into water. When it swells, pour it into a clean mortar and dry it well. When smooth, slowly add 4 pounds of flour. Shape it into two sheets of dough, put them in a basket to dry well. When dry, assemble them neatly. When you have formed each sheet, after kneading it, smooth it with a cloth dampened with oil, rub it around and coat it. Once the layers are ready, preheat the oven. Then sprinkle with 2 pounds of flour and knead. Use this to make a thin bottom sheet. Put 14 lbs. of fresh, unleavened sheep’s curd in water, soak it, changing the water three times. Take it out, then knead it in your hands until thin. Then pass the curds through a sieve. Add 4 and a half quarts of honey, mix well with the cottage cheese. Then place the “belt” on a foot wide board, put a bay leaf underneath, and start shaping the tart. First place the layers one at a time across the width of the bottom layer then use the mortar to coat them, one layer at a time, and coat until all the honey curd is gone. Top with a few sheets, then “button” the bottom layer, decorate the tart, seal the stove, turn the heat to moderate, place the tart on top, cover with a warm earthenware lid, put coals (from the coals) on and around the lid! Be sure to cook slowly, without haste. Check the dough two or three times, lift the lid and check. When cooked, remove and brush with honey. The semi-modern tart is ready.

The same recipe was also used to make the so-called squint-eyed pie, erneum, for the Feast of the Lose, only baked in a clay POT -amphora. The pitcher was placed in a copper pot filled with boiling water and the dough inside was baked over a slow fire. Once the dough was cooked, the jug was rolled off!

Low carb Strawberry cake

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Ingredients: 60 g butter, 100 g ground almonds, 50 g chopped almonds, 100 g Xucker, 750 g Philadelphia double cream, 400 g yoghurt, 4 tablespoons lemon juice, 8 sheets gelatine, 3 pack(s) of strawberry
Springform pan 24 cm
Preparation
First step: ingredients
60 g butter 100 g ground almonds 50 g chopped almonds 50 g x sugar
Melt the butter. Mix with ground almonds, chopped almonds and 50 g Xucker. Spread evenly on the base of a springform pan (24 cm), press down firmly and place in the fridge for 60 minutes.

Second step: ingredients
750 g Philadelphia double cream 400 g yoghurt 4 tablespoons lemon juice 8 sheets gelatine 50 g Xucker
Mix the Philadelphia with the yoghurt and lemon juice. Soak the gelatine according to the instructions on the packet, then squeeze out. Heat with 50 g Xucker in a small saucepan until liquid. Add the Philadelphia yoghurt cream by the spoonful to the dissolved gelatine, stir well.

Third step: ingredients
3 pack(s) of strawberries
Clean, wash and slice the strawberries.

Layer the cream and strawberries alternately on the base: Start with the cream, followed by a layer of strawberries, then cream, strawberries and finish with the cream. Place the Philadelphia Torte in the fridge overnight and decorate with fresh strawberries before serving.

Rosé Ombre cake for Mother’s day

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You need 16 ingredients: 300 g raspberries, 500 g rhubarb, 300 g sugar, 50 g cornflour, 4 organic eggs, 1 packet vanilla sugar, 1 pinch(s) salt, 1 organic lemon, 200 ml rapeseed oil, 200 ml rosé prosecco, 300 g wheat flour type 405, 0.5 tbsp baking powder, 500 g soft butter, 400 g Icing sugar, 500 g cream cheese

+ edible flowers for decoration

Preparation

Ingredients for the first step: 300 g frozen raspberries, defrost the raspberries, 500 g rhubarb, 100 g sugar, 50 g cornflour

Wash and clean the rhubarb and cut it into pieces about 1.5 cm long. Bring the rhubarb, 100 g sugar and 5 tbsp water to the boil, cover and simmer for about 8 minutes. Mix the starch with 5 tbsp. cold water until smooth and stir into the compote. Simmer again for about 1 minute. Then leave to cool.

Ingredients for the second step: 200 g sugar, 4 organic eggs, 1 packet vanilla sugar, 1 pinch(s) of salt

For the sponge cake, beat 200 g sugar, eggs, vanilla sugar and salt with the whisk of a hand mixer for about 10 minutes until foamy.

You need: Kitchen grater, Citrus press, springform pan

Ingredients for the third step: 1 organic lemon, 200 ml rapeseed oil, 200 ml rosé prosecco, 300 g wheat flour type 405, half package baking powder

Wash the lemon in hot water, grate the zest. Halve the lemon, squeeze out the juice. Stir the zest and juice, oil and prosecco into the egg mixture. Mix flour and baking powder and carefully fold into the egg mixture. Pour the mixture into a springform pan (22 cm) lined with baking paper and bake in a preheated oven at 170 °C convection oven for approx. 45 minutes. Remove the sponge from the oven and leave to cool.

Ingredients for the 4d step: 500 g soft butter, 400 g Icing sugar, 500 g cream cheese

For the butter cream, whip soft butter with a hand mixer and stir in icing sugar and cold cream cheese one after the other as briefly as possible. Chill a third of the cream.

You need: Angled palette

Remove the cooled sponge from the tin and, using a cake knife or very large kitchen knife, carefully cut into three equal-sized bases. Place the bottom layer on a cake plate and spread with the buttercream. Spread half of the rhubarb compote on top. Place the middle cake layer on top and also spread first with the cream, then with the compote. Finally, place the top layer on top, press down lightly and spread the cake completely with buttercream using an angled palette. Chill the cake for about 30 minutes.

You need: Blender, sieve, piping bag

Purée the raspberries and pass through a fine sieve. Mix the remaining chilled cream with about ⅓ of the raspberries. Remove a good third of the cream and fill into a piping bag. Mix the remaining cream with half of the raspberries, remove half of it and also fill into a piping bag. Mix the remaining cream with the remaining raspberries and fill into a third piping bag.

Pipe the darkest cream around the bottom third of the cake. Pipe the middle and lightest cream in the same way. Spread the rest of the lightest cream over the top. Spread the 3 creams with the angled palette to create a colour gradient.

Ingredients: Edible flowers for decorating

Decorate the cake with edible flowers as desired.

White asparagus with scramble eggs

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Ths is a perfect dish for Spring!

Ingredients

– 24 white asparagus

– 4 eggs

– 0.50 bunch of parsley

– 150 g farm butter

– nutmeg, 1 tbsp estragon

– pepper

– salt

Preparation

Peel the asparagus from the head down. Cut off the woody end.

Cook the asparagus al dente in salted water.

Boil the eggs for 8 to 9 minutes for a hard-boiled egg. Immediately scramble them under cold water. Peel the eggs and crush them with a fork.

Chop the washed parsley finely. Mix with the eggs and season with nutmeg, estragon, pepper and salt.

Let the butter melt and scoop off the white top layer. Pour the clarified butter into the eggs and mix well.

Arrange the asparagus on the plate and spoon the eggs with the butter and parsley in a wide strip but leave the tips uncovered.

German apple crumble pie with almonds

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The Germans love crumb-coated pastries. It’s called “Streusel” in German! In baking and pastry making, “streusel” means a crumbly topping of flour, butter and sugar that is baked on top of cakes, pies. Some modern recipes add spices and chopped nuts. The mixture can also be layered or ribboned in the middle of a cake. Some baked dishes which have a streusel topping are streuselkuchen, coffee cake, babka, and apple crisp. The term is also sometimes used for rich pastries topped with, or mixed with, streusel.

Ingredients for 1 baking tray: 1 kg apple, 2 tbsp lemon juice, 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder, 150 g sugar, 1 tbsp cornflour, 200 g flour, 100 g ground almonds, 2 tsp baking powder, 175 g soft butter, 2 tsp vanilla sugar, 4 eggs, 4 tablespoons milk, 60 g almond flakes,

For the crumble: 150 g flour, 150 g almonds, 150 g soft butter, 150 g sugar

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Cover a baking tray with baking paper.

Peel, quarter, core and finely slice or slice the apple. Mix loosely with lemon juice, cinnamon, 2 tablespoons sugar and starch.

Mix the flour with the almonds and baking powder.

Cream butter with remaining sugar and vanilla sugar.

Gradually add the eggs and beat well.

Add the flour mixture with the milk and stir everything together.

Pour the dough onto the baking tray and smooth it down. Sprinkle with almond leaves and cover with apples. Knead all the ingredients for the crumble into fine crumbs in a bowl and sprinkle over the apples. Bake the pie in a hot oven for about 45 minutes.

Cheese cream rolls

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This is a typical Hungarian starter or an indispensable accessory at Swedish table parties. It is also available in France and Belgium, but the Hungarian version has a more refined, flaky flavor and is not as heavy as the French or Belgian version!

Ingredients for the filling: 150 ml sour cream, 100 ml whipping cream, 20 g parmesan, salt (if you have espuma siphon)
For the dough: 1 tbsp oil, 1 packet of puff pastry, 1 egg, 1 tbsp sesame seeds
For the ends of the rolls: 50 g Trappist cheese
For the traditional sour cream: 4 gelatine sheets, 100 ml sour cream, 20 g Parmesan, 150 ml whipping cream, salt


Methods: To make the cream cheese roll, first prepare the whipped cream by heating the sour cream and cream in a saucepan until hot, then add the Parmesan, grated as finely as possible. Stir constantly over a low heat until the cheese melts. Season to taste with salt and strain the mixture through a sieve. This is very important, otherwise the skimmer may become clogged.
We pour the mixture into the siphon, which we have cooled in the fridge, and then roll two foam cartridges over it. In the meantime, lightly grease the baking tubes.


Cut the puff pastry into 6-8 1,5-2 cm strips along the longer side. One by one, roll them onto the prepared tubes so that the rolls overlap slightly. Place the dough on a baking tray lined with baking paper, brush with the beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Bake in a preheated oven at 200°C for about 15 minutes, then leave to cool slightly before removing from the tubes. Press the foam into the pastry just before serving, as it will quickly collapse, and dip the two ends of the rolls in the grated trappistas.


You can prepare the cheese rolls with traditional’s way filled with sour cream
If you don’t have a siphon, you can also make a traditional whipped cream by rehydrating the gelatine in cold water. Heat the sour cream in a saucepan with the Parmesan and salt to taste, then bring to the boil with the gelatine and set aside to cool. Whip the cream, stir into the room temperature mixture and place in the fridge for about 1 hour to set. When the mixture is no longer runny, put it in a foam bag and fill the rolls with it. The advantage here is that you don’t have to eat it immediately.

For the sweet version you need: 3 gelatine sheets, 175 g sour cream (a small glass), 3 tbsp sugar, 1-2 drops of lemon juice, 350 ml whipped cream

And you prepare in the same way as the cheese roll, but omit the cheese and add sugar instead of salt!

Green asparagus salad with feta cheese

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Ingredients: 1 bunch green asparagus, 5 tbsp olive oil, 70 g whole hazelnuts, 5 radishes, 2 medium courgettes, 1 head of endive, 1 bunch rocket, 120 g feta, 1 handful of shaved Parmesan, 1 lemon, salt, Pepper

Ingredients: 1 bunch green asparagus, 1 tbsp olive oil, 70 g whole hazelnuts

Wash the asparagus, cut off any dry ends, then sauté in 1 tbsp olive oil until firm to the bite. Leave to cool, cut lengthwise into not too thin slices. Put to one side. Roast the hazelnuts in the same pan and leave to cool.

Ingredients: 5 radishes, 2 medium courgettes, 1 head endive, 1 bunch rocket

Wash the radishes thoroughly and cut into thin slices. Wash the courgettes and cut into thin slices with a peeler. Clean, wash and shred the endive and rocket into bite-sized pieces. Arrange on a large salad platter.

Ingredients: 120 g feta, 1 handful of shaved Parmesan cheese

Spread the feta evenly on the salad-vegetable mix, place the green asparagus on top. Sprinkle with shaved Parmesan and the toasted hazelnuts.

Ingredients: 4 tbsp olive oil , 2 tbsp lemon juice, salt, pepper

Mix 4 tbsp olive oil with 2 tbsp lemon juice to make a dressing, season well with salt and pepper and pour over the salad.

Easter 2022

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Soon it will be Easter again! And of course, a delicious Easter breakfast is a must. But how do you put together an Easter brunch? How many sandwiches do you provide? And which dishes to make? I will be happy to make a list for you.

Crisp bread rolls and delicious gingerbread, fresh from the baker. Provide 3 to 4 types of bread, such as full grains bread, milk bread… Tip: too much bread left over after the Easter brunch? Make 1 loaf from 2 half loaves and freeze.

  • Different kinds of toppings: Make sure there is enough variety: jams, cooked and dried ham, slices of cheese, spreads…
  • Eggs: perfectly boiled eggs, scrambled eggs, omelette, fried eggs or rather a breakfast muffin with egg?
  • Fruit or fruit salad: Especially our seasonal fruit, they are real taste bombs.
  • Yoghurt or other dairy products, preferably natural.
  • Tip: let your guests pimp their yoghurt with fruit and toasted bread pieces.

What to drink

– Coffee and tea: Make it easy for you to provide a thermos. Set out a tray of tea bags so that your guests can make their own choices. That way, you do not have to run back and forth to get a fresh cup for everyone.

– Milk: Provide some hot frothed milk. That way your guests can make their own delicious cappuccino or latte. Are there children present? Then provide some extra milk. Or make a strawberry-bananas-pear milkshake.

– Different kinds of fruit juice: Apple juice straight from the farmer is always a success.

– A jug of water with slices of cucumber, apple or mint leaves. Or make ice cubes with fresh herbs or edible flowers. Instant party effect!

An Easter brunch for a large group

Limit the stress on the morning to prepare as much as possible in advance. Just think of quiche lorraine, meatloaf, vegetable wraps, soups… Also always a hit at brunch: a cheese platter. Minimum effort, maximum effect!

Tip: did you know that you can also cook bacon in the oven? Place a baking sheet in an oven dish, arrange the strips of bacon on top and slide them into an oven at 180°C. Meanwhile, you have time to finish the rest of the Easter brunch.

Easter brunch among adults

Experiment is welcome, but be careful not to overdo the flavours. Make sure there is enough variation. Also provide refreshing (regional) beers. There is always a reason to sound off. A fresh smoothie of beetroot, apple, lemon and ginger will bring your guests back to their senses.

Oeuf en cocotte with dried ham, spinach and cherry tomatoes

Oeuf en cocotte is a delicious and easy dish for your Easter breakfast or brunch. Little preparation, quickly into the oven and enjoy!

Ingredients for 4 persons

– 4 eggs

– 4 quail eggs

– 100 ml cream

– 80 g soft goat’s cheese

– 100 g spinach

– 150 g cherry tomatoes

– 2 tbsp thyme

– 2 garlic cloves

– 40 g dried ham

– olive oil

– Pepper

– salt

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Grease four oven dishes with some olive oil.

Beat the 4 eggs with half of the thyme leaves. Season with pepper and salt. Boil the quail eggs until done.

Halve the cherry tomatoes. Roughly chop the spinach and divide over the oven dishes together with the cherry tomatoes. Pour the beaten eggs into the dishes.

Cut the ham into strips and divide them over the eggs.

Season the cream with salt and pepper and stir in the crushed garlic. Pour the cream into the bowls.

Finish off with some goat’s cheese and the remaining thyme.

Place in the oven for 20 minutes.

Break 1 quail egg above each dish and place in the oven for another 5 minutes until the egg white has set. Delicious with crusty French bread and a fresh salad.

Mocktail “Rose Iced Tea

Ingredients

– 2 tsp Earl Grey green tea

– 1 tsp dried lavender

– 2 tbsp vanilla sugar or vanilla extract

– 2 tsp rose water

– 1 l water

– 300 ml milk

– 1 tbsp dried rose petals

– crushed ice

Other requisites

– milk frother

Preparation

Heat the water in a saucepan and don’t let it boil. Turn off the heat and add the tea, lavender and vanilla. Let this brew for 3 to 5 minutes to taste and then strain it.

The tea may now cool in the fridge. When it has cooled down, add the rose water.

Serving: Fill each glass with 2 scoops of crushed ice and add the tea. Whip the milk with a milk frother and spoon it over the tea. Garnish with a few rose petals.

Oven roasted whiting with lemon wedges and asparagus

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With just a few ingredients, you can turn this roast whiting into a top dish. The asparagus with ham and panko provide a delicious crunch.

Ingredients

– 550 g whiting fillets

– 1 bunch of green asparagus

– 150 g raw ham

– 4 candied lemons

– 1 egg

– 2 tbsp flour

– 2 tbsp panko

– Pepper

– salt

Preparation

Beat the egg and pour it into a plate. Put the flour in a second plate and the panko in a third.

Remove the lower part of the green asparagus and rinse them well.

Wrap a slice of raw ham around each asparagus. Roll each asparagus in the flour, then in the egg and finally in the panko. Season with pepper.

Divide the asparagus into the centre of 4 oven dishes. Place the pieces of lemon confit and whiting next to them. Season the whiting with salt and pepper.

Place the oven dishes in the preheated oven at 180°C for 15 to 20 minutes. Serve at the table. Delicious with French bread or a creamy mash.