Parmesan & Oregano Star Biscuits

These thin biscuits with a hint of cheese and herbs are usually associated with xmas, but I tend to make them all year round.  Parmesan Stars make great little gifts or are simply a nice treat for yourself.   You can also swap the parmesan for any flavoursome hard cheese like gruyere or make a mixed batch.  They can be kept in an airtight container for up to 7 days.

Makes 26

- 125g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- 100g unsalted butter, diced
- 1/4tsp mild chilli powder
- 100g parmesan, finely grated
- 1 tbsp milk
- a few pinches of dried oregano to decorate

How to:-
1. Put the flour, butter and chilli powder in a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.  Add the cheese and pulse again to bring the dough together.
2. Shape into a flat disc, wrap in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for around 1 hour until it feels firm.
3. Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F / Gas Mark 4.  Line 2 baking sheets with greaseproof baking paper and set aside.
4. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to around a 5mm thickness.  Use a 5-6cm star-shaped cutter to stamp out the biscuits, then re-roll the trimmings to stamp out more.
5. Put the stars on the baking sheets, brush with milk and sprinkle with dried oregano.  Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden.  Leave to cool.

[Recipe from a 2010 edition of Marks & Spencer Christmas Food]


Halloumi & Veg Kebabs

The weather has been gloriously sunny here in the UK and I've managed to get the old BBQ out this week and make some delicious food for my friends.  These Halloumi & Veg Kebabs have been going down a treat!  I made mine with peppers and mushrooms, but these are just as good with any combination of your favourite vegetables.

Serves 4

- 2 peppers, any colour you like
- 250g pack halloumi
- Handful of small mushrooms or 2 large flat mushrooms
- 1tbsp olive oil in a small bowl
- Skewers (if using bamboo ones, make sure to soak in water before use)

How to:-
1. Preheat the grill or barbecue.  Cut the vegetables and halloumi into bite size pieces/cubes.
2. Toss the pieces in the bowl of olive oil so everything is coated lightly.
3. Thread the pieces onto the skewers and grill/barbecue for 5-10 minutes until everything is cooked and the halloumi is soft.
4. Serve with salad if desired and your favourite dips.