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                                            JANUARY 2013

 

Winter Warmer Meatloaf and Marinara Sauce

Ingredients

750g/1lb 10oz lean minced beef

175g/6oz pork sausage meat

1 egg, beaten

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 clove garlc, crushed

1 tablespoon sage leaves, chopped

1 tablespoon mustard

1 heaped tablespoon tomato purée

110g/4oz fresh breadcrumbs

½ tsp paprika

salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparation method

Heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas4.Place all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix thoroughly - it s best to use your hands here.

Transfer the mix to a 900g/2lb loaf tin and pat down until level. Cover the top of the mixture with an oiled piece of greaseproof paper.

Bake in the oven for 1 hour 30 minutes or until the meatloaf is cooked through. (Remove the paper 15 minutes before the end of cooking).





















                                              


                                                       MEXICO


Mexican Chicken Wild Rice Soup

 

1 tsp olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

1 green pepper, diced

200g sweet corn, frozen or from a can

1-2 tbsp chipotle paste (we used Discovery)

250g Pouch ready-cooked long-grain and wild rice mix (we used Uncle Ben's)

400g can black beans in water, rinsed and drained

1.3l low-sodium chicken stock

2 cooked skinless chicken breasts, shredded

Small bunch coriander, chopped

Low-fat soured cream and reduced fat guacamole, to serve, if you like

 

1. Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan and cook the onion for 5 mins. Throw in the pepper and cook for 2 mins more, then add the sweet corn, chipotle paste and rice. Stir well and cook for 1-2 mins.

2. Add the black beans and the stock. Bring to the boil, turn down to a simmer, then add half the chicken and coriander. Cool for 2-3 mins, then ladle into bowls.

3. Scatter over the rest of the chicken and coriander. Serve with a dollop each of guacamole and soured cream on top if you like.



Mexican fish wraps

 

Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lime

700g skinless white fish fillet, cut into strips

2 egg whites, beaten with a fork

100g coarse fresh breadcrumbs

4 squirts oil spray

200g pot tzatziki

8 small, soft flour tortillas

Small wedge iceberg lettuce or white cabbage, shredded

 

1. Sprinkle the lime zest over the pieces of fish, then season. Dip the fish into the egg whites, then coat with breadcrumbs and place on a baking sheet. Spray the fish with 2 squirts oil, then grill for 2 mins. Flip them over, spray with more oil, then grill for a further 2 mins until the fish is cooked and the breadcrumbs are golden and crispy.

2. Squeeze the lime juice into the tzatziki and stir. Warm the tortillas according to pack instructions. To assemble the wraps, place a handful of cabbage or lettuce onto the top two-thirds of a tortilla, then rest 3 fish fingers on top with a good dollop of the lime tzatziki. Bring the bottom third of the tortilla up and fold the sides over to envelop the filling.



Mexican Chicken Stew with Quinoa and Beans


1 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, sliced

2 red peppers, deseeded and chopped into largish chunks

3 tbsp chipotle paste

2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes

4 skinless chicken breasts

140g quinoa

2 chicken stock cubes

1 x 400g can pinto beans, drained

Small bunch coriander, most chopped, a few leaves left whole

Juice 1 lime

1 tbsp sugar

Natural yogurt, to serve

 

1. Heat the oil in a deep frying pan and fry the onions and peppers for a few mins until softened. Stir in the chipotle paste for a minute, followed by the tomatoes. Add up to a tomato can-full of water to cover the chicken and bring to a gentle simmer. Add the chicken breasts and gently simmer, turning the chicken occasionally, for 20 mins until the chicken is cooked through.

2. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil with the stock cubes. Add the quinoa and cook for 15 mins until tender, adding the beans for the final min. Drain well and stir in the coriander and lime juice, then check for seasoning before covering to keep warm.

3. Lift the chicken out onto a board and shred each breast using two forks. Stir back into the tomato sauce with the sugar and season. Serve with the quinoa, scattering the stew with some coriander leaves just before dishing up and eating with a dollop of yogurt on the side.



Mexican Bean Burgers with Lime Yoghurt and Salsa
 

2 x 400g/14oz cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained

100g breadcrumbs

2 tsp mild chilli powder

Small bunch coriander, stalks and leaves chopped

1 egg

200g tub fresh tomato salsa

150ml low-fat natural yogurt

Juice ½ lime

6 wholemeal burger buns, sliced avocado, sliced red onion and salad leaves, to serve

 

1. Heat grill to high. Tip the beans into a large bowl, and then roughly crush with a potato masher. Add the breadcrumbs, chilli powder, coriander stalks and ½ the leaves, egg and 2 tbsp salsa, season to taste, then mix together well with a fork.

2. Divide the mixture into 6, and then wet your hands and shape into burgers. The burgers can now be frozen. Place on a non-stick baking tray, then grill for 4-5 mins on each side until golden and crisp. To cook from frozen, bake at 200C/fan 180C/gas 6 for 20-30 mins until hot through.

3. While the burgers are cooking, mix the remaining coriander leaves with the yogurt, lime juice and a good grind of black pepper. Split the buns in half and spread the bases with some of the yogurt. Top each with leaves, avocado, onion, a burger, another dollop of the lime yogurt and some salsa, then serve.



Mexican Bean Chilli

 

Up to 6 tbsp sunflower oil

4kg stewing beef

4 white onions, sliced

4 tbsp chipotle paste

8 garlic cloves, crushed

50g ginger, grated

1 tbsp ground cumin

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tbsp plain flour

2l beef stock

3 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes

1 tbsp dried oregano

5 x 400g cans pinto or kidney beans, drained

 

1. Heat a small drizzle of the oil in an extra-large flameproof dish. Brown the meat in batches, adding a drop more oil, remove from the dish and set aside. Add 1 tbsp oil to the dish, then the onions, and cook for 7-10 mins or until caramelised.

2. Stir the chipotle paste, garlic, ginger, cumin, cinnamon and flour in with the onions and cook for a couple of mins. Gradually add the stock, stirring all the time, so it's fully mixed in with the other ingredients. Add the tomatoes and oregano, season and simmer for 10 mins.

3. Now tip in the beef, cover and simmer very gently for about 1 hr 45 mins until tender, removing the lid and adding the beans for the final 15 mins. If the sauce is thin, let it boil down for a further 5-10 mins with the lid off. Before serving, adjust the seasoning. Serve with the garlic bread and salsa.

 



 


                                              


                                     


                                                     


This recipe is from Yannick Lequitte of Kendal College here in Cumbria.

TARTE AU CITRON

(Lemon Tart)

 

This lemon tart is one of our most popular recipes. It tastes much better if it made in advance, which gives you a welcome opportunity to do some pre-preparation.

 

INGREDIENTS

20g g/l tbsp butter, for greasing

650g/l lb 6 oz Pate sablee

Pinch of flour

4 lemons

9 eggs

375 g13 oz sugar

300 ml/11 fl oz double cream

Eggwash, made with 1 egg yolk and ½ tsp milk

50 g/2 oz icing sugar, to serve

__________________________________________________________________

Serves 8

Preparation time: 40 minutes

Cooking time: about 1 hour 35 minutes

__________________________________________________________________ 

 





PREPARATION

Preheat the oven to 200oC/400oC/gas 7

The pastry case: Butter the flan ring and place in the freezer for about 10 minutes.

On a highly floured surface, roll out the pastry to a thickness of about 4mm/1/2in. Place the prepared flan ring on a baking sheet and line with the pastry. Use a sharp knife to trim the pastry, then pinch up the edges to make a little frill about 1 cm/ ½ in above the ring of the flan ring. Leave to rest in the fridge for 15 minutes.

The lemons: Wash them and grate the zests, Squeeze the lemons, strain the juice and reserve it with the zests.

The eggs: Break them into a bowl, add the sugar and beat lightly with a whisk until smooth and well blended.

The cream: Put it in a bowl and whisk very lightly for 10 seconds, until slightly thickened.

The filling: Stir the lemon zests and juice into the beaten eggs, then whisk in the cream. Place in the fridge.

Baking blind: Line the whole interior of the pastry case with foil or greaseproof paper and fill with baking beans. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven, take out the beans and paper or foil and keep warm. Do not remove the flan ring. Brush the inside with eggwash and return to the oven for about 5 minutes, until the glaze is slightly coloured. Lower the oven temperature to 150oC/300oF/gas 3.

Filling the tart: Lightly stir the filling and pour into the case; bake at once at

130 oC/gas 3 for about 11/4 hours.

When it is cooked, trim the edges of the pastry with a small knife, so that the rim of the tart stands about 3-5 mm/ 1/4 in above the filling. Do this carefully, as pate sablee is extremely fragile. Slide a knife between the flan ring and the tart and as you gently lift off the ring. Rotate it a quarter turn.

 

TO SERVE

Leave the tart to cool for at least 4 hours, sprinkling the top with icing sugar before serving. Serve it whole or in slices.

NOTES

On no account put the tart in the fridge; keep it at room temperature otherwise the pate sablee will soften.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




French onion tart


Ingredients

For the short crust pastry

375g/13¼oz plain flour

15g/½oz salt

225g/8oz cold unsalted butter, diced

1 free-range egg, beaten

50ml/1¾oz cold water

For the béchamel sauce

1 small onion

1 clove

450ml/16fl oz milk

1 garlic clove

¼ bay leaf

1 sprig thyme

Pinch grated nutmeg

55g/2fl oz butter, plus a couple of knobs of butter to cover the sauce

55g/2fl oz plain flour, sieved

 

For the tart

350g/12¼oz short crust pastry (from above)

60ml/2¼oz olive oil

3 onions, finely sliced

1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped

1 sprig fresh thyme

¼ bay leaf

90ml/2¼fl oz dry white wine

90g/3¼oz béchamel sauce (from above)

2 sprigs parsley, finely chopped

1 free-range egg yolk

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

90g/3¼oz emmenthal or gruyere cheese, grated

Preparation method

1 For the pastry, sieve the flour into a mixing bowl and add the salt. Add the butter and, using your fingers; gently rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the beaten egg and cold water, and gently bind together until you can press the dough into a ball.

2 Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for at least two hours before using. You will use half of the short crust pastry for this recipe - the remainder can be refrigerated or frozen and used for another recipe.

3 For the béchamel sauce, stud the onion with the clove. Pour the milk into a saucepan and add the studded onion, garlic, bay leaf, thyme and grated nutmeg.

4 Bring to the boil over a high heat, then immediately turn the heat down to a simmer. In another pan, melt the butter over a moderate heat and, when melted, stir in the flour. When thoroughly mixed and just as it begins to take on a little colour, gradually add the milk, straining it through a fine conical metal strainer, stirring with each addition. Discard the onion, garlic and thyme.

5 Cook the sauce for about 30 minutes over a low heat stirring regularly. The sauce should be smooth and lump-free. Pass the finished sauce through a conical strainer into a bowl. To stop the sauce from forming a skin, place one or two small pieces of butter on top of the sauce while it is still hot.

6 Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.

For the tart, roll out the pastry and line a 28cm/11in loose-bottom tart tin, or alternatively four individual tart tins. Line the pastry with aluminium foil and fill with ceramic baking beans. Bake blind for 15 minutes, then remove the foil and baking beans and bake for a further 3-5 minutes or until the pastry is slightly coloured. Remove from the oven and allow to cool

7 Heat a frying pan on a high heat, add the olive oil and, as soon as it starts to smoke, add the onions and garlic and fry until golden-brown (this will take about 10 minutes). Add the thyme and bay leaf. Pour in the wine and boil until it has reduced to half the volume.

8 Stir in 90g of the béchamel sauce and continue to cook until it has been completely absorbed into the mixture. The remainder of the sauce can be set aside for another dish.

9 Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the parsley and egg yolk - this will give the mixture richness and help to glaze the tart

Season with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the grill to hot

10 Pour the onion mixture into the pastry case and sprinkle the top with the grated cheese. Brown the tart on a tray under the grill until crisp and golden-brown

Serve with a green salad.


Coq au Vin

Serves 2

Preparation time 25 minutes

Cooking time 30 / 60 minutes

Ingredients

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp plain flour

6 boneless and skinless chicken thighs, quartered

100g/3½ oz bacon pieces or pancetta

8 button onions, halved

3 cloves of crushed garlic

100g/3½ oz button mushrooms

2 tsp of tomato purée

2 tbsp brandy

300ml/10fl oz red wine

1 bay leaf

2 tsp fresh thyme leaves

Sea salt

Freshly ground pepper

Method

1. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a heavy saucepan.

2. Season the flour with salt and pepper and toss the chicken in.

3. Fry the chicken for 2-3 minutes or until it begins to brown.

4. Transfer the chicken to a plate to keep it warm.

5. Add the remaining 1 tbsp oil and fry the pancetta until it starts to brown.

6. Add the onions, garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and fry for 1 minute.

7. Add the tomato purée, stir well and cook through for 30 seconds.

8. Return chicken to pan and add brandy, red wine and herbs. Bring liquid to boil, reduce and simmer for 15 - 20 minutes until chicken is tender and the liquid is thickened.

9. Serve with mash or rice.



Gratin dauphinoise

Serves 6

Preparation time 25 minutes

Cooking time 1 ½ hrs

Ingredients

Knob of butter

1kg/2¼lb Desiree potatoes

290ml/½ pint full-fat milk

290ml/10fl oz double cream

2 garlic cloves, crushed

2 fresh thyme sprigs, plus extra for sprinkling

1 shallot, roughly chopped

Pinch of nutmeg, freshly grated

30g/1oz parmesan, freshly grated

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas 2. Rub the butter all over the surface of a gratin dish, about 18x28cm/11in.

2. Peel and slice the potatoes to a width of 3mm.

3. Pour the milk and cream into a saucepan. Add the garlic, thyme and shallot. Slowly heat the milk and let it simmer gently for 10 minutes

4. Strain the liquid into a large jug, sprinkle in the nutmeg and keep warm.

5. Layer half the potato slices in the dish, slightly overlapping the slices and sprinkling with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper between each layer. You don't have to be too neat with the lower layers, but keep some of your best slices for later, so the top looks good.

6. Pour half the hot milk and cream over the potatoes, then finish off layering the rest of the potatoes (arranging them a bit more carefully this time). Pour over the rest of the hot milk and cream. Scatter the cheese over the top and bake for about 1 hour, until golden and tender.

7. Leave the dish to stand for about 5 minutes, and then serve sprinkled with a few fresh thyme leaves.




Petits pois a la francais

Serves 2

Preparation time 30 minutes

Cooking time 10 / 30 minutes

Ingredients

3 slices bacon, finely chopped

1 garlic clove

½ onion, finely chopped

100ml/4fl oz double cream

110g/3½oz frozen peas

1 little gem lettuce leaves separated

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Method

1. Fry the chopped bacon in a large deep pan until it begins to brown. Add the garlic and onion and cook gently for two minutes, then add the cream and peas and bring to the boil.

2. Add the lettuce and boil for one minute, seasoning, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

3. To serve, pour into a bowl, sprinkle with the parsley



Profiteroles with chocolate sauce

Serves 4

Preparation time 20 minutes

Cooking time 35 / 45 minutes

Ingredients

1 pt cold water

10oz plain flour

8 eggs

8oz butter

Pinch of salt

Boil the water and butter until the butter melts,

Beat in the flour over a low heat, until the mixture binds well with no lumps and when it doesn’t stick to the sides of the pan any more it’s ready,

Remove from the heat and allow to cool,

Gradually beat in the eggs,

Pipe onto parchment lined trays and bake @ 200c for 25 / 30 minutes until firm and golden brown,

When the profiteroles are completely cold, using a piping bag filled with whipped cream, push a little hole in the bottom of each profiterole and pipe in the cream,

Arrange neatly in bowls and pour over the warm or cool sauce

If you are using a fan assisted oven it is a good idea to pipe little drops of the raw paste mix onto the tray before placing the parchment paper on top as this stops the fan in the oven making the paper flap around





Chocolate Sauce

Makes 1 pint

Serves 8

¾ pt double cream

½ a split vanilla pod

1 oz caster sugar

8 oz dark or milk chocolate drops

1 oz butter



Place the cream, butter and vanilla into a pan and bring to a gentle simmer for 5 minutes,

Off the heat stir in the chocolate until it melts and then stir in the sugar,

You can add 1 tablespoon of brandy, Tia Maria or cointreau







                                                         MAY 2012

                                                    THE CARIBBEAN


Nick’s Jerk Chicken

Serves 8

Ingredients

1 tbsp allspice berries.

1 tbsp black peppercorns

1 tbsp dried chilli flakes.

1 tbsp soft brown sugar

2 tbsp golden syrup

A handful of fresh coriander

2 scotch bonnet chillies.

4 garlic cloves,

3cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled.

4 spring onions trimmed and finely sliced.

4 tablespoons Olive oil

Zest and juice of 1 lime

½ a teaspoon sea salt

8 of each chicken thigh and drumsticks, or use 32 wings

Cut 5 mm deep slashes into the chicken to absorb the marinade

This also works well on pork chops

 

Method

Place all the marinade ingredients into a blender a roughly pulse to a loose and well mixed paste

Add the chicken pieces into a large bowl with the marinade and mix to coat well

Cover with cling film and leave to marinade for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight

Carefully place the pieces onto barbecue or into a hot oven for 30/35 minutes until cooked through

If they start going to dark, wrap them in foil

Serve them with the rice and peas, natural yoghurt, cucumber and red onions



Nicks Caribbean rice and peas

Serves 6

Ingredients

75 ml coconut milk

850ml (1½ pint) chicken or vegetable stock

1 whole hot red chilli

5 allspice berries

3 sprigs of thyme

1 bay leaf

2 cloves

2 garlic clove, peeled and crushed

½ onion, roughly chopped

Salt and pepper

450g (1lb) basmati rice

250g tin of black or kidney beans, drained

200g frozen peas de-frosted

4 tablespoons freshly chopped coriander

 

Method

Add all the ingredients, except the rice, peas, beans, spring onions and coriander to a saucepan and Bring to the boil, cover, then turn down and simmer over a medium heat for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, wash the rice, in cold running water until the water is almost clear. Drain, and then add to the stock base. You may need to add some water to bring the level to about 2½cm (1in) above the level of the rice. Season again. Bring to the boil, and then cover the rice immediately. Turn the heat down to its lowest level and cook for 10-15 minutes - don't stir it

Add the beans and peas along with the spring onions and coriander, cook for 5 more minutes and serve immediately with the jerk chicken


Jamaican curried lamb

Serves 6

Ingredients

1 kg lamb shoulder cut into 4cm pieces with bones

2 tsp mild curry powder

1 onion, diced

6 spring onions, finely chopped

6 cloves garlic, finely chopped

4 sprigs thyme

4 cm ginger, finely grated

2 green scotch bonnet pepper, seeds removed and finely chopped

50 ml vegetable oil

4 potatoes cut into 4cm cubes

4 large carrots cut into 3cm cubes

350 g butternut squash, or christophine, seeds removed and the flesh cut into 3cm cubes

½ tsp coarsely ground black pepper

 

 

Method

 1. Tip the meat into a large bowl and add the curry powder, half the onion. spring onion, garlic, thyme, ginger and scotch bonnet chilli. Mix everything together; cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and leave to marinate overnight in the fridge.

2. Heat the oil in a sturdy casserole pan set over a high heat. Tip the meat into the oil and fry, stirring occasionally, until browned. Add the potatoes, carrots, and squash

3. Pour over about 250ml hot water, or enough to cover the meat, put a lid on and simmer for 45minutes - 1 hour, until just tender

4. Add the potatoes, carrots, and butternut squash, remaining onion, and seasoning to the pan – top-up with hot water – enough to barely cover the vegetables. Continue to simmer for a further 20 minutes until tender. By now the sauce should be well reduced and the meat and vegetables tender.

5. Serve hot with steamed rice or rice and peas



Fried Snapper with Celeriac Coleslaw

Ingredients

Serves 4

For the snapper

1 large snapper, cut into individual steaks

1 tsp sea salt, per steak

1 tsp ground allspice

1 tsp dried thyme

 1/2 tsp black pepper

 1/2 tsp red wine vinegar

 Pinch caster sugar

1 tbsp vegetable oil

 

For the coleslaw

1 celeriac

1 carrot, peeled and julienned

1 red onion, finely sliced

1/4 Chinese cabbage, shredded

4-6 tbsp mayonnaise

1 tsp white wine vinegar

1/2 tsp sugar

1 tbsp tarragon

1 tsp lemon juice

Salt and freshly ground white pepper

Method

 1. In a bowl, cover the fish with the salt and leave in the fridge for 3-4 hours, then rinse the salt off and pat dry with kitchen towel.

2. In a separate bowl season the fish with the allspice, thyme, sugar, oil, vinegar and black pepper. Marinade for 1 hour.

3. Heat a little oil in a non-stick frying pan and cook the fish for 2-3 minutes on each side, until cooked through. Remove and set aside (the fish is best served at room temperatyre).

4. for the coleslaw: Blanch the celeriac in boiling water for 15 secs, then refresh in ice cold water.

5. Slice all the vegetables thinly into strips and place in a bowl. Stir through the mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, tarragon, lemon juice and salt and pepper. Serve with the fish

 

Black bean soup with hot roast pepper cream

 

Ingredients

For the cream

2 red peppers, halved, seeds removed

Olive oil, for rubbing

½ hot red chilli, preferably scotch bonnet, seeds removed, chopped

½ lime, juice only

1 clove garlic

50 ml double cream

 

For the soup

1 tbsp sunflower or groundnut oil

15 g butter

1 onion, roughly chopped

2 large carrot, finely diced

2 sticks celery, finely diced

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1½ tsp ground cumin

1 xlitre chicken or vegetable stock

3 x 400 g cans black beans, drained 

 

Method

 1. for the cream: preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Brush the peppers with olive oil inside and out and roast for about 30 minutes, or until completely soft. Put the peppers with their cooking juices into a blender with all the other ingredients for the cream. Blend until smooth. Chill until needed.

2. for the soup: meanwhile, heat the oil and butter in a saucepan over a low-medium heat and add the onion, carrot, celery and garlic. Cook gently for a couple of minutes, then add a generous splash of water and cover with a lid. Sweat the vegetables for about 15 minutes, adding a splash of water when necessary to ensure they don’t burn.

3. Remove the lid, add the cumin and cook for a minute to release its lovely aroma, and then add the stock and beans. Bring to the boil, and then turn down to a simmer. Cook for about 15 minutes. Leave to cool, then whizz in a blender until smooth

4. Reheat the soup and serve hot with spoonfuls of the cream on top. 

 

 

 

 



                                                       APRIL 2012

                                                        THAILAND


Thai red curry paste

Ingredients

2 teaspoons of each cumin and coriander seeds

6 red chillies, roughly chopped

1 tablespoon paprika

3 lemongrass stalks, roughly chopped

4cm piece fresh galangal or ginger, chopped

6 fresh kaffir lime leaves

finely grated zest of 1 lime

2 red onions chopped

2 red peppers chopped

5 garlic cloves, chopped

80g bunch fresh coriander

2 tablespoons of each fish sauce and sunflower oil

 

 Method

Place all of the ingredients into a blender and whizz to a smooth, thick paste

Store in an airtight container in the fridge,

A good idea is to freeze small amounts wrapped in cling film until needed

“Chefs tip” if you like it hot, use scotch bonnet or birds eye chillies


Mackerel with red Thai curry paste

 

4 mackerel, about 300g/10oz each

2tbsp Thai red-curry paste

1tsp sugar

Sea salt and pepper

2tbsp coconut milk

1 cucumber, peeled

12 cherry tomatoes, halved

2tbsp mint leaves

A dash of Thai fish sauce

A dash of lime juice

1 lime, quartered

 

Rinse the fish and pat dry. Slash the thickest part of the flesh on both sides several times.

Mix the curry paste with the sugar, sea salt, pepper and coconut milk. Spread half the curry mix over one side of the fish Grill for 5 minutes; coat the other side with curry paste

Turn the fish and grill for 10 minutes or until the skin starts to crackle and the fish is cooked. Slice the cucumber finely

Toss with the tomatoes, mint, fish sauce and lime juice. Serve the grilled mackerel with the cucumber salad and lime wedges

 


Pad Thai

Serves 2

Ingredients

1 tbsp dried shrimps (optional)

100g dried rice stick noodles

3 tbsp vegetable oil

2 eggs, lightly beaten

2 garlic cloves, smashed

200g small fresh prawns, peeled

100g bean sprouts, rinsed

2 spring onion greens, chopped into 3cm/1in lengths

3 tbsp Thai fish sauce (nam pla)

1 tbsp tomato ketchup

2 tbsp lime juice

½ tsp dried chilli flakes or cayenne

1 tbsp palm or brown sugar

2 tbsp roasted peanuts, lightly crushed

2 tbsp coriander sprigs

1 lime, quartered

 

Preparation method

1. Grind the dried shrimps to a fluffy powder in an electric coffee grinder (you can clean out the grinder by whizzing raw rice in it).

2. Cover the noodles with boiling water and leave for 15 minutes or until al dente. Rinse in cold water and drain well, then use 1 tsp of oil to coat your hands and run them through the noodles to help prevent sticking.

3. To make the omelette, heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a wok and swirl to coat the surface. Pour in the beaten eggs and swirl to make a very thin omelette. Run a knife around the edge, turn out, slice into strips and set aside.

4. To cook the noodles, add remaining oil to the wok and heat. Add the garlic and the prawns and toss over high heat. Set the prawns aside.

5. In turn, add the noodles, omelette strips, bean sprouts, spring onions, shrimp powder, fish sauce, ketchup, lime juice, chilli and sugar, tossing constantly over high heat.

6. To serve, scatter with crushed peanuts, coriander leaves and quartered limes.

 

 

Thai Fishcakes with Oriental Cucumber Salad

Ingredients

For the fish cakes

500g/1lb 2oz fish fillets (whiting, Pollock, coley, etc.)

1 red pepper, chopped

2 red chillies, chopped

2 tbsp coriander

5 spring onions, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 stalk lemongrass, tender part only, chopped

1 tbsp fish sauce

125ml/4fl oz coconut milk

1 whole egg

125g/4½oz green beans thinly sliced

Vegetable oil

For the Thai cucumber salad

2 cucumbers peeled, halved lengthways and de-seeded

35g/1¼oz caster sugar

50ml/2fl oz rice vinegar

2 hot chillies, finely diced

2 shallots, finely diced

2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves

40g/1½oz roasted peanuts, chopped

½ tbsp nam pla (fish sauce)

 

Preparation method

1. Cut the fish into small pieces. Place the pepper, chillies, coriander, spring onions, garlic, lemongrass and fish sauce into a food processor and blend to a paste.

2. Add the fish pieces to the paste and blend well. Mix to a smooth paste adding coconut milk and egg.

3. Place the mixture in a bowl. Slice the beans finely into 3mm (1/8in) and stir into fish paste. Chill in refrigerator overnight or for at least two hours.

4. Half-fill a heavy-based frying pan with oil and heat over a medium to high heat. (CAUTION: Hot oil can be dangerous. Do not leave unattended.) Shape the chilled paste into small patties with the help of a spoon. Carefully lower the fish patties into the hot oil, in batches (the oil should reach halfway up the sides of the patties). Fry until crisp and brown, turning once during cooking. Remove from the oil using a slotted spoon and set aside to drain on kitchen paper. Repeat the process with the remaining fish patties.

5. For the salad, cut the cucumber in to 5mm (¼in) slices

6. Dissolve the sugar in the vinegar and toss the cucumber slices in it. Fold in the chilli, shallot and coriander.

7. Sprinkle with the peanuts and fish sauce just before serving

 

 

Griddled aubergine salad with nuoc cham

Ingredients

4 aubergines cut into wedges or chunks

Vegetable oil, for brushing when griddling

1 lime, juice only

Salt

For the nuoc cham

10 small red chillies, stalks removed

5 garlic cloves

5 lemons, juice only

5 tbsp rice wine vinegar

5 tbsp water

For the cumin yoghurt

1 tbsp cumin seeds

100ml/3½fl oz plain yoghurt

 

Preparation method

1. Place the aubergines into a bowl, add a little oil and the lime juice and season with plenty of salt. Toss well to ensure even coating of the oil.

2. Heat a griddle pan until smoking. Add the aubergines and chargrill in batches, turning once, until cooked and marked with lines from the griddle. Remove each batch from the pan and keep warm.

3. For the nuoc cham, place the chillies and garlic into a food processor and blend to a paste. Add the lemon juice, rice wine vinegar and water and blend again until smooth.

4. For the cumin yoghurt, dry-fry the cumin seeds in a hot frying pan, until turning dark brown and fragrant, then crush the cumin with a pestle and mortar.

5. Place the yoghurt into a serving bowl and stir in the crushed cumin.

6. To serve, arrange the aubergines onto six plates. Spoon some nuoc cham dressing over each plate of aubergines and top with a dollop of the cumin yoghurt

 

 

Coconut rice pudding with mango, orange and lime

Ingredients

55g/2oz short-grain rice

230ml/8fl oz coconut milk

110ml/4fl oz milk

1 tsp orange zest

2 tsp caster sugar

1 tsp vanilla essence

110ml/4fl oz cream

 

To serve

½ a Mango, sliced

2 Lime wedges

2 tsp brown sugar

 

Preparation method

1. Place the rice, coconut milk, milk, zest, sugar and vanilla in a saucepan over a medium heat and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover and cook for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. When the rice is cooked, remove from the heat and leave to cool with the lid on.2. When the mixture is cold, stir in the cream. Pour into a serving bowl, top with mango and a sprinkling of brown sugar and serve with wedges of lime on the







Blueberry and Raspberry, Banana Smoothie

Serves 4

250 g blueberries

100g raspberries

2 bananas

200 ml natural yoghurt

100 ml milk

A pinch of cinnamon

Simply blend all ingredients into a smoothie,

serve in chilled glasses with a couple of each berry on top

  









                                                         September 2011


Roast Tomato and Olive oil Soup


Ingredients

800g/1lb 12oz tomatoes cut in half

2 tbsp honey

2 sprigs fresh thyme

8 tbsp olive oil

1 onion thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

4 tbsp creme fraiche

large bunch fresh basil

4 tbsp crumbled croûtons

Preparation method

Preheat the oven to 230C/450F/Gas 8.Arrange the tomatoes on a baking tray, top with the thyme and drizzle over the honey and two tablespoons of the olive oil. Roast in the oven 15 minutes.Remove the tomatoes from the oven and set aside to cool slightly.

Carefully peel off the skins, then chop the tomatoes and thyme.Heat two tablespoons of the olive oil in a large lidded saucepan, add the onion, cover with a lid and fry for 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic, fry for a further 2-3 minutes.Add 75ml/3fl oz water and the remaining four tablespoons of olive oil and blend in a blender or food processor until smooth.

Season to taste with salt add freshly ground black pepper.To serve, reheat the soup if necessary, then ladle it into a bowl, top with a spoonful of crème fraîche and scatter over the basil leaves and crumbled croûtons.



Pimms Lollies


Ingredients

300ml/½ pint Pimms

850ml/1½ pints lemonade

handful fresh strawberries

a few sprigs fresh mint

1 orange, zest only

Preparation method

Mix the Pimms and lemonade together in a large jug.

Place a couple of strawberry halves, a few mint leaves and a little orange zest into each lolly mould. Pour the Pimm mixture into each ice lolly mould until three-quarters full.

Insert the lolly stick and lid and freeze for 2-3 hours, or until frozen solid.Alternatively, you can use large shot glasses as moulds: place the strawberry, mint and orange zest into the glass and fill with the Pimms mixture. Freeze for one hour, or until the lollies are partially frozen, then insert the lolly sticks and continue to freeze until completely frozen.To remove the lollies, dip the moulds briefly in hot water


Pea and Spring Onion Champ


Ingredients

1½kg/3lb 5oz potatoes,

100g/3½oz butter

500ml/18fl oz milk

450g/1lb peas

75g/2¾oz spring onions

4 tbsp chopped parsley

salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparation method

To make the champ, cook the potatoes in salted water for 5-10 minutes, until tender.Drain three-quarters of the water and continue to cook on a low heat.

When cooked, drain all the water off, peel and mash with most of the butter while hot.Meanwhile, place the milk in a saucepan with the peas and spring onion and boil for four or five minutes, until cooked.

Add the parsley and take off the heat.Add the potatoes, keeping some of the milk back in case you don't need it all.Season to taste and beat until creamy and smooth, adding more milk if necessary.

Serve piping hot with the remaining butter melting in the centre


Nicks Strawberry Jam

(Make from June through to late August using fresh British strawberries)

Ingredients:

4 lbs (1.8 kg) strawberries

Juice of 2 lemons

4 lbs (1.8 kg) sugar

Method:

Hull the strawberries, wash and drain well.

Put into a preserving pan with the lemon juice..

Simmer gently until the fruit is soft.

Add the sugar, stirring until it has dissolved.

Bring to the boil and boil rapidly for 5-10 minutes until the jam sets when tested.

Remove the scum and leave to cool slightly so that the fruit will not rise in the jars.

Pot and seal while still warm.

Makes around 6 lbs (2.7 kg) of jam.


Sticky toffee pudding with butterscotch sauce

From Yannick Lequitte of Kendal College

Ingredients

4 portions    

150g (6oz) dates stoned and chopped      

250ml (½ pt) Water                                                              

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda                                                

50g (2 oz) unsalted butter                                                              

150g (6 oz) castor sugar                                                                       

2 medium eggs                                                                                          

150g 96 oz) self raising flour                                                              

1 tsp vanilla extract                                                                            

250 ml (½ pt) sauce double cream                                   

62g (2 ½ oz) butter                        

100g (4 oz) Demerara sugar            

Method

For four portions grease a 28 x 18 cm (11 x 7 inch) approximately baking tin
Boil the dates in water for approximately five minutes until soft, then add the bicarbonate of soda

Cream the butter and sugar together until light and white, gradually beat in the eggs
Mix in the dates, flour and vanilla essence, stir well
Form into the greased baking tin and bake in a pre-heated oven 180˚C (250˚F) for approximately 30 – 40 minutes, until firm to the touch
Carefully portion the sponge

Make the sauce by boiling the cream, whisk in the butter and sugar, simmer for 3 minutes. Carefully pour over the pudding

May also be prepared in individual moulds

 



Roasted Sea Bass with Lemon and Rosemary

Ingredients1 x 1kg/2.2lb sea bass

5-6 fresh rosemary sprigs

50ml/2fl oz extra virgin olive oil

sea salt

To serve1 lemon

extra virgin olive, for drizzling

Preparation method

Clean and scale (but don't fillet) the sea bass.

Preheat the oven to 400F/200C/Gas 6.Make three diagonal slashes in the flesh of the sea bass on both sides of the fish, going right down to the bone (but not cutting through the bone).Insert rosemary sprigs into the slashes and the belly cavity of the fish. Let it hang out a bit, as it will singe slightly, giving an extra flavour to the dish.Place the fish in a roasting tray and sprinkle with sea salt. Drizzle with olive oil then rub the olive oil and sea salt into the skin of the fish.Place the fish in the preheated oven and roast uncovered for 30-35 minutes. The flesh should be white, the skin crisp.Carefully remove the fish fillets with a spoon.Serve with a squeeze of lemon and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.


                                   March 2011


Warm and spicy cheese sandwich

Ingredients

2 chopped red chillies, seeds removed

4 large spring onions

1 crushed clove of garlic

a little olive oil

2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only

1 large sprig fresh basil, torn into strips

a 200g/7oz block of feta or haloumi cheese

Freshly ground black pepper

Crusty baguette to serve

1.      Slice the chillies lengthways, then cut each into thin slices. Thinly slice the spring onions.

2.      Warm the olive oil in a non-stick frying pan then add the chillies, garlic and spring onions. Let them sizzle briefly – you want them to be soft but not browned.

3.      Add the basil and thyme to the pan then lower in the block of cheese,

4.       Let the cheese soften slightly then serve in the crusty bread


Piri Piri King Prawns 

30 mins to 1 hour preparation time10 to 30 mins cooking time

Serves 4

3 red chillies, seeds removed, roughly chopped
1 dried chilli, roughly chopped
1 lemon, juice only
5 garlic cloves, peeled
1 tbsp sweet smoked paprika
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp sea salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
20 very large king prawns, shells removed but tails left on, cleaned

For the couscous

200g/7oz wholegrain couscous
400ml/14fl oz boiling water
1 tsp harissa
1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
1 tsp baharat spice mix (available from Middle Eastern stores and some supermarkets)
½ lemon, juice only
1 red onion, finely sliced
1 pomegranate, fleshy seeds only
1 small bunch coriander, roughly chopped
1 lemon, quartered, to servePreparation method  

1.      For the piri-piri prawns, place all the ingredients except the prawns into a food processor and blend until smooth.

2.      Place the prawns on a plate and rub over the piri-piri sauce, reserving a little to garnish. Leave to marinate in the fridge for an hour.

3.      Heat a griddle pan until hot and cook the prawns for 4-5 minutes on each side, depending on their size, until the prawns have turned pink and are cooked through.

4.      For the couscous, place the couscous into a bowl, pour over the boiling water and stir with a fork to combine. Add the harissa, pomegranate molasses, baharat and lemon juice and stir once more. Cover with cling film and set aside for 3-4 minutes, until all the liquid has been absorbed into the couscous.

5.      Remove the cling film and fluff up with a fork. Add the red onion, fleshy pomegranate seeds and coriander and mix well.

6.      To serve, place three prawns onto each plate with a pile of couscous. Drizzle over the reserved piri-piri sauce and a squeeze of lemon.




                                January 2011

 

Char Sui pork loin

Serves 4

1kg pork loin, trimmed of skin

Marinade

2 tablespoons plum sauce
5 tablespoons light soy sauce
3 tablespoons dark soy sauce
5 tablespoons runny honey

3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon five spice powder
½ glass Chinese rice wine (sherry will do if you can’t find any)
3 tablespoons Hoi sin sauce
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, crushed
4 fat cloves of garlic, crushed

2 tablespoons fresh chopped coriander

Glaze
2 tablespoons runny honey
1-tablespoon dark soy sauce
1-tablespoon vegetable oil

Mix all the marinade ingredients together and warm through in a saucepan until the sugar has all dissolved. Pour the cooled marinade over the pork, and leave for at least eight hours in the fridge.

To cook the char siu, heat the oven to 200° C and place the meat, basted with some of its marinade, on a rack over a roasting tin with a couple of centimetres of water in it. Roast for 30 minutes, then baste again on both sides, turn the meat over and reduce the heat to 180° C. Roast for another ten minutes, then baste and turn again, and roast for a final ten minutes.

Transfer the meat to a plate, empty the tin of water and line it with foil. Place the meat and rack back on the tin, then brush it liberally with the glaze and put it under the grill for about five minutes, until the glaze is glossy and starting to catch at the edges. Turn the meat, glaze again and put back under the grill until the other side is also glossy and starting to caramelise.


Special Fried Rice

Serves 2

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 tbsp fresh ginger, chopped

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 tbsp sesame oil

2 eggs

227g/8oz pre-cooked long grain rice, chilled

3 spring onions, finely chopped

Salt and pepper

113½g/4oz frozen peas, thawed and drained

50g/2oz cooked ham or chicken, diced or prawns, chopped coriander, to taste

Heat a wok or large frying pan until it is very hot. Add the garlic and ginger and cook briefly, stirring all the time.

Add the cold rice and seasoning and stir-fry for about 5 minutes on a high heat.

Beat the eggs together and add the mixture to the pan.

Stir-fry until the eggs have set.

Add the peas, ham, chicken or prawns to the rice.

At the end of cooking mix in the coriander


Chicken Tandoori with mint and coriander yoghurt

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 kg chicken thighs
200g natural yoghurt
1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated finely
3 cloves  garlic, grated finely
2 heaped tbsp tandoori paste
2 tsp cumin seeds, ground
½  tsp garam masala
½ tsp turmeric powder

2 tblspn lemon juice

2 tblspn chopped fresh coriander
Salt and pepper to taste

Mint and coriander yoghurt


1 bunch mint
1 bunch coriander
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon chopped fresh red Chilli
200g natural yoghurt
½ small onion finely chopped
1 plum tomato sliced

Method
In a bowl mix together yoghurt, salt, chilli, coriander, cumin, garam masala and tandoori paste. Rub mixture into chicken and leave to marinate for at least 2 hours in the fridge.

Pre-heat the oven to its highest setting. Bake chicken for 20 minutes then reduce the oven heat to 120°C an cook until tender. Garnish with tomatoes and lettuce.

Mint and coriander yoghurt
Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth.

                    

Beef Stroganoff

Serves: 6

Ingredients

650g fillet steak, trimmed and cut into 1 cm thin slivers
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
5 tbsp sunflower oil
50g butter
2 onions, thinly sliced
500g portabello mushrooms, finely sliced
3 tbsp Cognac
3 x 142ml cartons soured cream
Juice of ½ lemon
Pinch of paprika
Method

Put a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over a high heat. Add 3 tbsp oil and when hot, add half the meat. Stir-fry briskly until lightly browned. Set aside in a bowl, add 2 tbsp more oil to the pan and repeat the process with the remaining meat. Remove the second batch of seared meat and its juices, reduce the heat and melt the butter in the saucepan.

Add the onions and gently fry until very soft. Add the mushrooms to the onions and fry briskly until tender. Add the meat with any juices and pour over the Cognac. Immediately set alight and shake the pan until the alcohol has burnt itself out. Then stir in the soured cream. As soon as it is hot, mix in the lemon juice, season to taste and sprinkle with a little paprika. Serve



                                  November 2010



Coq Au Vin.

Serves 4.

a large chicken, jointed into 6 or 8 pieces, giblets and carcass saved
an onion, a carrot and a few peppercorns for the stock
150g pancetta or unsmoked bacon in the piece
30g butter
2 medium onions
a large carrot
2 ribs of celery
2 cloves of garlic
2 tbsps flour
2 tbsps cognac
a bottle of red wine
4 or 5 small sprigs of thyme
3 bay leaves
40g butter
12 small onions, peeled
200g small mushrooms
boiled or steamed potatoes, to serve

Put the chicken carcass, its giblets and any bits and bobs of bone and flesh into a deep pan, cover with water, add an onion and a carrot, half a dozen whole peppercorns and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down and let it simmer until you need it.

Cut the pancetta into short strips; they need to be thicker than a match but not quite as thick as your little finger. Put them, together with the butter, into a thick-bottomed casserole - one of enamelled cast iron would be perfect - and let them cook over a moderate heat. Stir the pancetta from time to time - it mustn't burn - then, when it is golden, lift it out into a bowl, leaving behind the fat in the pan.

Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper and place them in the hot fat in the casserole, so that they fit snugly yet have room to colour. Turn them when the underside is pale gold. The skin should be honey coloured rather than brown - it is this colouring of the skin, rather than what wine or herbs you might add later, that is crucial to the flavour of the dish. Lift the chicken out and into the bowl with the pancetta. By now you should have a thin film of goo starting to stick to the pan. This is where much of your flavour will come from.

While the chicken is colouring in the pan, peel and roughly chop the onions and carrot, and wash and chop the celery. With the chicken out, add the onions and carrot to the pan and cook slowly, stirring from time to time, until the onion is translucent and it has gone some way to dissolving some of the pan stickings. Add the garlic, peeled and thinly sliced, as you go. Return the chicken and pancetta to the pan, stir in the flour and let everything cook for a minute or two before pouring in the cognac, wine and tucking in the herbs. Spoon in ladles of the simmering chicken stock until the entire chicken is covered. Bring to the boil, then, just as it gets there, turn the heat down so that the sauce bubbles gently. Cover partially with a lid.

Melt the butter in a small pan, add the small peeled onions and then the mushrooms, halving or quartering them if they are too big. Let them cook until they are golden, then add them to the chicken with a seasoning of salt and pepper.

Check the chicken after 40 minutes to see how tender it is. It should be soft but not falling from its bones. It will probably take about an hour, depending on the type of chicken you are using. Lift the chicken out and into a bowl.

Turn the heat up under the sauce and let it bubble enthusiastically until it has reduced a little. As it bubbles down it will become thicker - though not thick - and will become quite glossy.

Return the chicken to the pan and serve with the potatoes.


Shepherds Pie.

Ingredients

50g/2oz dripping

2 large onions, finely chopped

2-tblspn olive oil

900g/2lb-minced lamb

2 tbsp plain flour

4 bay leaves

4 sprigs fresh thyme

2 tsp anchovy essence (optional)

2 small tins chopped tomatoes

4 tsp Worcestershire sauce

450ml/16fl oz chicken or lamb stock

salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the mash

700g/1½lb potatoes

55ml/2fl oz milk

75g/3oz butter

1 free-range egg yolk

Preparation method

1.      Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

2.      In a large non-stick casserole dish heat the dripping. Add the onion and cook for five minutes.

3.      Meanwhile, in a large frying pan, heat a little olive oil and fry the mince, stirring, until browned all over. While the meat is frying, break up any lumps with the back of the spoon.

4.      Stir the onions and add the flour (this helps to thicken the juices) and stir. Mix well and add the bay leaves, thyme and the anchovy essence and stir.

5.      To the onion mix add the chopped tomatoes, stock (keep a little aside, for putting into the mince pan to de-glaze the pan) and Worcestershire sauce.    

6.      Bring the mixture to the boil, adding a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper and let it simmer for about 45 minutes.

7.      For the mash, boil the potatoes, then drain them in a sieve and place into a clean bowl. Add the milk, butter and egg yolk, and mash together. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

8.  Pour the meat into an ovenproof dish and spread the mash on top, smooth over and mark with a spatula.

10.  Put the dish into the oven and cook until the surface is bubbling and golden-brown.

Try adding grated mature cheddar to the mashed potatoes and glazing under a hot grill


Lancashire Hot Pot


900 g middle neck and best end of lamb, sliced into chops

1 tbsp groundnut oil

4 lamb's kidneys, skinned, cored and cut into bite-sized pieces (optional)

3 onions, sliced into 1 cm wedges

1 tbsp plain flour

570 ml boiling water, add a stock cube

1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1 fresh bay leaf

2 sprig thyme

900 g potatoes, thinly sliced

freshly ground salt and black pepper

 

1. Pre-heat the oven to 170C/gas 3.

2. Trim the lamb of any excess fat and pat dry with kitchen paper.

3. Heat the oil and a small knob of butter in a large heavy-based frying pan until very hot. Add the lamb two or three pieces at a time, and fry until brown, turning once. Once browned, put into a wide 3.5 litre casserole. Brown the pieces of kidney too, tucking them in amongst the meat.

4. Once the meat and kidney are in the casserole, add the onions to the pan. Fry over medium heat, adding a little more butter if necessary, for about 10 minutes until browned at the edges.

5. Stir in the flour then gradually add the hot water and Worcestershire sauce, stirring until the flour and liquid are smoothly blended. Season with salt and pepper and bring to simmering point. Pour over the meat in the casserole.

6. Tuck in the bay leaf and thyme, then arrange the potato slices on top in an overlapping pattern. Season the potatoes and dot the surface with a few dabs of butter.

7. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and put in the oven. Cook for 1 hour 30 minutes. Towards the end of cooking time, remove the lid and brush the potatoes with a little more butter. Put under the grill to crisp up. Alternatively, remove the lid and increase the heat to 200C/gas 6 for the last 15 minutes of cooking.






Mussels with Leeks

3 medium leeks, cleaned and roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely sliced
Olive oil
2 knobs (tablespoons) butter
1/2 glass (about 3 ounces) Marsala, sherry, or white wine
1/4 pint (140 millilitres) cream
2 1/2 pounds (1.1kilograms) mussels, cleaned and de-bearded
A good handful of parsley, roughly chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


In a large pan, slowly fry the leeks and garlic in a good lug of olive oil and the butter. After 5 minutes, they should be very soft and sweet to taste. Pour in the alcohol, turn the heat up, and simmer for 1 minute until the alcohol smell disappears, leaving you with the fantastic essence.

Then add the cream, bring back to the boil, and add all the mussels. Simply boil with a lid on until all the mussels have opened, discard any that remain closed.

To make life easier, you could make the sauce in advance and keep it in the refrigerator until you need to cook the mussels. This is kind of handy if you are having a party as you'll have more time to chill out with a drink.

When the mussels are cooked, stir in the parsley and correct the seasoning. Serve in a large bowl with some crusty bread.


Orange Polenta Biscuits

Makes around 25

170g/6oz butter
170g/6oz sugar
255g/9oz polenta
100g/ 3 ¾ oz plain flour
Zest of 2-3 oranges, finely chopped
2 large eggs

Rub the butter, sugar, polenta and flour together before mixing in the orange zest and the eggs. Cover with cling film and put in the fridge for an hour until slightly firm. Place a large square of greaseproof paper on a baking tray and spoon small teaspoons of the mixture in lines 5cm/2" apart. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 190°C/375°F/Gas5 for around 5-6 minutes until the outside edges of your biscuits are lightly golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes before eating.

 


Panettone Bread and Butter Pudding

1 pint
1 pint
1 vanilla pod
4 medium eggs
6 ounces (170 grams) caster sugar
Panettone, cut into thick slices and buttered
1 orange, zested
3 tablespoons Cognac
A little icing sugar


To start the custard base, bring the milk and cream just to a boil in a saucepan. Cut the vanilla pod in half, scrape out the seeds and add to the pan with the zest. Whisk the eggs with the sugar until pale. Add the milk and cream and remove the vanilla.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (160 degrees C/Gas 3).

Dip each slice of panettone into the custard and pile into a buttered baking dish. Pour the remaining custard slowly over the bread, place the dish in a roasting pan and fill halfway with hot water. Sprinkle with the icing sugar and bake for about 45 minutes. When cooked, it will have a slight crust on top, but will still be slightly wobbly inside.


                                     July 2010


Surf and turf skewers

Serves 4

Preparation time 25 minutes

Cooking time 10 minutes

Ingredients
350g/12oz piece of sirloin or rump steak, cut 2.5cm/1in thick
12 headless raw tiger prawns
3 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp paprika
¼tsp Tabasco sauce
½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Garlic and Parsley Butter:
50g/2oz butter
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
finely grated zest of ½ lemon
1 tbsp lemon juice

4 x 25cm/10in bamboo skewers, soaked in cold water for 30 minutes

 

Method
1. Cut the steak into roughly 16 x 2.5cm/1in cubes. Peel the prawns, leaving the last tail segment in place.
2. Mix the olive oil with the garlic, paprika, Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce and plenty of salt and pepper. Dip the prawns into the marinade, lift out and set aside on a plate.
3. Stir the cubes of steak into the marinade and leave for 15 minutes.
4. Thread 4 pieces of steak and 3 prawns alternately on to the skewers now and then, until the steak is done to your liking and the prawns are just cooked through.
5. Meanwhile, put the butter and garlic into a small pan and leave to the side of the barbecue to melt. Add the chopped parsley, lemon zest and lemon juice.
6. As soon as the kebabs are cooked, lift them onto 4 plates, spoon over the garlic butter and serve with damper beer bread if you wish. 



                                                 June  2010.


Hot chocolate soufflé

From Yannick Lequitte of kendal college

This recipe will produced 20 portions

Ingredients:

1.5 litre milk

48 eggs

120 g cocoa powder

60 g plain flour

600g sugar

Zest of 6 oranges

Sugar and butter for the ramequins

Method:

Make a cream patissiere (pastry cream)

Boil the milk with the orange zest

Mix egg yolk, sugar, plain flour, cocoa powder

Mix the hot milk with the eggs yolk mixture

Return to a clean pan and cook until boiling stirring at all the time. Leave to cool at room temperature.

Prepare the ramequins moulds using melted butter and sugar. (Make sure you brush from bottom to top to unsure good lifting)

Beat the egg white until stiff and fold in gently to the pastry cream . fill each ramequins to the top, clean the size

Bake in a preheated oven at 180 c for 8 minutes

This can be served with a good quality ice cream and a warm chocolate sauce




Eggs for Sunday Brunch, " Nick's way "

Try adding crisp bacon, grilled plum tomatoes and fried flat mushrooms

Ingredients

For the hollandaise sauce
3 free-range egg yolks
2 tbsp tarragon vinegar (or 2 tbsp white wine vinegar with 2 finely chopped sprigs of tarragon added and left to infuse overnight)
200ml/7fl oz melted butter, skimmed
salt and freshly ground white pepper
½ lemon, juice only
For the topping
1 tbsp unsalted butter
400g/7oz baby spinach
salt and freshly ground black pepper
pinch freshly grated nutmeg
1 bagel, cut in half, toasted
2 poached free-range eggs

Method

1. For the hollandaise sauce, place a heat-proof glass or stainless steel bowl over a pan of barely simmering water (do not let the bowl touch the water).
2. Add the egg yolks and the vinegar to the bowl and whisk well for 5-6 minutes, scraping the mixture away from the edges of the bowl to prevent curdling.
3. Remove the bowl from the heat every now and again to prevent the mixture from getting too hot. Keep whisking until the mixture forms a ribbon-like trail when the whisk is removed.
4. Gently whisk in the melted butter, one tablespoon at a time, until the mixture has a mayonnaise-like consistency.
5. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground white pepper and stir in the lemon juice.
6. For the topping, place a pan with a lid over a medium heat and melt the butter.
7. Add the spinach, cover and shake well. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until the spinach has wilted.
8. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper and add the nutmeg. Drain off any excess liquid.
9. To serve, place half a toasted bagel onto each plate. Add a spoonful of spinach and place a poached egg on top. Spoon over some of the hollandaise sauce and serve

  

   

                                       March 2010.


Charred Goat's Cheese with purple sprouting broccoli

For the charred Goat's cheese
1 tsp olive oil
1 soft goat's cheese
For the broccoli
2-3 stalks purple sprouting broccoli
1 tsp olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ lemon, juice only, to serveMethod

1. For the charred goat's cheese, heat the olive oil in a small frying pan and fry the cheese, turning occasionally, until crisp and golden-brown on the outside and soft in the middle.
2. For the broccoli, place the broccoli into a pan of boiling salted water and blanch for 2-3 minutes, or until just tender. Drain the broccoli, then place into a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and stir well.
3. To serve, place the broccoli onto a plate, top with the cheese and squeeze over the lemon juice


                              February 2010.


Sweet Braised red cabbage

This will go with all kinds of dishes, hot and cold !

Ingredients50g/2oz butter
1 medium onion, finely sliced
2 dessert apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1kg/2¾lb red cabbage, finely sliced
100g/4oz sultanas or raisins
200ml/7fl oz sherry vinegar
salt and freshly ground pepper

Method

1. Melt the butter in a stainless steel or flameproof casserole over a medium heat (an aluminium pan will not work for this).
2. Fry the onion in the butter for three minutes, then add the apple and cabbage.
3. Cook for five minutes or so, until softened, then add the sultanas and the sherry vinegar.
4. Place a lid on the pan and cook for one hour, until all the vegetables are just tender.
5. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper and replace the lid. Continue to cook until the cabbage is tender and all the liquid has evaporated. This dish will keep for several days, covered, in the fridge. Simply heat it up again when ready to serve.


                          January 2010.


Nicks " Feared " Chocolate Fondant.

This is definately one for the chocoholics amongs us,

100g unsalted butter

100g best quality dark chocolate

100g icing sugar

2 whole eggs plus 2 egg yolks

28g plain flour

25g cocoa powder

place the chocolate into a large bowl over a pan of simmering water until melted and smooth,

beat the sugar and butter until very smooth and fluffy,

add the eggs and melted chocolate and stir gently until mixed well,

sift in the flour and cocoa powder and gently mix well,

grease dariole moulds or ramekins with butter and fill to 3/4 full with the mixture

place into the fridge for 2 hours to set,

to cook, pop into a pre-heated oven @ 190c for 8/9 minutes

turn out onto warmed plates and serve with ice cream,

remember the idea of a good fondant is to have it like a smooth sponge on the outside but sexy and gooey on the inside.


Orange Marmalade.

Seville oranges are well in season now and easy to get hold of.

you will need cleaned jars with tight fitting lids,

place them upside down on a rack in the oven @160c / gas 5/6 for 25 minutes to sterilise them, try to do this when the marmalade is nearly done so you pot up into hot jars, if you want to add whisky, add it when you add the sugar,

1 lb / 500g seville oranges, scrubbed clean in cold water

2lb / 1kg preserving sugar

1pint / 20 floz water

First peel the oranges and cut the peel into very thin strips,

crush the pulp and seeds through a fine sieve into a bowl, pour this liquid into a large thick bottomed pan with the peels and the water,

securely wrap and tie the pulp and seeds in muslin or a tea towel and place into the pan, ( I tend to use a brand new j-cloth)

bring all this to a gentle simmer for 2 hours stirring regularly,

press the seed parcel against the side of the pan the squeeze out as much of the juice as possible and then disgard the parcel,

add the sugar and stir well to disolve then turn up the heat and rapidly boil the marmalade for 7/8 minutes, remove from the heat and pot up into the dry and warm jars straight away, carefully secure the lids and then leave to cool completely at room temperature,

store in a cool place until needed and keep in the fridge after opening

( I've still got marmalade that is over 2 years old )


Marmalade Chicken.

4 tbsp good marmalade (preferably Seville orange marmalade)
1 tbsp ginger, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves finely chopped
2 tsp Dijon mustard
½ tsp sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
50ml/1¾fl oz orange juice
1 tbsp olive oil
8 chicken pieces, legs or thighs
For the garnish
4 spring onions, finely chopped
salad or mashed potatoes, to serve.

1. Heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
2. In a bowl, combine the marmalade, ginger, garlic, mustard, salt, pepper, orange juice and olive oil and mix well.
3. Add the chicken and coat well.
4. Line a baking tin with kitchen foil and tip the chicken and its marinade into the tin.
5. Cover the top with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
6. Remove the top foil, spoon the marmalade mixture in the bottom of the pan over the chicken and bake uncovered for 15-20 minutes until the chicken is nicely browned (beware of burning).
7. Add spring onions near the end of cooking to warm through, season well, to contrast with the sweetness of the orange juice, and serve with salad or mash.


Nick's Banana Bread,

This is a great recipe for using up all those bananas that are going black.

Makes 2 loaves giving 10 slices each,

50g soft brown sugar

40g flaked almonds

250ml natural yoghurt (try the one with honey in)

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

80g melted unsalted butter

200g caster sugar

2 medium eggs, beaten together

250g self raising flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

300g mashed very ripe bananas (the riper the better)


pre-heat the oven to 180c / gas 4, grease and line 2x 10 x 18cm loaf tins with parchment paper,

mix the yoghurt with the bicarbs and leave to stand for 3 minutes,

then stir in the eggs, sugar and melted butter,

sift the flour, cinnamon into the yoghurt mixture, grate or mash the bananas into the mixture and mix well,

divide this mixture between the 2 loaf tins and sprinkle the surface with the almonds and the sugar,

place into the oven for 1-1/4 hours until cooked,

leave to stand in the tins for 20 minutes before turning out and cooling completely,

this recipe is great for freezing and toasts very well,


Nick's Sticky Toffee Pudding.

pre-heat the oven to 180c / gas 4

This is great with butterscotch sauce or cold as a cake

250g chopped and stoned dates

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

200ml boiling water

80g unsalted butter softened to room temperature

165g caster sugar

2 whole eggs

165g self raising flour

1/4 teaspoon of each cinnamon and mixed spice

10g cocoa powder(1 tablespoon should do it)

2 tablespoons dark cuban rum (optional but very nice)

First cream the butter and caster sugar together until light in colour and very fluffy,

pour the boiling water and rum onto the dates and add the bicarbs,

add the eggs to the butter and mix well, sift the flour and spices into the butter mixture and mix well,

mix the date mixture into the butter mixture and stir well to combine well,

pour into a well greased and parchment lined baking tray and pop into the oven for

45 / 60 minutes until well set, serve with the butterscotch sauce and ice cream


Butterscotch Sauce.

100g unsalted butter

100g muscovado sugar

125 ml double cream

a few drops of vanilla extract

simply place all the ingredients into a pan and bring to a gentle simmer,

stir until it has thickened and the sugar has disolved.


Baked Rumbledethumps.

Using Kale, turnips and potatoes that are in season right now.

600g/1lb 5oz large potatoes, peeled and chopped into large chunks
400g/14oz swede (known as turnip in Scotland),
75g/2¾oz unsalted butter
250g/9oz savoy cabbage or kale, finely sliced
salt and freshly ground black pepper
25g/1oz cheddar cheese, grated

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
2. Cook the potatoes and swede in a saucepan of salted boiling water until tender. Drain well and return to the pan.
3. Heat 50g/2oz butter in a pan and gently cook the cabbage for a few minutes, until the cabbage is tender but retains its colour.
4. Add the cabbage to the pan with the potatoes and swede. Add the remaining 25g/1oz butter and mash together using a potato masher. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
5. Place the mashed vegetables into an ovenproof lidded dish and top with the cheese. Cover with a lid and bake in the oven for about 30 minutes, then remove the lid and continue to cook for a further 15 minutes, or until piping hot and golden-brown on top.

 

                           December 2009.

Try some of Nicks recipes to spice up a festive dinner.


Baked filo parcels with brie and a confit of apricots and cranberries.

For the confit
125g/4oz ready-to-eat dried apricots
100g/3½oz fresh cranberries
220ml/8fl oz water
85g/3oz soft brown sugar
1 red onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
55g/2oz flaked almonds
For the parcels
280g/10oz ready-made filo pastry
125g/4oz butter, melted
3-4 sprigs fresh rosemary
4 x 100g/3½oz brie pieces
For the sherry vinaigrette
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp sherry vinegar
1 tbsp finely chopped shallot
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the bitter leaves
100g/3½oz rocket leaves, washed
100g/3½oz watercress, washed

1. For the confit, bring the apricots, cranberries, water, sugar, onion, rosemary and garlic to the boil in a pan. Continue to boil for 1-2 minutes, stirring regularly, until the sugar has dissolved.
2. Reduce the heat and simmer for 25-30 minutes, stirring regularly, until the cranberries have popped and most of the liquid has evaporated.
3. Add the almonds, remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool. Once completely cooled, chill the mixture in the fridge until ready to use.
4. For the parcels, preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
5. Cut the filo pastry into four equal pieces. Roll out one piece onto a lightly floured work surface. Cover with a clean, damp tea towel until ready to use.
6. Brush the filo pastry all over with the butter and sprinkle over the rosemary. Cut the pastry into four 10cm/4in squares.
7. Stack the pastry squares on top of each other, overlapping the points to create a star shape.
8. Place one of the brie (or Camembert) pieces into the centre of the filo star. Spoon a tablespoonful of the confit on top of the cheese. Gather the edges of the pastry star together to form a parcel shape.
9. Repeat the process with the remaining pieces of pastry and the remaining cheese and confit.
10. Brush the pastry parcels all over with melted butter. Place them on a baking tray and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the pastry is crisp and golden-brown.
11. For the sherry vinaigrette, in a bowl whisk together all of the sherry vinaigrette ingredients until well combined. Add the bitter leaves and toss them in the vinaigrette to coat.
12. To serve, divide the dressed bitter leaves between four serving plates and spoon over any remaining sherry vinaigrette. Place one of the parcels on top of each pile of salad.


Brussel sprouts with red onions and almonds.

200g/1/2lb unsalted butter
3 Spanish onions, peeled and finely sliced
1kg/2.2lb brussels sprouts, peeled and finely shredded
150ml/¼pt vegetable oil
200g/½lb blanched almonds
pinch celery salt
freshly ground pepper

1. Melt 175g/7oz of the butter in a large sauté pan and gently sweat the onions for 6-8 minutes until softened and caramelised.
2. Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and blanch the sprouts for 1 minute. Drain and refresh in ice cold water.
3. Heat the oil in a sauté pan and add the almonds. Fry gently for a few minutes until lightly toasted.
4. Melt the remaining 25g/1oz of butter in a large sauté pan and sweat the sprouts for 3-4 minutes, tossing, until just softened. Stir the onions and almonds through. Season with celery salt and lots of pepper. Serve at once.


Turkey Bolinhas

250g/9oz leftover turkey meat,finely chopped or minced coarsely
300ml/10fl oz whole milk
50g/2oz butter
50g/2oz plain flour
2tsp fresh parsley, chopped
2tsp fresh chives, chopped
pinch nutmeg
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 egg, beaten
50g/2oz breadcrumbs
sunflower, groundnut or olive oil, for frying

1. Heat the milk in one small pan and melt the butter in another. Add the flour to the butter and mix to make a roux. Cook gently for a couple of minutes. Add the milk, hot but not boiling, a little at a time to the roux, stirring vigorously to get a thick, smooth béchamel sauce. Allow to bubble gently for a couple of minutes, stirring all the time. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
2. Add the turkey and chopped herbs, nutmeg and seasoning and mix together well with a wooden spoon. Transfer the mixture to the fridge for an hour or two until completely cold and set firm.
3. Take spoonfuls of the cold mixture and roll into balls with floured hands. Dip into the beaten egg, then roll in the breadcrumbs until thoroughly coated. Deep or shallow-fry in hot oil for 4-5 minutes until nicely browned and crispy.
4. Serve bolinhas either on their own or with a simple tomato sauce.
5. Variation for curried bolinhas.
Sweat some finely chopped onions until soft and then add curry spices and cook for a further few minutes. Add to the turkey and béchamel, as above, omitting the herbs and nutmeg.


Christmas Pavlova

For the meringue
4 egg whites
200g caster sugar
1 tsp vinegar
1 tsp cornflour
To decorate
500ml/17fl oz double cream
2 tsp cinnamon
5 tbsp caster sugar
2 clementines, peeled and segmented
1 pomegranate, seeds only
25g pecans, shells removed and peeled
cinnamon sticks

1. Preheat the oven to 140C/275F/Gas 1.
2. Whip the egg whites in a clean bowl until soft peaks form.
3. Mix in the sugar, a little at a time, until the mixture forms stiff peaks when the whisk is removed.
4. Add the vinegar and cornflour and gently stir through the meringue mixture.
5. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spoon over the meringue mixture and spread out over the parchment to make a thick, puffy, circle about 20cm/8in in diameter.
6. Bake in the oven for 2 hours, until the meringue is crispy outside and cooked through. Remove from oven and leave to cool.
7. When ready to serve, carefully peel away the parchment paper from the meringue and place on a serving plate.
8. Whip the cream until soft peaks form. Then stir in the caster sugar and cinnamon.
9. Spoon the cream mixture over the meringue and swirl all over to cover.
10. Tip the pecans into a small, dry frying pan and cook for five minutes, shaking occasionally, until lightly toasted.
11. Sprinkle the clementine segments, pomegranate seeds and nuts over the cream and serve.


Roasting a Goose

1 goose, weighing 4-5kg/9-11lb

1. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas5.
2. Prick the skin of the goose all over with a skewer so that the fat can run out during cooking. Trim off any excess fat from the bird. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Put on a wire rack in a large roasting tin and cover with foil. Roast in the oven for 3½ hours until the juices run clear. Take the foil off 30 minutes before the end of roasting so that the skin can become crisp and brown.
4. Allow to rest for 20 minutes before carving. Serve with gravy made from the juices, bacon rolls and stuffing.


Cranberry Relish

knob of butter
1 banana shallot, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
150g/5¼oz caster sugar
200ml/7¼fl oz water
75ml/2½fl oz orange juice
1 orange, zest only
50ml/1¾fl oz port
200g/7¼oz fresh cranberries
1½ tbsp grated fresh horseradish
salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Melt the butter in a saucepan and fry the shallot and garlic until softened, but not coloured.
2. Make a sugar syrup by dissolving the sugar in the water. Add the orange juice, zest and port and cook until the liquid has reduced by half.
3. Add the shallot and garlic to the reduction, along with the cranberries and grated horseradish. Cook for 2-3 minutes and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.


                              November 2009.


Cream of Jerusalem Artichoke soup.

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
10 Jerusalem artichokes, peeled, chopped
50ml/2fl oz white wine
15fl oz hot chicken stock (vegetarians may subsitute vegetable stock)
50ml/2fl oz double cream
salt and freshly ground black pepper
fresh chives, to garnish

1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan. Add the onion and cook gently for three minutes until they have softened.
2. Add the garlic to the saucepan, stir and cook for one minute.
3. Add the artichokes, white wine and stock and cook for eight minutes or until the artichoke has softened. Place the mixture into the bowl of a foodprocessor. Add the cream and blend the mixture until smooth. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
4. To serve, spoon into a bowl and garnish with fresh chives


Chocolate Beetroot Cakes.

75g/2½oz cocoa powder or powdered drinking chocolate
180g/6½oz plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
250g/8½oz caster sugar
250g/8½oz cooked beetroot
3 large eggs
200ml/7fl oz corn oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
icing sugar for dustingMethod

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/355F/Gas 4. Arrange paper muffin cases in a 12-mould muffin tin.
2. Sift the cocoa powder, flour and baking powder into a bowl. Mix in the sugar, and set aside.
3. Purée the beetroot in a food processor. Add the eggs, one at a time, then add the vanilla and oil and blend until smooth.
4. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients, add the beetroot mixture and lightly mix. Pour into the muffin cases.
5. Bake for 30 minutes or until the top is firm when pressed with a finger.
6. Cool on a wire rack and dust with icing sugar to serve.


Pork Tenderloins with sage and celeriac dauphinoise.

For the dauphinoise


1 head celeriac (about 400g/14oz), peeled and thinly sliced
butter, for greasing
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp finely chopped sage
100g/3½oz mature cheddar cheese, grated
150ml/5fl oz double cream
50ml/2fl oz full-fat milk
2 garlic cloves, crushed
salt and freshly ground pepper


For the pork


75g/2½oz butter
2 x 200g/7oz pork tenderloins
salt and freshly ground black pepper
To serve
fine beans
apple chutney

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
2. For the dauphinoise, grease an ovenproof dish with butter and place a layer of celeriac slices on the base.
3. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and sprinkle over a pinch of sage and a little cheese. Repeat layers of celeriac, sage and cheese until all the celeriac is used, setting aside a third of the cheese.
4. Combine the cream, milk and garlic and pour over the celeriac.
5. Top with the remaining cheese (and if you have time, allow to sit for 30 minutes for the cream to soak into the celeriac).
6. Bake for an hour or until the vegetables are tender.
7. For the pork, heat the butter in a pan, season the pork with salt and freshly ground black pepper and slice into 2.5cm/1in slices. Fry for 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove from the pan and keep warm until you are ready to serve.
8. To serve, cut out a round of the dauphinoise with a biscuit cutter and serve with the pork, fine green beans and apple chutney




                              October 2009.


braised oxtail and beetroot


50g/2oz butter
2 onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2 large carrots, cut into chunks
350g/12oz beetroot, peeled and cut into wedges
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 tbsp tomato purée
1.5kg/3lb 5oz oxtail, cut into pieces
3 tbsp plain flour
1½ tsp mustard powder
salt and freshly ground black pepper
500ml/17½fl oz red wine
3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
5 drops Tabasco sauce
450ml/1 pint beef stock
For the mash
1kg/2lb 2oz King Edward potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
75g/3oz butter, plus extra to serve
150ml/6fl oz milk
salt and freshly ground black pepperMethod

1. Preheat the oven to 170C/335F/Gas 3.
2. For the braised oxtail and beetroot, heat a large ovenproof casserole, add half of the butter and onions and fry gently until just softened.
3. Add the garlic, carrots, beetroot, bay leaves, thyme and tomato purée and cook for 2-3 minutes.
4. Mix together the flour, mustard powder, salt and freshly ground black pepper in a bowl. Dredge the oxtail in the seasoned flour.
5. Heat the remaining butter in a frying pan and fry the oxtail in batches until browned on all sides.
6. Remove the oxtail from the pan and add to the pot with the vegetables, along with any remaining seasoned flour.
7. Pour the red wine into the frying pan the oxtail was cooked in and bring to a simmer, scraping up the bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.
8. Pour the wine into the pot with the vegetables and stir well.
9. Add the Worcestershire and Tabasco sauces and the beef stock to the pot. Bring to the boil, then cover and place in the oven for three hours, or longer if possible. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper before serving.
10. For the mash, cook the potatoes in a saucepan of boiling salted water for 15 minutes, or until tender.
11. Drain and return to the pan over a low heat to drive off any excess moisture.
12. Remove from the heat and mash well using a potato masher. Mix in the butter and milk and season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
13. To serve, pile the mash onto soup plates and top with a knob of butter. Spoon the braised oxtail around the mash.


                               September 2009.


Grey Mullet with garlic, lemon and thyme.

4 grey mullet each weighing about 350g/12oz

For the Marinade:
juice of 1 lemon
120ml/5fl oz olive oil
2 tsp fresh thyme, very finely chopped
1 tsp sea salt
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
freshly ground black pepper


For the Sauce:
2 anchovy fillets, drained and finely chopped
1 orange
50ml/2fl oz water

Method

1. Slash the fish three times on each side cutting down to the bone. Place in a dish which is not much bigger than the fish itself. Mix together all the marinade ingredients and pour over the mullet. Leave to marinate for 1 hour, turning occasionally.
2. preheat the grill to high and grill the mullet for 6 minutes on each side.
3. Transfer the dish to a warmed serving dish and add any cooking juices to the marinade. Pour the marinade into a small pan. Add the anchovy, grated rind of ½ orange and juice of the whole orange and the water. Bring to the boil, whisk a little and pour over the fish before serving.


Braised Partridge with Cabbage.

1 savoy cabbage, about 1kg/2lb 4oz, cored and cut into wedges
4 partridges, cleaned and trussed
2 tbsp vegetable oil
6 thick slices streaky bacon
1 tbsp juniper berries, crushed
3 carrots, cut into 1cm/½in slices
125ml/4fl oz dry white wine
200ml/7fl oz chicken stock
1 onion, studded with a clove
bouquet garni (made with parsley stems, a bay leaf and thyme)
1 tsp cornflour
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
mashed potatoes, to serveMethod

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and add the cabbage wedges.
2. Leave to simmer for 5 minutes until almost tender, then drain and rinse under cold water. Set aside. Season the partridges.
3. Heat the oil in a large ovenproof casserole and add the partridges. Cook for 10 minutes until browned on all sides. Remove them from the pan and set aside.
4. Allow the casserole to cool slightly, then line the base with the bacon slices. Add half the cooked cabbage, the crushed juniper berries and season well with salt and pepper.
5. Put the partridges on top and surround with the carrots. Cover with the remaining cabbage. Season again and pour over the wine and stock.
6. Make a cross in the onion, cutting halfway through so it opens out slightly. Add the onion and bouquet garni to the casserole, pushing them well down into the cabbage.
7. Cover the casserole and cook in the oven for about 1¼ hours, or until the partridge and carrots are tender.
8. Transfer the partridge to a chopping board and cover with foil to keep warm. Using a slotted spoon, arrange the vegetables and bacon in a serving dish, leaving the juices behind in the casserole. Discard the bouquet garni.
9. Put the casserole over a high heat and bring the juices to the boil. Leave to simmer for about 15 minutes to reduce by half.
10. Stir 1 tbsp water into the cornflour and mix to a paste. Whisk this into the juices and stir the sauce until smooth and thickened. Season to taste. Arrange the partridges on top of the vegetables. Pour over the sauce and sprinkle with the chopped parsley. Serve with mashed potatoes.


                                August 2009.

 

Try Nick's Favourite cocktails for a different drinks party,


Nick's Daiquiri.

serves 2

50 ml white rum

40 ml freshly squeezed lime juice

20 ml sugar or gomme syrup

lime wedges to garnish

10 ice cubes

Shake together the lime juice, white rum and syrup with the ice cubes,

strain into martini glasses and place a slice of lime onto the rim of the glass and serve.


Nick's Long Island Ice Tea.

1 measure vodka

1 measure triple sec or cointreau

1 measure white rum

1/2 a measure tequila

2 measures freshly squeezed lemon juice

cola to top up

shake together all the ingredients, strain into an ice filled collins glass, top up with a good splash of the cola, stir with a straw and serve.


Steak burgers

1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 red chilli, seeds removed, finely chopped
500g minced steak (normal beef mince will be tasteless)
1 free-range egg yolk, beaten
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp vegetable oil
4 burger buns
tomato ketchup, cheese, mustard or fried onions, to serveMethod

1. In a large bowl, mix together the onion; garlic, red chilli and beef mince until well combined. Gradually pour in the beaten egg and mix well. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
2. Divide the mixture equally into four. Using wet hands, roll the mixture into balls the size of a tennis ball. Using the palms of your hands, flatten the balls slightly into patties about 3cm/1¼in thick. (NB: Make sure all the burgers are the same thickness so that they cook evenly.)
3. Place the patties onto a plate, cover with cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes to one hour.
4. Heat the barbecue until hot. Lightly brush one side of each patty with oil and place, oiled-side down, onto the grill. Cook for 4-5 minutes, or until golden-brown. (NB: avoid moving the burgers on the grill or they may stick).
5. Lightly brush the other side of the burgers with oil, then turn over, using tongs, and cook for a further 4-5 minutes, or until the burgers are browned and completely cooked through.
6. Transfer the burgers to a plate and set aside for 5-10 minutes, to rest.
7. Slice each burger bun in half and grill, cut-side down, on the barbecue grill. Toast for 1-2 minutes, or until pale golden-brown.
8. To serve, place one burger inside each toasted burger bun. Top with your choice of accompaniment




                                    July 2009.


Sangria summer fruits.

Ingredients
290ml/½ pint golden caster sugar
290ml/½ pint water
1 lemon
2 oranges
1 bottle red wine, chilled
5 tbsp brandy
6 nectarines or peaches
450g/1lb cherries


Method
1. Measure the sugar in a jug until it just reaches the 290ml/½ pint mark. Tip into a pan with the water. Cut a couple of thin strips of peel from the lemon and one of the oranges and add to the pan.
2. Slowly bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar, then increase the heat and boil for 4-5 minutes to make a light syrup. Strain into a large jug or bowl, leave to cool, then add the wine and brandy.
3. Using a sharp knife, remove all the peel and pith from the oranges, then cut the flesh between the membranes into segments. Halve, stone and slice the nectarines or peaches. Stone the cherries. Divide the fruit between six large wine glasses and pour the sangria over the top. Chill for at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours.


Charentais melon with rocket,prosciutto and pecorino.

Ingredients
16 slices prosciutto
1 charentais melon
8-12 wild rocket leaves
75ml/2½fl oz virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
100g/3½oz pecorino cheese


Method
1. Remove the outer skin from the melon. Cut in half and remove and discard the seeds. Slice the melon thinly and arrange on the serving plate, together with the sliced prosciutto. Wash and drain the wild rocket, and sprinkle a few leaves over the top.
2. Using a potato peeler, shave the pecorino cheese over the salad, drizzle with olive oil and a little maldon sea salt before serving.



                                     June 2009.


Roast lemon and thyme lamb with redcurrant madeira gravy.

Ingredients
6-8 thyme sprigs, cut into pieces (leave a couple whole)
3 red onions, cut in half
peeled zest of 1 large lemon, cut into pieces
1 garlic bulb, cut in half across the centre
1 leg of lamb, about 2kg/4½ lb
olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp redcurrant jelly
175ml/6fl oz Madeira wine
350ml/12fl oz lamb stock or water


Method
1. Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7.
2. Place the whole thyme sprigs, the onions, half the lemon zest and the halved garlic in a roasting tray with 4 tbsp water and sit the lamb on top. Randomly insert a small sharp knife into the fatty surface of the lamb, twisting to create small holes. Stuff sprigs of thyme and the remaining lemon zest into the holes, then drizzle and rub over a little olive oil. Season well with salt and pepper and place in the oven for 20 minutes.
3. Reduce the oven temperature to 200C/400F/Gas 6 and spoon any juices from the tray over the lamb. Cook for a further 1 hour for medium lamb, spooning the juices over a couple of times during the cooking. If you don't like your lamb pink, leave for a further 15-20 minutes for medium-well done.
4. Once it is cooked, remove the lamb and place on to a warm plate or carving board to 'relax'. Pour away any excess fat from the roasting tray, then sit the tray on the hob over a high heat. Stir the redcurrant jelly into the roasted onions and garlic until melted before adding the Madeira wine. Boil for about 30 seconds and add the stock or water. Bring to a simmer and cook for a couple of minutes until thickened slightly, then season with salt and pepper. Strain through a sieve to give you a rich, loose gravy.


Mackerel Baked in foil.

Ingredients
2 whole mackerel
1 lemon
4 fresh rosemary sprigs
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
4 tbsp cider or apple juice
boiled potatoes
roughly chopped parsley, to serve
salt and freshly ground black pepper


Method
1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6 or fan oven 180C/350F/Gas 4 from cold.
2. Put each fish on a large square of tin foil or baking paper on a baking sheet. Season the fish inside and out with salt and pepper.
3. Slice the lemon, then cut each slice in half. Tuck the lemon slices inside each fish with a couple of rosemary sprigs and a few garlic slices.
4. Scatter over the onion and pour 2 tbsp of cider or apple juice over each fish.
5. Wrap thtin foil or baking paper loosely around each fish to make a parcel, and bake for 25 minutes.
6. Serve with boiled potatoes sprinkled with parsley.


                                      MAY 2009.


Nicks Special Saltimbocca

Serves 1

Preparation time 25 minutes

Cooking time 10 / 30 minutes

 

Ingredients
1 pork chop, fat removed
1 tbsp olive oil
1 shallot, sliced
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp brown sugar
½ ball mozzarella, broken into pieces
For the dressing
3 anchovies
handful of basil
1 clove garlic, crushed
85ml/3fl oz olive oil

 

Method
1. Heat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7.
2. Flatten the pork chop, with the base of a heavy pan.
3. Heat half the oil in a pan and slowly fry the shallots for 3-4 minutes or until softened and slightly golden. Add the balsamic vinegar and sugar and cook out until the vinegar has reduced and the shallots have caramelised.
4. Heat the rest of the oil in a frying pan and pan-fry the pork for 2-3 minutes on each side.
5. Top the pork with the shallots and mozzarella and bake in the oven for five minutes or until golden.
6. For the dressing, mix the anchovies, basil, garlic and oil in a food processor until smooth.
7. Place the pork chop on a plate and serve with the dressing.


Potato focaccia

Serves4

Preparation time 25 minutes + 1 hour proving time

Cooking time 30 minutes

Ingredients

500g strong white flour

2 tsp salt

15g fresh yeast dissolved in 5 floz of the water

Splash olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

300ml water

400g new potatoes (about 8-10), sliced to the thickness of a £1 coin

2 sprigs rosemary

Sea salt, for sprinkling (optional)

Mix the flour, salt and yeast in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre, add the oil and water, then mix well. If the dough seems a little stiff, add 1-2 tbsp water, mix again, then put on a lightly floured work surface and knead well. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl. Leave to rise for 1 hour until doubled in size.

Remove from the bowl, knock back the dough, then spread out with your hands onto a large, oiled baking tray 20cm x 30cm. Brush with olive oil and make deep indentations with your fingers. Layer the potatoes and rosemary leaves over the top and drizzle with a little more oil. Leave to prove for ¾ hour until doubled in size.

Heat oven to 230C/fan 210C/gas 8

 Sprinkle the dough with a little rock salt, if you like. Bake the bread for 30 minutes until it is golden, the potatoes are tender and it sounds hollow when tapped underneath. Drizzle the loaf with more olive oil, if you like and, when cooled, serve on the tray.

A good idea is to sprinkle with goat’s cheese crumbled over the surface 10 minutes before cooked and add a drizzle of pesto


Tuscan tomato, bread and basil soup

Serves 4

Preparation time 30 minutes

Cooking time 10 minutes

Ingredients
3 tbsp oilive oil, plus extra to serve
1 red onion, peeled and diced
6 garlic gloves, peeled and diced
150ml/5fl oz water
12 plum tomatoes quartered
800g/1¾lb canned plum tomatoes
salt and freshly ground black pepper
half loaf French bread, cut into cubes
1 tbsp chopped fresh basil

 

Method
1. Heat the olive oil in a pan and cook the onion and garlic for a few minutes to soften them slightly.
2. Add the water and all of the tomatoes. Cover with a lid, bring to the boil and season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
3. Reduce the heat to a simmer and simmer, uncovered, for 10-15 minutes, or until the volume of liquid has reduced by a third and the tomato soup has thickened slightly.
4. Stir in the bread cubes and sprinkle over the chopped basil leaves.
5. To serve, divide the soup equally among three or four serving bowls. Drizzle over the olive oil.

Potato and anchovy gratin

Serves 6

Preparation time 20 minutes

Cooking time 40 / 45 minutes

1 kg maris piper potatoes

2 tablespoons olive oil

50g unsalted butter

6 peeled and sliced cloves of garlic

20 white anchovy fillets

1 teaspoon each of freshly chopped rosemary and thyme

a pinch of dried chilli

100g Parmesan cheese

300ml double cream

Salt and pepper

3 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley

Pre-heat the oven to 180c,

Peel the potatoes and cut into 5mm thick slices

Heat the oil and add the garlic and cook gently for 2 minutes

Add the anchovy fillets, add the herbs and chilli then remove from the heat,

Place the potatoes into a large bowl and the anchovy and then the cream with 3 / 4 of the Parmesan,

Season well and mix together,

Place into baking tray and cover with foil, cook for 25 minutes,

Remove the foil, add the parsley turn the potatoes over in the tray and then place back into the oven for 15 / 20 minutes,

The potatoes should be slightly glazed.

 
 

                                       April 2009.


This is a great recipe from my cousin Lindsay in Australia.

Tagliatelle with pan-fried pumpkin and red pepper oil

INGREDIENTS
 
1 tablespoon light olive oil
400g pumpkin or winter squash, peeled,
deseeded and chopped into 2-3cm pieces
400g pappardelle, tagliatelle or any other ribbon pasta(fresh is better)
finely grated zest and juice of 1 unwaxed lemon
50g wild rocket leaves
1 large handful of chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

red pepper oil
1 small red pepper, sliced
6 large red chillies, sliced
1 small red onion, sliced
4 garlic cloves, peeled but left whole
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
65ml olive oil


METHOD
 
Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Put the red pepper, chillies, onion, garlic, cumin seeds and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a roasting tray. Cook in the preheated oven for 1 hour, turning often. Transfer the contents of the roasting tray to a food processor while still hot. Add the remaining oil and whizz until smooth. Let cool, then pour the mixture into a clean and dry screw-top jar.

Heat the light olive oil in a frying pan set over high and add the pumpkin. Cook for 10 minutes, turning often, until each piece is golden brown all over. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the packet instructions and drain well. Put it in a large bowl and add 2-3 tablespoons of the red pepper oil. Add the cooked pumpkin, lemon zest and juice, rocket and parsley and toss to combine. Season well with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

NOTE: The remaining red pepper oil will keep for 1 week when stored in an airtight jar in the fridge. It can be used as a dip for wedges or added to tomato-based sauces and soups for extra flavour.




Coq au Vin

Serves 2

Preparation time 25 minutes

Cooking time 30 / 60 minutes

Ingredients

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp plain flour

6 boneless and skinless chicken thighs, quartered

100g/3½ oz bacon pieces or pancetta

8 button onions, halved

3 cloves of crushed garlic

100g/3½ oz button mushrooms

2 tsp of tomato purée

2 tbsp brandy

300ml/10fl oz red wine

1 bay leaf

2 tsp fresh thyme leaves

Sea salt

Freshly ground pepper

Method

1. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a heavy saucepan.

2. Season the flour with salt and pepper and toss the chicken in.

3. Fry the chicken for 2-3 minutes or until it begins to brown.

4. Transfer the chicken to a plate to keep it warm.

5. Add the remaining 1 tbsp oil and fry the pancetta until it starts to brown.

6. Add the onions, garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and fry for 1 minute.

7. Add the tomato purée, stir well and cook through for 30 seconds.

8. Return chicken to pan and add brandy, red wine and herbs. Bring liquid to boil, reduce and simmer for 15 - 20 minutes until chicken is tender and the liquid is thickened.

9. Serve with mash or rice.

 

 

 


Gratin dauphinoise

Serves 6

Preparation time 25 minutes

Cooking time 1 ½ hrs

Ingredients

Knob of butter

1kg/2¼lb Desiree potatoes

290ml/½ pint full-fat milk

290ml/10fl oz double cream

2 garlic cloves, crushed

2 fresh thyme sprigs, plus extra for sprinkling

1 shallot, roughly chopped

Pinch of nutmeg, freshly grated

30g/1oz parmesan, freshly grated

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas 2. Rub the butter all over the surface of a gratin dish, about 18x28cm/11in.

2. Peel and slice the potatoes to a width of 3mm.

3. Pour the milk and cream into a saucepan. Add the garlic, thyme and shallot. Slowly heat the milk and let it simmer gently for 10 minutes

4. Strain the liquid into a large jug, sprinkle in the nutmeg and keep warm.

5. Layer half the potato slices in the dish, slightly overlapping the slices and sprinkling with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper between each layer. You don't have to be too neat with the lower layers, but keep some of your best slices for later, so the top looks good.

6. Pour half the hot milk and cream over the potatoes, then finish off layering the rest of the potatoes (arranging them a bit more carefully this time). Pour over the rest of the hot milk and cream. Scatter the cheese over the top and bake for about 1 hour, until golden and tender.

7. Leave the dish to stand for about 5 minutes, and then serve sprinkled with a few fresh thyme leaves.

 

Petits pois a la francais

Serves 2

Preparation time 30 minutes

Cooking time 10 / 30 minutes

Ingredients

3 slices bacon, finely chopped

1 garlic clove

½ onion, finely chopped

100ml/4fl oz double cream

110g/3½oz frozen peas

1 little gem lettuce leaves separated

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Method

1. Fry the chopped bacon in a large deep pan until it begins to brown. Add the garlic and onion and cook gently for two minutes, then add the cream and peas and bring to the boil.

2. Add the lettuce and boil for one minute, seasoning, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

3. To serve, pour into a bowl, sprinkle with the parsley

 

Profiteroles with chocolate sauce

Serves 4

Preparation time 20 minutes

Cooking time 35 / 45 minutes

Ingredients

1 pt cold water

10oz plain flour

8 eggs

8oz butter

Pinch of salt

Boil the water and butter until the butter melts,

Beat in the flour over a low heat, until the mixture binds well with no lumps and when it doesn’t stick to the sides of the pan any more it’s ready,

Remove from the heat and allow to cool,

Gradually beat in the eggs,

Pipe onto parchment lined trays and bake @ 200c for 25 / 30 minutes until firm and golden brown,

When the profiteroles are completely cold, using a piping bag filled with whipped cream, push a little hole in the bottom of each profiterole and pipe in the cream,

Arrange neatly in bowls and pour over the warm or cool sauce

If you are using a fan assisted oven it is a good idea to pipe little drops of the raw paste mix onto the tray before placing the parchment paper on top as this stops the fan in the oven making the paper flap around

 

 

Chocolate Sauce

Makes 1 pint

Serves 8

¾ pt double cream

½ a split vanilla pod

1 oz caster sugar

8 oz dark or milk chocolate drops

1 oz butter

 

Place the cream, butter and vanilla into a pan and bring to a gentle simmer for 5 minutes,

Off the heat stir in the chocolate until it melts and then stir in the sugar,

You can add 1 tablespoon of brandy, Tia Maria or cointreau


                              January 2009. 


Nick's Mid-Winter Indian Feast.

Shop bought poppadoms and mango chutney are best for this

Coriander and lemon flat breads

Makes 8

250g/9oz self-raising flour, plus extra for flouring

Handful fresh coriander, chopped

Zest of 1 lemon

Salt and pepper

Water, to mix

Place the flour, salt and pepper, coriander and lemon zest into a bowl and mix well,

Add cold water gradually whilst mixing to create a smooth non-sticky dough,

 

Turn out the dough onto a flat surface lightly dusted with flour,

Knead into rounds and leave to rest for 5 minutes,

Press the rounds into discs,

Place a non-stick frying pan onto a medium heat,

When the pan is quite hot sit the breads into it,

Let them cook in the dry pan for around 3 / 4 minutes on each side until they are lightly browned,

Keep them warm in between kitchen paper and serve

 

Tandoori Chicken

This recipe will comfortably marinade 12 chicken thighs

Ingredients

6 tbsp sunflower oil

290ml/½ pint natural yoghurt

5 large cloves garlic, crushed

5cm piece fresh ginger, finely grated

1 red chilli, finely chopped (optional)

The zest of 1 and the juice of 2 lemons

Spices:

4 tsp ground turmeric

4 tsp ground cumin

4 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground cinnamon

2 tsp paprika

2 tblspns fresh chopped coriander

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

1. Combine all the spices and then add the rest of the ingredients.

2. Marinade meat or poultry for 4-6 hours or leave overnight.

3. Then roast in a hot oven @180c / gas 7 for 30 minutes

 

Tomato and Red onion sambal (serves 2)

Ingredients

1 red onion, cut into chunks

3 tomatoes, de-seeded and cut into fine strips

1 lemon, juice and zest

1 tbsp coriander leaves, roughly chopped

Salt and pepper

Method

1. Combine all the ingredients apart from the salt and pepper. If time allows, leave to sit at room temperature for at least 10 minutes (a couple of hours is better still).

2. Season before serving. Serve.

 

Lemon rice (serves 4)

100g basmati rice

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1” piece of fresh ginger cut into chunks

2 cloves of garlic cut in half

½ a teaspoon garam masala

2 pts / 1 litre water

1 chicken stock cube

1 lemon peeled and juiced (cut the peel into very thin slices)

Knob of butter

Salt and pepper

2 tablespoons freshly chopped coriander

 

Place the water, stock cube, ginger, turmeric, and garlic and garam masala, salt and pepper into a large pan and bring to a gentle simmer for 10 minutes

With a perforated spoon remove the ginger and garlic,

Bring back to a simmer and add the rice

Simmer for 5 minutes and add the lemon peel

Simmer for 7 more minutes then pour into a colander,

When thoroughly drained place the rice into the empty pan with the coriander, lemon juice and butter,

Mix gently and serve

 

 

 

 


                                December 2008.


This is another fantastic recipe from Gareth Webster at the Swan Hotel In grasmere,

He has many spectacular dishes on his menu's.

ROAST BREAST OF GUINEA FOWL, CONFIT POTATO, ROAST SPROUTS + CHESTNUTS, THYME GLAZE   [serves two]

 

Ingredients;

2 guinea fowl breasts [can use chicken or pheasant]

 300g new potatoes

 200g blanched sprouts

 100g cooked chestnuts

 50g chopped smkd bacon

 1 small pot duck/goose fat

 300ml dark chicken/beef stock

 25g chopped fresh thyme

 1 glass  red wine

 

Gently heat the duck fat in a oven proof pan/dish , add a splash of water and the new potatoes ,bring up to a simmer then cover and  cook in the oven on 150 c for approx. 45 mins [until soft], drain the potatoes , lightly crush these with a spoon or potato masher and reserve to one side.

Heat a splash of oil in a frying pan and seal the guinea fowl breasts ,seasoning in the process. Place the guineafowl  in a oven proof dish/tray and cook for 10-15 mins [depending on size] on 180c .

Meanwhile fry off the bacon in the pan used for  the fowl , when crispy add the sprouts and chestnuts and allow to colour .After 3-4 mins tip all this into the tray with the fowl and cook until the guinea fowl is ready.Tip any excess fat out of the frying pan and deglaze with the red wine, rapidly reduce to a 1/3 then add the stock and reduce again until it lightly coats the back of a spoon , add the thyme.

Reheat the potatoes when the guinea fowl is cooked. 

Serve and enjoy


This is Very Special,

This Recipe is from My cousin Lyndsay's son Shaun,All the way from Melbourne, Australia,Watch out Jamie Oliver,

" Shaun is in the kitchen" !!

Shaun's Homemade Fettucine Carbonara
 
200g of Bacon, sliced and trimmed of fat
2-3 good sized mushrooms sliced
3 spring onions, finely sliced
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon olive oil
300ml cream
1 egg
400g Fresh Egg Fettucine
Cracked black pepper
1 tsp Chicken stock powder
2 tbs Butter
 
1. Put a large saucepan of water on to boil,prepare raw ingredients.
2. Heat oil and fry off bacon and mushrooms. Once heated through, add garlic.
3. Toss in spring onions and heat through. Once water has boiled, add pasta to cook.
4. Pour in cream and chicken stock powder, stir and add pepper to taste.
5. Drain pasta once cooked
6. Bring sauce to simmer, stir through egg and butter, pour over pasta and stir through.
7. Serve with garlic bread......Yum!
 
 

Roast Goose with Prune and Chestnut Stuffing.

Ingredients
Stuffing
450g/1lb prunes, pitted
240ml/8fl oz port
1kg/2.25lb fresh chestnuts
30g/1oz butter
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
6 stalks celery, chopped
4 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

Roast
5.4kg/12lb oven-ready goose with giblets
salt
pepper
cooking oil or butter


Method
Stuffing
1. Soak the prunes for one hour in the port.
2. Meanwhile prepare the chestnuts. Make a slit in the top of each one with a sharp knife. Put them in boiling water and simmer for ten minutes. Remove a few at a time with a slotted spoon. Wearing clean rubber gloves, slip off the outer and inner skins. Place the chestnuts in a large bowl.
3. Melt the butter in a large pan and add the onion, garlic and celery. Cook without browning until the onion has softened.
4. Add the chestnuts and prunes with the port they have been soaking in and simmer gently for 30 minutes.
5. Stir in the parsley, season with salt and pepper.

Roast
1. Remove the giblets and cook them in at least 2-3l/4-6 pint of water. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 3-4 hours then strain and thicken the stock to make the gravy.
2. Stuff the goose with the prune and chestnut stuffing, or as an alternative fill the body cavity with leek tops and chopped apple and cook the stuffing separately in a dish.
3. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
4. Prick the skin and rub salt and pepper all over it, then brush with cooking oil or butter. Cover the legs with spare fat taken from the inside of the goose.
5. Line a large, deep meat tin with foil so you can make a parcel of the goose. Place the goose on a trivet or rack in the meat tin, breast side up. If a trivet is not available, place the goose on the foil in the tin. Wrap the goose in foil, making sure there is double protection over the legs.
6. Place the goose in the oven, allowing 15 minutes per 0.45kg/1lb plus 20 minutes, thus 3½ hours for 12lb goose.
7. After the first hour baste the goose and make sure the legs are still covered and that the skin is not burning.
8. For the last half to three-quarters of an hour of cooking uncover the breast to brown, and baste again.
9. Lift the goose on to a carving dish to rest for approximately 20 minutes before carving. Keep covered.


Christmas Spiced Pickled Pears.

Ingredients
1.5kg/3lb 5oz pears (they need to be firm and unbruised)
10 allspice berries
6 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick snapped in half
1 unwaxed lemon, zest only, peeled into large strips
a small piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
425ml/15fl oz white wine vinegar
225g/8oz granulated sugar




Method
1. Peel the pears, halve and remove the cores. Place in a saucepan with just enough water to cover them. Bring to boil and then let them simmer gently for 5-6 minutes.
2. Remove the pears with a slotted spoon and set aside on a plate.
3. Measure the remaining liquid in the pan and add enough water to make it up to a pint.
4. Bring the pan up to a boil again and add the allspice berries, cloves, cinnamon, lemon zest and ginger. Add the vinegar and sugar and then stir until the sugar has dissolved. Cook for a few minutes.
5. Add the pears back to the pan and poach in the liquid until they are soft but still hold their shape.
6. Take off the heat and transfer the pears to sterilised jars and pour over the liquid with the spices to submerge them. Seal and store in a dark cupboard or pantry for 3-4 weeks before using.


Brussel Sprouts with Caremalised onions and toasted Almonds.

Ingredients
200g/1/2lb unsalted butter
3 Spanish onions, peeled and finely sliced
1kg/2.2lb brussels sprouts, peeled and finely shredded
150ml/¼pt vegetable oil
200g/½lb blanched almonds
pinch celery salt
freshly ground pepper


Method
1. Melt 175g/7oz of the butter in a large sauté pan and gently sweat the onions for 6-8 minutes until softened and caramelised.
2. Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and blanch the sprouts for 1 minute. Drain and refresh in ice cold water.
3. Heat the oil in a sauté pan and add the almonds. Fry gently for a few minutes until lightly toasted.
4. Melt the remaining 25g/1oz of butter in a large sauté pan and sweat the sprouts for 3-4 minutes, tossing, until just softened. Stir the onions and almonds through. Season with celery salt and lots of pepper. Serve at once.


                                      November 2008.


The next 2 recipes are from James Brown of AWOL Recruitment.

Whisky Mac Souffle.

INGREDIENTS (to serve six) 

3 large eggs (free-range) separated

40 g Muscavado or Demerara sugar

300 ml milk

10 ml (2 level teaspoons) of powdered gelatine

4 tablespoons of ginger wine

4 tablespoons of whisky

150 ml fresh whipping cream

15 g stem ginger, finely chopped or grated

Cocoa powder for dusting

Equipment List

6 ramekins

Greaseproof paper

Adhesive tape

Food mixer or hand whisk

Small sieve or tea strainer                                               

 METHODS:

Tie collars of greaseproof paper around six ramekins to stand 5 cm above rim.  Secure with adhesive tape.    

Soak the gelatine in 30 ml (2 tablespoons) of water in a small bowl.

Beat the egg yolks and sugar until light in colour.  Heat the milk to just below the boil in a saucepan and pour, while whisking, onto the egg/sugar mix.  Return the mix to the pan and heat gently until the custard thickens.  DO NOT BOIL.  Allow to cool.

Warm the gelatine/water mix, if necessary, to finish dissolving.  Stir into the cool custard with the ginger wine and whisky.

Whip the fresh cream to a soft peak.  Whisk the egg whites until stiff but not dry.  Fold the cream, egg whites and stem ginger into the custard.

Spoon the mixture into the ramekins and refrigerate for 1 hour minimum

TO SERVE

Dust the soufflés, using the small sieve, with cocoa before removing the collars.

NOTE:   As this recipe contains raw egg whites it may not be suitable for pregnant women, the very young or the elderly.

 

 

Pesto.

ingredients (will yield around 12 portions with pasta)

 A large 250g bunch of basil

150ml good, dark green, strong flavoured extra virgin olive oil

100 g finely grated parmesan cheese (Grano Padano or Parmiggiano Reggiano)

80g pine kernels, toasted in a hot oven until golden brown

6 large cloves of garlic, pureed or very finely chopped

3 teaspoons of your favourite sea salt or rock salt

2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper 

 

METHOD:

1.  Wash and dry the basil. Remove the leaves and discard the stalks.
2. Pour the olive oil into a blender. Press the basil leaves in and start to blend. You may need to ‘pulse’ the blender and stir/ press the basil leaves down to start off the puree.
3. Add all the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth  
4. Taste a little of the mixture. It should taste very strong, with too much salt, pepper and garlic. This is normal as you are making a concentrate. The intensity of pesto is reduced when stirred through pasta. 
5.to use your pesto, add at the end of the cooking process and do not apply too much heat as this will spoil the flavour.
6. To store, put into sealable tubs and freeze, or keep in the fridge covered with a layer of olive oil, to keep out the air: use within 2 weeks. 

 Note: You can use a food processor instead of a blender: this tends to make a coarser textured pesto.  You can also make the pesto the traditional way, in a pestle and mortar (works well but allow a lot more time!)

 


Beetroot soup with Horseradish yoghurt.

Ingredients
3 shallots
2 celery stalks
500g/17½oz beetroot, cooked and peeled
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
300ml/10½fl oz vegetable stock or water
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp prepared horseradish cream
100g/3½oz thick natural yoghurt
fresh chives, to serve


Method
1. Finely chop the shallots, celery and beetroot.
2. Mix the vegetables together in a bowl with the crushed garlic, vinegar and olive oil.
3. Cover with cling film and leave to marinate for two hours or overnight (in the fridge).
4. Blend to a smooth purée in a blender.
5. Add the vegetable stock or water, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste, and pour into a pan. Simmer gently for five minutes, stirring occasionally.
6. Mix the horseradish cream with the yoghurt in a bowl.
7. To serve, pour the soup into six small bowls or heatproof glasses. Spoon the horseradish and yoghurt mixture on top, grind over some pepper and garnish with chives.


Steamed Cranberry and Ginger Pudding.

Ingredients
225g/8oz butter
225g/8oz caster sugar
4 eggs
225g/8oz self-raising flour
110g/4oz fresh cranberries
110g/4oz dried cranberries
4 pieces stem ginger plus 2 tbsp syrup from the jar
1 tsp ground ginger
2 tbsp port
1 tbsp cranberry or redcurrant jelly


Method
1. Chop the stem ginger into small pieces.
2. Mix the cranberry jelly, port and fresh cranberries together and put in the base of a lightly greased 1.2 Litre/2 pint pudding basin.
3. Cream the butter and the sugar until pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and ginger syrup.
4. Fold in the flour, ground ginger, dried cranberries and chopped stem ginger.
5. Turn into the pudding basin. Cover with a circle of baking parchment and foil. Secure the top with string and make a string handle from one side of the basin to another.
6. Steam for 2½ hours. Insert a skewer into the pudding to make sure it is cooked. Turn out of the dish and serve with cream or vanilla ice cream.


Shepherds pie with spiced parsnip mash.

Ingredients
For the topping
900g/2lbs large parsnips, peeled and cut into large chunks
2 onions, sliced
50g/2oz butter
large pinch ground cumin
1 tbsp freshly ground coriander seeds
1 tbsp garam masala
about 50g/2oz butter
salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the filling
2 leeks or onions, chopped
1 carrot, diced
3 tbsp dripping or butter
4 Italian brown mushrooms, sliced
450g/1lb cooked roast lamb, minced, or raw lamb mince
1 tbsp flour
1 tbsp tomato purée
250ml/9 oz hot lamb or chicken stock
1 bay leaf
1 sprig thyme
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce


Method
1. Simmer the parsnips in salted water until tender - about fifteen to twenty minutes.
2. While they are cooking, fry the onions in the butter over a moderate heat until soft and translucent.
3. Stir in the spices and continue cooking for a further two minutes, until fragrant.
4. Drain the parsnips. Mash them with a potato masher, stirring in the butter, salt and freshly ground black pepper, then the sliced onions. Set aside.
5. In a large pan, cook the chopped leeks (or onions) and the diced carrot with the dripping or butter, until they are meltingly soft and golden - don't worry if they have caught slightly at the edges.
6. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook for a further five minutes, then stir in the minced meat. The meat must brown a little here and there, so do not stir it too often. Leave to cook for five minutes or so, breaking it up as necessary.
7. Add the flour and the tomato purée. Continue to cook, stirring regularly, for three or four minutes - tomato purée is bitter if not thoroughly cooked.
8. Pour on the hot stock, add a bay leaf and a sprig of thyme and bring to the boil.
9. Turn down the heat and leave to simmer very gently for 25-30 minutes.
10. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5.
10. Season the filling with salt, Worcestershire sauce and a few grinds of black pepper - be generous.
10. Scoop the mixture into a large baking dish and spoon dollops of mashed parsnip over the top. Bake for about 25 minutes until the topping is golden brown.


Pan-Roast Poussin with Parsnips and Chorizo.

Ingredients
2 x poussin boned (skin on)
300g/10½oz spinach
300g/10½oz grated parmesan
2 egg yolks
2 chorizo (size of a largish sausage!)
100ml/3½fl oz olive oil
1 tbsp chopped parsley (optional)
2 parsnips
4 halves of semi dried tomatoes
1 tbsp chopped chives
salt and pepper
150ml/¼pt cream
150ml/¼pt milk


Method
1. Cook the spinach in salted boiling water for 30 seconds.
2. Drain the spinach and thicken with the 2 egg yolks and the parmesan cheese.
3. Stuff the poussin breasts, legs and thighs with a little cooked spinach mixture.
4. Slice one chorizo into thin slices and fry until crispy.
5. Add olive oil to the other chorizo and fry. When the fat starts to come out of the chorizo pass through a sieve - and throw away the chorizo left in the sieve.
6. Peel the parsnips and using only the thin ends sliced and deep fry until crispy.
7. Cook the remaining parsnip in a little butter and water.
8. Put the parsnips in a blender with the cream and purée.
9. Season the poussin with salt and pepper on both sides.
10. Fry the poussin in a heated frying pan until gently golden on both sides (10 minutes).
11. Season poussin when removed from frying pan.

To Serve
1. Pour a pool of the puréed parsnip in the centre of the plate.
2. Place the remaining grilled chorizo and crispy parsnip around the puréed parsnip.
3. Place the half a poussin on top of the creamed parsnip (thigh, leg and breast)
4. Top this with a half a semi dried tomato and drizzle with chorizo oil.


Roast Beetroot and Carrots with goat's cheese.

Ingredients
200g/7oz baby beetroot
3 tbsp olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
230g/8oz carrots, cut into 3cm chunks
2 garlic cloves
2 tbsp sherry vinegar
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
225g/8oz young goats' cheese
a few sprigs fresh thyme
200g/7oz salad leaves


Method
1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
2. Place the beetroot onto a roasting tray and toss with the olive oil, salt and pepper.
3. Place into the oven and roast for 30 minutes.
4. Add the carrots and garlic and toss to coat with the oil before returning to the oven for a further 15 minutes until tender.
5. Remove beetroot from the tray and allow to cool slightly before squeezing the beetroot out of their skins.
6. Place in a bowl along with the roasted carrots.
7. Meanwhile to make the dressing, add the sherry vinegar to the pan to deglaze.
8. Pass through a fine sieve into a bowl, then whisk in the olive oil.
9. Season with salt and pepper.
10. Add the goats' cheese, salad leaves and leaves from the thyme sprigs to the beetroot and carrots.
11. Add the warm dressing to the salad and toss to combine.
12. Serve immediately.


                                  October 2008.



Maple Roast Pork with Greens.

Ingredients
1 tbsp smoked paprika
4 tbsp maple syrup
3 tbsp vegetable oil
4 large pork loin chops, about 250g/8¾oz each
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp grain mustard
250g/8¾oz greens or spinach
knob unsalted butter
squeeze lemon juice


Method
1. Mix the paprika, maple syrup and two tablespoons of the vegetable oil together in a bowl, and rub into the pork chops.
2. Cover and refrigerate for one hour or longer.
3. Preheat the oven to 170C/340F/Gas 3. Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan and gently pan-fry each chop on both sides, until they starts to blacken. (Be careful, as the rendered fat might spit.)
4. Using tongs, hold the chop at right angles to the pan to colour the strip of fat as well, then transfer to a baking dish.
5. Bake for 25 minutes until tender and cooked through.
6. Mix the mayonnaise and mustard together and set aside.
7. Wash and dry the greens and finely shred. Cook in boiling salted water until tender, drain and dress with the butter, lemon juice, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
8. Spoon the pan juices over the chops and season well with more salt and freshly ground black pepper.
9. Serve the chops with the greens and the mustard mayonnaise.


                                  September 2008.
 

Blackberry Muffins.

Ingredients
400g/14oz plain flour
175g/6oz caster sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
finely grated zest of 1 orange
2.5g/½ tsp salt
284ml/10fl oz carton buttermilk
2 eggs, beaten
85g/3oz butter, melted
250g/9oz blackberries


Method
1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Grease a 12-hole muffin tin.
2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, orange zest and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together the buttermilk, eggs and butter.
3. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the buttermilk mixture. Stir until the ingredients are just combined and the mixture is quite stiff, but be careful not to overmix.
4. Lightly fold in the blackberries, then spoon the mixture into the tins to fill the holes generously.
5. Bake for 15-18 minutes until risen and pale golden on top. Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes, as the muffins are quite delicate when hot. To turn out, run a palette knife around the edge of the muffins and carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool. Best eaten the same day.


Stuffed Brown Trout.

Ingredients
2 tbsp butter
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
100g/3½oz button mushrooms, sliced
salt and freshly ground black pepper
75g/2½oz breadcrumbs
1 lemon, zest only
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh mint
75g/2½oz flaked almonds
2 brown trout, scaled, gutted, cleaned
1 tbsp olive oil


Method
1. Heat the butter in a pan over a medium heat.
2. Add the onion, garlic and mushrooms and fry for 3-4 minutes, until the onion is soft, then season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
3. Place the mixture into a sieve to drain off any excess moisture. Press lightly to ensure as much liquid is removed as possible.
4. Place the mushroom and onion mixture into a bowl and add the breadcrumbs, lemon zest, mint and almonds. Mix well.
5. Stuff half of the mushroom mixture into the body cavity of each of the trout, then wrap the trout flesh around to seal the stuffing into the cavity.
6. Hold the trout flesh together by piercing with three or four cocktail sticks that have been soaked for five minutes in water.
7. Heat the oil in a large clean frying pan. Add the stuffed trout and fry for 5-6 minutes on each side, or until completely cooked through.
8. To serve, place the trout onto plates. If you like, serve with chips.



Braised Partridge with Cabbage and Bacon.

Ingredients
1 savoy cabbage, about 1kg/2lb 4oz, cored and cut into wedges
4 partridges, cleaned and trussed
2 tbsp vegetable oil
6 thick slices streaky bacon
1 tbsp juniper berries, crushed
3 carrots, cut into 1cm/½in slices
125ml/4fl oz dry white wine
200ml/7fl oz chicken stock
1 onion, studded with a clove
bouquet garni (made with parsley stems, a bay leaf and thyme)
1 tsp cornflour
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
mashed potatoes, to serve


Method
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and add the cabbage wedges.
2. Leave to simmer for 5 minutes until almost tender, then drain and rinse under cold water. Set aside. Season the partridges.
3. Heat the oil in a large ovenproof casserole and add the partridges. Cook for 10 minutes until browned on all sides. Remove them from the pan and set aside.
4. Allow the casserole to cool slightly, then line the base with the bacon slices. Add half the cooked cabbage, the crushed juniper berries and season well with salt and pepper.
5. Put the partridges on top and surround with the carrots. Cover with the remaining cabbage. Season again and pour over the wine and stock.
6. Make a cross in the onion, cutting halfway through so it opens out slightly. Add the onion and bouquet garni to the casserole, pushing them well down into the cabbage.
7. Cover the casserole and cook in the oven for about 1¼ hours, or until the partridge and carrots are tender.
8. Transfer the partridge to a chopping board and cover with foil to keep warm. Using a slotted spoon, arrange the vegetables and bacon in a serving dish, leaving the juices behind in the casserole. Discard the bouquet garni.
9. Put the casserole over a high heat and bring the juices to the boil. Leave to simmer for about 15 minutes to reduce by half.
10. Stir 1 tbsp water into the cornflour and mix to a paste. Whisk this into the juices and stir the sauce until smooth and thickened. Season to taste. Arrange the partridges on top of the vegetables. Pour over the sauce and sprinkle with the chopped parsley. Serve with mashed potatoes.


                                      August 2008.


Pan fried mackerel fillets with marinated fennel salad, sorrel crème fraiche

From Gareth Webster of the Swan hotel in Grasmere

Serves 2

2 large boneless mackerel fillets

100g flaked white crab meat

2 bulbs of fresh fennel

1 bunch of spring onions

3 limes

1 packet of fresh sorrel, finely shredded

100g crème fraiche

50ml olive oil

Sea salt and black pepper

3 radishes

2 teaspoons caster sugar

Score the mackerel fillets on the skin side,

Zest and juice the limes (keep the juice and zest separate)

Cut the fennel into quarters and cut out the root, finely slice the fennel, spring onions, radishes and mix with ¾ of the lime juice,sugar,salt and pepper and the olive oil,

Leave this to sit for 15 minutes,

Mix the lime zest with the sorrel, crème fraiche and the remaining lime juice, season lightly,

Drain off most of the juice from the fennel and mix with the crabmeat,

Heat a non stick until quite hot and add a splash of vegetable oil, season the mackerel fillets and place them into the pan skin side down,

Press lightly with a spatula to enable the skin to evenly crisp,

 Fry for 3 minutes and then turn over for 1 more minute,

Place the salad on a warmed plate and sit the mackerel on top,

Drizzle the crème fraiche around the dish and serve with new potatoes

 


                                            June 2008.
 


Sicilian-Style Salmon with Sauteed Broccoli.

Ingredients
For the Sicilian-style salmon
100g/3½oz salmon fillet, skin removed
1 lime, juice only
olive oil, for drizzling
½ tsp dried chilli flakes
1 tsp ground paprika
salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the stir-fried broccoli
1 tbsp olive oil
100g/3½oz button mushrooms, sliced
100g/3½oz long-stemmed broccoli
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley


Method
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
2. For the Sicilian-style salmon, place the salmon fillet onto a lightly oiled baking sheet.
3. Drizzle over the lime juice and a little olive oil. Sprinkle with chilli flakes and paprika and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
4. Bake in the oven for 7-10 minutes, or until cooked through.
5. Meanwhile, for the stir-fried broccoli, heat the oil in a frying pan. Add the mushrooms and broccoli and stir fry for 3-4 minutes.
6. Add the garlic and fry for a further minute. Stir in the parsley.
7. To serve, place the salmon onto a serving plate with the broccoli.


Courgette Bread.

Ingredients
3 free-range eggs
250ml/9fl oz olive oil, plus extra for greasing
450g/1lb caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 courgettes, coarsely grated
225g/8oz pineapple pulp
425g/15oz plain flour, plus extra for dusting
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp salt
½ tsp baking powder
1½ tsp ground cinnamon
¾ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
110g/4oz walnuts, chopped
170g/6oz raisins


Method
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
2. Place the eggs into a food processor and blend. Add the oil, sugar and vanilla extract and blend again, until thick and foamy. Stir in the grated courgettes and the pineapple pulp.
3. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients a third at a time, gently folding with a rubber spatula after each addition. Add the walnuts and raisins and stir.
4. Grease two 12.5cm x 20cm/5in x 8in loaf tins and dust with flour. Divide the batter equally between the tins.
5. Transfer to the oven and bake for about an hour, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool in the tins for ten minutes, then turn out onto wire racks to cool completely before serving.


Grey Mullet with garlic,lemon and thyme.

Ingredients
4 grey mullet each weighing about 350g/12oz
For the Marinade:
juice of 1 lemon
120ml/5fl oz olive oil
2 tsp fresh thyme, very finely chopped
1 tsp sea salt
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
freshly ground black pepper
For the Sauce:
2 anchovy fillets, drained and finely chopped
1 orange
50ml/2fl oz water


Method
1. Slash the fish three times on each side cutting down to the bone. Place in a dish which is not much bigger than the fish itself. Mix together all the marinade ingredients and pour over the mullet. Leave to marinate for 1 hour, turning occasionally.
2. preheat the grill to high and grill the mullet for 6 minutes on each side.
3. Transfer the dish to a warmed serving dish and add any cooking juices to the marinade. Pour the marinade into a small pan. Add the anchovy, grated rind of ½ orange and juice of the whole orange and the water. Bring to the boil, whisk a little and pour over the fish before serving.


                                              MAY 2008.

 

Risotto with Chorizo and mushrooms

 

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil

100g / 4oz thinly sliced chorizo

1 medium onion, finely chopped

150g/5½oz wild mushrooms, roughly chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 glass white wine (about 125ml/4fl oz)

200g/7oz risotto rice per person

1 litre/1¾ pints vegetable stock

Knob of butter

50g/2oz grated parmesan, plus extra shavings to serve

Method

1. Heat the olive oil in a deep frying pan and sauté the onion, chorizo and mushrooms until golden. Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds.

2. Add the white wine and rice and stir well.

3. Add the stock, ladle by ladle, waiting for each addition to be absorbed by the rice before adding any more. Stir constantly. As the rice cooks the risotto will start to thicken. After about 20-30 minutes the rice should no longer be crunchy and the risotto will be creamy.

4. Continue adding more stock in this way until you are happy with the consistency (you may not need all the stock). Add the butter and parmesan and serve in bowls with extra shavings of parmesan.

 


Asparagus and Tomato salad

 

A really good recipe as Asparagus is very much in season now

 

Ingredients

110g/4oz asparagus tips

225g/8oz vine ripened British classic tomatoes, thickly sliced

30g/1oz pine kernels, toasted

For the dressing:

2 tsp hot horseradish sauce

4 tsp garlic wine vinegar

8 tsp extra virgin oil

Method

1. Cook asparagus in boiling water for 4-5 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water.

2. Place asparagus, tomatoes and pine kernels in a bowl.

3. Whisk dressing ingredients together, then pour over asparagus and toss together.

4. Serve.
  


                               April 2008.



Fresh Homemade Bread.

Ingredients
15g/½oz fresh yeast
300ml/½ pint lukewarm milk
450g/1lb strong white flour
1 tsp salt
25g/1oz butter


Method
1. Mix the yeast with a little of the milk to get a creamy liquid.
2. Put the flour and the salt in a bowl and rub in the butter.
3. Stir in the yeast liquid and the rest of the milk to get a soft dough.
4. Turn on to a lightly floured work surface and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10-15 minutes. Put in a clean bowl and cover with clingfilm. Stand in a warm place for 1 hour to rise.
5. Heat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7. Lightly oil a 1kg/2¼lb bread tin.
6. Turn the dough on to the work surface again and knead for 5-10 minutes. Shape the dough into a loaf shape to fit the tin and place in the tin. Cover with a clean tea towel and allow to rise back up again, about 15 minutes.
7. Bake in the oven until golden and risen, about 30-40 minutes. The base of the loaf should sound hollow when you tap it. Turn on to a wire rack to cool.




Nicks Hand Made Pitta Breads.

Ingredients
2 tsp dried yeast
1 tsp sugar
300ml/½ pint hand-hot water
450g/1lb strong white flour
1 tsp salt





Method
1. Stir the dried yeast and sugar into the water and leave until yeast has dissolved and mixture is frothy - approximately 10 minutes in a warm place.
2. Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl.
3. Stir in the yeast liquid and mix to a dough.
4. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead thoroughly. Continue kneading until the dough is firm, elastic and no longer sticky, this will take approximately 8-10 minutes. Place the dough in a lightly greased polythene bag and leave to rise until doubled in size; approximately 1¼ hours in a warm place.
5. Punch the risen dough to deflate it and re-knead until firm. Divide the dough into eight pieces. Roll each piece into an oval shape approximately 25cm x 13cm/10in x 5in. Place on a greased baking tray and put inside a greased polythene bag. Leave for 5 minutes to relax.
6. Bake at the top of the oven at 240C/475F/Gas 9 for 6-8 minutes or until just beginning to colour.
7. Wrap the pittas in a damp tea-towel to cool, to give the characteristic soft, leathery crusty.



Sweet onion and Ricotta Cheesecake with olives and sage.

 

Preparation time 25 / 30 minutes

Cooking time 30 / 45 minutes

 

Serves 4

 
Ingredients

1kg/2lb 4oz fresh ricotta cheese

3 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing and drizzling

350g/12oz onions chopped

4 garlic cloves, chopped

10 fresh sage leaves, coarsely chopped

4 eggs, beaten

6 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Salt

Freshly ground black pepper

150g/5oz stoned black olives

55g/2oz dry polenta

Whole fresh sage leaves, to garnish (optional)

 

Method

Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5.

Place the ricotta in a sieve and stand over a bowl or the sink. Leave to drain thoroughly while you cook the onions.

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over a low heat. Add the onions and cook gently, stirring frequently, until very soft, but not coloured. Add the garlic and sage and cook for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.

 

Beat together the drained ricotta, eggs, Parmesan, salt and pepper (ideally in a food processor) until totally smooth.

Stir in the onion mixture and olives and mix thoroughly.

Brush a 22cm/8¼in spring form tin generously with olive oil. Sprinkle with the polenta evenly over the bottom and sides, then pour in the ricotta mixture and smooth the surface with a spatula.

Garnish the top with whole sage leaves and drizzle a little olive oil over the top, especially over the sage leaves.

Place on a baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes to an hour, until firm and golden. Leave to cool for about ten minutes, and then transfer to a serving plate.

Serve warm or cold.

 

 


Rosemary and Garlic-Roasted Leg of Lamb.


Ingredients
1 leg of lamb, bone in, approximately 2kg/4½lb
4-5 garlic cloves, peeled
rosemary, freshly picked
salt and freshly ground black pepper
olive oil
For the roast potatoes
1-1½kg/2-3lb roasting potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
For the coriander pesto
large bunch of fresh coriander
1-2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1-2 anchovies, in oil
½oz pine nuts, toasted
½oz parmesan cheese, grated
olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper


Method
1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
2. Using a sharp knife, prick the leg of lamb all over, about 20 times and about 2cm/1in deep.
3. Cut the garlic cloves into thin strips and place one slice of garlic into each hole with a few rosemary leaves. Continue until all the holes are full. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and drizzle with oil.
4. Place the lamb directly onto the oven rack and place a roasting tray directly underneath on the rack below. This is to catch the fat as it drips from the lamb. Roast in the pre-heated oven for 1 hour 15 minutes or until cooked to taste, basting frequently.
5. Par-boil the potatoes. Drain them, then return them to the pan and shake to roughen the edges.
6. After the first 15-20 minutes of cooking the lamb, carefully tip the potatoes into the roasting tray underneath the lamb, which will now contain the hot fat from the lamb above.
7. Coat the potatoes in the fat then roast with the lamb until golden and cooked through, turning once or twice.
8. To make the pesto, put all the ingredients for the coriander pesto, except the oil and seasoning, into a food processor. Blend, gradually adding oil until you reach the desired consistency. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve with the lamb and roast potatoes.


                                March 2008.


Hot roast smoked salmon pate

With rocket, parmesan, parsley and lemon scones and crème fraiche

Serves 4

Preparation time 45 minutes

Cooking time 30 minutes

 

For the scones

Ingredients

225g/8oz self raising flour

Pinch of salt

55g/2oz butter

1 teaspoon caster sugar

150ml/5fl oz milk

Grated Zest of 1 lemon

3 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley

Salt and black pepper

 

Method

Heat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7. Lightly grease a baking sheet.

Mix together the flour and salt and rub in the butter.

Stir in the sugar, lemon and the parsley, salt and pepper and then the milk to get soft dough.

Turn on to a floured work surface and knead very lightly. Pat out to a round 2cm/¾in thick. Use a 5cm/2in cutter to stamp out rounds and place on a baking sheet. Lightly knead together the rest of the dough and stamp out more scones to use it all up.

Brush the tops of the scones with a little milk. Bake for 12-15 minutes until well risen and golden.

 

For the hot smoked salmon pate,

8oz/200g good quality hot roasted smoked salmon

4 tablespoons cream cheese

2 tablespoons crème fraiche

1 tablespoon fresh chopped coriander

4 tablespoons of crème fraiche for serving,

2 handfuls of fresh rocket leaves

Shavings of fresh parmesan

 

Gently flake the salmon into a bowl, add the cream cheese and crème fraiche with the coriander and mix gently to a rough pate,

There is no need to season this, keep covered in the fridge until needed,

To serve,

Split the scones into halves, and spread generously with the pate,

Place the rocket leaves onto plates,

Add the parmesan shavings and a drizzle of olive oil,

Spoon the crème fraiche around the leaves and serve immediately


Baked breast of chicken filled with basil mousse and air dried ham

Fondant potato and wild mushrooms

 

Serves 4

Preparation time 1 hour

Cooking time 25 /30 minutes

 

5 large free range chicken breasts

10 large leaves of fresh basil

2 tablespoons double cream

2 sheets of air dried ham, chopped roughly

6 sun blushed tomatoes, chopped roughly

Salt and pepper

 

Place 4 of the chicken breasts skin side down on a board, with a sharp knife slice an incision into the side edge of the breast to create a pocket without going right through the breast,

 

Place the 5th chicken breast into a blender with the basil leaves,

Whiz them in the blender until quite smooth, season with salt and pepper and add the cream, whiz this again for 10 seconds,

 

Remove from the blender into a bowl and add the air dried ham and tomatoes,

Mix this well,

 

Spoon this mixture into the cavity in the chicken and press to create a neat oval shaped chicken breast,

 

Leave these in the fridge until needed,

 

To cook simply place skin side down on a baking tray with a splash of olive oil,

Add a couple of roughly chopped cloves of garlic and place in the oven for 25 minutes,

Remove from the oven, leave to rest for 5 minutes and slice and serve

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


                              February 2008.



Chocolate mousse cake.


A great dessert to freeze, you can have it just as it is or serve it frozen as an ice cream cake.

Ingredients

For the base

12 boudoir biscuits (or similar)

59g/2oz butter, melted


For the filling
2 egg whites

10g unsalted butter

85g/3oz caster sugar

275g/10oz plain chocolate

(Or milk and even white chocolate works with this mix and match as you wish)

284ml/9½fl oz carton double cream

2 tbsp brandy or cassis (optional)

Method

1. In a large strong plastic food bag, crush the biscuits to crumbs with a rolling pin. Stir into the butter until evenly mixed, and then press the over the base of a 20cm/8in loose-bottomed cake tin and smooth down with the back of a large metal spoon. Chill the base while you make the filling.

2. In a mixing bowl whisk the egg whites for about 5 minutes until it forms a meringue that stands in soft peaks. Then add the sugar gradually while whisking to finish with a stiff and shiny meringue

3. Break up the chocolate and melt in a small bowl with the butter set over the pan of hot water,

 Whip the cream until it just holds its shape.

4. Fold the chocolate into the meringue, followed by the cream and the brandy. Pour into the tin and smooth the top and chill for at least 4 hours, or preferably overnight, so it is set.

5. Serve with vanilla or blackcurrant ice cream

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Lamb Chops with Root mash and onion Gravy.

Ingredients
900g/2lb mixed roots, such as potatoes and swede or parsnip and carrots, cut in chunks
1 tbsp vegetable oil
4 lamb chops or cutlets
25g/1oz butter, plus a small knob
1 onion, sliced thinly
2tsp plain flour
350ml/12fl oz chicken stock
1 tbsp redcurrant jelly
3 tbsp milk
1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped or 1 tsp dried
salt and pepper


Method
1. Cook the roots in boiling salted water for 15-20 minutes until tender. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan. Add the chops, season well with pepper and fry for 5-6 minutes on each side until browned. Remove and keep warm.
2. Drain off all but 2 tbsp of the fat and heat with the knob of butter. Add the onion and fry for 10 minutes until golden brown, stirring often. Stir in the flour and cook for a few seconds until the gravy has thickened. Stir in redcurrant jelly until dissolved. Keep warm.
3. Drain the vegetables, then mash with the milk and 25g/1oz butter. Stir in the thyme, season well and serve with the chops and gravy.

Nick's very own American pancakes.

Ingredients

250g/9oz self raising flour

1 tsp sea salt

2 tbsp caster sugar

250ml/9fl oz milk

2 eggs, lightly beaten

50g/2oz unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for cooking

For the maple butter syrup

80ml/3fl oz maple syrup

25g/1oz unsalted butter

Method

1. Sift the flour, salt and sugar into a bowl.

2. Mix the milk, eggs and the melted butter in a large jug, then add the flour mixture and mix quickly to make a batter - don't worry about any lumps.

3. Heat a cast iron frying pan or flat-surfaced griddle until medium-hot, grease lightly with the extra butter and pour in the batter in batches to make rounds 8-10cm/3-4in in diameter.

4. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until bubbles form on top of the pancakes and the underside is golden, then flip each one over and cook for one minute.

5. Keep the pancakes warm in the oven while you cook the remaining batches.

6. Heat the maple syrup and butter together in a small pan.

7. Stack the pancakes on warmed plates and pour over the buttery syrup.

My fave way of eating a huge stack of these bad boy's is with Richard Woodalls Cumbrian Pancetta and maple syrup.

To make cottage cheese pancakes, make the batter as above then stir in eight tablespoons of cottage cheese and cook as above. Serve with fresh berries, cherry or blackcurrant jam and crème fraîche, sour cream or thick yoghurt.

 

 

 

 


                               January 2008.


Grilled salmon with peas, lettuce and pancetta

Serves 4

Ingredients

4 x 175g/6oz salmon steaks

65g/2½oz butter

Sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

125g cubed pancetta

2 little gem lettuces, finely shredded

200ml/7fl oz vegetable, fish, or chicken stock

225g/8oz fresh or frozen peas

2 tbsp double cream (optional)

3 tbsp chopped fresh parley

½ lemon, juice only

Method

1. Preheat the grill for at least 10 minutes.

2. Remove any pin bones from the fish.

3. Melt 25g/1oz of the butter and brush over the salmon. Season well.

4. Line a grill pan with foil, then place the salmon under the grill for about 3-4 minutes on each side.

5. When cooked, cover and keep warm.

6. Whilst the salmon is cooking heat a pan on a high heat. Add the bacon and reduce the heat.

7. Cook bacon for 2-3 minutes until the fat starts to run.

8. Add the lettuce and stir well to coat with the fat.

9. Add the stock, season and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer, uncovered, for three minutes.

10. Add the peas, cream (if using) and parsley and give the pan a good shake while it comes to the boil.

11. Add the remaining butter and simmer for a further two minutes then add lemon juice.

12. Serve with the salmon.

 

 


Fantastic Roast Beef with Yorkshire Puddings.

1 x 2.5 kg fore-rib or sirloin of beef, French trimmed
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil
3 red onions, halved
2 bulbs garlic, plus 4 cloves garlic, peeled
7 pounds (3 kilograms) roasting potatoes, peeled
3 rosemary sprigs
2 thumb-sized pieces ginger, peeled and diced
1/2 bottle robust red wine

Yorkshire pudding, recipe follows

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C), and heat a large thick-bottomed roasting tray on the stovetop. Rub the beef generously with salt, then add a little olive oil to the tray and lightly color the meat for a couple of minutes on all sides.

Lay the onions and bulbs of garlic in the tray with the beef on top of them, then cook in the pre-heated oven for a total of 1 1/2 hours.

While the beef is roasting, parboil your potatoes in salted boiling water for around 10 minutes and drain in a colander. Toss about to chuff them up, this will make them really crispy.

After 30 minutes, take the tray out and toss in your potatoes and rosemary. With a garlic press or grater, squeeze or grate the cloves of garlic and ginger over everything in the tray.

Shake the tray and whack it back in the oven for the final hour. Remove the potatoes to a dish to keep warm, place the beef on a plate, covered with foil, to rest, and get your greens and Yorkshire puddings on.

Remove most of the fat from your roasting tray and you should be left with caramelized onions and sticky beef goodness.

Add 1 teaspoon of flour to the tray and mash everything together. Heat the tray on the stovetop and when hot, add the red wine. Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes, until your gravy is really tasty and coats back of a spoon. Add any juice from the beef and feel free to add some water or stock to thin the gravy if you like.

Pour through a coarse sieve and push it through with a spoon, pushing it through with a spoon, and serve in a warmed gravy jug. Serve with Yorkshire puddings.

Huge Yorkshire Puddings:
1/2 pint (285 milliliters) milk
4 ounces (115 grams) plain flour
Pinch salt
3 eggs
Vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Mix the batter ingredients together. Let rest for 10 minutes

Preheat a Yorkshire pudding tray or muffin tin with 1/2-inch (1 centimeter) of oil in each section. After the 10 minutes divide the batter into the tray. Cook for around 15 to 20 minutes until crisp and puffy, don't open the oven door before then or they won't rise.


                                December 2007.


Classic  Roast Turkey with all the Trimmings.

Ingredients
Prepare ahead
Make your chosen stuffing

To prepare your turkey
have your chosen stuffing ready
4.5-6.5kg/10-12lb turkey, thawed if frozen, giblets removed
1 lemon, quartered
50g/2oz butter, at room temperature
20 cocktail sausages
10 rashers streaky bacon
sage and parsley sprigs, to garnish


Method
On the day
1. Preheat the oven to 190/375F/Gas 5. Wash the turkey inside and out and dry well with kitchen paper.
2. Put the lemon quarters into the cavity. If you are stuffing the turkey, put the stuffing in the neck end pushing it upwards towards the breast (dont pull the neck skin too tightly, as the stuffing will expand during cooking). Secure the skin with wooden or metal skewers crossways, then tie the turkey legs together at the top of the drumsticks for a good shape. Weigh the turkey and calculate the cooking time at 20 minutes per 450g/1lb.
3. Grease a large roasting tin with a little of the butter. Smear the rest over the turkey skin and season well, then put in the tin. Loosley cover with foil and roast for the calculated time. Meanwhile, halve the bacon rashers, stretch slightly and wrap half around each sausage
4. Baste the turkey every hour. One hour before the end of cooking, remove the foil and drain off the excess fat. 30 minutes before the end of cooking, put the sausages around the turkey (if room) or in a separate lightly oiled tin.
5. To test whether the turkey is cooked, insert a skewer into the thickest part of the thigh - the juices should run clear. If they are pinkish, cook for 20 minutes more, then test again. Transfer the turkey and sausages and sausages to a platter, tightly cover with foil and allow to rest for up to 30 minutes before carving. Serve surrounded by vegetables and stuffing balls and garnished with sage and parsley.


Turkey Gravy.

Ingredients
turkey giblets
1 bay leaf
1 sprig of thyme
4 black peppercorns
½ onion, sliced
2 pints water
pan juices from the roast turkey
25 g / 1 oz plain flour
salt and pepper


Method
1. Place the giblets in a saucepan and cover with the water. Add the bay leaf, thyme, peppercorns and onion.
2. Bring to the boil and skim off any scum. Reduce the heat and then simmer for 45 minutes.
3. Strain the stock and measure 750 ml / 1 1/4 pints.
4. Strain off the fat from the roasting tin leaving only the turkey juices. Add the flour and blend with the juices over a gentle heat until it turns golden brown and it has a smooth texture.
5. Remove from the pan and pour in the hot stock. Scrape the base of the pan with a spatula to mix in all the meaty sediment.
6. Return to the heat and boil for 3-4 minutes stirring all the time to remove any lumps and until the gravy thickens. Season to taste and serve.



Christmas Gravadlax.

Ingredients
1kg/2¼lb salmon fillet, skin still attached
4 tbsp salt
4 tbsp caster sugar
3 tsp English mustard, prepared
2 tbsp gin
large handful fresh dill, roughly chopped


Method
1. Place the salmon fillet, skin-side down, into a wide, shallow dish that fits the salmon snugly.
2. Place the salt, sugar, English mustard and gin into a clean bowl and mix well until the ingredients have combined to form a yellow mixture with a smooth texture.
3. Spread the mixture over the salmon's pink flesh so that it has been totally covered.
4. Sprinkle the dill onto the paste-covered salmon and pat down. Press the dill onto the flesh so that no pink flesh from the salmon is visible.
5. Turn the fish over in the dish so that the skin is facing upwards. Cover the dish with one layer of cling film. Press the cling film down onto the edges of the fish before wrapping it around the sides of the dish. Once this has been completed repeat the process with another layer of cling film.
6. Apply weight to the top of the fish to press it down into the dish (jars, tins or any other weights can be used). Transfer the fish to the fridge and leave for 2-3 days.
7. After 2-3 days, unwrap the cling film from dish and remove the salmon fillet. Brush off the dill from the salmon.
8. Place the salmon fillet on a carving board flesh-side up. With a long, sharp knife, carefully carve very thin diagonal slivers of the pink flesh off the salmon. Work from the right-hand end of the fillet (unless you are left-handed). Re-wrap the fillet in cling film and keep the gravlax in the fridge if it is not all sliced in one go.
9. To serve, place on a clean plate.


Christmas Turkey en Croute.

Ingredients
Serve with roasted root vegetables and stir-fried sprouts.

For the stuffing:
25g/1oz butter
1 onion, chopped
3 good quality sausages
finely grated zest of 1 orange
50g/2oz dried cranberries
25g/1oz pecans, chopped
15g/1tbsp fresh thyme leaves, plus a few extra for sprinkling
15g/1tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
85g/3oz fresh white breadcrumbs
For the turkey:
900g/1lb whole boneless, skinless turkey breast joint
oil for brushing
500g/1lb pack puff pastry, thawed if frozen
1 egg, beaten
For the sauce
5g/1tsp plain flour
300ml/½ pint chicken stock, cube or carton
4 tbsp port
15g/1tbsp redcurrant or bramble jelly


Method
1. Make the stuffing by melting the butter in a small pan and adding the onion. Gently cook until the onion is softened and beginning to brown. Leave to cool for 5 minutes.
2. Cut through the skin of the sausages and crumble the meat in to a bowl. Stir in the orange zest, cranberries, pecans, thyme, parsley, breadcrumbs and plenty of salt and pepper. Add the onion and mix well. Chill until ready to use.
3. Using a sharp knife, make a large incision in the centre of the turkey breast to make a pocket. Push the stuffing into the centre. Tie with string to secure.
4. Brush with oil, season and sprinkle with thyme. Pre-heat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5 and roast the turkey in a tin for 50 minutes until just cooked.
5. Remove the turkey from the tin. Keep the pan juices. Cool for 10 minutes.
6. Set the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
7. Roll out the pastry to wrap around the turkey. Allow 4cm/1½ in at each end and 12cm/4¼in each side. Save the trimmings for decoration.
8. Put the turkey in the centre of the pastry. Brush the edges with egg. Bring the edges over the turkey, then the sides. Seal the joins, trim the excess pastry and lay on a baking sheet with the join underneath.
9. Brush with egg. Cut out leaves from the trimmings. Arrange on the pastry with pastry berries. Brush with egg. Season with salt. Bake for 40 minutes. Stand for 10 minutes.
10. Heat the roasting tin with the juices, add the flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring. Pour in the stock and port. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 5 minutes. Add the jelly, stirring until it melts. Strain into a jug to serve with the turkey.



                                   November 2007.


Salmon baked in filo pastry with sultanas, coriander, cumin and orange,

With wilted pak choi and sesame and nut brown vanilla butter.

Serves 2. Oven @180c / gas 7.

2 x 6oz / 160g fresh salmon fillets (boned and skinned)

1oz / 25g sultanas

1 x orange (juice and chopped zest only)

1 tablespoon fresh chopped coriander

A large pinch of ground cumin

4 x sheets of filo pastry (buy this frozen as it is the best way)

2 x heads of pak choi

25g unsalted butter

1 teaspoon sesame seeds

1 fresh vanilla pod (split and scraped)

1 x beaten egg

Sea salt and black pepper

Start by placing the sultanas, cumin, orange zest and juice in a pan,

Bring to a simmer and remove from the heat, allow cooling completely, adding the chopped coriander when cool,

Now take the salmon and cut an incision into the side of the fillet to create a pocket,

Carefully spoon the sultana mix into the pocket and press closed,

 Now place the filo sheets onto a surface and brush roughly with the beaten egg,

Place the other sheet on top to create a double layer, cut then in half to make 2 equal sized double layers,

Neatly sit the salmon on top of the pastry, season well and fold the pastry over, brushing lightly with the egg to make a neat well sealed parcel,

Place these on to a parchment lined baking sheet and pop them into the oven,

About 15 minutes should do nicely, when the filo pastry is golden and crisp,

 Meanwhile chop the pak choi into 3cm slices and tip it into a sauté pan with 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil,

Let it sizzle away for 5 minutes, season and remove from the heat,

Place a saucepan onto a medium heat,

Add the butter, vanilla and sesame seeds watch it hiss and bubble until it turns golden brown,

Remove it from the heat,

Now take the salmon from the oven and slice it in half revealing the cooked fish and the sultanas,

Spoon the wilted pak choi onto warmed plates and sit the salmon across,

Spoon the butter over the salmon and around the plate.


Chicken in a bag with butternut risotto.

Serves 4. Oven @180c / gas7.

 
4 x 6/7 oz chicken breasts

8oz / 250g sliced button mushrooms

1 leek, finely sliced and well washed

1 onion, very finely chopped

2 x roughly chopped cloves of garlic

2 carrots peeled and thinly sliced

1 x large sprig of fresh thyme

A pinch of plain flour

Salt and pepper

1 x glass of white wine

4 x tablespoons double cream

1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley

 

A piece ofTin foil 24”x24” 

 First cut shallow slices across the chicken breast and season well with salt and pepper,

Now take your parchment paper and fold it in half,

 Open out the tin foil so you have a bottom piece; now sit all the vegetables on the bottom side, scatter over the flour,

Add the thyme and garlic and season lightly,

 Neatly sit the chicken breasts on top of the vegetables,

Now fold and twist the edges together so you create an oval parcel,

Stop twisting 2” before the end; this is where you pour in the wine and the cream,

Finish twisting the edges around to make a sealed and very neat parcel,

 Pop this onto a baking sheet and place it into the oven for 25 minutes,

Until bubbling and smelling fantastic,

Carefully open the parcel, sprinkle over the parsley and pour alongside the risotto.

 

 
Butternut Risotto.

Serves 4,

 8oz / 250g Arborio rice

1 x onion finely chopped

1x leek finely chopped and well washed

2 cloves of crushed garlic

12oz / 375g butternut squash peeled and cut into 1 cm cubes

1 litre chicken stock, (you can use a stock cube and water)

1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley

1 tablespoon freshly grated parmesan cheese

25g butter

Salt and pepper

 Start by putting the onions, garlic, leeks, butternut and olive oil into a pan over a medium heat,

Let these sizzle away for 5 minutes without colouring,

Add the rice and stir well,

 Add the wine and let it cook out until almost reduced away,

Now start adding the stock a ladle at a time,

Add more stock when the last ladle full has been absorbed,

 This will take 18 / 20 minutes until all the stock has been absorbed at which point the rice will be cooked,

Season with salt and pepper,

Stir in the cheese, parsley and the butter,

 Pour onto a very large plate and make a well in the centre with a spoon,

Tip the chicken into the well and serve.

 

 
 

                                    October 2007.

Tiramisu.

This recipe I learned today with the kids and staff at Queen Elizabeth school in Kirkby Lonsdale,

And a very big thanks to Ian and Carrol.

25g butter, 100g caster sugar, 500g mascarpone, 400g savoirdi / savoy buscuits

1 x dessert spoon of cocoa powder, 5 x dessert spoons of coffee powder,

you will need a flat bottomed rectangular dish wide enough to contain all the biscuits laying on their sides,

first boil 1 litre of water in a pan, add the coffee and 40g of sugar,

stir, and set aside to cool.

take 60g of caster sugar and beat it into 25g softened butter until light and creamy,stir in the mascarpone,

dip the savoy biscuits quickly in and out of the coffee and place neatly into the serving dish,

continue until the base is covered.

cover the coffee soaked biscuits with a layer of the mascarpone mixture,

make a second layer of dipped biscuits.

cover this with a final layer of the mascarpone mixture,

dust lightly with the cocoa powder, chill it in the fridge for at least 4 hours,

it will be better chilled overnight,

serve and watch your guests eyes light up as they tuck in.









Pear and Blackberry Up-side Down Pudding.

Ingredients
100g/4oz golden syrup
1 lemon, rind grated
100g/4oz blackberries
3 ripe pears, peeled, cored and quartered

For the cake:
100g/4oz butter, softened
100g/4oz light muscovado sugar
100g/4oz self-raising flour
2 eggs
3 tbsp milk
cream or custard, to serve


Method
1. Lightly butter a 1.4L/2½pt non-metallic gratin dish or a 20cm/8in microwave cake dish.
2. Spoon the golden syrup over the base of the dish, then sprinkle over the lemon rind. Scatter over the blackberries and pears, cut side up.
3. Beat together all the cake ingredients with an electric hand whisk for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy.
4. Spoon the mixture over the fruit and level the top. Microwave on High for 12 minutes until the cake begins to come away from the sides of the dish.
5. Stand for 5 minutes, then loosen the edges and invert on to a plate. Serve warm with cream or custard.
6. If you don't have a microwave, preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Make the cake as for the microwave, but leave out the milk. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Cool in the tin for about 10 minutes before turning out.


Pumpkin and Rosemary Pasta.

The combination of the pumpkin and rosemary work really well to make a truly scrumptious meal.

Ingredients
340g/12oz pasta such as (large shells)
1 small pumpkin
2 sprigs rosemary
1 clove garlic
1 shallot
140ml/5fl oz carton double cream
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp chopped flatleaf parsley
30-55g/1-2oz butter
150ml/¼ pint white wine
½lemon, juice only
salt and freshly ground black pepper
grated parmesan, to serve


Method
1. Preheat the oven 190C/375F/Gas 5.
2. Peel and de-seed the pumpkin. Dice into 2.5cm/1in and place onto an ovenproof sheet.
3. Chop the rosemary and sprinkle over the pumpkin. Season and drizzle with olive oil.
4. Place in the oven and cook for 45 minutes.
5. Cook the pasta in plenty of salted boiling water as per instructions.
6. Chop the garlic and shallot, gently pan-fry in the butter for about 1 minute.
7. Add the mustard and wine, bring to the boil. Simmer for 2-3 minutes.
8. Add the lemon juice, seasoning, cream and finally the parsley.
9. Drain off the pasta and remove the pumpkin from the oven. Fold into the pasta in a bowl.
10. Pour over the sauce and mix together. Check seasoning. Serve in a bowl with the parmesan cheese over the top.


                              SEPTEMBER 2007.


Braised Oxtail with Mustard and Mash.

This is one of my favourite Nigel Slater Recipes.

This is not a liquid stew, but one where the lumps of meat and bone are coated in a sticky, glossy gravy.

Ingredients
1 large oxtail, cut into joints
a little flour, for dusting
1 tsp ground chilli
1 heaped tsp dry mustard powder
salt and freshly ground black pepper
thick slice butter
a little oil, fat or dripping
2 large onions, roughly chopped
2 large winter carrots, roughly chopped
2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
4 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
5 large mushrooms, cut into 6 or 8 pieces
2 tsp tomato purée
4 bay leaves
a few bushy sprigs thyme
750ml/1¼ pints of gutsy red wine, such as Rioja
1 tbsp grain mustard
1 tbsp smooth Dijon mustard
a little parsley
creamy mashed potato, to serve


Method
Set the oven at 150C/300F/Gas 2. Put the oxtail in a plastic or zip-lock bag with the flour, ground chilli, dry mustard powder and a good grinding of black pepper. Seal it and shake it gently until the oxtail is covered.
Warm the butter and a little oil, fat or dripping in a heavy-based casserole. Lower in the pieces of oxtail and let them colour on each side, turning them as they take on a nice, tasty bronze colour. Whilst the meat is browning, peel the onions and carrots and roughly chop them, then cut the celery into similar-sized pieces. Lift out the meat and set aside, then put the vegetables in the pot and let them colour lightly. Peel the garlic, slice it thinly, then add it to the vegetables, along with the mushrooms, each cut into six or eight pieces. Squeeze in the tomato purée. Continue cooking until the mushrooms have softened and lost some of their bulk.
Return the oxtail and any escaped juices to the pan, tuck in the bay and thyme, then pour in the red wine. Bring briefly to the boil, season lightly with salt and cover with a tight lid. Transfer the dish to the oven. You can now leave the whole thing alone for a good two hours. I'm not sure you even need to give it a stir, though I inevitably do half way through cooking. After an hour, check the meat for tenderness. I don't think it should be actually falling off the bones but it certainly should come away from the bone easily when tugged. Depending on the oxtail, it could take as long as two or three hours in total. Set the oxtail aside to cool, then refrigerate, preferably overnight.
The next day, scrape off the fat that has set on the surface, then reheat the casserole slowly on the hot plate, stirring from time to time. Stir in the mustards. Once they are in, you should cook the stew for no longer than fifteen minutes, otherwise it will lose its edge. Stir in the parsley and serve with creamy mash.


Lamb With Aubergine and Tzatziki.

Ingredients
1 medium aubergine, cut lengthways into 1cm/½in thick slices
olive oil, to coat the aubergines
1 leg of lamb, bone removed
For the paste
115g/4¼oz kalamata black olives, pitted
2 tbsp grated orange zest
1 tsp grated lemon zest
2 tbsp chopped sage
2 tbsp chopped garlic
2 tbsp chopped anchovy
1 tsp crushed black pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
To coat the meat
2 tbsp dried oregano
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon, juice only
For the lime tzatziki
1 cucumber, halved, de-seeded and coarsely grated
450g/1lb Greek yoghurt
2 limes, zest only, grated
2 large cloves of garlic, crushed
1 bunch spring onions, finely sliced
1 red chilli, finely chopped
chopped dill, to serve


Method
1. Heat a griddle pan. Cut the aubergines lengthways into four slices and brush with olive oil. Sear on both sides. Remove from the heat and put to one side.
2. Put the paste ingredients in a food processor and blend together.
3. Take the paste and smear it over the inside of the leg of lamb. Place the aubergine slices on top. Roll up the leg and tie at 5cm/2in intervals. Allow to rest for as long as possible, overnight if you can.
4. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Rub the oregano, salt, pepper and lemon juice on to the meat. Put the meat into a hot pan to sear on each side before placing in the oven. Roast for 15 minutes per 500g/1lb plus 15 minutes more, turning occasionally. Cover the meat with foil for the first 30 minutes' cooking to keep moist.
5. Remove from the oven and rest the meat for one third of the time it took to cook. This ensures a perfectly pink result.
6. To make the lime tzatziki, peel the cucumber, remove the seeds and grate finely. Squeeze out all the moisture before combining with all the rest of the ingredients. Chill for an hour to allow the flavours to blend. Sprinkle over the dill just before serving.
7. Serve the meat with the tzatziki on the side.


                                  AUGUST 2007.


Thai Green Curry Mussels.

Ingredients
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp ready-made Thai green curry paste
50ml/2fl oz white wine
1 lime, juice only
150ml/5fl oz double cream
150g/5½oz green-lipped mussels, de-bearded and cleaned
small bunch coriander, roughly chopped, plus extra leaves to garnish


Method
1. Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the curry paste. Fry for 2 minutes, then add the white wine and lime juice.
2. Cook for a further 2 minutes and add the cream, mussels and coriander. Simmer for 5 minutes. Discard any mussels that have not opened.
3. To serve, pour into a warm bowl and garnish with chopped coriander.


Mediterranean Mussels.

Ingredients
900g/2lb mussels, scrubbed and de-bearded
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, crushed
150ml/¼ pint red wine
sprigs of fresh rosemary or dried rosemary to taste


Method
1. Heat the oil in a pan, fry the onion and garlic.
2. Add the wine and rosemary, bring to the boil.
3. Add the mussels, cover and simmer for 4 minutes or until the mussels open. Discard any mussels that remain closed after cooking.


                                     JULY 2007.

 

Ginger and Citrus Haddock with Honey Glaze.

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:4 fillets of haddock
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
zest and juice of 2 oranges
2 tablespoons honey
1 clove of garlic mashed to a paste
4 teaspoons gingerroot, grated
2 to 3 spring onions finely chopped
freshly ground black pepper
1 limePreparation:

Marinade the haddock in the sesame oil, soy sauce, orange juice, zest, honey, garlic and ginger for 20 minutes.

Remove the fillets from the marinade and either bake or grill for 2 minutes each side or until done.

Garnish with lime and orange zest and some chopped spring onions



Chorizo and white beans with coriander.


Ingredients
400g/14oz can cannellini beans
2 fresh chorizo sausages, mild or hot
1 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
½ tsp paprika
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp coriander or flat parsley leaves


Method
1. Drain the beans, rinse and set aside.
2. Slice the chorizo sausages thickly on the diagonal.
3. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan, and fry the chorizo sausage until browned and sizzling. Remove the chorizo and add the beans, garlic, paprika, salt and pepper to the oil.
4. Simmer for five minutes until the beans are hot, adding a dash of water if necessary. Add the coriander or parsley and stir through, then tip onto a platter.
5. Scatter the sizzled chorizo on top and serve.


                               JUNE 2007. 


Smoked Salmon Rillettes.

Ingredients
25g/1oz unsalted butter, softened
75g/2½oz hot-smoked salmon
½ lemon, juice only
1 tbsp Greek yoghurt
1 tbsp chopped fresh chives
To serve
1 fresh tomato, seeds removed, chopped
1 tbsp chives, chopped
lemon wedge
salt and freshly ground black pepper


Method
1. In a mixing bowl, mix together the softened butter, smoked salmon, lemon juice, Greek yoghurt and chopped chives.
2. Spoon the mixture into an oiled chefs' ring on a serving plate.
3. Remove the chefs' ring and arrange the chopped tomato around the edge of the salmon mixture.
4. Sprinkle over the chopped chives and garnish with the lemon wedge to serve.


Red Mullet marinated in White Wine.

Ingredients
medium sized red mullet
1 small onion, finely chopped
180ml/6fl oz white wine
1 tbsp wine vinegar
flour
lemon or orange
parsley
fresh mint
garlic
oil


Method
1. Put two leaves of fresh mint and a small piece of garlic inside each red mullet, medium-sized ones being best for the dish. Roll them in flour and fry them gently in oil; drain them and arrange them on a long dish.
2. Prepare the following sauce. In a little oil saute a small onion finely chopped; let it melt but not turn brown, then pour in about 180ml/6fl oz of white wine and 1 tbsp of wine vinegar. Simmer the sauce for 10-15 minutes, until it has reduced by one third.
3. When it has cooled, pour it over the red mullets. Serve them cold, garnished with a little parsley and slices of lemon or orange. Instead of frying the mullets, they can be scored across twice on each side and grilled, and the sauce then poured over them. They can also be eaten hot cooked in this way, and are excellent.


                                MAY 2007.


Chocolate Risotto with Caremalised Apricots.

Ingredients
For the chocolate risotto
200g/7oz risotto rice (such as arborio or cannaroli)
150ml/5fl oz whole milk
150ml/5fl oz double cream
30ml/1fl oz clear honey
2 tbsp cocoa powder
vegetable oil, for greasing
For the caramelised apricots
50g/1¾oz caster sugar
150g/5½oz dried apricots, chopped
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
50g/1¾oz pine nuts, toasted


Method
1. For the chocolate risotto, place the risotto rice, milk, cream, honey and cocoa powder into a saucepan and cook over a gentle heat for 12-14 minutes, or until the rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed.
2. For the caramelised apricots, heat the sugar in a saucepan over a gentle heat for 4-5 minutes, until golden.
3. Add the apricots and balsamic vinegar and mix well.
4. Grease two small bowls with vegetable oil and pack the risotto into the bowls.
5. To serve, turn the risottos out onto plates. Serve the caramelised apricots alongside and the toasted pine nuts sprinkled over.


Baked Chocolate Mousse with Passion Fruit.

Ingredients
300g/10½oz dark chocolate
150g/5oz unsalted butter
55g/2oz caster sugar
6 eggs, separated
a little extra butter, to grease the tin
For the passion fruit mousse:
255g/9oz mascarpone
55ml/2fl oz double cream
3 tbsp icing sugar
3 passion fruit (pulp)
To finish:
icing sugar
cocoa powder
sprigs of mint


Method
1. Preheat the oven 180C/350F/Gas 4. Butter a 20cm/8in spring-bottomed cake tin with a removable base.
2. Melt the chocolate and butter in a bowl over simmering water.
3. Whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks and in another bowl whisk the yolks with the sugar until pale.
4. Add the chocolate mixture to the egg yolks and sugar and fold in the egg whites.
5. Pour into the cake tin and bake for about 20 minutes. Cool and dust with icing sugar and cocoa powder.
6. To make the passion fruit mousse, beat all ingredients together in a bowl until firm and serve.


                                   APRIL 2007.


I Can Now Give You the dishes for Damson Day.

they have taken a lot of time to put together,

But with a few twists and turns,

We have come up with some culinary Creations,

to have you Craving Damsons.







Baked Lemon Cups filled with fresh rhubarb,

damson curd and ricotta cheese,

Topped with witherslack damson ripple ice cream.

 

Serves 4

 

Take 4 large lemons,

8oz fresh rhubarb,

8oz caster sugar,

2 tablespoons water,

4 tablespoons hawkeshead damson curd,

2 tablespoons ricotta cheese,

8 scoops of the ice cream,

 

First place the chopped rhubarb into a pan with the water and the sugar,

Bring it to a simmer for 25 minutes stirring often,

Let it cool completely

 

Cut a small slice from the ends of the lemons so they will sit flat and level,

Cut them in half and scoop out all the flesh from the inside to create empty cups

Place a spoonful of the rhubarb into the bottom of the lemon cups,

Now place a spoonful of the ricotta on top of the rhubarb,

Finish it off with a spoonful of the damson curd,

Place the cups onto a tray and place into the oven @160c for 10 minutes,

Remove from the oven and allow them to cool for 5 minutes until just warm,

Then simply serve with a big scoop of the ice cream on top,

 

A glass of sweet white wine will certainly go well with this.

 

 

 


Roast Breast of David Knip’es chicken, glazed with crunchy honey mustard

On howbarrow farm herb,

scented cous cous and a damson and rosemary compote.

 

Serves 2.

 

Take 2 x 6oz / 150g breasts of the chicken (skin on)

1 tablespoon Cumberland honey mustard,

4oz / 100g dry cous cous,

250ml hot chicken stock,

1 mixed tablespoon of the fresh herbs, (rosemary, thyme, tarragon, parsley)

1 sprig of fresh rosemary,

2 tablespoons damson relish,

 

Place the damson relish into a pan and add the rosemary,

Warm it gently for 5 minutes and turn off the heat, leave it to stand for 20 minutes

 

Season the chicken with salt and fresh ground black pepper,

Then gently fry the skin side until nicely browned,

Let it cool slightly and spread the mustard over the skin,

Place skin side up into the oven @180c for 10 / 12 minutes until cooked through,

 

Place the cous cous into a pan and add the stock, stir this on a very low heat until thick and fluffy,

Season well and add the herbs with a splash of olive oil,

Remove from the heat and keep it warm,

 

Then neatly scoop the cous cous into warmed bowls and sit the chicken on top,

Pour over any of the juices from the tray,

Add a good spoonful of the compote to the side of the dish and tuck in with chilled white wine and crusty bread.

 


Roast Rack of Denney’s Lamb glazed with Southport honey,

On sweet potato mash and a damson and bay leaf roast gravy.

 

Serves 2.

 

Take 1 x Rack of the Lamb, (French trimmed)

 

2 x large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into 2” cubes,

2 tablespoons of the honey,

1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley,

1 garlic clove chopped roughly,

1 large sprig of thyme,

2 bay leaves,

1 tablespoon damson relish,

8 tablespoons homemade lamb or beef gravy,

 

First put the potatoes into a pan and just cover with cold water,

Add a good pinch of salt and simmer for 15/20 minutes until cooked,

Drain well and mash to a smooth consistency,

Beat in a large piece of butter and the chopped parsley; keep it warm until needed,

 

Take the lamb rack and season it well with salt and black pepper,

Place it into a roasting tray and put onto a medium heat with a little splash of oil,

Brown it all over in the tray

Drizzle the honey over the skin side,

Place the garlic and thyme into the roasting tray and sit the lamb on top,

 

Pop it into the oven @180c for 15 minutes to produce medium rare or longer if you like it cooked more,

Remove the lamb from the tray and let it rest, keeping it warm,

Pour off any fat from the tray, place back onto a medium heat and add the gravy,

Let this simmer gently for 5 minutes and then add the damson relish,

Stir well and season lightly, cut the lamb into 6 nice cutlets,

Scoop the sweet potato mash into the centre of warmed plates,

 

Neatly sit the lamb on top and spoon over the gravy,

Buttered peas and roast parsnips will go very well with this dish.

 

 


A Warm salad of Howbarrow Chard and Mizuna,

with Savin Hill Black Pudding,

crisp bacon and Brazil nut oil and damson gin dressing.

 

Serves 4,

 

150g of each Chard and Mizuna, well washed and drained,

8oz / 250g savin hill black pudding,

4oz / 100g savin hill middle white back bacon,

16 cherry tomatoes,

2 tablespoons Brazil nut oil,

1 tablespoon cowmire damson gin,

1 tablespoon olive oil,

 

First place the bacon onto a tray and put in the oven @ 180c until crisp and sizzling,

Leave it to cool down, and then chop it into 1cm pieces,

Put the black pudding onto a tray and place it into the oven for 10 minutes @ 160c,

Let it cool down and then cut it into 2cm cubes,

 

Place all the leaves into a bowl and toss lightly together,

Whisk together the oils and the gin, season lightly with salt and black pepper,

Place neat mounds of the leaves onto plates,

Sit the black pudding pieces around the leaves and then scatter with the bacon pieces,

Lightly drizzle with the dressing,

A sprinkle of chopped parsley will set this salad off a treat.

 

 


                                                               



British White Beef Fillet with Asparagus and Fondant potatoes.


4 portions,

Take 4 x 8oz / 250g Savin Hill British white beef fillets,

16 spears of Jim Hadwins Mansergh Hall Asparagus,

16 cherry tomatoes,

2 large potatoes, (peeled)

12 small button mushrooms,

1 x large bag of baby spinach, well washed and drained,

200 ml chicken stock


 

First take the potatoes and cut them in half widthways,

Use a metal ring or pastry cutter to push through the halves to create neat discs,

Trim them with a knife to make them even sized,

Take a good frying pan and place it onto a medium heat,

Add a little splash of vegetable oil and add the potato discs,

Let them sizzle away for a few minutes until they have browned well on the bottom,

Turn them over and season well,

Carefully add warm stock to come half way up the potatoes,

Add a small knob of butter,

Let this simmer for 5 minutes then place the pan into a hot oven 180c / gas 7

For 20 minutes until the potatoes are cooked,

Add more stock if necessary as it reduces away in the oven

 

Take a char grill pan and place it onto a high heat,

Place the beef fillets onto a plate, drizzle with oil and season well all over,

Carefully place the fillets into the char grill pan so they sizzle loudly and start cooking,

Then cook on both sides to your preference,

Remove the fillets from the pan and keep them warm to rest,

Add the asparagus to the hot grill pan and let it cook for 2 minutes on each side,

Place the cherry tomatoes and button mushrooms into the same pan and let them cook for 5 minutes,

Place them onto the dish with the fillets,

Place the spinach into a pan with a small knob of butter, season well and gently wilt it on a medium heat,

Drain well and keep warm,

 

Sit the fondant potatoes into the middle of the plates,

Neatly place a mound of the drained spinach on top of the potato,

Proudly sit the fillets on top of the spinach,

Now neatly arrange the asparagus, cherry tomatoes and button mushrooms around the dish,

Spoon over some of the cooking juices from the pan and serve.

 



Baked Lemons filled with Morecambe bay Shrimps

and Keldthwaite gold cheese.

 4 portions,

This recipe can be doubled or trebled for a party food.

 

Take 2 medium sized lemons,

2 pots of Morecambe bay brown shrimps in butter,

2oz / 50g of softened keldthwaite gold cheese, skin removed,

A small sprig of each fresh coriander and parsley,

Fresh ground black pepper,

 

First cut the lemons in half widthways,

Then carefully cut a small slice from the ends so the lemon halves sit steady and level,

Take a knife and carefully cut all around the inside rim and remove the pulp,

 

Then use a teaspoon to carefully scrape out as much pulp from the inside of the lemon cup,

Now place the shrimps into a bowl, add the chopped coriander and parsley,

 

Season well with the pepper and mix all well,

 

Use a spoon to fill the lemon cups with the shrimps and pack them in well,

Neatly spread the cheese on top,

Place the lemons onto a baking dish and place them into a hot oven 180c / gas 7

For 10 minutes until the cheese has browned,

Remove them from the oven and leave them to sit for 5 minutes before tucking in with crusty bread,

 

 


A few more ingredients come into Fruition this month.



Parsley Scones.

Ingredients
140g/5oz plain flour
small handful of fresh flatleaf parsley, chopped
1 tbsp baking powder
85g/3oz mild cheese, grated
110ml/4fl oz milk
1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped
olive oil


Method
1. To make the scones, place the flour, parsley, baking powder, cheese, milk and garlic into a food processor and blend together well to combine and form a dough.
2. Shape the mixture into 4-6 small patties and flatten down carefully using your hands.
3. Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan and fry the scones for 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden.
4. Serve.

Parsley sauce ( "How Nick Makes it")

Ingredients
25g/1oz butter
25g/1oz plain flour
600ml/1 pint milk
salt and white pepper
2 tbsp parsley, freshly chopped


Method
1. Melt the butter in a saucepan.
2. Stir in the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes.
3. Take the pan off the heat and gradually stir in the milk to get a smooth sauce. Return to the heat and, stirring all the time, bring to the boil.
4. Simmer gently for 8-10 minutes and season with salt and white pepper.
5. Stir in the parsley and serve.


Parsley Pesto.

Ingredients
For the parsley pesto:
30g/1oz flatleaf parsley leaves (no stalks)
1-2 garlic cloves, crushed
40g/1½oz freshly grated parmesan
30g/1oz pine nuts
75ml/2½fl oz extra virgin olive oil
salt


Method
1. Put all the ingredients except the oil and salt into the food processor. Whiz for a second or two, add the oil and a little salt. Taste and correct seasoning.


Seared Tuna with Avocado puree and Radish and Apple Salad.

Shiso and diakon cress are available at some specialist Asian grocers; substitute a mix of rocket leaves and mixed soft herbs if unavailable.

Ingredients
For the tuna
200g/7oz fresh tuna, cut into a cylinder shape (alternatively you can use a thick tuna steak)
½ tsp cloves
½ tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp white peppercorns
½ tsp black peppercorns
For the avocado purée
1 avocado
1 lime, juice only
2-3 drops Tabasco sauce
For the salad
1 apple, cored, thinly sliced and cut into matchsticks
2 red radishes, finely sliced
1 punnet shiso cress
1 punnet daikon cress
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil


Method
1. For the tuna, place all the spices into a grinder and grind to a fine mix.
2. Roll the tuna in the spice mix, coating all sides.
3. Heat a frying pan until hot then sear the tuna on each side for 30 seconds. Remove from the pan and roll tightly in cling film and place in the fridge.
4. For the avocado purée, peel and stone the avocado then place into a food blender with the lime juice and Tabasco and blend until smooth. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper and set to one side.
5. For the salad, place the apple, radishes, shiso and daikon cress in a bowl and toss to combine. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and stir in the olive oil.
6. To serve, divide the avocado purée between two serving plates.
7. Remove the tuna from the fridge and remove the cling film. Cut the tuna into 5mm thick slices, season with salt and pepper and place 3-4 slices on each plate. Pile the salad to one side of the tuna and serve.


Duck and Radish Crostini with Feta Salad.


Ingredients
For the crostini
1 lemon, juice only
100g/3½oz radish, grated
50g/2oz smoked duck, chopped
2 tbsp fresh basil leaves, torn
½ ciabatta loaf
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
fresh parsley leaves, to garnish
For the feta salad
1 tbsp olive oil
½ lemon, juice only
5 Little Gem lettuce leaves
100g/3½oz feta cheese, crumbled
1 tbsp chopped chervil
50g/2oz smoked duck breast, shredded
4 radishes
salt and freshly ground black pepper


Method
1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
2. To make the crostini, heat a small frying pan. Add the lemon juice and grated radish and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the duck and basil and cook for a further few minutes.
3. Heat a griddle pan until smoking. Slice the ciabatta in half horizontally, drizzle with the oil and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Chargrill for 1 minute on each side, then place the warm radish mixture on the ciabatta slices and garnish with parsley.
4. For the feta salad, mix together the olive oil and lemon juice in a large bowl. Toss in the lettuce, feta, chervil, duck and radishes. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
5. Serve the crostini on a plate with the salad.


Lemon, Chilli and White Radish salad.


Ingredients
150g/5½oz mooli (white radish), peeled and finely sliced
1 lemon, juice only
1 tbsp sesame oil
pinch dried chilli flakes
½ tsp sesame seeds


Method
1. Place all the ingredients into a bowl and mix well.
2. To serve, place the salad onto a serving plate.


                            February 2007.


Basic Pancakes with Lemon and Sugar.

Ingredients
For the pancake mixture:
110g/4oz plain flour, sifted
pinch of salt
2 eggs
200ml/7fl oz milk mixed with 75ml/3fl oz water
50g/2oz butter
To serve:
caster sugar
lemon juice
lemon wedges


Method
Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl with a sieve held high above the bowl so the flour gets a airing. Now make a well in the centre of the flour and break the eggs into it. Then begin whisking the eggs - any sort of whisk or even a fork will do - incorporating any bits of flour from around the edge of the bowl as you do so.

Next gradually add small quantities of the milk and water mixture, still whisking (don't worry about any lumps as they will eventually disappear as you whisk). When all the liquid has been added, use a rubber spatula to scrape any elusive bits of flour from around the edge into the centre, then whisk once more until the batter is smooth, with the consistency of thin cream. Now melt the 50g/2oz of butter in a pan. Spoon 2 tbsp of it into the batter and whisk it in, then pour the rest into a bowl anduse it to lubricate the pan, using a wodge of kitchen paper to smear it round before you make each pancake.

Now get the pan really hot, then turn the heat down to medium and, to start with, do a test pancake to see if you're using the correct amount of batter. I find 2 tbsp is about right for an 18cm/7in pan. It's also helpful if you spoon the batter into a ladle so it can be poured into the hot pan in one go. As soon as the batter hits the hot pan, tip it around from side to side to get the base evenly coated with batter. It should take only half a minute or so to cook; you can lift the edge with a palette knife to see if it's tinged gold as it should be. Flip the pancake over with a pan slice or palette knife - the other side will need a few seconds only - then simply slide it out of the pan onto a plate.
Stack the pancakes as you make them between sheets of greaseproof paper on a plate fitted over simmering water, to keep them warm while you make the rest.

To serve, spinkle each pancake with freshly squeezed lemon juice and caster sugar, fold in half, then in half again to form triangles, or else simply roll them up. Serve sprinkled with a little more sugar and lemon juice and extra sections of lemon.

American pancakes.

Ingredients
250g/9oz plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sea salt
3 tbsp sugar
250ml/9fl oz milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
50g/2oz unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for cooking
For the maple butter syrup
80ml/3fl oz maple syrup
25g/1oz unsalted butter


Method
1. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar into a bowl.
2. Mix the milk, eggs and the melted butter in a large jug, then add the flour mixture and mix quickly to make a batter - don't worry about any lumps.
3. Heat a cast iron frying pan or flat-surfaced griddle until medium-hot, grease lightly with the extra butter and pour in the batter in batches to make rounds 8-10cm/3-4in in diameter.
4. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until bubbles form on top of the pancakes and the underside is golden, then flip each one over and cook for one minute.
5. Keep the pancakes warm in the oven while you cook the remaining batches.
6. Heat the maple syrup and butter together in a small pan or in the microwave.
7. Stack the pancakes on warmed plates and pour over the buttery syrup.

To make cottage cheese pancakes, make the batter as above then stir in eight tablespoons of cottage cheese and cook as above. Serve with fresh berries, cherry or blackcurrant jam and crème fraîche, sour cream or thick yoghurt.

Souffle Crepes with Brazil Nuts,Chocolate and Banana.

For the crepe
55g/2oz plain flour
1 tbsp caster sugar
1 free-range egg
enough milk to form a batter
10g/2 tsp butter for cooking
For the soufflé
2 free-range eggs, separated
4 tbsp caster sugar
2 tsp butter for cooking
2 bananas, peeled and chopped
30g/1oz chocolate, chopped
30g/1oz brazil nuts, chopped
Method
1. Preheat oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7.
2. Place the flour and caster sugar into a bowl. Whisk in the egg and add just enough milk to form a batter, whisking until you have reached the consistency of double cream.
3. For the soufflé, place the egg yolks and sugar into a bowl and whisk togetherto combine.
4. Place the egg whites into a clean bowl and whisk until the mixture forms stiff peaks,when the whisk is removed.Carefully fold the egg white mixture into the whisked yolks.
5. Melt the butter in an ovenproof saucepan over a medium heat, and pour in a little of the crepe mixture, tilting the pan so the batter covers the base. Cook until the underside of the crepe is golden.
6. Place the chopped banana, nuts and chocolate onto half of the crepe and top with the soufflé mixture.
7. Fold the crepe in half with a spatula and transfer into the oven and cook for eight minutes, or until risen.
8. To serve, dust with icing sugar.

Blueberry Pancakes with Pancetta.

Ingredients
For the pancakes
200g/7oz self-raising flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
50g/2oz caster sugar
1 egg
50g/2oz melted butter
250ml/9 fl oz milk
125g/4½oz cottage cheese
225g/8oz blueberries
15g/½oz unsalted butter
To serve
8 rashers pancetta
4 eggs
a little extra butter, melted
maple syrup


Method
1. Mix the flour, bicarbonate of soda and sugar together in a bowl.
2. In a separate bowl combine one egg with the 50g (2oz) melted butter, milk and cottage cheese then add this to the flour mix and stir together to make a batter.
3. Stir in the blueberries.
4. Lightly oil a frying pan and preheat over a medium heat. Spoon a small ladleful of the pancake batter into the pan and cook for one minute on each side, until golden.
5. Repeat until you have used all the batter.
6. Meanwhile, poach the four eggs in boiling water for 3-4 minutes and grill the pancetta until crispy.
7. Serve two pancakes per person, topped with a drizzle of melted butter, two slices of pancetta or bacon, one poached egg and a drizzle maple syrup.

Orange and Basil pancakes.

Ingredients
1 orange, juice only
1 tbsp white wine
30g/1oz caster sugar
1 orange, peeled and segmented
1 tsp Grand Marnier (optional)
For the pancakes
2 eggs
150ml/5fl oz milk
75g/2½oz plain flour
1-2 tbsp basil, shredded
butter, for greasing


Method
1. Place the orange juice into a pan over a moderate heat with the white wine and caster sugar. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until caramelised.
2. Add the orange segments, shake the pan to coat, then add the Grand Marnier, if using.
3. Cook for another minute or two.
4. Meanwhile, to make the pancakes, whisk together the eggs, the milk, the flour and the basil, to form a thick batter.
5. Grease a crèpe pan with the butter, and pour a ladle-full of batter into the pan.
6. Cook for 1-2 minutes on each side.
7. Fold pancakes in half and then in half again.
8. Repeat with the remaining mixture, and pancakes.
9. When all have been cooked, place in the caramelised orange mixture, heat through for a further minute, and then serve.


This month I'm also creating recipes using as many ingredients as I can that are in season now in February.


Cinnamon Toast with Roasted Rhubarb and Yoghurt.

Ingredients
For the cinnamon toast
100ml/3½fl oz double cream
2 free-range eggs, beaten
1 tbsp soft brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
2 thick slices white bread
25g/1oz unsalted butter
For the yoghurt
100g/3½oz Greek yoghurt
50ml/2fl oz honey
For the roasted rhubarb
100g/3½oz rhubarb, chopped
25g/1oz brown sugar


Method
1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
2. For the cinnamon toast, place the cream, eggs, sugar and cinnamon into a bowl and whisk to combine.
3. Dip the bread slices into the cream mixture until thoroughly soaked.
4. Melt the butter in a large frying pan and fry the bread for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until golden-brown. Set aside to keep warm.
5. For the yoghurt, place the yoghurt and honey into a bowl and mix well.
6. For the rhubarb, place the chopped rhubarb into a small ovenproof frying pan and sprinkle with the sugar. Cook over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes, then transfer to the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes.
7. To serve, place the toast onto a serving plate along with the roasted rhubarb and the yoghurt.


Spiced Winter Squash Stuffed Peppers.

This dish can be made without the bacon and using vegetable stock instead.

Ingredients
900g/2lb squash
2 tbsp chicken stock
1 tbsp olive oil
1 Leek, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small carrot, finely chopped
3 rashers streaky bacon, cut into 1in dice
2 tbsp fresh thyme
¼ cup dry white wine
1 cup cannellini beans
4 romero peppers (or any red pepper)


Method
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
2. Cut squash in half and de-seed. Place cut side down on a baking sheet and bake for one hour or until tender.
3. Meanwhile, grill peppers until blistered, put in a plastic bag for 10 minutes, then peel the skins away. Cut one side open and de-seed, keeping them intact for presentation.
4. Heat oil and sauté minced garlic, Leek, carrot and bacon. After about 3 minutes add the thyme and wine and cook until the wine reduces to a syrup.
5. Remove squash from the oven and process the flesh with the stock.
6. Add the squash to the Leek and garlic mixture and gently stir in the beans. Chill.
7. Stuff peppers with the squash mixture and put in a small roasting pan covered with tin foil. Bake for 30 minutes and serve piping hot.


Lobster a L' Amoricaine.

This dish can be made using a pre-cooked Lobster if you don't fancy the prospect of using a "Live" one,

But remeber not to overcook the meat as it is cooked already.

Ingredients
2 live lobsters, each weighing about 750-900g/1½-2lb

1 large Leek finely sliced and well washed and drained,
85ml/3fl oz olive oil
50g/2oz shallots, finely chopped
1 tbsp cognac
2 garlic cloves, chopped finely
750g/1½lb fresh plum tomatoes, skinned, seeded and chopped
1 tbsp roughly chopped tarragon
85ml/3fl oz dry white wine
1 tsp sugar
600ml/1 pint fish stock


Method
1. Cut the live lobsters in half lengthways. Pull each tail section away from the head section and cut each section of the tail into 4-5 pieces.
2. Break the claw sections apart and crack each section so that the meat can be extracted easily later. The easiest way to do this is with the thickest part of a large knife.
3. Put the olive oil into a heavy-based pan, big enough to hold all the pieces of lobster. Sweat the onion,Leek and garlic in the olive oil until they are beginning to soften, then add all the pieces of lobster.
4. Turn up the heat a little and turn the lobster pieces over until they are beginning to colour red.
5. Add the cognac and let the alcohol boil off. Add the tomatoes, chopped tarragon, white wine, sugar and fish stock. Cover. Leave the lobsters to cook through for about 8 minutes.
6. Remove the lobster pieces and keep warm. Return the pan to the heat and reduce the sauce by half.
7. When the sauce has reduced, return the lobster pieces to the sauce, heat through, and transfer to an attractive serving dish.

Pan Roasted Goose Breast,

with Roast Celeriac and a leek and Rhubarb Sauce.

Ingredients
½ goose breast
salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the roast Celeriac
½ a Celeriac chopped into large chunks
50g/1¾oz butter
1 tbsp olive oil

For the leek and Rhubarb sauce
25g/1oz butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 leek, washed and roughly chopped
1 stick of peeled and finely chopped Rhubarb
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
4 tbsp soft brown sugar


Method
1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
2. Season the goose breast with salt and freshly ground black pepper and place, skin-side down into a hot oven-proof frying pan. Cook for five minutes until golden. Turn and cook for another minute.
3. Drain the fat from the goose pan and transfer to the preheated oven for ten minutes, or until cooked through. Take out once cooked and leave to rest.
4. Meanwhile, place the celeriac into a saucepan of boiling water and cook for five minutes. Drain and set aside.
5. In a separate oven-proof frying pan, melt the butter with the oil. Add the cooked swede and transfer to the preheated oven to roast for five minutes, or until golden.
6. For the leek and rhubarb sauce, heat the oil and melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the leeks and cook for five minutes until soft.
7. Add the rhubarb, balsamic vinegar and brown sugar and cook for a further ten minutes.
8. To serve, place the goose breast on a warm plate with the roasted celeriac Spoon over the leek and rhubarb sauce.


Chicory Gratin.

Ingredients
30g/1oz unsalted buter
110g/4oz chicory leaves
150ml/5fl oz double cream
½ glass white wine
55g/2oz Blengdale Blue cheese
110g/4oz water biscuits
55g/2oz unsalted butter


Method
1. Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7.
2. Gently melt the butter in a large pan. Braise the chicory leaves in the pan for 2-3 minutes.
3. Pour in the cream, white wine and cheese and simmer for 3-4 minutes.
4. Remove from the heat and pour the mixture into an ovenproof dish.
5. Place the biscuits in a food processor and blend to the consistency of fine breadcrumbs.
6. Gently melt the butter in a frying pan and pour in the biscuit crumbs. Mix together.
7. Remove from the heat and sprinkle the biscuit crumbs on top of the chicory mixture.
8. Bake in the oven for 4-5 minutes or until golden.
9. Serve.


Cabbage Confit and Leek Salad.

Ingredients
For the cabbage 'confit'
1 tbsp olive oil
½ red cabbage, shredded
50ml/2fl oz red wine
100g/3½ oz caster sugar
100ml/3½fl oz hot chicken stock (vegetarians may substitute vegetable stock)
For the leeks
1 tbsp olive oil
1 leek, cleaned and sliced into thin rounds,
salt and freshly ground black pepper
To serve
1 tbsp parsley
1 tbsp chives
100g/3½oz breadcrumbs


Method
1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
2. To make the cabbage, heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the shredded cabbage and red wine and cook for three minutes.
3. Add the sugar and cook, stirring well, for two minutes.
4. Add the chicken stock, bring to the boil and reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer for 5-6 minutes, or until the cabbage has softened.
5. To make the leeks, heat a pan until smoking. Place the leeks and the olive oil into a large bowl and toss together, seasoning, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
6. Place the leeks onto the hot pan to cook for two minutes on each side, then transfer to the oven to roast for five minutes.
7. To serve, spoon some of the cabbage into a warm bowl, place the roasted leeks over and sprinkle over some of the herbs and breadcrumbs.


Mussels in Bread Pots with Leeks and White Wine.

Ingredients
4 large, round crusty bread rolls
175g/6oz butter
900g/2lb mussels, cleaned
50ml/2fl oz dry white wine
2 large or 4 small leeks, cleaned and finely chopped
2 tbsp/1fl oz/30ml double cream
1 tsp beurre manie (1 teaspoon soft butter mixed with 1/2 a teaspoon plain flour)
1 tbsp chopped chives
salt and freshly ground pepper


Method
1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
2. Cut a thin slice off the top of each bread roll and set aside. Scoop out all the soft bread from inside each roll with a teaspoon, leaving a wall about 5mm/¼in thick. Melt 50g/2oz of the butter and use to brush the inside of each roll and the lids. Place them on a baking sheet and bake for 5-7 minutes, until crisp and golden. Keep warm.
3. Put the mussels into a large pan with the wine, then cover and cook over a high heat for about 3 minutes, shaking the pan now and then, until they have just opened. Tip them into a colander set over a bowl to collect all the cooking liquor. Remove the mussels from their shells, cover and set aside.
4. Melt another 25g/1oz of the butter in a pan. Add the leeks, cover and cook for 4-5 minutes, until soft. Add all the mussel cooking liquor except the last tablespoon or two (which might contain some grit), then bring to the boil and simmer until reduced by half. Stir in the remaining butter, the double cream and the beurre manie. Simmer for 1 minute until slightly thickened.
5. Stir the mussels, chives and some seasoning into the sauce. Spoon the mixture into the warm rolls, partly cover with the lids and serve.


Pot Roast Guinea Fowl with Shallot Confit.

Ingredients
2 guinea fowl legs and breasts (separated into thigh and drumstick)
1 leek, chopped and well washed,
1 carrot, chopped
2 sticks celery, chopped
½ garlic clove
1 branch thyme
4 tbsp white wine
8 shallots, peeled and left whole,
chicken stock
200g/7oz frozen or fresh green peas
handful of chervil
handful of tarragon
salt and freshly ground pepper
small knob of butter


Method
1. Colour the leg and breast in a hot pan with a little olive oil.
2. Soften the leeks, carrot and celery in a saucepan with the thyme and garlic and a little olive oil.
3. Transfer the guinea fowl to the saucepan and pour over the white wine.
4. Place the saucepan in the oven and cook for about 15 minutes at 160C/325F/Gas 3.
5. Take the shallots and fry slightly in some butter until lightly coloured.
6. Add a little chicken stock to the pan and cover with foil, roast in the oven for about 20 minutes at 180C/350F/Gas 4.
7. To make the purée: on a low heat cover the peas with some chicken stock and add a knob of butter, the tarragon, chervil and a little salt and pepper. Bring to the boil and then blitz with a hand blender.
8. When the Shallots are cooked, spoon the guinea fowl with all its cooked vegetables onto warmed plates,

9.Sit the shallots neatly around the guinea fowl add a spoonful of the puree and serve.


Seared Halibut with Celeriac mash and  Parsnips.

Ingredients
For the mash
150g/5½oz celeriac, peeled and cubed
pinch cumin seeds
30g/1oz butter
2 tbsp double cream
salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the halibut
150g/5oz piece of halibut
1 tbsp olive oil
½ lemon, juice only
For the sauce
1 tbsp white wine
100ml/3½fl oz double cream
½ lemon, juice only
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp chopped chives
For the Parsnips
1 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, chopped
pinch of chilli powder
100g/3½oz Parsnips, cut into 5mm thin slices,
4 cherry tomatoes, halved


Method
1. For the mash, heat a pan of boiling water over a high heat. When boiling add the celeriac and the cumin seeds and boil until tender. Drain and mash adding the butter, cream and salt and freshly ground black pepper.
2. For the halibut, heat the olive oil and in a frying pan. When hot add the halibut and fry for 3-4 minutes on each side until cooked through. Then add the lemon juice.
3. For the sauce, place the white wine, cream, lemon juice and mustard together into a saucepan over a medium heat and simmer for two minutes. Add the chopped chives.
4. For the Parsnips, heat the oil in a frying pan over high heat and stir-fry the garlic and chilli powder for one minute.
5. Add the parsnips and fry for another three minutes.
6. Add the tomatoes and cook for further one minute.
7. To serve, place the mash into the centre of a serving plate with the fish on top. Drizzle the cream sauce on top of and around the fish. Serve with stir-fried Parsnips.


Baba Ganoush.

This fantastic middle eastern spread goes great with crusty bread,

Juicy Olives and Salamis.

Ingredients
3 tbsp olive oil
2 aubergines, diced
2 garlic cloves, peeled
½ lemon, juice only
4 tbsp fresh basil


Method
1. Heat the olive oil in a small frying pan before sautéing the aubergines and garlic until soft.


2. Transfer the aubergines and the rest of the ingredients to a food processor,season well with salt and pepper,


3. Blend until a rough paste is formed.


4. Scrape the baba ganoush into a bowl and serve.




                              January 2007.


Charred Tuna with Moroccan Spices.


Ingredients
2x85g/3oz cubes of Tuna fillet about 5cm/2in diameter
For the marinade:
2 tbsp apricot jam
juice of ½ lemon
1 tsp each of ground Cumin, coriander and paprika
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
salt and black pepper
To serve:
handful of french beans
10 kalamata olives, bought with stone in
1 red pepper roasted and skinned or ½ jar bought roasted peppers, diced
½ hard boiled egg, chopped
extra virgin olive oil
sprig of basil
Balsamic vinegar


Method
1. Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a bowl, and rub into the tuna. Leave to marinate for a minimum of 30 minutes.

To cook the tuna, simply place into a hot non-stick frying pan and cook on all sides until the surface is charred but the flesh inside is still pink. The outside will go black but don t worry, this is just the effect you want to achieve. Allow the tuna to rest before cutting in half diagonally.
2. Whilst the tuna is cooking, blanch the French beans in well salted water, drain and rinse in cold water. Split them in half lengthways.

Remove the stones from the olives. Place into a bowl with the diced red pepper and chopped egg and mix everything together gently. Season the salad with salt, pepper and a little olive oil.

To serve : Place a heap of salad in the centre of the plate, top with the tuna pieces add a sprig of basil and drizzle around with balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil.


Keldthwaite Gold Cheese Mousse with Sweet Fennel Buscuits.

Ingredients
For the mousse:
170g/6oz Keldthwaite Gold, skin removed and roughly chopped
2 tbsp icing sugar
85g/3oz Greek yoghurt
150ml/5fl oz double cream, whipped
110g/4oz black grapes
55g/2oz pine nuts,


For the biscuits:
½ fennel, thinly sliced
110g/4oz caster sugar
110g/4oz butter
110g/4oz plain flour
1 egg


Method
1. Preheat oven to 250C/500F/Gas 9.
2. Place the fennel and 55g of sugar in a small saucepan.
3. Heat gently until the sugar melts and the fennel caramelises.
4. Prepare the biscuits by placing the butter, flour, 55g of the sugar and egg in a food processor.
5. Blitz to form a fairly dry dough. Remove dough from processor, knead and roll to a thickness of 1cm.
6. Use a small pastry cutter to cut biscuits from the dough. Place the biscuits on a baking tray.
7. Spoon a little caramelised fennel on each biscuit, then bake for 5 minutes, or until golden and crisp.
8. Make the mousse by combining the Keldthwaite Gold, icing sugar, yoghurt and whipped cream.
9. Take a tall dessert glass and place a few grapes in the base.
10. Sprinkle some pine nuts on top. Spoon the camembert mousse on top of the pine nuts.
11. Finish the mousse with some more grapes and pine nuts.
12. Remove the biscuits from the oven, place on a small plate and serve along with the mousse.


Beetroot, Pancetta and Mixed Bean Soup.

75g sliced pancetta cut into very small pieces,

500g grated raw beetroot,

100g finely chopped onions,

100g finely chopped leeks,

2 crushed cloves of garlic,

1 split and seeded red chili,finely chopped,

1 sprig of fresh rosemary,

1.5 litres chicken or vegetable stock,

1 tin of red kidney or adzuki beans,washed and drained,

2 teaspoons tomato puree,

3 tablespoons cream,

To finnish the soup you will need a gastrique,

which is 1 tablespoon of white sugar boiled with 2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar,

start by gently frying the pancetta in a pan until lightly browned,

add all the vegetables and gently cook for 10 minutes until soft but not browned,

add the stock and the rosemary,

season lightly and simmer for 20 minutes,

add the beans and the cream along with the gastrique mix,

let it simmer for 5 more minutes and then add either a sprinkling of chopped parsley or fresh coriander.

serve with crusty bread.



Chocolate Fridge Cake with Pecans and meringues.

This is one I Learned from Jamie Oliver,

But it " so Works "

200g digestive biscuits
110g whole pecans, roughly chopped
110g pistachio nuts, peeled
10 glace cherries
2 ready-made meringue nests
150g unsalted butter
1 tablespoon golden syrup
200g dark chocolate  This chocolate cake is wicked! And even better, you don't need to do any baking.

Break the biscuits into small pieces directly into a large bowl. Add the pecans, pistachio nuts and cherries and mix together. Put the rest of the ingredients into a separate, heatproof bowl and put on a low heat over a pan of simmering water until the butter and chocolate have melted.

Combine the biscuit mix with the chocolate mixture. Line a 30 x 20 cm plastic container with clingfilm, leaving plenty of extra film at the edges to help turn the cake out later. Put everything into the container, place in the fridge to firm up then turn out and cut into chunky slices.

This cake can be kept in an airtight container for a few days, and it actually improves in flavour!




Herbed Salmon on Savoy Cabbage Salad.

Ingredients
For the salmon
2 25g/1oz fresh salmon, cut into cubes
3 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
3 tbsp chopped fresh chives
1 tsp vegetable oil
For the Savoy cabbage salad
2 tbsp sesame seeds
1 garlic clove, chopped
3 tbsp water
½ lemon, juice only
150g/5½oz Savoy cabbage, shredded


Method
1. Place the salmon, coriander and chives into a bowl and mix together gently.
2. Heat the oil in a small pan and when hot add the salmon and cook for 1-2 minutes, or until cooked through and golden on all sides.
3. For the Savoy cabbage salad, place the sesame seeds, garlic, water and lemon juice into a food processor and blend to a smooth dressing.
4. Place the shredded Savoy cabbage into a large bowl and add the dressing, tossing well to coat.
5. To serve, place the cabbage salad into the centre of a plate and top with the salmon pieces.


Treacle Marinated Lamb Fillet with Caraway Carrots.

Ingredients
For the marinade
1 litre/1 pint 15fl oz water
50g/2oz salt
50g/2oz sugar
½ tbsp black treacle
½ tsp ground allspice berries
5 juniper berries
½ tsp black peppercorns
2 sage leaves
2 bay leaves
1 garlic head, halved
2 shallots, peeled and sliced
1 sprig of thyme
For the lamb
4 lamb fillets
2 tbsp vegetable oil
For the carrots
4 carrots, cut into 1cm/½in cubes
150ml/5fl oz double cream
1 tsp caraway seeds
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp unsalted butter
½ lemon, juice only
sprig of chervil
For the sauce
250ml/9fl oz chicken stock
125ml/4½fl oz balsamic vinegar


Method
1. To make the marinade, place all the ingredients into a pan and bring to the boil.
2. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
3. Add the lamb to the marinade, cover, and leave overnight in the fridge.
5. Preheat oven to 180C/355F/Gas 4.
4. For the carrots, place the carrots in a pan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil and simmer until tender.
5. Drain off the water, leaving two tablespoons behind.
6. Pour double cream in and mix well.
7. Heat a separate dry pan and add the caraway seeds. Cook for 1-2 minutes.
8. Mix the seed with the carrot and add the butter.
9. For the sauce, reduce the stock and the vinegar until thickened to the consistency of treacle.
10. Remove the meat from the marinade and pat dry on kitchen towels.
11. Heat a pan with a drizzle of oil until hot and add the lamb. Sear on all sides.
12. Transfer to an ovenproof dish and place in the oven to cook for a further 15-20 minutes.
12. Remove and serve with the carrots and the sauce on an oblong serving dish.



                                       December 2006.



Roast Goose with Prune and Chestnut Stuffing.

Ingredients
Stuffing
450g/1lb prunes, pitted
240ml/8fl oz port
1kg/2.25lb fresh chestnuts
30g/1oz butter
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
6 stalks celery, chopped
4 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

Roast
5.4kg/12lb oven-ready goose with giblets
salt
pepper
cooking oil or butter


Method
Stuffing
1. Soak the prunes for one hour in the port.
2. Meanwhile prepare the chestnuts. Make a slit in the top of each one with a sharp knife. Put them in boiling water and simmer for ten minutes. Remove a few at a time with a slotted spoon. Wearing clean rubber gloves, slip off the outer and inner skins. Place the chestnuts in a large bowl.
3. Melt the butter in a large pan and add the onion, garlic and celery. Cook without browning until the onion has softened.
4. Add the chestnuts and prunes with the port they have been soaking in and simmer gently for 30 minutes.
5. Stir in the parsley, season with salt and pepper.

Roast
1. Remove the giblets and cook them in at least 2-3l/4-6 pint of water. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 3-4 hours then strain and thicken the stock to make the gravy.
2. Stuff the goose with the prune and chestnut stuffing, or as an alternative fill the body cavity with leek tops and chopped apple and cook the stuffing separately in a dish.
3. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
4. Prick the skin and rub salt and pepper all over it, then brush with cooking oil or butter. Cover the legs with spare fat taken from the inside of the goose.
5. Line a large, deep meat tin with foil so you can make a parcel of the goose. Place the goose on a trivet or rack in the meat tin, breast side up. If a trivet is not available, place the goose on the foil in the tin. Wrap the goose in foil, making sure there is double protection over the legs.
6. Place the goose in the oven, allowing 15 minutes per 0.45kg/1lb plus 20 minutes, thus 3½ hours for 12lb goose.
7. After the first hour baste the goose and make sure the legs are still covered and that the skin is not burning.
8. For the last half to three-quarters of an hour of cooking uncover the breast to brown, and baste again.
9. Lift the goose on to a carving dish to rest for approximately 20 minutes before carving. Keep covered.


Italian Christmas Cake with Pine Nuts.

Ingredients
extra virgin olive oil (mild, not peppery)
50g/1¾ amaretti biscuits, crushed
300g/10½oz whole shelled hazelnuts (unblanched)
250g/9oz high quality dark chocolate, broken into small pieces
200g/7oz light muscovado sugar
4 tbsp brandy
grated zest and juice of 1 large orange
100g/3½oz pine nuts, lightly toasted
6 large free-range eggs, separated
50g/1¾oz self-raising flour


Method
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas4. Lightly oil a deep, 24cm/9½in springform cake tin with the olive oil.
2. Tip the crushed amaretti biscuits into the tin and swirl around so the sides and base are coated with a fine dusting. Turn the tin upside down over a large mixing bowl to catch excess amaretti.
3. Place the hazelnuts and chocolate in a food processor and, using the pulse button, process on and off until you have a grainy consistency but not a fine paste. Tip this into the amaretti bowl and add the sugar, brandy, orange zest and juice and pine nuts. Stir to combine, then add the egg yolks, stirring well. Sift over the flour, folding in gently.
4. Whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff but not dry and gently fold this into the nutty mixture. Tip the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for about one hour or until a wooden skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
5. Remove to a wire rack and loosen off the sides of the tin. Allow to cool for an hour or so before carefully removing the base.
6. Eat at room temperature or slightly warm (so the chocolate melts a little).


Latvian Christmas Yellow Bread.

Ingredients
400ml/15fl oz full fat milk
675g/1¼lb plain flour
pinch of salt
75g/3oz unsalted butter
75g/3oz caster sugar
80g/3¼oz sultanas
2 sachets of dried yeast
5g/¼oz saffron, ground
2 medium eggs
fine zest of ½ lemon
50g/2oz nibbed or chopped almonds
beaten egg yolks to glaze
cardamom, freshly ground
icing sugar to dredge


Method
1. Bring milk and butter to room temperature.
2. Dissolve the yeast in half of the milk with 5g/1 tsp of the weighed sugar, leave in a warm place to foam (should take about 15 minutes).
3. Beat in the remaining ingredients except the flour and the almonds.
4. Mix in the flour till you have a smooth and elastic dough. Cover well with plastic film and place in fridge overnight.
5. Remove from the fridge and divide the dough into three. Knock back, on a lightly floured board, and roll into even lengths, a few feet long.
6. Plait the dough and pinch the ends to seal. Form into a ring and place on baking parchment on a tray, cover lightly with plastic film and prove till double in size.
7. Brush with the beaten yolk (let down with a little milk), then scatter over the almonds and a good pinch of the ground cardamom.
8. Place in the oven which has been preheated to 190C/375F/Gas 5 and bake for about 30 minutes till golden. When the base is tapped and sounds hollow, the loaf is done.
9. Remove from the oven and dredge generously with the icing sugar.



Sticky Toffee and Fig Pudding with Creme fraiche and Butterscotch.

Take,

6oz / 150g stoned chopped dried dates,

7oz / 175g plain flour,

1 teaspoon baking powder,

6oz / 150g caster sugar,

3oz / 75g butter,

1/2 a pint of boiling water,

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda,

2 x whole eggs,

1 tablespoon cocoa powder,

4 x fresh figs diced into 1 cm cubes,

For the butterscotch,

4oz / 100g unsalted butter,

4oz / 100g soft brown sugar,

6oz / 150g golden syrup,

gently melt together the butter with the syrup and sugar stirring well,

For the pudding,

First beat together the butter and sugar until light and creamy,

beat in the eggs one at a time until the mix is smooth,

place the dried dates into a bowl with the bicarbs and pour over the boiling water,

sift the flour with the baking powder and the cocoa into the butter mixture,

mix well with a wooden spoon,

pour in the date mixture and mix well,

pour the whole mix into a 10 " x 10" baking tray lined with parchment paper,

scatter the fresh diced figs over the surface,

bake @ 160c / gas 4 for 50 minutes,

remove the pudding from the oven and pour over a quarter of the butterscotch,

leave the pudding to sit for 10 minutes before serving with the rest of the butterscotch and a good dollop of creme fraiche,

" Its very Naughty but Very Nice "



Turkey kiev with broccoli florets, sweet potato crisps and tomato salsa.

Ingredients,


For the turkey kiev
200g/7oz turkey breast
100g/3½oz unsalted butter
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp fresh chervil, chopped
1 tsp fresh parsley, chopped
1 tsp fresh chives, chopped
pinch salt
100g/3½oz flour, seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 free-range eggs, beaten
100g/3½oz breadcrumbs
500ml/18fl oz vegetable oil,


For the broccoli florets
50g/1¾oz broccoli florets,


For the sweet potato crisps
50g/1¾oz sweet potato, very thinly sliced,


For the tomato sauce
1 tsp olive oil
½ onion, finely sliced
1 clove garlic, finely sliced
½ tsp paprika
½ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp dried chilli flakes
200g/7oz tinned chopped tomatoes
salt and freshly ground black pepper


Method
1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
2. To make the turkey kiev, place the turkey breast between two sheets of cling film. Place onto a strong flat surface and flatten out the breast wit a meat mallet or a rolling pin.
3. Place the butter, garlic and fresh herbs into a bowl with a pinch of salt. Mix together well with a wooden spoon.
4. Remove the cling film from the flattened turkey breast and spread the herb butter into the centre of the breast. Roll the turkey into a cylinder with the butter inside and seal with tooth picks.
5. Dredge the stuffed turkey in the flour, dip into the beaten egg then dip into the breadcrumbs, to coat. Dip into the egg again and then into the breadcrumbs.
6. Heat the vegetable oil in a deep, heavy bottomed saucepan until a breadcrumb sizzles and turns brown when added to it. (CAUTION: hot oil can be dangerous, do not leave unattended.)
7. Carefully add the kiev to the hot oil and deep-fry for five minutes, until golden and cooked through. Carefully remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen towels.
8. For the broccoli florets, blanch the florets in salted boiling water for three minutes, then drain and refresh by placing into ice-cold water for 20 seconds. Drain again and season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
9. To make the sweet potato crisps, carefully place the sweet potato slices into the hot oil and deep-fry until golden-brown. Carefully remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen towels. Sprinkle with salt to your taste.
10. To make the salsa, heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the garlic and onions and fry for 2-3 minutes to soften.
11. Add the spices and chilli flakes and fry for a further two minutes.
12. Add the tomatoes and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to simmer for 5-6 minutes to reduce the sauce by one third. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
13. To serve, place the kiev in the centre of a warm plate with the florets, sweet potato crisps and spicy salsa placed alongside.



Crispy Thai Turkey Salad.

Ingredients,


For the curry paste
1 chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped
½ leek, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 bunch coriander root, chopped
zest of 1 lime
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp fish sauce (nam pla)


For the turkey
200g/7oz turkey mince
2 tbsp oil
1 tbsp curry paste (see above)
salt and freshly ground black pepper,


For the salad
½ mango, sliced
½ red chilli, de-seeded and sliced
1 garlic clove, sliced
1 baby gem lettuce, broken up
handful fresh coriander
handful fresh basil
handful fresh mint,


For the dressing
juice of 1 lime
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp sesame oil


Method
1. For the curry paste, use a mini food processor to blend together all of the paste ingredients.
2. For the turkey, heat the oil in a wok over a high heat and then add the turkey mince, cooking for about 5 minutes, until golden and becoming crisp.
3. Add one tablespoon of the curry paste and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir well to coat and heat through. Set aside.
4. For the salad, mix together the ingredients in a bowl and divide between two plates.
5. For the dressing, mix together all of the ingredients.
6. Toss the dressing with the crispy turkey and serve on the salad.


Last Minute Christmas Cake,This is your last chance to make the cake for Christmas,

It will benefit from a couple of weeks soaking and resting.

Ingredients
250g/9oz self-raising flour
1½tsp mixed spice
½tsp ground cinnamon
¼tsp ground cloves
50g/1¾oz ground almonds
550g/18oz each raisins and sultanas
50g/1¾oz mixed peel
50g/1¾oz dried apricots, chopped
50g/1¾oz walnuts, roughly chopped
50g/1¾oz whole (unblanched) almonds, roughly chopped
250g/9oz unsalted butter, softened
200g/7oz dark muscovado sugar
grated zest and juice of 1 unwaxed lemon
5 large free-range eggs
200ml brandy, 100ml sherry, 100ml Guinness,

first take all the fruits and place them into a large bowl,

Pour over the alcohols and cover with a lid or cling film,leave them to steep for at least 2 days,

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas 2.
2. Sift the flour, spices and almonds into a bowl, then add the raisins,  sultanas, mixed peel, dried apricots, nuts and a pinch of salt. Stir thoroughly. In a separate bowl, cream the butter, sugar and lemon zest until fluffy, then beat in the eggs, one by one, adding a teaspoon of the flour mixture with each egg. Stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture with the lemon juice and brandy.
3. Spoon into the prepared tin. Level the top and bake for two hours. Very loosely cover with a sheet of greaseproof paper and continue to bake for another one hour, making three hours in total, but test for readiness after 3 hours' cooking. The cake is cooked when a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean and the sides have begun to shrink from the edges of the tin.
4. Remove to a wire rack. Once completely cold, wrap in foil and store in an airtight container, removing after two weeks to 'feed': unwrap, prick the top with a long skewer and spoon over one to two tablespoons brandy. Reseal as before.

you can cover the cake with marzipan and icing,

but i love it plain with a good  cheese.


Cranberry and Chilli Relish.

This goes great with all meats, pates, and cheeses,

Take,

1 x 500g bag of fresh Ocean Spray Cranberries,

2 x red chillies seeded and chopped very fine,

1 x crushed clove of garlic,

1 x small onion very finelly chopped,

1 tablespoon caster sugar,

3 x tablespoon cranberry jelly,

2 x tablespoon white wine vinegar,

200ml water,

first place the onion , garlic,water,sugar, chillies and vinegar into a pan and bring to a gentle simmer,

let this reduce by half,

add the cranberries and let them gently simmer away for 10 minutes,

add the cranberry jelly,

let this simmer for 5 more minutes then pour it all into a container and cool completely,

store in an airthight container for at least 3 days before eating it all and starting again.

serve it with pates, turkey, cheeses and any cold meats.




                       .....................................

                             November 2006.


Nick's Classic Treacle Tart.

This is one of those recipes i learned over 25 years ago and it's allways this time of year when we make it as when the weather is cold and grey,

this comfort pudding will allways cheer you up.

 

for the pastry.
250g plain flour
1 tbsp caster sugar
1 vanilla pod, scraped
125g Butter
1 medium egg

For the filling:
400g golden syrup
100g fresh breadcrumbs
zest of 1 orange
juice of ½ lemon

Method
1. To make the treacle tart, rub the butter into the flour and sugar in a mixing bowl until it resembles oatmeal.

2. Mix in the vanilla seeds and the egg and quickly bring together to form a dough. Wrap in cling film and chill for at least 20 minutes.

3. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas 4.

4. Roll out the chilled dough finely and use it to line a loose-based 23cm tart tin.

5. Prick the base of the pastry case with a fork and leave to rest in the fridge for 10 minutes.

6. Line the pastry case with baking parchment, fill with baking beans and bake blind for 10 minutes.

7. Remove the baking parchment and baking beans and bake the pastry case for a further 5 minutes until a light golden brown.

8. Meanwhile, prepare the filling. In a mixing bowl, mix together the golden syrup, breadcrumbs, lemon and orange zest and juices.

9. Fill the blind-baked pastry case with the golden syrup mixture.

10. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes.

serve with vanilla ice cream (homemade if you can)

or with custard.


Gingerbread.

1lb / 500g unsalted butter,

1lb / 500g caster sugar,

1lb / 500g golden syrup,

4 whole eggs,

1lb / 500g of  milk, ( weighed on the scales)

24 oz / 750g sifted plain white flour,

1oz / 25g ground ginger,

15g / 2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda.

place the butter, sugar and syrup in a bowl over a pan of simmering water,whisk until well dissolved,

whisk the eggs and milk together,sift the flour, ginger and bicarbonate of soda together,

whisk the milk and eggs into the butter mix,then stir in the flour mix to form a smooth mixture, pour into a large lined baking tin, bake at 160c for 1 and a 1/4 hours until dark and well set,

leave to cool completely and store in an airtight container for 2 days before use as this lets the ginger really settle in and gives that rich taste,



Shortbread biscuits.

1lb / 500g butter,

8oz / 250g caster sugar,

4oz / 100g ground rice,

20oz / 600g sifted plain white flour,

a couple of drops of vanilla extract,

 

cream the butter and sugar with the vanilla until white and fluffy,

then fold in the sifted flour and ground rice,

wrap in cling film and rest it in the fridge for 10 minutes,

roll out the pastry on a lighlty floured surface to 5mm thick,

cut into round biscuits,

carefully scoop onto lined baking sheets,

let them rest for 10 more minutes then bake at 160c for 10/15 minutes until lightly golden,

sprinkle with caster sugar and leave to cool completely,

store in an airtight container



                                  October 2006.


Coriander and Chilli butter-Stuffed Chicken,

with Rice and Beans.


For the rice and beans
30g/1oz unsalted butter
140g/5oz rice
110g/4oz kidney beans
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 scotch bonnet chilli
85ml/3fl oz coconut cream
200ml/7fl oz chicken stock
handful fresh mixed herbs, chopped

For the chicken
3 tbsp coriander, chopped
55g/2oz unsalted butter
1 chicken supreme
1-2 tbsp olive oil

To serve
½ head of broccoli, blanched and drained

1.Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
2. To make the rice, gently melt the butter in a saucepan and stir in the rice, beans, garlic, chilli and coconut cream. Sauté for 3-4 minutes over a gentle heat.
3. Pour in the chicken stock, bring to the boil and then reduce the heat and simmer for 10-12 minutes, or until the rice is tender.
4. For the chicken, mix the coriander and butter together until combined.
5. Stuff the herb butter under the chicken skin, and then drizzle the olive oil over.
6. Place the chicken on a non-stick baking tray and cook in the oven for 12-15 minutes or until thoroughly cooked.
7. Remove the rice from the heat and stir in the fresh herbs.
8. Remove the chicken from the oven and serve with the rice and beans and broccoli alongside.


The Best Fruit Scones.

From Mark Walker of the Old England Hotel in Bowness-Windermere.


4oz / 100g caster sugar

2oz / 50g rapeseed or vegetable oil

4 egg yolks

950g plain flour

2 +1/2oz /  65g baking powder

1/2 a pint / 10floz milk ( approx )

4oz / 100g sultanas,


whisk together the yolks,sugar and oil,

add a splash of the milk to make an emulsion,

sift the flour and baking powder onto a flat surface,

make a well in the center and add the emulsion with some of the milk,

gently mix with the sultanas to make a slightly sticky dough,

dust the work surface with flour and roll the dough out to 3cm thick,

dip your cutter into flour before cutting the scones and don't twist it when you push it through the dough,

sit the scones onto a lined baking tray,

brush lightly with a little beaten egg and milk,

leave them to rest for 10 minutes,

then bake at 160c until golden and very light. (15 / 18 min )




Blackberry and Apple Crumble with Lemon Mascarpone.

Ingredients
Filling:
3 large Bramley apples
30g/1¼oz butter
150g/5oz caster sugar
pinch of cinnamon
80g/3oz fresh Blackberries,

Topping:
50g/2oz unsalted butter, diced
110g/4oz plain flour
55g/2oz caster sugar
mint leaves
icing sugar.

1x 200g tub of Mascarpone cheese,

The juice and Zest of 1 small lemon.

Method1. Preheat oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
2. To make filling, peel, core and cut apples into six pieces. Cut each piece into 5mm/¼in thick slices.
3. Heat butter in saucepan. Add apples and gently sauté.
4. Add sugar and cinnamon. Continue stirring until apples are just cooked.
5. Add blackberries to apples and stir very gently.
6. To make the topping, lightly rub butter into flour and sugar until crumbly.
7. Spoon apples and blackberries into shallow, oval 23cm/9in ovenproof dish. Sprinkle crumble mixture over top until fruit is just covered.
8. Place in oven for 20 minutes or until light golden brown.

9. Mix the Mascarpone with the lemon juice.

 Serve With a spoonful of the Mascarpone.

 

 Baked olive oil sponge with passion fruit and pears.

5 medium eggs,

150g golden caster sugar,

50ml light olive oil,

150g plain flour,

2 tablespoons icing sugar,

8 passion fruit, halved, seeds sieved and juice reserved.

6 large pears peeled and cored,

10g unsalted butter,

1 tablespoon clear honey,


Grease and line a 23 cm spring form tin with parchment paper,


Start by halving the pears lengthways,


Place a good roasting tray onto the stove on a medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil,


Place the pears flat side down and gently sauté them without shaking the tray,


After 5 minutes add the butter and drizzle the honey all over the pears and place in the oven


on 180c / gas 5 for 15 minutes,


Remove from the oven and keep them warm,

Turn the oven down to 160c / gas 3,


Whisk the eggs until pale and thick,
                           
Add the caster sugar and whisk until the mixture triples its size,


Continue to whisk whilst adding the olive oil in a gentle trickle,


Sift and gently fold in the flour,


Pour the mixture into the lined tin and bake for 45 minutes, until the cake is springy and is shrinking from the sides of the tin,


Cool the cake for 15 minutes then carefully turn out onto a cooling rack,


Dredge the sponge with icing sugar, slice and serve with the pears on the side of the dish,


Drizzle the pears with the passion fruit juice and a few drops of the juice from the roasting tray,


A spoon full of crème fraiche


Is cheeky but perfectly acceptable,


 

 


                      ........................................

                              AUGUST 2006.

These are the Recipes I will be doing for the Food Lovers Festival,

On Sunday 13th August at Stonyhurst College.


Roast Cod Fillet with Tapenade,

And a cherry tomato and fennel risotto.

 
Take 2 x 8oz / 250g fresh cod fillets

For the tapenade.

4oz / 100g stoned black olives

1x small clove of garlic

8 x large fresh basil leaves

4 x fresh anchovie fillets

2 x tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Simply add all the tapenade ingredients into a food blender and whiz until thick and pasty.

For the cod fillet.

Run a sharp knife under the skin ¾ of the way through to create a flap,

Lift up the skin and spread a good spoonful of the tapenade onto the fillet and then fold the skin flap over to cover the tapenade,

Then when the risotto is half cooked,

Season well and place skin side down into a hot pan with a splash of olive oil,

Let this sauté on a high heat for 2 minutes then turn the fillet over and place into the oven @ 180c for 8 minutes,

For the risotto.

4oz / 100g Arborio rice

2 tablespoons finely chopped onion

2 tablespoons finely chopped fennel

6 of each red and yellow cherry tomatoes,

1oz / 25g butter

1pt / ½ a litre chicken stock

1 glass of white wine

Sea salt and black pepper.

Put the butter into a large sauté pan with the onions and fennel,

Gently fry them on a low heat for 5 minutes,

Turn up the heat to medium and add the wine,

Let the wine reduce until it is nearly all gone,

Add the rice and stir well,

Add the stock a ladle at a time until each ladleful is completely absorbed

Add the tomatoes, Season lightly and let it sit for 5 minutes

Spoon into warmed bowls and sit the Cod on top and serve.

 

 

 

Roast fillet of middle white pork with wilted spinach,

Sweet potato and garlic mash and balsamic syrup.

 
Take 1 x fresh middle white pork fillet (trimmed of all sinew)

2x large sweet potatoes (peeled and diced to 3” pieces)

2 x cloves of peeled garlic

1x bag of baby spinach leaves (well washed and drained)

4 x tablespoons of olive oil,

1x heaped tablespoon of butter,

2 x tablespoons of balsamic vinegar,

Sea salt and black pepper,

 
Start by placing the potatoes and the garlic into a pan,

Just cover them with water and place onto the stove to come to a simmer for 15 minutes

Then drain them well and mash them to a smooth consistency

Add 3 tablespoons of the olive oil and season well,

 
Place the butter into a frying pan and let it sizzle until it turns a nice golden brown

Add this to the potatoes stir well and keep warm,

 
Season the pork fillet well and place it into a hot frying pan with a splash of oil,

Let it sauté on a high heat turning often so it goes golden brown all over,

Then place it in the oven @ 180c for 10 minutes,

Remove it from the oven and keep it warm to rest,

Place the spinach into a pan with a little oil and gently wilt it on a low heat,

Put the pork pan with all the juices back onto a medium heat and simmer for 5 minutes until all the juices have thickened,

Add the vinegar and mix well,

Place a good spoonful of the mash onto warmed plates,

Top this with a spoonful of the spinach

Slice the pork fillet into 2” thick slices and neatly arrange over the mash

Then spoon the hot pan juices over the pork.

 

 
Roasted pears with stilton, brandy and walnut glaze,

Crisp pancetta, watercress and orange crème fraiche.

 
Take 2 x large firm pears,

2oz / 50g stilton cheese,

1oz / 25g walnut pieces (crush them to small pieces)

1 tablespoon brandy,

4 x rashers of pancetta

Place them onto a baking sheet and cook them in the oven @180c until crisp and golden

Leave them on kitchen paper to cool and drain,

1 small bunch of watercress (pick the leaves and discard the stalks)

Chop them into a smooth paste.

1 small tub of crème fraiche,

The juice and chopped zest of 1 ripe orange,

 
Start by cutting the pears in half lengthways,

Use a teaspoon to scoop out the cores,

Then cut a small slice from the bottom so the pears sit flat on a tray,

Put the stilton, walnuts and brandy into a bowl and beat well,

Place a roasting tray onto a medium heat and add a splash of olive oil,

Sit the pears skin side up into the tray and allow them to sauté for 3 minutes until they go slightly browned,

Place them into the oven @ 160c for 5 minutes,

Remove them from the oven and turn them over,

Then carefully spread thickly with the stilton mixture and place back into the oven for 3 minutes until the stilton has melted and covered the surface of the pears,

Keep them warm,

In a bowl mix the orange juice and zest with the watercress into the crème fraiche,

Sit the pears neatly onto a plate and sit a slice of the pancetta on top of each one,

Then neatly spoon the crème fraiche around the plates and serve.

 

Roast Salmon with butternut squash and an olive,

tomato and basil gazpachio.

 

Take 2 x 8oz / 250g pieces of fresh salmon (boned but the skin left on)

1 x large butternut squash (peeled, seeded and cut into 2” thick slices)

For the gazpachio.

1 x peeled and chopped rough shallot,

2 x roughly chopped cloves of garlic,

1 x tablespoon of each black and green pitted olives,

¼ of a cucumber peeled and seeded,

1 x sweet red pepper seeded and chopped rough,

5 of each yellow and red cherry tomatoes

2 x ripe plum tomatoes,

1 x red chilli seeded and chopped rough,

4 x tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil,

10 x large leaves of fresh basil,

Sea salt and black pepper.

 
Start by placing the shallot, garlic, chilli and olives into a food blender,

Whiz them until very smooth,

Turn them out into a bowl,

Then add all the rest of the ingredients to the blender and whiz them as well until smooth,

Stir both of the mixtures together season lightly and leave it to sit for at least an hour to marinade,

 
Meanwhile place a roasting tray onto a high heat,

Add a splash of olive oil and tip in the butternut squash,

Season well and sauté until it starts to go a lovely golden brown colour,

Place into a hot oven 180c for 10 minutes,

Place another tray onto a high heat and add a splash of olive oil,

Season the salmon well and place it skin side down into the tray,

Let it sizzle on the skin side for at least 5 minutes then turn it over and place into the oven for 5 minutes,

Remove from the oven and leave it to rest and drain,

Take a large bowl and sit a mound of the warm butternut in the centre,

Sit the salmon fillet on top skin side up,

Then pour some of the gazpachio around the bottom of the bowl about 1cm deep,

Garnish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a good wedge of crusty bread.

 

Roast nectarines with lemon and basil mascarpone

Poppy seed and ginger caramel. And tempura pecans.

 

Take 2 x firm nectarines,

1 x small tub of mascarpone cheese,

The zest and juice from 1 lemon,

4 x large leaves of fresh basil,

For the caramel,

8 x tablespoons cold water,

(Plus another 6 tablespoons of water to finish the caramel)

4oz / 100g caster sugar,

1 x teaspoon of black poppy seeds,

A 1” piece of fresh root ginger (peeled and chopped small)

 
For the tempura pecans,

12 x pecan nut halves,

1 tablespoon self raising flour,

1 teaspoon cornflour,

1 teaspoon icing sugar,

A pinch of paprika,

10 tablespoons of ice cold soda water.

First place the pecan nuts onto a tray and place into the oven @ 180c for 5 minutes until slightly roasted,

Then leave them to go cold,

Next make the caramel,

Place the water and sugar into a thick bottomed saucepan,

Place it on a medium heat on the stove and let it come to a gentle simmer,

Don’t stir it or shake the pan, just let it simmer away until it starts to go an amber colour,

Turn down the heat,

Add the ginger,

Now this is where you have to watch it closely as it will turn dark brown very soon,

As soon as it goes a dark golden brown add the poppy seeds,

Let them sizzle in and then carefully pour in the extra water and stand back as it will sizzle like crazy

Take it off the heat and allow it to cool down,

Then halve the nectarines widthways and remove the stones,

Dust lightly with caster sugar,

Then place a tray onto a medium heat and add a splash of vegetable oil,

Place the nectarines in skin side up and then put them into a hot oven @ 180c for 8 minutes,

Take them out and allow them to cool down on the tray,

For the mascarpone simply chop the basil roughly and gently stir it into the mascarpone with the lemon juice and zest,

For the tempura pecans,

 
Put both of the flours into a bowl with the icing sugar and the pinch of paprika,

Then whisk in the soda water to create a batter the consistency of double cream,

Place the pecans into the batter,

To cook them place a frying pan onto a medium heat and add vegetable oil 1cm deep,

Let this get hot,

To test it is hot enough carefully place a drop of the batter in,

It should just sizzle quickly if it bubbles up and spits then it is to hot,

Pick the pecans up with a fork and let some of the batter drip off,

Then carefully place them into the oil and let them sizzle away until the batter is crisp and golden brown,

Scoop them out onto kitchen paper to cool and drain,

To make the dish,

Take a cool plate and sit the halves of nectarine in the centre,

Take a spoonful of the cooled caramel and drizzle it across the nectarines and the plate,

Place a neat spoonful of the mascarpone on top of the nectarines,

Now place 6 pieces of pecan neatly around the dish,

Drizzle a little more of the caramel across the pecans and serve.

 

 

 

                         ............................................


                                    JULY 2006.



Cajun Spiced Steaks.

This recipe is for cooking on a barbecue.

Ingredients
4 steaks,  sirloin or rib-eye (175-225g/6-8oz each)
2 tsp dried mixed herbs
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp garlic granules
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp dried onions

1 tsp cajun spice
¾-1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt


Method
1. Grind all of the ingredients in a coffee grinder or pound in a pestle and mortar until you have a fine powder. Rub plenty over the steaks and leave for about 30 minutes for the flavours to develop.
2. When you're ready to eat, place the flavoured steaks on the barbecue over medium-hot coals. Cook for about 4 minutes each side for medium-rare, adding a couple of extra minutes to the cooking for a medium-to-well-done finish. Try not to prod or poke the steaks too much as you want to sear in the flavour, not lose the juices on to the hot coals.



Crab Salad with Tomato Aioli

Ingredients:For Aioli:

1 whole egg
2 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic, chopped
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tablespoons crushed canned tomatoes
1 tomato, roughly chopped
1/2 cup water
salt and pepper

For Crab:

2 pounds crab
3/4 cup fresh peas
2 tablespoons rendered bacon
1 heaping tablespoon chopped basil
1 heaping tablespoon chopped mint
juice of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 bunches mache

Preparation:

First, make the aioli. In a blender, mix the eggs, garlic, lemon juice and tomato product. Slowly add the olive oil in a steady stream. Finish the sauce with the water and season with salt and pepper. The sauce should be completely puréed and silky smooth. Pour the sauce onto two plates and reserve.

In a bowl, mix the crab, peas, bacon, basil, mint, lemon juice and olive oil. Be careful not to over mix and break up the crab meat. Place the crab salad on the aioli on the plates, garnish with mache.



                           ....................................


                                     JUNE 2006.


Savin hill middle white pork loin scented with lemon and thyme,
On bacon and cabbage mash and a prune and brandy glaze.

 
Take 2 of the lovely middle white loin chops from Savin Hill,

½ a peeled lemon roughly chopped,

A big sprig of fresh thyme picked and chopped,

4 rashers of streaky bacon sliced thinly,

A quarter of a savoy cabbage sliced thinly, (inner leaves only)

8 pitted prunes soaked in a measure of good brandy for 2 hours,

4 tablespoons of double cream,

3oz / 75g butter,

8oz / 250g cooked and mashed potato,

6 tablespoons water / chicken stock (for the reduction,)

A 2ft square piece of tin foil,

2 roughly chopped cloves of garlic,

2 roughly chopped shallots,

Start by seasoning and  placing the loin chops into a hot pan with a splash of olive oil,
Fry them for 3 minutes on each side until nicely browned,
Take them out and set aside,

Take the tin foil and fold it over to half its size,
Then fold over the edges to make an open parcel,

Put the shallots, garlic, lemon, thyme and 3 tablespoons of the water / stock into the foil parcel and sit the pork on top
Seal the edges to create a neat sealed bag,

Place this into the oven on a tray @ 180c for 15 minutes,

Meanwhile fry the bacon for 3 minutes, add the cabbage and gently cook for 5 minutes until the cabbage is soft,
Add the cooked mash with half of the butter and the cream, stir well,

Take the parcel from the oven and loosen one edge,
Pour the juices in to a pan and add the prunes and brandy,

Let this reduce for 5 minutes,
Add the rest of the butter,
Stir well,
Spoon the mash onto a warmed plate, sit the loin chop on top and drizzle the prunes and juices around the dish.

 


Seared fillets of mackerel with beetroot risotto and crisp air dried ham.

Serves 2.

Take 4 boned fresh mackerel fillets,

 2 finely diced shallots,

1 crushed clove of garlic,

4oz/100g cooked diced beetroot,

2oz/50g Arborio risotto rice,

15floz / ¾ of a pint of vegetable or chicken stock,

2oz /50g butter,

1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley,

1 glass of white wine

Sea salt and fresh black pepper,

2 thin sliced pieces of Richard woodalls air dried ham,

 

Start by making the risotto,

 

Gently sweat the shallots and garlic in half of the butter for 3 minutes,

Add the rice and stir well,

Add the wine and let it cook for 5 more minutes,

Then add the stock a ladel at a time until it is completely absorbed before adding more stock, 

Meanwhile place the ham onto a tray and place it into the oven on 180c for 5/7 minutes until crisp,

Add the beetroot and the parsley to the risotto stir well and take off the heat,

Place a sauté pan onto a medium heat with a splash of olive oil,

Season the mackerel fillets,

Place them into the pan and sear for 3 minutes on the skin side and then turn them over and turn off the heat,

 

Then simply spoon the risotto into warmed bowls,

Place the mackerel fillets on top with the crisp ham.

                           ...........................................

 

                                       MAY 2006.


Roasted Tomato, Garlic and Creme Fraiche Soup.

Ingredients
8 ripe tomatoes, halved
1 red onion, cut into quarters
1 head of garlic, halved horizontally
2 sprigs thyme
2tbsp olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1L/1¾pt hot vegetable stock
100g/4oz creme fraiche
3tbsp chopped fresh parsley
warm bread, to serve


Method
1. Pre-heat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas6. Place the tomatoes, red onion, garlic and thyme in a roasting tin and drizzle over the olive oil. Season generously and roast for 30 minutes until softened and a little charred.
2. Remove the onions and garlic from the roasting tin and set aside. Pour half the stock over the tomatoes and return to the oven for 10 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, slip the onions and garlic out of their papery skins and whizz in a food processor to form a paste.
4. Remove the roasting tin from the oven, discard the thyme, then add the stock and tomatoes to the food processor, scraping up any residue with a wooden spoon.
5. Strain the mixture into a clean pan and add the remaining stock and the crème fraiche. Heat gently and season to taste. Stir in the parsley, ladle into bowls and serve with warm crusty bread.


                             .......................................


Tandoori Chicken..

Ingredients
1.25kg/2½lb chicken pieces (legs and/or breasts) skinned
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp lemon juice
For the marinade:
450ml/¾pt plain yoghurt and 1 tblspn fresh chopped coriander,
½ onion, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed,
2.5cm/1in piece fresh root ginger, chopped
1 red and 1 green chilli, roughly sliced
2 tsp garam masala,1 tblspn Tandoori paste.



lime or lemon wedges, to serve


Method
1. Cut each chicken leg into two pieces and each breast into four pieces. Make two deep slits crossways on the meaty parts of each leg and breast piece. The slits should not start at an edge and should be deep enough to reach the bone. Spread the chicken pieces out on two large platters.

Sprinkle one side with half the salt and half the lemon juice and rub them in. Turn the pieces over and repeat on the second side. Set aside for 20 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, make the marinade: combine the yoghurt, coriander,onion, garlic, ginger, chillies and garam masala in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Strain the paste through a coarse sieve into a large bowl, pushing through as much liquid as you can.
3. Put the chicken and all its accumulated juices into the bowl with the marinade. Rub the marinade into the slits in the meat, then cover and refrigerate for 8-24 hours. Preheat the oven to its maximum temperature and set a shelf in the top third of the oven where it is hottest. Remove the chicken pieces from the marinade and spread them out in a single layer on a large, shallow, baking tray. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until cooked through. Lift the chicken pieces out of their juices and serve with lemon or lime wedges.



                            ............................................

Coriander chicken with cucumber relish.

Ingredients
2 small free-range chickens, around 1.2 kg/2 lb 11oz each
1 bunch coriander, roughly chopped
1 tsp black peppercorns
2 tsp sea salt
3 garlic cloves
2 tbsp lime juice
60ml/2¼fl oz olive oil.


For the cucumber relish
125ml/4½fl oz rice vinegar, or white vinegar, 115g/4¼oz caster sugar
½ cucumber, quartered lengthways and finely sliced
2 red Asian shallots or ½ red onion, peeled and finely sliced
1 large red chilli, seeded and finely sliced
coriander sprigs, to garnish
lime wedges, to garnish


Method
1. Remove the backbone from the chicken by cutting either side of the backbone. Flatten out the chicken with the palm of your hand, and remove the breastbone by cutting on either side of the bone.Cut each chicken in half.
2. Soak eight wooden skewers in cold water for 30 minutes to stop them from burning during cooking. Slash each chicken half a few times to allow the marinade flavours to penetrate. Run a wooden skewer through the flesh of each chicken piece to secure to the joints, and place in a large baking dish.
3. Place the coriander, peppercorns, salt, garlic, lime juice and oil in a blender or food processor and process until smooth.
4. Pour the marinade over the chicken pieces, rubbing well into the flesh, and cover with cling film. Place in the refrigerator to marinate for at least two hours, bringing to room temperature in the last 30 minutes.
5. Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7. Place the chicken on a baking tray, skin-side up, and bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Alternatively, preheat the barbecue to high, place the chicken halves on the barbecue and cook, cut-side down, for 6-8 minutes. Turn and cook flesh-side down for a further 5 to 6 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.
6. Meanwhile, make the cucumber relish. Place the vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan over a medium heat, and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and cool. Pour into a bowl, add the cucumber, shallots or onion and chilli and stir to combine.
7. Remove the chicken from the heat when cooked and serve with the cucumber relish and lime wedges and garnish with coriander.

                                    ...................................



                                                April 2006

                                     ................................... 

Fantastic Chicken Wrap.

Ingredients
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 orange, juice only
2 tbsp light soy sauce
3 tbsp clear honey
½ tsp mild chilli powder
8 chicken thigh fillets
8 small tortillas
8tbsp mayonnaise
small bag torn iceberg , rocket or watercress lettuce


Method
1. Put the garlic, orange juice, soy sauce, honey and chilli into a bowl. Season and mix well.
2. Trim any excess fat from the chicken thigh fillets. Put into a large shallow roasting tin in a single layer, then pour over the honey mixture and turn the fillets over to coat well. Cover with cling film and leave to marinate in the fridge for 1 hour.
3. Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7. Remove the cling film from the roasting tin and turn the chicken in the honey marinade once more.
4. Put the toasting tin in the oven and cook the chicken for 25-30 minutes, turning halfway through and basting with the glaze, until the chicken is tender and slightly blackened.
5. Remove the chicken from the roasting tin and leave to cool. Cut the chicken into strips and set aside.
6. Lay a tortilla on a clean board. Put a spoonful of mayonnaise into the centre and spread out a little.

Add a little  lettuce and top with several strips of chicken.


7. Fold the tortilla up over the filling, leaving the chicken slightly sticking out. Fold in both sides of the tortilla. Fold a paper napkin lengthways and use to wrap around the tortilla to secure.

Repeat to make eight wraps in total.


                              ........................


Mussels Cooked in Beer.

A classic dish that uses beer instead of wine as a flavour - a great variation.

Ingredients
1 tbsp olive oil
1-2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
1kg/2¼lb mussels, cleaned and de-bearded (broken or opened ones discarded)
1 bottle beer
2-3 tbsp finely chopped, parsley for garnish


Method
1. Heat a large, lidded saucepan and add the olive oil.
2. Add the shallots and garlic and cook for one minute.
3. Add the mussels and pour in the beer. Mix through, turn up the heat and put the lid on.
4. Cook, shaking the pan every now and again until all the mussels have opened and are cooked. Remove any mussels that remain closed.
5. Spoon into serving bowls with the juices, sprinkle with parsley and serve with rustic bread.

                           ...........................


                               March 2006.

                           ...........................

Risotto with Lettuce and Spring Onions.

This is known as Risotto con le Cipolline e la Lattuga in Italy.

Ingredients
8 spring onions, chopped finely
3 tbsp unsalted butter
340g/12oz arborio rice
1 small glass white wine
up to 2 litres/3½ pints chicken or vegetable stock, kept hot
1 head round lettuce, washed and dried, then shredded coarsely
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tbsp freshly grated parmigiano reggiano


Method
1. Fry the spring onions very gently and slowly with half the butter. When they are soft, add the rice and quickly toast the grains thoroughly all over.
2. When the rice is crackling dry, add the wine and stir, evaporating the fumes. Then start to add the stock, beginning with 3 ladles so as to completely submerge the rice.
3. Stir thoroughly, and allow the liquid to be absorbed, then lower the heat and continue to add stock in quantities of 1-2 ladles at a time and stir constantly between each addition.
4. The rice itself will let you know when it needs more liquid by allowing a clear wake to open up behind the spoon as you draw it across the pan.
5. After about 20 minutes, the rice should have swelled and become creamy, but the grains should still be chewy, but not chalky. In no way should there be any hint of rice pudding about it.
6. Take it off the heat, stir in the lettuce and stir it around to wilt the leaves, then add the remaining butter, adjust the seasoning and stir in the parmigiano. Cover and leave to rest for about 4 minutes, then transfer on to a warmed serving dish or individual plates and eat at once.

                           ...........................

Panzanella Salad with Sardines.


Ingredients
2 thick slices of bread, cut into cubes
2 tbsp olive oil
2 baby orange peppers, sliced
2 sardines
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tbsp tomato purée
1 tsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tsp capers
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped


Method
1. First make the croutons. Place the cubes of bread into a frying pan, drizzle with the olive oil, then heat over a moderate heat, tossing often, for 3-5 minutes, or until golden brown.
2. When the croutons are cooked, remove from the pan and set aside.
3. Add the peppers to the pan and pan-fry for 2-3 minutes.
4. Tip the cooked peppers into a mixing bowl.
5. Place the sardines into the frying pan, season to taste, and cook over a moderate heat for two minutes on each side. Remove from the heat and allow to rest until needed.
6. While the sardines are cooking, place the tomato purée, white wine vinegar, red wine vinegar and finely diced garlic into a bowl.
7. Mix well.
8. Add the croutons, the capers and the parsley.
9. When the sardines have rested, place into the bowl with the rest of the ingredients.
10. Gently fold the sardines through, then spoon onto a serving plate, to serve.



                               February 2006.

                          ...............................


 JEFFERSON DAVIS TART.


This tart is one of my favourites,

I don't normally eat sweet dishes, but i can't resist this one, 

first you need a flan tin lined and cooked with sweet pastry,

75g brown sugar, 75g butter, 3 egg yolks, 1 teaspoon cinnamon,  half a teaspoon mixed spice, half a teaspoon grated nutmeg, 75g raisins, 125g chopped dates,   50g pecan nuts, 6 floz double cream, 

cream together the butter and sugar and beat in the egg yolks, add spices, raisins, dates and nuts, lightly mix in the cream and pour into the pastry case,  cook at 160c for 30 minutes, try to eat this tart warm with creme fraiche or poured cream, Nick.


                          ...............................................


Cassoulette of monkfish.


Ingredients
4x200g/7oz pieces of monkfish on the bone
salt and white pepper, freshly ground
100ml/3½fl oz olive oil,


For the cassoulette:
450g/1lb dry haricots blancs
300ml/10fl oz goose fat
570ml/1 pint fish stock570ml/1 pint chicken stock

2 slices parma ham, not too thin, cut into julienne strips
3 plum tomatoes, chopped
2 shallots, peeled and chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
2 tbsp flat parsley, chopped


 

Method
1. Soak the beans in cold water for 24 hours, then drain well.
2. Quickly sweat the drained beans in 100ml/3½fl oz of the goose fat in a suitable casserole. Add the fish stock and chicken stock, bring to the boil and simmer, covered, for 1½-2hours until the beans are soft. Drain the beans, retaining the liquid, then reduce the liquid to a quarter of its original volume. Make sure the colour does not darken.
3. Add the ham julienne strips, tomato, shallot and garlic to the beans along with the reduced liquid, and cook for a further 10 minutes.
4. Season the fish, then pan-fry in the oil to a golden colour, about 6-7 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, add the parsley to the beans, stir in some more of the goose fat (for flavour, but make sure it is not too thin), and season.
6. To serve, on each plate arrange a helping of beans with the fish on top.

                            .......................................

Roast Leg of Lamb with Garlic and Rosemary.


Ingredients.


lamb trimmings and chopped bones from butcher
1 head of garlic, halved horizontally
1 leg of lamb bone in, approx 2kg/4½lb
6 garlic cloves, halved
1 bunch fresh rosemary
15g/½oz softened butter
salt and freshly ground black pepper
seasoned vegetables, to serve


 

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7.
2. In the bottom of a roasting tin scatter the chopped bones, trimmings and garlic head.
3. Make 2.5cm/1in deep incisions in the lamb, into each incision insert the garlic cloves and rosemary sprigs.
4. Rub the butter over the lamb and place the leg on top of the bones, season and place in the oven for 1-1½ hours (15 minutes per 450g/1lb for rare and 20 minutes for medium) turning over half way through.
5. Remove the lamb from the oven, season again and transfer to a tray to rest.
6. To make the gravy:place the roasting pan over a moderate heat to caramelise the lamb juices, this will take 2-3 minutes. Strain of any excess fat. Pour in 350ml/12fl oz cold water, reduce heat and simmer gently for 5 minutes. Strain through a sieve. Serve the lamb with the gravy and seasonal vegetables.



                           ........................................


                                         January 2006.

Pissaladiere.


A French variation of the classic Italian pizza, the topping for pissaladiere consists of onions and herbs. Tomatoes are also included here and anchovies can be added as an extra if desired.

Ingredients.


For the dough:
30g/1oz fresh yeast
1 tsp sugar
500g/1lb 2oz strong plain flour
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
200ml/7fl oz warm water
For the filling:
2 large onions, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3 tbsp olive oil
400g/14oz tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp herbes de Provence
110g/4oz pitted black olives, sliced
2 tbsp capers
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley, to garnish
salt and freshly ground black pepper


 

Method
1. Make the dough: cream together the fresh yeast, sugar and water and set aside until frothy.
2. Place the flour and salt in a large bowl, make a well in the centre and pour in the olive oil and the yeast mixture. Mix to make a stiff but pliable dough.
3. Knead on a lightly floured surface for about 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Shape the dough into a ball and leave in a warm place for about one hour until it has doubled in size.
4. make the filling: gently fry the onions and garlic in the oil for about 10 minutes until soft.
5. Stir in the tomatoes, sugar, herbs and seasoning, and simmer for about 10 minutes until the mixture has reduced.
6. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Mix in the olives and capers.
7. Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7. Knead the dough briefly on a lightly floured surface and place on a baking sheet.
8. Spread the filling over the dough and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until the crust is lightly browned.                               

                               ............................

Steamed Lemon Sole with Gremolata and Tomatoes.

This is a great Recipe that goes well with, Sea bass, Cod, or Halibut.

4 lemon sole fillets
100g/3½oz ripe cherry tomatoes
1 tbsp olive oil
12 basil leaves
small bunch of flatleaf parsley
For the gremolata
1 lemon, juice and zest only
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp chopped flatleaf parsley
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
For the fennel
2 whole fennels
125ml/4½fl oz wine
60ml/2¼fl oz vegetable stock25g/1oz butter
 

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
2. Steam the sole for four minutes.
3. Mix all the gremolata ingredients together in a bowl.
4. Crush the tomatoes with one tablespoon of olive oil, the basil and the small bunch of flatleaf parsley. Season.
5. Cut each fennel into 8 pieces and place in a roasting tray. Pour over the wine, stock and dab on the butter. Place the fennel in the oven for 20 minutes.
6. To serve, pile the tomatoes in the middle of a white plate. Pile the steamed sole fillets on top, and spoon gremolata dressing over and around. Serve with the braised fennel.


                                ...........................

                                         December 2005.


Rarebit of Mrs Kirkhams Lancashire Cheese and chives.

Ingredients.

1oz/25g Butter,1oz/25g flour,1oz/25g finely chopped onion,

1oz/25g finely chopped leeks,1 crushed clove of garlic,

1 tablespoon of finely chopped chives,1/2 a pint of milk,

1 whole egg and 1 egg yolk,1 teaspoon english mustard,

1/2 a teaspoon worcestershire sauce, salt and black pepper,

6 oz / 150g Mrs kirkhams Lancashire cheese.

Start by melting the butter in a sauce pan, add the onions, garlic and leeks,Let these gently cook without colour for 15 minutes stirring often,

add the flour and beat in well, add the mustard and worcestershire sauce, gradually add the milk until you have a thick sauce, stir and simmer this for 10 minutes, Add the cheese and mix in well, season with salt and pepper and leave to cool completely,

then beat in the egg and yolk and the chives,store in the fridge for at least 4 hours before use. Spread generously onto thick cut bread and cook gently under a medium hot grill until nicely glazed and sizzling, serve with salad, 

This can be spread onto Steaks, chicken and fish and then just grilled as for the recipe. Try baking it  in hollowed out tomatoes, or ontop of a potato / or Pasta bake.


                        .....................................................


                        Confit of Shoulder of Lamb with Potato Torte. 


Ingredients
shoulder of lamb (approx. 2½-3kg/5lb8oz-6lb8oz)
crushed sea salt
half head garlic
2 cloves garlic, 1 finely chopped
7 long sprigs rosemary, 4 whole, 3 finely chopped
100ml/3½fl oz white wine
2kg/4½lb potatoes, peeled (maris piper preferably)
freshly ground black pepper
20g/¾oz flat leaf parsley, chopped
200ml/7fl oz lamb juice taken from the lamb after first cooking
a little olive oil
a little butter


 

Method
1. The evening before, heat a small roasting tray with a little oil. Seal the shoulder of lamb in the roasting tray until it has become a light brown colour all over. Remove the lamb from the tray and allow to cool slightly.
2. Rub it with half a head of garlic and lightly with salt.
3. Add the white wine to the roasting tray along with the half head of garlic and four sprigs of rosemary.
4. Tightly wrap tin foil around the tray with the lamb in it, possibly twice to ensure it is completely sealed.
5. Place in a low oven, 140-150C/275-300F/Gas 1-2 for approximately 6 hours (or overnight). When the lamb is ready it can be very easily removed from the bone with two forks and is incredibly tender - probably the best you have ever tasted.
6. The day itself, in the morning, cut the potatoes into 2mm/1/8in slices. Smear the inside of the baking dish first with olive oil and then with the finely chopped garlic.
7. Lay about a quarter of the potato slices in it, slightly overlapping each other until the bottom of the dish is completely covered. Season and sprinkle with one-third of the chopped rosemary and parsley.
8. Lay half the lamb pieces over the potato to form a solid layer about 1.5cm/1/10in thick from the centre out following the lines of the potato. Repeat the process with the potatoes and lamb.
9. Finally, arrange a double layer of potato on the top and again season and add herbs. Pour the lamb juice over it and allow to seep in.
10. Cover with a lid and place in an oven at 180C/350F/Gas 4 for about 1¼ hours. Remove and allow to cool to room temperature. When cool, place in a refrigerator for at least one hour but the longer the better (ideally 8 hours).
11. The day itself, in the evening, re-heat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
12. Cut the torte into 10 equal wedges and remove them from the dish. When the layered sides of each slice are exposed, wrap with strips of tin foil greased with olive oil.
13. Place the wedges on a tray in the oven for about 15 minutes or until thoroughly heated through, with the potato top a light golden brown. Remove from the oven, transfer each wedge to a plate and remove the foil.                               



                               .....................................


                                                November 2005.

 Linguine all'Aragosta (Linguine with Lobster) 

Serves 4

Ingredients:
500g linguine pasta
2 whole lobsters (cooked in boiling water for 10 mins – allow to cool)
1 clove of garlic (finely sliced)
1 medium red chilli (finely sliced)
3 tbsp fresh parsley (finely sliced)
20 cherry tomatoes (cut in half)
1 glass dry white wine
8 tbsp Italian olive oil
Salt to taste

Method
1. Cut the lobster in half length-ways, take out the meat and chop. Clean the shell under cold water and leave on the side for decoration.

2. Shallow fry the garlic and the chilli in the olive oil for approx. 20 seconds, add in the lobster meat and cook for approx. 1 minute. Add in the white wine, the parsley, the tomatoes, season with salt and simmer for approx. 3 minutes.

3. In the meantime, cook the pasta in salted boiling water until al dente. Drain, and then add to the lobster sauce, mix well allowing the linguine to absorb the flavours of the lobster sauce. Spoon some of the lobster pasta back into the shell that you previously prepared and serve immediately. 

                             ......................................


                                          


                                    September 2005..

                                 ..............................


Pork 'Osso Buco' and Risotto Stuffed Cabbage.


Serves 4

Ingredients:
2 tbsp plain flour
Salt and pepper
8 pieces pork shank steaks with bone, cut thick
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp butter
1 onion, chopped
2 sticks celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
2 bay leaves
3 tbsp flat parsley, finely chopped
1 glass Marsala or white wine
300ml veal or chicken stock
2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped


For the gremolata:
Grated zest of 1 lemon
Grated zest of 1 orange
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tbsp fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped


For the stuffed cabbage:
16 cabbage leaves, blanched in boiling water and refreshed
Half cup of risotto rice cooked as per packet
150g cooked minced pork
2 eggs
200g grated Parmesan
Salt and pepper


Method:
1. In a large bowl, season flour with salt and pepper. Dredge the pork shanks in the mixture and tap off any excess. In a large pan, heat the oil and butter sear the shanks on all sides add more oil and butter if needed. Remove the browned pork shanks and set aside. Add onion, celery, carrots, garlic, bay leaves and parsley to the pan and cook until softened. Season with salt and pepper, add the wine and deglaze the pan.

2. Return the shanks to the pan, add the stock and tomatoes, drizzle with olive oil, reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for about 1 and a half hours or until the meat is tender.

3. Baste the meat a few times during cooking. Remove the cover, continue to simmer for 10 minutes to reduce the sauce by half. For the gremolata combine all ingredients together in a small bowl. Sprinkle the gremolata over the osso buco before serving.

4. Serve osso buco with risotto stuffed cabbage. For the stuffed cabbage mix together all of the ingredients with the risotto rice. Dry the cabbage leaves and trim the rib, put one tablespoon of risotto into each cabbage leaf and fold the sides in towards the centre. Dredge in flour and sauté in olive oil on both sides until golden brown, serve hot either with the osso buco or as a great tapa.


                             ...............................................





 

                Vacherins of Strawberries with a Passion Fruit Cream.


Ingredients
3 large free-range egg whites (ideally about 1 week old)
small squeeze of lemon juice
150g/5oz caster sugar

For the Passion fruit cream:
6 passion fruit
200g/7oz mascarpone 150ml/5fl oz crème fraîche
70ml/3fl oz soured cream
a little icing sugar, to sweeten (optional)
150ml/5fl oz double cream

To Serve:
about 250g/9oz mixed raspberries, redcurrants and sliced wild strawberries (or other small ones)
icing sugar, to dust


 

Method
1. Turn the oven to its lowest setting 110C/225G/Gas¼ maximum. Line two baking sheets with the baking parchment or a silicone cooking liner. Draw 6 circles, 8cm/3¼in diameter, on the paper.


2. Whisk the egg whites with the lemon juice in a large clean bowl until they form firm peaks; do not over-whisk or they will become dry and grainy. Gradually whisk in the sugar, 15g/1 tbsp at a time, to make a smooth, glossy meringue.


3. Spoon the meringue into a piping bag fitted with a 1-1.5cm/½-1in plain nozzle. Pipe in concentric rounds to fill each drawn circle. Pipe 2 rings on the edge of each meringue disc to form baskets.


4. Bake for at least 2 hours, or up to 8 hours if you are using the heat of a pilot light. The exact time will depend on the temperature, but it is easy to tell when the baskets are cooked. Lift one with a pallet knife: if it comes away cleanly, feels crisp on the outside and slightly soft inside, the baskets are ready. Leave on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then carefully peel the meringue baskets off the paper and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


5. Meanwhile, make the passion fruit cream. Halve the passion fruit, scoop out the pulp and seeds into a small pan and boil to reduce by half and concentrate the flavour. Tip into a sieve over a bowl and rub with a wooden spoon to extract as much juice as possible; discard the seeds.


6. Beat the mascarpone with the crème fraîche and soured cream. Mix in the passion fruit juice and sweeten with a little icing sugar, if required. Whip the double cream until it is softly stiff and then fold into the passion fruit cream.


7. When ready to serve, spoon the passion fruit cream into the meringue baskets and top with the fruits.

 A light dusting of icing sugar adds a magical touch.





                                           ...................................

Rack of Lamb with Herb Crust, Rosti and Sauteed Mushrooms.

For the rack of lamb:


30g/1oz fresh mixed herbs
2 slices white bread
1 garlic clove, peeled
30g/1oz butter, melted
30g/1oz Dijon mustard
110g/4oz rack of lamb

For the mushrooms:


1 tbsp olive oil
3 shallots, peeled and chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
110g/4oz mixed mushrooms,


For the rösti:


2 tsp vegetable oil
½ sweet potato, peeled and grated
salt and freshly ground black pepper
 

Method
1. Preheat three medium frying pans and the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7.
2. Place the herbs, bread, garlic and melted butter in a food processor. Blitz.
3. Spread the rack of lamb with Dijon mustard, then pat on the herb mixture to form a crust.
4. Place the rack of lamb in one of the frying pans. Fry until the lamb is seared. Transfer to the oven for 8-10 minutes.


5. Prepare the rösti: heat the vegetable oil in the second frying pan. Heap the grated potato in the pan. Season, then top with a spoon of the soufflé mixture. Transfer the pan to oven and cook for 5 minutes.
6 Heat the olive oil in the third frying pan. Add the shallots and garlic and sauté until soft. Add the mushrooms and sauté for 4 minutes.
7. Remove the lamb and rösti from the oven. Place on a serving plate and serve with a spoon of the sautéed mushrooms.








                                                       August 2005..

                                      .................................


Citrus Seafood Kebabs.

Ingredients
16 prepared scallops or queens with their corals
16 raw peeled tiger prawns
450g/1lb monkfish fillet, cut into 2.5cm/1in cubes
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp chopped fresh chervil or parsley
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 small orange, halved and thinly sliced
1 lemon, thinly sliced
1 lime, thinly sliced

8 x 25cm/10in fine metal skewers


Method
1. Mix the oil, lemon juice, chopped chervil or parsley and some salt and pepper together in a large bowl.


2. Add the scallops, prawns and monkfish and mix together well.


3. Cover and leave to marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes or for up to 2 hours in the fridge.


4. Thread the scallops, prawns and monkfish on to the skewers, alternating them with folded slices of orange, lemon and lime.


5. Barbecue the kebabs over medium-hot coals for 8-10 minutes, turning and basting with the left over marinade now and then.

 
Enjoy them with salads, and cold beer / wine.

              ...............................................................


Warm Salad of Duck.

Ingredients
½ duck fillet
1 slice of white bread, crust removed and cut into cubes
handful fresh flatleaf parsley
handful fresh basil
½ onion, peeled and very finely sliced
¼ pepper, de-seeded and very finely sliced
½ courgette, very finely sliced
1 orange, peeled and segmented
½ tsp sesame seeds.


For the dressing
2 tbsp olive oil
½ orange, juice only
salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp honey


Method
1. Remove the fat from the duck breast and score the duck using a sharp knife.
2. Heat a pan until hot and pan-fry the duck for 4-5 minutes on each side. Remove from the pan and allow to rest.
3. Slice the duck fat and add to the pan, cook for a few minutes. Add the bread cubes and cook for a further minute until the duck fat and bread is crisp and golden.
4. Place the parsley, basil, onion, pepper, courgette, and orange segments into a bowl and toss together.
5. To make the dressing, place the olive oil, orange juice, seasoning and honey together in a bowl and mix together.
6. Transfer the salad to a serving plate.
7. Slice the duck into strips and place on top of the salad. Remove the duck fat and croutons from the heat and sprinkle on top of the salad.
8. Finish by pouring the dressing over and sprinkling with the sesame seeds.


                      .....................................................

Crispy Aromatic Duck.

1x2.75kg/6lb duck, fresh or frozen, preferably cherry valley
6 slices of fresh root ginger, 7.5cm x 5mm/3 x ¼in
6 spring onions, cut into 7.5cm/3in lengths
cornflour, plain flour or potato flour for dusting
1.2l/2pt groundnut oil

For the Spice Rub:


2 tbsp five-spice powder
65g/2½oz sichuan peppercorns
25g/1oz whole black peppercorns
3 tbsp cumin seeds
200g/7oz rock salt

To Serve:
chinese pancakes
6 spring onions, finely shredded
hoisin sauce.


Method
1. If the duck is frozen, thaw it thoroughly. Rinse well and blot it completely dry with kitchen paper. Mix all the ingredients for the spice rub together in a small bowl, then rub the duck inside and out with this mixture, applying it evenly. Wrap well in clingfilm and place in the refrigerator for 24 hours.


2. After this time, brush any excess spices from the duck. Stuff the ginger and spring onions into the cavity and put the duck on a heatproof plate. Set up a steamer or put a rack into a wok. Fill it with 5cm/2in of water and bring to the boil. Lower the duck and place into the steamer and cover tightly.


3. Steam gently for 2 hours, pouring off excess fat from time to time. Add more water as necessary. Remove the duck from the steamer and pour off all the liquid. Discard the ginger and spring onions. Leave the duck in a cool place for 2 hours or until it has dried and cooled. At this point the duck can be refrigerated.


4. Just before you are ready to serve it, cut the duck into quarters and dust with cornflour, plain flour or potato flour, shaking off the excess.


5. Heat the oil in a wok or deep fat fryer. When it is almost smoking, deep-fry the duck quarters in 2 batches. Fry the breasts for about 8-10 minutes and the thighs and legs for about 12-15 minutes, until each quarter is crisp and heated right through.


6. Drain the duck on kitchen paper and leave until cool enough to handle. Then remove the meat from the bones and shread it. You can do this easily with a fork. The chinese eat it with bones and all. Serve with the chinese pancakes, spring onions and hoisin sauce.

                         .....................................................




                                                      July 2005.

Basil Tomatoes with Parmesan.

4 large plum tomatoes,

2 ounces butter, softened,

1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped,

1 clove garlic, finely minced,

black pepper and a pinch salt,

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese,


Slice the tomatoes in half horizontally and place into a saute  pan.

Blend the butter with the basil, garlic, pepper, salt and Parmesan in a small bowl. Spread the mixture over the slices of each tomato.

grill the tomatoes at medium heat for about 4 to 6 minutes until the topping is golden brown.

A Great side dish for grilled steak.


Alfresco beef Salad.

This is a great salad for a Monday,

Using the Last of the beef from sunday,

Take,

375g / 12oz cooked sliced cold sirloin of beef,

225g / 8oz day old loaf of bread, roughly chopped into cubes,

450g / 1lb ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped,

2 teaspoons fresh chopped thyme,

1 small red onion peeled and sliced thinly,

1 clove of garlic peeled and crushed,

125ml / 4floz extra virgin olive oil,

1 teaspoon horseradish sauce,

sea salt and fresh black pepper,

25g / 1oz fresh grated parmesan cheese,


Simply tip the bread, tomatoes,thyme, onions, garlic, olive oil,

horseradish and the beef into a large bowl,

season well and leave to sit for 30 minutes,

then toss the salad and add the parmesan,

serve straight away with a large glass of red wine,

                                     .................................




                                                         May 2005.

Tagliatelle with asparagus, crisp pancetta and parmesan.

this will serve 4 people.

Take,

1 large bunch of fresh asparagus,

12 thin slices of pancetta,

500g fresh egg tagliatelle,

100g finely chopped onions,

2 crushed cloves of garlic,

4 tablespoons good olive oil,

100g fresh grated parmesan cheese,

sea salt and fresh black pepper,

start by cutting the asparagus 6 cm from the top to give you nice spears,

throw away the woody bottom part,

slice the pancetta into small pieces and add it to a heavy bottomed pan,

with the onions , garlic and the olive oil,

gently cook this for 10 minutes,

meanwhile cook the pasta in lots of boiling salted water,

drain the pasta well , but keep 5 tablespoons of the water to thin out the dish,

add the asparagus to the pancetta mix and gently cook for 5 more minutes,

then add the warm pasta and half of the parmesan along with the saved  pasta water,

and turn it all over in the pan,

divide the mix between 4 warmed bowls,

sprinkle over the remaining parmesan,

and then " simply enjoy ".. with crusty bread and chilled white wine.




                                                       APRIL 2005.

Pork Stroganoff with three mustards.

This recipe came from a mistake, but it is a fantastic and easy to prepare dish,

take,

1 x 350g fresh trimmed pork fillet,

1 teaspoon of each, English mustard, Dijon mustard and Wholegrain Mustard,

110g thin sliced button mushrooms,

200ml creme fraiche,

1 tablespoon vegetable oil,

1 small onion thinly sliced,

1 crushed clove of garlic,

10g butter,

75 ml dry white wine,

salt and freshly milled black pepper.

Start by slicing the pork fillet in to 1cm thick slices,

in a bowl, mix together the 3 mustards with the creme fraiche,

heat a good frying pan to a high heat and add the oil with the onions mushrooms and garlic,

saute these for 5 minutes until lightly coloured and softened,

scoop them onto a plate and set them aside,

turn up the heat and add the pork strips to the pan,

stir fry the pork for 5 minutes until nicely glazed, season lightly,

add the mushrooms and onions back to the pan,

then add the wine and let it sizzle for 1minute before adding the mustard and creme faiche mixture,

add the butter and stir the dish to a simmer for 5 minutes,

to serve...

simply spoon the pork and mushroom mixture over plain rice or even penne pasta

enjoy it with chilled white wine and crusty bread.





                                                     MARCH 2005.

The Best Chicken Liver Pate, with Red Onion jam.

This one is for my uncle John,

take,

250g fresh chicken livers,

325g unsalted butter,

1 onion finely chopped,

4 cloves of crushed garlic,

1 large glass of red wine,

2 tablespoons of brandy,

1 tablespoon of sherry,

1 bayleaf,

2 teaspoons of each fresh chopped thyme and rosemary,

4 floz / or a quarter pint of double cream,

salt and loads of fresh milled black pepper,

start by adding the chopped onion to a heavy bottomed pan with the

garlic,red wine, brandy, sherry and cook on a quick heat for 15 minutes,

turn down the heat,

add the butter and cook gently for 5 minutes until melted,

add the livers and the herbs, turn up the heat and cook for 8 minutes stirring regularly,

season well and turn off the heat,

leave this to sit for 10 minutes,

then blend in a food processor until very smooth,

pour the mixture into a large bowl and stir in the cream,

transfer it to a serving bowl and let it cool completely,

cover with cling film and place into the fridge for at least 4 hours,

it can be eaten when it is warm but it is best to leave it to cool,



for the onion jam,

8 peeled and finely sliced red onions,

1 clove of crushed garlic,

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar,

2 tablespoons light brown sugar,

salt and pepper. 

add the onions and garlic to a heavy bottomed pan with 1 tablespoon of oil,

gently sweat them for 20 minutes until very soft but not coloured,

add the vinegar and sugar season lightly,

 and cook for 30 minutes on a very low heat,stirring regularly,

leave this to cool completely,

when you are ready to serve the pate,

spoon it greedily onto crusty bread with a topping of the onion jam,

and enjoy it with a good red wine.

                   ............................................................




      

FILO PASTRY TART WITH TOMATOES AND BASIL.

This one is for Chris,

it is a great recipe and it is real easy to prepare,

take,

1 packet of filo pastry,

2 tablespoons of vegetable oil,

6 ripe plum or vine tomatoes,

sea salt and fresh ground blackpepper,

12 leaves of fresh basil,

this recipe will make 2 tarts,

slice the tomatoes into thin slices,

take 3 sheets of the filo pastry and lay it out on a flat surface,

lay a plate ontop and cut it out into a circle around the plate,

then rub each sheet with the vegetable oil,

sit them ontop of each other to create a 3 layered cicle,

twist the edges over to create a nice neat circle tart base,

then simply lay the tomato slices onto the base in a neat circle to cover the base,

transfer it to a baking sheet,

season lightly with the sea salt and black pepper,

drizzle it with a little vegetable oil and rip the fresh basil leaves and scatter them over the tomatoes,

then bake in a hot oven 180c for 10 minutes until nicely browned,

leave it to rest for 5 minutes before serving with a nice green salad of watercress and lettuce.

.............................................





                                                      February 2005.

Fried rice cakes with smoked salmon and asparagus.

These elegant rice cakes are made using a risotto base.

take,

225g risotto rice ( arborio is best )

2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 medium onion finely chopped,

90ml white wine, 750ml chicken stock,  2 crushed cloves of garlic,

15g porcini mushrooms, 

1 tablespoon of each chopped parsley and chives,

1 beaten egg, 3 tablespoons ground rice,

4 tablespoons of creme fraiche, 175g smoked salmon ,

16 blanched asparagus spears,  sea salt and fresh black pepper.

                                ..................................

heat the oil in a pan and gently fry the onion and garlic for 3/4 minutes,

add the rice and cook for a further 3 minutes,

pour in the wine and let it cook for 5 minutes,

gradually add the stock a ladel at a time until it is all absorbed,

add the mushrooms, parsley and chives,

season well with the salt and pepper,

let these cook for 10 minutes,

remove from the heat and leave it to cool,

add the egg and 2 tablespoons of the ground rice,  stir it well,

shape the mix into 2cm thick cakes and sit them on a  tray dusted with the remaining ground rice,  to rest,

                          ........................................


heat the oil in a heavy bottomed frying pan,

then saute the cakes for 4/5 minutes on both sides,

scoop them onto warmed plates,

dress the cakes with the smoked salmon and the asparagus,

sit a spoonful of the creme fraiche ontop,

pour over the pan juices and enjoy with chilled white wine.


                      ..........................................................




morrocan spiced cous cous,

A fantastic dish that will go well by itself,

or with char grilled meats or fish.

take,

250g cous cous,  250ml chicken or vegetable stock,

4oz / 100g finely chopped onions, 2 crushed cloves of garlic,

half a teaspoon of each, ground coriander, turmeric, cumin and cajun spice,

1 tablespoon of fresh chopped coriander,

4oz / 100g cooked chick peas,   salt and fresh black pepper,

1oz / 25g butter,  3 tablespoons olive oil,

                                 ..................................

Star by gently frying the onions , garlic and dry spices in the butter for 5 minutes,

add the cous cous and season well with salt and black pepper,

add the chick peas and stir in well,

stir in the hot stock and mix well,

let this cook on a low heat for 5 minutes stirring often,

remove from the heat and stir in the oilive oil and fresh coriander,

cover it with a lid or cling film and let it sit off the heat for 10 minutes,


to serve,

whisk it with a fork to fluff it up whilst warming it on a low heat,

then either serve with char grilled meats, fish or by itself with good crusty bread,

                   .........................................................




Smoked haddock and chive Chowder.

  A Rich, smoky and a real satisfying dish that is easily doubled,

this is a great recipe for freezing for future use

Take,450g / 1lb undyed smoked haddock fillet,    1 bayleaf,

850ml / 1 1/2 pints milk,  25g / 1oz butter,  1 finely chopped onion,

1 tablespoon plain flour,

1 crushed clove of garlic,1 red pepper seeded and finely chopped,

125ml / 4floz sherry,  a good pinch of paprika,

225g / 8oz floury potatoes, peeled and diced,100g /

4oz frozen or canned sweetcorn kernels,

 put the fish in a pan with the bayleaf and the milk,bring to a simmer, then cover and set aside for 10 minutes.

 lift out the fish with a slotted spoon,flake it roughly, discard any bones and skin and strain the milk.

 melt the butter in a large frying pan and cook the onion and garlic with the red pepper for 5 minutes ,add the flour and mix in well with a wooden spoon,

 stir in the sherry and cook until almost all the liquid has gone,add the paprika and potatoes,

pour in and stir well the poaching milk,bring to a simmer for 20 minutes stirring often, 

add the sweetcorn and cook for a further 10 minutes,

 remove from the heat and gently fold in the fish,

 spoon into warmed bowls and scatter with the chives.

 enjoy with crusty bread.

 Nick.