Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Cod en Papillote with beetroot & ginger salsa

cod fillet, kale, soured cream, butter.
Following on from my beetroot and ginger salsa recipe, as promised this is an additional serving suggestion.

1) Tear a square sheet of tin foil and lay a handful of kale leaves to the centre.

2) Add the fillet of cod and spoon the beetroot and ginger salsa over the top.

3) Add a knob of butter and pinch the foil closed like a cornish pasty, ensuring that the fish is completely encased with no gaps or holes in the foil.

4) Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, slide out of the foil and top with a dollop of soured cream.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Beetroot & ginger salsa

Ginger, beetroot, lemon, red onion, honey, olive oil, red wine.
1) Peel and finely dice 1 red onion and 3 thumb lengths of ginger root.

2) Wash the beetroot and slice off the stalks and leaves. Lay the chopped red onion in a roasting dish, pour half a glass of red wine over the onion and lay the 5 (small, plum sized) beetroots on top. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes.

3) Whilst the beetroot is roasting, put the finely diced ginger in a pan with the juice of 1 lemon and a glug of olive oil. Keep on a low heat, stirring occasionally until the beetroot is cooked.

4) Carefully peel the beetroot with the nick of a knife, dice it and add to the pan of ginger with the onions and red wine. Add a generous squeeze of honey and if necessary a little more wine and cook for a further 20 minutes, stirring frequently.

This salsa will have enough heat from the ginger and pepperiness of the beetroot but if like me you are hopelessly addicted to spicy food then add as much diced chilli to the pan during the last 20 minutes as you can handle.
It's wonderfully versatile so watch out for a few recipes coming up which utilise this recipe. My personal favourite is shown here - spooned on top of a burger with a generous portion of warm goats cheese.

Tarte au citron


For 12 individual or 1 large tart.
175g Plain flour, 215g sugar, 75g butter, salt, 7 lemons, 7 eggs, 200ml double cream. Icing sugar.
1) Soften the butter and then blend it along with the flour, 40g of sugar, 1 egg yolk (save the egg white for later) and a pinch of salt. Add a tablespoon of warm water and then remove the dough ball from the blende and knead it before putting it in the fridge to firm up for half an hour.

2) To make the tart filling, squeeze the lemons until you have 275ml of juice and whisk this along with the 6 eggs, 175g of sugar and 200ml of double cream.

3) Roll out your chilled pastry on a floured surface and line your pastry cases (or pastry case if you're making one large tart!). Brush with the leftover egg white and blind bake for 20 minutes.

4) Pour the filling into the pastry shell and bake for 25-30 minutes. Set aside to cool and dust with icing sugar before serving.

Bacon and avocado rolls

Smoked bacon, 1 avocado, bread, lettuce leaves, 4 eggs, lemon juice, salt, 1 pint avocado oil, pine nuts
1) Separate 4 egg yolks from the whites (discard the whites) and put in a large clean bowl to whisk (or use the whisk attachment on your blender if you have one). Add the lemon juice/vinegar, a pinch of salt and whisk thoroughly.
Now add the avocado oil ONE DROP at a time until the mayonnaise is thick and glossy. You don't have to use all the oil - I like it quite thick but if it's too thick you can always add a little warm water to thin it back down again.

Spread the mayo onto lightly buttered bread.

2) Grill the bacon until it is just crisp and served in the bread roll on a bed of sliced avocado and fresh lettuce leaves.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Feta and watermelon salad


Watermelon, feta, red onion, lime juice
1) Slice the watermelon and feta into chunks and mix by hand.

2) The simplicity of this salad is what makes it so toothsome, but if you wish you can top it with some red onion soaked in lime juice which will bring out the colour but strip out the stench and rank flavour of raw onion. (as you can tell, I loathe onions!)

Fig & goats cheese parcels


Fig, courgette, goats cheese
1) Cut the figs into quarters and slice chunks of goats cheese.

2) Peel fine strips of courgette with a vegetable peeler and wrap them around the figs and cheese.

3) Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes.

Fig and bacon rolls

Figs, courgette, bacon
1) Slice the figs into quarters and peel long strips of courgette with a vegetable peeler.

2) Lay a strip of bacon over a strip of courgette and roll a piece of fig inside it.

3) Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Waldorf Inspired Salad




Walnuts, cucumber, braeburn apple, dried cranberries, 4 eggs, lemon juice, salt, 1 pint basil oil
1) Separate 4 egg yolks from the whites (discard the whites) and put in a large clean bowl to whisk (or use the whisk attachment on your blender if you have one). Add the lemon juice/vinegar, a pinch of salt and whisk thoroughly.
Now add the oil ONE DROP at a time until the mayonnaise is thick and glossy. You don't have to use all the oil - I like it quite thick but if it's too thick you can always add a little warm water to thin it back down again.

2) Using a potato peeler, peel fine strips of cucumber, peel and core an apple and cut into segments. Mix the cucumber and apple together with mayonnaise and add the cranberries and walnuts. Serve on a bed of lettuce.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Fig and goats cheese linguine



Linguine, basil oil, 200g spinach leaves, cherry tomatoes, figs, goats cheese, balsamic glaze
1) Put the linguine into hot, salted water for 10-12 minutes to cook

2) In a seperate pan stir the spinach leaves and a handful of halved cherry tomatoes into a tablespoon of basil on a low heat until the leaves are coated with oil. As the tomatoes cook, crush them with the flat of the spoon to release the juice.

3) Strain the linguine and add it to the spinach and tomatoes. Slice some fig into the pan and stir through until the pasta has fully integrated.

4) Serve with crumbled goats cheese and a drizzle of balsamic glaze.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Cannelini bean pate




4 garlic cloves, salt, 1 can cannelini beans
Being a vegetarian there are some foods which, when adapted from the traditional meat to a substitute, one just can't compare to the texture of meat. Unlike a cheese, mushroom or vegetable "pate" - beans always offer that claggy, thick yet smooth texture.

1) Separate 4 cloves of garlic from the bulb and roast (without peeling) in the oven for 30 minutes.

2) Whilst the garlic is roasting, heat the cannelini beans for 5 minutes on the hob and drain. Pulse in a blender or using a mortar and pestle and add a sprinkling of salt.

3) Using the flat of a knife, crush the garlic cloves to split the skin and scrape the soft, golden garlic from the skins. Mix in with the beans and salt and pass through a sieve - you will have to scrape the pate from the bottom of the sieve with a spoon or a knife because it will be a stiff mixture - just like liver pate when chilled!

This would be delicious spread onto toast or crackers - I served this with Fudge's cheddar and black pepper straws. 


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3 avocados, jalepeno, lime, coriander, soured cream, avocado oil.
1) Slice the avocados in half, remove the stones and scoop the flesh from the shell with a spoon.

2) Deseed and finely dice a jalepeno and add it, along with the avocado and a squeeze of lime juice to a blender.

3) Pulse the avocado thoroughly, adding a teaspoon of soured cream and a handful of chopped coriander halfway through, and a splash of avocado oil to make it glossy.

Traditionally served with tortilla chips - I used Fudge's delicious cheese and black pepper flatbreads.

Dirty rice balls


Wild rice, cherry tomatoes, red onion, tomato puree, jalepenos, lime juice, tequila, green chilli pepper, cream cheese, cheddar, buttermilk, bread, 1 egg, sesame seeds, groundnut oil.
This recipe was created using leftovers from the dirty rice balls with tequila and chilli con queso.

1) To make breadcrumbs, pulse the crust slice of slightly stale bread in a blender and mix with a handful of sesame seeds.

2) Form small balls with the cold, leftover rice and roll them first in a whisked egg and then in the breadcrumbs mixture.

3) Drop the ball carefully into hot oil (a deep fat fryer will enable them to keep their spherical shape) and sizzle until the breadcrumbs turn golden brown.

4) Using a slotted spoon, remove the rice ball from the oil and drop back into the breadcrumbs and roll around until they are covered with a second layer of crumbs.

5) Repeat until you have a number of rice balls and bake them in the oven for 10 -15 minutes until the outer layer is also crisp. Ideal served with leftover Chilli Con Queso.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Dirty rice with tequila



Wild rice, cherry tomatoes, red onion, tomato puree, jalepenos, lime juice, tequila
1) Put your wild rice into a pan and just cover it with water. Add a teaspoon of tomato puree and a diced red onion.

2) Add a generous handful of whole cherry tomatoes and stir through as the water begins to cook off.

3) Add some chopped jalepenos to taste. I like my food spicy so added 3 jalepenos - with the seeds - and the juice of one lime.

4) As the rice begins to soften, press the tomatoes with the flat of your spoon so that they burst and stir through. Add a generous dash of tequila and continue to stir until the liquid is cooked off, leaving the rice coated in a rich, sticky sauce.

Baba ganoush




Aubergine, truffle oil, garlic, cumin, garam marsala, coriander
1) Slice the aubergine and cover with generous dash of salt to bring out the bitter juices. Rinse after 20 minutes and roast in the oven for a further 20 minutes.

2) Crush 4 garlic cloves and sautee in truffle oil on a low heat so that the garlic does not burn. Stir in a teaspoon of cumin, a teaspoon of coriander and a teaspoon of Garam Marsala.

3) When the aubergine is roasted, drop it in a blender with the spiced garlic oil and blitz thoroughly. If you wish you can peel the aubergine first but I think the skin adds colour and flavour to this wonderful comfort food.

I served this with Fudge's sesame and pumpkin seed flatbread which was absolutely fabulous.

Chilli Con Queso

Green chilli pepper, cream cheese, cheddar, buttermilk.
1) Deseed and finely dice the chilli pepper and drop into a milk pan on a low heat with 2 tablespoons of cream cheese. Stir until the cheese begins to soften and grate 15g of cheddar into the pan.

2) Continue to stir, adding buttermilk (or double cream if you want to be really indulgent!) until the cheese is melted.

3) Traditionally served warm with tortilla chips - I tried these with Fudge's cheese and black pepper flatbreads, and also with the cheddar biscuits which were fabulous.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Spicy Spring Scallops

Scallops, garden peas, ginger, green finger chilli, cucumber.
1) Peel and slice a generous chunk of ginger, a quarter of a cucumber and remove the core and seeds from a green chilli pepper. Liquidise in a blender until the mixture is smooth and marinate your scallops for an hour.

2) Drop the scallops into a frying pan along with some pre-cooked garden peas sizzle for 2 minutes and serve!

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Leek & pistachio risotto


Risotto rice (arborio, carnaroli or vialone nano - I would recommend carnaroli), vegetable stock, leek, parmigiano, pistachios, basil oil, buttermilk.
All risottos (no matter what the ingredients) can be made in 3 simple stages. The first is called tostatura - coating the rice in fat, the second involves cooking off some alcohol (white wine, brandy or vermouth produce the best flavours) and the third involves releasing the starch from the rice one ladle of stock at a time.

1) Slice the leek and add into a hot pan along with a generous glug of basil oil. Stir through and after 30 seconds add in 1 cup of risotto rice (this will serve one - add a half cup for each additional person).

2) Stir through until the basil oil has coated the rice evenly. When you see the grain of rice becoming clear, revealing a white dot in the centre add a glass of white wine and stir through.

3) Add a ladle of vegetable stock and continue to stir the rice.

4) Add additional stock, ladle by ladle as the stock cooks off. With the last ladle add a few tablespoons of parmeggian.

5) When the rice is soft (takes about 20 minutes) serve topped with pistachio nuts. A good risotto will be a little soupy rather than dry. It should be possible to form a mound of rice but when the dish is tapped it should sink down. I added a little buttermilk to the rice to cut the richness of parmeggian.

Monday, 6 June 2011

Avocado tzatziki

Avocado, cucumber, Greek yoghurt, lime juice, basil oil.
Following on from my Rose Tzatziki recipe, this is another of my twisted versions of the classic cucumber, yoghurt and mint dip from Greece.

1) Halve your avocado, remove the stone and scoop the flesh from the shell.
2) Peel a quarter of a cucumber and slice into chunks.

3) Drop into a blender with a squeeze of lime juice (for flavour, but also to stop the avocado from oxidising and turning brown) and 1 tablespoon of Greek yoghurt. Pulse thoroughly and add a little basil oil for glossiness and flavour. 

Ideal served with Fudge's absolutely divine Stilton and Walnut flatbreads.

Roast pepper & goats cheese dip




Goats cheese, bell pepper, balsamic vinegar, honey.
This is actually the easiest dip in the history of the world given that it works with 2 ingredients and can be made in less time than it takes to arrange the biscuits you're serving it with!

1) Core and de-seed a red bell pepper, slice it into quarters and brush it with just a touch of honey and balsamic vinegar. Put under the grill until the skin has just begun to bubble and blacken in patches.

2) Pulse in the blender with some goat's cheese

3) Serve warm or cold. I highly recommend Fudge's jalepeno wafers because the flavour doesn't shy away from the richness of this dip.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Pork & butterbean soup


Pork crackling, roast pork, butterbeans, dill, bay leaves, milk, onion powder, honey.
I made a fabulous honey roast pork with crackling for dinner today and rather than waste the last slice of pork and the caramelised crackling I made a soup from it.

1) Cut the pork into chunks and put that, along with the crackling into a pan. Add 2 bay leaves, half a teaspoon of onion powder and some milk.

2) Add half a pint of water and simmer for half an hour. Add the beans and some chopped dill, season with salt, pepper and a teaspoon of honey and simmer for a further 15 minutes.

Black cherry tart


Black cherries, red wine, cinnamon, star anise, marscapone, 250g butter, 100g sugar, 500g plain flour, 2 eggs, milk.
1) To make sweet shortcut pastry: sift the flour and sugar and add small cubes of the cold butter into your blender and pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add 2 beaten eggs and a splash of milk and pulse until a dough ball forms. Wrap in cling film and put in the fridge to cool for an hour.

2) To make the cherry filling: Halve and de-stone your cherries and put into a hot pan with 50g of sugar. Stir as the sugar begins to caramelise and add a glass of red wine, some cinnamon and a star anise. Stir through for about half an hour until the cherries soften and the juice forms a syrup with the cooked off red wine and sugar.

3) Roll out the pastry on a floured surface and cut out circles of dough. Press firmly into pastry cases and bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.

4) Spoon marscapone cheese onto the pastry cases and top with the cherries.

Vichyssoise (soup)




Leeks, potatoes, vegetable stock, cream. 
1) Slice 3 leeks and sautee them in butter. Add 3 peeled and diced potatoes and a pint of vegetable stock

2) When the potatoes and leeks are soft, strain from the liquid and pulse in the blender. Parse through a sieve and stir the liquid back in. Season with salt and black pepper.

3) Serve chilled with a generous swirl of cream (I also added chopped chive and a chive flour)

Friday, 3 June 2011

Fig, goats cheese & artichoke tart

Eggs, marscapone, basil, artichoke, lemon, basil oil, dried fig, pine nuts, goats cheese, 4oz plain flour, 2oz butter.
1) To make the shortcrust pastry measure 4oz of plain flour and 2oz of cold butter. Cut the butter into small cubes and drop along with the flour into a food processor until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Drip in 2-3 tablespoons of cold water until the mixture quickly forms a ball. Wrap this in clingfilm and put in the fridge for 15 minutes. Roll out and cut circles of pastry. Press firmly into a Yorkshire pudding tin and blind bake for 5 minutes in the oven and set aside to cool.

2) To prepare the artichoke vinaigrette: Break the stem of the artichoke as close to the base as you can, then put the artichoke head first into a pan of hot, salted water and keep it submerged with an upturned pan lid (or plate). It will take 20-30 minutes to cook until tender - test the base with a knife - if it goes in smoothly it's ready! Slice the artichoke leaves and mix into equal parts of basil oil, lemon juice and sprinkle with chopped basil.

3) Slice the dried fig and goats cheese and layer, along with the basil leaves and artichoke into the pastry case.

4) Whisk together 1 egg and 1 tablespoon of marscapone. Spoon over the tart, top with pine nuts and bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes.

Tomato, basil and goats cheese tart


Eggs, marscapone, basil, piccolo tomatoes, bell pepper, red onion, pine nuts, goats cheese, cinnamon, star anise, 4oz plain flour, 2oz butter. 

1) To make the shortcrust pastry measure 4oz of plain flour and 2oz of cold butter. Cut the butter into small cubes and drop along with the flour into a food processor until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Drip in 2-3 tablespoons of cold water until the mixture quickly forms a ball. Wrap this in clingfilm and put in the fridge for 15 minutes. Once chilled, roll out and press firmly into a pastry case. Bake blind for 5 minutes and set aside to cool.

2) Peel and slice half a red onion. Separate the outer rings and discard the smaller centres. Remove the core and seeds from 2 bell peppers and slice fine slivers of the fruit. Poach these along with the onion rings in red wine with a teaspoon of cinnamon and star anise.

3) Layer the pastry case with basil leaves, tomatoes, slices of pepper and onion and crumbled chunks of goats cheese.

4) Whisk together 3 eggs and 2 tablespoons of marscapone. Pour this evenly over the tart and sprinkle with pine nuts. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Serve warm or cold.

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