Author Archives for Cindy Duffield

Light and Lovely Lemon Mousse

The 98th of 100 recipes chosen from the blog to go into my cookbook, this is the most gorgeous lemon mousse, that I HAD to re-make today to take a better photograph than my last one…the things I do for this blog…spoon now in mousse…

What can I tell you – light, fresh, yummy, yummy, yummy, zesty, sweet, heavenly springs to mind. This is just a lovely, lovely lemon mousse that takes a bit of effort but is soooooo worth it. Try it and I guarantee you’ll add it to your favourites list!

Serves 4

What you need…

1 x 1 pint mould, filled with cold water

1½ dessertspoons gelatine powder

45ml cold water

1½ eggs (I know! See tip!)

1 egg yolk

50g caster sugar

65ml lemon juice

Grated zest of 1½ lemons

125ml double cream, lightly whisked to soft peaks

What to do…

Take a large bowl (bigger than the one that you are going to whisk the eggs and sugar in), tip in a load of ice, top up with water and set aside.

Put a large saucepan over the heat with a steamer and bring to a simmer.

Tip the gelatine into the water to soften. Set aside.

Put the eggs and yolk with the sugar into a large heatproof bowl and pop into the steamer. Use a handheld electric whisk and beat for between 5 and 10 minutes until the mixture is pale and fluffy and the whisk leaves a distinct trail.

Remove from the heat, setting onto a tea towel on your worktop to prevent slipping. Add the lemon juice and zest and continue to whisk until the mixture is cool.

Stick the gelatine into a microwave for a few seconds to melt and then tip into the mixture. Whisk to incorporate.

Put your mixture bowl into the iced water bowl and pop in a balloon whisk. For 15 – 20 minutes (whilst you clear up) keep coming back to the mixture and give it a gentle little whisk, also scraping down the side of the bowl until the mixture is just starting to set.  Fold in the cream so that it is evenly incorporated.

Empty the water from your mould and then tip your mixture in. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours. To ‘unmould’, fill your sink with hot water to a height just below that of your mould. Pop the mould into the water and remove when you see the sides of the mousse just coming away from the mould. Invert onto a pretty plate (remember to breathe – it will plop out – I promise!!!) and serve to a very appreciative audience! Enjoy – it is simply heavenly!

Tip…

This is half the original recipe – works perfectly for us when we’re on our own but obviously, you can’t really have half an egg. For the half, chuck an egg in a measuring jug, beat it with a fork just to mix it all together, see how much liquid there is and the chuck half down the sink. Sorry, but there it is: either this or double up and invite friends around or eat a lot of lemon mousse (not necessarily a problem!!!)

Inspired by…

No idea! Another once clipped from a magazine years ago that I have made and enjoyed successfully over at least 2 decades!

How easy…

It is easy, but it does take time and there’s quite a lot of clearing up. That said, it can be prepared 24 hours in advance so hey, job done if you have friends coming around!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fabulous Fish Thermidor

The 97th of 100 recipes chosen from the blog to go into my cookbook, this is a shocking picture (will re-do for the cookbook) but a stunning dish!

I have my wonderful friend, Helen, to thank for this dish. She produced it at a girls’ lunch and we all demanded copies of the recipe! It is really luscious and spectacularly easy to make. It can also be made in advance and re-heated. It tastes like a treat but is inexpensive to make – what’s not to like? Recreated at home, this is now on the list of ‘regular supper dishes’.

Serves 6

What you need…

1 x baking dish (mine is 30cm x 20cm x 7cm deep)

800g hake, skinned, filleted and cut into 3cm-ish chunks

45g butter

45g flour, sieved

750ml milk/Oatly alternative (to reduce dairy content)

Sea salt and black pepper

Splash rapeseed/olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

300g white mushrooms, cleaned and sliced

100ml tomato purée

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

125g Manchego/Cheddar cheese, grated

4 teaspoons brandy

225g raw jumbo king prawns (optional)

What to do…

Preheat oven to 170°c / 325°f / gas 3

Tip the milk into a medium saucepan and, on a medium heat, gently poach the fish chunks for five minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the fish from the milk and set aside.

In a separate saucepan, melt the butter. Tip in the flour and quickly stir it in. Remove the pan from the heat and, using a ladle, slowly add your hot milk, stirring in each ladleful before adding the next.

Return the white sauce to the heat and cook until smooth and thickened. Season and set aside.

Heat the oil in a large, deep frying pan and add the onion and mushrooms, frying gently until soft. Then, increase the heat to remove any moisture. Add the white sauce together with the tomato purée, mustard, cheese, brandy and the fish. Season with salt and pepper.

Turn the mixture into your baking dish, cover and pop in the oven to heat through for about 30 minutes. Wash up your three pans and relax. A delectably delicious dish awaits!

Fabulous fish thermidor is, as the name suggests, fabulous as it is, but if you wanted to add a little luxurious dimension, open the oven after 15 minutes and stir in your raw prawns. Cook for a further 15 minutes or until the prawns are pink.

Serving suggestion…

Steamed cabbage and leek work really well with a baked potato or basmati and wild rice (a current favourite!)

Tip…

Manchego cheese has recently been recommended to me by my lovely friend, Jean. It is a cheesemade in the La Mancharegion of Spainfrom the milkof the manchegasheep breed. Official manchegocheese is to be aged for between 60 days and two years, hence it is a little expensive. However, it is soooooooo worth it – absolutely delicious. Having grated enough for the recipe, there was then quite a lot of cheese-snacking to be done whilst preparing the dish.The cheese has a distinctive flavour, well developed but not too strong, creamy with a slight piquancy. I would urge you to try it!

Inspired by…

Lynn Bedford Hall, The Creative Cuisine (thank you again Helen for introducing me to this old but genuinely inspirational book).

How easy…

Wonderfully! I love these dishes that finish themselves off in the oven, while I quickly tidy up the pots and pans and treat myself to a glass of red!

 

Perfik Parkin!

The 96th of 100 recipes chosen from the blog to go into my cookbook, these unassuming little ‘poppable’ ginger treats are at once both light and deliciously sticky as well as…..very, very moreish.

Originating from Northern England, particularly in Yorkshire and Lancashire, Parkin is traditionally eaten on Guy Fawkes Night but is also enjoyed throughout the Winter months, apparently. There are loads of different recipes and many of them – unlike this one – contain black treacle. Using 5thNovember as an excuse to bake a cake I’d never tried before, I decided to give it a go and lordy, lordy, it’s bloody lovely!

I took it out of the oven and thought, ‘That’s a damned fine looking cake and also it’s huge!” It had risen in the oven whilst filling the kitchen with a glorious sweet smell of golden syrup and ginger. And then the taste: the sponge is really very light and delicately infused with its lovely flavours and yet it has a sticky moistness: quite unlike anything I’ve ever tried and extremely good. I ate rather a lot to ensure that I could properly describe it to you but then enjoyed the added bonus that Parkin increases its moist stickiness whilst in the tin over a couple of days – just delectable! Have had to promise Connagh that this recipe will be on regular repeat!!!!

Makes around 50 bite-sized cheeky little poppables!

What you need…

1 x 20cm cake tin, lightly buttered and lined with parchment paper

225g self-raising flour

115g caster sugar

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

115g golden syrup

55g butter

1 happy egg

200ml milk

What to do…

Preheat your oven to 150°c / 300°f / gas 4.

Tip the flour, sugar, ginger and bicarbonate of soda into your food processor and whizz to mix together.

In a small saucepan, gently heat the syrup and butter, until melted.

Beat the egg into the milk.

With your processor still whizzing on slow, gradually pour in the syrup/butter mixture until thoroughly combined. Then do the same with the egg/milk mixture and combine until smooth.

Pour into the cake tin and pop into oven to bake for 1 hour.

Cool in the tin. Once cool, turn out and cut up into cheeky little cubes  that pop easily into the mouth: poppables!!!

Inspired by…

One of Yorkshire’s finest, the butter-mad James Martin

How easy…

Ridiculously!

 

 

 

Lemon Sole with Brown Shrimp and Caper Butter Sauce

The 95th of 100 recipes chosen from the blog to go into my cookbook, this is an utterly delightful way to showcase the flavours of a lovely, fresh fish.

A tweaked version of a recipe demonstrated on telly, this lemon sole dish is fast, simple and absolutely lovely – something that I am convinced is to do with the minimal tinkering applied to the fish – its natural flavours are there to be enjoyed, enhanced by a lovely little simple sauce. Just yummy.

Serves 4

What you need…

A splash of rapeseed oil

800g lemon sole, cleaned and filleted to 4 portions

Sea salt and black pepper

100g unsalted butter

90g brown shrimp, cooked and peeled

2 teaspoons capers, drained and rinsed

Juice of two lemons

Small handful fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped

What to do…

On a high heat, melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan. Bubble away until the butter turns a lovely golden brown colour. Remove from the heat and, standing as far away as is feasible, pour in the lemon juice – it will go crazy and spit – you don’t want this all over you! Set aside and then add the brown shrimp, capers and parsley. Put back on the heat and keep warm on a very low heat, whilst you cook the fish.

Season the sole fillets with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and once hot, add the fish and cook for 3 minutes on each side.

Serve the fish and then drizzle over some of the brown shrimp and caper butter sauce. It’s lovely. Once a again, a reminder that the simple things in life often provide the most pleasure! (Providing you first have good quality fish, in this case!) Enjoy your lemon sole with brown shrimp and caper butter sauce!

Serving suggestion…

Parmentier potatoes together with creamed leeks with chestnut and thyme crumble (both already blogged).

Inspired by…

Bryn Williams, Saturday Kitchen

How easy…

Ever so. All you need is great fish to start with and lemon sole is nothing like as expensive as Dover Sole, so…..no holding back!

Chocolate Amaretti Cake

The 94th of 100 recipes chosen from the blog to go into my cookbook, to make this in one’s PJs is a great start to any day…

A scrumptious moist cake that combines the sweetness of chocolate with the texture and bite of Amaretti biscuits and almonds and then delivers a hint of orange, delighting the taste buds! It keeps for days (in the unlikely event that every last divine morsel isn’t devoured in minutes) and is a cinch to make – created this morning in just a few minutes whilst still in PJs! Give it a whirl!

Serves 8 – 12

What you need…

1 x 20cm round spring-form cake tin, lightly buttered and the base lined with parchment paper

150g 70% dark chocolate

50g Amaretti biscuits

100g ground almonds

175g caster sugar

Zest of 1 orange, finely grated

100g room temperature butter, cut into cubes

4 eggs, beaten

Icing sugar, for dusting

What to do…

Preheat oven to 180°c / 350°f / gas 4.

Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set in a steamer over simmering water.

Pop the Amaretti biscuits in a zip-lock food bag, seal and then crush the biscuits evenly using a rolling pin.

In a food processor, tip in the biscuits, ground almonds, caster sugar and orange zest and whizz until evenly blended.  Add the butter and whizz to blend. Add the eggs gradually, processing the whole time.  Then, add the melted chocolate and briefly whizz again until blended.

Tip the mixture into your cake tin and pop your chocolate Amaretti cake mixture into the oven, baking for 35 minutes or until the cake is puffed up and slightly cracked around the edges.

Remove from the oven and leave to sit for 15 minutes before carefully transferring to plate/cake stand. Dust the crisp top with icing sugar and serve, with an espresso, a glass of Disaronno liqueur or just on its own. Divine, but I might have already mentioned that!

Inspired by…

Rachel Allen

How easy…

Ever so!

Monkfish Roasted with Parma Ham and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

The 93rd of 100 recipes chosen from the blog to go into my cookbook, this is a truly lovely way of serving monkfish.

A lovely dish that is simple to make, very easy on the eye and great tasting.

Serves 4

What you need…

1 small jar of sun-dried tomatoes in oil

2 large handfuls of fresh basil

Olive oil

16-20 slices of Parma ham

4 x 200g monkfish tail fillets, trimmed

Sea salt and black pepper

Balsamic vinegar and rocket (optional, to serve)

What to do…

Pre-heat oven to 200c / 400f / gas 6. Place sun-dried tomatoes and half their flavoursome preserving oil in a food processor with all the basil and blend until smooth. While blending, add the remaining preserving oil to the paste until it’s nice and spreadable.

Take four A4-sized pieces of greaseproof paper. Rub some olive oil over each piece and lay about 4 slices of Parma ham snugly next to each other, on each piece of paper. Divide your paste into 4, smearing each quarter evenly over the ham. Then, place your monkfish fillets at one end, season, and, using the greaseproof paper as an aid to wrap the monkfish firmly in the Parma ham, fold and roll up. Slide the Parma ham-wrapped monkfish off the greaseproof paper onto an oiled baking tray (with sides as liquid will escape during cooking and make a right mess of the oven – been there, done that!). Roast for 15-20 minutes.

To serve your monkfish roasted with Parma ham and sun-dried tomatoes, either slice up or serve each portion whole, ideally with really buttery mashed potato. Garnish with drizzled balsamic vinegar over the fish and scattered rocket over the whole plate.

It’s quick, gorgeous and looks like it’s taken hours of slaving. Ideal for a dinner party as it can be prepared in advance, kept covered and refrigerated until you are ready to pop it in the oven; or for a family supper when you fancy something a little different.

Inspired by…

Jamie Oliver

How Easy…

Very easy and hardly any clearing up!

Insalata Burrata della Casa Kinnon

The 92nd of 100 recipes chosen from the blog to go into my cookbook, this was first tried with the lovely Jane and Dom Kinnon (thank you) and then recreated for a spontaneous birthday picnic. This gorgeous little number is being enjoyed today al fresco under a sparkling blue sky enjoying the best of British summer time.  A joy to assemble, this salad is manna from heaven: peppery rocket perfectly contrasting perfectly with the soft, rich, pillow of gorgeousness that is the burrata, the sweet delight of the figs and the gentle saltiness of the Parma ham. Now discovered, it is to be a near permanent summer fixture in the Duffield house.

Serves 2 for a summer lunch

What you need…

A couple of large handfuls of rocket

4 – 6 really ripe figs, halved or quartered

6 – 8 slices Parma ham

1 Burrata (only seen so far in Waitrose)

Aged balsamic vinegar

Olive oil

What to do…

Scatter the rocket all over a pretty plate.

Muck about with the Parma ham, rolling it up prettily and arranging over the rocket.

Arrange the figs and then place the Burrata in pride of place at the centre of the plate.

Drizzle over balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

Consume with restrained fervour, ideally with a glass of cold white wine: utterly delicious.

What’s Burrata…?

A speciality of Italy’s Puglia region, rich and soft centred, filled with cream and ribbons of mozzarella.

Inspired by…

Jane and Dom Kinnon (no idea where they came across it).

How easy…

So little effort for something that is an absolute mouth-watering treat – you couldn’t ask for better!!!!

Fantasy Cake

The 91st of 100 recipes chosen from the blog to go into my cookbook, this is just a wonderful cake, exuding all the loveliness that is an English summer.

You know how the first sunshine of summer works – you sit outside in April or May after months and months of cold, grey, wet winter (and spring) days and you feel those first wonderfully warm rays sink into your bones – all is well with the world. Well, making and eating this cake is a similar experience: it’s best enjoyed warm – the sponge is moist and the deliciously gooey, sweet strawberries deliver summer direct to all of your senses – one of my favourite recipes from Lisa Faulkner’s book, ‘Recipes from my Mother for my Daughter’. Just lovely.

What you need…

1 x 23cm spring form cake tin, lightly buttered and lined with Bake O Glide or parchment paper on the bottom

175g unsalted butter, softened

150g caster sugar

150g self-raising flour

2 large, happy eggs

3 tablespoons milk

100g ground almonds

1 teaspoon almond essence

400g strawberries, hulled and halved

Icing sugar for dusting

What to do…

Preheat oven to 160°c / 325°f, gas 3.

Using a food processor, whizz together all the ingredients except the strawberries and icing sugar.

Stir in the fruit, reserving a handful for decorating.

Pour the mixture into the cake tin and put the remaining handful of fruit on top of the cake.

Bake in a preheated oven for about 1-1¼ hours. To test if it is cooked, pierce the cake with a skewer – if it is clean when you pull it out, the cake is cooked. If not, pop it back in for another 5 – 10 minutes.

Turn the cake out of the tin onto a wire rack to cool and then dust with icing sugar. It’s most gorgeous served just as its turning from warm to room temperature, ideally outside enjoying early summer sunshine.

Inspired by…

Lisa Faulkner

How easy…

Really easy and it comes with a sense of well-being!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Toad in the Hole

The 90th of 100 recipes chosen from the blog to go into my cookbook, this is perfect for today which is rather drab and cold.

There’s nothing quite like it on a cold winter’s day, is there? Toad in the hole – with no soggy bottom – and a great gravy – sticks to the ribs and is soooooo warming and comforting. Our version has great mountainous sides, plunging into the sausagy middle – something easily attainable from the batter whisking and the use of suet. Whip it up, stick it in the oven and serve – great for an early-week supper, particularly as you can use the Sunday roast’s left over gravy to serve it with. Try as we have done in the past, we now tend to avoid accompanying vegetables – why spoil a naughty thing?!

Serves 4 hungry people

What you need…

1 x baking dish, lightly buttered (mine is 30cm x 20cm x 7cm deep)

12 of your favourite sausages

275 g plain flour

4 eggs

300ml milk/Oatly if you’re cutting down on dairy

180ml water

Sea salt and black pepper

A good handful of suet

What to do…

Preheat oven to 220°c / 425°f / gas 7.

Pop the sausages into the baking dish and bake them on the middle shelf in the oven for 10-15 minutes until they are just starting to colour.

Using an electric mixer, whisk together the flour, eggs, milk, water, salt and pepper until there are no lumps and you have a lovely, smooth batter.

Whisk in the suet into the batter – just enough to get it incorporated (mix it for too long and you’ll beat out the raising agent).

Remove the sausages from the oven and quickly tip in the batter. Put it straight back in the oven and cook for 30-ish minutes, turning half way through to ensure and even bake. The batter should be golden, crispy around the edges and cooked properly through the middle; sausages good and brown poking through the batter.

Serve your fabulous winter toad in the hole immediately – huge great wedges for each lucky person. Ideally, top with the rich gravy left over from your Sunday Roast Dinner. Sit back at the end, patting the belly and pronounce that you can do nothing further for the rest of the day!

Tip…

If you don’t have any left over gravy available, this is my quick stop-gap version which does a fine job!  For four people, tip 150g Bistro chicken gravy granules into the bottom of a large jug. Gradually add boiling water from a kettle, mixing in the granules evenly using a balloon whisk. Keep adding water until you have a gravy that is your preferred consistency (we like ours thick). Add a good glug of Pellegrino Marsala Superiore to the gravy and taste – maybe add a bit more. The Marsala adds a wonderful depth of flavour. If you have time,  you can bring this to the boil in a saucepan and cook off the alcohol, but we never have and we’re all quite close to normal!

Inspired by…

John the husband and Delia Smith

How easy…

Ever so. A bit of whisking and then the oven does the rest. A perfect weekday meal!