Snacks and Starters

Omelette Arnold Bennett

The 75th of 100 recipes chosen from the blog to go into my cookbook, this is soooooooo much more than an omelette and perfect for Sunday Brunch

When I happened upon this recipe, the intro read that ‘everyone must make this at least once in their lives’ – quite a statement but having tried it, I completely agree. Unlike any omelette I have ever tried, this is rich, sumptuous and very satisfying – we felt like we were eating a luxurious treat rather than a family meal. We had it for a supper but I think it would be best enjoyed as a weekend breakfast, surrounded by the papers and with coffee brewing in the corner – sounds like a wonderful start to the day.

Serves 2 really happy people

What you need…

300ml semi-skimmed milk

2 cloves

2 bay leaves

A few parsley stalks

1 medium onion, cut into wedges

260g smoked haddock

4 happy eggs, plus 2 happy egg yolks

40g butter

15g plain flour

A handful of Parmesan, grated

Parsley, chopped, to garnish

What to do…

Heat the milk in a saucepan with the cloves, bay leaves, parsley stalks and onion. Bring to the boil, then remove from the heat, pop on a lid and set aside for 30 minutes for the flavours to infuse.

Return the pan to a moderate heat and bring the milk to a gentle simmer. Place the smoked haddock in, remove from the heat, pop the lid on again and allow the fish to cook in the cooling milk. Once the fish is cooked and cool enough to handle, remove it from the milk and flake it into a bowl. Set aside. Strain the milk through a sieve and retain. Discard the onion and herbs.

Meanwhile, whisk the 4 whole eggs in a bowl.

Then, in a medium-sized saucepan, melt a third of the butter. Tip in the flour and stir in, cooking over a moderate heat for 2 minutes. Gradually add the warm milk, stirring the whole time until it has all been incorporated. Keep over a low heat for a further 5 minutes until the sauce is thick and smooth. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Melt the remaining butter in a large frying pan over a moderate heat. Tip in the whisked eggs and cook them until they are just cooked at the bottom but liquid on top. Add the flaked fish and sprinkle over the Parmesan. Add the two egg yolks to the sauce combine before pouring the sauce over the omelette. Place the frying pan under a hot grill to finish cooking the eggs and allowing the top to glaze. (This part of the process was interrupted as the burglar alarm in our new house went off and the omelette was only just saved in the ensuing mayhem – hence the poor photograph!)

Enjoy. What bliss the marriage of smoked haddock and eggs with the rich, creamy sauce. Scrumptious!

How Omelette Arnold Bennett came about…

Classic dishes don’t get any more quintessentially British than the Omelette Arnold Bennett. It was created in 1930 at London’s Savoy Hotel. Prolific writer, Arnold Bennett was staying at the hotel, using the location as the backdrop to the book that he was writing. One day, feeling particularly hungry, he asked the breakfast waiter for an omelette with a little more substance than usual and chef, Jean Baptiste Virlogeux, created this sumptuous little number. The Savoy still serves it every day and its fame is such that it features on menus both sides of the Atlantic.

Inspired by…

James Winter, who in turn was inspired by Jean Baptiste Virlogeux

How easy…

It’s not difficult but it is fiddly and requires 3 pans and 2 bowls, so it’s also messy. That said, it’s absolutely worth the clearing up.

 

Crispy, Crunchy, Ever-so Oozy Garlic and Mozzarella Bread

The 65th of 100 recipes chosen from the blog to go into my cookbook, this is the yummiest garlic bread – have been making it for years and dare I say it, haven’t come across better!

I know what you’re thinking: has she gone mad? She’s stuck up a recipe for garlic bread!!!!! But, bear with me – how many times have you bought garlic bread from the supermarket as a quick accompaniment to pasta or to add to a barbecue and when you cut in to it: huge disappointment – there’s a measly smear of butter in the middle of each slice with barely a hint of garlic – not good enough! My garlic bread is crisp (sometimes too crunchy if I forget about it in the oven) on the outside and moist on the inside – so buttery it has been know to drip down a chin or two. Loads of garlic and Italian herbs – it’s lovely. And these days, thanks to my daughter, Maddie, it has the addition of Mozzarella cheese, which makes it even naughtier and even yummier. A sinch to make and really quick, avert your eyes from those supermarket offerings: this is proper garlic bread!

What you need…

Une baguette!

250g butter, softened

8 cloves garlic, chopped

1½ tablespoons dried Italian herb mix (mine has a little chilli in it which gives it a real kick)

2 teaspoons garlic granules

Mozzarella cheese

What to do…

Using a fork, mash together the butter, garlic, herbs and garlic granules to form your lovely garlic butter.

Slice the baguette at a slight diagonal and nearly but not quite all the way through. Take a butter knife and slather the garlic butter onto each side of the bread slice – don’t be tempted to cut back – channel ‘slather’.  Wodge in thin slices of mozzarella cheese in between each slice and then squish together the bread slices and wrap in foil before popping in the oven for 40 minutes. If you’d rather just straight garlic bread, then skip the mozzarella and wrap the bread loosely in foil and pop it in the oven for 40 minutes. Either way, check your garlic bread after 30 minutes to see that it’s starting to crisp up on the outside.  If not, open up the foil for the remaining 10 minutes’ cooking.

Serve with pasta, a barbecue, a picnicy supper or just on its own with drinks – lovely!!!

Tip…

This recipe makes loads! I make a load of garlic butter in one hit, taking it out of the fridge as and when I need it over the course of a month. We soon get through it in the summer – ideal for garlic bread, for basting lobster tails (if we’re lucky enough) or for dribbling over ther fish and for swishing in new potatoes!

Italian seasoning is available from supermarkets however…if you have a friend who is travelling through an Italian airport, ask them to pick up a bag of the Italian pasta seasoning from there – it’s just that little bit more special – I use it in a variety of pasta dishes as well as in this garlic butter.

I haven’t put a quantity for mozzarella cheese, but whatever’s left, use it up in a salad with tomatoes and basil, drizzling over olive oil and balsamic to serve. Just yum!

Inspired by…

Who knows! I’ve been doing this for years and everyone loves it!

How easy…

Very, very!

 

 

Butternut Squash Soup

The 60th of 100 recipes chosen from the blog to go into my cookbook, you can usually find several portions of this soup in my freezer, ready for a quick lunch or starter with friends – gorgeous!

This is a wonderful, warming soup that is so comforting but made extra special with one of my favourite additions: truffle oil! A lovely lunch on a dreary grey day, this soup is also an excellent dinner party starter and has been served up to most of our friends, all of whom love it!

Serves 6 – 8

What you need…

2 chicken stock pots (I use Knorr)

1 litre hot water from the kettle

Glug of olive oil

1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning or sage

3 cloves of garlic, chopped

I red onion, roughly chopped

2 medium carrots, peeled and roughly chopped

2 celery sticks, trimmed and roughly chopped

3 sprigs of rosemary

1 red chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped

Sea salt and black pepper to taste

1kg butternut squash

Truffle oil to serve (my favourite is Carluccio’s Olio al Tartufo Bianco – some other brands taste too oily)

What to do…

First, make some chicken stock by dissolving the chicken stock pots into the water – use a balloon whisk to hasten the process. Set aside.

Then, in a large saucepan, pour in your glug of olive oil and warm over a moderate heat.

Add the Italian seasoning/sage, garlic, onion, carrots, celery, rosemary, chilli, salt and pepper. Turn down heat to low and leave to soften for 15 minutes.

Add the butternut squash and stock, bring to the boil. Then cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

Remove the rosemary stems and then tip the whole lot into a blender (you will need to do this in batches) and whizz to produce this wonderful, comforting soup.

Serve drizzled with a little truffle oil – lusciously yummy!

Inspired by…

Jamie Oliver

How easy…

It really doesn’t come any easier than this! You can also make it a couple of days before you want it – keeping it in the fridge – and it freezes really well. So, quite often, I’ll double up on the ingredients, freezing half.

 

 

 

 

Dips and Tapenades for Drinks, a Picnic or just for Snackin’

The 54th of 100 recipes chosen from the blog to go into my cookbook, these dips sit at the heart of one of my ‘fridge-raid’ suppers where the table overflows with cheese, paté, cold cuts, pies….and dips!

Having friends around for drinks or a picnicky lunch? Dips are always welcome. Here we have a selection of tapenades and dips to tempt the taste buds. Hummus is my favourite , I eat loads of the stuff and the authentic recipe here is bang on! This hummus is rich and creamy but also fresh-tasting because of the lemon juice and the combined flavours of the garlic, dark tahini and chick peas really come through beautifully – the recipe is also really cheap, quick and easy to do. If you like hummus, give this a go.

And then there’s the others – also gorgeous (but hummus has a special place in my heart and stomach, hence the big intro).

The juicy, sweet but piquant sun-dried tomato and basil tapenade and the more earthy, intense olive version both shout with flavours of the Mediterranean. Then, there’s this recipe for guacamole, which combines the luscious creaminess of avocado with a fresh coriander edge and a real kick of chilli. All four dips can be made in advance and in less than half an hour, using a mini food processor for each one and a quick wipe out in between – simple!   In essence, dip into a quick, easy and vast array of flavours – yummy!

What you need…

for the Middle Eastern Hummus

400g can chickpeas in salted water, drained

100ml ice-cold water

4 tablespoons dark tahini

2 cloves garlic, chopped

125g plain yogurt

3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Sea salt

Splash olive oil

for the Sun-Dried Tomato and Basil Tapenade

200g sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained

A large handful of fresh basil leaves

1 garlic clove, peeled

2 tablespoons olive oil (from the jar of sun dried tomatoes if possible)

50g pine nuts

for the Olive Tapenade

100g pitted black olives, drained

100g pitted green olives, drained

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 anchovies in oil, drained

½ garlic clove, peeled

Black pepper, to taste

for the Guacamole with Coriander

1medium tomato, quartered

1 just-ripe avocado, peeled and roughly chopped

½ fresh green chilli, deseeded and roughly chopped

½ garlic clove, peeled and chopped

A large handful fresh coriander, roughly chopped

Zest of half a lime, finely grated

A good squeeze lime juice

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

What to do…

Hummus: into your food processor, chuck all of the hummus ingredients except the salt and olive oil. Whizz until smooth. Taste. Season with salt. Whizz. Taste again and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Pour into shallow serving bowls and pop in the fridge (where it will thicken) until you are ready to serve.

To serve, use a spoon to make a slight hollow in the centre of the hummus and pour in a little olive oil.

Sun-dried tomato tapenade: rinse out your food processor and blade. Dry with kitchen paper.  Stick all the ingredients into your food processor. Whizz until smooth. Decant into a serving bowl. Cover with cling film and pop into the fridge until needed.

Olive tapenade: rinse out your food processor and blade. Dry with kitchen paper.  Chuck all the ingredients for the olive tapenade into your processor and whizz until smooth. Decant into a serving bowl. Cover with cling film and pop into the fridge until needed.

Guac: rinse out your food processor and blade.  Dry with kitchen paper. Tip all the ingredients for the guacamole into your processor, marvel at how lovely it is to have such a great gadget and then whizz the ingredients until the consistency is as you would like – rustically chunky, elegantly smooth or something in between! Decant into a serving bowl. Cover with cling film and pop into the fridge until needed.

Serve your wonderful dips with and an assortment of breads, crackers and crudités; some cold, crisp dry white wine and most importantly, a good collection of family and friends. Enjoy!

Inspired by…

Suzanne Husseini, When Suzanne Cooks (thanks Denise) for the hummus and Mary Berry for the others

How easy…

An absolute whizz!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chicken, Mozzarella and Pesto Filo Parcels

The 53rd of 100 recipes chosen from the blog to go into my cookbook, these are parcels of utter deliciousness – a gift to do as well as for the palate!

I saw Tom Daley do these on TV and thought that they looked so very tasty as well as being so very easy and they are exactly that! An ideal gift of a lunch or supper (you do feel like you’re opening a present when you cut into them), these are really lovely and much more filling than I had thought. We did also think ‘ideal student food’.

Serves 4

What you need…

1 x baking sheet, lined with baking parchment

2 tablespoons olive oil

A large handful basil leaves, finely chopped

2 teaspoons pine nuts

450g skinless, boneless chicken breast, chopped into bite-sized pieces

8 sundried tomatoes, roughly chopped

250g mozzarella, chopped

8 rectangular sheets filo pastry, cut in half to make 16 squares

50g butter, melted

Sea salt and black pepper

What you do…

Preheat your oven to 200°c / 400°f / gas 6. Pop in your baking sheet to warm up whilst you make the parcels.

To create a pesto, put the oil, basil and pine nuts in mini chopper if you have one and whizz until smooth. If you don’t have a mini chopper, just chop the basil and nuts as finely as you can and then mix them with the oil.

Put the chicken, tomatoes and mozzarella into a bowl and add the pesto. Season liberally and stir everything together.

Take 4 squares of filo pastry and lay them one on top of another, but turning each one a little to the right to create a star outline once all four are on top of one another.

Divide the mixture evenly between the four pastry ‘stars’ piling it up in the middle of each.

Brush a little melted butter in a fat circle around the mixture and then scrunch each ‘star’ together to create 4 large moneybag shapes. Brush each parcel all over (except the base) with butter – this will help the pastry stick together and will also turn it a gorgeous golden brown when cooked.

Pop the parcels onto your preheated baking tray and bake them in the oven for about 25 minutes until golden.

There’s quite a bit of theatre to serving them: they look amazing and then when you cut into them for ‘the big reveal’ the delightful crunch of the buttery filo pastry gives way to the really very yummy contents inside!

Serving suggestion…

Green vegetables or a salad of tomatoes, mozzarella, basil and avocado, drizzled with a olive oil, balsamic vinegar and Dijon mustard dressing (which is what we did together with some fresh, warm, chunky bread – delish!)

Inspired by…

Olympic diver, Tom Daley

How easy…

Fabulously easy and very attractive on the eye as well as the palate!

 

 

New York Caesars Salad, My Way

The 51st of 100 recipes chosen from the blog to go into my cookbook, this is one sassy salad!

Many years ago I had a marketing job that meant, in the name of work, I ate out a lot. And I mean a lot. There was also the occasional overseas trips undertaken and twice I was lucky enough to visit New York on business.  Labelled a ‘jolly’, the trip was as much about food as it was the thrills of Manhattan: huge hotel breakfasts followed by large, leisurely lunches and obscenely over-indulgent dinners punctuated each day (they don’t make jobs like this anymore!) There’s only so much a girl can eat even if the food is amazing so I quickly took to choosing Caesars Salad as my default choice for lunch, being the perfect foil for the inevitable heavy, rich dinners that I knew would follow. I’ve never had a Caesars Salad as good as those I enjoyed in New York and so ended up developing my own version. I have no idea how close to the authentic recipe mine is but it’s pretty close to those savoured in Manhattan. It’s light but edgy – salad with attitude I’d say – and really enlivening – give it a go!

Serves 2

What you need…

4 good-sized slices back bacon

300g mixed salad leaves (including iceberg for the crunch), torn

A good handful of freshly grated Parmesan

for the croutons

1 slice bread from a large loaf

50g butter

for the dressing

60ml olive oil

30ml white wine vinegar

3 anchovies

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Sea salt and black pepper to season

What to do…

For the croutons, cut bread roughly into 1cm squares and pop into a bowl with the butter and then into the microwave for 1 minute.  Stir to make sure the butter is evenly distributed and pop back in for another 40 seconds. Repeat this last process until the croutons are golden and crispy. In my microwave, I do 3 x 40 seconds.

(N.B. microwave times may vary – I rarely use a microwave so ours is old and pretty inferior so yours may do the job much quicker).

Set the croutons aside to cool.

Dry-fry the bacon until its crispy. Remove from the pan and as soon as it’s cool enough to handle, chop it up into bite-sized pieces (I use scissors for this – it’s quicker than a knife for me). Put the chopped pieces on kitchen paper to absorb the moisture whilst the bacon cools.

In a jam jar, chuck all the dressing ingredients in together, screw on the lid and shake like mad to mix everything together and break down the anchovies.

When you are ready to serve, tip your salad leaves into a large roomy salad bowl and throw in the bacon. Add half the Parmesan and then the dressing. Toss everything together.  Either divide into two bowls or serve to the table in the salad bowl. Whichever way, scatter over more Parmesan and finally, the croutons. Enjoy! It really is a wonderful salad!

Serving suggestion…

I like it on it’s own as a main course, but it also works well served with steak or as a starter, perhaps with garlic bread.

Tip…

If you don’t fancy using a microwave, you can fry croutons in oil and a little butter or brush/toss them with oil and then bake or grill them – whichever suits you best.

Inspired by…

New York!

How easy…

Ever so!

Breakfast Boudins

The 48th of 100 recipes chosen from the blog to go into my cookbook, this is one for the weekend breakfast or brunch: wake up and smell the coffee, loll around in your dressing gown, gather the newspapers and enjoy these little ‘boudins’ – great start to the day!

Thank you Sue K. for sharing this recipe that appeared on the ‘buzzfeedtasty’ page on Facebook. These little breakfast lovelies are such treats and just a bit different. They were certainly a lovely start to a lazy weekend.

Makes 6

What you need…

Muffin tin, liberally buttered

Cookie cutter

3 slices bread

3 teaspoons of Parmesan or Cheddar cheese, grated

6 rashers back bacon

6 happy eggs

Sea salt and black pepper

What to do…

Choose a cookie cutter that is the same size as the bottom of your muffin tin holes and cut six circles from your bread slices, nestling them snugly into the bottom of six of the holes.

Sprinkle a teaspoon of cheese into each one.

Dry-fry the bacon so that it’s only just cooked and remove from the pan, setting aside until it’s cool enough to handle. Wrap each rasher around the edge of each muffin hole and then break an egg into each one.

Season with salt and pepper and pop in the oven for 15 minutes.

Transfer to warm plates and take to your kitchen table, already laden with knives and forks,  freshly squeezed orange juice, steaming coffee and the weekend newspapers. Bliss!

Variations…

I have also added little pigs in blankets to the eggs (having baked them in the oven for 10 minutes beforehand and I reckon that you could also swap out the pigs in blankets for a little spinach and smoked salmon for a different take on this lovely breakfast.

Inspired by…

www.facebook.com/buzzfeedtasty

How Easy…

Really easy – great for whipping up on a Saturday or Sunday morning whilst the coffee brews

Cauliflower and Chestnut Soup

The 46th of 100 recipes chosen from the blog to go into my cookbook, this is a gorgeous soup that really is a ‘hug in a bowl’ – perfect for right now.

This soup was described as a ‘hug in a bowl’ and I totally agree.  Absolutely delicious with the delicate cauliflower flavour being beautifully complemented by the earthiness of the chestnuts and rich decadence of the cream. Simply delightful, comforting and the perfect antidote to a dreary, cold day!

Serves 4

What you need…

Splash of olive oil

1 large red onion, chunked

1 large cauliflower, chunked into florets

250ml milk

850ml vegetable/chicken stock

150ml double cream

Sea salt and black pepper

200g vacuum-packed chestnuts

25g Parmesan, shaved

Drizzle of truffle or olive oil, to serve

What to do…

Heat the oil in a large saucepan and chuck in the onion, cooking over a low heat for 10 minutes, until softened. Tip in the cauliflower, milk and stock and bring to a simmer, cooking for a further 15 minutes until the cauliflower is tender. Pour in the cream and season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil and then remove from the heat. Chuck in the chestnuts and pour the lot into a blender, whizzing until smooth.

Serve your hug in a bowl topped with Parmesan, black pepper and a drizzle of truffle or olive oil. Simple and gorgeous!

Inspired by…

bbcgoodfood.com

How easy…

Delightfully!

 

My Favourite Recipe for Chicken Liver Paté

The 44th of 100 recipes chosen from the blog to go into my cookbook, this paté is simply stunning, adored by both me and…by Treacle the dog(amongst others) – leave this for 30 seconds within reach and….it’s vanished (be it me or the dog!) – paté is her absolute favourite!

For years I have been making a truly wonderful chicken liver paté recipe, confident that the recipe couldn’t be bettered. And then….I found this one in Rachel Allen’s ‘Entertaining at Home’. It is absolutely gorgeous – a rich, smooth paté beautifully flavoured with port, brandy and thyme. I have since switched my allegiance and it’s definitely on the ‘favourites’ list for when friends come around for dinner. Give it a go – if you love opulent, rich patés, you’ll love this.

Serves 4 – 6 as a starter

What you need…

250g chicken livers, trimmed

110g butter

50g shallots, chopped finely

2 cloves of garlic, chopped finely

2 teaspoons thyme leaves, chopped

95ml port

25ml brandy

Sea salt and black pepper

Sweet apple relish to serve, optional

What to do…

Melt 15g butter in a large frying pan over a moderate heat and when it starts to foam, tip in the chicken livers. Cook for 2-4 minutes on each side (depending on the thickness of the livers) ensuring that they are still pink in the middle. Tip into your food processor.

In the same pan, melt a further 15g butter over a moderate heat. Add the shallots and garlic and sauté for 6 – 8 minutes until golden. Tip in the thyme, 75ml of the port and all of the brandy and cook until the liquid has reduced to about 2 tablespoons. Tip all the ingredients into your food processor, scraping the pan to make sure you get all the yummy goodness.

Pour the remaining port into the pan, whop up the heat to high and boil for 30 seconds before adding to the food processor. Whizz everything together until smooth. Cut the remaining butter into cubes, plop them in and whizz again to incorporate. Taste, adjust seasoning, whizz and taste again.

Spoon into one serving bowl or individual dishes, smooth over and cover with cling film. Pop in the fridge until about 20 minutes before you want to indulge – the flavours really come to the fore at room temperature. The sweet apple relish (already blogged) is a good accompaniment (as is a lovely little glass of dessert wine) but isn’t vital – this paté is quite happy taking centre stage!

Tip…

The paté freezes really well, so I’m going to double up on the recipe so that there’s always some available for those spontaneous ‘drop-ins’.

Inspired by…

Rachel Allen

How easy…

Very easy – a bit of frying and whizzing – job done!

 

 

American-Style Buttermilk Pancakes

Savoury with Smoked Salmon and Dill Sauce and Sweet with caramelised Bananas and Chocolate/Caramel

The 41st of 100 recipes chosen from the blog to go into my cookbook, this one celebrates Shrove Tuesday but with a couple of totally gorgeous, alternative recipes to the norm!

When I first found this recipe, Shrove Tuesday was fast approaching and I decided to take a departure from the traditional pancake batter and instead try this American-style pancake recipe instead and…. it was sooooo worth it! In our indulgent taste test (in the name of blog research) we tried both savoury pancakes with smoked salmon and dill sauce followed by pancakes with caramelised bananas and either chocolate or caramel spread. Wow!!!!! (John’s first five words) Fluffy and light, smooth and indulgent, I’m afraid the days of traditional pancake batter may well be behind me, these are absolutely terrific and feel like an utter treat.

Makes 6 – 8 pancakes, depending on how big you like them

What you need for the buttermilk pancakes…

150g plain flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon cream of tartar

1 tablespoon caster sugar

Pinch of salt

2 large, happy eggs, separated

284ml carton buttermilk

Knob of butter for frying

What you need for the smoked salmon and dill sauce topping…

1 large, happy egg yolk

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 dessertspoon caster sugar

Pinch of salt

150ml rapeseed oil

Small bunch dill, finely chopped

Juice of ½ lemon

Smoked salmon (100g tops 3 pancakes)

A few dill sprigs, lemon wedges and creamed horseradish to serve

What you need for the caramelised banana and chocolate topping…

Per pancake:

Sprinkling of caster sugar

1 banana, sliced thickly,

Either Dulce de Leche (milk caramel spread) or chocolate spread or Nutella

Dollop of ice cream to serve (we had brandy ice cream – recipe already blogged – which was incredible but vanilla would work well)

What to do…

Make the Dill sauce up to three days in advance.This means that you can just enjoy the pancake-making on the day that you want to eat them.

Put the egg yolk, vinegar, mustard, sugar and salt into a mixing bowl and use your handheld electric whisk to beat until a foam is beginning to form. Very slowly pour in the oil, whisking the whole time, to create a thickened Hollandaise-style sauce. Stir in the dill and lemon juice, cover with cling film and pop in the fridge until needed.

For each warmed pancake, dollop on around a dessertspoon of dill sauce and spread over the pancake. Arrange or plop on as much smoked salmon as you fancy and garnish with a few dill sprigs. Serve with lemon wedges and a little creamed horseradish on the side: wow and awesome!!!!

And to the pancakes!In a medium mixing bowl, use your handheld electric whisk to beat the egg whites until they form soft floppy peaks. Set aside. Unplug the whisk and rinse.

Mix the flour, baking powder, cream of tartar, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the egg yolks and mix in. Slowly pour in the buttermilk, using your handheld electric whisk to mix it in thoroughly, forming a thick, smooth batter.

Add one tablespoon egg whites to the batter and use a balloon whisk to incorporate. Add the rest of the egg whites in two batches, again using the balloon whisk to gently incorporate, creating a light, fluffy batter.

Heat a large frying pan over a moderate heat and lightly grease with butter. For each pancake, drop in a ladleful of batter, smoothing it down a little with the back of the ladle to create pancakes that are about 10cm wide and 1cm thick. Cook for 2 – 3 minutes on each side and then keep warm in a low oven whilst you cook the rest. Add your choice of topping and either slowly indulge or demolish with relish!!!! (We tried the first approach but quickly made the transition to the second!)

For the caramelised banana and chocolate topping.  Warm a small frying pan over a moderate heat with the sprinkling of caster sugar covering the bottom of the pan. As soon as the sugar has melted, chuck in the banana slices. As soon as the melted sugar turns red, flip the bananas and cook for a couple of minutes until they are well caramelised. Don’t muck about with them as they’ll break up. Remove from the heat and set aside whilst you spread your choice of chocolate or caramel spread over your warmed pancake. Tip the banana slices over the top and then dollop on your ice cream. Roll your eyes in the ecstasy that is this pancake – guard it against jealous housemates!

Tip…

This quantity of the dill sauce is enough for 6 – 8 pancakes, but if like us, you only use up half the batter for savoury ones, the sauce will keep in the fridge for 3 days and is brilliant served with grilled or roasted fish.

Inspired by…

Delicious magazine

How easy…

Really easy and very worth it. I’d definitely make the dill sauce in advance though as there was a lot of washing up!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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