Salmon with Tiger Prawns

A fast and fabulous supper dish, this recipe comes from my good friend, Julie, who recommended it as a great and different way of serving salmon. It is just that and more – it’s easy and quick and tastes absolutely great: the salmon’s all dressed up with a lovely topping that enhances it’s flavour and has the wonderful combination of a rich sauce and crispy, crunchy topping – perfect for a mid week supper that tastes like a bit of a treat!

Serves 4

What you need…

1 x baking tray, liberally buttered or lined with Bake O Glide

4 x 150g middle-cut salmon fillets, skinned

Sea salt and black pepper

1 small packet plain potato crisps, crushed

A sprinkling of paprika

Fresh parsley, to garnish

for the topping

150g Boursin cheese

1 egg yolk

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

12 cooked tiger prawns, shelled

What to do…

Preheat your oven to 200˚c / 400˚ / gas 6.

For the topping, mix together the Boursin, egg yolk, lemon juice and parsley until smooth. Season to taste. Stir in the prawns so that they are completely coated.

Arrange the salmon fillets on your baking tray. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon over the topping evenly, making sure that each fillet receives 3 prawns! Sprinkle over crushed crisps and sprinkle with paprika.

Pop into the oven and cook for 15 minutes, until the salmon is cooked through. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately. That’s it – fast and fabulous!

Inspired by…

My friend Julie and I believe her friend, Ali; and before them, it’s difficult to tell from the ripped out, folded and scanned page that I am very grateful to have received!

How easy…

So easy, so quick, so tasty!

Sunny Daze Cocktail

Saw this on last week’s Saturday Kitchen when Michel Roux and his team introduced it as ‘Alcoholic Pink Lemonade’. A rather uninspired name for what is the best cocktail I’ve had in a very long time: it tastes like summer in a glass and slips down very nicely – not too sweet and with a definite hint of naughtiness (it has a delightful little kick to it!) Make up a jugful and gently sip with friends beneath glorious sunshine (like today) – it really doesn’t get any better than this but I am rebranding it – Sunny Daze Cocktail it is!

Serves 4

What you need…

80ml gin

80ml Martini Rosso

80ml Grand Marnier

40ml Campari

80ml freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice

400ml cloudy lemonade

to serve

Ice

Strawberries, quartered

Mint sprigs

Grapefruit peel (peeled in long ribbons)

What to do…

Take one large jug and tip in all the cocktail ingredients. Give them a quick stir.

Fill 4 large round glasses with ice and arrange the ribbons of grapefruit peel. Pour in the cocktail mix and then pop in the strawberries and mint! Ta Dah! All done. Take outside to a garden bathed in sunshine. Sip, smile, sip again. Repeat! Cheers!

Inspired by….

Saturday Kitchen

How easy…

Just a roll of the ice!

Strawberry and Limoncello-Infused Mascarpone Tartlets

Oooooh so naughty and so easy and quick to rustle up. Crispy, crunchy, buttery filo pastry encasing Limoncello-infused mascarpone cream and topped with the season’s ripest, juiciest and sweetest English strawberries – just gorgeous!!! A word of warning though: it is impossible to eat them elegantly…but that’s part of the fun!

Makes 8

What you need…

1 x muffin tin

50g butter, melted

4 x rectangular sheets of filo pastry, each cut into 8 squares

30g icing sugar, sifted, plus extra for decoration

A large pinch ground cinnamon

1 egg yolk

1 tablespoon caster sugar

150g mascarpone

Grated zest of ½ lemon

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon Limoncello liqueur

300g strawberries, hulled and sliced

What to do…

Preheat your oven to 180˚c / 350˚ / gas 4.

Brush 8 holes of the muffin tin with a little of the melted butter (not too much as the bottom of your tarts would be soggy and we can’t have that!)

Take 1 filo pastry square, brush with melted butter and sprinkle with icing sugar and then a little cinnamon. Do the same to another 3 squares, laying them on top of one another at a slightly different angle to create a rough star shape. Gently press the pastry into a muffin hole to create a cup. Repeat the whole process another 7 times to end up with 8 filo ‘cups’.

Pop them in the oven and cook for 8 minutes, until golden and crispy. Remove and cool for 10 minutes in their mould and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool down completely. If the bottoms are a bit too buttery, sit them on a double piece of kitchen paper on top of the cooling rack to absorb some of the butter (speaking from experience here!)

Whilst your little filo cups are in the oven, you can whip up the mascarpone cream. In a bowl, use an electric handheld whisk to beat together the egg yolk and caster sugar until pale. Add the mascarpone, lemon zest, vanilla extract and Limoncello and whisk until quite stiff. Have a little taste and adjust the sugar and Limoncello to taste!

Choose a pretty plate on which to serve this naughty little filo cups and divide the mascarpone cream evenly between them. Top with sliced strawberries and sprinkle with icing sugar. Devour immediately! Have serviettes on hand – you will need them! Enjoy this fabulous take on our traditional strawberries and cream. Hello summer!

Tip…

If you have one, use an icing sugar shaker for sweetening the filo pastry squares and decorating at the end.

Inspired by…

Gino D’Acampo

How easy…

Rather too easy – I can see these being rustled up on a regular basis!

 

 

 

 

Black Pudding and Smoked Haddock Hash with Hollandaise Sauce

Rich and decadent and yet wholesomely earthy, this is a wonderfully unusual dish and is at the same time both comforting as well as tasting rather treat-like. Essentially, rather lovely with the added bonus of being ideal for breakfast, brunch or supper!

Serves 4

What you need…

500ml milk

1 bay leaf

5 fillets smoked haddock

50g butter

2 small red onions, chopped finely

300g new potatoes, cooked and roughly sliced

200g black pudding, peeled and roughly sliced

4 happy eggs, hard-boiled, peeled and quartered

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

A handful fresh parsley, chopped finely

Wholegrain mustard (optional)

for the hollandaise sauce

200g butter

4 happy egg yolks

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

½ tablespoon Dijon mustard

What to do…

First, pour the milk into a medium saucepan, chuck in the bay leaf and bring the milk to the boil. Slide in the fish, bring to the boil again and then remove from the heat, allowing the haddock to gently cook in the warm milk as you make the sauce and the rest of the main dish.

Starting with the sauce: in a small saucepan, gently melt the butter. Meanwhile, in a bowl over a pan of simmering water (bain marie) tip in the egg yolks, lemon juice and Dijon mustard and whisk together using a handheld electric whisk.

Transfer the melted butter to a jug and very, very gradually add it to the egg yolks, a little at a time, whisking the whole time, to create a smooth, thickened sauce. Taste and adjust the flavour by whisking in a little more Dijon or wholegrain mustard, if liked. Take the bain marie off the heat but keep the bowl over the water to keep the sauce warm whilst you finish off the main dish. Pop a small balloon whisk or a spoon in there to give the sauce a quick stir every now and then.

To the main event: melt the butter in large saucepan and sauté the onions over a high heat for 2 minutes. Add the potatoes and black pudding, stirring so they are heated through and lightly coloured. Add the vinegar and Worcestershire sauce and cook for a further minute. Add the parsley. Use a slotted spoon to retrieve 1 of the fish fillets from the milk and flake it into the hash.

Divide the hash between four plates. Use your slotted spoon again to retrieve each fish fillet from the milk and pop one on each pile of hash. Garnish with the egg quarters and then drizzle over a little (or a lot) of hollandaise sauce. Dig in! Absolutely yummy!

Tip…

Tip the left over egg whites into a zipped bag and freeze for future meringue-making.

Inspired by…

Izy Hossack (student and blogger) for the hollandaise sauce and Henry Harris (chef and importer of fine brandies and digestifs, as published in The Really Quite Good British Cook Book) for the main dish.

Rhubarb Pavlovas with Rhubarb, Orange & Ginger Cream

Whoa! What can I tell you? Just fabulous – meringue that’s crispy on the outside and deliciously soft and chewy in the middle topped with a light, fluffy cream that exudes gentle flavours of summer and the crowning glory on the top that is lusciously sweetened rhubarb – the sun shines with this dessert regardless of the weather and I promise that you will enjoy the taste and sensations rockin’ your taste buds!

Makes 6

What you need…

2 x baking sheets, lined with non-stick baking paper/Bake O Glide

3 egg whites

A pinch of salt

250g caster sugar, plus a further 45g

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon malt vinegar

400g rhubarb

2 tablespoons of rhubarb, orange and ginger cordial

for the cream

3 tablespoons of rhubarb, orange and ginger cordial

400ml double cream

What to do…

Preheat your oven to 140˚c / 275˚f / gas 1.

Whisk the egg whites with the salt in a large, clean bowl using a handheld electric whisk, until very stiff. Then, gradually add in the 250g caster sugar, whisking the whole time until it forms stiff peaks (about 3 – 4 minutes). Fold in the vanilla extract and malt vinegar.

Dollop the meringue onto your baking sheets, creating 6 mounds. Swirl each with the back of a spoon to create rough circles and create a shallow dip in the middle of each. Pop in the oven and bake for 1 hour. Switch the oven off but leave the meringues in there for a further 30 minutes with the door shut (the key to success!)

In another oven or once you have removed your pavlovas from the oven, preheat your oven to 200˚c / 400˚f / gas 6.

Tip the rhubarb into a baking dish and sprinkle over 2 tablespoons of the cordial together with the remaining 45g of caster sugar. Toss together, cover with foil and roast for 10 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool.

To make the cream, simply use your handheld electric whisk again to beat the cream until soft peaks form (I over whisked mine the first time as seen in the photograph). Pour in the cordial and whisk gently to combine. Cover with cling film and pop into the fridge until needed.

All of this can be done in advance, leaving only the assembly job to be done before you eat! Take one meringue, dollop on some cream and then top with the delicious rhubarb. I would seriously recommend trying this one before you do the others: insert fork and enjoy the crack of the crisply meringue breaking; pull together a generous forkful of meringue (crispy and chewy) cream and rhubarb, pop into mouth and shut eyes as you party in the sensations rockin’ your taste buds! Demolish the rest!

Make up the other meringues as above but without eating all of them, if poss!

Tip…

Elderflower cordial also works wonderfully well if you can’t get hold of the rhubarb, orange and ginger variety (which I purchased from a National Trust shop).

Inspired by…

Lisa Faulkner for the meringue recipe and myWaitrose for the overall idea!

How easy…

Easy, quick, delicious….am making another batch tomorrow!!!!

 

 

Spicy Lebanese-Inspired Lamb Pasties

The contents of these wonderfully light, soooooo tasty pasties was supposed to be incased in pizza dough to create calzone but I didn’t fancy that; instead opting for ready-made short-crust pastry. The end result was even better than I had anticipated and a bit of a hit in our kitchen (Connagh had his own supply that were snaffled through alarmingly quickly).

The delicious, sweet lamb is gently spiced with the wonderful combination that is cumin, cinnamon and paprika and then nestled together with the tasty crunch of roasted pine nuts mixed with spinach and potatoes. Gorgeous when they come straight out of the oven but equally lovely cold (as Connagh will attest) so ideal for picnics, al fresco lunches or just…snaffling snacks!

Makes 12 – 14

What you need…

1 x 14cm saucer

2 x baking sheets, lined with parchment paper or Bake O Glide

6 tablespoons pine nuts

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 onions, chopped finely

2 garlic cloves, chopped

400g lamb mince

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground paprika

175g spinach leaves

300g potatoes, diced and just cooked

1kg ready-made short-crust pastry

Plain flour, for dusting

1 egg, lightly beaten

What to do…

First of all, make the filling. Dry-fry the pine nuts until golden – don’t take your eyes off them – they brown really quickly. Tip out onto kitchen paper and set aside.

In the same frying pan, heat the oil and sauté the onion and garlic for 5 minutes. Add the mince, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Stir in the spices and sauté for a further 10 minutes.

Add the spinach and cook until just wilted. Stir in the pine nuts and cooked potato. Season well. Set aside to cool. (You could do this several hours in advance or even the day before, keeping the cooled mixture in the fridge).

When you’re ready to assemble your pasties, preheat your oven to 200˚c / 400˚f / gas 6.

Dust your work surface with plain flour and roll the pastry out to about 5mm thick. Use the saucer to create 12- 14 pastry circles, inverting it onto the pastry and cutting around it with a sharp knife.

Use a spoon to dollop some mixture onto one half of each circle. Brush the edges of the pastry with water and then bring them together, crimping to ensure a good seal. Brush each pasty with beaten egg and pop them in the oven on the baking trays to cook for 20 – 25 minutes or until golden brown and yummy-looking!

Allow to cool down just a little before commencing the snaffling! Enjoy – rather lovely!

Inspired by…

Ideal Home Magazine

How easy…

Ever so, especially with the ready-made pastry!

Festival of Food and Racing

So, went to Goodwood today for the Festival of Food and Racing. Had an absolute ball and the sun shone throughout. After sniffing and sampling a variety of wonderful foodstuffs and losing badly (but without rancour) at several races, we have returned home with three bottles of gin (cucumber, gunshot and twisted nose if you please), one Lancaster Bomber cheese (might refuse to share) two bottles of chocolate liqueur (one’s a present and the other one I might refuse to share) and a bottle of maple syrup……hmmmm, not exactly balanced but I feel a good night coming on….xxx

Yoghurt, Cardamom and Orange Panna Cotta

Not an authentic panna cotta but not quite a mousse either but it doesn’t really matter: it’s a set dessert that is a light, fresh moussy-panna-cotta thing that has a lovely fragrant and oriental twist to it with cardamoms providing a gentle nod to the Middle-East. Super easy to make and rather too easy to enjoy: I think it would make a perfect follow up to a highly spiced dinner, such as a curry.

Serves 4

What you need…

1 leaf of gelatine

200ml milk

½ teaspoon cardamom seeds, ground

175ml natural yoghurt

2 teaspoons orange zest, finely grated

Raspberries or strawberries to garnish

What to do…

Place the gelatine in a bowl of cold water and leave to soak for 5 minutes.

Place the milk, honey and ground cardamom seeds in a saucepan and slowly bring to the boil. Take the gelatine out of the water and squeeze out the excess water before dropping it milk mixture. Stir to dissolve and then set aside for 10 minutes to reach room temperature.

Tip the yogurt and orange zest into a bowl and add the milk mixture, whisking to incorporate it evenly. Pour the whole lot into pretty glasses or teacups and pop into the fridge to set for at least 2 hours. Serve straight from the fridge decorated with raspberries or strawberries. Enjoy this lovely light, fresh and delightfully exotic little pudding!

Inspired by…

Rachel Allen

How easy…

Stupendously!!!

 

 

 

Orange and Almond Cake with Grand Marnier Mascarpone Cream

So very, very moist having been drenched in Grand Marnier-infused syrup this cake has a rum baba texture and ooziness to it, but is intensely and deliciously orange-flavoured. Gorgeous! And served with the Grand-Marnier mascarpone cream, a heavenly delight. Oh, and it just happens to be gluten-free but you’d never know it!

Serves 8 – 10

What you need…

1 x 20cm round, 6cm deep baking tin, lined with baking parchment

2 oranges

6 happy eggs

250g caster sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

250g ground almonds

Thyme sprigs, to garnish (optional)

for the Grand Marnier Orange Syrup

50ml orange juice (reserved from the oranges above)

50g granulated sugar

2 tablespoons Grand Marnier

for the Grand Marnier Mascarpone Cream

2 happy egg whites

500g mascarpone

2-3 tablespoons caster sugar (depending on your sweet tooth!)

2 tablespoons Grand Marnier

What to do…

The night before you want to cook the cake, pop the 2 oranges into a saucepan of water and boil with the lid on for 3 hours – sounds like an agg I know, but just stick it on the hob and go and watch your favourite TV shows. At the end of 3 hours, drain the water away and just leave the oranges in the pan to cool down overnight.

Halve the oranges and squeeze out the pips and juice (reserving the latter for later). Chuck your orange carcasses into the food processor and whizz until pulp.

Preheat your oven to 150˚c / 300˚f / gas 2.

Using an electric handheld whisk, beat the eggs, sugar, baking powder and almonds together for 2 minutes. Add the orange pulp and whisk for a further 2 minutes. Detach the whisks and rinse thoroughly – you’ll need them again in a minute.

Tip the mixture into your prepared baking tin and pop into the oven for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, make the syrup and cream. First, in a small saucepan heat 50ml of the reserved orange juice with the sugar over a moderate heat until the sugar has dissolved. Add the Grand Marnier, stir and set aside to cool.

For the cream, in a medium bowl, use your rinsed electric handheld whisk to beat the egg whites until stiff. In a second bowl, tip the mascarpone and caster sugar and whisk together. Add the Grand Marnier and whisk again. Gently fold in the egg whites until evenly incorporated – this creates a lovely, fluffy and light ‘cream’. Pop the cream into a pretty serving bowl, cover with cling film and keep in the fridge until needed.

Remove your yummy cake from the oven and allow to cool to the touch before using a skewer to gently stab the cake all over. Drizzle over the Grand Marnier orange syrup so that it seeps into the cake evenly. Try not to dribble in anticipation! Decorate with thyme sprigs, if using.

To serve, cut great wedges of this moist, oozy cake whilst still warm if possible and accompany with a generous dollop of the naughty cream – heavenly!

Inspired by…

The Daily Telegraph

How easy…

Easy, quick and unbelievably gorgeous in every aspect.

 

 

 

Prawn Saganaki Just for One

Tuesdays are chilled out days where I don’t usually cook (I come home from a lovely yoga session and am so relaxed, I’m practically horizontal) so on these days we break out and John and Connagh frequently enjoy ‘Charlie Bigham’s Chicken Tikka Masala’: unpack, whop in the oven, remove and serve. Dead easy. I’m not usually hungry so it works well. Anyway this week, I was in the mood for something tasty but quick and had a bag of prawns at the back of the fridge that needed eating up, so I rustled up one of my favourites, Prawn Saganaki, but….I didn’t have quite all the ingredients for original recipe blogged last year so made do with what was available and …… it was gorgeous. So, here is the adapted version, made exclusively for one!

Serves 1

What you need…

A splash of rapeseed oil

1 shallot, chopped finely

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 teaspoon dried crushed chillies

1 star anise

6 small plum ripe tomatoes, chopped

Sea salt and black pepper

200g raw king prawns

A dessertspoon of Boursin cheese (should have been Feta but didn’t have any!)

A small handful of parsley, roughly chopped

What to do…

Heat the oil over a moderate heat in a frying pan. Add the shallot and garlic and sauté for a couple of minutes until soft but not brown. Stir in the chilli and the star anise, then add in the tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, cover and simmer gently for 5 minutes.

Next, add in the prawns and cook for a few minutes until they are pink, stirring occasionally to ensure even cooking throughout. Remove the star anise.

Tip in the Boursin and stir until it melts and is thoroughly incorporated. Scatter the parsley on top. Serve immediately with a nice chunky doorstep of good, fresh bread – just yummy!

Inspired by…

The Traveller’s Table

How easy…

Soooooo happy that I happened upon the original ridiculously easy recipe!