Finely chop a large shallot, a clove of garlic and a few sprigs of flat leaf parsley. Mix with a large knob of butter and a squeeze of lemon juice until everything sticks together. Season to taste, then spoon onto two salmon fillets and bake in foil parcels at 180 C / gas 4 for around 20 minutes. Serve with new potatoes and summer vegetables.
For my sister, who put up with me nattering at her and baking around her as she worked on her dissertation. Thank you for a great few days, and enjoy the recipe!
375g plain flour
175g golden caster sugar
300ml crème fraîche
50g caster sugar
Zest of one lemon
Splash vanilla essence
At least 600g raspberries
Icing sugar to dust (optional)
For the biscuity pastry, cut the butter into small pieces and rub it into the flour. Then tip in the sugar, and knead until it comes together in a dough. This may take quite a while! If you have cold hands, then try warming them on a mug of tea/coffee to help them melt the butter in the kneading stage. Once the dough is smooth, press it into either a greased 9 inch tart tin or several individual sized tart tins and freeze for an hour or so.
After freezing, blind bake the pastry in a preheated oven at 180 c / gas 4 for ten minutes, then continue baking uncovered for a further ten minutes. Remove from the tart tin and put aside to cool. Handy tip - before lining the pastry with parchment/grease proof paper, scrunch the paper into a tight ball first. It’ll make it fit the tart much better when you unscrumple it!
To make the filling, simply mix together the crème fraîche with the other ingredients. Be gentle with it; crème fraîche turns into a liquid if it’s beaten or over stirred. Half fat is the worst offender for doing this! Once combined, spoon the filling into the cooled tart shell and spread to form an even layer.
Finally, arrange the raspberries on top, dust with icing sugar and serve!
Image credits: alaczek
Put a two large tablespoons of peanut butter (smooth or crunchy) in a jar with a diced onion, a tablespoon of dark soy sauce (or more of light), a spoonful of sweet chilli sauce, a pinch each of turmeric, ground coriander and ground cumin and enough hot water or chicken stock to half fill the jar.
Shake until all is combined, then pour over chicken pieces - drumsticks work brilliantly, but anything will do; there should be enough marinade for around four pieces. You can add a bit more water or stock to make it go further if you wish, but if you’re doing much more chicken you may want to double to marinade recipe.
Leave in the fridge for a couple of hours or over night, then bake the lot in a foil parcel for around 30 minutes at 180 C / gas 4, until the chicken looks cooked through if you cut it open.
Serve! Or leave to cool and take along to a picnic (along with many paper napkins!)
Using a hammer or food processor, turn a large packet of chocolate digestives into crumbs. Mix with 200g soft cream cheese, 200g melted milk chocolate and 200g melted white chocolate. Shape into small truffles with two spoons (or hands!) and roll in a coating of your choice such as sugar, dessicated coconut, chopped nuts or whatever you fancy.
Keep these in the fridge because of the cheese!
These fruit cakes are dense and rich; more akin to Christmas cake or wedding cake than some of the lighter fruit cakes out there. I made some as Christmas presents for a couple of uncles who are on low cholesterol diets - they went down well! And to those of you who aren’t vegan or on such strict diets, then have no fear; this cake is just as tasty as its full fat, egg and dairy filled counterpart.
6 oz plain flour
2 oz ground almonds
3 tsp baking powder
2 tsp mixed spice
1 lb mixed dried fruit
4 oz chopped dried dates
4 oz chopped dried apricots
Juice and zest of 1 orange
1/2 pint water
Place all fruit in a bowl with zest, orange juice and water, and leave to soak overnight.
The next day, sift and stir in the dry ingredients. Once fully mixed, tip into a lined 2lb loaf tin and bake for approximately 90 mins at 160 C / 320 F / Gas 3. Check the cake every half hour or so; if the top is beginning to go overly brown, then cover with a baking parchment hat (newspaper also works!)
What you do with the cake once cool depends on the occasion and on your tastes. An apricot glaze (melt a few spoons of jam in a microwave) followed by marzipan and ready to roll white icing makes a very good Christmas cake, or fruit, nuts and a sprinkling of sugar is also tasty. Glace cherries go particularly well!
Image credits: wiccked
On the one hand, prawn cocktails were done to death and served at every dinner party in the 70s. On the other hand, that was forty years ago and prawn cocktails are just such a nice summer salad, it seems a shame to never make them again. If you’re wary of their reputation then don’t serve them at a dinner party - but don’t let it stop you enjoying one yourself as a light summer lunch!
To serve 2 people
For the Marie Rose sauce:
2 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp tomato ketchup
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
Few drops tabasco
Few drops worcestershire sauce
Pinch of paprika
For the rest of the cocktail:
Approx 200g cooked, peeled prawns
A couple of inches of cucumber, cut into thin half slices
Large handful of shredded lettuce
Few sprigs of dill (to decorate)
For the citron pressé:
Castor sugar to taste (approx few teaspoons)
To make the Marie Rose sauce, combine the mayonnaise and tomato ketchup. The 2:1 ratio is a rough guide; check the taste and colour, and adjust to your own preference. Add the other ingredients (the tobasco and worcestershire sauce should provide a slight tang, but not flavor the sauce). Finally, stir in the prawns.
Put a small handful of shredded lettuce in each of two chilled glasses, then arrange the cucumber slices so that they line the sides of the glasses. Carefully spoon the sauce coated prawns in. For the avocado, use a small sharp edged spoon to scoop out smooth, shallow segments. Arrange these on top so that they form a domed ‘hat’ over the rest of the cocktail. Garnish with a bit more shredded lettuce or some dill, and done!
The citron pressé (literally ‘pressed lemon’) is a very light, refreshing drink that I first came across in a french cafe. It is very much a ‘to taste’ sort of drink, particularly with regards to how much sugar you add - when I was a child I once added 24 tablespoons to a jug. Unsurprisingly, I was the only one who managed to drink the sickly sweet syrup, so I had the lot and spent the rest of the day bouncing off the walls.
For a slightly more restrained drink, put the juice of one lemon in a medium sized (roughly 1/2 pint) glass and stir in a heaped teaspoon or so of sugar until it dissolves. Top up with cold water, add ice and enjoy! I went a bit fancier this time and dipped the rim of the glasses in lemon juice and sugar, and reserved the center slice of each lemon to decorate the glass.
With a large round cookie cutter, cut circles out of ready to roll puff pastry and arrange on a floured baking tray. Brush with a bit of milk then arrange 3 or 4 apple slices on each tart. No need to use cooking apples; Granny Smiths are my favorite choice. Warm a bit of runny honey in the microwave and drizzle over the tarts.
Bake at high temperate for fifteen minutes or so, or until pastry is golden brown. Dust with icing sugar and serve hot! Also tasty with cream or even vanilla egg custard.
I put this concoction together as something of a last minute pudding; my sister asked for something healthy, and after looking through all of my folders I realised the only remotely healthy recipe I had was fruit salad. The internet was very little help - a cake made with low fat margarine and artificial sweetener is not my sort of pudding. But meringues, I realised, have no fat in them at all (it’s the yolks in eggs that contain cholesterol) - and since it’s summer, that means pavlova!
For the meringue :
4 egg whites
200g castor sugar
For the coulis :
Icing sugar to taste (approx. 3 tablespoons)
For the rest :
Small tub creme fraiche
Peaches (at least 2)
Assorted other berries
To make the meringue, whisk the egg whites in a glass bowl until foamy and fairly stiff. Add the sugar a spoonful at a time, whisking again after each addition. The final mixture should be smooth and glossy - if it goes past this stage to foamy or lumpy, it’s had it. Start again.
Meringue is done when you can turn the bowl upside down without any falling out (hold it over your head!) Spoon it onto a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper or baking parchment, and shape into a disk that will fit onto your serving plate. Bake at gas 1 / 140C / fan 120C for 1 hr 30 minutes, then turn off the oven and leave to cool for a further 30 minutes in the oven.
The coulis is dead easy - put the raspberries and sugar in a blender and blitz until smooth, then sieve to remove the pips. Done!
Just before servings, spread the meringue with the creme fraiche, and arrange peach slices and other fruits over the top. Finally, pour over the coulis and admire!
The coulis and the meringue together are wonderfully sweet; the creme fraiche cuts through it nicely to keep the pudding light and summery. You can also add a squeeze of lemon juice to your coulis if you want the extra bit of sharpness. For serving, I went down the not very delicate route of upending the coulis over the pavlova - you may choose to artfully drizzle if you prefer!
This recipe has been living on our pin board ever since Lucy did it for us one dinner time. Theoretically it serves 8, but we had no trouble finishing it between the six of us. Absolutely delicious with potato wedges and salad!
4 garlic cloves
1 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
120 ml clear honey
90 ml tomato puree
120 ml fruit juice (apple and mango is nice)
120 ml white or red wine vinegar
180 ml soy sauce
8 chicken thighs or breasts
Bake chicken in the oven for 15 minutes at gas 6 / 200C / fan 180C. Meanwhile, combine sauce ingredients in a blender and blitz until smooth.
Heat sauce on the hob until simmering, then pour over chicken and bake for a further 15 minutes. Serve hot!
Original recipe: Rick Stein
Image: Adactio’s photostream on flickr (http://www.flickr.com/photos/adactio/62516523/)
I made up a batch of these on a rainy day for a group of friends who’d been out getting soaked; they went down well! The cookies were large, flat and gooey, and very soft at first. I made the mistake once of taking some to my sister before they had properly cooled, and they all stuck together into a yummy chocolatey lump in the tin…
4 oz soft brown sugar
4 oz golden castor sugar
4 oz softened butter
Splash vanilla extract
8 oz plain flour
4 oz melted milk chocolate
Chocolate chunks to taste (4 oz each of white and dark were good)
(NB - 4 oz is roughly half a large bar of chocolate)
Mix sugars and butter with a wooden spoon until smooth, then add other ingredients. Put the chocolate chunks in last, after the other ingredients are fully combined.
Spoon generous tablespoons onto a lined or greased baking sheet - leave plenty of space for spreading! I found that three sheets were needed to avoid the cookies running into each other as they cooked.
Bake for 10 - 15 minutes at gas 6 / 200C / fan 180C. If you can hear the butter sizzling, pop them back in for another minute or so. Leave to harden for five minutes or so before transferring to wire rack to cool.
The original recipe called for the cookies to be cooked for just under 10 minutes, but they just didn’t seem done. Maybe mine were slightly larger than recommended, but to me a cookie is one thing you can’t be stingy about! They’re delicious warm, but beware of sticky chocolate chunks and cookies falling apart in your hands. After about a day they’d hardened to perfection - solid, but chewy on the inside.
Original recipe: BBC good food
Image: Mrs Magic’s photostream on flickr (http://www.flickr.com/photos/mrsmagic/1117398599/)