Baked Figs with Blue Cheese, Presunto and Honey

Baked Figs with Blue Cheese, Presunto and Honey

Serves 4 Ingredients 4 figs 60g blue cheese 4 strips of presunto/Parma ham 20 ml honey 2 chopped tomatoes 10 torn basil leaves 1 bag washed rocket 30 ml olive oil 15 ml balsamic vinegar Seasoning to taste Method Cut a cross in the top of the figs Stuff with blue cheese and wear with ham bake in oven at 200C until crispy Toss the tomatoes, rocket and basil together Season and dress with olive oil & vinegar Arrange the salad between 4 plates and top with fig drizzled with honey     photo credit: avlxyz via photo pin...

Coronation Chicken

Coronation Chicken I am off to Glyndebourne today and need to provide a meal for five of us – a quick starter before the first half and then main course and dessert in the interval. I’ll probably take crudities with humus and taramsalata dips to eat with chilled bubbly to get us going and for the main course I  thought I’d prepare good old Coronation Chicken and serve with a green salad and baked potatoes.  So here’s my simplified ‘cheat’ version Coronation Chicken 1 small onion, chopped very finely ½oz butter 1 tablespoon of mild curry powder, or use a lot less if the only curry powder you have is hot 12oz jar of mango chutney 1lb of Greek yogurt 3 tablespoons of your favourite mayonnaise, or any mayonnaise if you’ve no preference 2 teaspoons of tomato puree 4 chicken breasts Method Fry the chopped onion in butter until soft. Slice chicken breasts and stir fry for a couple of minutes. Stir in the curry powder and cook, stirring for a further minute or two, coating the onion with curry powder and bringing out the full flavour. Add the mango chutney to the pan and heat through. Stir in yogurt and tomato puree, ensuring it’s a smooth sauce. Stir in the mayonnaise. Bring to the point of boiling, stirring regularly, then remove from the heat Set the mixture aside to...
Too early for a Picnic?

Too early for a Picnic?

Is it too early to be thinking of picnics? Get your baskets and cool boxes out of the cupboard, your picnic blankets ready and head out to the local delicatessen yo stock up on everything you need for the perfect open-air spring time feast. Tasty morsels, tempting treats and fresh goodies all make for a special picnic. For the picnic itself, remember it’s best to be well prepared for every taste and every eventuality. As you get ready for you day out, there are two things you should be sure of enough food for everyone and, the right utensils and equipment to enjoy it at its best. Fingers crossed the weather stays...
Tomato Spinach and Ricotta Fritters

Tomato Spinach and Ricotta Fritters

Prep 10 mins Cook 15 min Serves 4  Ingredients 250 g spinach 125 ml skimmed milk 2 medium eggs 250 g ricotta cheese 115 g self raising flour 60 g sun dried tomatoes 50 g kalamata olives, chopped cooking oil spray 1/2 small bunch chopped basil 4 grilled tomatoes and 100 g baby spinach leaves to serve Method 1. put the spinach in large heatproof bowl. Cover with boiling water. Set aside for 30 sec then plunge into a bowl of ice cold water. Drain well, squeeze excess water. Roughly chop remainder of spinach. 2. in a large bowl whisk the milk, eggs and ricotta together. 3.  gradually add the flour and whisk until smooth. Stir in the wilted spinach and the sun dried tomatoes, olives and basil 4. spray a large frying pan with oil and put over a medium heat 5. spoon 3tbsp dollops of mixture per fritter into the pan making three or four fitters at a time. 6.  cook for 2-3 min on each side until golden and cooked through. 7.  continue with remaining batter to make 12 friters in total, spray more oil if necessary. 8. sprinkle the grilled tomatoes with black pepper to serve with fritters and baby spinach...

How to Create a Menu for a Barbecue

What could be better than a barbecue on a sunny summer’s day or a balmy starlit night? It’s the relaxing way to cook, with al fresco dining being an added bonus. The barbecue is also a very versatile cooking tool, which can be varied in a whole bunch of ways to suit different occasions or events. For an informal barbecue, perhaps for the family on the weekend, you have plenty of options. You could do hamburgers and hot dogs for the kids, or any other favorite family meal. Chicken, chops, steaks, sausages and fish are all great standard options. Barbecue cooking always adds a frisson to the food – as does the fact that it will be dad cooking for a change! Easy accompaniments are leafy salads, and vegetables cooked on the grill. Corn on the cob is a classic, as are baked potatoes. Other starchy vegetables, including pumpkin and root vegetables, are also ideal for barbecue cooking, either wrapped in foil or placed directly on the grid to absorb that delicious smoky flavor. For a summer dessert you can’t go wrong with fruit salad and ice cream. But you can also get really creative with a barbecue. Cooking on charcoal or an open fire really does boost the taste of meats, and you can be as adventurous as you like. Joints of beef, lamb or venison, partly pot-roasted and finished on the barbecue give a special taste for a more elaborate meal. We have a barbecue with a huge hood and a swinging rack. I place a few chickens on this rack and 3 hours later the meat...

Smackerel Paté: a big surprise for Canada

When I was in Ontario earlier this year I was invited to some friends’ home for a long weekend and as is the custom over there, all invitees were to prepare a contribution towards meals. Living in England which has good access to salt water fish I thought I would take the easy route and make some of my smoked mackerel paté – so easy it’s like falling off a log and it’s delicious, too. However as you probably know darkest southern Ontario is a lot further away from salt water than you are anywhere in the British Isles, and it took quite a while to find a pack of smoked mackerel (or as we telescope it, “smackerel”) in a grocery store. Eventually my good friend Leslie F. produced two packs from her local Loblaws and off we drove to the glorious Prince Edward County where our hosts awaited us. No-one there had heard of smackerel, never mind smackerel paté, so I wondered whether this had been a good idea or not. Here’s what I made… Smackerel Paté recipe: a tasty, easy dip or starter for the Holidays To use as an appetizer or starter for 4-6 people (great as a party dip, too) you need: 400g packaged smoked mackerel (without peppercorns) 2-3 tablespoons prepared horseradish sauce Juice of half a lemon Good handful of chopped fresh dill leaves Crème fraiche, sour cream, plain yoghurt or cream cheese Flake the smackerel into a bowl. Add horseradish, lemon juice, dill leaves plus a good grind of freshly-milled pepper to taste. Stir in your choice of “mixer” – my personal favourite...