Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

Salmon, Broad Bean and Tarragon Quiche

What you need:

For the pastry:

125g plain flour

a pinch of salt

25g cold butter, diced

25g lard

2 tbsp milk

Or use 1 × 250g block of ready-made shortcrust pastry

For the filling:

75ml milk

75ml double cream

2 medium free-range eggs

1 tbsp fresh tarragon, chopped

salt and pepper

50g cheddar cheese, grated

100g poached salmon, flaked

60g  cooked and shelled  broad beans or Soya beans.

What you do:

Preheat the oven to 190 C / 375 F / Gas mark 5

To make the pastry, sieve the flour and salt into a bowl, add the fats and rub the mixture through your finger tips until you get a sandy, breadcrumb-like texture. Add the milk a little at a time and bring the ingredients together into a dough. Cover and allow to rest in the fridge for 30–45 minutes.

Lightly flour the work surface and roll out the pastry to make a circle a little larger than the top of your flan tin and approximately 0.5 cm thick.

Line the tin with the pastry, taking care not to make any holes in it or the filling will leak. Cover and rest for a further 30 minutes in the fridge.

Line the pastry case with baking paper, add baking beans and bake blind for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and take out the baking paper and beans.

Reduce the oven temperature to 150 C /300 F / gas mark 2

Beat together the milk, cream, eggs,herbs and seasoning. Scatter half of the grated cheese in the blind-baked pastry case, top with the flaked salmon and beans, and then pour over the milk-and-egg mix. If required, give the filling a gentle stir to ensure it is evenly dispersed, but again be careful not to damage the pastry case. Sprinkle over the remaining cheese. Place into the oven and bake for 20–25 minutes until set and lightly golden.

Eat either hot or cold.



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Peach & Raspberry Cheesecake


What you need:

115g  unsalted butter, melted

1 pack ginger nut biscuits

125g tinned peaches, well drained and cut into chunks

3 200g tubs  light soft cheese

100g caster sugar, plus 1 tbsp

1 tsp vanilla extract

Zest of 1/2 lime

6 gelatine leaves

300ml carton double cream

1/2 x 340g pack  frozen raspberries, thawed

1 tbsp cornflour

What you do:

Use a little of the butter to grease a 23cm nonstick spring clip cake tin

Break the ginger nuts into a food processor and whizz until you have fine crumbs

Mix with the remaining butter and spoon into the cake tin. Press into an even layer, then scatter the peach chunks on top

Beat the soft cheese with the sugar, vanilla extract and lime zest

Place the gelatine leaves in a separate bowl and cover with cold water, leave to soak for 5 mins

Meanwhile, place 100ml of the double cream in a small saucepan and heat until almost boiling

Remove the gelatine from the bowl and squeeze out the excess water

Add to the hot cream and stir until dissolved. Leave to cool

Beat the gelatine cream into the cheese mixture

Whisk the remaining cream until soft peaks form and fold into the cheese mixture

Pour over the peach chunks and biscuit. Chill for at least 3 hours, until set

Meanwhile, place the raspberries in a small saucepan with 50ml water and 1 tbsp caster sugar

Mix the cornflour to a smooth paste with 1 tbsp water. Heat the raspberries, stirring until the sugar dissolves

Add the cornflour paste and increase the heat slightly. Bring to the boil, stirring until thickened. Transfer to a bowl, leave to cool, then cover and chill

Just before serving, run a knife around the inside of the tin and unclip

Place the cake on a plate and spoon over the raspberry sauce.

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What you need:

175g  unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing

50g glace cherries

40g   dark chocolate

125g  self raising flour

1 tsp ground cinnamon or mixed spice

15g cocoa powder

35g ground almonds

175g golden caster sugar

3 large  free range eggs

Zest and juice of 1 orange

50g chopped nuts (optional)

For the icing, 100g white chocolate, broken into squares

3 tbsp  double cream

Few drops almond essence

What you do:

Preheat the oven to 180 C/ 350 F /Gas  mark 4

Grease and line a 1 litre ovenproof bowl. Chop up the glace cherries, leaving 3 whole for later

Melt half the dark chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water, making sure the bowl isn’t touching the water. Chop up the remaining chocolate

Sift the flour, spice and cocoa into a large bowl

Add the ground almonds, butter, sugar, eggs and orange zest. Whisk together until smooth and creamy

Mix in 2 tbsp orange juice

Fold in the chopped cherries, the melted and chopped chocolate, and nuts if using, then spoon into the ovenproof bowl. Level the surface

Bake for 30 mins, then cover with greaseproof paper and bake for another 45 mins, or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the centre of the sponge. Leave to cool for 5 mins then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely

To make the icing:

Place the white chocolate, cream and almond essence in a heatproof bowl over a pan of barely simmering water

Heat gently until melted, then stir to combine

Spoon the white chocolate icing over the cake

To decorate:

Place the 3 whole glace cherries on top of the cake and finish with a couple of holly leaves

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What you need:

275g self-raising flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

100g caster sugar

75g porridge oats

1 large  free range egg

150ml sunflower oil

150g fat-free Greek-style yogurt

35g dried mango, cut into chunks

Zest of 1 orange

What you do:

Preheat the oven to 200 C/ 400 F/Gas mark 6

Line a 12-hole muffin tray with 12 muffin cases

Sift the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda together in a large mixing bowl, then gently fold in the sugar and oats

In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, sunflower oil and yogurt, until you have a smooth batter. Pour into the dry ingredients, and gently mix until just combined

Stir in the mango and orange zest. Spoon the mixture into the muffin cases and bake for 15-20 mins, or until the tops are golden.

Leave to cool on a wire rack for 10 mins

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What you need:

1 medium leek, finely sliced

1 clove garlic, roughly chopped

1 stick celery, finely sliced

1 tbsp olive oil

200g mushrooms, finely chopped

350ml vegetable stock

1 tsp fresh thyme, or 1 tsp dried

2 slices  baguette

60g  Stilton

60ml double cream, plus extra for drizzling

What you do:

Fry the leek, garlic and celery in the olive oil for 3-4 mins

Add the mushrooms and fry for 2 mins more

Add the vegetable stock and thyme, bring to the boil and cover. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 mins

Meanwhile, toast the baguette slices for 1-2 mins on each side, top with half the Stilton and return to the grill for another 1-2 mins

Take the pan off the heat and blitz the soup. Return to the heat and stir in the cream and remaining Stilton, bringing it just back to the boil

Serve with an extra drizzle of cream, topped with a Stilton crouton and a few more thyme leaves,


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What you need:

1 tbsp  olive oil

1 small onion, finely diced

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated

175g mushrooms, finely sliced

1 mild red chilli, sliced (optional)

1 tbsp mild curry powder

150g basmati rice

375ml vegetable stock

125g baby spinach

2 tbsp dried cranberries

2 tbsp flaked almonds, toasted

What you do:

Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and fry the onion, garlic and ginger for 3-4 mins

Add the mushrooms, chilli, if using, and mild curry powder and fry for 2-3 mins more

Stir the basmati rice into the pan, coating it with the spice mixture

Pour over the vegetable stock and bring to the boil. Cover with a lid and simmer for 20 mins, until the water has reduced and the rice is tender

Top the rice with the spinach, replace the pan lid, and cook for another 5 mins

To serve, gently stir in the spinach and sprinkle with the dried cranberries, flaked almonds and coriander, ( if using)

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What you need:

3 large potatoes, sliced
1/4 lb of bacon, chopped
1 cup thinly sliced onion
2-3 cloves sliced garlic
1 tsp salt (or to taste)
1 tsp pepper (or to taste)
3 tbsp butter
2 cups cheddar cheese
1 to 2 tbsp sliced green onions

What you do:

Line your slow cooker with tin foil to keep your ingredients from sticking to the dish (and creating a cleanup nightmare).  Alternatively, spray your slow cooker insert with non-stick spray.

Lay a thin layer of potatoes on the bottom of the slow cooker.

Add a few slices of garlic on top of your potatoes followed by a layer of onions and a bit of salt and pepper.

Continue layering your potatoes, garlic and onions until your main ingredients are all in the slow cooker.

Next, top the potatoes and onions with your chopped bacon. You can add the bacon into the slow cooker raw, or crisp it up beforehand. It works either way.

Top the entire dish off with one cup of  cheese and then butter on top of the cheese.

Cover the entire dish with a layer of foil. The foil will keep steam close to the potatoes so they cook faster.

Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 to 10 hours.

After removing the foil, and checking to make sure the potatoes are cooked, add a cup of cheese on top of your dish and finish it off with slices of green onions.

Cover and leave on low for 15 minutes or until the last layer of cheese is nicely melted.


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What you need:

1/2 shallot, peeled and finely chopped

1 tbsp  olive oil

40g  Brussels sprouts, trimmed and thinly sliced

30g  light soft cheese

25g  mature blue Stilton

1 x 320g sheet puff pastry

1 egg

What you do:

Preheat the oven to 200 C/ 400 F/Gas mark 6

Gently fry the shallot in olive oil in a nonstick pan, until soft. Tip into a bowl. Turn up the heat a little, add the sprouts and fry for 2-3 mins.

Add to the bowl with the shallot and soft cheese then crumble in the Stilton. Season with freshly ground black pepper and mix.

On a lightly floured surface, cut the puff pastry sheet in half. Divide the filling between each pastry sheet, leaving a 1 cm border.

Beat the egg and brush onto the pastry border.

Fold the pastry over the filling to enclose it, and press the back of a fork along the edges to seal.

Put the parcels on a baking tray, brush over the remaining beaten egg to glaze, then chill in the fridge for 15 mins.

Bake the pastries for 20-25 mins, until risen and golden.


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What you need:

25g  ready to eat spinach

4 tbsp  crème fraiche

1 large clove garlic, crushed

Zest of 1 lemon

Small handful of mint, or ½ tsp dried mint

1  egg, lightly beaten

200g  feta cheese, crumbled

2 tbsp  pine nuts, toasted

500g ready rolled puff pastry

What you do:

Preheat the oven to 200 C/ 400 F /Gas mark 6

Place the spinach in a colander, pour over boiling water to wilt, then run under the cold tap to cool. Squeeze out the excess water, roughly chop and set aside.

In a bowl, mix together the crème fraiche, garlic, lemon zest, mint, and half of the beaten egg. Then fold through the feta, pine nuts and spinach.

On a lightly plain floured surface, roll out the ready rolled puff pastry to the thickness of a pound coin. Using a bowl as a template, cut out 12 x 10.5cm circles.

Then divide the filling between them.

Brush the edges with the leftover beaten egg, then fold over and seal. Chill in the fridge for 15 mins.

Place the parcels on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper and cook for 20-22 mins, or until golden, crisp and piping hot throughout.

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Berry Crumble Cups


What you need:

150g  plain flour

35g brown sugar

60g  porridge oats

4 tbsp  unsalted butter, melted

To serve:

Thick yogurt or ice cream

What you do:

Preheat the oven to 190 C/ 375 F / Gas mark  5.

Hull the strawberries and cut into chunks. Divide them and the other berries between 4 cups.

Mix the rest of the ingredients together and spoon on top of the berries.

Bake for 25 mins until the topping is golden.

Serve with a dollop of thick yogurt or ice cream, if you like.


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