Creamy Broccoli Soup

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine and taken from Danielle Walker’s Eat What You Love: 125 Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Dairy-Free, and Paleo Recipes .

Eliminating Dairy and wheat doesn’t mean giving up luscious soups. Instead of a roux, or cream, white sweet potatoes add silky richness.

creamy brocolli soupServes: 4-6

Ingredients:
3 tblsp ghee or extra virgin olive oil
2 cups chopped leeks, white and tender green parts
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
450g broccoli, cut into florets, stems peeled and chopped
1 small Hannah sweet potato or other white-fleshed variety, peeled and cut into cubes
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups Chicken bone broth
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Step One : Melt the ghee in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the leeks and onion and saute for 3-4 minutes, stirring, until they are fragrant and softened. Add the broccoli, sweet potato, celery and garlic and continue to cook for 5 minutes more.

Step Two : Pour in the Chicken Bone Broth, add 1 1/2 tsp of salt and 1/4 tsp of pepper, and bring to a boil. Simmer for 8-10 minutes, until the vegetables are fork-tender and the broccoli is bright green.

Step Three : Using an immersion blender, or working in batches in a blender, blend the soup until smooth (if using a blender, remove the cap in the blender top and place a kitchen towel over the top to allow steam to release).

Step Four : Return the soup to the pan and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot, with a sprinkling of pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.

Celeriac Soup with Hazelnut and Sage Pesto

Recipe taken from Clodagh’s Suppers: Suppers to celebrate the seasons by Clodagh McKenna and published in Psychologies Magazine (February 2019).

A great soup to make during the winter months.  The flavour of the celeriac has nutty undertones, and the consistency of the soup is so creamy.  The pesto adds a delicious crunchy texture and earthy flavour.  You can make it a few days ahead, and it freezes really well, so double the recipe when you are making it!

celeriac soup

Serves : 6

Ingredients :
50g butter
1 celeriac, peeled and chopped
1 celery stick, chopped
1 onion, chopped
75g blanched hazelnuts
1 ltr hot vegetable stock
100ml crème fraiche
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Hazelnut and Sage Pesto
75g blanched hazelnuts
2 tblsp finely chopped sage
2 tblsp extra virgin olive oil

Step One : Place a heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat and add the butter.  Once the butter has melted, add the celeriac, celery, onion and whole hazelnuts, and season with salt and pepper.  Stir well, then reduce the heat to low, cover the pan with foil or your butter wrapper and pop the lid back on.  Leave the vegetables to sweat for 15 minutes.

Step Two : Next, make the hazelnut and sage pesto.  Place a frying pan over a high heat, add the hazelnuts and shake the pan frequently to toast the nuts evenly, for three minutes – this will release all the oils and the flavour.  Add the chopped sage to the extra virgin olive oil in a small bowl.

Step Three : Tip the toasted hazelnuts onto one half of a clean tea towel, then fold over the other half of the tea towel to cover and bash the nuts with a rolling pin until crushed.  Add the crushed nuts to the olive oil and sage, mix together well and set aside.

Step Four : Add the hot stock to the vegetables that have sweated down and bring to the boil, then leave to cook, uncovered, for about 15 minutes until the vegetables are tender.  Transfer the soup of a blender or food processor, or use a hand blender, and blend to a smooth consistency.  Return the soup to the saucepan, if necessary.  Stir in the crème fraiche, season and place over a medium heat to warm through.  Serve the soup in warmed bowls with the hazelnut and sage pesto drizzled on top.

Lemon Verbena Possets

Recipe taken from Clodagh’s Suppers: Suppers to celebrate the seasons by Clodagh McKenna published in Psychologies Magazine (February 2019).

lemon verbena possets

Serves : 4

Ingredients :
2 lemons
125g caster sugar
6 lemon verbena leaves
425ml double cream

Step One : Grate the zest of the lemons into a saucepan, then squeeze out and add the juice, followed by the sugar and lemon verbena leaves. Place the pan over a low heat and bring to the boil, stirring occasionally until the sugar has dissolved. Whisk in the cream and cook for three minutes.

Step Two : Divide the mixture between four small glasses or ramekins. Leave to cool, then chill in the fridge for two hours until set. Remove the possets from the fridge at least 30 minutes before serving.

Chocolate Beef Chilli with Jalapeno And Cheese Scones

Recipe taken from Clodagh’s Suppers: Suppers to celebrate the seasons by Clodagh McKenna published in Psychologies Magazine (February 2019)chocolate beef chilli with jalapeno and cheese scones

Ingredients for the Chilli :
50g salted butter
300g minced beef
1 small white onion or shallot, finely chopped
2.5cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3 small dried chillies, chopped
100g smoked bacon lardons
100g fully cured, ready-to-eat chorizo, diced
150ml red wine
400g can cherry tomatoes
300ml water
1 tblsp brown sugar
2 tsp finely chopped fresh or dried oregano
2 bay leaves
1 tblsp tomato ketchup
50g dark chocolate, grated
400g can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

For the scones :
225g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tblsp baking powder
Pinch of fine sea salt
50g salted butter, chilled and cubed
125g Dubliner cheese, grated
2 jalapeno chillies, finely chopped
125-150ml milk or buttermilk

Serves : 6

Step One : Place a flameproof casserole dish over a medium heat and add half the butter. Once melted, add the minced beef and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until browned. Transfer to a plate.

Step Two : Add the remaining butter to the casserole dish, stir in the onion or shallot, ginger and garlic and cook for two minutes, then stir in the cumin, cinnamon and dried chillies and cook for a further minute. Add the bacon lardons and chorizo and cook, stirring for about three minutes until lovely and crispy.

Step Three : Return the beef to the pan and stir well. Pour in the red wine and cook for two minutes more. Then add the tomatoes, measured water, sugar, oregano, bay leaves and ketchup. Season with salt and pepper, stir well, then cover the pan with a lid and simmer over a low heat for two hours.

Step Four : While the chilli is cooking, make the jalapeno and cheese scones. Preheat the oven to 200oC , gas mark 6, and dust a baking tray with flour. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Add the butter and rub in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in half the grated cheese, followed by half the jalapenos, then gradually mix in enough milk with a fork to make a soft dough.

Step Five : Roll out the dough on a floured work surface into a round, 1 cm deep. Cut into six wedges, place on the floured baking tray and sprinkle the remaining cheese and jalapenos on top. Bake for 15 minutes until golden brown. Transfer the scones to a wire rack and leave to cook for 10 minutes.

Step Six : Remove the lid of the casserole and stir in the chocolate and kidney beans, then simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Serve with the jalapeno and cheese scones.

Thai-Steamed Snapper

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (Dec 2015) and taken from At Home with Umami: Home-cooked recipes unlocking the magic of super-savory deliciousness by Laura Santtini.

Umami translates from the Japanese to mean ‘savoury deliciousness.’  Santtini says umami is, ‘the ultimate expression of flavour; the extra mouthful-ness that makes us say “mmmmm”, the taste that keeps on giving long after its fellow basic tastes – sweet, salty, sour and bitter – are spent.’

Brilliant for a dinner party, you can also use this versatile marinade for fish fillets.  This fish is ideal served with sticky Thai-style rice and a crisp green salad.

Serves : 4

Ingredients:

red snapper11 whole red snapper or other whole sustainable white fish (about 2kg), descaled, gutted and cleaned
4 limes (1 sliced)
1 bunch fresh coriander
1 bunch of spring onions, topped and sliced (reserve tops for stuffing fish)
1 sweet potato, diced into thumbnail-sized pieces
2.5cm (1 in) piece of fresh ginger, sliced
5 garlic cloves, peeled
3 lemongrass stalks, outer skin removed and roughly chopped
2 red chillies, deseeded (keep the seeds of half a chilli only)
3 tblsp toasted sesame oil
4 tblsp fish sauce
3 tblsp soy sauce
1 tblsp brown sugar or palm sugar

Step One : Preheat the oven to 200oC (400oF) Gas 6.  Cut a piece of wide baking parchment twice the length of your fish.  Fold the parchment in half and then open it, placing one half on a baking tray.  Put the fish on the diagonal on the piece of parchment on the baking tray.

Step Two : Make slashes in the fish on the diagonal through the skin down to the bone on both sides.  Stuff the cavity with a few slices of lime, half the coriander and the tops of the spring onions.  Scatter sweet potato cubes and spring onion chunks around the fish.

Step Three : In a food processor, combine the rest of the coriander, ginger, garlic, lemongrass and chilli and blitz into a paste.  Add the sesame oil, fish sauce, soy sauce, sugar and the juice of the remaining 3 limes and blitz again.

Step Four : Rub this marinade all over the fish and fold the other half of the parchment over the fish, wrapping the edges over to close tightly.

Step Five : Cook in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes.  To test if the fish is cooked, remove from the oven and take a peek inside a corner of the parcel, but be careful because the steam will escape.  If the eye of the fish has turned white, this means your fish is cooked.

Step Six : Open the parcel and serve large chunks of fish on sticky Thai rice topped with a large spoonful of the cooking juices – that is where move of the umami is.

Roast Chicken with Pomegranate, Pancetta and Brandy

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (Dec 2015) and taken from At Home with Umami: Home-cooked recipes unlocking the magic of super-savory deliciousness by Laura Santtini.

This is a real showstopper, especially if you are generous with the brandy.  Serve with basmati rice steamed with cardamom pods to make the rice extra fragrant.

Chicken and pomegranate

Serves : 4

Ingredients:
3 tblsp olive oil
1 medium chicken, jointed into 8 pieces by a butcher
3 shallots (2 quartered, 1 chopped finely)
1 bunch fresh sage
4 garlic cloves
30g dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in 250ml boiling water, drained and chopped
4 medium pomegranates
25g butter
100g pancetta
generous splash of brandy
250ml double cream
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
basmati rice, to serve

Step One : Preheat the oven to 180oC (350oF) Gas 4. Heat the oil in a cast-iron casserole dish over a medium-high heat. Add the chicken and brown on all sides. Season.

Step Two : Once browned, remove from the heat. Add the quartered shallots, half the sage, garlic and the liquid from the mushrooms. Replace the chicken, cover with a tight-fitting lid and roast in a preheated oven for 1 hour.

Step Three : Meanwhile, deseed the pomegranates by slicing them in half and bashing them with a wooden spoon over a bowl so that the seeds fall out. Crush the seeds slightly with a potato masher to release their juices.

Step Four : Take out the chicken and pour the pomegranate juices into the pan, reserving the seeds for later. Pop the chicken back into the oven.

Step Five : Make the sauce. Heat the butter in a medium saucepan over a medium heat. Once it has melted, add the chopped shallot and cook until translucent. Add the mushrooms, the rest of the sage and pancetta, and cook until the pancetta begins to crisp and the fat melts. Once the chicken is cooked, pour off its sauce into the mushrooms pan. Cover the chicken with foil to keep it warm.

Step Six : Add the brandy and the double cream to the sauce. Simmer until the sauce has reduced enough to coat the back of a spoon, then pour it back over the chicken, sprinkle with the reserved pomegranate seeds, and serve immediately with bowls of hot basmati rice.

Light Seafood Tartlets

Recipe courtesy of Prima Magazine.

Quick to make and deliciously light to eat, these airy little tartlets are a perfect overture to a rich main course. Crisp layers of filo pastry hold a fluffy prawn and salmon filling, delicately flavoured with dill, chives and lime.

Serves : 8

Prep time : 20 mins    Cook time : 12 mins

seafood tartlets

Ingredients:
8 sheets filo pastry
2oz (50g) butter, melted
9 fl oz (275ml) hollandaise sauce
2 eggs, separated
4oz (125g) cooked peeled prawns
4oz (125g) smoked salmon trimmings, chopped
1 lime
1 tblsp (15ml) chopped fresh dill
1 tblsp (15ml) chopped fresh chives
salt and pepper

Step One : Preheat the oven to Mark 4 (350oF / 180oC) and place a baking sheet in the oven. Cut the pastry into 4in (10cm) squares and use it to line eight 4 in (10cm) flan tins. Overlap the pastry and butter between each layer.

Step Two : Place the hollandaise sauce in a bowl, add the egg yolks, prawns, salmon, grated rind of the lime, herbs and plenty of seasoning. Whisk the egg whites until they just stand in soft peaks and fold into the fish mixture using a large metal spoon. Divide between the tins.

Step Three : Place the tins on the hot baking sheet and cook for 10-12 minutes or until just set and golden brown.

Tip: For a vegetarian alternative, saute 8oz (225g) mushrooms in garlic butter and use them instead of the seafood. When using the mushrooms replace the fresh dill with tarragon.

Other seafood recipes can be found here …

Victoria Sponge Cake

Victoria Sponge cakeServes : 8-10

Ingredients:-
175g (6oz) butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
175g (6oz) caster sugar
3 eggs, beaten
175g (6oz) self-raising flour
Pinch of salt
3 tblsp raspberry jam
1 tblsp caster sugar or icing sugar, for dusting

Step One : Preheat the oven to 180oC / 350oF / Gas Mark 4.

Step Two : Grease two 20cm (8 inch) sponge tins and line with baking paper.

Step Three : Cream the butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl using a wooden spoon or a hand-held mixer until the mixture is pale in colour and light and fluffy.

Step Four : Add the eggs a little at a time, beating well after each addition.

Step Five : Sift the flour and salt together and carefully add to the mixture, folding in with a metal spoon or a spatula. Divide the mixture between the tins and smooth over with the spatula.

Step Six : Place the tins on the same shelf in the centre of the preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes until well risen, golden brown and beginning to shrink from the sides of the tins.

Step Seven : Remove from the oven and leave to stand for 1 minute.

Step Eight : Loosen the cakes from around the edges of the tins using a palette knife. Turn the cakes out onto a clean tea towel, remove the paper and invert them onto a wire rack (this prevents the wire rack marking the tops of the cakes).

Step Nine : When completely cool, sandwich together with the jam and dust with icing sugar. The cake is delicious when freshly baked, but any remaining cake can be stored in an airtight tin for up to one week.

Devil’s Food Cake

Devils Food CakeServes: 8-10

Sponge Ingredients:-
140g (5oz) plain chocolate
100ml (3 ½ fl oz) milk
2 tblsp cocoa powder
140g (5oz) unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
140g (5oz) ligh Muscovado sugar
3 eggs, separated
4 tblsp soured cream or crème fraiche
200g (7oz) plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

Frosting Ingredients:-
140g (5oz) plain chocolate
40g (1 ½ oz) cocoa powder
4 tblsp soured cream or crème fraiche
1 tblsp golden syrup
40g (1 ½ oz) unsalted butter
4 tblsp water
200g (7oz) icing sugar

Step One : Preheat the oven to 160oC / 325oF / Gas Mark 3. Grease two 20cm (8 inch) sandwich tins and line the bases with baking paper.

Step Two : Break up the chocolate and place in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, add the milk and cocoa powder, then heat gently, stirring until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat.

Step Three : In a large bowl beat the butter and Muscovado sugar together until pale and fluffy. Add the egg yolks, then beat in the soured cream and the melted chocolate mixture.

Step Four : Sift in the flour and bicarbonate of soda, then fold in evenly. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff enough to hold firm peaks. Fold into the mixture lightly and evenly.

Step Five : Divide the mixture between the prepared cake tins, smooth level and bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until risen and firm to the touch. Cool in the tins for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.

Step Six : To make the frosting, put the chocolate, cocoa powder, soured cream, golden syrup, butter and water in a saucepan and heat gently until melted. Remove from the heat and sift in the sugar, stirring until smooth. Cool, stirring occasionally, until the mixture begins to thicken and hold its shape.

Step Seven : Split the cakes in half horizontally with a sharp knife to make four layers. Sandwich the cakes together with about a third of the frosting. Spread the remainder over the top and side of the cake swirling with a palette knife.

Tip: Use a metal, ceramic or glass bowl when whisking egg whites. Plastic bowls scratch easily, so may not be grease-free, and will prevent the whites from foaming.

Truffle Cheesecake

Light sponge with a rich chocolate and almond topping laced with rum for an extra special dessert.

Serves: 10

Prep time: 25 mins; Cook time: 1 hour

Base Ingredients:
1 egg;
1oz (25g) caster sugar
1oz (25g) plain flour, sifted;
Few drops vanilla essence

Topping Ingredients:
1 ½ lb (675g) cream cheese
175g/6oz caster sugar
3 eggs, beaten
200g/7oz plain chocolate, melted
2 tblsp milk
5 tblsp dark rum
7oz (200g) carton fromage frais
2oz (50g) ground almonds
cocoa powder for dusting

Step One : Grease and line a 21cm/8 1/2 in spring clip tin.

Step Two : Preheat the oven to Mark 5 / 190oC / 375oF.

Step Three : Whisk egg and sugar together until mixture leaves a trail. Fold in the flour and vanilla essence. Pour into tin, spread evenly and bake for 10 minutes until golden and risen.

Step Four : Turn the sponge onto sugared paper. Wash, grease and re-line the base and sides of spring clip tin. Return sponge to tin. Lower oven to Mark 4 / 180oC / 350oF.

Step Five : Put cream cheese into a bowl and beat in caster sugar and eggs. Add the chocolate, milk, rum, fromage frais and almonds. Beat well and pour on top of sponge base. Bake for 45-50 minutes until set.

Step Six : Turn off oven and leave cheesecake to cool in oven for 2-3 hours.

Step Seven : Dust with cocoa before serving.

Tip: This rich cheesecake is delicious served slightly warm or at room temperature. It is best eaten within 24 hours and is not suitable for freezing.

Click on the book cover to find more cheesecake recipes …