Whole Roasted Cauliflower with tahini and tomato salsa

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (Spring 2018) and recipe taken from a booking called Feasting.

If you don’t have time to slow roast the cauliflower, parboil it until soft enough to pierce with a fork.

Serves:  4-6

Ingredients:-

1 large cauliflower head
1 tbsp saffron threads
1 tbsp sumac
1 tsp ground turmeric
1tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground chilli
90ml olive oil, plus extra if needed
1 tsp salt
540g Tahini dip, to serve
80g slivered pistachios, to garnish
2 tbsp pomegranate seeds, to garnish
2 tbsp chilli hair, to garnish

For the Tomato Salsa:-

1/4 red onion, finely diced
5 tomatoes, deseeded and finely diced
2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp lemon juice

Step One: Preheat the oven to 180oC / 350oF / Gas Mark 4.  Put the cauliflower head on a baking tray lined with baking paper.  Mix the saffron threads with 500ml of boiling water, then set aside to steep for 15-20 minutes.

Step Two: In a bowl, combine the saffron liquid with the sumac, ground spices, oil and salt.  Pour the mix over the cauliflower, making sure it is evenly coated.  Cover the tray with foil and roast in the oven for 2 hours, basting every 30 minutes with the saffron liquid.  Add more oil if needed.

Step Three: Remove the foil and roast for a further 10 minutes to brown the cauliflower.  While it is browning, make the tomato salsa.  Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix.  Season to taste with salt.

Step Four: To serve, spread the Tahini dip on a platter and place the cauliflower on top.  Cut out a generous wedge of cauliflower and pile the salsa inside and around the edges.  Garnish with the slivered pistachios, pomegranate seeds and chilli hair (find in speciality food stores.

 

 

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Chicken Drumstick Bake

Recipe courtesy of Tesco Real Food.

Nutrition stats:
Cals:  2173kj/517 kcal; Fat:  17.6g; Saturates: 4.2g; Sugars: 6.4g;  Salt: 0.7g; Carbohydrates: 21.1g; Protein: 66.4g;  Fibre: 4.3g

Ingredients:
1kg (2lb) chicken drumsticks;
3 small red onions cut into quarters;
2 peppers, seeded and chopped into chunks;
400g (13oz) small baby potatoes, halved;
2 tbsp olive oil;
2 tsp mixed herbs;
250g (8oz) cherry tomatoes

Step One: Preheat the oven to gas 6, 200oC, fan 180oC.

Step Two: In a large bowl, toss the chicken, onions, peppers and potatoes with the oil and mixed herbs.  Spread out on a large baking tray and roast in the oven for 30 minutes.

Step Three:  After 30 minutes, add the tomatoes to the tray and cook for another 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through with no pink meat showing.

Step Four:  Divide between plates and drizzle over the tray juices to serve.

Time on your Hands tip: 
For a healthier version, remove the skin from the chicken drumsticks before cooking and replace the oil with sprays of fry light and a little water to the bottom of the baking tray to keep the chicken moist.

Thai-steamed Snapper

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.

Thai Red SnapperIngredients:

11 whole red snapper or other whole sustainable white fish (about 2 kg), descaled, gutted and cleaned
4 limes (1 sliced)
1 bunch of 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 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 tbsp toasted sesame oil
4 tbsp fish sauce
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar or palm sugar

Serves:  4

Step One:  Preheat the oven to 200oC (400oF, gas mark 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 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 most of the umami is.

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (December 2015) and taken from At Home with Umami by Laura Santtini.

Restaurateur and inventor of Taste #5 Umami paste Laura Santtini, is credited with making the ‘chef’s best-kept secret’ accessible to home cooks at all levels.  Umami is the savoury fifth basic taste; literally translating from the Japanese to mean ‘savoury deliciousness’, it is universal and can be used in food from every country and culture to make it extra tasty.

In Santtini’s words, 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.’

In her book, At Home with Umami, Santtini talks about how she has always been fascinated by flavours and the feelings they evoke.  Chapters include ‘Fresh & Uplifting’, ‘Heady & Daring’ and ‘Mellow & Comforting’, so you can check into how you’re feeling and cook full-flavoured food to match your mood.

Meringue Yule log

The log is made from a spongy Pavlova-like meringue, rather than the usual sponge.  This allows you to make the log the day before, if desired.  Use leaf-shape or star cutters for the decoration.  You can also add soft fruit like raspberries (thawed, if frozen) or chopped marrons glacés to the filling.

White chocolate Yule logIngredients:

4 large free-range egg whites
120g (4oz) caster sugar
2 tsp cornflour
1 tsp white vinegar
½ tsp vanilla extract
600ml (20 fl oz) double cream
2 tbsp icing sugar
4 tbsp lemon curd
200g (6 ½ oz) white chocolate, chopped

Serves:  8     Prep time:  30 mins, plus time to cool and decorate     Cook time:  30 mins
Cals per serving:  626     Fat:  48.5g

Step One:  Heat the oven to 150oC (gas mark 2).  Line a Swiss roll tin with non-stick baking paper.  Whisk the egg whites in a mixer until they form stiff peaks, then gradually add the caster sugar, beating until the mixture is stiff and glossy.  Beat in the cornflour, white vinegar and vanilla extract.  Transfer the meringue to the tin, spreading it evenly with a flat-bladed knife.

Step Two:  Bake for about 30 minutes, it should feel dry and springy when ready.

Step Three:  Remove from the oven and set aside for 1 minute only before turning out onto a sheet of baking or greaseproof paper lightly sprinkled with icing sugar.  Allow to cool.

Step Four:  Whip the cream and icing sugar until it forms soft peaks.  Spread the lemon curd thinly over the meringue and then spread with about half of the cream.  Use the greaseproof paper to roll the meringue up (from the short edge) into a log.  Place the log seam side down on a platter.  Spread the remaining cream over the outside of the log and refrigerate until ready to decorate.

Step Five:  Melt the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl suspended over a pan of very hot water (the bowl shouldn’t touch the water), stirring occasionally until smooth.

Step Six:  Spread the chocolate over a sheet of baking paper to a thickness of about 3mm (1/8 in).  Place on a tray and refrigerate until set.  Use a leaf or star cutter to cut shapes from the set white chocolate (you may have to return it to the fridge occasionally) and decorate the top of the log.  Dust lightly with icing sugar before serving.

Tip:  If making the meringue a day before, cover with cling film overnight.

Recipe courtesy of Easy Living Magazine

Duck breast with orange sauce and breadcrumbs

Duck with orangeIngredients:

2 large duck breasts, with skin
30g (1oz) butter
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
50g (1 ¾ oz) fresh breadcrumbs
2 tsp thyme leaves

For the marinade:-

150ml (5 fl oz) freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp runny honey
Juice half lemon
Finely grated zest of half an orange
Pinch of ground cinnamon

Serves:  2     Prep time:  15 mins plus marinating time     Cook time:  20 mins
Cals per serving:  772     Fat: 49g

Step One:  Score the skin of the duck breast in diagonal crosses and place in a ceramic bowl.  Combine the marinade ingredients and pour over the duck.  Marinate in the fridge, turning occasionally, for about 8 hours.

Step Two: Heat the oven to 180oC (gas mark 4).  Remove the duck and dry with paper towels, reserving the marinade.  Heat a large heavy frying pan over a moderate heat.  Place the breasts skin side down in the pan.  Cook for 3-4 minutes, or until nice and golden.  Transfer the duck breasts, skin side up, to a roasting tin and cook in the oven for about 10-15 minutes (for medium).

Step Three:  Meanwhile, pour the marinade into a small saucepan and simmer over a low heat for about 5 minutes, or until reduced and slightly thickened.  Season and keep warm.

Step Four:  Drain any fat from the frying pan and add the butter.  When foaming add the garlic, zest, breadcrumbs and thyme.  Sauté until the crumbs are golden.  Slice the duck breast either onto individual plates or on a small platter.  Sprinkle over the crumbs and serve with a jug of the sauce on the side.

Tip:  You can marinate the duck for up to 12 hours.  It is important to boil the marinade well before serving it as the sauce.

Recipe courtesy of Easy Living

Winter Trifle

winter trifleIngredients: 

4 tbsp Grand Marnier
100g (3 ½ oz) dried cherries
100g (3 ½ oz) dried sultanas
250g (8oz) Jamaican ginger cake
600ml (20 fl oz) chilled custard
Toasted flaked almonds, to serve

For the Syllabub:

Grated zest of ½ lemon
2-3 tbsp caster sugar
100ml (3 ½ fl oz) sweet white wine
300ml (9 ½ fl oz) cream

Serves:  8    Prep time:  25 mins, plus refrigeration and standing time

Step One:  Soak the dried fruit in the alcohol for 6 hours or overnight.  Strain, reserving both the fruit and alcohol.  Cut the cut into slices 1 cm (½ in) thick and arrange a single layer over the base of a large glass trifle bowl.  Pour over the fruit and alcohol.  Pour the custard over the cake covering with cling film and chill for at least 3 hours.

Step Two:  To make the syllabub cream, mix together the lemon zest, sugar and wine and leave for 30 minutes.  Strain through a fine sieve into a large bowl, then add the cream and whip until the mixture just holds it shape.  Be careful not to over whip it.

Step Three: Spoon the cream over the trifle and return it to the fridge until you are ready to serve.  Just before serving, decorate with toasted almonds and silver dragees, if desired.

Recipe courtesy of Easy Living Magazine

Seafood Bisque

BisqueIngredients:

20g (¾ oz) butter
650g (1 lb 5oz) small shrimps or prawns (in the shell)
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
2 leeks, roughly chopped
1 stick celery roughly chopped
1 medium carrot, roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
½ tsp fennel seeds
250g (8 oz) fillet salmon, skin and bones removed, cut into 2 cm pieces
1 tbsp tomato purée
125ml (4 fl oz) dry white wine
80g (2 ¾ oz) Arborio rice
2.5l (85 fl oz) fish stock (made with good cubes is fine)
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs of thyme
100ml (3 fl oz) double cream
Ciabatta, to serve

Serves:  8    Prep time:  15 mins      Cook time:  40 mins
Cals per serving:  269      Fat: 13g

Step One:  Heat the butter in a large saucepan over a medium-low heat and fry the prawns (in their shells), onion, leeks, celery, carrot, garlic and fennel seeds for about 6-7 minutes, or until the vegetables start to soften.

Step Two:  Add the salmon, tomato purée, white wine, rick, stock, bay leaf and thyme and bring to the boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer very gently for about 40 minutes.

Step Three:  Let the soup cool a little and blend with an electric blender or with a hand-held stick blender until smooth.  Strain the soup through a sieve (it needs to be nice and smooth).  Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Step Four:  When ready to serve, add the double cream and bring back to just under the boil.

Tip: If you’re feeling extravagant, add cooked crabmeat at step 2 for a richer flavour.

 Recipe courtesy of Easy Living Magazine

Pot-roasted Cockerel

CockerelIngredients:

2 tbsp vegetable oil
250g (8oz) pancetta or thick-cut bacon,diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3 leeks, washed and sliced into rounds
1 cockerel (3 kg – 4 kg  / 6 lb – 7 lb)
600ml (20 fl oz) chicken stock
6 sprigs thyme
2 bay leaves

Serves:  6-8    Prep time:  15 mins     Cook time:  2 hours
Cals per serving:  339     Fat: 26g

Step One: Heat the oven to 180oC (gas mark 4).

Step Two:  Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat and fry the pancetta, garlic and leeks, stirring occasionally, for 5-10 minutes or until the leeks have softened.

Step Three: Place the cockerel, breast-side up, in a roasting tin that is just large enough to hold it and four in the stock to a depth of 2 cm.  Add the pancetta, garlic and leeks and tuck in the thyme and bay leaves around the sides.  Cover tightly with foil and cook in the oven for 2 – 2 ½ hours (plan the roasting time for your cockerel at 15 minutes per 450g / 1 lb), basting occasionally with the pan juices. Remove the foil for the last 20 minutes to allow the cockerel to brown.

Step Four:  Leave the cockerel to rest in the pan for 30 minutes and cover with foil while you finish off preparing the vegetables.

Step Five:  To serve, remove the cockerel to a warm dish.  Skim any fat off the sauce, then taste and season with salt and pepper.  Remove the thyme and bay leaves and transfer the sauce (and leeks) to a jug.  Serve the cockerel with the sauce.

Tip:  For the best results, the cockerel should be allowed to reach room temperature before going in the oven.

Recipe courtesy of Easy Living Magazine

Open Lasagne with Pumpkin and Beetroot

Open LasagneIngredients:
1 large butternut squash
maple syrup;
8 small beetroot
pinch of saffron
200g (6 ½ oz) fresh lasagne sheets
2-3 tbsp cream
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 tbsp olive oil
Juice of ½ lemon
50g (1 ¾ oz) Fontina cheese, thinly sliced
About 60g (2oz) grated pecorino cheese
Toasted pumpkin seeds, to serve
Chopped fresh parsley, to serve

Serves:  4    Prep time:  60 mins      Cook time: 15 mins
Cals per serving:  561   Fat: 31.2g

Step One:  Heat oven to 190oC (gas mark 5).  Cut the squash into 2 cm (¾ in) pieces, removing any seeds.  Place into a greased roasting tray.  Brush with a little maple syrup and roast for about 30 minutes or until the squash is golden and tender.  Meanwhile, trim the beetroots and simmer in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until just tender.  Remove and cool, then slip off the skins.

Step Two:  Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil.  Add the saffron to the water.  Cut the lasagne into 16 x 8cm (3 in) squares.  Boil 8 of the squares for 4 minutes, or until al dente.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl of cold water.  Leave for about 30 seconds, then drain.  Lay flat on a dry tea towel and cover with another tea towel.  Repeat this process with the remaining squares.

Step Three:  When ready to serve, mash 1/3 of the squash with about 10ml (3 ½ fl oz) of boiling water or vegetable stock and 2-3 tbsp cream until it forms a sauce.

Step Four:  Cut the beetroot into quarters.  Sauté the garlic in a pan with the olive oil for a couple of minutes over a medium heat.  Then add the beetroot and sauté for a further few minutes to ensure it’s hot.  Stir in the remaining squash and lemon juice and mix well.  Lower the heat and keep warm.  Season to taste.

Step Five:  Reduce the oven temperature to 180oC (gas mark 4).  Lay four slices of pasta on the base of a lined baking sheet, top each with a little sauce, then the squash and beetroot mixture, then a slice of Fontina and repeat.  Finish with a layer of pasta and sprinkle with pecorino.  The lasagne shouldn’t be in even layers, it looks better if it’s a little higgledy-piggledy.  Place in the oven and cook for about 10 minutes, or until heated through.  Transfer to plats and serve sprinkled with pumpkin seeds and parsley and extra pecorino, if desired.

Recipe courtesy of Easy Living Magazine

Chocolate Mousse with Raspberry Cream and Honeycomb

Chocolate mousseRecipe Courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (Jan 2016) and taken from a book called Special Delivery by Annabel Crabb and Wendy Sharpe.

This chocolate mousse is improved by adding raspberries and cream, with honeycomb shards for pure theatre.

Serves:  4

Ingredients:  120g chocolate, with at least 80g dark chocolate; 4 eggs, separated; 1 tbsp caster sugar.

Honeycomb Shards:  165g granulated sugar; 1 ½ tbsp runny honey; 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

Raspberry Cream: 100ml double cream; ½ tsp vanilla paste (optional); 50g fresh or frozen raspberries

Step One:  First melt the chocolate, either in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water or gently in the microwave (on medium for bursts of 30 seconds).

Step Two:  Next, whisk the egg whites to firm peaks with a tiny pinch of salt, then slowly add the sugar and keep whisking until you have stiff peaks.

Step Three:  Lightly beat the egg yolks, then add to the slightly cooled chocolate and use a whisk to combine.  Gently fold in about a third of the egg whites to the chocolate mixture to loosen it, then fold in the rest.  Pour into a serving dish (or small glasses) and leave to set for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight.

Step Four:  For the honeycomb shards, line a large tray with baking paper.  Combine the sugar, honey and 1 ½ tablespoons of water in a tall, heavy-based pan and heat until it registers 154oC (310oF) on a sugar thermometer.  This is called the ‘cracking stage’.  If you don’t have a thermometer, test by dropping a little of the syrup into a bowl of cold water and then fishing out the result: if it is still stretchy, keep cooking: if it ‘snaps’, it is ready.

Step Five:  Take the pan off the heat and sift in the bicarbonate of soda.  Be careful – the mixture is hot and it will foam and rise up the pan.  Stir with a wooden spoon until combined, then pour it onto the baking sheet, getting it as thin as you can and smoothing it out with a spatula.  Leave the honeycomb for at least 15 minutes to set.  Store in a cool, dry place – but not the fridge, or it will go sticky.

Step Six:  Just before serving, make the raspberry cream.  Whip the cream and vanilla to soft peaks.  Fold through the raspberries, crushing them a little as you go to give pretty red streaks, then spoon over the mousse.  Break honeycomb into shards and use to decorate.