Fresh Tuna Nicoise

 

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (Spring 2018 edition).  Recipe taken from the Feasting book.  See link below.

This more sophisticated version of your average tuna salad is a great dish for entertaining.  The rest of the salad can be assembled a few hours ahead, but leave the tuna and poached eggs until last to make it restaurant quality.

Serves:  8-10

Ingredients:

250g green beans, trimmed
300g kipfler (finger) potatoes
60ml olive oil, plus extra for the tuna
80ml vinegar
4 eggs
600g yellowfin tuna fillets
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
12 baby cos lettuce leaves
200g vine-ripened cherry tomatoes, halved
Squeeze of lemon
Dill sprigs, to garnish
Edible flowers, to garnish (optional)

Black Olive Tapenade Dressing

80g black Kalamata olives, pitted and diced
1 tbsp capers in brine, drained and diced
20g flat-leaf parsley, finely shredded
1/4 red chilli, seeded and finely diced
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil

Tuna Mayonnaise

500g mayonnaise
200g tinned tuna, drained
1 tbsp capers in brine, drained
Juice of 1/2 lemon
4 anchovy fillets

Tuna Spice Mix

1 tsp fennel seeds, freshly ground
1 tsp coriander seeds, freshly ground

Step One: Fill a saucepan with 2 litres of water and bring to the boil.  Blanch the beans for 90 seconds, then drain and refresh in cold water.  Drain again, then transfer to a plate lined with paper towels.  Put the potatoes in a saucepan and cover with cold water.  Add a pinch of salt, then bring to the boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer for 12-15 minutes, until cooked.  Drain the potatoes, then peel and cut into slices while warm.

Step Two: Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large non-stick frying pan over a high heat.  Fry the potatoes in batches, adding more oil as needed, until brown and crispy on both sides.  Drain on paper towels.

Step Three: Cut the tuna fillet into three pieces and rub with olive oil, then season with salt and pepper.  Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large non-stick frying pan over a high heat and sear the tuna for about 20 seconds on each side.  Set aside to cool.

Step Four: Make the tapenade dressing by mixing all the ingredients in a bowl.  For the tuna mayo, blend the ingredients in a food processor until smooth.

Step Five: Brush the tuna pieces with the mustard and roll in a bowl with the combined spice mix.  Slice into 1.5cm pieces.  Bring a saucepan of water to the boil, then add the vinegar.  Reduce the heat to simmer, give the water a swirl and crack in the eggs one at a time.  Cook for 3 minutes.  Remove with a slotted spoon.  Rest on paper towels.

Step Six:  To assemble, arrange some cos leaves on a plate and top with one third of the sliced tuna, beans, potatoes, tomatoes and tapenade.  Repeat with two more layers, finishing with spoonfuls of tapenade, lemon juice and the dill sprigs.  Top with eggs and edible flowers if using.  Serve with the tuna mayonnaise.

 

 

 

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Poached eggs, spinach and smoked salmon

A delicious breakfast for Christmas Day morning.

Poached egg breakfastIngredients:

300ml (9 ½ fl oz) crème fraiche
2 tsp cornflour
Yolks of three eggs
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
Juice ½ lemon
50g (1 ¾ oz) butter, diced
4 eggs
2 English muffins, halved
200g (6 ½ oz) spinach, steamed
4 slices smoked salmon

Serves:  2-4     Prep time:  20 mins     Cook time:  5 mins

Cals per serving:  644     Fat:  54g

Step One:  To make the sauce, whisk the crème fraiche, cornflour, egg yolks, white wine vinegar and lemon juice over a medium heat until simmering.  Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter.  Season to taste.  Add extra lemon juice, if needed.  Keep warm, whisking occasionally.

Step Two:  Poach the eggs for 3 mins in simmering water.  Toast and butter the muffins.  Divide the steamed spinach between the muffins.   Top with smoked salmon and an egg.  Season and pour over the sauce.

Tip: The spinach can be cooked ahead of time and then reheated in a microwave, if desired.  The eggs can also be poached ahead of time and set aside for 30 mins – reheat them in simmering water just before serving.

Recipe courtesy of Easy Living Magazine

 

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

Bacon and Potato Omelette

Serves : 2   :    Cals per portion: 430

  • In a medium sized frying pan, dry fry four rashers of streaky bacon for 2-3 mins until just cooked. Remove with a slotted spoon and cut each rasher in half, then set aside.
  • Beat five eggs with 45ml (3 tblsp) milk and season. Add a large knob of butter to the pan and when it’s foaming pour in the eggs. Cook for 2-3 mins until just beginning to set.
  • Cut two plum tomatoes into wedges and add to the pan with the bacon strips and 225g (8oz) cooked and sliced new potatoes. Place the pan under a preheated grill for a further 3-4 mins until just set and golden brown.
  • Serve straight from the pan sprinkled with ground black pepper and fresh chopped chives, if liked.