Hearty Italian Soup

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

soupsServes : 4-6

Ingredients :
75g pancetta, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1 stick of celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
3 bay leaves
200g each fresh shiitake and chestnut mushrooms
small handful of dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in 250ml hot water
200g puy lentils
1 tblsp tomato puree
1 large glass (175ml) red wine
2 tblsp soy sauce
1 can chopped tomatoes, plus 1 can of water
2 chicken stock cubes dissolved in 1 litre of water
100g cavolo nero, shredded

Step One : Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan, brown the pancetta, remove and set aside.  Add onion, celery, carrots, garlic and bay leaves, then cook over a low heat until the onion is soft and glassy, but not coloured.  Add the fresh mushrooms and stir well until they begin to soften.

Step Two : Remove the porcini and chop, reserving the soaking juice.  Return porcini to the pan with lentils; stir.  Cook for 2-3 minutes, then add pancetta, tomato puree, wine and soy sauce.

Step Three : Turn up the heat and, once the red wine has almost evaporated, pour in the reserved porcini mushroom liquid, taking care not to let the gritty bits fall into the pot.  Add the stock.  Reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the lentils are cooked but not too soft.  Stir in the cavolo nero, five minutes before the end of cooking.  Stir well, ladle into bowls and scatter over parsley and grated Pecorino cheese.

Chocolate-Orange Granola

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (June 2018) and taken from The Food Medic for Life: Easy Recipes to Help You Live Well Every Day” by Hazel Wallace.

orange granolaServes : 6-8

Ingredients :
200g oats
60g mixed almonds and hazelnuts
30g pumpkin seeds
30g coconut chips
Zest of 1 orange
1 tsp salt
60ml maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
80ml coconut oil, melted
1 tblsp cocoa powder

Step One : Preheat the oven to 160oC / 325oF / Gas Mark 3 and line a baking tray with baking parchment.

Step Two : Place the oats in a bowl and add the nuts, pumpkin seeds, coconut chips, orange zest and salt.

Step Three : Combine the remaining ingredients in a separate bowl, then pour into the oats mixture and stir well.

Step Four : Spread out the mixture on your prepared baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes, stirring gently every 10-15 minutes, or until the oats are a golden brown colour.

Step Five : Let the granola cool completely on the baking tray, before storing it in an airtight container for up to two weeks.

Salute the Salad : Poached Salmon, Almond and Grapefruit Couscous

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (May 2016) and taken from “Savour : Salads for all seasons” by Peter Gordon.

For this light, healthy meal, poach the salmon in a pan wide and deep enough to hold the pieces in one layer.  The couscous can also be served with other meats.

Poached salmonServes 2 as a main course

Serve warm or at room temperature

Ingredients :
100g couscous
1 carrot, peeled and coarsely grated (shredded)
1 tblsp extra virgin olive oil
2 spring onions
1 small handful of flat-leaf parsley, still on the stalk
1 grapefruit
2 salmon fillets (150-175g each), bones removed but skin left on
3 tblsp flaked almonds, lightly toasted and roughly chopped
1 small handful salad leaves (perhaps use pea shoots)
1 lemon, halved

Step One : Mix the couscous with 100ml of tepid water and 1/4 tsp of salt, and leave for 5 minutes.  Mix in the grated carrot and olive oil and leave for 5 minutes.  Trim both ends from the spring onions.  Thinly slice the green parts and mix into the couscous.  Pick the parsley leaves from their stalks, coarsely shred and add to the couscous.  Put the parsley stalks and spring onion white ends in a separate pan.  Add water to a depth of 4 cm and 1 tsp of salt, bring to the boil then reduce to a rapid simmer.  Peel three strips of rind from the grapefruit, avoiding any white pith, add to this poaching stock as it heats up.

Step Two : Gently lower the salmon pieces into the stock, skin side facing down, and bring back to the boil.  Turn off the heat, put a lid on the pan and leave for 8-10 minutes, by which time it will be cooked (if the salmon is thin, and submerged, leave it for no more than 4-5 minutes).

Step Three : Meanwhile, segment the grapefruit, cutting off the peel and pith.  Cut each segment into three or four pieces and mix into the couscous along with the almonds and any juice you can squeeze from the grapefruit core.

Step Four : To serve, divide the couscous among your plates and sit the salad leaves on top.  Remove the salmon carefully from the poaching liquid and lay on a plate, skin side facing up.  Peel off the skin and carefully scrape away any dark-coloured flesh (and blood line) under the skin using a teaspoon.  Break the salmon into flakes and sit it on top of the couscous.  Tuck in a lemon half and serve.

Salute the Salad : Grilled Carrots, Manchego, Orange, Agave, Pecans and Sultanas

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine and taken from “Savour : Salads for all seasons” by Peter Gordon.

This relatively simple salad will seem all the more fabulous if you use a few different colours of carrots.   I found the combination of just two colours worked well and decided against using purple ones.  I’ve also made this using baby carrots, which looks and works a treat.  Manchego is a fantastic ewes’ milk cheese from La Mancha, near Madrid, in Spain.  If you prefer, you can use British Wigmore or Berkswell, Italian Pecorino, or some other firm ewes’ milk cheese – something you can shave or slice over the top.  Agave syrup is a fabulous, earthy, sweet syrup, which complements the pecans – replace it with maple syrup if you can’t find it.

Grilled carrotsServes 4 as a starter

Serve warm or at room temperature

Ingredients:
600g carrots, peeled, halved lengthways
3 tblsp olive oil
2 oranges, segmented
3 tblsp agave syrup (or use maple syrup)
50g sultanas (or golden raisins)
100g pecans, toasted and chopped
1 spring onion, thinly sliced
handful salad leaves (perhaps rocket)
60g manchego

Step One : Steam or boil the carrots in salted water for 6 minutes.  If using baby carrots, cook for 4 minutes.  Tip into a colander and leave to drain.  Brush with 1 tablespoon of the oil and season with salt and pepper, then cook in a heavy based pan until coloured on both sides and cooked through, about 3-4 minutes depending on their size.  Leave to cool.

Step Two : Mix the orange segments with any of their juice you can squeeze from the ‘core’.  Add the agave syrup, sultanas and pecans.  Leave for 10 minutes, then mix in the remaining oil.  Leave for at least 20 minutes to allow the sultanas to soak up some of the liquid, tossing from time to time.  Just before serving, mix in the spring onion.

Step Three : To serve, lay the carrots on a platter or individual plates. Scatter on the salad leaves, then spoon on the orange, sultana and pecan mixture.  Thinly shave the manchego on top just before you serve it.

 

Stilton and Walnut Wholemeal Loaf

Recipe courtesy of Ocado Life Magazine and taken from 100 Great Breads by Paul Hollywood.

This recipe tastes delicious with cheese.

Stilton and Walnut Wholemeal loaf.jpgPrep time : 2 1/2 hours
Cook time : 30 mins

Ingredients :
100g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
400g wholemeal flour
10g salt
50g butter, softened
300ml water
100g Stilton cheese, crumbled
125g walnuts, chopped

Step One : Put the flours, salt, yeast and butter into a bowl. Add the water, a little at a time, and gradually incorporate all the flour from the sides of the bowl.

Step Two : Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and pliable.  Put back in the bowl and leave to rise for 1 hour.

Step Three : Line a baking tray.  Add the Stilton and walnuts to the dough and mix well together.  Divide the dough into three pieces and roll each one into a long sausage.  Plait the dough – place the three strips side by side and join them at the top, then bring the right strip over the middle strip, then the left strip over the middle strip, and continue until the plait is complete.  Put on the tray and leave to rise for 1 hour.

Step Four : Preheat the oven to 230oC / Gas 8.  Bake the loaf for 30 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Fruit and Nut Couscous with Fresh Herbs

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (August 2019) and taken from Summer Every Day by Acland Geddes and Pedro Da Silva.

Fruit and Nut couscous

Serves : 6 – 8

Ingredients :
500g couscous
Olive oil, for frying and drizzling
50g whole almonds
50g whole cashews
50g whole pecans
1 pomegranate
2 tblsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tblsp chopped fresh mint
2 tblsp chopped fresh basil
50g dried apricots, chopped into small pieces
50g raisins

Step One : Put the couscous in a serving bowl and add cold water until it is covered by about 2 cm of water. Leave until all the water is absorbed (about 10 minutes), then fluff it up with your hands.

Step Two : Put all the nuts in a pan with a splash of olive oil and toast over medium heat until they are nicely browned. Set aside to cool.

Step Three : Remove the pomegranate seeds by cutting the fruit in half, holding it over a bowl and bashing the outside with the back of a wooden spoon so that the seeds fall into the bowl.

Step Four : Stir the herbs, nuts, pomegranate seeds and dried apricots into the couscous. Add a little olive oil, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and serve.

Smoked Trout with Chicory, Apple and Almond Slaw

Flavours and textures that work together in the same way as Waldorf salad. Crunchy apple and leaves, toasted almonds and fresh dill, all delicious with the trout. If you want to make the slaw in advance, fold the sliced apple in some lemon juice before combining with the other ingredients to prevent browning, and reserve the toasted almonds until you are ready to serve.

Serves : 4

The Dressing Ingredients:
2 tblsp dill, roughly chopped
125ml (4 fl oz) soured cream or crème fraiche
A good squeeze of lemon juice
Seasoning, to taste

The Salad Ingredients:
200g (7oz) smoked trout fillet, torn into slivers
2 sweet apples, cored, halved and sliced into fine batons
2 medium heads of chicory, separated into leaves and finely sliced lengthways
2 heaped tblsp flaked almonds, lightly tasted in a hot, dry frying pan

Step One : Beat together the dressing ingredients and fold into the salad ingredients (reserve a few flaked almonds).

Step Two : Arrange a small pile of slaw on each plate, top with slivers of trout and dress with remaining almonds.

Pistachio, Orange and Cardamom Tart

Recipe taken from Psychologies Magazine (May 2019) and published in Moorish: Vibrant recipes from the Mediterranean.

Use super green Iranian Pistachios for this, not only for their colour but also for their sweet flavour. The cardamom works beautifully alongside the zesty orange. Gran Torres is a brandy liqueur from Spain, great for giving desserts a kick!

IMG_2031

Serves : 8-10

Ingredients :
220g plain flour, sifted, plus extra for dusting
A pinch of salt
10 cardamom pods, seeds removed and ground in a Pestle and Mortar
140g unsalted butter, diced
1 egg yolk
Goat’s milk yogurt, to serve

For the filling:
280g green pistachios (ideally Iranian)
180g blanched almonds
240g caster sugar
1/4 tsp freshly ground cardamom seeds (from pod)
125ml fresh orange juice
5 egg yolks
Grated zest of 1 orange
20ml Gran Torres orange liqueur or Grand Marnier

Step One : First, make the pastry. Put the flour, salt and ground cardamom seeds in a food processor and blitz. With the machine running, gradually add the butter and pulse for a few minutes more, until reduced to tiny lumps. Mix in the egg yolk. Tip the mixture into a bowl and knead together to make a dough. Wrap in cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for an hour or so.

Step Two : Roll out the dough on a floured surface and use to line a 24cm round, loose-bottomed tart tin. Prick the pastry with a fork before placing it in the freezer to chill for an hour or so.

Step Three : Preheat the oven to 180oC / Gas Mark 4. Line the tart case with baking parchment and fill with baking beans. Bake blind for 20-25 minutes or until the pastry is cooked and has turned golden. Remove the paper and beans, then set aside to cool. Leave the oven on.

Step Four : For the filling, blitz the nuts, sugar and cardamom in a food processor until fine and smooth. With the machine running, slowly add the orange juice to form a paste. Add four of the egg yolks and the orange zest, and blitz again, then add the liqueur.

Step Five : Spread the filling in the tart case. Bake for 15 minutes or until the top has just set. Lightly beat the remaining egg yolk and brush over the surface. Bake for 10 minutes more or until glazed. Leave to cool for at least an hour before serving. Top each piece of tart with a dollop of creamy goat’s milk yogurt.

Chocolate, Pistachio and Almond Biscotti

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (June 2014) and taken from Fresh and Light by Donna Hay.

These cheerful biscotti make a deliciously light treat at the end of a meal. Traditionally taken with coffee, Donna Hay has the idea of serving them with gently steamed milk infused with mood-lifting spices like cinnamon and star anise.

IMG_1833

Makes : 50

Ingredients:
300g plain wholewheat flour, sifted
35g cocoa, sifted
2 tsp baking powder
175g brown sugar
80g blanched almonds
45g unsalted shelled pistachios
2 eggs, lightly beaten
60ml milk

Step One : Preheat the oven to 160oC / 325oF. Place the wholewheat flour, cocoa and baking powder in a bowl. Add the brown sugar, blanched almonds and shelled pistachios and mix well. Add the eggs and milk then mix until a firm dough forms (this may take some time).

Step Two : Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Divide the mixture in half and shape into two logs. Place on two baking trays lined with non-stick baking paper and bake for 35-40 minutes or until firm. Allow to cool.

Step Three : Reduce the oven to 140oC / 275oF. Using a serrated knife, cut each log into thin slices and place on baking trays lined with non-stick baking paper. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until crisp. Store in an airtight container for up to one week.

Walnut Griddle Cakes

Serves : 4-6

griddle cakes cartoon

Ingredients:
100g (4oz) plain flour
3tsp baking powder
Salt
50g (2oz) semolina
1 tblsp caster sugar
2 eggs, large, beaten
150ml (5fl oz) milk
1 tblsp margarine or butter, melted
50g (2oz) chopped walnuts.

Step One : Sift the flour, baking powder, a pinch of salt and the semolina into a bowl. Add the sugar and mix thoroughly. Make a well in the centre of the mixture then add the eggs and the milk. Beat thoroughly until the mixture forms a thick, creamy batter. Stir in the melted margarine or butter and add the walnuts.

Step Two : Heat a well-greased griddle or thick frying pan with butter and heat. Drop tablespoonfuls of the batter, how many depends on the size of cakes you prefer, and cook until golden brown on one side, after 2-3 mins. Turn the cakes and cook for a further 2-3 mins on the other side.

Step Three : Repeat the process until all the batter is used. Serve with butter and golden syrup.

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