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 …

Lobster Thermidor

Lobster Thermidor is a rich and delicious dish that is luxurious enough to serve at Christmas-time.  Serve one lobster per person as a main course or one filled shell each for a starter.

Ingredients:
Lobster Thermidor

2 live lobsters, about 675g (1 1/2 lb) each
20g (3/4 oz)butter
30ml (2 tblsp) plain flour
30ml (2 tblsp) brandy
120ml (4 fl oz) milk
90ml (6 tblsp) whipping cream
15ml (1 tblsp) Dijon mustard
lemon juice, salt and white pepper
grated Parmesan cheese, for sprinkling
fresh parsley and dill, to garnish.

Serves: 2-4

Step One : Boil the lobsters in a large saucepan of salted water for 8-10 minutes.

Step Two : Cut the lobsters in half lengthways and discard the dark sac behind the eyes, then pull out the string-like intestine from the tail. Remove the meat from the shells, reserving the coral and liver, then rinse the shells thoroughly under running water and wipe dry. Cut the meat into bite-size pieces.

Step Three : Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan over a medium-high heat. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring until slightly golden. Pour in the brandy and milk, whisking vigorously until smooth, then whisk in the cream and mustard.

Step Four : Push the lobster coral and liver through a sieve into the sauce and whisk briskly to blend. Reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently until thickened. Season the sauce with salt, if needed, then add pepper and lemon juice.

Step Five : Preheat the grill. Arrange the lobster shells in a gratin dish or shallow flameproof baking dish.

Step Six : Stir the lobster meat into the sauce and divide the mixture evenly among the shells. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and grill until golden. Serve piping hot, garnished with fresh herbs.

Other lobster recipes can be found here …

Recipe from the Ultimate Christmas Cookbook

Tapas of Almonds, Olives and Cheese

Recipe taken from The Ultimate Christmas Cookbook

These three simple ingredients are lightly flavoured to create a delicious Spanish tapas medley that is perfect for a casual starter or nibbles to serve with pre-dinner drinks.

Ingredients:buffet tapas

2.5ml ( ½ tsp) coriander seeds
2.5ml ( ½ tsp) fennel seeds
5ml (1 tsp) chopped fresh rosemary
10ml (2 tsp) chopped fresh parsley
2 garlic cloves, crushed
15ml (1 tblsp) sherry vinegar
30ml (2 tblsp) olive oil
115g (4oz) black olives
115g (4oz) green olives

For the Marinated Cheese:-
150g (5oz) goat’s cheese
90ml (6 tblsp) olive oil
15ml (1 tblsp) white wine vinegar
5ml (1 tsp) black peppercorns
1 garlic clove, sliced
3 fresh tarragon or thyme sprigs
tarragon sprigs, to garnish

For the Salted Almonds
1.5ml ( ¼ tsp) cayenne pepper
30ml (2 tblsp) sea salt
25g (1oz/2 tblsp) butter
60ml (4 tblsp) olive oil
200g (7oz) blanched almonds
Extra sea salt for sprinkling (optional)

Serves: 6-8

Step One : To make the marinated olives, crush the coriander and fennel seeds with a pestle and mortar.  Or, put them into a strong plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin.  Mix together with the rosemary, parsley, garlic, vinegar and oil and pour over the olives in a small bowl.  Cover with clear film and chill for up to 1 week.

Step Two : To make the marinated cheese, cut the cheese into bite-size pieces, leaving the rind on.  Mix together the oil, vinegar, peppercorns, garlic and herb sprigs and pour over the cheese in a small bowl.  Cover with clear film and chill for us to 3 days.

Step Three : To make the salted almonds, mix together the cayenne pepper and salt in a large mixing bowl.  Melt the butter with the olive oil in a frying pan.  Add the almonds to the frying pan and stir-fry for about 5 minutes, until the almonds are golden.

Step Four : Tip the almonds out of the frying pan, into the salt mixture, and toss together until the almonds are coated.  Leave to cool, then remove with a slotted spoon and store them in a jar or airtight container for up to 1 week.

Step Five : To serve the tapas, arrange in small, shallow serving dishes.  Use fresh sprigs of tarragon to garnish the cheese and scatter the almonds with a little more salt, if desired.

Cook’s tip: If serving with pre-dinner drinks, provide cocktail sticks for spearing the olives and cheese.
 

A serving dish for Tapas …

Grapefruit, Fennel and Cucumber Salad

IMG_1008 (2)Recipe courtesy of Psychologies, taken from CIBI : Simple Japanese-inspired Meals to Share with Family and Friends written by Meg & Zenta Tanaka.

This combination tastes as beautiful as it looks and goes nicely with baked fish, a mild curry or a meat dish.

Ingredients (Serves 4-6)

• 100g (about ½) pink grapefruit, peeled and separated into segments
• 100g (about ½) grapefruit, peeled and separated into segments
• 1 Lebanese (short) cucumber or ½ telegraph (long) cucumber, cut into thin rounds, then quartered
• 400g fennel bulb, halved and thinly sliced
• 1 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf pasley
• 90ml Honey Mustard Dressing

Step One – Cut each grapefruit segment in half at an angle.
Step Two – Cut the cucumber rounds into quarters.
Step Three – In a bowl, combine the grapefruit, cucumber, fennel and parsley. Add the dressing and mix well.

French Country Soup

This classic recipe is nutritious and high in fibre and vitamins.

Serves: 4

Ingredients:
1 tbsp (15ml) olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 medium leek, sliced
2 pints (1.1 litres) vegetable stock
1 medium potato, weighing about 175g (6oz), peeled and chopped
2 celery sticks, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
200g (7oz) can chopped tomatoes
25g (1oz) dried pasta shapes
100g (3 ½ oz) french beans, halved
1 large or 2 small courgettes, sliced
100g (3 ½ oz) pre-cooked or drained, canned flageolet or haricot beans
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Step One : Heat olive oil in a large flameproof casserole dish. Add the onion and leek, and soften for 5 mins, stirring occasionally. Add stock, potato, celery, carrots and canned tomatoes, then simmer, covered for 15 mins.

Step Two : Add pasta, French beans and courgettes, and simmer for 15 mins. Stir in flageolet or haricot beans, season well and simmer for 2 more mins.

Step Three : Serve the soup with crusty baguettes.

More yummy soup recipes can be found here …

Get £10 off your first and second boxes on Mindful Chef

Nachos

Serves:  4;  Cals per portion:  324;  Prep time:  10 mins;  Cook time:  7 mins

Ingredients: 

  • 4oz (100g) tortilla chips
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 4oz (100g) cheddar cheese, grated
  • ¼ pt (150ml) soured cream
  • 2 green chillis, sliced

Step One – Place a layer of tortilla chips in an ovenproof dish.  Top with onion, cheese, soured cream and chillis.  Repeat layering process twice more.

Step Two – Heat the grill to medium and cook dish under grill for 5-7 mins.  Serve.

Other Mexican Food recipes can be found in

Sweetcorn, Lime & Chilli Fritters

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine and is taken from the book : Salad Feasts: How to assemble the perfect meal by Jessica Elliott Dennison. 

The key to fat fritters is bravery when frying.  Test that your oil is hot and bubbling with a pinch of mixture, then fry the fritters for a few minutes on one side before turning them to keep them intact, and allowing them to develop a golden, crispy exterior.  Any broken fritters can be squidged back together.

Sweetcorn Lime and Chilli FrittersIngredients (Makes 8):

  • 280g tinned sweetcorn (drained weight)
  • 1 lime
  • 6 spring onions
  • 1-2 red chillies
  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 150ml vegetable or rapeseed oil
  • ¼ tsp sea salt flakes
  1. First, drain the sweetcorn in a colander then place in a large mixing bowl. Zest the lime, finely shred the spring onions and chillies and add them to the bowl along with the flour.  Crack in the eggs, then whisk with a fork in one side of the bowl.  Stir to combine the mixture, then shape into 8 fritters.
  2. Warm the oil in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat and line a few plates with kitchen paper. After a few minutes, test the oil is hot enough by adding a pinch of the fritter mixture to the pan.  If it sizzles and bubbles, you are ready for frying.  Gently place the fritters in the pan (lay them away from you) and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side until golden and crisp.
  3. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fritters to the lined plates, allowing the kitchen paper to soak up any excess oil. Sprinkle over the salt, cut the lime into wedges, place alongside the fritters on a serving dish and enjoy.

Kale Vichyssoise

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (Jan 2018)

A twist on the classic, says Drew Smith in ‘Broth to Bow’ (Nourish Books, £20) but this version has more dimensions, and doesn’t have to be reinforced with chicken broth.

Serves:  4

Ingredients:

¼ head celery
2 carrots
1 onion
3 leeks
2 new potatoes
1 litre Potassium Broth*
Handful of kale
Bunch of fresh parsley
50ml double cream
Olive oil for frying
Bread cubes for croutons

Step One:  Wash, trim and peel the celery, carrots, onion, leeks and potatoes, then put in a saucepan.  Cover with the Potassium Broth* and bring to the boil.  Simmer for 40 minutes.

Step Two: Take off the heat and leave to stand.  Transfer all the vegetables and about half the liquid into a smaller saucepan, ensuring that you have roughly equal vegetables and liquid.  Add the majority of the kale, trimmed, and bring back to a simmer for 4 minutes.

Step Three:  Chop the parsley and add, then liquidise in a blender or food processor, and stir in the cream.  In a frying pan, warm some olive oil and fry a few bread cubes for croutons.  Using the same oil, fry a couple of kale leaves until they are crisp, and use to garnish.

Chestnut and chorizo soup

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (February 2016) and taken from the book River Cottage Gluten Free written by Nutritionist, cook and River Cottage teacher Naomi Devlin.

Roast chestnuts have the starchy quality of baked potato, with a smoky sweetness that is fantastic with chorizo.  You can also use pre-prepared chestnuts here, for something that is almost as good.  If you need more protein, a poached or fried egg is a great addition.

Chestnut Chorizo soupServes:  4

Ingredients: 

400g fresh chestnuts (in shells)
125g chorizo or spicy salami, skinned
1 tsp butter or duck fat
Pinch of fennel seeds (optional)
4 carrots, roughly diced
1 large onion, roughly diced
1 celery stick, roughly diced
150g Swiss chard or rainbow chard
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 sprigs of thyme, leaves picked
1 tbsp tomato puree
large pinch of saffron threads
Greek yogurt and Turkish dried chilli flakes, to finish

Step One:  Preheat the oven to 220oC / Fan 200oC / Gas 7.  Make a cut in the top of each chestnut, place on a baking tray and roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes until tender.  Leave until cool enough to handle, then peel, halve or quarter and set aside.  (It’s a lot quicker to use pre-prepared chestnuts, but you won’t get the same smoky flavour).

Step Two:  Cut the chorizo or salami into small chunks.  Heat a saucepan over a low heat and add the chorizo chunks with the butter or duck fat and fennel seeds, if using.  Cook gently for a few minutes until the chorizo oil starts to run.  Add the diced vegetables and cook gently for at least 20 minutes until they have taken on a deeper colour and smell sweet.

Step Three:  While the vegetables soften, slice the white stalk from the chard leaves and cut it into chunks; set aside.  Shred the leaves finely and set these aside too.  Add the garlic to the pan with the thyme leaves and tomato puree and cook for a couple of minutes until the tomato smell rises from the pan.  Add the chopped chestnuts, chard stalks, saffron threads and enough boiling water to cover everything by 2-3 cm.  Bring to a simmer, put the lid on and lower the heat.  Simmer gently for about 15 minutes until everything is soft.  Taste for seasoning.

:  Either leave the soup chunky or mash it a bit, leaving some texture – you’re not aiming for a smooth result.  If it’s too thick, add a little water; if too thin, uncover, turn the heat up a bit and let it bubble to reduce slightly.  Finally, add the chard leaves to the soup and bring back to the boil; this will be enough to cook them through.  Serve each portion topped with a spoonful of Greek yogurt, if you like.  If the chorizo is mild, you may want to put some chilli flakes on the table.

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