Smoked Haddock and Salmon Chowder

Method:

  • Melt the butter in a large saucepan, add the onion, salt, pepper, paprika and cayenne and cover. Sweat until soft but not coloured
  • Add the potato and carrots and sweat, covered, for a couple more minutes
  • Add the stock and simmer until the potato and carrot are tender - approx. 15-20mins
  • Remove from heat and with a stick blender give the soup a few pulses to break up the vegetables a bit but do not blend smooth
  • Put the pot back on a low heat and add the smoked haddock and smoked salmon and simmer for 4-5mins
  • Add the cream, lemon juice and parsley and season to taste 
  • Serve with some fresh crusty bread. Mmmmmmm!

Thai Chicken Soup Recipe

Method: Heat the oil, add the chilli, ginger, garlic and curry paste. Fry for 2-3 minutes but be careful not to burn. Pour in the coconut milk and the stock and simmer for 5 more minutes. Add the rice, butternut squash, sweetcorn and the chicken and cook for a further 15 minutes. Finally add the herbs, spring onion and lime juice and stir.

Serve with prawn crackers and a wedge of lime. Mmmmmm zingy!

Baked Chicken Stuffed with Pesto and Cheese

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 375F/190C.
  • Spray a small casserole dish with non-stick spray.
  • Trim any visible fat from chicken breasts, then put them one at a time inside a heavy plastic bag and pound with meat mallet until the chicken is as thin as you can get it. Don't worry too much about the shape or whether there are some loose pieces, you can tuck them in when you roll up the chicken.
  • In a small bowl mix together the basil pesto, sour cream, and grated mozzarella.
  • Use a rubber scraper to spread a thin layer of this mixture over each chicken breast, stopping about 1/2 inch from the edge of the chicken (so it doesn't run out so much as it cooks.)
  • Roll up the chicken breasts and secure them with a couple of toothpicks. (I roll them so the finished piece is as thin as I can get it so they will cook quickly.)
  • Prepare two bowls, one with the beaten egg and the other with the grated parmesan-almond flour mixture, seasoned with black pepper to taste.
  • Dip each chicken breast roll first into the egg mixture and then into the parmesan-almond flour mixture, patting it on so the chicken breast roll is well-coated with the mixture.
  • Put chicken breasts into the casserole dish and bake until the chicken is firm and lightly browned. (Start checking after about 25-30 minutes; total baking time will be 30-35 minutes.)
  • Serve hot and enjoy x

Chocolate Caramel Tart

Method:

  • Place butter and sugar in the bowl of a mixer and mix on medium for 3 minutes.
  • Scrape down the sides and add the egg yolk and beat well.
  • In another bowl whisk together the flour and cocoa powder.
  • Add to the butter mixture all at once. Then mix in at lowest speed until it just comes together (it will have small and medium clumps). Any more and it will become sticky and difficult to work with.
  • Scrape dough into tart pan. Press into the bottom of the tart and outward using the heel of your palm. Use your fingers to pull the tart up the edge. Chill for an hour in the fridge. Reserve a little bit of dough to patch the shell later if necessary.
  • Preheat the oven to 350F.
  • Bake tart shell for 15 minutes.
  • Check to see if the dough has cracked, if so patch it with the reserved dough. Bake for another 10-15 minutes, keeping an eye on it to ensure it doesn't burn. Cool on wire rack.
  • Make the caramel: In a saucepan, whisk together sugar, corn syrup, and water and bring to a boil. Cook over medium-high heat until a medium-dark amber colour, swirling occasionally. Take off heat and add the cream, butter, and sour cream. Stir together until smooth. Pour into cooled tart shell and let cool to room temperature, then place in the fridge to chill and set.
  • Make the ganache: Bring cream to a boil in a 1-qt. saucepan over medium heat. Put chocolate into a medium bowl and pour in hot cream; let sit for 1 minute, then stir slowly with a rubber spatula until smooth. Pour ganache evenly over tart and refrigerate until set, 4–5 hours.
  • Sprinkle tart with sea salt, slice, and serve chilled.
  • SERVES 8-10.

Black-Bottom Caramel Pudding

Method:

  • Bring sugar and water to a boil in a large heavy saucepan over high heat, stirring with a fork until sugar is dissolved.
  • Boil, without stirring, washing down sugar crystals clinging to side of pan with a pastry brush dipped in cold water, until pale golden, 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Continue to cook, without stirring, swirling pan occasionally, until sugar turns a deep amber caramel, 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and carefully add cream in a slow stream (mixture will bubble and steam)
  • Return to low heat and cook, whisking, until smooth.
  • Stir together 1/2 cup milk and cornstarch.
  • Beat eggs, vanilla, and salt in another bowl.
  • Stir remaining 2 1/2 cups milk into caramel and bring to a simmer, whisking occasionally. Stir cornstarch mixture, then whisk into caramel.
  • Bring to a boil, whisking, and simmer, whisking, 2 minutes, then remove from heat.
  • Whisk about 1 cup hot caramel mixture into egg mixture until well blended, then whisk egg mixture back into caramel.
  • Continue whisking off the heat 1 minute.
  • Whisk 1/2cup hot caramel pudding into chopped chocolate, stirring until smooth.
  • Spoon chocolate pudding into 6 (8-oz) parfait glasses, then top with caramel pudding.
  • Chill until set, at least 3 hours but keep an eye on the caramel as it nears the end of cooking—it can go from deep amber to just plain burned very quickly.

Barbecued Piri Piri Prawns

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 180°C.
  • Roast chillies on a tray for 8-10 minutes until soft and lightly browned.
  • Chop (removing seeds for less heat if desired) and add to a small pan over medium-low heat with garlic, paprika, vinegar, 1/3 cup (80ml) oil and 2 tsp salt.
  • Simmer 2 minutes. Cool slightly, then blend in a processor until smooth and cool completely.
  • Toss prawns with 2-3 tbs sauce (leftover sauce will keep for 1 month, covered, in the fridge)
  • Heat remaining 1 tbs oil on a barbecue hotplate or in a wok on high heat.
  • Cook prawns, turning, for 4 minutes until cooked, then toss with herbs and serve with lime.
BBQ

Lamingtons

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 190C.
  • Grease and line the base and sides of a 20cm square cake pan with baking paper.
  • Fill a sink one-third full with water. Place eggs and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer.
  • Place bowl in sink and whisk for 2 minutes or until mixture is runny and slightly foamy. Remove from sink.
  • Using an electric mixer, whisk on high speed for 4 minutes or until mixture is pale and triples in volume.
  • Using a sieve, sift just enough flour to cover the top of the egg mixture.
  • Using a large metal spoon, fold in flour in one light motion. Repeat sifting and folding with remaining flour until just combined.
  • Combine vanilla and butter in a bowl, then add a large spoonful of batter and stir to combine.
  • Gently fold the butter mixture into batter until just combined, then spoon into the prepared pan.
  • On a work surface, spin the pan to level, then bake for 25 minutes or until centre springs back when pressed with your fingertip. Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Freeze for 20 minutes; this will make the sponge easier to cut.
  • To make icing, stir butter and milk in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water until butter is melted.
  • Sift over sugar and cocoa, then stir until smooth. Turn off heat.
  • Using a large serrated knife, trim sides of sponge, then cut into 16 cubes.
  • Scatter coconut over a tray.
  • Insert a skewer into the crust side of a piece of sponge (don’t go all the way through). Holding skewer over icing, and, holding a spoon in the other hand, spoon icing over the sponge, rotating the skewer to coat evenly.
  • Shake off excess, then slide sponge off the skewer onto the tray of coconut.
  • Scatter coconut over the top and sides of sponge, then transfer to a tray lined with baking paper.
  • Repeat with remaining sponge cubes, icing and coconut. If the icing starts to thicken, stir in a little water to thin.
  • Notes: Dutch cocoa is treated with an alkali, which gives it a darker, redder brown colour than regular cocoa, as well as a more intense chocolate taste. It is available from delis. Alternatively, substitute regular cocoa.

Chicken & leek pot pies

Method:

  • Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6.
  • Chop the parsnips and potatoes into chunks, then boil for 15 mins until tender.
  • Drain, reserving the water, then mash with a little seasoning.
  • Cut chicken into small chunks, then toss in the cornflour.
  • Heat the oil in a large pan, add the leeks, and then fry for 3 mins until starting to soften.
  • Add the chicken and 200ml water from the potatoes, then bring to the boil, stirring.
  • Reduce the heat, then gently simmer for 10 mins, until the chicken is just tender.
  • Remove from the heat, then stir in the lemon zest, parsley, crème fraîche and mustard.
  • Divide the chicken filling between four 300ml pie dishes.
  • Spoon over the mash and spread roughly with a fork to seal in the filling.
  • Bake for 25 mins until the topping is crisp and golden.
  • You can make one big pie if you prefer. Use a 1.2-litre pie dish and increase the cooking time in the oven by about 10 minutes.

Creamy Chicken & Mushroom Pies With Butter Puff Pastry

Method:

  • Heat the oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7.
  • Tear the chicken fl esh from the bone in large chunks and discard the skin and bone.
  • Heat the butter in a large pan and add the spring onions.
  • Cook for a few minutes until softened. Add the mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes or so, until lightly coloured.
  • Stir in the fl our, and cook for another minute, then gradually add the milk.
  • Add the cream, simmer until the sauce thickens. Stir in the chicken and tarragon.
  • Roll out the pastry to the thickness of a 20p and cut 4 circles big enough to cover 4 small pie dishes.
  • Divide the chicken mixture between the dishes and brush the rims with beaten egg.
  • Lift the pastry on to the pies, trimming off any excess. Press down and crimp the edges with a fork. Cut a couple of slits in the pastry to let the steam out and brush all over with the rest of the egg.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the pastry is crisp and golden brown.

Steak & Roasted Shallot Pie With A Mustard Crust

Method:

  • Heat half the olive oil in a large pan and cook the pancetta for a few mins until golden.
  • Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  • Dust the steak with the flour, then brown in the hot pancetta oil - to stop the pan getting overcrowded, do this in two batches.
  • Return all the steak to the pan along with the pancetta.
  • Add the wine and thyme and bring to the boil.
  • Partially cover with a lid, leaving a gap of about 1cm, and simmer for 2 hrs until the meat is tender, stirring from time to time, and once the sauce has thickened and reduced a little, cover the pan completely.
  • Meanwhile, heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.
  • Toss the remaining olive oil and the shallots together.
  • Spread out on a baking sheet and roast for 45 mins until soft and golden brown.
  • To make the pastry crust, sift the flour and mustard into a large bowl, then coarsely grate in the frozen butter.
  • Drizzle over 6-8 tbsp cold water and taking care not to over-handle it, lightly bring together to make a firm dough.
  • Wrap and chill for 30 mins.
  • Stir the roasted shallots, jelly and vinegar into the beef and season, then spoon into a 2-litre pie dish.
  • Raise the oven temp to 220C/200C fan/gas 7.
  • Roll out the pastry and lay over the filling - it's a good idea to use a pie funnel to support the pastry and prevent it going soggy in the centre, but it's not essential.
  • Mix the egg yolk with a little salt, then brush over the top of the pastry.
  • Bake for 30 mins or until the pastry is crisp and golden and the filling is hot right the way through.

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