Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Selection of summer sandwiches

200g soft goat's cheese
100g cream cheese
10 slices white bread
2 roasted red peppers
25g walnuts
6 slices wholemeal bread
1/2 cucumber,thinly sliced
4tbsp mayo
zest of 1 lemon
6 large cooked prawns,halved for topping
4 eggs
2 chopped spring onion's
2-3tbsp creme fraiche
12 small rolls
cress,to serve

For the goat's cheese,walnut & roasted pepper sandwiches,mix together 200g soft goat's cheese with 100g cream cheese.Spread most the mixture over 5 slices white bread,then top with 2 roasted pepper strips,divide between the bread,then top each with another slice white bread.Trim the crusts,then cut each sandwich into 4 triangles.Whizz 25g walnuts until fine.Spread 1 edge of each sandwich with the remaining cheese mix,then dip into the chopped walnuts.For the lemony cucumber and prawn sandwichs,lightly spread 6 slices wholemeal bread with butter.Cover with a layer of thinly sliced cucumber,then use a 5-6cm round cutter to stamp out 12 circles.Mix together 4tbsp mayo with the zest 1 lemon.Top each circle with 1 halved large cooked prawn and a dollop of lemon mayo.
For the creamy egg and cress sadwiches,boil 4 eggs for 8 mins.Cool eggs,peel,mash,then mix with 2 chopped spring onions and 2-3tbsp creme fraiche.Season,then spread over 12 rolls.Add a little cress,pop on the lids and serve.

Fruity flag traybake

100g butter,softened,plus extra for the tin
175g self-raising flour
2tbsp baking powder
50g ground almonds
4 large eggs
225g caster sugar
125g full-fat greek yogurt
zest 2 lemons
175g butter,softened
350g icing sugar
300g raspberries
175g blueberries

Heat oven to 180c,160c fan,gas 4.Butter and line a 30 x 20cm traybake tin with baking parchment.Measure all the sponge ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix together until smooth.Spoon into the tin level the surface.Bake for 25-30 mins until lightly golden.Carefully lift sponge out of tin,then transfer to a wire rack to cool.Remove baking parchment.To make the icing,tip the butter into a bowl and whisk until light and fluffy.Add half the icing sugar and whisk again until incorporated.Add the remaining sugar and whisk again till smooth.Spread the icing over the top of the cold cake.To decorate,place a double row of raspberries across the centre and down the lenth of the cake to make a cross.Next,place a single row diagonally from each corner to the middle.Now fill in empty spaces with blueberries.Cut into squares to serve.

Strawberry & Pimm's Jelly

750g ripe strawberries,plus some to serve
50g caster sugar
250-300ml pimm's
5 sheets leaf gelatine
whipped cream and shortbread,to serve

Wash,drain and half the strawberries.Tip into a blender with the sugar and blitz to crush.Line a colander with a sheet of muslin.Place the colander over a large bowl.Tip strawberry mixture into colander and allow the juice to drip through overnight.(Not in fridge).In the morning, measure the juice-you should have 300-400ml.Add enough pimmm's to make 600ml.Place the gelatine leaves in a bowl and cover with cold water.Leave for 1o mins to soften,then left out of water,squeezing out the excess.In a small pan,heat 200ml of the strawberry and pimm's liquid until it is hot to touch,then remove from the heat.Add the gelatine to the hot liquid and stir to dissolve.Pour back into the remaining cool liquid.Divide the mixture between 4 glasses and place in the fridge for 4 hours to set.Top with whipped cream,halved strawberries and serve with shortbread.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Chicken,bacon and avocado salad

4tbsp olive oil
2tbsp balsamic vinegar
2tbsp lemon juice
2tbsp clear honey
1tsp coarse grain mustard
385g pack chicken mini breast fillets,cut into bitesize pieces
3 rashers streaky bacon
2 ripe avocados
200g bag baby leaf salad
250g cherry tomatoes,halved
crusty bread,to serve

Preheat oven to 200c,180c fan,gas 6.Line a baking tray with baking paper.In a bowl,whisk together the oil,vingar,lemon,honey and mustard.Season.Put 2tbsp of dressing in another bowl,then add the chicken pices and toss to coat.Leave for 10 mins,then put on baking tray and cook in oven for 10 mins until cooked.Meanwhile,grill bacon till crisp.Leave to cool slightly.Break into pieces.Halve and stone the avocados,then cut into slices.Toss gently in the salad dressing.Just before serving,add the salad and tomatoes.Divide between 4 plates,then scatter the warm chicken and bacon over the top.Serve with crusty bread.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Radicchio,goat cheese and sundried tomato topped ciabatte

2 ciabatta rolls
125g goa cheese
2-3tbsp natural yoghurt
cracked black pepper
4-5 sundried tomatoes in oil with herbs,roughly chopped
3-4 radicchio leaves,roughly shredded
1tbsp chopped fresh chives
to serve:2tbsp tomato oil from the sundried tomato jar

Preheat the grill to med,cut the ciabatta rolls in half and toast each side lightly.In a small bowl mash the goats cheese then add the yoghurt and mix together with a folk,season well with cracked black pepper and stir in the sundried tomatoes.Top the rolls on the cut side with the cheese mixture.Place under the grill and toast until golden brown.Place the open rolls on 2 plates and top with the radicchio,chopped chives and a drizzle of the tomato oil.Serve

Sunday, 13 May 2012

chicken & sweetcorn kebabs

8tbsp lemon juice
4tbsp rapeseed oil,plus some for brushing
2tbsp clear honey
2-3 sprigs thyme,chopped
4 chicken breasts,cut into bitesize chunks
1 sweetcorn,silced
1 red and 1 yellow pepper,cut into bitsize chunks
1 courgette,sliced

Mix the lemon,oil,honey and thyme together,then season with black pepper.Put in a freezer bag,and stand in a bowl.Add the chicken to the bag,seal the top,and leave to marinate in the fridge for 3 hours.
Thread the chicken and veg onto skewers.Discard leftover marinade.Brush the veg with oil.Barbecue for 12 mins.

Friday, 4 May 2012

Crispy pork belly

700g pork belly joint
150ml pineapple juice
1 tbsp brown sugar
1tbsp cider vinegar
1tsp dried thyme
1tsp rapeseed oil

Unroll the pork and put it skin-side up in a shallow non-metallic dish.Mix the juice,sugar,vinegar and thyme together.Pour over the pork,so that the meat is covered but skin isn't.Chill,uncovered,for 3 hours.Preheat oven to 160c,140c fan,gas 3.Line a roasting tin with foil.Transfer pork,skin-side up,to the tin.Brush the skin with the oil and sprinkle with sea salt.Bake for 2 hours,then increase temp to 220c,200c fan,gas 7 and cook for another 20-30 mins to crisp the crackling.Serve with crusty bread,chutneys and salad