This is a really “different” soup that is good for everyday and would stand up for a dinner party starter too.
- 100g hazelnuts, roughly chopped
- Bunch of sage leaves (about 20)
- 500g parsnips, peeled and chopped into 1cm cubes
- 2 eating apples, peeled and cut into cubes
- 4tbs oil
Heat your oven to 200C. Reserve a few sage leaves, 1 tbs of oil and 15g of nuts. Toss the rest into and oven tray and roast for 30 minutes until tender and slightly charred.
Remove the sage leaves from the tray and discard. On the stove top, pour the stock into the tray and bubble until the charred bits in the tray have loosened and incorporated into the liquid. Blend until smooth. If it is too thick, add some more stock.
Fry the reserved sage leaves and hazelnuts in oil until the leaves are crispy and the nuts are brown.
- 4 tbs creme fraiche (or vegan alternative)
Serve the soup in bowls with a spoon of creme fraiche and a scatter of nuts and leaves.
Ten out of ten for this one. You can use any type of squash or pumpkin but butternut is the best.
- 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cubed
- 2 celery stalks sliced
- 3 leeks sliced
- 2 carrots sliced
- 1 tsp black mustard seeds
- 30g butter or Bertoli (or oil if you want vegan)
Chuck everything in a big pot and sweat gently for 10 minutes.
- 1.2L light chicken (or vegetable stock to make it vegan)
Add the stock and simmer for 25 minutes. Whizz with a stick blender. Adjust seasoning and serve.
Even more incredible with Gremolata sprinkled on top:
- 1 tbs parsley chopped finely
- 2 cloves garlic chopped finely
- zest of one lemon
Mix the above. That is Gremolata. Sprinkle on meat and fish to zap it up a bit if it needs it.
Great as a dip for veg, crackers and buffalo wings
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 small clove garlic, chopped
- 1 tbs milk
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- salt and pepper
Mix. That’s it!
Great for dips. Make as many as you like. All you need is a pack of pitta breads and some olive oil.
Heat the oven to 190C
Slice the pittas in half horizontally so they are thinner.
Paint each side lightly with olive oil (I say paint because I use a silicone cooking brush)
Cut into triangles.
Place on an oven tray in a single layer.
Cook for 8-10 minutes. Watch them carefully, at the 8 minute mark they will go from white to brown very quickly, you want to catch them when they are golden.
Let them cool then keep in an airtight tin.
This is good. Cook your pulled pork in it and slather more over later.
- 1 1/4 cup/300 ml ketchup
- 1 cup/240 ml water
- 1/3 cup/80 ml cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup/60 ml dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons/30 ml molasses
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon celery salt
- 1 teaspoon allspice
Put the lot in a saucepan. Simmer for 20 minutes. Cool and use! They say it keeps in the fridge 6 days – I think it will do better than that.
Really easy, really tasty, really cheap too.
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 3 tbs cider vinegar
- 1 tbs paprika
- 1 tbs Worcester sauce
- 2 tsp celery salt
- 2-4 tbs hot pepper sauce depending on heat preference
- 3 tbs honey
Mix to a marinade
- 1 kg chicken wings (£2.49 from Tesco)
Cut away wing tips and feed to the dog (they can eat raw chicken bones). Cut through the joint to make two sections per wing. Toss in the marinade to coat and marinate for as long as you have, from an hour to overnight. Heat your oven to 180C (160C fan) and place the wings on an oven tray. Reserve the spare marinade. Cook for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, toss in or coat with the reserved marinade. Turn the oven up to 200C (180C fan) and cook another 20-30 minutes, turning and basting if you have any marinade left. They are cooked when they are sticky, glazed and charred!
Recipe from BBC web site
Serve as a sauce with grilled chicken or as a dip
- 125ml plain yogurt
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- grinding of black pepper
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 cucumber
Grate the cucumber coarsely. Get it as dry as possible by draining in a sieve and/or patting dry with kitchen paper. Now mix everything together. That was easy!
First catch your herring! (See www.boat-angling.co.uk) This apparently is a classic recipe for Swedish pickled herring called glasmastarsill, or glassblower’s herring. You need:
- 450gm herring fillets (or as many as you can fit in)
- 1/4 cup salt
- 4 cups water
Mix the salt with the water (if you use boiling water let it cool completely) the soak the fillets in the brine for 24 hours in the fridge. Meanwhile…
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 cups distilled vinegar
- 2 tsp black peppercorns
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 2 tsp whole allspice
- 3 cloves
Boil that lot for 5 minutes and let it cool completely.
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 red onion sliced
- 1 lemon sliced
Drain the herrings. Now assemble the herrings, cooled pickling liquid, bay leaves, onions and lemon in jars, dividing the spices between the jars. Try and make the jars look pretty by showing the skin side of the fillets, lemon and bay leaves. Fill to the top and jiggle about to release any air pockets. Leave in the fridge for two days before sampling. It will keep in the fridge for up to a month.
We seem to be on a bit of a Middle Eastern theme at the moment. I had a solitary whiting and a hungry Olwyn on her way back from Pilates so I thought why not add a quick starter to our chicken with pomegranate molasses? You can use Tarator Sauce for falafels as well. Nutty, lemony, garlicky, good. Here are the base ratios, add your garlic and salt as you like.
- 2 scoops tahini paste
- 1 scoop lemon juice
- 1 scoop water
- garlic puree
OK if it helps I used a tablespoon for a scoop, with one garlic clove and half a teaspoon of salt. Just mix it all up. You can added chopped parsley if it looks a bit ordinary without.
- Skinned, boned fish fillets cut into chip-sized strips
- oil for frying
- Enough flour. OK, for a more scientific measure I used 60ml for two medium-sized whiting fillets-worth of strips
- Season with white pepper, salt and ground cumin. For the above I used 1 tsp cumin, half tsp salt, quarter tsp white pepper
Put oil in a pan to 1 cm depth and heat until a lump of bread goes golden in 30 seconds. Mix the flour and seasonings. Dip the fish in the flour then straight into the oil for about a minute or until it looks cooked. Serve with shredded lettuce, a lemon quarter and Tarator sauce.