Sunday, 26 February 2017

Coconut Chicken Noodle Soup

This is a good dish to make to use up leftover chicken after a roast. This is especially true if you use the bones from a roast to make your own chicken stock for this.

Ingredients:

  1. 1.5 litre chicken stock
  2. 6 tbsp coconut milk powder
  3. 1 tsp fish sauce
  4. 4 tbsp lime juice
  5. 2 tsp ground ginger
  6. 2 tsp ground coriander
  7. 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
  8. 2 tsp sugar
  9. 150g mushroom duxelles, or cook one by frying the following until they start to brown:
    • 1 onion, finely chopped
    • 200g mushroom, finely chopped
    • 1 tsp dried tarragon
  10. 400g cooked chicken, cut into bite sized pieces
  11. 30g fresh rocket
  12. 3 or 4 blocks of rice vermicelli noodles

Method:

  1. Put everything other than the chicken, rocket and vermicelli into a saucepan and bring to a rolling boil.
  2. Stir well until everything is dissolved.
  3. Place a bit of rocket in your serving bowls and a block of vermicelli on top of it.
  4. Add the chicken and let it heat through. You can tell this by when the soup starts to boil again.
  5. Ladle the soup and chicken into the bowls.
  6. Wait for 3 minutes for the noodles to cook in the soup before serving.

Serves 3 to 4.

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Ginger Semifreddo

This only requires 3 ingredients, but gives a great looking dessert than you can easily make ahead of time.

Ingredients:

  • 300ml double cream
  • 225g jar of diced stem ginger, drained but keep the liquid
  • 285g Maderia cake, sliced into 4 thick slices

Method:

  1. Line a 1 lb loaf tin with cling film.
  2. Whip the double cream until it forms soft peaks.
  3. Stir in the drained diced ginger into the cream and mix well.
  4. Place a slice of Maderia cake in the bottom of use a third of one of the other slices to fill in the gaps.
  5. Drizzle half of the ginger liquid over the Maderia cake in the loaf tin.
  6. Spread half the whipped cream over the cake.
  7. Add another slice of cake and fill in the gaps with another third of another slice.
  8. Drizzle the remaining liquid over this latest layer.
  9. Spread the remaining cream over the slices.
  10. Top with the remaining pieces of cake.
  11. Fold over the trailing edges of cling film and place in the freezer for at least four hours.
  12. Remove from the freezer half an hour before you want to serve it.
  13. Slice into half inch slices and serve.

Serves 8.

Friday, 24 February 2017

Salmon Mouse Vol-au-vent

This recipe requires a 0.5 litre whipping siphon, but gives a light and fluffy mousse.

Ingredients:

  • a 500g block of puff pastry
  • 1 egg, beaten in a cup
  • 120g smoked salmon slices
  • 150ml fish stock
  • 150ml double cream
  • 1 tbsp white wine
  • freshly chopped chives

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees (or 180 degrees for a fan oven). Line a couple of baking trays with baking parchment.
  2. Roll out the block of puff pastry to about a few mm thick.
  3. Use a pastry cutter to cut out 40 large circles. Use a smaller pastry cutter to cut out a smaller circle from half of the circles.
  4. Put the whole circles on the baking parchments and brush with the beaten egg.
  5. Place the rings of puff pastry on top of each of the disks and brush the exposed pastry of the rings with beaten egg.
  6. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes and then leave to fully cool.
  7. Meanwhile, blend the smoked salmon and fish stock in a blender until a smooth paste.
  8. Strain the stock and salmon with a fine mesh and then pour into the whipping siphon.
  9. Add the cream and white wine to the salmon mixture in the siphon and screw the lid on.
  10. Charge with a single gas charge of nitrous oxide, shake well and chill in the fridge for at least two hours.
  11. When you're ready to serve, put the pasty cases on plates and fill with the mousse from the siphon.
  12. Garnish with the chopped chives and serve immediately.

Makes about 20 vol-au-vent.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Penguin Canapés

These are fun little canapés that are great for parties with small children.

Ingredients:

  • 50 pitted black olives, about 160g (or 350g in liquid)
  • 2 large carrots, peeled
  • 50g cream cheese
  • 25 cocktail sticks

Method:

  1. Cut a small wedge out of the front of half of the olives.
  2. Slice the carrot into 25 slices about 3mm thick. Cut a narrow wedge (for the beak) out of each slice.
  3. Fill the olives that have had the wedge cut out with cream cheese. Use a paper towel to wipe off any cheese that gets on the outside of the olive.
  4. Put one of the beak wedges of carrots in the end of an olive and put the olive on to a cocktail stick.
  5. Add one of the cheese filled olives and then finally a slice of carrots for the feet.
  6. Chill in a fridge until they are ready to serve to stop the cheese melting out of the belly.

Makes 25 canapés.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Chicken Satay

This is a simple canapé that requires very little preparation so means you can spend more time with your guests at the party.

Ingredients:

  • 500g chicken mini fillets
  • 4 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
  • 4 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 150ml coconut milk
  • 8 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
  • fresh coriander leaves for garnish

Method:

  1. Put the fillets in a bowl with the chilli sauce and soy sauce. Mix well and refrigerate at least overnight.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees (180 degrees for a fan oven).
  3. Mix the coconut milk and peanut butter in a bowl until it's a smooth paste. If it's a little too thick then add a little bit of water.
  4. Thread the chicken strips onto skewers and place on a baking tray.
  5. Put the baking tray in the oven and bake for 12 minutes.
  6. Transfer the skewers into a plate with the bowl of peanut sauce.
  7. Garnish with the coriander leaves and serve.

Makes 13 or 14 skewers.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Mushroom Stuffed Boneless Chicken

This is a recipe that I got from my grandmother who learnt it on a cordon bleu cookery course.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 6 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
  • 500g mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1 pot of chicken stock gel
  • 3 tbsp of dried tarragon
  • 1 whole chicken, about 1.2kg
  • 3 slices of prosciutto
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees.
  2. Fry the onion in the 1 tbsp of olive oil in a saucepan until soft.
  3. Add the garlic, mushrooms, chicken stock and tarragon into the sauce pan.
  4. Put a lid on the pan and cook over a low heat until it develops a good colour: about 30 minutes.
  5. While the stuffing cooks, remove all the bones from the chicken apart from the last gone of the wing and the last bone in the leg. There are many guides available.
  6. Taste the mushroom filling and season with pepper and salt as necessary. Remove the lid and let any liquid from the mushrooms evaporate.
  7. Spread out the deboned chicken and line the inside with the slices of prosciutto.
  8. Put the mushroom filling onto the prosciutto: depending on the size of the chicken you probably won't need all of it.
  9. Pull the edges of the skin together over the filling and place in a roasting tin, seem side down.
  10. Rub some olive oil over the skin of the chicken and season with freshly ground black pepper and salt.
  11. Roast in the oven for one hour and ten minutes.
  12. Let the chicken rest for twenty minutes before slicing and serving.

Serves 4.

Monday, 20 February 2017

Apple Poached Pears

These poached pears go nicely with a cream heavy dessert, such as semifreddo or pavlova.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pears, peeled, cut in half and cores removed
  • 150ml apple juice

Method:

  1. Place the pears cut side down in a small saucepan and cover with apple juice.
  2. Put a lid on the pan and bring to a simmer.
  3. Simmer for 20 minutes before removing from the heat.
  4. Leave the pears in the poaching liquid until you are ready to serve them.

Makes 4 poached pear halves.

Burnt Butter Microwave Siphon Cake

This is probably one of the most technological recipes that I've written up so far. The only unusual equipment it only requires is a microwave and a gas siphon, but I think it's a worthwhile trade-off for near instant cake.

Ingredients:

  1. 65g butter
  2. 3 eggs
  3. 30g caster sugar
  4. 4g salt
  5. 35ml milk
  6. 105g flour

Method:

  1. Put the butter in a small saucepan and melt over a low heat.
  2. Simmer the butter for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. This will cook the proteins a bit, giving them a nutty flavour.
  3. Allow the butter to cool.
  4. Mix the other ingredients in a bowl with a whisk and then add the butter.
  5. Whisk well and then pour into a 0.5 litre whipping siphon.
  6. Charge the whipping siphon with once charge of nitrous oxide and shake well.
  7. Chill the whipping siphon in a fridge.
  8. When ready to serve, put three holes in the bottom of a plastic or paper cup with the sharp point of a knife.
  9. Fill the cup one third full with batter from the whipping siphon.
  10. Microwave for 40 seconds.
  11. Remove from the microwave. Count to ten and then turn the cups upside down over a plate to remove the cake.
  12. Enjoy with a fruit coulis or on its own.

Makes 20 cups worth of cake (which is a phrase I never knew that I'd ever write).

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Pan Fried Breaded Brie

The inside of these pieces of brie is wonderfully melted, but the double breading helps prevent any leakage while frying.

Ingredients

  • 160g wedge of brie, cut into 6 roughly square pieces
  • 4 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 egg, beaten in a wide bowl
  • 125g breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 40g fresh rocket
  • 2 tbsp cranberry sauce

Method:

  1. Put the flour in a wide bowl and the breadcrumbs in a different bowl.
  2. Decide on which one of your hands will be 'wet' and which will be dry.
  3. Roll a piece of brie in the flour with your dry hand. Shake off any excess.
  4. Place the brie into the egg mixture using your dry hand (but don't touch the egg mix with it).
  5. Roll the brie around with your wet hand until it's fully coated in egg.
  6. Drop the liquid egg into the breadcrumbs with your wet hand.
  7. Use your dry hand to scoop breadcrumbs over the brie so that all the egg is covered before rolling it.
  8. Transfer back to the flour with your dry hand and give it another coat of flour, egg and then breadcrumbs.
  9. Place on a plate and repeat for the other pieces of brie.
  10. Chill the brie in a fridge for at least a couple of hours.
  11. Heat the sunflower oil in a frying pan on a high heat.
  12. Fry the breaded cubes, giving each side about 30 seconds to crisp up the breadcrumbs.
  13. Serve immediately with rocket and cranberry sauce.

Serves 2.