Fennel and Chocolate

Goat’s Cheese Cream

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50g goat’s cheese, rind removed
250 ml double cream
2 tablespoons of caster sugar
Pinch of ground cinnamon

Place the cheese in a bowl with 4 tablespoons of the cream. Mix well to combine, using an electric whisk. Add the rest of the cream and whip until thick and holds it shape, then add the sugar and cinnamon and continue until thoughroughly combined.

Chill, place in glass jars and serve with fresh cherries.

Creamy Courgette and Saffron Pasta Sauce

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Something simple yet luxurious, everyday but just a little bit different.

Serves 4

3 courgettes
250 ml chicken or vegetable stock
250 ml thick cream
1 small pinch of saffron strands
50 g  grated Parmesan cheese
Olive oil
Salt, pepper
400g cooked Penne pasta

Place the saffron strands in a bowl with a tablespoon of water to infuse. 

Dice the courgettes and place in a pan with the chicken stock. Bring to the boil and then simmer for about five minutes. Drain.

In a large pan over a gentle heat mix the courgettes with the cream and saffron infusion until slightly thickend.  Add the cooked pasta and stir until warmed through. Season well and serve.

 

 

Broad Bean Simmer

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100 g smoked bacon finely chopped
1 onion finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic,  peeled and finely chopped
A good handfulmof chopped, flat leaf parsley
1 tablespoon tomato puree
200 g tinned, chopped tomatoes
100 ml port (optonal)
300 ml water
800 g prepared broad beans
500 g new potatoes, peeled
2 tablespoons of pesto
Olive oil
Salt, pepper

In a large pan, over a medium heat fry the onions and bacon in a little olive oil until golden. Add the broad beans, the garlic, parsley, tomato concentrate and the tinned tomatoes and cook for a further five minutes.

Add the water and the port, if using and bring to the boil. After ten minutes add the peeled new potatoes and the pesto and  cook for a further 30 to 35 minutes.

Season and serve.

 

 

 

Spiced Almond Keftas

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This is a flavoursome meat free alternative to the traditional lamb kefta ot kofta. Make them as spicy as you dare and serve with a bowl of thick natural yogurt with some mint stirred through it, or just a squeeze of lemon.

Serves 4

1 large onion  finely chopped
425 g tinned white beans, drained
200 g ground almonds
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
Ground chili pepper to taste
1 egg
Salt, pepper
Vegetable oil

Heat  a tablespoon of oil in a frying pan, add the onions and garlic and cook until golden. Add the cumin, coriander and chili powder and contiue to cook for a further minute. Remove from the heat.

Place the onion, garlic and spices in a food processor with the drained beans, ground almonds, egg and some salt and pepper.  Process untill a smooth dough is formed.

Using floured hands form the dough into sausages around eight skewers.  Brush with oil and cook on a barbeque or under a hot gril for about five minutes, turning once.

Serve immediately with naan and salad and some natural yogurt.  Enjoy.

 

Bjorn’s Honey Biscuits

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A bear once said ” A very nearly tea is one you forget about afterwards”. These simple but versatile biscuits will delight you with a cup of tea,  a scoop of vanilla ice cream or even a slice of goats cheese. Just keep them away from bears who like honey…..

Serves 4

125 g plain flour

125 g caster sugar

70 g honey

2 eggs

10 g butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Centigrade or Gas Mark 6.  Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper and brush with the melted butter.

In a large bowl beat the eggs with the sugar until thick and pale. Add the honey and then incorporate the flour. Mix well until a smooth dough has been formed. Leave the dough to rest n the refrigerator for atleast half an hour.

Roll out the dough on a floured surface until approximately half a centimeter thick. Using a pastry cutter, stamp out rounds. Place the rounds on the prepared baking sheet, leaving space for each one to spread whilst cooking.

Bake for twelve to fifteen minutes. When the biscuits are golden brown remove the tray from the oven. Place the biscuits on a cooling rack, making  sure to keep the doors and windows shut to protect your biscuits from stray bears.

Steamed Pork and Prawn Balls

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These Asian inspired pork balls are delicately flavoured with prawns and ginger, then steamed which makes them light but succulent. Serve them with rice or as part of a buffet or with drinks.

Enough for 4 or more

450 g lean, minced pork

150 g peeled prawns, finely chopped

1 medium onion peeled and finely chopped

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped

1 tablespoon soya sauce

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

1 teaspoon sugar

2 eggs, beaten

Salt, pepper

Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix thoughroughly. Season the mixure with some salt and pepper and form into walnut sized balls. Place them in a steamer, over a pan of simmering water for about half an hour.

Bolivian Peanut and Potato Soup

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There are many different versions of Soupa di Mani, some with beef or whole peanuts, some with tomatoes and some without. This is my version which is vegetarian, protein packed and totally delicious.

Serves 4 or more

1 kio unsalted peanuts

1 onion, peeled and finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic

4 large carrots,  peeled and sliced

3 medium potatoes, peeled and roughly diced

6 cabbage leaves, roughly chopped

100 g frozen peas

A handful of parsley, finely chopped

1 teaspoon turmeric

1.5 liters water or vegetable stock

Salt, pepper

Place the prepared vegetables in a large pot with the tumeric. Cover with the water or vegetable stock. Bring to the boil then turn down the heat and simmer for fifteen minutes or unril the vegetables are tender.

Meanwhile place the peanuts in a blender with a couple of tablespoons of water and blend until you have  a smooth paste.

When the vegetables are cooked blend them with the cooking liquid. Return to the pan. Add the peanut paste and mix well until thoughroughly combined. Season,  reheat and serve in bowls topped with the parsley.