Salmon, Avocado, Watercress and Pumpkin Seed Salad

This lovely salad is truly a treat. The salmon is poached into a silky, coral texture and combined with creamy avocados and crunchy toasted pumpkin seeds. Served warm or chilled, this will be a new favorite.

2 salmon fillets
2 scallions, torn in half
1 tsp. black peppercorns
1 1/2 tsp. lime juice
2 tsp. sea salt or kosher salt
3 tbs. pumpkin seeds
4 oz. watercress
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1 small, ripe avocado, scooped out into curls
1 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil

Put the salmon in a small frying pan and cover with cold water. Add the scallions, peppercorns, lime juice and salt. Bring to a boil, then turn the salmon over, cover the pan  and leave to sit for 7-10 minutes, until the salmon is done. (This depends on the thickness of the salmon.) Take the salmon out of the pan and leave to cool for a few minutes or chill to use later.

Tip the pumpkin seeds in a small, dry skillet and toast them on the stove over a medium heat until they start to snap. Take off the heat and leave until needed.

To serve, arrange the watercress on a large plate, sprinkle with the vinegar and toss. Break up the salmon into pieces and place on top. Add the avocado curls, sprinkle with the pumpkin seeds and drizzle with the olive oil. Check seasoning and add sea salt, if needed.

Serves 2

 

Sicilian Vinegar Chicken

This is wonderfully sour, still mellow chicken casserole in lovely thin sauce.

1 onion, finely chopped
6 tbs. olive oil
8 chicken pieces, skinless, bone in
10 tbs. chicken stock
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
juice of 1/2 lemon
handful fresh parsley, chopped
handful fresh basil, chopped
2 large tomatoes, chopped

In a wide, heavy saucepan, gently fry the onion in the 4 tbs. of the oil until softened but not browned. Arrange the chicken on top and season well. Pour in the chicken stock, wine, vinegar, lemon juice and most of the parsley and basil. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 45 minutes.

When the chicken is ready, toss the tomatoes with the remaining olive oil and season. Tumble over the chicken and serve sprinkled with the remaining parsley and basil.

Serves 4

Pasta with Ham, Peas and Cream

Utter comfort food, this wonderful pasta comes together in moments and is such a divine treat.

7 oz. farfalle or other short pasta (2 cups)
2/3 cup frozen peas
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 1/4 cups diced ham
2 tbs. grated Parmesan

Cook the pasta according to the package directions in plenty of boiling, salted water. Add the peas after 5 minutes. When the pasta is cooked, drain it with the peas.

Put the dry pan back on the heat with the cream, ham and Parmesan. Warm through, then tip in the pasta and peas, tossing everything together well.

Serves 2

Lemon Meringue Fool

If you have ever wondered what a lemon cloud tastes like, here is your answer: it is a heavenly experience of celestial lemon lightness! Think Eton Mess, Amalfi style. A fool is a classic and oh-so-easy British dessert (or pudding) and this version couldn’t be easier or more delicious.

Lemon Meringue Fool

3/4 cup good-quality lemon curd, plus more to decorate
2 tsp. Limoncello (lemon liqueur) or lemon juice
1 cup heavy cream
4 oz. meringue cookies, crushed into large pieces

Put the lemon curd in a bowl and stir in the Limoncello or lemon juice to loosen the curd.

Whip the cream until soft peeks form, then gently fold in the lemon curd mixture and the crushed meringues, taking care not to over mix. You want swirls of the lemon curd throughout the cream.

Spoon the mixture into 4 small glasses and top with a dollop of lemon curd. Chill until ready to serve.

Proper British Trifle

Simply Divine!

2 1/2 cups light cream
zest and juice of 1 orange
1/2 cup Grande Marnier
1/4 cup Marsala
1 8″ sponge layer
about 10 heaping tsp. best-quality raspberry jam
8 egg yolks
1/2 cups caster sugar
4 cups raspberries
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup toasted, flaked almonds

Pour the light cream into a large saucepan and add the orange zest. Bring to a gently simmer, then remove from the heat and set aside for the orange flavor to infuse the cream.

Mix together the Grande Marnier, Marsala and the juice from the orange. Place half in a shallow dish. Split the sponge in half horizontally and cut half of it into pieces. Make little sandwiches with the jam, dip them in the orange liquid mixture and line the bottom of a trifle bowl. Repeat with the remaining sponge, jam and liquid. If any liquid remains, drizzle it over the top.

To make the custard, bring the orange-infused cream back to a simmer. Beat together the egg yolks and sugar until thick and frothy. Pour the cream into the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Wash and dry the saucepan, then put the whole mixture back into it. Over a low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, gently heat the mixture until thickened. This sould take about 10 minutes. Make sure not to let it boil or it will separate. (If this happens, fill the sink with cold water, plunge in the pan and whisk until it becomes smooth again.)

Leave to cool a bit, then pour over the sponge and chill overnight.

When ready to serve, sprinkle over the raspberries. Whip the heavy cream until stiff and spread over. Top with toasted almond.

Serves 10-12

Meringue Gelato Cake with Chocolate Sauce

There couldn’t be an easier or more delish pudding than this!

1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1 oz. bittersweet chocolate (at least 62% cocoa solids), finely chopped
1 tbs. coffee liqueur
4 oz. store-bought meringue cookies
8 oz. raspberries, to serve

For the chocolate sauce:

1 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup bittersweet chocolate (at least 62% cocoa solids), finely chopped
2 tbs. coffee liqueur

Line a loaf tin with plastic wrap, making sure you have enough overhang to come over the top later.

Whip the cream until thick but still soft, then fold in the chopped chocolate and coffee liqueur. Crumble in the meringue cookies and gently fold. Pack into the loaf tin, pressing it down with a spatula as you go. Bring the plastic wrap over and seal the top. Freeze until solid, about 8 hours or overnight.

To make the chocolate sauce, heat the cream and chocolate over a gentle heat until almost melted. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cream. Set aside to cool a bit.

To serve, unwrap the layers of plastic wrap and use them to lift out the ice-cream brick. Turn over onto a serving tray and cut into slices. Zigzag with chocolate sauce and sprinkle with raspberries.

Serves 6-8

 

African Drumsticks

The secret ingredient in this dandy little recipe is apricot jam for flavor and sweetness. The drumsticks can also be grilled, basted the with marinade as you go.

1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tsp. English mustard
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tbs. apricot jam
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
8 chicken drumsticks

1 tsp. garlic-infused olive oil

Heat the oven to 400°F. Combine the Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, mustard, ginger, jam and onion in a bowl and mix well. Toss in the chicken making sure everything gets a good coating. (Leave in the fridge overnight for more flavor.)

Brush the oil over the bottom of a roasting tin that the chicken will fit snugly in. Arrange the chicken in a single layer and tip over the marinade. Cook for 45 minute to 1 hour, basting once or twice.

Serves 4

The combination of ingredients for the marinade is fabulous. Serve with chutney, if you happen to have any about.

1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce

1/4 cup ketchup

2 tsp. English mustard

1 tsp. ground ginger

1 tbs. apricot jam

1 onion, peeled and finely chopped

8 chicken drumsticks

1 tbs. garlic-infused olive oil

Heat the oven to 400°F. Mix the Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, mustard, ginger, jam and onion in a shallow dish. Dunk the drumsticks in this marinade to coat them all over. (It can be left overnight in the fridge.) Put them snuggly in a small roasting tin or baking dish and pour over any marinade.

Cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour, basting once or twice. The deeper the dish or tin, the longer the chicken will take to color and cook through.

Serves 4-6