Double Chocolate and Pumpkin Seed Cookies

The subtle crunch of pumpkin seeds in this delicious cookie makes all the difference.

5 tbs. butter, softened
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanila extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
pinch fine sea salt
2/3 cup dark chocolate chips
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds

Heat the oven to 350°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Cream together the butter and sugars until pale and fluffy. Stir in the egg and vanilla. Tip in the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and sea salt. Combine into a stiff dough, then fold in the chocolate chips and pumpkin seeds.

Using a 1″ ice cream scoop, drop onto the baking sheets and bake for 10-12 minutes.

Leave on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

 

Mexican Chicken Salad with Black Bean Salsa

If you can’t find jicama for this wonderful salad, you can use sliced water chestnuts.

For the dressing:
1 ripe avocado, pitted and flesh scooped out
1/2 cup sour cream
3 tbs. lime juice
1 garlic clove. peeled
1 tsp. kosher or sea salt
good grinding of black pepper

For the salad:
2 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken
2 scallions, sliced
1 jicama, peeled and cut into matchsticks
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
3 cups torn romaine lettuce

For the salsa:
1 x 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 tomatoes, deseeded and chopped
1/3 cup diced green chilies
1 tbs. lime juice
1 tsp. kosher or sea salt

Begin by making the dressing. Tip all the ingredients in a small food processor or blender and and mix until smooth. Check the seasoning and set aside.

Stir together the salsa ingredients and set aside.

Put all the salad ingredients in a large bowl and spoon over the dressing. Toss well. Spoon the salsa on the top and serve.

Serves 4-6

Risotto Bolognase

Rich, meaty bolognase sauce is a natural fit for this creamy and delicious risotto.

1 onion, peeled and quartered
1 carrot, peeled and halved
1 celery stalk, halved
1 garlic clove, peeled
handful fresh parsley
6 slices bacon
4 anchovy fillets
3 tbs. butter, plus 1 extra, to serve
1/2 tsp. olive oil
1/2 lb. ground beef
1/2 cup Marsala
14 oz. tin chopped tomatoes
1 tbs. tomato paste
2 tbs. whole milk
8 cups veal stock
2 bay leaves
2 1/2 cups risotto rice
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra, to serve

Heat the oven to 300°F. Put the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, parsley, bacon and anchovies in a food processor and blitz to a paste.

Heat the 3 tbs. butter and oil in a heavy Dutch oven and cook the paste for 5 minutes, or until softened. Add the meat and cook until brown. Add the Marsala. Process the tomatoes until smooth and pour in along with the tomato paste, milk and bay leaves. Add 2 cups of the stock, clamp on a lid and put in the oven for 1 hour.

Remove from the oven and discard to bay leaves. Heat the remaining stock to a simmer in a saucepan.

Stir the rice into the sauce. Add a ladleful of the stock and stir until it is absorbed. Repeat with the remaining stock until the rice is tender. This should take about 18 minutes.

Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese and remaining butter. Serve sprinkled with more cheese.