Coconut Crab Cakes

The addition of shredded coconut is brilliant here. Not only does it add it’s subtle flavor but it keeps the crab cakes incredibly moist.

1 cup lump crab meat
3 tbs. all-purpose flour
3 tbs. unsweetened shredded coconut
1 tbs. diced jalapeno peppers, fresh or from a jar
1 tbs. chopped fresh cilantro
2 tsp. rice wine vinegar, plus more to drizzle
vegetable, for frying

Stir together the crab, flour, coconut, jalapeños, cilantro and 2 tsp. vinegar. Pat it down into a compact layer in the bottom of the bowl, cover and chill for 1 hour.

Heat the oil in a non-stick, flattish pan or griddle. Press the mixture into a 1 1/2″ ice cream scoop and drop onto the pan or griddle. Cook on both sides until golden and everything is heated through. Repeat to use all the mixture. You can keep them warm in a 225°F oven.

Serve drizzled with more rice wine vinegar.

Serves 6

 

Chocolate, Tahini and Banana Bread

Tahini adds a sophisticated huskiness and a lovely velvety texture to this complex and delicious quick bread.

2 medium, very ripe bananas
1/4 cup olive or vegetable oil
1/4 cup tahini
1 egg
1/4 cup caster sugar
3 tbs. soft brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 tbs. cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. fine sea salt
generous 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
1 1/2 tsp. sesame seeds

Heat the oven to 325°F. Grease a standard loaf pan and line with parchment paper.

Beat the bananas to mash, then add the oil and tahini. Add the egg, sugars and vanilla extract. Stir together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Stir into the banana mixture, then fold in the chocolate chips. Spread in the prepared pan and sprinkle with the sesame seeds.

Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin, then wrap the bread in parchment, then foil and leave for a day before slicing.

Salmon with Greens and Shitake Mushrooms

This is sure to become a favorite in your kitchen. The salmon can be grilled on the barbecue is the weather is dry.

2 skinned, salmon fillets
1 clove garlic, finely minced
2 tbs. vegetable oil
generous 1/2 cup shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced or halved
1 3/4 cups roughly chopped bok choy, white stems and green leaves separted
3 tbs. soy sauce
1 tsp. sesame oil
pepper to taste

Cook the salmon fillets in a good, non-stick pan or griddle until done to your liking. Remove to warmed plates and set aside.

In a heavy-based pan, fry the garlic in the vegetable oil for a few seconds, then stir in the mushrooms and bok choy stems. Cover for 5 minutes or so, then add the bok choy leaves, the soy sauce and the sesame oil. Leave to bubble until the vegetables are tender.

Pile the mushrooms and boo choy next to the salmon and serve.

Serves 2

Sweet and Salty Peanut Cookies

To quote Nigella, “If greed alone were the spur and measure, these would be my favorite cookies”. That seems like a good enough recommendation for me!!

1/3 cup light brown sugar, plus more for dipping later
scant 1/2 cup butter, plus a little more for melting
scant 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup plus 2 tbs. self-rising flour
1/2 cup plus 1 tbs. or 4 1/2 oz. salted peanuts

Heat the oven to 375°F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine the brown sugar, butter, shortening, egg and vanilla. Mix together well, then stir in the flour and then the peanuts. Drop the dough in rounded teaspoons onto the baking sheets about 2″ apart. Brush the bottom of a glass with melted butter, then dip in some brown sugar and gently flatten the dough.

Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes, by which time they should be cooked through. Remove to a wire rack to cool.

Makes about 30

Gingery-Hot Duck Salad

This sublime salad is a perfect recipe for duck. The citrus and ginger dressing is just right.

1 duck breast or leg and thigh
2 tbs. fish sauce
juice of 1/2 orange
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 small red chili, deseeded and finely chopped or 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2″ piece of ginger, peeled and grated
few drops of sesame oil
2 green onions, sliced
handful greens such as spinach, arugula, watercress, etc.

Stir together the fish sauce, orange juice, lemon juice, chili, ginger and sesame oil. Set aside.

Grill or saute the duck, fat side down, if not removed, for 10-12 minutes, or until cooked through. Leave to rest on a cutting board for a few minutes, then slice into slices or pieces.

Pour any pan juices into the dressing. Arrange the greens on a plate, sprinkle with green onions, place duck on top and drizzle the dressing over.

Serves 2

Salt and Vinegar Potatoes

These will be your new favorite potatoes – guaranteed!!!

1 lb. baby new potatoes
3 tbs. olive oil
2 1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tsp. sea salt flakes

Steam the potatoes until tender, about 20-30 minutes.

Heat the oven to 400°F. Tip the oil into a small roasting tin and heat in the oven for 5 minutes. Tip the potatoes onto a plate and crush them with a fork. Add to the tin and cook for 20 minutes. Turn them over and cook a further 10 minutes. Remove to a serving bowl or plate and drizzle with the vinegar and sprinkle with the salt.

 

Custard

So many desserts and better served with custard. No offense to Byrd’s, but freshly made is so much better!

1 tsp. vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean, slit down the length
2 1/4 cups light cream
5 large egg yolks
1 tbs. sugar

Fill the sink with cold water. You will need this too cool the custard once cooked, or to plunge the custard in if it starts to split.

If you are using a vanilla bean, put it in a pan with the cream and heat until nearly boing. Take off the heat, cover and leave to steep for 20 minutes.

If not using a vanilla bean, pour the extract and cream in a pan over the heat. Beat the egg yolks and sugar together. When the cream is warm, slowly pour it over the egg mixture, beating all the while. Pour everything into the rinsed-out and dried pan and cook over a medium heat, stirring constantly until the custard has thickened, about 10 minutes.

Plunge into the sink of cold water for a minute or two to cool. You can eat it right away or make it in advance, keep it chilled and warm it over a pan of simmering water.

Serves 4

 

 

One-Step No-Churn Coffee Ice Cream

This is the most brilliant ice cream ever! The addition of coffee liqueur insures that the mixture will not freeze completely, leaving you with a soft, instant-serve scoop of wonderment.

2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
2 tbs. instant espresso powder
2 tbs. espresso liqueur
1 1/4 cups heavy cream

Put the sweetened condensed milk in a bowl and stir in the espresso powder and liqueur. In a separate bowl, whisk the cream until it reaches soft peaks. Fold the cream into the condensed milk mixture, then pour into an air-tight freezable container. Freeze for at least 6 hours before serving.

Tarragon Salmon

This retro sauce is quick to make and a delicious pairing with salmon.

60ml dry white vermouth
1 tsp. dried tarragon
1 tsp. dried chives
1 tsp. unsalted butter
2 tsp. garlic-infused olive oil
2 salmon fillets
60ml heavy cream
sea salt and pepper
1 tsp. chopped fresh tarragon or chives

Pour the vermouth into a cup and stir in the dried herbs, then set aside.

Heat the butter and oil in a small skillet into which the salmon with fit snugly. When it begins to sizzle, add the salmon, hump-side down, and cook for 2 minutes. Turn the salmon over, add the vermouth with the herbs and, once it comes to a bubble, cook a further 2 minutes.

Remove the salmon to 2 plates and stir in the cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper and stir in the fresh tarragon or chives. Bubble to thicken and serve over the salmon.

Serves 2

Asparagus, Radish and New Potato Salad

This simple but sensational salad is dressed with a thick buttermilk vinaigrette. Nigella calls it, “a paean to Springtime”.

For the salad:
zest of 1/2 lemon
small bunch fresh mint
1 lb. baby new potatoes
1 lb. fresh asparagus, cut into 2″ pieces
1/2 tsp. sea salt flakes or 1/4 tsp. fine sea salt flakes
3 tbs. olive oil
2 tsp. chopped fresh tarragon
1 1/2 cups halved radishes
4 cups peas shoots, watercress or other salad green, to serve

For the dressing:
1/4 cup buttermillk
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tbs. lemon juice
1 tbs. chopped fresh mint
2 tbs. chopped fresh chives
1/2 tsp. sea salt or a pinch fine sea salt
grinding of black papper

Heat the oven to 400°F.

Steam the potatoes with the lemon zest and 2 sprigs of mint for about 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Remove the mint.

Put the asparagus in a small roasting tin and toss with the salt and olive oil. Roast in the oven for 10-15 minutes (6-8 minutes if they are skinny). Tumble the potatoes into the roasting tin, add the fresh tarragon and radishes.

Meanwhile, whisk all the dressing ingredients together. Toss with the asparagus and potatoes. Arrange the greens in a bowl or on a plate, then mound the salad on top to serve.

Serves 6-8