Friday, 27 April 2007

Strawberries in Vanilla and Balsamic

Nothing new, but for some reason balsamic vinegar and strawberries are a match made in heaven. Combine a splash with a little caster sugar and marinade your strawberries, you are left with some pretty powerful tastes that are incredibly complimentary. The sweetness intensifies and almost fizzes in your mouth. Slit open a vanilla pod and stir in the tiny black seeds of pleasure and things get even better.

Strawberries in Vanilla and Balsamic
Feeds 1 starving individual, 2 normal

1 punnet of strawberries
3 tbs Balsamic vinegar
2 tbs caster sugar
1 vanilla pod

1 - Trim and half the strawberries. Place in a large bowl.
2 - Combine the sugar and balsamic until you have a dark syrup. Slit open the vanilla pod and scrape the seeds into the sugar and vinegar.
3 - Pour onto the strawberries and combine thoroughly. Try to resist eating for at least 1 hour to allow the flavours to combine.
4 - Eat with creme fraiche , yoghurt or whipped cream.

Sunday, 15 April 2007

Salmon with a Watercress, Pear and Walnut Salad

Salmon with a Watercress, Pear and Walnut Salad
Serves 2 and 1 child

2 pieces of salmon fillet, skin on
4 handfuls of Puy lentils, washed
3 Spring onions
Ready made horseradish sauce (or make your own simply by grating some horseradish into a little creme fraiche and a squeeze of lemon juice)
1 Pear
A handful of walnuts
1 Lemon
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

1 - Pre-heat the oven to 220 degrees C, GM8.
2 - Bring a pan of water to the boil. Drop in the lentils and cook for approximately 15 minutes. Drain. Slice your spring onions and combine with a little horseradish sauce. Taste for seasoning.
3 - Heat an oven-proof non-stick pan with a little olive oil. Slash the skin of the salmon a few times, season and place skin side down in the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the skin colours, then flip and place straight into a hot oven. Cook for 7-10 minutes, depending on how pink you like it.
4 - While the salmon is cooking, make a little dressing with the juice of half a lemon, 1 tbs olive oil and black pepper. Slice the pear into thin slices and combine with the watercress, walnuts and the dressing.
5 - Place a small pile of lentils onto a plate and place the salmon on top. Drop a little salad beside it and drizzle some of the horseradish around the plate. Beautiful!

Wednesday, 11 April 2007

Crab and Chilli Spaghetti

Crab and chilli are perfect together. Not too much heat, just enough to make your mouth sing a little. 

Crab and Chilli Spaghetti
Feeds 4

2 tins of tomatoes
1 onion roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic sliced
1 fresh red chilli, seeded and sliced thinly
1 tbs red wine vinegar
2 tbs honey
1 dressed crab
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
Fresh basil

1 – To make the tomato sauce, heat the olive oil in a pan and add the onion. Soften, then add the garlic and chilli and cook for a further minute.
2 – Add the tomatoes and red wine vinegar and bring to the boil. Simmer for 20-30 minutes until the sauce has reduced slightly. Taste for seasoning.
3 – Pick out the brown meat and stir into the sauce.
4 – Cook your quantity of spaghetti and stir the sauce into the drained pasta. Pile onto plates then sprinkle with the delicate white crab meat and a few basil leaves.

Sticky Sweet and Sour Aubergines

This is a recipe I've slightly tweaked a few times from Sabrina Ghayour's fantastic cookbook Bazaar, a wonderful book with a huge se...