Carrot and dill fritters with pomegranate salad

gorgeous as starter or snack
gorgeous as starter or snack

 

 

To serve 4-6

 

500g carrots, washed and peeled

2 Tbs olive oil

salt and freshly ground black pepper

6 spring onions, washed and finely chopped

1 teaspoon

1 tbsp paprika

2 tbsp chopped dill

2 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley

100g grated Parmesan

50g brown rice flour (or used fresh white breadcrumbs)

2 medium free-range eggs

vegetable oil for frying

 

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 200/C180 F/Gas
  2. Cut the carrots into even chunks and place in a roasting. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and mix well.
  3. Cook for about 20 minutes until al dente – neither too soft, nor too hard – and leave to cool.
  4. Grate the carrots into a mixing bowl and mix with the spring onions, paprika,dill and parsley.
  5. Add the Parmesan, brown rice flour and egg and mix well. Leave to chill for an hour to firm up the mixture.
  6. Remove from the fridge and shape into 16-18 walnut size balls and dust with brown rice flour to shape into flat patties.
  7. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and shallow fry over a medium heat, turning over half way through. Cook in batches and drain on kitchen paper.
  8. Serve straight away with some plain yoghurt with dill chopped into it and the simple grated carrot salad, as below.

 

Carrot and Pomegranate salad

 

3-4 large carrots, peeled and coarsly grated

4 spring onions, cleaned and finely chopped

seeds of one pomegranate

1 Tbs pomegranate molasses.

Juice of half a lemon

Salt and pepper

 

Mix all the ingredients together, just before serving.

Engery Boost Biscuits

Healthy Biscuits

healthy biscuits on slate plate with fruit

Perfect for breakfast on the go, mid-afternoon energy boost with a nice cup of tea or at any time of day. These are no-cook easily put together biscuits to keep in the biscuit tin for a healthy refuel. I keep all the ingredients for this in a separate airtight storage tub make up a batch quickly. These are also ideal for those of us students in need of a sweet distraction from staring at books.

 

 

 

 

Healthy Energy Boost Biscuits

Recipe

50g each of dried dates & dried apricots & 20g dried cranberries

100g porridge oats

30g wheat germ or oat bran

20g desiccated coconut

20g linseeds juice zest of one unwaxed lemon

1 Tablespoon of maple syrup or honey

2 Tablespoons cold-pressed flax oil

 

Lightly oil a small baking tin ( I use a square 8 ½ inch/22cm size)

Finely chop the dried fruits and add to the rest of the ingredients

Mix all the ingredients in a food processor until firm dough is formed. Press the mixture evenly into your tin to a thickness of about 2cm.

Chill in the fridge for about an hour, then cut into squares ready to eat. Can be stored in the fridge or in an airtight container in the cupboard.

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Valentine’s Day Cheese Hearts

Parmesan cheese hearts for Valentine's Day
Parmesan cheese hearts for Valentine’s Day

Parmesan Cheese Sablés

To make about 30, using a 5cm round cutter, slightly less using a heart shaped cutter

These are extremely easy to make, and well worth the effort. It takes no time to make a large batch and keep in the deep freeze until needed. They are perfect with pre-dinner drinks.For a Valentine’s Day celebration, cut the cheese pastry into heart shapes. These are the ideal nibble to go with Champagne, so they make the perfect wedding canapé. I also love them with a good dry Martini http://cookupaparty.co.uk/how-to-make-the-perfect-martini. Bliss. Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

100g plain flour

Pinch each of salt, black pepper and cayenne

1/2 tsp dry mustard powder

90g unsalted butter

90g grated Parmesan or Grana Padano

1 egg beaten to glaze Small handful of poppy seeds or sesame seeds

 Method

1. Sift flour into a bowl or food processor and add the salt, pepper, cayenne and mustard powder.

2. Add the butter and rub in or blend until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.

3. Add the cheese and mix the dough together until smooth. If should be soft and pliable.

4. Chill for 30 minutes, and then turn out onto a floured surface.

5. Pre-heat the oven to 190C/385F/Gas 5. Gently roll out to a thickness of 1cm. Using a round or heart-shaped cutter, press out the shapes and brush with the egg glaze.

6. Sprinkle with poppy seeds or sesame seeds and place on a flat baking sheet. Bake for approx 12-15 minutes until the biscuits are golden brown, and cool on a wire rack

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Rosemary Focaccia

Rosemary Focaccia 

This is a very easy bread to make and is ideal party food. Serve with some good quality Italian meats and cheeses as party grazing food. You can get lovely Bresaola beautifully sliced from http://www.vallebona.co.uk . It is also very good with a substantial home made soup for weekend lunch or supper. The dough is wetter than your usual loaf, so add the water gradually if making by hand. You can also use the food processor for mixing and for the first rise. See Tips, below. Happy Baking!

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Ingredients

500g/1lb 2oz strong white bread flour

2 tsp salt

2 sachets dried easy blend yeast

2 tbsp olive oil

400ml/14fl oz cold water

olive oil, for drizzling

sea salt crystals

fresh rosemary

Equipment – I use a  23 x 33cm (9″ x 13″) Swiss roll tin for my loaves. It needs to be at least 2cm deep.

Method

  1. Place the flour, salt, yeast, olive oil and 300ml/10½fl oz of the water into a large bowl. Gently stir with your hand or a wooden spoon to form a dough then knead the dough in the bowl for five minutes, gradually adding the remaining water.
  2. Stretch the dough by hand in the bowl, tuck the sides into the centre for about five minutes.
  3. Tip the dough onto an oiled work surface and continue kneading for five more minutes. Return the dough to the bowl, cover and leave to rise until doubled in size. This would normally take an hour in a warm place, or longer if you put it a cold area.
  4. Tip the dough out of the bowl and spread onto the baking sheet, pushing to the corners, then leave to prove for one hour.
  5. Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7. Press your fingers into the dough to create little hollows. Drizzle the loaves with oil, sprinkle with the sea salt crystals, and put small sprigs of rosemary into the holes you have created. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes.

TIPS:

  • I find half a loaf does a dinner party for six, so I cut it in half and freeze half of the loaf for another time.
  • It is quite a wet dough, so if you have a Magimix or food processor, you can make the dough in the bowl with the dough blade. Whizz for about a minute. Switch off and leave the dough to rise for an hour in the bowl. Then once it has rise to twice it’s size, whizz again with the dough blade for another minute or so to “knock down”. Once the dough has been knocked back, you can tip it into the baking tin to rise again. Continue as per the recipe above.