Ardsallagh Goat's Cheese and Beetroot Compote

From: The Afternoon Show

A tasty starter, served with a rocket salad.

Salad of Purslane with Yoghurt Dressing, Chilli Oil, Roast Hazelnuts and Cumin

From: How to Cook Well, with Rory O'Connell

At the times of the year when I do not have purslane, I replace it with rocket leaves or foraged wild greens.

Lamb Koftas

From: How to Cook Well, with Rory O'Connell

I like to roll these into little balls the size of a large grape. They can, of course, be made bigger into burger or sausage shapes. Serve these strewn over a salad of purslane leaves with a yoghurt dressing.

Scrambled Eggs with Smoked Salmon on Grilled Sourdough Bread

From: How to Cook Well, with Rory O'Connell

The scrambled eggs can be prepared in advance as the cream in the recipe prevents the eggs from setting into a hard mass. Smoked Mackerel is an excellent substitute for the salmon.

Chocolate and Caramel Mousse

From: How to Cook Well, with Rory O'Connell

This is a rich and concentrated mousse with a texture that I really like. The combination of the chocolate and the burnt sugar caramel works really well. I like to serve this with caramel sauce and thick pouring cream. Sometimes I can get Jersey cream, and that is just heavenly.

Caramel Sauce

From: How to Cook Well, with Rory O'Connell

Caramel sauce is a very useful dessert sauce with many uses. Clear and shiny and as richly coloured as well-polished mahogany, it needs to be cooked with care. Use a heavy saucepan with medium high sides and cook it on the heat furthermost from the edge of your cooker, so it is safely away from an awkward elbow or a child's inquisitive reach. It is vital to cook the sugar and water enough to achieve a deep 'chestnut brown' colour, as this 'burning' of the sugar tempers the sweetness of the sauce to achieve a balance that is neither too sweet nor too bitter. The sauce will keep for months in the fridge, but will thicken as it chills, so you may need to dilute it with a little warm water when this happens.

Compote of Blood Plums with Red Wine and Star Anise

From: How to Cook Well, with Rory O'Connell

Plums that are hard and boring when raw, can be transformed into something delicious when poached in a simple syrup. Here the syrup is half water and half red wine, the wine adding a lovely warming depth to the flavour. The star anise, a lovely spice, is perfect with the plums. The cooked plums should be holding their shape perfectly, but still tender enough to fall away from the stone with a gentle push of a fork or spoon. Serve these plums warm or chilled and they are delicious with whipped cream, yoghurt or crème fraîche or with yoghurt and star anise mousse. Any of the wine and plum syrup left over after eating the plums can be made into a lovely jelly. The syrup also makes an excellent cocktail when diluted with sparkling water and stiffened with a splash of vodka.

Mustard Mash or Scallion and Mustard Champ

From: How to Cook Well, with Rory O'Connell

This mashed potato is flavoured with old fashioned English mustard powder and is perfect to serve with beef dishes or oily fish like mackerel. This is a slightly richer version of mashed potatoes, but you can decide if you want to cut down a little on the egg and cream. I make it according to the recipe and just serve it in smaller quantities. It pairs really well with tomato dishes and also with a simple cabbage dish.

Savoy Cabbage Purée

From: How to Cook Well, with Rory O'Connell

I could bore you to tears extolling the virtues of cabbage. It is a wonderful vegetable and, in my opinion, much undervalued. There are many lovely varieties of cabbage and I particularly like the crinkly green leaves of the Savoy cabbage. Essentially, the important thing is to buy the one that's in season when you are making this purée. I avoid the white cabbages, especially the canon-ball like 'Dutch' cabbage. In my opinion, it would be better used in target practice than in the kitchen. This purée is good with most meats and poultry. I sometimes serve it with venison and wild duck and it has been successful with roast and grilled fish.




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