Irish celebrity chef Denis Cotter shares a wide array of delicious recipes. How he juggles being an author, television personality and proprietor of the acclaimed ...
500 g carrots
6 garlic cloves (chopped)
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tblsp butter
100 g cream cheese
1 egg white
1 tsp dill
1 leek (washed and finely chopped)
pinch of cayenne pepper
80 g whole almonds (lightly toasted)
1 pack of vine leaves
cucumber and mango salsa
½ cucumber (de-seeded and diced)
½ mango (peeled and diced)
1 spring onion (finely chopped)
1 clove garlic (crushed)
2 tsp grated ginger
juice of 1 lime
1 tblsp olive oil
pinch of sugar
This quantity makes a terrine to fill one 2lb loaf tin and that should give you enough for eight to ten first courses. And a palate-tingling starter it is too, with the sweetness of the carrots, almonds and vine leaves set off by the salty tang of the feta. The salsa we serve with it adds its own dimensions of texture, sharpness and the heady scent of fresh coriander. Don't wait for someone's birthday to try it though; the terrine has enough texture, richness and flavour to be a meal in itself. We serve it for lunch with the salsa and a couscous or potato dish. You'll also get four to five generous main courses from this quantity.
Chop the carrots into small pieces, and stew them, covered, in a heavy pan, with the butter, cumin and garlic. They may need an occasional splash of water to prevent them sticking, but they often manage without it and come out tender and juicy in about twenty minutes. Meanwhile, chop the leek finely and cook it in a little olive oil for just a minute or so. In a food processor chop the almonds and then put them in a bowl. Now chop the cooked carrots in the processor until they become a coarse mash. Take out half, add in the cream cheese and eggs and blend until you get a smooth purée this time. Stir this into the almonds with the carrot mash, the cooked leeks, salt, cayenne and dill.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Brush a 2lb loaf tin with olive oil and use the vine leaves to line it, making sure that the leaves overlap each other well, and that you have a good deal of overhanging leaves. It is better if you're closer to a double layer of leaves than a single. Try to apply some olive oil anywhere that leaves are overlapping each other. Put half of the carrot filling into the tin, scatter crumbled feta over this and then spoon in the rest of the carrot. Lay some more vine leaves on top and fold over the overhanging leaves. Put a light weight on top (I use baking parchment and dried chickpeas) and put the tin in an oven dish. Pour boiling water in to come halfway up the tin, and cook the terrine in the preheated oven for 50 to 60 minutes. The top of the terrine will feel firm and slightly risen when it's done. Leave the terrine to cool for ten to fifteen minutes before turning it out onto a plate. Use a very sharp knife to cut slices and serve it warm with a spoon of salsa.
To make the Cucumber and Mango Salsa, combine all the ingredients just before serving.