Gratin of hake with prawns, spinach and pesto It might seem like there is an overload of basil in this dish, but it gives the perfect contrast to the fish. Like most recipes using hake, our can replace it with other round white fish such as cod or haddock. Click here to download details
Pumpkin and beans make a surprisingly good partnership, a lovely winter warmer. As this soup makes such a large quantity you may want to freeze down some of it. Simply pour into freezer bags or container with lids - leaving space to allow for expansion.
It is best thawed overnight at room temperature, but using the microwave can speed up the process. Haricot or cannellini beans work best in this recipe, just use the freshest you can find or they can take an age to cook.
Bellingham Blue and Fennel Salad with Watercress, Pears and Walnuts
Bellingham Blue is a creamy, blue-veined, award-winning Irish cheese that is handmade by Peter and Anita Thomas in Louth from a herd of Friesian cows. As an unpasteurised cheese it has a distinct tangy, almost nutty flavour with a slight hint of fruit.
These spiced chicken skewers are completely delicious in a lunchbox served hot or cold. They would also be fantastic as part of a portable picnic spread or to cook on a disposable barbecue at the beach.
This one pot wonder gives loads of flavour for minimum effort and is guaranteed to wake up your taste buds. If you don’t have a suitable casserole dish just use a large sauté pan and then transfer to a roasting tin and cover loosely with foil. Make sure you buy the raw chorizo for this dish which will impart lots of flavour into the rice as it cooks.
300g (11oz) jar artichoke hearts preserved in olive oil 25g (1oz) butter 4 chicken breast fillets (skin on) 1 large onion, finely chopped 2 garlic cloves, crushed 100g (4oz) raw chorizo sausage, peeled and sliced 350g (12oz) long grain rice 150ml (1/4 pint) dry white wine 600ml (1 pint) chicken stock 2 tbsp roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 Preheat the oven to 180C (350F), Gas mark 4. Drain the oil from the jar of artichokes and add one tablespoon to a casserole dish with a lid.
Add half of the butter and then place on the hob to heat. Season the chicken breasts, add to the dish, skin-side down, then cook for 2-3 minutes until lightly browned. Turn over and cook for another minute or so until sealed. Transfer to a plate and set aside. 2 Add another tablespoon of the drained artichoke oil to the dish with the remaining butter to the pan and then tip in onion and garlic. Sauté for 2-3 minutes until softened but not coloured.
Add the chorizo and rice and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring until the chorizo has begun to release its oil and all the rice grains are well coated. 3 Pour the wine into the pan, stirring to combine and then add the stock and fold in the artichokes. Arrange the chicken on top, pushing the breasts down into the rice. Cover and bake for 35-40 minutes until all the liquid has been absorbed and the chicken and rice are cooked through and tender. Scatter over the parsley and place directly on the table to serve. Salmon with Citrus Butter En Croute These are perfect for serving at a dinner party – just dust the bottom layer of pastry with a little semolina or polenta to prevent them from going soggy if you are making them more than 1 hour in advance.
If you are buying pastry, look out for all-butter varieties, as the flavour is just so much better. Serves 4 50g (2oz) unsalted butter, softened 1 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley 2 tsp chopped fresh tarragon 2 tsp chopped fresh dill finely grated rind of ½ lemon finely grated rind of ½ orange 500g (1lb 2oz) puff pastry, thawed if frozen a little plain flour, for dusting 4 x 175g (6oz) organic salmon fillets (about 2.5cm (1in) thick), skinned and boned 50g (2oz) baby spinach leaves 1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tbsp milk sea salt and freshly ground black pepper peas with mint, to serve Place the butter in a small bowl and beat in the parsley, tarragon, dill and lemon and orange rind and season generously.
Spoon onto a sheet of clingfilm or non-stick parchment paper and shape into a roll about 2.5cm (1in) thick, then wrap tightly. Chill in the freezer for at least 10 minutes to firm up (or keep in the fridge for up to 48 hours until required, if time allows). Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/gas mark 6). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Cut the pastry into 8 even-sized sections and roll each one out on a lightly floured surface into a 12.5cm x 18cm (5in x 7in) rectangle, trimming down the edges if necessary.
Arrange 4 of the rectangles on the lined baking sheets. Place a salmon fillet in the centre of each one and cover with the spinach leaves, then season to taste. Unwrap the citrus butter and cut into 16 x 0.5cm (¼in) thick slices.
Arrange 4 slices in an overlapping layer on each piece of salmon. Brush the edges of the pastry bases with a little of the egg wash and lay a second sheet of pastry on top, pressing down to seal.
Crimp the edges by gently pressing the edge of the pastry with a fork. Continue all the way around the edge of the parcel. Repeat until you have 4 parcels in total. Season each one with a little salt and pepper. Brush the pastry parcels with the remaining egg wash and bake for 25–30 minutes, until the pastry is cooked through and golden brown. To serve, arrange the salmon parcels on warmed serving plates with some buttered peas with mint.
It’s great that there is now authentic Chinese aromatic duck readily available in all major supermarkets. It makes this salad quick and easy to make, and the duck can be cooked a couple of hours ahead of time so that all you have to do is toss all of the ingredients together just before you are ready to serve.
1 whole aromatic duck (Silver Hill or similar)
1/2 head iceberg lettuce, core removed and shredded
1 firm ripe mango, peeled, stone removed and cut into julienne
4 spring onions, thinly sliced
50g (2oz) roasted cashew nuts, roughly chopped
good handful fresh coriander leaves
120ml (4fl oz) sunflower oil
4 tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp hoisin sauce
1 tsp caster sugar
1 tbsp finely minced ginger root
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 Preheat the oven to 200C (400F), Gas mark 6. Remove the packaging from the duck and place on a rack over a roasting tin. Roast for 1 1/2 hours or according to packet instructions until the skin is crisp and the duck is completely heated through. Remove from the oven and leave to rest for 20 minutes.
2 Carve the meat from the duck and cut into bite-sized pieces, discarding the bones and any excessively fatty pieces of skin. Place in a large bowl with the lettuce, mango, spring onions, cashew nuts and coriander.
3 To make the dressing, place the sunflower oil in a small bowl with the vinegar and hoisin sauce. Whisk until blended, then stir in the sugar, ginger, garlic and sesame oil. Season to taste.
4 Use the dressing to lightly dress the duck salad, tossing gently until evenly combined. Arrange on plates and serve the remaining dressing in a small jug so that your guests can help themselves.
Grilled Salmon with Avocado and Sun-dried Tomato Dressing and Rocket Salad
Well-produced organic salmon is perfect to use for this dish and as it is farmed in colder waters it has a firmer flesh. Salmon tastes far better is eaten slightly underdone than overcooked, and is using in this recipe should be served warm and not hot.
6 x 175g (6oz) skinless salmon fillets, pin bones removed
olive oil, for brushing
juice of 1/2 lemon
3 ripe avocadoes
25g (1oz) wild rocket
FOR THE DRESSING
12 semi sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and roughly chopped
200ml (7fl oz) olive oil
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
pinch of chilli powder
3 fresh basil leaves
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 To make the dressing, place the sun-dried tomatoes in a food processor with the olive oil, lemon juice, chilli powder and basil leaves. Blend together for about 1 minute or until you have achieved a fairly smooth texture. Season to taste and transfer to a jug.
2 Cut each the salmon fillet into three pieces. Heat a griddle pan until smoking hot. Season the salmon pieces and brush each one with a little olive oil, then place in griddle pan. Reduce the heat and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side until just cooked through and golden brown. Remove from the heat and sprinkle over the lemon juice.
3 To serve, cut each avocado in half and remove the stone, then carefully peel away the skin. Drizzle a little of the dressing into the centre of each plate and place a fanned out avocado half in the centre. Arrange three pieces of the salmon around the edge of each plate. Scatter around the rocket and drizzle over a little more of the dressing.