Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Salmon en creute (1 colour)

Using ready-made pastry from the frozen section of the supermarket made this a really easy, but impressive-looking and tasty dinner.

Puff pastry - 250g
Salmon fillets - 3 or 4
Herbs of choice
Cream cheese - 175 g
Tomatoes - 2, sliced
Egg yolk - 1

1) Roll out the pastry into a rectangle. Place the salmon fillets in a row in the centre of the pastry. Mix the cream cheese with any herbs of your choice and then spread on top of the salmon. Top with the tomato slices.
2) Lift the flaps of the pastry over the fish but don't completely cover it. Use the excess from the ends to make strips about an inch thick and place these over the top (see photo).
3) Press the edges with your fingers and then brush the pastry with the egg yolk. Bake at 200°C for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Serves 4.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Tortilla, pinto bean and sweetcorn soup (3 colours)

This soup was supposed to have a tin of mild chillis added at the same point as the sweetcorn, but I wasn't able to find one in the shops. It has a lovely flavour even without the chillis.

Dried pinto beans - 200g, cooked as per the instructions on the packet
Olive oil - 1 tbsp
Onions - 2, finely chopped
Garlic - 2 cloves, finely chopped
Red chilli pepper - 2, finely chopped
Ground cumin - 1 tbsp
Dried oregano - 1 tbsp
Lime juice - 1 tbsp
Chopped tomatoes - 2 400 g cans
Vegetable stock - 1.5 litres
Frozen sweetcorn - 500 ml (measured in a jug)
Flour tortillas - 3

1) Heat the oil in a frying pan. Add the onion and cook until softened.
2) Add the garlic, chilli, cumin, oregano and lime juice and cook for another minute. Stir in the chopped tomatoes and then transfer to a blender.
3) Add the pinto beans to the blender with the tomato mixture and blend until smooth. Pour into a slow cooker, add the stock and cook on high for 4 hours.
4) Add the sweetcorn to the slow cooker, stir and cook for another 30 minutes.
5) A few minutes before serving heat the oven to 180°C. Slice the tortillas into 1 inch strips. Place on a baking tray and brush with oil. Bake for a couple of minutes until golden (keep an eye on them as you can see from the photo that we overcooked ours!), turn over and repeat. Serve the soup with the tortilla strips on top. Serves 6.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Chocolate and raisin fudge (1 colour)

I first made this fudge at school and have made it every couple of years since. It's perfect for this time of year.

Cooking chocolate - 115 g
Butter - 55 g
Evaporated milk - 4 tbs
Vanilla essence - 1 tsp
Golden syrup - 1 tbsp
Icing sugar - 455 g
Raisins - 55 g

1) Melt the chocolate and butter in a bowl over a saucepan of hot water. Add the evaporated milk, vanilla essence and golden syrup and stir well.
2) Sieve the icing sugar into a large bowl and pour in the melted mixture. Add the raisins and knead well.
3) Press into a 7 inch square greased tin and leave to cool.
4) When set, cut into squares and remove from the tin.