the recipe sharer

Appetizers

A bowl of Asian goodness

This is divine on a hot day when you don’t feel like cooking too much. It’s also a great starter for a dinner party

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Serves 4 as a starter

1/2 oz instant dashi granules
1/2 cup soy sauce
3 tbsp mirin
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp wasabi paste
1 tbsp finely grated fresh ginger
10 1/2 oz soba noodles
1 nori sheet
3 1/4 inch piece of daikon radish, peeled and finely grated
3 scallions, finely sliced

Put the dashi granules in a bowl and pour 1 1/2 cups boiling water over them.
Stir until the granules have dissolved, then add the soy sauce, mirin, sugar, wasabi paste and ginger. Stir to make a dressing.

Bring a large pot of water to the boil and add the noodles. Allow the water to return to the boil then add 1/2 cup cold water to drop the temperature a little.
Repeat this process three times, then drain the noodles.
Rinse the noodles with cold water to remove the starch, then divide between 4 bowls.

Toast the nori sheet over a high flame or in a hot oven, then slice into this strips. Pour the dressing over the noodles, toss lightly, then scatter with the daikon, scallions and nori strips.

Seared scallops with roasted cauliflower and olive puree

This is a dish from the “Brooklyn Rustic” recipe book and is the perfect combination with scallops without overpowering them.

Serves 4

2 head cauliflower,cut into 1 inch florets
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
Fine sea salt
1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives
1/2 cup vegetable stock or water
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, sliced
2 tbsp avocado or coconut oil
1 1/2 lbs jumbo scallops (about 12 to 16)
freshly ground black pepper
4 oz young pea shoots

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees

Toss the cauliflower with the olive oil and 1/4 tsp salt in a bowl.
Pour the cauliflower into a preheated pan inn an even layer and roast until golden, about 15 to 20 minutes, stirring once halfway through roasting.

In a blender, puree the olives, vegetable stock, lemon juice, and half the basil until smooth, about 2 minutes

Heat the cooking oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Pat the scallops dry and season with salt and pepper on both sides. Cooking in batches, if necessary, add the scallops to the skillet, leaving at least 1 1/2 inches between each scallop. Sear until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes per side.

Scatter the pea shoots on a serving platter. Sprinkle the roasted cauliflower over the pea shoots, then lay the scallops on top.
Drizzle the olive puree over everything and finish with a sprinkle of lemon zest, the remaining basil and a drizzle of olive oil

Crab bombs

A simple, hot and tasty appetizer to serve. Lovely with a dry champagne or crisp white wine.

1 lb. Crab meat
1 Egg, beaten
1 cup Ritz Crackers, crushed
1 tsp. Yellow Mustard
2 tbsp. Fresh Lemon Juice
2 tbsp. Fresh Parsley, chopped
1 tsp. Old Bay Seasoning
1 tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce

Place the crab meat in a mixing bowl, picking any stray shell fragments out. Add the crushed crackers, Old Bay Seasoning & parsley to the crab.

In a separate bowl, combine the egg, mustard, lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce. Whip with a whisk until smooth.

Pour the egg mixture over the crab meat and crackers and gently mix, careful not to break up large lumps of crab meat.

Mold into golf ball-sized balls and place on a cookie sheet. Bake @ 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Drizzle w/ melted butter and allow to cool.

Peach, crispy prosciutto, olive and mozzarella salad

During the long, hot Southern Californian summer months, there is nothing nicer than having a light and interesting salad like this.

 

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Serves 4

* You can prepare the dressing 3 – 4 days in advance and keep in a sealed container in the fridge

1 tbsp butter
3 ripe peaches, quartered
A few fresh rosemary sprigs
3-4 oz thin prosciutto slices
4 red chicory, leaves separated
5 oz green olives, preferably pitted
2 x large buffalo mozzarella balls, torn

For the vinaigrette
1 small shallot, finely sliced into rings
2 tbsp sherry vinegar
2 tbsp superfine sugar (caster)
2 tsp wholegrain mustard
Small handful fresh dill, chopped
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Sourdough bread to serve

In a large frying pan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. When it starts to foam, add the peach quarters and rosemary, then fry for 5-8 minutes until the peaches start to color and soften.  Season lightly with salt, then transfer to a large salad platter.

Return the pan to the heat and add the prosciutto slices and fry for 5 minutes until crisp and golden. Remove to some kitchen towel. (Alternatively, you can roast the prosciutto slices on a baking tray at 400 F for about 10 minutes until crispy)

For the vinaigrette, put the shallot, vinegar, sugar, mustard and dill in a small pitcher and whisk. Slowly whisk in the oil, then season to taste with salt and pepper

Add the chicory, olives, mozzarella and broken-up prosciutto slices to the peaches, drizzle over the dressing and gently toss.

Roasted shrimp with feta, fennel and tomatoes

This is a terrific recipe from the Barefoot Contessa and all it needs is some rice or good bread to mop up the juices

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Serve 4

4 tbsp good olive oil, divided
1 1/2 cups medium-diced fennel
1 tbsp minced garlic (3 cloves)
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 tsp tomato paste
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp Pernod
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 1/4 lbs (16 to 20 per pound) peeled shrimp with tails on
5 oz good feta cheese, coarsely crumbled
1 cup fresh bread crumbs
3 tbsp minced fresh parsley
1 tsp grated lemon zest
2 lemons

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a 10-or 12-inch heavy ovenproof skillet over medium-low heat. Add the fennel and saute for 8 to 10 minutes, until the fennel is tender. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the wine and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the liquid is reduced by half. Add the tomatoes with the liquid, tomato paste, oregano, Pernod, salt, and pepper to the skillet. Simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 15 minutes.

Arrange the shrimp, tails up, in one layer over the tomato-mixture in the skillet. Scatter the feta evenly over the shrimp. In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs, parsley, and lemon zest with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle over the shrimp.

Bake for 15 minutes, until the shrimp are cooked and the bread crumbs are golden brown. Squeeze the juice of 1 lemon over the shrimp. Serve hot with the remaining lemon cut into wedges.

Spicy Asian sesame guacamole

I love anything to do with avocados and this recipe, served with those lovely sesame rice crackers, is the perfect appetizer. Beware though, you will look like all your front teeth have fillings in them due to the black sesame seeds, so have toothpicks handy!

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Serves 4

3 good-sized ripe Hass avocados
1/3 cup chopped red onion (fairly finely chopped)
1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions, white and light green parts. Reserve some for decoration
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
2 tsp chili-garlic sauce
1 1/2 tsp soy sauce or Coconut Aminos
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 1/2 tsp black sesame seeds
1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Sesame rice crackers, or celery sticks for serving.

Cut each avocado in half lengthwise. Remove the pit from the avocado and discard. Remove the avocado from the skin and place the flesh in a bowl.
Add the chopped red onion, scallions, lime juice, chili-garlic sauce, soy sauce, ginger, 1 tsp of the sesame seeds and the sesame oil.
Mash with a fork until half smooth and half chunky.
Taste and add salt and pepper if desired. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 tsp sesame seeds and some chopped scallions and serve immediately with the rice crackers

Pickled herring, sour cream, apple and onion salad

This is a really super recipe from a neighbor in London many years ago. We used to adore it, and I only found it again recently.
Make sure you serve it very chilled.

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Serves 4 to 6

1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup full fat plain yoghurt
pinch of sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
2 tart apples, (Granny Smith) cut into thin slices
1 tbsp chopped fresh dill or 1 tsp dried dill weed
2 x 8 oz jars pickled herring, drained and cut into bite-sized pieces

Combine the sour cream, yoghurt, lemon juice, sugar, sliced onions that have been separated into rings, apple and dill.
Alternate the herring and sour cream mixture in layers in a dish.
Cover and refrigerate for 5 hours at least.
Serve very chilled.

Roasted cauliflower with truffled pea pesto and feta crema

I had this at “Etch” in Nashville recently and thought I had died and gone to heaven. It is a stunning appetizer with two fabulous dips and would be wonderful to serve for a dinner party as it’s so easy.

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Serve 4 (or 2 if you adore it)

1 head of cauliflower cut into bite sized florets
1 tbsp olive oil plus more for garnish
Salt and pepper
Pea shoots or micro greens for garnish
A few salted almonds or Marcona almonds dropped onto the pea pesto
A few green olives and thinly sliced scallions for garnish

Pea pesto
2 cups fresh blanched peas or 2 cups frozen peas, thawed
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp water
(Some people swear by adding 2 drops of liquid smoke, but it’s optional)
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup grated Parmesan
½ tsp salt
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 tbsp truffle oil
For the pea pesto
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, warm the peas with the butter and water until they are tender.
Add all the ingredients except the truffle oil to a blender, and mix slowly.
Gradually increase the speed until the mixture is creamy, adding truffle oil as you blend.
Add a few drops of water if the mixture is too thick.

Feta crema
4 oz cream cheese, softened
2 oz Greek feta cheese, crumbled
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup cauliflower, shaved with a box grater to snow-like consistency
Salt and pepper
For the Feta Crema
Stir the ingredients together until smooth

For the cauliflower
Preheat the oven to 375 to 400 degrees. In a medium mixing bowl, toss the cauliflower florets with 1 tbsp olive oil and salt and pepper to taste
Spread out the cauliflower on a baking sheet into an even single layer.
Roast until the edges are browned and the florets are easily pierced with a knife, between 15 and 20 minutes
To Serve
Place the roasted cauliflower florets in the center of a serving platter and drizzle with olive oil.
On one side of the florets mound the pea pesto and on the other side, mound the feta crema.
Garnish with the pea shoots or other seasonal micro greens, scallions, olives and almonds.

Easy beet and goat cheese terrine with pistachios and basil

I saw this recipe by Amy Stafford on her blog, “A healthy life for me” and immediately loved the idea of it. We adore beets and goat cheese and it’s a fairly easy one to put together and impress your guests.

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Serves: 8

6 red beet
6 yellow beets
10 oz of goat cheese, room temperature
¼ cup of salted pistachios, shelled and finely crushed in food processor
Fresh basil leaves, cut into slivers (about 6 large leaves)
zest from ½ lemon
Pinch of kosher salt and ground black pepper
¼ cup of olive oil + more for drizzling

In two separate pans boil water.
Add the yellow beets to one pan and the red to the other and cook for 30 minutes.
Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside to cool.
Take plastic wrap and line a loaf pan letting the plastic wrap overhang on both sides, enough so that you can grab wrap to lift out finished terrine.

In a bowl, add the goat cheese, lemon zest, olive oil, salt, pepper and pistachios and stir to blend.
When the beets have cooled, peel and slice thinly.
Line the pan with a layer of yellow beets, slightly overlapping.
Then add a ¼ cup of goat cheese mixture, spreading over the beets.
Add a sprinkle of basil slivers and a drizzle of olive oil.
Continue layering the yellow beets, goat cheese, basil and olive oil four times and then start with red, continuing the layering four times.

Make sure that you finish with a beet layer and drizzle of olive oil. (you will not reach the top of the pan.
Take the plastic wrap flaps and cover your last layer
Place heavy cans on top of the plastic to compress the terrine.
Place in the refrigerator for 2 or more hours.
When you remove, unwrap and use the plastic to lift the terrine out of the pan.
Slice and serve with a drizzle of olive oil

Lemongrass prawns with Thai noodle salad

This is a very refreshing Asian-style salad, perfect for a hot day. We have a Kaffir lime tree (well worth having, if you cook a lot of Asian food) but if you can’t buy Kaffir lime leaves, then use some grated  lime rind instead. This is also a great do-ahead recipe if you’re entertaining.

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Serves 8

For Prawns and Noodles:

2 stalks lemongrass, white parts only (optional)
Juice of 1 lime
1 Tbsp grated ginger
1 tsp Asian sesame oil
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 fresh Kaffir lime leaf, finely chopped (optional)
1 tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
2 lb tiger prawns, peeled and deveined
1 (8-oz) package bean thread (cellophane) noodles

For Dressing:

2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
Juice of 1 lime
1 tsp Asian sesame oil
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp chopped ginger
2 tsp soy sauce
½ tsp red pepper flakes

For Garnish:

2 Tbsp chopped cilantro, plus sprigs
2 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
4 spring onions, chopped

Directions

For prawns and noodles: Peel outer layer of lemongrass. Cut into very fine crosswise slices and transfer to a large bowl.

In same bowl, combine lime juice, ginger, sesame oil, olive oil, garlic, lime leaf, salt, and pepper. Add prawns and toss to coat. Chill for 1 hour.

In a large sauté pan over medium-high, cook prawns for 2 minutes on each side or until done. Transfer to a plate.

Put noodles in a bowl; cover with boiling water. Let stand for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Make dressing: In a large bowl, whisk all ingredients.

Add noodles and toss, then add prawns. Garnish with chopped cilantro, mint, spring onions, and cilantro sprigs.