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.

Screen Shot 2016-01-03 at 10.40.46 AM

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.

Advertisements

Baked curried rice with apples and coconut

I love anything curried and this baked brown rice dish is a no-fuss recipe that needs to be left alone for 45 minutes in the oven. Your reward for doing next to nothing is a pot of tender, fragrant, slightly spicy grains (if you want more heat, use up to a tablespoon more curry powder).

Screen Shot 2015-05-31 at 1.23.52 PM

Serves 4

2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 to 1 ½ tbsp curry powder
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 cup brown Basmati rice
Salt and black pepper
One 14-ounce can coconut milk
1⁄4 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
2 tart apples, (Granny Smith) cored and chopped
1⁄2 cup chopped fresh cilantro + extra for garnish
1⁄4 cup Greek-style yogurt, optional

Heat the oven to 350°F. Put the oil in a large ovenproof saucepan over medium heat. A minute later, add the curry powder and ginger and cook, stirring, for about a minute. Add the rice and some salt and pepper; cook, stirring, until the rice is glossy and translucent, just a minute or 2.

Measure 1 & 3/4 cups of the coconut milk; stir it into the rice mixture. Bring to a boil, then cover tightly and transfer to the oven. Bake, undisturbed, for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, put the shredded coconut in a small skillet over medium heat and toast, shaking the pan and stirring often, until it begins to brown, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the rice from the oven, uncover, and use a fork to stir in the shredded coconut, apples, and cilantro. Replace the lid and let it rest for 10 minutes.
Taste and adjust the seasoning and fluff again. Serve immediately or at room temperature, topped with yogurt and a sprinkling of cilantro if you like.

Butternut squash, apple, spinach and cheese bread pudding

It’s that time of year when all the winter squash comes out and this is one terrific recipe.

 

Screen Shot 2014-11-02 at 4.52.55 PM

Serves 8

1 good sized butternut squash (about 2lbs) halved lengthways, seeded and peeled
2 apples, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 leek stem, diced
1 cup shallots, chopped
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
6 oz fresh baby spinach
Salt
A good pinch freshly grated nutmeg
A good pinch of cinnamon
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
3 cups half and half
7 large eggs, beaten
1 cup (at least) freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
Freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 baguettes, crusts trimmed and bread cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 7 cups)

Preheat the oven to 400 F
Put the leeks, butternut squash, apples and shallots into a large bowl. Pour in the melted butter, olive oil, nutmeg, cinnamon, maple syrup, salt and pepper and toss until coated really well.
Tip out onto a baking sheet and roast for about 25 to 30 mins until they are slightly caramelized and softened.

In another bowl whisk the half and half with the eggs, 1/2 cup of the grated parmesan, 1/2 cup of grated cheddar and some salt and pepper. Add the bread cubes and toss gently until well coated.

Spoon half of the mixture into a well buttered baking dish, next layer it with half the roasted vegetables and half the fresh spinach sprinkled over. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup parmesan cheese and 1/2 cup cheddar cheese and repeat the layers, pressing down as you do it, so it fill the baking dish.
Cover the top with the more grated parmesan cheese and cheddar cheese and any extra egg mixture if you have any.
Bake for about 1 hour until the top has golden spots and the center is firm.
Let it cool for 15 minutes before serving

This pudding can be refrigerated overnight, then rewarmed at 350 F.

Heavenly one bowl apple cake

 

This is a dark, dense, gooey apple cake. The one extra step in this recipe is for soaking the dates in Apple Brandy or Calvados.

Serves 12 to 16
3/4 cup chopped dates
3/4 cup Calvados or apple brandy
2 cups unbleached, all purpose flour
2 cups white sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
3/4 tsp salt
4 cups slightly tart apples; peeled, cored and roughly chopped
1/2 cup melted butter
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
icing sugar for decorations

About 1 hour before starting to bake, place the dates in a small bowl and cover with the Calvados or apple brandy. Stir from time to time and if they get too “tight” just add more brandy.
Preheat the oven to 325 F.
Using butter, grease a baking pan. (approx 13″ x 9″ x 2″)
Into a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
Add the chopped apples, dates, melted butter and the eggs. This will be a heavy, thick batter, but don’t worry, just make sure you mix it well together.
Spread in the prepared pan, place on a rack in the center of the oven and bake for 1 hour.
Test with a skewer, if it comes out a bit gooey, then bake for another 5 to 10 mins.
It will be a nice dark color  and should spring back to a light touch.
Serve with some icing sugar (powdered sugar) sprinkled over the top. This is delicious hot, warm or cold.

 

Curried tuna salad to put in sandwiches or pita pockets

 

Such a divine  filling for sandwiches or even just wrapped in a lettuce leaf.

2 cans (about 6 oz each) solid light tuna packed in olive oil, well drained and broken into large chunks
1/4 cup drained sliced pickled jalapeno peppers, chopped
1/2 cup good mayonnaise
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
2 tsp best quality curry powder
1/4 cup diced celery heart
1/4 cup diced red onion
1/2 cup dark raisins
1/2 cup coarsely chopped Granny Smith apple, unpeeled
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Gently combine the tuna, jalapenos, mayonnaise, lime juice, curry powder, celery heart, red onion, raisins, apple, basil and salt and pepper to taste, in a medium bowl.
Serve with bread or pita pockets.

Chewy, healthy flapjack bars

 

Instead of buying cereal bars, these are so much more tasty and nutritious.
They keep in an airtight container for up to 4 days, but you won’t have any left after 1 day.

Makes 12 bars
10 oz jar apple sauce
4 oz (1/2 cup) ready to eat dried apricots, chopped
4oz (3/4 cup) raisins
2oz (1/4 cup) raw sugar
2oz (1/3 cup) sunflower seeds
1oz (2 tbsp) sesame seeds
1oz (1/4 cup) pumpkin seeds
3oz (scant 1 cup) rolled oats
3oz (2/3 cup) self raising wholewheat flour
2oz (2/3 cup) desiccated (dry unsweetened) coconut
2 large eggs

Preheat the oven to 400 F
Grease an 8 inch square shallow baking pan and line with baking parchment.
Put the apple sauce in a large bowl with the apricots, raisins, sugar and the sunflower, sesame and pumpkin seeds and stir together with a wooden spoon until thoroughly mixed.
Add the oats, flour, coconut and eggs to the fruit mixture and gently stir together until evenly combined.
Turn the mixture into the greased tin and spread to the edges in an even layer.
Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes or until golden and just firm to the touch.
Leave to cool in the tin, then lift onto a board and cut into bars.

** Allow the baking parchment to hang over the edges of the pan, this makes it easier to remove the bars from the pan.

Sweet herring salad with apple and dill

This is so refreshing and tangy and a lovely way to start a meal.

Serves 4 to 6

1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup plain yoghurt
pinch of sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
2 tart apples, like Granny Smith, cut into thin slices, or bite sized cubes
1 tbsp chopped fresh dill or 1 tsp dried dill weed
2 x 8oz jars pickled herring, drained and cut into bite sized pieces
chopped chives for garnish, if you fancy

Combine the sour cream, yoghurt, lemon juice, sugar, sliced onions that have been separated into rings, apple and dill.

Alternate herring and sour cream mixture in layers in a dish.

Cover and refrigerate for 5 hours or more.

Serve very cold