Soup Of The Month - Roasted Red Pepper, Tomato, Red Onion & Fresh Basil

Posted on July 02, 2016 by Fleur | 0 comments

 

We are trying to be optimistic about the weather this summer so to lift our spirits we have created a delicious soup to celebrate the simple tastes of summer.

This soup is fragrant and refreshing and can be eaten hot or cold.

Did you know, tomatoes are a great source of folic acid and contain natural antiseptic properties to help you heal from the inside out while basil leaves a cooling effect and can help boost your little one's immunity levels through your breast milk.

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Pear & Almond Tart

Posted on January 09, 2014 by Fleur | 0 comments

This tart is so light and delicate.  It's a wonderful pud to serve in the evening after a big meal as it doesn't overpower and stuff you.  The trick is keeping the pastry as short and as thin as possible.  It should just melt in your mouth and the frangipane should be not too sweet and the Marsala really adds a wonderful alcoholic flavour.  Delish!

Sweet Pastry

120g plain flour, sifted
60g unsalted butter
2 tablespoons golden caster sugar
2 free-range egg yolks
(or shop bought sweet pastry – try to buy the all butter version)

Almond Filling - Frangipane

125g unsalted butter
125g golden caster sugar
2 eggs
1 heaped tablespoon plain flour
250g ground almonds
A good gulg of Marsala - up to you how boozy you want it...

x 6 beautifully ripe pears (my favourites are either comice or anjou pears)

 

To make the pastry, set the oven to 190-200c, Gas 5.

Put the butter, sugar and egg yolks into a food processor and blitz quickly.  Add the sifted flour and blend the mix into a paste.  A ball of dough should be formed.  When it is ready wrap the pastry in cling film and chill it in the fridge for at least half an hour.  When you are ready to bake the pastry, roll it out on a floured surface as thin as you can get it and then line an 8inch tart tin with the pastry.  Cut a circle out of greaseproof paper and place it over the pastry and then cover the paper with baking beans and shake them out so they are all level.  Pop in the oven for 15 minutes.  Now take the pastry out, remove the paper and prick the base of the tart with a fork to let out trapped air.  Return the tart to the oven for 5 – 10 minutes until the base begins to crisp.

While the pastry is baking, make the franipane.
Again, in the food processor, put the butter and sugar and blitz well until they are fully blended.  Now add the eggs and mix well.  Now add the flour, ground almonds and Marsala.  Mix well.  Check the taste (if you like marzipane you'll love this raw!) and add more Marsala is you want it with more bite.  You could also add some lemon zest if you wanted.

When the pastry case is cool, pour the fragipane into the base.  Peel, core and quarter the pears.  Place them on top of the fraginpane in a neat, circular pattern.  Push the pears down into the frangipane.

Now pop the tart back into the oven and cook at 180c for about 25 minutes or until the frangipane has risen slightly and the pears are cooked.

NOTE:  if you can't find really ripe pears, poach them first.  Skin them, but keep them whole, pop them in a roomy pan filled with water and some sugar to sweeten.  They should poach in about 30 - 40 minutes depending on how hard they are.

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Grilled Mackerel Fillets with Orange & Rosemary

Posted on December 09, 2013 by Fleur | 0 comments

Fresh mackerel is a wonderful fish which can absorb the flavours of its natural surroundings whether it be the Harissa and sumac of Morocco or the Provençal flavours of France. 
This simple dish evokes the delicate flavours of southern France by simply using orange and rosemary.


8 fillets of super fresh mackerel (two per head)
Several sprigs of rosemary (more or less depending on the strength you want)
1 orange, slice off about 3 or 4 thick strips of peel
Extra Virgin olive oil
Pepper and salt
1/2 a lemon
Finely chopped chives
Wedges of lemon to serve


Slice the skin of each mackerel fillet three times on the diagonal. Make sure that you only slice the skin, try not to go deep into the flesh. Place the fillets in a shallow dish and sprinkle with a pinch of salt, a good grinding of black pepper and a hearty glug of extra virgin olive oil. Add the sprigs of rosemary and the orange peel strips. Gently toss the mackerel around with your hands and make sure that all the flavours rub in the flesh. Leave to marinate for a good hour.

When you are ready to cook, set your grill onto the highest temperature. Get an oven tray and line it with foil. Drizzle the foil with a little olive oil and sprinkle with a little pepper and salt (you can always rub some butter on the foil instead of oil). Place the mackerel fillets on the tray, skin side up. Tuck the orange peel and rosemary in and around the fillets. Pop the tray under the grill and let the mackerel cook for about five minutes or until the skin has blistered and is good and crispy. You can also tell that the mackerel are ready by touch - gently touch the side of a fillet and if the skin can just peel up off the flesh the fish is perfectly cooked. As soon as you take the mackerel out of the oven, squeeze over the juice of half a lemon.

Carefully place the fillets onto a flat plate, sprinkle with the chopped chives (and some of the grilled orange peel and rosemary for decoration of you like) and serve with lemon wedges. Delicious eaten with a crisp, sharp salad.

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Soothing Banana, Chia, Flax & Poppy Seed Bread

Posted on December 09, 2013 by Fleur | 0 comments

Nothing beats a freshly baked, warm and soothing banana bread to comfort and satisfy. 

This recipe is a quick, no-fuss, one-bowl wonder. 

A more-ish, comforting bread delicious eaten while still warm!

Ingredients: 
150g organic, unsalted butter, at room temperature
150g organic, unrefined golden caster sugar
2 organic, free-range eggs
4  organic, very ripe bananas
1/2 teaspoon good quality vanilla essence
175g organic self-raising flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 tablespoon organic blue poppy seeds
1 tablespoon organic chia seeds
1 tablespoon organic golden flax seeds

Method:
Set your oven to 170c.
In a blender, cream together the caster sugar and butter and when it is well mixed and smooth, keep the motor running and add the eggs, one at a time allowing each egg to get fully combined before adding the next.  
Peel and roughly chop the bananas and add them to the blender, along with the vanilla essence and give it a good blitz so the bananas have smashed down and all is mixed well.
Weigh out the flour and add to the blender along with the blue poppy seeds, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda.
Given it quick blitz so the flour is well combined.
Butter or line a bread tin and pour in the banana mix.
Bake the bread in the middle shelf of the oven for 45-55 minutes.  

You will know when it’s done when it has risen slightly and it’s golden brown and when pierced with a skewer it comes out clean.

Leave the bread to cool in the tin for 5 minutes then either turn out onto a rack and allow to cool or tuck in!

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