Fruity Delight

Fruity Delight

 

A really scrumptious dessert. A shortbread base is topped with a light, creamy cheese mixture, topped with glazed raspberries and strawberries and then dusted with icing sugar.

 

Fruity Delight
Prepares: 8 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Standing time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: 15 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the base
  • 120g/4 oz plain flour/cake and pastry flour
  • 30g/1 oz icing sugar
  • 60g/2 oz butter, softened
  • 1 egg yolk

  • For the topping
  • 200g/7 oz full-fat soft cheese
  • 200ml crème fraîche
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar
  • a few drops of vanilla essence
  • 200g/7 oz strawberries, washed and hulled
  • 200g/7 oz raspberries, washed
  • 2 tbsp redcurrant jelly
  • icing sugar to dust


  1. Method
  2. For the base
  3. Sift the flour and icing sugar into a bowl. Mix in the butter using your fingertips until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Gradually add enough egg yolk a little at a time until the mixture starts to bind together. I find starting off using a small palette knife to bring the mixture together is helpful as it keeps the dough light. Once it is binding together, knead lightly to form a ball.

  4. Roll out the dough to a 20cm/8 inch round, then place on a baking sheet. Prick well with a fork, decorate the edges using the tines of the fork, then, using a knife, mark the pastry lightly into 8 equal sections.

  5. Chill, while preheating the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4.

  6. Bake the base for 15 minutes until just starting to brown. Re-mark the sections while it is still hot to make it easier for serving. Cool on a wire rack.

  7. For the topping
  8. Beat the soft cheese until it is creamy, then add the crème fraîche, icing sugar and vanilla essence. Beat until light and fluffy.

  9. Spread on the shortbread base, leaving a narrow border so that the decorative edge shows and the marked sections are still visible.

  10. If the strawberries are large, halve or quarter them. You want the raspberries and strawberries to be of a similar size. Cover the topping with the fruit.

  11. Put the redcurrant jelly in a small container and stir in 2 tablespoons of water. Microwave on medium for 30–60 seconds when the jelly should have dissolved and the mixture is bubbling. Leave to cool. Alternatively, heat in a small pan.

  12. Carefully brush the fruit with the jelly and then, just before serving, dust with icing sugar.

 

Hot Orange Chicken

Hot Orange Chicken

 

Chicken breasts are marinaded in a garlic, orange and wine sauce with wholegrain mustard and Tabasco to give it a kick. The marinading is well worthwhile as is produces succulent chicken breasts with lots of flavour.

 

Hot Orange Chicken
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 15 minutes
  • Marinading time: 24 hours and overnight
  • Cooking time: 20 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the marinade
  • 2 oranges, zest and juice
  • 60ml/2 fl oz dry white wine
  • 2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 tsp Tabasco sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, skin removed

  • 4 boned chicken breasts, skinned


  1. Method
  2. Put all the ingredients for the marinade into a jug or small bowl and stir well to combine. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.

  3. Prick the chicken with a fork and place in a single layer in a shallow dish so they fit snugly. Pour over the marinade, cover and refrigerate overnight.

  4. These can then be either grilled/broiled or barbecued.

  5. If using a grill/broiler, turn to a low heat then cook the chicken for 10 minutes on each side, basting each side well with the marinade.

  6. Serve with vegetables of your choice.

 

Salmon Fillets in a Tangy Sauce

My favourite fish was there at the fish counter – Wild Pacific Salmon. The best salmon there is.

We only have a chance to buy it fresh for such a short time, so I make the most of it while I can. This recipe is very quick and adding orange gives it a lovely tangy flavour.

 

Salmon Fillets in a Tangy Sauce

 

A delicious salmon dish that is just right for summer.

Salmon fillets are briefly marinated in an orange sauce and then grilled/broiled. They are served with buttery baby potatoes and a vinaigrette dressed salad.

 

Salmon Fillets in a Tangy Sauce
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 25 minutes
  • Marinading time: 10 minutes
  • Cooking time: 12–15 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 6 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice (about 1 large orange)
  • 3 tbsp vinaigrette salad dressing
  • 1 tbsp runny honey/clear honey
  • 680g/1 lb 8 oz salmon fillet, skinned and sliced into four pieces
  • 1 orange
  • 680g/1 lb 8 oz baby potatoes, scrubbed
  • knob of butter
  • a green salad of your choice

  • Equipment
  • a shallow, heatproof dish that will take the salmon in a single layer.


  1. Method
  2. Spoon the orange juice into a small bowl. Add the salad dressing and honey and whisk well to combine. Pour into the dish.

  3. Add the salmon to the dish and coat well with the marinade. Leave for 10 minutes.

  4. Preheat the grill/broiler to low.

  5. Bring a little water to the boil in the base of a steamer and then steam the potatoes for 15 minutes or until tender.

  6. Meanwhile, cut the second orange into 8 thin slices and lay 1 slice on each piece of salmon. Make a single cut from the edge to the centre in the remaining 4 slices and set to one side.

  7. Place the salmon under the grill for 15 minutes until it is cooked through. (Don’t have the dish too close to the heat.) The juice from the orange slices will seep into the salmon.

  8. Prepare the salad, drizzle with more of the vinaigrette dressing and toss.

  9. Drain the potatoes, add a good knob of butter to the pan and stir to coat.

  10. Transfer the salmon pieces to 4 plates, discarding the orange pieces, and spooning over any juices remaining in the pan. Top each piece with the reserved orange slices twisting them at the cut edge.

  11. Serve with the buttered baby potatoes and salad.

 

Steak Marinated in a Tomato and Herb Sauce

Steak Marinated in a Tomato and Herb Sauce

 

This was the first recipe I ever cooked where I made a marinade for steaks. I have updated the ingredients for the marinade and this really does make a delicious sauce to go with the steak.

 

Steak Marinated in a Tomato and Herb Sauce
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 10 minutes
  • Marinading time: overnight
  • Cooking time: 10 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 4 x 170g (6 oz) steaks
  • 225ml (8 fl oz) passata (1 cup)
  • 60ml (2 fl oz) cider vinegar (¼ cup)
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1½ tsp fresh, oregano leaves
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Method
  2. Trim any excess fat from the steaks and put in a single layer in a baking dish.

  3. Stir the rest of the ingredients in a bowl until well blended. Pour over the steaks. Turn the steaks over so they are covered with the marinade. Cover the dish and refrigerate overnight.

  4. Drain the steaks and reserve the marinade. They can be BBQ’d or cooked in a little oil and butter in a frying pan/skillet.

  5. Once they are cooked, transfer to a plate, cover and keep warm. Rest for 5 minutes for the juices to be absorbed back into the steak.

  6. Meanwhile, pour the reserved marinade in a small pan, stir and bring to the boil. (If the steaks were cooked in a frying pan/skillet, use this.) Reduce the heat to low and cook for a further minute. A little water can be added if the sauce reduces too much.

  7. To serve, pour the sauce over the steaks and accompany with baked potatoes and seasonal vegetables.

Updated: October 24, 2017

Pork Escalopes in a Herb and Mustard Sauce

I have had this recipe for quite a while and have used Greek yogurt to make the sauce. However, cooking with Greek yogurt can be tricky because it will curdle if it gets too hot, so you do have to be careful. 
 

Pork Escalopes in a Herb and Mustard Sauce

 

Pork escalopes are sautéed for just 6 minutes and then covered with a creamy oregano and whole grain mustard sauce. Another dish that is super quick and delicious for summer.

 

Pork Escalopes in a Herb and Mustard Sauce
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 25 minutes
  • Cooking time: 15 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 675g/1 lb 8 oz baby potatoes, scrubbed
  • 340g/12 oz fresh runner beans, sliced or whole french beans/fine green beans
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 450g/1 lb pork tenderloin
  • 150ml/5 fl oz each chicken stock and cider, OR
  • 300ml/10 fl oz chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • 150g/5 oz Greek yogurt
  • 4 fresh oregano stems, leaves only
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

  • Equipment
  • large sauté pan


  1. Method
  2. Divide the pork into four pieces. One at a time, place a piece between cling film and flatten it by carefully bashing with a rolling pin.

  3. Put the potatoes in a pan of boiling, salted water and simmer for 15 minutes until tender. Drain.

  4. Put the beans in another pan of boiling, salted water, or use a steamer, and cook until tender.

  5. Meanwhile, heat the oil in the pan and add the pork pieces. Over a medium heat cook, for 3 minutes until brown, then turn and repeat on the other side. Remove from the pan, cover, and keep warm.

  6. Add the stock to the pan along with the cider, if using, and the mustard. Stir to combine and simmer for a couple of minutes.

  7. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the yogurt, oregano leaves and lemon juice. Return the pork to the pan, turn to coat with the sauce. Put the pan over a very low heat for 1–2 minutes to warm everything through. It really does need to be on the lowest setting of your hob.

  8. Serve with the vegetables.

 

Quick Raspberry Fool

Quick Raspberry Fool

 

All this recipe needs is fresh raspberries, honey and natural yogurt to make a refreshing summer fool.

 

Quick Raspberry Fool
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: less than 10 minutes
  • Cooking time: 2 minutes
  • Refrigeration time: 30 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 280–340g/10–12 oz fresh raspberries (2 punnets)
  • 1 tsp runny honey/clear honey
  • 1 x 500g carton natural yogurt


  1. Method
  2. Reserve four raspberries and then cook the rest gently in a small pan with the honey until the fruit juices just start to run. This will only take a couple of minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.

  3. Pour the yogurt into a bowl and very carefully fold in the raspberries. The juice will be absorbed into the yogurt to turn it a pale raspberry colour. Chill for 30 minutes in the fridge.

  4. Divide between four fancy glass dishes and top with the reserved raspberries.