Lemon Mascarpone with Blackberries and Raspberries

Lemon Mascarpone with Blackberries and Raspberries

 

A super quick dessert to prepare. Mascarpone and lemon whisked together and then decorated with fresh berries.

 

Lemon Mascarpone with Blackberries and Raspberries
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 10 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 375g mascarpone cheese (1½ small containers)
  • 1½ lemons, juice only
  • 55g (2 oz) caster/white sugar (¼ cup)
  • 12 raspberries
  • 12 blackberries

  • Equipment
  • 4 stemmed glasses or small glass dessert dishes


  1. Method
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the mascarpone, lemon juice, and sugar until smooth.

  3. Spoon an equal amount into each glass.

  4. Then decorate each one with three raspberries and three blackberries.

 

Lemony Chicken Stir-Fry

Lemony Chicken Stir Fry

 

Chicken strips are marinated in lemon and then stir-fried with broccoli florets, carrot sticks and spring onions/green onions and tossed in soy sauce. It is served over a bed of rice and is just perfect for a summer dish.

 

Lemony Chicken Stir Fry
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 25 minutes
  • Marinading time: 1–2 hours
  • Cooking time: 15 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 450g (1 lb) boneless chicken breasts cut into strips (4)
  • 1 lemon
  • pepper
  • small head broccoli
  • 340g (12 oz) carrots (6–8 medium)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 60ml (2 fl oz) water (¼ cup)
  • 2 tbsp clarified butter*
  • 2 spring onions/green onions cut into 2.5cm/1 inch pieces
  • 1 tsp cornflour/cornstarch
  • 1 tsp water
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce

  • * To clarify butter, melt in a saucepan over a low heat. Skim off the clear liquid from the sediment that collects in the bottom. Discard sediment.

  • To serve
  • rice

  • Equipment
  • Large sauté pan with lid


  1. Method
  2. Place the chicken strips in a non-metallic bowl. Finely cut the rind from a quarter of the lemon and put to one side. Squeeze the juice from the whole lemon (this should produce 3 tablespoons). Pour the lemon juice over the chicken and season with pepper. Refrigerate, covered, for at least 1 hour.

  3. Cut or break the broccoli into small florets. Cut the carrots into 8cm (3 inch) batons.

  4. Heat the oil over a high heat and add the broccoli florets and carrots. Stir-fry for 1 minute.

  5. Add the water, then cover and reduce the heat to medium. Steam for 5 minutes until the vegetables are tender-crisp.

  6. Make a well in the centre of the vegetables and add the butter, lemon rind, and onions.

  7. Drain the chicken, reserving the marinade, and add to the pan. Stir-fry for 6 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

  8. Combine the cornflour/cornstarch and water until smooth. Add to the pan along with the reserved lemon marinade and let it bubble for 1 minute until thickened.

  9. Stir in the soy sauce and toss to coat.

  10. Serve over a bed of rice.

Updated: August 30, 2017

Mediterranean Lamb Cutlets with Potatoes Dauphinoise

Mediterranean Lamb Cutlets with Potatoes Dauphinoise

 

A dish that is full of flavour and very scrumptious. Lamb cutlets sit on a base of garlic roasted vegetables with a hint of basil and rosemary and served with thinly sliced potatoes cooked in a garlic cream sauce.

 

Mediterranean Lamb Cutlets with Potatoes Dauphinoise
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 55 minutes
  • Cooking time: 50 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the ratatouille and lamb cutlets
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ medium aubergine/eggplant
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded
  • 2 courgettes/zucchini
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 8 lamb cutlets
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 400g tin cherry tomatoes (small can)
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil leaves, torn
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • For the potatoes dauphinoise
  • 800g (1 lb 12 oz) potatoes (5 medium)
  • 240ml (8 fl oz) whole milk (1 cup)
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 240ml (8 fl oz) double cream/whipping cream or heavy cream (1 cup)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • whole nutmeg


  1. Method
  2. For the potatoes dauphinoise
  3. Peel, wash and cut the potatoes into 5mm (¼ inch) thick slices.

  4. Bring the milk to the boil in a sauté pan with the garlic.

  5. Reduce the heat and stir in the cream, seasoning, and a little grated nutmeg.

  6. Now add the potato slices and turn to coat. Simmer very gently for 20–25 minutes until they are just tender. Turn every 5 minutes so all the slices cook evenly and they don’t stick to the bottom of the pan.

  7. Tip into an ovenproof dish 28 x 20cm (11 x 8 inches).

  8. They will need to cook in the oven for a further 20–25 minutes until bubbling and the top is starting to brown. Before putting in the oven, though, prepare the vegetables for the ratatouille. They will need to cook for the same length of time as the potatoes and so they go into the oven together.

  9. For the ratatouille and lamb cutlets
  10. Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F) gas 5.

  11. Pour the oil into a roasting tin/pan and put in the oven while it is heating up.

  12. Cut the aubergine/eggplant, pepper and courgettes/zucchini into 2.5cm (1 inch) cubes.

  13. Tip into the roasting tin and sprinkle over the rosemary and seasoning. Turn in the oil to coat, then return to the oven and roast for 20–25 minutes until tender. (At this point, also put the potatoes in the oven.) Turn the ratatouille halfway through cooking.

  14. Meanwhile preheat a griddle pan or heavy based frying pan/skillet.

  15. Season the cutlets and spread the garlic over them. Then, over a moderate heat, cook for 5–10 minutes on each side, depending on how thick your cutlets are.

  16. While the cutlets are cooking, empty the tomatoes into a medium sized pan and place over a gentle heat.

  17. Once the ratatouille is cooked, add it to the tomatoes and stir through. Now add the torn basil leaves.

  18. To serve
  19. Divide the vegetables between four plates and top with two cutlets each. Serve with the potato dauphinoise alongside.

 

Raspberry Mousse with Blackberry Coulis

Raspberry Mousse with Blackberry Coulis

 

Raspberries are used to make this lovely creamy mousse and then an easy-to-make blackberry coulis is poured around the outside. Just top with dollop of crème fraîche and a fresh blackberry.

 

Raspberry Mousse with Blackberry Coulis
Prepares: 6 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 35 minutes
  • Setting time: 4 hours or overnight

  • Ingredients
  • For the mousse
  • 225g (8 oz) fresh raspberries (2 cups)
  • 55g (2 oz) icing/powdered sugar (½ cup)
  • 142ml carton double/whipping cream or heavy cream (⅔ cup)
  • 1 tbsp powdered gelatine
  • 1 tbsp kirsch (optional)

  • For the coulis
  • 170g (6 oz) blackberries
  • 1½ tbsp icing/powdered sugar

  • To serve
  • crème fraîche

  • Equipment
  • 6 ramekin dishes


  1. Method
  2. For the mousse
  3. Line the dishes with cling film/wrap, pressing well down into the edges and letting it hang over the rim.

  4. Push the raspberries through a sieve to remove the seeds, using the back of a spoon. Then stir in the sugar.

  5. Whisk the cream until it forms soft peaks. Fold into the raspberry sauce and then set to one side.

  6. Sprinkle the gelatine over 3 tablespoons water in a small bowl and leave for 3 minutes for the gelatine to become spongy.

  7. Pour some hot water into a dish that is just larger than the bowl of gelatine and then sit the bowl of the gelatine in it. Make sure there is only enough water to come halfway up the sides of the smaller bowl. Leave for 2 minutes for the gelatine to dissolve.

  8. Once it has dissolved, remove the bowl of gelatine from the water and let the gelatine cool for a couple of minutes. Stir into the raspberry sauce. Then stir in the kirsch, if using.

  9. Divide the mixture between the ramekin dishes and chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours, or overnight.

  10. For the coulis
  11. Reserve 8 blackberries for decoration. (If the blackberries are large just reserve 4.) Push the rest through a sieve to remove the seeds. Add the sugar and stir until it has dissolved. Pour into a jug, cover and refrigerate until the mousse is ready.

  12. To serve
  13. Lift each mousse out of the ramekins and invert onto serving plates. Then, carefully peel away the cling film/wrap. Pour the coulis round the outside of the mousse.

  14. Put a dollop of crème fraîche on the top of each one and decorate with the reserved blackberries.

 

The Ultimate Carrot Cake

The Ultimate Carrot Cake

 

The Ultimate Carrot Cake, so-called because it is full of so many goodies. Carrots, bananas, and walnuts all mixed into this delicious cake mixture. Then topped with a creamy cheese icing and sprinkled with nuts.

 

The Ultimate Carrot Cake
Prepares: 12 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Cooking time: 1 hour 15 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the cake
  • 3 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.)
  • 170g (6 oz) light muscovado sugar/soft brown sugar (¾ cup)
  • 170g (6 oz) plain flour/cake and pasty flour (1½ cups)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda/baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 150ml (5 fl oz) oil (peanut or sunflower) (⅔ cup)
  • 200g (7 oz) walnut halves (1¾ cups)
  • 170g (6 oz) carrots, grated (3 medium, or 1 cup grated)
  • 2 medium ripe bananas, mashed

  • For the icing
  • 85g (3 oz) cream cheese (⅜ cup, or 3 tbsp)
  • 85g (3 oz) butter, softened (⅜ cup, or ¾ stick)
  • 170g (6 oz) icing/powdered sugar (1½ cups)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • Equipment
  • 20cm (8 inch) diameter cake tin with removable base, greased


  1. Method
  2. For the cake
  3. Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F) gas 3.

  4. Set aside 28g (1 oz) (¼ cup) of the walnuts for the decoration and then chop the the rest into quarters.

  5. Beat the eggs and the sugar together in a large bowl until thick.

  6. Sift in the flour, baking powder, soda and salt and fold in gently.

  7. Gently stir in the oil until thoroughly combined.

  8. Next, stir in the bananas, then the carrot, and finally the walnut pieces.

  9. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 1 hour 15 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.

  10. Leave in the tin for 10 minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

  11. For the icing
  12. While the cake is baking, remove the cream cheese from the fridge to bring it to room temperature.

  13. Chop the reserved nuts into small pieces suitable for sprinkling over the top of the finished cake.

  14. Once the cake is cold, prepare the icing. Beat together the cream cheese and the butter until creamy.

  15. Beat in the vanilla extract.

  16. Sift in the icing/powdered sugar and beat well until smooth.

  17. Spread over the top of the cake and then sprinkle over the nuts.

 

Creamy Summer Berry Jelly Salad

Creamy Summer Berry Jelly Salad

 

A delicious summer dessert where fresh raspberries and blueberries are nestled in a raspberry jelly which has a fluffy, creamy cheese topping and a sprinkling of toasted almonds.

 

Creamy Summer Berry Jelly Salad
Prepares: 6 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 25 minutes
  • Refrigeration time: the time to set the jelly, plus 1 hour

  • Ingredients
  • 1 pkt raspberry jelly/jello
  • 1 lemon
  • 55g (2 oz) raspberries (½ cup)
  • 55g (2 oz) blueberries (⅓ cup)
  • 150ml (5 fl oz) double cream/whipping cream or heavy cream (⅔ cup)
  • 115g (4 oz) cream cheese (½ cup)
  • 40g (1½ oz) icing sugar (⅜ cup)
  • 28g (1 oz) slivered almonds, finely chopped (¼ cup)


  • Equipment
  • A 20 × 20 × 5cm/8 × 8 × 2 inch dish


  1. Method
  2. Finely grate enough of the lemon peel to produce ½ teaspoon and set aside. Then juice the lemon.

  3. Make up the jelly/jello according to the packet and add 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice. Refrigerate until partially set (the consistency of unbeaten egg whites).

  4. Stir the berries into the jelly/jello and then pour the berry mixture into the dish and refrigerate until the jelly has completely set.

  5. Creamy Summer Berry Jelly Salad


  6. Meanwhile, remove the cream cheese from the fridge and let it come to room temperature (about 1 hour).

  7. Once the jelly/jello has set, whip the cream until it forms soft peaks.

  8. Cube the cream cheese and add to the cream, then sift in the icing sugar and beat well until combined. The mixture will become fluffy and thicken. Stir in the grated lemon peel.

  9. Carefully spoon the cream cheese mixture evenly over the jelly mixture and gently level with a palette knife making sure the mixture reaches the edges. Refrigerate for a further 1 hour.

  10. Creamy Summer Berry Jelly Salad


  11. Heat a small frying pan/skillet and tip in the nuts. Over a gentle heat stir the nuts to toast them. This will only take a few minutes. They are ready when they have turned a light golden colour and they begin to smell nutty. Remove from the pan and set to one side to cool.

  12. To serve, sprinkle the nuts over the cream cheese mixture and cut into 6 portions. The first portion is always tricky to remove from the pan but then it becomes much easier.

  13. Creamy Summer Berry Jelly Salad

Updated: August 7, 2017

Panna Cotta Terrine

Panna Cotta Terrine

 

Panna cotta is an Italian dessert where cream is sweetened and flavoured then left to set in a mould using gelatine. Here I have used a mixture of cream and yogurt to make to make a light summer dessert. Raspberry coulis is then drizzled over the top and topped with fresh raspberries.

 

Panna Cotta Terrine
Prepares: 6 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Chilling time: 4 hours

  • Ingredients
  • For the panna cotta
  • 425ml (14 fl oz) double cream/whipping or heavy cream (1¾ cups)
  • 14g powdered gelatine (2 sachets)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 85g (3 oz) caster/white sugar (½ cup less 1 tbsp)
  • 425ml (14 fl oz) natural Greek yogurt (1¾ cups)

  • For the fruit coulis
  • 340g (12 oz) raspberries (2½ cups)
  • 55g (2 oz) caster/white sugar (¼ cup)
  • ½ lemon, juice only

  • Equipment
  • A loaf tin or plastic container measuring 10 x 10 x 20cm (4 x 4 x 8 ins)


  1. Method
  2. For the panna cotta
  3. Line the loaf tin or container with cling film/wrap so that it hangs over the sides.

  4. Put 2 tablespoons each of cream and water into a shallow dish and sprinkle over the gelatine. Leave for 5 minutes to swell.

  5. Place the dish in a larger dish and fill the larger dish with just boiling water until it comes up to the level of the gelatine in the smaller dish. Leave for 5 minutes for the gelatine to dissolve, stirring occasionally.

  6. Meanwhile, pour the remaining cream into a pan and add the sugar and vanilla extract. Heat gently to dissolve the sugar, stirring occasionally. Set aside for a couple of minutes to cool a little.

  7. Spoon the yogurt into a bowl and whisk in the cream until the mixture is smooth. Then whisk in the dissolved gelatine mixture.

  8. Pour into the prepared loaf tin or container and chill for 4 hours.

  9. For the fruit coulis
  10. Wash and pat dry the raspberries. Reserve 18 for decoration and put the rest into a blender. Add the sugar and the juice of the half lemon. Purée the fruit.

  11. Strain through a nylon sieve into a bowl to remove the seeds, pressing the sauce through with the back of a spoon. Wipe the underside of the sieve with a clean spoon to remove all the coulis.

  12. To serve
  13. Invert the panna cotta over a large serving plate and remove the cling film/wrap.

  14. Divide into 6 slices and lay on 6 plates. Drizzle the coulis over the slices and then decorate each slice with 3 of the reserved raspberries.

  15. Best served on the day it is prepared.

Updated: October 17, 2017

Neapolitan Pork Fillets

Neapolitan Pork Fillets

 

Pork fillets cooked in wine and flavoured with oregano, then covered with mozzarella cheese and a dollop of thick passata sauce.

 

Neapolitan Pork Fillets
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 40 minutes
  • Marinading time: 1 hour
  • Cooking time: 20 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 450g (1lb) pork tenderloin/fillet
  • 3 fresh oregano sprigs
  • 150ml (5 fl oz) red wine (⅔ cup)
  • 300ml (10 fl oz) passata (1¼ cups)
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 28g (1 oz) butter (⅛ cup, or ¼ stick)
  • 4 tbsp chicken stock
  • salt and pepper
  • 115g (4 oz) mozzarella cheese, cut into four thick slices
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ red pepper, sliced thinly
  • ½ yellow pepper, sliced thinly
  • ½ orange pepper, sliced thinly

  • To serve
  • Pasta (fettuccini works well)


  1. Method
  2. Cut the pork into four and then flatten a little by placing each piece between cling film/wrap and bashing with a rolling pin. Place the fillets side by side in a dish, season and add the sprigs of oregano and crushed garlic. Pour over the wine, cover and marinade for one hour.

  3. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) gas 6.

  4. Spread the flour on a plate. Remove the fillets from the marinade, reserving the marinade. Dry them on kitchen paper and then coat both sides in the flour.

  5. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil with the butter in a large frying pan/skillet over a moderate heat. The butter will begin to foam and when this almost stops, add the pork fillets and sear on both sides, about 2–4 minutes. Strain the reserved marinade and add to the pan/skillet let it bubble for 30 seconds, then add the stock and season. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat to a low setting, cover and cook for 10 minutes.

  6. Bring a kettle of water to the boil for the pasta and cook the pasta according to the directions on the packet.

  7. Meanwhile, pour the passata into a saucepan over a moderate heat. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, season and let bubble, uncovered, to reduce to a thick sauce, about 5 minutes.

  8. Next mix the peppers in a bowl, pour over 1 tablespoon of olive oil and stir to coat. Tip into a large pan and sauté until soft.

  9. Once the pork is cooked through, remove to an ovenproof dish. Add 1 tablespoon water to the frying pan, stir and then reduce the liquid to 3–4 tablespoons. Spoon over the pork. Cover each fillet with a slice of mozzarella and then add a large spoonful of the passata sauce in the middle of the slice. Sprinkle over the oregano. Heat in the oven until the cheese just starts to melt, about 5 minutes.

  10. Serve with the peppers and a pasta.

Updated: August 2, 2017