Archive for the ‘Nuts and seeds’ Category

Caramelised chestnut and chocolate fondue

Friday, November 2nd, 2007

Makes 10

Preparation time less than 30 mins

Cooking time 10 to 30 mins

Ingredients
For the caramelised chestnuts
100g/3½oz caster sugar
150g/5½oz roasted chestnuts
½ lemon, juice only
butter, for greasing
For the fondue
100g/3½oz chocolate, melted
Method
1. For the caramelised chestnuts, heat the sugar in a frying pan over a gentle heat, until the sugar has melted to create a smooth caramel. Add the chestnuts to the caramel and mix well to coat them. Then pour in the lemon juice and mix well. Then pour the mixture onto a greased non-stick baking sheet.
2. Thread ten chestnuts onto ten cocktail sticks.
3. To serve, place the chestnuts onto a clean plate and place the melted chocolate in a small bowl alongside.

Winter nettle and chestnut risotto

Friday, November 2nd, 2007

Serves 4

Preparation time less than 30 mins

Cooking time 30 mins to 1 hour

Ingredients
2 pints nettles (measured when picked), loosely packed
8 tbsp unsalted butter
approx. 1 litre vegetable or light chicken stock
2 shallots, finely diced
fresh herbs (parsley, thyme, bay)
200g/7¼oz arborio rice
250ml/8¾fl oz dry white wine
230g/8oz peeled chestnuts, chopped in half
lemon juice
2oz fresh parmesan, finely grated, to serve
Method
1. Wash the nettles in a large bowl, allowing any debris to drop to the bottom. Pick out any thick or tough stems. Do not be concerned that the washing water is peaty brown, this is normal.
2. To cook the nettles, heat one tablespoon of butter in a large pan over a high heat and drop in the leaves. Allow them to wilt and cook until they are tender.
3. Strain through a sieve, catching any liquid in a bowl. Squeeze the nettles and remove to a board, chopping them roughly. Set aside in a cool place while you make the risotto.
4. Heat the stock in a pan. Melt half the remaining butter in a large heavy pan, adding the shallots and stirring to soften them. Add two bay leaves and a teaspoon of chopped fresh thyme. Cook the shallots until they are tender and clear, then add the rice, stirring to allow all of the rice to be coated with some of the fat.
5. Add the wine and stir. While the wine is being absorbed, turn the heat to a medium simmer. Add ladlefuls of stock – two at first, and allow each addition to be absorbed. When two thirds of the stock is absorbed, add the chopped nettles and allow them to continue cooking in the rice. At this stage, add the chestnuts – they will break down slightly in the pan.
6. When most of the stock is absorbed, check the rice – it ought to be just cooked, the sauce still emulsified. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Add the remaining butter and the parmesan, and serve with a sprinkle of lemon juice and a little freshly chopped parsley.

Braised chestnuts in red wine gravy

Friday, November 2nd, 2007

Serves 6

Preparation time overnight

Cooking time 1 to 2 hours

This is a warming side dish and the basis for this gravy is the rich cooking side dish and stock from the wine-braised chestnutsIngredients
For approximately 1 pint of gravy:
170g/6oz dried chestnuts, soaked in cold water overnight
85g/3oz carrots, cut in half
85g/3oz celery, cut in half
85g/3oz leeks, cut in half
1 small onion, peeled and cut in half
1 tsp crushed garlic
2 bay leaves
2 cloves
1 tsp juniper berries
1 tsp black peppercorns
sprig fresh thyme
sprig fresh parsley
2 tbsp butter or sunflower oil
570ml/1 pint water
570ml/1 pint red wine
2 tsp yeast extract
2 tbsp cornflour
1 tbsp tomato pureé
Method
1. Drain and rinse chestnuts, remove loose skins and discard any chestnuts with suspicious-looking holes.
2. Place chestnuts, carrot, celery, leek, onion, garlic, loose spices and butter/oil in a 1.5 litre/3 pint capacity saucepan. Fry together until the mixture starts to brown. Add water and wine, bring to the boil and simmer with lid on for 90 minutes. The chestnuts should be tender but not fall apart.
3. Strain stock into a clean pan, pick out chestnuts from vegetables and save as a garnish. Discard remaining vegetable mixture.
4. Mix yeast extract, cornflour, and tomato pureé to a paste with 4 tbsp cold water and stir into the hot chestnut stock. Bring to the boil stirring frequently, simmer for 5 minutes until thickened.
5. Serve with a nut roast.

Macadamia nut brittle

Friday, November 2nd, 2007

Serves 2

Preparation time less than 30 mins

Cooking time less than 10 mins

Ingredients
150g/5½oz caster sugar
150g/5½oz macadamia nuts, toasted
Method
1. Heat the sugar in a saucepan for 4-5 minutes, until melted and turning golden-brown.
2. Add the macadamia nuts, stir well and take the pan off the heat.
3. Pour the mixture onto a non-stick baking sheet and leave to cool completely.
4. To serve, break the brittle up into pieces.

Maple and walnut sauce

Friday, November 2nd, 2007

Preparation time less than 30 mins

Cooking time less than 10 mins

Ingredients
50g/2oz walnut pieces
330g/12oz bottle pure maple syrup
150ml/5fl oz double cream
Serving suggestion
Apple pie
Walnut cake
Method
1. To make the sauce, pour the maple syrup into a pan and bring it to a fast simmer, letting it reduce to half its original volume.
2. This should take about 8-10 minute. After about ten minutes, take it off the heat and leave to cool completely before whisking in the double cream.
3. Then roughly chop the remaining nuts and add them to the sauce just before serving.

Speckled spicy peanut sauce

Friday, November 2nd, 2007

Makes 250ml/8floz

Preparation time less than 30 mins

Cooking time less than 10 mins

Ingredients
50g/2oz roasted salted peanuts
2 tbsp groundnut or sunflower oil
3 shallots, very thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
3 red birdseye chillies, seeded and very finely chopped
50g/2oz crunchy peanut butter
175ml/6fl oz canned coconut milk
75ml/3fl oz water
1 tbsp palm or dark muscovado sugar
2 tbsp lime juice
1 tsp sambal oelek or chilli sauce (optional, for those who like things extra spicy)
1 tsp Thai fish sauce
salt and cayenne pepper
Method
1. Coarsely grind the roasted peanuts in a coffee grinder or mortar and pestle.
2. Heat the oil in a small pan, add the shallots and fry until richly golden. Lift out of the oil with a slotted spoon and set aside.
3. Add the garlic and chillies to the pan and fry until softened.
4. Add the ground peanuts, peanut butter, coconut milk, water and sugar and simmer gently for 4-5 minutes until slightly thickened.
5. Stir in the fried onions, lime juice, sambal oelek, Thai fish sauce and season to taste with a little salt and cayenne pepper. Pour into a small serving bowl and serve warm.

Thai peanut, vegetable and coconut noodles

Friday, November 2nd, 2007

Serves 4-5

Preparation time less than 30 mins

Cooking time 10 to 30 mins

Ingredients
1 x 400g/14oz tin coconut milk
1 tbsp sunflower or peanut oil
2 tbsp ready-made red curry paste
3 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
300ml/10½fl oz vegetable stock
3 tbsp fish sauce, plus more to taste
1 tbsp brown sugar
250g/8¾oz medium rice noodles
150g/5¼oz baby sweetcorn, cut into slices at an angle
150g/5¼oz broccoli, cut into small florets
150g/5¼oz mangetout, cut in half at an angle
50g/1¾oz spring onions, sliced at an angle
100g/3½oz toasted unsalted peanuts, roughly chopped
2 tbsp torn basil or roughly chopped coriander
salt and freshly ground black pepper
 

Method
1. If the coconut milk has divided into two parts (watery and thick), separate it by carefully spooning off the thick part and pouring the watery part into a small jug; set both aside.
2. Heat a wok or a large wide pan over a medium heat until hot, add the oil and the thick part of the coconut milk (if the coconut milk has not separated into two parts, add all the coconut milk at this stage).
3. Stir this over a medium heat until the coconut milk starts to separate and thicken.
4. Add the curry paste and peanut butter and mix to combine. Then add the stock, fish sauce and brown sugar and bring to the boil.
5. Place the noodles in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave for five minutes to soften, then drain.
6. Meanwhile add the baby sweetcorn and broccoli to the wok or pan and cook, uncovered for one minute. Add the mangetout and spring onion, and cook for a further 1-2 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
7. Stir half of the chopped peanuts and half of the basil or coriander into the vegetables and sauce. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and add more fish sauce if you want it to be a bit more salty.
8. Finally, add the drained noodles and stir to combine.
9. Place in a large warm serving bowl, or individual bowls. Scatter with the remaining peanuts and herbs and serve straightaway.

Satay sauce

Friday, November 2nd, 2007

Serves 4

Preparation time less than 30 mins

Cooking time 10 to 30 mins

Ingredients
100ml/3½fl oz vegetable oil
225g/8oz peanuts
4 shallots, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp shrimp paste (blachan)
1 small red chilli, chopped
pinch chilli powder
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
400ml/14½fl oz water
1 lemon, juice only
salt, to taste
Method
1. To make the sauce, heat the oil in a pan or wok and stir fry the peanuts until golden. Place in a food processor and blend until smooth.
2. Fry the shallot, garlic and shrimp paste for a few seconds. Add the chopped chilli, the chilli powder, sugar, soy and water. Bring to the boil.
3. Add the blended peanuts and simmer for 8-10 minutes until thickened. Add the lemon juice and salt, to taste, if required.

Gado gado Indonesian vegetable salad

Friday, November 2nd, 2007

Serves 2

Preparation time less than 30 mins

Cooking time less than 10 mins

Ingredients
225g/8oz coconut cream
300g/10½oz simple peanut sauce
1 red pepper, roasted, peeled and sliced
1 bunch French beans, trimmed and cooked
8 new potatoes, peeled and cooked and quartered lengthways
1 green mango, cut into batons
1 cup bean sprouts
1 avocado, sliced lengthways
1 iceberg lettuce, cut into wedges
Method
1. Warm the coconut cream until it splits and add the peanut sauce.
2. Transfer the sauce to a bowl and serve with the above selection of cooked and raw vegetables on the side
3. The vegetables and sauce can be wrapped in the lettuce leaves and eaten as a wrap.

Trifle with hazelnut crackle

Friday, November 2nd, 2007

Serves 1

Preparation time less than 30 mins

Cooking time 10 to 30 mins

Ingredients
For the hazelnut crackle
100g/3½oz caster sugar
100g/3½oz hazelnuts, skinned and chopped
1 tbsp lemon juice
For the trifle
6 ready-made sponge fingers
2 scoops vanilla ice cream
50ml/2fl oz double cream
½ vanilla pod, seeds removed
55g/2oz mascarpone cheese
25g/1oz dark chocolate, melted
1 tbsp lemon juice
fresh mint sprig, to garnish
Method
1. For the crackle, place the sugar in a saucepan over a medium heat and cook for five minutes, until it caramelises.
2. Remove from the heat, add the lemon juice and stir through hazelnuts.
3. Drizzle out onto non-stick baking paper and leave to set.
4. Meanwhile, for the trifle, break up four of the sponge fingers and place in the bottom of a tall ice cream glass.
5. Add the scoops of ice cream.
6. Place the cream in a bowl and add the vanilla seeds. Lightly whip the cream and vanilla, then add the mascarpone and stir through.
7. Place the mascarpone cream into the ice cream glass and drizzle with melted chocolate.
8. Top with the two remaining fingers and add some of the hazelnut crackle.
9. Garnish with a sprig of mint and serve.