Winter

Creamy Leek Cheese and Walnut Tart

My son sat down at the kitchen table the other night, took one look at his plate and shouted ‘I hate quiche!’ , I said that’s ok I know you do but its not quiche its tart, ‘try a little and leave the rest if you don’t like it’…ten minutes later his plate was licked clean and he was requesting more!

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The Best Crispy Duck & Seasonal Slaw

This is just the best combination for a delicious weekend lunch or as a light evening meal with a few baby potatoes. The crispy duck goes really well with my seasonal slaw of celeriac, brussel sprouts and apple

It is cooked simply in the cast iron pan in butter and seasoned lightly with salt and pepper, it really doesn’t require much else to taste delicious. The skin is crisped slowly in the pan and finished off in the oven with a short period of rest afterwards before slicing.

The crunchy slaw is drizzled in a dressing made of mustard, raw honey (for that additional health boost), olive oil and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

You could add a drizzle of sauce and perhaps a red currant or other tart fruity sauce would be delicious here and it would make it slightly more photogenic also but I ask that you try the simplicity of this dish first and I’m sure you will enjoy it!

I really hope you enjoy this crispy duck recipe, it certainly is a new favourite for me!

Love

Seasonal Slaw Recipe

Celeriac (approx 200g)

Brussel sprouts (approx 200g)

Sweet Apples x 2 med

1/4 cup of olive oil

1tsp of mustard

1tsp of honey (preferably raw)

A squeeze of a fresh lemon

Salt and pepper

2 tbsp of chopped walnuts

You can add more veg and apples to increase the quantity.

Slice the celeriac up in chunky pieces, peel the first layers off the sprouts and cut the apple into chunky pieces also.

Run the celeriac, sprouts and apple through the food processor to shred.

Combine the olive oil, mustard, honey, lemon and salt and pepper in a glass and whisk to combine. Adjust the ingredients in the dressing to suit your own tastes if you prefer.

Drizzle over the slaw and mix through, add in the chopped walnuts for extra crunch.

Duck Recipe

Duck breasts with skin

25g of salted butter

Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 160oc and melt the butter in the cast iron pan on a medium heat.

Season the duck breasts skin side down generously on each side and place into the heated pan, bring the heat up a little gradually and cook for a few minutes each side.

Place the breasts into an oven proof dish and cook for a further 10 mins.

Leave to rest for 5 minutes and slice and serve immediately alongside the slaw.

This dish is best eaten in the colder months and with locally grown organic ingredients if you can source them. It’s great to support smaller businesses and I would highly recommend a visit to your local farmers market or farm shop if you have one.

Sticky Toffee Apple Pudding

The New Year is here and many of us are hitting the gym and pounding the streets with new trainers and sports gear….

…meanwhile I’m in the kitchen creating delicious full fat hearty puddings for the family drizzled in toffee sauce and lashings of thick fresh cream! Oops!

I do promise some healthier winter recipes are on their way but in the meantime please enjoy a slice of this divine Sticky Toffee Apple Pudding with some thick cream.

This pudding is certainly a well deserved treat in the cold winter months. We were out in the garden planning and plotting our growing adventures for this year and it was super cold.

I left the family defrosting by the fire and rustled up a delicious lunch of pan fried duck breast with a side of seasonal slaw and for a treat we had this delicious sticky toffee apple cake drizzled in toffee sauce and cream to warm everyone up. It’s fair to say it went down well with the kids!

I have used organic ingredients in this recipe but you can use non organic if you desire. Its important to use the golden caster sugar if you can source it as I think the flavour is better for the purpose of this recipe.

Ingredients

Toffee Sauce

125g of unsalted butter

60g of golden caster sugar

60g of muscovado sugar

200ml of thick double cream

Pudding Batter

60g of unsalted butter

80g of golden caster sugar

70g of muscavado

2 medium eggs

180g of plain flour

1tsp of baking powder

1tsp of bicarbonate of soda

1tsp of cinnamon

1tsp of ground cloves

1/2tsp of salt

200g of grated apple (2 med apples)

90g of chopped walnuts

Heat the oven to 180 and butter a suitable baking dish.

Add all the sauce ingredients into a small saucepan and gently heat through until the butter has melted.

Bring to a bubbling boil and stir for around five minutes or until the sauce has thickened enough to stick to the spoon or whisk.

Pour half of the sauce into your buttered baking dish and leave to cool while you make the cake.

Beat together the butter and the sugars, then add the eggs to the mixture and continue to beat together until it is all well combined.

Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt into the mixture and mix again to blend together. Add in the grated apple and the chopped walnuts and mix together gently.

Spoon all of the mixture into the baking dish on top of the sauce and bake in the oven for around 45 minutes or until a knife inserted into the hot cake comes out clean.

Make many holes in the top of the pudding with a fork and pour the remaining sauce over the top of the pudding. Leave to soak into the cake for a few minutes and then serve in squares with extra cream on the top.

Enjoy!

Luxury Smoked Salmon Christmas Wreath

This delicious smoked salmon salad platter served with an onion cream cheese spread would make the perfect centerpiece of a nibble spread for guests, a delicious Christmas day starter or even a late Christmas Day brunch.

It looks very impressive on the table but it is soooo simple to make and very quick to put together. The combination of ingredients and flavours really work well together and are delicious served on slices of warm crusty bread.

I have used high quality thinly sliced Scottish (of course!) smoked salmon for this dish. The quality is important if you want the flavours just right.

Sprinkled throughout the wreath are bite sized chunks of crunchy cucumbers, ripe avocado chunks, chopped cherry tomatoes, red onion and garnished with spring onions and dill.

I served the wreath up with lemon slices for squeezing on the top and my creamy onion flavoured cream cheese spread. It is absolutely delicious eaten with crusty bread spread with the cream cheese and topped with pieces of salmon and salad.

The ingredient quantities are variable so I’ve based it on what I used to serve my family a small starter portion. So this would feed roughly 4-5 as a nibble or starter. Simply increase if you are serving more.

Ingredients

Salmon Wreath

Smoked salmon slices – about a 400g pack

Half cucumber – quartered length ways then sliced

Half an avocado – scooped whole, sliced then cut into similar sized pieces as the cucmber.

Half a red onion – sliced thinly, then cut into four again

Cherry tomatoes (about 200g) – quartered

2 Spring Onions – Slice thinly

2 tbsp of Dill – chop finely

2 lemons

Cream cheese

1 small tub of cream cheese

Half a red onion, grated or finely chopped

Dill

A squeeze of lemon

Salt and pepper

Crusty bread slices

Split the smoked salmon slices into smaller pieces and display around the plate in a circular fashion. Add the cucumber, avocado, red onion, and cherry tomatoes spread out around the wreath to create a good balance of colour. Sprinkle over the chopped dill and spring onion and season lightly with salt and pepper. Remember it will be quite salty already due to the smoked salmon. Quarter the lemons and display in the middle around the bowl of cream cheese (recipe below).

Empty the cream cheese into a large bowl and add in the grated onion, chopped dill, a squeeze of lemon and season with salt and pepper. Mix well and transfer to a small bowl. Position this bowl in the center of the wreath and arrange the lemon pieces around it.

We spread some slices of the crusty bread with the cream cheese and topped off with pieces from the wreath.

Enjoy!

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