Category Archives: Starters

Tomato red pepper and goats cheese tarts

  • Cheese and Herb Pastry [for 8 tarts]
  • 8oz plain flour
  • 2oz hard margarine
  • 2oz lard
  • 1oz finely grated parmesan
  • 1teasp dried mixed herbs
  • Filling
  • 2 med red peppers
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large clove garlic crushed
  • 1x15oz 1x8oz tins chopped tomatoes
  • 1 2oz tin anchovy fillets in oil
  • 1/2 teasp dried thyme
  • 2 teasp tomato puree
  • 1 egg+1 eggyolk
  • 1 teasp hot paprika
  • 1 small goat cheese log enough for eight slices

Make pastry in the usual way and roll out thinly
Use to line eight 4inch tart cases and bake blind ie lined witn paper and baking beans for 15 or 20 minutes

For filling
Deseed and chop peppers. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil and cook peppers until soft about 6 mins.Stir in garlic and cook another 2 mins’ Pour in tomatoes and add chopped anchovies and their oil. Add thyme and tomato puree, season with pepper only as anchovies are salty.Simmer gently without covering until all excess liquid has evaporated to a jam like consistency[20-25 mins] Remve to a bowl and leave to cool.

Can prepare in advance up to this point.

To assemble
Whisk eggs and yolks with paprika and stir into cooled sauce with 1tbsp olive oil. Put into pastry case and top with a slice of goat cheese. Bake at 170{fan] for 25-30 mins.

Spicy lentil soup

  • For at least eight
  • 300gm red lentils
  • 2 litres chicken stock[made from cubes is fine]
  • 2 celery stalks chopped
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 med carrots chopped
  • Thumb size piece of ginger sliced into small matchsticks
  • 2 med tomatoes chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves sliced
  • 1 teasp ground cumin
  • 1/2 teasp chilli flakes
  • 2 teasp med curry powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

Heat a tablespoonful of olive oil in a large pan and fry the onion garlic celery ginger and carrots for about 3 minutes. Add spices and continue to cook for 1 min. Add the stock tomatoes and lentils and bring to a gentle simmer for about 1/2 an hour. Taste for salt and pepper , liquidise and serve.

Mackerel Pate with Fionas Beetroot Chutney

  • For six
  • 200gm skinned boned smoked mackerel fillet
  • 250gm light cream cheese eg philly light
  • 75gm butter-melted gently
  • 2 teaspoons horseradish sauce
  • juice of half a lemon
  • good grind of black pepper

Put all into a food processor and whizz until smoothish
Scrape into a container, cover and place in fridge until firmed up. Serve with thin toast and beetroot chutney if available-see recipe

Will freeze really well just defrost in fridge overnight

Auld Grannies Chicken Soup

  • 3 Medium Carrots Chopped
  • 1 Large Leek Chopped – Include the Green
  • 2 Long Stalks of Celery Chopped
  • 1/2 New Turnip Chopped
  • 2 Medium Potatoes Chopped
  • 1 Medium Onion Chopped
  • 1 Medium Carrot Grated
  • 2 x Chicken Leg Quarters Small or 1 x Large
  • 3 x Chicken Stock Cubes
  • 1/2 – 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 4 Grinds of Black Pepper
  • 1/2 Handful of Chopped Parlsey
  • 1/2 Cup of Rice
  • 2 1/2 Litres of Water

Pour the water into the pan and add the stock cubes and the chicken pieces and start boiling.

Add all the chopped vegetables and the grated and chopped carrots, hold of with the rice just now and also the parsley.

Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Now add the rice and boil for a further 10 minutes.

Remove the chicken pieces and remove the meat from the bones, chop and put back in the soup.

Add the chopped parsley, adjust seasoning, add more water if it is too thick – remember you want a medium thick texture and the rice will probably puff up more so don’t think it may be too runny.

Spicy Turkey Lettuce Wraps

  • For four as a main course or eight as a starter
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 4 garlic cloves chopped
  • 2 teasp grated fresh ginger
  • 2 chillies one finely chopped and one finely sliced
  • 500gm chicken or turkey mince
  • finely grated zest of one lime
  • juice of half a lime
  • 3 tbsp thai fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp kechap manis
  • 1 tbsp soft brown sugar (or any sugar)
  • 200ml chicken stock
  • 25gm thai basil(v important-not ordinary basil) Chinese supermarcket usually has this,especially at weekends
  • 2tbsps salted peanuts chopped
  • 4 spring onions finely sliced into long strips
  • 2 little gem lettuces, separeted into leaves to serve

Heat the oil in a large deep frrying pan
Stir fry the chopped chilli, garlic and ginger for a minute
Add the mince and continue to cook for five minutes until cooked through. Stir in the lime zest,juice,fish and oyster sauces,ketchap manis,sugar and stock. Simmer for another two to three minutes.
Add the basil and spring onions and give another quick stir.
Spoon the mixture into lettuce leaves and garnish with finely sliced chilli