250g bag mixed salad leaves (including young beetroot leaves and watercress)
bunch each parsley and mint, leaves picked and roughly chopped
140g radishes, thinly sliced
8 x hot-smoked salmon steaks, skin removed
4 spring onions, sliced diagonally
For the dressing
3 tbsp lemon juice
125ml olive oil
1 tsp wholegrain mustard
2 red chillies
Prep:20 minsCook:10 mins
Boil potatoes in salted water for 10 mins
until tender, adding the asparagus tips for
the final 2 mins of cooking. Drain and allow
to cool. Whisk together the salad dressing
ingredients. then season to taste.
In a large bowl, toss together the potatoes,
asparagus, salad leaves, herbs and radishes.
Add two-thirds of the dressing, thoroughly mix
through the salad, then spread the salad over
a large platter. Break the hot-smoked salmon
into large chunks, then scatter over the top
along with the spring onions. Finish by
pouring remaining dressing over the top.
See recipe method, below, for all the ingredients you'll need for your canapés
Prep:30 minsCook:30 mins
Bloody Mary shots with horseradish:
For 10 shots mix 700ml tomato juice with 50ml vodka, juice from 1 lemon
and a good splash of Tabasco and vegetarian Worcestershire sauce in a
jug. Season then chill. To serve, pour into 10 shot glasses, add a thin
cucumber stick to each as a stirrer, and top with a small spoon of
Quails’ eggs with sesame dukka:
Toast 1 tbsp each of cumin and coriander seeds and 85g hazelnuts, then
whizz in a food processor until finely chopped. Mix with 50g sesame
seeds and salt to taste, then serve in small bowls with 24-36
hard-boiled quails’ eggs, halved, alongside for dipping.
Mini avocado tarts:
Buy mini croustade cases from the supermarket, then put a small
spoonful of sour cream in each case. Finely dice ripe avocados and mix
with a little lime juice, some poppy seeds and finely snipped chives,
then pile on top of the sour cream.
Parsnip chips with maple-mustard dip: Peel
a parsnip per person, then cut into chunky chips and roast with
sunflower oil and seasoning at 220C/200C fan/gas 7 for 20-30 mins until
crispy and golden. Mix
a 200ml tub crème fraîche with 2 tbsp grainy mustard, 2 tbsp maple syrup
and some seasoning and serve the hot parsnip chips alongside for
Halloumi dippers with chilli pineapple salsa:
For the salsa, finely dice 200g fresh or canned pineapple and mix with 1
finely chopped red onion, 1 finely chopped red chilli and juice of 1-2
limes to taste. Use a 250g pack halloumi per 5-6 people, slice into
chunky strips, thread onto small soaked wooden skewers and grill,
turning, until crispy. Serve with the salsa.
Greek kebabs with houmous & tzatziki: Cook
and cool bought falafel, then skewer each one with a chunk of cucumber,
small cube of feta and a cherry tomato. Serve with pots of houmous and
tzatziki on the side.
Crunchy poppadoms with mango chutney: To
feed a crowd, finely shred 3 peeled carrots, dice ½ a cucumber and
finely slice 4 spring onions. Mix together with a squeeze of lemon juice
and 1 tbsp toasted mustard seeds. To serve, pile into bought mini
poppadom crisps, top with a small dollop of mango chutney and scatter
with coriander leaves.
Fig & blue cheese skewers:
Skewer wedges of fig and cubes of blue cheese onto small cocktail
sticks or skewers, then drizzle with a little runny honey and scatter
with thyme leaves to serve.
Christmas pudding truffles:
Melt together 200g dark chocolate and 200ml double cream, then crumble
in 100g leftover cooked Christmas pud (buy a vegetarian one), then
chill. When firm enough, use a melon baller or roll into balls, then dip
the tops in some melted white chocolate, scatter with edible
decorations, then chill to firm.
Mini cranberry & orange scones:
Knock up a batch of scone dough, adding some dried cranberries and orange zest into the
mix before stamping out 4cm rounds and baking. When cool, split and
spread generously with orange or jaffa curd (we used Waitrose) and top
with a small dollop
of clotted or thick double cream.
Thickly spread 2 of the brioche slices
with the chocolate hazelnut spread, then
top with the remaining slices to make
2 sandwiches. Use a large heart-shaped
cutter to cut the sandwiches into hearts.
Whisk the egg, milk, vanilla and caster
sugar in a wide, shallow bowl. Tip the
hazelnuts onto a plate. Dip the sandwiches
into the egg mixture, leave for 1-2 mins
each side to allow the brioche to soak
up the liquid, then dip one side of each
sandwich into the nuts. The sandwiches
can be chilled like this, covered loosely
with cling film, for up to 1 hour.
Heat the butter in a wide frying pan
until melted and foaming. Add the
sandwiches and cook for 1-2 mins each
side until golden brown and puffed up.
Dust with a little icing sugar and serve
with ice cream and raspberries.
Pour the Tia Maria into small cocktail or
liqueur glasses. Carefully pour the cream
into the glasses over the back of a
teaspoon so it floats on the surface of
the Tia Maria and makes a separate layer.
Dust the cream with cocoa by shaking
it through a tea strainer, and serve.
2 sea bass fillets, about 140g each (see tips, below)
1 small head of broccoli
6 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp small capers
6 anchovies, roughly chopped
Prep:15 minsCook:15 mins
Before you start cooking, get
everything prepared. Trim each sea
bass fillet so they are both the same
shape, then score the skin, cutting into the
flesh slightly, 5 or 6 times at about 1cm
intervals. Set aside.
Segment the orange – slice off the
top and bottom, then cut away the
skin and pith. Cut away each segment,
then squeeze out the juice from the rest of
the orange into a bowl. Cut the broccoli into
To make the warm broccoli salad,
cook the florets in a pan of boiling
salted water for 1 min until just
cooked. While the broccoli is cooking, put a
frying pan on to heat. As soon as the broccoli
is cooked, drain it, then tip straight into the
hot frying pan to ‘scorch’ out all the moisture.
Turn off the heat, then scatter the
orange segments over the broccoli.
Toss for a few moments just to heat
through, then tip into a bowl and dress with
the orange juice and 2 tbsp olive oil. Season
with pepper and a small sprinkling of sea
salt, then set aside.
Wipe out the pan. Season the fish with a little salt and
pepper just before cooking.
Heat the frying pan until
very hot, then add 2 tbsp oil. Lay the
fish fillets in the pan, skin-side down.
As soon as it goes in, press each
fillet down with your fingers or a fish
slice to stop it from curling up.
Reduce the heat to medium, then
leave the fish to cook for 3-4 mins,
undisturbed, until you can see that
the flesh has cooked two-thirds
of the way up and the skin is crisp
Flip the fillets over, then fry on the
flesh side for about 2 mins until just
done, basting the skin with the oil in
the pan as it cooks. Leave to rest on a warm
plate, skin-side up, and baste with the
hot oil and juices from the pan.
Pour 2 tbsp olive oil into the pan and
place it back on a high heat. Scatter in
the capers and anchovies, then cook
until they start to crisp. Grate over the lemon
zest and squeeze in the juice of ½ the lemon.
If there isn’t enough juices in the pan to
drizzle over both plates, add a splash more
oil. You are now ready to plate up.
Mix the crème fraîche with the horseradish
and a little salt and pepper. For the dressing,
whisk the lime juice and zest with the honey,
ginger and seasoning, then whisk in the oil.
Lay the smoked salmon and prawns on
2 plates, then top with a dollop of the horseradish
cream. Toss the salad in most of the dressing
and pile on top. Drizzle the remaining
dressing around the plate and serve.
2 tbsp single cream, plus a little extra for drizzling
8 large raw king prawns, peeled
6 scallops, roe removed
1 tbsp garlic butter
small handful coriander, leaves picked
½ red chilli, thinly sliced
toasted bread, to serve
Prep:10 minsCook:5 mins
Heat the lobster bisque, harissa and
lime juice In a small pan until bubbling.
Add the cream, reduce the heat and keep
warm while you cook the seafood.
Season the prawns and scallops.
Heat the garlic butter in a frying pan
until starting to foam. Add the seafood
and cook for 1 min on each side until
the prawns are pink and the scallops
are cooked and starting to brown,
but still have a little bounce.
To serve, pile the prawns and scallops
into the centre of 2 shallow soup bowls,
pour around the spicy bisque, scatter
with a few coriander leaves, chilli slices,
lime zest and a drizzle of cream. Serve
with toasted bread.
4 scoops good-quality vanilla ice cream and crisp biscuits, to serve
Prep:10 minsCook:2 mins
Tip the blueberries into a pan with the
sugar, vinegar and 1 tbsp water. Heat
very gently for 1-2 mins until the berries
soften, but don’t burst. Set aside until
ready to serve. Spoon over the ice cream
and eat with crisp biscuits.
Put the flour, butter, sugar, vanilla
and egg yolk in a food processor.
Dribble in 1 tbsp water and blitz until
the mixture comes together to form
a dough. Tip onto a work surface and knead briefly to bring together, then
wrap in cling film and chill for 20 mins.
Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.
Roll out the dough to the thickness of a £1
coin. Use your 8cm heart cutter to stamp
out heart shapes – you’ll have to re-roll
the trimmings to make 20 biscuits. Put the
hearts on 2 baking trays and bake for
12 mins, swapping the trays over halfway
through, until pale golden and crisp.
Leave to cool on a wire rack.
Dye your lump of icing with red food
colouring and wrap in cling film until
ready to roll. Mix the icing sugar with
enough water to make a thick icing.
Dye the icing with the black food
colouring. Pour the icing into a piping
bag with a small plain nozzle attached
(or use a small sandwich bag and snip off
the corner). Roll out the red icing to 3mm
thick and use your 6cm
cutter to stamp out
hearts. Stick onto the
biscuits with a little
of the black icing.
Use the black icing to
give your love bug a head at the pointy end, draw a line down
the centre to give it wings, then add
spots. Stick 2 pearly balls onto each
love bug’s head, then leave to set on
a wire rack. You can pack your love
bugs into boxes or cellophane bags
to give as gifts for Valentine’s Day.
small bunch mint, chopped, reserving a few leaves to serve
small bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped, reserving a few leaves to serve
2 handfuls rocket
Prep:40 minsCook:40 mins
Boil the barley for 20-25 mins until
just tender but with a little bite. Drain.
Meanwhile, heat oven to 200C/180C
fan/gas 6. If using butternut, thickly slice
into rounds, flicking out the seeds as you
go, or slice small, round squashes into
thin wedges. Toss with 1 tbsp oil, the
orange zest and seasoning. Spread over
a baking sheet and roast for 40 mins until
golden and tender, turning halfway. Set
aside while you finish the dish.
Mix the orange juice, vinegar and
remaining oil with the pearl barley and
plenty of seasoning. Stir in the onion
and chopped herbs, then layer up
on a platter with the squash, rocket
and remaining mint and parsley leaves.
150ml vegetable stock (we used Kallo yeast-free vegetable stock)
3 tbsp chopped tarragon
4 tbsp gluten-free breadcrumbs (we used Sainsbury's 'Free From' English muffins)
1 tbsp grated dairy and lactose-free cheese (we used Cheezly)
Prep:20 minsCook:30 mins
Mix half the oil and flour in a saucepan (off
the heat), then blend in the soya milk (it must
be well blended before heating). Bring the
sauce slowly to the boil, whisking constantly,
then simmer for 1 min. Remove from the heat,
cover with greaseproof paper and set aside.
Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Heat
remaining oil in a frying pan, add the chicken,
then fry for 2-3 mins or until brown (it won’t
be cooked through). Transfer to an ovenproof
gratin dish. Add the onions to the pan and fry
for 2-3 mins. Spoon over the chicken, then
top with the tomatoes and asparagus. Set
aside while you prepare the sauce.
Put the sugar and vinegar into the pan.
Stir over medium heat until the sugar is a dark
caramel colour, then add the stock. Bring to
the boil and simmer for 1 min. Whisk into the
milky sauce until blended, season, then add
the tarragon. Spoon sauce over the chicken
and veg, sprinkle with crumbs and cheese,
then bake for 20 mins or until cooked through.
4 haddock or other chunky white fish fillets, about 120g each (or use 2 small per person)
2 tbsp plain flour
broccoli, to serve
Prep:15 minsCook:20 mins
Cover the potatoes in cold water, bring
to the boil, then turn to a simmer. Cook
for 10 mins until tender, adding peas for
the final min of cooking. Drain and
roughly crush together, adding plenty of
seasoning and 1 tbsp oil. Keep warm.
Meanwhile, for the dressing, mix 1 tbsp
oil, the lemon juice and zest, capers and
chives with some seasoning.
Dust the fish in the flour, tapping off
any excess and season. Heat remaining
oil in a non-stick frying pan. Fry the fish
for 2-3 mins on each side until cooked,
then add the dressing and warm through.
Serve with the crush and broccoli.