Spring has sprung!

Gnocchi - Spring

BAKED MUSHROOMS STUFFED WITH RICOTTA, CHILLI, LEMON AND HERBS

8 large flat mushrooms

Garlic oil

1tsp chopped rosemary and thyme leaves

250g ricotta

1 finely chopped chilli

Zest and juice of one lemon

Bake the mushrooms with a little garlic oil, rosemary and thyme

 

Mix the ricotta with chilli, lemon, and herbs – season with salt and pepper ( add more chilli or lemon if you like it hotter or more zingy), whilst the mushrooms are still a little firm, top with ricotta mix and place back in oven, once the cheese is warm and a little browned remove from oven and serve

 

PAN-FRIED HERB GNOCCHI WITH ROCKET, PESTO AND PARMESAN

50g strong white flour

30g semolina

100g baked potato, peeled and mashed

20g ricotta

1 egg

10 basil leaves, shredded

Salt

With a spoon extract the potato from the skin, mash with a fork then add the semolina, flour and mix lightly then add the other ingredients.

 

If ifs too wet add a little more flour, leave for 30mins to firm up then roll in to a cylinder about 3cm thick and cut into 2cm thick rounds, place on to a floured surface, sprinkle with flour and with a fork press on top to leave fork marks.

 

Whilst you do this bring a pan of salted water to the boil and when all the gnocchi are ready drop in to the boiling water and simmer for 5 minutes, remove from the water and drop into cold water to cool, once cool remove from the cold water dry as best possible on kitchen paper then fry in a hot pan in enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan.

 

Once coloured on both sides and warmed through serve.

 

Toss in basil pesto, rocket leaves and asparagus or with a fresh tomato and basil sauce

 

FREGOLA PASTA SALAD WITH SPRING VEGETABLES, PECARINO AND ROAST GARLIC

4 plum tomatoes, dried slightly with herbs

1 courgette, thinly sliced and lightly cooked with herbs, garlic and lemon

8 blanched asparagus spears

50g mange tout julienned – but leave raw

1 broccoli split into florets – blanched but with bite

100g fine beans

100g rocket

50g pecorino cheese scrolls

8 cloves of roasted garlic

Herb oil dressing: 1 tsp honey, 1 tbsp grain mustard, 1 tbsp white wine vinegar, 100ml olive oil (not extra virgin), chives, tarragon and parsley – chopped

Stale bread for croutons

Lemon

Dried fregola pasta – small pasta that resembles large cous cous grains

 

Prepare the vegetables,

 

Cook and refresh the pasta keeping slightly al dente

 

Prepare the garlic by blanching in boiling salted water and refreshing 5 times, then place the garlics on a piece of foil with a knob of butter, thyme, bay, rosemary tsp oil, pinch of salt and sugar, and a little black pepper.  Fold the foil over and seal the edges and place in the oven at about 150oc until lightly browned 8 – 10 mins.

 

Croutons:  cut the bread in to chunks drizzle a little olive oil over, season, place in the oven with the garlics, toss a couple of times during cooking until golden brown

 

Dressing: place the honey, mustard and vinegar in a bowl and slowly whisk in the oil, season and add the herbs

 

Now mix all the ingredients together squeeze over a little lemon, season and serve

 

KEBABS AND SKEWERS

Great for BBQ’ing in this nice weather or popping in the oven for a light al fresco supper

CHICKEN

2 chicken breasts

¼ tin coconut milk

Zest and juice of 2 limes

Soy sauce to taste

1 clove of garlic

2 chillies

Small piece of root ginger, peeled and grated

Mix all the marinade ingredients together adding the soy last to flavour and season

 

Slice the chicken and place in the marinade overnight

 

If using wooden skewers place them in water overnight

 

Now push the chicken on to the skewers

 

Grill or char grill – remember not to overcook or you will dry them out

 

SALMON SKEWERS

500g salmon fillet, pinned and boned

Marinade:

Zest and juice of one lemon

Olive oil

Chopped herbs: 1tsp tarragon, 1 tbsp parsley, 1 tbsp chives

1 tbsp grain mustard

 

Mix the marinade ingredients together with enough oil to make it moist enough to smear over the fish

Slice the salmon across the fillet so you have 2cm thick slices and place in the marinade

If using wooden skewers place them in water overnight

Push the skewers through the fish

Grill or char-grill remember not to overcook – keep slightly pink in the middle.

 

LAMB KOFTAS

900g lean minced lamb

2 onions, finely chopped

15g fresh mint leaves, finely chopped

25g fresh coriander, finely chopped

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely grated

2 whole chillies

2 teaspoons of ground cumin

2 teaspoons ground coriander

2 teaspoons paprika

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 teaspoons of salt

4 tablespoons vegetable oil

8 skewers soaked in water, if wooden

In a large bowl, mix minced lamb, onions, mint, coriander, ginger paste and chilli paste.

Season with cumin, coriander, paprika, cayenne and salt and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Shape 1/8th of the lamb mixture into sausages around skewers. Make sure the meat is spread to an even thickness. Refrigerate until you are ready to cook.

Preheat grill or barbecue for high heat.

Brush wire cooking rack liberally with oil and arrange skewers on barbecue. Cook for 10 minutes or until well done, turning as needed to brown evenly.

 

STRAWBERRIES IN BASIL WITH MASCARPONE CREAM

10 basil leaves

250g strawberries, washed, hulled and cut in half

30g caster sugar

Slice the basil and mix with the strawberries and sugar – marinate for about 1 hour

 

For the cream:

150ml double cream

1 vanilla pod

500g mascarpone

20g icing sugar

 

Beat vanilla and icing sugar into mascarpone

 

Whip the cream to soft peaks and fold in place in fridge to set 2 hours aprox

 

Use as required