Exotic Fruit Salad (4)

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My local Farmer’s Market has a wonderful tropical fruit stand selling a wide variety of ripe, colorful exotic fruits – some I have never seen or heard of before. I bought a bright and varied selection of them and made a show stopping fruit salad – containing mango, papaya, kiwi fruit and the lesser know yellow dragon fruit (a sweeter version of the bright pink dragon fruit). Dragon fruits are, happily, becoming easier to find in supermarkets these days. The fruits should be cut into pieces of roughly equal size. Try and make sure that some of the good juices end up in the fruit salad too.

1 mango – cut into cubes

1/2 a papaya – de-seeded and cut into cubes

1 yellow dragon fruit – cut each half into cubes

2 kiwi fruit – peeled and cut into pieces

Place all in a serving dish. It is good for a breakfast too.

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Smoked Mackerel Salad with a Lemony Mayo (4 as appetizer, 2 for entree)

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Smoked mackerel is full of Omega 3 and can be found in some, but not all, supermarkets. It usually comes in two varieties – peppered and un-peppered. Personally, I find the peppered variety too overpowering. This salad is substantial and packed with all sorts of goodness – hard-boiled eggs, roasted beetroot, baby spinach, and a sprinkling of a chopped shallot. Added to this is a delicious dressing made of raw egg yolks, oil and  lemon juice with a little salt and lemon pepper for seasoning. Lemon pepper is a good addition to anything lemony and I rub it over chicken before roasting it. Consuming raw eggs make some people nervous so dilute some mayo with some lemon juice to get an approximate effect. Toss the spinach and a couple of tablespoons of the dressing together and leave for half an hour for the dressing to soak in before assembling the whole platter.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F

DRESSING

2 egg yolks

4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

Salt

Lemon Pepper

Crack the eggs into a small mixing bowl, whisk in the oil followed by the lemon juice and season with salt and lemon pepper (I use Simply Organics brand).

SALAD

2 medium beetroots – roasted

2 hard-boiled eggs – cut into quarters

5 oz. baby spinach

1 fillet of smoked mackerel – skin removed and cut into smallish pieces

1/2 a shallot – finely chopped

Roast the beetroots in their skins in aluminum foil in the oven for an hour or more until they are tender. Let cool, take the skin off and dice.

Hard boil 2 eggs

Toss the spinach together with 2 tbsp. of the lemon dressing and place in the fridge for half an hour.

Compose salad by first arranging the dressed spinach on a salad platter.

Add the other ingredients and drizzle over the rest of the dressing.

Serve immediately.

 

 

 

 

Coronation Chicken (4)

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The original recipe for Coronation Chicken was created in 1953 for the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. Any dish that has to cater for large numbers of people with a wide range of tastes cannot be too unusual and although the Coronation Chicken that was served at the coronation lunch contained curry powder it was hard to detect among the other ingredients – tomato puree, red wine, apricot puree, mayonnaise and whipped cream. My mother made a version that included curry powder, some canned Mulligatawny soup and apricot jam. Personally, I use a combination of mango chutney and concentrated curry paste and a little mayo diluted with the chicken juices from the poached chicken. I serve it surrounded by slices of melon and grapes but if you want to bulk it up you could accompany it by rice or a rice salad.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F

2 chicken breasts – poached in chicken broth

1 dessertspoon of hot mango chutney (Patak’s brand)

1 tsp. hot concentrated curry paste (Patak’s brand)

1 tbsp. mayonnaise

2 tbsp. chicken juices

1 x 1 oz. packet of raisins

A handful of sliced almonds plus extra for garnish

Cantaloupe melon and a mixture of green and black grapes cut in half for garnishing

Place the chicken breasts on a piece of aluminum foil on a baking sheet, pour over 1/4 cup of chicken broth and make into a parcel. Cook for 45 minutes. Let cool and slice into small bite size pieces.

Place the chicken pieces in a large mixing bowl and add the raisins and almonds.

In a small mixing bowl whisk together the chutney, curry paste, mayo and cooled chicken juices.

Add the curry mixture to the chicken mixture and stir together well.

Place in a serving dish and surround with slices of melon and grapes and scatter with almonds.

Coleslaw with Kale (4)

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There is something about coleslaw that is so appealing whether it is store bought, homemade, or a side in a restaurant alongside a burger. If eating out with friends I often trade sides – one gets French fries, the other coleslaw – and we share. So I have tasted my fair share of coleslaw. It can be too vinegary or heavy on the mayo. My sauce is made of a mixture of mayonnaise (store bought is fine), freshly squeezed lemon juice and apple cider vinegar. To cabbage and carrots I add scallions, raisins and kale (only the frilly edges of kale and then finely chopped).

1/2 a smallish cabbage – shredded using a food processor

4 medium carrots – grated in a food processor

2 stems of kale – use only the frilly outer edges of the leaves and chop finely

1 bunch of scallions – just the white bits, outer skin removed and finely chopped

1 x 1 oz. packet of raisins

3 tbsp. mayonnaise

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar

Place the first five ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

Whisk together the mayonnaise, lemon juice and apple cider vinegar, then pour over the vegetables and toss well together.

 

Cranberry Tuna Salad (2 – 4)

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Tuna Salad, that staple of the deli counter, is something that most people like – cold comfort food.  By playing around with the basics I may be alienating the classic tuna salad aficionados, but I hope not. Give it a try just once. The additions are dried cranberries or craisins as they are sometimes called, celery salt and lemon juice.

1 x 6.7 oz. jar or can of tuna – flaked

3 large scallions/spring onions or 1 bunch – finely chopped

2 sticks of celery – finely chopped

Handful of dried cranberries

A good pinch of celery salt

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

2 tbsp. mayonnaise

Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well together.

Melon with Mango Sauce and Lime (4)

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Summer is peak season for mangoes in Florida. They drop off the trees and scatter over the ground and sidewalks. People literally can’t give them away and squirrels can’t get enough of them. Cantaloupe melons are also at their best and this really is a seasonal recipe to be enjoyed in the moment and put away for next year. The sweetness of the two ingredients is cut by the addition of lime juice and zest. For the melon I use a melon baller but if you don’t have one then cut the cantaloupe into chunks. Puree the mango to make a sauce which you can either pour over the melon balls or serve on the side so people can help themselves. Makes a quite decadent breakfast or a simple, thirst-quenching dessert.

1 x cantaloupe melon – de-seeded and cut into melon balls

1 x mango – peeled and cut into chunks

Juice and zest of 1/2 a lime

Place the melon balls in a serving dish

Puree the mango in a food processor along with the lime juice, then either drizzle over the melon or pour into a sauce bowl.

Grate lime zest over the melon.

Lemon-Dill Dressed Noodles with Chicken, Olives, Cucumber and Feta (4)

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If I had a garden I would set aside  a patch for growing herbs. How nice it would be to gather them fresh for a recipe – to make mint sauce to go with lamb or add basil to a tomato sauce for pasta or to chop some fresh parsley for a garnish. Luckily my supermarket has a wide range of fresh herbs – oregano, thyme, rosemary, sage and dill among others.

Dill is a common ingredient in Russian, Scandinavian and Eastern European cuisines where it is used in such recipes as sauces and salads and for pickling.

I didn’t realize how many beneficial properties it has. It boosts digestion and the immune system, contains calcium, is an anti-inflammatory and an anti-flatulent!

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

4 oz. rice noodles

1 x chicken breast

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

1 tbsp. olive

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 an English cucumber – sliced then each slice quartered

12 black olives – cut into quarters

2 oz. feta cheese – cut into little cubes

Juice and zest of 1/2 a lemon

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

3 tbsp. olive oil

1 tbsp. dill – finely chopped

1/4 of a shallot – finely chopped

Cook the rice noodles in boiling water for 5 minutes, drain and leave to cool.

Place chicken breast on a piece of aluminum dish in an ovenproof dish, pour over the lemon juice and olive oil, season with salt and pepper.  Make a parcel out of the aluminum foil, place in the oven and cook for 30 minutes until cooked through. Remove from oven, let cool then cut into bite-size pieces.

Into a large bowl put the rice noodles, chicken pieces, cucumber, olives and feta cheese.

Make the dressing by whisking together the juice and zest of 1/2 a lemon, Dijon mustard, olive oil, dill and shallot. Pour dressing into the bowl and toss together well (the ‘hands’ in the photo and really good for tossing the salad and separating the strands of noodles).