Mini Mushroom Frittatas (makes 20)

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Am always looking for new items to serve with cocktails to liven up the cheese and crackers/shrimp with cocktail sauce, etc. I will be serving these at Thanksgiving as nibbles. Cooked in a small muffin sized tray, preferably non-stick silicone, these make great hors d’oeuvres/snacks or a light meal served with a salad. Best served warm. Can be frozen too and de-frosted ahead of a party.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F

1 tbsp. olive oil seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper (plus extra oil for greasing muffin tray)

1 onion – finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic – grated

12 oz. portabella mushrooms – cut into small pieces

1 tbsp. parsley – finely chopped

6 eggs – beaten

Heat oil seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper in a frying pan and when sizzling add the onion and let soften a little but not brown before adding the garlic and stirring well.

Then add the mushrooms (may seem like a lot but they will shrink) and parsley.

Cook until the mushrooms are soft and any water has disappeared. Take off heat and leave to cool a bit.

Beat the eggs with a fork in a large mixing bowl and then add the cooled mushroom mixture.

Oil the muffin tray and then ladle in the egg mixture.

Cook in the oven for 15 minutes (for mini muffins). Remove muffins immediately and place on paper towel to absorb any moisture.

Serve while still warm.

 

 

 

 

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Blueberry, Apple and Mint Sauce for Lamb (4)

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I have had such a lovely afternoon pottering in my mother’s kitchen trying to make this sauce which I tasted last week in the depths of North Yorkshire at the Stapylton Arms at Wass. This sauce was served with lamb chops and was on both the ‘Specials’ board and on the gluten and dairy free menu. It was a refreshing combination and beautifully presented with a few whole blueberries and slices of apple that had been cooked in the sauce. The smooth sauce made a lovely puddle around the chops.

The blueberries were ripe and I used an eating apple so that I didn’t need to add sugar. The mint came straight from my mother’s garden. So that the sauce had a zing to it, I ‘muddled’ the mint (as one would do for a cocktail) with balsamic vinegar. It can be served hot or cold. I am so looking forward to having it tonight with organic roast lamb – bread and reared in the area de-boned in front of my eyes in the fantastic local butcher, The Fabulous Meat and Fish Shop in Helmsley, North Yorkshire.

2 tbsp. mint – finely chopped

1 tbsp. aged 12 year old balsamic vinegar

4 oz. blueberries

1 green eating apple – peeled and thinly sliced with a potato peeler

1/4 cup of water

Place the mint in a small glass and pour over the balsamic vinegar, ‘muddle’ it and leave for 10 minutes or so to infuse.

In a small lidded saucepan put the blueberries, apple slices, mint, balsamic vinegar and water.

Bring the pan to a boil then simmer for 20 minutes on a low heat.

Process sauce in a food processor or hand held blender then push through a sieve.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Red Cabbage with Pears and Dried Cranberries (4)

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Probably not a combination you have thought of but it works well and is naturally a little sweet because of the pears and dried cranberries. I layered this dish starting with cabbage then onions then I sandwiched the pear slices and cranberries in the middle before adding another layer of onions and finishing with cabbage on the top. The addition of apple cider vinegar keeps the cabbage looking red and a little broth provides enough moisture for the mixture to braise in the oven either in a lidded dish or an ovenproof dish covered with aluminum foil.  Goes well with pork.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F

1 smallish red cabbage – sliced quite thinly

1 large onion – finely sliced and then the rings separated

2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup of chicken/vegetable broth

2 pears – peeled, quartered and sliced

A good handful of dried cranberries

Place half the cabbage on the bottom of an ovenproof dish. Cover with half the onion.

Pour over 1 tbsp. of apple cider vinegar and 1/4 cup of broth.

Add a layer of pears and sprinkle with the cranberries.

Follow this  with the rest of the onion, top with cabbage and pour over the remaining vinegar and broth.

Cover the dish and cook in oven for 45 minutes

Black Beans and Quinoa (4)

Just as I substitute rice noodles for pasta, I do the same thing with quinoa for rice. It is like a blank canvas and soaks up flavors whilst at the same time providing protein. Tomatoes, black beans, garlic and some spices (dep

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ending on how spicy you like your dishes you can use less than I do) round out this recipe.

2 cups of boiling water

1 cup quinoa

1 tbsp. olive oil seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 medium onion – finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic – grated

2 cups of canned chopped tomatoes

1 tbsp. harissa paste (or less)

1 tsp. cumin (or less)

1 x 15oz. can of black beans

1 1/2 cups chicken or veg. broth

Pour the boiling water into a saucepan, add the quinoa, bring to a boil and simmer for 12 minutes. Remove from heat, fluff through with a fork and leave to stand for 15 minutes.

Place oil in a frying pan and when sizzling add the onion and let soften and brown slightly, then add the garlic and cook for another few minutes.

Pour in the tomatoes, mix in the harissa paste and cumin , add the beans and broth and bring to a boil then simmer for 10 minutes.

Stir in the cooked quinoa and serve immediately

Roasted Potatoes with Rosemary (4)

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I once stayed in a farmhouse in Italy and the garden was planted with huge borders of rosemary and each bedroom had, instead of a flower arrangement, a little bouquet of fresh herbs. It was quite charming and gave a great aroma to the room. Rosemary, along with sage was used frequently in their recipes and these little roasted new potatoes are just perfect with roast meats or grilled steaks and with many other things too – I can imagine them with eggs or a selection of roasted vegetables. Easy to make – really all you need is a good hot oven. I would only use fresh rosemary for this recipe.

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit

1 1/2 pounds new potatoes – rinsed, skin left on, cut into quarters

2 tbsp. fresh rosemary – finely chopped

3tbsp. olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place all ingredients in a mixing bowl and toss well together.

Transfer to a metal baking tray or dish and cook for 45 minutes to an hour, turning once or twice to make ensure they are evenly browned.

Serve potatoes straight away.

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.

 

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.