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.

 

 

 

 

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Pork Chops and Honey Mustard Roasted Vegetables (4)

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The only roasted vegetable I ever remember eating as a child was a roast potato. Nowadays they appear in many guises on many menus – roasted Brussels sprouts seem particularly popular. I love the way you can mix so many vegetables together in one dish. You can keep it simple and just toss them in oil and pop them in the oven or you can add some herbs or, in this case, honey and mustard. Most Sundays I cook a roast of some sort and there is nothing better than surrounding the meat with a bunch of vegetables and potatoes and letting them all cook together. It is best if the vegetables are cut to approximately the same size and, depending on what you are roasting them with, to make them larger or smaller pieces (larger if roasting with a whole chicken, smaller if, as in this case when I cooked them with pork chops). Of course you could always roast the vegetables without any meat and they would make a perfect vegetarian dish.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

4 pork chops

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 large clove of garlic – grated

3 oz. carrots – peeled and diced

3 oz. parsnips – peeled and diced

3 oz. beetroot – peeled and diced

3 oz. butternut squash – peeled and diced

3 oz. new potatoes – cut into pieces

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Honey Mustard Sauce

1 tbsp. honey

1 tbsp. Dijon mustard

1 tbsp. olive oil

Put the pork chops in a large roasting pan.

Place garlic and vegetables in a large bowl, pour over the oil, season with salt and pepper

and toss well together.

Arrange the veg. around the pork and cook for around 35 minutes until chops are cooked and veg. are tender.

Spoon the honey mustard mixture over the vegetables reserving a little to put on each chop. Stir the veg. so they are evenly coated with the sauce before serving.

 

 

Roasted Beetroot with Pickled Red Onions Sprinkled with Halloumi and Feta Cheese (4 as an appetizer)

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Have you noticed pickled red onions cropping up as a condiment these days? They are so easy to make and add a tangy crunch to a dish. Because I used apple cider vinegar there was no need for any sugar in this recipe. You will have more than enough pickled onions than needed for this dish and they can be used for other purposes. They go well with the other ingredients in this dish – diced beetroot and the diced cheeses (I can tolerate halloumi and feta cheese as they aren’t derived from cow’s milk).

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

PICKLED ONIONS

Boiling water

1 largish red onion – halved and cut into fine slices then separate the pieces

3/4 cup of apple cider vinegar

1/2 tsp. salt

Boil the water while chopping the onion then place onion pieces in a pan, pour over boiling water until pieces are covered, leave to stand for 3 minutes and drain.

Pour the apple cider vinegar into a bowl and add the salt.

Tip onions into this bowl and stir.

Leave to stand for a couple of hours before serving, stirring occasionally.

BEETROOT

3 medium beetroot

Place beetroot in a dish and roast in the oven for about an hour and a half until tender to the touch.

Let cook, then chop into cubes.

CHEESES

1 good ounce each of Halloumi and Feta cheese

Cut cheeses into small cubes

ASSEMBLY

Top beetroot with the cheeses and surround beetroot with pickled onions

 

 

 

 

Beetroot with Anchovies (serves 4)

Beetroot with Anchovies (serves 4)

Don’t dismiss this as you may actually like it! My mother said “How one earth did you come up with this one?!!” Usual reply – walking dog. You can take a short cut by using bought sliced beetroot. I roasted fresh beetroot, added a couple of chopped anchovies to them and made an anchovy parsley vinaigrette. Taste tester husband tasted not knowing what was in dish apart from beetroot and declared himself a happy man!

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

3 beetroot – peeled and diced

2 anchovy fillets – finely chopped

DRESSING

1 tbsp. red wine vinegar

3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp. parsley – finely chopped

1 garlic clove – finely chopped

3 anchovies – finely chopped

Toss diced beetroot in seasoned olive oil and roast in oven for 30 minutes, turning them over after 15 minutes.

Let cool and stir in chopped anchovies.

Make dressing – combine all dressing ingredients and spoon a tablespoon or 2 over beetroot. Let stand for at least half an hour for flavor to really develop.(Rest of dressing can be used for something else).

Winter Red Cabbage (serves 4)

Winter Red Cabbage (serves 4)

A few days ago I had my mother’s red cabbage dish which was served with a ham. I have cooked her recipe many times over the years but this time I added beetroot. Everything was roughly chopped, spread in an oven proof dish, seasoned with salt and pepper and moistened with veg. broth/stock.

1 x onion – chopped

1/4 of a red cabbage – chopped

2 x beetroot – chopped

1 x Granny Smith apples – peeled and chopped

2 cups veg. broth/stock

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place onion, red cabbage, beetroot and apple in an oven-proof casserole dish.

Season.

Pour over veg. broth.

Cover dish with aluminum foil and cook in oven for 11/2 hours at 350 degrees.

Borscht (serves 4)

Borscht (serves 4)

In childhood I remember beetroot being something that came out of a jar in slices with a vinegary taste and was a firm staple of salads back in the day when a salad consisted of lettuce, tomato, hard boiled egg and slices of beetroot plus cold meat eaten with mayonnaise or Heinz Salad Cream!

You could have it hot with a white sauce but it wasn’t appealing to me though I expect I was made to have a spoonful.

I first tasted borscht at a Russian restaurant somewhere off Beauchamp Place in London – it was heavenly! It’s a good soup for this time of the year – love the color. Secret ingredient is a good dollop of horseradish (Gold’s Prepared Horseradish). I also added some red wine which seemed to blend right in! Make sure diced beetroot and diced potato are the same size.

I can imagine this soup would hit the spot after a day’s skiing, at a shooting lunch or after shoveling snow!

1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 onion – chopped
2 cloves garlic – chopped
3 x beetroot – peeled and diced
1 x large potato – peeled and diced
3 cups of vegetable broth (or more if you like a runnier soup)
1/2 cup of red wine
1 tbsp. prepared horseradish

Heat oil in cast iron casserole dish and when sizzling add onion and garlic and let soften.
Add rest of ingredients with the exception of the horseradish.
Bring to a boil, then simmer for half an hour.
Puree in a food processor, then add horseradish and stir to mix it in.

Roasted Vegetables with Garlic and Anchovies (serves 6)

Roasted Vegetables with Garlic and Anchovies (serves 6)

If you don’t like anchovies, stop right here! I took a combo of potatoes (maybe I will try it with sweet potatoes next), beetroot and cauliflower. Cut potatoes and beets into small cubes. The florets can be bigger as they cook quicker. Toss in oil with roughly chopped garlic (my garlic from the famer’s market is much more garlicky). Drape anchovies over the top of the veg. It’s a meal in itself and the flavors work well together. Have never tasted anything quite like it – may have to go and have another mouthful!

2 large baking potatoes – peeled and cut into cubes
3 beetroot – peeled and cut into cubes
12 ounces cauliflower – cut into florets
3 cloves of garlic – roughly chopped
3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 x 2 oz can of anchovies -drained (I used Cento brand)
Freshly ground pepper (salt not needed because of anchovies)

Place the potatoes, beetroots, cauliflower and garlic in a large bowl.
Pour over the olive oil and toss together well.
Put veg. in a large roasting tin and place the anchovies on top of the vegetables.
Roast for an hour or so until potatoes are crispy (I turned the heat up for 15 minutes at the end)

Tip – if you cover veg with aluminum foil they will not crispen.