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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Chicken, Blueberry and Avocado Salad (4)

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A lovely light salad – good for lunch – served on a bed of arugula with a lemon dressing. If you want to cheat you can buy a pre-cooked chicken.

1 chicken breast – poached or equivalent amount of pre-cooked chicken

Arugula – enough to use as a bed to put the chicken

Juice of 1 lemon and 2 tbsp.  olive oil – if poaching

1 avocado – diced

4 oz. blueberries

If poaching chicken, place chicken on a piece of aluminum foil and pour over juice of 1 lemon and the oil. Wrap chicken into a parcel and place in over at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or so until chicken is cooked through.

Line a serving dish with arugula.

Cut chicken breast into small pieces and arrange on  bed of arugula.

Scatter avocado over chicken pieces, then sprinkle with blueberries.

Toss with lemon dressing or serve dressing on the side.

Lemon Dressing

2 tsp. Dijon mustard

1 1/2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 tbsp. olive oil

Whisk together the mustard and lemon juice until smooth then add the oil and continue whisking until amalgamated or shake mixture in a small screw top jar.

 

Red Fruit Salad with Creme de Cassis or Creme de Framboise (4)

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So simple and sophisticated. The addition of a couple of tablespoons of either of the liqueurs gives the fruit salad a delicious, richer flavor. I serve it in either a large glass bowl or individual glasses. Make the salad an hour or so ahead of serving and leave out of fridge so that the liqueur can permeate the fruit and stir it periodically. Creme de Cassis and Creme de Framboise are found fairly easily in a good drinks store and a little can be added to champagne. When I serve champagne like that I add either a blueberry or a raspberry to the glass for a nice effect.

6 oz strawberries – cut into quarters

6 oz raspberries

6 oz blueberries

2 tbsp. Crème de Cassis/Framboise

Combine all the fruits in a bowl.

Pour over the Crème de Cassis/Framboise, mix the fruits together and leave for an hour outside of the fridge before serving so that the liqueur permeates the fruit. Stir periodically.

Blueberry Compote with Honey and Orange Juice (4)

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Bought too many blueberries to nibble for breakfast and didn’t want them to go to waste. The only thing I could think of doing was to stew them but I wanted them to taste of something as blueberries can be quite bland and I didn’t want to add lots of sugar – I added a good teaspoon of honey and the juice of half an orange and the pulp too.

1 punnet of blueberries – about 8 oz

4 fl.oz boiling water

1 heaped tsp. honey

Juice of half an orange and its pulp

Place blueberries in a small pan and add the boiling water.

Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and keep simmering until liquid reduces quite a bit.

Add the honey, orange juice and pulp and simmer for a while longer.

Can be served warm or cold – as is or over other fruits as dessert or breakfast (over banana slices hmm…)

Prosciutto and Blueberry Salad Sprinkled with Nuts (serves 4)

Prosciutto and Blueberry Salad with Sprinkled Nuts (serves 4)

Based this on a great little salad I had in Covent Garden, London recently. I wandered into a small French restaurant and found that there was little to eat (for me) on the menu so I was on my way out when the waitress said they could accommodate my needs so I stayed (and they did a wonderful job and I was so grateful).

Take some lettuce/baby spinach/mixed leaves.

Tear up some prosciutto (or not if you want vegetarian/vegan)

Cut some baby tomatoes into quarters

A few sun-dried tomatoes cut into little pieces

Take a handful of blueberries

Crush some walnuts

Make a balsamic dressing – 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar and 3 tbsp. extra  virgin olive oil, seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Place everything in a salad bowl and toss well with balsamic vinaigrette.