Food photography Marta Miklinska, Food Styling by Jette Virdi

Red Onion Relish – Recipe 10 of 12 from Enjoy!

Food photography Marta Miklinska, Food Styling by Jette Virdi

Food photography Marta Miklinska, Food Styling by Jette Virdi

Simple to make.  Just add time!  As below in the picture you can see how a dollop of red onion relish can lift a simple crostini.  Great in any sandwich or even as a pizza topping and perfect on a cheese board, a jar of this would make a very welcome gift for the foodie in your life.

Caramelised Red Onion Relish
 You can store caramelised red onion relish in a jar in the fridge for a couple of weeks to use whatever way you fancy.
Makes 2 medium jars (2 x 350ml Kilner)
You will need:
6 medium red onions
2 tbsp rapeseed or coconut oil
4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp dark muscovado sugar (or any dark brown sugar)
Method:
Peel, halve and thinly slice the red onions. Heat the oil in a frying pan over a low to medium heat and gently soften the sliced onions for 35 minutes.
Raise the heat to medium and add the balsamic vinegar and muscovado sugar. Stir well and cook for 3–4 minutes, then set aside to cool before spooning into sterilised jars.
Enjoy!
‘Til next time, Sheila.

seabass veg precook

Sea Bass Parcels – Recipe 8 of 12 from Enjoy!

Sea Bass Parcels
We’re getting there!  Week by week inching closer to the revelry and indeed you may be contemplating some in-house entertainment in advance of the festivities yourself.
In need of a no hassle but grown-up dinner party recipe?  This is it.  No-one wants to be entertained by a flappy flustered chef who is so bothered with timings and enslaved to stirring that they don’t get to sit down and enjoy the company.  Don’t be that chef.  Be prepared!  Make a couple of dips/hummus etc. the night before.  Get in a good selection of cheese and crackers for your cheese-board, a delicious box of good chocolates – no-one needs or wants a heavy dessert – and of course some amazing wine and you’re sorted apart from the mains which I guarantee you is easy.
Note:  Cooking everything as described below in a parcel is obviously the easiest but be warned the green beans will be super al-dente, so if you have an audience of veggie lovers this won’t be a problem if however they are heathens you may wish to cook them separately.

veg for seabass

A little bit of prep. Baby potatoes par-cooked in the microwave

seabass fillet

Fold in the edges of the baking paper to stiffen them up

seabass veg precook
seabass parcel
parcels precook
parcels post cook
parcels opened
seabass and wine
Sea Bass Parcels

Serves 4
You will need:
250g baby potatoes
4 sea bass fillets
100g slow-roasted cherry tomatoes (deli counter or just use sun-dried tomatoes if cherry not available), drained and chopped
100g fine green beans
4 spring onions
4 tbsp Sauvignon Blanc or any white wine that you like to drink
Method:
Preheat a fan oven to 200°C. Cut out four 30cm square sheets of baking paper.
Par-cook the baby potatoes, skin on, in the microwave for 4 minutes and set aside.
Place the four sheets of paper on the worktop and place a sea bass fillet in the centre of each one.
Slice the baby potatoes and place them close along one side of the sea bass.
Scatter the drained, chopped slow-roasted cherry tomatoes over the potatoes. Halve the fine green beans and finely chop the spring onions and scatter them on top of the sea bass fillets.
Pour 1 tablespoon of white wine over each fillet.
Fold the edges of the paper in by 1cm all round to stiffen the paper. It should still be a large square. Bring in the two opposite sides to meet and fold them together, then fold in the top and bottom ends. You want a little room in the package for steam to circulate but not escape. Place the parcels onto two baking trays, two parcels per tray.
Cook in the hot oven for 10 minutes, then swap the shelves and turn the trays around and cook for 5 minutes more.
Bring the parcels straight to the table for your guests to open themselves.
Enjoy!
‘Til next time, Sheila.

harissa hummus

Dips & Chips

I love crisps and sometimes instead of buying them I try to make a healthier option at home when I can.  These chips are simply wholemeal pita breads cut into triangles, drizzled with oil and dusted with something spicy like chilli powder or paprika or whatever you fancy and then baked on a high heat for five minutes .
harissa hummus
The hummus is another 5 minute job and loving all things spicy I love this harissa version from my new cookbook Enjoy!

harissa hummus

Harissa Hummus
You will need:
1 x 400g tin of chickpeas
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 tbsp rapeseed oil (or olive oil)
1 tbsp harissa paste
1 tbsp tomato puree
Method:
Drain and rinse the chickpeas and then use a food processor to blitz all the ingredients together adding more oil if you prefer a smoother consistency.
Enjoy with home-made pita chips.
simple!
‘Til next time, Sheila

Christmas Crab Salsa Starter

Christmas Crab Starter.

Christmas Crab Start with Melba Toast

This is my tasty, easy version of a crab tian.  Instead of layering things up individually I create a nice fresh and vibrant salsa married with crab meat, lemon juice and creme fraiche served in one large layer to slice into portions at the table.
To serve make some homemade melba toast triangles.
Crusts off bread for melba toast
Rolled bread
Triangles
Melba Toast
You will need:
Slices of bread – I use whole grain.
Method:
Cut the crusts off the bread.
Roll thinly with a rolling pin and cut into triangles.
Toast under a hot grill on both sides, the corners should curl up.
Cool and then store in airtight box before serving.
Salsa Mix
Clingfilm
Plate weight
cake base

Christmas Crab Starter

Christmas Crab Salsa Starter
You will need:
Small red onion
4 pineapple rings
Half cucumber
Half red pepper
Half yellow pepper
1 avocado
Half red chilli
Juice 1 lemon
400g crab meat
2 tbsp creme fraiche
Method:
Line a spring-form cheesecake tin with clingfilm, leaving enough film out over the edges so that it can be covered over when filled.
Peel and chop the red onion, pineapple, cucumber (deseeded) and peppers (deseeded), avocado – all into even size small pieces.
Finely chop the half red chilli.
Mix everything in a large bowl with the lemon juice, crab meat and creme fraiche.
Press the mixture into the lined cheesecake tin and cover over with the extra cling film.
Place a plate on top to weigh down and compact everything together.
Leave to chill in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.
To serve – remove the plate and open the spring-form sides and remove.
Pull back the clingfilm, place the serving plate or platter on top and then invert so that the cheesecake tin base is now on top.  Remove the base and peel away the remaining clingfilm. (see picture)
Serve with melba toasts.
Enjoy!
‘Til next time, Sheila

Cumin and Chilli Polenta Chips CloseUp

Chunky Cumin and Chilli Polenta Chips

Polenta Chips.

Cumin and Chilli Polenta Chips CloseUp

Polenta.  The notion strikes me every now and again to try something new and with polenta I had decided that it looked crumbly and could crisp up to a nice coating on some falafel bites that I was making.  I was wrong.  Rolling the falafel in the polenta and then pan frying didn’t work for me at all as the polenta was still too uncooked and raw and tasted of nothing.  So the almost full bag of polenta lay unused in the cupboard for a few weeks until I came across a recipe for polenta chips.  The recipe sounded dull enough so I decided to have a go with my own take on polenta chips spicing them up with cumin and chilli as it really needs a help along in the flavour game.  They turned out just as I had hoped, nice and crispy on the outside with a bit of bite yet softly fluffy and yielding in the middle.  We had these with some juicy steaks and salad and a dip of Rebel Chilli sauce.
Cumin and Chilli Polenta Chip Paste
Cumin and Chilli Polenta Chip Set
Cumin and Chilli Polenta Chips Cut
Cumin and Chilli Polenta Chips Oiled
Cumin and Chilli Polenta Chips with rebel chilli sauce

Note: Requires 1 to 2 hours for the polenta to set before cooking the chips.

Rebel Chilli Dip with Chunky Cumin and Chilli Polenta Chips

You will need:
2 oiled baking trays, one medium (30x20cm), one large(35x40cm).
1 litre water
250g polenta
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chopped red chilli paste (I use Goodall’s)
50g grated cheddar cheese
Oil for brushing
Method:
Boil one litre of water in a saucepan.  Whisk in the polenta, cumin and chilli paste, steadily whisking over the heat as it starts to thicken up then reducing the heat and continue whisking until smooth and thick for a couple of minutes.
Take off the heat and whisk in the grated cheese.
Pour the thick polenta paste into the smaller of the two oiled baking trays and leave to set in a cool, dry place for 1 to 2 hours until set.
Pre-heat the (fan) oven to 220C.
Tip the set polenta tray upside down onto the larger tray and give it a few taps so that the set polenta comes away onto the large tray.
Cut the set polenta into chunky chips sized to your liking, space them out and then use a pastry brush to oil them on all sides.
Cook in the hot oven for approx. 35 minutes until golden brown and nicely crisped up on the outside.
Serve with ketchup, mayonnaise or a good hot rebel chilli dip if you like.
Enjoy!
‘Til next time, Sheila