This looks so beautiful, adding flowers to salad, and the extra flavour that they bring just lifts the whole thing. I usually make a basic Greek-style salad and layer the flowers on top. The ingredients depend on what is available. I add the ingredients in layers, only mixing together when serving.
This is totally delicious, much more than you’d think. I made this tonight, because of a constellation of ingredients in my fridge that inspired me to try. The trick with the egg and yoghurt really works for keeping the soup smooth.
2 tbsp olive oil
2 large leeks
1/2 tsp Turkish chilli flakes (pul biber) or paprika
1/2 tsp dried miint
1 egg yolk
1 tsp plain flour
150ml greek yoghurt
250ml vegetable or chicken stock
20g/person caramelised butter
salt and pepper
Chop the leeks: slice them in half lengthways, rinse and slice finely.
Heat the olive oil and butter together until the butter starts to foam, and then fry the leeks over a low heat for ten minutes.
Add the chilli and dried mint, cover and continue to cook for a further 15 to 20 minutes, checking regularly to ensure that the leeks don’t stick or burn.
Meanwhile, mix the egg yolk with the flour, to a smooth paste, and then beat in the yoghurt and stock. I used a soup wand to do this.
When the leeks are cooked, sweet and soft, pour on the yoghurt and stock, and heat gently, do not allow to boil. Keep stirring as the soup thickens. Add salt and pepper to taste.
To make browned butter, put around 20g per person in a small saucepan, melt the butter over a low heat. The white milk solids will sink to the bottom. Keep cooking until the milk solids start to turn a gentle brown. Remove from the heat.
Pour a little browned butter into each bowl before serving.
This dish is sensational. We bought 3kg of small Dublin bay prawns from a local fisherman, and boiled them for a couple of minutes in batches. The cooking water was flavoured with a pinch of saffron. We peeled them after they had cooled. Then I made this sauce and served them with toasted pitta bread and a green salad, as well as a stupendous white burgundy.
Cooked peeled prawns, as above
3 tbs olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, sliced and chopped
1 1/2 tsp caraway seeds
2 small dried hot chillies, crumbled
1 green pepper, diced small
2 cans chopped tomatoes
1/2 tsp honey or sugar
salt and pepper
Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan, and fry the garlic over a medium to low heat until it starts to brown.
Add the caraway and the chilli and cook for a further 30 seconds before adding the green peppers. Cook for another 10 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and bring to a slow simmer. Cook for another 20 minutes, so that the sauce is reduced and thickening. Add sugar, salt, and pepper to your taste.
Add the prawns and simmer for another couple of minutes to heat them through.
Serve in a bowl, garnished with chopped parsley. A rocket salad and toasted pitta bread is ideal as an accompaniment.
We had guests round, and I had some pork chops in the freezer. This was delicious, nothing left at the end. Here are quantities for two.
2 pork chops
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves of garlic
around 150ml white wine
around 150ml double cream
1 tsp grain mustard
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Cornichons (optional, around 4 per serving)
Before cooking, season the chops with salt and pepper and set aside for at least half an hour
In a large skillet, heat the butter and olive oil together, and add crushed garlic, and then the chops. Brown the chops on each side and then cook until they are no longer pink inside, taking care not to over-cook them.
Set the chops on a warm dish and keep warm.
Meanwhile, pour off any excess fat and oil, and then add the wine to the pan. Bring to the boil and scrape any delicious sediment in the pan so that it dissolves.
Pour in the cream, bring to a gentle boil for a very short time, stir in the mustard and season to taste with salt and pepper.
If you are using cornichons, you can add a tbsp of the liquor from the jar to the sauce.
Pour the sauce over the chops and serve with mashed potatoes.
We were given a marrow, a vegetable that I am not that confident with. We made stuffed marrow rings, and I didn’t get it right, so you’ll need to wait for a more successful version. Just to say that the marrow was not well-cooked. The redeeming feature was this stew, which I made to be the stuffing. We ended up eating it with couscous.
1 green pepper
1 can chopped tomatos
2 tsp cornflour (I mixed marigold stock powder with the cornflour before adding water)
salt and pepper
a good pinch of paprika
a good handful of chopped mint and dill (or 1 tsp each of dried mint and dill)
Prepare all the ingredients. Chop the chicken into small pieces. Chop the onion finely. Core the pepper, remove the seeds and slice. Prepare the mushrooms and slice coarsely.
Heat the oil in a casserole dish, and when it is hot, gently fry the onion and peppers until soft.
Add the chicken and mushroom, and fry for a further 4 minutes or so until the chicken is sealed.
Meanwhile, mix a little stock with the cornflour to make a smooth paste, and then add the paste back to the stock and mix.
Add the tomatoes to the chicken in the pan, and bring to a simmer
Add the stock, paprika, salt and pepper and herbs. Bring to a simmer and cook gently until the stew starts to thicken.
Cover the casserole and cook in a moderate oven for 20 minutes max.
Serve with couscous and garnished with chopped herbs, such as parsley and dill.