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Kathy's Menu for June 2008

Starter : Italian Stuffed Aubergines

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Main Course : Sea Bass on a Crisp Risotto Cake with Saffron Sauce

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Pudding : Sticky Toffee Pudding

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Italian Stuffed Aubergines
Serves 4

Ingredients

1 large aubergine
3 large tomatoes, skinned, deseeded and diced
1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 large clove of garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves
2 teaspoons sun dried tomato paste
1 tablespoon capers
5oz (115g) mozzarella
1.5 tablespoons breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 basil leaves to garnish
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Pre heat the oven to 180C (350F, gas mark 4). Grease a large solid baking tray.
  2. Trim the stalk off the aubergine and then cut eight thin lengthwise slices. The bulbous sides should be diced and reserved to use in the filling. Arrange the slices of aubergine on the baking sheet and brush each slice with olive oil, then season with salt and pepper. Cook in the oven for about 15 minutes.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a frying pan and fry the onion, reserved chopped aubergine and garlic for about 5 minutes. Add the diced tomato, chopped basil and sun dried tomato paste and cook for a further 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and add the capers. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool.
  4. Chop the mozzarella into small dice. Sprinkle each of the cooked aubergine slices with the mozzarella, placing in the centre of each slice. Next add the cooled stuffing ingredients, dividing equally bewteen the 8 aubergine slices. Roll up each slice tucking the ends underneath. Brush each aubergine roll with oil. Combine the breadcrumbs and parmesan and sprinkle over the top of the aubergine rolls. Put a basil leaf on top of each one and then bake in the oven for about 20 minutes. Serve immediately.

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Sea Bass on a Crisp Risotto Cake with Saffron Sauce
Serves 4

Ingredients

1/2 teaspoon saffron strands
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
4 sea bass fillets
1/2 oz (15g) unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
chopped parsley to garnish

Shellfish Stock
2oz (50g) carrot, peeled and chopped
2oz (50g) onion, peeled and chopped
2oz (50g) celery, chopped
1/2oz (15g) unsalted butter
12oz (350g) prawns
1 tablespoon brandy
2 tablespoons white wine
1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon
3oz (75g) tomatoes, chopped
2 pints (1.2 litres) fish stock
pinch of paprika

Risotto
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small finely chopped onion
1 garlic clove
8oz (225g) risotto rice
3floz (85ml) dry white wine

Method

  1. First make the shellfish stock by frying the carrot, onion and celery in a pan with the butter for 3 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and most of the saffron strands and simmer for 40 minutes. Strain through a muslin sieve. There should be about 1 3/4 pints (1 litre) of stock.
  2. For the risotto, heat the olive oil in a pan and add the onion and crushed garlic and cook until soft and lightly browned. Add the rice and stir to coat with oil. Pour in the wine and bring to the boil, stiring all the time.
  3. Reserve 1/4 pint (100ml) of stock and gradually add the rest of the stock to the rice. Allow the rice to simmer gently for about 20 minutes until the rice is cooked and all the liquid has been absorbed.
  4. Put four 3.5 inch (9cm) pastry rings on a baking sheet and line each one with cling film leaving the cling film overhanging so that a parcel can be made. Divide the risotto between the rings, making sure the surface is level. Use the overhanging cling film to cover the top of the risotto cake and make a parcel. Chill in the fridge for 3 hours.
  5. To make the sauce bring the reserved shellfish stock to the boil and add the remaining saffron strands. Gradually whisk this stock into the mayonnaise. Pour the sauce back into the pan and heat gently for a few minutes.
  6. Cut each sea bass fillet in half and brush with a little melted butter. Place skin side up in the grill pan.
  7. Heat the remaining butter and oil in a frying pan. Unwrap the risotto cakes and fry for about 2 minutes until golden brown. Turn the risotto cakes, reduce the heat and cook for a further 4 minutes.
  8. Whilst the risotto cakes are cooking, grill the fish for 2 minutes.
  9. To serve, put the risotto cakes onto 4 warmed plates. Put two pieces of sea bass on the top of each risotto cake, pour the sauce around and sprinkle with chopped parsley.

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Sticky Toffee Pudding
Serves 8

Ingredients

10 floz (300ml) water
6oz (175g) chopped dates
1 teaspon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
2oz (50g) butter
6oz (175g) soft brown sugar
2 eggs
8oz (225g) plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
cream, creme fraiche or ice cream to serve

Sauce
10 floz (300ml) double cream
8oz (225g) dark brown sugar
4oz (100g) butter

Method

  1. Pre heat the oven to 180C (350F, gas mark 4). Grease and line a 9 inch cake tin.
  2. Put the water, dates, bicarbonate of soda and the vanilla into a pan and bring to the boil.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat the eggs and then gradually beat them into the butter and sugar mixture. Fold in the sieved flour and baking powder.
  4. Bring the date mixture back to the boil. Slowly beat this mixture into the creamed butter, sugar and egg mixture. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin and cook for 30 minutes.
  5. To make the sauce, put the cream, sugar and butter into a pan and warm over a low heat until the sugar has melted. Just before serving, bring the sauce to the boil.
  6. To serve, cut the cake into 8 pieces and put each onto a warmed dish. Pour the sauce over the puddings and serve with whipped cream, creme fraiche or ice cream.

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Cookery Book Recommendation of the Month

Gordon Ramsay's Healthy Appetite by Gordon Ramsay
(Hardcover, 256 pages)

book cover Synopsis What you are is what you eat - and everyone wants to be healthy and look their best. Gordon Ramsay - super-fit chef, marathon runner and high-energy television presenter - is a great advertisement for eating well and staying in the peak of good health. For this third series of "The F Word", he has put together over 100 dishes that are completely in tune with the way we want to eat today - packed with fresh, vital ingredients cooked in the most healthy way to achieve maximum flavour. Geared around our daily lives he gives ideas and recipes for healthy breakfasts, lunches, barbecues, suppers, desserts, kids and entertaining, demonstrates healthycooking methods that guarantee optimum flavour, and tells us which are his favourite healthy ingredients.

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www.byrneuk.com   |   Last Updated - 5. 2008