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Kathy's Menu for May 2002

Starter : Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Parcels
* * * * * * * *
Main Course : Fillet Steak with Wild Mushrooms
* * * * * * * *
Pudding : Individual Banoffee Puddings

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Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Parcels
Serves 4

Ingredients

8oz (200g) smoked salmon
4oz (100g) fresh asparagus
8oz (200g) low fat cream cheese
grated zest of a lime
chopped chives plus some whole chives to garnish
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Trim the asparagus and then blanch in boiling water for a minute, drain and refresh in cold water.
  2. Chop the asparagus stalks, reserving the top of each spear. Put the chopped stalks in a bowl with the cream cheese, chopped chives, lime zest and salt and pepper. Mix the ingredients together well.
  3. Cut the smoked salmon slices in to 12 lengths. Put a spoonful of the cheese mixture at one end of each salmon slice, put a spear of asparagus on top and roll up.
  4. Tie a chive around each parcel to secure it. To serve, arrange three parcels on each individual plate.

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Fillet Steak with Wild Mushrooms
Serves 4

Ingredients

4 fillet steaks
1 tablespoon flour
olive oil
2oz (50g) butter
1 onion, peeled and chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
2 sprigs fresh thyme
4oz (100g) oyster mushrooms
4oz (100g) shitake mushrooms
3 tablespoons brandy
200g (8oz) half fat creme fraiche

Method

  1. Toss the steaks on the flour. Heat a tablespoon of oil and 1oz of butter in a frying pan and when the butter foams add the steaks and cook for 2 minutes per side. Remove to a plate and keep warm.
  2. Add the rest of the butter and another tablespoon of oil to the pan and gently fry the garlic, onion, thyme and mushrooms for about 4 minutes.
  3. Add the brandy and simmer for about 3 minutes. Add the creme fraiche until the sauce just starts to bubble.
  4. Add the steaks and allow to heat through. Serve each steak on a plate with the sauce poured over it.
  5. Serve with a mixture of seasonal vegetables.

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Individual Banoffee Puddings
Serves 4

Ingredients

For the Puddings :
1 medium ripe banana
2oz (50g) stoned dates
quarter teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
half a teaspoon vanilla extract
1oz (25g) dark brown sugar
1oz (25g) low fat spread
1 large egg, beaten
3oz (75g) self raising flour
salt
4 x 6floz (175ml) metal mini pudding basins
oil for greasing basins

For the toffee sauce :
1oz (25g) dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon runny honey
7floz (200ml) virtually fat free fromage frais
1 small banana thinly sliced

Method

  1. Pre heat the oven to 180C (350F, gas mark 4).
  2. Put the dates in a pan with 2.5floz (75ml) of boiling water and simmer gently for 5 minutes.
  3. Peel the banana and mash in a bowl, add the date mixture and then stir in the bicarbonate of soda and vanilla.
  4. Grease the pudding basins and arrange on a baking tray.
  5. Cream the sugar and low fat spread together in a bowl, then gradually beat in the egg. Add the banana and date mixture and then sieve in the flour and a pinch of salt. Fold in the flour with a metal spoon and then divide the mixture between the four pudding basins.
  6. Bake in the middle of the oven for 15 - 20 minutes until risen and firm to the touch.
  7. To make the toffee sauce, mix the sugar honey and fromage frais together in a pan and set aside for about 15 minutes until the sugar has dissolved. When the puddings are ready, gently heat the sauce over a very low heat - do not allow to boil.
  8. Remove the puddings from their basins using a palette knife and turn out onto individual serving plates.
  9. Top each pudding with some slices of banana and some toffee sauce poured over the top.

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Cookery Book Recommendation of the Month

book cover Gary Rhodes Cookery Year: Spring into Summer by Gary Rhodes
There's nothing more satisfying when cooking than using ingredients that are simply bursting with flavour. By making the most of what is in season, Gary Rhodes' Cookery Year shows us how to choose and use the very best home-produced food to give us delicious recipes for all year round. The Cookery Year is divided into 2 books - Spring into Summer and Autumn into Winter - to accompany two six-part television series on BBC2. From Spring into Summer Gary guides us through the range of vegetables, salads, meat, fish and dairy products that are coming into season, and uses the very best of these in over 120 original recipes. Gary Rhodes' Cookery Year is a celebration of the fact that food always tastes better when it's in season. Both as a reference book and as a source of inspiration, Spring into Summer is essential reading for experienced and novice cooks alike, and will help you rediscover the joy of cooking and eating the very best food.

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