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Kathy's Menu for July 2001

Starter : Marinated Mozzarella with Avocado

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Main Course : Rosti Crab Cakes

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Pudding : Hazelnut Shortbread with Summer Fruits

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Marinated Mozzarella with Avocado
Serves 4

Ingredients

8oz (220g) mozzarella cheese, sliced
2 ripe avocados, peeled, stoned and thinly sliced
2 strips of red pepper 1 inch x 3 inches
fresh basil leaves
4 spring onions finely chopped
For the Dressing :
1 clove of garlic
1 level teaspoon salt
1 rounded teaspoon mustard powder
1 dessertspoon white wine vinegar
5 dessertspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 dessertspoon chopped fresh chives
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Arrange the mozzarella and avocado slices on a serving plate with overlapping alternate slices.
  2. Slice the strips of red pepper into the finest shreds possible starting from the narrow (1 inch) end. Next pile the basil leaves on top of each other and slice these into similar shreds and scatter both basil and pepper over the cheese and avocado.
  3. Make the dressing by crushing the garlic and mixing in a bowl with the salt and mustard powder. Add plenty of black pepper and stir in the vinegar, oil and chives. Pour the dressing into a screw top jar and shake well to mix. Pour the dressing over the cheese and avocado.
  4. Cover the plate with foil and leave to marinate for 2 hours (no longer or the cheese will go soft). Serve with ciabatta bread.

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Rosti Crab Cakes with Toasted Sweetcorn Salsa
Serves 4

Ingredients

16oz (450g) prepared crab meat
10oz (300g) firm waxy potatoes
2 slightly rounded tablespoons capers
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons grated lime zest
4 spring onions, finely chopped
2 pinches cayenne pepper
2 heaped tablespoons fresh parsley
oil for frying
salt and freshly ground black pepper
sprigs of parsley to garnish
lime quarters to garnish

Method

  1. Put the unpeeled potatoes in to a pan with boiling water and salt and boil for 10 minutes.
  2. Whilst the potatoes are cooking put the rest of the ingredients in to a bowl and mix together thoroughly.
  3. When the potatoes are cooked, drain them and allow them to cool. Peel off the skin and grate with a coarse grater.
  4. Combine the grated potato with the crab mixture. Take a rough tablespoon of the mixture and form into a round cake, pressing evenly together. You need to make 16 crab cakes in total and put them on to a baking tray once made. Cover with clingfilm and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to become firm.
  5. To cook heat 1.5 tablespoons of oil in a frying pan until it is very hot and then fry the crab cakes for 3 minutes on each side, turning down the heat to medium. Remove the cooked cakes to a plate lined with kitchen roll, then transfer to a warmed serving plate and garnish with lime quarters and parsley.
  6. Serve with Toasted Sweetcorn Salsa and a side salad.

Toasted Sweetcorn Salsa
Serves 4

Ingredients

2 cobs sweetcorn, stripped of husks and threads
half a red pepper, very finely chopped
2 large firm tomatoes, skinned, deseeded and chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
a few drops of tabasco sauce
salt and freshly milled black pepper
a little olive oil

Method

  1. Pre heat the grill to its highest setting, then rub the corn kernels with a trace of olive oil. Place the corn cobs under the grill and toast them for approximately 8 minutes, turning them from timer to time so that they toast evenly.
  2. Remove the cobs from the grill and allow to cool. Hold each cob firmly with a cloth and scrape off all the corn kernels using a sharp knife.
  3. In a bowl, mix the corn kernels with all the other ingredients, taste to check the seasoning and then serve with the crab cakes.

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Hazelnut Shortbread with Summer fruits
Serves 4

Ingredients

For the Hazelnut Shortbread :
5 oz (150g) softened butter
5oz (150g) plain flour
2.5oz (60g) rice flour
2.5oz (60g) icing sugar
3oz (75g) hazelnuts, toasted and finely chopped

For the Fruit Filling :
4oz (110g) redcurrants
4oz (110g) blackcurrants
8oz (225g) raspberries
8oz (225g) strawberries
2 level tablespoons sugar

For the Fruit Coulis :
4oz (110g) redcurrants
4oz (110g) strawberries
2oz (50g) raspberries
2oz (50g) sugar
icing sugar for dusting

Method

  1. Pre heat the oven to 180C (350F, gas mark 4).
  2. In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, then gradually work in the flours, followed by the Hazelnuts, to make a stiff ball of dough.
  3. Put the dough in a polythene bag and leave it in the fridge to rest for 30 minutes. Transfer the dough to a flat surface and roll out to a thickness of about a quarter of an inch (5mm, then cut out 16 biscuits using a 3.5 inch (9cm) pastry cutter.
  4. Arrange the biscuits on two lightly greased baking sheets and lightly prick each biscuit with a fork. Bake for 10 - 12 minutes until light brown, then remove and cool on a wire rack.
  5. For the fruit filling, strip the redcurrants and blackcurrants in to a pan, add the sugar and place on a medium heat and let them cook for 3 - 4 minutes or until the juice begins to run. Transfer them to a bowl and when they are quite cold, gently stir in the raspberries and strawberries.
  6. To make the coulis, soak the fruits in the sugar for 30 minutes, then liquidise them to make a smooth sauce. Pass the sauce through a nylon sieve to remove the pips.
  7. Just before serving, fold the whole fruits into the sauce and use the mixture to sandwich the hazelnut biscuits together. Dust with icing sugar and serve.

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Cookery Book Recommendation of the Month

book cover Return of the Naked Chef by Jamie Oliver

If you think cooking is boring or time-consuming, or you haven't the confidence to chuck out those ready-made meals, let Jamie change all that for you. Here he returns to get you in the kitchen with his mouth-watering recipes and new angles on favourite dishes.

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