Greek Style Salad Starter
2 medium courgettes, cut into long ribbons using a 'y' peeler
Olive Oil for brushing
2 large beef tomatoes, each cut into 6 slices
½ small red onion, very finely diced
1/3 cucumber, finely diced
60g mixed pitted olives
100g mixed soft cream cheese or Greek yoghurt
A few chopped basil and oregano leaves, finely chopped
220g feta cheese, crumbled
Black pepper and salt
To garnish - Balsamic glaze
- Preheat a griddle pan.
- Brush the courgette with oil and griddle on both sides. Leave to cool.
- Mix together the onion, cucumber, olives, cream cheese or yoghurt and herbs in a small bowl and season well.
- Place a tomato slice in the centre of a serving plate, top with a spoonful of the cream cheese mix and a courgette ribbon and repeat again to form a stack.
- Crumble over the feta cheese.
- Drizzle over a little olive oil and Balsamic glaze before serving.
Chicken Breasts Mediterranean Style
4 skinless chicken breasts
2 tbsp polenta
2 tbsp parmesan cheese
1 tbsp olive oil
50g pitted mixed olives
50g sundried tomatoes in oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
- Preheat oven 190ºC Gas 5.
- In a small bowl, mix together the polenta and parmesan and season with little black pepper.
- Blitz together the olives, sundried tomatoes, garlic clove and olive oil with a small blender (or chop very finely and add olive oil).
- Cut a slit in each chicken breast and add the stuffing mixture. Sprinkle over the polenta mixture.
- Cook for 20-25 minutes.
- Serve with green salad.
Italian Style New Potatoes
1 kg new potatoes
2-3 cloves garlic
Finely grated rind of 1 lemon
sea salt and black pepper
oil for drizzling
- Parboil the potatoes for 7-8 minutes and then sauté in a little oil with remaining ingredients until golden brown or oven bake at 200ºC Gas 6 for 15-20 minutes.
Cook's Tip – potatoes can be steamed in your microwave for 5-6 minutes to save time. Just add 2 tbsp water to the dish, add the potatoes cover and cook on Full power. Finish as above.
Dauphinoise Potato Cakes
1.4 kilo / 3lbs Maris Piper potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, crushed
150mls double cream
75g Gruyere cheese, grated
salt and white pepper
- Arrange the potato slices in a roasting tin, seasoning well and pouring some of the cream or stock between the layers.
- Blend the crushed garlic with the cream or stock.
- Line the base and sides of a 30cm x 20cm roasting tin with non-stick baking paper and lightly smear with butter or spray with a little olive oil.
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC Fan/ Gas5
- Dot with the remaining butter, sprinkle over the cheese if using, and pour over the remaining liquid.
- Bake for 1½ hours – if becoming too brown cover with foil.
- Leave to cool. Refrigerate until required.
- Using a 6.5cm/ 2½ inch cutter, cut out rounds and arrange onto a baking- tray lined with non-stick paper. Re-heat for 10-12 minutes.
Makes 10-12 potato cakes.
These can be made in advance and kept in a refrigerator for 24 hours.
125g caster sugar
4 eggs & 1 extra egg yolk
½ tsp vanilla extract
1-2 tbsp caster sugar
500mls warmed milk
- Preheat the oven to 140ºC Fan/ Gas 3
- Place the water and sugar in a saucepan. Heat gently to dissolve the sugar and then boil rapidly until golden brown.
- Pour the caramel into a 20cm round ovenproof dish.
- Whisk together the eggs, 1-2 tbsp sugar, vanilla extract and warmed milk and gently pour the egg mixture through a sieve into the prepared dish or tin.
- Place the dish of egg custard into a roasting tin and pour hot water around it to form a bain- marie so that the water comes halfway up the sides of the dish.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes until the custard sets but still has a slight wobble.
- Leave to cool and then chill slightly before inverting onto a serving plate and cutting into slices.
Try making a Coffee Crème Caramel by adding 2 tbsp strong coffee to the warm milk instead of the vanilla extract or a Chocolate Crème Caramel by dissolving 100g chopped chocolate into the warmed milk.