Saturday, February 27, 2010

More Experimenting

Suggestions are being given today for a couple of starters that I read about recently. Weights and measures of ingredients were not given, so are up to the cook. A little experience helps re this. But not beyond most of us. As these can be made ahead of time, then chilled - a great time-saver when entertaining. Scaled down these could also be served as canapes instead of as starters.
Potted Ham with Apple:
Mix together diced ham with apple sauce, parsley, finely chopped spring onions, and season with black pepper. Line ramekin dishes with cling film, then with slices of Parma ham . fill with the ham mixture, and top this with a thin slice of chorizo sausage. Fold the overlapping bits of Parma ham over to cover the filling. Cover and chill before removing from ramekin, peeling away the paper and serving. Garnish with a few rocket leaves and (opt) pistachio nuts.

Goat's Cheesecake:
Line a small loaf tin with a double thickness of cling film. Blitz goat's cheese in a food processor with beaten eggs, mascarpone cheese and black pepper. Spoon into the tin and bake uncovered at 180C, 350F, gas 4 for 25 minutes until a firm crust has formed. Cool and chill. Turn out and serve sliced with Melba toast.

We still have a few clementines in the fruit bowl. Surprised they have kept so well, although the peel is looking a bit dry. Have discovered a recipe for storing the clementine flesh in syrup, so will be filling a jar with these today. Said to be good eaten with ice-cream, yogurt, or dark chocolate cakes.
Spiced Clementines:
5 - 6 clementines
2 - 3 cloves
1 cinnamon stick
star anise
2 oz (50g) sugar
2 tblsp water
Peel the fruit, reserving the peel from one and cut this into strips. Remove as much white pith as possible from the fruit (keeping the segments attached to each other), then put the fruit into a clean and sterilised hot jar with the cloves, cinnamon, star anise and shredded peel.
Meanwhile, heat the sugar and water together, and when the sugar has dissolved, simmer until syrupy. Remove from heat and stir in some brandy (1 - 3 tblsp) and pour this over the fruit, shaking the jar so any trapped air comes to the surface. The liquid must cover the fruit. Seal and store in a cool dry place for a month before using. Use within 3 months.