Pulled Ham Hock Salad in Filo Cases

Another make ahead canapé that can be very easy to put together if you buy the ham hock and croustades, a bit more time consuming if you start from scratch. But cooking a ham hock or knuckle is totally fool proof and gives loads of delicious pulled ham, far more than this recipe requires. There will be plenty over to make a pulled ham salad or to freeze for another occasion. It’s far tastier than any packaged ham you’ll buy and not expensive at all. Ingredients - makes 24 (approx) 60 gms pulled ham hock 3 tbs mayonnaise 1 1/2 tsp English mustard 6 sugar snap peas, plus extra for garnish 4 gherkins 20 gms chopped apricots 2 tbsp finely chopped parsley Salt and pepper Romaine lettuc

Smoked Mackerel in Lemon Cups

I love the preserved lemons that are used in many Middle Eastern dishes. These lemons, preserved in salt, are intensely flavoured and add a delicious depth to food. They are great added to salad dishes or couscous or cooked with chicken. The lemons, cut in half or quarters, make a delicious mouth watering container for a spoonful of smooth mackerel pate. It’s a delicious combination. See what you think. It’s easy, quick and make ahead. It can be simplified even further if you use bought mackerel pate. Ingredients Preserved lemons (I use Belazu from Waitrose) Pea shoots Mackerel Pate – bought or home made: 300 gms smoked mackerel fillets 250 mls creme fraiche juice of half a lemon 1 ts

Asparagus with Crispy Parma Ham

Just back from a wonderful few days in San Sebastián so full of foodie ideas, but there’s not much time today, so this canapé had to be extra extra quick. Yes it’s another asparagus canapé, but it is still very much in season. Also, whilst it can be conventionally cooked under a grill, it is a brilliant one for the BBQ. Ingredients - makes 12 One bunch of asparagus 6 slices of Parma ham Olive oil Seasoning Mayonnaise (flavoured to taste) Method Wash the asparagus and steam for about 1.5 minutes so that it is just cooked, but still firm. Dry carefully and cut each spear in half and season. Cut each slice of Parma ham into 2 or 3 strips, cutting horizontally. Wrap two pieces of asparagus (a t

Mini Chicken Caesar Salad

This is a mini-size version of Caesar Salad – everyone’s favourite – with the croustade acting as the crouton. It is quick and simple to make (can be made ahead of course) and I have added a few short cuts to make it even easier. Waitrose stock ready made mini croustades (Rahms) and also from Waitrose is the Cardini’s Caesar dressing. Ingredients - makes 12 croustades 4 slices white bread (ready sliced) 1 tbs melted butter 1 small chicken breast, poached 1 1/2 tbs Caesar dressing 3-4 romaine lettuce leaves 15gms celery, chopped into small pieces 5gms Parmesan cheese Flat leaf parsley salt and pepper If making the croustades, you will also need mini muffin tins (available on Amazon) Method To

Planted Asparagus

No excuses for another asparagus recipe, the season is so short, it’s just got to be enjoyed while it is here. Later on in the year this recipe is brilliant with other small salad vegetables, such as radishes, baby carrots, small broccoli florets or anything else that will look realistic ‘growing. (As in Heston Blumenthal’s Planted Garden from which this canapé or starter is adapted and simplified). For my take on this I have used little 6cm mini terracotta flower pots (from Amazon) and have lined each of them with a plastic fromage frais pot. Rectangular dish or dishes, preferably terracotta or earthenware also look quite realistic, especially for a larger planted garden where the different

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