Strawberry Tartlets

It's strawberry time and what could be more more delicious than strawberries and cream encased in crispy dessert pastry? Use ready-made pastry for a quickly put together sweet canapé and make them a little larger for a quick and easy strawberry dessert. The flaked almonds not only add even more crunch but also help to keep the filling from softening the pastry. You can bake any left over pieces of pastry and make very tasty little biscuits too. Ingredients (24 tartlets) 1/2 pack ready-made dessert pastry 1 lightly beaten egg white 2 tbs flaked almonds (heaped) 1 tbs caster sugar 200g strawberries (or other berries) 200ml whipped double cream Small mint leaves Icing sugar Method Preheat ove

Figs in Parma Ham

Its a bit bit tricky to make this one look good, but other than appearance it fits the bill perfectly, easy to put together, made hours ahead and really tasty. See what you think... Ingredients - Makes 18 depending on size of figs 2 figs 1 pack Parma ham containing 6 slices 20 gms blue cheese (I used Saint Agur) 9 or 10 walnut halves, halved again 1 tbsp set honey 1 tbsp soft brown sugar 1 tbsp olive oil Fresh thyme Method Cut each fig in quarters and then cut across each quarter to make two or three pieces. You are aiming to end up with 2 or 3 similar shaped pieces with a total of 8 – 10 from each fig. Ends may need to be discarded to finish up with reasonably uniform shapes. Next c

Spicy Jalapeños

Great for the BBQ, but equally great popped in the oven, these spicy jalapeños are perfect for relaxed entertaining. Jalapeños are considered mild to moderate in the Scoville chilli heat indicator scale, but they still have a very satisfying kick. In this recipe they are stuffed with minced beef – cream cheese can be used for a meatless version. They are also gluten free (check labels on creme fraiche and use a gluten free bread for the crumbs). They can be completely made up and stored in the fridge for a couple of days, so ideal too if you want to get ahead and be organised. To serve as a starter just make a few more per guest. Ingredients 10 green jalapeño chillies 200gms beef mince (

Nutty Blue Cheese Gems

These are super easy and really yummy. They double up as a make ahead starter too, just don’t peel away so many of the outer leaves and serve one baby gem per person. Which ever size you choose, they will keep in the fridge for several hours. They can be made gluten free and vegetarian, so a really useful recipe to have on hand. (Check your cheese is suitable for vegetarians and gluten free, not all are. Cashel Blue is a good one to use). Ingredients – Makes 8 2 Baby Gem lettuces 25gms blue cheese 75mls double cream 25gms pine nuts, roughly chopped 5gms butter Seasoning Method Peel away the outer leaves of the lettuces. Cut each lettuce, lengthways into wedges to make 4 manageable mou

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