about 16 ripe, fresh figs 1 large burrata cheese 100g prosciutto 45ml honey thyme leaves, chopped
Preheat your oven to 200℃. Cut off the stem at the top of each fig, stand it upright and cut a cross in the top of each one, but don’t cut through to the base. Slice the Burrata into slices with a serrated knife ….. as best you can .. Put about half a slice of cheese into the cross you have cut – you can piece it together as it will melt. Now lay the prosciutto flat and half each slice in its length. Thread the ham through and around the fig and place in an ovenproof dish. Drizzle the honey over once all the figs are done and scatter over the thyme. Roast the figs for 8-10 minutes until the cheese has melted. Serve immediately as a canapé or an indulgent treat.
3 potatoes, cooked (about 250 – 350ml cooked potato) 60ml butter 250ml cheese, grated (I use parmesan and cheddar) 5ml salt 5ml garlic salt 15ml chives, chopped 250ml yoghurt 375ml self-raising flour butter
Mash the cooked potato while it is still warm and mix in the butter, cheese, salt, garlic salt and chives. Set aside to cool. Add the yoghurt and flour to a bowl and combine. Knead until you have a smooth ball of dough – add a small amount of flour if the dough is too sticky. Divide the dough in two balls. Roll out into a circle of 1cm thickness. Add half the potato mixture, flatten into a smaller circle and gather the edges of the dough around the filling. Pinch together the dough to seal the potato filling. Flip the filled dough and gently roll it out to a disk shape that will fit your pan. Pan-fry on both sides on medium heat, until golden, brushing with melted butter. Serve the bread warm.
10 sheets rice paper 10 slices ham 200g mozzarella cheese, cut into 1cm logs that are about 6cm long 250ml panko bread crumbs 2 eggs vegetable oil for frying
Lay the rice sheets in water for one minute to soften. Place a rice paper sheet on a work surface and top with a slice of ham. Place the cheese on the ham and fold the rice paper over. Roll up into a cylinder. Whisk the egg together in a shallow dish and add the bread crumbs to another shallow dish. Dip the rice paper rolls into the egg and cover with the bread crumbs. Place a saucepan on medium-high heat and add 1cm oil. Fry the rolls until golden and crisp. Serve with a dipping sauce.
Slice the halloumi into fingers Add the sesame seeds to a shallow bowl and the flour to another. Roll each piece of cheese in the sesame seeds, pressing down to make them stick. Now press them into the flour to coat and place them on a plate. Add the honey and lemon juice to a small bowl and whisk together. Place a large frying pan over medium-high heat, add a splash of vegetable oil and wait for it until it is hot. Fry the halloumi in batches for 1 minute until golden brown, turning to colour evenly. Drizzle the warm fingers with the honey dressing and serve.
These roll-ups are the kind of food we graze on in summer. Pack a huge platter full of them, mix an exotic cocktail and sit back and relax.
4 tortilla wraps 250g cream cheese 190ml pickled sweet peppers, chopped 500ml grated cheddar cheese 625ml finely shredded chicken meat (leftovers are perfect!) a small bunch of chives, chopped salt and pepper
Add the cream cheese, pickled peppers, cheddar, chicken and chives to a mixing bowl and mix together. Divide the mixture between the four wraps and evenly spread it right to the ends so that it is completely and evenly covered. Roll the wrap as tight and evenly as you can and slice into discs. Arrange on a platter to serve.
Add the water, soy sauce, vinegar and honey to a jug and whisk together to blend the ingredients. Set aside. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Lower the eggs into the boiling water with a spoon and cook for 7 minutes, or to your liking. Fill a large bowl with cold water and ice and keep on the side. Transfer the eggs to the ice bowl after the 7 minutes. Once the eggs have cooled enough to handle it is really easy to peel them when kept under the cold water. Place the peeled eggs in a container and pour the marinate over. Cover and refrigerate for 6-8 hours. The eggs must be submerged in the marinade – place a weight on top to keep them covered in the liquid. Remove from the soy mixture, slice and sprinkle with fresh chopped herbs to serve.
The eggs in these photographs were marinated for 24 hours – very dark colour and strong umami taste!!
500g prawns, shelled and deveined – keep the tail ends on 2 eggs, lightly beaten 83ml flour 250ml popped rice (rice crispies) vegetable oil for frying
Clean and dry the prawns. Add the eggs to a shallow dish and beat together. Add the flour and popped rice to a second and third bowl. Heat the oil in a saucepan to about 170℃. Now dredge each prawn in flour, then egg and finally in the popped rice. Fry the prawn in the oil for 2-3 minutes. Serve with a dipping sauce, as a canapé.
The word croquette is derived from the French word croquer which means “to crunch” and that is exactly what these potato bites are: a soft, cloudy potato with a heavenly crunch on the outside. Makes about 50 balls and is an excellent way of using leftover mashed potato.
Scoop the mashed potato into a mixing bowl. Add the chopped sausage to a dry pan and cook until done and slightly crisp on the edges. Add the sausage, cheese, chives and garlic powder to the mashed potato and mix through. Scoop about 15ml of the mixture into your hand and shape into a firm ball. Place the balls on a baking tray. Keep going until there are no mix left. Refrigerate the potato balls for at least one hour, it will be easier to work with. Add the eggs to a shallow bowl and whisk to break it up. Add the breadcrumbs to another shallow bowl. Now dredge the balls through the egg and then the breadcrumbs to cover evenly and completely. Warm the oil and fry the balls in small batches until beautifully golden and crisp. Serve the croquettes with a good mayonnaise or mustard.
The difference between bitterballen and kroketten is the shape and only the shape. These Dutch delicacies are delicious as a snack, light lunch or eaten whenever the craving takes hold of you. Homemade bitterballen/kroketten are a mission to make BUT it is worth every ounce of energy that goes into the making!
1kg beef shin (beef shank), bone in 3 onions, sliced into quarters 45ml beef stock powder salt and pepper 10ml parsley, chopped 250g butter 90ml flour 500ml panko/dried breadcrumbs 2 eggs vegetable oil for frying
Place the beef shin (with the bone) and onions in a large saucepan and fill it with enough water to cover the meat. Add 10ml salt and bring to a low simmer. Cook the meat for about 4 hours – it should literally fall from the bone. The shin benefits from being cooked low and slow in order to break down all the fibres and turn it into unctuous, gelatinous meat which in turn thickens the sauce in which it is cooked. Take the meat from the saucepan and set aside. Pour the broth through a fine sieve, season to taste with salt and pepper and then add the stock powder so that you have a salty broth. Add the chopped parsley and set aside. Pull the beef into very fine shreds and cut into small pieces necessary. Now add the butter to a clean saucepan set over high heat. Add the flour a little at a time while stirring constantly. Cook the mixture for 1 minute. Pour the beef stock into the saucepan in a very thin stream, while whisking, JUST until you have a very thick sauce. Take the sauce from the heat, stir in the meat and mix through. Pour the mixture into a large roasting tin and allow it to cool. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Place the breadcrumbs in a shallow bowl and break the eggs in another. Whisk the egg together. Shape about 80ml of the beef mixture into cylinder/round shapes, dredge each one in the breadcrumbs, egg and breadcrumbs again. Fry the kroketten in 180℃ oil, until golden. Serve with a good mustard.
This is a less meaty take on traditional Dutch croquettes and makes a fabulous canapé when paired with a crisp glass of wine. The rolling/shaping of the croquettes are a bit finicky and you do have to be patient but trust me, you will be rewarded in taste!
100ml flour 2 eggs, lightly beaten 250ml breadcrumbs oil for deep frying
Grate the mozzarella into a mixing bowl and put aside. Cut the bacon into chunks and add it to a saucepan with a dash of oil. Cook until done. Spoon the bacon into the bowl with the grated mozzarella. Place the same saucepan back onto medium heat and add the 80ml of vegetable oil and chopped onion. Simmer/fry the onion while stirring occasionally until it is soft and translucent. In the meantime pour the milk into a jug and warm it slightly in your microwave oven. Now add the 160ml flour to the onion and cook through for about a minute, stirring until it starts to bubble lightly. Gradually pour in the warmed milk, stirring continuously. Turn up the heat once all of the milk has been added. Keep stirring until the mixture comes to a boil. Remove the mixture from the heat and add the salt, chives, bacon and mozzarella. Mix thoroughly. Grease a large roasting tin and pour the croquette mixture into it. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the freezer until firm.
Line up three bowls: add the flour to the first; the eggs to the second and the breadcrumbs to the third bowl. Scoop a spoonful of the mixture into your hands, roll it into a small cylinder and then proceed to roll it in the flour. Dip it in the egg and finally into the breadcrumbs to coat completely. Place the shaped and breaded croquettes on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Keep going in this way until all of the mixture has been utilised. Heat some vegetable oil to 175℃ and fry a few croquettes at a time, until golden. Drain on kitchen paper and keep warm while cooking the rest. Serve warm.