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Video hasn’t killed this radio star!

December 28, 2011

On Christmas Eve, I had the pleasure of my second visit to Nick Coffer’s Weekend Kitchen BBC Three Counties radio show, where I joined fellow home cook Christian Carden-Maund and wine expert Robert Steen for food, drinking and chat about festive fare.

Nick asked me to make three dishes for the occasion, starter, main and dessert, that would be simple for any of the listeners to prepare in their own homes and would be fitting for the season.

Here’s what I did…

For the starter, i opted for my adaptation of one of Delia Smith’s classic recipes: Smoked Mackerel Pâté

I served it up as Canapés on sliced baguette for the purposes of the show, but it is ideal as a starter or part of a buffet, best served with warm bread or toast.

300g smoked mackerel fillets
Small tub of soured cream (150g)
½ tub ricotta cheese (about 125g)
1-2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Fine sea salt and white pepper
50g chopped cornichons or cocktail gherkins

1. Skin the mackerel fillets and carefully remove any bones.

2. Pop all the fish into a food processor or blender with the soured cream, ricotta, one tablespoon of the lemon juice and a big pinch of salt and pepper. Blend to a smooth texture.

3. Taste and add more lemon juice, salt and pepper as required. Fold in the chopped cornichons or gherkins – this will add a nice crunch. Chill until ready to use. It lasts for a good few days in the fridge!

For the main, I devised a dish that could be made using leftover Christmas ham and produced Ham, Pork and Prawn Won Tons

Makes about 32 won tons – serves four with rice, or eight as a starter with a soy dipping sauce

120g finely chopped cooked gammon ham; Christmas leftovers are perfect!
80g minced pork
85g peeled, cooked prawns, finely chopped. (If you want to omit the prawns, just replace them with 45g more ham and 40g more minced pork) 
spring onions, finely chopped
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh root ginger (Top tip: use the side of a teaspoon to peel the ginger)
2-3 finely chopped garlic cloves
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
5-6 finely chopped water chestnuts (can be found in a can in the Chinese section of your supermarket)
32-36 won ton wrappers (You can find these in any Asian supermarket, either fresh or frozen.  If using frozen, make sure they are thoroughly de-frosted before using)

To serve:
Thai sticky rice or ‘glutinous’ rice
Soy Sauce
Shredded spring onions

1. In a bowl, mix together all the ingredients, except for the won ton wrappers.

2. Line bamboo or metal steamer baskets with baking parchment. Gently pierce with a skewer to make a few holes in the parchment.

3. Following the packet instructions, cook the rice. Make sure you salt the cooking water.

4. One at a time, put a teaspoon of the filling in the centre of a won ton wrapper. Then brush all around it with water using a small pastry brush and bring the corners together like a little money bag. Push together to make sure it is sealed and pop in the steamer.

5. When you’ve filled the basket(s) (don’t overcrowd the won tons) steam for five minutes. Do in batches, if necessary.

6. When the rice is cooked, check the seasoning. If it needs more seasoning, sprinkle generously with soy sauce.

7. Place the rice in a bowl or deep plate and pop the won tons on top. Drizzle with more soy sauce and sprinkle the shredded spring onions over the top.

For my dessert, I turned to one of my most loved and easiest recipes; Rocky Roads.  Trust me when I say people will love you that little bit more once you’ve made these for them!

275g dark chocolate
175g salted butter
4 tablespoons golden syrup
175g Crinkle Crunch biscuits, bashed to small pieces with the end of a rolling pin
25g coco pops or rice crispies
2 large handfuls of mini marshmallows, or large marshmallows, snipped up with scissors
100g glacé cherries
Edible glitter or icing sugar, for decoration

1. Pop the dark chocolate, butter and golden syrup in a large glass or metal bowl, set over a saucepan of gently simmering. Stir until all melted and well blended and then remove from the heat.

2. Whilst the mixture is melting, line an 18cm square baking tin with baking parchment.

3. Stir the biscuits, coco pops or rice crispies, marshmallows and cherries into the chocolate mixture.

4. Pour the melted mixture into the baking tin, shaking it gently to evenly distribute and smooth out the top a little.

5. Pop it into the fridge until set hard. Using a sharp knife, cut it into pieces and then sprinkle with edible glitter or icing sugar before serving.

I hope you get a chance to try one or more of these recipes.  Let me know how you get on if you do…

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From → Recipes

3 Comments
  1. Deborah Clancy permalink

    Oooooohhhhh, your recipe for your Rocky Roads!! Thought that was a well kept secret. Thanks for sharing 😉

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