apple snow

my mum used to make this traditional English apple dessert on special occasions and according to what I’ve read about it’s history the recipe dates back to the 17th century and was called apple fluff amongst other things. I remember big bowls of it in the larder where I would stick my finger in and scoop up a delicious morsel. It’s light as a feather and you can add a teaspoon of your favourite spice to it if you fancy, to make it more Christmassy. It’s a great alternative to all the rich festive food and works as a light pud all year round.

serves 3-4 or multiply it for more people

Ingredients

1lb of Bramley apples, peeled cored and diced

3/4 cup of sugar

1 lemon, zest and juice

2 egg whites

1 optional teaspoon of spice, I added allspice

How

Stew the apples with 1/2 cup approx of the sugar with the lemon juice and zest (and mixed spice if using) until tender, this takes about ten to twenty minutes. They should be quite dry at the end, so continue to cook till all the liquid has evaporated. Leave to cool and blend in a blender or with a stick blender till smooth.

With a hand blender, whisk up the egg whites with the remaining sugar until stiff. Then gently fold the egg whites into the apple mixture until mixed through.

Spoon into serving glasses and serve with a small biscuit or shortbread.

NB it’s not advisable for pregnant women or people suffering with a compromised immune system to eat raw egg.

Busaba thai calamari

This recipe is more of a review, I found it on Epicurious and it’s recipe for the Busaba Eat Thai squid which is one of their best dishes and everyone loves it so I wanted to try and make it myself. It’s really delicious and what really makes it is the sauce. It’s brilliant with Thai sticky rice and some stir fried pak-choi. The pickled peppercorns are optional if you can’t be arsed, but I love them and made a big batch to use on other recipes, like my curries. 

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aubergine pizza

This pizza recipe looks great, and best of all it tastes great too. The aubergine works really well cooked this way and becomes creamy and slightly sweet. The flavour of the mozzarella is boosted with a bit of parmesan and the red onion… once prepped the pizza takes about 6 minutes to cook… so if you are entertaining you can prepare them in advance and bung them in the oven just before you want them. Brilliant with a green salad and a glass of Italian red wine.

For the links to my pizza dough and sugo just click on them and it will take you to the recipes.

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italian octopus and white bean salad

This salad is very simple and takes moments to prepare…it’s got all the classic Italian flavours of fresh lemon, parsley, olive oil and balsamic vinegar with tender octopus, which I buy ready cooked from my Spanish deli in Portobello Road or my local fish monger in Primrose Hill but you can also use the jars of it in olive oil that some supermarkets and delis stock. It’s a perfect starter to a pescatarian dinner, or just as a light supper with crusty bread to mop up the dressing.

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beetroot caviar

I had this delicious beetroot dip in the restaurant Le Pain Quotidien in Marylebone with warm sourdough bread an avocado dip and humus. It was so delicious I had to put it on the blog. Its called caviar because the beetroot looks a bit like caviar when you blitz it in the food processor. It’s super easy and can be serve on roasted rye bread or sourdough with chopped eggs, slices of avocado, swirls of sour cream, capers, chives or whatever you fancy. It’s brilliant for canapés and in sandwiches or as a dip for crudité.

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italian mussels steamed in beer with gremolada and breadcrumbs

This recipe is inspired by my father’s range of beers called Paolozzi made by The Edinburgh Beer Factory.

It is really Italian in all its flavours and I’m sure he would have loved it. Beer and mussels go really well together and so does crusty bread so I combined them all together. Mussels are cheap and sustainable, plus they cook in minutes. This recipe is perfect as a starter or light supper. And of course it’s perfect with beer.

If you fancy it with chips there are a couple of recipes on my blog for for easy fries too: healthy matchstick fries and the perfect roasted fries.

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creamy egg curry with a coconut sauce

This recipe is from Madhur Jaffrey’s cookbook Simple Indian Cookery. I have made a few alterations to the recipe, like removing the dairy and chicken stock, and replacing them with coconut cream and coconut milk. I have also used an assortment of different eggs and put less oil in so it’s healthier. It is an excellent dinner party recipe and I would serve it with freshly made wholemeal chapatis from the Indian section of my supermarket in the freezer (Shana)as they are a great combination with this curry and super easy. I also would add a salad with wedges of lemon and my {okra} and or basmati rice. My friends think this is the most delicious curry ever, see what you think. I love it.

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spaghetti al pesto

Home made pesto is so infinitely superior to the store-bought jars, it’s a totally different beast. This authentic Italian recipe is one of the easiest, quickest, and most delicious sauces for pasta. All you do is stick the pasta on and put the pesto ingredients in a food processor, although pesto is traditionally made in a mortar and pestle. The first time I had this wasn’t with my Italian family, it was in an Italian restaurant in Hamburg when I was a teenager and I vividly remember thinking it was the most delicious thing I had ever eaten and it’s perfect for a date night.

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spaghetti alle vongole

This is the food of the gods and needs no explaining as to how good it is. It’s perfect for  a stress-free Valentine’s dinner or a date night as it only take as long as the pasta takes to cook.

When I’ve been to Venice I practically live on it as it really is my favourite thing and I can’t get enough of it. It can be made in under 20 minutes and the ingredients can be bought days in advance. This recipe is an original Venetian recipe which I always love to cook, as it is like a lot of Italian recipes, very simple. There are two sorts of Vongole, in bianco, which is made like this recipe, or in rosso which is made with tomatoes. When I make it everyone goes mad for it… so try it, it’s not expensive and it is quick and easy.

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pear drop sorbet with pear guitars

This no churn boozy sorbet is based on the the delicious pear drop cocktail which is pear juice with vodka and vanilla. It’s such a brilliant combination of flavours I have made it into an easy gelato version which is perfect for valentine’s night or date night as it’s lighter than a traditional dessert, so you won’t feel like dozing off after dinner as you dim the lights and crank up the Barry White…
It can be made in advance and kept frozen till needed. It’s also very easy and quick to make, you just need a freezer and a food processor or a nutribullet. How to make the pear guitars is at the bottom of the page after the recipe instructions.

Happy date night!

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