Recently my husband told me off for not eating enough fruit. So I decided to do something about it and came up with this cocktail…! Using fresh honey rather than the cocktail classic sugar syrup, its natural and a compliment to the fresh peach and lime.
1 heaped tsp runny honey
1/2 ripe peach
15ml Freshly squeezed lime juice
1. Place gin, honey, peach and lime juice in a blender and blend until smooth.
2. Fill a cocktail shaker half full with ice and pour in cocktail mix. Shake well to thin the mixture.
3. Using a fine tea strainer, pass the cocktail mix through it into your glass – this will remove and bits and give you a lovely clean liquid.
Salsa verde is the first step to making a luscious meal. Zingy, fresh and tasting of green goodness, it accompanies literally anything – grilled vegetables, fish, chicken, beef, sausages, lentils, potatoes, charred bread, pasta, whatever you have lying around! The French have a version, sauce verte, which usually contains tarragon rather than mint.
Chimichurri is the Argentinean recipe regularly associated with steak. Mexicans spice theirs up with tomatilos, jalapeños, chilli, coriander and lime.
All versions are as delicious as the next. This recipe is for the Italian salsa verde – fresh basil, parsley, capers, anchovy lemon juice and good quality olive oil combing all the wonderful ingredients together. It doesn’t matter if you claim not to like anchovies, they magically melt into the sauce providing a salty richness that does not taste fishy at all.
Its seriously addictive and worth having a batch prepared in the fridge for your beck and call.
Large handful parsley, chopped fine
Large handful mint, chopped fine
2 tbsp capers, chopped
6 anchovy fillets
1 spring onion, thinly sliced and minced fine
1/4 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp dijon mustard
Good olive oil
1. Combine parsley, mint, capers, spring onion, garlic and dijon mustard in a bowl.
2. Chop your anchovies and then with a fork mash them up. Add to the bowl and mix in well.
3. Pour olive oil over the herb mixture until soaked in the oil. Its shouldn’t be swimming in oil, but have the texture of a thick dressing.
4. To finish the sauce gradually add squirts of lemon juice, tasting each time until you find the perfect balance.
Whether you are a fan of anchovies or not, it is pretty much a guarantee that the average person outside of Spain has not tasted the likes of these superior Cantabrian anchovies which are carefully selected, cleaned and boned by hand.
Matured for 6 months, each fillet has a rich deep balanced flavour. Soft, juicy and with a well developed salty-sweet meaty flavour, it sets them apart from the tinned supermarket versions. A genuine delicacy!
Although they are good enough to eat on their own with a glass of wine, I like the combination of smoked paprika and manchego cheese on toasted bread for an indulgent snack between drinks.
1 tin Cantabrian anchovy fillets in olive oil
100g Manchego Cheese
Good quality crusty bread
Pimenton De La Vera smoked paprika for sprinkling
Casa De Hualdo extra virgin olive oil
- Slice bread into thin slices. Griddle until bread has char lines.
- Layer toast with anchovies and cheese. Sprinkle with smoked paprika and drizzle with olive oil.
On a recent Sunday afternoon strolling over London’s Tower Bridge I stumbled across a great restaurant, The Butlers Wharf Chop House. Its situated on the riverside near London Bridge and is a big British affair serving traditional food and drinks, alongside a wonderful view across Tower Bridge and the Docklands. It was mid-afternoon and in-between meals, so a snack was what was in mind along with a refreshing drink.
As soon as I spotted oysters on the menu a decision was made to take seat along the outside terrace, order a dozen and sample some stout and cider. Most people think of champagne or white wine as an accompanying drink to oysters but stout is actually a perfect fit, the subtle sweet creamy texture complimenting the salty juicy flesh of good fresh oysters. The combination of oysters with stout dates back to Victorian times when drinkers ate small oysters at their local pub in between sipping beer, ale and stouts. At the time the term ‘oyster stout’ was coined to describe a drinking session involving the mollusks. Then somewhere along the line with two and two put together came an official ‘Oyster Stout’ in which the actual oyster shells were added to the brewing process. Oyster stout is rarely seen on the shelf in your local supermarket or liquor shop, but can often be found in the bars of sea side towns.
Back to The Chop House, its worth mentioning that service is impeccable, friendly, fast and professional. It’s a real treat to sit riverside on a Sunday afternoon, eating fantastic fresh oysters, drinking local stouts, and to enjoy people-watching with the backdrop of one of London’s best architectural features. If you’re in the mood for treating yourself one weekend I highly recommend visiting Butlers Wharf, even if you are not an oyster fan there will be plenty of other delights on the menu to choose from, see sample menu here:
The idea from this recipe comes from that recent visit to the Chop House. Lots of people who wouldn’t like to eat a raw oyster are often fine with eating a cooked version, such as Asian style deep-fried oysters or rockefeller. One of my favourite cooked recipes is Oyster Kilpatrick. Salty smokey bacon and worcestershire sauce sprinkled on a cooked velvety oyster, eaten warm straight from the grill. My local supermarket has a good selection of stout, this one I hadn’t tried before and was intrigued to see it was an award-winning national champion. Brewed by the Bristol Beer Factory, this Milk Stout is full-bodied and creamy, and for those who don’t know a lot about stout, it doesn’t actually contain any milk. During the brewing process an addition of sweet and unfermentable lactose has been added, lending to its subtle sweet flavour. To read more about this process click here:
12 fresh Oysters
2 – 3 rashes smoked bacon
1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
Lemon Wedges to serve
1. Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
2. Slice your bacon rashes into thin strips – the thinner the better.
3. Place oyster halves onto an oven tray, divide bacon strips evenly over oysters, then sprinkle each oyster with a few splashes of worcestershire sauce.
4. Grill for approx. 8 – 10 minutes, depending on the size of your oysters, and until the bacon has crisped up.
5. Remove from oven, sprinkle with finely chopped parsley. Serve warm with lemon wedges and stout of your choice.
A quick easy smokey prawn tapas dish to eat with crusty bread, salad or a side of vegetables. Perfect for when you have limited time to cook as it takes roughly 15 minutes to prepare.
I like keep a stash of prawns in the freezer, they defrost so quickly and the process can be speed up by running them under hot water. Tapas dishes heat up really quickly on the stove top so its best to maintain a medium heat, otherwise your tomato mixture will dry out to fast and not develop flavour.
Of course you can use a regular saucepan if you don’t have tapas dishes. Add as much chilli as you like, or substitute parsley for coriander or basil if you prefer.
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 onion very finely chopped
Fresh red chilli, chopped
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
200g raw prawns (shells removed. For decoration you can leave a couple with the head and tails on)
1 can of chopped tin tomatoes (or 1 and 1/2 cups fresh chopped tomatoes can be substituted)
Good splash white wine
2 tbsp finely chopped parsley (or coriander if you prefer)
lime or lemon wedge to garnish
1. Place two tapas bowls on the stove top, add olive oil to both dishes. Share the minced garlic and onion between the two dishes and cook a couple of minutes until softened (If you don’t have tapas dishes a regular saucepan will do).
2. Add the smoked paprika, cayenne pepper and chilli cooking for a minute or so, followed by the tomatoes. Now add a good splash of wine and using a fork crush tomato pieces, cooking on a gentle heat so the mixture doesn’t dry out. You can add a small amount of water if this happens.
3. When the tomatoes have a sauce like consistency add the prawns and cook until coloured but still tender. Be careful not to over cook the prawns or they will become rubbery.
5. Stir in the parsley. Season with salt and pepper.
6. To serve: drizzle the tapas dish with good olive oil and garnish with a lemon or line wedge. Best eaten with fresh crusty bead, garlic bread, salad or a side of vegetables.