Thursday, February 20, 2014

Papaya and dragon fruit salad

425g can seedless lychees in syrup, drained
250ml double cream
1 tbsp icing sugar
2 papayas, seeds removed, sliced
2 dragon fruit, peeled and sliced
Juice of 1 lime
1-2 ready-made meringues, crushed
1. Whizz half the lychees to a purée in a food processor. Whip the cream to stiff peaks, then fold in the purée and sugar. Chill.
2. Mix the remaining lychees and other fruit in a bowl. Dress with the lime juice, then serve in glass bowls with a spoonful of the lychee cream, garnished with meringue.

Creamy Lemon Cheesecake

1 1/4 cups sweet biscuit crumbs
1 cup cream
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind (optional)
3 teaspoons gelatine, dissolved in 1/4 cup boiling water
3/4 cup caster sugar
500g block PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
80g butter, melted
COMBINE biscuit crumbs and butter and press into the base of a 20cm/8" springform pan; chill.
BEAT PHILLY and sugar using an electric mixer until smooth. Beat in gelatine mixture until just combined. Add cream, lemon juice and rind and continue beating until smooth.
POUR mixture into prepared base and refrigerate 3 hours or overnight.
For the perfect chilled cheesecake, mix the gelatine with the boiling water and set aside for 5 minutes before adding it to the PHILLY mix. Never add hot gelatine to a cold mixture as it sets into stringy lumps.

Roasted parsnip and Parmesan soup

750g medium-large parsnips
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
50g Parmesan or Grana Padano, grated
50g butter
200g shallots, roughly chopped
2 tbsp plain flour
1.5 litres hot chicken stock
4 tbsp double cream, plus extra to garnish
1 tbsp snipped fresh chives
40g bag parsnip crisps, to garnish
1. Preheat the oven to 200°c/fan 180°c/gas 6. Cut the parsnips in half lengthways. Drop into a pan of boiling salted water, bring back to the boil and cook for 3 minutes, then drain.
2. Put the parsnips into a roasting tin and toss with the olive oil. Arrange flat-side up and sprinkle with a little of the cheese. Roast for 30-35 minutes, until light golden. Remove and cut into chunky pieces.
3. Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the shallots and cook gently for 10 minutes, until soft. Stir in the flour, then gradually add the stock and the parsnips. Bring to the boil, then cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Using a hand-held blender, blend until smooth, or transfer to a food processor, in batches, and whizz until smooth.
4. Shortly before you’re ready to serve, return the soup to a pan and bring back to a gentle simmer for 5 minutes or until hot, then stir in the double cream, the rest of the cheese and season to taste.
5. Ladle the soup into warmed bowls and garnish with another swirl of cream, snipped fresh chives and a few parsnip crisps.

Mozzarella-stuffed risotto balls

400g fresh mushroom risotto
½ x 150g pack Galbani mini mozzarella balls
100g plain flour
2 large free-range eggs, beaten
130g ready-made lemon and pepper breadcrumbs
Vegetable oil
Lemon wedges and tomato salsa to serve
1. Chop any large pieces of mushroom in the risotto. Drain the mozzarella balls. Press 1 ball into 1 tbsp risotto and shape to encase the cheese. Repeat to make 12 risotto balls.
2. Put the flour, eggs and breadcrumbs onto 3 separate large plates. Roll the risotto balls in the flour, then the eggs and finally in the breadcrumbs. Put on a plate and chill for 30 minutes or overnight.
3. Fill a medium pan with oil to 5cm, then heat until a cube of bread turns golden in 30 seconds. Fry the balls for 3-4 minutes until golden brown. Drain well on kitchen paper. Serve hot with lemon wedges to squeeze over and a tomato salsa dip.
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