Food…. glorious food!

I’ve played with the idea of having a separate blog just for food for some while and have finally come around to setting one up.
And thanks to Paul I. I didn’t have to think very long about the title for my food blog… Paul once thanked me for the “frantastic food” I’ve cooked (which was for my sister’s birthday last year!) and voila, there’s your title!
Here’s the birthday menu I cooked:

Nectarine, prosciutto & mozzarella salad
(Starter)

Ingredients for 4 people

1 bag (100gr) of continental salad
1 bag (50gr) wild rocket
4 ripe nectarines cut into eights
2 buffalo mozzarella (torn into small pieces)
8 slices of San Danielle ham torn into pieces

For the dressing

4 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. sweet mustard
1 tsp. whole grain mustard
¼ pint warm vegetable broth (easily made with a stock cube)
garlic salt
freshly ground pepper

You can either divide the salad, ham, mozzarella and nectarines onto four plates or just put it all onto one big plate for everyone to share.

Mix the dressing together and drizzle over the salad.

The combination of sweet nectarines, creamy mozzarella, peppery rocket, slightly salty ham and the sharpness of the balsamico vinegar is simply divine.

Ravioli with lemon cream sauce (Main course)

Ingredients for 4 people

2 x 250gr pack of ravioli (with whatever filling you fancy)
1 (250gr) pack of vine cocktail tomatoes (ideally two long sprigs cut into half)
250gr brown mushrooms
1 (50gr) bag of wild rocket
8 slices of parma ham
olive oil
grated fresh Parmesan
garlic salt and black pepper
for the lemon cream sauce:
284 ml single cream
juice of 1 lemon
½ tsp. powdered vegetable stock
1 knob of butter
garlic salt and black pepper

Put the mushrooms and four sprigs of vine tomatoes on a baking tray, slosh some olive oil over it and some freshly ground black pepper. Place in oven (pre-heated gas mark 6-7) to slowly roast.

Put water on for the ravioli, they usually only take about 2-3 minutes to cook.

In a small sauce pan melt some butter, add the powdered stock and the juice of the lemon, stir together and slowly add the single cream while stirring. The lemon juice will thicken the cream, if the sauce is too sour, add a bit of sugar. If it tastes too creamy add some garlic salt or a bit more vegetable stock, you really need to taste it yourself… mine always tastes different everytime I cook this dish!

Remember to check on your mushrooms and tomatoes in the oven! Turn the mushrooms around so both sides get brown and be careful with the tomatoes so they won’t come off their sprig.

Cook the ravioli according to package instructions.

To serve just generously put some rocket salad onto each plate, then some tortellini and then some of parma ham slices (I rip them apart into small strips and use two slices per plate). Add some more tortellini and on top the rest of the parma ham. Spoon over the lemon cream, throw some of the mushrooms on and then sit one sprig of the roasted vine tomatoes on top. Last but not least add some grated Parmesan cheese and freshly ground pepper. Serve with some fresh baguette.

Eton mess a la me! (Dessert)

Ingredients for 4 people

1 pint of whipping cream
6 meringue nests
1 tsp. sugar
one basket of strawberries
one basket of raspberries
1 pack of fresh pomegranate
Icing sugar for dusting

Use half of the pomegranate to squeeze through a sieve to collect the juices. Clean the strawberries and cut them into pieces. Marinate them in the pomegranate juice with the sugar. Add the raspberries to it.

Whip the cream and crumble the meringue nests into it. Then add half of the berries and carefully fold them into the cream.

Spoon into four dessert bowls and decorate with the rest of the berries and some of the pomegranate seeds. Dust with some icing sugar.

A take-on of Nigella Lawson’s express recipe.

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