#NoelByHJ – Starter Surimi verrine

We are continuing our Christmas dinner on a budget. If you have been nibbling on one or two or three selections of the bouchées previously posted. You won’t want to have a big starter. So here is my Verrine, a light green salad layered in a water glass… It might be under £1.50, but you can still make it look good… Just because it is Primani (Primark), it doesn’t mean that you can’t wear it like a Coco Chanel!

Salad in a glass

Salad in a glass

Surimi verrine

 Surimi are sometimes called crab sticks or seafood stick! I love those things and they can be addictive… Not to everyone’s taste, but really yummy!

Ingredients to serve 2

Ingredients for the verrine

Ingredients for the verrine

  • 4 crab sticks – 40p
  • 25g red onion
  • 1 medium tomato – 10p
  • 2 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 Lemon – 27p
  • 1 carrot
  • A hand full of spinach leaves – 20p
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Olive oil

    Ingredients for the verrine

    Ingredients for the verrine

  • Mayonnaise
  • Paprika (optional)
  • vinegar

Total spend: 97p

The Crab stick cost 99p for 10 sticks. The pack of 6 tomatoes cost 59p in LIDL and can be event cheaper as the store often reduces prices on fruits & veges.

Method:

Remove the film on the fish sticks and pull apart. Dice the onion.

preparing the crab sticks

Preparing the crab sticks

Cut the medium tomato and lemon quarters, chop the spinach, peel the carrot and cut it in strings length ways using the carrot peeler.

In a bowl, combine the crab sticks strings with a tablespoon of mayonnaise and 1 tablespoon of vinegar, black pepper and paprika. Mix well and spoon in the serving glasses making sure that they leave no trails on the sides of the glasses.

Now deposit 2 pieces of the quarters tomato on top of the crab sticks, then a bit of the carrot, then a handful of spinach, sprinkle the diced onion then more carrot and spinach… or however you would like your visual to be.

layering is done!

Layering is done!

Layering is done

Layering is done

Once the layering is done, top with the cherry tomato, drizzle olive oil, sprinkle black pepper and add the lemon.

If you are not serving immediately, refrigerate the salad and only drizzle the oil and sprinkle black pepper at the last minute. The lemon will be squeezed just before tucking in.

bon appetit!

Bon appetit!

It is done. Simple, light, beautiful… literally.

See you tomorrow for the mains and it is Turkey free!

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#NoelByHJ – Christmas boucheés

Noel by HJ Bouchees

Noel by HJ Bouchees

Christmas boucheés

Boucheés are little starters or canapés that can be eaten in one or 2 mouthfuls.

In this set, you will have  salmon, prune, cucumber and paté. The boucheés are detailed below. They are just options that you can offer on your tables. Not all of them will be necessary… the cost for each set varies from £1.00 to £3.00.

The roulés

Les roulés

 The Bacon Prunes

 Ingredients for 10 bacon & prunes.

Prunes 1

Prunes 1

  • 5 bacon slices – 50p
  • 10 pitted prunes – 50p
  • Onion strings
  • 5 tooth picks

Total spend: £1.00

The bacon cost 99p for 10 slices and the prunes cost £1.39 per packs of about 30 units. The left overs can be used for breakfast the next day or for yogurt.

Prunes 2

Prunes 2

Method:

Pre heat the oven at 180°C

Rinse the bacon and slice them length way.

The onion is just to add flavour and it is optional. Cut it as thinly as possible. Set aside.

Now a halved slice of bacon, place on it an onion string, then the prune and roll.

Prunes 3

Prunes 3

Hold with a tooth pick and repeat until all 10 are done. The can be prepared in advance and are best eaten hot.

To cook it, place the prepared prune on a baking tray and cook for 20 minutes at 180°C.

 

Salmon rolls

Ingredients for 8 small rolls.

  • 4 smoked salmon slices – £1.37

    Salmon roll 1

    Salmon roll 1

  • 2 teaspoons full of crème fraiche -10p
  • Hand full of fresh parsley -10p
  • Garlic granules
  • Poppy seeds

 Total spend: £1.57

Method:

Finely chop the small hand off of parley and place it in a bowl. Add two full teaspoons of crème fraiche and sprinkle garlic granules. Mix well.

On flat surface, lie the smoke salmon slice flat, spread on it the crème fraiche mix and roll tightly, then cut in two. Keep on half other roll as it is and cover the other with poppy seeds.

Salmon roll 2

Salmon roll 2

Salmon roll 3

Salmon roll 3

Salmon roll 4

Salmon roll 4

Salmon roll 5

Salmon roll 5

Repeat the process until all 4 slices are done. you should end up with 4 small rolls covered in poppy seeds and 4 plain.

The poppy seeds are just to add crunchiness and a visual variation…

Courgette rolls

Courgette rolls

Courgette rolls

Ingredients for the cucumber roll:

  • ¼ cucumber – 10p
  • Crème fraiche
  • Salt pepper
  • Garlic granules
  • Tooth picks

Total cost: 10p

Method:

Cut a whole cucumber in half (width way) and cut the extremities. Using a mandolin or a potato peeler, slowly cut 4 large, but thin strings of cucumber. Lie them flat.

In a bowl, mix 2 teaspoons of crème fraiche with salt, black pepper and garlic. Stir to mix. Now spread this mix on the cucumber slices and roll, then keep them rolled with tooth pics.

Note the slices must be about 10cm long to have a good roll.

Salmon on Rye

Salmon on Rye

Salmon on rye bread

Ingredients:

  • 2 slice of rye bread – 25p
  • Unsalted butter
  • 3 slices smoked salmon – £1.02
  • Parsley or dill to finish

Total cost: £1.27

Method:

Cut the bread, spread butter and add salmon, then top with herbs. Enjoy.

The last option will just be slices of baguette with Ardennes pate.

Bread cost 25p and pate cost 40p.

Total cost 60p…

And if you don’t like any of the above, you can always buy LIDL’s platter below at £2.99!

LIDL ready platter

LIDL ready platter

Bon Appétit!

Coming up – Noel By HJ

Sorry faceStill to come this week, my Christmas menu, but you can use it for your New Year’s celebration instead why not?

Sorry it is a bit late, but it has been a very busy events month as I am an events’ coordinator and have just finished a 10 days stretch nonstop at work!

Here is the menu you will be having recipes for

My menu starts bouchees including salmon and prunes wrapped in bacon

Noel by HJ Bouchees

Noel by HJ Bouchees

Starter is a verrine with Surimi

Noel by HJ verinnes

Noel by HJ verinnes

Mains is lobster with swede & Parsnips mash

Noel by HJ lobster

Noel by HJ lobster

Dessert is a 2 buches de Noel with ground roasted hazelnuts & coffee.

Noel by HJ les deux buches

Noel by HJ les deux buches

I hope to post all the recipes this week.

The menu looks expensive, but it amazing what you can do with a bit of creativity.

To listen to the related Croydon Radio show, click on this link.

Thank you for checking in!

x

Buche or Yule log is the French Christmas cake

Buche or Yule log is the French Christmas cake

#ChristmasScraps – The cheese board 2

Cheese, bacon & cucumber roll

Cheese, bacon & cucumber roll

Cheese & bacon spring rolls

(With a tomato dip)

Ingredients:

  • For 8 sticks
  • 50g mix cheese – Leftover
  • 50g cucumber – leftover
  • 2 bacon slices – leftover
  • Tomato sauce
  • 8 filo pastry sheet – leftovers
  • Frying oil

Total spend: £0

Method:

Cut 8 sticks of cucumber, they should be about 7-8 cm long and about 1cm thick. Cut the cheese sticks to match the size of the cucumber… you might have to patch it up as you are using leftovers cheeses. Cut the bacon of the same length.

Take 2 sheets of filo, lay them flat and cut in 2 width ways.
Keep the halves doubled up. On one set, spread a bit of tomato sauce and place on it 1 stick of cheese, 1 stick of cucumber and one slice of bacon. Now fold over both ends of the pastry like a blanket, as on the pictures, then roll tightly. When you reach the end, dab with a lick of sauce to seal. Then hold with tooth pick until it’s time to fry.

Repeat all the above until all the rolls are done. Fry as soon as possible as filo pastry dries up very quick if left uncovered.

These are being deep fired, so, heat the oil very hot, the rolls should rise to the top as soon as they are dropped into the oil.

Fry the rolls for 3-4 minutes turning them to make sure that they are fried on all sides. Remove from the pan and place on absorbing paper. Repeat until all is done.

Serve with a tomato dip. If you intend to reheat the rolls, do it in the oven rather than the microwave.

Serving suggestion

Serving suggestion

It is better to reheat rather that fry later as the filo sheets are very fragile. Keep the out of their packet and they will dry up, roll damp ingredients in them and they will rip…

Handle them with care.

 

#ChristmasScraps – Leftover Sprouts

Leftover Sprouts

Leftover Sprouts

Spouts frittata

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 150g sprouts – Leftover

    Leftover Sprouts 2

    Leftover Sprouts 2

  • 1 slice bread
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Chili flakes
  • Black pepper
  • Salt
  • 20ml whole milk
  • 50g onion

Total spend: £0

Method:

Halve the sprout buttons, chop the onion and press the garlic. Cut the bread in small chunks.

Leftover Sprouts 3

Leftover Sprouts 4

Leftover Sprouts 4

Leftover Sprouts 3

In a bowl, crack both eggs, add salt pepper, chili, milk and black pepper. Whisk and adjust seasoning if necessary.

Heat the frying pan and add 3 table spoons of vegetable oil. Let the oil heat up and fry the onion and the sprouts for 2 minutes, then bread and the beaten eggs.

Stir to mix egg, sprouts and onions, then level the content of the pan so the whole surface of the pan is covered. Leave to fry for 3 minutes, shaking the pan from time to time so the egg won’t stick to the bottom.

After 3 minutes, flip the frittata and leave to cook through for 3 minutes.

Et Voila! A Brussels Sprouts Frittata for 2

Et Voila! A Brussels Sprouts Frittata for 2

I just added bread for consistency, but if you’ve got leftovers roast potatoes, Swede or parsnips, use them instead of bread.

It is ready to serve and enjoy!

Off to Cuba!

Hey ever heard of Santana?… If you’re between 35-45 you should have… Santana was all I knew about Cuba until 10 days ago…Hear Santana and his guitar here ignore the singers… Just the guitar (genius)!

Holla Ombre e Senora, buenos tardes !

If you were listening on 18th July, you would have heard Tom saying that he will be bringing a dessert for the show we are doing tomorrow…

He is bringing a Cuban dessert. Not sure what that going to be… I CANNOT stand uncooked desserts like cheese cakes and the likes and I really hope it is something that my face and my mouth would appreciate… Unfortunately for me, my face tends to speak for me even when I don’t want to say what I think.

So, Tom Cuban dessert prompted me to explore Cuban food which

Just in case you are wondering, here what the flag looks like!

Just in case you are wondering, here what the flag looks like!

turned out to be very educational read-up about the Cubans, their origins and colonial past… All that reflected in their food. I will do my best to interpret it as I understood it. I didn’t really want to copy a recipe and the WIKI page was very very helpful https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuban_cuisine.

So the menu I came out with reflects their African origins where the old slaves came from, the Spanish origins for their colonial past and then, the West Indies which they are often referred to as despite being South Americans. Cuban speak Spanish… Of course. Duhhh!

Since we are cooking on a budget, I sadly had to avoid fish stuff as my £10.00 would have been very quickly spent.

The menu is as follows:

Ripe, but firm plantain, still has traces of green

Ripe, but firm plantain, still has traces of green

Starters:

Fried plantain & Ginger butter beans with avocado and Lime

Main:

Ropa Vieja (old clothes) with black olives and sweet peppers served with something cooked in fresh corn leaves.

I will just be using the corn leaves here... this is what fresh corn looks like. All dressed up.

I will just be using the corn leaves here… this is what fresh corn looks like. All dressed up.

Do tune in to hear what we’ve both cooked and do come back here to see the recipe next week.

Thank you for checking in! And remember a recipe is only a suggestion… you do not have to stick to it. JUST EXPLORE and have fun!

X

Here it is! Listen to the show’s podcast from here.

The Cuban Feast!

The Cuban Feast!

Valentine dinner – Intro

dinner 1 cost £2.60 or less

dinner 1 cost £2.60 or less

For my first ever show on Croydon Radio as a contributor, I chose to be generous by creating a 3-couse meal for 4 for £10.00.

The reason I made it for 4 was that, being Valentine day, a not-so-well off couple could cook dinner and invite their jobless grown up son or daughter & companion to share the dinner. I tried to cover here the cost, community and conviviality.

The menu is as follows:

  1. Starter – Smoked Oyster salad – recipe & cost here
  2. Main – Fusilli, tomato sauce & meatballs – recipe & cost here
  3. Dessert – Apple tart & Chocolate sauce – recipe & cost here
  4. and for drinks Pomegranate juice (0.99p) topped with flavoured fizzy water (0.39p).

To see the full recipe and cost for each course, please click on the link.

The related show was broadcasted on Croydon Radio on Saturday 14th February 2015. To listen again, please click on this link.

Thank you for checking in! See you next time.

Hortense