Mexican Fiesta Soup


Pan-seared Pollock with Celeriac Mash

Serves 4

300g of celeriac, peeled and cut into cubes

300g of potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes

100g of butter

1 tsp of nutmeg

250g of green beans for four

4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced

A dash of rapeseed oil

4 thick fillets of pollock

Spelt flour for dusting — plain flour will also do

A small handful of slivered almonds, toasted

Zest of two lemons

Place the chunks of celeriac and potatoes into a pot of lightly salted boiling water and boil for 15 to 20 minutes until they are soft.

Drain any excess water.

While they are boiling fill another smaller pot with lightly salted water and put the beans on.

They will take about 8 minutes, again drain any excess water.

Season the fish and dredge in flour to give the fillets a light coating.

Heat a dash of oil in a skillet pan and sauté the garlic until it is about to change colour. Remove it from the pan and set aside.

Place the fillets into the pan skin side down first. Once the fish looks half cooked gently turn over.

Mash half of the butter through the celeriac and potato until it is a smooth paste and season to taste.

You can also add a dash of cream if you are feeling decadent.

Toss the beans in the garlic, lemon zest and slivered almonds and serve both with the fish.

Melt the remaining butter in the pan and use it to get all of the flavour off. Pour over the fillets.


Brussels Sprout Gratin with Winter Salad

Serves 4

500g of brussels sprouts

4 tbsp of olive oil

1 onion, sliced

6 back rashers

200mls of cream

Zest of 2 lemons

3 tbsp of breadcrumbs

100g of parmesan, grated

40g of soft blue cheese, such as Cashel

1½ tbsp of cider vinegar

A handful of walnuts, roasted and chopped

Mixed winter leaves for four

Boil the sprouts in lightly salted water for four minutes until they are beginning to soften but still firm. Once cool enough to handle slice in half.

Heat a tablespoon of olive oil and sauté the onion until completely soft, add the rashers to the pan and stir fry until they are golden.

Place the sprouts and contents of the pan into an oven proof dish, pour in the cream and lemon zest and allow to settle in among the sprouts.

Place the dish into the oven heated to 180C for ten minutes to allow the cream to reduce slightly.

Spread the breadcrumbs over the top and then a layer of the parmesan, place back into the oven for a further ten minutes until the top is golden and the sprouts are soft.

While that is in the oven blitz the blue cheese, vinegar and the remaining two tablespoons of oil until they form a smooth paste.

Once you are ready to serve the gratin toss the leaves and nuts in the blue cheese dressing and serve alongside.


Mexican Fiesta Soup

Serves 4

A dash of rapeseed oil

1 onion, finely sliced

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 red chilli, de seeded and thinly sliced

450g of lean minced beef

1 red pepper, de seeded and diced

1 tin of tomatoes

1 tin of red kidney beans, drained

Kernels from approximately one ear of sweetcorn

300 mls of stock

A bunch of coriander, chopped

This can be served with flour tortilla to soak up the juices or rice if you prefer.

It makes for a very colourful dinner and has a hint of Mexican flavour.

If you have access to other chillis such as chipotle or poblano you can most definitely use them instead of our more common red chilli, they will add a whole other dimension.

Heat the oil in a large pan and sauté the onion over a low heat until it is completely translucent.

Add the garlic and chilli and continue stirring until the garlic is starting to change colour.

Add the beef to the pan and fry until it is brown all over. You will have to break the larger pieces up with a wooden spoon.

Stir in the pieces of chopped pepper.

Stir in the tomatoes and allow to gently bubble away for 20 minutes until the flavours have combined.

Taste and season. Add the stock, kidney beans and sweetcorn and allow to bubble away for another five minutes or so until it is heated through.

Serve with the coriander sprinkled over the top. A blob of sour cream is also nice on top.


Chicken and Bulgar Wheat Bake

Serves 4

A dash of olive oil

4 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped

4 chicken breasts

700 mls of stock

300g of bulgar wheat

a handful of golden raisins

A bunch of tarragon chopped

Heat the oil in a large frying pan that can be transferred into the oven.

Sauté the garlic until it is just about to change colour then remove from the pan.

Add the chicken breast in to the same pan and fry until golden on each side.

Set them aside with the garlic and add the stock to the pan.

Allow it to come to the boil and let it get all of the flavours from the chicken and garlic.

Place the bulgar wheat and raisins into the pan and stir.

Stir in the garlic and half of the tarragon.

Sit the chicken on top and place into the oven heated to 180 degrees until the chicken is cooked through, about 25 minutes, and the bulgar has soaked up much of the stock.

Season if needed and sprinkle the rest of the tarragon over the dish.


Eggy Pizza

Serves 4

A dash of olive oil

1 onion, sliced

2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped

2 anchovy fillets, optional

2 tsp of dried mixed herbs

1 tsp of chilli flakes

1 tsp of smoked paprika

2 tsp of honey

1 tin of tomatoes

2 pizza bases

4 eggs

2 balls of buffalo mozzarella, sliced

A handful of peas, boiled

A large handful of rocket

Heat a dash of olive oil and sauté the onion until it is translucent, add the garlic and anchovies and continue frying until the garlic is starting to change colour.

Stir in the herbs, chilli flakes and paprika then add the tomatoes and honey.

Allow to bubble away over a low heat for fifteen minutes, stirring every now and then.

While the sauce is bubbling away, boil the peas until soft but still retaining a bite and set aside.

Heat your oven as high as it will go and place a baking tray into it so it heats up.

Taste and season the tomato sauce. Blitz with a soup gun until smooth.

Carefully remove the hot baking tray from the oven and place the pizza base onto it.

Spread a thin layer of the sauce on the base and make two small wells.

Crack the eggs into the wells. Spread the sliced mozzarella on top and season.

Bake in the oven until the base is golden and the eggs are cooked to your liking.

Top with the peas and rocket and serve. You can always serve it with a salad on the side.


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