Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Smoked Trout Mousse

Smoked trout mousse livened up with a little caviar and cucumber - isn't it pretty? I think the colours on the plate are amazing, and its a great quick canape for holiday events.

The past few weeks have already been packed full of parties, family gatherings, end of term parents get-togethers and dinner parties. So full in fact that I am running out of time to do the usual Christmas things like shop for presents and plan Christmas dinner.

In store this weekend is a book group night in, a friend's drinks party and a day out at the movies with the family. The only way to manage hectic days like these is to have a repertoire of very quick, but very beautiful, festive and tasty dishes to turn out of your kitchen. This one has minimum effort and maximum impact on a plate.

Smoked Trout Mousse with caviar

450g smoked trout fillets
250g cream cheese
5tbsp creme fraiche
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
Freshly ground black pepper

to serve:
1 cucumber
a small pot of caviar (or some thin strips of roasted red pepper)

Flake the fillets of smoked trout into a food processor making sure none of the skin is attached.
Add the cream cheese, creme fraiche, lemon and cayenne pepper.
Blitz until light and fluffy. If its too thick, add a little more creme fraiche or a dribble of milk to thin the mixture down. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

to serve:
Slice the cucumber into 1/2cm slices, top with a dollop of the mousse and a tiny dot of caviar or a little roast red pepper if you prefer.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Indian Spiced Scones

I've not posted for a few weeks but with good reason I promise. I've been making hundreds of Christmas Cakes for our lovely cafe customers and developing a range of chutneys and relishes inspired by my wonderful big sister and her San Francisco based Chutney Company McQuade's Celtic Chutneys. This is one of the best recipes I've come up with to show off the products. I've been meaning to post this recipe for months but every time I make them, they are wolfed so quickly, I've not managed to stop and take a photograph.... really!

Unlike a regular scone, they are not served with sweet jam and cream but instead with strong gutsy flavours to complement the chilli heat in the dough. Sweet onion chutney takes centre stage inside a warm scone seasoned with chilli, garlic, ginger and Indian spices. This is a gorgeous canape for those upcoming holiday parties, lovely with a full flavoured red wine and cheese or cut slightly larger and served on the side of warming lentil soup.

Indian Spiced Scones

250g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp garam masala
125g butter (straight from the fridge)
1 clove garlic, crushed and finely chopped
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
2 red chillies,  finely chopped
1 egg, beaten
4 tbsp natural yogurt
2 tbsp mustard seeds

Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Line 2 baking sheets with baking paper. 
Sieve the flour, bicarbonate, baking powder, salt and garam masala into a large bowl. 
Add the cold butter and rub in until it resembles breadcrumbs. 
Stir in the garlic, ginger, chillies, egg and yogurt and bring together into a soft dough. 
Place on a well floured surface and roll to about 2cm thick.
Cut into rounds, either large to serve with soup or small to use as canapes.  
Brush each scone with milk and sprinkle with mustard seeds.
Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until risen and golden. 
Serve as canapes with cheese and chutney or warm and buttered with soup.