• FOR 2 TO SHARE •
There are various types of goat’s cheeses suitable for this recipe. For the best result, purchase a round goat’s cheese with a soft rind; when the cheese caramelises and melts, the rind holds it together, giving it a luscious, warm gooey centre. This is a great starter to share, or throw in a French bread stick and call it lunch!
2 baby beetroot (beets), red and yellow
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon sweet raspberry vinegar
150 g (5½ oz) round of goat’s cheese with soft rind (such as Saint-Secret Fromage de Chevre)
2 teaspoons caster (superfine) sugar
1 large handful of watercress
1–2 tablespoons walnuts, broken
1 small spring onion (scallion), white part only, julienned
baby rocket (optional)
STEAM the baby beetroot whole in a steamer over a saucepan of boiling water with the lid on for 20 minutes, or until they are just cooked through: they are ready when you can pierce them easily with a fork.
REFRESH under cold running water and use your fingers to rub off the skins.
CUT the beetroot into small wedges or cubes and dress with the olive oil, sherry vinegar and raspberry vinegar. Season with salt and pepper.
PREHEAT the grill (broiler) to high heat. Line a baking tray with baking paper and put the whole round of goat’s cheese on it.
SPRINKLE the top of the cheese evenly with sugar. Grill for 8–10 minutes until golden and the sugar has caramelised.
PLACE the goat’s cheese in the centre of a plate, surrounded by the beetroot (reserving dressing and juice).
ARRANGE the watercress, walnuts, spring onion and baby rocket (if using) around the plate, and drizzle over the reserved dressing.
• SERVES 4–6 •
This is a tasty, cheap way to feed your family or a crowd; the spectacular aroma on the barbecue draws everyone in. If you don’t own any large metal skewers you can use bamboo skewers, just soak them in water for 30 minutes before use to prevent burning.
14–16 plump chicken wings
12 fresh bay leaves, whole
juice and zest of 1 lemon
3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1½ tablespoons smoked paprika
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 fresh bay leaves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 handful oregano leaves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
Combine the marinade ingredients in a bowl.
Cut the tip off each chicken wing and discard (or freeze them to make stock later).
Coat the chicken wings in the marinade and place in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
Skewer the wings and thread the bay leaves between the chicken pieces. Depending on the length of skewers, you might fit 3–4 wings on each.
Cook over a barbecue or in a chargrill pan over medium–low heat for 30–40 minutes, rotating for even cooking and basting with any remaining marinade.
Serve with a gorgeous salad.
Note: If you have a lid on your barbecue, close it: keeping the heat in will speed up the cooking time.
• SERVES 10 •
The first time I ate a good custard flan was in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Because I’m a caramel custard lover, it’s hard to forget such a treat. I made up this recipe based on that flavour memory and named it in honour of that iconic TV series from the same city — it’s equally naughty and just as addictive!
220 g (7¾ oz/1 cup) white sugar
finely grated zest of 1 orange
1 x 270 ml (9½ fl oz) tin coconut cream
1 x 395 g (13¾ oz) tin sweetened
300 ml (10½ fl oz) thin (pouring) cream
3 egg yolks, extra
1 tablespoon sugar, extra
½ teaspoon natural vanilla extract
Preheat a fan-forced oven to 140°C (275°F) or a regular oven to 160°C (315°F).
combine the sugar and 3 tablespoons of water in a heavy-based saucepan over low heat. Stir just until the sugar dissolves.
Add the orange zest and gently simmer without stirring over medium heat for 7–10 minutes until the syrup turns a deep golden caramel colour.
Remove immediately from the heat and carefully pour the caramel evenly over the base of a 1 litre (35 fl oz/4 cup) flan dish. Allow to cool and set.
Heat the coconut cream, condensed milk and cream in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir to prevent the condensed milk from burning and remove from heat just before boiling.
Beat the eggs, egg yolks, extra sugar and vanilla extract together in a stainless-steel bowl until the mixture is creamy.
Pour in the heated coconut cream mixture slowly while constantly whisking until smooth.
Pour the mixture through a fine sieve over the cooled caramel syrup in the flan dish.
Line a roasting tin with a damp tea towel (dish towel). Place the flan dish on top and pour in enough boiling water around the outside of the flan dish to reach halfway up the side.
Bake uncovered, for 30–40 minutes until the centre of the flan is set but still wobbly.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Refrigerate for at least 5 hours, but for best results make it the day before you turn it out.
run a small knife around the edge of the flan for easy release. Place a large platter with a rim over the top, flip the whole thing over, and gently remove the flan dish to reveal the upside-down flan topped with oozing caramel.
Delicious served with an extra dollop of cream.
• SERVES 6 •
This is a stunning dinner party dessert. You can make it well in advance as it keeps for up to a week in the fridge. The combination of the cider and saffron gives it a unique and delicious flavour without being too sweet.
100 g (3½ oz/½ cup lightly packed) light brown sugar
1 litre (35 fl oz/4 cups) apple and pear cider
1 teaspoon saffron threads
1 cinnamon stick
1 vanilla bean, split lengthways
finely grated zest and juice of 2 oranges
6 pears, peeled and cores removed through the base
Put the sugar, cider, saffron, cinnamon stick, vanilla bean, orange zest and juice in a 3 litre (105 fl oz/12 cup) saucepan and bring to the boil.
Add the pears and gently simmer for 10–20 minutes until still firm but easily skewered. Cooking time will depend on the size and ripeness of pears.
Remove the pears with a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl, then cover and set aside.
Reduce the syrup by two-thirds over medium heat.
Pour the reduced syrup over the pears and allow to cool.
Serve in a bowl or fanned out on a plate with lots of syrup.