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    500 Recipes

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    I found this amazing recipe in a French magazine, (Femme Actuelle) whilst waiting in the doctor's surgery! It's such a great idea for portable chicken, hence its name. Chicken breasts are poached in a court-bouillon broth with garlic and thyme; the chicken is then mixed with fresh chèvre (goat's cheese) and artichokes and is popped into a kilner jar with a little flavoured oil. Eh voila! It is ready to pack into a hamper for a picnic! C'est parfait! Serve this wonderful moist chicken salad mixture with crusty baguette or artisanal bread, using the flavoured oil for dipping and dunking! Can be stored once cooked in the fridge for 1 to 2 days. (In the sealed kilner jar.) If you have fresh artichokes available, use them in preference to tinned ones.

    Recipe #415053

    A wonderful sticky, sugar topped sweet bread that is flavoured with orange blossom water. Fouace is a very old traditional bread, the word originally referred to the oven in which bread has been cooked since ancient times, from the Latin word "focus" or hearth. This orange blossom scented bread is traditionally shaped in to a wreath or an oval and is from the Albi region in the South of France near Toulouse. As the bread bakes slowly, it spreads out as it rises, giving a very distinctive shape. It is served very hot and, depending on the version, may be topped with white beans, rillettes, salted butter or goat's cheese; however, I prefer this recipe served hot, spread with butter and a dollop of apricot conserve. (Recipe from the Gourmet Food site.)

    Recipe #414954

    Yorkshire Tea is a black tea blend produced by Taylors of Harrogate, one of the few remaining family tea and coffee merchants in the UK. The company was founded in 1886 by Yorkshire tea merchant Charles Taylor. Needless to say I drink Yorkshire tea at home in France, I bring boxes and boxes of it back from the UK when I travel there! The Yorkshire Tea Loaf was produced by Taylors as a way of using their Yorkshire tea to expand their range. It involves using the choicest fruits which are infused overnight with the tea. This is my take on their famous tea loaf; moist tea infused fruits really make this loaf something special and it is sublime when served with a traditional English cuppa. Serve this tea loaf in thick slices just as it is - although you could also serve it with butter or with a slab of Wensleydale cheese for that authentic Yorkshire experience. (This is an adapted version of the recipe that is posted on the Yorkshire tea website.)

    Recipe #414946

    A classic French way of serving radishes, simple and yet so good; crunchy radishes are simply served with fresh butter and sea salt. I like to serve mine with Fleur de Sel, which is the caviar of French sea salts. You will be offered this in most French homes as an aperitif snack or as an appetiser before a meal. All that is needed is some traditional French bread to accompany it for a light lunch or supper dish. Table salt is fine if you cannot source Fleur de Sel or a good sea salt. (Information on Fleur de Sel: Many consider fleur de sel, which means “flower of salt” in French, the finest type of sea salt available. Its price reflects its high quality, as it costs about 10 times more than your average sea salt and 100 times more than table salt. The delicacy with which it is hand-harvested accounts for much of the expense. Fleur de sel floats on the surface of shallow salt water marshes and is scraped off with a special rake called a lousse à de fleur. The raking must be done carefully by hand to prevent mixing the fleur de sel with the coarse gray salt beneath it. France harvests most of the world’s fleur de sel, with the town of Guérande possibly being the most famous producer. Fleur de sel has a higher mineral content than table salt, a natural greyish hue, a moist texture and a violet-like fragrance. Sprinkle it on food before serving to enliven flavours.)

    Recipe #414917

    The English summer is thought to start when the elder blossoms end and the berries ripen. The citrus aroma floating down country lanes also heralds a bountiful harvest for the forager and home-brewer. Elderflower cordial costs more as the bottles get smarter and it’s seen as a luxury, which seems ludicrous to me, as I know that you can make it for next to nothing! Elderflower cordial is a wonderful base for all sorts of culinary treats............lemonade, sorbet, mousses, jelly, desserts, beverages, glazes etc. It is very easy to make, although you need to plan ahead as the flowers need to be steeped in the sugar mixture for four days. The flowers taste best picked early on a dry, hot day, and speed is crucial: they should be used straight after picking. The cream-coloured heads (or umbels) are tastier than the white, and don’t worry if they smell unappetising at first once they’re infused, the heady scent is delicious.Choose umbels free of discolouring and keep them dry until you’re ready to begin. Folklore: * One name for it is the Judas Tree, as it was thought to be the tree Judas Iscariot hanged himself from * To fell a tree without suitable protection could free a spirit called the Elder Mother to take her revenge * The elderflower was said to be a protection against witches, and a knotted twig kept in the pocket was a charm against rheumatism * Elderflowers were apparently never struck by lightning, and a cross of elder fastened above stables would protect the animals from evil Medicinal benefits * Elderflower cordials and elderberry wines are high in vitamins A, B and C * In A Modern Herbal of 1931, Mrs Grieves recommends an elderflower infusion, taken hot before bed, as a remedy for colds and throat trouble * Mrs Grieves swears by elder leaves as an insect deterrent. The foul-smelling bruised leaves around tender plants and buds prevent attack by aphids and cater-pillars, and gardeners can add a sprig to their hatband to ward off midges * Medical herbalist Christine Houghton says a daily elderflower infusion, made with fresh flowers, is helpful in preventing hay fever

    Recipe #414594

    Cooking with unusual ingredients can be very rewarding, and we all love to impress our guests with unusual recipes and flavours. Using rose water and orange blossom water is a way of doing just this, with their unique taste, but purchasing these rare treats can be expensive. I cook with rose water and orange blossom water a lot; especially in historical (Medieval and Victorian) and Middle Eastern recipes. I have numerous highly scented old fashioned shrub roses in my old cottage style walled garden - great for rose water, and also an orange tree - great for making orange blossom water! Although I can buy both scented, flavoured waters in France and England, there is always something very satisfying about making your own - give it a go, I am VERY happy with the results. This recipe was found on a leaflet from a water distilling company in the UK; you DO need to use distilled water for these two recipes, which is easily purchased in most countries - I use it for my steam iron!! NB: Remember to use petals and blossom which are free of pesticides and traffic pollution. (Quantities and yields are dependent on how many blossoms and petals you use.........last time I made rose water, I used 4 ounces of petals and had a yeild of 4 small bottles.)

    Recipe #414575

    Delightful light and lemony glazed scones with just a hint of spice! These are even more delicious when split and spread with lemon curd - and maybe a dollop of cream for good measure! These would be wonderful when served for afternoon tea, or make a batch up for a spring picnic. This recipe was on a set of recipe cards that a kind friend sent to me from the States, and I adapted them slightly to my own taste. If you are unable to source mixed spice, I have a recipe for mixed spice on zaar: Recipe #266688

    Recipe #413051

    A French classic and one that I will me making myself from now on, having just paid a small fortune for a tiny, if delicious loaf from my local boulangerie! This is a cross between sticky ginger parkin and a gingerbread cake or a tea loaf. It is not as moist as parkin or gingerbread, but it is extremely good when spread with butter or even better, when toasted.......divine! It is also surprisingly good when served with cheese. Another idea that I discovered in a local café, is to serve it warm with a dollop of crème fraiche and a little bunch of fresh berries on top, a perfect dessert for an elegant dinner party! This improves with keeping and makes a wonderful gift for a foodie friend or hostess – wrap in cellophane and attach a ribbon with serving suggestions. If you cannot source Quatre Épices, I have a recipe on zaar to make it at home! Recipe #283280

    Recipe #412076

    During Victorian times, children used to take watercress sandwiches to school in place of meat ones. I love them, especially when cut into small trianges and served with a cuppa (cup of tea!). Use the freshest bread - I like to use wholemeal, and a fresh salted farmhouse butter. I have included a soup idea at the end of the recipe, to be made with the excess stalks! So a soup and sandwich recipe then!

    Recipe #412074

    Luscious fresh strawberries nestle amongst light sponge cake sandwiched with strawberry jam, which are then covered with creamy custard and topped with clotted cream. Simple! This trifle may be simple but it is the star on any tea-time or dessert table and if you cannot obtain clotted cream, use whipping cream, heavy cream or double cream instead. Madeira is used in place of sherry in this trifle, which gives a mellow flavour to the trifle. This is a recipe that my mum sent to me, from a cutting in a British magazine promoting Devon and Cornwall in the West Country - home of the Cream Tea! If you wish to serve this to children or non-drinkers, substitute the Madeira with fruit juice of your choice. In the summer scatter some pink rose petals over the top for the ultimate and romantic finish! (Prep time includes the chilling and soaking time.)

    Recipe #412075

    These delightful and rather unusual tea sandwiches combine the delicate French herb tarragon, with ripe tomatoes, garlic and shallots – a change from the usual basil and tomatoes. The tomatoes are gently poached with all the seasonings until a thick puree or butter is obtained; the tomato butter is then cooled and you are left with a wondrous sandwich filling, bursting with flavour and colour! The butter can be used for all manner of things, including a topping for a pizza or for toasted sandwiches. Use fresh bread, white or wholemeal, and garnish with fresh tarragon leaves. Any excess butter can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week in the fridge. NB: Prep time includes chilling time for the butter.

    Recipe #412062

    A tasty and different way to use some of the Sunday Roast leftovers on Monday! Although I have specified lamb in this recipe, beef would also work very well, it's just that I had roast lamb leftovers when I made these. These rissoles are lightly spiced and tangy - perfect for supper when served with salad, pickles, chutneys and maybe a naan bread or pitta bread to make a sandwich. They are easily made and can be prepared ahead of time and left in the fridge, as they hold their shape better when they have been chilled and are firm. These will also freeze very well; open freeze them before frying on a tray or plate until firm and then pack them into freezer bags or a plastic container. They only need about 6 hours to defrost and then are cooked as instructed below.Use curry powder to taste, I use 2 teaspoons as I like mine quite spicy!

    Recipe #410039

    An easy and very tasty rarebit dish made with Irish cheddar cheese and the ubiquitous Irish ale, Guinness. The Emerald Isle produces some great dairy products and none is better than their butter and Cheddar style cheese. This recipe has Ireland written right the way through it, using soda bread as the base for this cheesy snack, as well as the aforementioned cheese and ale. I have also made these to eat with a bowl of hearty soup or Irish stew, perfect for a cold or damp winter's day. Amazing high tea time food as well; served with salad, chutneys and pickles for a cheap and easy fire-side supper.

    Recipe #408834

    A delightful and EASY scone recipe that is perfect for a proper afternoon tea or to take on a picnic. Dried sour cherries are sensational and give a deep essence of cherry flavour to these scones, whilst the buttermilk makes them light and airy. This is a casual eating scone, easy to rustle up, and is perfect when eaten fresh from the oven with butter and maybe some cherry jam and cream too! If taking on a picnic, wrap the scone in a clean tea towel to keep it warm and pack the butter and jam separately. Makes one large scone, which is marked to split into wedges when served.

    Recipe #408471

    An old-fashioned treat, this is a fabulous way to use up left over ham, although I have also put some freshly cooked ham aside especially for this when I have baked a ham for Christmas, Easter or another special occasion. The ham is finely minced and mixed through with old-fashioned spices and butter, and it keeps for several weeks in a cool place. Another name for this recipe is Potted Meat, and it was VERY popular in Victorian times, although recipes for potted meats (preserved under butter) goes back even further than that historically. Wonderful in sandwiches for the teatime table or for picnics, lunch boxes and festive buffets. This is an adapted recipe from Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management, where she suggests that this is a nice addition for the “Breakfast or Luncheon table”. Serve with sliced breads of all types, oatcakes, toast, bread rolls, and crackers or with salad, chutneys, mustard and pickles. NB: Use a good cooked ham on the bone for this recipe: the sort carved by hand at the deli and old-fashioned butchers. So called "cooking time" is chill time.

    Recipe #408287

    Freshly boiled eggs are encased in a herb flavoured sausage “jacket” and are then deep-fried until golden and crisp, delicious! Contrary to popular belief, Scotch eggs are not Scottish, and they were actually invented by the famous London department store “Fortnum & Mason” in 1738, where they are still available today. The word "Scotch" is an old English word meaning to chop or mince, and obviously, the eggs are covered with “chopped or minced” pork sausage meat, hence the name Scotch Eggs. They are traditional British picnic food but I also like to serve them as a light lunch or snack, and they make a wonderful addition to the buffet table. These tasty traditional English specialities have had bad press over the years; mainly down to commercial mass production, but if you make them at home with fresh, free-range eggs and the best quality sausage meat, they will taste divine, and they will always be the stars of the picnic hamper or family lunch table! PLEASE use high quality sausage meat or sausages, with at least 70% meat content.Historical Note: Founded in 1707, Fortnum & Mason (F&M) stocks "food fit for a queen". The 300-year-old British department store, famous for its jams, teas, and sauces, provides the Queen with her annual supply of Christmas puddings and holds the "Royal Warrant. NB: You can use quail's eggs with great results too - perfect for an elegant appetiser or starter. (The optional mixed spice is for those who like a spicy meat coating, it is mentioned in some old recipes, but I don't always use it.)

    Recipe #408043

    This recipe was made from leftovers and has been requested again ALREADY by Malcolm, my husband! Cooked chicken is mixed with smoky, hot chorizo sausage and folded through a chipotle chilli tomato sauce..........sounds too hot?! I then added some sweet corn, sour cream and a jar of mild salsa to calm it down a bit, but please DO use hot salsa if you like a little spice in your life! I topped this with a dollop of sour cream and dressed it with chopped jalapeno peppers, parsley and a little chopped coriander (cilantro) for a perfect cold weather lunch. I devised this recipe especially for the Two for One Leftovers event in the Cooking Photo's Forum. Please adjust the chilli powder to your own requirements. I like spicy food but Malcolm does not, so I topped mine with loads of chopped jalapeno peppers and a sprinkling of chipotle chilli powder!! NB: I used Spanish chorizo sausage, which is cured; if you are using fresh chorizo sausage, it needs to be browned beforehand.(I made this original recipe with leftovers from KissKiss's Recipe #368069. However, ANY cooked chicken will do for this!) NOTE on adding water to salsa: My salsa was VERY thick and adding the water made it much better when baked; if your salsa is a very runny one already, do not add the water!

    Recipe #407666

    This is MY much adapted version of Jamie Oliver's Turkey and Sweet Leek Pie! I made this with left over Christmas turkey this year, and it was so delicious and went down a bomb with my family and friends! A new Jamie Oliver recipe that he showed on his Family Christmas show this year and one that is so clever, as this pie makes its own gravy! I have left out adding the chestnuts and sage to the pastry as he suggests, I will try it sometime in the future though, as it sounds a brilliant idea; I have added this option at the end of the recipe however, for those who want to try it that way. Serve this with mashed potatoes and the extra gravy in a gravy boat on the side. Here is what Jamie says about this pie: "This is dead simple, completely versatile and absolutely gorgeous. It’s not a pretty-boy pie; it’s a proper, old-school pie that everyone will be over the moon to see on the table. I’m putting leftover white turkey meat to good use here, but you could also mix brown meat in there too." I agree, all of my family and friends were over the moon to see this on the post Christmas table, I bet it tastes great with chicken and ham too. NB: he original recipe makes enough for 6 to 8 people, mine is perfect for 4 very hungry people!

    Recipe #407306

    Another GREAT Jamie Oliver recipe, and one that I am preparing for New Year's Eve! Jamie says you can use any spirits or liquor, but he suggestes vodka and tequila in his recipe. These bottles look SO festive and pretty, I plan to use holly, berries, bay leaves, fruit slices, ivy and woody herbs for my bottles this year. DO check that the liquor bottle fits INSIDE the plastic water bottle first! This recipe idea for serving liquor originates from Scandinavia. (Prep time is for freezing the bottles.)

    Recipe #405174

    Garlicky buttered snails served in little light vol-au-vent cases, what a treat for all snail lovers! Living in France gives me access to some wonderful escargots, as well as superb garlic and butter too. These are just brilliant when served as appetisers for New Year or any other festive gathering. The beauty of these over the classic snails served in a baker or in their shells, is that you can eat the WHOLE thing! EVERY single bit of that naughty but exceedingly nice garlic and herb butter, all in one amazing mouthful! If you are unable to get hold of mini vol-au-vents, I have posted an alternative way to make your own little puff pastry cases, using readymade pastry for ease of preparation! Allow 2 to 3 per person if these are being served with other nibbles and appetisers. (Prep time includes baking the cases if not using readymade vol-au-vent cases.)

    Recipe #405022

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