Roast Beetroot Mousse with Dill Crème Fraîche
Set and serve these in teacups, or use moulds lined with clingfilm and turn on to a plate to serve.
• 1 red onion, skinned and chopped
• 4 fresh beetroot, peeled and chopped
• 1 to 2 cloves of garlic, skinned and chopped
• 4 tablespoons olive oil
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 pint/285ml stock, either chicken or vegetable stock (or Marigold stock powder made up with boiling water)
• 4 sheets of gelatine, soaked in cold water for 10 minutes
• 1 tablespoon lemon juice
• 3 teaspoons best horseradish sauce (I use Isabella's Relish or Moniack's)
• a good grinding of black pepper
• 2 large egg whites
• a pinch of salt
• 1/4 pint/140ml crème fraîche to garnish
• 6 fronds of dill
Cover a baking tray with a sheet of baking parchment and put the chopped onion, beetroot and garlic on it. Pour on the olive oil and, with your hands, mix together thoroughly. Scatter the salt over the lot and roast in a hot oven, 400°F/200°C/Gas Mark 6 for 20 minutes. Shuffle the vegetables around on the tray, then continue roasting them for another 20 to 25 minutes, or until when you stick a fork into a chunk of beetroot it feels quite tender. Remove the tray from the oven and allow to cool.
Heat the stock in a pan, then drain the soaked gelatine sheets and drop them into the hot liquid - swirl it around and the gelatine should dissolve almost instantly.
Place the roasted vegetables in a food processor and whiz them to a smooth puree. Then whiz in the gelatine stock, the lemon juice and the horseradish. Taste, and add more salt if you think it is needed, and a good grinding of black pepper.
In a bowl, whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt (to give an increased volume) until the whites hold peaks. With a flat metal whisk or a large metal spoon, fold the whisked whites into the beetroot purée. Divide the mixture between the teacups or moulds, cover each with clingfilm and place in the fridge. Make them up to two days in advance, but bring to room temperature for at least half an hour before serving. If you are using teacups, spoon a dollop of crème fraîche on top of each one, or if you are turning out moulds on a plate, put a spoonful on the side. Decorate with a dill frond.
Hot-smoked Salmon and Leeks au Gratin with Rice
This all-in-one dish can be made a day in advance.
• 4 tablespoons olive oil
• 1oz/28g butter
• 8 medium to large leeks, each trimmed at the ends of their outer leaves, and the leeks sliced thinly
• 1 tablespoon flour
• 11/2 pints/850ml milk
• finely grated rind of 1 lemon - first, scrub the lemon under running hot water, to remove the preservative, and dry well
• a grating of nutmeg
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• a good grating of black pepper
• 2lb/900g hot-smoked salmon (we use Salar) - flake the fish into a bowl and discard the skin
• 6oz/170g grated Parmesan
Prepare a large ovenproof dish by rubbing with a little olive oil. Heat the oil and melt the butter in a large and preferably non-stick saucepan. Add the leeks and fry, stirring occasionally, over a moderately high heat - not too high, or you will scorch the leeks - until they are quite soft. Prod them with a fork to be sure they're properly tender, then stir in the flour, mixing in thoroughly, and cook for a minute. Gradually add the milk, stirring all the time, until the leeks in their sauce bubble. Allow them to bubble gently for a minute, then draw the pan off the heat and stir in the grated lemon rind, the nutmeg, salt and pepper.
The sauce will be fairly thin - it's meant to be. Fold in the flaked hot-smoked salmon. Cover the surface with grated Parmesan, cover the dish with clingfilm and put it in the fridge.
To reheat, take the dish from the fridge half an hour before baking it in a moderate oven, 350°F/180°C/Gas Mark 4, for 30 to 35 minutes. The sauce should be bubbling gently around the edges. Heat the grill then place the dish under it to melt the surface Parmesan to a thick, golden crust. I like to serve boiled Basmati rice and a mixed leaf salad with this.
Blood Orange Jelly with Passion Fruit Syllabub
These look lovely in individual glasses. If you can't get blood oranges, buy ordinary oranges.
For the jellies:
• 1/2 pint/285ml cold water
• 6oz/170g granulated sugar
• pared rind of 1 lemon (well washed first, and use a potato peeler to pare the skin without the pith)
• juice of 1 lemon
• 6 sheets of gelatine, soaked in cold water for 10 minutes
• 1 pint/570ml orange juice squeezed from six blood oranges. If the amount isn't quite enough make it up with a tablespoon or two of cold water - but no more.
For the syllabub:
• 1 pint/570ml double cream
• 1/4 pint/140ml Marsala (if you can't get Marsala, use medium dry sherry)
• 3oz/85g caster sugar
• the pulp from 4 passion fruit
Make the jellies by starting with the syrup. Put the water and granulated sugar into a saucepan with the pared lemon rind and, over a moderate heat, stir until the sugar has dissolved completely. Then raise the heat and let the syrup boil fast, for five minutes.
Take the pan off the heat and add the lemon juice, lifting out the strips of lemon peel and throwing them away. Stir in the drained soaked sheets of gelatine, which will dissolve almost immediately on contact with the hot syrup. Mix the lemon gelatine syrup into the orange juice, mixing well, then divide this between six serving glasses. Cover each glass with clingfilm and leave to set, preferably overnight in the fridge.
When you are ready to serve, whip together all the syllabub ingredients until the mixture has the texture of soft whipped cream. Spoon the mixture carefully on top of each jelly, dividing equally between the glasses.