So it was my turn again to host dinner for my loved ones and I wanted to push the boat out a little and get out of my comfort zone too!
I love really strong cheese and I had to incorporate this infatuation in one of the dishes, so I chose to do a cheesy souffle to start, with some crispy salted kale (YUM), for mains I was already craving couscous for weeks so that was a cert (due to its spicyness I’ve included a yummy chicken recipe for little ones if joining in, which in my case they were) and lastly I opted for a dessert that would best accompany that obligatory ‘end of the night cuppa’ (thanks mary berry for this one)!
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
▪️6 tablespoons butter
▪️4 tablespoons grated Parmesan
▪️4 teaspoons flour
▪️240ml cup milk
▪️100g cup grated Gruyere or strong Cheddar
▪️big pinch cayenne pepper
▪️big pinch nutmeg
▪️4 egg yolks
▪️4 egg whites
▪️300g shredded Kale (washed, without stalks)
-Heat oven to 190° C. Grease 4 standard sized ramekins with 2 tbsp butter. Coat the base and sides with the Parmesan, tapping out any excess. Set aside.
-In a small saucepan, over medium heat, melt the remaining butter. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute.
-Using a whisk stir in the milk and cook for 1 min, stirring constantly till it boils. Remove from heat and stir in the cheese until melted, Add in the cayenne and nutmeg. Whisk in the yolks one at a time. Set aside.
-In another bowl, beat the egg whites with the salt until stiff moist peaks form (good luck if you don’t have an electric whisk :().
-Stir 1/4 of the egg whites into the cheese sauce to loosen it. Gently fold in the remaining egg whites.
-Spoon into the ramekins. Bake until puffed and golden,about 20 minutes should do.
For the Kale
-preheat the oven to 140c. Spread kale leaves evenly on a baking sheet and coat with the olive oil and sea salt.
-Bake until crispy but still green about 20 mins, turning halfway through.
*If cooking at the same time as souffle reduce the time for the kale to about 15mins but keep an eye on them.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
▪️4 skin on, bone-in chicken thighs & drumsticks (8 pieces total)
▪️2 tsp turmeric
▪️1 tbsp garam masala
▪️2 tbsp sunflower oil
▪️2 onion (finely sliced)
▪️3 garlic cloves (sliced)
▪️500ml chicken stock
▪️large handful whole green olives
▪️zest and juice 1 lemon
▪️small bunch flat-leaf parsley (chopped)
-Toss the chicken in half the spices along with a pinch of salt until evenly coated.
-Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large pan with a lid. Fry chicken, skin-side down, for 10 mins or until golden brown, turn them over then cook for 2 mins before removing from the pan.
-Pour the rest of the oil into the pan, then fry the onions and garlic for 10 mins until softened & golden. Stir in the rest of the spices, then cook for 1 min longer.
-Pour in the chicken stock and the olives. Bring everything to the boil then turn down the heat & place the chicken back in skin side up in the stock.
-Cover the pan with a lid, then simmer gently for 35-40 mins until the chicken is tender & cooked. Take chicken out onto a plate and keep warm.
-Take the pan off the heat. Stir in the lemon juice and couscous into the sauce and top up with boiling water, enough to cover the couscous if you needed.
-Place the lid back on the pan, then leave to stand for 5 mins until the couscous has cooked through.
-Fluff through half the parsley and the lemon zest, then sit the chicken back on top. Scatter with the rest of the parsley and zest before serving.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
▪️4-6 chicken drumsticks
▪️1tbsp of honey
▪️½ lemon (juice & zest)
▪️1tbsp Olive oil
▪️½ a lemon (wedges)
▪️Sprinkling of parsley
-Place chicken in a roasting tray & season with salt and pepper .
-In a small bowl combine the honey, lemon juice, zest, turmeric & olive oil.
-Coat the drumsticks in the mix and toss in the lemon wedges. Roast in oven on 200c for 45mins or till juice runs clear. Sprinkle with parsley to serve.
*I placed this in the oven about 25mins before adding souffle to the oven to ensure good timing.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
For the tart base
▪️175g digestive biscuits (crumbs)
▪️200g Bramley apples
For the frangipane filling
▪️75g butter, softened
▪️75g caster sugar
▪️2 eggs (beaten)
▪️75g ground almonds
▪️1 tsp almond extract
▪️50g/1¾oz flaked almonds
– Preheat the oven to 200c. Melt the butter in a small pan, then add the biscuit crumbs and stir until coated with butter. Tip into the tart tin and press over the base and sides of the tin to give an even layer. Chill in the fridge while you make the filling.
-Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the eggs, then add the ground almonds and almond extract and blend until well combined.
-Peel the apples, and cut thin slices of apple. (Do this at the last minute to prevent the apple going brown.) Arrange the slices over the biscuit base. Spread the frangipane filling evenly on top. Level the surface and sprinkle with the flaked almonds.
-Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden-brown and set. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 15 minutes. Remove the sides of the tin.
And serve, I served mine with some good old clotted cream (ugh yes)
*I made this ahead of time for the sake of sanity, I threw it in the oven to warm up for about 10minutes before the evenings tea time.