Mother’s day is upon us and if you are anything like me you want to go that extra mile for the woman that has picked up the pieces on more than one occasion!!
I have a perfect menu for you to prepare that will not only dazzle her but will give you enough brownie points for the next few months.
Hot smoked salmon, beetroot salad and horseradish crème fraiche
Nice little dish, simple to make and impressive. requires only a little cooking, but tastes sensational. If you can’t find fresh horseradish, you can add fresh dill to a jar of ready-made horseradish cream
For the horseradish crème fraîche
- 120g/4½oz hot smoked salmon, such as bradon rost, flesh roughly flaked
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
- 1 small handful fresh beetroot leaves, or other baby leaves
- For the beetroot salad, bring a large pan of water with a tight fitting lid to the boil, place a steamer insert on top. Add the beetroot, cover the pan and steam for 35-40 minutes, or until tender. (The beetroot is cooked through when a knife inserted into the centre meets no resistance.)
- Remove the beetroot and set aside to cool slightly before peeling (you may wish to wear gloves when you peel the beetroot to prevent your hands from staining). Slice the beetroot into bite-sized pieces (about 0.5cm/½in thick), then place into a bowl with the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and shallot. Mix well, then season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- For the horseradish crème fraîche, mix all of the horseradish crème fraîche ingredients together, taste, and adjust the seasoning, if required.
- To serve, divide the beetroot salad among 4 serving plates, scatter the salmon over the top and sprinkle over a little chopped dill. Arrange some fresh beetroot leaves on the side. Spoon the horseradish crème fraîche into small serving bowls and serve alongside.
Right one course down……onto the next….
Roast shoulder of lamb with herbs and honey
- 1.4kg/3lb shoulder of lamb, trimmed
- handful dried camomile (or contents of 4 camomile teabags)
- ½ bunch fresh thyme, leaves only
- 4 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves only
- 12 fresh sage leaves, roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 lemon, juice only
- 1 tbsp good Greek or wild flower clear honey
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 125ml/4fl oz water
- Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
- With the tip of a sharp knife, make shallow scores through the outer layer of skin and fat of the lamb shoulder, but not into the meat, cross-hatching the entire surface.
- Mix the dried camomile, the thyme, rosemary, sage and oregano together in a bowl. Season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Press a handful of the herb mixture into the skin of the lamb, massaging it in well all over the flesh of the lamb.
- Sprinkle some of the herb mixture across the bottom of a casserole with a lid. Place the lamb into the casserole, then squeeze the lemon juice over the top, before sprinkling with any remaining herb mix.
- Drizzle the honey over the top of the lamb and pour over a little olive oil.
- Pour the water into the casserole, then put the lid on. Transfer to the oven and cook for 2½ hours. Check the dish after one hour – the lamb should be taking on a little colour. If the water has evaporated, add a little more to maintain the dish’s moisture.
- After the 2½ hours cooking the lamb meat should pull away easily from the bone.
- Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 4-5 minutes.
- To serve, using a knife and fork, pull large pieces of meat away from the bone and arrange on a large serving place. Drizzle the meat with any pan juices and allow guests to help themselves.
Finally, dessert…… something very impressive and a take on a classic fondant chocolate.
- Grease six small pudding moulds with butter and dust the insides with cocoa powder, then refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Melt the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water (do not let the bowl touch the water). Set aside to cool slightly.
- Using an electric whisk, whisk the eggs, egg yolks and caster sugar together for several minutes until a thick, pale mousse-like consistency.
- Carefully fold the cooled melted chocolate and butter into the egg and sugar mix. Finally, fold in the flour carefully so as not to knock any air out of the mixture.
- Divide the mixture equally between the prepared moulds. Place in the fridge for at least two hours or until firm. You can make the puddings up to 24 hours in advance and leave them in the fridge until you are ready to cook them.
- Preheat the oven to 200C (180C fan)/400F/Gas 6. Place the puddings on a baking tray and bake for eight minutes, or until the puddings are risen but not cracked.
- Turn out the puddings on to individual plates and serve, with pouring cream.