Cardamoms, Custard, Figs, Garlic, Lemon, Parsley, Pine Nuts, prawns, Raisins, Shortbread, Spinach
For the – probably one of you – who has been waiting for the rest of the recipes for this dinner, here at last they are. SPINACH WITH PINE NUTS AND RAISINS
25 grams pine nuts
A good bunch of fresh tender spinach
Olive oil 25 grams small golden raisins
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Firstly toast the pine nuts until a golden brown in a thick based pan over a low heat. Shake the pan from time to time to turn the nuts.
Wash and drain the spinach.
Heat a tablespoon of oil in a shallow pan. Add the spinach, cover and let wilt for a couple of minutes over a low heat.
Add the pine nuts and raisins and stir to mix.
Season then cover the pan again and leave to cook for about five minutes.
Serve on hot plates.
PRAWN WITH GARLIC, LEMON AND PARSLEY
20 medium sized peeled prawns
1 large clove garlic
Juice of half a lemon
Chopped flat leaved parsley
Heat a tablespoon or so of olive oil in a frying pan.
Add the chopped garlic and fry until light brown.
Add the prawns and cook quickly on a high heat until opaque and slightly browned.
Squeeze in the lemon juice and stir to collect any brownings at the bottom of the pan.
Sprinkle in the parsley and serve immediately on a hot dish.
The only remotely complicated thing about this recipe is remembering to cook the custards early enough that they can cool completely. You can of course cook them the day before they are needed.
I will point out also that it is not an error that the custard does not have sugar added to it. There is enough sweetness in the caramelised fig to balance the less sweet custard.
4 tablespoons caramelised fig jam
Butter for greasing your pots
200 ml full fat milk
Few drops vanilla essence
Preheat the oven to 140C
To cook this you will need individual ovenproof pots for the custard. Most crockery is oven proof provided you don’t heat or cool it too rapidly. I used some glass coffee cups to cook my custards.
Grease the pots with butter and then put a tablespoon of the fig jam in the bottom of each.
Break the eggs into a jug and whisk lightly to mix.
Add the milk and vanilla essence and whisk a bit more to mix this.
Pouring through a sieve to remove any solid bits in the egg, pour the custard into the pots.
Put the pots into a deep baking dish and add boiling water to the dish to come about 2cm up the pots. This prevents the custards getting too hot and burning on their bases.
Put in the oven and leave to cook for about an hour until the custards are just set.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely.
To serve slide a thin knife around the edge of the custard, put a small plate on top of the pot and invert the whole lot. You may have to give the custard and encouraging shake. If any of the jam stays in the pot, simply spoon neatly on top of the custard.
MINI CARDAMOM SHORTBREADS
100 grams plain flour
40 grams fine semolina
Quarter teaspoon ground cardamoms
30 grams sugar
100 grams butter
Put all the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix.
Cut the butter into small pieces into the flour mix and rub in.
Bring the mix together in a firm dough.
On a floured surface roll the dough out to just under a centimetre thick.
If you have a very small round cutter – ideally about 3cm diameter – then cut into small biscuits. Otherwise cut into small squares or lozenges.
Bake at 150C for about an hour until pale golden.