Flavoured Plates

by Simone Conti

Smoked Salmon cupcakes with cheese frosting

Serves 4

This dish is delicious and easy to prepare. It is great for a party, barbecue or a picnic!

For the cupcakes
100g plain or strong flour 
75g Greek yogurt    
50g smoked salmon 
50g mix seeds oil or sunflower oil 
1 finely chopped spring onion 
1 large egg
1 sachet of yeast  
Salt and pepper to taste 

For the frosting  
250g soft cheese 
2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
1 finely chopped spring onion 
Few mint leaves 
Salt and pepper to taste

Pre-heat oven to 180oC or mark 7.

1. For the cupcake mix: place egg, oil and yogurt into a large mixing bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Beat together with a wooden spoon or whisk. In a separate small bowl mix flour and yeast, then slowly add this mixture to the large bowl, incorporating the flour mix to ensure it is lump-free. Once all ingredients are smoothly combined, add smoked salmon (keep some small flakes of smoked salmon for later decoration) and finely chopped spring onion. Mix well. Oil or butter 6 cupcake moulds (to make it easy to remove when cooked) and divide mixture equally into the 6 moulds. Place into preheated oven for 20-25 minutes.    

2. For the frosting: place cream cheese, yogurt, finely chopped spring onion and mint leaves into large mixing bowl, season with salt and pepper. Remember to taste if the frosting is seasoned well, to avoid bland tasting frosting. Mix together with wooden spoon or a whisk to achieve a lovely smooth mixture. The frosting is now ready.  

3. When cupcakes are cooked, allow to cool for 30 minutes. NOTE: to ensure cupcakes are well cooked, place a wooden toothpick into cupcakes and if it comes out dry and clean they are cooked. If not, cook for further 5 minutes.

4. When cupcakes are cool, place frosting mix into a piping bag with 16mm piping star (alternative size can be used). Pipe frosting mix onto each cupcakes and decorate with smoke salmon and small mint leaf.  Enjoy!

Suggested Wine – Prosecco di Valdobiande (Italy)

Roast Chicken Legs

Serves 4

I love chicken legs; they are full of flavours because they’re the part that does the most work! The crisp leg skin is my favourite bit! When cooking this dish you’ll notice the lovely juice from the chicken legs, is absorbed by the potatoes and fennel, giving them a burst of flavour: it’s simply delicious! 

2 fennel bulbs 
300g Charlotte potatoes, peeled and cut into 5mm slices 
5 garlic cloves 
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 
3 large chicken legs 
2 thyme spring  
100g datterini or cherry tomatoes cut in half   
Salt and pepper to taste  


1. Preheat the oven to 180oC, mark 7. Trim the fennel bulbs. Cut each lengthways in half and then into 8 wedges. Cook the fennel in a pan of boiling, salted water for about 5 minutes, until tender. Use a slotted spoon to take the fennel out of the pan and put to one side in a bowl. Keep the water in the pan boiling.    

2. Add sliced potatoes and unpeeled garlic cloves to the boiling water and cook for about 8 minutes until tender. Drain and add to the bowl. 

3.  Heat a shallow flameproof casserole or ovenproof frying pan and add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season the chicken legs with salt and pepper, then place them, skin side down, into the pan. Cook for about 2 minutes until there is a little colour to the skin.

4. Turn chicken legs over and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and take the chicken legs out of the pan. Add thyme and tomatoes to the fennel, garlic and potatoes with the remaining olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. 

5.  Tip the mixture into the hot casserole or frying pan and spread out evenly, then leave on a low heat for about 5 minutes so the potatoes start to go slightly crispy.

6. Place chicken legs on top of  potato mixture. Add 2 tablespoon of water to the pan, then transfer to the oven and cook for about 20 minutes until the chicken it thoroughly cooked. Serve hot in the cooking pan and enjoy!

Suggested Wine – Chardonnay (California)

Oven Baked Stuffed Peach

Serves 4

This is a lovely, healthy summer dessert, using in-season, tasty peaches.

800g of fresh ripe yellow peaches 
100 g of dark chocolate powder 
80 g Amaretti biscuits  


1.  Preheat oven to 180oC, or mark 7.

2.  For the stuffing – wash the peaches, then cut in half. Remove the peach stone and set the best looking half of the peaches aside from the others. Use remaining halves for the stuffing by cutting into small cubes with a sharp knife then place into small mixing bowl. Note: use a food mixer if you want a smoother texture. 

3.  Crumble amaretti biscuits, though again if you prefer a fine texture, use a food mixer. I prefer more of a texture so I usually use my hands.

4.  Add crumbled amaretti biscuits to peach cubes using a fork to combine well to obtain a nice texture. Add dark chocolate powder and as with the amaretti, mix well until stuffing reaches a nice texture. Remember if you want to make it very creamy use a food mixer.     

5.  Using a spoon, where the peach stone was, gently make the hole a little larger in the set aside half peaches. Fully stuff the peach cavity with the stuffing mixture and place on a baking tray with stuffing side up.  Place into pre-heated oven, cook for 55mins.  When ready, serve with scoop of vanilla ice cream to contrast between hot and cold. Enjoy!

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