Food That Tells A Story

Potato Rosti, Smoked Salmon & Crème Fraiche – Serves 4

This is a great dish to use on so many different occasions. Delicious for a weekend brunch or as a starter in a family and friends’ dinner. Easy to prepare and very healthy, kids will love it (preferably without the roe).

800g potatoes boiled in their skins, cooled
2 eggs
1 medium red onion, peeled and finely sliced
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
12 mint leaves
120ml of crème fraiche or sour cream
200g smoked salmon slices
2 teaspoon of salmon roe or lumpfish roe

1. Peel potatoes and grate them on a coarse grater. Once ready, mix with eggs, onion, salt and pepper.
2. Halve the mixture, roll into balls and flatten between your hands into 2 discs about 2/3 inch thick, you now have your rostis.
3. Heat a frying pan and add just a little butter. Add the rostis and fry for a few minutes over a moderate heat until golden. Turn and cook until golden on the other side.
4. Mix the mint with the crème fraiche or sour cream and leave to rest for 30 minutes.
5. Once the minted crème fraiche is ready you can start to plate, place a rosti on a plate, lay some sliced salmon on top then add a dollop of minted crème fraiche and to finish it off add a little mound of salmon roe. Enjoy!

Recommended Wine: Cava Brut (Spain)

Pan Fried Calf’s Liver – Serves 4-6

I know calf’s liver is a dish from the past and many people turn their nose as soon they hear the word liver. But if prepared in the proper way, many people will change their mind about calf’s liver. The thickness is important, if it’s too thick the flavour will be to intense and if it’s too thin it will just lose texture and just get dry when you cook it.

1/2 clove of garlic sliced
500g fresh spinach (stalk on)
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
400g of cannellini beans (drained and rinse)
8 slice of smoked pancetta or smoked streaky, bacon
8 sage leaves
50g of unsalted butter
4 large slices of calf’s liver, 1 cm thick
4 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
4 tbsp crème fraiche
salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Blanch the spinach in a large pan of boiling salted water until tender. Drain well, then season and toss with 2 tbsp of olive oil. Keep warm.
2. Heat the remaining oil in a small pan and briefly fry the garlic. Add the cannellini beans and cook for 2-3 minutes. Season and set aside in a warm place.
3. Heat a large frying pan, add the pancetta and cook until crispy. Remove and place on some kitchen paper to drain. Add the sage leaves to the fat remaining in the pan and cook until crispy. Remove it and set on top of the pancetta.
4. Wipe out the pan with kitchen paper, then add the butter. Heat until it foams, then carefully place the slices of the calf’s liver in the pan. Cook on a high heat for 2 minutes on each side.
5. Lift out the liver and place it in a warm plate. Add the spinach and a generous spoonful of cannellini beans next to the liver, then set the pancetta and sage on top of the liver. Pour the balsamic vinegar we used to cook the liver into the frying pan and let it boil until reduced by half then stir in the crème fraiche. Spoon this sauce over the liver and we are ready to serve!

Recommended Wine: Barbera D Asti (Italy)

Banana and Coconut Tarts – Serves 4

For this recipe the key is the banana, make sure they are ripe at the right point. If the bananas are still a little green, they won’t caramelise and you will lose most of the flavour once the tarts are baked.

400g puff pastry
6 ripe bananas peeled
50g butter, melted
2 tablespoons caster sugar
125g of desiccated coconut

1. Preheat oven to 200c or mark 5. On a lightly floured board, roll out pastry to 1/3(1/8) cm thick and cut four 10cm(4in) rounds. Place these on a greased tray and leave to rest at room temperature for 20 min.
2. Mash two bananas with coconut and spread evenly on the pastry. Slice remaining bananas on a slight angle, about 1/2(1/4in) thick, and lay on top. Lightly brush pastry and banana with half the butter and sprinkle with sugar.
3. Bake in the middle of the oven until pastry is golden and bananas are lightly caramelised, should take around 15 minutes.
4. Brush the remaining butter over the tarts and bake for a further 2-3 minutes.
5. Serve warm with runny cream or ice cream.

Simone Conti

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