New Years Nibbles

When I was working in Spain, I had the pleasure to work with a very talented Peruvian chef. After we became friends he show me his family recipe for this amazing dish. Packed with omega 3 oils and clean protein a perfect healthy starter after all the festivity comfort food. I don’t like coriander too much so I replace it with parsley, but I leave that to your personal taste.

Ceviche – Serves 4

450g skinned haddock fillets
1 tsp coriander seeds or Parsley
1 tsp black peppercorns
The juice of 6 limes
1 tsp of salt
2 tbsp olive oil
A bunch of spring onions, trimmed and sliced
4 tomatoes, skinned and chopped
Dash of Tabasco
2 tbsp of fresh coriander
1 avocado

1. Cut the haddock fillets diagonally into thin, even strips and place in a bowl.
2. Crush the coriander seeds and the peppercorns to a fine powder. Mix with the lime juice and salt, then pour over the fish. Cover and chill for 24 hours, turning the fish occasionally.
3. The next day, heat the oil in a pan, add the spring onions and fry gently for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and the tabasco, toss together over a gentle heat for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to cool down.
4. To serve, drain the fish from the marinade, dispose of the marinade we will not need it anymore. Combine the fish with the spring onion and tomatoes and the chopped coriander (parsley). Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
5. Halve the avocado, peel and remove the stone. Slice the flesh crossways. Arrange the slices around the inside of a serving bowl and pile the ceviche in the centres. Garnish with lime slices and coriander (parsley), I personally love to serve it with some toasted crusty bread. Enjoy your Ceviche!

Recommended Wine: Albarino (Spain)

Stuffed Butternut Squash Meatballs – Serves 4

500g (clean weight) butternut squash
100g grated parmesan cheese
100g breadcrumbs
1 egg
5-6 leaves of sage
70g cheddar cheese or any stringy cheese
Olive oil
Salt and black pepper to taste

1. Let’s start by preparing our butternut squash. Remove the skin and the seeds and cut it in to slice 1/2 cm thick. Let’s get a baking tray and cover it with some baking paper, then place the slice of butternut squash on it and cook it in the oven at 200c or mark 8 on a static oven for 25 minutes.
2. Once the butternut squash is ready let place all the slices in a mixing bowl and with the help of a fork lets mash them until we achieve a soft and smooth texture. Adding half of the breadcrumbs and the parmesan cheese keep mixing with the fork or now you can use a wooden spoon, if you prefer to do so. Next add the egg, salt, black pepper and the sage and keep mixing until all the ingredients are well mixed, our meatballs mix is now ready.
3. Let’s cut our stringy cheese in to cubes, lay a bit of our mix on the palm of our hand place the cubes of cheese in the middle and with both hands we will start to close it and make our meatballs. We should get around 16 meatballs out of our mix weighing around 40g each.
4. Place the rest of the breadcrumb in a small bowl and one by one we will crumb all our meatballs if needed add more breadcrumb. Now is time to cook our meatballs so place a frying pan on a medium heat. I usually like to fry with sunflower oil but it is an individual taste. Note: The perfect temperature for frying will be 170c so never put the heat to high. Place our meatballs in the frying pan. Leave the meatballs to fry for 3 minutes and then with the help of a slotted spoon remove it form the oil and place it on a serving plate with some kitchen paper to absorb the oil. Once all the meatballs are fried we are ready to serve!

Recommended Wine: Sauvignon Blanc (France)

Creamy Poached Caramel Pears – Serves 8

8 medium-large pears, remove the core if you wish
500g caster sugar
80ml water
1 orange, skin peeled off with a peeler, juiced
250ml of double cream

1. Use a potato peeler to peel the pears in strips to give a striped effect. Place sugar and water into a large deep saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.
2. Once it comes to the boil, remove the spoon and don’t stir it again. When the sugar has cooked to a pale caramel, place the pears in, then the juice and peel from our orange and add 250ml of hot water.
3. Put a lid on the pot and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the cream and continue to cook until the cream has reduced to a caramel sauce.
4. This will take about 20 minutes, so watch careful to make sure the toffee does not catch or burn.
5. We are now ready to serve, in a serving bowl place the pear standing and pour the hot sauce on top. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a slice of Madeira cake as you prefer. Tuck in!

Recommended Wine: Vin Santo (Italy)

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