BEETROOT and BACON SOUP

Makes 2 litres

300g onion peeled, 1cm pieces

4g fresh thyme

500g beetroot, peeled, 1cm pieces

140g Smoked bacon, 1cm pieces

30g vegetable oil

1.25 litre chicken stock

100g crème fraîche

4g sea salt

30g lemon juice

12g caster sugar

METHOD.

Heat a pan on a medium, then add the oil to the pan. When it’s hot, add the bacon and thyme carefully (the oil can spit or splash), and cook for five minutes until golden brown, stirring now and again. Add the onion, turn down the heat to low, and cook for 10 minutes with a lid on the pan, stirring occasionally, so this will sweat the onion without any colouring. Be careful of the steam. Add the beetroot, and cook with the lid on for another 10 minutes, still on a low heat. Stir the contents now and again so they don’t stick or burn. Add the lemon juice and stock, turn the heat up to full and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down to a slow simmer and cook for 25 minutes with the lid on. Add the crème fraîche, turn the heat up to a boil and cook for two minutes. Turn the heat off and ladle the soup into the blender jug, until it’s just half full and purée the soup for two to three minutes. Finally, place into a clean gastronome tray or 500ml plastic containers and allow to cool down.

WATERCRESS SALAD WITH SMOKED DUCK

For the pickled pears

250ml white-wine vinegar

600ml water

200g sugar

2tsp salt

1 carrot peeled and sliced

2 banana shallots peeled and sliced

10 crushed black peppercorns

1 bay leaf

4 all-spice berries

Small sprigs thyme

4 sprigs tarragon

4 Packam pears

Put all the above, except the pears, into a pan and bring to a simmer. Peel and core all the pears, place into the poaching liquor, bring back to a simmer and cook for 20-30 minutes until tender. Leave them to cool in the liquor and then place in the fridge for a day. To serve, cut the pears in half and then in strips, cutting along the length of the pear.

FOR THE SALAD

3 bunches green watercress

2 red endives, in thin strips

100g chopped toasted walnuts

WALNUT MUSTERD

vinaigrette

100g fine-chopped shallots

30g English mustard

50g grain mustard

150g honey

8g sprigs thyme

200ml cider vinegar

200g fine-chopped walnuts

250ml vegetable oil

400ml walnut oil

150ml olive oil

8g sea salt

Place the olive oil in a shallow pan on a very low heat, then add the shallots, salt and thyme. Cook for five minutes with no colour until tender, then take off the heat to leave to cool. Place into a bowl and whisk in the rest of the ingredients.

to complete the dish

Dress the watercress and endives with the dressing, and then sprinkle on the chopped walnuts. Place this onto the plate and scatter on the sliced pears and smoked duck breast (you can buy this from any supermarket, just allow about five slices per person) and then sprinkle a little more dressing around.

ROAST FILLET OF GLENARM SALMON

For the balsamic red onions

1kg peeled and quartered

red onions

400ml balsamic vinegar

250ml olive oil

80g brown sugar

4g chopped thyme

4g salt

2g herbes de Provence

20g basil leaves

10g cloves garlic, sliced

Sauté the onions in the oil on a medium heat. Cook for five to 10 minutes with the salt, herbes de provence, thyme and garlic, then add the sugar and vinegar. Stir well, cover with a lid and cook for 20 minutes, until all the liquid has evaporated and is syrupy. Add the basil and leave to cool.

Cherry tomato and shallot sauce

1kg cherry tomatoes cut in half

150g onions finely chopped

100g large shallots, finely chopped

200ml white wine

200ml olive oil

7g sea salt

1g milled pepper

2g chopped fresh thyme

12g sugar

10g cloves garlic finely chopped

50g tomato paste

Warm a pan on a medium heat. Add the olive oil, then the onions, shallots, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper and cook for three to four minutes until a little translucent, then add the white wine and reduce until it has almost all gone. Add the cherry tomatoes and sugar and cook for 20-25 minutes at a simmer, stirring the sauce now and again. Add the tomato paste, and cook for a further five minutes. Check the seasoning.

To cook the fish

110g portion pieces of salmon

100ml olive oil

A little lemon juice

Heat a non-stick frying pan on a medium to high heat. Season the fish lightly and then pan fry in the olive oil, cooking the fish for about two to three minutes on each side. To serve, sprinkle with the lemon juice and serve with the red onion and tomato shallot mix.

BUTTERNUT SQUASH RISOTTO

250g risotto rice

900ml chicken stock

500g chopped butternut squash

30g butter

50g honey

2g salt

50g grated Parmesan

4 banana shallots peeled and diced finely, approx 100g

2 glasses white wine

80g crème fraîche

100ml olive oil

150g toasted pine nuts

12g sliced sage leaves

Place a pan onto a medium heat, then add the butter, and when melted, add the butternut squash. Add salt and cover with a lid. Cook slowly, so it sweats well, for five to eight minutes.

Remove the lid and add the honey before cooking for a couple more minutes, and add the stock. Bring to a slow simmer, then cook for 10 minutes at a steady simmer. Drain off all the stock and keep a third of the butternut squash aside, then place the rest in the blender and purée until fine. Pass through the fine sieve for later and chill.

Put the rest of the butternut squash into the blender and purée with all the liquid until smooth. Pass this through the sieve and into a pan. You’ll use this stock for making the risotto.Meanwhile, sweat off the shallots on a low heat in olive oil with no colour, then add the rice and cook for two minutes, stirring all the time.

Pour in the white wine and cook until absorbed it’ll take a minute or so then slowly add the pumpkin stock to the rice, little by little, stirring every minute or so. This will take about 12-14 minutes until the rice is almost cooked. At the end, add the pumpkin purée, and when it’s almost cooked, add the crème fraîche, Parmesan, sage, pine kernels and re-season.

Leave to rest for a minute. Serve into bowls, and sprinkle on some extra pine kernels and grated Parmesan.

SMOOTHIES

For four

100g each blueberries,

raspberries and strawberries

2 bananas

240g vanilla yoghurt

400ml milk

6 ice cubes

Place all the ingredients into a blender and then purée until smooth.