Blog, Cookery, Kitchens, Lessons

Spiced Halloumi Fries, Easy Marinara Dipping Sauce

Everyone’s been in the position before where friends have popped around for a cuppa and stayed longer than expected leading to the eventuality of making some snacks for guests.

This recipe uses one of the greatest Cypriot exports; Halloumi. Use good quality halloumi, it makes a difference.

The dipping sauce goes great with meatballs and pasta to.

This recipe can be made in less than 30 minutes.

For the Halloumi fries

500g Halloumi, patted dry with kitchen paper, cut into chunky chips

½ Cup Plain Flour

1 tsp Garlic Powder

1 tsp Smoked Paprika

1 pinch Cayenne

Salt & Pepper

For the Marinara Sauce

1 x 400g Tin Plum Tomatoes

2 tbsp + 1 tsp Olive Oil

1 tbsp Mixed Herbs

1 tsp Oregano

2 Cloves Garlic, crushed

Small Bunch Basil, finely sliced

Salt & Pepper

Method

Heat a deep fryer to 170C.

Add the teaspoon of oil to a small saucepan on a low heat. Add the crushed garlic and herbs and fry for 3 minutes.

Add the plum tomatoes including juice, olive oil and basil and bring to a simmer. Allow to cook for 10 minutes. Blend and season to taste. Keep warm.

Combine the flour, garlic powder, paprika, cayenne and salt and pepper on a baking tray ensuring they are thoroughly mixed. Coat the halloumi chips in the flour shaking off any excess.

Deep fry the halloumi for 2-3 minutes, until golden and crisp. Drain on kitchen paper.

Serve hot with the marinara dipping sauce on the side.

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Blog, Cookery, Kitchens

Squash, Honey & Ginger Soup with Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

The dark nights have set in, there’s a chill in the air, in the words of the Stark’s ‘Winter is Coming’.

What better way to warm up than a lovely bowl of amber soup. This recipe will serve four.

Ingredients

1 Large Butternut Squash, seeds removed & chopped

2 Large Carrots, peeled and finely chopped

1 Brown Onion, finely diced

1 inch Fresh Ginger, grated

1 tbsp Tomato Puree

3 pts Vegetable Stock

2 tbsp Pumpkin Seeds

1 tbsp Clear Honey

Double Cream

A little oil

Salt & Pepper

 

Method

Preheat your oven to 180C.

In a saucepan on a low to medium heat, add a little oil, the onion & carrot and allow to soften for 5 minutes.

Add the squash and cook for a further 5 minutes or until the edges of the squash are softened.

Add a little salt and pepper and stir in the smoked paprika, ginger, tomato puree and a small amount of stock.  Allow to cook for 3 minutes then top up with the remaining stock which should cover the ingredients in the pan.

Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer for 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, place your pumpkin seeds on a baking tray and toast in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove and set aside.

Blend the soup and add the honey.  Add a little water if too thick and adjust the seasoning.  

Served topped with the pumpkin seeds and drizzle of cream. 

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Blog, Cookery

Hadrian’s Wall Gin & Tonic Cheesecake

As you may or may not already know, I am working on a range of recipes with the Hadrian’s Wall Gin company. My first recipe was a Gin & Tonic Granita, perfect as a palate cleanser for a dinner party. 

Today, I am sharing recipe number two. This one is a real crowd pleaser and will cap off a meal in style, it can be made in advance and will keep for up to 3 days in the fridge. 

 

Hadrian’s Wall Gin & Tonic Cheesecake

Serves 10-12

Ingredients

100ml Hadrian’s Wall Gin

100ml Refreshingly Light Fever Tree Tonic

400g Full Fat Soft Cheese

200ml Double Cream

Juice of ½ a Lime

Zest of 1 Lime & 1 Lemon

5 Leaves of Gelatine, Platinum Grade

150g Digestive Biscuits

100g Ginger Snap Biscuits

100g Unsalted Butter

50g Caster Sugar

75g Icing Sugar

To Garnish

Lemon & Lime Slices

Lemon & Lime Zest

Crème Chantilly

Method

In a food processor, blitz the ginger snaps and digestives (or alternatively place in a food bag and bash with a rolling pin). Decant into a mixing bowl.

Melt the butter over a low heat and once melted add to the digestive / gingersnap crumbs. Mix until crumbs are coated well. Press the crumb into the base of an 8” Springform cake tin. Smooth and level out the crumbs with the back of a spoon or spatula. Chill in the fridge to set.

In a pan on a medium-low heat, combine the gin, tonic and caster sugar and stir until the sugar melts. Whilst waiting for the sugar to melt, soak the gelatine leaves in cold water for 5 minutes to bloom. Once the sugar has melted and the gelatine has soaked, turn the heat off the pan, squeeze the gelatine to get rid of any excess liquid and stir into the gin syrup until dissolved. Set aside to cool (keep stirring while cooling).

In a stand mixer with whisk attachment, add the cream cheese, lime juice, lemon & lime zest and the icing sugar. Whisk until smooth then gradually add the gin and tonic syrup. Once all the syrup has been added, whisk for a further minute. Add the double cream and whisk until smooth and soft peaks form.

Pour the mixture over the biscuit base and smooth with a palette knife or spatula. Place in the fridge overnight to set.

Garnish by piping on some Crème Chantilly topping with alternating lemon and lime slices then zest a lemon & lime all over.

Thanks for Reading, I hope you enjoy your cheesecake. 

To keep up to date with what’s going on with Paul’s Private Dining you can follow me on;

Instagram @PaulsPrivateDining

Facebook @paulsprivatedining

Twitter @_privatedining

Pinterest PaulsPvtDining

Blog, Cookery, Kitchens, Lessons

Pheasant & Apricot Tagine with Black Olives

How’s everyone enjoying the summer? I can’t believe it’s August already, how fast has this year flown by? Since my last recipe, I’ve been busy writing recipes, catering parties and had a trip down to London.

August into September sees me doing a few classes at Outcook Cookery School in Alnwick, see http://www.outcook.co.uk for details.

This month’s recipe uses Northumberland game from Hadrian’s Larder, notably Pheasant Legs. Game from Northumberland is some of the best available, having a perfect natural habitat for species to thrive. The gamekeepers and estate managers across the county do a great job in managing the population of game which can then be used to provide wonderfully lean, tasty produce for us all to enjoy.

Hadrian’s Game Larder regularly attends Alnwicks Farmer’s Market. You can also pick up most of your veg from the market too.

Recipe: Pheasant & Apricot Tagine with Olives

Serves 4

Ingredients

8 Skinless Whole Pheasant Legs (Leg & Thigh), room temperature

2 Carrots, peeled & chopped

1 Aubergine, chopped

1 Courgette, chopped

1 Red Pepper, chopped20180805115106_img_0396.jpg

2 Red Onions, diced

1 Red & 1 Green Chilli

1 Cup Dried Apricots, diced

1 Cup Black Olives

½ Cup Plain Flour

¾ Pint Light Chicken Stock

Salt & Pepper

Olive Oil

For the Paste

4 Cloves Garlic

2 Tbsp Tomato Puree

1 Tbsp Honey

1 Tbsp Turmeric, Ground Cinnamon, Sumac, Chilli Flakes, Ground Ginger

2 Tbsp Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper

Method

Preheat the Oven to 160C.

Make the Paste: Crush the garlic in a pestle and mortar, then combine with the Tomato Puree and Honey. Add the Turmeric, Ground Cinnamon, Sumac and Chilli Flakes and gradually add the oil until a paste is formed, you may not need all the oil. Season with a little salt & pepper.

In a tray, add the plain flour and season with salt and pepper. Use this to coat the pheasant legs, making sure any excess is shaken off. In a tagine or casserole dish on a high heat add a few tbsp of olive oil and seal the pheasant on both sides for 3 minutes or until golden (This may need to be done in batches). Place on a tray and set aside.

 

 

In the same dish add a little more oil, reduce the heat to low and cook the onions until soft (about 10 minutes), adding a little salt and pepper. Once soft, add the paste and coat the softened onions and let cook for 3 minutes or until fragrant.

Add the chopped vegetables, coating them with the onion and paste, allow to cook for 5 minutes. Add olives and apricot and add 3/4 pint of light chicken stock. Bring to a simmer. Place the pheasant legs in ensuring they are submerged and drop in the 2 whole chillies. Place the lid on the tagine or casserole and allow to cook in the oven for up to 2 ½ hours or until meat falls away easily from the bone. Season to taste.

 

 

Serve with Rice, Cous Cous or Flatbreads and some chopped coriander.

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Thanks for Reading,

Paul

 

If you’d like more information about Paul’s Private Dining, visit my Facebook page: Paul’s Private Dining, Instagram: Paul’s Private Dining or Twitter @_privatedining.

 

 

Blog, Cookery, Kitchens

Photoshoot Day!

A few weeks ago I had a photo shoot with Adrian Finlay of Adrian Finlay Photography.

We originally connected through North East Hour on twitter, it’s an amazing platform for local businesses in the North East to network.

We had an initial chat followed by a meeting to discuss options of what I could cook on the day to give some good results. Whatever dishes I was going to do were going to be colourful and (hopefully) appealing. Adrian is a really friendly guy and I knew that during our shoot we would work well together.

The photo shoot took place at OutCook in Alnwick, with the use of Outlook also being available for photos. The kitchens they have on show are truly first class and stunning. I must say a big thanks to Ben and Jill from OutCook for being so helpful and accommodating in allowing me to use the space.

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After I tried out some tester shots and food for the day, I settled on the recipes I would be using.

They were;

Paul’s Private Dining Steak Sharing Platter

Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb with Tomatoes, Spinach and White Bean Puree

Beetroot & Goats Cheese Salad with Raspberries

Pan Roasted Chicken with Leeks And A Cheddar & Chive Sauce

Barbecued Sea Bass with Garden Treasures

Pear Poached in Mulled Wine with Walnut Brittle

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The shoot was really good, Adrian made me feel at ease and was happy for me to cook and plate at my own pace we worked collaboratively throughout the shoot even getting a couple of action shots. His eye for detail is great and we made some slight alterations to plated dishes to bring the best features out of the dishes on the day.

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There was a tangle with the Chicken dish as I just couldn’t get the placing right for the garnish. It had me pulling my hair out for several minutes until we made the decision to go back to basics. It definitely made the dish look better.

I’ve already used the photos to update my website and over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be updating some of the site content so please keep your eyes peeled for that.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Adrian for contacting me to take part in this shoot and I really appreciate all the help before during and after the shoot. If you would like to know more or check out some of Adrian’s other work please visit; http://www.adrianfinlayphotography.com. I’m sure you will agree he has an exceptional eye for detail and quality.

For more information on OutCook visit their website at http://www.outcook.co.uk. I’ll be hosting some new classes there soon, it’s such an amazing space to work in. Once again, thanks guys for all the support, it means a lot.

Thanks for Reading

Paul

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Blog, Cookery, Kitchens, Lessons

Rattling the Pots & Pans at OutCook

On Saturday 30th and Sunday 31st May, I spent my first weekend at OutCook cookery school in Alnwick, rattling the pots and pans doing a few demonstrations and teaching a class on the respective days.

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On Saturday, the Outlook HEC (OutCook’s big brother) Showroom was re-launched with invited guests given the opportunity to check out the gorgeous new collection including a stunning Mereway kitchen.

The kitchen space in OutCook, which is located on Outlook’s first floor, is really well designed with purpose built worktops with ovens, grills and smart storage solutions and polished marble worktops. A Chef’s dream.

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The dishes I picked to demonstrate were 2 brunch dishes and a nice simple summer dessert. The brunch dishes were an Avocado baked with Northumberland Eggs & Northumberland Smoked Salmon and A Brunch Salad that contained Northumberland Eggs, Turnbull’s award winning pancetta and grapefruit. The dessert was a Lemon & Basil Posset topped with a shortbread crumb, a nice simple dish that is perfect following a heavy meal.

One thing I did learn myself about doing demo’s was about Soft-Boiled Eggs, they are very tough to peel in front of an audience! It was good fun meeting people with an interest in food and getting to share some of my knowledge with them.

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Sunday was really fun too getting to teach a Blokes in the Kitchen Class based around Curry & Spices. We cook a range a dishes including My Special Chicken Curry, Caraway Flatbreads, Mango Lassi Dessert, Lamb Kebabs, Raita and A simple Salad. It was a great session that was relaxed and informal, talking about food and the local area. We made really good use of the equipment and space, it was a treat to teach my recipes.

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I’ll be back at OutCook soon doing a few different classes, I’ll be updating my social media closer to the time so if you want to keep updated my twitter is @_privatedining , Facebook page is Paul’s Private Dining and Instagram is Pauls Private Dining.

Have a great week

Paul