Recipe: Crisps with feta crème and pomegranate

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When I had the girls over for dinner, I started the evening with a prosecco cocktail and crisps with toppings. I’ve already introduced you to the bleak roe version (so yum!) but this, much more accessible version with feta, pomegranate and parsley is just as nice. Perfect for the holidays!

Crisps with feta crème, pomegranate seeds and parsley, serves 6 as a nibble

1/2 bag salted (nice) crisps 

1/3 packet feta

100 ml creme fraiche

pomegranate seeds

chopped parsley

Find the nicest looking crisps in the bag and put them on a plate/platter. Whip creme fraiche and feta until smooth. Season with pepper. Place a small dollop of the feta crème on each crisp, top with pomegranate seeds and parsley. Serve. 

Sweet potato rounds with feta, pomegranate and parsley

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I made these colourful nibbles for a party in the summer, when the sun was shining and children were splashing in the pool. But they work as well lighting up the December darkness or brightening up an October day.

They’re both easy to make and really lovely to eat, so it’s a good idea to make a few extra.

Sweet potato rounds with feta, pomegranate and parsley, makes 30

3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled

2/3 packet feta

1 packet pomegranate seeds or a whole pomegranate (seeds only) 

1 bunch parsley, chopped

mild oil

salt and pepper

Slice the sweet potato in 1/2 cm thick slices. Place on a parchment paper covered baking sheet and drizzle with oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in a 200C oven until soft but not mushy, approx 10-15 minutes. Leave to cool. 

Top all the rounds with crumbled feta, pomegranate seeds chopped parsley.

Winter Pavlova

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I made this lovely Winter version of Pavlova before Christmas, and if I had had time to post it before the holiday season I would have aptly named it Christmas Pavlova, but, as it’s now February, I think Winter Pavlova is more fitting. Clementines are still in season so nothing’s stopping you to make it right away. Or why not try it with blood oranges?

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Scandelights’ Winter Pavlova, serves 10

Clementine curd:

50 g butter

1 egg

100 ml caster sugar (80 g)

3 small clementines (or 2 larger ones)

Meringue:

140 g egg whites (4)

220 g caster sugar

8 g / 1 tbsp corn flour

4 g  / 1 tsp white wine vinegar

Decoration:

3 dl whipping or double cream

1 packet pomegranate seeds

4 clementines, cut into fillets (i.e. the wedges without the membranes) 

Clementine curd:

Zest the clementines and squeeze out the juice. Place in a saucepan with the butter and half the sugar. Heat up until the butter and sugar has dissolved. Leave to cool.

Beat egg and remaining sugar pale and fluffy and add to the saucepan. Let the mixture thicken on low heat while stirring. It must not boil. Leave to cool. Store in the fridge. 

Meringue:

Beat the egg whites until foamy and add the sugar bit by bit while beating until stiff peaks. Add corn flour and vinegar and fold it in with a spatula. 

Divide the meringue in two, shaping two circles on two parchment clad baking trays. 

Bake in the middle of the oven, for 60 minutes. Turn the oven off and leave the meringues in the cooling oven with the door open until the oven has cooled down. 

Assembling:

Lightly whip the cream and cut the clementines into fillets (peel it, keep it whole and place a knife on either side of each membrane, cutting out membrane-free wedges). Place one meringue round on a cake plate. Spread with clementine curd. Spread with whipped cream and place the other meringue round on top. Spread with whipped cream and decorate with clementine fillets and pomegranate seeds. 

A wonderful day – spa, Busaba and cake

I had the afternoon off yesterday to go to a spa with Jenny. We had some time before our appointment, so we started with the sauna and the pool. After an hour or so we had our hot sugar scrub that after having showered the sticky mixture off, left the skin feeling sooo soft. The next treatment was a full body massage which was wonderful, and after this we were feeling very relaxed. After a nice hot shower we felt reborn and went up to the hotel bar to have a wonderful fruit smoothie and a fruit platter, all included in the package, and that truly hit the spot.

By this point it was early evening and we were hungry, so we went to Busaba Eathai for dinner. I really like this place, founded by the man behind Wagamama and Hakkasan, it is cheap, really nice food in nice surroundings. Compared to Wagamama this feels more luxurious because of the dark wood decor and burning incense, but the idea is the same; you sit at communal tables and you can not book in advance.

We started with something to drink, of course, and I tried coconut water for the first time. It came with ice and fresh muddled raspberries and it was amazing. Why have I not tried this sooner?! I am definitely hooked now. Jenny tried an equally amazing mango lassi. It was silky smooth and tasted lovely.

We ordered quite a lot of food, vegetarian spring rolls with the best sweet chilli dip I have ever had, Pat King Talay was my choice (stir fry with squid, scallops, prawns and woodear mushrooms), Jenny opted for the Pla Sam Rod (talapia fillets with a gorgeous pomegranate sauce) and perfect coconut rice and Morning Glory as a side; water spinach with garlic and chilli – absolutely fantastic and Jenny said it tasted exactly the same as in Thailand.

A happy and content Jenny!

We were very pleased with our cheap eat, the bill only came to around £40, so very good value for money. It is definitely worth going, and it is best to come around or before 6pm to avoid the queue, but it would be worth queueing for a little while as well.

On our way to the restaurant we had noticed a few bakeries on the same street (Wardour Street) and we felt we had to have something sweet to finish off the meal. We noticed a new (for us at least) branch of the Hummingbird Bakery but they did not have much left to choose from this late in the day. Instead we went to the place next door; L’Eto who had plenty of good-looking cakes in the window. After a few minutes to decide we went for the lemon meringue pie and the mille feuille with strawberry and plum. The lemon filling in the pie was nice and creamy, and the meringue on top was the almost unbaked one which was lovely. The mille feuille has obscene amounts of cream in it, which we happily scoffed down. Delicious! This place seems to be great for lunch as well with fresh looking salads, chicken patties, baked salmon etc.