Spiced beetroot blinis (V)
These spiced blinis can be made smaller and turned into lovely canapés, but I like them big like this, with a refreshing herb salad. Thanks to Claudine Boulstridge for this and many other smart ideas. Serves four.
1½ tsp ground cumin
¾ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp sweet paprika
150g strong white flour
1 tsp dried yeast
2 eggs, separated
80g soured cream, plus 4 tbsp extra, for serving
¾ tsp salt
1½ tsp sugar
About 10g unsalted butter, for frying
350g cooked beetroot, sliced thinly
For the herb salad (optional)
10g rocket leaves
10g basil leaves
5g dill leaves
5g parsley leaves
5g flaked almonds
1 tbsp olive oil
¾ tbsp lemon juice
Salt and black pepper
Toast the ground spices in a small frying pan, stirring, on high heat for a minute. Transfer to a bowl, sift in the flour, add the yeast and stir.
Heat the milk in a small saucepan. When warm but still far from boiling, remove from the heat and whisk in the egg yolks, followed by the cream, salt and sugar. Pour over the flour and stir until you have a thick batter.
Cover with a clean tea towel and put in a warm place for an hour, until risen, bubbly and spongy. Whisk the egg whites to soft peaks and fold in gently. Cover and return to the warm spot for another hour.
Melt a little butter in a heavy, nonstick pan. Spoon in one and a half tablespoons of batter and lay a few partly overlapping beetroot slices on top. Cook on low to medium heat for two and a half minutes a side. Transfer the blini to some kitchen towel and repeat with the rest of the batter.
Mix the herbs and almonds, dress with olive oil and lemon juice, and season. Spoon a dollop of soured cream on each warm blini and serve with salad piled on top or on the side.
Miso chicken with Asian slaw
Marinating chicken in miso adds lots of character to the meat with little work. You can stop at that and serve with shredded spring greens and baby potatoes, crushed with a fork. This slaw lifts it to another level altogether. Serves four.
150g sweet white miso paste
2 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp English mustard
2 tbsp caster sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
12 free-range boneless chicken thighs, skin-on (or 4 quails, spatchcocked)
For the Asian slaw
60ml rice vinegar
2 tbsp lemon juice
25g palm sugar
¾ tsp salt
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 small shallots, finely diced
20g ginger, finely grated
80g mangetout, finely shredded
80g carrot, cut into julienne strips
1 red chilli, deseeded and sliced fine
100g red cabbage, finely shredded
20g picked coriander leaves
20g roasted peanuts, chopped
In a bowl, mix the miso, mirin, mustard, sugar and lemon juice. Add the chicken, rub in the marinade, cover with clingfilm and marinate for at least an hour.
Set the oven to 190C/375F/gas mark 5. In a saucepan, heat vinegar, lemon juice, sugar and salt, stir to dissolve the sugar, then bring to a boil for two minutes, to reduce slightly. Leave to cool for 10 minutes, add garlic, shallots and ginger, and set aside.
Lay the thighs well apart on a lined baking tray and roast for 20-25 minutes, until cooked through and skin golden. Combine the remaining slaw ingredients and toss in the dressing. Serve with the hot chicken.
• This article was edited on 11 April 2011. In the original, a production error led to the recipe for miso chicken with Asian slaw being excised from the online version. This has been corrected.