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Skate with Capers

Capers and vinegar perfectly complement the taste of skate.

Skate with CapersPreparation time 5 minutes
Cooking time 15 minutes
Calories per portion 593 Kcal
Fat per portion 46g of which saturated 28.8g
Serves 2

Plain flour 2 tbsp
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Skate wings 2 small or 1 large, halved
Butter 110g (4oz)
White wine vinegar 2 tbsp
Capers 2 tbsp, rinsed well and drained
Chopped parsley
Lemon wedges

1 Tip the flour onto a plate and season it with salt and pepper. Pat the skate dry and dust both sides with the seasoned flour.

2 Heat half the butter in a large frying pan and cook the skate for 4–5 minutes on each side.

3 Remove the wings from the pan and keep them warm while making the butter sauce. Add the remaining butter to the pan and heat until it foams and starts to turn to a rich golden brown colour, then pour the vinegar into the pan and add the capers and parsley. Season the sauce to taste.

4 Place the cooked skate on plates and spoon the sauce over the top. Sprinkle with parsley and serve with a lemon wedge and a refreshing salsa salad (see Just One Pot recipe).

Cook’s Tip
If your frying pan isn’t large enough to cook both skate wings at the same time, then cook them individually rather than having them overlapping in the pan.

Recipe taken from Just One Pot.

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National Walk to Work Week

National Walk to Work Week is upon us, making us all feel guilty if we don’t get off the bus a stop earlier than usual!

National Walk to Work WeekActually, since I work from home now, all my walking to work entails is nipping up the stairs to what was once a loft.

But I used to walk from the station to the office, rather than get the tube or bus, and I have to say it was much better than crushing in with the crowds. Drawback was arriving all hot and sweaty and having to lurk discreetly in reception, or the loo, to cool down a bit! (I didn’t work anywhere grand with showers!)

A decent breakfast is needed

But if walking all or some of the way to work (and back home again) is on the agenda, maybe a decent breakfast first is a good idea.

Remember the old slogan – ‘go to work on an egg’? Creamy and scrambled with some flaked smoked salmon is a bit of a motivator, but, failing that, soft boiled with marmite soldiers take some beating.

I always like poached fruit with natural yoghurt – prunes, apricots, plums, rhubarb, apple. They can be prepared in advance, or you could make a fruit smoothie the night before with whatever fruit you have, yoghurt and runny honey whizzed in the blender.

If all else fails, do what I did – buy a muffin to savour (or devour!) on arrival. I reckon all that walking deserves a treat.

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How about baking your own breakfast Danish Pastries?

They really are easy peasy and in only 30 minutes you could be enjoying warm freshly baked pastries.  Mmmm… Try this quick and easy Danish Pastries recipe from Good Food, Fast.

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Danish Pastries

A super-speedy way to enjoy an indulgent breakfast or coffee-time snack.

Danish PastriesTime 30 minutes
Calories per pastry 281 Kcal
Fat per pastry 18g of which saturated 6.1g
Makes 8 pastries
Suitable for vegetarians

Ready-rolled puff pastry 425g packet
Egg 1, beaten
Apple sauce 8 tsp
Golden marzipan 110g (4oz)
Apricot jam 2 tbsp, warmed and sieved
Flaked almonds 15g (½oz), toasted

1 Preheat the oven to 220°C/Gas 7 and line a large baking tray with baking parchment.

2 Unroll the pastry and cut into eight equal-sized squares. Brush each with beaten egg and then add 1 teaspoon of apple sauce on to the centre of each.

3 Form the marzipan into a sausage-shape about 5cm (2in) long and slice into eight. Lay a piece on top of the apple sauce on each of the pastry squares. Fold up the corners of the puff pastry squares to meet in the middle over the marzipan, forming a mitre shape. Pinch each of the corners to seal.

4 Transfer to the baking tray, brush the top of the pastries with more egg and cook for 15–18 minutes until risen and golden.

5 Transfer to a wire rack, lightly brush with the sieved jam and sprinkle with a few almonds. They are best served warm.

Cook’s Tip
Use the same cooking method, but vary the fillings, such as canned fruit, jam or squares of chocolate.

Rceipe taken from Good Food, Fast.

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How was your Bank Holiday Weekend?

Doesn’t everyone love a Bank Holiday weekend?

You not only get the joy of a bonus day off to spend with your family and friends, but a short week to follow, which seems to make everyone so much happier.

Even my eldest child Finley, at six, can see the benefits. Although his benefits are mostly that he will be allowed to watch Japanese cartoons in the early hours of the morning, not get dressed until nearly lunchtime and, if he’s really lucky, get to stay up ‘late’… that’s past 7.30!

My benefits are that I can take an eye off the clock for a change, and perhaps do less nagging…. maybe not!

The short week deceives us into thinking we can take it easy, keep that holiday mood going, but I am not sure. There is still five days worth of ‘stuff’ to cram into four days isn’t there?

So, although I enjoy the Bank Holiday weekends, I also enjoy doing a little bit of work to make sure I am on top of things throughout the following week.

With this in mind I didn’t wasted food shopping or devising intricate mouthwatering family feasts. Oh no! I delved into the freezer, found some thin cut steak and used my Just One Pot recipe book to make ‘Five spice beef with chilli and peppers‘. Although mine was without without chillies; the five spice does a good enough job on it’s own for this household.

Not long till the next bank holiday weekend!

Karen
Dairy Diary Team

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Five-spice Beef with Chilli & Peppers

Warming and lightly scented, this meaty meal is a treat for the taste buds.

Five Spice Beef with ChilliesPreparation time 10 minutes
Cooking time 8 minutes
Calories per portion 285 Kcal
Fat per portion 13g of which saturated 3.5g
Serves 2

Lean fillet or sirloin steak 225g (8oz), trimmed and cut into very thin strips
Dark soy sauce 1 tbsp
Chinese five-spice powder ½ tsp
Clear honey 2 tsp
Garlic 1 clove, peeled and finely chopped
Small red chilli 1, deseeded and finely chopped
Vegetable oil 1 tbsp
Red pepper 1 small, deseeded and finely sliced
Yellow pepper 1 small, deseeded and finely sliced
Spring onions 1 bunch, trimmed and thinly sliced
Canned water chestnuts 75g (3oz), drained, rinsed and sliced

1 Place the strips of beef in a shallow dish. Mix with the soy sauce, five-spice powder, honey, garlic and chilli and set aside to marinate.

2 Heat the oil in a wok until hot and stir-fry the peppers for 3 minutes.

3 Add the beef mixture and the spring onions and continue to stir-fry for 3–4 minutes, until the beef is well sealed. Add the water chestnuts and stir-fry for a further minute until piping hot.

4 Serve immediately with microwavable rice (cooked as on the packet’s instructions).

Cook’s Tip 
Chilli adds ‘bite’ to a recipe, but also a spicy heat. If you prefer less of a ‘kick’, use a mild green chilli in place of the red chilli.

Recipe taken from Just One Pot, Dairy Cookbook.

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The bluebells are fabulous this year

We’ve just spent a few days in Cornwall and the bluebells and primroses were just gorgeous.

BluebellsSo was the ice cream – I’ve never come across so many different makes in such a short stretch of waterfront, and all award-winning!

We loved Roskilly’s organic, and Kelly’s with clotted cream was hard to resist, so we didn’t try.

It’s a time for treats, though, isn’t it, what with Easter and then the wedding. No street parties that I’m aware of around our way but I expect most people will be watching on TV – well, most women anyway. Fascinating to see what everyone’s wearing, apart from anything else.

I thought I might bake a fruit cake for the occasion – my Cornish sister-in-law used to go on about how easy ‘boiled cakes’ are to make and I see there’s a recipe for one on p.101 of this year’s Dairy Diary – Rich’s Fruit Cake.

Could make it into a real treat with a dollop of ice cream – now I’ll have to search out an award-winning one, though.

Enjoy the wedding day.

Marion
Dairy Diary Team

P.s. The wonderful weather continues, so this is the perfect time for gardening. Fancy winning a copy of Seasonal Garden Ideas?

Win a copy of Seasonal Garden ideasTo enter simply complete the form on our website www.dairydiary.co.uk/competitions.html and don’t forget to “Like’ the page for an extra chance to win!

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