25g (1oz) butter
2 leeks (about 300g/12oz),
dark green tops removed, white bits thinly sliced
2 potatoes (about 175g/6oz), peeled and chopped
2 bay leaves
Salt and freshly ground
1 litre (13/4 pints) light vegetable or chicken stock
75ml (21/2ﬂ oz) single cream
100-150g (4-5oz) blue cheese, such as Cashel Blue, Stilton, Gorgonzola or Roquefort, crumbled (see handy tip), plus 25g (1oz) for serving
1. Melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan, add the leeks, potatoes and bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper and cover. Turn the heat down to low and let the vegetables sweat for 10 minutes, stirring every now and then to ensure they don't burn (see also the handy tip below).
2. After 10 minutes add the stock, increase the heat and simmer for a further 8-10 minutes until the potatoes and leeks are soft. Remove the bay leaves, add the cream and the crumbled blue cheese and transfer to a liquidiser. Whiz the soup until it is smooth and velvety. Return to the saucepan to re-heat, tasting and seasoning if necessary.
3. To serve, pour the soup into warm bowls and sprinkle with the extra crumbled blue cheese.
4-6 ﬁllets (about 450g/1lb) of plaice or lemon sole
Sunﬂower oil, for frying
300ml (1/2 pint) milk
100g (4oz) plain ﬂour
Pinch of salt
3 tbsp sesame seeds for the oven roast chips
4-8 potatoes, peeled
30ml (1ﬂ oz) olive oil for the mushy peas
225g (8oz) peas (can be frozen)
15g (1/2oz) butter or 1 tbsp olive oil
1. Prepare the ﬁsh by cutting it lengthways or at an angle into goujons (ﬁnger-sized pieces), about 1cm (1/2in) wide and 10cm (4in) long. Place the ﬁsh in a small bowl with the milk. Place the ﬂour,
salt and sesame seeds in another bowl. Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F), Gas mark 7.
2. To make the oven roast chips, cut the peeled potatoes into chips, about 1cm (1/2in) wide. Place in a medium-sized saucepan, cover with boiling water from the kettle and boil for 1 minute, drain and spread out on kitchen paper to dry. Put the dried potatoes in a bowl and toss with the olive oil, spread out in a single layer in a baking tray and cook in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden and cooked.
3. Meanwhile, make the mushy peas. Bring a medium-sized saucepan with 500ml (18ﬂ oz) water to the boil, drop in the peas, cover with the lid just until the water comes back to the boil on a high heat. Then remove the lid and boil for 1-2 minutes until the peas are just cooked but still bright green. Immediately drain them (reserving some of the liquid) and whiz them in a food processor with the butter or olive oil; you may need to add a tiny drop of the cooking liquid or cream if the mixture is too thick. Return the mushy peas to a saucepan for reheating later.
4. Next cook the fish. Heat a deep fat fryer with sunflower oil or a large sauté pan with about 2cm (3/4in) oil. Take the fish out of the milk and drop it into the sesame flour. Toss it in the flour to completely cover each piece of fish and carefully place the fish into the pan of hot oil. Turn them after a minute and cook for 1 minute more - when the flour coating is golden, the fish should be cooked. 5 To serve, place the crispy goujons of ?sh on plates with the oven roast chips and mushy peas.
Makes 25 squares
200g (7oz) dark chocolate, chopped
150g (5oz) butter
225g (8oz) caster sugar
3 eggs, beaten
150g (5oz) plain ﬂour, sifted
1 tsp baking powder
225g (8oz) white chocolate, chopped, plus extra for topping
125g (41/2oz) raspberries, plus a few extra to decorate
1 Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F), Gas mark 4. Line a 20cm (8in) square deep baking tin with greaseproof paper and grease the base and sides.
2 In a large bowl sitting over simmering water (also known as a bain marie), melt the dark chocolate and butter. Stir in the sugar and then gradually add the eggs. Add the sifted ﬂour and baking powder followed by 125g (41/2oz) of the white chocolate and ﬁnally the raspberries.
3 Spread the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for 35-45 minutes or until just ﬁrm on top. Remove from the oven and let sit in the tin for another 30 minutes before cutting into squares and serving.
4 Melt the remaining white chocolate in a bowl sitting over simmering water. Stack the brownies on a plate or cake tray and when the chocolate is ready pour it over the top of the brownies. Decorate with a few fresh raspberries and watch your friends gasp with excitement.
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