With Mother's Day at the end of March, here are Valentine Warner's recipes to spoil your Mum with.
And if your children have forgotten you, just congratulate yourself on being such a good mother, make yourself a Hepple Martini!
10 parts Hepple gin to 1 part dry vermouth. Stir 40 times over plenty of ice and strain into a glass. Take a twist of lemon peel and squeeze the zest over the surface of the martini. Wipe the twist around the rim of the glass and then plop it in. Sip and sigh. You are a great Mum!
Creamy Smoky Sauerkraut with Salmon Fillets
- 200 g sauerkraut, weight after juice squeezed out
- 25g butter
- 50 g smoked bacon lardons
- 1 large onion halved and very thinly sliced
- 1 large carrot, peeled and finely diced
- 1 apple peeled and coarsely grated
- 2 small bay leaves
- 4 cloves, rubbed between fingers
- 5 juniper berries, rubbed between fingers
- Good grind of black pepper
- 50 ml white wine
- 75 ml double cream
- 1 generous teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 tsp sunflower oil
- 2 salmon fillets, (choose thick mid pieces not tail ends)
- Flaked sea salt
- 25 g bunch dill, very finely chopped
- Rinse and drain the sauerkraut under cold water and then wring it out and put to one side.
- Melt the butter in a medium frying pan and then gently saute the lardons until faintly golden.
- Add the onion and carrot, bay and spices and cook with the lardonsfor 10 to 12 minutes until totally tender.
- Coarsely grate in the apple and cook for a further 5 minutes or so.
- Pour in the wine and then simmer until all but nearly evaporated.
- Stir in the sauerkraut and cook for a further 8-10 minutes stirring regularly.
- While the sauerkraut cooks heat a separate frying pan and add a little sunflower oil or butter.
- Pat the skin side of the salmon dry and season generously with flaked sea salt.
- Fry skin side down on a medium low heat.
- Cook until the paler pink of the cooked flesh is a third of the way up the darker raw flesh. Approx 5-6 minutes.
- Turn over the fish and cook for a further 1 - 2 minutes (as you prefer). The skin should be deep golden and crispy. Remove to a board and sprinkle the skin all over with chopped dill.
- Stir the mustard and cream into the sauerkraut and bring to heat again before stirring in chopped chives. Season with salt to taste.
- Divide sauerkraut between two plates and put salmon, skin side up, on top.
- Enjoy with a delicious Hepple G&T and a slice of Lime.
Oranges Cardamom and Caramel
- 4 tart sweet juicy oranges
- Seeds from in side 6 cardamom pods, husks discarded
- 150g white caster sugar. Do not use brown sugar as it will not set!
- Creme Fraiche
- Take an orange and cut off a slice from the bottom and top, that it stands flat on a chopping board.
- Cut the rind and pith in vertical slices all the way round, leaving the bare flesh exposed.
- Turn the oranges onto their curved side and slice in rounds. Put in a bowl.
- Take the peel of two oranges and flatten against the board pith side up. Slice off the pith leaving no white on the rind.
- Very thinly slice the rind into lengths and put in a small pot. cover with water and bring to boil. Discard water and bring to boil again with fresh water and the cardamom seeds. This process will tenderise the peel and remove wax and bitterness. Use a fine sieve when draining, that you do not lose the cardamom seeds.
- Drain and scatter the rind and seeds over the oranges.
- Pour the sugar in a very clean pan and add enough water to soak it rather than totally submerge it.
- Put over a high heat and bring to a rapid boil. DO NOT STIR IT.
- After about 7 or 8 minutes the sugar will start to brown, swirl it to ensure it browns evenly. Return to the heat to continue the browning but swirling regularly. You want to achieve a hazelnut brown colour throughout the caramel.
- If it starts to smoke, chances are it will be too dark and bitter to use, so be very attentive.
- Drizzle the caramel over the oranges in a thin layer. It will set and crisp almost immediately.
- You may not need all the caramel in which case it can be poured onto grease proof paper and eaten later.
- Put a dollop of creme fraiche with the oranges and maybe some ginger biscuits.