Gosh well its been a crazy few weeks. I can’t believe how busy I have been with work and kids and divorce rubbish and Christmas and New Year and well you know..
November flew by and I think my son spent half of it wearing his Halloween costume! We finally extracted Rufus from his Giraffe Costume after nearly 2 weeks of solid back to back wearing. He finally allowed it to go into the washing machine when assured Giraffe would not get dizzy. Tilda did the honours holding the offending piece of material away from her muttering “this is sooo going in the wash”.
Halloween done and dusted and then we were hurtling towards Christmas. My ultimate favrouite time of year. I know I have said it before but my god I just love it. Its not just the food and the best excuse ever to spend 3 days cooking, baking and prepping for the best roast dinner ever. Its the fairy lights and the tree and children’s excitement. It is palpable..Plus the best threat ever for bedtime best behaviour…”Father Christmas is watching you”…Admitedly I do kind of start using that threat around the end of October. I took a ton of photos of the Christmas festivities and will upload them very soon.
Recently I was invited to meet an Atomic Kitten whip up some fabulous Florida Grapefruit inspired dishes. Liz McClarnon was really lovely and funny and what a great afternoon. We had a little segment the grapefruit competition and then Liz demoed 3 recipes, A Florida Grapefruit Fajita Platter with a fresh and sunny salsa, Honeyed Florida grapefruit with pancetta, goats cheese and pine nuts and also a fresh Florida grapefruit, lime and mint sorbet. All delicious and different.
All really simple to make and delicious. I learn’t loads about this delicious fruit. I know everyone thinks Grapefruit is bitter and needs to be slathered in sugar. I remember my mother religiously slicing hers in half every morning and shaking spoonfuls of sugar over it then placing it under the grill.
Florida Grapefruit however is sweet and juicy and easy to peel and delicious. Its in season from November to March/April. Don’t get the ones from Cyprus or Turkey or wherever. It was a lovely afternoon and brought a bit of summer to a dreary winters day.
I leave you with a few photos of the event and also Liz’s recipes.
Have a wonderful Weekend.
Liz McClarnon’s Florida grapefruit recipe
Honeyed Florida grapefruit with pancetta, goats cheese and pine nuts
6 slices pancetta
2tbsp olive oil
2 small knobs butter
1 Florida grapefruit, peeled and segmented by hand (not a knife)
3tbsp balsamic vinegar
2tsp Dijon mustard
Handful of pine nuts
Salt and pepper
Bag of salad leaves
150g goat’s cheese, sliced
1. Fry the pancetta in 1tbsp of the oil in a pan until nice and crispy, then place onto kitchen paper to drain off any excess oil.
2. Wipe out the same pan with more kitchen paper to get rid of the excess oil. Add the remaining oil, 1 small knob of the butter and about 2-3tsp honey. Mix it up a little, then add the Florida grapefruit segments to the pan (they need to be in their original segments and not cut to prevent them falling apart when cooking). Stir and make sure they are coated and caramelised (that should take about 4 min), then add 1tbsp of the balsamic vinegar. Put the segments to one side so you can use the pan again.
4. To the pan, add the remaining knob of butter, the remaining balsamic vinegar, the Dijon mustard, the remaining 2tsp honey, the pine nuts and season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix everything together and heat through for about 2 min.
5. Make up the salad: cut the pancetta into bite-sized pieces. Place the salad leaves onto four plates, then add the caramelised Florida grapefruit, the goat’s cheese, the pancetta and pour over the dressing to serve.
22mg vitamin C
0.2mcg vitamin D
Florida grapefruit fajitas platter with sunny salsa
4tbsp squeezed Florida grapefruit juice
4tbsp fresh lime juice
Pinch of salt and pepper
1tsp all-purpose seasoning
2tbsp olive oil
1 red and 1 yellow pepper, seeds removed and cut into strips
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
450g lean beef, cut into strips
1 avocado, peeled and stone removed
120ml reduced-fat sour cream
75g cheddar cheese, grated
For the sunny salsa:
3 tomatoes, chopped
1 onion, peeled and diced
2 mild chillies, seeds removed and finely diced
Fresh chopped coriander
½ Florida grapefruit, peeled and finely chopped
Pinch of salt
1tsp lime juice and water
1. In a large food bag, combine the Florida grapefruit and lime juices, salt and pepper, all-purpose seasoning and 1tbsp of the olive oil. Add the beef, seal the bag, and squeeze the marinade together so that it covers the meat. Put in the fridge for a few hours to marinate.
2. Add all the Florida salsa ingredients to a bowl, mix and set aside.
3. Heat the remaining olive oil in a skillet pan. Cook the peppers and onion until soft and brown, then add the beef strips and cook until browned. Place in a serving dish together.
4. Heat the tortillas according to the pack instructions.
5. Slice the avocado lengthways and place in a serving dish and put the sour cream grated cheese in dishes
6. Place everything on the table so everyone can dig in.
158mg vitamin C
0.6mcg vitamin D
Florida grapefruit, lime and mint sorbet
Juice of 5 Florida grapefruit plus zest of 2
Juice and zest of 5 limes
1 bunch finely chopped mint, plus sprigs to decorate
1. Put the sugar in a pan with 275ml water and bring to the boil. Then turn down the heat and simmer for about 5 min. Leave to cool.
2. In a bowl, mix the cooled sugared water with the Florida grapefruit and lime juices and zest, and the chopped mint.
3. Transfer to a freezer-proof dish, cover and pop into the freezer for 2 hours, stirring it about 3-4 times during this time.
4. Serve in glasses, decorated with fresh mint sprigs
25mg vitamin C