BLEEDING HEART RED PEPPERS
4 red peppers – 3 of them cut in half lengthways and 1 chopped up
2 red onions – finely chopped
8 cloves garlic – minced
250g minced beef
1tsp red chilli flakes
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tin tomatoes
sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper
250ml dry white wine
good handful of medium chopped flat leaf parsley
Baked garlic bulb – optional
Heat two medium size frying pans and add the mince to one and the onions to the other
Brown the mince for about 5-10 mins and then add half the onions (from the other pan), to the mince
To the mince pan, now add the chilli flakes, cumin, nutmeg and half the minced garlic and continue frying for a couple more minutes, then switch off. Season with some salt and pepper.
Add the chopped pepper to the onion pan and continue to fry for another 5-10 mins until the onions are translucent and beginning to turn golden and the peppers are starting to caramelise. Add the other half of the minced garlic, fry for a further minute or two then add the tin of tomatoes, the wine and season. Simmer for 20 minutes then season with salt and black pepper .
Meanwhile, if you don’t have any leftover cooked rice, now is a good time to cook some fresh.
Switch on the oven to 180°C
By now, the mince has cooled quite a bit so you can now drain the rice (if cooking it fresh) and stir it through the mince along with a good handful of chopped parsley.
Once the tomato and pepper sauce has simmered, blend it for a few mins till fairly smooth – it doesn’t have to be perfectly smooth like tomato soup but neither do you want chunky. If it needs thinning, add a small glass of water and blend this in.
Lay out the 6 pepper halves in a baking dish which should provide a snug fit. Spoon the mince and rice mixture into them. Then carefully pour round the sauce (there should be around a litre of this) so that the level just about reaches the height of the pepper halves. Drizzle with olive oil, cover with foil and bake for 45 mins.
Serve with a little more chopped parsley – and some baked garlic if you want your bleeding hearts to have extra Brenda- scaring, I mean vampire-scaring Hallowe’en properties!
LIMEY GRAVEYARD MOUSSE WITH CHOCOLATE GRAVESTONES
It takes a furtive if not macabre imagination to suggest a graveyard for a pudding, but that is Brenda Gateway for you. However her thinking was in line with a gory Halloweeny feast so why not? It is an involved recipe that would be good for a dinner party and is a festive dish for this time of year. It is relatively simple to make and as you see from the picture Brenda’s gravestones weren’t that lifelike thank goodness! Sometimes her complete lack of technical skill pays dividends!
150g plain chocolate
150g salted butter, softened
125g caster sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
5 free-range eggs, separated
100g ground almonds
50g plain flour, sieved
300g of white chocolate for the gravestone coating
Preheat the oven to 180°C/ 350°F
Ideally you will have a square cake tim with a pop out base.
Grease this and the line with baking parchment / greaseproof paper
Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water
Meanwhile beat the butter till soft and add the sugar till well mixed in
Cut up the avocado and whisk into the mixture
Add the chocolate and stir in
Add the egg yolks and stir in
Fold in the ground almonds and the flour.
In another bowl, whisk the egg whites till you can see stiff peaks
Add a couple of tablespoons to the chocolate mix and stir in.
Fold in the remaining egg into the chocolate
Pour the mixture into the prepared cake dish and place in oven for about 45 minutes
Leave to cool in dish for a couple of hours.
Then pop out of its tin and place on a board with some greaseproof paper
Cut the cake into strips. These are the gravestones!
Melt the white chocolate in a bowl over some simmering water and dip the gravestones into the melted chocolate
Leave to cool and harden.
4 eggs, separated
180 – 250g caster sugar depending on how sweet/tart you like it.
3 limes, zested and juiced
50ml hot water
2-3 tsp powdered gelatine depending on how set you like it
300ml double cream
Three parts of natural yellow food colouring
One part of natural green colouring
In a medium size bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture has lightened in colour and thickened – a few minutes with an electric whisk. Then whisk in the lime zest and juice.
Dissolve the gelatine according to packet instructions although sprinkling into a small cup of hot water and leaving for a few mins, then stirring with a fork usually does it.
In a separate bowl, lightly beat the cream until soft peaks form. Use a hand whisk because it allows much more control and you can feel when it’s ‘just right’.
Stir the melted gelatine into the cream and fold this into the egg yolk mixture.
Whisk the egg whites in yet another bowl until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed.
Briefly whisk in about a third of the whipped egg whites into the yolk/lime/cream mix and then gently fold in the rest
Pour into your sundae glasses or ramekins and chill for at least a couple of hours but easier to make them the day before so they chill overnight.
Once you have let the mousses chill, and the gravestones white chocolate coating has hardened the pud is ready to eat. Take the gravestones and place them into the mousse. Sprinkle with some candied lime zest if you have it and serve!