My dad was in England for a week on a business trip and came back laden-down with English goodies for my family. I mean, Cadbury’s chocolate and other delicious confectionaries EVERYWHERE. So, so good. I decided to share some of these sweet items with the FND group, so this week our theme was British Invasion. Now, some of the items people made are definitely not British, but they justified these dishes by making some funny connections. For example, Hope made spinach-artichoke dip. How is that British, you ask? It’s not, but here is her explanation of it: “I did some research and artichokes have absolutely nothing to do with Britain except that there is such a thing as artichoke herbal tea that is made in Vietnam and tea is definitely British. It’s a stretch, but it’s so tasty and super easy to make.” So this week, the dip was an honorary British dish. Other dishes we had were Cornish pasties (that’s said with a short “a”, not a long “a”) which never fail to remind me of walking down the high street, cold pea and basil soup, shortbread cookies and pumpkin butter with cinnamon cranberry biscuits. It was a culinary delight! Hope brought her ukulele to dinner, so she and Amanda entertained us with some playing and singing. Check out the recipes and try them for yourself!
Cold Pea and Basil Soup:
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 4 cups frozen peas
- 1 quart vegetable stock
- 12 fresh basil leaves, 10 whole, 2 finely sliced for serving
- Black pepper
- Heat the olive oil in a small soup pot over medium heat, add the onion, and cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the peas and stock, bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the whole basil leaves and salt and pepper to taste. Let the soup cool and then whiz in a blender until smooth. Cool in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
- Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and the sliced basil.
- 1 lb. beef sirloin steak, diced
- 3 medium potatoes, peeled & diced
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 cup diced swede (rutabaga)
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- Dash of nutmeg
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- Pinch baking powder
- 1 cup shortening
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2/3 cup cold water
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream
- In a large bowl, combine the beef, potatoes, onions and seasonings; set aside. For pastry, in a large bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking powder. Cut in shortening and butter. Gradually add water, tossing with a fork until dough forms a ball.
- Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough into 12 pieces; roll each into 6-in. circles. Moisten edges with water. Place about 1/2 cup filling on half of each circle. Fold other half over the filling; press edges together with a fork to seal.
- Cut several slits in each pastry. Place on a baking sheet. Combine egg and cream; brush over pastry tops. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350° and bake 40-45 minutes longer or until golden brown.
Spinach Artichoke Dip:
- 1/2 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained
- 1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped
- 4 ounces cream cheese (room temperature)
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 clove garlic, very finely minced
- 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup mozzarella, grated
- Mix everything and pour it into a baking dish. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F. oven until bubbling and golden brown on top, about 30 minutes.
- Serve hot with pita chips/crackers
- 2 ¼ sticks/225g butter
- Tiny pinch of salt
- ½ cup/110g fine/caster sugar , plus extra for sprinkling
- 2 cups/225g all-purpose/plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- 3 ½ oz/100g cornstarch /cornflour
- Preheat the oven to 325°F.
- In a large bowl cream together the butter, salt and sugar. until light and fluffy and pale in colour. This can take at least 10 minutes. Alternatively use a food mixer.
- Mix together the flour and cornstarch and sieve into the bowl of butter and sugar. Mix quickly and thoroughly to bring all the ingredients together but do not over mix.
- Tip the mixture onto a lightly floured work surface and bring knead lightly and quickly to form a loose dough. then either:
- Roll out the dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper to ¼”/1 cm thick. Prick the surface all over with a fork. Cut into desired shape or rounds using cookie cutters. Place the Scottish shortbreads on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake for 25 mins or until pale brown and crisp. Sprinkle the warm Scottish shortbreads with fine sugar and leave to cool on a wire cooling rack.
- Grease a Swiss roll tin 9″ x 13″/23 x 33cm with butter. Press the dough into the tin and press with your fingers to level the surface, prick all over with a fork. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes or until golden brown. With the shortbread still in the tin, cut into squares or fingers, leave to cool for 15 minutes then carefully remove to a wire cooling rack.
- Store in an airtight tin or box.
Pumpkin Butter with Cinnamon Cranberry Biscuits:
- Pumpkin butter
- 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons melted butter
- 1/3 cup cranberries
- 1/2 cup milk
- Preheat the oven to 425˚F. In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and stir just until moistened. Form dough into golf ball sized balls and place on a baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.
- Serve with pumpkin butter and enjoy 🙂
Happy eating, everyone!