Cilantro Apple Salsa and Shrimp Squares

Cilantro Apple Salsa and Shrimp Squares | Fig + Honey

I love having people over to my home for drinks and often dinner and after flicking through magazines and browsing through blogs, I always have grand ideas of what new recipes to try. However, when it comes down to it, the last thing I want to do right before people come over is spend half the day in the kitchen. The evening is just not as fun when you’re exhausted and dreaming of your bed!

Cilantro Apple Salsa and Shrimp Squares | Fig + Honey
Cilantro Apple Salsa and Shrimp Squares | Fig + Honey

So I’m always excited when easy to prep recipes come about – especially appetizers. And no I’m not talking about the straight from the supermarket to oven type appetizers – though these take minimally more work. The salsa is lovely and tangy with a slight kick which goes great with all the herbs. It is the perfect accompaniment to cocktail shrimps which can be quite bland and boring. And best of all, you can make all the parts ahead of time and just assemble right before people come over! Just how I like it, quick and simple!

Cilantro Apple Salsa and Shrimp Squares | Fig + Honey
Cilantro Apple Salsa and Shrimp Squares | Fig + Honey

Cilantro Apple Salsa & Shrimp Squares

Shrimp

  • 30 precooked cocktail shrimp
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Base

  • 1 sheet of puff pastry
  • 1 beaten egg (optional)

Salsa

  • 1 granny smith apple, peeled, cored and quartered
  • 1 orange segmented
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 2 long red chilies, deseeded and finely minced
  • 4 tbsp lime juice
  • 8 stalks of cilantro
  • 8 stalks of mint
  • salt to taste
  • finely chopped cilantro to garnish

In a medium bowl, add the cocktail shrimp, lime juice, garlic, cumin and 1/4 tsp of salt and set aside to marinate for atleast 30 min.

Preheat the oven to 425°F (or according to package directions). Roll the puff pastry to about 10×12 in and cut into 2 inch squares. Score a slightly smaller square into into each one and prick the inner square with a fork to prevent it rising too much. Lightly brush with the egg wash if using and bake on a piece of parchment paper for about 7 minutes or until just golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Meanwhile, make the salsa. Place all remaining ingredients in a blender and blend until very fine.

To assemble, place a teaspoonful of salsa on top of the puff pastry square and top with a shrimp. Garnish with a bit of cilantro sprinkled on top. Serve immediately. Makes 30.

Cilantro Apple Salsa and Shrimp Squares | Fig + Honey

Parmesan Eclair Sandwiches

Parmesan Eclair Sandwiches | Fig + Honey

Growing up in England, I had my fair share of deliciously airy chocolatey eclairs. Though the English have a well known hatred of all things French, it seems as though the decadent pastries passed the test and are beautifully displayed in most bakeries. Unlike other Brits, I have a soft spot for all things French and Paris is one of my absolute favorite destinations. There’s nothing like enjoying an eclair and a cafe au lait in a cute little Parisian cafe.

After a recent visit and being inspired by the delicious pastries Paris has to offer, I decided to try something a bit on the savory side with these parmesan eclairs. You get the eggy airy goodness of the eclair which everyone loves and the added benefit of some equally tasty fillings. The best part is you can mix and match as you please to your tastes. These are quite easy to make and can be made a day ahead of a brunch if need be. Sandwiches will never be the same again!

Parmesan Eclair Sandwiches | Fig + Honey
Parmesan Eclair Sandwiches | Fig + Honey
Parmesan Eclair Sandwiches | Fig + Honey

Get the recipe here at Sugar and Charm!

 

 

Eggs en Cocotte with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Caramelized Onions

Eggs en Cocotte | Fig + Honey

 

I’m super excited to be contributing regularly to Sugar & Charm and this is one of my first recipes! I love going out for brunch on the weekends but sometimes staying home enjoying food with your closest friends or family often feels a bit more indulgent. Eggs en Cocotte are so easy to make and perfect to serve for a weekend brunch.  Head on over to Sugar & Charm to see more pictures and get the recipe!

Eggs en Cocotte | Fig + Honey

Eggs en Cocotte | Fig + Honey

Toasted Coconut Ginger Shortbread

Toasted Coconut Ginger Shortbread | Fig + Honey
Toasted Coconut Ginger Shortbread | Fig + Honey

I’m super excited to be guest posting for Lark & Linen today and I’ve been waiting to share these delicious Toasted Coconut Ginger Shortbread with you!

Teatime is a bit of a tradition in our household. I love that we can all come home in the evening and share our days with each other over a cup of a tea and most importantly a bite of something sweet to eat. So I’m always on the lookout for something new to try. Coconut is one of my most favorite flavors – whenever coconut is an option all other choices don’t stand a chance. Coconut pairs nicely with a whole variety of cookies but exceptionally well with the more traditional shortbread and a touch of ginger adds adds a little kick! I think they go perfectly with a cup of tea! Enjoy! Teatime is not teatime with out the treats!

Head on over to Lark & Linen for the recipe!

Toasted Coconut Ginger Shortbread | Fig + Honey
Toasted Coconut Ginger Shortbread | Fig + Honey
Toasted Coconut Ginger Shortbread | Fig + Honey

Broiled Polenta, Lemon Ricotta and Pecorino Brussel Sprout Squares

Polenta, Lemon Ricotta and Brussel Sprout Squares | Fig + Honey

I have to admit that polenta and I have had a rocky past. Whenever I make a batch, it always seems to lack some flavor or inadvertently becomes a frying pan failure. No one likes oil soaked polenta crumbs now do they. So out of frustration or perhaps the desire to perfect this seemingly delicious food, I spent some time experimenting a bit. I learned that a touch of fat is your friend when getting a silky texture out of your polenta and also that polenta loves cheese. In order to avoid the unhealthy and disastrous frying pan route, I decided to try and broil it to crisp things up. I found that cooking it like this is the perfect way to get a deliciously crisp outside and a creamy smooth inside. With a few of the kinks worked out, this is quickly becoming a new favorite of mine.

It turns out the whole process is quite easy and that’s why you should definitely make these polenta squares. The lemony ricotta is deliciously creamy and the pecorino brussel sprout slaw is perfect on top. They make the perfect appetizer or mid afternoon snack. Enjoy xx

Polenta, Lemon Ricotta and Brussel Sprout Squares | Fig + Honey

Broiled Polenta, Lemon Ricotta and Pecorino Brussel Sprout Squares

Polenta

  • 1 cup instant polenta
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup grated pecorino cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
Ricotta Cheese
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • salt and pepper to taste
Brussel Sprouts
  • 1/2 cup shredded brussel sprouts
  • 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
Prepare the polenta according to package directions. Cook until thick and coming away from the sides, add in the butter and pecorino cheese and salt and pepper to taste. Pour out into a 10 x 7inch sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Smooth out to the edges with a spatula and place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour to set.
Meanwhile prepare the toppings. In a small bowl mix together the ricotta cheese, lemon zest and season to taste.
In another bowl, combine the brussel sprouts, olive oil, lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.
Heat the oven to broil. Slice the polenta into 2 inch squares and place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Broil for 4-5 minutes on each side until crispy to the touch.
Once the polenta has cooled, top with a teaspoon of the ricotta cheese mixture and a pinch of the brussel sprouts. Top with a bit of freshly ground black pepper.
Makes 15 squares. 

Polenta, Lemon Ricotta and Brussel Sprout Squares | Fig + Honey

 

Ginger Currant Scones with Lemon Whipped Cream

Ginger Currant Scones with Lemon Whipped Cream | Fig + Honey

Ladies, remember those tea parties where you used to spend hours and hours playing with miniature cups and saucers? My favorite memories of tea parties are with my sister and cousins playing under the kitchen table draped with an extra long tablecloth. Of course this was back when we were all able to fit under the table most comfortably. We would get huge bowls of water and spend forever prepping the perfect tea and treats. Tea most usually was oh so delicious tap water and treats were just about anything that looked remotely edible that we could scrounge up in the kitchen.  Not afternoon tea to the queen’s standard I must admit, but it kept us occupied for hours of fun. I know our parents weren’t complaining!

Ginger Currant Scones with Lemon Whipped Cream | Fig + Honey
Ginger Currant Scones with Lemon Whipped Cream | Fig + Honey

Tea parties these days are few and far between, however I’m always excited to enjoy treats that let you have a little bit of the glamor and decadence without having to visit Claridge’s. Scones must be the most famous English afternoon tea accompaniment right next to cucumber sandwiches of course. And they happen to be one of my favorites. With a bit of jam and a dollop of cream, there’s very little that compares. The best part is that they’re incredibly easy and fast to make which is perfect when you’re craving them last minute. Which is usually when I crave things – I don’t know about you! Though these are a tiny bit different to the scones of my childhood, they’re still just as perfect with a cup of tea. Make a batch and treat yourself to a little afternoon tea of your own!

Ginger Currant Scones with Lemon Whipped Cream | Fig + Honey

Ginger Currant Scones with Lemon Whipped Cream

Scones

  • 1/3 cup currants
  • 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 oz butter, cubed
  • 3/4 tsp ginger powder
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar plus 1 tbsp
  • 5 oz milk plus 1 tbsp

Whipped Cream

  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream or double cream
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 425°F/220°C.

Soak the currants in enough hot water to cover and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the all purpose flour and baking powder. Add the butter and with your fingertips, rub together with the flour until evenly distributed. Add the ginger powder and 2 tbsp granulated sugar and mix to combine. Drain the currants and add to the bowl. Pour in the 5 oz of milk and using a spoon, mix until everything comes together into a ball. Use your hands if you need and it is ok if it is a bit sticky.

Tip out the dough on to a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle the dough with bit of flour and roll out to about 3/4 of an inch. Using as 2 inch round cutter, cut out the scones and place onto a parchment covered baking sheet.

Using the 1 tbsp of milk, lightly brush the tops of the scones and then sprinkle with the remaining 1 tbsp of sugar. Bake for 12-14 minutes until golden brown.

Meanwhile, make the lemon whipped cream. In a large bowl, add in the heavy whipping cream, lemon zest, lemon juice and powdered sugar. Whip with a whisk until the cream forms stiff peaks. Make sure not to over whip or you will end up with butter!

Cool the scones on a wire rack and serve with jam and the cream. Makes 16-18 2-inch scones.

Ginger Currant Scones with Lemon Whipped Cream | Fig + Honey