Make a special meal on Mother’s Day

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Serve up a special meal this Mothering Sunday, 15th March, with our delicious and easy to make Mother’s Day lunch menu.

Whether you’re cooking for your own mum or celebrating the wonderful women in your family, these dishes have the wow-factor you need to impress and show how much you care.

The Main Course: Cod & watercress parcels

This delicious and healthy main course can be ready in just thirty minutes and needs little prep ahead of time. It’s the perfect choice if you have a busy day with family planned, and with plenty of omega 3 fatty acids, vitamins B12, B6 and niacin, it’s a main course that isn’t just good – it’s good for you. Simply multiply the ingredients to serve the number of guests round your table!

Serves: 2                    Prep: 10 minutes                      Cook: 20 minutes

You’ll need:

  • 250g cod (or other white fish of your choice)
  • 85g (1 bag) watercress
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1 green chilli, chopped
  • 2 slices of Parma ham
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 150g brown rice
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 50g sundried tomatoes, chopped
  • 50g black olives, stoned and chopped
  • Black pepper

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC (160ºC Fan). Line a baking try with non-stick paper.
  2. Take the cod and pile a quarter of the watercress along the top of the two fillets along with the chilli and garlic. Carefully wrap the cod and its topping in the slices of Parma ham. Place on a baking tray and sprinkle with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Bake for 15 minutes or until the cod is cooked through.
  3. Bring 360ml of water to the boil. Add the brown rice, stir and leave to simmer for 15- 20 mins until the water is all absorbed and the rice cooked.
  4. Add the onion, tomato and olives to a hot pan and lightly sauté.  Once the rice is cooked, add to the pan and mix together, adding pepper to taste.
  5. Spoon some of the brown rice mixture onto a plate. Place the remaining watercress on top. Remove the cod from the oven and place on top.

Cook’s tip

To add a different dimension to your dish, try substituting brown rice with other grains like quinoa or couscous or using another variety of rice. You could also add vegetables like asparagus, glazed carrots or roast potatoes to add more to the meal.

Recipe courtesy of www.watercress.co.uk

Dessert: Chocolate & pistachio berry pavlova

pavlova

This simple pavlova is the perfect crowd-pleaser for Mother’s Day and has a little bit of something for everyone. Impressive but not complicated to make, you can make this the day before and store it so you don’t have to spend hours slaving away in the kitchen when you could be spending it with family.

Serves: 8
                  Prep: 25 minutes                        Cook: 1 1/4 hour

You’ll need:

  • 4 medium egg whites
  • 225g (8oz) caster sugar
  • 40g (11/2oz) pistachio nuts, very finely chopped
  • 100g (4oz) dark chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 300ml (1/2 pint) double cream
  • 550g (1 1/4lb) mixed strawberries, hulled, halved, blackberries, blueberries and raspberries

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 140°C (120°C fan), Gas 1. Line a baking sheet with non-stick baking paper and draw a 23cm (9 inch) circle on to it.
  2. Whisk the egg whites with an electric mixer until they form stiff moist looking peaks. 
 If you are unsure if the egg whites are whisked enough for the meringue, try turning the bowl upside down – if they are ready they won’t move, if they’re not, they will slide out of the bowl!
  3. Gradually whisk in the sugar a teaspoonful at a time and continue whisking once all the 
sugar has been added, whisk for a few more minutes until the meringue is very thick and 
glossy.
  4. Gently fold in the pistachio nuts. Spoon the meringue inside the marked circle on the paper 
lined baking sheet and spread into soft swirls. Bake for about 1 1/4 hours until crisp on the outside and just firm enough that the paper may be peeled away from the underside of the pavlova.
  5. Leave the pavlova to cool completely, still on the paper, on a wire rack. Loosely wrap in non- 
stick baking paper until ready to serve.
  6. Melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Lift the pavlova off the paper on to a serving plate then drizzle the chocolate over the top, saving a little of the chocolate to drizzle squiggles on to a baking sheet lined with more non-stick baking paper for decoration. Chill for 30 minutes or so until the chocolate is firm.
  7. Whip the cream until it forms soft swirls then spoon over the chocolate topped pavlova. Scatter the berries on top, peel the chocolate decorations off the paper and tuck in between the berries then serve.

Cook’s tip

You can make this dish ahead the day before you intend to serve it – just keep it loosely covered with non-stick baking paper or a clean tea cloth. When you’re ready to serve, quickly finish with steps 6 and 7; just be sure to have your ingredients ready to go ahead of time so you don’t cause any unnecessary mess in the kitchen!

If you’re serving up this dish for children or grandchildren, try using a scoop of ice cream instead of whipped cream. Drizzle with chocolate and berries and crush some of the hardened meringue to sprinkle over top.

Recipe courtesy of Seasonal Berries

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