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I’m sitting in my kitchen warm and toasty looking out on the garden and the Atlantic Ocean beyond while contemplating the trees and bushes with the last of their autumn colours dropping gracefully to the ground; the leaves seem to have stayed around longer than usual which adds to the rich beauty of the morning as the air seems to dance with wisps of fog in the most magical way.

It’s the perfect morning to write, sitting here sipping on a soothing cup of coffee while my mind flits through the many recipes enjoyed by people past, and who recently stayed at Clifton House, and of their usual departing request to please send the recipe.

Most recently requested recipes are; Poached Egg on a bed of micro greens served with Carrot frits, Chilli spiced Autumn Pear salad, Smoked salmon & Spinach tart.

Poached Egg & Micro greens served with a side order of Carrot Frits

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Serves 2

For the eggs

2 large organic eggs

20 g micro leaf rocket

1 tsp. good quality aged balsamic vinegar

1 desert spoon walnut oil

For the carrot frits

500 g carrots cut into fries approximately 1cm thick

1 tbsp. cornflour

A few grindings black pepper

1 tbsp. olive oil

Salt to taste

Heat the oven to 200c

Method

Place the cornflour and black pepper in a plastic bag, add the carrot frits and toss to cover evenly. Remove carrots from bag, place on a baking sheet and gently toss through with olive oil. Spread out in a single layer and bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes until done. To prevent carrots from sticking it is best to turn them halfway through the cooking process. When the carrot frits are cooked, sprinkle with salt.

When the carrot frits are ready, place some micro greens on each plate. Mix together the balsamic vinegar and walnut oil, drizzle over the micro greens and set aside.

Place a small pan on the stove with sufficient water to almost cover the eggs; sprinkle in a little salt, add the eggs and poach gently until cooked to your liking.

Place a poached egg gently on top of the micro greens, season with a few salt flakes and some ground black pepper. Serve with the carrot frits on the side. The frits are delicious to dunk into the egg.

Chilli Spiced Pear Salad

This is nice to serve as a starter or to enjoy as a light lunch.

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Serves 4

Ingredients

1 large chilli deseeded and finely chopped

3 tbsp. Groundnut or olive oil

2 tsps. Soy sauce

1 tsp. Castor sugar

1 tsp. white wine vinegar

3 firm but sweet pears cut into medium thin slices

Mixture of salad greens

Salt flakes and ground black pepper

Method

Add the chopped chillies to the oil in a bowl. In a small pan, warm the soy sauce, sugar and vinegar together. Once the sugar has dissolved, whisk it into the olive and chilli mixture. Set aside.

Place some salad greens on each plate, top with some of the sliced pear and drizzle over the dressing, finish with a sprinkle of salt flakes and ground black pepper. Serve.

Smoked Salmon & Spinach tart

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Serves 4-6

Equipment

You will need a 25cm loose bottom tart tin, about 4cm deep.

Ingredients

Ready-made puff pastry

Olive oil

1 pack of baby spinach

1 onion finely diced

1 pack of smoked salmon

2 tbsp. capers

1 round of feta

5-6 eggs (large)

120 ml milk

A little salt and a good grinding of black pepper

Method

Heat the oven to 180C

Roll out the ready-made puff pastry and line the tart tin – set aside.

Wash the spinach. Heat a pan and add some oil to the pan followed by the spinach. Cook until the spinach is wilted. Drain and press the spinach to remove all the excess water. Tear into bits and leave to cool

In the same pan drizzle a little more oil and add the onion; Sauté until soft and translucent. Set aside to cool.

Scatter the spinach over the base of the pastry, followed by the onions and then the salmon, torn into strips, then the capers and the feta.

In a bowl mix together the eggs and milk; season with salt and pepper, keep in mind the saltiness of the salmon, feta and capers.

Pour the egg mixture over the ingredients in the tart tin.

Place the tart tin on a tray and set on the middle rack of the oven and bake for about 45 minutes.

Serve with a salad.

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