Dinner a Deux 4

ON THE MENU TONIGHT: Roast Pepper & Goats Cheese Bruscetta; Salmon en Croute with Rocket & Parmesan Pesto; Vanilla Cheesecakes with Berries.

3 016

COR!  Just look at that…what’s not to enjoy? Crisp puff pastry; a tangy pesto made from rocket, Parmesan and toasted pine-nuts; and a deliciously moist salmon fillet.  Just lovely.  And easy – I know how much we all like easy.

3 007

Roast Pepper & Goats Cheese Bruscetta

Oh how we like easy, and it doesn’t come easier than this.  I did have a nice little soup lined up for this slot, but seeing as AlphaMale devoured it at lunchtime, this was one of those ‘open the fridge and pretend you’re on Ready Steady Cook’ efforts.


One part-baked baguette, cooked, cooled and cut diagonally into long thin slices.3 009

A jar of  roasted peppers

Goats cheese

A clove of garlic, peeled and bruised

Balsamic glaze

A handful of rocket


Place the slices of bread onto a baking sheet and cook briefly in a hot oven until fairly crisp. Whilst warm, rub the top of each one with the garlic. Set aside and allow to cool.

Mix some sliced peppers and chopped goats cheese in a bowl and divide between the slices of bread.

Place on a bed of rocket and drizzle with a little of the Balsamic glaze.

3 014

Salmon en Croute with Rocket & Parmesan Pesto

This is an old tried and tested favourite which can be found on January 11th’s old #FoodyFriday page.

Vanilla Cheesecakes with Berries

vanilla cheesecake

These are fairly straightforward to make (please don’t be put of by the long list of ingredients), and can be made a day in advance. I do freeze mine, but I find that the base doesn’t stay quite as crisp as when first made.  This recipe makes four mini cheesecakes, using greased chef’s rings as moulds, and one medium sized cheesecake, using a small spring-formed cake tin.


75 g butter, melted

100g amaretti biscuits, finely crushed

3 digestive biscuits, finely crushed

2 drops almond essence

3 gelatine leaves

250g mascarpone cheese

300g reduced fat soft cheese

1 tsp vanilla extract

100g caster sugar

juice of 1/2 a lemon

200ml double cream

Defrosted Fruits of the Forest, or Summer Fruits to serve.


Grease the spring-form tin and line the base; grease the chef’s rings and place on a lined baking tray or dish.  Mix the melted butter, the biscuits and the almond essence together and divide between the tins.  Press down firmly and chill until ready to add the filling.

Soften the gelatine sheets in cold water for 2-3 minutes; drain, then add a tablespoon of boiling water and stir until dissolved.  Mix well.

Beat the mascarpone, soft cheese, vanilla and sugar with an electric mixer until smooth, then add the lemon juice and gelatine and mix again.

Softly whip the cream and fold into the mixture, then divide between the tins, smooth, and refrigerate overnight.  At this stage, the cheesecakes can be frozen.

To remove from the tin, simply release the spring, and transfer to a serving plate.  To remove from the chef’s rings, place the ring centrally over a jam jar and slowly force the ring downwards, so that the cheesecake ends up balanced on the top of the jar.  Then slide carefully onto a plate.  Or, if the cheesecake is frozen, it can be forced gently downwards out of the ring onto a plate.

Place a spoonful of berries and juice on the top of the cheesecake, so that the juice dribbles down the side and onto the plate.  Et voila!