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Apple and Cinnamon Cake

Sandwich Selection: "Mock" Chicken, Ham Spread and Asparagus Rolls

Mock Chicken Sandwiches a la Eleanora Cull
Mum says that in her day, no supper party would be complete without a platter of these tasty sandwiches. They don’t taste like chicken, look like chicken, or even smell like chicken, but I love them!

1 onion, diced
2 roma tomatoes, skinned and diced
2 Tbsp butter
2 eggs, beaten
2 tsp mixed dried herbs
Salt and Pepper

In a medium saucepan, melt 1 tbsp butter and gently sauté onion until soft, but not brown. Add tomatoes and herbs, salt and pepper and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the eggs, and continue to stir with a wooden spoon until mixture thickens. Add the remaining tbsp of butter and keep mixing until melted and combined. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Spread generously on white bread.

Asparagus Rolls
Another one of Mum’s favourites.

Asparagus spears (canned of course!)
Crustless bread and butter
Salt and Pepper

Do you really need a method? Just roll em up, and fasten with a toothpick.

Ham Spread

This recipe comes from one of the original Cuisinart food processor cookbooks, and was sent into the American Magazine ‘Gourmet’ by a lady named Stephanie Gordon Hogan, from New York. The recipe has become a standard request in her home at holidays and other special occasions.

200g leg ham, chopped
250g cream cheese
2 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
2 Tbsp brown sugar
½ tsp ground cloves

Place all ingredients in a food processor and blitz until smooth. Serve with bread or crackers. Makes about 2 cups.

Victoria Sponge Cake

Date and Walnut Rolls

Lamb Koftah with a Cucumber, Mint and Lemon Yoghurt Sauce

Trio of Dips: Beetroot, Chargrilled Eggplant & Split Pea and Coriander, served with Turkish Bread

Poppyseed cookies

Saffron and Pistachio Orange Tea Bread

Preparation time: 30 mins plus 30 mins standing time
Cooling time: 1 hour
Makes 8

Melted butter for greasing
1 orange, juiced, zest finely grated
½ tsp saffron threads
185 butter, chopped
1 cup caster sugar
4 eggs
¾ cup sour cream
1 ½ cups plain flour
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 cup pistachios, finely chopped
1 cup sifted pure icing sugar
2 Tbsp hot water or milk

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Brush an 8-hole mini-loaf tin with melted butter, then line bases and sides with baking paper. Heat orange juice in microwave on high for 30 seconds. Add saffron, set aside to soak for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, using an electric mixer, blend the butter, zest and sugar in a medium bowl until light and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.
Stir in sour cream. Fold through sifted flour, bicarb, ½ cup of the pistachios and saffron juice until combined. Spoon mixture into holes and smooth surfaces. Bake for 45 – 60 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into cakes comes out clean. Stand for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool.
Put icing in a medium bowl, and then add enough water or milk to form a thin paste. Spoon a little icing over cakes and sprinkle with remaining pistachios. Stand for 20 minutes for the icing to set before serving.


Dolmades - Stuffed Vine Leaves (makes 24)

(adapted from The Curry Club’s Favourite Middle Eastern Recipes by Pat Chapman)

30 vine leaves (to allow for breakages)
Olive oil

200g cooked and cooled rice
50g onion, chopped and fried (about ½ a small onion)
50g pine nuts, toasted and chopped
1 tbsp fresh mint, chopped
1 tbsp sultanas and/or dates, chopped
1 tbsp tomato ketchup
1 tsp allspice
½ tsp aromatic salt
1 tsp white sugar
¼ tsp sumac

1. Mix the stuffing ingredients together. The mixture should be cold and sticky enough for 24 vine leaves.
2. If the leaves are fresh, destalk and wash them. Blanch them in boiling water for 15 seconds. Strain and allow to cool. If the leaves are vacuum-packed or jarred in brine, you will need to wash out the brine in several cold water rinses.
3. Put the vine leaf flat on a work surface. Put a dollop of filling in the centre of the leaf part. Fold in the side leaves then roll it up like a little spring roll. It should be about 5 x 2 cm.
4. Oil an oven tray with the olive oil. Place the dolmades on it with the tip of the rolled leaf downwards. Do not squash them; just let them touch each other lightly. Brush them with olive oil and cover the tray with aluminium foil. Put into a preheated oven at 150˚C and cook for 20 minutes. Serve hot or cold.

Nadia’s Notes:

· A HUGE regional variation on this recipe. I cobbled a few recipes together to make these.
· They were pretty easy, once I got the hang of rolling them. The biggest challenge was getting the vine leaves out of the jar! They are actually tougher than they look.
· I was surprised at the oven method of cooking them. I also read instructions for simmering them in liquid and using uncooked rice or orzo as fillings – obviously the simmering method would be required to cook the rice or orzo.
· I really felt the addition of tomato ketchup was wrong however in the end, it somehow tasted really good. Still seemed strange, though.
· These dolmades tasted quite fresh and did not have that oiliness you get with purchased ones. Yummy!