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Creamy Parsnip Soup with Ginger and Cardamom

Creamy vegetable soups are one of my most favourite of all winter foods. They make an elegant lunch, or a lovely light supper.

Parsnips are one of my favourite types of vegetables to use in winter soups. They have a natural sweetness, that is so very moreish to me. They smell a bit odd when they are cooking, or at least I think they do, but my oh my . . .what they lack in smell they more than make up for in flavour.

The key to a delicious vegetable soup is to brown the vegetables perfectly before you add any spices and herbs. This really helps to bring out the rich, and natural sweetness of any vegetable.

I like to use my stick blender to puree my soups. It's a lot easier and safer than using a conventional blender, although of course you can use a regular one if you like. Just take care if you do, as hot mixtures can be very explosive when rattled around in a sealed container.

Yes, I learned this the hard way. Either do it in small portions a little at a time, or cover the top very carefully with a towel and hold the lid down tightly!!!

I think the hazelnut/dried cranberry garnish on this soup makes it something really special. I really hope that you will try it.

I just know you will love it as much as we do. And that, my friends, is quite an awful lot!!!

*Creamy Parsnip Soup with Ginger and Cardamom*
Serves 3 to 4 as a main course
Printable Recipe

Creamy soup with a wonderful hint of sweet spices, ginger and cardamom m m m .

2 TBS olive oil
1 1/2 pounds parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
1 TBS butter
large pinch of sugar
3 large garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cardamom (remove the seeds from green cardamom pods, and
grind them to a powder in your morter and pestle)
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/2 pints chicken broth
1 1/4 pints single cream
salt and freshly ground black pepper

To Garnish:
1 TBS coarsely chopped skinned hazelnuts
1 TBS dried cranberries
1 tsp butter

Heat the oil in a large deep saucepan over medium high heat. Once it shimmers, add the parsnips, and onions. Saute,stirring very little at first, and then more frequently towards the end, until the parsnips start to turn golden brown. This should take 7 to 8 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and add butter, sugar, and garlic. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally until all the vegetables are a rich caramel colour, some 10 minutes longer.

Add the spices and cook, until fragrant, then add the broth. Bring to a simmer over medium high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, partially covered, until vegetables are tender. This should take about 10 minutes.

Using a stick blender, puree the soup until smooth. Stir in the cream and heat until warm. Season to taste with some salt and pepper.

Heat the tsp of butter for the garnish in a small saucepan. Add the hazelnuts and dried cranberries. Cook until golden and fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.

ladle the hot soup into heated bowls and top each serving with a portion of the hazelnut/cranberrie saute. Delicious!
Marie Rayner
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♥ Gingerbread ♥

Gingerbread, gingerbread, oh how I love thee!
I love thy stickiness . . . and thy spice.
A day with you is rather nice.

You smell so good
baking in my oven.
The thoughts of what's to come,
I'm a totally lovin . . .

Sliced into thick slabs,
and sitting on my plate.
You look so so yummy,
I almost can't wait!!

We must have syrup,
golden of course!
Can anything ever
be more . . . . moreish???

In goes my fork and
it's oh so yummy . . .
Just right to appease,
my oh-so-greedy tummy.

Run, run to the store,
just as fast as you can.
You must bake this today
if . . . you're a gingerbread fan!

(Ok, so a poet I ain't . . . but this is extremely good!)

Makes one 9 inch square cake,
cutting into 12 to 16 pieces
Printable Recipe

Spicy and sticky and wonderful served at tea time. Also great in packed lunches and picnics. This is a good keeping cake that will last well for up to 3 weeks in an airtight tin. Serve, cut into slices with some warmed golden syrup poured over top for a real taste treat!!

1 (16 ounces)pound plain flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
3 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
6 ounces butter
6 ounces soft light brown sugar
6 ounces black treacle
6 ounces golden syrup
1 large egg, beaten
10 fluid ounces milk
warmed golden syrup to serve (optional)

Pre-heat the oven to 160*C/325*F. Butter a deep 9 inch square cake tin, and line with parchment paper. (You want it to be at least 3 inches deep if not 4) Butter the paper as well.

Sift the flour, baking powder, soda, ginger and spices into a deep bowl. Place the butter, sugar, treacle, and syrup into a saucepan and heat over low heat until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved. Set aside to cool for several minutes.

Beat the egg and milk together and then beat this into the cooled syrup mixture. Add all at once to the dry ingredients. Beat well using a wooden spoon until the mixture is smooth and glossy. Pour into the prepared tin.

Bake in the centre of the heated oven for 1 1/2 hours until well risen and just firm to the touch. A skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean. This results in a lovely sticky gingerbread. If you would like a firmer cake cook for an additional 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow the cake to cool in the tin. Once cold, remove from the tin and overwrap with foil. Place in an airtight tin for up to one week to allow the flavours to mature.

Serve cut into slabs and serve for tea, or with cream for a pudding. Extra warmed syrup is delicious poured over top.
Marie Rayner
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Marbled Fudge Cake

It's not very often that you will see anything made of chocolate on this page. It's not that I don't like chocolate. Aux contraire . . . Je t'aime le chocolate, tres beaucoup!

Todd doesn't though. He hates chocolate, or more specifically, chocolate cakes and cookies. He likes chocolate candy and hot chocolate and chocolate ice cream and milk.

I, on the other hand, just adore chocolate cakes and cookies, chocolate bars, truffles, chocolates . . . . but I hate chocolate milk, and chocolate ice cream. I do like chocolate pudding on occasion and I sometimes enjoy a frothy hot chocolate, but only with lots of whipped cream on top . . . like they serve it on the continent . . .

Therein lies my dilema. Do I go about baking things that only I will eat . . . making my hips scream out in agony . . . or do I risk it, say what the heck and go for it anyways.

Most of the time I say no . . . tis not worth the risk on the scales . . .

Once in a while though I come across a recipe so obscenely delicious looking that I can't turn away . . .

What's a girl to do???

I caved in . . . of course. It was a tough job, but somebody had to do it. Adapted from the cookery book entitled, "Easy Baking," by Linda Sollister.

There are now 15 slices going begging. Any takers???

*Marbled Fudge Cake*
Makes 1 cake (16 slices)
Printable Recipe

A deliciously moist chocolate fudge cake with a digestive base, and a creamy cheesecake ripple running through it.

For the base:
80g digestive biscuit crumbs
50g unsalted butter, melted

For the chocolate mixture:
120g good quality plain chocolate, chopped
35g unsalted butter, diced
2 large eggs
150g caster sugar
75g flour
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 to 3 drops vanilla extract
50g broken walnut pieces

For the cheese mixture:
25g unsalted butter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
85g cream cheese (philadelphia)
50g sugar
1 large egg, beaten
10g plain flour

First make the base. Mix the biscuit crumbs and the melted butter together and then press the mixture into the base of a well buttered 9 inch springform pan to make a thin even layer. Chill in the fridge while you make the filling.

Pre-heat the oven to 180*C/350*F.

Melt the chocolate gently in a heatproof bowl over a pan of steaming water. DO not let the water touch the bowl. Stir the chocolate until melted and smooth. Remove the bowl from the heat and stir in the butter until it is melted.

Beat together the eggs and sugar for the chocolate mixture with a wooden spoon until frothy. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together into the bowl. Add the chocolate and butter mixture and the vanilla. Mix well together and then stir in the nuts. Spred this mixture over the chilled base.

To make the cheese mixture, cream the butter until creamy and then beat in the vanilla and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the sugar and then the egg. Add the flour and stir well. Spoon this mixture on top of the chocolate layer in the pan. Swirl the tip of a knife through both mixtures to marbel.

Bake in the heated oven for 25 to 30 minutes until just firm. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan before unmoulding.

Serve at room temperature.

Store airtight and eat within 5 days. This cake improves in flavour for several days after baking. Yummo!!
Marie Rayner
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Sticky Lemon and Ginger Chicken Stir Fry

It's really full on at work this week, with luncheons and parties etc. to cook for. This is what I really enjoy. It's challenging and it's a lot of fun! I get to really stretch my abilities and there is nothing I love more than a challenge.

I'm always up for it. It does mean though that I don't have a lot of time for at home cooking.

Poor Todd, don't you feel sorry for him? Don't feel too sorry though . . . I never leave him with nothing. He's always well catered to and truth be known, he'll be right up there with me for most of it, pitching in. Washing dishes when I need him, serving guests, butlering.

He's pretty handy to have around.

Quick and easy is the rule of the day for home though . . . last night we had burgers and chips and today we had this delicious stir fry. Easy peasy, lemon squeasy.

I guess you could also say hasty tasty!!

Deliciously spiced chicken bits, and crunchy vegetables in a sticky lemon and ginger sauce.

Yumm! Yumm!!

*Sticky Lemon and Ginger Chicken Stir Fry*
Serves 2
Printable Recipe

Quick, easy and a deliciously tasty mix of spiced and lemony flavours and crunch!

2 free range boneless, skinless chicken breast fillets
1 TBS plain flour
1/2 tsp Chinese Five Spice powder
1 TBS sunflower oil
180g of finely shredded vegetables (red peppers, yellow peppers, shredded bok choy, sprouts,
baby corn, red onions, carrots, broccoli)
1/4 tsp crushed chilies
the finely grated zest and juice of one lemon
1 large piece of chinese stem ginger in syrup, chopped
2 TBS stem ginger syrup

Cut the chicken breasts into thin slices crossways. Toss them together with the flour and five spice powder. Heat half of the vegetable oil in a large skillet. Toss in the chicken pieces and cook, stir frying for 3 to 4 minutes until cooked through and golden brown. Remove and keep warm. Add the remaining half of the vegetable oil and add the vegetables and chili flakes. Cook, stirring until almost tender, about 4 minutes. Return the chicken to the pan and add the lemon zest, the lemon juice, ginger pieces and ginger syrup. Stir fry for a couple of minutes to create a sticky sauce. Serve hot with noodles or rice.
Marie Rayner
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Jacket Potatoes with Cream and Walnuts

I have always loved to eat and to cook. One of the most favourite Christmas Presents I received as a child was a tiny little refrigerator. We were living in Germany at the time and I was mesmerized by this miniscule fridge. It was very detailed and filled with little bottles and things, pretend food. I tried to feed some of it to my sister, who was only an infant at the time, so that didn't make me or my fridge very popular with my mother . . . but I think it was an early sign of the cook's heart that burns within my breast.

Oh, the imaginary dinner parties and tea parties I catered to as a child . . . salads composed of dandelion leaves ( I had no idea that they were edible at the time) flowers and buds, all lovingly put together into what I saw as very wonderful creations. Mud pies . . . what fun!

I have always been amazed at how it all goes together. I often find myself wondering how certain things came about . . . like who was the first person who discovered that if you beat together some eggs and flour, sugar and leavening . . . you would get a cake? Or who decided that cows milk was fit for human consumption . . . oh, and that if you shook the cream around you would get butter and it was tasty on bread and in baked goodies. Or cheese . . . who invented cheese?

I love to experiment myself with different flavours and ingredients. It is really inspiring to me how you can pick a few simple ingredients, all tasty . . . and then mix them together into something that is incredibly tastily moreish! Like these wonderful jacket potatoes . . . stogged full of buttery fried mushooms, stinking of lovely garlic, chives and parsley . . . and then slathered with cream and cheese. Oh, these are sooooooo good!

They make a wonderful light lunch or supper dish with a tasty salad on the side. I'm so glad I thunk em up.

*Jacket Potatoes with Cream and Walnuts*
Serves 4
Printable Recipe

Crispy jacket potatoes, stuffed with sauteed garlic, mushrooms and chives . . . then topped with cream and cheese. What's not to like?

4 large baking potatoes
3 ounces of butter
1 large clove of garlic, peeled and minced
5 1/2 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1 TBS snipped fresh chives
2 TBS chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
salt and black pepper
6 ounces of double cream
4 TBs grated strong cheddar cheese
4 tBS chopped lightly toasted walnuts to garnish
fresh mixed salad to serve

Pre-heat the oven to 190*C/375*F. Scrub the potatoes and then prick the skins several times with a fork. Place right on the rack in the oven and bake for 1 1/4 hours, or until cooked through. (they should give when lightly pressed) About five minutes before the end of the cooking time, heat the butter in a frying pan until it begins to foam. Add the garlic and mushrooms and cook, stirring, until the mushrooms are tender and beginning to brown. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Remove the potatoes from the oven. Cut in half lengthwise. Carefully scoop out the flesh into a bowl, leaving the skins intact. Add the remaining butter to the potatoe and mash well. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the herbs and the mushroom mixture. Spoon the mixture back into the potato shells. Place in a baking dish. Spoon the cream over top and then sprinkle the cheese evenly over. Return to the oven and bake for a further 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and scatter the walnuts over top. Serve with a mixed salad if desired.
Marie Rayner
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Parmesan and Pine Kernel Muffins

When you are looking for a quick to make, portable and totally tasty bread you just cannot beat a good muffin. Similar in looks to a cupcake, but much heartier in texture and flavour, these have to be one of the most popular quick breads around.

Indeed many a business empire as begun with the baking of this incredibly tasty little creation . . . and I am quite sure many world problems have been discussed, if not solved whilst partaking of their multitudenal delights.

They come in many sweet forms . . . double chocolate, fruit filled, nutty, spicy . . . carrot, pumpkin or courgette . . . chocolate chip, and even doughnut muffins, which are very, very close to the real thing. (Doughnut that is) The varieties of sweet ones available are truly endless . . . each one delightfully scrummy. I could not pick a favourite if I tried!

Sure . . .we like to kid ourselves that we are eating something pretty healthy aren't we. It's a muffin right? Not cake . . . ahem . . .

The reality is that the imbibing of too many muffins always causes muffin tops . . . that little pudgy bit of flesh that overhangs the waist of your jeans . . . like it as not . . . tis a sad but true reality.

They don't always have to be sweet though. There are probably just as many variations of savoury ones as well. We love corn muffins in this house. They go so very well with baked beans, lentils and chilies, unless you pop a dab of jam in the centre before baking, then they're just totally addictively scrummy yummy. My onion and garlic dinner muffins are quite popular as well. Those are wonderful with soups and stews, or packed with some sliced cheese and ham and popped into a picnic hamper . . .

Cheese and onion, ploughmans, smoked salmon and cream cheese . . . if you can think it, you can bake it . . . seriously. They're all good. This version made with Parmesan Cheese and toasty pine nuts are particularly good. Salty and savoury from the cheese, and that wonderful rich crunch from the pinenuts. Sadly . . . too many of these can create a muffin top as well . . .

but . . . what a way to go . . .

*Parmesan and Pine Kernel Muffins*
makes 12
Printable Recipe

Savoury and chock full of cheese and crunch. These go fabulously with soup or salad. Delicious!

melted butter for greasing the pan,
or paper muffin cases
10 ounces plain flour
1 TBS baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
3 ounces freshly grated parmesan cheese
60g pinenut kernels
2 large eggs
9 fluid ounces of buttermilk
6 TBS sunflower oil
black pepper
1/4 ounce freshly grated parmesan cheese
35g of pinenut kernels

Pre-heat the oven to 200*C/400*F. Butter 12 muffin cups or line with 12 paper liners. Set aside.

Make the topping by mixing together the pinenuts and the parmesan. Set aside.

Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and pepper to taste together into a bowl. Whisk in the grated cheese and nuts. Lightly beat the eggs together and then beat in the buttermilk and oil. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the beaten ingredients. Stir together just to combine. Spoon the mixture into the prepared muffin cups. Scatter the topping over top and then bake in the heated oven for 20 mnutes, until well risen, golden brown and firm to the touch.

Leave in the tin for five minutes before turning out. Serve warm.
Marie Rayner
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Creamy Potato, Onion and Cheese Soup

Some weeks I have so much on that I don't know whether I am coming or going! Weeks where I am uber busy at work and don't have a lot of time to spend on the fun stuff at home, like cooking . . .

There are people who say to me, don't you ever get tired of cooking? How can you spend all day at work cooking, and then come home and cook again???

It's easy when you love cooking as much as I do, and I really do love it! So much so that it never really seems like work to me . . . just fun. The real work is the cleaning up . . . but that we won't think about . . .

On weeks like those that I have an extra lot on, I like to keep a host of special, quick and easy recipes up my sleeve. Recipes that are simple to execute, don't take a lot of time, or host of special ingredients.

And most importantly, recipes that taste good. If it doesn't taste good . . . it's a waste of time, effort and ingredients, no matter how quick and easy it is . . .

This delicious soup is one of those recipe I do keep on hand. Quick, easy, simple, economical and very, very tasty! All you need with it is some crusty bread and perhaps a salad. You can make it totally vegetarian by using vegetable stock instead of chicken stock.

*Creamy Potato, Onion and Cheese Soup*
Serves 4
Printable Recipe

Simple and yet so delicious. This is a handy one to have in your recipe box for those days when you are lacking in time and inspiration!

3 TBS butter
1 small onion, peeled and chopped
6 spring onions, finely chopped (including the green bits)
4 potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
700ml of chicken stock (A generous 3 cups)
sea salt and ground white pepper
150ml milk (2/3 cup)
150ml whipping cream (2/3 cup)
2 TBS chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
2 1/2 ounces coarsely grated cheddar cheese
fried garlic croutons to serve (optional)

Heat the butter in a large saucepan. Once it begins to foam add the onion, spring onions, and potatoes. Cover and cook over medium heat for about 5 to 7 minutes, or until the onions are tender.

Add the stock, Bring to the boil. Reduce the heat then cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes over medium low heat, until the potatoes are tender. Remove pan from the stove.

Mash the potatoes well with a potato masher. Season to taste with the salt and pepper. Stir in the milk and the cream. Re-heat gently until nice and hot without boiling. Ladle into heated bowsls and sprinkle with the cheese, parsley and croutons to serve.

Pssst - I make my own garlic croutons. I just beat some softened butter together with a crushed clove of garlic, brush that mixture on both sides of sliced bread, cut the bread into little shapes and then bake the shapes on a tray in a hot oven until they are crispy brown all over. Easy Peasy, Lemon Squeasy!!
Marie Rayner
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Pains Aux Chocolate

One of the nice things about living in the South East like I do, is it's close proximity to the tunnel or ferry over to the continent and France.

Ahh . . . France, France, France, home of my forebears . . . land of the black beret, garlic, the macaron, the Eifle tower, beautiful baguettes, tasty cheese . . . and these . . . little lovelies . . .

Pains Aux Chocolate. Sure, we can get them in the bakery section of our homegrown shops here in the UK, but they are largely disappointing when compared to the real thing . . .

Ethereal and soft as a cloud, with a wonderfully crisp exterior, flakey layers of buttery lightness, and a deliciously rich chocolate centre . . . bliss.

One of the first things I do when we hit the ferry to go over to the continent, is to grab a paper bag filled with three things . . . an almond croissant, a plain croissant and a delicious . . . pain aux chocolate. Three of my French weaknesses I'm afraid . . .

Have I mentioned that I'm an incredible glutton???

ahh, well . . . nobody's perfect, n'est c'est pas???

Who knew that I could be making these little lovelies at home anytime I wanted to feed my fancy. Adapted from The Marks & Spencer Home Baking Bible.

I think . . . . I may have created a monster . . .

*Pains Aux Chocolate*
Makes 9
Printable Recipe

A butter rich flaky exterior, surrounding a dark chocolate centre. Classic French pastries baked at home. Divine.

oil for oiling
9 ounces strong white bread flour, plus
extra for dusting
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp easy blend dry yeast
1 TBS caster sugar
2 TBS skimmed milk powder
5 ounces of butter, plus extra for greasing
4 fluid ounces tepid water
8 ounces good quality plain chocolate, broken into pieces

For the glaze:
1 egg yolk
1 tsp milk

Oil 2 baking sheets, and line with parchment paper. Sift the flour and salt together in a warmed bowl. Stir in the yeast, sugar and milk powder, mixing all together well. Dice 1 ounce of the butter and rub it into the flour mixture with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine dry bread crumbs. Make a well in the centre. Add the water to the well and mix to form a dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 to 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Put into an oiled bowl, cover with plastic cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.

While the dough is rising, on another piece of cling film, shape the remaining 4 ounces of butter into a rectangle which is 3/4 of an inch thick. Wrap and set aside in a cool place, but not the fridge.

Turn the dough out and knead lightly for one minute. Shape into a ball and cut a cross in the centre, halfway down through the dough. Roll out the edges of the dough, leaving the cross intact. Put the rectangle of butter into the centre, and fold the rolled out edges over it, pressing to seal. Roll out the dough again into a long rectangle. With the short shides facing you, fold the top one third of the dough down to cover the middle third, then fold the bottom third up and over the top. Press down with the rolling pin to seal the edges. Wrap the dough in oiled cling film and chill in the refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes. Repeat rolling and folding and chilling, twice more, rolling from the left hand edge each time, and finally chill for 30 minutes.

Roll out the dough into a rectangle 21 by 12 inches in size. Cut lengthways into 3 strips. Then cut widthwise to make 9 equal sized rectangles. Put a few chocolate pices on the short end of each rectangle. To make the glaze, beat the egg yolk with the milk. Brush some of the glaze around the edges of the rectangles. Roll up each rectangle to enclose the chocolate, sealing the edges. Transfer to the prepared baking sheets, putting 4 evenly spaced apart on each. Cover with oiled clingfilm and leave to prove in a warm place for 30 minutes.

Pre-heat the oven to 200*C/400*F.

Brush the tops of the pastries with the remaining glaze. Bake in the prepeated oven for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove to a wire rack to cool. Serve warm.
Marie Rayner
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Spicy Pork Burgers with Honey Mustard Onions

Most days during the week, I work a split shift. I work 8 hours in total, but . . . starting in the morning, until early afternoon . . . then I get a couple of hours off, where I can go home and do whatever . . . and then I am back at work late in the afternoon, where I work until mid evening. Such is the life of a personal chef.

I like this much better than restaurant work. I think you just reach a stage in life where you are past wanting to put up with all the stress that comes with working in a restaurant, not to mention the late nights that are involved. Sure . . . I do have to work late once in a while, like when there is a special occasion or dinner party to cook for, and, I do really enjoy those challenges tremendously . . . but I definitely wouldn't want a steady diet of them . . . a dinner party once or twice a month is more than enough for me.

The split shift means though, that if Todd and I are going to be able to eat a meal together, it has to be done in the middle of the day, which isn't really much of a problem for either one of us. We are also at the stage in life where we don't want to be going to bed with a heavy meal laying on our stomaches. (Boy, do we sound old!)

Anyways, most days that doesn't leave me a lot of time for cooking, so quick and easy is mandatory. Sure there are beans on toast days on occasion, and sometimes even just some scrambled eggs and toast . . . most days though, I am quite capable of rustling us up something very tasty with not a lot of time or effort involved. Things like these tasty burgers.

Moist ground pork combined with a group of tasty spices, shaped into rounds and nicely browned on both sides. I like to serve them with fried onions, but not just ordinary plain fried onions . . . honey mustard fried onions. Deeeee - licious!!

If you wanted to you could serve them in toasted rolls, but we just like them plain with some roasted spuds and sweet and sour red cabbage on the side.

*Spicy Pork Burgers*
Makes 6
Printable Recipe

Delicious, moist burgers flavoured with tasty spices and served with spicy fried onions. These are quick, easy and fabulously tasty!

1 kg of ground pork
(can also use equal amounts of ground pork and veal, just so long as
you have 1kg of meat)
1 heaping tsp of dried marjoram
1 heaping tsp of dried ground ginger
1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1 tsp celery seed
10 cardamom pods, seeds removed and ground to a powder
(discard the pods)
1 20g packet of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 TBS olive oil to cook

For the onions:
1 TBS butter
2 large onions, peeled, cut in half and sliced into half moons
1 TBS dijon mustard
2 tsp runny honey

Combine the meat with all the spices and parsley. Mix well with your hands to combine thoroughly. Shape into 6 round patties, slightly thicker on the outside edges than in the middle. (This helps them to keep their shape better) Set aside.

Take a large skillet and melt the butter for the onions over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally over medium heat, until they begin to soften and brown in places. Stir in the mustard and honey. Mix well. Set aside and keep warm.

Wipe the skillet out and then add the olive oil. Heat until hot over medium high heat. Add the meat patties. Cook for 5 minutes on each side, until cooked through and nicely browned. Don't press down when cooking as you will press the meat juices out and end up with dry burgers.

Serve the burgers hot with some of the spicy onions spooned over top.
Marie Rayner
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