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Tasting England

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Onion, Thyme, and Baby Tomato Tartlets


9 baby vine tomatoes, halved

1 scant tablespoon fresh thyme

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

½ stick (2 ounces) butter

2 pounds red onions, thinly sliced

1 package (2 sheets) frozen puff pastry, thawed

4 ounces Roquefort or other strong blue cheese


1. Preheat oven to 325º. Place tomatoes on baking sheet, sprinkle with thyme, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake 10 - 15 minutes, until soft.

2. Melt butter in large sauté pan; add onions, and cook slowly 15 minutes until soft and brown. Season with salt and pepper and cool.

3. Cut puff pastry into 6, 5-inch rings. Place on baking sheet and refrigerate 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 400º.

4. Place a spoonful of onions in the middle of each pastry round, leaving a ½-inch border. Top with a spoonful of cheese and then three tomato halves. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roughly fold up pastry edges.

5. Bake 20 minutes or until golden.

These tartlets can be made the day before serving. To reheat, bake 5 minutes at 400º. Serve with a simple salad.

Serves 6.


Prawn and Smoked Salmon Tians


You will need 4, 2-inch metal rings to form the tians

3 ½ ounces smoked salmon, diced

3 ½ ounces cooked prawns, chopped (white crab meat can be substituted)

1 tablespoon mayonnaise

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon chopped chives

Tabasco Sauce to taste

Salt and pepper to taste

1 cup cress or other small greens

2 tablespoon French salad dressing, optional


1. Press salmon into 4, 2-inch rings. Mix together prawns and mayonnaise, lemon zest and juice to taste. Stir in Tabasco and salt and pepper to taste. Spoon on top of salmon, pressing down lightly. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

2. To serve, place rings on 4 serving plates and carefully press out to remove rings. Top with cress. Drizzle plates with French dressing if desired.

Serves 4.


Lemon Posset: "A very old English pudding"


20 ½ cups heavy whipping cream

½ cup sugar

Zest and juice of 3 large lemons

6 ounces mixed berries, pureed (frozen berries work well)

Powdered sugar to taste

9 ounces fresh mixed berries


1. Place cream, sugar, and lemon zest in a saucepan and cook over low heat, bringing to a simmer while stirring to dissolve sugar. Simmer mixture 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and cool to lukewarm. Stir in lemon juice and pour into 6 martini glasses or other interesting glasses or cups. Refrigerate 1 - 2 hours, until set.

2. Mix berry puree with powdered sugar to taste. Fold fresh berries into pureed berries. Spoon on top of each posset.

Serves 6.

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