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  • Halloween-inspired Feast

    Contemplating throwing a dinner party this hallows eve? Supper club kings and MasterChef 2016 losers, Billy and Jack have done the hard work for you and created a sophisticated (but sufficiently spooky) take on the Halloween feast!

    From mini stuffed pumpkins to a frighteningly delicious chocolate and beetroot marshmallow pie, these Halloween-inspired recipes are trick-free and treat-filled... 

    Stuffed Mini-Pumpkins

    "Not only do these beauties look amazing (mini-pumpkins, come on!), they taste great and are a perfect way to use all of the amazing squash around at this time of year. You could easily make this vegetarian but we say embrace the comfort food and stuff it with sausage meat. The crispy seeds give an amazing crunch – also great on top of risotto!"

    I N G R E D I E N T S

    4 x Medium squash / mini pumpkins
    1 Pack high quality British pork sausages
    1 Onion
    2 Sticks celery
    I x Apple
    200ml Double cream
    4 x tsp Wholegrain mustard
    100g Blue cheese
    100g Oats
    Small handful sage
    Sprig thyme
    Salt and pepper
    50g butter

    M E TH O D 

    Prep the squash, slice the top off the pumpkins (be careful here, the skin can be Ross Kemp on gangs tough). Scoop out the seeds (save them) and scrape a little of the flesh away so you have a nice hollow in which you can add the stuffing.

    To make the stuffing finely dice the onion and celery and fry off in a little oil until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Squeeze the sausage meat out of the skins into the pan and break up with a spoon to ensure even cooking. Allow to brown.

    Grate in the apple and add the mustard, double cream, oats and blue cheese. Cook until it all melts together and the oats begin to soften. Finally, add the finely chopped herbs and season.

    Spoon the mixture into the pumpkins and top with a knob of butter, bake in a pre-heated oven at 180C for 30-35 minutes or until the pumpkins are soft to the touch. Put the lids back onto the pumpkins for the last 10 minutes.

    To make the crispy seeds wash away the flesh and dry the seeds. Add to a hot pan with a little oil and a pinch of salt and cook on a high heat until they begin to crackle and pop. At the last minute add in a few whole sage leaves until they go crispy.

    To serve, remove the lid from the pumpkin and sprinkle on the seeds and crispy sage leaves. Place the lid back on and serve with a salad of bitter leaves.

    Curried Duck, Duck Samosa, Daal & Coriander Chutney

    I N G R E D I E N T S

    For the duck:
    1 x whole duck
    1 x onion
    1 tbsp garam masala
    1 tbsp turmeric
    1 tbsp chilli powder
    1 tbsp plain flour
    1.5l chicken stock
    2 large spring roll wrappers cut in half to produce 4 strips

    M E T H OD 

    Firstly, remove the legs and breasts from the body of the duck and set aside. Mix the spices together and dust the legs and breasts. Add a little oil to the breasts and massage the spices into the meat, cover and refrigerate until ready to cook.

    To make the samosa put the legs, and flour into a pressure cooker and brown. Add the stock and a roughly chopped onion and cook on full pressure for 30 minutes. Allow the pressure to reduce, remove the legs and flake off the meat – it should be beautifully soft and come apart easily from the bones. Put the meat and stock aside.

    Once you have made the curry sauce mix through the leg meat until it is easy to shape and handle. Take a spring roll wrapper and cut it in half, add a tablespoon of leg meat at the top and fold over one corner over the meat. Continue to fold over in a triangle shape until you have a samosa.

    Drizzle with oil and bake the samosas at 180C for 10 – 15 minutes or until the pastry is crispy and brown.

    I N G R E D I E N T S

    For the curry sauce: 
    1 tbsp Sesame seeds
    1 tbsp Coriander seeds
    1 tsp Cumin seeds
    1 tsp Black onion seeds
    ½ tsp Fenugreek seeds
    1 tbsp Desiccated coconut
    1 tbsp Ground almonds
    1 tsp Mustard seeds
    1 tbsp Curry leaves
    1 tbsp Red chilli powder
    1 tbsp Turmeric
    50ml Veg oil
    1 x Onion finely diced
    50g Tamarind paste
    1 tsp Salt
    1 tsp Sugar
    Knob butter

    M E T H O D

    Dry toast the sesame, coriander, cumin, black onion seeds fenugreek until they release their aromas, 1-2 mins. Set aside.

    Toast the coconut and almonds in the same pan until golden, 1 minute, then add to seeds.

    Heat the oil until hot, add the mustard seeds, followed by the curry leaves, reduce the heat and add the onion and cook until it’s soft, stir in the chilli powder, turmeric and tamarind. Add the nuts and seeds, cook for 2-3 mins, until thickened. Then add the reserved stock from the duck legs and a knob of butter.

    To make a beautifully smooth sauce you can blend this and keep warm before serving.


    I N G R E D I E N T S

    For the daal:
    100g red lentils
    1 tsp turmeric
    1 tsp red chilli powder
    1 tbsp cumin seeds
    50ml veg oil
    1 tbsp mustard seeds
    1 shallot, finely diced
    1 garlic clove, grated
    1 green chilli, finely chopped
    1 tsp turmeric
    1 tsp red chilli pepper
    8 x cherry tomatoes, halved
    Salt and lemon to taste

    M E T H O D

    Wash the lentils and cover with salted water add the turmeric and chilli powder and bring to a simmer, cook until soft. Set aside.

    Fry off the cumin seeds in vegetable oil, add the mustard seeds and shallot and fry until golden. Then add the garlic, green chilli, turmeric, chilli powder and the cherry tomatoes, cook on a medium heat until softened, and add to the lentils. Season and add some finely chopped coriander.

    I N G R E D I E N T S

    For the coriander chutney: 
    50g Coriander, roughly chopped                                                        
    1 Garlic cloves
    1 Green chilli
    1 tsp Salt
    ½ tsp sugar
    Squeeze lemon
    1 tbsp vegetable oil

    M E T H O D

    Wash the coriander, add to a blender, with garlic, chilli, salt, sugar, vegetable oil and lemon, blend and pass through a sieve, set aside.

    T O  S ER V E 

    To cook the marinated duck breasts, score the skin and place skin side down in a cold pan. Slowly bring up the heat, rendering out the fat until the skin is nice and crispy. Put the pan in a hot oven for 5 minutes to cook the breast through to your liking. Cut in half lengthways.

    To serve, put a tablespoon of daal on the plate and top with half of the duck breast. Top with the samosa, a teaspoon of coriander chutney, pickled carrots and the curry sauce.

    Chocolate & Beetroot Marshmallow Pie

    "There’s something incredible moreish about beetroot and chocolate, add in sweet and fluffy meringue and you get a divine dessert perfect for cold winter evenings, mornings and basically whenever you fancy a bit of a treat!"

    I N G R E D I E N T S

    For the pastry:

    100g Plain flour
    100g Rye flour
    40g Cocoa powder
    150g Butter
    3 x Egg yolks
    80g Caster sugar

    For the filling:

    500g Dark chocolate
    500ml Double cream
    100ml Dark spiced rum
    1 x Pre-cooked beetroot

    For the topping: 

    2 x Pre-cooked beetroots
    8 x Egg whites
    500g Caster sugar
    100ml Water

    M E T H O D 

    First make the pastry. Combine the flours, sugar and butter and mix together until it feels like breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolks and continue to combine, adding a little bit of water as you go to bind it all together. Fair warning – the rye flour does make this a little crumbly but persevere – no one has ever really cared if pastry looks good, especially when it tastes as good as this. Wrap the pastry in cling film and chill in the fridge until it feels as if it’s been down the gym for the last few months (firm).

    Pre-heat the oven to 180C. Remove the pastry from the fridge and carefully roll-out on a floured work surface to about half a centimetre thick. Drape over a tart case and use a bit of pastry to push the sheet into the corners of the case. Line with baking paper and fill with baking beans or rice. Bake for 25 minutes.

    After 25 minutes remove the beans or rice and baking paper. Turn the oven down to 150C and continue to cook the pastry until the base looks dry, around 15 – 20 minutes. Remove and allow to cool, trim the edges with a serrated knife to neaten up.

    To make the filling heat the cream until just below boiling and pour over the broken chocolate. Mix well until the mixture becomes dark and glossy, add the rum and blend the beetroot and add the puree, mixing until combined. Pour the mixture into the pasty case and allow to cool before putting in the fridge to set, around 1-2 hours.

    Now for the topping! Blend the remaining beetroots into a puree and set aside and then whisk the egg whites until they are stiff. Heat the sugar and water on a high heat (don’t stir, you risk the mixture crystallising!) until it reaches 121C. You need to be very accurate at this stage so watch carefully and use a thermometer. Very carefully, pour the sugar mixture into the egg whites slowly while whisking. The mixture should continue to expand and become lovely and glossy. Add the beetroot mixture and whisk until the mixture has cooled – around 5 minutes.

    Once cool, pour your topping onto the tart and use a fork to make some swirls in the top. If you have a blowtorch you can then crisp up the topping, but be careful not to burn it!

    Recipe & photography by Billy and Jack, for more info and a calendar of events visit their website here