Back to Useful Recipes
Useful Recipes - Starters
Featuring a variety of easy cooking and baking recipes that are ideal for home cooking and baking.
- Why not try and make these Useful Recipes -

arrow Please scroll down to see all recipes available arrow

Brown butter gnocchi with mushrooms
Serves 4
12 mins to prepare and 8 mins to cook
• 2 x 400g packs fresh gnocchi
• 1 tbsp olive oil
• 300g (10oz) chestnut mushrooms, finely sliced
• 2 eschalion shallots, thinly sliced
• 2 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
• 100g (3 1/2oz) butter
• Handful flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped, to garnish
• Lemon, zested pared and finely chopped, to garnish

Brown butter gnocchi with mushrooms
1 Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the gnocchi following the packet instructions. Drain and set aside.

2 Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and shallots and cook for 5-6 minutes, until softened and just starting to caramelise.

3 Turn down the heat a little and add the garlic. Cook gently for 2 minutes more, then season well. Tip the mixture into a clean bowl and cover with foil to keep warm.

4 Wipe out the pan with kitchen paper and add the butter. Melt over a medium heat, swirling it around the pan, until it turns golden brown. Add the cooked gnocchi to the pan and toss, until coated in the butter. Spoon the buttery gnocchi into bowls and top with the warm mushroom mixture. Serve scattered with the parsley and lemon zest.
Prawn cocktail with smoky crème fraîche sauce
Serves 8
Takes 10 minutes to make
• 4 baby gem lettuce, trimmed
• 300g (10oz) large, cooked prawns
• 1 celery heart, finely chopped
• 4 spring onions, finely chopped (both white and green parts)
• 200g (7oz) crème fraìche
• 2 lemons, 1 cut into 8 wedges, 1 zested and juiced
• 1 garlic clove, crushed
• 2 tsp smoked paprika, plus extra to serve

Prawn cocktail with smoky crème fraîche sauce
1 Separate the baby gem leaves and stack 2-3 on each plate. Divide the prawns between plates and place them next to the lettuce.

2 Top the baby gem with chopped celery and the white part of the spring onions.

3 In a small bowl, mix the crème fraìche with 1 teaspoon each of lemon zest and juice, the garlic and paprika. Season and mix again.

4 Just before serving, drizzle the sauce over the prawns or serve it in a small dipping bowl on each plate. Sprinkle a little more paprika and the chopped green part of the onion over the prawns. Serve with the lemon wedges.
Mini beef wraps
Serves 16
5mins to prepare, 10mins to cook
• 1tbsp vegetable oil
• 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
• 250g lean beef rump steak, cut into thin strips
• 3cm piece root ginger, peeled and grated
• 4tbsp plum sauce
• 2tsp soy sauce
• 4 spring onions, sliced
• ½ red pepper, deseeded and sliced
• ¼cucumber, cut into strips
• 1 baby gem lettuce, shredded
• 8 flour tortillas, cut in half
• Cocktail sticks

Mini beef wraps
1 Heat oil in a large wok or frying pan, add the garlic, beef and ginger. Brown meat all over on a high heat, this should take about 2-3 minutes.

2 Add plum and soy sauce, toss well together and cook for 1-2 minutes.

3 Take off the heat and place in a bowl and toss together with the spring onions, pepper, cucumber and lettuce.

4 Roll tortillas into cone shapes and secure with a cocktail stick (try to avoid a hole at the bottom of the cone if possible!!) Take large spoonful of the mixture and fill each tortilla cone - & wrap in a mini napkin - to catch any spillage!
Chilli crabcakes
Serves 4
15mins to prepare and 6mins to cook
• 510g crabmeat
• 4 spring onions
• 1-2 fresh red chillie
• 75g ready grilled red peppers from jar, drained
• 75g white breadcrumbs
• 2tbsp light mayonnaise
• dash chilli sauce
• 1tsp very finely chopped fresh ginger
• 1tsp garlic puree
• juice of a lime
• 1 good handful fresh coriander leaves
• 1½tbsp groundnut oil
• salt, to taste
• pepper, to taste

Chilli crabcakes
1 Drain the crabmeat and put in a mixing bowl. Finely chop the spring onions, de-seed and finely chop the chillies, de-seed and chop the red pepper into 1cm squares, and stir all into the bowl.

2 Reserve a quarter of the breadcrumbs then add the remainder to the bowl with the mayo, chilli sauce to taste, ginger and garlic paste, lime juice, coriander leaves and seasoning. Stir thoroughly and form into 12 small patties.

3 Spread the remaining crumbs onto a large plate and coat each patty in crumbs. Heat half the oil in a large non-stick frying pan and fry the patties over medium high heat for 3 minutes until golden, then add remaining oil, turn over and fry a further 2-3 minutes. Drain on kitchen paper and serve.

4 Try serving each portion with a mixed leaf salad with a drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette and 1 dessertspoon sweet chilli dipping sauce.
Spicy Corn Fritters
Serves 12
5mins to prepare and 15mins to cook
• 60g plain flour
• ¼5;tsp baking powder
• 1tsp harissa
• 1tsp ground coriander
• ½ tsp ground cumin
• 2 eggs, lightly beaten
• 285g sweetcorn
• 15ml olive oil
• sweet chilli dipping sauce, to serve

Spicy Corn Fritters
1 Mix the flour, baking powder, ground spices and harissa in a bowl. Add the egg, and beat to a smooth batter. Add the sweetcorn and season with salt.

2 Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan over a medium to high heat. Spoon a heaped tablespoon of mixture into the pan for each fritter and flatten with a fork.

3 Cook for about 5 minutes until the underside has turned golden brown, then flip and cook for a further three minutes. Serve with sweet chilli dipping sauce.