Deliciously Ella Shares Recipes From Her Latest Book

British cookbook author Ella Mills focuses on feeding her friends and family in her new book, Deliciously Ella with Friends

Ella Mills, the author of the Deliciously Ella cookbooks. Picture / Claire Winfield

MINI BAKED POTATOES WITH CASHEW SOUR CREAM AND CHIVES RECIPE
Serves 6

An amazing little nibble for hungry friends. These warm, salt-crusted potatoes are stuffed with a creamy cashew sour cream, then sprinkled with lots of black pepper, chives and fresh chilli to make something incredibly delicious. They’re perfect in the winter, hearty and comforting, and will keep everyone happy while you finish making dinner.  

FOR THE POTATOES
500g new potatoes
1 Tbsp olive oil
Sea salt flakes and lots of black pepper
1 red chilli

FOR THE CASHEW SOUR CREAM

120g cashew nuts (soaked for 4 hours)
2 Tbsp water
Juice of 1½ lemons
Salt and pepper
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
8g chives, finely chopped
3 spring onions, finely chopped

METHOD
1. Preheat the oven to 210C (fan 190C).

2. Line a baking tray with a sheet of baking paper. Prick the skin of the potatoes with a fork, then rub them with the olive oil and sprinkle them with a generous amount of sea salt flakes.

3. Place them on the prepared tray and bake for 1 hour, until crisp on the outside and tender on the inside.

4. Let them cool for 10–15 minutes, until they’re still warm but not boiling. Then, cut a cross in the top of each and squeeze up from the base to open the cut a little (use a tea towel to protect your hands from burning).

5. To make the cashew sour cream: Soak the cashews for 4 hours, then drain and place into a blender. Add 2 Tbsp of water, the lemon juice, salt, pepper and vinegar and blend for a few minutes until creamy. Add 5g of the chives and the spring onions and blend for a few seconds.

6. Chop the remaining chives and the red chilli (discard the seeds).

7. Add 1 tsp of the cashew sour cream to each potato, pushing it into the opening. Grind lots of black pepper over the top and sprinkle with salt, chives and chilli. Serve straight away.

 

Aubergine and tomato pesto rolls with coconut tzatziki. Picture / Claire Winfield

AUBERGINE AND TOMATO PESTO ROLLS WITH COCONUT TZATZIKI
Makes 15 bite-sized rolls

So great on their own, but when these rolls are dunked into the creamy mint and cucumber yogurt dip here, they become something truly special. The contrast of the hot rolls against the smooth cool dip is really amazing. These are definitely among the recipes I recommend you try first from this book; it’s one of the best!  

FOR THE AUBERGINES
2 large aubergines
2 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper

FOR THE PESTO
40g pine nuts
280g jar of sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained (170g drained weight)
Small handful of fresh basil
1 small garlic clove
Juice of ½ lemon

FOR THE DIP
½ cucumber
Leaves from a few sprigs of fresh mint
250g coconut yoghurt
Juice of 1 lemon

1. Preheat the oven to 220C (fan 200C).

2. Slice the aubergines thinly lengthways (use a sharp knife).

3. Drizzle a couple of large baking trays with the olive oil and a sprinkling of salt, lay the aubergine slices evenly across them and place in the oven. Cook for about 20 minutes, until soft and tender enough to roll.

4. For the pesto: Simply place all the ingredients in a food processor and blitz until they form a chunky paste.

5. Let the aubergine slices cool for a few minutes, then cut each in half widthways. Put 1 heaped teaspoon of pesto at the top of each, then roll them up. (You can use cocktail sticks to keep them together if you want.)

6. To make the dipping sauce: Deseed the cucumber by halving it lengthways and running a teaspoon along the centre. Cut it into little cubes (about 5mm), Finely chop the mint. Place the mint and cucumber in a bowl with the yogurt and lemon juice, season to taste and stir. Serve with the aubergine rolls. 

• Recipes extracted from Deliciously Ella with Friends by Ella Mills, $34.99, Hachette NZ. Photography / Clare Winfield

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