Yummy and Simple Recipes For Special Occasions

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Rice and onion moulds

This is really more of a serving suggestion than a recipe. Packing hot rice into buttered moulds makes an attractive presentation for special occasions. I use buttered ramekins or individual pudding moulds, but old-fashioned tea cups would work just as well.

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Serves 4

  • 1 cup (250 ml) quick-cooking long grain rice
  • 550 ml (19 fl oz) vegetable or chicken stock
  • 6 to 8 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 1-2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and black pepper

  1. Bring the rice to the boil in the vegetable or chicken stock. Stir once, cover, then simmer gently for 12 to 15 minutes, until all the water has been absorbed.
  2. Generously butter 4 to 8 ramekins or moulds. Stir the onions into the rice with the chopped parsley and season well. Pack the mixture into the prepared moulds and press down firmly.
  3. Unmould carefully on to warmed serving plates and use immediately.

Sweet onion pie

Sweet onions usually have a white skin and a distinctive, nutty flavor. This pie can be served as either a vegetable main dish or as an accompaniment to roast meat, or even fish. The runny filling also makes great gravy! I prefer a top-only crust, but make a double-crust pie if you prefer by doubling the pastry ingredients.

Preparation time: 40 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serves 6

  • 3 large sweet onions, such as Vidalia, thinly sliced
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tsp grated fresh nutmeg
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 140 g (5 oz) plain flour
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 85 g (3 oz) salted butter
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 250 ml (9 fl oz) milk
  • 150 ml (5 fl oz) soured cream
  • 3 Tbsp snipped fresh chives

  1. Cook the sweet onions in the butter with the nutmeg over a medium heat for about 15 minutes, until lightly golden. Season well then allow to cool slightly.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6. Mix the flour and paprika in a bowl and rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add sufficient cold water to mix to a firm pastry dough, then turn out on to a floured surface.
  3. Beat the eggs into the milk, soured cream and chives, then mix into the onions and turn into a suitable buttered pie dish. Roll out the pastry and use to cow- the pie, using any trimmings to make decorative leaves. Make a slit in the pastry lid to allow the steam to escape, then brush with a little milk.
  4. Place the pie dish on a baking sheet – in case the filling bubbles over and bake in the hot oven, immediately lowering the temperature to 190°C/375°F/Gas Mark 5, for 30 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown. Serve hot.

Interested to learn more vegetable recipes? Check out Delicious Potato Gratin.