International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day

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California prunes are celebrating International Women’s Day this Sunday by honouring those ladies who use their skills to create veritable culinary masterpieces for us in their work as high-profile chefs. Hats off to you, ladies, who have broken through as distinguished chefs in a traditionally male-dominated profession. Meet our heroines…

Rosemary Shrager

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Rosemary Shrager’s passion for food started at the tender age of six, and she has been creating delicious dishes ever since.

Her style is to charm and cajole her students as she teaches, demonstrates and enthuses about cookery. Rosemary opened her own eponymous cookery school in Royal Tunbridge Wells in 2013, where she teaches others how to cook and passes on her skill and enthusiasm for the world of food.

She has been teaching the nation how to cook through her numerous and regular TV appearances and Rosemary’s sixth book was published in 2013 entitled Bakes, Cakes & Puddings.

Julita Strzalkowska

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Julita is a successful Polish food blogger and chef. Having founded a sizzling food community WrzacaKuchnia.pl, she threw herself into her passion for new tastes’ discoveries and creation of an impactful food content, including recipes creation, food photography and video, social contests and workshops.

Marieta Marecka

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Marieta Marecka is the acclaimed host of Polish cooking show “ABC GOTOWANIA” on the Kitchen+ channel in Poland. She is a great fan of cooking books and publications. She is in love with cooking, kitchen appliances, recipes, tastes and scents.

These ladies have all produced exclusive recipes for California prunes, which we are proud to share with you below. Enjoy these delicious recipes and rejoice in the amazing talents of women everywhere.

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Pan-fried Duck Breast with California Prunes & Fresh Thyme Served with a California Prune, Apple and Celery Purée

By Julita Strzalkowska

Serves: 4

Preparation time: 90 min

Ingredients:

Duck:

  • 2 duck breasts
  • 12 California prunes
  • 4 cloves of garlic with covering
  • 8 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • Salt (to your taste)

Puree:

  • 100g California prunes
  • 600g apples
  • 150g celery
  • 1 tablespoon oil

Method:

1. Peel the celery and apple, then cut them into pieces. Place the celery in a large ovenproof dish, add a little oil, mix it up and place in the oven preheated to 180°C.

2. After 15 – 20 minutes, when the celery is soft, add the apples and California prunes and bake for another 15 – 20 minutes. Remove from the oven to cool for a moment and then blend all the ingredients to a smooth mixture until it is a puree.

3. Wash and dry the duck breasts, score the skin (fat side) in a crosshatch pattern and rub in the salt. On a high heat, put the duck breasts in a pan along with the fresh thyme, California prunes and lightly crushed garlic. Put the duck breast in the pan skin side down and let it sear until the fat is completely melted.

4. Next, flip the breast skin side up and fry for 8 to 12 minutes (depending on the thickness of the fat). If this is the first time you have fried duck breast, then a good way to check how done the meat is is to slice off a bit of the breast and check.

5. Remove the duck breast from the pan, wrap in aluminium foil and let it rest for approx. 3 minutes. Then cut the duck breast into slices and serve with the fresh thyme, California prunes and lightly crushed garlic from the pan, along with the previously prepared puree. Enjoy your meal!

 

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Chicken Leg Roulade with California Prunes, Ginger and Lingonberry Sauce

By Marieta Marecka

Serves 4

Preparation time: 25 min

Cooking time: 50 min

Ingredients:

  • 250g California Prunes
  • 500g meat from chicken legs
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 egg 1
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh lemon balm
  • 1 heaped tablespoon of freshly grated ginger
  • Salt
  • Lemon pepper
  • Black sesame to decorate

Cowberry dip:

  • 50g fresh lingonberry
  • ¼ large, sweet apple
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 allspice
  • 1 heaping tsp of butter
  • 1 heaping tsp of honey
  • ¼ glass of water

Method:

1. Cut the California prunes into small pieces and put into a bowl.

2. Add finely chopped lemon balm, grated ginger and a small amount of boiling water, so that the California prunes get softer and the mixture gets sticky. Allow to cool for 15 minutes.

3. Remove the fat from the chicken legs and cut it into small pieces, then whiz up in a food processor. Add salt, lemon pepper and the zest of 1 lemon. At the end add the egg and combine with the meat until thoroughly mixed.

4. Lightly moisten the aluminium foil with a few drops of water and place the meat on it. Smear the meat mixture evenly into a rectangle to a thickness of approx. 1 cm, and then spread the California prune mixture on top, maintaining a margin of distance from the meat edge of approx. 1.5 cm.

5. Roll the rectangular mixture up into a sausage-shaped roll and twist the aluminium foil ends together like a sweet wrapper.

6. Pre-heat the oven to 160°C for approx.40 minutes. After this time, open the roll from the top, sprinkle with sesame seeds and finish baking for approx. 10 minutes, leaving the roll uncovered so that it gets a little bit brown but not dry.

7. In the meantime prepare the lingonberry sauce. Peel the apple and chop it finely. Heat the butter in a saucepan and add the apple, frying gently. Crush the cloves and allspice in a mortar and add these to the apples together with the honey.

8. Cook, stirring constantly until the mixture is soft. Still stirring constantly, add the cowberry and mash some of the berries up with a spoon. Add ¼ of a glass of water and cook for approx. 5 minutes.

9. Serve the roulade hot, cut into slices and drizzled with the lingonberry dip.

 

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California Prune and Wheaten Bread

By Rosemary Shrager

Ingredients:

  • 16 California Prunes
  • 360g wholemeal, stoneground, medium or coarse flour
  • 120g plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 heaped teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tablespoon bran
  • 1 tablespoon wheat or oat germ
  • 60g sugar
  • 60g butter
  • 329ml – 448ml butter milk

Oven 220°C

Method:

1. Place the wholemeal flour in a mixing bowl. Sieve in the plain flour, salt and baking soda.

2. Stir in the California Prunes, bran, germ and sugar and mix thoroughly. Now cut the butter into small pieces and rub into the mixture.

3. Make a well in the centre and pour in the butter milk. Mix together very quickly and gently to form a loose dough (a consistency rather like thick porridge).

4. Lightly grease two loaf tins (480g)

5. Now divide the dough evenly, leaving the surface rough, sprinkle with wholemeal flour or bran to give a malty surface.

6. Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes on 220°C and then lower the heat to 200°C for a further 30-35 minutes.

7. The bread should be firm to touch, brown and well risen. Insert a skewer into the centre of the bread and if it comes out clean it is cooked.