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    Sunday, November 19, 2017

    Cauliflower Soup With a Twist

    I often use cheese in my Cauliflower Soup 
    I digressed today... there were some tomatoes needing attention in the fruit bowl  

    So I sautéed them in yummy butter 
    Into the blender with the cooked cauliflower

    So so simple and so so tasty

    For 2 good servings

    2 tablespoons butter
    1 medium onion rough chopped
    1 stick celery sliced 
    1/2 cauliflower broken into florets
    1 large tablespoon of Chicken stock powder
    Freshly ground black pepper

    1/2 dozen cherry tomatoes 
    2 tablespoons butter

    In a saucepan add 2 tablespoons butter
    Sauté chopped onion till soft
    Add celery, stir and cook for about 2-3 minutes
    Add cauliflower florets
    Add chicken stock powder 
    Let cook gently about 2-3 minutes
    Add enough water to cover the vegetables

    Bring to boil and simmer till cauliflower is tender, about 15 minutes 

    Meanwhile in another pan
    Melt remaining butter add tomatoes 
    Gently sauté till they start to break up

    Add to cooked cauliflower and onion mix

    Into blender
    Whiz till smooth

    Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 

    Wednesday, September 06, 2017

    Best Ever Orange Dessert x Two

    It's always nice to have a different fresh dessert
    Ray McVinnie posted this recipe....If it's good enough for Ray! etc

    It went down a real treat
    The icing on the cake is ab acidulated Orange Blossom Cream
    That is such a wonderful asset, I reckon i would make it a regular occurrence
    The following week, I was looking for a Sugar and Gluten Free Dessert
    This is similar
    It was in Bon Appetif
    And I think it is even better, it has a yummy crumble topping

    Take your pick
    Both work

    The Gorgeous Freeze Dried Raspberries are not available everywhere
    In Auckland... Farro Fresh , don't know about elsewhere
    They are not compulsory

     Ray's Orange Dessert
    Ensalada de Naranjas- Orange Salad
    Orange and Dates with Orange Blossom "Acidulated" Cream                       
    300ml cream
    Juice of 1 lemon
    1 tablespoon orange flower water
    5-6 New Zealand oranges, peeled with a sharp knife so there is no pith, sliced 1cm thick horizontally
    4 tablespoons caster sugar
    8 fresh dates, stoned and quartered
    ½ cup fresh or freeze dried berries (optional)

    Put the cream into a small bowl and
    Add the orange flower water and the lemon juice.
    Do not stir, just set aside for 20 minutes, then stir slowly and the cream will thicken.
    Cover and place in the fridge.
    This is the acidulated cream, and it is just perfect with the oranges
    Place the orange slices on a shallow serving platter and
    sprinkle the sugar evenly over them.
    Sprinkle the date quarters evenly on top.
    Place in the fridge, covered, to chill.
    When it is time to serve, spoon the acidulated cream over the oranges and dates and sprinkle the berries, if using, over everything.

    Now the next Version
    Marinated Oranges With Nutty Crumble
    I have stolen ideas from the  first
    i.e The Dates and The Freeze Dried Raspberries
    ¼ cup coconut sugar
    2 teaspoons virgin coconut oil, melted
    ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
    ¼ cup raw pistachios
    ¼ cup sliced almonds
     2 tablespoons raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
     ½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
     1 orange person and one xtra
    Fresh Dates quatered and stoned 
    Freeze Dried Raspberries

    Preheat oven to 140C
    Whisk coconut sugar and 1 Tbsp. water in a small bowl until sugar is dissolved
    (this might take a couple minutes).
    Set aside 1 Tbsp. coconut syrup.

    Add coconut oil and salt to remaining syrup and stir to combine.
    Toss pistachios, almonds, pepitas, and coconut oil mixture on a parchment- or silpat-lined rimmed baking sheet.
    Fold in coconut flakes.
    Bake crumble, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 22–28 minutes.
    Let cool.
    Remove peel and pith from citrus and slice into rounds.
    Drizzle with reserved 1 Tbsp. coconut syrup
    Cover with Dates and Crumble
    and sprinkle Raspberry Powder over the Top

    Serve drizzled with the Orange Blossom Cream

    Thursday, August 31, 2017

    Creamy Corn with Pasta - You Want Heathly and Tasty - Youve got it

    Always looking for Delicious Food for the Kids
    Browsing through my emails I found this recipe in The NY Times Cooking
    Kids love Corn
    They love Pasta
    What could be better...but Creamy Corn Pasta?

    Lots of fresh herbs for that extra boost of flavour
    As Corn is not fresh here at this time of the year, I used Frozen Corn Kernels
    It worked perfectly
    Make the Corn Puree earlier in the day and just reheat when you are ready to go

    2 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for drizzling  
    1 bunch scallions (about 8), trimmed and thinly sliced (keep the whites and greens separate)
    2 Cups Corn Kernels either Frozen, or Fresh shucked off Cobs 
    Sea salt
    ½ teaspoon ground black pepper, more for serving
     3 tablespoons unsalted butter
     ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, more to taste
     ⅓ cup torn basil or mint, more for garnish
     ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
     Fresh lemon juice, as needed
    700gms dry orecchiette or farfalle
    Reserved Pasta Water 
    Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil.
    Cook pasta until 1 minute shy of al dente, according to the package directions.
    Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water.

    Heat oil in large sauté pan over medium heat;
    Add scallion whites and a pinch of salt and cook until soft, 3 minutes.
    Add 1/4 cup water and all but 1/4 cup corn;
    Simmer until corn is heated through and almost tender, 3 to 5 minutes.
    Add 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, transfer to a blender, and purée mixture
    until smooth, adding a little extra water if needed to get a thick but pourable texture.

    Heat the same skillet over high heat.
    Add butter and let melt.
    Add reserved 1/4 cup corn and cook until tender, 1 to 2 minutes.
    (It’s O.K. if the butter browns; that deepens the flavor.)
    Add the corn purée and cook for 30 seconds to heat and combine the flavors.
    Reduce heat to medium.
    Add pasta and half the reserved pasta cooking water, tossing to coat.
    Cook for 1 minute, then add a little more of the pasta cooking water
    if the mixture seems too thick.
    Stir in 1/4 cup of the scallion greens, the Parmesan, the herbs, the red pepper flakes,
    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. 
    Sprinkle with fresh lemon juice to taste. 

    Transfer to serving bowl and garnish with more scallions,
    herbs, a drizzle of olive oil and black pepper.

    Monday, August 28, 2017

    Shepherd's Pie - Thank You Jamie - Cheap and Cheerful Comfort Food

    When I was young, My Mother made Shepherds Pie, using the leftover lamb roast from the weekend.
    She minced the lamb with an onion and also used leftover gravy to moisten it
    Yummy Mashed potatoes on top

    I don't even think that you could  buy raw lamb mince at the butcher, or if it was even considered using Lamb mince
    Beef was mince and that was that,
    Of course now, who needs a mincer, you can buy any kind of mince

    This version...Thanks to Jamie Oliver is full of vege
    There's a layer of peas under those tasty mashed peas
    Hidden treasures

    It is delicious

    500 g lean minced lamb x2
    2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
    1 x 400 g tin of cannellini beans
    2 large onions
    2 carrots   3
    2 sticks of celery
    250 g chestnut mushrooms
    1 heaped tablespoon plain flour
    800 ml organic chicken or veg stock   

    800 g swede
    800 g potatoes
    2 tablespoons semi-skimmed milk
    15 g mature Cheddar cheese
    1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
    1 teaspoon mint sauce
    350 g frozen peas

    Put the mince into a cold casserole pan.
    Place on a high heat, add a really good pinch of black pepper and cook for 15 minutes, or until dark golden, breaking it up with a wooden spoon.
    Pick and finely chop the rosemary leaves, drain the beans, then stir both into the pan.

    Cook and stir for 8 minutes, or until the beans start to pop and it’s all getting dark and gnarly.
    Peel the onions and carrots, trim the celery, wipe the mushrooms clean, then finely chop it all (or blitz in a food processor).
    Stir into the pan and sweat for 10 minutes on medium-high, stirring occasionally.
     Stir in the flour, followed by the stock. Bring to the boil, then simmer on a low heat with the lid on for 30 minutes.
    Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180ºC.
    Wash and peel the swede and potatoes and cut into 3cm chunks.
    Cook just the swede in a large pan of boiling salted water for 10 minutes,
    Add the potatoes for 10 more minutes, or until cooked through,
    drain well, mash with the milk and grated cheese, and season to perfection.
    Check the consistency of the mince – you want it slightly wetter than you think, as it will thicken further in the oven.
    Add the Worcestershire and Mint sauces, taste, and season to perfection.
    Place in an oven proof casserole dish
    Sprinkle the peas over the mince, letting them sit on the surface to help prevent the mash from sinking in too much.
    Put spoons of mash randomly on top, using a fork to scuff it up and make valleys and mountains, increasing the surface area, and the crispy bits.
    Bake for 50 minutes, or until golden and bubbling.
    You can cook some extra greens if you feel like it
    But it is just perfect as it is, in my book

    Tuesday, July 18, 2017

    Comfort Food - Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes

    This is a particularly good meatloaf recipe
    The actual recipe called for Ground Beef and Ground Pork
    As I have a member of my family who doesn't like pork
    No allergy… just not keen, so I bought some very good Italian Pork Style Sausage
    instead, hoped he wouldn't notice
    No complaints from, the non-porker, so my plan worked!
    Once again The Epicurious Website supplied this idea


            1 cup fine fresh breadcrumbs
            1/3 cup whole milk
            1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
            1 celery stalk, coarsely chopped
            4 garlic cloves
            2 tablespoons neutral vegetable oil, I use Ricebran oil
            2 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
            1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, divided
            3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
            600 gms ground beef chuck,
            6 Italian Style Sausages, skin removed
            2 large eggs
            1/2 cup ketchup, divided, plus more for serving


    Preheat oven to 175C
    Line a rimmed baking sheet or 13x9" shallow baking dish with foil.

    Soak breadcrumbs in milk in a large bowl until ready to use.
    Pulse onion, celery, and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped.
    (Alternatively, you can finely chop by hand.)
    Heat oil in a large skillet over medium.
    Add onion mixture, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper.
    Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5-7 minutes.
    Remove from heat, stir in Worcestershire, and scrape into bowl with breadcrumb mixture.
    Add beef, sausages, eggs, 1/4 cup ketchup, and remaining 1 1/4 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. pepper,
    then mix with your hands to combine.
    Form meatloaf mixture into a long, well-packed, approximately 5"-wide loaf shape on prepared baking sheet.
    Brush top of loaf with 1/4 cup ketchup.
    Bake meatloaf about 30 - 40 minutes, Slide a skewer into the middle of the meatloaf
    lift out the skewer place it on your lip
    if it's hot
    It's done
    Let rest 15 minutes before slicing.
    To accompany this yummy Meatloaf
    Chef Bobby Flay's Mashed Potato
    Mashed potato using Creme Fraiche and a Lemon Vinaigrette with Fresh Herbs
    Bobby's recipe called for fresh Oregano, I used that but the kids and I thought it was perhaps a little strong, so I have changed the herb to Mint for this version
    Much better

        2 tablespoons Meyer lemon juice
        1 ½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
        ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
        Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
        1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf Parsley leaves
        ½ teaspoon finely chopped fresh Mint


        2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced
        Kosher salt
        ½ cup crème fraiche
        Finely grated zest of 1 Meyer lemon
        2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
        2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh oregano
        2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh chives
        Ground black pepper

    The Creme Fraiche mix on the left, The Vinaigrette on the right
    For the Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette:
    In a medium bowl, whisk together lemon juice and mustard until combined.
    Slowly add olive oil, whisking until emulsified.
    Season to taste with salt and pepper.
    Stir in parsley and mint 
    Set aside.
    For the Potatoes:
    Put potatoes in a medium saucepan, cover with cold water by 2 inches and add 1 tablespoon salt.
    Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to simmer, cover and cook until fork-tender,
    about 20 minutes.
    Drain well, return potatoes to the pan and put back over low heat, stirring a few times, to dry well.
    Add crème fraîche, lemon zest, parsley, mint and chives.
    Season to taste with salt and pepper.
    Gently crush with a potato masher until combined.

    If desired, potatoes may be covered and kept in a warm oven for up to 30 minutes.
    To serve, transfer to a bowl and drizzle with Meyer lemon vinaigrette while still hot.

    And for the Greens
    Broccoli, The Kid's Favourite
    So so simple, to cook Broccoli this way
    You need
    Olive oil
    2 cloves garlic peeled and smashed
    Zest of a lemon 
    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

    You really just want to blanch the Broccoli
    Break the Broccoli in manageable florets,
    Bring a pot of salted water to the boil
    Add the Broccoli
    Bring back to the boil
    cook for about 3 minutes
    Drain and run under cold water to stop the cooking process

    Set aside
    Just before serving

    In a pan add 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
    Add Garlic and lemon zest, sea salt and black pepper
    Toss around, don't brown the garlic, it will get bitter
    Add the Broccoli
    Toss well and make sure it is heated through

    A Perfect Dinner for Kids and Non Kids

    Tuesday, July 11, 2017

    Garlicky Chicken With Lemon-Anchovy Sauce and Spinach

    Who doesn't like Roasted Juicy Lemony Garlic Chicken
    The anchovies add that extra "je ne sais quoi"
    So please add them, even if you are not keen on anchovies
    Just think of extra seasoning
    I found this on the NY Times Cooking Page, recipe attributed to Melissa Clarke
    It's more or less true to the recipe
    BUT, I added some spinach for colour and goodness
    Also the recipe called for Boneless, Skinless Thighs
    Noooo we want the bone and the skin for that extra flavour
    Plus, if you are not calorie counting, there is the gorgeous skin to eat
    AND the bones to suck, the best bit I reckon
    Ingredients for 4 people

        4 large chicken thighs, Skin on, Bone in
        1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
        Freshly ground black pepper
        6 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
        ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
        5 anchovy fillets
        2 tablespoons drained capers, patted dry
        1 large pinch chile flakes
        1 lemon, halved
        Fresh chopped parsley, for serving

    1 bag spinach, broken up

    Heat oven to 175C
    Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper
    and let rest while you prepare the anchovy-garlic oil. 
     Mince one of the garlic cloves and set it aside for later.

    In a large, ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat, add the oil.
    When the oil is hot, add the 5 smashed whole garlic cloves,
    the anchovies, capers and chili.
    Let cook, stirring with a wooden spoon to break up the anchovies,
    until the garlic browns around the edges and the anchovies dissolve,
    3 to 5 minutes.
    Add the chicken thighs skin down and cook until nicely browned on one side, 5 to 7 minutes. 
    Flip the thighs, place the pan in the oven and cook another 5 to 10 minutes,
    until the chicken is cooked through.
    When chicken is done, transfer thighs to a plate (be careful, as the pan handle will be hot).
    Place skillet back on the heat and add remaining minced garlic and the juice of one lemon half.

    Cook for about 30 seconds, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan.
    Return chicken to the pan and cook it in the sauce for another 15 to 30 seconds.
    Transfer the chicken to a warm serving plate
    Add spinach to the pan
    Cook for 2-3 minutes, till spinach wilts

    Squeeze the remaining lemon half into the pan and
    pour everything over the chicken
    Goes well with Potato Bake