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    Tuesday, August 29, 2006

    Lemon Curd Pie To Die For!!!

    The thing I love about Ina Garten is her total disregard for using everything
    that“The Food Police” tell you that you shouldn’t be eating and loving it.
    This beautifully rich Lemon Curd Pie I watched her make is a taste give it a go.
    I received some beautiful lemons and had to use them.
    Late winter in NZ…pretty yes?

    To make the shortbread crust

    Heat oven to 175C /350F

    ½ cup sugar
    250 gms butter
    2 cups flour
    ½ tsp salt

    In your food processor blend the butter and sugar just to mix. Not too much
    Sift the flour and salt and add to the processor and pulse till it forms a ball
    Remove and press into a 9” x12” pan with your fingers and chill for at least 30 mins

    Bake for about 15 mins.

    Meanwhile put together the lemon curd

    6 eggs
    3 cups sugar
    2 tbs lemon zest
    1 cup lemon juice
    1 cup flour sifted.

    Whisk together eggs and sugar till combined
    Add lemon zest
    Add lemon juice stir and
    Fold in flour.

    Pour over pastry and bake 30- 35 minutes till set.

    Cool in tin on a rack.
    The curd is still beautifully gooey I put it in the fridge when cooled
    just to chill it down before slicing.
    Cut into squares as big as you dare!!!

    I think it may need a little whipped cream to cut down the richness!!!
    But that's up to you.

    It is very rich but so yummy.
    Dust with icing sugar and feed your soul.

    Sunday, August 27, 2006

    Best Scones Ever

    First these were inspired by a Chef called Jo Seagar and I have adapted the flavours to make a savory and a sweet scone.
    These scones are so light and fluffy rise up well and generally judged fantastic by our staff.
    Makes 12

    Parmesan and Pesto Scones

    4 cups self-raising flour
    Pinch salt
    2 tbs grated Parmesan
    1 tbs prepared pesto
    300 ml cream
    300 ml soda water

    To make Scones
    Heat oven to 215C (fan bake)

    Sift flour and salt into bowl
    Add pesto and parmesan and rub in with finger tips.
    Add cream and soda water all at once
    This dough is fairly wet but don’t worry
    Flour your bench well
    Turn out the dough and gently knead into a square shape about 2 cms (1") thick
    Cut into shapes and cook about 18 minutes.
    They will be nice and golden brown.

    Serve with cream cheese and a slice of tomato.
    Or avocado and tomato seasoned with sea salt & freshly ground black pepper is pretty great.
    Citrus Scones with Marmalade

    4 cups self-raising flour
    Pinch salt
    Zest of 1 orange, 1 lemon and 1 lime
    1 tbs sugar
    300 ml cream
    300 ml soda water

    Sift flour and salt into bowl
    Add zest to sugar and mix well
    Into flour mix.
    Add cream and soda water all at once
    This dough is fairly wet but don’t worry
    Flour your bench well
    Turn out the dough and gently knead into a square shape about 2 cms (1") thick
    Cut into shapes and cook about 18 minutes.
    They will be nice and golden brown.
    Serve these with cream cheese or butter and a small spoonful of Marmalade
    Or as in this case Marmalade and Cream
    I actually had some whipped cream with some candied peel folded through
    Can't get much better than that

    Sunday, August 20, 2006

    Tuna with a Different Thai Curry Sauce

    This vegetarian Thai Curry is perfect for serving over Tuna Steaks.
    Add some sautéed Baby Bok Choy and steamed rice.
    What a fab light meal.
    It’s very simple took 4 pans but what’s the dishwasher for.
    I had a disappointment with the green curry paste that I had bought…no guts to it.
    So pick your paste well.

    The programme that inspired me was Manic Organic.

    For 4 people

    1 Tuna steak per person (approx 150 gms each)
    Sea Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    Vege oil

    1 tbs Vege Oil (I like Rice bran oil)
    2 punnets Cherry tomatoes
    2 shallots finely chopped
    2-3 tbs Green Curry Paste

    1 can coconut cream
    ½ can Chicken stock
    2 tbs Fish Sauce
    Juice 1 lime

    2 -3 Tbs Thai Basil finely sliced

    Baby Bok Choy

    Steamed rice

    Sauté the tomatoes and shallots in rice bran oil for a few minutes
    Add curry paste and mix well and cook for a couple of minutes

    Meanwhile in a pot
    Place coconut cream, stock, and fish sauce and bring to simmer.
    Simmer 5 minutes or so
    Add sautéed vege and bring back to boil and
    Add lime juice and just before serving
    Throw in Basil

    While this is cooking cook your rice.

    Brush the tuna with a little vege oil ,
    Season with salt & pepper,
    Sear in a hot pan in a little vege oil to your taste…about 2-3 minutes each side.

    Take the baby Bok Choy and pull the leaves off.
    Separate stems from leaves and finely slice the stems.
    Sauté in a little vege oil for a couple of minutes
    Throw in leaves and let them wilt.
    Season salt & pepper

    To assemble
    Serve rice
    Place Tuna on top
    Pour over curry sauce
    Top with wilted Bok Choy.


    But how to deal with the leftovers

    Cook them Biriani style
    Biriani is an Indian dish of rice layered with either meat chicken or vegetables.
    And each layer lightly covered with a some liquid or stock.
    It then is well sealed and basically steams in the oven.

    You usually only par cook the rice as it continues to cook in the oven but as this is using leftover cooked rice it seems to be just fine

    Into a casserole dish.
    Put a couple of tablespoons of the curry sauce in the bottom
    Layer with rice
    Break up tuna and spread over rice.
    Pour over more sauce and some Thai basil leaves.
    Cover with remainder of rice and finish off with the curry sauce.
    If it looks a little dry just sprinkle a little chicken stock not too much though

    Throw a few Thai basil leaves on top

    To get the Biriani feel make a circle (cartouche) of oiled parchment paper.
    Push down on top of rice this is to keep the steam in.
    Into 180 oven about 30 minutes

    Wednesday, August 16, 2006

    Lovely Lasagna with Butternut and Two Cheeses

    I saw something similar to this on Food TV but forgot to write it down.
    So this is my version. Really easy. It is so creamy and tasty.
    The fabulous thing about butternut is the gorgeous orange colour.
    The nutmeg and rosemary really highlight the sauces.
    These quantities feed 4 combined with a salad

    I think it is better made a few hours before it gives the pasta time to soften.

    1 whole butternut peeled and cut in 2 cm cubes
    Olive oil
    Nutmeg freshly grated
    Sea salt & black pepper

    Olive oil
    1 large onion chopped
    12 cherry tomatoes
    Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper.

    ½ pkt fresh lasagna

    Béchamel Sauce
    2 tablespoons butter
    2 tablespoons flour
    1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
    1 ½ cups milk
    Fresh rosemary 1 tbs chopped
    Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper.
    ½ cup grated parmesan

    100 gms feta

    Bring the butternut to the boil and simmer till tender.
    Mash with a little olive oil and season salt & pepper

    Meanwhile sauté the onion in olive oil until translucent
    Season and squash tomatoes with your fingers into the pan.
    Add to the onion
    Stir and cook for a couple of minutes
    Add to mashed buttercup

    Make Béchamel Sauce

    Heat milk in saucepan with seasoning. The microwave is great for this.
    Melt butter in another saucepan, add flour and Dijon mustard stir till mixed together and cook for 2 -3 minutes to cook out the floury taste.
    Add the hot milk whisking till it thickens…once again keep cooking and stirring for a couple of minutes.
    Take off heat and stir in Parmesan cheese

    To assemble

    Put a spoonful of béchamel on bottom on gratin dish
    Layer of pasta
    Buttercup mix
    Béchamel sauce
    Crumble feta cheese across layer
    Continue to layer
    Finishing with good cover of Béchamel.

    Into 180C oven 30 minutes.

    Sunday, August 13, 2006

    Rosemary Polenta Fit for Kings

    The wonderful Ina Garten from Food TV made this Polenta and as we had a family dinner planned this seemed appropriate to make this dish to accompany a marinated butter-flied Leg of Lamb.

    You can make this 3-4 days ahead it keeps well in the fridge.
    (Maybe you may have it more than once!!!)

    It was a huge hit so simple and I will make it again. Many times!!!

    I used instant polenta
    This amount fed 10 people,in fact the photo (taken on the trusty phone) was of the leftovers. We are talking about greedy people so plenty for 12.

    125 gms butter
    ¼ cup olive oil
    1 tbs chopped fresh rosemary
    2 cloves garlic peeled & crushed
    1 tsp chili flakes
    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

    3 cups chicken stock
    2 cups full fat milk
    2 cups polenta
    ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

    Flour or cornflour for dredging

    In a large saucepan add the butter and oil,
    When the butter is foaming
    Add rosemary, garlic and chili flakes

    Add chicken stock and milk
    Bring to the boil
    Take off the heat and slowly sprinkle the polenta on top whisking all the time.
    Back onto low heat and keep on whisking till the polenta looks like porridge.
    Add cheese and beat till dissolved

    Pour into a flat dish, (gratin or even a roasting dish).
    You don’t need to grease it.
    Into the fridge to chill

    When your meat has cooked and is resting
    Remove polenta from fridge turn out onto board and cut in squares
    then into triangles.

    Dredge with flour or cornflour and
    fry in oil till golden brown on each side.

    I promise you this is delicious.

    Saturday, August 12, 2006

    Divine Fish Tagine

    Always looking for new fish dishes and Anthony Worrall Thompson made this on Food TV recently.

    We had friends arriving to stay and this one-pot dish is so simple and really fantastic.
    I have made up the spice mix to our taste but you may like to vary the cayenne.
    I think it could have done with a teensy bit more for my iron clad taste buds but our guests were pleased with the heat.

    I made the spice mix in the morning and cooked the vege mix early as well.

    All that remained was to marinate and cook the seafood.
    How easy is that?

    For 4 people
    100 gms meaty fish per person cut into 3 cms chunks
    3-4 prawns per person shelled and de-veined.

    Make marinade

    ½ tablespoon each ground cumin,
    round paprika, turmeric. Pinch saffron, 1 tsp cayenne pepper.
    2 cloves garlic,
    2 tbs parsley,
    2 tablespoons coriander
    The skin (not flesh)of 1 preserved lemon,
    Juice of 1 lemon and
    Olive oil.,
    Sea salt to taste.

    Put everything into your food processor whiz and add enough olive oil to make a liquid marinade.
    This will keep for several days in the fridge.

    2 tbs Olive oil
    2 onions chopped
    1 green pepper roughly chopped
    1 yellow pepper roughly chopped
    1 red pepper roughly chopped
    3 baby potatoes each washed and cut in half
    2 cups chicken or fish stock
    1 tin tomatoes
    1 tbs marinade

    Handful each
    Chopped coriander
    Chopped parsley

    Olive oil into hot pan add onions gently sauté,
    Add peppers and potatoes keep cooking until potatoes start to stick to the bottom.
    Add stock to deglaze and get all the tasty bits off the bottom.
    Add tin of tomatoes and a tbs of the marinade
    Bring to boil and simmer till potatoes tender.

    You can put this aside till 30 minutes before you need to eat.

    Right it’s time to go.

    Take half of the marinade and stir fish in and coat well and leave for at least 30 minutes.
    Not much longer the lemon juice will cook the fish.
    Heat a pan and saute the fish for a few minutes over high heat to get some colour.

    Bring the vege back to a simmer and add fish.
    Quickly marinade prawns coat well and
    Saute them as well.
    Add to the tagine

    Cook for about another 2 minutes.

    Test for seasoning add salt if needed.

    Into a lovely serving dish, garnish with mixture coriander and parsley chopped.

    What a beauty