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    Tuesday, November 14, 2006

    Dinner for Stu

    Our friend Stu was arriving to stay and we had a family dinner…Of course this is always a good opportunity to try out more dishes for the blog.
    Emily at work told me about some cauliflower fritters she had had for dinner the previous night. This got me thinking. I was planning to make the Cauliflower Soup in the previous post for the first course…maybe we could turn this into cakes...
    Got wondering which herb to use and decided to try sage.
    It worked well.
    So here we go

    For 8 people
    1 ½ cauliflowers broken into florets
    1 onion chopped
    1 litre chicken stock

    1 cup parmesan cheese
    1 cup ground almonds
    2 -3 eggs
    8 sage leaves finely chopped
    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
    Flour (optional)
    Rice Bran oil

    ½ cup best mayonnaise
    1 chili chopped
    Juice of 1 lime

    Cook the cauliflower and onion till soft
    Drain well (save the stock it will make great soup.
    Blend with a stick blender don’t make it too smooth
    Add almonds and parmesan
    Whip the eggs and add with sage leaves to mixture
    Add 2 eggs first you probably will need 3 but test the water first.
    Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper
    Put into fridge about an hour
    Form into patties this quantity made 20.
    Fry in oil till golden

    Serve with the Lime Chili Mayo
    Just mix all ingredients together chill for about an hour to meld the flavours

    Sicilian Styled Fish with Squashed Basil Potatoes
    Jamie Oliver has been cooking some great food…I really want to cook almost everything
    So I do apologise if you get sick of seeing his name. I also apologise for the photo my camera was running out of batteries and that was the last shot before it failed…

    Sicilian Fish

    200 gms white fish per person e.g. Hapuka, Swordfish
    Several stalks rosemary
    4 lemons thinly sliced
    1 jar capers
    8 tablespoons Olive oil
    1 jar anchovies
    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

    Cut fish into chunks about 4 cms and place in a bowl
    Put rosemary leaves capers and oil into mortar
    Scrunch up with the pestle and add to the fish
    Massage fish well
    You can do this in advance and keep in fridge till ready

    Heat oven to 220C
    Into your roasting pan lay out the fish
    Season with S & P
    Cover with lemons and anchovies
    Pour over any remaining marinade
    Cook for 20 minutes

    The Potatoes
    Jersey Bennes
    Handful of basil
    Freshly ground black pepper
    Good olive oil
    I used the Italian Colonna Orange infused oil…this is like liquid gold a sensational oil

    Cook the potatoes till fork tender
    Add basil and as much oil as you feel fit
    Squash up with a fork
    This is divine!

    Serve with a crisp green salad.

    Now dessert

    Wicked Crème Caramel with a twist of Lime

    This quite rich but delicious
    To feed 8

    The Caramel
    1 cup sugar
    6 tablespoons water

    Bring to boil and simmer till it turns golden about 15 minutes
    Keep an eye on can turn from golden to burnt in seconds.

    Meanwhile prepare The Custard

    2 cans condensed milk
    Equal amounts of whole milk
    Zest 3 limes in strips
    1 vanilla bean split scrape seeds out
    6 eggs

    Scald milks with lime and vanilla seeds and pod
    And strain

    Beat eggs in a bowl
    Temper eggs with a little hot milk
    This is to reduce the chance of scrambling the eggs.
    When mixed add rest of milk

    To compile the dessert
    Light butter ramekins
    Pour a little caramel into the bottom of each ramekin
    Be careful it is very hot.

    Then share the custard between the ramekins

    Bake at 150C in a bain marie for 25- 30 minutes
    It should still tremble a little in the middle

    Cool and then chill for at least 3 hours.

    To serve either put a dob of whipped cream on top
    A little lime zest for garnish

    Or you can turn them out

    This is a really rich dessert and the only thing to go with it is
    Another Jamie idea

    Thin Sliced Pineapple with Mint Sugar. Yum!!!

    12 mint leaves
    ½ cup sugar

    Bash in mortar and pestle till all mixed together

    Peel pineapple
    Cut into quarters
    Remove stringy old core
    Thinly cut long slices
    Arrange on a plate and sprinkle with minted sugar

    How about that!
    What an easy dessert.

    Cauliflower Soup

    Inspired by Anthony Worrall Thompson
    This soup has ground almonds as a thickening agent and it is really tasty

    Butter 2 tablespoons
    1 onion chopped
    1 cauliflower broken into florets
    Chicken stock
    70 gms ground almonds
    Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

    Parsley finely chopped
    Toasted sliced almonds

    Melt butter in stock pot sauté onions till soft
    Add cauliflower mix around
    Cover with stock
    Bring to boil and simmer until cauliflower is fork tender
    Add almonds cook for about 5 minutes
    Season with nutmeg freshly ground black pepper
    Check for salt add if necessary

    Serve garnished with a swirl of cream
    Parsley and sliced almonds

    N.b. you can buy a wonderful product called Almond Accents.
    These have been seasoned and already sliced and toasted for you.
    Excellent for garnish actually they make nice little nibbles to have with drinks.
    I used the Italian Parmesan version

    Saturday, November 11, 2006

    Jellies for the Big Kids and for the Little Kids

    Emma and Bron of nihowera held a Mid Winter Christmas event.
    Couldn't think of anything nicer to add to the dessert trolly but these lovely jellies. Our little kids love them too.
    Have a look at their site.

    An Idea from Jamie Oliver
    It is summer berries locked in a beautiful jelly.
    Fresh are preferable but the frozen berries are fine
    Booze for the juice for the kids.

    For the Kids Jelly
    150 mls freshly squeezed Tangelo Juice
    1 tablespoons sugar
    3 teaspoons powdered gelatin or 4 leaves
    Apple juice
    Packet frozen mixed berries
    Or punnets of summer berries

    Warm the tangelo juice
    Add the gelatin and sugar
    Stir till dissolved
    Strain into measuring jug.
    You up to 500 mls with apple juice

    Fill the glasses with berries
    And pour jelly liquid over to the top.
    Into fridge till set.
    Bring back to room temperature to serve

    Top with fresh cream maybe a little shaved chocolate on top.

    Now for the Adults
    Follow the method above
    Replace the apple juice with your favourite Sparkling Wine.

    Isn’t this pretty

    An Indian Savoury Pudding

    I don’t cook a lot of Indian Food the restaurants do it so well. But I do love it and I was inspired to make this Pilaf/Biriani Layered Pudding by watching the mad Indian Chef Reza Mohammad.
    There are 4 steps for the 4 layers but for multi-taskers…No probs.
    He suggested that you soak your rice for 2 hours and then rinse it well.
    He said it lengthens the grain!!! I don’t know about that but it did cook more quickly than normal

    Step 1:
    Soak wash and cook 2 cups basmati rice in plenty of boiling water till rice just cooked.
    Mine took about 7 minutes
    Don’t over cook as it will become gluggy.
    Step 2:
    Fried onions

    2 tablespoons Vege oil (I like rice bran)
    3 large onions sliced
    1 cinnamon stick
    6 cardamom pods
    2 tablespoons garlic chopped
    2 tablespoons grated ginger
    1 teaspoon ground cumin
    2 tablespoons garam masala

    Gently fry onions in oil with cinnamon & cardamom about 20 minutes till brown
    Add garlic ginger cumin and garam masala stir around 2-3 minutes
    Put to one side.

    Step 3:
    ½ cup Puy lentils
    Cook lentils in unsalted water for about 20 minutes till lentils just cooked.

    Step 4:

    500 gms lamb mince
    2 tomatoes chopped
    2 chilies chopped
    2 tablespoons ginger grated
    2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
    1 cup chicken stock
    2 tablespoons yoghurtR>3 tablespoons chopped mint
    3 tablespoons chopped coriander

    Pinch saffron in ¼ cup warm water

    Into a hot pan throw in the lamb…no fat there is plenty of fat in the lamb
    Don’t overcrowd the pan, do it in 2 lots if it doesn’t fit.
    Brown the lamb...I also drained the excess fat off and then put the lamb to one side.
    In the oil remaining in the pan
    Add the tomatoes chilies, ginger and garlic stir around then return lamb to pan.
    Add enough stock and simmer 15-20 minutes
    Add yoghurt, and chopped herbs
    You are now ready to layer

    Grease a pudding basin very well with butter.

    Now here we go
    A little rice on the bottom
    Scatter some Puy lentils
    Sprinkle saffron water over just a little
    Little bit more rice then a good layer meat mixture
    Fried onions,
    Good layer of rice, Puy lentils, little rice saffron water, onions, meat etc
    Finish with rice.
    Sprinkle with the remainder if the saffron water.
    Dot with butter.
    Cover with foil
    Cook 170C for 50 minutes.
    Hold your breath and turn out

    Voila a wonderful savoury rice pudding
    It was delicious we ate far too much.
    Long walk next day