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    Tuesday, December 26, 2006

    Party Party Party

    It is 1 hour 35 minutes after Boxing Day and the aftermath of a party is a little sad sometimes but I really love it…I am usually alone playing my favourite music as loud as the neighbours will allow.
    One of the saddest things is my typing... Of course you won’t see this because I will spell check...
    Any way let’s not digress...

    Tonight we entertained some of our oldest and dearest friends…we have known each another!!! For over 30 years some over 40 years…
    Isn’t that great
    We had a lovely night…I was very pleased with the food some of which is already on the log but here is the menu….Oops my iPod has stopped I shall have to go and change the genre

    I’m back

    Right here we go
    Spinach Artichoke and bacon dip
    Spicy rosemary cashew nuts
    Lovely oil and dukka
    Hummus (Bought) drizzled with Colonna lemon infused oil and freshly ground black pepper
    Polenta fries with aioli

    The Ultimate Chin Dripping Burgers (rump steak freshly minced from the butcher )
    I was lucky enough to have our Chef friend Brent to man the BBQ so they were just right.

    Potatoes (new baby) smashed with Catherine’s mint jelly and olive oil (little sea salt)
    Pesto pea salad

    Salmon stuffed with Salsa verde and roasted on a bed on tomatoes and capers

    Jeannie’s (pictured arms akimbo) Famous Pavlova

    The Infamous Pineapple sprinkled with mint sugar and decorated with Chocolate Mint leaves
    I’m sorry I know its been mentioned several times on the blog…but it is divine and it is summer and everyone loves it

    The little Lemon Curd Tarts

    Coffee and Turkish delight

    A group of Happy Campers I Think!!!

    Now the recipes

    Bob Blumer The Surreal Gourmet gave me this idea for Polenta Fries
    I have adapted his recipe by adding some of the Rosemary Polenta ingredients.

    Handful dried shitake mushrooms
    50 gms butter
    ¼ cup olive oil
    1 tbs chopped fresh thyme
    2 cloves garlic peeled & crushed
    1 tsp chili flakes
    Sea salt and freshly ground black freshly ground black freshly ground black pepper
    1 cup Parmesan cheese

    1 cup polenta
    3 cups boiling water

    Vege oil for frying
    Aioli for serving

    Re-hydrate the mushrooms in boiling water should take about 30 mins
    Drain and reserve the water
    Finely chop the mushrooms

    Meanwhile put the butter and oil into a pot and heat till foamy
    Add thyme, garlic, chili flakes
    Season with salt & freshly ground black pepper
    Add the mushroom liquor and bring to the boil
    Sprinkle the polenta over the top and whisk till it starts to thicken
    Change to a wooden spoon and back on a low heat
    Cook 2-3 minutes stirring all the time.

    Beat parmesan cheese
    Add mushrooms and test seasoning

    Pour into a 30cm x 20cm swiss roll tin and leave to set covered in the fridge.
    You can make this ahead

    When you are ready tip out form the tin and cut into large French fry sticks

    Fry in vege oil

    Serve with an aioli you start from scratch but the easy option is to
    Crush 4-5 cloves garlic and add to a cup of the best mayonnaise.

    Small hint you can fry earlier in the day
    Drain and then a quick zap in a very hot oven 5-8 minutes
    And Away you go

    Here's a magnificent Salmon Dish
    Gino de Campo did a variation of this on Saturday Kitchen on Food TV but that’s another blog!!!
    Chef Neil cooked this for us on Xmas Day
    We were both inspired by Rick Stein with this particular recipe
    On a buffet 1.5 Kg Salmon feeds 18 people

    1.5 Kg side of salmon
    Chili flakes

    6 large tomatoes
    Sea salt freshly ground black pepper
    Extra virgin olive oil
    Balsamic vinegar
    2 cloves garlic chopped
    Capers 3-4 tablespoons
    Thyme leaves
    A little water

    Salsa Verde
    Into the food processor with a handful of each
    4 cloves garlic
    Capers 2 tablespoons
    4-5 anchovies

    Remove pin bones from the salmon
    Cut in half
    Season one half with a little sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
    Cover with Salsa verde
    Place other half on top

    Meanwhile line a roasting pan with the tomatoes
    Sprinkle sea salt, thyme, balsamic, olive oil, garlic and capers

    Sit the salmon on top
    Brush with oil and sprinkle chili flakes on top and around the tomatoes as and added extra.

    Into a 210C oven 25 minutes
    Remove a skewer should have no resistance.
    Then it’s done
    Let it get to room temperature for serving
    Doesn’t it look great?

    No pictures but a couple of "how to do"
    Spicy rosemary Cashew Nuts
    To roast the nuts once again thank you Barefoot Contessa

    200 gms cashews nuts Into 170° oven for about 10 minutes till crisp
    2-3 sprigs rosemary leaves off and finely chopped
    2 tbs brown sugar
    1 tbs salt
    ½ tsp cayenne pepper
    1 tbs melted butter

    Mix all the flavouring together then toss the hot nuts in, they will absorb all those wonderful flavours. Leave aside to cool.
    Spinach, Artichoke and Bacon Dip

    Almost a meal in itself

    You need a Packet frozen spinach
    2 shallots finely chopped
    2 cloves garlic chopped
    1 tablespoons olive oil
    8 slices streaky bacon chopped, fried and drained on paper towels
    1 jar artichokes finely chopped
    Zest 1 lemon
    2 cups sour cream

    Blanch, cool and squeeze all water from spinach
    Chop and set aside.
    In olive oil gently sauté shallots and garlic

    Now place everything into a bowl mix let sit at least a couple of hours
    You can leave it overnight
    Dip in your favourite carbs or use batons of carrots or celery.

    The Ultimate Chin Dripping Burgers
    Inspired by Tyler Florence

    You need to get your butcher to mince the beef for you
    nice and fresh on the day you want to use it.
    I used rump steak don’t forget fat and all please.
    None of the ready prepared stuff

    You need
    115 gms rump mince per person
    Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

    1 onion per person sliced
    Olive oil
    S & P

    2 slices tomato per person
    Olive oil
    S & P
    Fresh thyme leaves or chives chopped

    1 slice streaky bacon per person
    Freshly ground black pepper

    Thin slice of Swiss cheese per person

    1 hamburger bun per person


    Season and mix the mince meat really well with your hands
    Roll into a 115 gm balls and then slap it back and forth between your hands
    Flattening it
    This really amalgamates the beef and stops the burger from falling apart.
    Round up the shape...about 8 cms in diameter...Perfect little burgers.
    You can do this earlier and keep in fridge between waxed paper.

    Mix 3 tablespoons horseradish with 1 cup mayonnaise
    Add your onions to olive oil in pan
    Slowly (about 20-30 minutes) caramelise them

    Slice thick slices of tomato, drizzle and sprinkle with oil S & P & herbs

    Put the slices of bacon on a tray sprinkle over the rosemary and freshly ground black pepper. Into a hot oven till crispy.

    Cook the burgers on a greased medium to hot grill about 5 minutes
    Turn place cheese slice on top and cook another 5 minutes
    It should be just pink and really juicy.

    Now start to build

    Touch more mayo
    And ketchup if you must!!!

    This is guaranteed to be one your best burgers yet
    You will need paper towels to wipe your chin.


    Asha said...

    WOW!! That's a great array of food SS!Wonderful burer recipe too!Thanks!I am back but tired,will be okay!:))

    Happy 2007!

    Anali said...

    What a wonderful post! And those Spicy Rosemary Cashew Nuts look great! It looks so simple. Hey that's you! LOL! But I imagine the way the flavors combine, the taste must be amazing!