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    Tuesday, September 11, 2007

    Last days in Coolum

    Beef and Onions and Beer
    I can’t believe how greedy we are…Dale and I have almost consumed a casserole cooked for 4.
    It was so good.
    I watched Chef Michael Smith yet again and I raced out and bought 1 kg of beef and
    Put this stew on and we ate it about 2 hours later. It was divine.
    So tender and tasty and so so simple…
    There is enough to make a pie…

    I bought cross cut blade steak
    So for 4 people
    1 kg beef
    Rice Bran oil 4-5 tablespoons
    enough to cover the bottom of your pan
    Don’t be mean with the oil you need it to get good browning of the meat.
    You can drain off the excess.

    1 large onion chopped
    2 shallots finely chopped
    4 tablespoons tomato paste
    1 bottle beer preferably a dark beer.
    Packet beef stock
    3 bay leaves
    A few sprigs of fresh thyme
    Sea salt and freshly ground black freshly ground black pepper

    1 large potato grated this is your thickening agent

    1-2 tablespoons good red wine vinegar

    Cut steak into large chunks
    Heat oil in pan
    Add meat don’t overcrowd the pan
    Brown well
    You probably need to cook in batches

    Remove meat from pan
    Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper

    Drain off excess fat
    Add onion and shallots
    Cook till tender
    Add tomato paste stir well

    De-glaze with beer

    Return meat to pan and top up with beef stock.
    Add potato, bay leaves and thyme

    Bring to simmer and cook 1-2 hours in 155C oven till meat is tender
    I decided that it needed a kick and added the red wine vinegar

    Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary

    To serve I accompanied with steamed rice.
    To plate
    Hot stew

    Just perfect.

    We are home from Coolum Beach.
    It was a real fun time.
    Of course it rained on the last 2 days but we didn’t have any trouble filling in wet days.
    Lunch in Noosa
    Dinner at Coolum Beach’s Harvest Restaurant

    Just a hop skip and jump from the apartment didn’t’ even get wet.

    Excellent food particularly the desserts.
    By the way just a quick look at the macadamia nut situation.
    Yes we did eat nearly all those nuts.

    Just perfect.

    Leaving day
    Our bus.
    I meant to take a shot of the lovely beach in the sun but I forgot
    But here is a wild shot of the sea from the bus window

    We got to the airport early and the good thing about the Koru lounge is the opportunity to have a few drinks and a light lunch. Very pleasant.
    Air NZ’s Koro lounge has an unusual view.
    It reminds me of the time we took the kids to Disneyland 1981
    Booked into the Disneyland Hotel
    Spoke to the lovely girl behind the desk and especially asked for a room overlooking the Park. We though it would be lovely to wake up and see the Cinderella castle and all the other Iconic rides.
    It was dark and when we awoke early in the morning opened up the curtains and yes we overlooked the Park alright.
    The Car Park!!!

    So Air NZ also got that short straw as well.
    The view from the Koro Lounge
    Anyhow a wonderful holiday was spent with John and JT.,
    Final photo

    Back home and there is quite a lot of recipes I have to write up.

    The Saturday before we went away…our friends Mary and Heinzie Pictured in their Rarotonga Glory below

    were staying with us.
    It was a significant birthday for our friend Lana.
    An excellent surprise party was held at Julia and Rex’s house.
    She was surprised and I think really pleased...
    We organised this amazing piece of Pop Art from a wonderful company called On2Canvas
    Click on here for information about this excellent company.
    All you need to supply is a photo and they do the rest. It's a great. idea for a present

    Notice of course we always have a photo with drink in hand.
    I think it is fantastic.

    The next morning Dale who is not a cook of note!!! heard Peta Mathias on the radio talking about the best ever whitebait fritters.
    She is a renowned NZ Chef and runs a cooking school in Provence
    Check out her website.
    Immediately our taste buds went into top gear. I have to say we were a little fragile after the party.
    So Mary and I rushed off to the Fish market and bought a punnet of New Zealand Whitebait. This is a major delicacy here in New Zealand.
    These tiny fish are absolutely beautiful and of course these days like all excellent produce… pricey.
    Now I thought I was pretty good making these fritters
    But this recipe is fantastic.

    Now don’t forget we made these based on Dale’s understanding of the recipe.

    The main difference was the use of egg whites only…pop the yolks away for custard or something.

    The beauty of this is you can really taste the fish it's not a whitebait omelet.

    1 punnet 250 gms whitebait
    4 egg whites
    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

    Olive oil and butter
    Lemon wedges

    Season the egg whites and beat till soft peaks.
    Add whitebait

    Drop in big spoonfuls into a hot pan with olive oil and butter
    Cook about 3 minutes 1 side and
    Then 3 -4 minutes other side. They should be golden

    This is longer than I would normally cook fritters but the egg whites need to be cooked right through

    Serve with a lemon wedge.

    Sorry about half eaten food below but it's just to demonstrate the fritter showing the whitebait.

    Now on another matter entirely
    Granddaughter Mia had her first Cross Country run today. She had a mishap and slipped at the beginning but with great determination arrived in at 4th place. Didn't get that athletic prowess from her maternal Grandmother

    Meanwhile the first captured smile from Baby Cleo


    Asha said...

    Looks like you are having a great time!!:))

    katiez said...

    Love the beef in beer recipe - I can see eating the whole thing!
    Glad you had a good holiday - even rain isn't so bad when you're on hols!

    So Simple said...

    We did but seem to have been sick on return all better now though

    The rain was fine for us it was short...but I was told of people there 2 weeks before us stuck inside for 5 days...stir crazy.
    By the way that rain is unusual for the sunshine coast