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    Wednesday, October 31, 2007

    Cooking and Experimenting With Food On the Boat.

    French Bread Again
    3 loaves are too much for 2 people so I decided to make 6 rolls.
    Par cook 3 of them and then re-cook the next day

    It worked well. Also my son Dan suggested that I try orange juice in the dough to get a sour dough feel. Not sure if that worked I may not have used enough, Trial and error again.
    The problem on the boat is that the oven is not brilliant.
    I don’t think it is hot enough.
    It took a lot longer to cook the bread and I didn’t get the same colour as normal
    It tasted excellent but was a heavier crumb than I achieved at home. I will try this again at home
    Nice little ficelle!!! Pre bake

    Par cooked
    Made a tasty salad.
    Baby Cos lettuce, avocado, hard boiled eggs, freshly ground black pepper and a
    quick omelet made from the remainder of the egg wash. Cooked the Chinese way.
    Hot oil and cook in seconds.
    Fluffy and fabulous
    Vinaigrette and topped with slivered Almond Accents

    Served with terrine and fresh bread
    Great lunch

    I stupidly did 2 ridiculous things
    One I used my old and loved quiche dish - over 20 years old
    - as a water container, to provide steam for the bread, whilst cooking.
    When I glanced in I saw the water had evaporated (funny that!!!)

    I reacted without thinking and threw in some cold water and guess what it cracked!

    Goodbye old friend

    My next stupid mistake. I wanted to dip the strawberries in chocolate…so I popped a plastic bowl on top of the simmering water…luckily I discovered the bowl was about to melt just in time.
    Well the bonus of this is I had to turn the chocolate into Ganache
    And dipped the strawberries into that
    Yum much nicer than ordinary melted chocolate
    After the strawberries had been dipped some raspberries and blackcurrants were mashed into the Ganache.
    Chilled and rolled into little truffles
    I had made Gary Rhodes Crumble Topping
    (I'll post it later, it's very good, it will keep in the freezer)
    So I dipped the truffles in the crumble.
    These are fantastic.
    More excellent trial and error
    For a crowd I would make smaller balls and pop the crumble in the food processor to make a finer crumb.
    Dale has been busy with the boat. He has replaced new carpet in the cabins. Taupe… cut pile very attractive.
    Lunches and Dinner of Leftovers
    There is a new product on the market Round Turkish Bread wrapped and with a reasonably long shelf life good for boaties with limited fridge space.
    Makes a good pizza base.

    I made a quick tomato sauce, onto the base
    Dobbed the left over fennel puree click here
    on top.
    Bacon on my half
    Covered with grated cheese bit of fresh herb on the top.
    An excellent quick boat lunch
    Now for the re-cooked bread
    Another lunch we enjoyed
    Remainder of roast pork, smoked salmon, apple and ginger chutney (previous post)
    Lettuce tomato, Castello blue cheese
    Starting to feel really summery now.

    Dinner was once again using leftovers.

    I am reading a great book by Simon Hopkinson
    a Chef from Britain. He is a new find and I highly recommend this book.
    “Roast Chicken and other Stories” This is a book that along with Mrs. David, Mrs. Child, Nigella’s “How To Eat” should grace ones’ bookshelf.
    He mentioned a sauce called an Old Fashioned Egg Sauce, using hardboiled eggs of which I had two…

    It is a béchamel sauce originally flavoured with anchovy, bay leaf, onion etc and finished off with cream and parsley
    My sauce was simpler, I adapted it using Mainland Chili and Garlic Infused Butter
    No cream or anchovy. Tasty nevertheless

    Roasted 2 pieces of buttercup squash
    Sat that on the egg sauce.
    Topped the lot with leftover meat sauce from the previous night’s spaghetti and meat sauce

    This was delicious
    The problem with experimental dishes...because I am always looking for something new... I rarely get back to these ideas…but the egg sauce and meat sauce with something in between is a keeper.
    Lasagne that’s an idea!!!

    If you are Kosher (or Dale as it turns out) This is Not the Meal for You…Roast Pork with Fennel Onion and Milk

    Hope I haven't offended but it's true...meanwhile for the rest of us pork lovers it is an wonderful idea.
    Very non Kosher…not only pork but cooked with milk on a bed of fennel and onions.

    I bought a beautiful piece of pork loin on the bone.
    I brined it for 2-3 hours (by the way that doesn’t make for good crackling.)

    It made lovely juicy pork meat but the crackling needed at least another 20 minutes in a hot oven to crisp up.

    I watched Mario Batalli cook pork on a bed of fennel and onions and milk on Iron Chef
    The recipes are not available but I had pork fennel onions and milk...So let’s go for it.

    Slice the fennel vertically and slice a peeled onion.
    Place into your roasting dish drizzle olive oil & some sea salt & freshly ground black pepper.
    Scatter some sage leaves and rosemary leaves.
    Cover the vege with milk
    Remove the pork from the brine drain, and dry with a paper towel.

    Season the meat well and rub with olive oil.
    Rub the scored skin with plenty of sea salt.

    Into 200c oven
    20 minutes then turn oven down to 190C
    and cook another 15 minutes per 500 gms of joint.

    Test for doneness with skewer. If juices run clear you are done.
    Cut meat off the bone, remove the skin…pop this back into the oven to crisp up for crackling

    Cover with foil and rest.

    Meanwhile remove the vege and puree with a hand blenderNow just to accompany this brilliant piece of pork you need to make this apple chutney.

    A recipe from Ming Tsai. "Simply Ming"
    It is sufficiently acid and sweet to really complement the pork.

    Apple and Ginger Chutney

    2 cups finely diced peeled and cored Braeburn or Fugi Apples
    Sprinkle lemon juice over them to stop them turning brown.

    1 tablespoon vegetable oil (I use rice bran)
    1 med onion finely chopped
    1 tablespoons ginger finely minced
    Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
    1 cup apple cider
    1 cup rice wine vinegar

    I didn’t have any cider so I used white wine
    Saute onion and ginger in oil
    Add apples cook about 30 seconds
    Add cider and vinegar
    Taste for seasoning add salt and freshly ground black pepper
    Bring to simmer and reduce till thick

    Refrigerate in a covered jar should last at least 10 days.I roasted some potatoes in duck fat and cooked some peas with some fresh mint.

    So to serve

    A bed of pureed vege,

    Slices of beautiful juicy pork
    Peas and potatoes roasted on duck fat
    All topped off with a dob of the Apple and Ginger Chutney
    The pork was so juicy…
    I loved it, Dale was not that impressed but he loved the vege and the chutney.

    Plenty for sandwiches the next day.

    Sailing, Eating and Drinking

    We are off on the boat for a few days.
    This is very good for one’s mental health but with the way we eat and drink while away (which is too excess!!!) I don’t know how good it is for our bodies.

    I have 9 books and an old Vanity Fair from the library which I intend to get through.
    So it was a lovely day we had a good sail
    Unfortunately it wasn’t as warm outside as it should be but very pretty.
    The phones work out here... not good for internet though as you have to use dial up and it is very slow and becomes very expensive.
    Just passing Waiheke Island it takes us about 1 ½ hours to get to here.
    Anchored in Chamberlain Bay

    So a nice lunch, wine, sleep, read, drinks, scrabble, dinner.

    Onto food the point of this blog.
    This was an idea I adapted from Chef Michael Smith

    Potato Crusted Salmon

    Very simple
    1 filet of salmon
    2 med potatoes grated
    Olive oil
    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

    Toss the potatoes with oil and seasonings
    Season one side of salmon
    Turn over
    Encrust other side with grated potatoes
    Pre heat your grill

    Heat a little oil in a very hot pan
    Add salmon potato side up
    Should take about 3 minutes to get a good colour on the bottom
    Pop under the grill till golden brown and crisp
    Not quite as brown as this example but unfortunately I don’t have a lot of control over the stove on the boat and thinhs sometimes burn.
    It was great. A little green salad to accompany
    N.B. Whoops I just re-watched the programme Chef at Home. I got this wrong.
    He used cold baked potatoes grated and mixed with oil and horseradish
    Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper.

    The he put the salmon filets into a hot oven for about 10 minutes.
    Makes sense
    I will try that next time Luckily it was OK the first time round but this could be an improvement.

    All a bit much for Dale
    Another excellent dish.

    I made the Herb and Mushroom Pate click here
    to have with drinks but I thought of a new use for it

    Take 2 nice thick Scotch Filet Steaks
    Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
    Lightly oil a very hot pan
    Sear the steak on one side
    Cover with a nice thick layer of Mushroom and Herb Pate
    Cook to your desired doneness (sorry but you know what I mean)
    What a great find.
    My (only just eating meat because I make him) husband was in raptures.

    Tuesday, October 23, 2007

    The Best Orange Buns

    It was World Bread Day on October on October 16th Hosted by Zorra click here to check out all the recipes. I was alerted to this challenge by Anali who writes a wonderful blog click here to view.
    I entered my Chocolate Manadrin Bread but one of the criteria was to bake the bread on the day.
    So I missed out as my entry was an old post.
    Anyway Anali's entry is on her blog.

    Called Sweet Orange Bread.

    I decided to adapt this bread into buns.
    Oh My God They are Divine.
    Thank you Anali

    Sweet Orange Buns
    1 large egg (beaten)
    1/3 cup milk (warm)
    1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
    ¼ cup honey (warm)
    1 tablespoon butter (melted)
    Juice and pulp of one orange
    1 ½ teaspoon yeast
    2 ½ cups flour
    ½ teaspoon salt

    In small bowl in microwave, heat milk, honey, and butter until it melts.
    The liquid should not be too hot, just very warm.
    Add yeast to warm mixture and use a small whisk to combine.
    Let sit for 5-10 minutes.
    In a medium bowl combine flour and salt.
    Add yeast mixture to flour.
    Add orange juice, pulp and egg.

    Mix well with wooden spoon until you can longer stir it.
    Place dough on a floured surface and knead until very easy to handle. About 10 minutes.
    Place dough back in bowl and cover loosely. Let rise for about 1 1/2 hours.
    Punch down bread and shape into 6 buns
    Place on greased baking sheet and let rise for about 45 minutes.

    I brushed them with melted butter and sprinkled sugar on the top

    Bake at 175C degrees for about 25 minutes.

    Look at the crumb...just like a bought one.
    I ate one hot with butter

    Thought I had died and gone to heaven.

    Dale loved it too.

    Goats Cheese Lunch and Fish Parcel Dinner

    I had planned all sorts of lovely meals for the boat trip, so of course we are eating them now.
    I hadn't finished the boat shopping so I was lacking a few ingredients and I couldn’t be bothered going out to shop. So I made do.

    The walnut encrusted goats cheese was one dish I had catered for.
    I didn’t have any salad leaves so I made a circle of some Turkish bread but this time I had the beetroot. As you can see very pretty.

    So follow the recipe here Isn’t beetroot a brilliant colour. Just preparing the dressing above

    Here is a picture of the salad-less Walnut Encrusted Goats Cheese in Roasted Red Pepper.

    So so tasty.

    For dinner I was craving chicken. I bought a poussin for me and some orange roughy for Dale. (he hates chicken)

    I just roasted the poussin rubbed with olive oil , sea salt some lemon and herbs up its bum sitting on large slices of red onions
    For the fish I made a little Fish Parcel.
    Slices of red onion, sage leaves on a sheet of foil
    Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
    Drizzle with olive oil and a good squeeze of lemon juice

    Seal the parcel and I popped in the 190C oven for the last ten minutes of the poussin’s
    Cooking time.

    Some white cabbage sautéed in oil with some toasted fennel seeds
    And the treat for the day.New Jersey Benne potatoes just boiled and tossed in butter

    I know the presentation is lacking in green but it tasted terrific.
    Those strawberries behind were divine.
    Don't you just love spring

    Monday, October 22, 2007

    A New Zealand French Bread Recipe and Labour Weekend, No Sailing

    We were supposed to be sailing around the Hauraki Gulf on our lovely boat Cajun Moon
    BUT there has been a problem with the hot water cylinder which has taken several (frustrating for Dale) days to fix, helped by our Poncy Plumber friend, His Majesty Mr King.

    Here he is (with possibly his greatest plumbing assignment ever!)
    It’s Monday and we are still at home.
    As it turns out it has been very average weather and wind warnings every day.
    It’s the Equinox Gales you know.
    The good news is that we were able to go to our son-in-law Chris’s 30th Birthday lunch.
    I had seen this Mushroom and Herb Pate on Huey’s Cooking Adventures that I wanted to make.
    What a wonderful vegetarian dish.
    Looks like a good chicken liver pate and actually is quite meaty as mushrooms can be...
    but all meat free.
    You can buy vegetarian oyster sauce which made from mushrooms use that if you wish.

    1 tbs olive oil
    250 gms Swiss brown mushrooms finely sliced
    ½ onion finely chopped
    1 clove garlic chopped
    1 chili finely sliced or 1 heaped teaspoon sambal olek
    1 teaspoon ground coriander
    1 slurp oyster sauce

    3 spring onions sliced
    2 tablespoons parsley
    2 tablespoons coriander
    125 gms soft cream cheese
    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

    Place oil into a large pan so that the mushrooms are well spread out
    Cook well and brown,
    Add onion garlic and chili
    Cook till all soft nice colour and juices all absorbed

    Remove from heat add ground coriander and oyster sauce
    Into processor add mushroom mix, cream cheese, herbs and salt and freshly ground black pepper
    Process till smooth and place in ramekins or little glass dishes…whatever
    Cover with clarified butter. This helps to preserve the pate, and also there is your butter
    all ready for you to lavishly slather it onto your crunchy bread.
    A little coriander leaf for garnish

    So off with my pate and with what is becoming my staple dish…“Sicilian Fish,” we took off to the party. Completing the menu was

    Emily’s delicious Guacamole with Pita Chips
    Katie’s Orzo Salad
    Also her green salad with beetroot chunks, red onion and pinenuts
    Beautiful Beef from Karen
    It was excellent marinade
    Recipe below
    A good slosh of red wine (approx. 1 cup) and soy sauce (maybe ½ cup) a couple of tablespoons of brown sugar and several cloves of garlic.
    Mix and add beef.
    Marinate for 2-3 hours
    Cook to desired doneness on the BBQ
    BBQ Sausages and white bread with tomato sauce of course
    Karen bought a Coconut Pavlova with lashings of cream and fresh fruit

    Sorry no shots of this food bit slack I'm afraid

    And Katie showed off her decorating skills with the birthday cake
    Some party snaps!!!

    Dan and Helen were heading off to a wedding looking very glam... and missing from the group shot is the photographer – the lovely Justine looking pensive, when we were all in Rarotonga this time last year.

    My friend Diana gave me a baguette tin some time ago and I love it.
    I had a little glass dish of pate left and you must have some crunchy bread. So I made some.
    This is a great recipe
    I am very proud of the bread it looked good and tasted excellent.
    1 pkt yeast
    1 teaspoon sugar
    400-500 mls warm water(water quantities vary when baking)
    It seems to take about 400 mls550 gms unsifted strong white flour
    2 teaspoons sea salt
    1 egg beaten and mixed with
    1 tablespoons cold water
    In a small bowl dissolve yeast and sugar in 100 mls warm water using a fork to dissolve
    Set aside for 10 minutes.
    Combine flour and salt.
    Add yeast mixture
    Stir in remaining 300 mls water a bit at a time
    Mix until sticky enough to knead.
    You may need more water.
    Knead for 6-10 minutes
    Dough should be sticky and smooth

    Put in a bowl cover with a damp tea towel and
    Let rise at room temperature until doubled in size
    Usually takes about an hour

    Punch down dough and divide into 3 pieces.

    Roll each into a ball and then pull out shape into a baguette

    Transfer to slightly greased baking sheet.
    If you have special shaped baguette baking pan all the better.
    Let rise until nearly doubled

    Brush with egg water mixture.
    Score diagonally across the top with a sharp knife, Pour 500 mls of hot water and place in a preheated 230C oven next (or underneath) to the baguettes to provide moisture.Bake the baguettes for 15 mounts then, lower temperature to 200C and bake for 5-10 minutes until golden brown.Remove and cool on a rack before eating.

    Asparagus and tomato are a wonderful paring.
    I cooked the asparagus, drain and run under cold water to keep the colour.
    Plate - then
    In a pan sauté 1 shallot finely chopped until just soft.
    Chop 2 tomatoes and add to pan just toss around to coat and warm slightly
    Season with sea salt and freshly ground black freshly ground black pepper
    Remove from heat, add a slurp of olive oil and a dash of balsamic vinegar.
    Pour over the asparagus and eat with the beautiful baguette.

    And I nearly forgot the other person missing from the group shot
    Why baby Cleo of course