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    Sunday, April 25, 2010

    Girdle (Yes Girdle) Scones Excellent for a Quick Tasty Lunch

    Hauled some Tomato Soup out from the Freezer. I have posted this recipe earlier and I have to tell you it was wonderful... Click here and scroll down to Roasted Tomato Soup.

    It did need cream, as it is a very intense Red tomato soup.
    You can also use for a lighter option, full cream milk
    Here is a shot, taken before it went into the freezer.

    It's Monday morning and a bit short on bread... so called on the Edmonds Famous Girdle Scone recipe.
    Yes they are called Girdle scones and not Griddle. Scottish apparently
    This is exceptionally simple and quick as.
    Excellent for boats, caravans etc, no need for an oven.

    For 2 good servings
    1 cup plain flour
    1 tsp Baking Powder

    1/2 salt
    1/4 cup milk
    1/4 cup yogurt or sour cream

    Sift flour, Baking powder and salt
    Mix milk and yogurt
    Add to flour
    Mix with a knife
    Then start kneading lightly with your hands.

    You may find you need a little more water, a dry dough is not a good dough.
    On a floured bench pat into a circle
    Score into 8 pieces
    Heat a griddle or a frypan in this case till "smokin'"
    Cook about 4 minutes on side

    Turn over and cook same amount.
    Just watch that it doesn't burn

    Remove... break into  pieces
     Serve hot with plenty of butter

    What a delicious quick lunch

    Saturday, April 24, 2010

    First night out Cajun Moon and tons of other boats spent the time in Rocky Bay Waiheke
    As it was Dale’s birthday we had a dozen Bluff Oysters to consume.

    I like them with pepper, squeeze lemon juice, sitting on a piece of buttered Vogels bread.
     The oysters this year are so fat and juicy hope they are still in season when we get home

    Some of our neighbours at dusk
    Now onto serious food.
    Mr Heinzie’s Coconut Chili Soup

    Making the most of leftovers
    After making the lovely Fish Dish with Coconut Rice I had leftover Coconut milk, Chicken Stock and some of the actual rice. Funny how one always seems to cook too much rice. Never mind, plenty of ideas to use it all up.

    So let’s go for the soup using the coconut milk and chicken stock plus vege from the fridge and pantry.
    My Friend Mr Heinz makes his own preserves and one of his inventions is a Coconut and Chili Relish. It has a real punch and I decided to use it as a curry paste, to flavour a vege soup.

    I onion sliced
    1 carrot sliced
    1 courgette sliced
    1 med kumara peeled and cut into rough chop
    1 tablespoon vege oil

    2 tablespoons Mr Heinzie’s Chili
    Chicken stock
    Coconut milk

    Sauté Onion in oil
    When soft add rest of vege and continue to sauté about 5 minutes or so
    Add Mr Heinzie’s Chili paste
    Toss around until, all covered
    Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper

    Cook for the flavours to meld
    Add chicken stock and coconut milk

    Bring to simmer and cook about 20 minutes
    Serve with chopped coriander.

    If you can’t get Mr Heinzie’s Chili Paste you can use your favourite red curry paste.

    So onto the Rice Cakes
    The Coconut Rice (click here for the recipe) is so delicious no point in letting it go to waste.

    There was about 1 1/2 cups of rice  leftover
    1 tablespoon vege oil
    Grate 2.5 cms ginger
    2 cloves garlic finely sliced
    1 chili finely sliced seeds and all
    2 tablespoons coriander stalk and roots
    Juice and zest of 1 lime
    1 tsp brown sugar
    2 tablespoons fish sauce
    1 can tuna drained
    1 egg

    Flour seasoned with salt and pepper

    Gently saute in oil, the ginger, chili, garlic for about 2-3 minutes
    Add coriander stalks and root
    Plus lime juice zest, sugar and fish sauce

    Add to rice
    Then tuna
    Mix and add egg

    Taste a little and if it is lacking in seasoning add a little salt.

    Leave to rest about 30 minutes
    Make into patties

    Dip in seasoned flour and cook till golden brown on each side.

    Serve with a sprig of coriander leaves and a wedge of lemon.

    Tuesday, April 20, 2010

    Farewell Andy- A Greek Feast for You

    You don't need to go to Greece for the food,,, come to our place.
    Our friend Andy is returning to Samos for our winter, their summer... and our family wanted to say Bye Bye.
    I did a bit of research and found some excellent recipes on Food Network. Courtesy of Cat Cora, Michael Symon and for the potato dish I found that on this website Chef in you.
    So the menu was
    Htipto -Feta Spread
    Leg Lamb with Preserved Lemon, Saffron and Olive Vinaigrette
    With Patates sto Furno and Spinach and Mushrooms
    Finished off with Apple Baklava

    It was all very delicious, a bit time consuming but I loved cooking it. Great fun

    Htipto -Feta Spread with Toasted Pita Bread
    Thank you Cat Cora
    * 250 gms feta, crumbled
    * 1 ounce olive oil
    * 2 Calabrian chiles, finely chopped
    * 1 clove garlic, minced
    * 1 teaspoon oregano, finely chopped
    * Freshly ground black pepper
    * 1 lemon, juiced
    * Toasted pita, as an accompaniment

    In a food processor,
    Mix together the feta, olive oil, chiles, garlic, oregano, and black pepper.
    Blend on low speed for about 6 minutes or until the feta is whipped.
    Pour in lemon juice and pulse the mixture until completely combined, about 2 minutes. Pour into a bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until ready to use.
    Serve with toasted pita.
    Quite salty but Yum

    Now the soup.
    The famous Avgolemono, Chicken Soup enriched with Egg and Lemon
    Once again Thanks to Cat Cora and Andy's Mum
    As it turns out Andy's Mum of course made this regularly. Like all cultures, when you are sick your Mother makes you Chicken Soup. My mother made good chicken soup as well.

    There is a trick to adding the egg and lemon mix so he showed me what to do.

    * 1 (3 pound) free range chicken
    * 2 quarts water
    * 2 tablespoons olive oil
    * 1 onion, finely diced
    * 2 bay leaves
    * 1 leek, cleaned and quartered
    * 1 carrot, peeled and quartered
    * handful of long grain rice
    * 2 large eggs
    * 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
    * 1 tablespoon salt
    * 1 teaspoon ground pepper

    Place the chicken in a large pot with 2 quarts cold water, enough to cover the chicken.
    Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low, skimming when necessary.

    In a separate pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add the onions.
    Sweat the onions until clear.
    Set aside.

    When chicken is cooked through, remove from the broth.
    Let the chicken cool and pull the meat from the bones.
    Dice into large cubes. Set aside.

    Add the onion, bay leaves, leek, and carrot to the broth and simmer for 1 hour.
    When finished, remove the carrot and leek from the broth and add the rice.
    Bring to a boil and then turn heat to medium high to simmer
    until the rice is cooked to al dente, about 30 minutes.
    Add the chicken back into the broth. Add more water if needed.
    Bring back to the boil then turn it off
    The stock shouldn’t be too hot or the egg could curdle.
    So for the finishing touches

    In a small bowl beat the eggs with a whisk

    Then slowly add the lemon juice
    Keep whisking all the time
    It will get frothy
    Add 2 cups of hot not boiling stock
    Keep whisking till all blended

    Now pour egg mix into the soup
    Stir to blend

    Test seasoning and adjust if necessary
    Serve immediately

    Now for the Main Course
    Spit Roasted Leg of Lamb with Preserved Lemon, Saffron, Olive, and Vinaigrette
    Cat again
    The Greeks like to cook their lamb long and slow and this was really simple to prepare
    just took about 3 hours to cook.
    Dressed with the wonderful vinaigrette, Will do this again. Good for family dinner.
    The Vinaigrette
    * 1 cup champagne vinegar
    * 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
    * 2 cups pure olive oil
    * 1 tablespoon preserved lemon, small diced
    * 1 cup oil cured olives, finely chopped
    * 1 tablespoon cracked black pepper

    In a small saute pan, bring the champagne vinegar and saffron to a boil for 1 minute.
    Pour into a bowl and whisk in the olive oil slowly as to incorporate it.
    Add the chopped preserved lemon and black olives.
    Season with pepper. I do not add salt to this because of the saltiness of the olives.
    This recipe makes a quart and will last for at least a month.

    I prepared the lamb earlier in the day...made studded it with garlic and rosemary and rubbed the marinade in. and just threw in the oven 3 hours before we needed it.
    That lovely smell of roasting Lamb.

    * 1 (5 to 6 pound) leg of lamb
    * 8 small sprigs rosemary
    * 3 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
    * 1/4 cup olive oil
    * 1 tablespoon dry oregano, crumbled
    * 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped fine
    * 1 lemon, juiced
    * 2 teaspoon salt
    * 1 teaspoon black pepper

    When you are ready to cook heat oven to 250C

    Make sure the lamb leg is cleaned well and any hard fat is trimmed off.
    Make 8 slits in the leg and stuff them with the rosemary sprigs and garlic cloves.
    Rub the leg with the olive oil, dry and fresh oregano, lemon, salt, and pepper.
    I always roast my meat on a 'trivet' of vege
    Roast at 250 degrees C for about 30 minutes.
    Lower heat to 170 degrees C Add water to the pan if needed.
    Cook for about 3 1/2 hours.

    Remove the lamb from the pan and let rest covered with foil about 30 minutes.
    This is the good time to cook the potatoes, just crank up the heat.

    Skim the fat from the pan juices and pour the juice onto the bottom of a platter.
    Slice the lamb into thin slices and serve topped with the preserved lemon sauce.

    Patates sto Fourno (Garlic Lemon Potatoes)

    Apparently my research told me, Potatoes are huge in Greece and this a favourite way of cooking them
    They were great and I will definitely do them again.
    In fact could be the preferred way of roasting potatoes

    It seems that I have got lemon in every aspect of this menu... but hey think of all that Vitamin C.

    You can do art of this earlier in the day as well in fact I was really well prepared not a lot to do at the last moment.
    I peeled and chopped the potatoes into chip shapes.
    Brought them to boil in salted water and cooked them about 8 minutes
    Drain and put aside until you need them
    This stops them from turning brown and of course they don't take so long to cook when you need them

    4 medium gold potatoes, peeled and chopped as above
    * 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    * 1/2 tbsp butter(skip and add more oil to make it vegan)
    * 2 tbsp lemon juice and 1 tsp lemon zest
    * 2 tbsp fresh oregano leaves (or halve it if using dried)
    I used both I really like dried oregano.
    * 4 medium garlic cloves, minced (about 4 tsp)
    * salt and pepper to taste
    * 1-2 tbsp minced fresh parsley leaves

    Put oil and butter into roasting pan and put into 205C oven for about 3 minutes
    Add potatoes
    Toss well
    Cook about 20 -30 minutes till golden and tender

    Meanwhile mix together oil, lemon juice, zest, oregano, minced garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl

    Add the garlic-lemon mixture to the potatoes and stir very gently.
    The potatoes could break otherwise.
    The aroma when you add this dressing is fabulous
    Back into the oven another 3-4 minutes
    Into serving dish sprinkle with parsley and serve.

    For greens what better vege than spinach
    I wilted the spinach and then chopped it

    Meanwhile in a hot pan saute a pile of chopped mushrooms
    in olive oil
    Season with S &P
    Add spinach, toss around
    Test for seasoning, adjust if necessary, then serve.

    Happy Customers

    Finally the Pudding
    This time it was thanks to Michael Symon
    This needs to be made the day before so that's good for a dinner party.
    Andy hadn't ever had this with Apple and I also threw in some Craisins (dried cranberries)
    It was excellent.
    The top layer all cracks up when you add the syrup but I'm told by Andy, that's normal

    Apple Baklava


    * 1 pound thawed filo dough
    * 1 cup melted butter
    * 2 lemons juiced and zested
    * 4 tablespoons honey
    * 2 teaspoons cinnamon
    * 3 cups diced Granny Smith apples
    * 2 cups chopped toasted walnuts
    * 2 cups chopped toasted pistachios
    * 1 1/2 cups sugar
    * 1/2 cup honey
    * 1 pint water
    * 1 lemon rind

    On a sheetpan lined with parchment paper,
    Lay down 1 sheet of filo and brush with butter.
    Repeat process with 3 more sheets.
    Cover remaining sheets with damp towel and set aside.
    To make filling place the lemon juice and zest, honey, cinnamon, apples, and chopped nuts and gently heat for 3 minutes set aside to cool.
    Spread 1/3 of mixture onto buttered filo stack. 

    Top apple mixture with another stack of buttered filo.
    Repeat process until mixture and filo is gone (there should be 3 layers).
    Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 1 hour.

    Mix sugar, honey, water and lemon and bring to simmer.
    Remove lemon rind and pour over Baklava. 
    See how it cracks.

    Let soak overnight, cut into squares and serve.

    So a superb evening was had by all
    As it turns out the eruption of Eyjafjallajokull (pronounce that if you can)...has disrupted
    Andy's travel plans. so he is not leaving for a couple of weeks. We may have to do this night all over  again.
    Different Menu though.

    Thursday, April 15, 2010

    Boat Food - Lamb Roast and Yellow Tomato Pizza Bianco

    Not such a stunning sunset from Rakino... compared with the previous few nights...but OK.

    While the sun was setting, I cooked a delicious dinner for us.
    I had a little lamb rump in the freezer and still had plenty of vege in the fridge.
    First heat oven to 200C
    Then in an oven proof pan I sauteed
    In 1 tablespoon Olive oil
    1 onion peeled and sliced
    1 kumara peeled and sliced
    1 swede peeled and sliced
    Add one tomato sliced

    Season with S & P

    Cook till al dente
    Prepare about 8 brussel sprouts cut in half
    Season lamp rump with salt and freshly ground black pepper
    And in another pan sear the lamb on all sides

    Add Sprouts and Lamb to pan
    Into oven should take about 20 minutes
    Remove let Lamb rest about 5 minutes

    Serve sliced Lamb on bed of roast vege.


    Next day Pizza I thought

    I bought some yellow tomatoes
    Yeeess... OK but lacking in real tomato flavour
    In fact funnily enough when I glance at them I think Pineapple... then get a shock when I eat and then have a savoury taste.
    But enough about me
    A Pizza Bianco base I think
    In fact this is a Yellow Pizza with some browned onion, red bell pepper and a green chili confetti.
    Very nice for a change
    For the extra protein
    One side had some cold chicken pour moi
    And for my loved one smoked salmon

    I have a foolproof pizza dough, Have a look at this post all instructions there

    For the topping
    Sour cream

    The Confetti
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    1 onion sliced
    1 red pepper sliced1 green chili sliced
    Sea salt and pepper

    2 yellow tomatoes in thick slices
    Extra Virgin Olive oil
    Sea Salt and Freshly ground black pepper
    Mozzarella grated.
    Fresh Basil if you have some

    Caramelize  the sliced onion in olive oil
    Add red pepper and chili to pan
    Saute about 4 minutes
    Set aside

    Place the prepared dough in your pizza pan or just a baking sheet
    Spread the base with sour cream
    Sprinkle the confetti over the sour cream
    Place tomatoes on top
    Season S & P
    Sprinkle with Extra Virgin Olive oil

    Pop into a hot oven about 10 minutes to get those tomatoes started

    Take out and I placed the chicken on one side and smoked salmon on the other
    Smothered them with Grated cheese
    If you have basil, garnish
    Back into oven about 10- 15 minutes


    Wednesday, April 14, 2010

    We have a Winner

    You might remember that there was a competition on this blog. a winner for the Perfect Italiano Prize.

    I wrote all the names on a pad
    Found a suitable hat...a collectors item.

    Popped in al the names and gave them to a non judgmental handy dandy person
    And the winner is
    Justine Conroy of Mt Albert
    Justine the fab prize coming your way courtesy of Perfect Italiano.

    Monday, April 05, 2010

    Rick Stein's Far Eastern Odyssey- Get your Jaded Taste Buds Moving

    One of the many things I really like about Rick Stein, is not just his food, but his Cookbooks.He in line with my Food Hero Writers, i.e. Elizabeth David, Julia Child,  MJK Fisher, Nigella Lawson. Nigel Slater, to name but a few. They don't just pop a recipe and couple of pretty photos of the food. They write about where they tasted it, how they created it... maybe a little story, lots of things to inspire you. One's  mouth waters and all you want to do is make it.
    Yesterday I realised I had the ingredients to make Vietnamese Spring Rolls again. Sorry Rick, I made a lot changes but they were delicious anyway.
    I do cook a lot of high cal food on the boat. This is frequently dictated by the amount of fresh vege, still fresh!
    As we are only 4 days out, we still have a lot  of crispy vege and also the coriander is still looking good.
    Herbs are the worst to keep fresh. I have found, by completely drying them on a paper towel, popping them in a small snaplock plastic bag and letting the air out, a la Tupperware burping, they seem to last well.

    So on to the Spring Rolls
    This made 6 rolls

    You will need
    Rice Noodles
    Rice paper rounds
    Marinate 12 prawns in
    2 cloves garlic finely chopped
    2.5 cms ginger grated
    1 whole chili finely chopped
    Zest and juice of 1/2 a lemon
    1 tbs fish sauce
    A little pinch salt
    2 tbs rice bran oil

    Leave them for about an hour

    Meanwhile next stage
    3 cms cucumber remove seeds and slice into julienne strips
    1/2  carrot grated
    2 tablespoons crunchy lettuce
    1 spriung onion sliced 

    Leaves and chopped stalks of handful coriander

    Remove prawns from marinade and cook in pan on medium heat
    Cook about 2-3 minutes one side
    Flip and leave about another minute
    Remove, set aside

    Add marinade to pan and cook for a couple of minutes, reserve

    Take a handful rice noodles
    Cook for around 4 minutes, in boiling salted water
    Drain, rinse, add cooked marinade and set aside.

    Now you are ready to assemble.
    In a flat bowl of water
    Place a rice paper round
    Soak about 30 seconds till soft
    On a wet paper towel
    Lay out the rice paper
    At the top end
    Add 2 pieces cucumber
    Some carrot
    Some lettuce
    Coriander and spring onions

    Break up 2 prawns
    Lay on top
    Then  some marinated noodles
    Roll top of noodle over once, turn in sides and continue to roll till, you have a nice cigar shaped roll.
    A couple of times I put too much filling in, so I double wrapped.

    With the flavoured noodles.
    It is not necessary to have a dipping sauce.
    Next time, I will make one and post the recipe at a later date.
    There were left over vege and noodles
    Don't waste
    Made a great little salad entree
    Hey, don't forget, just a couple of more days of the competition left. Just make a comment on my blog or on my Facebook page and courtesy of the good people at Perfect Italiano you can win the lovely prize pictured below.