Twitter Updates

    follow me on Twitter

    Thursday, April 14, 2011

    Home Made Hamburgers - Potato Rolls and Venison Patties

    Once again one of My Favourite TV Chefs, Michael Smith...Star of 'Chef at Home' currently showing on Food TV has come up with yet another little cracker.
    Potato Rolls

    Really easy, I just did it in the food processor.
    I will try it by hand though for my own satisfaction.
    These are really delicious. The dough is lovely and silky... of course with the egg and milk are a little bit like Brioche. No sugar but I guess the potato covers that bit of starch,

    * 3 cups flour
    * 2 teaspoons yeast
    * 2 teaspoons salt
    * 1 cup potato flakes
    * 1 egg, lightly whisked
    * 1 1/2 cups warm milk
    * 1 stick butter, softened

    Preheat your oven to 190C
    Put the flour, yeast, salt and potato flakes into the bowl of a stand mixer with dough hook attached.
    Or in this case food processor
    Add egg, milk and butter and turn on low.
    Mix until a dough forms, continue kneading the dough until it's smooth and elastic.

    Put the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover and rest in a warm place
    until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

    Punch down the dough and form into 8 rolls.
    Place on a lined baking sheet and let rise a second time until doubled in size.

    Bake for 25-30 minutes.
    A couple of weeks ago our friend Debbie arrived with an abundance of produce for us. Big bunch of herbs from the garden. Some frozen Venison Patties
    and a Hamilton Local Goat Cheese.
    But I digress. Now when you have such beautiful buns...What should you do with them?
    Well make Hamburgers Of Course.
    So I retrieved a couple Venison Patties from the freezer
    Now just for a minute...back to TV Chefs
    Nigel Slater in his winter Supper ideas... devised Stuffed Butternut.
    The stuffing was some luscious fried onions.
    These were a little spicy and I thought would go very well with our Venison Patties
    So first get the onions on the go.
    3 large Onions sliced
    Sauté in 2 tablespoons olive oil
    Season with Sea salt,
    1/2 tsp cinnamon
    1/2 tsp ground cumin
    1/2 tsp smoked paprika
    Freshly ground black pepper
    1/2 tsp sugar
    Add about 1 inch fresh ginger cut into thin strips

    Cover with lid and gently cook till soft and unctuous.
    Meanwhile Grill your patties
    and assemble the Burger
    I like to slather the bottom of the bun with Homemade Ketchup
    Pop the grilled Patty on top
    Cover with Onions.
    Some mayonnaise on the lid
    Push them together and devour

    Those Venison Patties were excellent
     Luckily we have more in the freezer
    Looks like Bun day again next week.

    Of course there are leftovers aren't there always.
    'Waste not Want not', as my dear Mother would say.
    So with the Buns I did bit of Posh Cheese on Toast

    Great excitement of the day. I went out West to buy Fresh Fruit and Vege from the Market Gardens.
    Even though it is the end of the season My friendly Grower had just picked the last of his Tomatoes.
    They really are amazing.

    The buns are a couple of days old. Homemade bread of course gets stale quite quickly.
    So they need to be heated.
    How about the Goats Cheese from Hamilton?
    Here ya go
    Very simple
    Heat the Grill in the oven
    Toast the buns on one side
    Turn over and add 1 very fat slice of tomato
    Season S & P
    Slice of Goats Cheese
    Some chopped chives
    Freshly Ground Black Pepper
    Drizzle with a little bit of beautiful Local Olive Oil
    That was Lunch so
    What's For Dinner Mother?

    Leftover Onions
    Now used for their original recipe
    Stuffed Butternut
    Simple as...
    Cut the butternut in half
    Remove seeds
    Score the flesh
    Dot with butter and season with Salt and Pepper

    Bake in 180C oven about 1 hour
    Fill the cavity with onions
    Top with some chopped rosemary and chili
    Finish off with grated cheese

    Back in oven about 10- 15 minutes
    What a feast.

    Tuesday, April 12, 2011

    Sweet Potato Soup Leftovers - Make a Souffle

    You may have seen the recent blog I did on Sweet Potato (Kumara) Soup, click here for recipe
    I made too much of course, a container for the Freezer and still more left in the pot. Soups made with Kumara or any kind of squash, tend to be really thick and unctuous the next day. That's not a problem, you can shovel this puree into your mouth, or stop and think. "What can I do with this?"
    There was not enough for a meal for two... but How about using this puree for the base for a Souffle.
    Much healthier than a roux base and Gluten Free to boot.

    So for 2 people
    Pre-heat oven to 190C
    3/4 cup soup puree
    3 large eggs separated
    20 grates Gruyere cheese (you could use cheddar) (20 gms)
    Weight Watchers teach you 10 grates equal to 10 gms

    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

    Butter to grease the souffle dish

    In one bowl beat 3 eggs yolks
    Season with S & P
    Add cheese
    Mix well
    Add Puree and stir till combined

    Meanwhile beat egg whites to soft peaks
    Take a large spoonful of the beaten egg whites
    Stir briskly into puree and egg yolks
    This will slacken the mixture and make it easier to fold in the remainder of the whites
    Then carefully fold in the remainder of the egg whites to the mix
    Meanwhile grease a souffle dish with butter
    Pour mixture into dish
    Into oven... it should take about 30-40 minutes
    Golden brown on the top
    The souffle should have a nice little wobble, when you take it out
    Here it is ready to eat
    And according to the Beloved
    The best bit, the remainder.

    Monday, April 11, 2011

    Letters from Abroad - Winter

    14th February 1968
    Mr. & Mrs. P Schultz              Mrs. G Wrightson
    11 Viking Av                           186 London RD
    Hillsborough                           Twickenham
    Auckland NZ                          Middlesex UK

    Dear Sandy and Pete,

    Sorry to be so long in answering but honestly I have been so lazy lately, all my letters are piling up.
     I wrote so many letters while I was away.
    I don’t know if I told you in the card I sent you, by the way did you get it, Anyhow as I was saying, we now have a car. 1963 Mini, white and seems to go very well.
    Our friend Phil Webster with his son Graeme in the White Mini

    I have been driving it to work but we have a slight problem which developed last night in the pouring rain. The windscreen wipers tied themselves in knots SO I spent a terrifying drive home. Couldn’t see a bloody think so today I came by train as the weather is still funny.
    Very depressing weather, millions of grey days and really grey. All the houses are brick. I’ll tell you I don’t think we’ll ever buy a brick house AND most of them are identical. They all blend in with the grey weather. Horrible… but besides that England’s social life or should I say ours has picked up considerably and we have been having a fabulous time since we bought the car.
    Last weekend we only spent Saturday morning at home. On Friday night I stayed at the Club, oh I must tell you I had a lovely time on Friday, as all of my work clothes needed dry cleaning I wore to work one of my mini dresses. A nice one, navy blue with white lace around the neck and down the front.

    Well I had young men around me all day. I had 6 of them chatting me up.
    Boy I was chuffed Think I will wear it again. Anyhow on Friday night we went for a Chinese nosh and then onto the Crown, a Pub in Twickenham which has Jazz on Friday nights, We had a fun time there also ran out of petrol.
    Saturday Dale went to the England/Ireland rugby match at Twickenham and then onto the Pub where all the rugby fans go. At this pub when there is an international match there is a girl there that strips. He missed it by half and hour the first time and the 2nd time she wouldn’t do it, so on Saturday he thought he was made. Things were really swinging at the Pub so about 7 pm he decided to come and get me as he thought I might enjoy it, so he ran all the way home and guess what I wasn’t there. I had gone to visit Rikki and Terry and usually he isn’t home at that time so I didn’t hurry home.
    Terry Yearbury and Yours truly in their flat in Ealing.
    AND while he was away the girl stripped. He was pipped. Gosh I laughed. When I finally arrived home we rushed around to Tim’s where Dale had dinner as I had already eaten and then we met the others at a Pub in East Sheen where we had a roaring time, then we crashed a party and livened it up for the hostess. So having a car makes all the difference, we have been to visit people we haven’t had a chance to before.
     The frequently mentioned Tim.
    One problem, we also spend all our money. I got paid on Thursday £13 and spent it all by Sunday, disgusting,
    I got a letter from Marilyn on Monday. Good to hear all the news again.
    Well you two how is Auckland?
    I’ll tell you I miss the weather, but the summer is coming Thank God.
    We have a film show at work on Sunday and the Private Life of Henry VIII, remember that on TV.
    We had some sad news on Monday Dale’s Grandfather died. When I saw the telegram I was too scared to open it and I must admit I was relieved when I read it, because it was a good thing.
    He died as they had put him in Porirua as he was completely senile.
    Young Dianne’s wedding apparently went off well and everyone enjoyed themselves,
    St Valentines Day today
    The postman didn’t bring me any cards. What a shame.
     Our backyard in Twickenham
     Cute...young love
     Richmond in the snow

    We think we might be home for Christmas this year but I suppose we might change our plans again.
    Nevertheless I will let you know when we are expected in Auckland. Hope to hear from you again, send my love to Nan and Grandy.

    Love Gillian and Dale

    Sunday, April 10, 2011

    Fish Pie or as A Canadian Calls It - Fisherman's Pie - Comfort Food

    It's only a month since we were sitting on the boat in a beautiful bay.
    In fact probably 6 weeks since our friend Pete drove up to have a weekend with us.
    He will wish he was back there as well, now the weather is cooling down. Swimming and lying in the sun. Heaven.
    Below Pete having his constitutional swim. Getting ready for a day of feasting and imbibing.
    Anyway Pete is justifiably very proud of his Fish Pie and he went to the trouble to prepare one and bring it up for us to devour. There was enough leftover to freeze little packages for Dale when he was on his own.
    All golden and crispy on the top
    Full of fish and prawns in a wonderful creamy sauce inside.
    So Pete, it was excellent but I now have another version.
    Don't be put off by the many steps. You can do this ahead of time.
    I reckon you could serve it for a dinner party.
    You could individual portions
    Very elegant.

    There is a programme on Food TV called "Everyday Exotic", starring Canadian Roger Mooking.
    I don't think Fish Pie is a staple part of the North American diet... as it is for those of us recently descended from British Stock.
    He called his version Fisherman's Pie (Shepherd's Pie etc)
    It looked tasty so I decided to give it a go.
    It relied on making a fish stock.
    That is not hard and is a great use of the fish head and bones
    Just takes a little bit of time.
    You make a stock which turns into the sauce.
    Saute some vege
    Mash some potatoes
    Assemble and Bob's your Uncle.

    Choose your whole fish
    Get the Fishmonger to filet and skin it for you and pop the bones in a bag

    For 4 people
    Whole fish filleted and skinned with bones for the stock
    You need 200 gms per person
    4 prawns per person

    For The Stock
    Fish Bones
    1/2 bulb Fennel
    1 stalk Celery
    1 Onion Peeled
    Bay leaves 3
    Black peppercorns
    1 cup of white Wine

    Chop up the vegetables roughly
    Add everything to a large stock pot
    Add wine and enough water to cover everything
    Add salt about 1 teaspoon
    Bring to the boil and simmer about 20 minutes
    Don't cook to long it can become bitter
    Strain immediately and return to pot.
    Bring back to boil
    Cook about 10 minutes to reduce the stock for the maximum flavour
    Taste and season with extra salt and pepper if needed
    Reserve to make the sauce

    Meanwhile prepare The Vegetables
    The hot fish stock gives lots of flavour to the vegetables

    1 Carrot chopped small cubes
    White part of 1 Leek sliced finely
    1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon butter
    1 cup frozen peas
    1/2 cup reserved stock
    Sea Salt and freshly Ground Black pepper

    Gently sauté carrot and leek in oil and butter
    Till they soften
    Season with S & P
    Add hot stock
    Cook about 5 minutes
    Add peas
    Simmer till stock absorbed

    Set aside

    The Sauce
    Remainder of the stock
    2 tablespoons butter
    2 tablespoons plain flour
    1/4 cup cream
    4 sprigs fresh Tarragon

    Mix butter and flour together
    This is your thickening agent
    The French call it Beurre Manier

    Bring the sauce to the boil
    Add the Beurre Manier
    and stir well till it thickens
    Use a whisk so it doesn't get lumpy
    Add tarragon and cream
    Set aside

    Now The Potato Topping

    3 large peeled potatoes
    100 mls milk
    2 tablespoons butter
    2 egg yolks

    The best result for mashed potatoes is using a ricer
    It gets rid of all the lumps but use a potato masher or fork if you wish

    Cut the potatoes into large chunks
    Cover with cold water
    Add salt
    Bring to boil and simmer till they are tender
    Drain in a colander and return to the pot
    Mash them
    Heat the milk and butter together and add to the potatoes
    Beat all together for a really good result
    Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary

    Now for the assembly
    A light layer of the sauce over the bottom of your gratin dish
    Place fish and prawns on top
    Season with salt and pepper
    Add vegetables
    Cover with sauce and then the mashed potatoes
    Smooth the potatoes over the top
    Into 190C oven for about 25 minutes till golden brown and bubbling
    Don't eat too quickly, you will burn the roof of your mouth
    Take this from one greedy person who knows!!!
    This is a fish pie worth making for guests. Dont be selfish and keep it for yourself. You may be inclined to. I made two and have stuck one in the freezer for another day.
    Dale waving me goodbye, as he is about to take off for his journey, sailing home.
    Au'voir Cajun Moon
    I drove home in 4 hours
    He took 3 leisurely days, working his way through his little Freezer Packages.
    I know he wishes he was still up there in Paradise.

    Scones - How About Date and Apple - Delicious Autumn Food

    Its Apple season, and they are at their best, but sometimes, you don't get around to eat them while they are crisp. Best thing to do then...cook them.
    I decided that roasting was a good idea.
    Just lightly oil a roasting tin, remove any impurities, cut them in half and roast till they collapse.
    When they have cooled,
    Through the Food mill to remove the skins and the pips.
    I then flavoured the pulp, with the zest and juice of an orange.
    So of course, cooked this way great for a baby but should I do now for adults.
    Funny how the mind works... is there any reason why they can't be used to make scones?
    WELL this was a sensational idea.
    Talk about flaky and soft crumb with a crisp top. We loved them.
    We had 2 Mad Birds visiting and they  wolfed them down as well
    If you wish use the food processor to mix the flour and butter
    Makes light work of it
    Pre-heat oven to 210C
    2 cups Self Raising Flour
    1 teaspoon Baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    4 tablespoons butter, chopped into small cubes
    12 dates chopped
    1/2 cup milk
    1/2 cup apple pulp

    Add flour, baking powder and salt to food processor
    Blitz to lighten and mix well
    Add butter and pulse until it look like bread crumbs
    Only takes seconds

    Best now to add the liquid and dates by hand

    Stir the apple pulp and milk till smooth
    Tip flour into mixing bowl
    Add dates
    Throw in all of the liquid and mix.
    It is quite a wet dough, that is fine
    Lay on a lightly floured board
    Form a rectangle and divide into 8
    Place on a baking tray lined with Baking paper
    Brush with milk
    Cook in oven approx 15 minutes
    Look how flaky they are.
    Delicious with butter but actually they are fine on their own.