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    Saturday, May 21, 2011

    Gluten Free Three Course Meal- Cooking with Produce from Friends

    First hands up those who remember Gravenstein Apples. Very tart. Perfect for cooking, they do tend to fall apart a bit but they were perfect for my dessert, in this Gluten Free Meal.

    We were given the apples from my friend Derrick, who has some land in the Manawatu.
    On a previous visit he clipped a bottle onto a pear bud and when the pear had grown in the bottle.
    His wife Lorraine filled it with Brandy and I got my own personal Poire William.
    Here is the now empty Poire William and also some Preserves from Derrick and Lorraine.

    So I pinched the idea from Hugh Fearnely Whittingstall for these excellent Baked Apples
    First you need to make the filling for the apples
    1 cup mixed dried fruit
    I used a mix of sultanas, mixed peel and craisins
    Cover with Brandy or Rum and marinate for several hours
    2 tablespoons brown sugar
    100 gms Butter

    Meanwhile prepare the apples
    Take out the cores to make a good hole for filling
    Make a light cut horizontally around the apples
    to give them room to swell as they cook
    Mix the fruit, butter and sugar
    Stuff the apples with all of the filling
    Spread any remaining filing all over the apples
    This made enough for 6 apples
    Cover with foil
    Heat oven to 180 C
    Bake about 45 minutes
    Remove foil
    Baste apples
    Back uncovered for another 15 minutes

    Serve with juice drizzled over the top
    I made Lemon Posset to serve with these delights.
    Look here for the recipe. So simple

    Now first course. Once again going with produce given to me by friends. My friend Mr Heinz has a stunning garden and on his last visit brought me a big bag of walnuts from his very fertile tree.
    Fabulous things about the walnuts is that until you shell them they can last for ages.

    So I sat down with the nutcracker, in front of the TV and cracked my nuts (so to speak).
    The idea was to make a Waldorf Salad stuffed into a lettuce leaf
    Light, easy and a great way to start a meal
    The mix of sweet and salty is delicious and so so healthy what's more.

    2 pears peeled, cored and chopped into small cubes
    2 stick celery cut into small dice
    1 small red apple skin ON and fine dice
    About 20 green grapes cut in half
    20 walnuts shelled and chopped
    2 tablespoons Craisins

    50 gms blue cheese ( I used Castello Nice and creamy) crumbled
    3 tablespoons of Mayonnaise

    1 Iceberg lettuce broken into cups
    5 rashers streaky bacon diced and fried till crisp

    I used Ray McVinnies Mayonnaise from the Masterchef New Zealand Masterclass.
    Very simple, very lemony and perfect for this salad.
    You can use shop bought Mayo, just add some lemon zest and a little lemon juice to get the real lemony flavour.

    2 egg yolks
    1 cup vegetable oil
    Zest and juice of one medium lemon
    Salt and pepper to taste

    I did it in the Food processor
    Whisk the egg yolks 
    Slowly add the oil drop by drop
    When it thickens
    Add zest and lemon juice
    Salt and pepper

    So mix all of the fruit, nuts and cheese together
    Dress with Mayo
    Do this at least a couple of hours ahead so the flavours can meld

    Just before serving fill the lettuce cups
    Sprinkle with bacon pieces
    And serve, The punters should pick them up in their hands and devour.
     Now for the main course
    Filet Steak with Green Peppercorn Sauce
    with Fondant Potatoes and Green Beans

    I have always wanted to cook Fondant Potatoes
    I have seen a lot of Chefs cooking them on TV
    I watched Mark from The Food Store Chefs on Food TV make this meal.
    I thought it looked very tasty and a well balanced meal.

    So first the potatoes.
    Peel as many potatoes as you need.
    As you are cutting lovely little cubes there will be a lot of waste.
    But in this Waste not Want not kitchen of mine.
    I just sliced the remainder, par boiled them...put them aside to make
    an easy Moussaka for the grandchildren.
    Its important that the potatoes are all the same size for even cooking.
    These were 3 cm cubed.

    I used I large Agria potato per person
    100 gms butter
    2 cloves garlic peeled and sliced

    3 sprigs thyme
    2 sprigs rosemary
    Salt and pepper

    Place all the ingredients into a pan
    Top up with cold water
    Bring to boil on high heat
    The water evaporates and then the potatoes are left to brown in the remaining butter
    When the potatoes are cooked if there is too much water left
    Remove them and place to one side
    Reduce the liquid
    Put the potatoes back in and let them continue to cook
    They will be brown on the bottom which is your presentation side
    and so flavoursome
    Great look
    Steak is very simple I bought a whole filiet
    Trimmed in and used all of the trimmings to make an easy stock to use in the sauce

    1 filet steak per person at least 4 cm thick
    1 shallot peeled and finely chopped
    1 clove garlic peeled and finely chopped
    50 mls Brandy
    200 mls veal or beef stock
    50 mls cream
    1 tablespoon green peppercorns

    Season steak with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
    Cook to your liking
    Remove from pan and keep warm

    Add shallots and garlic to the pan quickly saute till soft
    Deglaze with the Brandy
    Add stock and peppercorns and reduce by half
    Add cream and simmer till a nice sauce forms

    Plate steak onto a warm plate
    Cover with sauce and serve with potato
    I used green beans which is of course a very french thing to do
    but any green vegetable would do

    Now just to add how I used the potato scraps
    For 6 people
    700 gms of meat sauce
    and I made 1 litre of Bechamel
    75 gms cheddar cheese

    Easy Moussaka
    Make your favourite meat sauce
    Plus bechamel sauce
    Add cheddar cheese to the bechamel
    Plus 1 egg lightly beaten

    To assemble
    First grease a gratin dish with butter
    Make a layer of potatoes covering the bottom of the dish
    add the meat sauce
    Then finish off with the rest of the potatoes
    Season the potatoes with salt and pepper
    Cover with the cheesy eggy sauce
    Cover with foil
    Bake 180 about 30 minutes
    Take out remove foil
    Back into oven and bake till golden and bubbling
    Handy hint to get the best out of your Moussaka. I suggest you leave at least 30 minutes before you serve. This gives the custardy topping to set and the potatoes will totally absorb the meat sauce.The kids just loved it.


    Sinead said...

    Your Waldorf salad looks amazing! I must try this.

    I tried cooking my first 3 course the other day =D

    Might try your salad next time

    So Simple said...

    Thanks sinead it was popular