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    Saturday, August 18, 2012

    New Zealand Surf Clams from Cloudy Bay

    My friend Lana treated me to Al Brown's Master Class, at the Food Show in Auckland
    As it turned out he didn't do any cooking, but he did introduce us to some delicious
    Fresh Raw Seafood. Like these 3 freshly shucked Oysters.
    But the star of the Show was the Cloudy Bay Clams
    Al and his Sous Chef had shucked the clams for us and we ate them raw.

    We were luck enough to get a Goodie Bag and in it, was a voucher for 2 kgs of clams
    and a bottle of Al Browns Orange and Chili Oil
    I have used the oil several times. It has a wonderful flavour and got a good kick to it as well
    Lana meanwhile ordered her Clams, so she brought them around last night
    So what did we make? but of course!

    Spaghetti Alle Vongole or at least my version of it.
    Look at those succulent Clams aren't they divine.
    That was a kilo of Clams plenty for 4 of us
    Also Lana brought 2 dozen beautiful Bluff Oysters,
    I saved the liquor and added to my dish for that extra taste of the sea

    4 tablespoons of good olive oil
    6 cloves Garlic peeled and sliced
    1 tsp chili flakes
    Zest and juice of 1 lemon
    1/2 cup chopped parsley
    Freshly ground black pepper

    1 Kg Bag Blanched Cloudy Bay Clams
    1/2 cup White wine

    500 gms spaghetti
    Cooked in well salted boiling water till al dente

    In a large pan gently saute Garlic and Chili.
    Don't let the garlic brown, it will become bitter
    Then add parsley and lemon zest

    Add hot spaghetti to the oil toss well
    Add lemon juice and black pepper
    Set aside

    Heat another pot till "smokin'"
    Throw in Clams
    When you hear the sizzle add the white wine
    Put lid on the pan
    Shake and leave til they begin to open
    This took about 3-4 minutes
    As they open remove them and set aside
    Reserve liquor

    Add liquor to spaghetti
    The liquor is fairly salty so it should be enough to season the dish
    But add more salt if you need to

    Pour into a big bowl and lay
    cooked Clams on top

    Sprinkle with a some extra parsley and drizzle over some extra Virgin Olive Oil

    Guaranteed divine
    So it's thanks to Lana.
    Thanks to Al Brown
    and Thanks to Cloudy Bay Clams you were delicious
    Lana and I, taken just a few years ago at Dijon Station part of a 3 week tour of US and Europe
    Lots of eating and drinking of course

    Tuesday, August 14, 2012

    Quick and Simple Fish Chowder

    It was a beautiful day this morning
    But as it's Winter, it didn't last and now it is raining and cold.
    So Soup for Lunch Dear?
    I had a small piece of Gurnard in the fridge... not enough for a meal
    but plump it up with potato and corn
    Yum, Fish Chowder
    Generous helpings for two people

    2 tablespoons butter
    1 onion, finely chopped
    2 med potatoes, peeled and chopped into small cubes
    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
    1 cup frozen corn
    3 cups milk approx
     Zest and juice of 1 lemon
    120 g white fish chopped

    Sriracha Sauce, a good dash

    Melt butter in a saucepan
    Add onions
    Season with salt
    Saute till soft
    Add potatoes stir well to cover with the buttery onions
    A little more salt and lemon zest

    Add enough water to just cover the vege
    Bring to a simmer and cook till potatoes are tender
    Add corn and milk and just bring to simmer again

    Season chopped fish with Salt and pepper and lemon juice
    and let sit for about 10 minutes

    When soup has just come to the boil
    Turn down and add fish
    Let poach gently, about 8 minutes
    Taste and adjust seasoning then
    Add dash of Sriracha Sauce 

    Thanks to Kalyn from Kalyn's Kitchen for introducing me to Sriracha Sauce
    It is such a flavour booster. Beware it is quite hot so be careful

    Normally I would add parsley but I didn't have any
    Oh well, it was still excellent

    Thursday, August 02, 2012

    Taste of Yellow - Jacqui's Lemon Squash

    In June, Barbara Harris finally lost her battle with Cancer .
    This month's Monthly Mingle is devoted to Barbara.
    For several years, Barbara set up a Blogging Event called a Taste of Yellow.
    It was to raise awareness for Cancer Research linking in with LiveStrong Day
    Bloggers were invited to submit recipes featuring yellow food.
    Always an interesting event.
    Jeanne from Cook Sister is hosting the Monthly Mingle this month
    What a great Tribute to Barbara
    My friend Jacqui was a very good friend of Barbara.
    A Virtual friend whats more...they had known one another for years.
    In fact, Jacqui introduced me to Barbara.
    Jacqui doesn't have her own blog yet, so I am submitting her entry through So Simple.
    I love the photo, it would do Barbara proud

    It's a simple Lemon Squash, refreshing and perfect for a Hot Summers Day

    Lemon Squash 
    9 drops lemon juice 
    3 tsp sugar syrup 
    Soda water

    To make the Sugar Syrup  
    1 cup sugar 
    1 cup water
    In a medium saucepan, combine sugar and water.

    Bring to a boil, stirring, until sugar has dissolved.
    Allow to cool
    This will keep for ages in the fridge

    Mix lemon juice with sugar syrup in a highball glass,
     stir well and fill up with soda water.
    Serve with drinking straw.
    Multiply quantity by number of guests.

    P.S.  I reckon a good slug of Vodka or Gin would be an added extra