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    Thursday, October 31, 2013

    Excellent, Simple Hollandaise and Mayonnaise - All Dairy and Gluten Free

    This week I have made excellent Mayonnaise and Hollandaise Sauce,
    using the blender.
    My word, how easy is this

    We have a friend, who has gone onto The Paleo Diet, for his health
    So, when they came to dinner recently, I checked out some recipes from The Paleo For Beginners Book, which work for this diet.

    And came up with this Hollandaise Sauce, using Coconut Oil instead of butter
    I was really impressed
    Very easy and tasted fantastic. I defy anyone to pick up the difference in flavour
    I served it over Roasted Salmon, accompanied with, Fresh Asparagus, Roasted Courgettes
    and Sweet Potatoes, roasted with Rosemary and Olive oil
    Thumbs up from the guests.

    12 Tablespoons  Coconut  Oil
    Juice and Zest of 1 lemon
    ¼ teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
    4 large free range eggs
    Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

    Heat the oil either in the microwave or on the stove
    To a low to medium heat, don't overcook it

    Place the egg yolks, lemon juice, salt and pepper into a blender
    Blend about 30 seconds
    Slowly start to add the warm oil a few drops at a time
    Continue blending until the mixture emulsifies
    You can then let the oil flow in a continuous stream
    Till the mixture becomes thick

    I like to add the zest of the lemon for that extra lemon flavour

    If you make it in advance, place in a little thermos container to keep it warm
    So while I was on a roll, I went ahead and made some Mayo as well

    I used a recipe from Anne Burrell of the Food Network
    This is a Tangy Mayo and I loved it
    She used Red Wine Vinegar but I used White Wine
    We have been eating it all week.
    Very yummy

    2 egg yolks
    ¼ cup red or white wine vinegar
    1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
    Sea Salt
    1 ½ cups of a neutral vegetable oil, I used Rice Bran

    Place Egg yolks, Vinegar, Mustard and Salt into blender
    Whiz for about 30 seconds

    Start adding oil few drops at a time till it starts to emulsify
    You can then let it flow, in a slow stream

    It will be lovely and thick

    I made a delicious
    Potato Salad
    3 large Potatoes
    1 Medium Carrot
    1/2 Cup Sliced and de-seeded Cucumber

    2-3 Tablespoons of Mayo

    Peel and cube potatoes
    Cook in boiling salted water till fork tender
    Peel and cut carrots in small cubes
    Blanch in boiling salted water for about 1 minutes

    Mix everything together with the mayonnaise
    Season with salt and pepper to taste

    Serve in lettuce leaves with Marinated Beetroot, Grated Cheese and Hard Boiled Eggs
    Top with some chopped Cashew Nuts
    Of course if you wish this to be dairy free, don't add the cheese

    To Marinate Beetroot
    Slowly simmer beetroot, till fork tender
    The peel will just rub off
    Cut into cubes
    Toss with your favourite French dressing

    An excellent Vegetarian Lunch
    Plenty of  Protein and that excellent beetroot, to help your liver!
    What could be better than that

    Simple Mille Feuille - Best Dessert for Kids

    This is probably the easiest and most successful dessert, that I have made for the Grandchildren.

    They just love it and seriously, it is so, so simple
    Loosely based on the Famous Mille Feuille Recipe
    I am not going to give exact quantities, I think you can decide how much of everything you need yourself
    For instance 1 sheet makes 3 Milles Feuilles

    I use Raspberry Jam usually but if you want to make it more adult.
    try fresh berries, marinated in some sugar and maybe some raspberry liqueur
    In fact I used Fresh berries in the dessert pictured

    Take a packet of rolled out Frozen Flaky Puff Pastry
    1 egg beaten with a tablespoon of water
    Some White Sugar

    Raspberry Jam
    Cream whipped with a little sugar and some vanilla extract

    Pre-heat oven to 200C

    Cut the sheet of pastry into rectangles
    Prick to stop excess rising
    Brush with beaten egg

    Sprinkle Liberally with Sugar
    Bake till golden and crisp
    About 10-15 minutes

    Cool on a rack

    To assemble
    Put one rectangle on the bottom
    Press down lightly to flatten
    Spread with raspberry Jam
    Cover with whipped cream

    Place another on top

    Not only great for kids, I can own up to loving it myself

    Wednesday, October 16, 2013

    World Bread Day - The Best Homemade Bread for Sandwiches - Thanks Michel Roux

    It's World Bread Day today, Zorra Kochtopf over the last few years has gathered together Food Bloggers to share their Bread making. I love making Bread and this is a great event.
    So I thought I would share this wonderful loaf that  I found, whilst surfing through the internet.I came across a blog Blahblogblah 
    The blogger, named Injera, had posted about a Programme, that we haven’t had here in New Zealand yet, called “Great British Food Revival”,
    Of course I clicked in and found a recipe from Michel Roux Jnr for this 
    Sandwich Bread Loaf

    Being a sucker for any new Bread recipe, particularly if it looks ‘So Simple’.
    I immediately saved the post and this morning I made the bread.

    My Loved One reckons, it is one of the best I have made and I tend to agree
    So Thank you Injera and Thanks to Michel Roux Jnr,
    The recipe is on the website, worth while getting into this food lovers. 
    Great recipes from all of the Celeb Chefs, featuring on the BBC

    I used Dry yeast in the little foil packets. I think they weight about 8 gms
    It is not easy to find fresh yeast around where I live. 
    The yeast in foil is brilliant,
    keeps for ages too
    Also I really like to use Pyrex loaf containers. 
    Easier to see when the loaf is brown.
    Excellent for pies as well

    Milk, butter and golden syrup makes this loaf particularly rich and delicious, and it keeps well too

        20g/1oz golden syrup
        25g/1oz melted butter
        350ml/12fl oz warm milk
        10g/1/2 oz fresh yeast or 1 Pkt Dried yeast
        250g/8oz plain flour, plus extra for dusting
        250g/8oz strong bread flour
        10g/1/2oz sea salt

    Preparation method
    Stir the golden syrup and melted butter into the warm milk until well combined. 
    Crumble the yeast into a large bowl, then pour over the warm milk mix and 
    stir until the yeast has dissolved.
    I let the yeast foam up. 
    Takes about 6-7 minutes 

    Add the remaining ingredients and mix until a smooth dough forms. 
    Cover the bowl with cling film and set aside for about 5 minutes.
    Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and 
    knead for 10 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. 
    Once again, the ipad is indispensable, just propped up again the wall. Michel's recipe there for me.
    Meanwhile oil the bowl
    Return the dough to the bowl, 

    Cover with cling film and place into a warm place for 1 hour, 
    or until the dough has nearly doubled in size.
    Meanwhile, grease and flour a 12cm x 20cm/5in x 8in bread tin.

    Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface again and knock back a few times. 
    Divide equally into two pieces and shape into balls. 
    Best way to get a nice ball 
    Flatten the piece of dough
    and then pull in the edges to the middle
    When you have formed a ball turn it over and lightly massage it
    A Lovely globe
    Place the dough balls side by side in the prepared bread tin, 

    cover with cling film and set aside to rise again, until doubled in size.

    Preheat the oven to 220C/410F/Gas 7.
    Using a sharp knife, slash the dough a few times and place into the oven immediately. 
    After 10 minutes, reduce the heat to 180C/350F/Gas 4 
    and bake for a further 30 minutes, or until the bread is golden-brown. 
    To check if the bread is done, remove from the tin and tap the bottom with your knuckles   
    it should sound hollow.
    Leave the bread loaf to cool on a wire rack.

    I love the way you can tear the bread apart, just like my childhood.
    My Mother would send me out to buy half of loaf of bread. 
    I think it cost about threepence 
    The shopkeeper would break the bread in half
    Wrap a strip of paper around it,
    The smell of the fresh bread was too much for me and I used to pick at the soft crumb. 
    Tearing little strips off. Trying to make it look like a little mouse hadn't been there.
    Who did I think I was kidding?
    My Mother never commented, but I bet she had many a laugh with my Father 
    It looked just like this
     Made great Toast served with Peanut Butter and Banana, grind of black pepper... one of my favourites

    Friday, October 11, 2013

    Super Smoked Kahawai Fish Pie

    The Family have been fishing
    They caught some Kahawai
    This local fish, is a slightly oily fish
    It needs to be bled as soon as caught.
    Makes great fish cakes, not exactly a fish to pan fry

    Chris home smoked it
    He really nailed it
    It was so moist and full of flavour
    (Not too smoky. I not an over-smoked type of person
    Must be all those years smoking cigarettes. Got enough smoke then, to last a lifetime!!!)
    Anyway, I digressed, sorry.
    What to do with Smoked Kahawai, 
    of course Smoked Fish Pie
    A Super Fish Smoked Pie

    I have taken all the ideas for Fish Pies, that I have made over the years

    I think I really got it with this one.
    Sweet, lightly sautéed leeks, grated carrot and not a bit of cheese in sight
    Lovely citrus, from fresh lemons
    My secret ingredient this time, was some leftover Hollandaise sauce.

    We had a trip to the country in the weekend and came home with lots of Fresh, fresh, fresh vegetables, including Asparagus.
    Plus gnarly juicy lemons off Debbie’s tree
    Don’t you love spring?
    My friend John McCready, put a post on Facebook of his Asparagus and Poached Egg dish.
    Gave me inspiration
    Looked very good but need a little something else.
    Hollandaise is an excellent added extra.
    First find a So Simple recipe
    Found this on the net for an easy peasy Hollandaise Sauce
    From a blog site by Elise Bauer  click here to connect to Elise 
        3 egg yolks (see how to separate eggs)
        1 tablespoon lemon juice
        1/2 teaspoon salt
        1/8 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
        10 tablespoons unsalted butter


    1 Melt the butter slowly in a small pot.
    Try not to let it boil – you want the moisture in the butter to remain there and not steam away.

    2 Add the egg yolks, lemon juice, salt and cayenne (if using) into your blender.
    Blend the egg yolk mixture at a medium to medium high speed until it lightens in color, 
    about 20-30 seconds.
    The friction generated by the blender blades, will heat the yolks a bit.
    The blending action will also introduce a little air into them,
    making your hollandaise a bit lighter.

    3 Once the yolks have lightened in color, 
    turn the blender down to its lowest setting
    (if you only have one speed on your blender it will still work),
    and drizzle in the melted butter slowly, while the blender is going.
    Continue to buzz for another couple seconds after the butter is all incorporated.

    4 Turn off the blender and taste the sauce.
    It should be buttery, lemony and just lightly salty.
    If it is not salty or lemony enough,
    you can add a little extra lemon juice or salt to taste.
    If you want a thinner consistency, add a little warm water.
    Pulse briefly to incorporate the ingredients one more time.

    Store until needed in a warm spot, like on or next to the stovetop.
    Use within an hour or so.
    I placed the Hollandaise into a little insulated container
    to keep it warm 

    The Leftover sauce went into the fridge, in the container and frankly was fine the next day
    Hence the addition to my Super Fish Pie
    In fact such a great addition to my Fish Pie, I would make it especially for a special occasion. 

    So on with the Asparagus Dish
    The whole thing was delicious
    Just cook some Asparagus
    and Poach an Egg
    I added some cooked Prawns as it was dinner 
    Smothered it with Hollandaise sauce 
    Just break the yolk

    Sorry it has taken me ages to get to the main recipe, but here ya go.
    Super Smoked Fish Pie 
    To feed 4 people

    200 gms Smoked fish of your choice flaked , check for bones

    Slosh olive oil
    1 leek washed and sliced
    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 
    Little water

    4 tablespoons unsalted butter
    1 carrot grated
    4 tablespoons plain flour
    2 cups full fat milk, warmed
    Sea salt and freshly ground black freshly ground black pepper
    Zest of I lemon
    2 tablespoons lemon juice

    4 large potatoes peeled and chopped
    1/4 cup hot milk
    3 teaspoons cold butter
    White pepper

    Potato Topping
    Cook potatoes in boiling salted water, till fork tender
    Mash, or put through a ricer for really smooth potatoes
    Add hot milk
    Beat well and beat in the cold butter
    Season with a little ground white pepper
    Set aside

    Leek layer
    In a medium size sauté pan, gently heat the olive oil
    Add sliced leeks
    Season with S & P and toss well
    Cook for about 2 minutes
    Add about 2 tablespoon water
    Cover and cook about 4 minutes, till just soft but still nice and green
    Remove from pan and set aside

    In a pot add butter
    Add grated carrot
    Sauté till soft
    Season with S & P
    Add flour and stir and cook for 3-4 minutes
    Add milk and stir well till thickens
    Let gently bubble, approx 4 minutes
    Continue to stir so that it doesn’t stick
    Add juice and zest of lemon

    Add Hollandaise Sauce
    Taste and adjust seasoning if it needs it
    Stir well, add flaked fish and
    Set aside
    Time to assemble

    In a gratin dish
    Line with a small layer of the sauce
    Cover with the leeks

    Cover them with the fish sauce

    Plonk the potatoes on top and fork it to make a raised pattern

    Into 180C over and cook for 30 minutes
    It should be golden and bubbling

    So delicious, this is a Dinner Party Dish

    Tuesday, October 01, 2013

    Roast Lamb Rump With Mushrooms - Pinching Ideas from Jamie

    When I was trying to beat Jamie at his 15 minute meals, earlier in the year.
    (By the way I haven't finished that project.
    Just been a little distracted over the last couple of months.
    We have now moved into a lovely apartment and are settled, so it's time to get back to blogging.
    Something I really enjoy.)
    Anyway I digress, I did pick up some great ideas, not only wonderful tasty food but some
    excellent, simple techniques.

    So I had 2 lovely little lamp rumps in the freezer and in the fridge, some Portobello Mushrooms

    Yes... Dinner.
    One of the ideas that I pinched from the Jamie series, was to roast the mushrooms in the same pan as the meat.
    Makes sense.
    1 pan meals, are good for the "dishwasher" this house, that's the same person as the cook
    To be truthful, I did use other pans for the vege
    Let's not be picky though.

    So, quantities are not important here.
    It's entirely up to you and the number of people that you are cooking for.
    I just matched this Meat and Mushroom dish, very simply, with Frozen Peas, Edamame and Crushed Potatoes

    Very Much the Comfort Food

    2 Lamb Rumps
    Sea salt and pepper
    Olive oil
    4-6 Portobello Mushrooms ripped into pieces

    Potatoes, peeled, chopped and cooked till tender
    Season with pepper and a nice knob of butter

    I use the microwave for frozen vege, quick, easier washing up
    This seems to be a theme in this post!
    and also season and add a little knob of butter

    To cook the Lamb
    Bring your little Lamb Rumps to room temperature.
    Season both sides well with Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
    Rub over with some olive oil
    Let sit, while you heat the oven to 200C

    Add your mushrooms to a bowl season them with  S & P and a slosh of oil
    Heat a pan which will go into the oven to med hot heat
    Add seasoned lamb
    It should sizzle
    Cook on 1 side for about 3 minutes
    Turn over
    Push the oiled mushrooms around the lamb and into the oven
    Cook for about 6-8 minutes
    For med roast Lamb
    Remove, take out of pan and let rest for about 6 minutes

    Carve the Lamb
    Pour the Mushrooms and juice, over the top and serve

    One of the joys of Roast Meat is the left over cold meat the next day
    Just perfect for Sandwiches
    I made a loaf of superb bread, courtesy Michel Roux
    Click here to read about this and get the recipe
    Some doorsteps with a little butter
    A little mint jelly,
    Sliced lamb and
    Voila, Lunch
    Not exactly a diet lunch...but you don't do this every day and it was delicious