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    Monday, May 26, 2014

    MKR Auckland- Brothers-in-law Dan and Chris Top Our Ladder

    My Kitchen Rules Wrightson Noble Style

    Yesterday it was family lunch celebrating Katie's birthday
    As Dale and I are finding it a bit difficult to get around at the moment, it was decided to hold the lunch here at our apartment
    The usual family suspects were present
    And the timer was set
    The entree was Pear, Rocket, Walnut and Goats Cheese Salad
    Accompanied with some HomeChrisgrown Beetroot

    First on the plate
    Finely sliced Pear and Beetroot

    Then Rocket, Chopped Walnuts and Topped with Torn Goats Cheese

    Drizzle over your favourite Vinaigrette
    Best with a sweeter Vinegar
    i.e. Apple Cider or Balsamic

    They did well took a bit of time plating, that might need a little work if they wish to cook again
    I scored them 9/10 takes a lot to get a 10 out of me

    So onto the Main course Gumbo DanManStyle

    Many years ago we did a trip  New Orleans
    Found the New Orleans School of Cooking
    I loved it so much, that on our next 4 visits, as we introduced many friends to this wonderful town
    we returned and did the 2 hour course every time.
    Very popular.

    We learnt all About The Holy Trinity
    Onion, Bell Pepper and celery
    This is the base of many Cajun dishes
    The king of which, is Gumbo
    The recipe we were given from the NO School of Cooking is the one we base all of our Gumbos on

    Dan came twice with us to N'Awlins and he has embraced the food as well...
    I have to say he makes a damn fine Gumbo
    He has played a little with the original recipe on this occasion
    Below is the original
    You must make this…it is wonderful and so so simple
    One really important ingredient is
    Emeril's Essence Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast): 
    2 1/2 tablespoons paprika 
    2 tablespoons salt 
    2 tablespoons garlic powder 
    1 tablespoon black pepper 
    1 tablespoon onion powder 
    1 tablespoon cayenne pepper 
    1 tablespoon dried oregano 
    1 tablespoon dried thyme Combine all ingredients thoroughly.
    This will keep for ages in an airtight jar

    I am very proud of my Gumbo its pretty good.
    I use chorizo sausage…andouille is not that easy to come by here.
    I also like the 'heat' in the chorizo.
    Also I don’t use file or okra…sorry, it's a bit slimy for me

    Making the Cajun Roux is different from the original French Roux.
    It is made with oil (authentic cooks would use lard) and cooked for quite a long time to get the colour you desire.

    They taught us the quicker high heat method and I find this the easiest.
    This recipe will yield 15 or so portions.
    Great for a crowd.
    1 cup oil rice bran not olive oil
    1 chicken cut up
    3 tablespoons Emeril’s Essence
    3 large chorizo sausages
    1 cup flour
    4 cup chopped onions
    2 cups chopped celery
    2 cups chopped green and red pepper
    1 tablespoon chopped garlic
    8 cups stock
    Sea salt
    Cayenne pepper to taste
    2 cups chopped green/spring onions
    600 gms green prawns

    Dry Sherry to be served at the table
    Cooked rice (optional)

    First prepare the vegetables
    When the roux is cooked you need to add it immediately, to the Vege and stop it from scorching.

    First place the chopped vege in the pot you are going to cook the gumbo in.

    Season the chicken with essence and brown in oil
    Pop into oven and cook for about 15 minutes
    Remove till cool enough to handle and break off from bones.

    Slice chorizo and brown in pan remove and set aside.
    Strain this beautifully flavoured oil from chicken and chorizo and strain out bits.
    Top up to 1 cup to start the roux.

    The Roux

    Heat oil till just smoking
    Add flour all at once and whisk.
    Keep on whisking over high heat we are aiming for a nice brown roux
    This will take about 5-8 minutes to get the desired colour.
    The roux funnily enough doesn’t thicken just gets browner.
    If it looks like it is about to burn take it off the heat for a minute or two whisking all the time

    This is the perfect colour for me
    Now throw it immediately into the vege

    Cook until vege soften

    Add chicken and sausage to pot
    Gradually stir in stock and bring to boil
    Reduce to simmer and cook for and hour or so
    Best to make it to this stage in the morning. The longer it sits the better

    There is quite a film of oil on the top and I remove that just before I add the prawns and spring onions.
    So remove the oil bring back to the boilAdd prawns and spring onions
    Cook for 10 minutes and serve.

    You can serve with boiled rice but I prefer to have it as is like a soup rather than a main course

    Its fab

    Dan served his with Black Rice cooked in Chicken Stock, very nutty and tasty
    Go The Boys

    To top off the lunch
    We had a Donna Hay ChrisManStyle Chocolate and Salted Caramel Tart

        •    ¼ cup (25g) Dutch cocoa
        •    1½ cups (225g) plain flour
        •    125g unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
        •    ½ cup (80g) icing sugar
        •    3 egg yolks
        •    1 tablespoons iced water
        •    sea salt flakes, for sprinkling

    Salted Caramel
        •    1 cup (250ml) single (pouring) cream
        •    50g unsalted butter
        •    1½ cups (330g) white sugar
        •    ½ cup (125ml) water
        •    1 teaspoon sea salt flakes

    Dark Chocolate Ganache
        •    150g dark chocolate, chopped
        •    ½ cup (125ml) single (pouring) cream

    To make the Salted Caramel, 
    Place the cream and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to the boil.
    Remove from the heat and set aside.
    Place the sugar and water in a medium saucepan over low heat and cook,
    stirring, until the sugar is dissolved. 
    Place a sugar thermometer in the pan increase the heat to high. 
    Bring to the boil and cook for 10–12 minutes, without stirring, 
    or until the temperature reaches 150°C and the mixture is a deep caramel colour. 
    Remove from the heat and working quickly,
    Add the salt and cream and butter mixture
    and whisk to combine.
    Return to the heat and cook for a further 2 minutes or until thickened slightly.

    For the Pastry
    Place the cocoa, flour, butter and icing sugar in a food processor
    and process until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
    With the motor running, add the egg yolk. 
    Add the iced water and process until the dough just comes together.
    Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and gently bring together to form a ball. 
    Flatten into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

    Preheat oven to 180°C. 
    Roll the pastry out between 2 sheets of non-stick baking paper to 3mm-thick.
    Line a lightly greased 24cm round loose-bottomed tart tin with the pastry.
    Trim the edges and prick the base with a fork.
    Refrigerate for 30 minutes. 
     Line the pastry case with non-stick baking paper,
    fill with baking weights and bake for 15 minutes. 
    Remove the paper and weights and
    bake for a further 10 minutes or until the pastry is just cooked. 
    Allow to cool in the tin. 

    Spoon the salted caramel into the tart shell and refrigerate for a 2–3 hours or until set.

    To make the Dark Chocolate Ganache, 
    Place the chocolate and cream in a small saucepan over low heat and
    cook, stirring, until melted and smooth. 
    Allow to stand for 10 minutes or until thickened slightly.
    Pour the chocolate mixture over the caramel and refrigerate for 1–2 hours or until set.

    Bring to room temperature and sprinkle with sea salt flakes to serve.
    Serves 6–8.

    It was divine and served with some Whipped Cream to cut back the richness

    In fact by the time we had finished the meal I reviewed my score and the
    Brothers-in-law from Auckland went to the top of the ladder with a perfect 30/30

    Take a miracle to beat that

    Sunday, May 11, 2014

    Autumnal Soup - Making the most of Pepper and Courgettes

    Autumn is well and truly here, I had some capsicums and courgettes in the fridge
    Almost the end of these, as a seasonal vegetable,
    I thought I would attempt a soup with them.
    Added a Potato to thicken and Onion for flavour and it was successful.
    So I have made it again, made a couple of changes and I’m delighted with it

    Garnished with Chopped Tomato, added some extra flavours of Chili Paste and Basil Paste  from a tube.
    Very handy to have in the fridge, they keep well and of you haven’t any fresh herbs on hand, next best thing

    To feed 6 

    Red Peppers halved seeds out
    1 Yellow Pepper halved, seeds out
    2 large Courgettes halved
    2 medium Onions halved skin on
    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
    Olive oil
    1 large Potato peeled and chopped into large chunks
    1 Litre Chicken stock
    Water if necessary
    2 teaspoons Chili Paste
    1 tablespoon Basil Paste
    1 tablespoon red vinegar

    6 small tomatoes chopped
    2 tablespoons Olive oil
    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
    Pinch of sugar

    Pre Heat oven 190C
    Season Peppers, Courgette and Onions
    And toss in Olive Oil

    Roast for about an hour
    Remove Peppers and place them in a bowl and cover with glad wrap
    This will make it easier to skin them when cool

    Meanwhile add peeled and chopped Potato to chicken stock
    Add  roasted Onions and Courgettes to pot and any oil from the roasting pan
    Add water to make sure everything is well covered

    Bring to boil and simmer till Potatoes are tender
    Add Chili and Basil
    Pour into blender and whiz
    Back into pot
    Add Red Wine Vinegar and adjust seasoning to your taste

    Meanwhile skin Peppers.  And chop
    Keep some aside for garnish
    Then add the rest to pot, along with the juice collected in the bowl

    Just before serving
    In a pan
    Gently heat Olive Oil
    Add Chopped Tomatoes season with Salt, Pepper and Sugar

    Saute for about 2 minutes, just to soften
            Dish up into soup bowls
    Garnish with reserved Peppers and Tomatoes
    Drizzle with the oil from the cooked Tomato

    A master piece I reckon, some hot buttered toast, or a little dinner roll would go well with it