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    Wednesday, December 20, 2017

    Add this to your Apertizer List - Spinch Puffs

    There are still many nights of drinking ahead in this silly season and I like to supply something substantial  to have with your alcohol
     I found these little Spinach Puffs on The Epicurious Website
    They may even take over from the Pinwheels. Well!!! Close second

        1 x 750gm package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
        1/2 cup crumbled feta
        1/4 cup minced onion
        1 tablespoon olive oil
        1 teaspoon chopped dill
        1 teaspoon minced garlic
        Grated Zest if 1 lemon
        Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
        2 large eggs
        Packet of Frozen sheets Puff Pastry

        Mini muffin Pans
    Defrost spinach
    Using your hands, squeeze spinach until dry,
    forcing out as much water as possible
    (too much water will make for a soggy filling;
    you should have about 2/3 cup well-drained spinach). 

    Mix spinach and next 6 ingredients in a medium bowl.
    Season to taste with salt and pepper.
    In a small bowl, beat  eggs to blend,
    reserving a tablespoon for glazing the pastries
    fold into spinach mixture. To bake this little gems
    Heat oven to 200 C (conventional temp) 
    I start them in a conventional baking oven,  200C this helps the bottoms to keep crisp
    But to finish off I turn it over to fan assisted for the last 10 minutes

    You will get 9 out of each pastry sheet
    Cut the squares
    Lightly grease the muffin tins
    Lay a square into each little tin
    Press down lightly
    Put a spoonful into each tin
    Fold pastry over

    Brush with a little beaten egg
    Place in hot oven
    after 20 minutes
    Change the oven to fan assisted and bake for a further 10 minutes

    When golden
    Let set in tins for about 5 minutes
    Take out and cool on a rack
    Ready to eat.
    Actually  I served them at room temperature
    These are so yummy, they were gone in 5 minutes
    You can bake ahead cool and freeze
    When you want them
    Defrost and into 180C oven for 5-10 minutes to crisp up

    Tuesday, December 19, 2017

    What Shall We Have For Lunch - Well Fish Cakes Of Course

    Fish Cakes _  A Waste Not Want Lunch
    I’m back for cooking for one and I have overdone it of course
    So I had leftover Jersey Benne Potatoes and some lovely snapper from last night’s dinner

    I could have just made a salad but I’ve decided to jump it up a notch
    Fish cakes
    Easy Peasy
    I’m normally not a fan of Gluten Free products, I am so pleased people with difficulty in digesting wheat, are now so lucky, there is so many products
    A lot are seriously hard to swallow but there are some outstanding products
    For example
    These Gluten Free Bread crumbs

    They are superb for coating any protein
    Such a fabulous crunchy crust
    So a pantry necessary now

    2 eggs
    2 tablespoons mayo
    1/4 Cup flour
    4 jersey Bennes  cooked and grated
    100 gms White Fish cooked and flaked
    Chives or spring onions
    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
    Zest half lemon
    Gluten Free Breadcrumbs
    Extra egg

    I’m back for cooking for one and I have overdone it of course
    So I had leftover Jersey Benne Potatoes and some lovely snapper from last night’s dinner

    I could have just made a salad but I’ve decided to jump it up a notch
    Fish cakes
    Easy Peasy
    I’m normally not a fan of Gluten Free products, I am so pleased people with difficluteus in digesting wheat are now so lucky, there is so many products
    A lot are seriously hard to swallow but there are some outstanding products
    For example
    These Gluten Free Bread crumbs
    They are superb for coating any protein
    Such a fabulous crunchy crust
    So a pantry necessary now

    I grated the potatoes and flaked the fish
    Put 2 eggs in a bowl with 2 tablespoons mayo
    And flour
    Season with salt and pepper and the zest of half a lemon
    Beat well

    Add fish and potatoes chives
    Mix well
    Let sit in fridge for at least an hour
    The mixture was too wet, so I added some breadcrumbs
    Big dollop of mix into breadcrumbs and shape into cakes
    Turn into cakes
    Dip in breadcrumbs
    Then to add that extra luxury
    Double dipping
    I egged and breadcrumbed them again
    You don't have to do this, but I like it
    Back into fridge to set
    Fry in rice bran oil till golden
    5 minutes each side on Med heat
    Actually I cooked them on the sides
    not compulsory

    Just add a crisp little salad and Lunch is served
    Add some lemon slices and an extra dob mayonnaise for dipping

    Sunday, November 19, 2017

    Cauliflower Soup With a Twist

    I often use cheese in my Cauliflower Soup 
    I digressed today... there were some tomatoes needing attention in the fruit bowl  

    So I sautéed them in yummy butter 
    Into the blender with the cooked cauliflower

    So so simple and so so tasty

    For 2 good servings

    2 tablespoons butter
    1 medium onion rough chopped
    1 stick celery sliced 
    1/2 cauliflower broken into florets
    1 large tablespoon of Chicken stock powder
    Freshly ground black pepper

    1/2 dozen cherry tomatoes 
    2 tablespoons butter

    In a saucepan add 2 tablespoons butter
    Sauté chopped onion till soft
    Add celery, stir and cook for about 2-3 minutes
    Add cauliflower florets
    Add chicken stock powder 
    Let cook gently about 2-3 minutes
    Add enough water to cover the vegetables

    Bring to boil and simmer till cauliflower is tender, about 15 minutes 

    Meanwhile in another pan
    Melt remaining butter add tomatoes 
    Gently sauté till they start to break up

    Add to cooked cauliflower and onion mix

    Into blender
    Whiz till smooth

    Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 

    Wednesday, September 06, 2017

    Best Ever Orange Dessert x Two

    It's always nice to have a different fresh dessert
    Ray McVinnie posted this recipe....If it's good enough for Ray! etc

    It went down a real treat
    The icing on the cake is ab acidulated Orange Blossom Cream
    That is such a wonderful asset, I reckon i would make it a regular occurrence
    The following week, I was looking for a Sugar and Gluten Free Dessert
    This is similar
    It was in Bon Appetif
    And I think it is even better, it has a yummy crumble topping

    Take your pick
    Both work

    The Gorgeous Freeze Dried Raspberries are not available everywhere
    In Auckland... Farro Fresh , don't know about elsewhere
    They are not compulsory

     Ray's Orange Dessert
    Ensalada de Naranjas- Orange Salad
    Orange and Dates with Orange Blossom "Acidulated" Cream                       
    300ml cream
    Juice of 1 lemon
    1 tablespoon orange flower water
    5-6 New Zealand oranges, peeled with a sharp knife so there is no pith, sliced 1cm thick horizontally
    4 tablespoons caster sugar
    8 fresh dates, stoned and quartered
    ½ cup fresh or freeze dried berries (optional)

    Put the cream into a small bowl and
    Add the orange flower water and the lemon juice.
    Do not stir, just set aside for 20 minutes, then stir slowly and the cream will thicken.
    Cover and place in the fridge.
    This is the acidulated cream, and it is just perfect with the oranges
    Place the orange slices on a shallow serving platter and
    sprinkle the sugar evenly over them.
    Sprinkle the date quarters evenly on top.
    Place in the fridge, covered, to chill.
    When it is time to serve, spoon the acidulated cream over the oranges and dates and sprinkle the berries, if using, over everything.

    Now the next Version
    Marinated Oranges With Nutty Crumble
    I have stolen ideas from the  first
    i.e The Dates and The Freeze Dried Raspberries
    ¼ cup coconut sugar
    2 teaspoons virgin coconut oil, melted
    ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
    ¼ cup raw pistachios
    ¼ cup sliced almonds
     2 tablespoons raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
     ½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
     1 orange person and one xtra
    Fresh Dates quatered and stoned 
    Freeze Dried Raspberries

    Preheat oven to 140C
    Whisk coconut sugar and 1 Tbsp. water in a small bowl until sugar is dissolved
    (this might take a couple minutes).
    Set aside 1 Tbsp. coconut syrup.

    Add coconut oil and salt to remaining syrup and stir to combine.
    Toss pistachios, almonds, pepitas, and coconut oil mixture on a parchment- or silpat-lined rimmed baking sheet.
    Fold in coconut flakes.
    Bake crumble, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 22–28 minutes.
    Let cool.
    Remove peel and pith from citrus and slice into rounds.
    Drizzle with reserved 1 Tbsp. coconut syrup
    Cover with Dates and Crumble
    and sprinkle Raspberry Powder over the Top

    Serve drizzled with the Orange Blossom Cream

    Thursday, August 31, 2017

    Creamy Corn with Pasta - You Want Heathly and Tasty - Youve got it

    Always looking for Delicious Food for the Kids
    Browsing through my emails I found this recipe in The NY Times Cooking
    Kids love Corn
    They love Pasta
    What could be better...but Creamy Corn Pasta?

    Lots of fresh herbs for that extra boost of flavour
    As Corn is not fresh here at this time of the year, I used Frozen Corn Kernels
    It worked perfectly
    Make the Corn Puree earlier in the day and just reheat when you are ready to go

    2 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for drizzling  
    1 bunch scallions (about 8), trimmed and thinly sliced (keep the whites and greens separate)
    2 Cups Corn Kernels either Frozen, or Fresh shucked off Cobs 
    Sea salt
    ½ teaspoon ground black pepper, more for serving
     3 tablespoons unsalted butter
     ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, more to taste
     ⅓ cup torn basil or mint, more for garnish
     ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
     Fresh lemon juice, as needed
    700gms dry orecchiette or farfalle
    Reserved Pasta Water 
    Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil.
    Cook pasta until 1 minute shy of al dente, according to the package directions.
    Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water.

    Heat oil in large sauté pan over medium heat;
    Add scallion whites and a pinch of salt and cook until soft, 3 minutes.
    Add 1/4 cup water and all but 1/4 cup corn;
    Simmer until corn is heated through and almost tender, 3 to 5 minutes.
    Add 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, transfer to a blender, and purée mixture
    until smooth, adding a little extra water if needed to get a thick but pourable texture.

    Heat the same skillet over high heat.
    Add butter and let melt.
    Add reserved 1/4 cup corn and cook until tender, 1 to 2 minutes.
    (It’s O.K. if the butter browns; that deepens the flavor.)
    Add the corn purée and cook for 30 seconds to heat and combine the flavors.
    Reduce heat to medium.
    Add pasta and half the reserved pasta cooking water, tossing to coat.
    Cook for 1 minute, then add a little more of the pasta cooking water
    if the mixture seems too thick.
    Stir in 1/4 cup of the scallion greens, the Parmesan, the herbs, the red pepper flakes,
    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. 
    Sprinkle with fresh lemon juice to taste. 

    Transfer to serving bowl and garnish with more scallions,
    herbs, a drizzle of olive oil and black pepper.

    Monday, August 28, 2017

    Shepherd's Pie - Thank You Jamie - Cheap and Cheerful Comfort Food

    When I was young, My Mother made Shepherds Pie, using the leftover lamb roast from the weekend.
    She minced the lamb with an onion and also used leftover gravy to moisten it
    Yummy Mashed potatoes on top

    I don't even think that you could  buy raw lamb mince at the butcher, or if it was even considered using Lamb mince
    Beef was mince and that was that,
    Of course now, who needs a mincer, you can buy any kind of mince

    This version...Thanks to Jamie Oliver is full of vege
    There's a layer of peas under those tasty mashed peas
    Hidden treasures

    It is delicious

    500 g lean minced lamb x2
    2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
    1 x 400 g tin of cannellini beans
    2 large onions
    2 carrots   3
    2 sticks of celery
    250 g chestnut mushrooms
    1 heaped tablespoon plain flour
    800 ml organic chicken or veg stock   

    800 g swede
    800 g potatoes
    2 tablespoons semi-skimmed milk
    15 g mature Cheddar cheese
    1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
    1 teaspoon mint sauce
    350 g frozen peas

    Put the mince into a cold casserole pan.
    Place on a high heat, add a really good pinch of black pepper and cook for 15 minutes, or until dark golden, breaking it up with a wooden spoon.
    Pick and finely chop the rosemary leaves, drain the beans, then stir both into the pan.

    Cook and stir for 8 minutes, or until the beans start to pop and it’s all getting dark and gnarly.
    Peel the onions and carrots, trim the celery, wipe the mushrooms clean, then finely chop it all (or blitz in a food processor).
    Stir into the pan and sweat for 10 minutes on medium-high, stirring occasionally.
     Stir in the flour, followed by the stock. Bring to the boil, then simmer on a low heat with the lid on for 30 minutes.
    Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180ºC.
    Wash and peel the swede and potatoes and cut into 3cm chunks.
    Cook just the swede in a large pan of boiling salted water for 10 minutes,
    Add the potatoes for 10 more minutes, or until cooked through,
    drain well, mash with the milk and grated cheese, and season to perfection.
    Check the consistency of the mince – you want it slightly wetter than you think, as it will thicken further in the oven.
    Add the Worcestershire and Mint sauces, taste, and season to perfection.
    Place in an oven proof casserole dish
    Sprinkle the peas over the mince, letting them sit on the surface to help prevent the mash from sinking in too much.
    Put spoons of mash randomly on top, using a fork to scuff it up and make valleys and mountains, increasing the surface area, and the crispy bits.
    Bake for 50 minutes, or until golden and bubbling.
    You can cook some extra greens if you feel like it
    But it is just perfect as it is, in my book