Sunday, February 13, 2022
Monday, January 24, 2022
Sunday, October 10, 2021
This brilliant alioli was a match made in heaven for everything on this plate. The sweetness of the quince paste was perfectly tempered by the acidity of the lemon and the only problem reported by my family was that I did not make enough. Due to the slightly hard consistency of my quince paste, I was forced to make one small change to the recipe. Try as I might, I could not get the paste and the oil to come together but, with the addition of an egg yolk, the magic finally happened. This brilliant concoction is highly recommended for any savoury dish that requires a flavour boost.
Whilst it feels incredible to have returned to this challenge, my posts will not be as regular as they used to be. My health has improved dramatically over the past six months but there is still a battle ahead. Also, due to necessary dietary restrictions, my family will test the majority of the recipes on my behalf - a role they have wholeheartedly agreed to undertake.
The journey (finally) continues!
Wednesday, August 26, 2020
Sunday, June 14, 2020
Sunday, June 7, 2020
Sunday, May 31, 2020
|Lovely on a slice of apple!|
Sunday, May 24, 2020
Sunday, May 17, 2020
Sunday, May 10, 2020
*I just reread this and realised it made me sound like an alcoholic! To be clear, it's the histamine in all things which is a problem - not just in wine...
|Home-made Mother's Day hamper and a goofy dog|
on loan for an isolated Mother's Day
Sunday, May 3, 2020
Sunday, April 26, 2020
|My own cumquat trees (and one lime)|
Sunday, April 19, 2020
As I built the pizza, the addition of the rocket before it was cooked made me nervous and I was very much anticipating the creation of a pile of little burnt leaves. Thankfully, the recipe included clear instructions to add the sauce after the rocket, which provided the all important clue that the sauce was to provide the required protection for the fragile leaves. I made sure to slather it liberally and evenly and was thrilled to see that the rocket survived the intense heat of the chiminea and even retained some of its beautiful colour. With the addition of a crisp red onion layer, this pizza included a medley of flavours that were always going to please. By all reports, the pizza was a roaring success and was one of the first to disappear from the dinner table.
To the next pizza night!
| Home-dried oregano A pizza I COULD eat - |
macadamia pesto, sweet potato,
mozzarella and oregano
with a buttermilk crust
Sunday, April 12, 2020
Sunday, April 5, 2020
Sunday, March 29, 2020
I decided to turn my rabbit into stock so as to use as much of it as possible. The first thing I did was to strip the meat from the carcass which I cooked separately and added to this incredibly flavourful risotto. Good stock, quite simply, makes good risotto. Rabbit stock is rich and full of flavour and so this one was a cracker.
Making different flavoured risotto is all about using a base recipe and then changing the ingredients that make it unique. This is the one I use.
- Melt 45g butter in a large frypan
- Add a large, finely chopped onion and fry gently until soft
- Add 1.5 cups arborio rice and stir through until the grains are coated
- With 6 cups of stock on hand, add a cup at a time and stir until mostly absorbed
- After 3 cups have been added, season to taste with salt and pepper and throw in your chosen flavours such as chopped vegetables or meat
- Continue to add the stock until all 6 cups have been added.
- Stir through 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese and 30g butter.
I would love to hear of other flavour combinations! If you try this at home, please tell me via a comment here or post a pic on our Facebook page.
Stay well, everybody x
Sunday, March 22, 2020
This recipe was packed full of flavour and probably also about a week's worth of calories. The inspiration came from a leg of ham that we were eating our way through and the realisation that I could easily carve out four quite generous slices. I didn't have a terracotta flame-proof dish to cook this in and so used my copper rondeau to cook two at a time and then transferred each portion to a plate.
In an attempt to alleviate some of the health challenges I have been dealing with, I am currently on a very restricted diet which absolutely does not include most of the ingredients in this recipe. Unfortunately for my adventurous palate the diet does seem to be working, with a noticeable reduction in symptoms when I am disciplined and significant flare ups when I deviate. Whilst this is wonderful news for my health, it does not bode well for the love affair I used to have with food. The fact that people around the world are getting sick and dying of course puts this very much into perspective so I am instead focussing on the positive, including the fact that there are still two types of cheese I am allowed to eat. When they finally reappear on the shelves I will be even more thrilled.
For now, I will simply revel in the fact that a little while ago I actually ate this little plate of flavours.
Stay well, everybody x
Sunday, March 15, 2020
I am in a self-imposed semi-lock down at the moment and so there is sure to be plenty more cooking on the horizon. I am not one who is prone to panic, but my choice of confinement is based on two things. Firstly, I fully support the slowing of the coronavirus in Australia to ensure our health system remains able to cope. I have been watching the spread of this virus play out around the world for some time now and was quite shocked in particular to see Italy's infected number increase by a further 3,500 overnight even though they have been in lock down for some time.
The other reason for my self-quarantine is self-preservation. Whilst I don't think the virus is likely to kill me, there are some medical issues I have been dealing for many months now which for a number of reasons have affected my breathing. The thought of contracting an illness which will further exacerbate my ability to obtain oxygen doesn't fill me with joy.
Time to give our little edible garden some extra love! Stay well everybody x
Sunday, March 8, 2020
Sunday, March 1, 2020
I cooked this dish completely on the stove top, which is generally my preference when I have the choice between that and the oven. I have enough self awareness to realise that this is a control issue, but I am a very hands on cook and experience perhaps more pleasure through the cooking process than I do with the eating.
This particular recipe was decadent and sweet and very much appreciated around the table. And did I mention the pork and fabulous crackling?
Fennel chapter - officially done and dusted.
Sunday, February 23, 2020
Sunday, February 16, 2020
You might even say it was devilishly good.
Sunday, February 9, 2020
Wednesday, February 5, 2020
I made my own bread on this day so that I could cut it into nice chunky pieces. From memory I think I made baguettes which meant plenty of lovely chewy crust. I am sure any bread would work just as well, though. I did make the mistake of using American cheese (leftover from a round of Philly Cheesesteaks) which made the dish even heavier, if that is possible. Definitely not a meal to be eaten very often!
This little recipe was actually completed quite some time ago but life has simply been far too complicated and busy for this post to be written. With some new physical challenges to deal with I have decided to take a break from just about everything I was doing, including my study. The great news is that this means my blog will actually get some love.
With another old blog post still waiting in the wings and a rabbit thawing in the fridge, expect more action in this space very soon.
Tuesday, January 7, 2020
- Stand the moulds together in a container for easy insertion/removal from the fridge
- Use soft brown sugar on top. It contains molasses and so burns beautifully and is delicious
Sunday, December 29, 2019
So clumsiness aside, it was a lot of fun working with the octopus. I left it to cook for a bit longer than I was supposed to but it didn't seem to do it any harm, with every piece lovely and soft and not rubbery at all. I had less octopus than the recipe actually required and so was able to use a mid-sized saucepan for the cook, with the tentacles swirling into a perfect spiral in the juices. I am kicking myself that I forgot to sprinkle some of my lovely chipotle dukkah over the top but it was still a really lovely salad and a beautiful way to eat one of my favourite things from the sea.
Friday, December 6, 2019
Wednesday, November 20, 2019
Sunday, November 17, 2019
Thursday, November 7, 2019
Tuesday, November 5, 2019
Sunday, October 20, 2019
|My lovely (and slightly purple) olive sourdough.|
Tuesday, October 15, 2019
Wednesday, October 2, 2019
Tuesday, September 3, 2019
Somehow when I transcribed this recipe I neglected to include the amount of hot water the tomato paste needed to be mixed with and in my head, was assuming it was only a couple of tablespoons. Thankfully logic took over and I realised the beans would need hydrating as they baked. A quick check of the book confirmed that it was actually a litre of hot water I needed. Minor crisis, and likely a pile of rock hard beans, averted!
I made this roast on Father's Day, mostly because I promised my husband a lazy day devoid of household duties. This was definitely a promise I was regretting as I stumbled around in the fog of a sleep cut very short at either end. We attended a party the night before (disco themed and fabulous) and so sleep did not begin until 2am and then was sadly cut short five hours later as car doors began to bang out in the street. Given the level of additional difficulty imposed on my cooking abilities, I was particularly thrilled with how everything turned out.
I cut the cooking time by a third for the meat as I always do when using a fan forced oven. Unfortunately this meant that by dinner time, the beans were not quite done. Given my self induced exhaustion, we decided to eat the roast with steamed vegetables, saving some to eat with the beans the following night. The lovely wrap pictured is the result of yesterday's much more impressive effort! Home made flatbreads were the perfect accompaniment for the lamb/beans combo and we also stacked freshly chopped tomato, capsicum and cucumber on top for freshness.
Anybody with the second or third edition of The Cook's Companion will be disappointed to know that this recipe appears only in the original version. The good news is that there are similar recipes on the internet for anybody keen to give it a go. Well worth a try.
Tuesday, August 27, 2019
The flavours in this marinade were spectacular and had I not slightly misjudged the cooking time for a larger cut, I do think the outcome would have been amazing. There were certainly some pieces which were perfect (see below) but the majority of the roast was a little on the dry side.
All in all, a good experiment with a little more care required on my part next time.
Friday, August 9, 2019
Sunday, August 4, 2019
- If you run out of castor sugar, pure icing sugar works well. To break up the lumps, throw it in the blender and voila, a perfectly soft pile of icing sugar
- If the whites are accidentally whipped to stiff rather than soft peaks, the recipe still works
- The step of straining the custard can be successfully skipped. A good option if you like zest!
- Well thickened custard means thick enough that it will coat the back of a wooden spoon. Test this by running your finger in a line through the custard on the back of the spoon. If the line keeps its shape, the custard is thick enough
- I dutifully oiled six 100ml moulds...and still had an enormous amount of mixture after they were filled! I simply poured the rest into a large container and it set just as well as the small moulded versions (and was just as tasty!)
|Our new cedar precinct with beautiful art by Barek|
Wednesday, July 24, 2019
We both watched expectantly as the first batch was lowered into the water. A short time later, as they rose perfectly to the top ready to be scooped out, he looked at me with a pantomimic scowl and cursed me for my good cooking skills. Of course not only was I thrilled that each gnoccho was in one piece and bouncy soft, but I had scored a neck massage to boot!
The leek sauce was incredibly easy to make, the only step that gave me trouble was when the sauce and gnocchi had to be stirred together. Terrified of mashing the gnocchi into one squishy pile, I opted instead for a rocking of the pan from side to side. I think this meant that some diners ended up with more leek than others, but everybody was happy with the result nonetheless. Given how rich the dish was, we had plenty of leftovers and I can vouch that it was even better the following day.
Saturday, July 20, 2019
I will be cooking up the leftover tomato seeds with some leftover egg whites for a healthy breakfast this morning after a bit too much fun and perhaps one too many beers last night.
Because it's all about balance.
Sunday, July 14, 2019
This lovely tartare sauce included a couple of pinches of Kosher salt which has a lovely gentle flavour to it. The sauce is based on a mayonnaise, with the addition of herbs, capers and chopped pickled cornichons (mini gherkins). I am not a huge fan of tasting the oil in mayonnaise and so balanced mine with quite a bit of fresh lemon juice.
The fats combined with the tang of pickled cornichons made this tartare sauce an absolutely brilliant match for the fish and also the salad. The recipe made quite a bit and I was shocked to see that we ate a good two thirds of it in one meal! Popular, indeed.
I am sure I have written this about a million times on this blog, but this recipe is highly recommended.