Monday, November 23, 2015

489/1038 - Lemon salad based on Marcella's

What you see above is but a portion of this wonderful salad. I thought I would make one small, pretty plate to photograph and then a messier, more thrown together version for our dinner. Once the photograph was taken, I had a small taste...which turned into the entire plate disappearing in record time! 

What an absolutely delicious combination. I had always passed by this unusual salad on my way through the chapter for lemons and limes, wondering what on earth a lemon salad would taste like. The answer is summery, fresh, zingy and absolutely fabulous. 

Even better, I served this for dinner (the remainder that I didn't eat!) with a new dish that I created which consisted of Lebanese couscous cooked in a risotto style, with sliced chicken thighs thrown in for the last ten minutes. The result was sort of like a creamy chicken casserole to which I added an enormous handful of chopped herbs, fresh from the garden.

Mixing this salad through the "casserole" as we ate, we were thrilled with how well one complemented the other. The slight saltiness of the lemons has inspired me to add preserved lemons to my couscous casserole which I will definitely be making again.

Now to try and remember what I put in there x

Monday, November 16, 2015

488/1038 - Bush marrow with dill

With the most incredible array of herbs growing wildly in our garden, it seemed appropriate to showcase one of them in a recipe! 

I adore dill and the plant we have right now is the best we have ever grown. In fact the herb garden is looking so incredibly lush I find myself wandering out into the backyard, coffee in hand, staring at the wonderful green-ness of it all. 

Steaming, rather than boiling the zucchini, seemed an acceptable alternative cooking method for this recipe given that I was actually working with young zucchini rather than tough old bush marrow. 

The only change I made to the sauce was to use Greek yoghurt rather than cream or sour cream. The result was absolutely full of flavour and I do believe the tart notes of the yoghurt offset the creaminess of the sauce beautifully. 

With more zucchini on hand than actually required, it was amazing to see this bowl emptied and wiped clean in record time. 

Another brilliant recipe enjoyed by all x

Friday, November 6, 2015

487/1038 - Haricot beans in cream sauce

I realise my pantry is unusual in that I can easily put my hand to some haricot beans, but don't usually carry basics such as cream or celery. Enter Mum.

There is something special about living so close to your mum that you can ask her over for a coffee and she can turn up within 15 minutes..."and by the way Mum, would you mind bringing half a cup of cream and some celery with you?"

My lovely Mum came through and the haricot beans became a lovely side dish, dressing and sauce for the rest of our meal. 

Being high in fructose (which is far from my friend) I did struggle a bit after dinner but the taste was absolutely worth it. My sensitive little stomach was pleased to discover that we now have only one recipe left in the dried beans chapter; one of thirteen on the brink of completion!

Expect to see many milestones (including the big FIVE-OH-OH) very soon x

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

486/1038 - Mechouia - Tunisian roasted vegetable salad

There are thirty six recipes in the first edition of The Cook's Companion which did not make the cut for the second (or third) versions. This is one of those recipes and it was delicious! The only reason I can think that it might have been cut is its similarity to peperonata, which appears in all three versions. 

This was a bit fiddly to make and so perhaps not for everybody. The peppers were roasted and then peeled, finely diced and mixed together with roasted garlic and tomato. The mixture was then doused in olive oil, lemon juice and scattered with capers, which I chopped finely.

I actually made this to take to a cup day barbecue but was thrilled to have some leftovers all to myself. For lunch today I toasted one of my little bread rolls (I have the knack of being able to flick tiny sized bread out of my toaster!) and ate it with a slice of boiled egg and a good spoonful of mechouia. 

A fabulous combination! x

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

485/1038 - Almond frangipane tart

It was Melbourne Cup day today and we were lucky enough to be invited to a friend's barbecue to celebrate. Knowing we would be served wonderful food and drink, I was keen to contribute to the table and so took along a roasted pepper salad (post to come), a batch of fresh bread rolls and this lovely tart. 

I don't generally have flaked almonds in the house and so used slivered almonds as the tart topping instead. I thought they worked wonderfully, adding a much needed crunch to what is quite a soft tart. 

The proof was, as they say, in the pudding. Nervous to serve an untested recipe to so many people I had not met before, I was so pleased when the feedback came back positive. 

I did manage to sneak a small piece for myself and was pleased to find the pastry slightly crumbly and the filling delicately flavoured, with just a hint of cognac coming through. 

Another lovely tart x