Wednesday, July 24, 2019

649/1038 - Potato gnocchi with Karen's leek and blue cheese sauce

Picture a kitchen completely covered in flour, cooking utensils and dirty dishes and you will get a sense of just how bad I am at making gnocchi. Thankfully it turned out completely edible and pillowy; apparently a texture gnocchi makers everywhere aspire to. 

Interestingly, I barely needed to add any flour before I reached the perfect texture with the gnocchi, leaving quite a bit sitting in the bowl unused. I was nervous that this would mean either little hard lumps of potato or potato confetti; either outcome a complete disaster. My youngest was completely amused by my concerns and proceeded to goad me into a wager regarding the success (or not) of the cooking stage. If my gnocchi exploded in the water apparently I had to take over his dishwasher duties. If they stayed together he offered a lengthy neck massage.

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

648/1038 - Garlic and ginger dipping sauce

This lovely little recipe is actually from the yabbies and marron chapter. It is meant as a dipping sauce (hence the name) but I decided it would be lovely if I used it as a saucy little bath for freshly cooked prawns.

The tomato base can be made on the stove top or in the oven. I do love the taste of anything roasted and so opted for the oven even though I knew it would take a bit longer. The fresh ginger gave this sauce a lift that was absolutely fabulous with the prawns and the fresh rocket and capsicum turned my experiment into a complete meal.

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

647/1038 - Tartare sauce

Home made tartare sauce, beautiful fresh flathead and a fresh salad...what more could a person want? 

As I selected the seasonings for the sauce, I was reminded of one of the reasons I have so many salt options in my pantry. A while ago, I took my boys down to the local bulk produce shop. It's a fabulous little place where everything is purchased by the scoop and sold in sustainable little paper bags. I told the boys they could each pick something to purchase that I could use in my cooking. Amusingly, they both ended up buying salt; Kosher and Himalayan. Including these two, I think I currently have a selection of around six or seven different varieties and perhaps surprisingly, have found a use for each of them. It is fortunate I have ample pantry space!

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.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

646/1038 - Lemon syllabub

So this is a syllabub! Before today, a trivia question regarding what a syllabub was would have stumped me completely. 

When I was making it, my husband commented that it just looked like a bowl of cream and indicated that perhaps it might not be too appetising. Oh, how very wrong he was! Flavoured with a beautiful French sweet wine, French brandy and a stack of lemon juice and zest, this was an absolutely wonderful dessert that perfectly satisfied my after dinner sweet craving.  

Technically, I am not supposed to consume sweet wine but given that my reaction usually takes at least twelve hours to manifest, I managed to convince myself that a quarter of a quarter cup would not cause me any problems. Only time will tell if I was right...but in the meantime I am happy to live in blissful denial and simply revel in the fact that I got to eat this wonderful dessert.