Sunday, October 20, 2019

656/1038 - English curd tart

Last night we had a group of wonderful friends over for our first dinner party in ages. With plenty of other things going on, I decided to outsource the main meal to my husband and focus on bread and dessert. Given my recent foray into the wonderful world of sourdough, the bread was an olive sourdough which I served with olive oil and homemade dukkah. Not only did it taste fabulous, but it was actually purple inside - a result of the beautiful olive tapenade which was blended through the dough. 

Dessert however, was my favourite part of the night. Two of my guests were English and so I thought it only fitting to include an English item on the menu. Made with home-made cottage cheese and home-made pastry, the result was incredibly sweet and paired beautifully with lovely vanilla bean ice-cream. The only substitution I made was to include chopped raisins instead of currants which didn't look as pretty but tasted wonderful. One of my English guests was not familiar with the the idea of a curd tart, but as soon as he saw it, he told me that he was fairly sure his mum used to make him the same thing. Win! 

Because I made everything from scratch I estimate the entire cost of the tart to have been only a few dollars. Not bad considering it made enough to feed ten! 

My lovely (and slightly purple) olive sourdough.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

655/1038 - Traditional sage stuffing for goose, duck or turkey

We have a mad amount of sage in the garden at the moment so I thought it was time to try this lovely stuffing recipe from the original version of The Cook's Companion. 

Insanely fast to put together, this stuffing was not only fabulous to eat on its own, but also created the most wonderful flavour throughout the duck. I use a roasting method which requires the bird to be turned three times in the oven and so was a bit worried the stuffing would fall out mid-cook. A quick truss with some cooking twine alleviated my fears and held everything together nicely. I used an old frozen loaf of sourdough to make the breadcrumbs and also replaced the suet (because I have never had suet in my house in my life) with plain old olive oil which worked beautifully. 

Nobody was complaining about having roast duck on a Tuesday night and the stuffing was absolutely brilliant. We have quite a bit left over and so I am currently contemplating how I might use it in tomorrow night's meal. 

We are certainly doing our bit for the bees - as I was taking this photograph I was smiling to myself as I realised just how many bees I could hear buzzing around the sage flowers. It's very nice knowing my herbs are doing their bit for the environment! Sadly tonight's recipe only required four leaves and so I am pretty sure I can see fresh pasta with crispy sage in a burnt butter sauce on our dinner horizon very soon. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

654/1038 - Michael Boddy's sweet lime pickle

We have a decent sized load of limes in the fridge from a friend's tree and I have been using them in EVERYTHING! Noodle dishes, sweets, Coronas (my favourite). 

This weird little pickle smells quite lovely - simultaneously sweet, sour and spicy. I have no idea what it will be used for and plan to wait until it is finished to see what it tastes like although I am imagining both chicken and prawns will work very well with the flavours. The recipe can only be found in the original version of the book so if you can't find it you are probably not going mad. The strangest part of this recipe is that the jar needs to sit in the sun for an hour every second day. This photo is of my concoction on its first sunny outing. 

The making of this pickle marks yet another little milestone, October being the 100th month of my challenge. Perhaps it's just me, but 100 months sounds like a very long time! It is definitely a testament to the quality of The Cook's Companion that I am still enjoying myself and very much loving the discovery of so many new favourite recipes. 

If anybody was wondering, the gorgeous little wood cat in the background was a spontaneous gift from the artist who recently painted a mural in our backyard. He saw our woodpile and couldn't help leaving a doodle or two for us to find. What a lovely man. Imagine being responsible for leaving such lovely little bits of happiness in your wake...

Re the pickle - I will post an update when the waiting is over and the eating has begun!