Eight Bells

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Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Snausages and Smashed Potatoes

Sauasge and mash, what could be better. This is a slightly spiffed up version but it's still all good tucker.

The sausages are from the lovely people at Soggy Bottom Holdings.They are 'manuka smoked 'iron age pig' sausages'. The company makes the most fantastic meat products and these were no exception. They were purchased from their stall at the Hamilton farmers market.
Grill the sausages and serve with your mash and heated tinned sauerkraut.
For the mash, peel and cut up 4 medium potatoes and boil till soft. Cook 1 1/2 cups of peas for about 15 mins. Drain the potatoes and peas and mash the peas slightly before adding to the potatoes. Mash together and add boiling milk and salt & pepper to make a fluffy green pea and potato mash. The black specks you can see on the plate are from the pepper mill, add plenty of fresh ground pepper. The purple sauce you can see in the picture is Julia's home made plum sauce.
When we moved into our new house in December we inherited a mystery tree (any gardener worth his salt would have known what it was, I didn't). We soon discovered that it was a plum tree with the most incredible black plums. Needless to say Julia waited for the harvest and then made plum cake, bottled plums, plum jam and plum sauce. Some of you have tasted the results and I'm sure you will agree...YUM! If you look closely you will see a little grey scene stealer trying and succeeding to get in the picture.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Mixed Pasta Carbonara

Just a quickie tonight. Random pasta, dry cured manuka smoked bacon, mushrooms and onion with a supermarket bought carbonara sauce.
Ok just to prove that it's not always gourmet fare here, this is a quickie pasta meal with a sauce that was kindly prepared by someone somewhere following a recipe that some corporate chef invented. Bloody good job he/she did as well. This serves 4.

300g/10OZ random dried pasta (fusilli & conchiglie)
1 onion diced
200g/7OZ dry cured manuka smoked bacon chopped
4 field mushrooms sliced
Supermarket bought carbonara sauce

Simply cook the pasta till al dente. Fry bacon & onion together and mushrooms separately and put aside. Heat your carbonara sauce. Add the cooked bacon, onion and mushroom to the cooked and drained pasta. Stir in the heated carbonara sauce and serve in bowls with plenty of fresh grated parmesan. This meal can be done in 15 mins. Perfect.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Pumpkin Soup-Thai Style

1 large pumpkin peeled and diced (approx 3kg of pumpkin)
1 large onion peeled and sliced
6 cloves of garlic peeled and cut in half
6 teaspoons of chicken stock powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon dried coriander
1 teaspoon parsley
1 teaspoon ginger powder
Juice of 1 orange
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 tin Carnation light evaporated milk (coconut)

Put pumpkin in a large pot with onion and garlic. Cover with water and simmer slowly with the lid on for 2-3 hours. Once pumpkin is very soft let it cool completely, overnight is good.
Puree the pumpkin and put into a clean pot. This makes about four litres of soup.
Mix all the other ingredients except the evaporated milk into a paste with a little hot water. Put the evaporated milk in a bowl and add the other ingredients, mix and add to the soup. Heat gently till hot and serve. We had this with parmesan fougasse. Delish.

Moroccan Lamb Knuckles

You might remember the Moroccan style rub that we used a couple of weeks ago. It makes an appearance again in this dish.
Lamb knuckles usually have a little less meat on than shanks and are a great way of serving ready made single portions of roast lamb.

Lamb knuckles
'Bed of Roses' Moroccan seasoning www.capeherb.com or harissa paste
Spray oil
Vegetables (yams and brussel sprouts)
Puy Lentils
Meat glaze

Heat oven to 180C/355F
Spray oven tray/dish and lamb with oil and coat lamb with seasoning or paste.
Cook for 15 mins and then add yams or potatoes to the roasting dish and continue cooking for a further 45 mins.
Put lentils in a pot with 3 times the amount of water as lentils (3/4 of a cup of dried lentils will be plenty for 2 people). The lentils take about 25 mins to cook at a low simmer.
Prepare sprouts and cook in a pan with a knob of butter until very lightly browned then pour over boiling water and simmer until cooked but still firm (about 10 mins).
Heat the meat glaze (this was bought from our local organic butcher) but do not boil.
Serve and enjoy.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Friday Night Tart

This cheeky little tart will service 3-4 hungry sailors or perhaps 6 as an entree.

2 sheets of reduced fat pastry
Spray oil
1 pot of reduced fat ricotta (250g/9OZ)
2 eggs
Dash of cream/milk
1/3 cup plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Salt & pepper
1 teaspoon each of parsley, sage and thyme
2 tomatoes sliced
1 courgette (zucchini) sliced thinly
150-200g/5-7OZ bacon
2 field mushrooms sliced
100g/3-4OZ feta cheese crumbled

Preheat your oven to 220C/430F
Chop and partially cook bacon in a little spray oil
Spray one loose bottomed pie/flan dish with oil and line with pastry. Trim leaving a small overhang of pastry to allow for shrinkage.
Mix ricotta, eggs, cream/milk, flour, baking powder, herbs and salt & pepper in a bowl and pour into prepared pie dish.
Arrange courgettes, tomatoes, bacon and mushrooms in rows in the pie filling.
Top with crumbled feta
Cook at 220C/430F for 20 mins and then reduce the heat to 180C/355F and cook for a further 20 mins. Check pie and cover with foil if the pastry or the top of the pie start to burn.
Serve by itself or with a leafy green salad. This time we had rocket and avocado with balsamic infused olive oil.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Heroes & Villains

I started playing this little game a couple of days ago and it is quite a cool little time waster.
Please do me a favour and follow this link to join up as either a hero or a villain (I chose villain).


You don't have to actually play the game but signing up gives me points, and your assistance would be much appreciated. Thankyou all.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Tex-Mex Baked Potatoes

This is such a simple recipe but it is one of my favourite things to eat. Julia says it ranks right up there with spaghetti bolognese as far as 'bloke food' is concerned. I'm not sure what it is about this kind of food, maybe we all made a similar signature dish when we were students. Whatever the reason I swear I could eat this a couple of times a week no problem.

You will want one large potato for each person and this recipe is easily enough for 4 very hungry people.

400g/14OZ of minced beef
1 large onion diced
2 tablespoons of oil
2 tins of diced tomatoes in juice
1 tin of mexican chili beans
1 packet of Old ElPaso Taco seasoning mix
1/2 packet of Old ElPaso chili seasoning mix

Scrub potatoes and pierce multiple times with a very thin stabby implement (I have a special tool for this which is approx 1mm thick hardened steel). Place in oven at 160C/320F for approx 2 hours or until done.
Brown mince and onion in a large pot or frying pan. When ready add all the other ingredients. With the lid partially on the pan simmer for about an hour (or until the mix is the thickness that you prefer) stirring regularly to prevent burning. While cooking taste regularly and add salt and/or black pepper. Do not over salt at the beginning as the mix will become saltier as it reduces.
When ready to serve slice open baked potatoes and add butter. Spoon over the mince mixture and top with sour cream, grated cheese etc. Serve with coleslaw.
I'm not even going to bother recommending light sour cream or cheese on this one, just go for it you only live once.

Little Fudgy Chocolate Hearts

Julia is a manager and being such a whiz in the kitchen often bakes or cooks if a staff morning tea is required. It's a bit of extra effort but what a vast improvement over the standard fare of sausage rolls, toffee pops and chips.
This obviously isn't the evening meal but it was too cute not to share.

125g/4OZ butter
125g/4OZ sugar
2 eggs beaten
175g/6OZ plain flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
75g/2OZ melted dark chocolate
1 tablespoon cocoa

Preheat oven to 180C/355F
Melt chocolate in a double boiler. Cream butter and sugar, add eggs, vanilla and melted chocolate mix and then add sifted flour, baking powder and cocoa and mix again.
Spoon mixture into prepared cake or muffin tins (we used heart shaped silicon muffin trays from Ezibuy) and press a single chocolate into the centre of each little cake (we used Cherry Ripe chocettes).
Bake for 15 mins at 180C/355F.

Oh man I have no words, chocolate heaven (ok 2 words)

Pasta & Broccoli Sauce

Sounds odd? Tastes awesome!

300g/10OZ dried pasta
300g/10OZ chicken breast
8 mushrooms
6 sundried tomatoes, sliced thinly
1 chargrilled capsicum (bell pepper)
1 head of broccoli
1 teaspoon of chicken stock
Salt & pepper
Juice of 1 lime

Chop broccoli and place into a pan with a little hot water and the stock. Simmer till very mushy. Top up with a little water to prevent broccoli from burning if necessary.
Chargrill the capsicum, slice and set aside with sliced sun dried tomatoes.
In a little oil brown and then cook the diced chicken breast and thickly sliced mushroom. Add herbs, salt & pepper and lime juice. When cooked set aside.
Cook pasta
Add 1/2 a cup of cream to the broccoli and simmer for 2 or 3 minutes.
Add chicken, peppers and tomatoes and mix.
Drain pasta and top with chicken/broccoli mixture and parmesan cheese. Yum!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Salmon Pie

We made another trip to the local farmers market in the weekend with the intention of getting just a few vegetables. The temptation of the smoked salmon stall was too great and we came away with the most beautiful piece of Manuka hot smoked salmon. This pie will serve 4-6.

Salmon Pie with Balsamic Roasted Tomatoes

300g/10OZ salmon flaked
1/2 a medium onion and cooked in 1 teaspoon of oil
1 capsicum (bell pepper) chargrilled, peeled and diced
375g/1 packet/13OZ spinach chopped
2 courgettes (zucchini) finely sliced
250g/9OZ light ricotta
250g/9OZ light creme fraiche
3 eggs
Reduced fat pastry
Salt & pepper
Juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon dried dill tips
1 teaspoon dried parsley

Heat oven to 200C/390F
Flake salmon and remove bones using a tweezer, set aside
Cook onion, cool and set aside
Slice courgettes and chop spinach, set aside
Prepare the capsicum. Chargrill skin side up till totally black and sweat in a sealed plastic bag for around 15-20 mins. Remove from the bag peel and dice.
Put ricotta, creme fraiche, eggs, salt & pepper and herbs into a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Add lemon juice and mix again.
Stir in onion, capsicum, spinach and courgette.
Add flaked salmon and stir through carefully so as not to break up the salmon too much.
Grease and line a pie dish with pastry. 'Pour' in filling and cook for approx 1 hour and 20 mins at 200C/390F. Watch to ensure pastry doesn't burn.
The tomatoes can go in the oven at the same time as the salmon. Cut tomatoes in half and place cut side up and closely packed in a ceramic oven dish. Sprinkle oil, balsamic vinegar and ground black pepper on the cut surface and roast. Another great winter meal.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Mmmmm orangey

It's getting pretty cool in the evenings now and we had our first frost of the winter a couple of weeks ago. What better winter evening meal than Shepherds Pie and oh look how handy a fridge full of left over beef roast. So while the cat sits on the mat and contemplates her furry logic it's into the kitchen we go to cut up beef roast in to very small pieces and see how orange we can get the pie mash (damn orange I think you'll find).

Stroganoff Shepherds Pie

Left over beef roast or 500g/18OZ of minced beef
1 onion diced
1 1/2 cups of chopped mushrooms
2 carrots diced
1 cup of frozen peas
2 packets of gravy mix
salt & pepper
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup of tomato paste/puree
2 tablespoons of plain flour
1 small tin of mushrooms in sauce
Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 tablespoons of oil

Topping: mashed potatoes, kumara and pumkin or as you like it. Hot milk, salt & pepper. Prepare the mash at the same time as you prepare the filling.

Put oil in pan and cook onions and mushrooms. Add meat and cook through (make sure to brown if using raw beef mince). Cook carrots in boiling water till tender and add to meat with peas and parsley. Mix the packet gravy, cook as per instructions and add to the meat mixture with the tinned mushrooms. Continue to cook gently. Season with salt & pepper and paprika and add tomato paste/puree. Continue to cook adding a splash of Worcestershire sauce. To thicken mix flour in a small amount of water to form a smooth paste and then add to pie filling and stir until mixed in.
Drain and mash the vegetables for the topping with the hot milk and salt & pepper.
Pour pie filling into pie dish, spoon mash over the top and cook in a preheated oven at 180C/350 for approx 30 mins. If you fill your pie dish as much as ours make sure to put a tray underneath to catch the drips. Those shepherds knew a thing or two, I wonder where they bought their smoked paprika?

Sunday, May 21, 2006


This is an interesting cut of beef from our local organic butchers (corner of Tramway Rd and 5th Avenue) that we have not cooked before. Prime rib or standing rib roast is a cut that you probably won't find in a supermarket and may even have to pre order from a specialty butchers.
This recipe is based on a Julie Biuso dish.
Here you can see a 3 rib rib roast and approx 300g/10OZ smoked bacon lardons. This is enough to serve 6 people.

Pre heat your oven to 220C/430F and place a roasting dish in the oven with 3 tablespoons of cooking oil in it.
Just before you are ready to put the meat in the oven oil your room temperature rib roast and then season with salt & pepper and chopped rosemary.
When the oil in your roasting dish is just starting to smoke place your lardons in the dish and then your rib roast sitting on the lardons. Cook for 20 mins and then turn the oven down to 200C/390F. Cook for a further 1 hour then remove from the oven and pour off the fat and meat juices in to a pan (leave approx 2 tablespoons of the fat in the dish). Place the lardons and rib roast into another hot dish, cover with tin foil and a towel and leave to rest for 20 mins.
In the dish that you took the rib roast from place a dozen large field mushrooms and return to the oven for 5 mins. After 5 mins splash on approx 2-3 tablespoons of Fino sherry. Fino is extremely dry sherry not at all like anything you have probably had if you have tasted sherry in New Zealand (and not unlike how you might imagine lighter fluid might taste). Cook for a further 5 mins and remove from the oven.
While your mushrooms have been cooking make the gravy using the fat and meat juice you poured off the roast.
Make a smooth paste using 2 tablespoons of flour and a little beef stock. Add this to the fat and add a further 1 1/2 cups of beef stock. Cook until you have the desired consistency adding salt & pepper if required.
The meat should be finely sliced and rare. Various roasted vegetables can be served with this dish.

Saturday, May 20, 2006


One of my all time favourite arcade games was Scramble. It was 1981, I had been playing Galaxian for a couple of years and prior to that the original Space Invaders but here was something I had never seen before, a side scrolling shooter in full colour. I was instantly hooked. I have no clue how much of my lunch money I fed into arcade machines over the years but I do know that 'Scramble' took a fairly hefty chunk of it.
This of course has nothing to do with breakfast. It is Saturday morning, last nights dinner was left over risotto so not much point showing you that again. Instead I will tell you the secret to making perfect scrambled eggs. Yes I hear you laughing, your scrambled eggs are already perfect. You have experimented for years, you have a secret ingredient or two? Forget it.

Scrambled Eggs and Sausages

5-6 free range organic eggs (for two)
Salt & pepper
Potato bread, toasted
Pure beef, gluten free organic sausages

Grill tomatoes and sausages together and when you turn the sausages start cooking your eggs.
Make toast
There is little point in using anything but high quality free range organic eggs for this. If you use standard supermarket battery farmed eggs you will just end up with an inferior end result.
Break your eggs into a bowl and whisk with fresh ground black pepper and ground Maldon sea salt.
Place 1/2 tablespoon of butter in a pan and turn on high.
Once the butter has melted and started to boil pour in your eggs.
With a metal spoon scrape the cooked egg from the bottom of the pan and allow the raw egg to take it's place.
Continue until the eggs are almost cooked. By this I mean remove from the heat and serve before you think the eggs are ready. They will continue to cook for some minutes once served.
The mistake that almost everyone makes with scrambled eggs is adding unneccessary ingredients (cream, herbs etc) and over cooking.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Engagement Cakes

Last nights dinner was chicken soup and potato bread, not very exciting but about the only thing I could stomach (this cold is a real winner, still going strong after nearly a week). Instead of posting a picture of a bowl of soup I thought I'd show you what Julia made for a friend of ours who today told us that he was engaged to be married. Engagement Cakes!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Seafood Risotto a la Julia

This is my favourite risotto recipe and is especially good food when you're sick as I still am, blechh. On the brighter side though the lady in the chemist gave me some secret under the counter stuff called 'Gees Linctus'. When I got it home and read the ingredients I found it contained morphine, marvellous!
This meal has a ton of flavour and is easy to eat, one bowl, one fork, you're done.
Once you have mastered the preparation of risotto the rest is down to the quality of the ingredients. This particular recipe easily serves four people but is on the expensive side as far as risottos go.

2 cups of Arborio rice
2 tablespoons of oil
1 large onion diced
5 cups of warm stock
400g/14OZ seafood (in this case a dozen scallops, a dozen large tiger prawns and terakihi)
Chopped parsley
1/2 cup of fresh parmigiano reggiano grated
Salt & pepper
1/2 cup of white wine (Five Flax Sauvignon Blanc tonight as that's what we're drinking)
1 cup of light evaporated milk

We used 3 cups of snapper fish stock bought from Sea Treasure Seafoods Ltd in Mahana Rd, Hamilton where we also bought the seafood for the risotto and 2 cups of vegetable stock bought from the supermarket.
Heat liquid stock in a pot on the oven next to your risotto pan as it needs to be hot when going into the risotto.
Heat risotto pan to medium, add oil and diced onion. Cook the diced onion in the oil for 2 mins.
Add rice and cook for 2 mins stirring all the time
Add wine and cook, stirring till wine is absorbed
Add hot stock 1 cup at a time, stirring continuously until all of the liquid is absorbed before adding the next cup (usually about 5 minutes).
Continue to cook as above until the rice is cooked and tender (about 30 minutes)
Heat the evaporated milk if you are using it
Add parmesan, parsley and seafood.Mix and continue to cook making sure that you do not break up the seafood, add evaporated milk and salt & pepper till you have the consistency and taste you require.
Risotto should be loose and creamy, not liquid or solid.
Serve in bowls with plenty of fresh ground black pepper and garnish with parsley. Perfect.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

cough PIZZA cough

It had to happen, I'm not sure quite how long it's been since this blog began but tonight we finally have our first official repeat meal.
What with me still sick as the proverbial canis domesticus and both of us pretty knackered, the humble Italian snack was our saviour. I'm pretty sure you all know how to make pizza so tonight a pic a joke a link and a pic.

Dinner pic

Person 1 Knock knock
Person 2 Who's there?
Person 1 Control freak

Japanese crazy people

Isis in the car on the way back from the beach pic

Monday, May 15, 2006

Buckley's Canadiol ugghhh

There are just some things you can't get a taste for and if you've ever been fortunate enough to be dosed with Buckley's when you have a cold you'll know what I mean. Sorry about the lack of blog updates but wouldn't you know it, we go on holiday and we both get sick. Fevers, aching joints, splitting headaches etc, lovely. I seem to be on the mend today so time for another post.
Chocolate and cake lovers please turn your computers off and walk away. You have been warned.

Black Forest Gateau

8 whole eggs
250g/9OZ Caster Sugar
200g/7OZ Plain Flour
50g/2OZ Cocoa Powder
1 teaspoon Baking Powder

Preheat oven to 180C/355F
In an electric mixer beat eggs and sugar until light and fluffy
Sift together flour, cocoa powder and baking powder
Gently fold the flour mix into the egg mixture with a spatula
Pour mixture into 23cm greased and lined cake tin and place into a preheated oven for approx 35-40 mins
Cool until cold, do not slice until ready to assemble cake

Cherries in Syrup
2 tins of pitted cherries in juice
4 tablespoons of Kirsch liqueur
2 tablespoons of cornflour
2 tablespoons of icing sugar
1 teaspoon of gelatin powder

Put cherries in a saucepan with Kirsch and icing sugar. Bring to a simmer
Mix cornflour with a little of the hot fruit juice to make to a smooth paste, add gelatin
Add to cherry mix and continue to heat stirring to a smooth finish
Set aside and cool, refrigerate once cool and leave till cake is being assembled


500g/18OZ chopped dark chocolate
250 ml/1 cup of cream

Place the cream into a saucepan and gently bring to the boil
Remove from the heat and add the chocolate
Using a wooden spoon, stir until all the chocolate has melted
Place mixture into a mixing bowl fitted with a beater and on a medium speed beat until the ganache filling has begun to cool, thicken and change colour. This should take about 10-12 mins. Do not beat too much as you don't want to incorporate air into the filling. The consistency should be that of 3/4 whipped cream and be easily spreadable with a palate knife.

Kirsch Cream
To 1 cup of whipped cream add 1/2 tablespoon of kirsch and a tablespoon of icing sugar. Mix.

Chocolate Curls
Melt 250g of dark chocolate in a double boiler. Spread evenly over a baking tray and leave to set. Once solid again make curls by running along the surface with a long sharp knife

To Assemble
1 cake plate
Slice cold chocolate sponge into 3 horizontally, invert the top of the cake so that it is the base.
Place first slice on the cake plate, spread on half of the cherry mixture. On the middle slice spread a thin layer of the ganache and place this slice ganache side down on top of the first slice so that cherries and ganache are together.
On top of the second tier of sponge pour on the second half of the cherry mixture and spread evenly. Cover with a layer of cream and then place final layer of sponge on top.
Spread a layer of ganache on the top layer and decorate with the chocolate curls.
Hopefully you know have something that looks like this.

I suggest very thin slices of this as it is incredibly rich. You could feasibly serve approx 16 people from this one cake.

Friday, May 12, 2006


Miracle of miracles I managed to get a few days annual leave. Julia was already on leave as she gets something like 53 weeks a year and has been asked to take some by her employer. So off to Coromandel we go to visit (sit in spa pool and drink) with the mum and dad-in-law.
It's approximately a 2 1/2 hour drive from Hamilton to Cormandel but with torrential rain, mad bus drivers and general driving lunacy going on around us it took 3 hours. The Thames coast drive is one of the most beautiful in New Zealand but when you're on one of the narrowest major highways in the world and a bus comes around a corner a good foot over the central line and you are already 6 inches from plunging in to the sea on the other side...
I think my fingerprints are permanently imbedded in the steering wheel. Julia was very good, no screaming or anything. She inhaled once quickly, held her breath for the 2 seconds the incident took and then let it go. Sterling effort really considering we both thought we were history. It's funny, the cat didn't seem to notice at all. Isis (the afore mentioned feline) came with us and just for fun we didn't put her in the cat box. Instead we put her little cat harness on and she spent half the trip on Julia's lap in the front passenger seat and half the trip on the tallest bit of luggage she could fine precariously balanced between refined diginity and embarrasing slap stick. All in all an eventful but successful trip.
The evening meal was a delicious steak and kidney pie with potato and pumpkin mash cooked by the mum-in-law, congrats it was fantastic. However I thought I'd show you the scenery from their house rather than the meal tonight.

The remnants of the storm made for some pretty wild scenery. Oh and just by the way this blog post was written on a Mac and the photos were edited using iPhoto (which I've never used before). Hey don't blame me I told her to buy a Windows PC but the Apple was so pretty, what are you going to do?

Thursday, May 11, 2006


Ceviche is the national dish of Peru and is also popular in Mexico and Central and South america.
In its traditional form ceviche is made from chunks of white fish, lime juice, onion and chili. We made our ceviche from terakihi, a New Zealand white fish.
400g of fish was marinated in the juice of one large lemon and two large limes (approx 3/4 cup of citrus juice) with 1/4 cup of cider vinegar and salt & ground black pepper for two hours.
Cucumber, capsicum, tomato, spring onion and celery were chopped and added to the marinated fish. Red onion is also a good addition to the dish. The finishing touch in this case was half an avocado to which was added a few drops of balsamic vinegar, olive oil and black pepper. This serves 3 people as a main meal.
Although it is an uncooked fish salad the action of the fruit acid on the fish means that when it is served it is no longer technically 'raw'.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

spam spam spam spam spam beans and spam

Not quite. Tonight we have a little bit of luxury but completely affordable. In Hamilton we have a new and brilliant little restaurant Pasta Mia that not only does the most amazing meals in house but also supplies a fantastic range of pastas to takeaway.
This is a New Zealand crayfish

and this is Parmigiano Reggiano, imported from Italy

Put the crayfish and raviolli together as Pasta Mia have done and add a seafood sauce and fresh grated parmesan and you have a recipe for heaven.

The finished product

Just a little sideline. We watched the movie 'In Her Shoes' tonight with Cameron Diaz, Toni Collette and Shirly MacLaine and although I hate to say it considering it was a complete 'clit flick' it was bloody great. A real tear jerker. I usually find Diaz annoying but it looks like she may be adding acting to her resume any minute. Collette was stunning as usual and MacLaine well what can you say? She's not a legend for nothing darlings. Marvellous.

Yellow is a food group

You can't really beat a good quality steak grilled rare but occasionally it's nice to try something a little different. This is organic sirloin from our great local butchers.
The steak was baked in the oven with a salsa of fresh tomato, onion, capsicum, garlic, lemon juice and salt & plenty of ground black pepper. Roast potatoes and mushrooms to accompany the steak and a white wine mushroom sauce. Lovely.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Can you hear me up the rack?

New Zealand is famous for it's lamb and this is as fine a cut as you will find. Rack of lamb, certified organic and perfect.

Dukkah rubbed rack of lamb and polenta
Spray room temperature lamb rack with olive oil. Lamb is already quite fatty so spraying rather than smearing with oil is the thing to do here. Roll in dukkah. Roast at 180C/350F for approx 25 mins, stand for 5 mins slice and serve.
About 15 mins after the lamb goes in to the oven start to prepare your polenta, the instructions on the packet are fine.
As you can see this lamb was served with steamed ribbons of courgette, raw baby spinach leaves and roasted field mushrooms. The jus is a butchers glaze heated with chopped prunes. Enjoy.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Comfort food

Well that was possibly one of the worst Sundays I have had for a while. If I could have got away with it I would have spent the entire day in bed. You just can't drink like a 22 year old when you are 37 but it's always worth trying once more just to make absolutely sure. I know you know what I mean.
These potato wedges are sensational, shop bought potato wedges (skin on), guacamole, salsa, bacon, cheese and sour cream. Delicious decadence.

Chiefs 37 Waratahs 33

The poor old Chiefs may not have any hope of making the semi-finals of the Super-14 after their loss to Wellington last weekend but if we can still knock over the top of the table Waratahs at the tail end of a tough season then all is good.
Things got a little 'rowdy' last night what with the Chiefs winning at home and the mum and dad-in-law staying so although dinner was marvellous (a fantastic piece of roasted wild pork) your writer was unable to perform his duties re the evening meal. Instead here is a picture of breakfast which was also delicious and also porcine related. I'm pretty sure you don't need a recipe for this one.

It's ok he has a great personality

Friday, May 05, 2006


Thursday, May 04, 2006


Due to the utter lack of interest shown by any of the heathens that read this blog i.e. fack all comments ever, tonight I will show you a picture of a very delicious meal and not tell you how to make it. How do you like them apples?!
Salmon on the inside (along with other secret ingredients) filo on the outside with a rather deilcious and confidential sauce and some green things.

P.S. If you ever empty the water cooler and don't replace the bottle or throw rubbish out of your car window may you burn in hell for all eternity.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The best chicken you have ever tasted

In the entire history of mankind I wonder how many times someone has said "this is the best chicken you will ever taste". Homo Sapiens has a very special relationship with gallus gallus domesticus, the humble chicken. You will notice that anything that mankind has fucked up beyond all recognition usually has the little latin tag 'domesticus' just to make us think that the chickens natural habitat is living in a fridge in the supermarket at five degrees celcius fully enclosed in plastic wrap and polystyrene and sans feathers. Whatever, we all know what kind of disgusting environments most of the chickens bound for our tables are kept in so why don't we pay a little bit extra and buy free range. Free range, organic chickens have now become affordable and the more people that buy them the cheaper they will become. Don't think that you can't change things, the simple act of you spending a couple more dollars on a free range chook can change the world.

Chicken a la Julia
1 large pot
6 chicken drumsticks (that's 3 organic chickens or 2 biologically enhanced chickens)
2 large onions, peeled and cut in to quarters
6 cloves of garlic peeled
1 courgette
12 button mushrooms
1 large capsicum
12 kalamata olives
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon each of dried parsley, thyme, oregano, rosemary and basil
salt & pepper
1 large preserved lemon (this is a lemon that has been bottled and preserved in salt for approx 3 months at least)
2 tins of chopped tomatoes
5 tablespoons of tomato paste
1 1/2 empty tomato tins of water
3 teaspoons of chicken stock powder
8 small salad potatoes cut in half

In your large pot brown your chicken well. Ensure good colour and no free flowing blood when poked with a skewer.
Add onions and garlic and cook until they are soft.
Add tomatoes, tomato paste, stock, water, herbs and preserved lemon and keep stirring regularly for 30 mins to prevent burning. Add mushrooms, olives and potatoes. Cook for 20 mins add the rest of the ingredients and cook stirring all the time to prevent the bottom burning.
Keep simmering until chicken is almost falling of the bone and potatoes are done. The potatoes will counteract the quite salty stock flavour so keep tasting all the way through and adjust at the end of cooking.
Serve in a bowl or on a plate with a green vegetable such as green beans. OMGYUMBBQASLLOLETC

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Lamb and lentils

Tonight we are just trialling an ingredient for a French themed dinner party we are having in a few weeks. If you can guess which ingredient before the end you win a cuddly toy.

Seasoned lamb rumb
Pumpkin mash
Puy lentils
Brussell sprouts
Green beans

Take 2 'heart of lamb rumps' a special cut that was ordered on line and came via courier from Gourmet Direct. Oil the meat and roll in the rub. Rest until ready to cook. Sear the meat and then finish in the oven till the rare side of medium rare. The rub we used was a mix called 'Bed of Roses' from www.capeherb.com and contained a mixture of: ginger, roasted garlic, sea salt, caraway seeds, sugar, roasted sesame seeds, cumin, paprika, cassia, chillies, coriander, black pepper, turmeric, mint, nutmeg, rose petals and saffron. It was outstanding.

The lentils are special green lentils from France and they are the ingredient we are trialling for the upcoming dinner party. The lentils require 3 times the amount of liquid as lentils. Measure both lentils and water in to a pot and boil for approx 25 mins. Salt may be added to the water but we found it was best added once the meal had been plated.

The dish is finished with one of the local butchers meat glazes. Heat the glaze in a small pan and spoon on to the lamb.
This was a really special meal, just incredible flavours from the seasoned lamb and the lentils were exceptional. Please try it.

Monday, May 01, 2006


Ugghhh blogs. Have you any idea how much utter vapid excrement there is in blog land? Why on earth am I adding to it. This fad/cultural phenomenon has absolutely no merit whatsoever. What is it that makes people want to share their pitiful existences with the world? I blame food colouring and a lack of proper parenting. Well whatever, the meals have been far too healthy, multicultural and delicious lately so here it is, homemade cheeseburger and shop bought chips. Bloody delicious actually.
500g/1 pound of beef mince, 1 small onion finely diced, 1 tablespoon of tomato sauce, 1 tablespoon Worchestershire sauce, 1 egg yolk, salt and plenty of ground black pepper. Mix and make into 3 huge or 4 large patties, grill or BBQ.

Can you tell I'm in a bad mood or did I manage to conceal it?
Oh and congratulations to a friend of mine who managed to get rid of approximately 140 pounds of utter vapid excrement today. Bravo etc.