Eight Bells

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Friday, June 30, 2006

Bacon is a food group.

Sorry you're not getting many recipes right now but things are pretty hectic at the moment what with end of financial year crap going on all around us. This meal is simply penne pasta, chopped and fried bacon and mushroom combined with a shop bought egg plant and roasted tomato pasta sauce (oh come on we're allowed to cheat sometimes you know). Anyway these days you can get some pretty awesome sauces from the supermarket so what the heck eh? After the picture was taken it was of course finished off with lashings of grated parmesan cheese.

Blerv Questions

4. Make that poached egg caesar salad again and mail it to me - btw how do you poach an egg? Crack it into boiling water, pray for a while and then remove? Any special hints?

The Caesar salad will definately make an appearence again soon, do you think FedEx is the best way to get it to Canadia?
As for poaching an egg we simply crack the egg into a small glass bowl and then carefully tip into a large frying pan full of simmering water. If you want to try for the perfect poached egg take a pot of simmering water and create a vortex by whisking the water in a circle. Crack your egg into a small bowl and then pour into the vortex. Remove with a slotted spoon and enjoy.

7. What exactly is falafel? And does it make one feel awful?

Haha very good, for those of you who really don't know what falafel is (I think Blerv is faking it) go here falafel

So Simple So Mmmmmmm

Just take a large tortilla, lettuce, tomato, capsicum (bell pepper), hummus, tzatziki and lamb chips from Aria Farms. Wrap everything in the tortilla eat and repeat.

More Chook

Looks like a standard roast chicken doesn't it and it doesn't cost much more than a bog standard supermarket chook that's been slowly tortured to death in a battery farm. This is a free range, organic, corn fed chicken and the difference is amazing. This was a happy chicken. The taste is incredible and if you haven't had a chicken grown like this you don't know what you are missing. I strongly suggest that you treat the humble chicken with a little more reverence and respect and next time you buy a chicken spend a little more and go free range organic you won't be sorry. In fact what you will be is amazed to eat something that actually tastes like chicken. This roast was slightly different in that we had visitors and a request for a gluten free meal. Easy enough when it comes to the vegetables but the stuffing required gluten free bread which we had never bought but found was readily available if somewhat more expensive than normal bread. Verdict YUM!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Meatloaf Monday

This is the best meatloaf ever, try it you will love it. The recipe is taken from a book called 'The Destitute Gourmet' by Sophie Gray.

This recipe serves 4-5, preparation time is 20 mins and cooking time 50 mins.

500g/1 lb of pork mince
8-10 rashers of bacon
3-4 slices of thick wholemeal bread crumbled into pieces
1 egg
1/4 cup of milk
1 teaspoon of fresh chopped sage
1 large onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons of wholegrain mustard
Salt & pepper

Chop the onion and garlic and cook in a little oil until soft, put aside to cool.
Put all the ingredients except the bacon and milk into a large bowl including the cooled onion and garlic a little salt and plenty of ground black pepper. Mix well adding milk until you have a good moldable mixture.
Take about 2 feet of tin foil and lay it flat on your work surface. Lay the bacon rashers across it so that they just touch each other leaving space at both ends. Place your meatloaf mixture evenly along the bacon rashers and form into a loaf shape as in the picture. Fold up first one side of the foil so that the bacon surrounds the meatloaf and then the other side. Wrap the meatloaf completely in the foil folding up the ends and place into a preheated oven at 180C/355F for 30 mins, take the foil off the meatloaf so that the top is exposed and cook for a further 20 mins or until you can see it is nicely golden brown on the top.
Slice and serve with steamed potatoes and broccoli.
Of course with only two of us I get to have meatloaf and tomato sauce sandwiches for a couple of days afterwards. Bonus!

Blerv questions

5. What do you do with all the leftover food? Surely you and julia don't eat 15 lbs of canneloni in one dinner and the following lunch.
-Any leftovers usually get eaten the next day or days and quite often get frozen or in extreme circumstances donated.

6. How long did that canneloni take to make, exactly?
-From starting preparation to eating you should allow about 2 hours.

Slack Buggers

Thankyou to everyone for the feedback re what a slack bugger I have been with the blog for the last few days. I meant this blog to have an entry every day and that is how I want to keep it. I will try harder I promise.
It all really started on Saturday night. We went to a show with a couple of friends and didn't get to bed until 4am Sunday morning. Since then the energy has somewhat dissipated. *note to self* don't drink 2+ bottles of wine and get up the next day after 5 hours sleep like you are 21, at 37 it becomes ever so slightly harder to function. Well I'm back into it now so I'll kick off with Sunday breakfast and then a couple of meals since then.

This is a slightly different take on the traditonal eggs benedict/florentine dish.

As you can see instead of spinach and ham/bacon we have used avocado and a fantastic piece of smoked salmon fillet from the Hamilton farmers market that we boned and broke up into pieces. Poached eggs and hollandaise to finish it off and you have the perfect hangover breakfast.

Saturday, June 24, 2006


Well it's Friday nights dinner again so that means it's got to be quick and easy. No recipe today just a pic. As you can see this is leftover parmigiana and polenta. Oh man sooooooooo good.

A quick word to Blerv, thankyou for your very long list of comments and ideas. I am working on answers to your questions as I type this. Good thought about putting in prep times for the dishes I will include this from now on. I have no idea how to 'advertise' a blog so that more people know about it, any ideas anyone?

*EDIT* I just had a bit of a brainwave. I think the best way to answer Blerv's long list of questions is to just post an answer a day until done. So here goes.

1. What exactly is moong dal?

The easiest way to explain what dal is is to let wikipedia do it for me dal. Moong dal is just one of many dal dishes and can be made (as we did in this recipe Moong Dal) with split yellow lentils.

Just Pizza

In line with our purely by chance Italian themed week. Pizza.

Tonight we had a chunky Haiwaiian and a mixed vegetable with bacon. We finally found a really good ready made pizza base in the supermarket you can find them here Romanos

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Yumness is a word

Heart of lamb rump
Green Sauce
Slow roasted vegetables

1 heart of lamb rump per person
Sliced aubergine (egg plant), tomatoes halved, capsicum (bell pepper) and courgette (zucchini)

Preheat your oven to 160C/320F.
Line a baking tray with cooking paper, spray oil on your tomatoes and start cooking. After 15 mins add capsicum, after another 20 mins add egg plant and after another 20 mins add courgette.
While the vegetables are cooking prepare polenta as per packet instructions and set aside. You will want to make the polenta so that is solid and sliceable like cake.

Green Sauce (this is a made up cross between salsa verde and tapenade)

8-10 green olives pitted
1 tablespoon of capers
3 cloves of garlic, peeled
4 anchovy fillets
Black pepper & salt
1/4 of a cup of olive oil
1/4 of a cup of water
3/4 of a cup of chopped fresh herbs, parsely, marjoram, oregano and chives
1 tablespoon of lemon zest
1 tablespoon of lemon juice

Blend or whiz in a bowl to amalgamate, stand then test for flavour and adjust to taste.

Increase oven temperature to 180C/355F.
Sear lamb rumps and rest. Slice the polenta and then put the polenta and the lamb in the oven to cook with the vegetables about 15 mins after adding the courgette.
Cook until lamb is the desired 'doneness' (yes it's definately a word, don't look it up just take my word for it) .
Place cooked veges and polenta on warmed plates, add lamb and spoon over generous amounts of green sauce.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Chicken Parmigiana

This one is for you Kate as I know you have been dying to have this on the blog. We seem to be having a bit of an Italian themed week this week and this is an absolute beaut of a meal and surprisingly easy and quick to prepare especially with two in the kitchen (bonding moment).

Chicken Parmigiana

6 boneless skinless chicken cutlets (you can use any chicken pieces for this)
1 large aubergine (eggplant)
1 jar of prepared tomato pasta sauce, homemade or shop bought (about 500ml/1 pint)
2 tins chopped italian flavoured tomatoes
1/3 of a cup white wine
The juice and peel of a large lemon
Salt & pepper
2 tablespoons of oil and spray oil
1/2 cup of tomato paste (optional)

2-3 slices of bread or 2/3 of a cup of breadcrumbs
A large handful of fresh chopped parsely
3 cloves of garlic finely chopped
1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese
Salt & pepper

Pre heat oven to 180C/355F
Slice eggplant to get at least 12 slices of even width.
Spray an oven tray with oil lightly and place slices of aubergine on the tray. Spray surfaces with oil and cook till very lightly brown on top. Take out of the oven and set aside. There is no need to 'salt' and draw out the moisture from the aubergine before cooking as the bitterness has really been bred out of the modern aubergine.

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan or pot and sear the chicken till well browned. Don't mess around with the chicken by prodding it or inspecting it as this will cause it to stick. Cook it on a high heat and turn once only, this will prevent it from stewing (about 15 mins).
While the chicken is cooking prepare your sauce.
Pour the tomato pasta sauce into a large bowl with white wine, tinned tomatoes, salt & pepper and the lemon peel and juice (peel the lemon peel into one long strip and then cut into about 4 pieces).
In a food mixer whiz the bread until finely crumbed, add the chopped garlic, parsely, parmesan and coarsely ground black pepper and salt whiz again then remove.

To assemble
Spray a large lasagne or baking dish with oil. Lay 6 large slices of aubergine on the bottom of the dish. Place a piece of chicken on each slice and top with remaining aubergine slices.
Cover with tomato sauce including the pieces of lemon peel and then cover with the crust mixture.
Place tin foil over the dish and cook in a preheated oven at 180C/355F for 20 mins, remove foil and cook for a further 20 mins until the crust is golden. Bellissimo!
Serve with steamed green vegetables.
Again this meal is great frozen and reheated for work lunch or dinner.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Piggy Pasta

This will serve 4-5

300g/10OZ of dried pasta of your choice
2 tins of diced Italian style tomatoes
350g/12OZ diced bacon pieces
1 tablespoon of oil
1 large courgette (zucchini) finely diced
1 large onion finely diced
6 sundried tomatoes sliced
6 pieces of chargrilled marinated capsicum (bell pepper)
2/3 of a teaspoon of dried oregano, parsley and thyme
Salt & pepper

Cook diced bacon in oil in a large pan and when browned add onion and cook till onion is soft and transparent.
Add tinned tomatoes and cook for a further 10 mins then add the rest of the vegetables, herbs and salt & pepper.
Turn the heat down and simmer to thicken while you cook the pasta stirring occasionally.
Drain pasta and serve in warm bowls with plenty of bacon and tomato sauce and fresh grated parmesan as below. Yum and perfect to whack a serving or two into Tupperware containers and microwave the next day for work lunch.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Beef Wellington with Green Peppercorn Sauce

Beef Wellington is something Julia and I had wanted to try preparing for a long time. Julia was cleaning out the freezer and getting rid of any unwanted or past it's best produce and came across a container of duck liver pate I had made a couple of months ago. The recipe made much more pate than we needed at the time so we froze around half of it. Beef Wellington seemed the perfect way to use it up. The pate recipe is here duck liver pate
If I could just add a couple of things, I personally think the recipe requires more ground black pepper and definately at least 1/2 a teaspoon of ground sea salt (unsalted butter is not necessary either).

Beef Wellington

This recipe willl serve 4-5
750g/1 1/2 lbs of eye fillet in the piece (if you tell your butcher what you are cooking he/she will ensure you get a piece of meat with the right proportions for a good Beef Wellington).
Puff pastry rolled
1 cup of pate
1 egg

Preheat the oven to 220C/430F.
Sear the steak to brown on all sides and cook in the oven at 220C/430F for 20 mins. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
Preheat oven to 200C/390F.
Roll pastry into a rectangle large enough to encase the beef.
Spread pate on the pastry.
Place the beef on the pate covered pastry and roll up. Brush the edge of the pastry with a little milk to seal it and tuck in the ends.
Place beef on a baking tray, seam side down and brush pastry with beaten egg. Place in the preheated oven and cook for 25 mins.
Rest for 5 mins before serving. Be careful to slide a spatula or fish slice completely under the Beef Wellington when taking the it from the oven tray. This will prevent it from falling apart while removing it.

Green Peppercorn Sauce

1/2 a cup of cream
Salt & pepper
1/4 teaspoon of chicken stock
2 teaspoons of green peppercorns

Gently simmer all ingredients over a low heat to thicken. Very slightly crush the peppercorns to release the flavour. Serve the beef with steamed baby carrots, green beans and the peppercorn sauce.

Saturday, June 17, 2006


Yes I know, I missed a day yesterday, I'm so ashamed. We had a couple of friends around for dinner and cooked a quite spectacular rolled pork roast. It was a large piece of meat and by the time it was served it was 9.30pm. I had by then consumed *cough* one or two *cough* glasses of wine and as a result completely forgot to take any pictures! Anyway an excellent night was had by all and the meal was delish.

So on to Friday night. We have one Teppanyaki restaurant in Hamilton, it is called 'Nami' and is on Hood Street. Six of us went and all had a great time, the service and the food was excellent and the hot saki was perfect for what was a pretty miserable night weather wise. We will definately be going back for some more 'food theatre' in the very near future.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Teddy Bears Picnic

You may remember the last time we cooked this delicious maple syrup marinated salmon. It was served with mini tarts and you can find the recipe here Salmon.
This time we decided to serve it with pasta but we stuck with the lime oil roasted tomatoes as they are an excellent side kick cutting through the rich thuggish nature of the salmon.
Farmed salmon is a very ecologically sound fish to eat. They are purpose bred for us to eat and the resource footprint is small (much more guilt free than eating snapper or john dory).

Salmon fillets
Maple syrup
Lime oil
2 courgettes (zucchini) grated
4 cloves of garlic minced
Salt & pepper

Take a piece of salmon per person. 150g/5OZ is plenty as this fish is very rich (the fillet in the photo was over 200g/7OZ and was too much). Marinate in 1 tablespoon of maple syrup per piece for at least an hour.
The thing to get on first is the slow roasted tomatoes, simply slice in half and place on a baking paper lined oven tray. Grind black pepper over them and sprinkle a little lime oil over (go easy with the lime oil it has a very strong flavour). Place in your oven at 160C/320F and roast for at least an hour (till almost collapsing).
When the tomatoes are approx 15 mins away from being ready start your pasta and your salmon.
Pan fry the salmon with a little spray oil to sear and brown it and then place in the oven with the tomatoes for approx 10 mins.
Cook your spaghetti. While these are cooking take the courgette (zucchini) and the minced garlic and cook down in a little spray oil with salt and pepper until it is almost pesto like in its mushy goodness.
Drain the pasta and add the courgette and garlic to it, mix well. Serve as per photograph. Ignore the few rocket leaves in the picture. We were originally going to serve it with rocket but decided against it after we found the leaves were not looking to healthy.
I thought I would just let you in on a little secret while I'm about it. I have used all kinds of garlic presses and mincers and up until recently have never used or owned one that really worked well. A few months ago I bought one of these. It is the Tupperware garlic press and is not only an excellent piece of design aesthetically but functionally it is near perfect. No more chopping up garlic for me, I highly recommend it (you have to love that lifetime guarantee).

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Chicken by Request

Yes, I know, there has been a quite a lot of chicken lately and a few roasts but come on it's winter and it's freezing! This particular meal was requested by a friend who in the end didn't turn up (still haven't heard from him either, maybe I should give him a call) so it's chicken sandwiches for the rest of the week.
This lovely chook was a free range organic beast again from our local butchery and was poulet perfection.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Seafood Chowder

Seafood Chowder (serves 6)

1 onion
1 carrot
2 celery stalks
1 tin of whole kernel corn 400g (drained)
1 tablespoon of olive oil spread
2 cups of fish stock (reserve 1/3 of a cup)
2 cups of milk
1 cup of UHT (long life) light cream (used because it is only 12% fat)
1/4 of a cup of plain flour
2 teaspoons of parsley
1 teaspoon of dill
Salt & pepper
The zest and juice of one lemon
1/4 cup of white wine (optional)
750g/1 1/2 lb of seafood (fish, scallops, marinara mix etc)

Dice the onion, carrot and celery and sweat in a large soup pot with the olive oil spread. When soft add the stock, cream and milk and let it heat to a simmer.
Mix the stock that you reserved with flour to a smooth paste and add to the soup base, this will thicken the milk and stock to a 'chowder' consistency. Add corn, parsley, dill and salt & pepper. Continue to cook on a low heat. Simmer to thicken but do not boil and stir often.
Add seafood, wine and lemonzest and juice to the hot base. Cook until the seafood is well cooked but not falling apart, approx 10 mins.
Serve with hot crusty bread and butter.
This chowder can be cooled and refrigerated and then reheated but if wine and lemon juice have been added there is every chance that the base will split.

Why Did The Chicken?

Chicken Burgers (for two)

In a bowl mix 300g/10OZ of chicken mince, the yolk of one egg, salt & pepper, half a diced and cooked onion and 1 or 2 slices of brown bread grated into breadcrumbs.
Form into two patties and grill.
For this burger we used sliced brie, avocado (with a little lime juice squeezed onto it), tinned mango slices, tomato and iceberg lettuce. The top bun has a little low fat mayonaise spread on it and the pattie has some lemon pickle spread onto it. Delicious and quite difficult to eat!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Orange is a Flavour

Wow this really did turn out orange, even the green Granny Smith apple! No recipe today as it's just a roast and I know you can all cook a decent roast.
We used a particularly nice piece of pork from the organic butchers and served it with roasted yams & carrots and a cauliflower & broccoli cheese bake with a parmesan crust. Now I have seen the photograph it looks like a hell of a lot of food but with no potatoes it wasn't particularly overwhelming and that feeling of bloated sloth wasn't present at the end of the meal.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

It's Not Easy Being Green

It's just not necessary to have green stuff with every meal. The astute readers amongst you will notice that Friday night tends to a little rough and ready. You know how it is, the end of the week and you just want to sit down and have a couple of glasses of wine. Spending an age in the kitchen is just not an option. This has got to be good for you I mean JUST LOOK AT IT!

Free range pork and apple sausages (yes the apples roam free across the farm foraging for roots and berries), eggs from free range chickens and kumara chips. For those of you who don't know the kumara is a root vegetable and it is the Maori word for sweet potato. They are very tasty and make great chips, especially with lashings of sour cream.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Really Really Really Bad Pasta

Ok so the title is a reference to the fat content not the taste as this recipe is absolutely delicious. Julia and I usually cook with low fat ingredients where possible as you may have noticed. This recipe does not in any way reflect this trend so don't come running to me if you have a heart attack in the night. Sorry about the picture, it has been very cold for the last few nights and as a result the food is obscured by the clouds of steam rising from the dish.

Pasta for four, we used spaghetti this time but anything will do.
1 packet of diced/chopped bacon 250g/9OZ
4 large field musrooms
1 onion diced
1 bottle of cream 500ml/1 pint
Salt & pepper
A dash of oil
Fresh parmesan

Cook the onion and bacon in a little oil , cook the mushrooms separately.
Cook the pasta and at the same time add the cream to the bacon and onion and simmer (be aware that the sauce can actually take up to half an hour so perhaps start your pasta a little later). Stir the sauce all the time while it thickens and reduces, do not leave it as it is easy to burn. When ready the sauce should be pourable but thick and slightly golden in colour.
Drain your pasta and add the sauce to the pasta pot. Serve and finish off with mushrooms and parmesan. Approximately 8000 calories per serving.

Marinated Pork Steaks

1/4 cup of orange juice
15 macadamia nuts roughly chopped
1 teaspoon of English mustard
1 tablespoon of oil
1 tablespoon of honey or maple syrup
Salt & Pepper

This will serve two. Mix the ingredients and marinade pork steaks or chops for at least 1 hour.
Cook pork in a pan till meat is coloured and sealed and finish off in the oven at 180C/355F for 10-15 mins.
Take the marinade and simmer to reduce by about a third (it can be thickened if necessary with a very little cornflour mixed to a paste with a tablespoon of orange juice and added to the marinade).
Serve with vegetables, roast potatoes etc and pour the heated and reduced marinade over the pork.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006


Monday, June 05, 2006

Roasted Tomato and Red Pepper Soup

Oh man just yum, this is such a nice winter meal. The weather forecast says -3C tonight and although it's only 8.04pm right now I can feel it already, brrrrr. Throughout the year in New Zealand you can find capsicum (bell pepper) priced from 99c to $2.99 each depending on the time of year and availability. We have a couple of recipes that we usually make when capsicum are cheap. One is capsicum jelly (the recipe for which you will find on this blog at some stage, maybe, if you're lucky) and the other is this soup.
We were fortunate enough to be given a rather large bag of capsicums (approx a dozen) that were purchased from 'Tere's of Coromandel' for $3. Tere and his partner own what has to be one of the best fruit and vege (and other) shops that I have ever been in. It is well worth a vist and we usually pick up either a lovely gouda, an unusual and hard to find condiment or simply something we have never seen before (we first discovered the Cape Herb 'bed of Roses' lamb rub there).

8 large tomatoes
8 large red peppers (capsicum/bell pepper)
3 bulbs of garlic
Olive oil

1 litre of vegetable stock
1/3 teaspoon smoked paprika
Salt & Pepper
Avocado oil
Lite sour cream
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
1 tin of 'Italian flavoured' chopped tomatoes

First slow roast your tomatoes, peppers and garlic. Put tomatoes in a baking paper lined roasting dish and place in a pre heated oven at 160C/320F for 30 mins.
Cut peppers in half and remove seeds/membrane. Place cut side down in a roasting dish lined with baking paper. Place in the oven with tomatoes and cook for 30 mins (the tomatoes have already cooked for 30 mins when you put the peppers in the oven).
Cut the top quarter off the top of the garlic bulbs to expose all the cloves and pour a little olive oil over them. Put in the oven with the tomatoes and the peppers (the tomatoes will have beeen in the oven for an hour already and the peppers will have been in for 30 mins). Keep an eye on the veges and swap trays around if necessary.
Remove veges from the oven, peel blistered skins off the peppers and discard. Place peppers and tomatoes in a large pot and squeeze garlic cloves out of their skins into the pot. Leave to cool.
Use a blender or preferably a whiz stick to puree the veges and garlic. Add stock and tinned tomatoes and continue to blend till smooth. Add paprika and salt & pepper, stir and heat gently until hot enough to serve.
Ladle into bowls and add a generous swirl of avaocado oil, a spoonful of sour cream and some freshly ground black pepper. Serve with hot crusty bread and a little grated parmesan if desired.

Cherry Clafoutis (with plums)

In a few weeks time we are having a French themed dinner party and plan on cooking among other things Duck a l'Orange. As neither of us have cooked this particular dish before we though it best to have a smaller dinner party to trial the recipe. We invited 4 friends around for us to experiment on. I'm not going to give you the recipe for the duck as there are already a million recipes for Duck a l'Orange on the internerd, instead I will give you the recipe for the dessert (and a picture of the bird just after it came out of the oven).

This is what the duck looked like after roasting and continuous basting in the orange juice, Grand Marnier, cider vinegar and brown sugar mixture for 2 hours. It was delicious.

And this is the Cherry (plum) Clafoutis

This recipe is not one of Julia's adaptations or an invention of her own. With the exception of the substitution of plums for cherries the recipe is taken straight from 'The Food of France' an excellent French cookbook with recipes by Maria Villegas and Sarah Randell and published by Murdoch Books. Of course many of the recipes in the book are traditional French recipes attributable to no one in particular.

Cherry (plum) Clafoutis

185ml of thick (double/heavy) cream
1 vanilla pod
125ml of milk
3 eggs
55g/1/4 of a cup of caster sugar
85g/2/3 of a cup of plain flour
1 tablespoon of kirsch
450g/1 lb of black cherries
Icing sugar

The first thing to avoid in this recipe is taking your can of cherries from the pantry and finding that they expired in 2004. Hmmm suddenly our lovely dinner party dessert was not looking so promising. Fortunately we still had bottled plums from our tree that Julia had preserved a couple of months ago, they made a great substitute.

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.
Put the cream in a small saucepan. Split the vanilla pod in two and scrape out the seeds with a the flat edge of a small sharp knife and add seeds and pod to the milk . If you don't have vanilla pods use 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence.
Heat gently for a couple of minutes, then remove from the heat add the milk and cool. Strain to remove the pod and seeds (don't worry if you don't get all the seeds).
Whisk the eggs with the sugar and flour, then stir into the cream. Add the kirsche and cherries (plums) and stir well. Pour into a 23cm/9" round baking dish and bake for 30-35 mins or until golden on top. Dust with icing sugar and serve with whipped cream. We kept the preserving syrup from the bottled plums then reduced it by half by simmering and poured a little over the served portions. Wonderful and very quick and easy.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Mmmmm Cheesey

You are going to need every ounce of culinary cunning and guile for this one so be prepared. Set aside a good 3 hours and preferably cook alone in the house to avoid any unwanted and possibly disastrous distractions. Make sure you have a fire extinguisher or at least some kind of 'fire blanket' and let a neighbour know what you are cooking, it's only fair. So to work.

Fried Cheese Sandwich


Saturday, June 03, 2006

Snapper and chips

Just a Friday night quickie this one. No one is in the mood to spend time in the kitchen and this is always a great option in that situation.

Fresh snapper or what you will. About 150g/5OZ per person.
Oven chips (don't you dare deep fry them!)

Lightly flour your fish and set aside until ready to cook. You can add all kinds of things to the flour to make it a little more interesting, ground black pepper is a favourite of mine.
Cook your oven chips, they usually take around 20-30 mins at 220C/430F, and prepare your salad. This salad is simply lettuce, tomato and capsicum with a balsamic based dressing.
When the chips are 10 mins away from being ready heat a little plain cooking oil in a pan and cook fish fillets. Simply place the fillets in the pan and don't mess with them i.e. don't prod them, throw them around or generally upset them. Turn once and finish cooking, the fillets should be lightly golden brown. Serve with fries and salad. So easy and so nice (even though I feel a little guilty eating snapper).

Snake Sandwich

First catch your snake. No seriously this is New Zealand not Australia.

The steak in the steak sandwich can be anything really, eye fillet, sirloin, scotch fillet etc. We used sirloin for this one.
Slow roasted vegetables, tomatoes, capsicum (bell pepper), mushroom, courgette (zucchini), asparagus if in season.
Sauce or dressing of choice, you can use aioli, bernaise, hollandaise etc

One hour before cooking the steak line an oven dish with cooking paper and place the toamtoes on one side. Cook in a pre heated oven at 170C/340F. After 20 mins add the capsicum sliced into quarters after a further 20 mins add the remaining vegetables.
When the vegetables are almost ready (be careful not to dry them out) cook your steak as you desire it and then leave it to rest in the now switched off oven. Toast your bread and spread your dressing on one slice of toast. Stack roasted vegetables on top, tomatoes and mushrooms first, then courgettes, peppers etc. Top with thinly sliced steak and a little more dressing and salt & pepper. Garnish with salad greens if desired and place the other toast slice on the plate.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

OMG I ate 5 in one day!

Sticky Lime Cakes

This is a recipe 'borrowed' from Julia's bridesmaid (Janis). It is based on a lemon loaf she makes called 'Linda's Lemon Loaf' and is from Janis' mother in law.

2 eggs
75g/2 1/2OZ butter melted
1 cup of sugar
1 1/2 cups of flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
Grated zest of one lemon
1/2 cup of milk

1/2 cup of sugar
The juice of one lemon

Beat the eggs and add sugar and butter. beat again. Add flour, baking powder, lemon zest and milk. Mix and bake in a greased lined loaf tin at 160C/325F for 35-40 mins.
Mix together sugar and lemon juice and spoon over hot cooked loaf after removing from the oven. Cool in the tin then remove and serve. It is great with yoghurt or cream.

To make these little sticky lime cakes simply use lime instead of lemon. You will probably need 2 limes as they are usually smaller and dryer than your average lemon.
Instead of cooking in a loaf tin spoon mixture into 12 muffin pans/moulds ensuring moulds are only 2/3 full. Cook at 180C/355F for 20 mins, remove from oven and spoon over the topping as before. Leave to cool in the muffin pans/moulds. EAT A LOT OF THEM!

Asian Pork Fillet and Noodles

I'm not going to claim this is cuisine from a particular country so it just gets the generic 'asian' tag.

1 pork fillet (allow about 150g/5OZ per person)
1 jar of random 'asian' marinade (we used a teriyaki marinade but you could use anything really)
4 balls of dried Singapore noodles (egg noodles)
5 spring onions
1 courgette
3 bunches of bok choi or pak choi
Oyster sauce
1 tablespoon of sesame oil
1 tablespoon of lemon infused olive oil
2 tablespoons of dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon of fish sauce

Marinate the pork fillet for at least 1 hour.

Noodle Sauce
Mix sesame oil, lemon oil, soy and fish sauce together. Taste and adjust accordingly, set aside.

Finely chop the spring onions, slice the courgette very thinly and set aside. Prepare and wash bok choi.

Cook pork fillet in a frying pan until sealed and finish off in a preheated oven at 180C/355F for about 20 mins. Rest for 5 mins before serving.
Boil water for noodles and cook for 5 mins or as per instructions on the packet. Aim to be draining the noodles at the same time as the pork finishes resting. Drain the noodles and add spring onions and courgettes. Add noodle sauce and mix.
Boil or steam the bok choi until bright green and soft but not completely flacid (snigger).
Serve slices of pork over noodles and bok choi, dress bok choi generously with oyster sauce. Hao chi.