Eight Bells

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Sunday, March 18, 2007

Venison Medallions with Mushroom Tart

The following tart recipe will make eight small tarts. We used eight 10cm loose bottomed fluted tart tins. You can instead use one 30cm tart/flan tin.

1 packet of flaky pastry
3 eggs
1 tub of ricotta
3 tablespoons of flat leafed parsley, chopped
6-8 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
5 portobello mushrooms, sliced
1 cup of dried Shitake mushrooms (available at most Asian supermarkets, we got ours from New Save Asian Supermarket next to Foodtown in central Hamilton)
1/3 of a cup of dried Chanterelles (from 'La Cave' French shop in Hillcrest, Hamilton)
1/3 of a cup of self raising flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
2 tablespoons of olive oil spread (we used Olivio light)
Salt & pepper

Re hydrate the dried mushrooms in boiling water. You are aiming to finish up with around 5 cups of mushrooms all together. Set aside to cool.
Heat the olive oil spread in a frying pan and cook the sliced fresh mushrooms until well cooked and starting to brown. Cool the mushrooms.
Put ricotta, eggs and herbs in to a large bowl. Season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Mix well and then add the mushrooms. Mix the mushrooms in gently, you don't want to turn your tart mixture grey.
Pre heat your oven to 200C. Oil your tart tins, line with pastry and bake blind for 10 mins. Remove from the oven and stand while you finish the filling. Turn oven down to 180C.
Mix in the flour and baking powder to your tart mix and fill your tarts. Cook until set. Small tarts take around 20 minutes a large tart could take up to 40 minutes.

While the tarts are cooking prepare the venison and sauce (the sauce below makes enough to serve 3 people).

2 venison medallions per person
1/2 a cup of red wine (we used Penfold's 'Rawson's Retreat' Cabernet Sauvignon 2006)
1/2 a cup of liquid beef stock
2 bay leaves
A sprig of fresh flat leafed parsley

Sear your venison in a hot pan, the same pan the mushrooms were cooked in (don't wash the pan after cooking the mushrooms).
When the medallions are nicely browned but still quite rare place them on a baking tray and cover with foil. Place in the oven with the tarts. Deglaze the pan with the red wine and then add stock and herbs. Reduce the sauce a little over a med-high heat, the sauce should be rapidly simmering. after around 10 mins remove the herbs and thicken your sauce with a buerre manier. The buerre manier is simply 2 teaspoons of flour and a teaspoon of butter made in to a paste and then added to the sauce. Cook for a further 2-3 mins until taste and texture are as you want them. Strain the sauce to remove any bits of mushroom or venison.
Serve with the tarts and steamed asparagus. Enjoy.

Thursday, March 15, 2007


These are starting to look pretty good and will end up pickled at some stage.

Quickie Fish Pie

The 'quickie' part of this is the preparation time, everything goes in to one bowl and is mixed together. The actual cooking time is around one hour. Serves 4-6.

300g of hot smoked salmon (the 'hot' refers to the smoking process, the salmon will be cold when you use it)
1 small tin of crab meat
1 medium onion
1 tub of ricotta cheese
1/3 of a cup of cream
4 eggs
1/2 a cup of flour
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
3 courgettes, finely diced
2 tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon of dried dill
Salt & pepper
Filo pastry

Preheat your oven to 180C
Dice the onion and place in a large mixing bowl.
Skin and flake the salmon, drain the crab meat and add salmon and crab to your bowl.
Add the rest of the ingredients mixing as you go and add the flour and baking powder last. Mix thoroughly and add plenty of salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Line an oil sprayed baking/pie dish with 6 sheets of filo pastry. Pour in your mixture and scrunch up the filo at the edges. Cook on a low shelf in your oven at 180C for approximately 60 minutes. This is great reheated the next day as well.

Plummy Goodness

We got a bumper crop from our plum tree this year and the plums were turned in to plum sauce, plum jam and bottled plums with absolutely no cursing or swearing at all.



Friday, March 09, 2007

Second Thoughts

On reflection I have decided to keep blogging. I will change what I have been doing slightly and only blog a meal if I consider it interesting or if I think others may enjoy preparing it. Instead of trying to post every meal I will post once or twice a week.

Stay tuned