Madeleines au Citron de MentonClick for Reviews

 

Menton (a town in France) Style Lemon Flavoured Madeleines.

  • Date: December, 2011.
  • Place: Le Cordon Bleu, Paris.
  • Mission: Learn how to make traditional “Pastisseries Regionales” (regional pastries).

This was the message on the inside of the Anniversary card my Husband gave me announcing that I would be going to Le Cordon Bleu in Paris for two weeks of intensive cooking classes.

Madeleines were one of the many things I learnt, however as I did not own a madeleine tray, I have not made them since returning home. Last week I spent a week in Melbourne and whilst walking through one of its many lanes and arcades, I found a shop that was so packed full of all things baking, it looked as though everything was flowing out of the shop door, into the arcade like too much batter in a cake tin. The isles inside where so close together you had to walk side-on. I was in heaven; walking around, jealously wanting everything, ooh-ing and aah-ing, and then, right in the back corner, I saw it…a madeleine tray!…made in France no less!

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I bought it and took it back to my hotel room, taking photos of it as a souvenir, and then realised I would have to get it home on the plane! Not trusting our hardworking baggage handlers to treat it gently if packed into my check-in baggage, I proudly walked onto the plane carrying it as cabin luggage.

Our Chef in Paris told us a story (of which, of course, there are many) on how the madeleine got its name. Try reading the following story out-loud in a very thick, strong, French accent … J

“A certain Duke wanted cake and he wanted it NOW. Realising that there was no way he would wait over an hour for it without all the kitchen staff losing their heads – literally! – one of the kitchen maids quickly threw some well-buttered, scallop shells filled with a little Genoese cake batter into the oven for bite sized pieces of cake, and served them to the Duke, still warm. Having never seen them before he was expecting them to be named something exotic. When he asked what they were, she answered “Cake Sire” (in French of course!). That was too plain for a Dukes table, so he asked for her name. “Madeleine Sire”.

“Then they shall be called ‘Madeleines’.”.”

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Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • 170g sugar
  • 2g lemon peel
  • 20ml lemon juice
  • 1g fine grain salt
  • 5g baking powder
  • 190g flour
  • 200g butter, melted

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Method

  1. Melt butter and set aside to cool down somewhat.
  2. Mix eggs and sugar together (do not whisk) in a medium sized bowl.
  3. Add zest and lemon juice and mix.
  4. Add flour and baking powder and mix.
  5. Add melted butter and mix.
  6. Place batter in the fridge, uncovered, for 2-3 hours to rest.
  7. When you are ready to bake, pre-heat oven to 180oC and butter the madeleine moulds very well. Be liberal with it!
  8. Place batter into a piping bag and fill mould 2/3 full. Place trays in the oven to cook and then as Chef would say… “Take them out when they are ready” (about 20-25 mins but watch them!) They should have a little head/bump/nipple and be golden brown but not dark.
  9. Take out of the moulds, cool on a rack covered with a clean tea-towel so you don’t get lines and arrange on a pretty serving plate.
  10. For extra indulgence they can be brushed with melted butter and rolled in caster sugar whilst still warm, or simply dusted with icing sugar when completely cool.

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Tips:

  • Get all the ingredients ready first so that you can add them in quick succession as the lemon peel and juice have an acid level of about PH2 and will start to cook the eggs, so mixing it in quickly prevents a change in the product.
  • Don’t whisk the eggs, just mix to dissolve the sugar a little as air in the eggs makes the cake dry.
  • Melting the butter to a hazelnut colour (‘beurre noisette’) will also add colour and a nutty flavour to the cakes, but don’t make it too dark or it will become bitter.
  • Make sure you have washed the lemon well before zesting to remove all waxes and pesticides etc.
  • Ideally, the cake batter should sit in the fridge overnight, uncovered, so that it dries out and matures a little.
  • Beaten egg mixtures/batters will need butter and flour in the mould but as the eggs in this recipe have only been mixed, the moulds only need butter….or as our Chef would say… “Double butter!”
  • If your flour is old, it may need sifting twice. Buy small quantities of flour so it is fresher each time. It can go off because of enzymes, bacteria, pantry moth etc.
  • If you have a non-stick tray, don’t butter it, as the crumb will gain too much colour before the centres are cooked.
  • Of course if you don’t have a piping bag you can just spoon the mixture into the moulds and if you don’t have a madeleine mould, they will work in a cupcake tray but you obviously won’t have the right shape and the bump will not be as pronounced, but they will still taste as divine.

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Kokoda. Fijian raw fish in coconut.Click for Reviews

 

Kokoda, pronounced “Koconda”, is a traditional Fijian recipe similar to ceviche.

I learnt to make it from a Fijian lady while my in-laws were living in Fiji for a couple of years.

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Ingredients

  • 1 kilo of boneless, skinless, white firm fish
  • ½ cup lime juice, for marinade
  • 1 x 400ml can coconut cream
  • ½ cup lime juice, extra
  • 1 green shallot finely chopped
  • 2 long red chillies, deseeded and chopped finely
  • ½ small red onion, finely chopped
  • ¼ bunch fresh coriander, chopped not to fine
  • 1 small tomato, deseeded and chopped small
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. sugar
  • Pinch pepper
  • Lime wedges to garnish

 

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Method

  1. Cut fish into 1 cm pieces, mix gently with the lime juice, cover and place in the fridge for 24 hours.
  2. Discard the lime juice and mix with remaining ingredients, place in a pretty dish and serve.

Tips and notes

  • Traditionally, Spanish mackerel is used in Fiji, however any similar boneless, white, firm fish can be used. It is lovely with snapper, or for a very inexpensive meal that still looks exotic, try using basa. Your local Asian grocer will have it in the freezer section for about $4 per kilo!
  • A couple of tbsp. each of deseeded and finely chopped cucumber, and red and green capsicum may also be added.
  • A not so traditional addition is a bit of fish sauce and some chiffonnade of kaffir lime leaf.
  • Of course the Fijian lady teaching me this recipe actually made coconut cream from fresh coconuts picked from the trees growing on the property, but canned will work just as well. Just don’t use ‘lite’, or coconut milk. It just HAS to be the cream. My favourite brand is “chefs choice”.

 

A variation to the presentation of serving is…

After draining the marinated fish, mix it with a ¼ of the can of coconut milk and ¼ of the extra lime juice, the sugar, salt and pepper, and place all of the remaining ingredients in separate little serving bowls so that each person can garnish their fish to their own personal taste.

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Baked Whole BarramundiClick for Reviews

 

My husband was born in Austria which is a land-locked country, so apart from the occasional fresh water trout, preferably smoked, seafood has never been high on his wish list. On the other hand, my family are from the Netherlands where fish plays a rather large role in the diet and so I love seafood of any kind.

Whilst my husband works away through the week, I have been eating a lot of fish, and on my visit to my local little Asian lady’s seafood shop for my weekly fix, I spotted a “specials” sign on some exceptionally fresh barramundi which read “two for $9.00”.

I love Barramundi as it is a very versatile fish. It can live in freshwater or saltwater, being found in streams, rivers, lakes, billabongs, estuaries and coastal waters, so it lends itself to both salt water and fresh water fish dishes.

So with my husband away, barramundi was on the menu that night.

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INGREDIENTS

  • 2 whole medium sized barramundi, gutted and scaled
  • 2 lemons
  • 2 red chillies
  • 2 shallots
  • 1 thumb size piece of ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 bunch coriander
  • Olive oil to drizzle
  • salt

 

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METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 180oC
  2. Rinse the fish under cold water, pat dry, sprinkle each fish cavity with a pinch of salt and put aside in a cool place.
  3. Wash and slice lemons into thin rounds leaving a little bit on each end.
  4. Peel and cut ginger into slices or juliennes and place in a bowl.
  5. Wash coriander well, remove root end and discard. Chop leaves and stems roughly and add to bowl.
  6. Remove and discard roots from shallots then thinly slice shallots on a diagonal and add to bowl.
  7. Wash red chillies and thinly slice on the diagonal and add to bowl. You can remove the seeds if you don’t want it too hot.
  8. Peel and chop garlic and add to bowl.
  9. Drizzle a little olive oil onto a shallow baking tray and lay lemon slices in two rows to make two beds for the fish.
  10. Squeeze the lemon ends into the bowl and mix everything together.
  11. Place some of the mixture inside the fish. Place fish on lemon slices and sprinkle with remaining mixture placing squeezed lemon ends next to the fish.
  12. Drizzle with a little extra olive oil, cover with a piece of waxed paper and a piece of foil, folding edges around the tray tightly so that the fish basically steams in its own juices
  13. Place in the oven and bake for around 25 mins or until cooked.

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Tips and Variations:

  • For added flavour, the coriander roots and shallot roots can be washed well, flattened/squashed with a knife and then placed between the lemon slices and the fish before baking.
  • Any whole fish can be used with this recipe.
  • The addition of 1 tsp. sugar and 2 tsp. fish sauce adds a nice Thai style flavour.
  • If you prefer your fish not looking back at you, you could use fish fillets just as easily.
  • This dish is also fantastic when cooked in a steamer.
  • Individual parcels can be put together for a dinner party, all prepared a few hours in advance, wrapping them in a piece of waxed paper and a piece of foil (en papillote) and then either cooking them in the oven or steamer, and then each guest can open their parcel served on their plate.
  • Try cooking this on the bbq!

  Wine suggestions:

  • Pinot Gris
  • Gewürztraminer
  • Riesling
  • Or try an un-wooded Chardonnay

 

 

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Killing two challenges with one recipe!Click for Reviews

 

I have been researching a very unusual recipe for my son. When I asked him what he would like for dinner, he had jokingly replied, “Vulcan Plomeek Soup, like the one eaten by Tuvok the Vulcan on the Starship Voyager”. My son is a HUGE Star Trek fan- in case you hadn’t guessed- and as all good Trekkies know, Vulcans don’t go in much for emotions or pleasures, so ‘Plomeek soup’ is a rather bland, breakfast broth that is consumed purely for sustenance and not for pleasure.

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However there is another character in Star Trek called Neelix. He is a Talaxian from the Delta Quadrant, and the cook on Voyager. He is totally the opposite of Tuvok as far as his attitude to food is concerned. Neelix loves nothing better than trying to improve the taste of every dish with the addition of lots of extra spices, including the infamous vegetable called ‘Leola root’ which has been described as a combination of flavours ranging between rutabagas, asparagus, parsnip, and kohlrabi- so of course it is not high on everyones list of favourite things to eat.

Taking up the challenge to find a recipe similar to ‘Plomeek soup’ that had been ‘improved’ by Neelix was actually easier than I thought, as last week I received a post from food blogger Dom from Belleau Kitchen with a Random Recipe Challenge. Fellow bloggers were asked to locate the 30th cook book in their collections, and turn to page 30 and cook that very recipe….no cheating! I did so, and found a recipe from a beautiful book called ‘Cooking Moroccan’ which contained, ‘Carrot Soup with Spices’. And so there it was….’Vulcan Plomeek soup a la Neelix’!

‘Vulvan Plomeek soup a la Neelix’ A.K.A ‘Moroccan Carrot soup with spices’

These ingredients are exactly the same as those mentioned in the book. See tips and notes below.

This recipe serves 4.

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Israeli Couscous

INGREDIENTS:

  • 500g grated carrot
  • 1 grated onion
  • 30g butter
  • 2 crushed cloves garlic
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • A pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1.25 litres chicken stock
  • 50g couscous
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • Flat leaf parsley for garnish

METHOD:

  1. Melt butter over medium heat in a pot and sauté the grated onions for 3 mins. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 min.
  2. Add spices and cook for a few seconds, then add the grated carrot and chicken stock.
  3. Cover and simmer over low heat for 15 mins.
  4. Add the couscous and simmer covered for another 20 mins.
  5. Remove from heat, add the lemon juice and serve hot, garnished with parsley.

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Vulcan Plomeek soup- Moroccan carrot soup with spices

TIPS:

Use the grater attachment on your KitchenAid machine to save your fingers, or blitz in food processor.

I used Israeli couscous as it is much larger and looks like little ‘planets’ floating in the soup.

You could swirl a little garnish of olive oil (or cream) onto the soup to look like a swirling galaxy.

If you don’t have chicken stock you could use water and a stock cube, or just water and 1 tsp of salt.

Try using freshly grated ginger and turmeric for a fresher flavour and using smoked paprika will also add extra interest.

If you wanted a smoother soup, you could puree it before adding the couscous.

NOTE:

Personally, I found this books recipe a little bland (I’m obviously not Vulcan), so it was made again with double the amount of spices and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. (I’m sure Neelix would approve)

A tablespoon of tomato paste was added after the garlic and cooked for 1 min.

I also added ½ tablespoon of sugar as I don’t think my carrots were as sweet as they can sometimes be.

And of course much more butter, as you can never have enough butter! However if you want to make it dairy free, just use olive oil.

I’m sure the addition of some ‘Leola root’ would also work well. If you can’t find one in your local Alpha Quadrant, you could substitute it for some of the usual earth soup style vegetables like turnip or swede, parsnip, pumpkin, sweet potato, celeriac etc.

 

COMMENTS FROM OLD BLOG:

 

ROSA. 09.08.2013

A divine looking soup!! I’m a big fan of Moroccan dishes.
Cheers,
Rosa
www.rosas-yummy-yums.blogspot.com

 

LORRAINE @ NOT QUITE NIGELLA. 08.08.2013

LOL I love that you found a recipe for your son like this!

You must the most fun parent ever.

I wonder if my Star Trek loving friends have seen this! 😀

 

DICKERRY. 29.07.2013

I would like to try it at your place. Oma and Opa.

 

MR TREKKIE. 29.07.2013

Man that looks tasty 😉 will eat that soon

 

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BiryaniClick for Reviews

 

This is a traditional South African one pot dish. Don’t be put off by the list of spices, because by flavouring each section of the dish as you go, the end result is a rich flavoured centrepiece.

This is only one recipe I have for Biryani as a one pot dish. I will also post another, with a few different ingredients, as a prettily presented celebration style dish another time.

Each ingredient is preceded by a ‘point’ or ‘dot’ so you can scroll down to see and make a list of each ingredient needed.

INGREDIENTS AND METHOD COMBINED

  • 2 kilos chicken pieces with bone cut into chunks
  • 1 cup yoghurt
  • 1 tspn ground ginger
  • 2-3 cloves chopped garlic
  • 4 tspn turmeric
  • 2 sticks cinnamon
  • 4 pods cardamom
  • 6-12 small whole green chilles (depending on how hot you like it)
  • 1 tspn ground cumin
  • 1 tspn ground coriander
  • 1 tomato cut into small pieces

 

Mix all of the above ingredients together and marinate in the fridge for at least an hour, or overnight if possible.

RICE PREPERATION

Boil…

  • 2 cups of rice….. in
  • 5 cups water

for only 6 mins with

  • 2 pods cardamom
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt

Drain rice, remove spices and set aside.

 

FRY POTATOES

Fry together…

  • 6 chat potatoes (small round new potatoes) cut into quarters
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/4 cup ghee

for 5-10 mins till lightly browned and crisp but only half cooked through.

Remove from pan and set aside.

 

CURRY PREPARATION

In the same pan, adding a little more oil if needed, fry…

  • 2 large brown onions, chopped

and cook gently until golden and caramelised.

Add…

  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 3 pods cardamom
  • 1 long chopped green chilli
  • 1 tspn cumin seeds
  • 1 tspn ground coriander
  • 1 tblspn grated fresh ginger
  • 2-3 cloves cloves chopped garlic

and stir for a few mins to release flavours and aroma.

Add marinated chicken pieces to onions and any juices from bowl and lower heat. Simmer for 20 mins

YOU ARE NOW READY TO ASSEMBLE

Place…

  • 1/8 cup vegetable oil

in a very large heavy based pot with a tight fitting lid, (or a couple of layers of foil tightly closed around the top).

 

Sprinkle over the oil…

 

  • 1/2 cup of the half cooked rice and
  • 2 cups black/brown cooked lentils or a drained 400g can.

 

Gently place cooked chicken and its marinade over rice and lentils.

 

Layer the half cooked potatoes on top. Gently push, DON’T STIR, potatoes into sauce to level the top a bit.

Sprinkle a ‘green masala’ mix of

  • 1 cup chopped fresh coriander
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint

over the chicken and potatoes.

 

Slice…

  • 3 or 4 large ripe tomatoes

and place them in a layer on top of green masala mix.

 

Cover with remaining rice and gently sprinkle a cup of water over rice.

GARNISH

Garnish the top of the rice with…

  • 1/2 tblspn cumin seeds
  • 15 drops rose water (optional)
  • 2 tblspn crisp fried onion (asian style)

Cover pot, bring to boil and cook on high heat for 5 mins.

 

Reduce heat to lowest setting and simmer 45 mins, or until rice is tender.

 

TIME TO SERVE

Place finished pot in centre of table and tell everyone to be sure to dig down through all the layers.

My favourite part is if the rice and lentil layer “catches” a little on the bottom.

 

It is nice to serve with extra…

  • yoghurt and
  • fresh chopped mint

and lots of

  • spiced fruit chutney like Mrs Balls “Blatjang”.

TIPS:

This dish can be made in advance until you are ready to assemble on the day and cook.

Being a curry it is even nicer the next day!

It can also be arranged in a baking dish and cooked in the oven at 180C for about 45-60 mins.

You can also substitute lamb or goat for the chicken…. just simmer the curry during the preparation section for about 45 min.

Keeping the bones in the curry adds more flavour but you can cook it without bones if you prefer.

 

COMMENTS FROM OLD BLOG:

 

LORRAINE @ NOT QUITE NIGELLA. 17.07.2012

I adore biryani! Especially when the rice has that lovely texture to it and isn’t too soggy 😀

 

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22nd Wedding AnniversaryClick for Reviews

The 18th of August 2012 saw my 22nd Wedding Anniversary.

We had a wonderful relaxing day and we went to restaurant ‘Balla’ by Stephano Manfredi. I will tell you more about that another time, but for now I have to share a picture of one of the very cute red velvet cupcakes given to us by my good friend ‘Mrs London’.

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I think that I certainly am one of the lucky ones, because marriages that last are far and few between these days.

My parents will be celebrating their 50th this December and I am, of course, already planning the menu for the dinner I will be making for them, to be shared by my Hubbie, our son, my brother and his wife.

Happy Anniversary Hubbie and may we have another 22 years!

COMMENTS FROM OLD BLOG

LORRAINE @ NOT QUITE NIGELLA 23.10.2012 23.39

A belated happy anniversary to you and your husband Corrie! 😀

 

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100 years ago todayClick for Reviews

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This picture hangs in Le Cordon Bleu School in Paris.

On this day, 15th August 1912, exactly 100 years ago in Pasadena, California, Julia Carolyn McWilliams was born to parents John McWilliams and his wife Julia nee Weston. On 1st September 1946, Lumberville, Pennsylvania, she married Paul Cushing Child.

Enter Mrs Julia Child.

I really don’t think I need to go into any details about her as I am sure just about every food blog will have something to say about her personality, life, TV shows books and recipes etc, so I thought I might have a look at how things have changed in the last 100 years.

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Cooking with Master Chefs by Julia Child

I found a couple of different sites with recipes or books for sale, but for those of you that love a freebie, I found a cookbook entitled ‘Home Cookery and Comforts’ printed in July 1912 No. 227 volume XVII. They were published on the first of every Month but I couldn’t seem to find the one printed in August 1912.

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Cover of the 1912 cookbook.

 

Please note it is a rather large file of around 58.8MB and contains 34 pages scanned in high quality, but if you want a copy you can click on the link here…   http://recipespastandpresent.org.uk/pdf/1912cookery.pdf

It is a quaint little book that contains chapters on Upper and Lower Male and Female Servants. How to answer the door. How to hire and fire (I mean dismiss). How to lay the table and make the bed, etc.

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Cover of Mastering the art of French cooking by Julia Child

hanging in stairwell at Le Cordon Bleu.

There basically are no pictures of food; just drawings of ladies with hands, whisks or spoons in a pot or mixing bowl and two page instructions on how to make an apron. There is a fascinating advertisement for a preparation called Antipon, which was hailed as a ‘permanent cure for obesity”. This statement was first claimed in 1907.

Antipon was made up of citric acid, red food colouring, water and alcohol and it sold for more than 20 times the cost of the ingredients……funny how ‘quick fix diets’ and claims made by companies haven’t changed in 100 years!!!

So today I am going to sit back, read everybody else’s blogs on Julia Child, watch the movie Julie and Julia, wear a set of pearls and forget the diet for one day, because according to Julia…

”The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook”

Bon Appétit

 

COMMENTS FROM OLD BLOG:

 

LORRAINE @ NOT QUITE NIGELLA. 11.10.2012

Julia had some absolutely brilliant quotes didn’t she? 😀

 

SHERRY. 15.08.2012

Hey Corrie, I like the new site. Looking forward to seeing you at end of the month on Wed. I am in Hong Kong, came for special convention and now just visiting.

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Apricot PilafClick for Reviews

 

My hubbie is such a good man! He let me fly down to Melbourne all by myself to attend a ProBlogger event for food and wine bloggers. It was held in the restaurant MAHA owned by Chef Shane Delia.

There were about 100 of us at least, I’d say. Can you imagine the quality of the food with over 100 food critics devouring his food? As he came out to welcome us all and give a little speak, he told us he had never felt these kinds of nerves before. Every mouthful would be critically savoured, judged, photographed, tweeted; every dish visually devoured and verbally chronicled; every palate deconstructing the distinguishing characteristics of each dish presented.

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Apricot Pilaf

 

Even though most were sitting next to a total stranger (or finally putting a face to a blog website they follow), it was all served much as a family Sunday meal would be, with diners taking how much each would like from various dishes.

There certainly was no shortage of food and I can honestly say that I could not fault any of the dishes presented. Chef Shane and his team chose a fantastic menu for us. Each of the three courses had matching wines which also were faultless.

We all met ‘Chef’ as he walked around the tables asking if everything was ok. With full mouths and thumbs giving the “ok” we nodded approvingly…… hmmmph hmmmph….nom nom nom….

 

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I totally enjoyed the evening, meeting new people with similar interests and learning a lot from the speakers that presented us with much needed information to help us all produce a better blog.

Of course, I just had to buy a signed copy of his book too!!! As we left we were presented with a little bag of goodies to take home.

I walked the 7 blocks from 21 Bond Street to my accommodation……I NEEDED to! I don’t think I could have fitted into a taxi…

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On Sunday, I cooked the 12 hour lamb dish (after it had marinated for 2 days) that I had at the restaurant. The recipe is in the book. It wasn’t as sweet as his, though I have a sneaky suspicion that no Chef is going to give you the exact recipe because they want you coming back. I think he must have added some honey to the marinade as the lamb was very sweet. So I will add it next time I make it and see if it is a little closer to his wonderful creation.

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Here is recipe from Chef Shane Deliah’s book “MAHA”. He asks you to cook it on the stove top, but I cooked mine in the rice cooker with great success, so I could concentrate on other things…..like making four other dishes and cuddling my friends’ baby. Hehe.

It is a lovely sweet dish even though it is not a desert.

 

A pilaf refers to a variety of rice dishes cooked with meat, vegetables or fruits and nuts.

This is my version…..

APRICOT PILAF

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 100g butter
  • 100g pine nuts
  • 1 brown onion diced
  • 100g dried apricots chopped
  • 2 cinnamon quills
  • 500g Arborio rice
  • 1 litre boiling water (or chicken stock)
  • 4 carrots grated
  • Pinch salt
  • ½ bunch dill finely chopped

METHOD:

 

  1. Melt the butter and toast the pine nuts in the butter for a minute until nicely coloured.
  2. Add onion, cinnamon and cook for about 3 mins.
  3. Add the apricots and rice and stir to coat all the grains with the butter.
  4. Place into a rice cooker adding boiling water, salt and grated carrots stirring just to combine.
  5. Cover with lid and turn rice cooker on to ‘cook’.
  6. When rice cooker has finished, stir though the chopped dill and serve.

COMMENTS FROM OLD BLOG:

 

LORRAINE @ NOT QUITE NIGELLA. 20.08.2012

That looks really good! I have Maha but I didn’t see that recipe 🙂

 

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My Catering JobClick for Reviews


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Indian and Asian selection

My sister in law works as a bartender. You know…the good ol’ fashioned ‘bar-keep’ you used to call a ‘barmaid’; the kind that pours you the perfect, long, cold beer with just the right amount of foam. However with all this political correctness around we have to call her a bar-person, a mixologist or a beverage manager.

Anyways… the pub (I mean Hotel), has closed for renovations and a certain club used to hire the back room every month for a bit of a meeting followed by a brain storming and a few drinks. Unfortunatley, because of the renovations, the kitchen is also closed with no chef so there was nowhere for the members of the club to get some food. They had ordered in from a finger food company a couple of times; let’s just say the food was far from appetizing and almost inedible!

So my sister in law told the owner about me and before you know it, I’m catering for 25 people.

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Triple smoked ham, jarlsburg cheese, lettuce and mayo

I have catered for many a get together, Oktoberfest, Wedding, Baby shower, Anniversary and even a Wake, but it was always for friends and family.

This time though it was for money! Woohoo my first ‘official’ catering job!!!

I don’t know why I was so nervous as it was only for 25 instead of the usual 50-60! I think it’s just that you know your friends aren’t going to pick on your choice of food if they aren’t paying for it and you are doing all the work.

So I pulled out all the stops and went totally over the top (nothing unusual there then….).

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Soy and sesame wings

It must have been a success because they came out to the bar area, asking for takeaway containers and then they got me back for a second time last week. I had so much fun I am really hoping it will happen again!

 

WHAT WAS ON THE MENU?

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Satay sticks

Using the kitchen in the pub, I provided an Asian selection and an Indian selection of nibbles, samosas, spring rolls, money bags etc and a variety of mini quiches.

I made chicken breast on sticks with satay sauce, sesame soy chicken wings, fresh buns with ham, cheese, mayo and lettuce, hummus and beetroot dip with celery and carrots and lastly my favourite, smoked salmon bites on cucumber.

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Hummus dip, beetroot dip and vegies

I managed to find smoked salmon off-cuts that don’t need to look very pretty if you are going to cut them all up any way. And because it is belly meat it has a little stronger smoked flavour so you can use a bit less than usual for just as much flavour.

They come in one kilo bags. You can just use what you need and put the rest in the freezer for another day.

 6

Smoked salmon bites

SMOKED SALMON BITES

  • 400g smoked salmon chopped
  • 1 x 300ml tub cottage cheese
  • 1 tblspn rinsed chopped capers
  • ½ tblspn finely chopped fresh dill
  • ¼ finely chopped Spanish red onion
  • 2 tblspn Japanese ‘kewpie’ mayonnaise (or your choice of mayonnaise)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4-5 Lebanese cucumbers

7

METHOD:

  1. Mix all the ingredients together except cucumbers
  2. Wash and slice cucumbers 1 cm thick
  3. Using a small ice-cream scoop or two spoons place small amounts of salmon mix on top of cucumber rounds
  4. Garnish with a very small piece of fresh dill and serve.

NOTES:

The mixture can be made a day ahead and stored in the fridge.

 

 

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Lychee Jasmine flower teaClick for Reviews

 

Time for a cup of tea….

1

Lychee Jasmine tea

I have this picture of Garfield the cat standing on a set of bathroom scales and the scales are saying….”I don’t weigh livestock”. Needless to say, the scales came off rather worse for wear!

Its diet time in my house and I need as much help as I can get, however there is only so much plain water a girl can drink and teas have a wonderful way of helping with their healthful properties.

2

Just add hot water.

Jasmine tea originates from the time of the Song Dynasty (960-1279)

These pretty flowers are made from green tea, oolong tea (also spelled wulong) and white tea and infused with the scent of the jasmine flower to enhance the smell and taste of the tea. They are then hand rolled into lychee sized balls.

3 The health properties of this tea come from green tea which is high in catechins and caffeine and oolong tea is high in polymerized polyphenols.

By drinking both of these teas you can achieve a greater fat burning effect.

It also uses the Globe amaranth flower (also known as bachelor’s button) which has medicinal properties for relief of cough, gripe and cooling the body.

4

Time to enjoy.

It is a lovely relaxing way to enjoy a cup of tea.

I feel healthier already!

 

 

COMMENTS FROM OLD BLOG:

 

JOLLO. 05.07.2012

Hi Hi,
Any idea where I could get some of these in Sydney Australia?
Make a nice change for a cuppa in front of my fav TV shows! (Cooking channel of course!)

CORRIE. 06.07.2012

Most Asian shops will sell them. Especially in Hurstville.

 

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