Tag Archives: pudding

What’s on the menu?

Are you like me, constantly planning what’s for dinner for the week ahead?. Some of my friends think I am MAD!. I love it!, searching for recipes, ideas, inspirations for wonderful meals. I usually start with a depleted fridge and cupboard, I then start to mentally collate lists and  ideas for meals, recipes which I have been sourcing  from online food websites, cook books, magazines which go on to become written menu ideas. Farmers Markets provide a huge influence when it comes to what is in season. Earthquakes and the imminent winter weather is motivating me to fill the store cupboards.

This week is shaping up to be a very delicious looking Autumn, end of April Menu.

  • Thursday Evening – Cinnamon Beef Stew with creamy mash, french green beans & shallots.
  • Friday Night THE ROYAL WEDDING – Fillet Steak Gratin with creme fraiche, chive sauce & rocket.
  • Desert Rhubarb crumble served with custard
  • Saturday Night – Pork with caramelised pear and parsnips
  • Sunday Night – Handmade by moi, Agria Potato Gnocchi with cherry tomato, basil sauce and parmesan
  • Monday Night – Home made Chicken Soup, stock and all.

Thats as far as I have planned right now. I like to keep my ingredients as fresh as possible and I find if I plan to far ahead I end up with some forgotten, limp vegetables at the back of the fridge that do not get used. I can’t wait to get cooking. Who would like to come to dinner?

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Living through the Christchurch Earthquake

My favourite Local Metro cafe, Ferrymead re-opened today, this is a milestone let me tell you. The last time I had coffee and a pumpkin chocolate muffin there was 10:43am the morning of February 22nd, 2011 (a bit like the last supper, for I ate nothing else that day) . The 6.3 Christchurch Earthquake rocked my city at 12:51pm.The  epicentre was only minutes away from this location. ALL the businesses, cafes, supermarkets, have been closed in this area. The nearest supermarket has been a 30 minute drive. For this trip you must be a skilled driver to negotiate the lumps, bumps, detours, roadworks, potholes and general road damage. I was so excited to go and have a coffee there. This felt a little like normality.

I lost all my food in my fridge/freezer as the power was off for weeks. Fish sauce!!! smashed onto my kitchen floor and the smell has only been removed with some very thorough cleaning.

The force of the earthquake was so strong it picked my island bench and huge oven and shifted it across my kitchen. I was in shock when I saw this mess…where do you start? with no power or water to clean the glass and mess and an active toddler who is on the move. We moved out. I have felt like a refugee. We are one of the lucky ones up on our hill as our house appears to have no structural damage unlike about 80% of my neighbours homes. We still have our fair share of cracks. Two days after the earthquake we were staying at my brother in laws house. I felt very grateful as I watched the news reports…over 200 missing presumed dead or missing. I felt the desire to make a  Chocolate cake!. Unfortunately I do not have a photo of it.

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A bit of this, a bit of that

Improvisational Salad

Prosciutto, Pan fried Haloumi, mizuna lettuce, red and yellow baby roast beetroot with Pedro Ximenez sweet sherry sauce sprinkled with pumpkin seeds and a squeeze of lemon juice, cracked pepper and sea salt of course…There was some extra virgin oil too. This salad was one of the best things I tasted in 2010! believe it or not. The flavours were intriguing yet not so in a weird way but they really seemed to work it was extremely moorish. You should give it a try.  

So following on from my last post about the sexy vegetables I bought home from the market which were just too good to eat which became ornamental art in my kitchen for 12 hours. Well I did get hungry and I ate them. The photo above is how I put them altogether. Now I ALWAYS use to freelance in the kitchen and create my own dishes since I was a teenager and into my early 20’s. However in my quest to further my kitchen cooking knowledge and skill I have purposely restrained myself to following recipes as I think it is so easy to fall into the trap of staying in your comfort zone and cooking from your own knowledge and what you are comfortable with and never really pushing out and finding new ways of doing things. It can be hard work following a recipe sometimes, I believe I have read it activates that part of your brain which helps with fighting off and slowing dementia (not that I should be worried about that at 30!). I guess I am putting myself through a self-taught home cooking school – like some very other well-known cooks who learnt in the same way. This is the beauty once you confidently know which flavours and ingredients can  balance and go together you can take off the training wheels (cookbooks) and the world of cooking is your oyster. Heres to freelance cooking!.

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Recipes for the young and the young at heart

Yum Cake Mum!

Are you like me and flip through glossy cookbooks, imaging yourself cooking and eating the perfect food on each page. I always have a long shopping list of recipes I can not wait to try out. I have been gaining a fervent desire to learn and have been disciplined in following recipes to see the intended result of the cookbook author (who is quite often very qualified). Wow – I am forever amazed at the RESULTS!. Beautiful, delicious food and I am developing new skills and knowledge along the way. Take one of my favourite food writers Tessa Kiros (there is a long list of favourites) however I do have a couple of her cook books. I have been reading and cooking from Apples for Jam this summer holiday. The title is so subtle and it only dawned on me after cooking some of the recipes that this is really a children’s cookbook full of wonderful lively italian family meals very suitable for my 21 month old Daughter Lucia Belle but still delicious for the family to eat. I love how Tessa writes the food memories of her husband’s family and his childhood memories of what would eat growing up in Italy. Today I finally got around to making the BERRY AND BUTTERMILK CAKE. It reminded me of a berry scone mixture. I was thrilled it looked just like Tessas picture in her book. My Lucia Belle squealed with delight when she saw the cake turned out of the tin and onto the cooling rack. We both cut it warm and enjoyed it for a late afternoon tea.

Berry & Buttermilk Cake

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Roasted Vegetable Goodness

I always am amazed how delicious and easy roasting food can be. I think I go through stages of labouring over my hot stove thinking I am being so clever, pan sauteing , braising, poaching, frying, however I am probably just making a lot of work for myself even if the result is sumptuous. I then stumble across some ingredients or a recipe which makes me throw all my chopped, prepped ingredients in a roasting tin, pop them in the hot oven and ahhhh relax until my trusty beeper tells me it is all ready to be simply served & enjoyed. 

The ingredients that caught my eye this week were a a couple of perfect  lean pork fillets from the Redcliffs Butchery (he knows his pork he is the guy on the pork advertisement on TV!),  winter pumpkin – this is the best $1-3 you can spend this winter, red onions, new season carrots, whole garlic cloves, braeburn apples all from my Local Lyttleton Farmers market. 

The inspiration came from my 2008 Issue 19 Aug-sep DISH magazine. 

Pork Fillet and Roasted Vegetable Salad with Honey Baked apples….oh this is as good as it sounds actually it was better than my expectations. 

Pork Fillet and Roasted Vegetable Salad with Honey Baked Apples

Prepped winter vegetables ready for the oven

 

Ingredients 

600 grams free-range pork fillets, 

2 table spoons olive oil 

2 cloves of garlic crushed 

2 teaspoons finely chopped rosemary 

finely grated zest of 1 lemon organic/unwaxed 

sea salt and ground black pepper 

Salad – 1  pumpkin butternut or buttercup or I used a small gem squash I think it is called(Dish recommended parsnips), 2 red onions, peeled and quartered through the root, I also used some red pepper cut into thick strips, 3 carrots, peeled and cut on the diagonal, 8 whole cloves of garlic, skin on as they will pop out like juicy morsels once roasted, 2 handfuls of baby spinach. 

Home made apple sauce

 

Apple sauce – 4 braeburn apples, skin on, cut into wedges, knob of butter, juice of 1 lemon, 3 tablespoons honey, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, 1 teaspoon of chopped thyme. 

Dressing – 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1 clove of garlic, 1 teaspoon whole grain mustard, 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. 

Preheat your oven to 200c 

Pork: Trim the pork of any silverskin and tie with kitchen string, tucking the thin end under for even cooking. Combine the olive oil, garlic, rosemary and lemon zest in a bowl and season. Rub over the Pork and set aside until ready to cook. 

Pork fillet trimmed and tucked ready for cooking

 

 Apple Sauce: melt the butter in a ovenproof saute pan (I love my www.lecreuset.co.uk) , add the apples and lemon juice until they just begin to colour. Stir in the honey, salt & thyme. Roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until just tender and caramelised. 

Salad: Combine the Pumpkin, red pepper, red onions, parsnips, yams  or whatever veggies you have chosen in a large roasting dish. Toss with a little olive oil and season. Roast for 40 minutes or until tender, turning occasionally. Leave until just warm. 

Dressing: Whisk the ingredients in a bowl and season. Add the spinach to the roasted veggies and toss with the dressing. 

To finish: Heat a little olive oil in a saute pan and brown the pork on all sides. Roast for 12 minutes or until just cooked. 

To serve: Slice the pork on the diagonal and toss with the roasted vegetables. Serve with the apples. Serves 4-6 

Please leave a comment if you like the look of this and please let me know if you try this recipe and how you find it. Thanks for visiting, Bonnie

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Special recipe request for my cute sister Jess

Butterscotch & date self saucing pudding

 

Self Saucing Banana Butterscotch Pudding . DISH magazine Issue 30 June-July 2010 

This is the most fail proof, perfect self saucing pudding recipe. This pudding brings a bit of nostalgia to when I was a 17 and 18 and my family lived in Oxford my first love Andy and I would make chocolate and butterscotch self saucing pudding’s on cold Oxford winter nights, which were so scrummy.  Jess here is, sorry you could not find it on my blog. I have been very naughty and made this four times in the last month. Delicious. I will say no more…you will have to try making it for yourself. Just ensure you serve it with cold french vanilla bean ice cream. ENYOY. BB   x 

 

Recipe for Self Saucing Butterscotch recipe 

1 1/4 cups self-raising flour 

1/3 cup packed brown sugar 

pinch of salt – not much 

finely grated zest of 1 orange or lemon 

(I use a microplane grater for zesting they are the Porsche of graters) 

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 

1/3 cup dates are my favourite or you can use raisins or sultanas 

1 very ripe banana, mashed 

3 tablespoons melted butter 

1 egg 

1 cup milk 

Topping 

1 cup boiling water 

2 tablespoons melted butter 

1/2 cup brown 

to assemble – another banana 

Preheat the oven to 180C. Slice the banana thinly and place in the base of a 6 cup capacity baking dish. 

Combine the flour, brown sugar, salt, orange/lemon zest, cinnamon & chopped dates in a bowl and mix together. 

 Stir the mashed banana, melted butter, egg and milk together in a bowl and using and a large metal spoon fold into the flour. 

 Pour the batter over the sliced banana. 

Topping: Put the boiling water, butter and brown sugar in a jug and stir to dissolve the sugar. Gently, pour the topping over the pudding. If you pour it over the back of a spoon, the topping will evenly distribute without breaking the pudding up. 

Bake for 40 minutes until the pudding is firm to the touch and is pulling away at the sides of the dish. The top will have cracks in it. 

To serve: dust with icing sugar and serve with vanilla bean ice cream. Enjoy. 

  

  

  

 

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Curry in a Hurry

Oh this is so easy I promise you, it has no grinding of spices (or at least I didn’t), no time-consuming prep. This is the most definitely a late home from work Simple Massaman Chicken curry in a hurry. It is lovely and sweet with the sweet potato, sweet creamy coconut milk and tender chicken pieces. A satisfying tasty mid-week meal. Oh and did I say easy. This complicated cook loves to have an easy dinner task a few nights of the week. Enjoy. 

Recipe –  Simple Massaman Chicken  

Shopping list: 400gm chicken tenderloin, massaman curry paste, 400 ml can coconut cream, one kumara, few handfuls baby spinach, one onion, fish sauce, soft brown sugar,  nuts. 

1:  You will need one secret ingredient. A jar of good quality Massaman curry paste. I used Valcom from my Asian food warehouse. Heat 1 tablespoons of massaman curry paste tablespoon or more to your liking in oil in a pan over low heat until fragrant. 

  2: You will also need approx 400 gm  chicken tenderloin chopped into chunks, I find these are so tender when cooked like this. Add this to the curry paste in the pan and cook till it changes from pink to white over a high heat. 

 3: You will also need to peel and chop into cubes a golden kumara.  Add this to the pan with the coconut cream, 2 tbsp fish sauce and 2 tbsp brown sugar to balance the flavours. Also add one onion chopped into chunks. Simmer for 10 minutes. Stir through spinach. 

4: Serve over rice with tamari roasted almonds or peanuts sprinkled. 

Curry in a Hurry

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