Archive for the ‘food & drink’ Category
the autumn switch has been flipped around these parts and i couldn’t be happier with a few months of cooler climes ahead of us. the real excitement, however, is the promise of vegetables made for braising, roasting and for making soups with. so i took the first cool day of autumn to welcome them in.
i’ve wanted to braise shallots ala molly stevens for some time now and the final push came via the spilled milk podcast (have you listened to it yet? it’s a fortnightly riot, i tell you). i took in the concept of the recipe and adapted it to the two bunches of green sitting in the crisper.
the whole process is rather simple really, and why it took me so long to try i will never know. all it requires is the buttering of a baking dish and laying out the stalks along with water, flat leaf parsley, a squeeze of lemon, a sprinkle of pink salt and freshly ground pepper. the whole mess goes into the oven at 190˚c with a sheet of foil to create a little sauna until the shallots turn buttery soft. after about 30 minutes, i peeled back the sheet of foil to allow the juices caramelise just a bit more. they looked nothing like the spritely specimens you see above. rather they are wilty and become a tangled mess on your plate. all of which makes a mighty supper with a side of crunchy bread to mop up the juices.
ah. two more sleeps for a weekend breakfast. this weekend we’ll have the luck of a weekend breakfast in the countryside.
this morning scene was from our homely weekend just passed: french toast with organic bacon and a generous drizzle of maple syrup. all good things.
it continues to swelter in this part of the world and so we just sit and try anything to keep cool. this has meant the blinds drawn, bags of ice in the freezer, the water filter on over time. and of course cold watermelon for lunch and then party drinks outside.
when the temperature was shifting between 38 and 42 degrees celsius and the long weekend ahead all plans for cooking had to be put aside. inspiration took the form of some fresh seafood and lemon.
and today when it was milder, i popped a few fresh beetroot in the oven to roast and waited for them to cool down a bit so that i could make a version of this salad. the roasted beetroot was sliced into wedges and then joined a medley of oranges and coriander, dressed lightly in extra virgin olive oil, fresh pepper and salt flakes. minutes later, with grilled haloumi and pinenuts, you have a hearty summer salad.
a real summer salad would see those beets cooked atop a bbq and possibly mango instead of the orange.
now for some summer drinks! happy weekend!
sad skies and wacky winds kept us inside today, so the beach was put on the back-burner for another day. no matter, we had lots of things to do. a game of tennis in the morning. painting during the day and also more jam making. this time banana jam. after momo left a comment on one of my photo pages i became a curious bird about this tasty sounding concoction. i love banana on toast (especially pb + banana on toast) so i had to make a small batch for sharing and eating.
earlier in the week i saw banana for a $1.99, all pretty and green in a large bunch, so it didn’t end up being an expensive experiment. all week they were developing their leopard spots ripening away. i needed firm and ripe fruit according to this recipe. i thought to add toasted coconut or crushed peanuts to the jam, but in the middle of making it i decided to leave it as is. i would make little packs of toasted coconut and roasted peanuts to give away as toppings. toppings for toast or sundaes; whatever their preference. instead i upped the banana ratio by one and added some freshly ground nutmeg. and wow, delicious. golden and crimson. not too sweet, perfect on toasted bread and when it’s warmed i’m sure it would be lovely as a small dollop on vanilla ice cream.
in the space of a week i have made a few jars of pineapple jam and tomorrow if all goes to plan there will also be a few jars of banana jam.
unfortunately the batch of pineapple jam i made in the middle of the week turned out too sweet and even after simmering away longer that usual the sweetness remained. not a bad thing for a ham glaze as was intended if the jam had been made in time for christmas, but we are all hammed out at the moment.
one recipient of the jam didn’t mind the sweetness because she used the jam to fold into cream for a cake filling. bowb suggested glazing a chicken with it, and it sounds like a delicious idea. with the one jar remaining i might try simmering it with some lemon zest before serving it with waffles for tomorrow’s breakfast.