Month: June 2014

A Savage Fennel and Lemon Salad

Many years ago, my mum used to work in a local solicitor’s firm –  and let me tell you right now – forget every glamorous tv legal drama you’ve ever seen.  Sadly, this old chestnut, unfunny though it is, was far more the reality:

Each and every one of them was bonkers.  Nicely bonkers, even sweetly bonkers.  But bonkers all the same.

Downstairs was the domain of a married couple, both lawyers.  They had a super cute boxer dog called Brigeeta who they used to bring to work with them every day.  Nothing nuts about that.  I wish I could take my dogs to work everyday.

Fennel and Lemon Salad 1
Fennel and Lemon Salad 1

What was kooky was that Brigeeta used to have a different outfit every day.  And I mean EVERY DAY.  My mum worked with them for maybe five years.  The dog never wore the same clothes twice. 

And you know, I’m not averse to dogs wearing clothes…Oscar has a pair of pyjamas he wears in winter…

Oscar in his PJ's
Oscar in his PJ’s

But there is a a difference between ONE pair of totally necessary pyjamas and 1500 separate outfits!!!    

Remember that old song “You’re so vain, you probably think this song is about you?”  Well that could have been written about….well, let’s just call him Mr Magoo…(remember, these people are lawyers, they are familiar with litigation). Mr Magoo was badly in need of glasses but thought that getting them would spoil his handsome boy modelling school good looks.  Which incidentally were fairly spare on the ground.  Glasses were not the issue. 

One morning the lady downstairs cornered him and started showing him photos of the party they had gone to the day before, many of which featured Brigeeta in her latest couture which was a Little Red Riding Hood outfit.  

Later he asked Mum if she’d seen the photos.  She said she had.

He said “Did you see that kid in the red?  Man, that was the ugliest child I’ve ever seen”

Fennel and Lemon Salad 2
Fennel and Lemon Salad 2

Captain of this particular Titanic was a lovely, elderly Italian solicitor.  Now he wasn’t crazy as such he  just sometimes had a bit of trouble with English.  So, for instance, once Mum asked him what he did on the weekend and he replied “We went hunting the savage fennels”.

Have you ever heard anything more adorable in your life?

I LOVE that…

“Hunting the Savage Fennels” sounds like a Maurice Sendak book.  Maybe the lesser known prequel to “Where the Wild Things Are”.

The Savage Fennels
The Savage Fennels

The savage fennels grow in abundance in this neck o’ the woods; they spring up on every  vacant lot and the hills are literally alive with them!

The Savage Fennels
The Savage Fennels

This salad I have adapted from “Salads For All Seasons” is a perfect simple and gorgeous way to feature the savage fennels.  Or the more mild mannered fennel you might find in your local supermarket or green grocer.  I kept mine pretty minimalist but some black olives would be a great addition. 

Fennel and Lemon Salad
Fennel and Lemon Salad

I was a little worried about mixing cream and lemon juice in the dressing…because surely that would curdle?  It didn’t.  

Final tip on the salad – fennel is quite robust so it is perfectly fine to dress the salad and leave it for hours.  I added the dressing in the morning and took this to work and it was still crunchy four or five hours later.

This is a perfect accompaniment to fish but would also be fabulous with a grilled steak!

 

Fennel and Lemon Salad

Fennel and Lemon Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 head of fennel
  • 1 thin skinned lemon
  • 2 tsp chopped parsley
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • For the Dressing:
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp cream
  • a pinch of sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional
  • Add some chopped black olives

Instructions

  • Slice the fennel as thinly as possible. Use a mandoline if you have one.
  • Peel the lemon using a potato peeler or a sharp knife.
  • Remove all the pith and separate into segments.
  • Dice the lemon and mix with the parsley, lemon and chilli.
  • For the Dressing
  • Combine all the dressing ingredients.
  • Shake well.
  • Mix with fennel and serve.
http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/2014/06/22/savage-fennel-lemon-salad/

 Have a fabulous week!  And beware the savage fennels!

Signature 1 Vintage Valentine Quick as Wink2
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

B is for Baby Bundt, Bacon & Bay and Blonde Bombshells

B is also for Bozo, Blog and Birthday.

Quadruple Chocolate Baby Bundt
Quadruple Chocolate Baby Bundt

As in guess which bozo forgot to celebrate her own blog’s 2nd birthday on May 25th?

So, today we’re having a Belated (don’t worry, I promise I won’t capitalise every word that starts with a B) Birthday, (no really, I won’t) celebrating my second annivesary with food using the second letter of the alphabet.  See what I did?  Second year, second letter? 

You’d think I planned it. 

Maybe you should keep thinking that….I”m all for anything that makes me look better!!!

So anyway, it’s my birthday so let’s get this party started.  And I’ve said it before, and no doubt I will say it again, (purely because I’ve got a bottle of the stuff that isn’t going to drink itself) a retro party isn’t a retro party without Parfait Amour. And any party is better with a blonde bombshell!

Nope not like this, the blonde bombshell I am referring too is a cocktail made with the aforementioned Parfait Amour. I’m not sure why it’s called a Blonde Bombshell as it comes out a gorgeous dusky pinky purple. 

First Course – The Birthday Blonde Bombshell

It’s my party…cocktails count as a course….in my perfect world, we would skip main meals altogether.  We would move from cocktails to fingerfood to dessert.  

Blonde Bombshell

Wow!!!  I think I may have found my Parfait Amour drink of choice.  This was lovely!!!  Sweet and florally and almost kind of musky…it reminded me a little bit of Turkish Delight…maybe it was the roses in the Parfait Amour. Very girly, very pretty. Easy to drink….hmmm….maybe getting rid of that bottle won’t be as hard as I previously thought! 

Second Course – Bay Wrapped Bacon and Prunes

Bay Wrapped Prunes in Bacon3
Bay Wrapped Prunes in Bacon3

This is basically a take on a Devils on Horseback.  But wrapped in a bayleaf. And I added a little smear of my Strawberry Habanero Sauce to the bacon before wrapping it around the prunes.

Note for the unwary – grilling bay leaves makes your entire kitchen smell like you’ve been smoking marijuana.  For about a week.  Which is fine until you have a plumber come to fix your leaking tap and they ask you if you can score them some bud.  

Bay Wrapped Prunes in Bacon
Bay Wrapped Prunes in Bacon

 I barely even know what that means.

Despite that, you really can’t go wrong with these…salty, sweet, spicy, crispy…The bay leaves added a slight resiny flavour that was quite pleasant but prevented the bacon from getting really crispy which was slightly disappointing.

  I served it them with some more of the strawberry habenero sauce.  And the saltiness was a great foil to the sweetness of the Blonde Bombshell.

 

Bay Wrapped Prunes in Bacon2
Bay Wrapped Prunes in Bacon2

Delicious!

But now to the piece de resistance. The dessert.

So….what’s better than a triple chocolate baby bundt? 

A QUADRUPLE chocolate baby bundt. 

And what’s better than a quadruple chocolate Baby Bundt? 

A Quadruple Chocolate Chilli Baby Bundt!

Third Course – Quadruple Chocolate Chilli Baby Bundt

So, if you’re following me on Instagram you would have already seen me post my first experiment with the Spice Peddler’s Mexican Chilli Chocolate Cake Mix.  That was a Chili Chocolate Cupcake with a Chilli Toffee Shard topped with Vanilla Icecream and my Strawberry Habenero Sauce.  OMG, I thought this was the best thing ever…so, so good.  The cake was fudgy and spicy and delicious, the vanilla icecream and chilli sauce worked together perfectly and the chilli toffee was a cute and quirky touch.  Basically, this was me on a plate!!!!

Chocolate Chilli Cupcake with A Chilli Toffee Shard
Chocolate Chilli Cupcake with A Chilli Toffee Shard

 Gahhh….so how do you top that?  

Well, I found this recipe  for a cake called a Tyroler in a Delicious Magazine and I had a little play with it.  And came up with the the Quadruple Chocolate Chilli Baby Bundt.   I used the Spice Peddler Mexican Chilli Chocolate Cake Mix as my base and it was super delicious!

Quadruple Chocolate Baby Bundt 5
Quadruple Chocolate Baby Bundt 5

This was really good.  Then again, how could it not be? 

It had quadruple chocolate. 

And a touch of chilli. 

And walnuts. 

And rum soaked sultanas. 

And did I mention quadruple chocolate?

Quadruple Chocolate Baby Bundt3
Quadruple Chocolate Baby Bundt3

So, it may have been belated but worth the wait because these were all awesome!!!!

I’ll try to be on time next year and if not, I can always repost this and rename it Birthday 3 – Cocktails, Canapés and Cake.

Hope you all have a fabulous week!!!!

(Recipes below)

Signature 1 Vintage Valentine Quick as Wink2

Blonde Bombshell
Serves 1
A delicious cocktail, perfect for a celebration.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
5 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 ounce Parfait Amour
  2. 1/2 ounce St Germain Elderflower Liqueur
  3. Sparkling Wine, preferably pink, definitely chilled
Instructions
  1. Pour the Parfait Amour into a chilled champagne flute.
  2. Add the Elderflower Liqueur.
  3. Top with the sparkling wine.
Adapted from completecocktails.com
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
Bay Wrapped Prunes In Bacon
Serves 5
A delicious salty, sweet, spicy modern take on a classic canape
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
8 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
8 min
Ingredients
  1. 10 rashers of streaky bacon
  2. 20 prunes
  3. 20 bay leaves, fresh if at all possible.
  4. Strawberry Habanero sauce or condiment of your choice (optional)
  5. 20 toothpicks
  6. Strawberry Habanero sauce or condiment of your choice to serve
Instructions
  1. Preheat grill to 150°C.
  2. Lightly smear each rasher of bacon with some strawberry habanero sauce.
  3. Cut each rasher in half.
  4. Wrap each half rasher around a prune.
  5. Wrap a bay leaf around this.
  6. Secure with a toothpick.
  7. Repeat 19 times.
  8. Grill until bacon gets crispy.
  9. Serve with more strawberry habanero sauce.
Adapted from Delicious Magazine, January 2003
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/

Quadruple Chocolate Chilli Baby Bundts
Serves 4
A gorgeous Baby Bundy with quadruple chocolate and a slight chilli kick
Write a review
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Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
45 min
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
45 min
For the Cake
  1. 1/2 quantity Spice Peddler Mexican Chocolate Chilli Mix
  2. 1 tsp cinnamon
  3. 100g sultanas
  4. 2 tbsp rum
  5. 3 eggs
  6. 200g butter, very soft
  7. 100g dark chocolate chips
  8. 2 tbsp walnuts
For the Dark Chocolate Ganache
  1. 100g dark chocolate
  2. 2 tbsp cream
For the White Chocolate Ganache
  1. 100g White Chocolate
  2. 3 tbsp cream
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Grease 2 Baby Bundt pans with melted butter.
  3. Chill, then lightly dust with flour, shaking off any excess.
  4. Soak the sultanas in rum.
  5. Place butter, eggs and cake mix into the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until well combined.
  6. Stir through chocolate chips, sultanas and any rum remaining in the bowl.
  7. Pour into the prepared cake pans and cook on the lower shelf of the oven for 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Allow to cool slightly in pan, then turn out onto a cooling rack.
  8. Chop and toast the walnuts.
For the Dark Chocolate Ganache
  1. Melt the dark chocolate and the cream over a double boiler.
  2. Cool then pour over cake.
For the White Chocolate Drizzle
  1. Melt the white chocolate and cream over a double boiler.
  2. Cool.
  3. Drizzle over the cake.
  4. Sprinkle the chopped walnuts over the top.
  5. ENJOY!
Adapted from Delicious Magazine, August 2011
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/

 
 
 

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