Category: Cream Cheese

Cucumber Catamaran with Carrot Paprika Balls

They say the devil will find work for idle hands to do.

And when I say they, I mean Messrs Morrissey, Marr…and….ermmmm…. the other two.  AKA The Smiths.  I’m not sure where the original quote for that comes from.  Shakespeare? The Bible?

Wouldn’t it be fabulous if I had a little box and I could type questions into it and get almost instantaneous answers to questions like who were the other two and where did that quote come from? 

But, no time for that sort of sorcery right now….these idle hands built a boat!!!

Not a real boat, I haven’t spent my holidays tinkering around the backyard with a hammer and some hickory barky bark, but a boat nonetheless.  A catamaran to be exact!

Remember when I made the Hayman Island Chicken Salad? That post contains this photo amazing photo of a catamaran table. 

Hayman Island BuffetAnd now, in the spirit of a Russian Doll, imagine a  smaller catamaran.  Maybe one that could be placed on the catamaran table, filled with some cheesy balls o’ goodness.

Et voila…

Cucumber Boat 4The cucumber catamaran. 

Now, I”m not saying she’s the best looking boat in the world.  She’s a bit wonky.  But she is quite obviously a boat. 

Cucumber Boat 3In case you need some work for your idle hands, here’s how to make your own:

 Cucumber CatamaranThe paprika carrot balls weren’t bad either…recipe below…

The Smiths are one of my favorite bands ever.  I spent countless hours of angsty teenage emotional turmoil locked in my bedroom listening to “How Soon Is Now” and “There Is A Light That Never Goes Out”,  countered only by and the sheer manic malicious exuberance of “Panic”.

So here’s a little treat for me you!

This week,  I’ll be “spending my warm summer days indoors, writing frightening verse to a buck tooth girl in Luxembourg”…

Otherwise known as doing this. Which I guess makes you my bucktooth girl. 

Where ever you are.

Have a great one!

Signature 1 Vintage Valentine Quick as Wink2
    

Paprika Carrot Balls
A yummy retro appetizer, best served in a Cucumber Catamaram
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Ingredients
  1. 1 large carrot, finely grated
  2. 150g cream cheese
  3. 1/4 cup finely chopped toasted walnuts
  4. Smoked paprika
  5. Salt & Pepper
Instructions
  1. Mix carrot, walnuts, and cheese.
  2. Season to taste.
  3. Form into marble sized balls.
  4. Chill.
  5. Lightly dust with paprika.
  6. Serve in a cucumber catamaran with crackers as an appetizer.
  7. Alternatively, serve with grilled meat.
Notes
  1. I used a Herb and Garlic Boursin to boost the flavour in my balls.
  2. Feel free to snicker at will.
  3. If you don't want to make the boat, these can be served in a lettuce cup.
Adapted from Rosemary Mayne-Wilson, Salads For All Seasons
Adapted from Rosemary Mayne-Wilson, Salads For All Seasons
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/

Rebel With A Cause – Smoked Trout Empanadas

Have you ever read a recipe where the ingredients seem right….but the execution just seems horribly wrong? 

Smoked Trout Empandas8
Smoked Trout Empandas8

The other day I was looking for something in…you know THAT room?  Otherwise known as the room where we dumped all the crap we didn’t have a specific home for when we first moved in.  Nearly a year later?  It’s all still there.  Thank the Lord for whoever invented doors.  It makes it so much easier to metaphorically close the door and walk away from the room when you can literally close the door and walk away from the room.

I didn’t find what I was looking for in the room, because most things that go in there don’t come out.  What I did find was a manilla folder full of old recipe clippings which included one for something called for Trout and Mascarpone Triangles. 

Before we get to the point does anyone else have problems spelling mascarpone?  For some reason in my mind it’s marscapone. I also can’t say the word “Preliminary” – that one just ends up a hot mess of r’s and l’s where they shouldn’t be. 

But anyway, immediately in my head, (yeah the same one that can’t spell ma-scar-pone or pronounce pre-lim-in-ary) I had a vision of what these would be.  They would look like exactly like these:

 Smoked Trout EmpanadasHmm…except….maybe a little more triangular. 

So, I was bitterly disappointed when I actually read the recipe and found it was nothing like that. 

Trout & Mascarpone TrianglesIn fact, that whole recipe annoyed the hell out of me.  In most cooking circles when you call something an X & Y triangle it’s pretty much a given that the X and Y are IN the triangle. Take these delicious looking cheese and spinach triangles from taste.com.au.    Spinach and Cheese both EXACTLY where they should be i.e. inside the pastry triangle. 

 

That is what I wanted from my trout and mascarpone triangles! Golden puff pastry filled with chunks of gorgeous pink smoked trout, creamy mascarpone, fresh herbs, a touch of chilli….that was what my mind told me a Trout and Mascarpone Triangle could, and should, be. 

At best the original recipe is for trout and mascarpone ON triangles.  And who the hell wants that?  No one that’s who.  I’m calling shenanigans on that recipe. 

In some circles they say, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.  In my circle I say if you think their recipe is a crock, make it like you think it should have been.  And while we’re in the spirit of rebellion –  the fancy pants Italian cheese I can’t be bothered writing the name of (because I would only have to re-write it to spell it correctly) can go fuck itself too. I’m using good old Philadelphia Cream Cheese.  Which I forgot to take a photo of.  The rest of the stuff is here:

Smoked Trout Empanadas3
Smoked Trout Empanadas3

I used a smoked trout, you could sub in smoked salmon if you prefer or cook a fillet of fish as per the original recipe.  Or even used canned salmon or tuna to make these.  Up to you.  And I had an empanada maker thing but you could make triangles as per the original recipe.  Or embrace the spririt of doing it your way and make them any shape you want!

If you are going to use an empanada maker, here’s how you do it from an expert,Connie Veneracion.  Shame I didn’t read this until after I had made mine and hence some of mine were a little…shall we call them rustic?     😉

How To Use An Empanada Maker

 

Smoked Trout Empanadas7
Smoked Trout Empanadas7

And here is the revised, and in my not so humble opinion, vastly improved recipe!

Enjoy!

Smoked Trout Empanadas

Smoked Trout Empanadas

Ingredients

  • 400 smoked trout or cooked fish of choice
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 100g cream cheese, chopped into a small cubes
  • 1 canned chipotle chilli and approx 1 tbsp of the adobo sauce it came in
  • 1 tbsp dill
  • 1 tbsp parsley
  • 2 sheets ready rolled puff pastry
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • poppy seeds and chilli flakes to garnish (optional)

Instructions

  • If using a smoked trout, remove the skin and flake the flesh from the bones. Place this in a bowl with the cream cheese, red onion, lemon juice, chilli, dill and parsley. Mix lightly to combine.
  • Preheat your oven to 200C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
  • Cut four circles out of each of your pastry sheets, using your empanada maker or tracing around a small plate or cup.
  • Place 1 tbsp of the trout mixture in the middle of each circle then fold the pastry over to seal in the filling.
  • Crimp the edges to seal.
  • Place on the baking tray and brush with the beaten egg.
  • Sprinkle with the poppy seeds and chilli flakes if using.
  • Cook for 15 minutes or until puffed up and golden.
http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/2014/10/09/smoked-trout-empanadas/

Lesson of the week – if you don’t like it, change it.

Have a fabulous week and fight the power!

Signature 1 Vintage Valentine Quick as Wink2
 

Hayman Island Chicken Salad

Hayman Island Chicken Salad

Ingredients

  • 4 cups cooked chicken
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 tbsp spring onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • 1 avocado, flesh cut into cubes
  • 2 oranges, segmented (the original recipe called for tinned mandarin segments)
  • 1 can pineapple pieces
  • 2 tbsp slivered almonds, toasted
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • dash of tabasco sauce (optional)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • salt & pepper

Instructions

  • Combine the chicken, celery, spring onions, capers and lemon juice.
  • Chill for 1 hour.
  • Mix lemon zest, tabasco if using, and mayonnaise. Chill.
  • At serving time, add the pineapple, avocado and oranges to the chicken mix.
  • Gently add the mayonnaise and carefully mix through.
  • Season to taste
  • Top with almonds and serve.
http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/2014/10/09/smoked-trout-empanadas/

 

Retro Easter Part 2: Easter Lily Sandwiches

Let’s start with a caveat.

I am perfectly aware that these sandwiches do not resemble Easter Lilies and would, based on their look, be far more appropriately called Calla Lily Sandwiches.  But it’s Easter ok?

And take a look at them.  How pretty are they?  Perfect for an afternoon tea with the girls….

Easter Lily Sandwiches2
Easter Lily sandwiches

And they taste pretty damn good too!!!

There are a few recipes for these lily sandwiches floating about the interwebs. However, most of them use green onions for the stem.  I actually made it that way the first time but was disappointed in the taste.

Chomping on that big stalk made the sandwich way too oniony – I’m pretty sure no one else wants to bite into a huge chunk of onion like that either.  Or suffer the onion breath afterwards. But to use them as decoration only and take them out when it came to eating the sandwich seemed like a waste.  My first thought was to replace the onions with beans but when I went to buy the beans, I was waylaid by some gorgeous baby asparagus spears.

Easter Lily Sandwiches Ingredients
Easter Lily Sandwiches Ingredients

And my version of the Lily Sandwich was born.

If you can only get thicker asparagus you could cut the spears in half down their length.  If asparagus is not available, use beans or celery matchsticks – all of which I think would be preferable to the onion!

Oh and a tip for the frugal.  When you cut the circles out of the bread, don’t throw the rest of the bread out.  Save them to use for what my family call Ox-Eye eggs but is, I believe more commonly called,  Egg in A Hole the next morning!  Any asparagus left over can also be dipped into a runny yolk for a breakfast made in heaven!!!

Leftovers

Oh and if you don’t happen to have a rolling-pin handy, a bottle of your favourite sauv blanc works equally as well.

Impromptu Rolling PinAnd would also be the perfect accompaniment to these sandwiches at your Easter afternoon tea!

Easter Lily Sandwiches3
Easter Lily Sandwiches3.

Easter Lily Sandwiches
Pretty asparagus sandwiches, perfect for a Spring afternoon tea!
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
5 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 bunch of asparagus
  2. Slices of white bread, as many as you have asparagus spears
  3. 1 tub of cream cheese or a herb and garlic flavoured cream cheese like a Boursin
  4. 2 tbsp fresh chopped chives (omit if using a flavoured cheese)
  5. 1 clove of garlic, crushed (omit if using a flavoured cheese)
  6. 1/2 cup pistachios finely chopped
  7. 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  8. Carrots cut into matchsticks, the same number of matchsticks as asparagus spears
  9. Salt & Pepper to Taste
  10. Instructions
Instructions
  1. Tail the asparagus and steam until just tender.
  2. Mix the cream cheese, paprika, nuts, salt and pepper and herbs in a bowl until smooth and creamy.
  3. Using a cookie cutter, cutter cut out rounds from bread.
  4. Then with a rolling pin, roll each round so it’s about 1/8 inch thick.
  5. Spread about a teaspoon of the cream cheese mixture over each bread circle.
  6. Place the carrot stick so it peeps out of the top, and the asparagus spear so it pokes out of the bottom. Fold the bread over to seal.
  7. Voila! You have a lily sandwich.
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
One more Easter Treat to go…stay tuned!

Signature 1 Vintage Valentine Quick as Wink2

 

 

Retro Food In the News – Vintage Christmas Ideas

Read this in the paper today…

http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/christmas/have-yourself-a-very-vintage-christmas-20131204-2yqzu.html

The Pita Bread Christmas Trees below are adorable.  And,  will be featuring in my Christmas menus.

Retro Christmas Appetizers

As will the Party Loaf.   I did find the recipe for Susan’s Party Loaf as mentioned in the article, however I preferred this one from Betty Crocker purely for the completely unnecessary use of food colouring…you know you’re taking a ride on the way-back machine when that happens.

Plus it’s got carrots made into flowers and i just bought a flower shaped cutter from Daiso that I’m itching to use.  Stay tuned…

Betty Crocker Party Loaf

And the Madras Cocktail ?  Take a look at this piece of awesomeness…

Madras Cocktail
Madras Cocktail

Don’t drink them all they say?  Who are they kidding?   The recipe which is here

put me in mind of the old Dorothy Parker quote:

“I like to have a martini,
Two at the very most.
After three I’m under the table,
after four I’m under the  host.”

This thing might not just knock your socks off, it could take your ankles with it.

I  can’t wait to try it!

So what retro treats are you all planning for Christmas?

Signature 1 Vintage Valentine Quick as Wink2

 

 

Retro Food For Modern Times: Singers and Swingers – Roberta Ashley (1967) – Sorry About That, Chief!

Last week  I mentioned that there was surprisingly little to mock in Roberta Ashley’s Singers and Swingers.  Never fear though, little doesn’t mean nothing and today, I’m turning my unflinching gaze to a few of the less palatable gems contained therein.

I have a strange relationship with cold soup.  Until 5 years ago, I can honestly say, had never eaten it, and had no intention of doing so. I started to come round after a trip to Barcelona in 2008 and a bowl of the most amazing gazpacho I have ever eaten.  I have become a fan of this delicious Spanish concoction, to the point of whipping up a batch or two of my own...

Homemade Gazpacho...I can do cold Soup
Homemade Gazpacho…I can do cold soup

So, whilst reconciled to gazpacho, cold creamy soups and I aren’t even friends on Facebook.  You know how sometimes, if you eat something creamy you get a film in your mouth from the fat in the cream? That’s the thought that puts me off.   Well, it’s that thought that puts me off  a cold soup made from the freshest cream and vegetables.  I have seen what cold canned soup looks like and believe me, it’s not going anywhere near my mouth!  Gross!  So, this recipe from Leonard Nimoy is designed to push all the wrong buttons for me.  As far as I’m concerned this one can go back to Vulcan, Spock!

Leonard Nimoy's Cold Soup..not for me!
Leonard Nimoy’s Cold Soup..is not for me!

The next recipe designed to have me gritting my teeth and muttering swear words under my breath is called Homemade Canned Beans. As mentioned in the last post, I am not averse to a can of beans.  Beans on toast is one of my go to meals when I want something quick and healthy after a trip to the gym or a lazy breakfast.  My issue with most of the popular brands of beans on the market is that the sauce can be overly sweet.  So I was very excited to read the name of this recipe.  Imagine if I could make my own beans that tasted like canned beans but with less sugar?  Happy days….

Unfortunately, as I read on, it turned out that the universe had another fate in store for me

 

Homemade Canned Beans?
Homemade Canned Beans?

Remember in the wacky races when Muttley used to mutter under his breath?  I did a lot of that whilst reading this recipe.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/gf_IH3rj0hY]

If you want a better recipe for beans, check out Erica over at Retro Recipe Attempts.  If, like me, you have an aversion to an overly sweet sauce for your beans, I think the mustard and tabasco in Erica’s recipe would cut through that  sweetness.

http://retrorecipe.wordpress.com/2013/01/28/zingy-baked-beans/

Next, on my hit list,  we have Southern Fried Chicken À La Mrs Bobby Goldsboro. Personally, I would call this heart attack on a plate but Mr Bobby Goldsboro informs us that:

“I like it because I like Southern Cooking, but another reason is that fried foods are fattening and I am always trying to put on some weight”. 

Mr Bobby Goldsboro needs a good hard slap if you ask me. The man must have had the metabolism of a hummingbird!* Just looking at a plate of something that contains bacon fat, oil and cream and is served with mashed potatoes or biscuits, butter and honey would be enough to derail my weight loss efforts for a year!

Southern Fried Chicken A La Mrs Bobby Goldsboro
Southern Fried Chicken A La Mrs Bobby Goldsboro

As a child, one of my favourite tv shows was Get Smart.  I  would race home from school every day to see which episode was on, I swear I have seen every episode a dozen or more times and, if push came to shove, I could probably recite some of them almost verbatim.   

The hero of the show was the bumbling, wise-cracking secret agent called Maxwell Smart, played by Don Adams.   Given my love for the show, I was delighted to see that Singers and Swingers contained recipes by both Don Adams and Barbara Feldon who played Max’s colleague (and eventually his wife), Agent 99.  More about Barbara Feldon next time but I desperately wanted their recipes to be good.  Hers is great.  However, in the words of Maxwell Smart, I believe this recipe “missed by that much”.  If by “that much” you mean the distance from here to the moon.  I can’t even think what this mix would begin to taste like…if anyone is brave enough to make it, please let me know!

don adams peanut butter cheese spread 001

I’ll leave you to  ponder the utter weirdness of the Don Adams recipe.  I’m off to search for episodes of Get Smart….

Enjoy your week!

Signature x

*Hummingbirds have an incredibly fast metabolism. At any given moment they are only hours away from starving to death.  

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