Tag: Sabrina Ghayour

Four Kumquat Canapés For Four Food Heroes

I was celebrating this week and these kumquat canapés helped to get the party started!  How pretty are they?

Kumquat Canapes

These lovelies were inspired by a recipe by Gretta Anna Teplitzsky.  Gretta Anna has been called the Julia Child of Australian Cooking.  Through her books and her cooking school she brought French cooking to the Australian masses . She is one of my food heroes and an absolute glamour puss to boot!  I have spoken about her before but as a refresher, her she is in all her glory!

Gretta AnnaI said it before and I will say it again.  That fireplace!  The colour co-ordination of caftan, candlesticks and couch!    Love, love, love.  Gretta Anna is the big sister I never had, the cool older girl at school I always aspired to be but never quite pulled it off. 

I was looking for Gretta Anna recipes this week because, as a little present to myself I popped online and bought a copy of her second book, More Gretta Anna Recipes.  And I was buying myself a little present because May is the month of the blogiversary!  Retro Food for Modern Times will turn four later this month.  Can you believe it?   And we will celebrate in style but first, we need to talk about Kumquat Canapés because they are super delicious and a snap to make!

KumquatsKumquats are a small citrus fruit (about the size of a large olive) and incredibly sour which I love! A funny thing about them, is that if you eat them peel and all they actually become sweeter.  It is the season for them here and as I was making my Gretta Anna inspired canapes I started thinking about my other food heroes and got totally carried away.  I ended up making four different kumquat canapés because of the blogiversary and I named them after my food heroes. So without further ado, here they are.

Kumquat Canapé 1 – The Gretta Anna

Gretta Anna’s original recipe called for kumquats, rare roast beef and mint.  She also wanted you to roast the beef.  I just bought some rare roast beef slices from my local deli.  I also had another idea for my mint leaves so I subbed in some rocket (arugula for my American friends). 

Kumquat Canapes Roast BeefWhy this works

The rare roast beef has a slightly metallic taste with some saltiness and umami.  The acidity of the kumquat worked really well against this and the rocket gave a note of pepperiness.  A little dob of horseradish would also not go astray here either!

Kumquat Canapé 1 – The Nigella

For the Nigella Kumquat Canapé we are heading to Italy where we are pairing our tangy little friend the kumquat with some spicy chilli salami and a basil leaf.  And to steal a quote from one of my favorite movies ever, Gregory’s Girl (if you have not seen this, stop everything and see it now!) the Nigella is bella, bella (with those last two words being spoken in the broadest Scottish accept you can muster!

Salami Kumquat Canapes3Why The Nigella Works

The sharpness of the kumquat cuts against the fatty unctuousness of the salami, the chilli adds a kick of heat and the basil brings in some herby spiciness.This is a Mambo Italiano in your mouth!  Plus even writing the words fatty unctuousness made me feel like I was channelling the real Nigella.

Kumquat Canapé 3 – The Sabrina

As if I was ever going to make a food hero kumquat canapé and not include Sabrina Ghayour!    I still have 22 recipes to make from Persiana but Sirocco is wending it’s way to me as we speak!  I know I said I wasn’t going to buy it until I was totally done with the Persiana Project but I read on Twitter that if you ordered it pre-release on Amazon UK, you could  get it for a ridiculously low price.  And I’m all about the savings! 

I promise I won’t read it, will not even open the package until the Persiana Project is done! 

Well, I might open the package just to make sure they have sent me the right book and it is not damaged.  But then I will pack it back up again and put it out of sight until the end of the Persiana Project. 

However, if during that purely quality control inspection it happens to fall open at a page….or ten….and my eyes just happen to fleetingly glance over them….then that is just what I like to call serendipity and no, it’s totally not cheating!  Let’s quickly move on to the objêt itself.

Kumquat SabrinaThe Sabrina Canapé takes us to the delicious flavours of the Middle East – hummus, dukkah, coriander and of course our little golden friend subbing in for what would traditionally be a preserved lemon.

Why the Sabrina Works

Is is a little bite of the Middle East.  The creamy earthiness of the hummus is complemented by the zing of the kumquat, the dukkah adds crunch and more spice and the coriander some greeny freshness.  And for them that care about such things the Sabrina is also vegan.  

The final kumquat canape was the hardest to name.  It had some Mexican overtones, avocado, tequila, chilli but I was damned if I was going to name it after the writer of Cantina after the terrible problems I had with that book.  So, who else would I  count as a food hero who would suitably represent my canapé?  Jamie Oliver? Margaret Fulton? Charmaine Solomon?  No, no and no came the answers.  And then, taking inspiration from the tequila – which is possibly not always a good rule to live by I hit upon the name for my fourth and final kumquat canapé.

Barrio Cellar, Sydney

A photo posted by Taryn Fryer (@tarynnicole198) on

Kumquat Canapé 4 – The Floyd

So obvious!  I’m not sure if Keith Floyd ever made it to Mexico but I’m sure he would have, at the very least liked the idea of my tequila soaked avocados.  A bon vivant, raconteur and also a bit of a boozer, Floyd was one of the first celebrity chefs. Many of his shows are on you Tube and I can thoroughly recommend them  for the sheer force of his personality if not always for the recipes made.  Zebu Penis and Marijuana Stew anyone?

Kumquat Avocado CanapeThankfully, The Floyd contains none of the above but consists of avocado marinated in tequila and  sprinkled with salt with a side of radish, topped with a strip of pickled chilli and a slice of kumquat and garnished with a mint leaf. And again, it’s vegan!

Why The Floyd Works

It’s a bit like a deconstructed guacamole, all the flavours are their with the kumquat subbing in for the lemon or lime and the radish adding some crunch!

These were each delicious and I’m glad I expanded my thinking beyond the original!

Kumquat Canapes

Coming up we are celebrating the blogiversary and not only are we having a party with the letter D but it’s also themed!  I can hardly wait!

Kumquat Canapes
Serves 2
Some cute and quirky canapes using cute and quirky kumquats
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Ingredients
  1. 16 small cracker biscuits
  2. 6-8 kumquats, cut into thin slices (I found you could only get 2-3 slices from each kumquat
For the Gretta Anna
  1. 2 slices of rare roast beef, either home made or from your local deli,cut into two pieces
  2. 4 rocket leaves
  3. 4 little dobs of horseradish (optional)
For The Nigella
  1. 2 slices chilli salami, cut into 2 pieces
  2. 4 basil leaves
  3. For the Sabrina
  4. 4 tsp hummus
  5. 2 tsp dukkah
  6. 4 coriander leaves
For The Floyd
  1. 4 chunks of avocado
  2. 1 tbsp tequila
  3. sea salt
  4. 4 strips of pickled chilli
  5. 4 mint leaves
For the Floyd
  1. Sprinkle the avocado chunks with the tequila and allow to sit for a couple of hours.
  2. Just before serving remove from the tequila and sprinkle with the salt.
For All
  1. Arrange the ingredients on the crackers in a manner that looks appetising.
  2. Top with the kumquat slices.
  3. Enjoy!
Adapted from Gretta Anna Teplitzsky - The Party Cookbook
Adapted from Gretta Anna Teplitzsky - The Party Cookbook
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
Coming up we are celebrating the blogiversary and not only are we having a party with the letter D but it’s also themed!  I can hardly wait!

Meantime, if you were to make a canape for one of your food heroes, who and what would it be?

Have a great week!

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The Dishiest Dish – Rhubarb, Rose and Passionfruit Sorbet

 We are having a lovely spurt of late summer…OMG, it’s autumn now….warm weather, just perfect for enjoying this delicious rhubarb, rose and passionfruit sorbet.

Rhubarb, Rose and Passionfruit SorbetLet’s talk about it shall we?

  • It’s fruity, tangy and not too sweet so incredibly refreshing on a hot day.
  • It is the most glorious shade of pink.
  • The passionfruit and rose water make it smell like a summer garden.
  • It has a  Rhubarb Almond Shard
  • And is sprinkled with Rhubarb Crumble Dust
  • And for the cherry on the top, it’s got…well…a cherry on the top.

I based this recipe on the Rhubarb and Rose Sorbet in Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall’s River Cottage, Light and Easy which was my selection when we did a stint on Celebrity Chefs for Tasty Reads. I usually find Hugh very engaging, hence choosing the book, however I admit I have struggled with it a bit.  I’m all for dairy and wheat free however it just seemed like a bit of a chore, not to mention expense to have to buy new ingredients for just about every dish – this one has buckwheat flour, that one had chestnut flour, the other had chickpea flour.  Never even mind the expense.  Who has the space?

But I pretty much had everything for the sorbet, except the rhubarb already.  I also had a little passionfruit left over from the Valentine’s Day Soufflé so I popped that in as well. 

Rhubarb, Rose and Passionfruit Sorbet26 Week Challenges

These have been a bit of a disaster.  I downloaded an update to my phone weekend before last. And it killed it.  #epicfailnexus5  The phone would no longer read the sim card.  So after spending the weekend trying every fix available on Google on Monday I got a new sim card, even though I kind of already knew it wasn’t the sim card.  On Tuesday the phone went in for a service.  Then there was a WEEK of daily calls of “Is it fixed?  “Is it fixed? Is it fixed?”  Then after seven days they said “Oh, we now know it’s not hardware, it’s software” and they got a “I KNOW IT’S NOT HARDWARE I TOLD YOU IT WASN’T HARDWARE ONE WEEK AGO.  YOU HAVE SPENT A WEEK WASTING MY TIME AND YOUR TIME. JUST PUT IT BACK TO WHAT IT WAS BEFORE THE UPDATE” And an hour later it was fixed.  Seriously I hate being such a bitch to service people.  But really.  A week.

A week where, I was without my meditation app and my flexibility app.  So they fell by the wayside.  I downloaded some mediation podcasts to my ipod.  Which promptly broke. 

Oh and my car wouldn’t start this morning.

Technology hates me. 

On the more positive side, my March resolution of 6 weeks without Candy Crush is going amazingly well! 

Silver linings!

I’m starting a new challenge today:

The Persiana Project

As of now, I have 32 dishes left to cook from the very many I marked as “Want To Cook” in Persiana.  Sabrina Ghayour’s new book comes out in 50 days.  Technically, I can cook them all between now and then.  Realistically, it is unlikely however, to raise the stakes, I have made a deal with myself not to by Sirocco until I have cooked the 32.  And I REALLY want that new book.

We’re going to be eating a LOT of Middle Eastern Food over the next few weeks.   I can’t wait!

Reading

The Shut Eye – Belinda Bauer

Loved it – a great thriller about a missing child and a suspect psychic.

When We Were Invincible – Jonathan Harnisch

I feel really bad about saying that I am not enjoying this because it seems quite ungrateful seeing as I got it for free off Net Galley.  But I am half way through and I ‘m really struggling.  The plot…what there is of it….revolves around a teenager who suffers from Tourette’s and his life at an elite prep school.  I’m finding it all bit too stream of consciousness-y; with not nearly enough context for me to be able to enjoy the story.

Ummmm….let me think of some positives….

  • It’s very likely a very real description of being in the head of someone who is mentally ill. 
  • It’s short. 
  • I love the cover.

Watching

I watched the movie Compliance and it totally ooked me out.  Seriously, watching it made me feel dirty.  Several times I wanted to turn it off  because it was painful to watch. Having said that I would actually recommend it.  But be warned it is TOUGH going.  It will also make you question every person who ever calls you on the phone.  Not a bad thing really seeing as it is based on true. 

Then I watched The Breakfast Club.  Damn, I love that movie!  And it made everything all right with the world again.   And I spent about three days walking around singing “Hey, hey, hey, hey….”

I’m still not trusting anyone who calls me who is not on my speed dial though.

Cooking

I haven’t been cooking much as I have been working all the hours!  I have been living on toast or things from the freezer.  Hopefully things will slow down soon because next week I have marked out to cook:

  • Margaret Fulton’s Quail in Vine Leaves with Muscat Grapes
  • Sabrina Ghayour’s Safavid style beef pastries
  • Laurie Colwin’s Broccoli Salad

Ok, here’s the recipe for the Sorbet:

Rhubarb, Rose and Passionfruit Sorbet
A lovely light, refreshing sorbet, not too sweet with a glorious pink colour.
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Ingredients
  1. 750g rhubarb
  2. 75ml orange juice
  3. 75g passionfruit pulp
  4. 100g caster sugar
  5. up to 50g icing sugar
  6. up to 2 tsp rose water
  7. 100g passionfruit pulp
Rhubarb Crumble Dust & Almond Shard
  1. 18 Rhubarb Crumble boiled lollies (or any fruit flavoured boiled lollies)
  2. 100g flaked almonds
  3. Oil
To Serve
  1. Ice Cream Cones
  2. Maraschino Cherries
Instructions
  1. Trim the rhubarb and cut into 3-4cm lengths. Place in a large saucepan with the caster sugar and the orange juice.
  2. Bring to a simmer and cook gently until the rhubarb is completely soft. Puree in the pan until smooth.
  3. When cool, stir in the passionfruit.
  4. Taste and add the icing sugar as required.
  5. Stir in the rosewater. Start at about 1/4 teaspoon and add it gradually until you get your desired level of rosiness.
  6. Chill until cold and churn in an ice cream maker until soft set, then transfer to a freezer container and freeze until cold. Alternatively, pour the mixture into a freezer container and freeze for an hour. Then remove from the freezer and break up the frozen sides, pushing them into the softer centre. Return to the freezer and repeat every hour until the mixture is soft-set.
  7. Then let it freeze solid.
Rhubarb Crumble Dust
  1. Place the boiled lollies in your blender and grind into a powder.
  2. Remove a third of the mixture to sprinkle over the top of your sorbet as your dust.
Almond Shard
  1. Heat your oven to 180C
  2. Line a baking tray with baking paper and lightly grease. I used coconut oil.
  3. Sprinkle the paper with the almonds, then with the remaining crushed lolly powder.
  4. Place in the oven until the lollies melt.
  5. Remove from the oven and all to cool.
  6. Break into shards
To Serve
  1. Place two scoops of sorbet into an ice cream cone.
  2. Sprinkle a teaspoon over the Rhubarb Crumble Dust over the icecream, stab with an Almond Shard and top with a cherry.
  3. Enjoy!
Adapted from River Cottage Light and Easy
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
Have a great week!  And let me know what you’ve been cooking, reading, watching! 

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The Dishiest Dish – Poulet Vallée D’Auge

This week’s highlight came from France…from Normandy to be be precise.  Or to be even more precise from the the Pays D’Auge.  This is apple country and the chicken casserole that is the Poulet Vallée D’Auge contains both apples and Calvados, the apple brandy that is also a specialty of the region.

And if chicken, apples and Calvados aren’t enough for you how about we add a generous dollop of creme fraiche into the mix.  Bon Appetit indeed. 

Poulet Vallee D'Auge

We had a bit of a cold snap in the week so this hearty kind of meal was perfect.  And for those of you in the Northern hemisphere who are still in the midst of winter, this will warm any, and all,the cockles you have. 

The perfect drink to have with this would be a cider, one from Normandy would be perfect!  Or maybe a wee glass of that Calvados.

Poulet Vallee D'Auge2This is a lovely dish and that sauce is divine! 

I also made these prawn cakes from the Paleo book.  They looked gorgeous but tasted only ok.  I felt the restrictions of the Paleo diet really made themselves felt here.  Thai food is meant to have that mix of sweet, salt, sour and heat.  The recipe as it stood had no sweet in the dipping sauce.  It vastly improved after I added some sugar.  They do look pretty though!

Paleo Prawn CakesThe Six Week Challenges

No Alcohol

The six weeks of “no” alcohol are nearly over.  I had a bit of a set back this week.  A friend of mine resigned from work and we arranged to go for doughnuts so he could tell me all about it.  And somehow on the way to the doughnut shop we got waylaid by the little bar on the corner.  We were halfway through our glass of vino when we started getting messages.  “Where are you?  The fire alarms are going off.  We need to evacuate the building”.  I am  the fire warden for our office.  Can you believe it?  I never leave my desk.  NEVER.  And the ONE time I go off for a sneaky doughnut pinot, the flipping fire alarms go off. 

What could we do?  They would have grounded the lifts, we weren’t getting back into the building in a hurry.    Nothing for it but to have a second glass o’ wine.

Here is the scene of the crime – Dikstein’s Corner Bar,

We had a lovely New Zealand Pinot but  ewwww…did I feel seedy afterwards.  Totally lethargic, no motivation to do anything except flop on the couch and tune out in front of the telly for the entire evening.  I will say more about this challenge when it is over – in just a couple of days. But after yesterday I am seriously evaluating my relationship with booze. 

Meditation

Still struggling with this one.  I thought this would be so much easier than giving up booze.  Not so.  I”ll try to lift my game for the last two weeks.  And this one can go back on the list for a re-do later in the year. 

Flexibility

I’m LOVING this.  And after only a week or so in, I am already seeing the difference!  I am mixing it up between two different routines – one has a morning routine and an evening routine so if I get up early enough I do that one.  If not, there is another where you do one 10 minute workout for the day.  Really happy with this one!

The March Challenge

I have not decided what will replace the no alcohol challenge come the first of March.

I am narrowing it down:

Journalling – I used to journal all the time and love it.  And I think in some ways that was my meditation.  I REALLY want to get back into it.

Candy Crush – MUST. STOP. PLAYING.

Food – I feel I should replace a “food” challenge with another food challenge – I was thinking maybe a month without bread, pasta potatoes.  But Jenny has inspired me to do one around food waste.  

I will do what I did last month and see what jumps out at me on the morning of the first!  Eeeeekkk – can you believe it’s almost March?

Reading

I have given up on The Apologist for my audiobook.  I could not get into it.  I had previously started Bring Up The Bodies by Hilary Mantell and I have gone back to that.

You can keep your real Housewives…for real scandal and intrigue, give me the Tudors anyday!

Bring up the Bodies

But my major discovery this week was this:

Savage Lane by Jason Starr

Savage Lane=Jason Starr

The hot pink cover had me at hello.  I like to read dark and this is pitch black!  It is also pitch perfect. Nasty, nasty people doing nasty, nasty things.  I’m loving it!

Here is the premise:

“Life is sublime in the idyllic suburbs of New York City.  Recent divorcée Karen Daily and her two kids have, for the first time in years,  found joy as they settle into the close-knit community of Savage Lane.  Neighbours, Mark and Deb Berman have been so supportive as she moves on in life: teaching at the local school and even dating again.

But behind the pristine houses and perfect smiles lie dark motives far more sinister than Karen could have ever imagined.  Unknown to her, Mark, trapped in his own unhappy marriage, has developed a rich fantasy life for the two of them.  And, as rumours start to spread, it seems that he isn’t the only one targetting Karen”

This is the first book of his I have read but I am now keen to read more.  And all of his covers from No Exit Press are equally arresting:

Jason Starr Via No Exit Press

Plants

I am going through a phase where I want to fill my house with plants.  To help with that obsession, I bought this book:

Have started  following this blog:

http://www.thejungalow.com/ 

Her instagram is also amazing!

https://www.instagram.com/justinablakeney/

And have been trying to find a local version of these West Elm Planters.

West Elm Mid Century Planters

Now I just have to buy some plants!

That’s about it.  I haven’t really done much else this week except work. 

On The Menu

  • Saffron chicken from Persiana
  • Lamb Kebabs from the A-Z of Cooking with the tomato salad with pomegranate salad also from Persiana….and eeeekkkk.  Sabrina has a new book coming out in May!   I can hardly wait!
  • Honeycomb Cheesecake from A Moveable Feast
  • Sweet Potato cakes with Lemon Chickpeas

Sirocco

That’s about it for me for this week.  Except for the recipe for the Poulet Vallée D’Auge – which you can find here.

What are you cooking, reading, doing this weekend?  I am planning to take the dogs down to the dog beach for a play. 

Have a wonderful weekend whatever you do.

Signature 1 Vintage Valentine Quick as Wink2;

 

Belly Stuffed Rainbow Trout & Orange Salad

Hello Friends!

Today we are celebrating Lunar New Year, and the Year of the Monkey with a delicious belly stuffed rainbow trout.  Lunar New Year, often called Chinese New Year  is celebrated all over Asia, and all over the world via the Asian diaspora.  It is a time for families to get to together, for the exchanging of gifts and of course food. 

Chinese Lantern Banner

I read this article in Serious Eats recently and as soon as  I read that whole fish was a common item at Lunar New Year dinners I knew exactly what I wanted to cook.  I have been waiting for an occasion to make Sabrina Ghayour’s Belly Stuffed Rainbow Trout for AGES and this seemed like a perfect opportunity.   Fish is considered lucky for New Year, particularly at the Reunion (New Year’s Eve) Feast because the word for carp sounds like the words for good luck and gift.

Belly Stuffed Rainbow TrouNow I know some of you might be a bit freaked out by cooking / serving a whole fish.  And believe me, I used to be right there with you.  If you do not like the idea of a whole fish, you could certainly pan fry or bake fillets of rainbow trout and serve with the stuffing mixture.  However, in Chinese symbolism a whole fish represents togetherness and abundance. 

Chinese Lantern Banner

But first, let’s talk Chinese Astrology.  We are about to enter the Year of The Monkey.  Famous people born in Monkey years include Leonardo Da Vinci, Elizabeth Taylor, George Lucas, Charles Dickens, and Lord Byron.  Gillian Anderson is also a Monkey.  Dragging that list down a notch or two from the great and the good,  other monkeys are Miley Cyrus and me!

What can you expect in the Year of The Monkey?

It is a year to act, to innovate and to take your destiny into your own hands.  However, the recklessness of the monkey also cautions us to think before we act so do not be  too hasty in making decisions.  Setting clear goals is important this year.  The monkey is also a sociable creature so this is a good year to nurture and expand your relationships with those around you. 

Chinese Lantern Banner

Belly Stuffed Rainbow Trout

I guess I should have made something a bit more Asian to celebrate however Sabrina Ghayour’s recipe for belly stuffed rainbow trout is delicious at any time of the year!  Incidentally a rainbow trout is the only fish I have ever actually caught for myself. 

The fussiest eater in the world is a keen fisherman (yet curiously cannot eat anything he catches; he just throws them back).  A few years ago we rented a holiday house in the mountains and one afternoon set out to go berry picking.  Well the berry farm was closed but the trout farm was open.  He went to the most difficult area and started catching fish left, right and centre.  I was content to read my book but, seeing how easy it looked said that I would have a go.  Well.  We slowly moved from the most difficult to the next most difficult to the next most difficult,  ending up in what was basically a wading pool.  The four year olds (who were the only other people using this pond) and I eventually caught our fish.  Then I cried because I felt bad about killing something.  But my rationale was “If I’m going to kill something then I ‘m damn well going to eat it” so we stopped on the way home and bought some almonds and I made us a lovely Trout Almandine for dinner.

He refused to eat it.  Which resulted in a blazing row where the phrase “I killed a fish for you.  How can you not eat it?” and variations there of were thrown around the room.  Miraculously his piece of trout stayed in the pan and not over his head!

Lesson learned.  This time, we  bought a trout.

Rainbow TroutThe stuffing is a very tasty and gorgeously colourful mix of spring onions, pine nuts, garlic, chilli, coriander and preserved lemons.

Belly Stuffed Rainbow Trout2Sabrina’s recipe for Belly Stuffed Rainbow Trout can be found here.

My notes on this recipe were that even though I halved the stuffing ingredients  because I was only cooking one trout I still had a lot of it left over. 

This is not really an issue as it is totally delicious and I had the following ideas for the remainder:

  • Scatter over cooked vegetables
  • Add a little olive oil and toss through pasta, maybe with some crispy breadcrumbs
  • Serve on flatbread crisps with a dob of hummus as an appetizer
  • Stir through rice for a pilaf effect
  • Sprinkle onto mushrooms and grill. 

Or you could just do what I did and just eat it by the spoonful while waiting for the fish to cook!

Chinese Lantern BannerBelly Stuffed Rainbow Trout3

Orange & Arugula Salad

To serve with my Belly Stuffed Rainbow Trout, I made a very simple orange, black olive and rocket (arugula) salad.  Citrus fruits are a symbol of prosperity, good luck and abundance and lettuce symbolises spring.  So, despite not having Asian flavours my salad has come celebratory significance.

It’s almost too easy to call a recipe but here we go:

Orange, Olive and Arugula Salad
A delicious, fresh and simple salad that is a perfect accompaniment to seafood.
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Ingredients
  1. 100g rocket / arugula
  2. 1 orange
  3. handful of black olives
  4. 1 tbsp orange juice
  5. 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
  6. 1 tbsp olive oil
  7. S&P
Instructions
  1. Place the rocket in a salad bowl.
  2. Segment the orange removing all peel and pith. Do this over a bowl so you catch the juice - this can be used for the dressing
  3. Toss in a handful of black olives
For The Dressing
  1. Mix the orange juice, lemon juice, olive oil and seasoning to taste.
  2. When ready to serve pour over the salad
You can fancy up this salad with any //all of the following
  1. Chopped toasted walnuts or pistachios
  2. Toasted pinenuts
  3. Pomegranate seeds
  4. Thinly sliced fennel
  5. Thinly sliced red onion
  6. A smattering of feta
  7. Some tarragon leaves
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/

Chinese Lantern BannerSome other lucky foods to serve at Lunar New Year include:

  • Spring rolls represent gold bars
  • Celery for wisdom
  • Plums for mental acuity
  • Dumplings for wealth
  • Long Noodles for a long life.

My work is celebrating tomorrow with a yum-cha lunch.  Bring on the dumplings!

Lunar New Festivals will continue until 22 February so you have plenty of time to join in the celebrations. 

Just for fun, I took some fortune cookies to a family dinner and we all chose one to pick our fortune for lunar new year.  This was mine:

Fortune cookieIf you are celebrating Lunar New Year, or even if you are not, you are all my garden of roses and I wish you all a year of joy and abundance!

Have a wonderful week.  I’m off to eat my weight in dumplings!

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Stuff and Nonsense – March 2015

No retro food today just a random collection of what I’m doing and loving at the moment. I love it when other bloggers do this so I thought I might give it a go. The title for this is inspired by this gorgeous song by Missy Higgins, covering an old Split Enz song which I have just rediscovered on my ipod.

Stuff I’m Listening To

A work mate suggested  the Welcome To Night Vale podcast to me. And I am loving it!!!  Quirky kooky at it’s best!!!

 

Stuff I’m Reading

I joined a book club!!!  Our book of the month is Us by David Nicholls. I am so excited to read this.  I loved his last book, One Day.  Also a bit scared about the whole book club thing.  First meeting next Monday!

 I have just finished reading this which I loved.  This was one of those books where I just wished I had had the idea to do it.  This was so funny although it did get a bit repetitive at times but this may have been because I read it in pretty much a day.  And like most diets, it left me wanting more!

Blogs

 I’m loving Flawless Visions take on MKR. Hilarious

So sad that Yinzerella is taking March off. 

Stuff I’m Watching

MKR as mentioned.

I’m loving season 2 of Broadchurch

Stuff I’m Cooking   

I  took a fairly ordinary baked vanilla cheesecake and fancied it up with the addition of some Chambord and a take on Sabrina Ghayour’s Strawberries with Basil Sugar. This was delicious!!!

 Baked Vanilla Cheesecake

Vanilla White Chocolate Cheesecake With Chambord Raspberries and Basil Sugar
Serves 10
Take your next baked cheesecake to the next level by adding some of these Chambord soaked raspberries. Then crank that up even further with Sabrina's basil sugar!
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Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
4 hr
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
4 hr
For The Cheesecake
  1. 125g plain sweet biscuits
  2. 125g gingernut biscuits
  3. 125g melted butter
  4. 60ml cream
  5. 100g white chocolate
  6. 110g castor sugar
  7. 250g mascarpone cheese
  8. 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  9. 1 tbsp cornflour
  10. 1 tbsp vanilla
For the Topping
  1. 2 tbsp Chambord
  2. 400g raspberries
  3. 1 1/2 tbsp castor sugar
  4. Good handful of basil leaves, roughly chopped
For the Topping
  1. Pour the Chambord over raspberries and leave to macerate.
  2. Put the chopped basil in a mortar with the castor sugar and, using the pestle, grind down the sugar with the mint until the sugar turns green.
For the Cheesecake
  1. Crush the plain biscuits and the gingernuts in your food processor until they resemble fine breadcrumbs.
  2. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in the melted butter.
  3. Press biscuit mixture evenly over the base of a 24cm springform pan. Refrigerate 30 minutes or until firm.
  4. Preheat the oven to slow - 150C.
  5. Place cream and chocolate into a small heavy bottomed pan, stir over low heat until the chocolate is melted.
  6. Cool for 5 minutes.
  7. Beat the cream cheese and caster sugar in a medium bowl until just smooth.
  8. Add the mascarpone.
  9. Beat until combined.
  10. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then the chocolate mixture, the vanilla and the cornflour.
  11. Pour this mixture onto the crumb mix.
  12. Bake in a slow oven for about 55 minutes or until just set.
  13. Cool in the oven with the door ajar.
  14. Refrigerate 3 hours or overnight.
  15. When ready to serve, place the Chambord marinated raspberries on top of the cake.
  16. Sprinkle with the basil sugar
  17. Enjoy!
Adapted from Sabrina Ghayour's Strawberry Carpaccio With Basil Sugar
Adapted from Sabrina Ghayour's Strawberry Carpaccio With Basil Sugar
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
Have a great week.  And beware the hooded figures in the dog park!

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