Tuesday 27 March 2018

Persian Ice Cream

What makes this Persian, you are asking?  For one, I am using real Persian saffron that our Iranian friend brought back for me recently.  I wish you could smell it, my friends.  It is pungent and spicy and gorgeous.  And so very very red.  For another, this ice cream uses typical Persian flavours like the saffron, plus rosewater and pistachios.  

I've based this recipe on the French Vanilla Ice Cream (from Georgia O'Keeffe's book) that I made not that long ago.  As it is so luscious and smooth, I knew it would be a great starting point.  And it was!  The flavours melded together really well, and the smooth texture was very satisfying and delicious.  Add on a crisp pistachio biscuit for texture, and you have a delicious little treat.  

smooth, creamy and fragrant

Makes just over 1 Litre:


2 large eggs, separated

1/4 cup of honey

1 cup (250 mLs) thickened cream

1 cup (250 mLs) condensed milk

2 tsp vanilla extract or paste

2-3 tsp rosewater

1/2 tsp saffron threads softened in a few teaspoons of the cream

50g. pistachios chopped finely - 35g. go into the ice cream, and 15g. to sprinkle on top

organic dried rosebuds to scatter over the top (optional)

Serve with pistachio biscotti


Beat the egg yolks in a medium bowl until thick and luscious

Gradually beat in the honey till even more thick, luscious and voluminous 

Now add the cream, condensed milk, vanilla, rosewater and saffron to the bowl

Beat till just combined

Stir in the chopped pistachios

Pour the mixture into a baking tray and place in the freezer till partially firm - this takes about an hour

Put a large bowl in the freezer at the same time to chill 

After an hour or so, whip the egg whites in your supremely, superbly clean bowl (with ultra-clean beaters) till stiff peaks form

Now take out the tray and place the eggy, freezy mixture into the chilled bowl

Spoon in the egg whites, and give it all a good turn with a large, metal spoon

Then grab the electric beaters and give it a good whizz till combined - but go at it like a Buddhist monk, not a Sumo wrestler

Pour the shiny, smooth mixture into an ice cream container with a lid

Into the freezer it goes till nicely frozen

Serve with the extra chopped pistachios sprinkled over the fragrant ice cream (and the rosebuds if using)

gather your ingredients

whizz the egg yolks and honey

soften the saffron in a bit of the cream

fold in the stiffly beaten egg whites

pour into your ice cream container

ready for the freezer

serve with some pistachio biscotti

Our friends Lord N. and Lady J. of the Rocks came over for dinner the other night.  Having recently been to Iran, (and having discovered a Persian grocer nearby) they were very keen on all things Persian/Iranian.  So I endeavoured to make them something a wee bit Persian-inspired.  Et voilà, here we have my version of this sweet treat.  

           my saffron crocus doodle

Thursday 22 March 2018

Dukkah Donuts With A Citrus Glaze

Donuts/doughnuts are delicious and decadent...  But there's a big but - and maybe a big butt!  They are chock-full of sugar and carbs.  So my suggestion?  Only eat them now and then, and just enjoy them.  As regular readers suspect, I am addicted to cookbooks, and yes I have a new one on my desk.  I like to support other bloggers by buying their books, so that's my excuse - not that I need one.

This recipe is from Molly Yeh's book Molly on the Range, chock full of recipes that reflect her Jewish/Chinese heritage and her current Mid-West lifestyle.  These are delicious little baked doughnuts, with a citrus glaze and a sprinkle of spicy dukkah.  So yes you can have another, my friends, 'cos they're just so non-greasy, and moreish.  I made the dukkah first, then went on to the doughnuts and the glaze.  Molly says this recipe makes 12.  I ended up making 21!  Lord knows what size baking tin she has:=)

very delicious

Makes 12 very large doughnuts, or in my case, 21 regular ones:



1/4 cup (40g.) of hazelnuts, toasted then blitzed in the processor

1/4 cup (35g.) sesame seeds 

pinch of sea salt

1 tbs coriander seeds OR 1 tsp ground coriander + 1 tsp mace + 1/2 tsp mixed spice + 1/2 tsp ras-el-hanout

1 tsp fennel or anise seeds

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ras-el-hanout or mixed spice (yes, extra to the above)


Grab your food processor; blitz the toasted hazelnuts
Then throw in the toasted sesame seeds and blitz a bit more
In goes the salt and all the other spices
Blitz till well combined and put aside till needed

getting ready to blitz the dukkah 

you guessed it! - blitzed

Right, let's get on to the doughnuts now.  The rich aroma of the dukkah will keep you on your toes as you bake.  


220g. (1¾ cups) plain flour

225g. (1 cup) white sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp sea salt

1 large egg

125 mLs (1/2 cup) buttermilk

60 mLs (1/4 cup) plain oil - like safflower or corn oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

60 mLs (1/4 cup) water


Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl

Grab a medium mixing bowl and whisk together the egg, buttermilk, oil, vanilla and water

Now pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture, whisking firmly till nicely combined - not too madly, just till mixed well

Spoon the thick mixture into a pouring jug (with a good spout), and pour it into each (lightly-greased) cavity till about half full - (you could use a piping bag if you fancy)

Bake for about 12 minutes at 190C/375F till nicely golden

Let them rest in the pan for 5 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack

whisk the dry ingredients together 

whisk the wet ingredients

now whisk them together

let them rest for 5 mins. after baking for 12 mins. at 190C 

now they cool on the rack - yep, a few stuck a bit to the tin 

Now for the glaze/icing:

400g. (3 cups) of icing/powdered sugar

2 tbs honey

4-6 tbs citrus juice - I used orange and lemon, but choose your fave kind (Molly suggests blood oranges).  Start with 4 tbs, and keep adding juice till you have a thick but spreadable consistency


Mix the honey into the icing sugar, then add the juice a spoon at a time

Dip the doughnuts into the glaze

Sprinkle on the dukkah as generously (or not) as you like

stir the glaze briskly

ready for doughnut dunking

and ready for eating

    my doughnutty doodle


I followed Molly's recipe for the dukkah, and ended up with a humongous amount.  I still have heaps, probably about 200g., which I will use in other dishes.  My suggestion is to make half her quantities, maybe even a quarter, unless you want to have a lot of dukkah in your pantry

I didn't have any buttermilk, so I made some by adding 2-3 teaspoons of lemon juice to half a cup of full cream milk.  Give it a good stir and leave for a couple of minutes 

N.B. the amount of glaze made is also humongous.  I dipped half my doughnuts twice and still had a bit over, so you may want to halve the original amount

heaps of dukkah left over 

Thursday 15 March 2018

What I Did Last Summer, or Our Tassie Trip

Mr P. and I had been talking about heading down to Tasmania for ages.  This Year of the Dog started off with a bang, events both good and bad.  Truth to tell, we were feeling a bit battered, bemused and besmirched.  "Let's go to Tassie now!" I said, so we did.  

So here is a wee photo essay as they say, about our trip to Tassie:

what is this, you may well ask?

Yep, you guessed it!  This is a giant, inflatable raspberry.  What do you mean you didn't guess?  Looks kinda obscene to me.  This is sitting in the grounds of the Westerway Raspberry Farm, doing its knobbly, warty thing.  

a hops farm

Tasmania grows a lot of hops, as you can see.  And brews a lot of beer.  This is a farm near New Norfolk, hops heading off into the distance.  They also grow a lot of opium poppies, which have tiny wee fences around the crops.  Not sure why people don't jump over and grab them - maybe they do?  

the apartment in which we stayed

See those windows on the top right?  That's where we stayed.  It was a huge space with views over the water and back to the mountain.  Just glorious.  The building itself was constructed in 1826.  Thank goodness, the facilities are up to date :=) 

a beautiful peach tart

Well, since this is (mostly) a food blog, I thought I'd better stick in some food photos.  Here we have a most delicious little peach tart from Jackman and McRoss, wonderful bakers in Battery Point, Hobart.  There is something about pastries and breads made in a cool climate that is just so very delicious.

some Hobart street art in Salamanca Square

Regular readers will know I am a huge fan of public art, be it sculpture or murals aka graffiti :=)  This is a fabulous bronze dog taking a photo of a Marilyn Monroe-esque lady rabbit.  Mm, interesting but odd, a bit like your regular Taswegian.  Just joking, Tassie friends.  This bronze artwork is by husband and wife team Gillie and Marc.  The figures are known as Dogman and Rabbitgirl, and feature in other works by this arty duo.

on top of Mt. Wellington looking out to the Derwent River

Mr P. and I always drive up the mountain when we are in Hobart.  How can you not?  It is always several degrees cooler, and even in summer, you can find snow up there at times.  It is so very high, and a bit scary for a person who doesn't like heights. (Yes, me).

fabulous mousse cake 

Our Tassie friends suggested we get ourselves to Daci and Daci Bakers to try some of their delicious cakes, so we did.  After wandering through the Saturday morning Salamanca market, we meandered along and sat down to some coffee and cake.  It felt like being in a trendy Melbourne café; not a bad thing.

courtyard of Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery 

We then trotted off to the Art Gallery for a look-see.  The Gallery has had some restoration work done recently, so you now enter through this courtyard.  Inside, the ceiling space has been opened up, so you can see right to the top of the building.

(stuffed) birds swooping over head 

church at Richmond

There is so much history visible in Tasmania.  Historical buildings standing from colonial times are plentiful, like this decorative old church.  If you are a fan of architecture and/or history, Tasmania holds many delights.

ferns and falls

We headed to Mt. Field National Park with some friends who live in Hobart.  And took a gentle walk up (or is that down?) to Russell Falls.  A lovely and peaceful spot.  I do love a temperate rainforest.

Mr P. looking contemplative

Hubby standing in front of the new-ish MACq 01 hotel on Hunter Street.  This hotel is right on the waterfront, next to the cruise ships.  Built on the old Hunter Island, the bushrangers who were hanged here still lurk in the depths beneath the hotel.  Our hotel is very close to this one, but not quite as pricey.  Maybe next time.

who are these odd people?

Yep, that's me and Mr P., looking strangely distorted at the front of MONA - Museum of Old and New Art.  The entrance is a huge mirror as you can see.  In we went, to be confronted and amused and maybe even a bit shocked by the exhibits (and the huge entrance fee of $28 each!).  This was our third time and probably our last.  I think Mr. Walsh may have gone a step too far for the Pickings' folk.

Well that was a quick look into our Tassie break.  Always delightful, always leaves us wanting more.  Mm, maybe another visit coming up soon?

Thursday 8 March 2018

Chicken Bacon And Mushroom Fettuccine

All the world loves pasta I'm told, but I don't think I got the memo.  I eat it when offered, or make it to please Mr P. who is a massive pasta fan.  Did I say massive?:=)  So being such a kind soul, I made this for him recently.  This is another recipe from Chelsea Winter's book Homemade Happiness.  There are lots of delicious-sounding dishes here, but I'm a wee bit bemused by her frequent use of large amounts of stock that she boils down for aeons, then thickens with a roux aka cornflour slurry.  Huh?  Why?  Maybe it's a Kiwi thing? or should that be 'thung'?

creamy chicken mushroom and bacon fettuccine

Serves 4:


225g. rindless bacon, chopped into smallish pieces

700g. approx of skinless chicken thigh fillets (i.e. no bones)

sea salt and ground black pepper

2 tbs olive oil

25g. (2.5 dsp) butter

7 garlic cloves, crushed or finely chopped

350g. mushrooms, thinly sliced

125 mLs (1/2 cup) dry white wine

1 tbs fresh herbs, finely chopped - use your fave - thyme, parsley etc

zest of 1 lemon

1 tsp chicken stock powder stirred into 125 mLs (1/2 cup) of boiling water

375 mLs (1.5 cups) of cream 

125g. (1 cup) parmesan, grated

1.5 tbs cornflour mixed in with 65 mLs (1/4 cup) of milk

1 cup of cooked peas, or 2 cups of baby spinach leaves

2 tbs parsley, finely chopped

fresh basil, torn with your fingers - try a handful, or to taste

350g. of fettucine, cooked as per the packet instructions


First fry the bacon pieces in a large frypan over medium-high heat

Scoop them out when nicely browned and put aside

Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel and sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper

Add 1 tbs olive oil to the pan, bring to the heat and place the chicken fillets in the pan

Let them cook till you have a lovely brown colour on the bottom, then turn the chicken over and brown the other side

Set it aside while you add the other 1 tbs olive oil, the butter and the garlic to the pan

Stir over medium heat for a minute or 2

Add the mushrooms, wine, herbs and lemon zest

Allow to bubble away for a minute

Now into the pan goes the chopped up chicken, bacon, stock, cream, parmesan and cornflour slurry/roux

Let it simmer for about 10 minutes till it thickens and melds

Throw in the peas or spinach leaves, and the parsley and basil

Season with salt and pepper if needed

Toss as much of the fettuccine as you fancy in with the sauce

Throw on some extra parmesan and herbs if you feel inclined


Chelsea's recipe actually starts with reducing 2 cups of stock to 1/2 cup stock before you do anything else;  mmm frankly I have better things to do with my time so I figured adding stock powder to half a cup of boiling water would do instead - but feel free:=)

Chelsea also suggests using 500g. of pasta!  Mr P. told me that was too much, but I cooked it anyway.  Oh boy, was it too much.  If I had put it all in with the sauce, there would have been very little sauce and very little flavour.  And it was just way too much, but once again, feel free

ingredients gathered

bacon fried off

chicken cooked till golden

get Mr P. to chop up the chook

stir in the chicken, bacon etc

snip up the pasta if you like it shorter 

I'm not that keen on slurping up long strands of wet pasta, and having it drip all over my chin.  So, I grab a pair of scissors and give it a snip or 3 in the colander.  Yep, much better.

Mr P. tossing the pasta

sprinkle with extra parmesan and herbs if desired 

This was a really flavoursome, filling pasta dish that fed me and hubby for a couple of nights.  Chelsea's books are packed with homey, comforting dishes.  But I reckon you can skip or adjust some of her steps.  Spending 20 minutes to reduce down some stock for this dish is just not practical for the busy home cook.  Sure if you have plenty of time, go ahead, but I reckon we all need to simplify where possible.  Her recipes can easily be adjusted, so enjoy her books if you get hold of them.  She has some great ideas, which will give you some inspiration even if you don't slavishly follow her methods.

my herby, thymey-wimey doodle

Thursday 1 March 2018

In My Kitchen - March 2018

So, the Year of the Dog has started off the blocks with a bang.  I barely saw February flash by, did you?  Mr P. and I are both dogs, Chinese horoscope-wise I mean, so this is our year.  So far, it has been strange and different and new.  I figure it is a year of change, and change can be either good or bad.  Who knows what else the year will bring?  But I've been lucky enough to get a few new goodies in my kitchen, so let's have a look.

I know you know the drill, but here it is again:

1. Adding via the link button at the bottom of this post.  Instructions can be found on the sidebar of this page, under Add your IMK link
2. Comment on this post, providing a link to your post so I can add it to the linky list below
3. Email me: sherrym1au@gmail.com, with your link or any queries about the link process

Here in my kitchen:

semi-frozen tomato juice

Yep, I bet you were wondering what that is.  The grocery store delivered a feeble brand of tomato juice to me, which I was going to pour down the sink.  Then I thought - ah ha - freeze it and use it in stews and soups.  Et voilà!  Very useful.

gorgeous new mug

I bought this one at the Hobart Airport on our way back home to Brisbane.  It really spoke to me!  Made by a local artist Mark Knight; speckled with cute dots on the inside - the mug, not the potter.

yep just like the label says 

Bought this one at an info centre at Mt. Field National Park, about 60 kilometres north-west of Hobart.  We took a lovely walk through the temperate rainforest, up to Russell Falls.  Such a lovely day.   

sweet little chestnut wood tumbler

This was another Tasmanian find, which I bought in a wonderful deli cum greengrocer cum wine store cum kitchenware-store cum florist ... well, you get the gist.  Needless to say I was in foodie 7th heaven.

as per the label :=) 

Funnily enough, I got this in Tassie, but it is a Queensland product.  Oh the irony of going all that way to get it:=)

yep another bottle of mystery sauce 

I can't resist the siren call of the Japanese grocer, so I was there again last week buying more fishy rice crackers and this mystery sauce.  Hopefully, it is a type of soy sauce, but who knows? 


This is my fave smoked salt of all time, and I have tried quite a few.  This one reminds me of childhood; rainy days in the mountains and heading off into foggy lanes ... It is divine, my friends.

rice crackers

As you can see, they are 100% - something!  Very hard to bite into, but delicious nonetheless.  Probably full of MSG and salts and artificial flavours - or maybe just full of dried fish.  Dried bonito flakes are a recurring theme in Japanese snacks, I have found.

Well, as usual, I have other things to show you, but that will have to wait.  My patience (and yours) only goes so far:=)  Tee hee.  I refuse, I refuse I tell you, to say that awful LOL.  Hoping to see many of you keen blogger types here this month.  Cheers!


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Sherrys Pickings