Monday, 18 October 2021

Tuna Green Beans And Red Potatoes Salad

As regular readers know, I have been out of action for many weeks due to a broken rib and other health issues.  I think I'm seeing some light at the end of this loooong and painful tunnel, so here we have a new post from me!  With the dish mostly put together by Mr P., we made a salad with some tuna fillets.  He is on a new eating plan (as am I) so we are eating many salads and lots of raw nuts and seeds.

And I really want to say a big thank you to everyone who has asked after me, and sent me well wishes.  I really appreciate the concern and care.  It's very cheering to know there is a wonderful and caring blogging community out there.  Who knew that starting a blog all those years ago would lead to lovely new friends?


tasty and healthy (crumbs, that fish looks weird)


ingredients:


400-500g./1 lb raw tuna fillets (or meaty fish of your choice)

8 baby red potatoes (about 450g./1 lb), boiled or steamed till tender

200g./7 oz green beans, boiled or steamed till done

3-4 large eggs, boiled and halved

2 x baby cos or Gem lettuces, chopped roughly

1/2 tin (200g.) cannellini beans, drained

a big handful of pitted green olives (or black or stuffed)

cherry tomatoes - a biiiig handful (or 2) is good

and a biiig handful of nuts and sunflower seeds and pepitas

herbs - lots! - I used parsley and chives

a dressing of your choice - I used a miso and sesame vinaigrette

salt and pepper 


Method:


Grill or bake or fry the tuna till medium-rare or however you like it, and let it cool

Boil or steam the halved spuds till tender and allow to cool

Boil or steam the trimmed green beans till ... just right for you

Boil the eggs as you like them, and peel 'em!

Wash and pull the lettuce apart, and shake off excess water

Drain the cannellini (use them all, or put half into the fridge for later)

Halve the olives and tomatoes (or leave whole, as you choose)

Chop or tear the herbs

Make your dressing (or shake it out from the bottle)

Flake the fish apart, chuck everything into a big bowl, whack in the dressing and toss gently - or just serve the fish fillet in one piece as we did :-) 


Notes:


Make sure you buy good quality fish; we bought frozen fillets and they were a wee bit ... well, not so nice (I am going to email the company as their cooking instructions were abominable!)  But use a good brand of tinned or jarred tuna if you are pressed for time ... or energy (I like to use a jar of tuna in EVOO)

Use whatever potato you fancy - I just happen to like the texture and colour of these red babies


cook up your fish

get Mr P. to halve the tomatoes

chuck everything into a big salad bowl

boil those eggs

in go the potatoes and olives

add dressing

all in the bowl

and eat (yes, it really is tuna, I promise)

Thanks once again to those who asked after me.  It helped to know people were thinking of me, in a very dark hour!  And to those who sent cards (and a book!), I thank you from the bottom of my vulnerable and grateful heart.



© Sherry M.


Friday, 1 October 2021

In My Kitchen - October 2021

Update:  This will be quick!  I am not well, but have managed to put up a bit of an IMK post.  This is as far as I got - Hello friends!  Here we are, and here I am - back again and mostly in one piece (not so much anymore).  What a long, hard haul it has been.  Do NOT ever slip on a wet bathroom floor!  Still seems unreal that such a tiny slip could cause so much bother.  


In My Kitchen:


more Tassie EV olive oil 

Yep, more EVOO.  I bought this some time ago, and it's still in my pantry.  Mr P. and I are trying to cut down our fat intake, so it may sit for a bit longer.


some Greek goodies from The Greek Providore

I bought these recently online from a Sydney retailer, thinking I had been a customer before - but no!  These are from the Greek Providore while I had previously bought from the Grecian Purveyor.  Not important of course, but just a bit funny.  And everything is delicious.


Japanese knife made by Yoshifumi Otsuka

Otsuka-san is a third-generation blacksmith in Japan.  The knife is made from Japanese iron sand and walnut.  It's such a lovely piece, and feels wonderful in the hand.


a cute little sake cup from Magnolia Mountain

I have quite a few items from Magnolia Mountain, as you may have noticed in previous IMKs.  But would anyone be able to resist this little darling?  It's a sake cup but I will find other uses for it.


the cutest little fridge magnets!

Aren't these adorable?  They are little budgies of course - budgerigars - native Aussie birds.  Soooo cute.  And looking so stinking cute (as YouTube vlogger EmmyMade would say) on my fridge.  They are handpainted rocks, made in Queensland by Tammy of Awkward Art.


you know how I love sprinkles :-)

These were delicious - light and sweet and covered in sprinkles - with just a slight whiff of egg white, which can only be a good thing 'cos you know they're real.


beautiful Meyer lemons

One of our Tassie friends was passing through Brisbane on the weekend, and gifted us these golden globes from her garden.  Mm, now what to make?  Lemon curd, lemon cordial, limoncello ...


Hope to see you with an IMK post - everyone welcome!  Check out my previous IMK posts for info as to how to join in.  Sorry, I am too sick to do more right now :-(  And I may not get to commenting on your posts for a while.  Take care!


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Friday, 24 September 2021

Rosewater And Walnut Biscuits/Cookies

Hey guys!  I'm back - well, sort of, kinda, mostly.  Still aching a bit, still a bit stiff, and with an aching arm from the jab!  You know what I mean :-)  My mantra this year is a quote from Julian of Norwich, the 14th century theologian and mystic: "All shall be well ... and all manner of things shall be well."  Her optimism is something for all of us to live by in these troubled times.  I find it helpful to chant this (to myself) when at the dentist also (which I have been to 5 times this year already).  

But harking back to food ... are you a fan of rosewater or lavender or violet flavours in foods?  Yes, I am!  So what if it reminds you of your grandmum's face powder?  I love it, so these biscuits suit me down to the ground.  Here is another of Thalia Ho's recipes from her book Wild Sweetness.  Funny co-incidence re Thalia - I have an artist friend who has a friend who is the mother of Thalia.  Or did I tell you that already?  Talk about 6 degrees of separation ...



all the rosy deliciousness


Makes 16-20 biscuits:


ingredients:

280g./10 oz plain flour 

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp sea salt

150g./5.3 oz butter (unsalted if you wish)

170g./6 oz light brown sugar

100g./3.5 oz white sugar

1 large egg

2-3 tsp rosewater

2 tsp vanilla extract

170g./6 oz dark chocolate, coarsely chopped - I used Lindt 70% which is easily broken up by hand

70g./2.5 oz walnuts, chopped

sea salt flakes, for scattering on top

dried organic rose petals for finishing (optional)


Method:


Place the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a medium bowl and whisk together

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan on medium-low heat, stirring often

Pour the melted butter into a large bowl, tip in both sugars and whisk till combined

Whisk in the egg, then the rosewater and vanilla

Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture

Mix well with a wooden spoon till a soft dough has just formed, and mix in the chocolate and walnuts

Cover, and whack into the fridge for 30 minutes

When nearly ready to start baking, put your oven racks on the lower and upper thirds of the stove

Heat the oven to 180C/350F, and line two baking trays with baking paper

You can use a tablespoon or your hands to scoop out and roll the dough onto your trays - about 8-10 on each tray, leaving a bit of room to spread

Scatter some sea salt flakes and rose petals, then bake for 10-12 minutes, swapping the baking trays halfway through the baking time until you have golden biscuits, with crisp edges and soft centres

Allow to relax and cool for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely



melt the butter

whisk the ingredients together to form a soft dough

here it be! - a soft dough

mix in the chocolate and nuts

ready for scooping onto the trays

halfway thru baking

cooling on the rack

I added a bit of bling

oozy and chocolatey

I handed a few out to the neighbours and to Mr P.'s staff, and they were well-received.  Looks like other people enjoy a bit of flowery flavour in their foods too, especially if you add oozy chocolate.  I actually made these the day of my accident, so I suppose you could say that was good timing, 'cos I don't think I'll be baking for a while yet.


© Sherry M.

Wednesday, 1 September 2021

In My Kitchen - September 2021

Newsflash!  I slipped on a wet floor in the bathroom a few nights ago - result - one broken rib, one strained neck muscle, shock and bruises.  Suffice to say, I’m not feeling great, my dear virtual friends. Luckily I had written most of this post beforehand, so here it is in all its bumpy glory :-)

I love September!  It's the start of Spring, it's beautiful weather, it's new beginnings, it's delightful.  I'm really keen on new beginnings!  This year has been - what's the word? - stressful and weird and tiring and odd ...  I need a new start, my fellow blogger friends.  I'm counting on you, Spring.  (And this was before I fell!)


In my kitchen:


we ate delicious chocolate

I didn't know for quite some years that macadamias are indigenous to this area - i.e. - south east Queensland and northern New South Wales.  Those Hawaiians were very clever in making it seem that these splendiferous nuts came from their area.  Blame the Queen!  Apparently she would only eat them from Hawaii.  What a turncoat :-)
 

we slathered the paté on crackers

Haven't tried the pickled ones yet.  Hope they're tasty.  Another newsflash!:  yes, very tasty, just a tiny bit too soft and sweet for me.  I like my pickled veg crisp and tangy - but these are not bad.

I munched on rice crackers and Pocky 

I love our local Japanese grocery shop.  So much fun to be had trying to decipher what you are buying.  And what the heck am I going to do with those sardines?  Mr P. refuses to eat them, silly lad.  Sardines in soy - so interesting I couldn't resist.  And as for that savoury custard powder stuff ...  We'll see down the track what that's like. 


you can never have enough EVOO

Patrice only has olive oil every so often, so I leaped at the chance to buy some this year.  You have to buy a minimum of three, so I keep two and give one to friends.  It's biodynamic and grown on her farm in the Hunter Valley - where she has to deal with water being diverted to huge cotton farms up north, and to the various coal mines and huge properties in the Valley.  Such a shame.  I was ignorant of the politics of water until I read her fascinating book The River.



We went to The Source Bulk Food Store

Another fun food shop.  They have food items in bulk and you can scoop up however much you want.  They also have really interesting things like dragonfruit powder.  (Blog post coming up, once the rib is better.)



and I bought another #Batchceramics dish in emerald green


How gorgeous is this!  Such a glorious colour.  Kinda reminds me of the eye of Sauron, though not so red - tee hee :-)



I added another sculpture by Maggie Brockie to my collection

Isn't this wonderful?  I have been collecting Maggie's work for ages, and this one really spoke to me.  I have named her Juno.  And she is my curveball for this month.  Maggie has called this Coming into Being #1, but I always name the artworks I buy, so Juno she is.

So that’s it for this month. Please join in, global readers. Looking forward to your posts.  Here's the usual reminder, my dears: IMK posts are about your kitchen (and kitchen garden) happenings over the past month.  Dishes you've cooked, preserves you've made, herbs and veg in your garden, kitchen gadgets, and goings-on.  You get the picture.  And throw in a curveball! - whatever you fancy; no need to be kitchen-related.  The link is open from the first to midnight on the thirteenth of the month.  Let me know if you need help with adding your post, or if you would like it added manually by me after the 13th (if you're running late). Here's how to join in:

Options for adding your post to IMK:

1. Add via the Add Link button at the bottom of this post.  Instructions can be found on the sidebar of this page, under the Add your IMK link OR:

2. Comment on this post, providing a link to your post so I can add it manually to the list below OR:

3. Email me: sherrym1au@gmail.com, with your link or any queries about the link process


In My Kitchen:

NotQuiteNigella

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Wednesday, 25 August 2021

Pecan Scones

Thalia Ho's recipe for pecan scones can be found in the Woodlands section of her book Wild Sweetness.  This is the second recipe I've tried from her book, and I've got my eye on another for the blog soon.  These 'scones' end up being more like a shortbread/cake/biscuit, and none the worse for that:-)  

Speaking of pecans reminds me of buying fresh ones in the shell from a farmer in New South Wales.  Hubby and I were driving back from Melbourne (or was it Sydney?) one time, when along a country road we saw a sign for fresh nuts.  I mean, who can resist a fresh nut? :-)  

Sadly, we won't be doing that again any time soon due to Covid lockdowns.  NSW is in dire straits at the moment with recordbreaking stats for cases.  It is just a terrible situation especially for people living in the border region who can't get across to work and school.  Jabs here we come!  Anyway, let's cheer ourselves up with baking goodies!


smothered in delicious maple syrup glaze - see the vanilla seeds?


Makes 8 scones:


ingredients:


 For the scones:


70g./½ cup pecans

375g./3 cups plain flour

1 tbs baking powder

2.5 tsp ground cinnamon (yes I know it sounds like heaps!)

1/2 tsp sea salt

90g./⅓ cup + 1 tbs light brown sugar

130g./½ cup + 1 tbs butter, cold and diced

240 mL/1 cup thickened/heavy cream, plus 2-3 tbs extra for brushing the tops


For the glaze:


90g./¾ cup icing sugar

2 tbs pure maple syrup

1 tbs butter, melted

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 ground cinnamon

a pinch of salt


Method:


Place your oven racks in the lower and upper thirds of the oven, and turn the oven to 180C/350F

Line two large baking trays with baking paper

Bake the pecans on one of the trays for 10-12 minutes till toasty and golden brown - and leave to cool, then chop roughly (or politely)

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

Add the diced butter and give it a good stir to coat the butter in flour

Use a knife or a pastry cutter to cut the butter up into small pea-sized pieces - but don't get your knickers in a twist if you have some chunky bits

Add the pecans and cream to the mix, and stir together with a big spoon till roughly incorporated

Flip it out onto a floured board, and gather the dough together with your hands - don't worry! but it is difficult and seems like it won't gather itself together for a while

Pat the dough into a rough dome about 2.5cm/1 inch thick , then fold it, and turn it and fold it and turn it ... till you have turned and folded it 4 times! and you should have a nicely turned mound of dough

Cut into 8 triangles - cut into quarters then halve those, ét voilà =8!

Chuck into the freezer for 20 minutes, and turn your oven to 200C/400F

After the 20 mins., place 4 triangles on each tray, and brush on some cream

Bake for 20-22 mins, rotating the trays halfway thru the cooking time - i.e. bottom tray to top rack, and top one to bottom rack

Allow to cool on the trays for a few minutes, then place on wire racks 

Make the glaze by whisking together the icing sugar, maple syrup, butter, vanilla, cinnamon and salt till smooth

Spoon over the tops of the scones, and eat while warm, or cool, or as you fancy :-)  No need for butter, as they are fab as is.

These can stay out in an airtight container for 3 days, says Thalia



gather your ingredients

whisk the dry ingredients together in a large bowl

did I mention chopping your nuts?

and mixing in your cream and pecans

and don't forget to cut in the butter before adding the cream and nuts

pat out the dough till you have a lovely round mound

brushed with cream, and into the oven at 180C

ingredients for the glaze

baked, glazed and ready to eat

and time to chow down

I gave some to neighbours and to hubby's colleague.  They went down a treat with all.  Oh how I love maple syrup!  And pecans, and vanilla ...


© Sherry M.

Tuesday, 17 August 2021

Spicy And Fruity Berry Risotto

Like me, you probably think of risotto as a savoury dish, with vegetables and protein, but here we have a sweet, dessert version from Peter Gordon, the Kiwi chef.  And it is delicious, my virtual friends!  The fruit, the maple syrup, and that oh so creamy mascarpone combine into a sweet after-dinner pudding.

Speaking of Kiwis, as I am wont to do lately, we noticed on our trips to New Zealand that they sell massive 2 Litre/68 fl oz bottles of alcohol as a matter of course in the bottle shops.  And as our Aussie dollar is a teensy bit better than the NZ dollar, we could buy heaps of cheap liquor.  Not that we did, you understand :-)  But if we really felt the need, as we crossed their glaciers and climbed their mountains ...


and in another 5 minutes, ready to eat

Serves 6:


ingredients:


200g./7 oz risotto rice (I used arborio)

600 mL/20.3 oz water (or half/half of water and a nut milk)

60g./2.2 oz butter

1 tsp vanilla paste or extract

4 cardamom, crushed lightly

4-5 cm./2 in stick of cinnamon

2 cloves

100g./3.5 oz mascarpone

80 mL/2.7 oz maple syrup

2 tbs icing sugar

120g./4.2 oz raspberries

120g. blueberries

120g. strawberries, hulled and sliced (or chopped into chunks)

Extra fruit for serving, and extra mascarpone dolloped on top


Method:


Rinse the rice for ten seconds in a sieve under warm running water (i.e. the tap)

Into a medium-sized saucepan it goes, then add the water (or water/nutmilk) the butter, vanilla and spices

Cover with a tight-fitting lid, then bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes

Gently stir in the mascarpone, maple syrup and sugar, then tip in the berries and give it all a gentle stir

Put the lid back on, and leave it off the heat for 5 minutes

Now give it another wee stir, and serve with extra fruit and mascarpone

It is especially delicious like this whilst still warm; once refrigerated, it goes quite tacky and solid, so I suggest whacking it into the microwave for a few seconds if eating the next day


Notes:


I also suggest using a nut milk of your choice instead of all water; so make it 300 mL of water and 300 mL of maybe coconut milk or almond milk etc or maybe use ALL nut milk if you're feeling fancy



gather your ingredients

rice and spices and butter go into the pan

and simmer away for 15 mins.

about to go into the pan with the cooked rice

add the icing sugar, mascarpone and maple syrup

add the fruit and stir in gently

leave for 5 mins.

warm and creamy and spicy and fruity ... :-)



© Sherry M.