Sunday, 1 August 2021

In My Kitchen - August 2021

Today I'm busy with spring cleaning even though it's still mid-Winter.  There's just something about the light when the sun is low in the sky and very bright, and the sky is that intense polarised blue.  It's glorious, but shows up every bit of dust that has gathered for the last ... mmm ... several months.  So I've grabbed a bamboo paper towel, and am happily wiping down the dust of the ages from the window shutters.  I love these towels!  They work a treat, and you can reuse them, and reuse and reuse ...  

August will be a busy month for me and Mr P.  We're giving a talk at our local historical society; I'm having more dental work, and I'm on a committee to update some 'totem poles' at our local Library.  These poles have photos and short bios of significant people in our neighbourhood.  Will be fun!  Anyways, come join us everyone for another In My Kitchen post.  Everybody is welcome!



a corner of my kitchen

Our kitchen faces north-east, which is perfect in a Queensland house.  And did you know you can no longer buy double sinks with double draining boards as we have here?  How silly.  I love these!


In My Kitchen:



my new Japanese knife (and cheese)

This is a beautiful, hand-forged knife made by Yoshifumi Otsuka, a third generation blacksmith in Japan.  It is a thing of beauty.


delicious little pies

I made a bundle of meaty little pies, which vanished very quickly.  I gave a couple to our neighbour, but Mr P. and I consumed the rest in a day or two.


love this cloth!

This is a fabulous compostable cloth.  I love it.  It's sturdy, you can wash it over and over, and chuck it in the washing machine.  And it's compostable.  Wonderful!


and tasty crisps

These crisps come from New Zealand, and are very tasty.  And best of all, the bag is - yes, you guessed it! - compostable.


lots of lovely mandarins

Our friend Brooke the potter stayed overnight, bringing these fruity goodies from a friend's tree.  I know what you're thinking: 'but they look so gnarly, so bad!'  But inside they were beautiful, so full of flavour and colour.  I've never had such sweet mandarins.  They are Page mandarins, a cross between a Clementine and a tangelo.  So juicy, so sweet, so delish!  Thus spake Gollum, tee hee.


goodies

My cousin sent me the sardines and saffron for my birthday, and I bought the Tumami online.  Alice was a Masterchef Aust contestant a few years ago.  She has written a fab vegetable book which I have on my shelves, and she's on radio and tv these days.  The spread is black garlic and tomato in case you can't read the label.


dinner!

We fed our friend grilled salmon, and a couscous dish served on my lovely Batch Ceramics platter.  I added edamame, roasted capsicum, parsley, sesame seeds, nuts and a yuzu oil dressing.  We scoffed the lot!


and here's my curveball

You see those fruity cards on the bottom left?  They are mine,  and are for sale in a mate's shop.  I hope I sell a few :-)  Or lots!


Here we have the usual reminder, folks: 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 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


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Monday, 26 July 2021

Strawberry And Blackberry Ice Cream With Spiced Cherry Compote

Strawberries and blackberries and cherries?  Yes of course.  Why not gild the lily, I say? :-)  Sure, it's not blackberry or cherry season but that's what freezers were invented for.  And yes it IS strawberry season here in sunny Queensland, though the ones I bought were a bit less ripe than I expected :( 

I know I've mentioned it before, but my sister and I used to pick wild blackberries for the local jam factory when we were kids, braving spiders and thorns and crazy drivers at times.  Can you imagine parents now letting their young kids go wandering off into the bush alone?  Or for that matter, can you imagine a jam factory taking in any and every berry that came their way, regardless of roadside spraying, poisons etc?  Oh, how times have changed.


oh so fruity!


This recipe is a mash-up of two recipes, one found in a book A Culinary Journey by Peter Gordon, the Kiwi chef, and the other from the blog Tin and Thyme, authored by Choclette, a UK blogger.  And with a bit of extra inspo from a recipe by Joanne from the blog Olive & Mango.  The compote is a winner, my friends - a wee bit of heat, sweet with the ginger, and a little bit spicy with the chilli.  Mr. Gordon is such a clever Kiwi chap (neither a fruit nor a bird, you see).



Makes 1.5-ish Litres:

 

ingredients:


For the 2 ice cream flavours:


300 g./10.5 oz of strawberries + 250g./9 oz of blackberries

1-2 tbs white balsamic vinegar or 1 tsp rosewater

2 tsp vanilla paste or extract

2 tbs Chambord liqueur or fruity liqueur of your choice

600 mL/20 oz thickened cream

300g./9 oz condensed milk


Cherry Compote:


150 mL/5 oz white balsamic vinegar or verjuice (or 80 mL lemon juice + 80 mL apple juice)

50 mL/1.7 oz water

100g./3.5 oz caster sugar

2 cloves

1 tsp fresh ginger, grated

1/2 red chilli, finely chopped

300g./10.5 oz cherries, pitted and halved


Extra strawberries or blackberries, to serve

Dried organic rose petals, to strew on top


Method:


Chuck the strawberries, HALF the balsamic (or rosewater), and HALF the vanilla paste into a blender or food processor and whizz away for about 20 seconds till puréed

Pour out into a bowl, then throw the blackberries, the other half of the balsamic and vanilla into the blender - and whizz till you have a purée

Stir the Chambord into the blackberry purée

Beat the cream in a large bowl with electric beaters until you have pillowy soft peaks

Gently whisk the condensed milk into the cream for a few seconds, then spoon out HALF of it into another bowl

You now have 2 bowls with the cream and condensed milk mixture into which you will gently fold the strawberry purée in one bowl, and the blackberry purée into the second bowl of cream

Pour into 2 containers and freeze for at least 6 hours or overnight (Choclette says she used a 1 litre container and a half-litre container - see my Notes below)

Make the compote whenever you fancy, as you will be waiting quite some time for the ice cream to freeze :-)


Compote:


Place all the ingredients EXCEPT the cherries into a small saucepan, bring to a boil, then simmer rapidly for 5 minutes

Now tip in the cherries, and simmer away for about 6-8 minutes till starting to go thick and syrupy - WATCH IT carefully as it bubbles up within seconds, as I found to my cost or should I say to Mr P.'s cost as he cleaned up the mess for me :-)

Let it cool, which was not a problem for me as I made the compote just after the ice cream, and so had 6 hours to wait - and don't forget to REMOVE the cloves

Serve a scoop of each of the lovely, pinky ice creams with the cherry compote, spooned over in a glorious pink lava - 'tra-la-la', and topped with more strawberries or blackberries or cherries if you wish to really gild the lily - and believe me, I always do!  And if feeling festive, cast on some rose petals for bling


Notes:


Choclette says you can use 2 tbs rose syrup (not rosewater) in the ice cream but I didn't have that!

I used white balsamic vinegar as I had no verjuice.  It is light and tangy and a wee bit sweet so it was perfect for the job

I used frozen cherries and blackberries, as we are mid-Winter, so too early for fresh

I just discovered that the ever-so-handy 200 gram tube of condensed milk is now only 170 grams!!  I have written an indignant email to Nestlé!

I used a 1.4L ice cream tub, plus a loaf tin that I'd lined with freezer film

Throw in a tablespoon of maple syrup to the purées if you wish for a bit of extra sweetness



strawberries ready for hulling

blackberry purée + cherries

whisk the cream to soft peaks

whip the cream and whisk in the con. milk gently

the fruit purées and the whipped cream and con. milk

tip the ice cream into the lined loaf tin

both ice creams ready for 6 hours in the freezer

ready for simmering

simmer away

bung in the cherries

oopsie!  one burnt burner

that's one tasty compote

sweet, hot, spicy - perfect



© Sherry M.

Monday, 19 July 2021

Mandarin Olive Oil Cake

This cake is the third in my series of olive oil cakes, and it's a ripper.  I had some mandarin-pressed oil lurking in my pantry so this was a fab way to use it.  I'm an olive oil obsessive as regular readers will know already.  I have lemon-pressed, and lime-pressed and mandarin-pressed; oh yes and now I have yuzu-pressed, plus all sorts of EVOO from various farms and groves.  

A few years ago we were holidaying down in South Australia, and headed to wine country to check out the wineries and olive groves.  So off we trotted to a farm in the Barossa Valley (or Clare Valley says Mr P.).  We found the farm, and drove up the long, gravel driveway to the homestead.  We saw the farmer's wife (I presume) on the front verandah, who upon seeing us, ran off into the paddocks never to be seen again!  So we headed back to our cottage, which was this smoke-ridden, tiny stone building stuck out in a field in the middle of nowhere.  Fun times, my friends :-)  Anyway, let's enjoy cake ... 



tangy and citrus-y


(Recipe from Taste.com.au by Katrina Woodman, with a few tweaks)


Serves 8:


ingredients:


155g. (3/4 cup) caster sugar

4 large eggs, separated

3 mandarins, zested

125 mL (1/2 cup) extra virgin olive oil (I used mandarin-pressed)

60 mL (1/4 cup) fresh mandarin juice

115g. (3/4 cup) plain flour

85g. (3/4 cup) almond meal

icing sugar, to serve


Method:


Turn the oven to 180C/360F to heat up

Grab a 22cm/9 in springform pan, grease base and sides, and line with baking paper

Reserve 2 tbs of the caster sugar!  And beat the egg yolks, mandarin zest and the rest of the sugar (in a large bowl) with electric beaters until thick and doubled and leaves a ribbon trail when you lift the beaters

Whisk the oil and juice in a jug

Combine the flour and almond meal in a small bowl

Add the olive oil mixture to the egg yolk mixture in a slow stream, alternating with the flour mixture in batches, till everything is just combined

Make sure your beaters are super clean! and beat the egg whites and the 2 tbs reserved sugar till you have firm peaks

Then fold in half the egg whites into the flour mixture (with a big metal spoon) till just combined

Gently fold in the rest of the egg whites, and then pour the batter into your prepared pan

Bake for 35-40 minutes till a skewer comes out clean, and let rest for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely

Dust with icing sugar when serving, and add a dollop of mascarpone!


Notes:


Being the lazy gal I am, I peeled the mandarins and chucked the rind into a food processor rather than zest by hand - who has time for that? :-)

And I used bought mandarin juice!  Yep crazy since I had fresh fruit there, but it's darn difficult to juice mandarins and I already had the 100% juice in the fridge, so I ate the fruits - tee hee



beat the egg yolks, zest and sugar together

whisk the oil and juice together

all ready to combine into a tangy batter

beat the egg whites and sugar till thick, and firm peaks abound

fold in the egg whites

into the oven at 180C for 35-40 mins.

golden and gorgeous

cool it right down, baby

see, I've sliced into it already ...


© Sherry M.


(Joining in with Marg from Intrepid Reader blog for Weekend Cooking)


Friday, 9 July 2021

Chicken Sausage And Zucchini Pizza

I was watching a food show on SBS (our multicultural tv channel) the other day, and someone made a pizza bianca with sausage and broccoli.  I decided I had to make it (with a twist or two).  Mr P. gave me a Danish dough whisk for my birthday, and I was keen to try it out.  I've been trying to find an easy and tasty pizza dough recipe for yonks, and yes my friends, this is it!  I was super stoked.  And as regular readers may remember, I'm not a tomato fan so a bianca is a blessing - :-)  Yay, no tomatoes!

Though I do have fond memories of eating pizza by the slice in Rome.  Going into a pizza bar near the Pantheon and just ordering various slices of delicious pizza by the centimetre - ah, such brilliant times!  And then there was McDonald's on the Spanish Steps ...  A tiny bit incongruous it seemed to us.  I also remember disgustingly awful slices of pizza you could buy as street food in Italy.  OMG!  So bad.  So odd to have the best and the worst in the same place.


pretty darn tasty, my dears!


(Recipe by Lucy Tweed)

Serves 4: (or 2 according to SBS!)

ingredients:


Dough:


300g. (2 cups) plain flour

330g. (1¼ cups) plain Greek yoghurt

7g. (2¼ tsp) sachet dry yeast

1/2 tsp caster sugar

1 tsp fine salt


Topping:


2 tbs EV olive oil

2 chicken or beef sausages (about 200g./7 oz), squeezed out of their casings, and ripped into chunks

1 medium zucchini, sliced thinly

1 garlic clove, crushed or chopped finely

100 mL (1/2 cup) creme fraiche

2 tbs parmesan, grated

1/2 tsp chilli flakes

1/2 tsp dried oregano

150g. (5 oz) mozzarella, thinly sliced or grated

85g. (3 oz) button mushrooms, sliced thinly

salt and ground black pepper, to taste

2 tbs parsley, finely chopped (optional)


Method:


Place all the dough ingredients in a large mixing bowl, and stir together well.  Add more flour or yoghurt as necessary to get a soft dough (see notes below).  Turn out onto a lightly floured bench and knead till smooth (this took about 20 seconds!).  Place in an oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth/tea towel and leave in a warm place to prove for 20 minutes

In the meantime, heat the olive oil in a medium frypan, throw in your sausage chunks and fry off till almost cooked through and golden-brown on the outside

Then throw in the sliced zucchini and garlic; stir and allow to cook for just 2 or 3 minutes - and put aside till needed

Turn your oven to 220C/425F to warm up

Now take the dough out of the bowl, and knead it briefly (they say), though I found it only needed patting like on a baby's bottom a few times - you couldn't really call it kneading :-)

Shape into a ball and roll out till about 40 cm/16 in. round and 1 cm/ ½ in. thick - see notes below

Place the rolled-out dough onto a pizza tray (or 2) on which you have cast a wee bit of plain flour to stop it sticking

Gently mix together the creme fraiche and parmesan in a bowl, then spread over the dough

Sprinkle with the chilli flakes and oregano, and top with the mozzarella

Place the mushroom slices over the mozzarella

Season with the salt and pepper, and place the vegetables and sausage pieces (and parsley) over the mushrooms 

Bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese is golden and bubbling, and it looks and smells delicious, golden and has a perfectly-cooked bottom :-)

Serve with a green salad


Notes:


My flour was very dry so I ended up adding an extra 100 grams of yoghurt = 430 grams all up

I left my dough to prove for about 25-30 minutes, without any problems

I used 3 medium mushrooms

I don't have a pizza tray that is 40 cm, so I used my usual 30cm/12 in tray and another small, rectangular tray (and I like a thin base so I rolled it out to just under 1 cm)

P.S. I'd only recommend the dough whisk for dry ingredients.  It got all glued up with the wet stuff :-) 



mix the dough ingredients together

pat your dough till smooth

give it a wee knead ét voilà - a beautiful dough


fry up the sausage chunks and the veg.

place the rolled-out dough on the tray(s)

add the creme fraiche + parmesan, and mozza and mushies!

add snags, veg. and seasoning

pile on the sausages and veg.

golden and crispy

hoe in folks! and we did ...


© Sherry M.

Thursday, 1 July 2021

In My Kitchen - July 2021

It's July - my June birthday done, the Winter Solstice over, and we're heading into summer (meteorologically-speaking).  We had a weekend away, we got home before any border closures and here we are!  But we are back to mask-wearing as of last night.  Sigh!  And ... Breaking News ... now we're in lockdown as of 6 pm!!  

So what do I have here In My Kitchen?  Let's see ... There are lots of birthday gifts but I'll save some of them for the next IMK post.  And I'll share a few with you now.  P.S. I'm now using Follow.it as my email subs service, so I am really hoping you get my emails about new posts.  Maybe check junk mail or Spam?  Damn Blogger for their constant changes! :-(


In My Kitchen:


EV olive oil from Kangaroo Island

You know I can't resist another bottle of EVOO.  This one is from Kangaroo Island, out in the middle of the Great Australian Bight, hanging off the edge of South Australia.  Beautiful oil!


birthday fridge magnet from a friend

She knows me well!   Love that birthday card.  And how about Doug?  If only he'd popped out of a cake naked (tee hee).


kitchen shears

Mr P. bought me these kitchen shears/scissors which have a bottle opener as part of the handles.  Handles?  Is that what you call them?


Tudor flouncy mugs by Miss B.

Miss B. made me two beautiful flouncy mugs for my birthday.  That's the balcony of our hotel room overlooking the Richmond River.  What a wonderfully relaxing weekend it was, just before coming back into lockdown!  


a beautiful tea towel

My sister gave me this lovely tea-towel.  Fairy wrens are one of my fave birds!  And such cheeky little devils, with the male having his harem of several lovely ladies.


a Danish dough whisk

I've seen several vloggers use these in baking, so I had to get one.  Thanks Mr P. for another fab birthday gift!  I'm going to make pizza next week so I'll try it out then.


my curveball - avocado earrings!

I got these from an Etsy seller called Sweet Complete in Tasmania.  She makes the best stuff!  I have two more pairs on the way - a honey pot with honey toast, and a burger with fries :-)  So stinking cute, as Emmy the food vlogger says!


FYI, virtual friends, the usual reminder: 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 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



please add this logo to your post if you feel inclined :-)



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