Thursday, 31 March 2011

Egg fail!

Like most normal shoppers I always open the egg carton before I buy it to check for obvious cracks.  But how was I meant to see that the bottom of one egg was stuck to the carton???

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Potato puttanesca

I love spaghetti puttanesca so when I saw a recipe for Potato Puttanesca in the March Delicious I knew I would have to test it out.

It's such a brilliantly simple concept.  All the standard puttanesca ingredients mixed with cooked potatoes rather than pasta.  Just as delicious as I expected, and much nicer than a mayo-laden or creamy potato salad on a hot night.  This one will definitely be put into high rotation during BBQ season.

Friday, 25 March 2011

Plum teacake

I saw this awesome looking recipe for plumcake on MachenMachen's blog.  When I saw the post I thought that it looked like a really interesting cake, and as I like to be prepared, I had most of the ingredients on hand.

I say that I had most of the ingredients on hand, but because of work, G actually ended up making these 2 cakes - 1 for my work and 1 for his!

The meringue looked so spongy and delicious when we cut into the cake.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Vegetable tagine salad

The name is deceptive - you do not need to cook this in a tagine, just a heat proof bowl (for the cous cous) and a roasting dish for the vegetables.

A delicious minty, lemony dressing on top, and then some lamb koftas on the side - just because they looked so good at the butchers!

Friday, 18 March 2011

Brussels sprouts with figs (and pancetta)

At the end of January thie year Mark Bittman announced that he wouldn't be writing his columnist, The Minimalist, would be finishing.  However, I still have a collection of his recipes to test out - and it seemed like a good moment to whip out his recipe for brussels sprouts, figs and pancetta (bacon) because both figs and brussels sprouts are in season right now.  When Mr Bittman made his version the figs were not in season, so he used dried figs which require slightly different treatment than the fresh ones.

Before we even bought the ingredients for this one G and I first had to decide whether it was "brussel sprouts" or "brussels sprouts"!  Once that had been decided cooking the dish was super simple.  This was definitely another recipe that implicitly began with "buy a food processor".

Cutting up the brussels sprouts would take forever otherwise!  Other than that, pretty simply - saute until done.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Delicious Mauritius

A little more food and wine festival over the weekend - the international food festival at the Queen Victoria Market.

G and I enjoyed a variety of food - starting at "Delicious Mauritius" - felafel like chilli balls and deep fried bread with salsa.

The ubiquitous "Twisto" made another showing - apparently they were also at the Greek Food Festival last weekend.

Most importantly, I learnt that every culture has a version of meat in bread - G enjoyed the German sausage version and I ate the sicilian BBQ version, followed by a lemonade slushy.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Shrove Tuesday

Shrove Tuesday (pancake Tuesday) was the same day as International Women's Day.  I had a minor internal struggle over whether I should make G pancakes.  But pancakes won in the end, mostly because G said he would make them if necessary!

The first pancake is always a flop - quite literally.  For some reason it doesn't brown very well - although I think I have the pan hot enough - and the texture is quite unpleasant, rubbery really.

Luckily, the later pancakes tend to be a success - and once covered in lemon, sugar and ice cream they taste great.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Paella Feast

Over the weekend G and I went to Brandy Creek Wines for a paella feast - part of the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival.

I hope that picture gives some sense of the size of each pan.  Each was easily a metre across and a few inches deep.

Each pan was full to the brim of rice and delicious paella ingedients.  The seafood was particularly enticing, the pan full of mussels standing to attention, prawns, scallops and barramundi.

The one with the rice piled high certainly caught my attention - a chicken cazzuela, where the rice is cooked separately from the chicken and sauce.  This also had some delicious chorizo in it too. 

The "manchega" was full of mushrooms, beef and lamb and quail eggs.  

This was my plate - a selection of 4 kinds of paella (I didn't get the pork belly one).

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Vanilla Slice

G and I were down at Sorrento recently and had an opportunity to try the famous vanilla slices.

We weren't disappointed.  The creamy custard, flaky pastry and the little bit of jam at the bottom.  Wow.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Catalan fig tapas

I very rarely make anything from the "quick/slow by david prior" section of Delicious.  Nothing against David, but I don't find his recipes particularly captivating. 

The premise of "quick/slow" is to take one ingredient, which in February was figs, and do 2 recipes using that ingredient - one quick to make, one slow to make.  The quick dish, Catalan fig tapas, just looked so delicious on the page that I couldn't resist.

It was super simple to make as well, a bonus for a quick Thursday night dinner.  I think it comes down to the quality of the ham (serrano) with the beautiful figs and cheese.

Served with some grilled tomatoes, just delicious.  I will be taking a second look at David Prior recipes from now.