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Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Kahawai and Potato salad






Kahawai is an underrated fish because of its robust flavour. But it is really delicious in this salad
This kahawai was caught on the weekend by my daughter Rachel and her partner Rod. The skies were blue, the sun was out. They had a great day's fishing in Rod's boat, and generously shared their catch with us.

Ingredients:

300 gm of skinned and boned kahawai cut into cubes.
the juice of 2 lemons
2 boiled potatoes (cubed)
1 red onion ( finely sliced and soaked in water for 5 minutes to make the flavour more melllow.)
1-2 tablespoons of capers
1 cup of cooked green beans (cut into thirds)
1/3 cup of creme fraiche
1 teaspoon of dijon mustard
a handful of chopped parsley
freshly ground rock salt and black pepper to taste

Method

Stir the lemon juice through the kahawai cubes and leave to stand in the fridge for at least 1 hour. The lemon juice will "cook" the fish so that it will turn white.
Drain off the lemon juice.
Combine the fish with all the other ingredients and mix well.
Mix together in a large bowl.
Can also arrange individual portions in cos lettuce leaves.

Monday, 25 August 2014

Dilmah Green Tea Supporting Hospice










At present I'm especially enjoying drinking Dilmah Green Tea with natural lemongrass and lemon. So I am delighted that Dilmah ( who have long been great supporters of Hospice) is now donating 50 cents for each purchase of their specially labelled green tea packs to Hospice. Apart from the light ,fresh lemony taste and the fact that it's such a healthy drink I'll have another very good reason to keep it on my weekly shopping list

I really appreciate the fact that as a family-owned company Dilmah shares Hospice's values of celebrating life and caring for those who need our help and support.

The Dilmah Green Tea 20 tea bag varieties carrying the donation are: Pure Green Tea, Tea with natural jasmine petals, Green Tea with Lemongrass and Green tea with Moroccan Mint.

Drink up and enjoy! Good for Hospice and Good for you.















Saturday, 23 August 2014

Fabric-a-brac 2014

We had a great time at fabric-a-brac 2014 - what a fun way to raise money for Mercy hospices and it was great to meet so many lovely people























Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Simply Stewed Apples





Stewed apples and home made muesli is how we often start the day.Usually I use the microwave to heat rather than cook food but I have found it is an excellent way to stew apples. The quantities for this recipe are very flexible. I simply fill a large white ceramic bowl with peeled and sliced apples. Add a little sugar ( how much depends on how sweet the apples are, usually a tablespoon or two. A little cinnamon and/or lemon juice is good as well) Then I add a couple of tablespoon of cold water.  I cover the bowl with a plate and microwave the apples for about 7-10 minutes until they have softened.Then I let them cool down before serving. Anyleftovers be stored in the fridge for a few days.

This was Day 4 of the thirty day photo challenge. The topic was frames, what to leave in or leave partially out.  I liked the idea of using a piece of rectangular fabric to make a frame within a frame.
The mood I wanted to create was one of simplicity for this homely breakfast food.


Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Roast Cauliflower Couscous



Roasted cauliflower couscous is one of my favourite ways to serve cauliflower , and it makes a nice change from cauliflower cheese. In this recipe I was inspired by Anna Hansen ( New Zealand raised chef who runs a hugely popular restaurant called the Modern Pantry in London) to roast it with fennel and turmeric. She completes it with lemon rind, and mint but I like to use orange rind and coriander and to stir in some sliced almonds.
To make a more substantial vegetarian meal add some chopped eggs and green peas.


Ingredients:

1 cauliflower 
1/2 teaspoon of ground turmeric 
2 teaspoons of fennel seeds
1/4 cup of sliced almonds 
1 tablespoon of olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
a handful of chopped coriander

Dressing: 

Mix together
1  tablespoon of olive oil
3 tablespoons of orange juice
1 teaspoon of finely grated orange rind
salt and pepper to taste


Method:

Break the cauliflower into florets.
Add the fennel seeds and turmeric.
Toss the cauliflower and spices in one tablespoon of olive oil.
Put in a roasting dish in one layer and roast at 200 degrees C for about 10 minutes until the florets are tinged with brown but still al dente. Do not overcook!
Leave them to cool a little them blitz in a food processor until coarse crumbs are formed.
Stir the dressing through the cauliflower.
Add the sliced almonds and coriander.
Season to taste.

To make this into a light vegetarian  meal I sometimes add some chopped hardboiled eggs.











Monday, 4 August 2014

Polenta with a Spicy Tomato, Cheese and Bacon Topping



I made polenta in the slow cooker for the first time yesterday. It took 6 hours on low and turned out fine, just a little mushier than usual. I spooned it into a baking dish and left it in the fridge overnight to firm up.

Then spread it with a layer of Anathoth Farm Hot Chilli relish,  some chopped tomatoes, and free range bacon. Plenty of grated tasty cheddar cheese went over the top.
It took twenty minutes in a moderate oven before it was piping hot and the cheese had melted. Nice comfort food for lunch.

I'll  experiment further with this recipe, use firmer polenta so it can be cut into squares and maybe add some chopped onions and mushrooms to the topping as well.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Broccoli and Spinach soup







Lurking in my fridge at the end of the week were some broccoli and spinach. Both  a little past their peak but still fine for this soup which I enlivened with some light coconut milk and a little grated lemon rind.

Ingredients:

500 gm of broccoli florets ( with some of stem attached)
4 cups of chicken stock
1 onion ( chopped)
2 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon of olive oil
120 gm of baby spinach eaves
165 ml can of light coconut milk
salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon of finely grated lemon rind
slivers of basil to garnish

Method:
Fry onion and garlic over a gentle heat for about 5 minutes until softened
Add them with the broccoli to 4 cups of chicken stock
Simmer until the broccoli is tender ( about 15-20 minutes)
Ad the spinach leaves and cook for another 3 2-3 minutes
Add coconut milk then bring the soup nearly to the boil again
Stir in 1 teaspoon of grated lemon rind
Season to taste with salt and pepper

Serve with a garish of slivered basil
And a bowl of hot croutons alongside.








Saturday, 2 August 2014

Indian Meatballs with Hot Chilli Relish




Tiny meatballs are great to pass around at a party and these ones disappeared really fast. I spiced them with coriander and cumin and used Anathoth Farm Hot Chilli Relish as the dipping sauce.


Ingredients:

1 teaspoon of coriander seeds
1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
500 g of mince ( I use a good quality prime mince so not too fatty)
2-3 slices of bread (enough to make 1 cup of crumbs)
1/2 cup  of grated carrot
2-3 tablespoons of Anathoth Farm Hot Chilli Relish
1 egg
1 teaspoon of salt

A couple of tablespoons of olive/rice bran oil for frying

Method:

  • Dry fry the cumin and coriander seeds until they are toasty and fragrant.
  • Grind in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder.
  • Use a food processor to make breadcrumbs from the slices of bread.
  • Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl.
  • At this stage I like to take a heaped teaspoonful of the mixture, flatten it slightly, and microwave it for 30 seconds.then  taste and if necessary add more salt to the meatball mixture
  • Make into small balls and fry in two batches so that the meatballs don't touch each other. I find that shaking the frying pan gently rather than turning them with a spatula worked best.
  • Stick a toothpick in each meatball.
  •  Serve at once with a bowl of Anathoth Farm Hot Chilli Relish for dipping.




Chickpea,Tomato and Avocado Salad with Chilli and Lime Dressing.


I had my first taste of Anathoth Farm Hot Chilli Relish today. It wasn't quite hot enough to blow my socks off but it was close, and I love it!

I mixed it with freshly squeezed lime juice to make a dressing for a healthy tomato, chickpea and red onion salad. To tone down the heat (just to please the rest of the family) I added a chopped avocado . A handful of chopped coriander was the finishing touch. 

Ingredients:

1 can of chickpeas (drained)
1/2 red onion ( peeled and finely sliced)
1 large or 2 small avocados (peeled and chopped)
2 large tomatoes (squeezed to remove the juice and pips and then cubed)
1 heaped tablespoon of Anathoth Farm Hot Chilli Relish (more or less to taste)
The juice of 1 lime
A handful of chopped coriander

Method:

Mix the chickpeas, onion, avocado and tomatoes together .
Dress with a mixture of Anathoth Farm Hot Chilli Relish and freshly squeezed lime juice.
Season with salt and taste.
Add more hot chilli relish if you like more heat!
Stir through plenty of chopped  coriander.

Thanks Anathoth Farm for sending me a sample of this new product to try.



Friday, 1 August 2014

Gluten Free Raw Coconut Wraps

At IE Produce in Takapuna this morning I was lucky to catch Ross who had organised a tasting of a new product, a raw gluten free coconut wrap which he is importing from the Philippines. These are popular in America but have never before been seen here in New Zealand. Lovely filled with a mixture of chocolate and banana, or caramel.
But even better I think would be to fill them with a savoury mix of avocado, grated carrots and sprouts for lunch
Having indulged in  these sweet treats Ross then made me a healthy smoothie as well . I went home feeling very refreshed.!




Ross with the Pure gluten free raw coconut wraps.


A coconut wrap filled with caramel and sliced.

The ingredients for the healthy smoothie.
 Ross in  action creating a super healthy smoothie.