Apr 28, 2010

Goat Cheese and Beetroot Soup

This is one of my favorite soups - a little bit sweet, creamy and rich. Delicious with pumpernickel bread.  

500 g beetroot, peeled and cut into small cubes
3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes
1 onion, peeled and cut on 2 pieces
1.5 l vegetable or chicken stock
150 g creamy goat cheese with herbs (if unavailable use cream cheese with herbs), at room temperature
4 tbsp chopped dill
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bring the stock into boil, add the vegetables and cook for 15-20 minutes, until vegetables are soft. Put the soup in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

Put soup on a heat and add a half of goat cheese. Simmer until cheese is disolved, then add salt and pepper to taste and pour a cream. Allow it to heat well, but do not bring it to boil.

Make 4 balls from remaining cheese and cover them with chopped dill. Put one ball in each bowl and serve.

Apr 25, 2010

Fresh Southern Clams with Pasta

32 pasta or small grade New Zealand Clams (I think you can use any small clams)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup white wine e.g Reisling or Chenin Blanc
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
250 g (8 oz) of pasta e.g Linguine, Pasta Shells,
1 tablespoon of butter
2 tablespooons flour
Reserved cooking liquor and water to make 1 1/4 cups
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup of cream

Wash clams thoroughly.
Steam open shellfish in a heavy lidded saucepan with oil and wine and 1/2 chopped parsley.
Cook clams for 2-3 minutes.
Drain and reserve cooking liquor.
Cook pasta, according to packet instructions, at the same time as the clams are being prepared and cooked.
Drain and toss with a little olive oil to prevent the pasta from sticking.

Prepare sauce
Melt butter
Add flour and cook a few minutes
Gradually add strained reserved cooking liquor and stir continuously until thickened
Add black pepper
Gradually add cream and simmer do not boil
Pour over drained pasta
Toss through clams
Garnish with remaining parsley
Serve immediately

Serves 4
Southern Scallops can be substituted for the clams. Use 24 1/2 shell Southern Scallops and cook scallops for 4 seconds only.

Apr 21, 2010

Fig Marmalade - the best thing on your cheese board

I made this marmalade specifically for the accompaniment to cheese, it is perfectly cut into cubes, not particularly sticky and has a not too sweet taste. In general, to my taste is very delicious. I already tried it with blue cheese and Camembert. Don't even know which one is better. 

500 gr. dark figs, cut into 4 pieces
500 gr. sugar
1.5 tbsp agar-agar (attention! see the instructions on the package to your agar-agar, take the amount needed for 500 ml of water),
150 ml. water

Put figs in a sausepan with a thick bottom, cover them with sugar and leave for a day.
Put the saucepan on heat and cook for about 30-40 minutes on low heat.
Allow to cool slightly, then puree it in blender and rub it through a sieve.

In a saucepan heat the water with agar-agar to a boil, stir well to dissolve it, then pour the fig puree and bring to a boil. Pour the mixture into the mold and allow to set.

That's how my marmalade looks after setting

It is convenient to use a small containers with a lid, so you can serve marmalade to your cheese board in small portions.
Store in refrigerator.


P.S. If you know different recipe for same kind of marmalade, please, let me know or give me a link. I'm just crazy about figs :) 

Apr 20, 2010

Miso fried Salmon with green tea noodles & shiitaki broth

Recipe by Andrew Brown

Shiitake Mushroom Tea
1lt Chicken stock
250mls Dry white wine
2 cups Dried shiitaki (see chefs note)
2 sheets Kombu (see chefs note)
2 Garlic cloves - crushed
1 Shallot – finely diced
2 sprigs Fresh thyme
75mls Port
2 Tbsp Earl grey tea leaves
Salt & pepper
4 drops Truffle oil

Miso fried Salmon
400gms Fresh Salmon skin off and bones removed, portioned into 4
100mls Cooking Oil
1 tsp Japanese 7 spice
50gms Miso Paste
4 Nori Sheet
½ packet Green Tea Noodles
½ Spring Onions - sliced
6 Edamame – beans removed from the pod
8 Fresh Shiitaki Mushrooms - sliced

Shiitake Mushroom Tea
Combine the stock, wine dried mushrooms, kombu, garlic, shallot & thyme in a large saucepan – bring to the boil, reduce heat & reduce by half. In the last 5 minutes of cooking add port & tea reduce the heat & pass through a fine strainer & coffee filter. Season to taste & just before service finish with truffle oil.

Miso fried Salmon
Prepare the salmon by brushing the top of each portion with miso & sprinkling it with the 7 spice. Then wrap each portion in the nori sheets, trim the edges for any excess nori.

Cook & refresh the green tea noodles.

Brush the Salmon nori parcels with oil. Heat a medium non stick pan over a medium heat, place the salmon in the pan & cook approx 3 minutes each side or cooked until your liking (Salmon is best served medium rare to medium). Remove the Salmon from the pan (saving any juices that are left in the pan) & keep warm.

In the pan lightly sauté the shiitaki mushrooms, add to the pan (to warm through) the noodles, spring onions & edamame mixing together.

To Serve
In the centre of 4 large bowls place the hot noodles, mushrooms, spring onions & edamame. Place the Salmon on top & pour in the hot shiitaki mushroom tea. For effect the tea can be placed in a tea pot & served to your guest at the table.

Apr 7, 2010

Balsamic pork belly with caramelised figs

Recipe adapted from Donna Hay Magazine

1kg pork belly, skin removed
1 cup (175g) brown sugar
1 cup (250ml) water
½ cup (125ml) balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic, crushed
8 black figs, halved
¼ cup (45g) brown sugar, extra
balsamic vinegar, extra, to serve

Preheat oven to 160°C (320°F). Cut the pork into even-sized pieces, thread onto metal skewers and place in a baking dish.

Combine sugar, water, vinegar and garlic in a bowl and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Pour over the pork and cover with aluminium foil. Roast for 30 minutes. Remove the foil, increase the heat to 200°C (390°F) and roast, turning occasionally, for a further 1 hour or until caramelised.

Heat a large non-stick frying pan over high heat. Press the figs, cut-side down, into the extra sugar and cook for 1 minute or until caramelised. Serve with the pork and drizzle with extra vinegar to serve. Serves 4.

Apr 6, 2010

Golden Crunch biscuits

Golden crunch cookies

Golden Crunch is my favorite biscuits. I love them this a glass of cold milk, it's just so good and cozy. Now I can make them at home! They're perfectly crunchy and surprisingly easy to make. This is original recipe from old New Zealand cookbook.

1 Cup plain flour
1 Cup sugar
1 Cup rolled oats
1 Cup fine coconut
4 oz (125g) butter or margarine
1 Tbsp golden syrup/treacle/honey
2 Tbsp boiling water
1 tsp baking soda

1. Melt butter, add syrup, water and soda.
2. Pour onto mixed dry ingredients and drop by teaspoonfuls on a greased tray, leaving room for spreading.
3. Bake in moderate oven for 20 minutes.

To my taste they're too sweet and oily, so I use less sugar and butter (about 3/4 cup sugar and 90g butter)

Golden crunch cookies

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