May 23, 2010

Feijoa, pear and white wine jam

Feijoa, pear and white wine jam

Ingredient (Make about two 300 ml jars):
2 cups Feijoa pulp (cut fruit in half and scoop out the contents with a spoon)
1 cups of sugar
2 firm pears (peeled and cut on small pieces)
100 ml sweet white wine

1. Scoop out the fruits from the feijoa.
2. Put fruits into a pot and add wine.
3. Boil on medium heat until the fruits are soft (about 15 minutes). Stir occasionally. Use a potato masher to gently mash the fruit.
4. Add sugar and stir until dissolve.
5. Bring to a rapid boil and continue to boil for about 20 minutes or until the mix reach setting point, giving it the occasional stir.
6.Pour into sterilized jars, seal and store in a cool place.

Feijoa, pear and white wine jam


May 20, 2010

Persimmon and orange jam

Persimon jam

Do you love persimmons as I do? They are best to eat raw straight from the tree, but this year we have quite a big harvest in our garden, so I decided to make a little bit of jam. And it's so tasty and beautiful - like a little sun in a jar. 

2 cups of ripe persimmon, skin removed and cut into small pieces
1-1,5 cup sugar (depends on the desired sweetness of jam)
juice of 1 orange
grated rind of half an orange
2 tbsp vodka

Put the persimmons, sugar, juice and zest in a heavy based pot and cook over medium heat, stirring often, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.

Return to the heat, mash slightly with a potato masher and bring to boil. Pour the vodka and cook for 10 minutes on low heat.

Pour hot jam into sterilized jars, seal and store in cool place.

Persimon jam


May 19, 2010

Chocolate cakes with feijoa mousse

Last month of autumn and the end of feijoa season here in New Zealand now. I use to hate this fruit a couple years ago, but now I love them. It's such a wonderful fruit with interesting intense flavor. I think that feijoas is the most "kiwi fruit" then the kiwi fruit is. Every second Kiwi family has the own feijoa tree in the garden and I hope they like feijoas as I do :)

Chocolate Genoise (recipe from here)
6 whole eggs
180 grams sugar
80 grams cornstarch
80 grams flour
20 grams cocoa powder
20 grams butter, melted and cooled

In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together the eggs and the sugar. Place this bowl over a double boiler and continue whisking until the sugar has dissolved and the eggs feel hot to the touch. Transfer the bowl to the electric mixer and whip in high speed until the eggs triple in volume and they form a thick ribbon.

Sift the cornstarch, flour and cocoa powder together into a bowl. Add the sifted mixture to the whipped eggs in three batches folding each time slowly to avoid deflating the batter too much. Finally add the melted butter and fold so that the butter doesn't all fall to the bottom of the bowl.

Divide this batter into two half sheet pans that have been sprayed and lined with parchment paper. Spread the batter evenly and bake in a 190C oven for about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cake cool. The cake can be wrapped in plastic and frozen.

Feijoa mousse:
8 small feijoas (4 large)
3 tbsp sugar
100 ml of water,

100 g Cream Cheese at room temperature
100 ml cream
4-5 tbsp sugar
1 tsp gelatin
1 egg white

I put feijoas in hot sugar syrup for about 10 minutes because they became very dark in the air. You can also add a few drops of green coloring in the syrup. So scoop out feijoa pulp and put it in hot sugar syrup. Wait for 10 minutes, then remove them from syrup and blend in a food processor until smooth.
Soak gelatin in a 2 spoons of water.
Beat the egg white with 1 tablespoon of sugar until forming peaks.
Separately, whip the cream with a spoonful of sugar to the soft peaks.
Separately, whip feijoa with Cream cheese and remaining sugar until smooth.

Melt the gelatin in the micro for 10 sec. and pour it into a bowl with feijoa mix. Stir, add the whipped egg whites, stir, then quickly add the whipped cream and stir until combined.

To Assemble
80 ml cream
2 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp sugar
mint leaves,
1-2 tablespoons chopped pistachios

Line ring molds with acetate paper and place them on a sheetpan. Measure the circumference of the ring mold and cut a strip of cake accordingly. Place the strip of chocolate genoise around the ring mold and a disk on the bottom.  Pipe the feijoa mousse inside the ring mold almost to the top. Top with another disk of genoise.
Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Whip cream with cocoa and sugar until forming peaks. Decorate top of cake with cream, mint leaves and pistachios.


May 17, 2010

Lamb Rack with Orange, Mint & Dried Fig Salad

Lamb cutlets with orange, mint and fig salad

Orange, Mint & Dried Fig Salad
1⁄3 cup lemon juice
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 oranges, peeled with sharp knife, removing the pith, and sliced
4 radishes, trimmed and thinly sliced (on a mandoline if you have one)
1 red onion, halved and thinly sliced
6 Dried Figs, slised
1⁄3 cup pitted black olives
1⁄3 cup firmly packed mint leaves
120g marinated feta, crumbled

For the lamb and to serve
3 lamb racks (8 cutlets in each)
olive oil for rubbing
2 cups firmly packed baby spinach

Orange, Mint & Dried Fig Salad
Combine the lemon juice and oil and season to taste. Arrange the orange slices on each serving plate and top with radishes, onion, dates, olives and mint leaves. Sprinkle with feta and drizzle with the dressing.

For the lamb and to serve
Rub the lamb with oil, season and chargrill or barbecue over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes each side for rare. Rest, loosely covered, in a warm place for 5 minutes. Divide the watercress among the plates alongside the salad, top with sliced lamb and serve the couscous in a bowl on the side. Serves 6.

Lamb cutlets with orange, mint and fig salad

May 16, 2010

Feijoa and passion fruit jam

Feijoa jam

One of my favorite jams. It tastes just amazing :) 

Ingredient (Make about two 300 ml jars.):
2 cups Feijoa pulp (cut fruit in half and scoop out the contents with a spoon)
1.5 cups of sugar
2 large passion fruits (pulp scooped out and mashed to separate juice and seeds)
2 tbsp vodka
100 ml water

1. Scoop out the fruits from the feijoa.
2. Put fruits into a pot and add water.
3. Boil on medium heat until the fruits are soft (about 15 minutes). Stir occassionally. Use a potato masher to gently mash the fruit.
4. Add sugar, passion fruit pulp with seeds and stir until dissolve.
5. Bring to a rapid boil and continue to boil for about 20 minutes or until the mix reach setting point, giving it the occasional stir.
6. Add vodka and stir to mix.
7.Pour into sterilized jars, seal and store in a cool place.


May 8, 2010

Crème Brûlée With Kapiti Kikorangi, Figs and Port Wine Caramel

1 cup (250 ml) Port wine
3/4 cup (180 ml) granulated sugar
4 fresh figs, sliced
1/2 cup (125 ml) Kapiti Kikorangi (creamy blue cheese), crumbled
2 cups (500 ml) 35% cream
5 large egg yolks
1/4 cup (60 ml) sugar

Preheat oven to 250° F (120° C). In a saucepan, pour the Port wine and 1/2 cup (125 ml) of the granulated sugar. Let simmer 15 to 20 minutes until the consistency becomes syrupy and forms a caramel. Add figs, coating them with the Port wine caramel, and continue cooking for 2 minutes.

In another saucepan, heat the cheese with the cream, until melted and completely mixed, without bringing to a boil (approximately 5 minutes). Strain to ensure the mixture is completely smooth, and set aside in a bowl.

In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the remainder of the granulated sugar. Set aside.

Using the whisk, gradually add the warm cream and cheese mixture to the egg yolk mixture.

Place 8 1/2-cup (125 ml) ramekins in a shallow baking dish. Pour enough boiling water in the dish to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins, for an effect similar to that of a double boiler. Divide the fig and Port wine caramel mixture between the ramekins. Pour the cream and cheese mixture on top of the fig mixture.

Bake for approximately 40 minutes or until the edges are set and the centres are still slightly soft. Remove the ramekins from the water dish and place them on a rack to cool. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or until cold.

Sprinkle each crème brûlée with a thin layer of sugar. Broil with a chefs torch or in a preheated oven, as close as possible to the heat source, until the sugar melts and forms a golden crust. Serve immediately.

May 4, 2010

Fillet Steak with Sautéed Oyster Mushrooms, Mulled Wine Jelly & Roasted Garlic Custard

Roasted Garlic Custard
250g cloves garlic, peeled
1 cup olive oil
1½ cups cream
¼ cup milk
½ cup roasted garlic, drained
3 egg yolks
1 whole egg
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Mulled Wine Jelly
¼ cup red wine
¼ cup port
2 tablespoons sugar
1 star anise
½ cinnamon stick
4 cloves
¼ teaspoon allspice
2 strips orange peel
2½ sheets gelatine leaves

To cook and serve
6 x 180g fillet steaks, trimmed of silver skin
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
canola oil for frying
1 cup jus or gravy
300g oyster mushrooms (separated)
butter for frying
2 bunches watercress
30 cloves roasted garlic

Roasted Garlic Custard
Preheat the oven to 160°C. Place the garlic in a small ovenproof dish, pour the olive oil over, cover with tinfoil and place in the oven. Check after 40 minutes. The cloves should be slightly golden and very soft to touch.

Remove from the oven and cool then store in a jar in the fridge. These last indefinitely in the oil.

Preheat the oven to 150°C. Place the cream and milk in a small saucepan over low heat and bring to a simmer. Place the roasted garlic in a medium bowl along with the egg yolks and the whole egg. With a wand blender, process until smooth.

Once the cream and milk have reached a simmer, remove from the heat and let cool for 5 minutes then place in a jug. Slowly pour it into the egg mix while whisking continuously.

Season with salt and pepper then pass through a fine sieve. Pour the custard into 2 large ramekins, filling to 1cm from the top. Place the ramekins in an ovenproof dish and pour hot water into the dish so it comes at least halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Tightly cover with tinfoil and place carefully in the oven.

Check after 20 minutes then at 10-minute intervals. The custards are ready when they are mostly set but still slightly “nervous” in the centre when you give them a little shake. Remove and let cool, uncovered in the water bath, then refrigerate to fully set.

Mulled Wine Jelly
Place all the ingredients except the gelatine in a small saucepan over low heat. Simmer gently for 6 minutes so the sugar dissolves and the wine is infused with the spices. Remove from the heat and cool slightly.

Soak the gelatine in a bowl of cold water for 5 minutes. Once soft and pliable, squeeze out excess water and add to the mulled wine mixture. Stir well to incorporate.

Carefully strain through a fine sieve, discarding the spices.

While still just warm, pour the mulled wine jelly over the top of the set custards and place back in the fridge to set.

To cook and serve
Preheat the oven to 180°C. For the steaks, take some natural string or butcher’s twine and tie around the outside of each one, making them tight and even.

Season the steaks liberally with sea salt and black pepper.

Place a skillet or sauté pan on high heat and add a little oil. Once hot, sear 3 steaks at a time until golden on each side then place in a roasting pan while you repeat with the remaining steaks. Once all seared, place in the oven for 5-10 minutes, depending on how well you like your steaks cooked. I always cook my steak medium (pink all the way through).

Once the steaks are cooked, remove from the oven and allow to rest for at least 6 minutes.

Meanwhile, place the jus in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil then pour into a preheated jug or teapot. Keep in a warm place.

Place a large frying pan on medium heat. Add a liberal amount of butter followed by the mushrooms. Season with sea salt and pepper. Cook until soft and golden brown then add the watercress. Remove from the heat, toss the watercress lightly so it just wilts from the heat of the mushrooms. Keep warm.

For the roasted garlic, heat up a non-stick pan, add the garlic and cook for a minute or so until hot through.

Divvy up the oyster mushrooms and watercress among the serving plates and top each portion with a steak. Using a tablespoon heated in hot water, place a spoonful of the custard on top of each steak so it begins to melt. Scatter about a few roasted garlic cloves then finish each plate with a little jus.
Serves 6.

May 1, 2010

Roasted Lamb Rack with Mint & Cucumber Salsa & New Potato Salad

Mint & Cucumber Salsa
1 cup mint leaves, coarsely torn
2 small Lebanese cucumbers, diced (peeled if desired)
12 anchovy fillets
1 tablespoon caster sugar
2 tablespoons malt vinegar
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Potato Salad
500g baby potatoes, washed
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 small red onion, finely sliced
150g cow’s milk feta
½ cup flat-leafed parsley leaves
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

For the lamb
2 x 8-bone lamb racks, trimmed of any sinew
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons finely chopped thyme or oregano leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil

Mint & Cucumber Salsa
Combine all the ingredients and season with salt and black pepper to taste.

Potato Salad
Boil the potatoes in plenty of salted water until cooked through. Drain, peel and slice the potatoes. Place in a serving bowl with the remaining ingredients and serve warm.

For the lamb
Preheat the oven to 220°C. Rub the lamb well with all the remaining ingredients. Brown the lamb racks in a heavy-based frying pan then transfer to an oven dish and roast for around 15 minutes, or a little longer if the racks are large.

Rest the lamb in a warm place for at least 7 minutes. Carve the lamb into cutlets and serve with the potato salad and salsa. Serves 4

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