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Sunday, 28 April 2013

Smashed Roast Garlic and Pumpkin with Toasted Almonds

Really very basic but very delicious. I was hoping to make more of a purée for some spatchcock I had roasted but part way through decided that the chunks looked cooler. The big bits of garlic were the real winner.

1/2 a butternut pumpkin in wedges
5 cloves garlic, skin on
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 slice bacon diced
1 handful sage leaves
1 handful sliced almonds

Oil, salt and pepper the pumpkin and garlic - roast at 180C until cooked (45 mins-ish). Remove from the oven and cool 'til you can handle. In the meantime, fry the bacon and sage leaves, when almost ready throw in the almonds to colour a little. While this happens, spoon out the flesh of the pumpkin and garlic.
Mash about a bit, top with the almonds then eat.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Seafood Carbonara Risotto

Nice. Having never made Carbonara this was interesting. In retrospect, I would only have used half the amount of carb sauce and twice the amount of blue cheese. I have written here my amounts for the carbonara sauce, cut it in half if you try this. If you're a carbonara fan, give it a go.

2 cups risotto rice
1 litre chicken stock
1 onion in fine dice
300 gms green prawns, shelled and deveined
10 fresh sea scallops
1/2 cup bubbling wine
1 tbs butter
3 eggs
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup Parmesan
1/2 tbs blue cheese
1 tbs cream
Salt and pepper
Juice of 1 lemon
Sliced chilli
1 tbs butter
1/2 tbs porcini oil
2 slices of pancetta cut in batons
1 clove garlic minced
1 whole clove garlic
Parsley stalks
2 tbs minced parsley
1 wedge of lemon

Simmer the chicken stock with the prawn shells and head, lemon wedge and whole garlic clove for 10 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve and discard the solids. Place to stock back on the heat and return to a simmer.
Combine well the Parmesan, blue cheese, eggs, egg yolks, half of the parsley and cream along with some salt and pepper, cover until required.
Sauté the onion with the butter and garlic until soft and translucent in a large, heavy based frying pan. Throw in the rice and toast for a couple of minutes. Deglaze the pan with the bubbles then once almost absorbed spoon in some stock, stir occasionally until reduced. Repeat until you are down to your last 2 ladles. Pour in the last 2 ladles of stock along with the lemon juice, and half of the parsley, stir, remove from the heat and cover for 5 minutes to cool and finish cooking.
Heat the porcini oil, fry the pancetta until crispy, remove and cook the prawns until just tender. Add a little more butter to the pan and when foaming, cook the scallops allow for nice colour on each side. Remove and keep warm.
Stir the carbonara sauce through the risotto, along with half of the pancetta, test for seasoning then spoon into warmed bowls. Top with seafood and pancetta and a sprinkling of chilli. Some more lemon probably wouldn't hurt either.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Chilli Rosemary Oven Fondue

I have been meaning to try this for a while. Straight forward, painless and really great. The flavours can swing as wildly as you like here by using different herbs and spices, citrus rind or inserting something smoky like fried bacon pieces. It is important though that you find a cheese wheel that has a wooden container and is wrapped in foil or grease proof paper or you may find melted plastic which aint cool.

1 small cheese wheel
Garlic slivers
Chilli slices
Rosemary sprigs

Peel back the wrapping from the top of the cheese. Use a small sharp knife to make incisions all over the cheese and insert your flavourings. Re-wrap with the foil and place the wooden lid back on. Place into a 120C preheated oven for 20 minutes or so. Remove and tuck in with biscuits, bread or vegetables.

Garlic Prawn and Lemon Cous Cous with Shaved Fennel

With Mum at work and the boys in bed, this was a super quick supper for the big girl and I. 10 minutes maybe?

1/2 a small fennel bulb in thin slices
200 gms green prawns peeled
1/2 a lemon
1 cup cous cous
1 tbs garlic oil
Salt and pepper
1 handful chives chopped

Add the cous cous to a bowl along with the lemon, cover with boiling water then cover with a tea towel and allow to infuse/cook.
Mix the prawns and garlic oil together. Heat a medium frying pan to medium high then throw in the prawns along with some salt and pepper, toss until just cooked through. Remove the prawns to a clean plate then cook the shaved fennel for a couple of minutes in the garlic oil. Remove from the heat.
Remove the tea towel from the cous cous, squeeze the juice out of lemon and fluff the cous cous with a fork.
Add the cous cous to a clean plate, top with the prawns and fennel and the chopped chives. If necessary add more lemon juice.