Florentines

Stuff

  • 45g butter
  • 60g demerara sugar
  • 60g candied peel, chopped
  • 45g dried cranberries or sour cherries, roughly chopped
  • 45g soft dried figs, roughly chopped
  • 20g pistachio kernels, roughly chopped
  • 60g slivered blanched almonds
  • 15g plain flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 Tbspn double cream
  • 200g dark chocolate, melted

Method

  • Heat the oven to 180C. Line two baking trays with lightly greased parchment paper.
  • Melt the butter and sugar together in a pan over a medium heat until combined.
  • Put the fruit and nuts in a bowl, sift over the flour and toss together until the flour is evenly distributed.
  • Take the pan off the heat and stir in the salt and cream, then stir into the fruit and nuts.
  • Dollop rounded tspn of the mixture on to the baking trays and flatten out using another sheet of parchment paper over and a rolling pin – try to make them even round shape without holes.
  • Bake for about 10-12 minutes until golden brown all over – then leave to cool on the tray.
  • When cool – coat back with melted chocolate

Cookies & Cream Ice Cream – very easy

Stuff

  • 2 cups (500 mil) double cream, chilled
  • 1 cup (250 mil) whole milk, chilled
  • 2/3 cup (166 g) sugar
  • 1 tspn pure vanilla essence
  • 1 packet of Oreo chocolate cream sandwich biscuit, chilled

Method

  • Warm 1/2 the milk and desolve the sugar in
  • Combine with the cream, rest of the milk & vanilla
  • Churn in ice cream machine for approx 1 hour
  • Chop up the Oreo’s – mainly small (say 1/8 of biscuit) but have some larger pieces (say 1/4 of biscuit)
  • Stir into the churned ice cream
  • Put in freezer immediately

Greek Yogurt Dressing

Stuff

  • 2 Tblspn fresh lemon juice (approx one lemon)
  • 1 Tblspn white wine vinegar
  • 1 tspn sugar
  • 1 or 2 cloves garlic, fine grated
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tspn salt
  • 1/4 tspn freshly ground black pepper
  • Bunch of fresh dill, chopped fine

Method

  • Whisk all stuff together in a bowl

Serve

  • Ice berg lettuce wedges, dressing over, sprinkle with roasted pine nuts and roasted shallots

 

 

Roast Pork Belly

Stuff

  • 1 kg slab of pork belly
  • 3 Tblsn olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • 2-3 carrots, rough chopped
  • 2-3 sticks of celery, rough chopped
  • 2-3 fennel bulbs, rough chopped
  • 10-15 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 2 onions, rough chopped
  • 6 or so stalks of fresh thyme
  • 1 bottle of white wine
  • 75 g plain flour

Method

  • Preheat the oven to its highest temperature.
  • Using a sharp knife or Stanley knife score the skin down to the meat.
  • Pour 1 Tblsn oil over the top of the scored skin, then sprinkle with salt and pepper – rub all over so that everything gets into the scores and down into the meat.
  • Roast for 15 minutes, or until the skin starts to bubble and turn golden brown. (Note : if you have 2 ovens – roast for 10 minutes then grill for 5 minutes)
  • Roughly chop the carrots, celery, fennel & onions – toss in roasting tray with the garlic & thyme sprigs and 2 Tblsn olive oil.
  • Reduce the oven temperature to 170° C –
  • Put the seasoned pork belly on top of the vegetables – roast for 1 hour 30 minutes.
  • Pour in three-quarters of the wine. Cook for 1 further hour.
  • Remove the meat from the oven – Allow to rest. Remove any large thyme stalks
  • Put the tray of roasted vegetables directly onto your hob over a medium heat – add the flour, then stir together until thick. Cook for 1 minute then add in the remaining wine – if you sauce is too thick add a splash more wine or water.
  • Using a potato masher – mash the vegetables until you have a delicious thick vege-lumpy sauce. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes on a low heat, season to taste.
  • Remove the crackling from the top of the pork – if it isn’t crispy enough put back in very hot over or under hot grill

Caramelised Onions

Stuff

  • 2 Tblsn olive oil
  • 2 – 3 red or brown onions, sliced
  • 2 Tblsn brown sugar
  • 2 Tblsn balsamic vinegar

Method

  • Heat oil in a large frypan over low heat. Add the onions and a good pinch of salt and cook very slowly for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent them from catching. Don’t be tempted to turn the heat up – you don’t want the onions to burn.
  • When onions are softened and tinged golden, add sugar and balsamic – this will start the caramelisation process.
  • Cook onion over low heat for a further 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sticky and caramelised.

Serve

  • Use immediately, or store in the fridge, in a sterilised jar or plastic container, and use when required.

Lemongrass Curry Poached Fish

This recipe is a work in progress – work well now but I’m working on a bit of refinement

Stuff

  • 600g firm white fish fillets, large diced (2 or 3 x bite)
  • 1 brown onion, finely diced
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, tough outer layer removed and finely diced
  • 1 Tbspn finely grated ginger
  • 1 tspn ground coriander
  • 1 tspn ground cumin
  • 1 tspn paprika
  • 1/2 tspn chilli flakes or ground chilli
  • ½ tspn ground turmeric
  • 1 tspn garam masala
  • 200ml coconut cream
  • 1 cup rich chicken stock
  • 1 Tbspn fish sauce
  • 1 ½ tspn palm sugar
  • 3 or 4 kaffir lime leaf, tough central stem removed and thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbspn lemon juice
  • 1 tomato, diced 1cm

Method

  • Heat a drizzle of oil in a large fry-pan (with a lid) on medium heat. Cook onion, lemongrass and ginger for 5 minutes, until softened.
  • Add all curry spices with a dash of coconut cream and stir for 1 minute.
  • Add remaining coconut cream, chicken stock, fish sauce, sugar and kaffir lime leaf. Bring to a simmer, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 4 minutes.
  • Stir through lemon juice and tomato. Add fish to pan, ensuring it is submerged, cover with lid and simmer a further 4 minutes, until fish is just cooked through.

Serve

  • If you want a chunky rustic soup – serve as is
  • if you want a smooth refined soup – remove the fish pieces and set aside. Push soup thru a sieve to remove all the chunks

 

 

Salmon with Cranberry & Nut Crust

Stuff

  • Fresh salmon 1 whole side (about 1.5kg)
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped medium-course
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/3 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 2-3 Tblsn thyme leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 lemon, fine grated zest only
  • 1 orange, fine grated zest only
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • Salt & pepper

Garnish to serve

  • 2-3 Tbspn Parsley, chopped
  • 2-3 Tbspn dried cranberries
  • 1-2 small lemon, cut into wedges

Method

  • Preheat oven to 200°. Line a large baking or oven tray with baking paper.
  • In a medium bowl, mix panko breadcrumbs, cranberries, almonds, pine nuts, parsley, thyme and lemon and orange zest together. Stir in melted butter and season with salt and pepper.
  • Pat salmon dry with paper towels and remove any remaining 
pin bones. Place salmon on prepared tray, skin-side-down. Season well with salt and sprinkle crust mixture evenly on top, pressing down gently to adhere. Drizzle over a little more melted butter.
  • Place on a shelf in the middle of the oven, and bake for about 20-25 minutes or until salmon is just cooked through and crust is golden.
  • Garnish with more chopped cranberries and parsley for colour. Serve with lemon wedges

Stolen from Nadia Lim – Xmas 2016