July is an incredible month of delicious. magazines. I have so many choices in each magazine and struggled to make final decisions. Although like every other month the menu is not set in stone. I haven't managed to get through one whole month without making changes to my initial menu. I hope that I might get through one month before the end of the year but I am quite fickle when it comes to deciding on what to eat.
The first recipe that had me really interested in issue #7 was Valli Little's Garlic Custard with Antipasti. I was intrigued by the idea of a garlic custard. It sounded so good but was full of cream, milk and cheese and my next recipe is one that is full of cream so I didn't want two heavy recipes in a row so the intriguing little garlic custards will have to wait for another day.
Jean-Christophe Novelli's Mandarin Brulee sounded wonderful. A creme brulee with mandarin juice would be a perfect dessert. I much prefer mandarins to eat over oranges, although I am not sure I would want to juice about 15 mandarins to get the 500 ml of juice required for the recipe. Plus I already had my dessert for the month sorted out so this one will also have to wait.
I ran into the same problems with Nino Joseph Zoccali's Quince, Sangiovese & Muscatel Torta. There are some amazing desserts in this issue. I am not sure I would have been able to find muscatel grapes and the quinces that I have seen lately haven't looked all that good. I waited hoping for the price to come down a bit but it looks like I have waited too long and the fruit in store is now starting to look a bit old and soft. I should have learnt by now that quinces do not come down in price. Their season is short and they are expensive and if I want to have some I need to suck it up and pay the price or find someone that has a quince tree that is nearby and willing to share.
What I ended up doing was making something that would be lovely served with the dessert from the next issue. So Valli Little's Mulled Wine it was. I really like mulled wine, it is the perfect drink on a cold winter night. This one was nice but I am used to a bit more spice in there, like star anise and cloves. I used a lovely Coonawarra Shiraz, although I think a cabernet sauvignon might have been a better choice. It was a very cold day/evening when I made this and it was beautifully warming and went well with dessert.
Serves 6 - 8 (yeah right, lol)
- 750 ml bottle red wine
- 2 tbsp light brown or golden caster sugar
- 1 large piece orange peel
- 2 cinnamon sticks, plus extra to stir
- Grated fresh nutmeg
- Slices of orange, studded with cloves
- Combine wine, sugar, orange peel, cinnamon and nutmeg in a saucepan over a low heat.
- Stir until sugar has dissolved and spices have released their flavours.
- Do not boil.
- Place orange slice in a glass and top with wine and place a cinnamon stick in to stir with.