Sunday 31 October 2010

October 2010 - Harissa chicken wings with preserved lemon marmalade

It is hard to believe that it is the end of October already. This year seems to be just flying by. I will admit to being really tired tonight and my foot is hurting so I just want to get this final post for the month done and head off to bed. 

The cover recipe, Asparagus and goat's cheese tarts look fantastic but I was more taken with Jill Dupleix's Harissa Chicken wings with preserved lemon marmalade. I do have a jar of preserved lemon that I haven't gotten around to using and thought that this would be a good recipe to use it in. I also have a jar of beautiful harissa paste that I have been using as much as possible because it is just so good. I ended up making the chicken wings as it was so easy but I didn't make the marmalade to go with it. This was mainly because I was avoiding doing too much early on with my injury. The wings were really good and I will do them again and next time to the marmalade sauce. I served with spicy potato & sweet potato and steamed zucchini. 

Harissa chicken wings with preserved lemon marmalade

Serves 4

  • 1/4 cup (60ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp harissa (Tunisian chilli paste)
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced 
  • 12 chicken wings, tips removed (I used wings that had been jointed)
  • 6 preserved lemon quarters, flesh and pith discarded, rind cut into thin strips
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar 
  • 2 tbsp orange marmalade 
  • 1/2 cup each coriander, basil and flat-leaf parsley leaves 
  • 2 tbsp roughly chopped dill 
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Mix oil, juice, harissa, garlic and 1 tsp salt in a large bowl. Add chicken wings and turn to coat, then marinate in the fridge for 10 - 15 minutes (I left mine overnight). 
  • Place lemon rind, sugar, marmalade and 100 ml water in a pan and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 8 to 10 minutes until a jam-like consistence. Cool. 
  • Pre-heat oven to 180 C, spread wings out on a baking tray and bake in oven for 20 minutes. (Jill used a char-grill pan on the stove but I prefer to bake chicken wings.) 
  • Meanwhile, to make a herb salad, toss the herbs and olive oil together in a bowl. 
  • Place chicken on a platter and scatter with salad. Serve with the marmalade. 

October 2009 - Asparagus & Lemon Risotto

Well, my foot is starting to heal up but it still hurts and makes life difficult. I attempted to use my computer chair in the kitchen so that I could just roll around rather than hobbling. This was initially very successful and made life a lot easier. That was until my butt slid forward in the seat and when I reached for something the chair slipped out from underneath me and I ended up on the floor....ugh. Thankfully I didn't hurt myself any further but I did decided that the rolling chair just wasn't worth it. I have still be using it at the table though but it sits on carpet so it is not as dangerous.

I had on my monthly menu plan to make Neil Perry's Stir-Fried minced chicken with chilli and coriander. While it looks really good I am not actually sure why I chose it. It is very similar to the pork dish that I did a while ago but it is full of coriander. I mean it is even in the title. I know that I have mentioned this before but I loathe fresh coriander and substitute it in any recipe. I normally avoid recipes where it is an integral part of the dish as it can just be too difficult to substitute and if I think that the recipe will be lacking if it is substituted. So, after further reflection I decided not to make this. It was also a case of not having all the ingredients and since I was cooking from this issue only the day after I hurt my foot I wasn't in a position to be going and buying ingredients. 

I did have all the ingredients to make Lizzy Kamenetzky's Asparagus and Lemon Risotto which turned out to be very fortunate indeed. I love risotto and this one was terrific. I even love spending time at the stove stirring it. This was prior to the chair slipping out from under me so I was sitting for the cooking time which made it easier. I used my beautiful Swiss Diamond sauté pan to cook it and it was so simple. It was lovely and creamy. The lemon in  it was wonderfully tangy and really brought out the flavour of the asparagus. I truly believe that lemon and asparagus should always go together. I normally make either a pumpkin risotto or pea & mushroom risotto but this one will go into the mix now when I am looking for something easy to make for dinner. 

Thursday 28 October 2010

October 2008 - Thai Beef Salad

SNAKES.... my cat brought a snake into the house yesterday morning. **shudder** Since I hurt my foot I had just been leaving the back door open for them to come and go as they pleased so I didn't have to get up and down all the time as they have a tendency to want in and out every 5 minutes. I was in the kitchen making coffee and toast, I turned to take my coffee to the table and Missy ran in the door with a snake in her mouth. **shudder** She proceeded down stairs and dumped it on the floor. It was still ALIVE and crawled under the coffee table where Missy proceeded to play with it. **shudder** Since it was 9:30 am on a work day (but my day off) and not knowing exactly what to do in my panicked state I rang my boss (my terrific boss). He came up but my Missy had killed it by that time. He did take it out side and get rid of it for me though. So there is no more open doors for my cats to come and go as they please. They will have to prove that they have nothing before being allowed inside. Oh, and I am getting someone to come and mow the lawn and clean out the weeds down the side of the garden shed asap.

I really wanted to make Tom Kime's Kebab bi Karaz (Lamb meatballs with sour cherry sauce). The picture looked so good and it just sounded really good. I couldn't get the dried sour cherries locally. I did look for them online however they were outrageously expensive. When I went for my MRI I looked in a couple of stores in that town too but I couldn't find them there either. I did consider using the bottled sour cherries however I figured that they would break up too much and would end up turning to mush in the sauce as they are already pretty soft. Another option I considered was using cranberries however all of the dried cranberries that can be bought are sweetened and I wasn't sure if that would work. So I decided to make something else. 

I was looking for something to make for lunch one day, something fairly easy given my current predicament. I also needed a recipe that I had all the ingredients for already as grocery shopping certainly isn't easy when on crutches. I decided on the Thai Beef Salad from the Tuesday Night Cooking section. It was so easy but so full of flavour. I just loved it. I did add some extra stuff to it like capsicum and sprouts and the lettuce came from my garden. I also added some freshly grated ginger to the dressing. I loved the dressing using sesame oil. I had never used it as the oil for a dressing before but will definitely be doing so again it was perfect. I just loved this and would definitely recommend it for a lunch or easy dinner.

Monday 25 October 2010

October 2007 - Tuna Tomato & Olive Pasta

A quick recipe for a quick post. I have been meaning to post for a week now but I just haven't felt up to it. Last Wednesday I was coming out of a shop and missed a little half step and came crashing down. My left foot hurt right away but I finished doing what I had to do and then came home and took some pain killers. After 30 minutes when they hadn't helped at all I took myself off to the hospital, thank goodness for automatic cars. After x-rays they didn't think there was a problem and sent me home. However I got a call a few hours later to say that they had looked at my x-rays again and there was an undisplaced fracture. There was nothing that could be done about it but I have to stay off it and give it about 3 - 4 weeks to heal. Needless to say I have been feeling pretty sore and sorry for myself over the past few days. I have been pretty doped up on pain killers to. The swelling has started to go down and it wasn't hurting nearly as much but today until I went and dropped my stainless steel travel mug on my foot and now it is really hurting again tonight. Even so, I decided that I just had to get going on these last few posts or I wasn't going to get them done. 

I was looking for something quick to make one night and came up with Sue Sheppard's Tuna, Tomato & Olive Pasta. It was really easy to make and very tasty too. I really love tomatoey pasta dishes. In fact I am a fan of almost any pasta dish, although will admit that I have come across a couple that I haven't really liked for this blog. One of these days I would like to start making more of my own pasta. I am hoping to save up for the KitchenAid Pasta Press which someone I know has and it is incredible. Hopefully I will be able to buy it before the Australian dollar goes back down as it is way too expensive in Australia. Getting it shipped from the US about half the price. I used tuna in springwater for this dish as that was all I had and I added a bit of chilli oil. I also added in some capers as I thought that the combination necessitated them. It was a wonderful blend of flavours and one make for me to get a fish meal in. 

Tuna, Tomato & Olive Pasta 

Serves 4

  • 250 g spiral pasta (I used shells) 
  • 1/3 c (80 ml) olive oil 
  • 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced 
  • 2 bacon rashers, rind removed, finely chopped 
  • 1/2 pitted black olives 
  • 1 red chilli, thinly sliced
  • 425 g can tuna in oil, drained
  • 2 tomatoes chopped. 
  • 2 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 2 cup grated parmesan
  • Cook pasta in boiling water as per packet directions. 
  • Meanwhile, heat half oil cook bacon, garlic, olives and chilli for a couple of minutes. 
  • Add tuna and tomato and cook until tomato is slightly soft. 
  • Add pasta, parsley and parmesan. 
  • Season with salt and pepper and serve. 

Wednesday 20 October 2010

October 2006 - Cinnamon Chicken with Bean Salad

I had a big day today and I was very tired earlier but I seem to have gotten a second wind and am now wide awake. At least it gives me a chance to get another post done. I left home early this morning to go to another town for an MRI. As I was just settling in on my way a road sign pointed out that there was a bridge closed due to flooding ahead of me so I had to change my plans and go a bit out of my way. However, I had left home with plenty of time to spare so it wasn't a problem. I have never had an MRI before and it was an interesting experience. It would definitely be a problem if you were claustrophobic as the tube that you go into is quite small. Then you are bombarded with all sorts of weird noises. I was lucky that an old friend was the one at the controls and made sure that I was okay at every stage. No tumours found, which is a relief, however it doesn't help in the search for the cause of my hearing loss, ear pain and ringing. So it is back to the doctor to see what is next. Hopefully we can find out something quickly.

Anyway, on to this beautiful issue with the absolutely divine looking Gluten-free Raspberry Shortcake on the cover. I adore raspberries. They are my very favourite fruit. My Gramma used to grow them and even though we were half a world apart I remember picking them on the few visits that we made when I was young. I also remember the delightful raspberry freezer jam and the fresh raspberry pie that my Gramma made with these glorious little morsels. The pie was made all the more delicious with the addition of fresh cream from their own milk cows. To be honest, I don't think any raspberry dessert can compare with the memory of those desserts. I do still use raspberries, I have some lovely muffins and an excellent raspberry cornbread recipe. However I use frozen for these recipes as I do not grow my own and to buy them fresh is seriously expensive. 

I had planned on making Valli's Smoked chicken & wild rice salad. I really like smoked chicken. It adds a lovely flavour dimension to salads. It is so much easier to get now with most supermarkets selling either whole smoked chickens or individual smoked breast fillets. I did, however, encounter some trouble locating wild rice. I can remember that wild rice was one of those fad ingredients years ago. I recall seeing it on supermarket shelves at one time. It is  now no longer there. The recipe called for a jasmine and wild rice blend and I couldn't get that either. I did find some wild rice online but it was crazy expensive for only a small amount and once postage was added on top of that it really wasn't worth it. I then thought that I would try it out with some coral rice that I bought from an online store that was going out of business and selling off all their stock. I hadn't found a recipe to use it in so thought that this one might be nice. Unfortunately we had a nasty spell of weather and there was no way that I was going to be eating a cold salad on a cold night. 

I ended up making another of Valli's recipes, Cinnamon chicken with bean salad. This was fantastic. Since it was a cold night I warmed all the beans through and it took on the flavours of the dressing fantastically. For the chicken I used some thigh cutlets with the skin on rather than the breast. I did this for two reasons, the first is that I find it hard to get breast with the skin on and wing bone attached. The other reason is that the thigh cutlets are smaller. I often find that breast fillets are so large, most of the time I would get 1.5 - 2 meals from a single fillet. So far I haven't been able to find smaller fillets so I tend to use the thigh fillets or cutlets with or without skin instead. The marinade for the chicken was terrific. There was a wonderful sweetness to the dish but it wasn't overpowering although I think that the dressing on the salad helps to cut through the sweetness of the chicken too. The only disappointment was the purchased beetroot relish that I had with it. I have made my own beetroot relish in the past and it was fantastic. The one I bought was awful though. I will definitely not buy it again. I would, however, make this chicken dish again.

Sunday 17 October 2010

October 2005 - Baby Spinach, Avocado & Pepita Salad

I have had a busy day making cakes and cake decorations for my next birthday cake. The cakes turned out excellently and I am really pleased with the decorations. It was my first time using a silicone mould. It worked really well, although dusting with cornflour was definitely necessary to get the decorations out without having to gouge them out. The addition of gum tragacanth to the fondant made it a lot easier to work with. I was surprised at the cost of it though. It was very expensive from online stores, once I added postage it was about $22 for 20 grams! Instead I went to my local chemist and got them to order some in for me and I got 100g for $45. However, I really don't need that much, so I am considering packaging some up and selling it on ebay. I figure that I can put it in ziplock bags and it will be pretty inexpensive to post. Although if I do end up getting some orders then perhaps I will need it down the track. 

I had initially planned on making the Crumbed chicken on roast kumara salad in issue #43. However on the evening I was going to make this I decided that I really needed to use some of the amazing amount of leftovers that I had in the fridge. So I decided to re-heat some of the Harissa roast pork belly I had a small amount of the carrot & walnut salad left, but not nearly enough. So I had a quick look through this issue and came up with Nigella's baby spinach, avocado & pepita salad. It was quick, easy and very good. I love avocado in salad and pepitas gave a lovely crunch to the salad. I even used my own home-grown spinach in it. 

Baby spinach, avocado & pepita salad 

Serves 6 

  • 250g baby spinach leaves 
  • 1/2 c (80 g) pepitas (pumpkin seeds) 
  • 2 small avocados (400g), flesh chopped
  • 1 tsp pumpkin-seed oil (I used walnut oil)
  • 2 tbsp peanut oil (I used walnut oil) 
  • Zest & juice of 1 lime
  • Combine oils, zest and juice and set aside. 
  • Combine spinach, pepitas and avocado. 
  • Add dressing and toss to coat.

Saturday 16 October 2010

October 2004 - Carrot & Walnut Salad with Harissa Roast Pork Belly

Oh goodness I am feeling unwell today but I really wanted to get a post done. Winter has decided to pay us another visit today as well. It has at least stopped raining and there is patches of sun outside but it is so cold. The heater is back on and doors are all closed. There are plenty of things that need doing outside, not the least of which is lawn mowing, but I have no desire to be out in the cold today. So I am posting on here while watching some old episodes of Criminal Minds. 

My original choice from issue #32 was Valli Little's Dukkah-crusted chicken with Moroccan tomato & cardamom sauce. It sounds like a fantastic combination. I have a lovely homemade pistachio dukkah that would be lovely. However I ended up using the chicken breast when I did the Kumara Jackets from the 2002 issue.

One thing that I did have to cook was a piece of pork belly. There weren't any recipes in this issue however that wasn't really a problem as I really wanted to try the Harrisa Roast Pork Belly recipe over at Meemalee's Kitchen. It was just the best way that I have had pork belly, it also reheated well and I used the rest of it chopped up and crispy fried in a noodle dish as well. I did make some changes. I left out the msg, I didn't have any ras-el-hanout but did have a "Moroccan seasoning" so used that, caster sugar in place of the fruit sugar, reduced the pepper to about 1 tsp and used a combination of stock and sherry vinegar in place of the wine. I had to add some additional water to the pan during cooking to stop it drying out and it made a wonderful gravy. The flavours were just fantastic. I enjoyed every little bit of it. I would highly recommend making this.

I needed something to go with the pork belly and came upon Jane Clarke's Carrot and Walnut salad. It was the perfect accompaniment. The coolness of the carrots went beautifully with the heat of harissa. I made a few changes to the recipe. Including using walnut oil in the dressing. I had never used it before but I was away and managed to pick up a bottle of walnut oil from a health food store. I didn't have any oranges either so used lime in its place. It was really good and will be a nice salad to have any time. 

Carrot & Walnut Salad 

Serves 4 

  • 500g carrots, washed and coarsely grated 
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced (I used red onion) 
  • 50 g walnut halves 
  • 50 g sultanas 
  • 1 bunch watercress, ends trimmed (I used spinach leaves chopped) 
  • 3 tbsp coriander leaves, chopped (I used parsley) 
  • Grated rind and juice of 1 small orange
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 c (60 ml) extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped 
  • 25 g walnuts, roughly chopped
  • For dressing: place all ingredients in a processor and whiz until combined. 
  • Place all salad ingredients in a dish and combine. 
  • Drizzle over dressing and toss to combine. 

Monday 11 October 2010

October 2003 - Banana Split

I want to start this post off with a goodbye and good luck to a good friend. A lovely woman who either made me smile or made me think. I never met this wonderful person but was glad to know her. Due to circumstances beyond her control she is no longer able to contribute to our lovely online group. I am very sad that our group has lost such a friendly, fun, insightful and empathetic person. It is my hope that she will still be reading this blog and know how much that I will miss her kindness, compassion and contribution. 

This issue, like all of the issues in October, are about healthy recipes and (without saying as much) getting ready for the summer ahead. I have made a lot of stuff from this issue over the last 7 years. The cheesecake on the front cover made from light cream cheese and low-fat ricotta cheese is a nice change from highly rich, full fat cheese cake. There is also a wonderful light chocolate mousse made from ricotta, custard, dark chocolate and brandy (although I always use Kalhua). 

I wanted to make a dessert one night so decided to go with Bill Granger's Banana split. It is a light version made with a split banana, frozen yoghurt and passionfruit poured over top. Bill's recipe makes the frozen yoghurt using greek yoghurt sweetened with some caster sugar and either churned in an ice cream machine or placed in the freeze until slightly frozen and then beaten this is repeated several times. However, I had a container of Bulla strawberry frozen yoghurt in the freezer for making smoothies so I decided to just use that. It was a quick, easy and light dessert. One that I am sure I will repeat over the coming summer. 

Saturday 9 October 2010

October 2002 - Kumara Jackets with Chilli Butter

A new month and another slow start, oh dear. Well only a slow start on the posting. I have been cooking away. Although I have to admit that I have jumped an issue so I am limited as to what I can post at the moment. I will have to get my act together and get the recipe from that issue done so that I can continue on with my posts without too much more delay. 

I had hoped that for one of the months I would be able to do a month of cover recipes. Making each of the recipes from the front covers of each issue. The main problem with doing this with delicious magazine is that there is a high proportion of dessert recipes on the front covers. This month half of all the issues had desserts on the front cover. While I am all for having dessert, I could not make that many in one month. I make dessert once or twice a month at the most, five would be way too much for me especially when it can be a lot harder to reduce dessert recipes down in quantity. I haven't yet looked at the November issues but given past trends I doubt there will be a covers recipes month.

Speaking of desserts, my eye was caught by Valli Little's Fresh strawberry jelly. I like jelly but don't think that I have ever made it from scratch before. I even have the leaf gelatine in the cupboard to use in it. I bought some a while ago from Dutch Foods but have not used it yet. The leaf gelatine can be very hard to source locally, in fact it is pretty hard to find online too and when found it is usually quite expensive but the price was reasonable from Dutch Foods. I also love the Droste cocoa powder from there too. The jelly looked easy enough to make but it used a whole kilo of fresh strawberries. That is a lot of berries even when they are on special. Plus the kilo only makes 4 1/2 cup serves. I would get a lot more serves out of the fresh fruit. So I decided not to make the jellies. 

What I did end up making was Valli's Kumara Jackets with Chilli Butter. This was really easy and made a very nice side dish which I served with chicken breast pan fried with a creamy mustard sauce and steamed broccoli. I didn't have any fried shallots or peanuts to top it with but I think that it was just fine without. The chilli added a little bit of difference to the dish. I would definitely make it again.