Friday 31 December 2010

December 2010 - White Christmas Ice Cream Cones

When I started out this blog at the beginning of the year I certainly didn't realise that I would find myself finishing up the year long trip through the issues of delicious. magazine with the 100th issue but it sure is a wonderful way to end up. The scanner did some delightful things to the holographic "delicious."  on the front cover of this issue too. Like I said in my last post I have thoroughly this journey through my back issues (and current issues) of delicious. I plan to keep using them regularly and posting new recipes from them, although not as strictly as I have this year. 

I can hardly believe that I have a stack of 100 issues of delicious. magazines now. I am glad that I do though. There are so many recipes, 1000's I am sure, to go through and to try out. I have only really scratched the surface here this year. I have had a few failures and a couple of things not to my taste but I think that is to be expected when you are trying new recipes. I have to be honest and say that Valli Little has become my foodie hero over this past year. Her recipes are almost always amazing and there are so many of them. I have to wonder how she comes up with all of them. I would think that a large proportion of the recipes I did this year were from her and I am sure that there will be many, many more to come in the future. 

While I earmarked a number of recipes in this issue there were only 2 that I really, really wanted to make. The first I will write about next month, since this is a double issue after all. The second was the magnificent cover recipe, Valli's White Christmas Ice Cream Cones. They just looked fantastic. The styling of the cover was just so beautiful as well. I figured that since it was the 100th issue I just had to do a cover recipe and it was a bonus that it was one of Valli's recipes too. I wish that I could have styled mine like the ones on the cover but, alas, I did not need 6 of these nor did I want to take out the three that I did make at once so my picture looks rather plain. I will also admit that I didn't really follow Valli's recipe either. Instead of using glace fruit chopped and soaked in sherry I used the last of my homemade fruit mince. For the chocolate, all that I had in the house was dark chocolate chips so I roughly chopped some of those up. I don't own wine flutes but I do have some ice cream soda glasses so I put my filled paper cones into them to refreeze. I really enjoyed this dessert a lot and it looked really good. I am sure that it would be just as good using Valli's original recipe but I wanted to use up some stuff that I had on hand so mine are more fruit mince Christmas cones than white Christmas cones but still very, very nice. 

White Christmas Ice Cream Cones

Makes 8 (I halved the recipe and got 3 with a little bit left over)

  • 125 gr mixed glace fruits
  • 1/3 cup sherry
  • 125 gr dark chocolate
  • 1.25 litres vanilla ice cream, softened
  • 2/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted and chopped
  • Finely chop fruits and place in bowl with sherry and let soak overnight.
  • To prepare paper moulds, cut eight 30cmx20cm sheets of baking paper. Trim 8 sheets of plain A-4 paper into the same size. Lay baking paper sheet over a sheet of regular paper and bring top right corners into the middle of the paper and then roll to form a cone shape. secure with sticky tape. Repeat with the remaining sheets of paper and place in 8 champagne flutes or slim wine glasses.
  • Finely chop or grate chocolate.
  • Drain the fruits and discard the liquid. 
  • Fold into softened ice cream with the almonds and chocolate.
  • Scoop the mixture into the cones, packing down ice cream tightly to get it into the point. 
  • Put in freezer overnight to refreeze.
  • To serve, remove tape and unwrap the paper. Invert cones onto serving plates.

Thursday 30 December 2010

December 2009 - Mangomisu

On to the penultimate issue for this year long journey. I can hardly believe how quickly this year seems to have gone and how wonderful this experience has been. I have certainly discovered a lot of lovely new recipes, ones that I have made and ones that I am going to go back to make. I am really please with how this has turned out. I will admit that when I started I was at a point of just buying delicious magazine because I always had. I didn't make much out of it and didn't even really read it that much. I have now rediscovered how wonderful it is. Discovered that there are an amazing amount of quick, easy and very delicious recipes in each issue. I can't wait to go back and try some of those recipes that I earmarked to make but haven't yet. 

This issue, like most, had a lot of recipes that I want to try. I have, in fact, started Valli Little's Apple Iced Tea tonight. I had planned on making this for Christmas day but I just didn't manage to get it done. Not that I really needed anything more at Christmas time so I decided to wait a little while to make it. However I found a bottle of apple juice on special today so decided to snap it up and make this while it was available. I am sure that it will be lovely and refreshing. I will not worry about the sliced apple as I will want it to last at least a few days in the fridge, plus apples are expensive at the moment. 

Another drink that I am quite interested in is Jill Dupleix's Young Coconut & Berry Slushies. I am intrigued by the young coconut juice. I think that it could be quite nice. I have never seen the plastic cups of young coconut juice with flesh that she writes of but I have seen cans of young coconut juice in the local supermarket so will probably try it with that. The berries are raspberries and anything with raspberries is good as far as I am concerned. This would definitely be one to try during the heat of summer. 

The recipe that I had originally picked to make for this post was Valli Little's Maple-glazed Ham. I planned to, and did make this for Christmas. I don't recall ever having glazed a ham before and I was fairly pleased with how this one turned out. The fat on it wasn't all that thick so that did expose the flesh more than I had wanted but it was still very good. Although I am left with a huge amount of ham to use. I will have to slice it up and freeze a large portion of it as there is no way that I will be able to get through it all. I really enjoyed the glaze. If there wasn't hundreds of wonderful sounding recipes out there to try I would probably do it again.

Ever since this issue came out a bit over a year ago I had always wanted to make Valli Little's divine looking Mangomisu which graces the cover of this issue. A delightful mango and orange flavoured tiramisu cake. I hadn't had an opportunity to make it. It was one that would be difficult, although not impossible, to reduce down in size and I didn't want to have too much of this hanging around for me to eat. Being full of cream and the rich mascarpone I knew that I wouldn't be the most agreeable thing for my grandfather so I waited for an opportunity to make it for my family when there would be other desserts on offer as well. My grandfather did end up having a small amount though and seemed to go okay. I didn't use the Grand Marnier as I am not overly keen on it so I just used extra orange juice. I ended up using a lot more savoiardi than specified. More like 450 g. The layers of savoiardi needed to be pressed down well for the whole of the dessert to fit in the springform tin, even so, it only just fit. I chilled overnight and  don't think that I would do anything less to be honest. To remove from the tin, I warmed a knife under hot water, dried it off and then ran it around the tin and it came out easily and looked wonderful. The raspberry sauce was a delightful addition. It is not strictly necessary but it adds a bit of a tang and cuts through the richness a bit. I highly recommend this dessert for your next special occasion. I think it will become a traditional addition. Although next time I am going to try it with some cherries and some grated chocolate on each layer for a black forest misu.

Tuesday 28 December 2010

December 2008 - Chicken Parcels with basil, tomato & bocconcini

Nice quite day here. I telephoned my family overseas for Christmas. They were all gathering at my Uncle's house today for their Christmas meal so I took advantage of that and rang in one hit. It was so good to talk to them all, I wish I could have been there myself though. Hopefully I will get over for there again for Christmas one of these years, I just need to do a better job at saving money. Perhaps that should be my new year's better at saving. Actually, that probably isn't such a bad idea.

I really wanted to make the cover recipe from this issue, Valli Little's Chicken salad with Spiced Figs and Buffalo Mozzarella. It really looks so very delicious. The spiced figs are actually kind of like mulled figs as they are poached in a red wine and spice mix that reminded me very much of mulled wine, except for the inclusion of 1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar which would give a wonderful richness and tang to the poaching liquid. This liquid is then reduced down to be a dressing for the salad. The chicken is browned in a fry pan and then finished off in the oven. I would probably add some extra greens but I think that this would make a wonderful lunch. I didn't get to make it as figs aren't in season here yet so I will have to wait to give it a try. 

I considered two recipes for my Christmas eve (well day at the time) meal. Ham with red wine & cinnamon glaze. It sounded really good but I found a different recipe that I wanted to make more. The Cranberry Meringue tarts also looked really, really good. Although the meringue on top was actually little meringue kisses that were cooked separately. If I had made it I probably would have done it more like a lemon meringue pie/tart and spread with a regular meringue and brown it either with a blast in the oven or with a blow torch. In the end I went with something different, which didn't even end up being ready on the night but that was okay because I had already eaten more than enough. 

One night I found myself with a chicken breast that really needed to be used up so I went through the December issues and came across Louise Pickford's Chicken Parcels with Basil, Tomato and Bocconcini. This was really, really easy and quick to make. I only used the bambini bocconcini so I probably should have used a bit more than I did as it pretty much disappeared. The chicken was lovely a moist though. I used some of the lemon basil that I have growing to add a little citrus tang to it and it was delicious. I will admit that I forgot the balsamic glaze when I plated up but it was still very nice without it. I ended up serving with asparagus and carrots. It was all very good. 

Monday 27 December 2010

December 2007 - Wasabi-coated Salmon with Cucumber Salad

Well, it is a ridiculous hour of the night/morning. I had just managed to get to sleep after tossing and turning and then some hoon decided to race up and down the street outside honking their horn. Grrrr. Now I am feeling tired but also unable to get back to sleep presently so I thought that I would get a post done. I had a lovely Christmas, I hope that all of you out there did too. I spent almost all day out, firstly with my aunt & uncle for a lovely roast lamb & veg lunch. followed by plum pudding and trifle.  I then spent the afternoon/evening with friends and their family. It was a lovely day. I even managed not to eat too much. 

From this issue I considered making Ben O'Donoghue's Mexican Barbequed Pork Belly. It looked like a really good recipe where you make your own Adobo marinade. I have been curious about adobo as I have read a number of Mexican recipes that use a "can of chipotle chillies in adobo sauce" and I was never really sure what it was. I knew that I wasn't able to buy the product in the local supermarket, although I know a couple of places to get it online. Ben's recipe seems quite easy. There were two reasons that I didn't do this recipe. The first is that I don't have a gas bottle for my bbq so that makes using it rather impossible. The second reason is that I have used a lot of pork belly recently and I decided that it was time for a change. I do really like pork belly but it certainly isn't the healthiest cut of meat and I really think that it needs to be a very occasionally thing. In fact I probably need to leave making it for when I am having company so that I don't have a heap of leftovers to eat too. 

I also considered making Kate Nichols' Pancetta, Sage & Onion Stuffing (or one of the variations) as part of my Christmas meal. I was, at one point considering making both a glazed ham and stuffed rolled turkey breast. However, I finally realised that as much as it would have been lovely, it would be just too much food for me. So since I had the ham in the fridge and the turkey breast (which I actually bought ages ago) was in the freezer I decided to just do the ham. I will do the turkey at some other time and might do this lovely sounding stuffing for it then. 

When I went through this issue in January I referred Valli Little's lovely sounding Wasabi-coated Salmon with Cucumber Salad. It just looked and sounded so good and lovely and refreshing. I just love wasabi. I have a terrific recipe for rice salad with wasabi dressing. I have also used the dressing on other salads too. I really like snacking on the wasabi peas. They have a wonderful heat to them. It is hot and sharp but doesn't burn for a long time. I really enjoyed this. The wasabi in it was really subtle though so I think that next time I would reduce the amount of flour. The processor didn't do the best of jobs processing the peas up, I think it would have been better if I had done it in batches rather than trying all at once. It  probably would be just as easy to bash them up in a mortar & pestle however I forked out the money for a KitchenAid food processor so I use it as much as possible. The salad that went with it was excellent. I used alfalfa sprouts instead of the bean sprouts as that is what I could get. Plus I much prefer alfalfa to bean sprouts. I have said before that I am not hugely keen on seafood but I did really like this and I really want to start incorporating more seafood into my diet so I will be on the look out for more meals like this one. Tasty, light and fresh. 

Friday 24 December 2010

December 2006 - Soft Breakfast Tacos

Happy Christmas eve to everyone out there reading. I hope that you are having a great one. I am so glad that I had the day off work today as I actually managed to get a whole bunch of stuff done. I got all my washing and cleaning done, something I haven't done in just one day for ages. Plus I made my Christmas meal for myself. Half of my family live overseas and when with them we always had  a big dinner on Christmas eve. I decided to go with that this year as I will be spending Christmas day out and I still wanted to get my usual Christmas treats, like my once a year Jellied Carrot Salad. Not your usual salad fare but it is something that both my gramma and mum used to make and pretty much takes me straight back to childhood. The reason it only gets make once a year is because it is made with jelly, crushed pineapple with juice, sugar, grated carrot and a whole bunch of whipped cream. Definitely not an every day thing but wonderful for a once-a-year Christmas treat and I enjoyed it a lot tonight.

I have actually made two dishes from this issue. The first was Valli Little's Tamarind-roasted Vegetables. I am sure that I must have done something wrong when I made this as it was just awful. In fact, I couldn't even eat it. The favour was hideous and it was so overcooked and some parts were burnt. Okay, so the overcooked and burnt were probably my fault, I should have taken it out earlier. I have a feeling that the taste problem was the tamarind. I have always bought tamarind concentrate from Herbie's Spices but I was out and I found some in the supermarket and decided to give it a try. It seemed different than the stuff from Herbie's. It was definitely a lighter colour. I will be getting more from Herbie's and will try it again because I have made a tamarind potato dish before and it was fantastic so I am determined that this one will be too.

The other recipe from this issue was one that I have always wanted to make, Kate Tait's Soft Breakfast Tacos. After the disaster with the vegetables I just wanted to make something else from the issue as there is a lot of nice things in there. This was just perfect. I made this for breakfast this morning. I didn't have any cream so just used milk which makes it a bit healthier, especially since I got a large dose of cream tonight. I also substituted the coriander for parsley, which I have an abundance of in the garden. In the salsa I just used the tabasco sauce rather than chilli and tabasco sauce and it was spicy enough for me. I really enjoyed it. It was very easy and quick to make and was sufficiently filling for breakfast. I will definitely be making these again. 

Wednesday 22 December 2010

December 2005 - Roasted Spatchcocks with blood-plum glaze

This month is starting to sneak away from me. Before we know it Christmas will be here and gone and then it will be 2011 and I will be wondering where the previous year went. It really is amazing how quickly the past few months seem to have gone. I will admit that early in the year, in the midst of problems at work, I wondered if the year was ever going to pass by. Thankfully those problems were fixed and time did seem to move much quicker after that. Only one more day of work for the year. At 5:00 pm tomorrow I get to lock the door of the office, put up the closed sign and not go back until the new year. We always close down between Christmas and new year. It is a wonderful thing to do. It is a great time to recuperate from a long year and get ready to start the new one. 
This gorgeous red covered issue with drool worthy Macerated strawberries with Champagne sorbet on the front cover had a wonderful Christmas feast in it. All of the recipes were wonderful looking from the Glazed ham through Spicy prawn cocktails & the alcoholic 24-carat Christmas drink to the wonderful sides of Kumara crumble and baby green vegetables with lemon pepper butter. It was all glorious and the recipe that really hooked me was Valli Little's Roasted Spatchcocks with Blood-plum glaze.  I was surprised recently to find spatchcocks in the meat section of one of the local supermarkets and I knew that I just had to buy some to use. They were kind of expensive but if we want the local supermarkets to stock these things in smallish rural towns then we have to be willing to pay for it (within reason of course). I also noticed recently that my favourite butcher in town in now stocking a range of more unusual meats since they have moved into their new larger premises. The day I was there they had some quail and venison and some other things that I can't quite remember at the moment. 

Valli's recipe, like almost all of hers that I have made, was fantastic. I couldn't get the blood-plum paste so I went with the quince paste, which I already had in the fridge. It was simple and quick to make and so very nice. The meat was so tender and moist but quite rich. The glaze gave it all a lovely sweetness while the hint of lemon just cut through it nicely.  I used prosciutto instead of pancetta as that was what I had on hand. I served it with the asparagus dish from the December 2002 issue sans the bocconcini. It was a lovely combinations and would be just as perfect as a Sunday roast as it would be a Christmas meal. Oh and the recipe indicates one spatchcock each I don't think I even ate half of one, I am not sure how anyone could eat a whole one in one sitting.

Monday 20 December 2010

December 2004 - Hot dogs with fiery onion relish

Oh dear, I am really tired. It was a really big day a work today. So many people that want everything done before Christmas but there is only so much that you can do and some people's expectation are pretty unreasonable. I am also not really sure why people are so desperate to get things done before Christmas, yes we will be closed for a week after Christmas but it is only a week. I could understand if it was a month but seriously, a week. Another thing, I have moved around. I couldn't think of anything worse to do a day or two before Christmas. Oh well, to each their own. 

I think that the last time I looked at this issue I was keen to try the Chicken baked in Limoncello with zucchini 'spaghetti'. It really does look wonderful. However limoncello is so expensive. Although I do have a recipe to make my own but I have never gotten around to making it. There are a few recipes that I would like to try out that have limoncello in them so perhaps I should just bite the bullet and by myself a bottle especially at the moment when zucchini is in season and so nice. 

I was intrigued by Valli's Pineapple wafers with ice cream and chocolate sauce. The wafers include blended pineapple in the batter and once cooked moulded over dariole moulds to form a little basket. This is then filled with a couple of scoops of coconut ice cream and drizzled with chocolate sauce. I would have loved to make this but I had another dessert lined up for the month. Plus since it is the lead up to Christmas there are little nibblies at parties and big meals and desserts still to come so I don't really need to add extra desserts into the mix. 

I ended up making another lunch dish from this issue, Silvana Franco's Hot dogs with fiery onion relish. Serving the hot dogs on pita bread was a really good idea. It is filling but I think they are better for you than the hot dog rolls that you buy in stores. The fiery onion relish that is really the only actual cooking part of the recipe and it is really worth making. It has a nice little kick to it and went nicely with the salsa sausages that I bought from my butcher to use as I couldn't come at the idea of frankfurts. I really enjoy this and it was so quick and easy to do too. 

Thursday 16 December 2010

December 2003 - Easy Mincemeat Danish

Back to working full time has left me with little time to swan around doing whatever it is that I do. It also means that I have less time to get everything done. Needless to say I have been a little bit slack on posting. I am not sure if I like working full time. So far, I have managed to get up and get going in plenty of time each day so that is a start. Pretty tired in the evenings though and not overly keen on doing too much in the way of cooking unfortunately. 

I had planned on making Barry Vera's Peppered beef salad from this issue, but I couldn't find any nice tapanade that didn't cost the earth. I will have to make a trip out the the winery to get some. They have a variety of different local produce in the cellar door shop including a very nice tapanade. 

Bill Granger's Chicken noodle salad looked really good. Nice fresh ingredients with a lovely Asian-style dressing. Although it does use egg noodle and most noodle salads that I make I use glass noodles. The egg noodles would probably make it a bit more filling than a glass noodle salad. I just didn't feel like making it though. 

Actually what I did make was Valli Little's Easy Mincemeat Danish. One night I just wanted some thing sweet to eat and I have a jar of mincemeat in the fridge that I made. I also had some puff pastry in the freezer that had been in there for ever. The edges were starting to dry out but it was still okay. They were so simple to make and very tasty. Plus with the homemade mincemeat it is just perfect. I highly recommend making your own it tastes amazing and is so easy to do. Although I remember the first time that I did it after I bought my KitchenAid processor and I ended up with a paste as it processed things so much more quickly than my old one and I a just didn't realise it. 

Fruit Mince

2 cups sultanas
2 cups dried fruit mix
1 1/2 cups currants
2 medium granny smith apples, peeled and grated
Finely grated rind of 1 lemon, 
1/4 cup lemon juice
Finely grated rind of 1 orange
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup good Brandy 
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves

Put sultanas, mixed fruit, currants, apple, rinds and juice into a food processor and process until finely chopped. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add sugar, Brandy, cinnamon, mixed spice, nutmeg and cloves and stir until combined.

Spoon fruit mixture into a 5 cup capacity sterilised screw-top jar. Refrigerate for up to 3 months.

Sunday 12 December 2010

December 2002 - Asparagus with cherry tomatoes, olives & torn bocconcini

It is supposed to be summer here but with the exception of a couple of hot days it certainly doesn't seem like it. Rain, rain and more rain and if it is not raining then it is overcast. The vegetable garden really doesn't appreciate it. There has just been too much rain and not enough sun. My zucchini is covered in powdery mildew. My tomatoes are full of grubs, although the cherry tomatoes are okay. I have gotten 3 small cucumbers so far but the leaves on it are starting to yellow so I am not sure how much longer it is going to survive. It is so disappointing as everything was looking so good initially. It is still early in the season so I am considering pulling out the zucchini and tomato and planting fresh plants to see if I can still get some decent veg this year. 

Rick Stein's Crisp Chinese roast pork with steamed rice sounded really good. Which is a lovely pork belly recipe where the pork flesh is rubbed with a combination of Sichuan peppercorns, black peppercorns, sea salt flakes, five-spice powder and sugar. Rick does point out the need for a nice layer of fat on the pork so as to produce decent crackling. I have just, tonight, had a lamentable experience with an incredibly lean piece of pork belly. There was barely any fat on it and the crackle, while slightly crunchy, did not do what it was supposed to. The meat turned out dry and stringy. I was really disappointed. Next time I purchase a piece I will make sure to have a bit more of a look at it. I think that my next pork belly recipe will be this easy one from Rick Stein. 

Also marked in this recipe was this wonderful Sweet potato & leek roulade with Xmas stuffing. I couldn't really make it for the blog since I have made it previously. Not only is it a wonderful vegetarian dish for Christmas but it is also a really good side dish at Christmas, or any time really. I highly recommend giving this one a go. 

I have now made the dish from this issue, Asparagus with cherry tomatoes, olives & torn bocconcini, twice this month. The first time was as a side dish where I forgot the bocconcini. I then made it again today as a salad for lunch. It was very good both times. Today, I added some lemon basil in place of the regular basil and added a squeeze of lime juice. This was such an enjoyable and simple dish and worked perfectly as a side dish and as a salad. 

Asparagus with cherry tomatoes, olives & torn bocconcini

Serves 6 (as a side dish)

  • 700 g green & white asparagus, trimmed (I couldn't get white) 
  • 100 ml extra virgin olive oil (I only used a small drizzle) 
  • 200 g red & yellow cherry tomatoes, halved (I just used red) 
  • 200 g black olives, pitted and halved
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped 
  • 12 basil leaves, chopped 
  • 4 bocconcini, roughly torn
  • Cook asparagus until just cooked but still firm. The recipes says to boil it, I prefer to saute for 5 minutes or steam. 
  • Heat oil in a fry pan over a medium heat. Add tomatoes and cook, tossing until warm. 
  • Add olives and warm through. 
  • Remove from heat and add garlic, basil and asparagus and toss to combine. 
  • Serve as a side dish or with crusty bread as a salad. 

Thursday 9 December 2010

December 2001 - Baked Mushrooms

It seems a bit quick to be revisiting this issue but since the launch issue was a November/December issue I don't have much choice. It is a good issue, in fact most of them are, so I am not too worried about revisiting it. 
I again salivated over the Hummus with ground lamb & pinenuts. It really does look so very good, however I was looking for something for breakfast. 

I recalled that there was a wonderful recipe for Baked Mushrooms by Jacques Raymond in this issue. I tossed up whether to make this recipe or, what I eventually did make for November, his Crispy pork belly with spiced lentils. Now that I had another chance at it this issue it was a pretty foregone conclusion that I was going to come back to this recipe. It was just as fantastic as I had hoped, although I am sure it would have been even better with freshly picked, wild mushrooms like Jacques says in his introduction to the recipe but even though there had been a lot of rain recently I hadn't come across any fresh mushrooms. I did buy some lovely portobello mushrooms on special and they were perfect in this. I served the mushrooms on some lovely toasted pane de casa from a local bakery. It was a wonderful breakfast and I will be doing this one again. 

Baked Mushrooms 

Serves 4 

  • Melted butter, to grease
  • 8 medium Swiss Brown or field mushrooms
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced 
  • 5 eschallots, sliced 
  • 2 tbsp roasted hazelnuts (I used walnuts) 
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 
  • 2 tbsp hazelnut oil (I used walnut oil) 
  • 50 g butter, cubed 
  • Parmesan shavings 
  • 12 sprigs fresh thyme
  • Preheat oven to 180 C. 
  • Line baking tray with foil and brush with melted butter. 
  • Quarter mushrooms if large or leave whole if you prefer and add to the tray. 
  • Combine garlic, eschallots, hazelnuts and oils in a bowl and season with salt & pepper. 
  • Pour over the mushrooms and toss to combine. 
  • Then add parmesan, butter and half the thyme. 
  • Cover with a second sheet of foil, seal and bake for 10 - 12 minutes. 
  • Serve with toast and remaining thyme.