Monday, January 29, 2007

Feta and spinach tart

Sheet savoury pastry
250g spinach
200g cottage cheese
200g feta cheese
Garlic, ginger, pesto
1 Onion, chopped
2 eggs

Brown the onion, garlic, ginger and pesto.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
Take pan off heat and allow to cool.
Add in rest of ingredients and stir through.
Pour into oven-proof dish and cover with pastry. Prick some holes to let the steam escape.
Bake for 30 minutes or until filling is set and pastry is golden.

Plum cake

100g sugar
100g butter
3 eggs
75g standard flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
Pinch salt
100g ground almonds
Plums - around 20 (pips removed)

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
Beat the butter and sugar.
Add eggs to mixture and lightly stir.
Sift flour, baking powder and salt into mixture and fold in.
Fold in ground almonds.
Spoon mixture into cake tin and place plums on top.
Bake for 45 minutes or until skewer comes out clean.

Self saucing plum pudding

The neighbours gave us a big bag of plums so we decided on two recipes :

2 cups self raising flour
Pinch salt
50 g butter (soft)
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 cup milk
Plums - pips removed
100g fruit jam - plum, strawberry ...

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
Sift flour and salt into a bowl.
Add the sugar.
Stir in the butter.
Stir in egg, milk and vanilla essence.
Place plums at bottom of oven proof dish.
Pour batter over.
Mix the jam and boiling water and gently pour over the batter using the back of a spoon.
Bake for 40 minutes or until pudding is golden and risen.
Serve with cream or ice cream.

Berries and ice cream

Simple but delicious. Raspberries from the garden, blueberries in season and jelly tip ice cream with a Dutch waffle wafer.

Toad in the hole

Toad in the hole is essentially Yorkshire pudding (see previous recipe) and left-over meat (usually sausages).

125g flour
Pinch of salt
3 eggs
200 ml milk

Sausages (or other left over meat). (If not cooked, cook first).

Preheat oven to 220 degrees C.
Sift together the flour and salt.
Make a well and break the eggs into the middle of the well.
Stir, adding the milk a bit at a time, until the batter is smooth.
Place the sausages in an oven-proof dish with a bit of oil and place in oven until oil is hot.
Quickly pour over the batter and then cook for 25 - 30 minutes or until batter is golden and has risen.
Serve with gravy.

Aside : figs in the garden

Figs are almost ready but it's a race between us and the birds!

Mongolian BBQ

Essentially, a Mongolian BBQ is a stir-fry of thinly sliced meat and vegetables with a sauce added.

It's best cooked over a wok at high heat so the cooking time is kept as short as possible. Everyone selects their own combination and cooks it themselves. We use a big wok which we place over the BBQ.

Ingredients we used are:


Spring onion

Oriental plum sauce
Butter chicken sauce
Sweet and sour sauce

Summer salad

Sometimes simple is best! A simple salad in the heat!

Includes tomatoes, green and red peppers, avocado, banana and lettuce. With a side order of Otago cherries.

Aside : Monarch butterflies in the garden

In NZ, Monarch butterflies feed mainly on swan plants.

By the end of the season, the swan plants are completely eaten. Garden centres sell swan plants which you place in your garden to help protect the habitat and encourage breeding.

As you can see, the "birds have flown".

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Aside : beans in the garden

These are bush beans and they'll soon be ready to pick.

Brunch on the BBQ

An easy way to cook brunch for a number of people.

On the grill:

Fried tomatoes
Fried bananas
Black pudding

Served with a summer side dish of oranges and tomatoes.

We find the eggs easier to cook in egg rings. Grease them, break the egg, let a little bit of the white fall into the ring (this seals the bit between the ring and the grill) and then carefully pour the rest of the egg in. If you skip the first part, the egg sometimes flows under the ring and makes a mess.

Things can get hectic with so much food so two people are needed at times.

Yorkshire puddings

125g flour
Pinch salt
3 large eggs
200 ml milk

This recipe normally calls for 2 eggs but we follow Jamie Oliver's advice and add an extra egg.

Sieve the flour and salt into a bowl.
Make a well in the centre.
Break eggs into the well.
Mix adding the milk gradually until batter is smooth.
Let the batter stand for about an hour.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C.
Place a little oil into each individual section of a muffin pan.
Place into oven until oil is smoking i.e. hot.
Quickly give the batter a last stir and then divide the batter among the individual sections of the muffin pan. Work quickly so that the oil does not cool too much.
While cooking do NOT open the oven.
Bake for 25 minutes or until golden and risen.
Serve with a roast and gravy.
Some people pour jam or syrup into the middle and eat as a dessert.

Summer BBQ

The Saturday kids take a bit of a break over summer. We normally have a BBQ on a Saturday night.

On the grill:

Kumara hash browns
Lamb chops

Aside : Raspberries and blueberries in the garden

With all the warm weather we are having, the berries are coming on by leaps and bounds.