Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Bastille day feast

Bouillabaisse is a traditional french seafood stew, originating from Marseille.  I once ate this when I traveled through France with my family, at a little beachside restaurant in Hyeres.  Eating this in France however, is very different to how I would serve it at home.  Normally the broth is served with toasts smothered in rouille and the seafood as a second course but I just have to tweak recipes a little, can't help it.  My version of rouille is also tweaked, satisfying my love of garlic and all things red!

Serves 2-4

1 leek, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
1 small carrot, peeled and finely diced
2 potatoes, diced
1 tsp fennel seeds
wineglass of white wine..chardonnay
2 bay leaf
Peel of 1/2 an orange, remove all pith
500ml fish stock
1 400g can crushed tomatoes in juice
1 tbsp raw sugar
a pinch of saffron
500g hapuku fillet, or other firm white fish
12 greenlip mussels, scrubbed and beards removed
15-20 green prawns

une baguette

4 tbsp mayonnaise
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1-2 roast capsicum, skins removed, deseeded or about 1/2 jar of roasted red peppers
2 tsp smoked paprika
sea salt and pepper

Heat olive oil in a large pan then add leek, carrot and garlic and saute over a medium heat til beautiful and soft.  Add potatoes and fennel seeds and fry for a couple of minutes.  Splash in the wine, stirring to bring everything together, simmer for a couple of minutes.  Add bay leaves, fish stock, tomatoes, sugar and saffron. Simmer gently for about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile make rouille.  Basically chuck everything into a blender until smooth.
Add mussels to soup and cook until open, discarding any that haven't opened.  Add fish, prawns and turn off heat, allowing the residual heat to cook the fish and prawns.

Serve the soup in bowls with rouille spooned on top of toasted slices of baguette.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Torta di ricotta (Ricotta pie)

This was the cake I recently made for my friends mother, adapted from a cuisine recipe to be entirely gluten free.  If you don't need to just use normal flour.

butter to grease tin
150g almonds, skin on
100g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
6 free range eggs
260g sugar
500g cow or buffalo ricotta
finely grated zest of one orange
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp brandy, frangelico or amaretto
3 1/2 tsp gluten free baking powder
4 tbsp olive oil
100g gluten free flour
cocoa for dusting

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and grease a 22cm cake tin.
For the filling, put the almonds and chocolate in a food processor and grind to a medium crumb.
Put 4 of the eggs and 200g of the sugar in a large bowl and beat well.  Add the ricotta, orange zest, cinnamon, liqueur and 2 tsp of the baking powder, along with the chocolate mix, and combine well.  Set aside.
To make the base, beat the remaining eggs with the remaining sugar and oil.  Stir in the flour and the remaining baking powder.  Pour into the prepared tin and top with the chocolate filling.
Bake for 1 hour until just becoming firm in the centre.  Cool in the tin for a few minutes then turn out and cool on a wire rack.
Serve dusted with cocoa powder, grated chocolate, roughly chopped almonds and orange zest.  Oh and lashings of creme fraiche.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Oh shutup! Wholly cow wing rib

Regardless of the fact that I'm a control freak who plans meals a week in advance, I actually really love getting my other half to decide whats for dinner.  Having dragged him off to the markets at 8.30 this morning, he was hovering around the Wholly cow stall. $20 later we had a wing rib in the bag - and I reckon handing over a twenty for more than a kg of prime beef is totally justified.

Now, when you buy meat this good and this particular cut, don't be ridiculous by trimming fat off.  This is not a time to be on a diet.  Remove the beef from the fridge 20 minutes before you begin to cook it.  Smother the fat in a mixture of 2 tbsp wholegrain mustard, 2 cloves of garlic, crushed or finely chopped, 3 tbsp thyme leaves, sea salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.
Turn your oven to 200 degrees.  Heat a frying pan until smoking hot.  Sear and caramalise the fat on the beef and the two sides.  Place into your hot oven for 15 minutes then turn down to 180 degrees.  Roast for 40-60 minutes depending on how you like your beef cooked.  (20mins per 500g for med rare)

You could also make a gravy..yes, from scratch.    Pour some of the fat from cooking the beef into a frypan and heat, add a tbsp of flour and whisk til smooth.  Add half a wineglass of boiling water and whisk til smooth again, bringing to boil to thicken.  Once thick, add 300ml of beef stock, repeat process whisking til smooth and thickening to your liking.

PS: You can get wholly cow meat from the Tauranga farmers market