Tuesday, July 26, 2011

{Lemon Curd & Blueberry Tart}

One of the peas is at work, one is at kinder and the last and smallest of my peas is sleeping on the couch after being a grump all morning. I have some rare peace and quiet, so rare that you might actually think its extinct and come with a David Attenborough voice over but no here I am, with a cup of tea that I don't have to share and a moment to catch up on what you've all been doing and to tell you about this yummy tart.

I found the recipe a while ago over at the lovely Heartbreak Pie, it was super quick to make and pretty impressive for not much effort, if you have a food processor then you can follow Delaneys directions but I still don't so I did it this way. I made it to celebrate the birthday of a girlfriend who loves a lemon tart and in a spooky coincidence she made and dropped off a jar of her homemade lemon curd just in time for it to be the star attraction in our morning tea, ah serendipity, I love it when you pop in.

...the tart
2 cups self raising flour
1/2 cup caster sugar
100g butter
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups lemon curd

1/ 2 punnet of blueberries

Preheat the oven to 180, grease and line a spring form tin (I used 25cm as per Delaney).

Cream the butter and sugar, add the eggs one at a time, stirring to combine and then finally pop in the flour and mix till it comes together as a dough.

Press two thirds of the dough into the base of the tin and up the sides trying to keep it all even. Pour in the lemon curd and sprinkle over the blueberries. Dollop the remaining third of the dough over the filling.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until golden. Allow it to cool slightly, remove from the tin and dust with icing sugar before serving.

Friday, July 15, 2011

{Celeriac & Parmesan Soup}

Ok confession time, I haven't cooked with celeriac before, I know tragic, who do I think I am writing a food blog. I wasn't going to let another winter pass me by without using it and thanks to my trusty Delicious Magazine along came the best soup I've tried in years, as I am cooking away, listening to a bit of jazz on my kitchen radio trying to drown out the boys playing "fire!!!!! fire!!!!!" 

I nibbled on some raw celeriac, delicious! and then on the very same night that celeriac and I became besties I'm watching French Food Safari on SBS and there's a salad made with grated celeriac, creme fraiche, horseradish and parsley YUM perfect with a steak, can't wait to whip that up. So about this soup it is total luxury, would be perfect for a dinner party, even a vegetarian dinner party, totes fancy enough, it is like liquid velvet and from so few ingredients, we loved it. Loved it I tell you.

...the soup
1 large celeriac, peeled & chopped (600g)

100g unsalted butter
100g parmesan cheese, grated
1 litre chicken or vegetable stock
300ml cream
1 tbsp truffle oil (or olive oil)
100g mushrooms, sliced

Melt 60g of the butter in a large pot over low heat, add the celeriac, season (not much salt), cover and cook for about 20 minutes stirring occasionally until the celeriac is soft but not coloured. Add in the stock and grated parmesan and bring to a low simmer, cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the cream and truffle oil and simmer for a another 5 minutes.

Allow to cool slightly, then whiz the soup in a blender until velvety smooth. Pass through a fine sieve (don't skip this stage!) into a clean pan, reheat over a gentle heat. Meanwhile put the remaining 40g of butter into a frypan and once it starts to foam add in the mushrooms and cook for a couple of minutes till golden. Check the seasoning of the soup and serve in warm bowls (I warm up my bowls in the microwave) with some mushrooms.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

{Nutella Mug Cake}

I kept bumping into this Nutella mug cake on my travels thru blogland and because my little people love Nutella I figured this would score me some pretty big brownie points with the added bonus of only about six minutes of effort. So today they got it for lunch, yup I fed my children chocolate cake, cream out of a pressurised can and strawberries for lunch and you know what it totally rocked. It's a yummy moist nutellery chocky cake and was big enough for the three of us, eat it while its still warm, the whipped cream out of a can is optional.

I might just add for the sake of my foodblogging credibility that its not a regular item in our fridge, Jack saw it on the Simpsons was curious and so in his own effort to score brownie points Jay bought some home. He proceeded to squirt a great big glob of it straight onto each of the wee peas palms, needless to say they are now both big fans of the little miracle that is whipped cream in a can and it has featured on every banana split since, lets just think of it as a little bit of retro food education.

...the cake
4 tbsp sr flour
3 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp cocoa powder
3 tbsp Nutella
3 tbsp milk
3 tbsp vegetable oil

1 egg

Combine all the ingredients in a large coffee mug (needs to be quite large I used a soup mug and it still overflowed). Whisk well with a fork until smooth. Microwave on high for 1 1/2 to 3 minutes. Time will depend on your microwave wattage, mine took the full 3 minutes.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

{Smoked Fish Pie}

Sorry I didn't get round to mentioning it before we went but we've been in NZ for a few weeks, Taranaki to be exact. It was totally lovely, very relaxing in the way that NZ is, we marvelled at how green the grass is, how cheap the bananas are and how clean the air feels, like you are the first person to ever breath it in.

We went out for two amazing dinners, where we vaguely recalled how to talk to each other in complete sentences, without interruptions or having to dash after a small boy who has decided to make a run for it. We had a beautiful lunch at the Govett Brewster gallery where I had the best suped up ginger crunch ever, watch this space! and we ate delicious rolled and stuffed wild pork belly which was both caught and cooked by my brother in law, he is like a cross between Bear Grylls and Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall, totally cool.

So keeping with a kiwi theme and to kick things off again this recipe is from the Edmonds Cookbook Illustrated, a gift from my lovely mum in law who's 60th birthday celebrations were the reason for our trip, it is a tasty and comforting fish pie, I added in a bit of extra warmth with some cayenne pepper as its pretty wintery here, it left us feeling warm and fuzzy, a lot like our trip home.

...the pie
50g butter
1 tbsp milk
3 cups cooked mashed spud
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp flour
1 cup milk
400g smoked tuna, drained
2 tbsp chopped parsley
2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
half tsp of cayenne pepper
handful of grated vintage cheese

Mash the cooked spuds with using the 50g butter and the tbsp of milk, season generously with s+p and set aside. Melt the other tbsp of butter in a medium saucepan, add the flour cook it off stirring until it bubbles, then add in the cup of milk and keep stirring or whisking til it boils and thickens, take it off the heat and add in the parsley, eggs, tuna, cayenne pepper and more s+p.

Line your pie dish with half the mashed potatoes, pour over the fish mix then finish with the rest of the mash and a generous handful of grated vintage cheese. Cook at 200 for 30 minutes and serve with a squeeze of lemon and a green salad.