Well things have progressed slowly with the wedding plans, although I’ve still got a lot of the essential things that need doing. You know, just things like caterers, buses and accommodation… but THE dress has been bought! It’s amazing and I love it. Yes! Unfortunately you’re all going to have to wait until March to see it. Don’t worry, I’m sure it’s going to come around really soon. Gulp. So much to do!
Righto, as you may (or may not be aware) today is the MELBOURNE CUP! It’s the race that stops the nation. (C’mon number 5, 6 or 17 – I’ve spent up a big fat $2 on each of you!). Anyway, it’s a day of fancy frocks, facinators, French champagne and fast horses – so I thought I’d better arm you with the bestest’ most delicious boozy drink to make at your Melbourne Cup party – too fun! This is a lovely (slightly sweet) fresh drink that would be perfect on a nice warm day (which today is supposed to be (in Melbourne anyway – fingers crossed). So, pop down to the shops, pick up some strawberries (they’re in season), a lime and a wine. Blitz it all in the blender then pop it in the freezer before your guests come around.
I highly recommend you give it a go. It’s something a little different for your Melbourne Cup party, or for any one of your summer BBQs.
Strawberry & Mint Riesling Slushie
2 1/2 cups strawberries juice of one lime 750ml Riesling or another sweet wine 2 tbsp sugar a handful of mint finely chopped
1. Set one cup of Riesling aside.
2. Place all other ingredients into a food processor and blitz until smooth. Pour the mixture into an ice tray (I used a mini loaf tin which worked perfectly) and freeze for a minimum of four hours.
3. After the mixture has frozen, place it back in the food processor with the remaining cup of Riesling and blitz until smooth. Serve immediately in glass with a cute paper straw!
I think marmalade gets a bit of a bad wrap. I used to go through phases when I was a kid but generally I quite liked it, just as long as it wasn’t the bitter kind. A couple of weeks ago I thought I’d try my hand at a mandarin marmalade. In fact I actually tried to make it twice, both times with no luck at all. Silly mistake, but the first time round, I’d forgotten it was on the stove. It cooked for too long and almost turned to burnt toffee! Thick and impossible to spread. My second attempt I actually ruined a cast iron pot… I don’t know what my problem was, but mandarin marmalade wasn’t my thing. However, I was dead-set on trying to make some sort of preserve with our delicious citrus fruit before it’s all out of season.
Nothing is without reason though. Whilst making the mandarin marmalade I’d discovered that it was better to blend the fruit before adding it to the pan. I thought I’d apply this knowledge to my simple orange marmalade to ensure a super smooth consistency. The one thing I disliked when I was a kid was discovering a big chunk of fruit in my jam. I can’t say it was smoother than a non-blended marmalade but the texture, for me, was perfect!
So, it may not have been the most ground breaking recipe but at least I learnt something – and that is what cooking is all about.
Now I’m interested, do you guys like marmalade? If not, perhaps you should give it another go?
Ps. I have a very special recipe coming up shortly. Watch this space!
Sweet Orange Marmalade
6 Valencia oranges or other sweet variety of orange
600g white sugar
1. Wash and peel oranges and put the skins to the side – you’ll need them later. Place the flesh of the orange in the food processor and blitz until smooth. Place the orange juice in a large heavy bottomed pan on medium heat with 3 cups of water.
2. Once the orange juice starts to boil place the sugar in the pan. Meanwhile take the skin of the oranges and cut into super fine slivers. Place about 50g of the chopped peel into the pot and let cook for about an hour. Place a small saucer in the freezer – you’ll need this to check when it’s almost ready
3. After an hour, place a small spoonful on the frozen saucer. When the marmalade is ready it’ll be a good thick consistency.
4. Next you’ll need to sterilize your jars. Wash both the jars and lids in hot soapy water and rinse them thoroughly. Place them in a preheated 140ºC oven for 10 minutes right side up. Ensure the jars aren’t touching each other and in the last 5 minutes place the lids in the oven as well. I don’t like to leave the lids in for too long otherwise the rubber seals in them melt!
Serve on thickly sliced bread with lashings of butter. So simple but so delicious.
I’m the sort of person if you tell me I can’t do it, I’ll give it my all to prove you wrong. This was also the case when I was about 16. It was my Grandfather’s birthday and I wanted to make something nice. Mum had mentioned that he had fallen in love with the profiterole since living in France. So with this I decided to make a mini croquembouche for him. Mum had warned me: ‘they’re hard to make, my oven isn’t good enough, they’ll surely ruin, it’ll be a waste of time’ but this only fueled my determination to make the best goddamn croquembouche a 16 year old could make! That was it – I had set my mind to it. Mum was happy to help out. Now don’t forget, this was the late 90s, before the days of Googling for a good recipe if you didn’t have one. Luckily for me Mum found a recipe in her old French cooking book and translated it for me so I could get cracking on my mega-creation. This book was the real deal.
As it turns out, my choux pastry was perfect and I nailed the custard! I filled half the batch with coffee and the other half chocolate. I covered them all in toffee and oh my… they were delicious. I’ve never seen a smile so wide on my Grandfather’s face.
I’ve been meaning to make these little guys again, ever since starting the blog two years ago. Although these are eclairs, they’re essentially the same thing (plus I had my mum’s vintage eclair tray that I’ve wanted to use!). These are sooooo good for a special occasion (as it turns out I had a birthday party I could take them to) but I wont lie – it’s a bit of a process, but it’s definitely worth it. This is the first time I’ve made a salted caramel version so I slightly altered my original recipe. I hope you enjoy them!
What’s your favourite French pastry? I have another favourite that comes a close second to these which I hope to bake for you soon ;)
Makes about 20-24 10cm long eclairs.
120g butter 1 cup water1 cup flour, siftedsalt4 eggs – lightly beaten
1. Preheat oven to 200ºC. Bring butter and water to boil, remove from heat and add sifted flour and salt. Return to heat, all the time beating mixture until it forms one ball and leaves the sides of the saucepan, roughly 3 minutes.
2. Place pastry into a mixer and beat until it cools to a luke warm temperature. Then slowly add in the eggs until it’s all thoroughly incorporated. Place the pastry into a piping bag and pipe 10cm lines onto a lined baking tray (or you could make mini versions). Let cook for roughly 30 minutes or until golden brown.
1/2 litre milk 60g flour1 cup sugar1/4 cup water1 whole egg + 1 egg yolk – lightly whiskedpinch of salt
1. Place 3/4 cup of sugar and the water into a heavy based saucepan. Let the sugar boil for 8-10 minutes or until the sugar turns a caramel colour. You should also be able to smell once it has caramelised. Take the pan off the heat and place the base in some cold water. This will stop the sugar from burning. Add the milk a little at a time and then place back on the heat on low. Keep stirring, the caramel will harden but then soften and melt as the milk warms up.
2. In a separate bowl mix the remaining sugar, flour and salt. Slowly add the eggs whilst beating the mixture to prevent lumps. Add this to the pan of milk a little at a time and just keep mixing for 2-3 minutes! If all else fails and the mixture becomes lumpy you can always bamix it. (I did!) You’ll need to get rid of all the lumps as this may cause issues when piping into the pasty.
3. Place the custard into a piping bag. Create a small hole in the end of the pastry and poke the nozzle into the end and pipe! Hold the eclair and you should be able to feel when it’s full.
150g soft dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons of golden syrup
50ml of double cream
1. Place the butter, sugar and golden syrup in a saucepan and bring to a gentle boil until the sugar is dissolved. Add the cream and whisk together. Bring to a steady simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly before drizzling over the top. Sprinkle with a little salt
** These are the quantities I used. I actually doubled the initial choux pastry recipe I used but only made a single batch of custard (I didn’t quite have enough milk at the time to make two). I found the custard filled almost all the choux pastry casings but I did have piping bag problems (it went everywhere) and thought it may be enough after all. Please let me know how you find the quantities. Please email me with any questions.
A couple of weeks ago the friendly people at KitchenAid were kind enough to send me the Meat Grinder and Sausage Stuffer attachments for my beautiful stand mixer (her name is Roxy and she’s a treasure). I bought her about 2 years ago when we’d just moved back to Australia. I was living back at home at the time and had a little extra disposable income, so I just went out and bought one. I figured the sooner I bought it, the more use I’d get out of it, and that was that. My pride and joy sits on our kitchen bench and always twinkles at me whenever I walk out in the morning. I was so excited when KitchenAid offered me the attachments as I hadn’t even thought about the extra bits and bobs you could get for it. I can already tell I’m going to get a lot of use out of the meat grinder. I wont ever have to buy mince meat again – and now I’ll know exactly what goes into it.
I also know EXACTLY what has gone into these delicious homemade Pork, Apple and Caramelised Onion sausages. I think it makes them even more appetizing too. This is the first time I’ve made anything like this and I totally winged it. I was a little nervous at first so I watched a few youtube videos to learn the basics. There are a few small things I would now do differently if I were making them again. It took me a little longer than I first anticipated, but I really enjoyed the whole process and I reckon I could whip up a batch in no time at all now. Life skills I tells’ ya! It’s good to challenge yourself with small culinary hurdles, and this was most certainly one of them. I would, however, say that the hurdle was more mental as these delicious homemade sausages aren’t actually that hard to make – just give yourself a bit of time first time round! I served mine with gourmet mash – that’s what we call it at our house. It’s not really that gourmet, just good ol’ buttery delicious mash packed full of veggies and garlic. More of a smash than a mash. It’s so good, especially with fresh bangers!
As you may or may not have noticed, this year I haven’t been as regular with the frequency of my posts and I do feel terrible. I’ve mentioned it a few times, I know, but I thought I’d tell you that I’ve decided to scale the posts back to once a fortnight. I’m sure you can all appreciate the time it takes to cook, style, photograph, clean (or coax others to clean for me) and write the blog. I’m finding it a bit hard to fit in other things I need to do on the weekend – like plan a wedding! Don’t worry, I’ll have more time after early March – du dum da dahhhh.
BTW – I haven’t been paid for any of these comments. I only ever write about products and goods I think are worth writing about.
PS: For all my Aussie readers, these bangers would make for an impressive treat at this Saturday’s AFL Grand Final BBQ… just saying!
Homemade Pork, Apple & Caramelised Onion Sausages
500 g free-range pork mince pork 1 red onion, peeled and finely chopped 1 tbsp brown sugar 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced 2 small Granny Smith apples, grated handful parsley and oregano 1 tsp mustard powder 1 tsp Dijon mustard 1 tsp seeded mustard 1 tsp salt
1.5 meters of natural castings
1. Add a large bowl and all sausage making equipment into the fridge to let them all chill. It’s best to keep all meat and appliances cold so the fat in the sausages doesn’t melt. Clean hands are also essential so wash them regularly. Rinse sausage casings and let soak in fresh water whilst preparing the meat.
2. Add to a hot, well oiled pan the finely diced red onion and cook on low heat until golden and translucent, roughly 15 minutes. Then add sugar, a pinch of salt and balsamic vinegar. Let cook until the onions become sticky and thick. Set aside and let cool.
3. Once the onions are cool in the chilled bowl add all ingredients apart from the casings. Lightly mix everything through but try not to overmix. Drain the casings and pat dry with paper towel.
4. Attach the KitchenAid meat grinder and add the meat mixture into the feed and turn the mixer on. Placing it through the grinder will ensure everything is mixed properly and chopped finely. Once the mixture has been through, then attach the sausage stuffer and slide the casings over the long tube. Place the meat mixture into the top of the grinder again and turn the machine on. Once the meat starts coming out of the nozzle help steer it out and also keep feeding the meat in the top. It is easier to have someone help you at this stage. Once all the meat has been squeezed through, turn the mixer off and trim the casing. Separate the long sausage into normal sized portions and twist 3 or 4 turns one way and then twist the next link 3 or 4 times in the opposite direction. Watch this video to see how the pros do it and extra tips.
5. With a sterilized pin prick the casings to expel any trapped air. Hang sausages and let them dry for an hour or so before refrigerating. They will keep in the fridge for up to one week or place them in the freezer for up to 6 months. OR cook and enjoy them straight away!
6 medium potatoes, peeled an chopped 2 carrots, peeled and chopped handful of green beans, trimmed 1 cup of peas 4 cloves garlic 1/2 tbsp butter 4 tbsp milk salt and pepper to taste
1. Add potatoes and carrots into a pot of boiling seasoned water. Let cook for about 8 minutes then add beans and peas for the last two minutes.
2. Once all veggies are cooked, drain and roughly mash with a potato masher. Add butter, garlic and milk a little at a time until you’ve reached the correct consistency. Add salt and pepper and serve with your well cooked homemade sausages.
I don’t know about you but I had a fantastic weekend! On Saturday a friend of mine had a few of us over to her place for afternoon tea. It was a beautiful afternoon, complete with sparkling rosé and cucumber sandwiches, a great way to spend a sunny afternoon. Later that night we celebrated a friends 30th at a bar/pizzeria in Fitzroy called Feldmans (named after Corey Feldman!). Great pizza, great music, definitely worth checking out.
On Sunday we had a good friend come and visit from Sydney. We thought we’d get out of the city, and took a road trip out to the Yarra Valley. We stopped at Chandon for a wine tasting, this place is so beautiful! Their wine was so delicious so we bought a couple of bottles before heading on to Healesville for lunch at (the always impressive) Innocent Bystander. It was such a beautiful afternoon. Sharing good food with great friends, the sun was shining and the wine was flowing. I didn’t want to drive back to be honest!
Now not everything in the Adeline & Lumiere kitchen goes to plan. This weekend, as you can see, was very busy. I had intended to make a mandarin marmalade and I did just that, but it didn’t quite turn out as planned. I was in a rush so I didn’t read the recipe properly. Actually I didn’t even really follow the recipe. It all just went downhill from there. It was a disaster, so this week I don’t actually have a recipe – sorry! I do have some photos from a shoot I did a couple of weeks ago. This is the famous Drunken Admiral’s chowder. It’s been on their menu since opening in 1979! Delicious. This is one of the dishes I shot for a book they’re putting together about the history of the restaurant (it is said to be haunted!) and surrounds. As well as a handful of recipes. I took all the shots in the book, and my other half is designing it / putting it all together. It should hit the shelves by Christmas, but I’ll keep you posted on that closer to the date. ; )
How was your weekend? Just as busy or more of a relaxing one?
If you follow me on Facebook you might have seen one of my updates earlier in the week… the excitement of my latest purchase, the Jerusalem cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi.
The other day I popped into my favourite independent book shop The Hill of Content to have a little look around. As soon as I spotted Jerusalem, and had a flick through, that was it. I had to have it. It has the most amazing looking salads and even a ‘stuffed’ section. So good. All week I’ve been reading through it and soaking up the delights of Israel (and remembering our travels through that area), so I’ve been dying to make something from it. I can’t urge you enough to go out and buy this book (through your local book shop of course – we’ve got to support our small businesses!). It wont disappoint, I promise.
If you live in Melbourne (or even just eastern Australia) you’ve most likely been enjoying this amazing weather we’ve had! What winter? We’ve even had our dinner al fresco the other night (well maybe with the help of a little fire-pit going for warmth). Anyway, the antipasto dinners and BBQs are just around the corner… I can feel it!
What did you guys get up to in the warm weather (if it was warm in your neck of the woods).
Root Vegetable Slaw
Inspired by Yotham Ottolinghi & Sami Tamimi
2 medium beetroot (450g in total) 2 medium carrots 1/4 cabbage, thinly sliced 1/4 lemon juice 1/4 cup olive oil 3 tbsp red wine vinegar 2 tsp caster sugar 25g coriander leaves, roughly chopped 25g mint leaves, shredded 20g flat-leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped 1/2 tsp grated lemon zest salt and pepper
1. Peel the beetroot and carrots and then slice them thinly into matchstick-like size. Alternatively, if you have a mandolin or food processor with a julienne attachment use this – it’s much quicker! Place the chopped vegetables in a bowl and cover with cold water.
2. Meanwhile, place lemon juice, olive oil, vinegar, one teaspoon of salt and sugar into a small saucepan. Place on the stove top and simmer until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat.
3. Drain the vegetables, pat them dry with kitchen towel and return them back into the same bowl. Add the chopped cabbage and pour the hot dressing over the vegetables and mix well. Let cool and place in the fridge for at least 45 minutes.
4. After this time, add the chopped mint, coriander, parsley, lemon zest and a sprinkling of salt. Toss and serve with the Butternut Squash & Tahini Dip and torn up Turkish Flat bread.
Roasted Butternut Squash & Tahini Dip
Inspired by Yotham Ottolinghi & Sami Tamimi
1 large butternut squash (about 1.2kg before peeling) cut into cubes olive oil 1 tsp ground cinnamon 70g tahini paste 120g Greek yoghurt 1 large garlic clove, crushed 1 tsp sesame seeds 1 1/2 tsp date syrup* salt
1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC.
2. Place the pumpkin in a well oiled deep tray with cinnamon and a good pinch of salt. Turn the pumpkin over a few times to ensure it is completely covered in oil and cinnamon. Roast in the oven for roughly an hour or until the butternut squash is soft.
3. Once the pumpkin has roasted and cooled, place it into the food processor with the yoghurt, tahini and garlic. Blitz until smooth. If you don’t have a food processor use a potato masher to combine everything.
4. Pour the dip into a bowl, drizzle a little date syrup and sprinkle a few sesame seeds over the top.
*I found date syrup quite hard to find. I eventually found it at Cedars Bakery on High St Preston although it was called Date Molasses. Ceders have delicious take away food and a great range of Turkish/Middle Eastern cuisine ingredients. Cheap and AMAZING!
As we’re moving into the last few weeks of winter (thank goodness) everyone around me seems to be getting sick, and last week I was no exception. Oh my, I was completely out of it. Bed ridden and full of chicken soup. My apologies for not posting last week, I was absolutely knocked for six.
This week I decided to make some empanadas. Earlier this year we were invited to a friend’s Argentinian themed party where they had an amazing selection of traditional food. Amongst these local treats were delicious beef empanadas served with a chimichurri sauce. This was all brand new to me, and they were so good I couldn’t stop eating them. Unfortunately this was a while ago now, when the days were long and warm, so I thought I’d make something that reminded me of these summery days. I made these from a friend’s amazing retro Time Life cook book that I borrowed recently. I tweaked the recipe a little and served them with a fresh, green, zesty chimichurri sauce. Now the sun is starting to come back out, they’ll make a perfect starter for your next BBQ shindig.
From Latin American Cooking by Jonathan Norton Leonard
1 onion, finely chopped good quality olive oil 1/4 cup water 500g mince beef 1/4 cup currants 1 tsp paprika 1/2 tsp cumin 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/4 cup plain flour, sifted 1/2 cup butter into small cubes 1 tsp salt 1/3 chilled water 1 egg 1 tbsp white vinegar
1. To prepare the filling: into a small bowl, add currants and cover with boiling water. Let stand for 10 and drain. Heat olive oil in a frypan and add onions and water and let cook until water has evaporated. Add meat and cook, stirring continuously until the meat has browned on all sides.
2. Add raisins, chilli, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper and stir through thoroughly. Set the filling aside and let cool.
3. Meanwhile to make the pastry, add flour and butter into food processor and pulse until it resembles powdered breadcrumbs.
4. In a separate bowl, add egg, chilled water and vinegar. Add to flour mixture and pulse lightly to combine. Turn mixture out onto a lightly floured workbench and knead until the mixture just comes together. Wrap in cling film and place in the fridge for 1 hour.
5. Once pastry has chilled, roll out the pastry to a few millimeter thick and cut out the pastry into 15cm diameter circles. If you don’t have a large enough cutter, use a saucer and cut around with a knife. Add a small amount of mixture to the center of the circle, wet the sides with some water and fold over and press down all sides. Start from the left and pinch the pastry down and fold over. Pinch the last section you just folded over and continue. (Check out my instagram video to see how to shape the edges.) Shape the pastry into a crescent shape and place on a baking tray. Continue with the rest of the mixture and place in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.
1 cup parsley (packed)
1/4 cup coriander (packed)
4 garlic cloves
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon cumin
salt + pepper
1. Add all ingredients into the food processor and blitz until smooth. Keeps for a week in an air tight container.
Such a lot has been going on behind the scenes lately (so I apologise for the sporadic posts). Over the last few months I’ve been lucky enough to go on not one, but two holidays… lucky duck. As you may remember from a couple of posts ago, my last trip was to New Zealand (pics here). However in late May we went to Bali. I haven’t shared these photos yet so I thought I’d share them here today! I didn’t take many as our holiday mainly consisted of sitting next to the pool, reading, snoozing and playing pool basketball (sounds pretty tough right?). We did however take a great day trip to Ubud and a few spectacular temples, which is what you can see below.
This week I decided to make a celebratory cake as there’s a little bit of news that I haven’t shared with you yet (and I feel terrible for not disclosing sooner). You see, our holiday to Bali was all very exciting for a number of reasons. Not only did I have an incredibly relaxing holiday, but I was also proposed to! After 13 years together (yeah we were totally high-school-sweethearts… Seb actually asked me out at the school fair, pretty cute huh!). Anyway, he finally popped the question. I’ve been asked quite often if I was expecting it… but, no. Sure, after 13 years I was hoping, but Seb loves a surprise and I honestly didn’t realise it was happening until it was actually happening! So this cake is a celebratory engagement cake. Ta-daaaaa!
Over the past few weeks we’ve had the pleasure of telling friends and family, throwing a small engagement party and finding a location for our wedding, which I can now tell you will go ahead in March 2014, the day before our 14 year anniversary.
The cake is also to celebrate another milestone – Adeline & Lumiere’s second anniversary! How did this happen? Those two years have passed so quickly. So here’s a toast to the future of the Adeline & Lumiere blog! Perhaps I’ll put together my favourite posts over the last two years…
Until next time my chicken lovelies… x e.
The amazing Istana Tampak Siring temple (holy springs) on the way to Mt. Batur and the volcano
Top: Finn’s Beach Club Ulawatu, rice paddy fields on the way to Ubud, locals selling the teeny tiniest bananas and a little visitor on our balcony!
And now for the recipe…
Coconut Lemon Cake
1 1/2 cup self raising flour 1/2 cup desiccated coconut 1 tbsp grated lemon rind
3/4 cup caster sugar 125g butter, melted 2 eggs 1 cup milk
The weeks are flying by waaaay too quickly these days. So much to do with the Deja-View cinema, constant tweaking of the blog and trying to sneak in a catchup with friends. BTW – did anybody notice the blog has had a little facelift? All photos now are a super big 700px wide (instead of only 500px) and they look soo much better (if I do say so myself!). Making these small tweaks has been on my list of ‘things to do’ for about a year now and thanks to a lovely friend, we finally got it done. Big shout-out to Ash Winch; your web wizardry never ceases to amaze me – thank you. If anybody needs any web work, he’s your guy.
I’ve also updated the ‘about page’ with a little bit about me, how the blog started as well as a new ‘tech’ section where I’ve listed all the camera gear I use. I’ve had quite a few questions about what I use so I thought I may as well put it all up on the blog for everyone to see (not that I’m hiding it or anything!).
Anyhoo, this week I’m posting my super-duper-easy Lemon Meringue Pie (of sorts). I say ‘of sorts’ as the filling isn’t really like a lemon curd filling. The best part is that there’s no need to make pastry (this just uses crushed biscuits) and there’s no left over egg yolks or white (a recipe pet peeve of mine!). I decided to use ginger snap biscuits as lemon goes quite well with ginger (thanks to the Flavour Thesaurus again). This combo went down really well according to my friends, so if you’re looking to impress at your next dinner party (with a super-easy recipe) this is the dessert for you!
1. Preheat oven to 170°C. Crush ginger nut biscuits in a large bag with a rolling pin (or blitz with a food processor). Place biscuits in a bowl, add melted butter and mix well. Pour butter-crumb mixture into a tart tin and press the mixture down firmly and evenly around the base and sides. Place the tin in the oven for 10–12 minutes or until just golden brown.
2. Meanwhile, add egg yolks and lemon zest to a bowl and mix with an electric mixer for about 2 minutes or until thickened. Add condensed milk and whisk for further 4 minutes. Add lemon juice and mix until just combined.
3. Once the base is golden brown take it out of the oven and pour the lemon mixture into the base. Place the pie back in the oven for another 20 minutes or until it feels slightly firm to the touch.
4. Meanwhile, in a spotlessly clean bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Slowly add the sugar a spoonful at a time ensuring it’s mixed in well. Once all the sugar has been added, beat until stiff peaks form and the sugar has dissolved. Spread the meringue over the lemon filling and place back in the oven for 12–15 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool before serving.
Whilst everything seems to be pretty relaxed around here, there’s been a lot of activity behind the scenes. I’m like a little duck sitting on the water, all cool and calm whilst my little legs are going a hundred miles an hour. I’ll share a little more with you later on, but in the meantime here are a few photos I took for a Broadsheet shoot a few weeks ago. A friend of mine has been writing a few articles for Broadsheet and asked if I’d be interested in collaborating on a story. She wanted to write about the fact that it’s cold and miserable outside so why not celebrate the fact and invite some friends around for a nice winter weekend lunch. Of course I jumped at the chance, and all in all I think it turned out pretty well!
Seb and I have been making quite a few pies this winter. They’re just so damn delicious! For this lunch I knew I wanted to make pies, but I also wanted to pair two of my favourite discoveries from this winter – pulled pork and chipotle chillies. Yesssir! These pies proved to be so popular at the lunch; all the plates were licked clean! Even though it’s winter, you still have to eat your greens, so I made a tasty winter salad to go with the pies. This was a salad recipe I’ve been thinking about for a while. I’ve never really cooked with fresh beetroot before so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but it was all super delicious. The candied walnuts were really the icing on the cake with little hits of sweetness throughout the rocket, beetroot and goats cheese.
2 bunches baby beetroot, trimmed Olive oil, to grease 2/3 cup caster sugar 1 cup walnut halves 1/2 tsp sea salt flakes 2 bunches baby spinach 80g goat’s cheese, crumbled 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 1 tbsp red wine vinegar 1 tsp Dijon mustard
1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Place beetroot on a baking tray, prick with a fork and bake for 45 minutes or until tender. Once cooked, let cool, peel skins and halve.
2. Meanwhile, brush a wire rack with oil and place over a sheet of baking paper. Place sugar in a non-stick fry pan and place over medium heat. Let it cook without stirring and once the sugar begins to melt, tilt the pan around to catch all sugar crystals. Be very careful with the sugar – it’s hot! Once the sugar has melted, add walnuts and cover in the melted sugar. Place onto the oiled wire rack and once cooled, separate and sprinkle with a little salt. Let cool.
3. Place rocket and beetroot into a large bowl and sprinkle with goat’s cheese. Combine oil, vinegar and mustard in a jug and drizzle over the salad adding the candied walnuts last.
Pulled Pork Chipotle Pies
1.5kg pork loin
400g crushed tomatoes
1 bottle White Rabbit Dark Ale
2 large potatoes, finely diced
1 large onion, finely diced
2 carrots, finely diced
2 tbsp corn flour
1. Place the slow cooker on low and pour a can of tomatoes into the base of the dish. Meanwhile add all rub ingredients together in a large bowl and mix well. Place the pork into the bowl and cover the entire surface with the rub, then place it into the slow cooker with the fat facing upwards. Pour and spread the remaining rub over the meat. Slowly pour the Dark Ale into the side of the slow cooker (not directly on the pork as you don’t want to wash off the rub). Place the lid on top and let cook over night or for 12 hours.
2. Once the pork has cooked for 12 hours, take the fat off the meat (it should peel off easily with tongs). Place the pork in a large bowl and pull the meat apart with two forks. Pour the liquid from the slow cooker into a saucepan and place on medium heat. In a small glass, add corn flour and a little water and mix well. Pour this into the sauce and mix through. Cook well, stirring continuously for 10–15 minutes until thickened.
3. In a large pot, use a good glug of olive oil, add onion and let brown. Next, add carrots and potatoes and cook for about 10 minutes or until carrots are soft. In the same pot, add sauce and the pulled pork and mix thoroughly. Lastly, stir peas through the filling and then let the mixture cool.
4. Preheat oven to 200°C. Once the mixture is cool, take your pie tin (or ramekins) and brush with a little melted butter or oil, then line them with puff pastry. Spoon enough pulled pork mixture level with the top and add the pastry topper. Brush the top of the pies with a beaten egg and place in the oven for 20–30 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with a tomato relish.
The pulled pork for this recipe should ideally be cooked over night. The sauce will need to be made in the morning, as it will take at least 4 hours to cool.