Make notes. Make
notes. Make notes. It really does help. And there's the satisfaction of
crossing things off a list!
fave time of year ... just saying.
Okay, countdown time … I’m going to
squeeze in as many festive recipes or Links to them as possible this week
This week I’m in love with these lamb roasts with a golden crunchy crust
and a gorgeous jus with red grapes, almonds and damson jelly. These will
be on my table this Christmas day with jersey bennes AND crunchy spuds, just ‘cause
we can! I’ve chosen them not just because they are juicy and tender and
have great flavour, but because they are fast to prepare and cook in 15
minutes. Yay! More time to enjoy bubbly and yak with the family, which is
what Christmas is all about (spending time with family I mean, not just
enjoying bubbly!). Roast Lamb with Lemon & Rosemary
I’ll probably commit to the peas and pancetta as well, so that’s a quick
green vege sorted. Whatever you do, don’t make the mistake and buy
ready-minted baby peas. They’re revolting! They smell and taste medicinal.
Either grow your own – it’s a bit late now to be gardening for the
Christmas table – so just buy a mint plant. Easy. Peas with Pancetta
If you are looking for something a bit more exotic, check out the duck.
This is no ordinary duck recipe … there’s quite a bit going on with
chilli, lime, pomegranate seeds and hot red chilli … but watermelon and
lychee cool things down. The pic is a bit munted – taken on a very old
iPhone but it gives you the idea. This is a great recipe for an outdoor
lunch. Maybe add some seafood, some salads, and enjoy Christmas a new
way. Roast Duck with Lychee,
Watermelon & Watercress Salad
I’ve also done a run-down on bacon, the cuts and types of bacon and cures
used, and included notes on pancetta. Bacon & Pancetta
And here’s a link to the best way of carving a ham. Carving Ham
I’ve used this method for years and I was confident enough to carve a
slice or three for the late, very great, Maestro Luciano Pavarotti when I
served him lunch a few years back. There’s nothing worse than feeling
inadequate faffing around trying to slice a ham with people watching. Of
course you need the correct knife – a long thin bladed one is ideal.
Talking knives, yep, tomorrow will be cut-off day for getting FURI knives
ordered and guaranteed out to you in time for Christmas. If you missed
the offer last week, I am running a special WHOPPING 20% OFF FURI KNIVES & DIAMOND
FINGERS SHARPENERS. They make fab gifts, and are good for
wedding gifts, special occasion gifts, or, as many people did last week,
gift them to yourself or your partner to make cooking in 2018 a joy.
And the glorious Pav pictured above? Here's the recipe. It is da bomb and many have
imitated it, but this is the real McCoy with all the tips you need to
ensure you have great success with a pavlova this summer.
And another version, and my fave way of serving Pav, filled with cream
and yoghurt. It makes it less rich and the tang of yoghurt cuts the
overall sweetness. A great result, I think. Lots more tips and pics here
too. Pavlova Perfection
Have a great week … don’t rush around like a mad thing and send yourself
into a spin …STAY CALM and carry on. A cliché, for sure, but handy to
remember in the heat of the moment.
favorites, of all French pastries, is the financier. Enriched with nuts, and
moistened with butter, almost every bakery you go into has them. They
come in different sizes, shapes, and even flavors; almond is the most
popular, but you’ll sometimes come across financiers made with ground
hazelnuts or pistachios. I like them all. There are a few theories
how this mini-gâteau got
its curious name.
that, traditionally, they’re baked in small, rectangular
molds. Once baked and unmolded, the little cakes
resemble bars of gold. Another is that even adults in France are known to
indulge in an afternoon sweet stop at their local bakery, for their goûter. Because
people who work in the financial industry normally wear nice outfits or
suits, something that’s neat to eat is appreciated, so they can stay presentable
when heading back to the office.
have to worry about that, nor has anything come out of my oven turned to
gold. (Quelle dommage!)
But when I found myself with some leftover brown butter from infusing it
in bourbon for Brown
Butter Old Fashioneds, since I treat butter like gold, instead
of tossing it, it got repurposed as a base for a batch of financiers.
browned butter keeps the butter flavor even more in focus. Some people
get a little anxious when they see dark specks in pastries and desserts;
I once had a waiter ask me what the dark flecks in the vanilla ice cream
were. When I told him they were vanilla beans, and asked him
(incredulously) what he thought they were, he replied, “I thought they
you brown the butter, when pouring it out of the pan, you don’t want to
scrape up too much of the dark bits at the bottom of the pan, but I don’t
mind a few in my cakes (in fact, I prefer them), so don’t fret too much
about having a few in your batter. These cakes are also very forgiving,
which is why so many bakeries in France offer them. They’re easy to make,
keep well, and are the perfect afternoon snack – or as the French say, un snack.
financiers, I use mini-muffin tins, which are easily available. I'm not a
fan of silicone bakeware but know that some people like it. This batter
is pretty forgiving so can be baked in madeleine molds or even in larger
muffin tins, filling them only about halfway. If you use another size
mold, you'll likely need to adjust the baking time; bake them until
browned on top, and the feel just set in the center when you touch them.
As mentioned, I made these with leftover brown butter from the Brown Butter Old Fashioned recipe. I
started with 4 ounces (8 tablespoons/115g) of butter, which yielded the
amount called for in the recipe. If starting from scratch, and making
your own brown butter, start with that amount of brown butter, then you
can measure it out when it's browned and cooled. (If you need a bit more
butter, you can simply add a bit of melted butter to it, to reach the 2
1/2 oz/75g amount. There are links at the end of the post with detailed
instructions on making brown butter.
Preheat the oven to 375ºF/180ºC and butter the insides of 24 mini muffin
tins generously with softened, not melted, butter, making sure the butter
the upper rims of the indentations.
In a medium bowl, mix the almond or hazelnut powder, sugar, flour and
salt. Stir in the egg whites and vanilla or almond extract, then the
Fill each indentation of the mini muffin tins almost to the top. Rap the
tins sharply on the counter to level the tops, then bake for 13 minutes,
until nicely browned. Let the financiers cool in the tins, then remove
them, using a sharp knife to help release them, if necessary.
The financiers can be stored in an air-tight container for up to one
week. They can be frozen for up to two months.
’Tis the season for giving and eating,
and we’ve got the perfect strategy. . . combine the two! Whether
your gift list contains a Francophile, a restaurant lover, a bibliophile,
a classic movie buff, or a fan of military history, these 12 food-themed
sweet and savory books will satisfy every appetite on your list. Bon
appétit, and happy holidays!
did an event with Deb
Perelman for our new books, L’appart
Kitchen Every Day. We’d both been traveling around, and not
one, not two…but three times, we were in the same city at the same time,
but didn’t see each other. One night, I was having dinner by myself
before an event and after a two-hour slog through traffic, I needed a sip
of something. While inching along on the clogged freeway, I’d sent her a
text message, asking if she drank anything before events. She said no.
On my last
book tour, I kept my coffee consumption to one cup in the morning, and no
more than a small sip of wine in the evening, because I was balancing a
lot of travel with a lack of sleep, and wanted to stay on an even
keel for my events. So I heeded her sage advice.
Food tells a story. A story
about where it originated, who produced it, the producer’s values and its
journey from source to plate. We all share in the experience of food; it
connects a diversity of people, places and ideas.
In this book chefs, writers, academics
and producers come together to cook up essays, profiles and recipes that
explore Aotearoa’s contemporary food culture and an emerging, evolving New
Zealand food identity. From mahinga kai and vegetable self-sufficiency to
whole-animal sensibility, Kai and culture is a catalyst for the
discussion around the impact food has on our culture. It explores many of the
current issues that are involved in the growing, making and eating of food. A
cultural cook book, if you will.
Freerange Press - RRP $50.00
Aaron McLean Stone Soup
Davies Gatherings Restaurant
Angela Clifford Eat New Zealand
Brower Lincoln University
Brie Sherow food writer
Tai Cheshire Architects
David White film-maker
Dean Cornell University
Fiona Summerfield food writer
Fleur Sullivan Fleurs Place
Sturla Roots Restaurant
Hargreaves food photographer
Donaldson Pegasus Bay Wines
Jonny Schwass chef
Revington Te Rūnanga o Ngāi
Monique Fiso Hiakai
Mavromatis Greystone Wines
Peter Langlands forager
Rachel Taulelei Kono
Graham Massey University
Siouxsie Wiles University of
Dr Tracy Berno AUT
With: Ahikā Kai, Anteater,
Black Estate, Cultivate, Food Innovation Network, Garden to Table, Harris
Meats, Kaibosh Food Rescue, Kai Pasifika, Kai Ora Honey, Koanga Institute,
Lewis Road Creamery, Milmore Downs, Ōtākaro Orchard, Pomegranate Kitchen,
Residential Red Zone Rehabilitation, Stone Soup & Yellow Brick Road.
When I come
to the states, with apologies to all who’ve urged me to check out a
croissant, Kouign amann, or macaron shop, since I can get all those
things pretty easily in France, I tend to stick with local favorites. I
don’t think anyone from San Francisco is coming to Paris for a burrito,
nor in anyone flying over from Brooklyn in search of the perfect bagel in
serendipity found me in New York at the same time as British baking pal Edd Kimber,
so I decided to break my rule for SuperMoon
Bakehouse, which is offering a decidedly different take on
classic French pastries. I’m not a huge fan of fussing with tradition,
when it’s only done for the sake of being audacious, but some of the
pastries sounded intriguing enough to brave rush hour on the packed New
York subway, to high tail it over there, early this morning.