Sunday, October 30, 2011

Circumstance and no Pomp

It was the day after "The Last Night of the Proms" today.

We were all tired and didn't want to make much effort to cook dinner. We decided on an easy roast of beef.

Rare roast beef with potatoes, parsnip, kumara and broccoli. The roast vegetables were covered in chopped rosemary, sea salt and olive oil. Janice roasted them in a very hot oven for an hour, taking the beef out after 45 min to let it rest. She made gravy with the meat drippings and a mustard sauce with whole mustard, ground mustard, tapioca flour and red wine.

Janice and Robert obviously partied harder and longer than Jennifer and Terry because the first game of crib resulted in a double skunk to J & T and unfortunately the other two games, while close were also won by J&T.

But to be fair, Janice and Robert were distracted by Terry's hair - he had red streaks put in for the Proms - they were supposed to wash out but they haven't...

However, we were still a bit washed out as we forgot to take a photo of the lovely dessert...  strawberries, grapes, kirsch and vanilla accompanied by whipped cream and coconut custard.

Coconut Custard
1 tin coconut cream
2 egg yolks
1 tbsp tapioca flour
1 tbsp vanilla sugar

Mix the last three ingredients to a smooth cream in a saucepan, add the coconut cream. Bring to the boil stirring constantly. Allow to cool.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Tonight's dinner was brought to you by

the letters f & r - we had: Fresh fish pie, French beans, Frisked potatoes, Fresh fruit salad and Frumble.

Jennifer made the best fish pie we have ever had:
Take enough fresh fish for your number of people, 2/3 blue cod, 2/3 smoked hoki. Cut in pieces and put in large dish. Fry onions in butter and lay on top of fish, reserving the left over butter for the white sauce. Add a can of kernel corn (reserving the liquid for the sauce). Add frozen peas and then 6-8 hard boiled eggs cut in half. Make a white sauce with corn kernel liquid, butter, a bit of coconut milk, rice flour, 300 ml milk and a bottle of cream. Pour over, sprinkle grated cheese on top and use gluten free breadcrumbs and grated butter on top of that. Put in moderate oven until warmed through and cheese is melted and crumbs are toasted.

Terry frisked the potatoes with his usual flare. Janice microwaved the french beans expertly and added plenty of butter.

The between course game was won by the evening people.

Jennifer also made the excellent fruit salad - which included marshmallows, dried fruit, glace cherries, fresh pineapple and tinned peaches. It was accompanied by frumble: chop 3 meringues up, add to toasted nuts and sprinkle on the fruit.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Absent Friends & Man-Made Meals

It's Anne's birthday today - Anne of Canada, Anne with the wheelbarrows!  We toasted Anne and wished her a Happy Birthday.   Are you right, Anne?

Happy Birthday Anne

Robert made enough fish cakes for her and Terry made enough mashed potatoes and veges for Anne as well.  Unfortunately Anne is in Canada and we is here.  So we couldn't celebrate her birthday here with her, but we did the next best thing . . .

Robert accused Janice and Jennifer of abrogating their responsibility, but they called it 'delegation' and gave Robert and Terry a free hand to organise and cook the Sunday dinner.  Terry commented that neither of them were right, as the true assessment of the situation was, that the ladies went on strike !  The men were more than happy to exercise their cullinary skills and produce another gastronomic delight while the women exercised their democratic rights.

This all resulted in a beautiful meal of spicy Thai fish cakes made gluten-free by Robert, mashed potatoes expertly mashed to a cream by Terry and stir-fry vegetables (celery, red and yellow capsicum and Portabella mushrooms) fried in lots of butter, also by Terry.

Before the main meal, the first round of crib was won by Jennifer and Terry.  Robert and Janice narrowly avoided a double skunk!!  Between courses the situation was reversed.

The dessert was creme brulee, made by Terry - his best effort so far!  (mind you, all his efforts are pretty good).  The dairy-free version was made with coconut cream.  The real version had added blueberries.  Both were delicious.This is the recipe Terry uses. To make the dairy free version he just substituted coconut cream for cream but made no other changes.

Coconut Brulee

Blueberry Creme Brulee

Sunday, October 2, 2011

No Doubt

There was no doubt about what we were going to have tonight as Jim was coming, because Jim-would-you-like-fries-with-that was the McDonalds franchisee in a previous life. We planned gourmet burgers, wedges and icecream sundaes - with nuts.

 There were gluten free buns for those that needed them (which were home made  this afternoon by Janice along with everything else for the burgers). Here is a link to the recipe she used for the buns. And the recipe for the gf patties is below. The wedges were tossed in paprika and sea salt.

We had beetroot, gherkins, fried eggs, mushrooms, plum sauce, tomato sauce, pear chutney, fried onions, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, mayonnaise. turkish pide bread, and of course, lamb & beef patties.
The first game of crib was played by Jim (who hasn't played since he was a child), Jennifer (who partnered Jim), Terry and Robert (who were persuaded to partner each other just this once).  Jim and Jennifer won because Terry was still in shock from his stunning loss on Saturday when Janice and Robert both skunked him.

We built our own icecream sundaes

Dessert was provided by Robert who kept with the theme and hunted down icecream wafers and icecream. He also brought bananas, strawberry sauce, whipped cream, mandarin slices and chopped nuts so we could build our own icecream sundaes.

The second game was played by the normal partners and was closely won by Robert and Janice because Jennifer was distracted by Janice's new frying pan...

OK - Gluten Free Hamburger Patties
600-700 gm premium beef mince (ground beef with very little fat)
300-350 gm lamb mince (ground lamb with some fat)
3 eggs
1 red capsicum - remove seeds and stalk, cut in quarters
1 medium size onion - peeled and cut in quarters
1/4 cup ground almonds
2 portobello mushrooms - peeled
salt and pepper

Put mushrooms, capsicum, onions and eggs together in a blender, whizz till smooth. Mix all ingredients together in large bowl with your hands. Shape into patties and bake 30 min on greased oven dish at 180 deg C  or until cooked through.