Wednesday, February 29, 2012

You Missed a Good One Alex

Right from the moment that Jennifer unveiled her platter of beautifully arranged, colourful, flavoursome, roasted vegetables and we placed them in the oven to finish, it was obvious we were in for a special night tonight. Janice quickly panfried the snapper in butter and served the meal with caper lemon sauce and steamed green beans.

Jennifer's vegetables included whole courgettes coated with beef BBQ seasoning. The cherry tomatoes, still attached to the vine, were sprinkled with rock salt and the kumera had been sliced in half lengthwise, spread with pesto and sprinkled with sliced almonds. They were baked for an hour at 150 dec C.

The whole meal was a visual and gastronomic real food delight.

 By the time dessert arrived Robert and Janice were already two games of crib down. Their spirits were raised by the platter of cheese, crackers, chutney, red pears and rum balls. Janice had made three types of crackers, almond and coconut, rosemary and parmesan and chia, sesame and pumpkin seed. The rum balls were a mixture of dates, raisins, raw nuts, rum and lemon zest rolled in coconut flour. (Use a rough ratio of 2:1 dried fruit to nuts and flavours to taste. Be sure to include a good portion of dates in the dried fruit. Whiz it all up in a food processor and roll into balls. Roll the balls in coconut flour or cocoa or fine chopped nuts.) The feijoa chutney was from the Farmer's Market.

Unfortunately for Robert and Janice, Terry and Jennifer won the next two games as well. This however did not dampen the evening... but Robert and Janice declined the opportunity to make it five losses in a row.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Farewell Favourites

Its Alex's last Sunday with us after three months and we asked what he would like for dinner. He chose salmon and banana split. Janice and Jennifer volunteered to take care of a course each and Alex chose the wine.

The salmon was placed skin down in a baking dish and covered with a mixture of oregano, olive oil, salt and sesame seeds then baked for 20 min at 180 deg C. It was served with rosemary potato wedges, lemon caper butter sauce and braised cabbage. It was a delicious meal!

Jennifer's banana split was built with sliced bananas, chocolate chip icecream, chocolate sauce (dark chocolate and cream), caramel sauce (butter and brown sugar and cream), sliced almonds and decorated with sliced eskimo sweets. It was a delicious dessert!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Finger Lickin'

Jessica's suggestion was a USA dinner - we chose gf KFC - nut and herb crusted chicken legs, coleslaw and mashed potato and gravy. Janice made the crumbs for the chicken using a mixture of  2.5 cups ground hazel nuts and almonds, 3 tsp mixed herbs, 1 tsp oregano,1 tsp extra hot cayenne, 1 tsp herb salt and 1 tsp garlic powder. She then dredged the chicken legs with tapioca flour, dipped them in beaten egg and then in the crumb mixture. These were fried briefly in coconut oil and then baked in a hot oven for 20 min. The coleslaw was made by using the grater blade in the food processor to get the very fine particle size that is reminiscent of the KFC coleslaw. There was a ratio of 5:2 cabbage and carrot with a little white onion added. The dressing was mayonnaise with added salt and lemon juice and a little cayenne pepper. The mashed potato was Terry's usual spiffing smooth creation with extra butter to give that soft KFC texture. The gravy was was left over from the duck roast two days ago - made from the juices and thickened with cranberries and onions baked with the duck.

Dessert was Peanut Butter Cheesecake - from here. Jennifer doubled the crumb mixture to allow for a nice tall edge to the cheesecake and used gf chocolate biscuits. The result was a very rich delicious finish to the meal. As it says on Nigella's website "this dish is not for the faint hearted. Unashamed indulgence, wallowingly so, is what this recipe is all about".