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LEEK BREAD PUDDING

leek

It just makes so much sense to use leeks in this manner, and it’s a great way to use up old bread. Thanks Thomas Keller, this recipe is just right!

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

2 generous cups leek, sliced into 1cm pieces (white and light green parts)

salt

4 Tbsp butter

Freshly ground black pepper

Loaf day old bread cut into 3cm cubes

1 tsp fresh thyme leaves

1 Tbsp parsley, roughly chopped

3 large eggs

3 cups milk

3 cups cream

Freshly grated nutmeg

Method

Preheat the oven to 150C

Wash the leeks well in cold water to remove as much dirt as possible. Drain.

Set a fry pan over medium-high heat, add the butter and add the leeks. Season with salt and cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes. As the leeks begin to soften, lower the heat to medium-low. The leeks will release liquid. Cover the pan with a lid, and cook, stirring every 10 minutes, until the leeks are soft, 15-12 minutes. Remove from the heat and take off the lid.

Meanwhile, spread the bread cubes on a baking tray and toast in the oven for about 20 minutes, give the pan a shake about halfway through and continue to bake until dry and lightly golden. Transfer to a large bowl. Leave the oven on.

Add the leeks to the bread and toss well, then add the herbs.

Lightly whisk the eggs in another large bowl. Whisk in the milk, cream, a generous pinch of salt, pepper to taste, and a pinch of nutmeg.

Sprinkle quarter cup of the cheese in the bottom of an 18cm by 20cm baking pan. Spread half the leeks and croutons in the pan and sprinkle with another quarter cup cheese. Scatter the remaining leeks and croutons over and top with another quarter cup cheese. Pour in enough of the custard mixture to cover the bread and press gently on the bread so it soaks in the milk. Let soak for about 15 minutes.

RHUBARB PIES

rhubarb

These little pies can be enjoyed any time of the day. I served them warm with some vanilla icecream and they went down a treat!

Makes 20-24 (approx.)

Ingredients

500g ready-made flaky pastry

Rhubarb filling 450 g rhubarb stalks, trimmed and cut into 1cm segments 65 g sugar

Cream cheese filling 115g cream cheese, at room temperature 1/3 cup sugar 1 tsp orange zest 2 tsp orange juice 1 large egg yolk

To assemble 1 large egg and 1 Tbsp water 1 Tbsp raw sugar

Method

To make the rhubarb filling; Place rhubarb and sugar in a small-to-medium saucepan and stir to combine. Cover and cook at moderate heat for 15 minutes. Increase the heat to medium, remove the lid and cook for another 10 to 15 minutes, until rhubarb has softened and melted down and ideally thick enough that if you run a spoon across the bottom of the pot it will stay separated. Put the mixture in a shallow bowl and chill immediatley. Set aside.

Whilst the rhubarb is cooking roll the pastry out into a square so it is about 3mm thick all over. Cut the pastry into 5-6cm squared shape or use equivalent sized cookie-cutter. Cut them out and re-roll scraps of dough and continue cutting until you have an even amount as you need two squares per pie. Place onto a tray with baking paper between in the fridge until required.

To make the cream cheese filling; beat the softened cream cheese, sugar, zest, juice and yolk together in a small bowl until smooth and lump free. Keep cold until required.

Assembling pies; Heat oven to 190C.

Brush half the pies very lightly with the egg wash as these will be your bases and cut a small hole/vent in the remaining squares as these will be the lid. Place a teaspoon of the cream cheese filling in the centre of the bottom squares, then the same of the rhubarb filling on top. Place the lid on top and squeeze the edges together firmly but neatly.

Transfer the pies to your baking tray spacing between each. Brush the tops with egg wash and sprinkle generously with the raw sugar.

Repeat until all are completed.

Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden and puffy.

Remove from oven and cool before eating.

PASTA WITH CAULIFLOWER AND HAZELNUTS

cauli pesto

I often do cauliflower like this through salads but this unsuspecting vegetable turns this pasta dish into a delicious surprise.

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

1 (350g) head of cauliflower

½ cup hazelnuts, lightly toasted

4 anchovy fillets, in oil

1 clove garlic

1 bunch flat-leaf parsley

¼ cup olive oil, plus extra for cooking

250g dried spaghetti, linguine or fettuccine

¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

½ tsp lemon zest

1 tsp lemon juice

Salt and freshly-ground black pepper

Method

Cut the cauliflower into florets, place into a food processor and pulse to form pieces about the size of large breadcrumbs and place into a large bowl.

Place toasted hazelnuts, anchovies, garlic, parsley, and quarter cup of the olive oil in the food processor or in mortar and pestle, and pulse until a smooth paste has formed. Remove from the processor and add to the cauliflower, add the grated parmesan cheese, lemon zest and juice, mix well to combine. Set aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta as directed on the packet, make sure it doesn’t over cook.

Heat a large fry-pan over medium heat and add two more tablespoons olive oil.  Add the cauliflower mixture and cook 5-6 minutes until light golden brown. Remove from heat and set aside

Drain the pasta, reserving a cup of the cooking water. Then add the pasta to the pan with the cauliflower mixture and toss over medium heat until well coated, about 30 seconds.  Add enough of the cooking water to the pan to loosen the sauce. The sauce should stick to the pasta loosely but not you do not want the pasta to be swimming in the sauce!

Remove from heat, toss in the remaining parmesan cheese and mix well.

Serve with plenty of freshly ground black pepper.

 

otago farmers market mobile kitchen menu – 3/05/2014

IMG_4754 (562x640)

Leeks are in full swing at the moment and these irresistible croquettes are just perfect to introduce this delicious vegetable.  Don’t forget that leeks are a main ingredient now as they play such an important part in soups and stews.  I like to soften them down in butter and fold through mashed potato or add to fritters, crepes and the good old white sauce.  I also have Jerusalem artichokes which add so much flavour without too much effort.  Chillies are still available from Kakanui Produce and this chilli sauce is very typically Thai, its punchy, bloody hot and addictive.  I will also be making one of my favourite comforting potato dishes – Tartiflette. Which quite simply translated is good potatoes (Brydone organics) with good quality bacon (Waitaki Bacon and Ham) and creamy fresh curds (Evansdale Cheese) and when all baked together you can just imagine how damn good this is.  It is great eaten on its own with a fresh crisp green salad or it works perfectly alongside a wintery casserole or perfectly cooked steak.

Don’t forget that pumpkins/squash are available which of course make a simple inexpensive soup and many meat stalls will have cuts of meat perfect for long slow cooking. Wrap up warm and see you at the market.

thanks alison

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LEEK CROQUETTES

IMG_6039 (640x417)

I think this method of cooking leeks is superb. They are juicy, sweet and crispy all in one!

Serves 4 as side

2 whole leeks

¼ tsp salt

¼ tsp freshly ground pepper

¼ tsp fresh thyme leaves

1 Egg

1 cup Panko crumbs or bread crumbs

¼ cup fine polenta

Zest ½ lemon, lemon wedges for serving

oil for frying

sea salt flakes for serving

Method

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to the boil.

Prepare the leeks by removing the green of the leeks and trimming the base. It is important to keep the leek whole. Wash the leek and cook in the boiling water until just tender (6-8 minutes). Drain and pat dry.

Cut the leek into four even sized pieces.

In a medium deep sided pot, half fill with oil and heat to a moderate-high heat.

Set up 2 bowls one with the egg, lightly beaten and another with the crumbs, seasoning, polenta, thyme and zest.

Start by placing the leeks into the egg mixture then coat generously, but firmly in the crumb mixture. Set aside on grease proof paper until all the leeks are completed.

Now carefully test the oil by placing a little of the crumb or leek into it, if it bubbles instantly then it is ready to fry the leeks if not then turn the heat up ever so slightly until this stage occurs.

Place 2-3 pieces of leek into the hot oil and fry until golden and crispy all over (5minutes) remove with a dry slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper, sprinkle with a little sea salt. Continue until all the leeks are cooked.

 

TARTIFLETTE – French style potatoes baked with curds

Felicity Cloake's perfect tartiflette

Serves 4

Ingredients

1kg potatoes, peeled

250g bacon, or bacon ends cut into lardons

2 shallots

1 garlic clove

100ml white wine

200ml cream

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

250g fresh curds

Method

Preheat oven to 200C

Cook the potatoes in a saucepan of salted boiling water for 5-10 minutes, or until tender.

Drain and set aside to cool slightly.

Meanwhile, heat a frying pan until hot and fry the bacon, shallots and garlic for 4-5 minutes, or until golden-brown. Deglaze the pan with the white wine and continue to cook until most of the liquid has evaporated.

Slice the potatoes thinly and layer into an ovenproof gratin dish with the bacon mixture. Pour over the cream. Season with salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper. Layer the curds on top.

Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is golden-brown and bubbling.

Serve immediately.

 

CHILLI SAUCE – THAI STYLE

IMG_3265 (640x427)

This method may seem a bit crazy to some but the final product is outstanding. It can be used as a base in soups, curries and great for dressings.

Makes 1 cup

ingredients

500ml veg oil

6 large red chillies, deseeded but left whole

6 shallots, sliced thinly

4 cloves garlic, sliced thinly

1 -2 Tbsp Fish sauce

2-4 tsp sugar (to taste)

1-2 Tbsp tamarind (dissolved in water)

Method

Put the oil in a deep-sided pot and heat to hot.

Carefully add the chillies and fry very briefly (1 minute) or until skin is crisp, remove and drain.

Now add the shallots and fry until crisp 1-2 minutes, remove and drain.

Continue with the garlic and fry for 1 minute or until crisp. Remove and drain and now fry the ginger for a minute or two or until crisp. Drain.

Turn off the oil and set aside to cool.

Once all the ingredients have cooled pound them with a pinch of salt in a mortar and pestle until fine.

In a small-medium sized saucepan add 2 tablespoons oil which is from the pot you cooked all the ingredients in. Add all the pounded chilli mixture, fry briefly, and then add the sugar, fish sauce and tamarind water. Cook for a minute or two then remove from heat.

Store in fridge for up to two weeks.

 

QUICK CHILLI SOUP – heat up 1 litre of stock in large pot, add 1-3 Tbsp chilli sauce (recipe above) to liquid. Taste and add dash more fish sauce or pinch of sugar if needed.

To serve place the cooked noodles, handful greens, mung beans and handful fresh coriander into bowl, with plenty of fresh lime juice, ladle over the hot chilli stock and serve immediately.

 

JERUSALEM ARTICHOKES WITH BAY LEAVES

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They have arrived and I’m very excited as these tubular add so much flavour for so little work.

Serves 4

ingredients

600g Jerusalem artichokes, peeled Good quality oil for frying 4 fresh bay leaves or 2 dry 2 clove garlic, finely sliced Splash white wine vinegar Salt and freshly ground pepper

Method

Cut the Jerusalem artichokes into chunks. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in frying pan add the artichokes and fry for 2 minutes or until lightly caramelised. Add the garlic and bay leaves cook for a few minutes more, add a splash of vinegar, some salt and pepper, place a lid on top and cook for a further 15 minutes or until they have softened. Remove the lid and bay leaves, continue cooking for a few more minutes so the artichokes can crisp up.

Serve straight away

 

ALISON WOULD LIKE TO THANK THE FOLLOWING VENDORS FOR THEIR OUTSTANDING PRODUCE.

ETTRICK GARDENS – leeks

EVANSDALE CHEESE – fresh curds

WAITAKI BACON AND HAM – bacon

WAIKOUATI GARDENS – organic Jerusalem artichokes

JANE FIELD HYDROPONICS – coriander and micro greens

KAKANUI PRODUCE – chillies

 

You can follow Alison on face book or on her blog on www.tasteofmylife.com

JERUSALEM ARTICHOKES WITH BAY LEAVES

Jerusalem artichoke

They have arrived and I’m very excited as these tubular add so much flavour for so little work.

Serves 4

ingredients

600g Jerusalem artichokes, peeled Good quality oil for frying 4 fresh bay leaves or 2 dry 2 clove garlic, finely sliced Splash white wine vinegar Salt and freshly ground pepper

Method

Cut the Jerusalem artichokes into chunks. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in frying pan add the artichokes and fry for 2 minutes or until lightly caramelised. Add the garlic and bay leaves cook for a few minutes more, add a splash of vinegar, some salt and pepper, place a lid on top and cook for a further 15 minutes or until they have softened. Remove the lid and bay leaves, continue cooking for a few more minutes so the artichokes can crisp up.

Serve straight away.

CHILLI SAUCE – THAI STYLE

IMG_3265 (640x427)

This method may seem a bit crazy to some but the final product is outstanding. It can be used as a base in soups, curries and great for dressings.

Makes 1 cup

ingredients

500ml veg oil

6 large red chillies, deseeded but left whole

6 shallots, sliced thinly

4 cloves garlic, sliced thinly

1 -2 Tbsp Fish sauce

2-4 tsp sugar (to taste)

1-2 Tbsp tamarind (dissolved in water)

Method

Put the oil in a deep-sided pot and heat to hot.

Carefully add the chillies and fry very briefly (1 minute) or until skin is crisp, remove and drain.

Now add the shallots and fry until crisp 1-2 minutes, remove and drain.

Continue with the garlic and fry for 1 minute or until crisp. Remove and drain and now fry the ginger for a minute or two or until crisp. Drain.

Turn off the oil and set aside to cool.

Once all the ingredients have cooled pound them with a pinch of salt in a mortar and pestle until fine.

In a small-medium sized saucepan add 2 tablespoons oil which is from the pot you cooked all the ingredients in. Add all the pounded chilli mixture, fry briefly, and then add the sugar, fish sauce and tamarind water. Cook for a minute or two then remove from heat.

Store in fridge for up to two weeks.

 

QUICK CHILLI SOUP – heat up 1 litre of stock in large pot, add 1-3 Tbsp chilli sauce (recipe above) to liquid. Taste and add dash more fish sauce or pinch of sugar if needed.

To serve place the cooked noodles, handful greens, mung beans and handful fresh coriander into bowl, with plenty of fresh lime juice, ladle over the hot chilli stock and serve immediately.

TARTIFLETTE – French style potatoes baked with curds

Felicity Cloake's perfect tartiflette

If you haven’t had the pleasure of this comforting dish then you must give it a try.  I am using Evansdale fresh curds to give it that gooey, cheesy addition it must have.  Yum!

Serves 4

Ingredients

1kg potatoes, peeled

250g bacon, or bacon ends cut into lardons

2 shallots

1 garlic clove

100ml white wine

200ml cream

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

250g fresh curds

Method

Preheat oven to 200C

Cook the potatoes in a saucepan of salted boiling water for 5-10 minutes, or until tender.

Drain and set aside to cool slightly.

Meanwhile, heat a frying pan until hot and fry the bacon, shallots and garlic for 4-5 minutes, or until golden-brown. Deglaze the pan with the white wine and continue to cook until most of the liquid has evaporated.

Slice the potatoes thinly and layer into an ovenproof gratin dish with the bacon mixture. Pour over the cream. Season with salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper. Layer the curds on top.

Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is golden-brown and bubbling.

Serve immediately.

LEEK CROQUETTES

IMG_6039 (640x417)

I think this method of cooking leeks is superb.  They are juicy, sweet and crispy all in one!

Serves 4 as side

2 whole leeks

¼ tsp salt

¼ tsp freshly ground pepper

¼ tsp fresh thyme leaves

1 Egg 1 cup Panko crumbs or bread crumbs

¼ cup fine polenta

Zest ½ lemon,

lemon wedges for serving

oil for frying sea salt flakes for serving

Method

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to the boil.

Prepare the leeks by removing the green of the leeks and trimming the base.  It is important to keep the leek whole.  Wash the leek and cook in the boiling water until just tender (6-8 minutes). Drain and pat dry.

Cut the leek into four even sized pieces.

In a medium deep sided pot, half fill with oil and heat to a moderate-high heat.

Set up 2 bowls one with the egg, lightly beaten and another with the crumbs, seasoning, polenta, thyme and zest. Start by placing the leeks into the egg mixture then coat generously, but firmly in the crumb mixture.

Set aside on grease proof paper until all the leeks are completed. Now carefully test the oil by placing a little of the crumb or leek into it, if it bubbles instantly then it is ready to fry the leeks if not then turn the heat up ever so slightly until this stage occurs. Place 2-3 pieces of leek into the hot oil and fry until golden and crispy all over (5minutes) remove with a dry slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper, sprinkle with a little sea salt. Continue until all the leeks are cooked.