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RHUBARB AND APPLE SHORTCAKE

Apple shortcake

I always remember my mother’s shortcake with its light and airy pastry and juicy, tart filling. I simple added some rhubarb to this classic and it married together perfectly.

Makes 12-16 squares

Pastry

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking powder

125g butter

¼ cup sugar, plus 1 Tbsp for sprinkling

1 egg, lightly beaten

1-2 Tbsp milk, extra for glazing

Filling

1 Tbsp butter

4 granny smith apples, peeled, cored, sliced

¼ cup sugar

1 Tbsp water

1 orange, juice and zest

6 sticks rhubarb, sliced into 1 cm pieces

Method

Begin by making the pastry – Add the dry ingredients into a large bowl, rub in the cold butter until coarse breadcrumbs appears.

Add the egg and mix through, if too dry add 1 tablespoon of milk at a time and mix until dough comes together. Do not over mix as this will toughen up your dough. Cover in plastic wrap and chill.

To make the filling add the apples, sugar, water, butter and orange juice and zest. Cook gently for 10 minutes, add the rhubarb and continue to cook until the apples and rhubarb are soft and pulpy. If you mixture is extra juicy drain it off as this will make your shortcake to wet.

Preheat oven to 180C fanbake or bake.

Line a 20×20 or so cake tin, I use a square fruit cake tin for mine.

Roll the pastry out so it will fit your tin twice in length and it should be about 1/2cm thick. Cut the pastry in half and line the base of the tin.

Spread evenly with the apple and rhubarb filling.

Place the other half of the pastry on top. Brush with milk and sprinkle remaining sugar on top.

Bake in preheated oven for 20-30 minutes or until the pastry is golden and firm.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool a little before cutting. This shortcake works beautifully warm or cold.

Otago Farmers Market Mobile Kitchen Menu – 23/05/2015

IMG_8056 (640x423)

Autumn is here and so are some hearty, flavoursome ingredients.  Warming soups, comforting pickles and homely pudds will brighten up those cold days.  I shopped around for staple ingredients which also packed a lot of flavour. 

 

MY VERSION OF A BOIL-UP

029

This type of hearty meal has many variations throughout the world and the options are endless. I put this together hunting out cheap cuts and using up veges I had at hand. Feel free to use ingredients that you and your family enjoy.

Serves 5

Ingredients

1 ham hock

2 oxtail bones

2 bay leaves

5 peppercorns

2 sprigs of thyme

1 lamb neck fillet or mutton chops

3 carrots, peeled

1 leek, remove outer layers and cut the white into 1cm rounds and leave the green tops for later

2 onions, peeled and cut into wedges so they stay together

3 sticks of celery

500g potatoes

½ white cabbage

Freshly ground pepper and salt

Method

Place the hock, oxtail and chops in a large pot or crock-pot and cover with plenty of cold water, add the herbs and peppercorns. Bring to the boil then reduce to a gentle simmer and cook for at least 1 ½ -2 hours. Remove any scum that may rise to the surface.

Whilst the meat is cooking, prepare the vegetables.

Cut all the vegetables into even sized pieces so they will cook evenly. I like to keep them on the larger size so I can cook them longer in the stock.

Add all the vegetables except the potatoes and the green of the leek. Allow to simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the meat and allow to cool enough so you can pick the meat from around the bones (discard the bones).

Add the potatoes and return the meat and continue cooking until the potatoes are tender (20 minutes), finish by adding the finely sliced green of the leeks.

Check for seasoning you may not need to add any salt, taste before you go crazy. Adjust if necessary and serve in large bowls. It will be great the next day as well.

 

PICKLED RED CABBAGE

075

Makes 2 350ml jars

Ingredients 

1kg red cabbage, finely sliced

2 apples, peeled and finely sliced

2 cups cider vinegar

¼ cup brown or raw sugar

¼ cup water

1 cinnamon stick

4 juniper berries

3 bay leaves sterilise

2 jars and lids (if wanting to store)

Method

In a large heavy-based pot add the sliced red cabbage, apple, vinegar, sugar, spices and water. Stir to combine.

Cover with a lid and cook gently over a low heat for about 1 hour. Remove the lid and continue to cook for a further 10-15 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated.

Store in the sterilised jars and seal or put into a suitable container and store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

 

QUICK SPINACH

IMG_4525

This is my go-to technique which I also use when cooking kale, cavolo nero or silver beet.

Serves 4

2 bunches spinach, stalks removed and washed well.

3 cloves garlic, sliced thinly

Pinch chili

1-2 Tbsp olive oil

Method

Remove the stalks and wash well.  Shake off as much excess moisture as possible.

Heat a good size fry pan up to medium-high heat, add garlic and toast in the oil until it starts to go light golden colour, add a pinch dried chilli flakes and spinach, season with a little salt and freshly ground pepper.

Toss to combine and allow the spinach to lightly wilt (about 1-2 minutes).

Serve immediately.

 

EGGPLANT/AUBERGINE

IMG_1986 (427x640)

There are so many wonderful dishes throughout the world that celebrates this versatile vegetable. This is just one of many dishes and techniques that work well with Eggplant.

Serves 2

1 medium eggplant – per person Slice the eggplant into ½ cm thick slices – lenthways 1 clove garlic, sliced into thin slices

1-2 Tbsp balsamic or red wine vinegar

4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (you may need more)

Sea salt flakes and freshly ground pepper

1 Tbsp fresh oregano leaves – basil, parsley and marjoram work well

Method

Heat a grill or BBQ up to medium-hot Place the eggplant slices side by side onto the hot grill. Cook until grill mark appears on each side and the flesh feels tender and the slice of eggplant begins to wilt (about 3 minutes each side).

Meanwhile add all the other ingredients into a serving dish and when the eggplant slices are cooked plunge them immediately into the dressing and allow them to soak up the dressing. Continue until all the eggplant is cooked.

It can be eaten hot or at room temperature.

 

QUICK CHILLI SAUCE

IMG_3265 (640x427)

Everyone needs a chilli sauce up their sleeve.

Makes ½ cup

½ cup rice vinegar (or substitute white vinegar)

½ cup, plus 2 Tbsp. white sugar

¼ cup water

3Tbsp. fish sauce

2 Tbsp. sherry (or cooking sherry)

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 whole chillies, finely sliced

1 Tbsp cornflour, dissolved in 2Tbsp. cool water

Method

Place all ingredients – except the cornsflour-water mixture – in a sauce pan or pot. Bring to a rolling boil.

Reduce heat to medium and let boil for 10 minutes, or until reduced by half. (Note that the vinegar will be quite pungent as it burns off. Generally, I find rice vinegar less strong than regular white vinegar).

Reduce heat to low and add the cornflour-water mixture. Stir to incorporate and continue stirring occasionally until the sauce thickens (about 2 minutes).

 

RHUBARB JAM

rhubarb jam (1)

Rhubarb is growing in abundance at the moment and if like me I love its unique flavour but can never quite keep up with it. This jam recipe is great as the endless uses will impress you.

Makes 600g

400g Fresh rhubarb

200g jam sugar (pectin added)

200g caster sugar

1 Tbsp boiling water

1 vanilla pod, seeds removed

½ lemon, Juice of half a lemon

Method

Remove the leaves and wash and dry the rhubarb. Cut the stalks into 1cm pieces.

Place the rhubarb, both sugars, one vanilla pod, seeds and the tablespoon of water into a jam pan or thick based saucepan.

Let the sugar dissolve over very low heat, stir to encourage the sugar to dissolve.

Once the sugar has dissolved turn the heat up, cook the jam over high heat. Do not stir the jam too often, just every now and then to prevent it from catching.

I like to wash the sides of the pan down with a clean pastry brush that’s dipped in boiling hot water. This will help prevent the jam going cloudy and crystallised.

I use a sugar thermometer now when making jam as it has taken the ‘luck’ out of the setting stage if you know what I mean. Cook the jam till it reaches 105°C. However if you don’t have a thermometer, place a small amount of jam on a small cold plate and spoon a little jam onto the plate and if the jam sets and you can run your finger through it without the jam running it means its ready!

Remember the longer you cook the jam the darker the caramelized colour will become and the flavour more earthy.

Once the jam reaches the correct temperature add the juice of one lemon, stir and remove the jam from the heat.

Let the jam cool slightly before ladling your jam into cleaned sterilized jars.

 

Alison would like to thank the following vendors for their outstanding products

INDIGO BAKERY – fresh baked goods

BRYDONE ORGANICS – organic red cabbage and spinach

LECKIES BUTCHERY – lamb forequarter chops, hocks, beef bones

BUTLERS BERRIES – rhubarb

KAKANUI PRODUCE – chillies and aubegine

 

AUTUMN

Doc1

Autumn is well and truly upon us bringing changes not only to the weather but to our menus. I love to keep nourished but we also need to keep warm and satisfied with our food. I looked through my limited garden and scoured the farmers market to get cheap cuts of meat like ham hocks and oxtail and essential versatile ingredients like carrots, celery and potatoes. Apples always fill our fruit bowls and not only become a great snack but are perfect for a warming pudding.

 

AUTUMNAL SALAD

180

photo by Simon Lambert

Salads need not get overlooked at this time of the year as the combinations of ingredients will add new life to your diet.

Serves 5

Ingredients

4 apples, mixed variety

3 sticks of celery, cut into 2cm pieces

Celery leaves, only the light coloured ones from the inside (these are not bitter)

100g kale, cavolo nero or spinach, stalks removed and finely sliced

1 red onion, sliced thinly

30g walnuts, lightly toasted

60g cheddar cheese, cubed

Dressing

¼ cup natural unsweetened yoghurt

2 Tbsp mayonnaise

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1 Tbsp cider vinegar

Sea salt flakes and freshly ground pepper

Method

Add all the salad ingredients into a large bowl, season lightly with salt and pepper.

Mix the dressing ingredients together and pour over the salad, toss lightly together so all the ingredients are well coated in the dressing.

Serve and enjoy. Makes a wonderful lunch box salad.

MY VERSION OF A BOIL-UP

029

photo by Simon Lambert

This type of hearty meal has many variations throughout the world and the options are endless. I put this together hunting out cheap cuts and using up veges I had at hand. Feel free to use ingredients that you and your family enjoy.

Serves 5

Ingredients

1 ham hock

2 oxtail bones

2 bay leaves

5 peppercorns

2 sprigs of thyme

1 lamb neck fillet or mutton chops

3 carrots, peeled

1 leek, remove outer layers and cut the white into 1cm rounds and leave the green tops for later

2 onions, peeled and cut into wedges so they stay together

3 sticks of celery

500g potatoes

½ white cabbage

Freshly ground pepper and salt

Method

Place the hock, oxtail and chops in a large pot or crock-pot and cover with plenty of cold water, add the herbs and peppercorns. Bring to the boil then reduce to a gentle simmer and cook for at least 1 ½ -2 hours. Remove any scum that may rise to the surface.

Whilst the meat is cooking, prepare the vegetables.

Cut all the vegetables into even sized pieces so they will cook evenly. I like to keep them on the larger size so I can cook them longer in the stock.

Add all the vegetables except the potatoes and the green of the leek. Allow to simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the meat and allow to cool enough so you can pick the meat from around the bones (discard the bones).

Add the potatoes and return the meat and continue cooking until the potatoes are tender (20 minutes), finish by adding the finely sliced green of the leeks.

Check for seasoning you may not need to add any salt, taste before you go crazy. Adjust if necessary and serve in large bowls. It will be great the next day as well.

 

A SIMPLE APPLE PIE

189

photo by Simon Lambert

Apple pies are always a crowd pleaser as they bring back memories and who doesn’t like apple?

And don’t worry if you haven’t the time to whip up your own pastry I won’t tell!!

Serves 5-6

Ingredients

For the pastry

1 x 250g sweet pastry, rolled 4mm thick

Or

250g plain flour

50g icing sugar

125g cold butter, cut into cubes

1 egg

Splash water

Egg yolk for glazing and sprinkle of sugar

Filling

600g apples, granny smiths, braeburn, peas not so good etc

3 Tbsp raw cane sugar

¼ cup sultanas or raisins

½ tsp ground cinnamon or ginger

25g butter

1 Tbsp water

1 lemon, zest

Method

Begin by making the pastry if using this method.

I add the dry ingredients into a food processor or into a large bowl, add the butter and processor until just combined enough to resemble fine breadcrumbs.

Add the egg and mix until the dough comes together, if looking dry add the water and this should hold together. Bring the dough together so it forms a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 20-30 minutes.

While the pastry is chilling, make the filling.

Preheat oven 170C

Place all the ingredients for the filling together into a saucepan and cook gently for about 5 minutes so that the apples cook half way through and this will get the juices going.

Place the apples into a 20cm pie dish. Set aside.

Roll the pastry so that is will cover the pie dish and about 1 cm overlap.

Brush the rim of the pie dish with a little of the egg yolk. Place the pastry loosely over the apples and press down around the edge. Trim off any excess. Brush with egg yolk and sprinkle with a little sugar. Cut a few slits in the pastry and if feeling decorative you can make a few leaves to place on the top.

Bake for 30 -40 minutes or until the pastry is golden and the apples are tender and juicy.

Serve warm with plenty of cream and icecream.

 

AUTUMNAL SALAD

180

Salads need not get overlooked at this time of the year as the combinations of ingredients will add new life to your diet.

Serves 5

Ingredients

4 apples, mixed variety

3 sticks of celery, cut into 2cm pieces

Celery leaves, only the light coloured ones from the inside (these are not bitter)

100g kale, cavolo nero or spinach, stalks removed and finely sliced

1 red onion, sliced thinly

30g walnuts, lightly toasted

60g cheddar cheese, cubed

Dressing

¼ cup natural unsweetened yoghurt

2 Tbsp mayonnaise

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1 Tbsp cider vinegar

Sea salt flakes and freshly ground pepper

Method

Add all the salad ingredients into a large bowl, season lightly with salt and pepper.

Mix the dressing ingredients together and pour over the salad, toss lightly together so all the ingredients are well coated in the dressing.

Serve and enjoy. Makes a wonderful lunch box salad.

 

 

 

MY VERSION OF A BOIL-UP

029

This type of hearty meal has many variations throughout the world and the options are endless. I put this together hunting out cheap cuts and using up veges I had at hand. Feel free to use ingredients that you and your family enjoy.

Serves 5

Ingredients

1 ham hock

2 oxtail bones

2 bay leaves

5 peppercorns

2 sprigs of thyme

1 lamb neck fillet or mutton chops

3 carrots, peeled

1 leek, remove outer layers and cut the white into 1cm rounds and leave the green tops for later

2 onions, peeled and cut into wedges so they stay together

3 sticks of celery

500g potatoes

½ white cabbage

Freshly ground pepper and salt

Method

Place the hock, oxtail and chops in a large pot or crock-pot and cover with plenty of cold water, add the herbs and peppercorns. Bring to the boil then reduce to a gentle simmer and cook for at least 1 ½ -2 hours. Remove any scum that may rise to the surface.

Whilst the meat is cooking, prepare the vegetables.

Cut all the vegetables into even sized pieces so they will cook evenly. I like to keep them on the larger size so I can cook them longer in the stock.

Add all the vegetables except the potatoes and the green of the leek. Allow to simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the meat and allow to cool enough so you can pick the meat from around the bones (discard the bones).

Add the potatoes and return the meat and continue cooking until the potatoes are tender (20 minutes), finish by adding the finely sliced green of the leeks.

Check for seasoning you may not need to add any salt, taste before you go crazy. Adjust if necessary and serve in large bowls. It will be great the next day as well.

 

A SIMPLE APPLE PIE

Apple pies are always a crowd pleaser as they bring back memories and who doesn’t like apple?

And don’t worry if you haven’t the time to whip up your own pastry I won’t tell!!

Serves 5-6

Ingredients

For the pastry

1 x 250g sweet pastry, rolled 4mm thick

Or

250g plain flour

50g icing sugar

125g cold butter, cut into cubes

1 egg

Splash water

Egg yolk for glazing and sprinkle of sugar

Filling

600g apples, granny smiths, braeburn, peas not so good etc

3 Tbsp raw cane sugar

¼ cup sultanas or raisins

½ tsp ground cinnamon or ginger

25g butter

1 Tbsp water

1 lemon, zest

Method

Begin by making the pastry if using this method.

I add the dry ingredients into a food processor or into a large bowl, add the butter and processor until just combined enough to resemble fine breadcrumbs.

Add the egg and mix until the dough comes together, if looking dry add the water and this should hold together. Bring the dough together so it forms a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 20-30 minutes.

While the pastry is chilling, make the filling.

Preheat oven 170C

Place all the ingredients for the filling together into a saucepan and cook gently for about 5 minutes so that the apples cook half way through and this will get the juices going.

Place the apples into a 20cm pie dish. Set aside.

Roll the pastry so that is will cover the pie dish and about 1 cm overlap.

Brush the rim of the pie dish with a little of the egg yolk. Place the pastry loosely over the apples and press down around the edge. Trim off any excess. Brush with egg yolk and sprinkle with a little sugar. Cut a few slits in the pastry and if feeling decorative you can make a few leaves to place on the top.

Bake for 30 -40 minutes or until the pastry is golden and the apples are tender and juicy.

Serve warm with plenty of cream and icecream.

 

A SIMPLE APPLE PIE

189

Apple pies are always a crowd pleaser as they bring back memories and who doesn’t like apple?

And don’t worry if you haven’t the time to whip up your own pastry I won’t tell!!

Serves 5-6

Ingredients

For the pastry

1 x 250g sweet pastry, rolled 4mm thick

Or

250g plain flour

50g icing sugar

125g cold butter, cut into cubes

1 egg

Splash water

Egg yolk for glazing and sprinkle of sugar

Filling

600g apples, granny smiths, braeburn, peas not so good etc

3 Tbsp raw cane sugar

¼ cup sultanas or raisins

½ tsp ground cinnamon or ginger

25g butter

1 Tbsp water

1 lemon, zest

Method

Begin by making the pastry if using this method.

I add the dry ingredients into a food processor or into a large bowl, add the butter and processor until just combined enough to resemble fine breadcrumbs.

Add the egg and mix until the dough comes together, if looking dry add the water and this should hold together. Bring the dough together so it forms a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 20-30 minutes.

While the pastry is chilling, make the filling.

Preheat oven 170C

Place all the ingredients for the filling together into a saucepan and cook gently for about 5 minutes so that the apples cook half way through and this will get the juices going.

Place the apples into a 20cm pie dish. Set aside.

Roll the pastry so that is will cover the pie dish and about 1 cm overlap.

Brush the rim of the pie dish with a little of the egg yolk. Place the pastry loosely over the apples and press down around the edge. Trim off any excess. Brush with egg yolk and sprinkle with a little sugar. Cut a few slits in the pastry and if feeling decorative you can make a few leaves to place on the top.

Bake for 30 -40 minutes or until the pastry is golden and the apples are tender and juicy.

Serve warm with plenty of cream and icecream.

ROASTED ROMESCU WITH LEEKS

003

Romescu is one of those vegetables that you may look at a bit puzzled as to what to do with it. It has a wonderful firm, crunchy texture which I treat like cauliflower but with a dazzling green colour and slightly broccoli in flavour.

Serves 4-8

1 whole romescu

1 leek, sliced into thin rounds

1 clove garlic, sliced thinly

½ cup oil

½ tsp fennel seeds

¼ tsp ground turmeric

Generous pinch chilli flakes

1 lemon, juice

Freshly ground pepper

Sea salt flakes

Method

Preheat oven 190C

Wash the romescu and drain.

Place the whole romescu upright in the centre of a large piece of foil.

Place the oil, turmeric, fennel seeds and chilli into a medium saucepan and heat gently.

Add the leeks and garlic, turn up the heat slightly and cook for about 5 minutes or until the leeks and garlic start to soften and the oil smells aromatic.

Pour all of this over the romescu, season well with salt and pepper.

Pull up the foil so it covers the romescu and place onto a baking tray.

Roast in the oven for 15 minutes and carefully check the centre of the romescu to see if tender. If not return to oven for another 10 minutes. Peel back the foil and allow the surface to colour up and the leeks and any exposed bits to crisp up.

When tender remove from the oven and serve on a platter alongside your dinner.

If any left overs it will make a delicious salad.

PICKLED RED CABBAGE

pickled red cabbage

The older I get the more I turn to things I once overlooked and now I am not only appreciating popping open a jar of my jam or relish but I really enjoy adding pickled this and that to any meal. This simple pickle is one that is enjoyed all over the world.

Makes 2 x 350ml jars

Ingredients

1 1kg red cabbage, finely sliced

2 apples, peeled and finely sliced

2 cups cider vinegar

¼ cup brown or raw sugar

¼ cup water

1 cinnamon stick

4 juniper berries

3 bay leaves

Sterilise 2 jars and appropriate lids – if wanting to store

Method

In a large heavy based pot add the sliced red cabbage, apple, vinegar, sugar, spices and water. Stir to combine.

Cover with a lid and cook gently over a low heat for about 1 hour. Remove the lid and continue to cook for a further 10-15 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated.

Store in the sterilised jars and seal or put into suitable container and store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

 

autumnal salad

autumn salad

Salads need not get overlooked at this time of the year as the combinations of ingredients will add new life to your diet.

Serves 5

Ingredients

4 apples, mixed variety

3 sticks of celery, cut into 2cm pieces

Celery leaves, only the light coloured ones from the inside (these are not bitter)

100g kale, cavolo nero or spinach, stalks removed and finely sliced

1 red onion, sliced thinly

30g walnuts, lightly toasted

60g cheddar cheese, cubed

Dressing

¼ cup natural unsweetened yoghurt

2 Tbsp mayonnaise

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1 Tbsp cider vinegar

Sea salt flakes and freshly ground pepper

Method

Add all the salad ingredients into a large bowl, season lightly with salt and pepper.

Mix the dressing ingredients together and pour over the salad, toss lightly together so all the ingredients are well coated in the dressing.

Serve and enjoy. Makes a wonderful lunch box salad.

 

RHUBARB AND CUSTARD TART

egg custard tart2

Some combinations work better than others and this one is made in heaven. This recipe has a few more steps than usual but I feel the need for a little something special, perhaps it’s the weather?

Serves 12

Pastry

225g flour, plus extra for dusting

Pinch of salt

150g cold butter, grated

75g sugar

1 egg

1 egg yolk

Blind baking beans or rice – cooking base

Custard

750ml cream

12 egg yolks

100g sugar

2 nutmegs, grated finely

¼ cup rhubarb jam *

Method

Begin by making pastry – Put the flour and salt into a medium sized bowl and add the cold grated butter, rub in quickly with your fingertips until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg and yolk and mix to combine. Squelch together with your finger tips and turn out onto board, mold together to form a round, cover in cling film and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Using a 25cm removable bottom flan tin, roll the pastry out on lightly floured bench until 2mm thick all over. Carefully lift into your tin, allowing it to fall into the edges. Gently press the dough into the edges and sides and ensuring you have no cracks or holes. If you do then fill the gaps and cracks with a little more dough. Chill again in fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven 170C

Remove from the fridge and place onto a baking tray, line with baking paper and fill at least 2/3 full with blind baking beans or rice. Make sure you get right into the edges as this will result in an even and tidy tart shell.

Bake for 15 minutes, check if the pastry is firming up and has started to colour up a little, if not continue cooking for a further 5-10 minutes. Remove the paper and blind baking beans/rice. Brush all over the base and sides with the egg yolk as this will ensure the filling doesn’t run out. Return back to oven for a further 5 minutes.

Turn the oven down to 130C

Bring the cream the boil and remove from the heat.

In a heat proof bowl whisk the egg yolks with the sugar and slowly pour in the cream, whisking all the time. Strain through fine sieve and pour into a jug.

Spoon over the rhubarb jam and place the tart back into the oven, carefully and slowly pour in the egg custard.

Sieve over the grated nutmeg and bake gently for 25-35 minutes or until the custard has set around the outside and slightly wobble in the centre.

Remove from the oven and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before cutting.

 

*my rhubarb jam recipe was in the ODT 15 April 2015