Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Leek, Zucchini + Couscous Soup

With added Chicken
Soup, soup, a tasty soup, soup!
A spicy carrot and corriander!!
[Chilli Chowder!]
Crunchy friends in a liquid broth!
I am dispatchio, oh!
I am missala soho.
Misso misso,
Fighting in the Dojo,
Misso misso...
Oriental friends in the land of SOUP!
- The Mighty Boosh :)

↑ Donna's and Mine ↓

My first post! :)
This soup really caught my eye, I had never cooked with Israeli/pearl couscous before and I absolutely love anything with thyme.

If I make a soup in my household, I'm skating on thin ice. In my husbands words "soup is not a real dinner"! so if I make one it better be pretty tasty and hearty. So I thought I'd add chicken to mine, to beef it up, plus my Husband's all about the meat :)
The recipe says 2 leeks and one zucchini, but I did the opposite as I wanted to save my other leek for another dish, and I didn't think 1 zucchini was enough for a big soup. I put two sliced garlic's in too.

Once all ingredients were in the saucepan and brewing nicely I added my chicken breast and poached it, let it cook and then sliced it up thinly and returned it to the soup.

I put in a heap load of Thyme because if it's not bursting with flavour I'm not happy. I picked thyme and put it in and also left some on it's stem, purely because when I look at it in the pan it looks sexy and makes me happy while it's brewing away - hah! Also, the stems are quiet potent so I think it definitely infuses more flavour.
I didn't have any spinach to top it with, I don't think it really needs it. The Parmesan finishes it off nicely, also a fresh loaf of sourdough soy and linseed bread from Bourke St Bakery complimented it beautifully.

I personally found this soup really delicious and so did the rest of my family - yep, even the Husband! :)

Harper kept saying "mmm" the whole way through, and yelling "kinni (zucchini)"! Really loud with a big grin, so cute :)

From issue 56 Page 32

Maple Pear Tarte Tatin

My foodie friend and I, (whenever I write foodie friend, you should always assume I am talking about Megan!) Were drooling over these awesome looking tarte tatins the other day and lamenting that we didn't have suitable fry pans to cook them in. I remembered today, that my mother has a suitable pan, so I raced up to her house to borrow hers :)

The reason I decided to make this yummy dessert solast minute is because these beautiful beurre bosc pears, that I had as the centre piece on my dinner table, were moments away from being inedible. I noticed one had a big rotten spot on it tonight. I was surprised because fruit doesn't usually last very long in this house. I asked Sweetyboy why he hadn't eaten them before now? He said "I thought they were just for decoration!". Classic.

Flipping this bad boy onto the serving plate was amongst one of the scarier things I have attempted in the kitchen. Super hot cast iron fry pan, ready to splatter molten caramel all over me, plus I didn't want to chip or break my ceramic cake stand with the heavy frypan, and what would I do if the tart stuck?

As you can see we had success! Yay!

It really looks amazing. As for the taste, I can't say because I haven't actually eaten it yet! So, toodaloo!

Issue 32, page 114.

Holiday Food!

Roasted Cauliflower, Sage and Almond Risotto

Ahhh, I love risotto. Just thinking about risotto makes me feel all warm inside, like you have just eaten a huge bowl of... risotto.
There is nothing more delicious after a cold winters day.

The photo of this recipe in the magazine actually never appealed to me. The risotto looks watery, the food looks a little too rustic, almost comfort food (which is good), yet almost some overcooked slop of questionable origin, you might be served at a friends house, who is an equally questionable cook (which is bad).

I had a cauliflower and was looking up recipes on Donna Hay's recipe index online (which is quite helpful by the way, I'll post the link bellow).
The name of this recipe got me and when I looked it up in my mag I thought 'Augh, it's that horrible looking risotto' but I gave it a chance.
And, wow, did it impress. I am officially in love! As soon as cauliflowers drop again to a decent price I will certainly make this again!
So... tips.
I added the sherry at the end, because I didn't read the recipe right and that is what Donna usually does with her risotto recipes, but it worked fine.

If you have never made risotto before, I must mention that you basically have to stir it the whole time it is cooking. quite tiring. My friend and I took turns stirring.

Oh, and I couldn't find taleggio cheese at my local Deli, which is odd because it is a very well stocked deli. The risotto was still delicious.

We enjoyed our risotto after a long, beautiful, Autumns day at Seal Rocks, down near Forster, New South Wales.
The water was crystal clear, the breeze cool and the sun scrumptiously warm. We even went swimming (well some of us did! It takes blazing temperatures and lukewarm water to get Sweetyboy in!). There's Sweetyboy on the beach with the darling, building sand castle cars. :)

Issue 44, page 106.

Oh, Donna

So I have this friend, right, who is a nanny, and her boss's son is in the same class at school as Donna's son! Haha! Talk about 6 degrees of separation! I really am a sad case!
I have to admit, though I don't get star struck very easily, if I ever met Donna Hay, I think I might be a little excited.
So, who have you always dreamed of meeting? Ever had an awesome encounter with someone famous? Any crazy coincidental 6-degrees-of-separation type stories?