Sunday, June 17, 2007

June 17th 2007

The other day I decided I wanted a salad of sorts for supper, and so we had this I sometimes over do things and probably could learn to simplify things a little. But it was rather yummy!!!
I started out pan frying some butternut squash and boiled some salad potatoes and about 10 minutes till they were finished threw in some fresh trimmed green beans just till they were blanched. Drained the potatoes and beans and placed in a bowl with the squash, Some halved cherry tomatoes and a tin of mixed bean salad. Tossed all together with a little fresh lemon juice and some olive oil, Fresh ground black pepper and served on a bed of rocket leaves. Sprinkled on some cubes of the Comte cheese and there you go.... Supper. Served with the remaing tomato bread that I toasted under the grill...

Something about me maybe some of you don't know. I know that anyone that has visited my home knows.... I collect cookbooks... Some people say ' you can't cook every recipe!!!' I know that. Some folks read novels, I read cookbooks. I may not follow the recipes in them to the letter, but they do inspire me to cook and to experiment with food. And I love them all and can't bring myself to part with any of them. Even the one Delia cookbook I have put in the loft. She isn't my fav chef at all. Sorry to the Delia fans. I have some very old ones that you would need to visit an antique shop to buy the equipment that they suggest you use.... I have some of my American ones, which I shipped over when I came about 10 years ago and some that I have bought and had shipped over since. Like one of my old favourites that I left behind... the 1975 yellow binder Pillsbury cookbook. That was my first cookbook and I left it with my son Dan when I moved here. I love my French, German, Belgium and Austrian cookbooks as they are what inspire me to learn their secrets by learning to translate them. It takes alot longer to cook from them than the others, but when I visit these countries I know what to order from the menus. I have a whole set of Australian Womans weekly ones. I have celebrity chef ones..... AWT,Gary Rhodes, Robert Carrier, Madhur Jaffrey, Pat Chapman, and Jamie Oliver to name just a few. Not got a Gordon Ramesey one yet or a Keith Floyd. But there is still time. The problem is space...

I have a couple of shelves in the dining area...

A whole bookshelf that is bowing from the weight!!!

And I have moved into the Living room and upstairs too in the computer room, bed room and some are actually in the loft. Now you would think with this many cooking books that every possible recipe that has ever been cooked would be in them.... But you know what there are still more possibilities out there....... It is just fascinating that people write so much about food!!! And now there are blogs with recipes on them. Amazing! But not sure what it does for an obsessive collector like myself. It means not only will I be filling my shelves with recipes, but my computer will be filled with them too!!!! It is probably a good thing I haven't figured out how to use an Ipod or it would be filled with recipes too.....Just learning about podcasts here....I found this lovely site while surfing and it has video recipes....Video Recipe site.
Am I the only one with this obsession or are there more out there just like me???????


After visiting Borough Market and buying a smoothie to help quench our thirst, Brian has decided he would like to have some made here at home. So here is our first one! Take a couple of handfulls of red seedless grapes, some pitted fresh cherries, two apricots, 1/2 grapefruit, 1 banana and some ice cubes a bit of orange juice and a dribble of leftover lemonade all in the blender and Whala!!!! Smoothie!!!Now I think we have had our 5 a day in one drink!!! So anything else is a bonus, right? Will be trying other smoothie recipes out... I did manage to find a whole bunch of smoothie recipes on the net. But again will only be using them as a starting point for our own concoctions.

Okay I cook, but I don't always follow recipes. I like to use them as guides. And recently I have been thinking I need to probably start learning some of the classics of cooking such as sauces. And I came across this recipe and decided I had all the ingredients to make it. And it is something I have never done before.... So it is the start of my learning the classics.... a Sabayon.
Take 2 egg yolks in a bowl, finely grated rind of a lemon and 44 grams of caster sugar.. and mix on high for about 8 minutes.

Must be pale in colour and thick. Now heat up100 ml of a dry white wine just until it is almost boiling. And then pour the wine into the yolk mixture while beating on low until mixed. Then put all back into the pan on a very low heat and stirring with a wooden spoon for about 4 minutes until it is thickened and coats the back of the spoon. Don't over heat or it will curdle the recipe says. Well I didn't so was rather lucky there. Now place into a bowl over ice and stir occasionally until it is chilled. Now if this was to set, it didn't but instead was really light and airy. I served it over some fresh cherries and mandarin orange segments.

It was a definate thumbs up from hubby. My changes next time would be to possibly use canned cherries or maybe even some fresh peach slices. Or strawberries... It is one to use for when my step son comes for a visit too as it has no dairy in it.

Last nights Supper

I have more sunblushed tomatoes still from the trip to Borough Market and I am trying desperately not to let them go off. Not just because I love the taste of them, which I do... So I made some Focaccia with them. Take210 ml warm water and place in the bread mixer pan, add in a couple of tablespoons of tomato purree, 1Tablespoon olive oil, then ontop of this add in 350g strong bread flour(I used 100g of spelt flour and 250 of strong white) place 1/2 tsp of table salt in one corner and 1tsp sugar in another and 1 packet of yeast in the middle. I put it on the dough setting again and when it knocked to add in the nuts or what ever I added 1 cup full of chopped sunblushed tomatoes, 1 chopped onion, some dried oregano, fennel seeds, chopped fresh rosemary and some pine nuts. Let it go through the cycle and then once it is done then put on board and knead with a little flour. It was a bit on the sticky side. Put into a square 9x9 cake tin that has been oiled well and poke holes into it. Cover with plastic wrap and a tea towel and let stand for about 30 minutes till it doubles in size. Preheat oven to 200°C. Poke holes again and drizzle with olive oil, and top with your fav toppings. I added mor sunblushed tomatoes, poked down into the bread, some onion slices, fresh rosemary and some fresh grated paremsan.

Let sit for 10 minutes and then bake for about 20 -25 minutes. This turned out alot more flavoursome than the tomato bread of the other day.

Now I told you I get ideas when cooking. This one tasted really yummy, but my presentation leaves alot to be desired. I wanted something like Tuna Niscoise, but wanted pasta too. So here is my creation....

Spaghetti ala Tuna Niscoise, minus the anchovies(don't like those!)

I took two frozen tuna steaks and defrosted them. Put into a dish some olive oil, juice of 1/2 lemon, some white wine. Chopped fine 1 clove of garlic, some fresh rosemary, dried oregano and basil, some chopped fresh marjoram and then marinated the tuna in this for an hour or so in the fridge. Turing over once or twice and spooning on the mix.
Cooked some wholemeal spaghetti in one pan of boiling water and in another boiled some potatoes, right before the potatoes were finished I added some fresh green beans and some asparagus. In a large frying pan I sauteed 1 chopped onion then added and in another smaller frying pan, pan fry the tuna on both sides. Add the drained vegetables to the large pan and toss well with some olive oil, chopped tomatoes(4 plum) and some sliced black olives. Drizzle with lemon juice and heat through. Drain pasta and put on plate, top with the veg and at the last minute add the marinating liquid to the tuna pan. Top veg with tuna and spoon over the sauce. Freshly grated parmesan and a sprig of basil. Oh and dress with two hard boiled eggs cut in quarters (these I boiled first and had on hand). I know it looks a bit of a mess, but it was really tasty!!!!


Amanda at Little Foodies said...

Hi Pat, So glad you got your new cooker. I hope you have lots of fun cooking wonderful things on it.
p.s. I thought my cookbook addiction was bad - yours is... well very large indeed!
Amanda x

Crafty Gardener said...

Wow, that is quite the cookbook collection Pat. Now I know who to call on when I want a recipe.

Pat said...

Thanks Amanda! I know I am just gonna love it, actually I already do!! Oh I do love cook books. They are fun to read.

Thanks Linda, Yup if you need a recipe just let me know. LOL Matter of fact just bought another one this morning. One of Antonio Carluccio's books on Italian cooking.

Kelly-Jane said...

Hi Pat, came to you via Little Foodies.

That's what I like to see a good collection of cookbooks! I'm a real cookbook junkie, I don't think there's a known cure yet!


Pat said...

Thanks KJ, I am not too sure I want to be cured. :) Think hubby might prefer I didn't have so many.