Stuffed #artichokes

Made these last week but added parmesan cheese to the stuffing which was a delicious addition. Used blood orange juice in the mayonaise for an extra zingy flavour plus a lovely pink colour!

Here’s the original recipe, just add 1/2 cup grated parmesan to breadcrumb mixture for a cheesy version and use a blood orange for pinky Mayo. Zesty stuffed artichokes with orange mayonnaise sauce

Zesty stuffed artichokes

Roman #Cauliflower? #Broccoli?

Found this beautiful looking vegetable at the EQ markets in Centennial Park, amongst the boring white caulis.

Googled when I got home and discovered it is known as a Roman or Romanesco Cauliflower.

Thanks Wikipedia: Romanesco broccoli (also known as Roman cauliflower, Broccolo Romanesco, Romanesque cauliflower, or simply Romanesco) is an edible flower bud of the species Brassica oleracea. First documented in Italy in the 16th century, it is chartreuse in color, and has a form naturally approximating a fractal. When compared to a traditional cauliflower, it has a firmer texture and delicate, nutty flavor.

Roasted it in the oven and served alongside minty carrots. Delicious nutty flavour and crisp texture, Happily high in vitamins C and K. If you’re lucky enough to find it – make sure you try it!

#Cipollini Onions #agrodolce

I found some cipollini onions at the market on the weekend and they reminded me of a recipe I have always “seen” in Alistair Little’s Italian Kitchen Cookbook…one of my favourite recipe books of all time. But then of course I couldn’t find it!

What are they? According to TheKitchn…”Their name literally means “little onion” in Italian, and indeed they are! Cipollinis are about the size of a golf ball with a slightly flattened appearance. They’re thin-skinned and have translucent white flesh with more residual sugar than your average yellow or white onion.”

But I figure baby onions would be fine with this same treatment and worth it just have the sweet and sour, agrodolce sauce.

So I googled what I could remember and realised that the recipe must be “agrodolce” or Italian sweet and sour …so this is what resulted! A new discovery of deliciousness that will be a new favourite for sure!

Prep time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 20-25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 5-6 cipollini onions or baby onions
  • 1/2 cup of raisins
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1.5 tablespoons sugar

Method:

1. Place raisins into bowl and cover with hot water, allow to sit for next 30 minutes. You want the raisins to absorb the water and get close to bursting. This is key to the agrodolce sauce’s success.

2. Meanwhile, peel the onions. Heat the oil in a small pan that fits them all in one layer. Heat oil until hot, add onions, salt and pepper and ….then Cook onions slowly for 10-15 minutes until brown on all sides and tender.

3. Drain raisins (after 30 minutes), add to pan with onions, add sugar, balsamic vinegar and allow to bubble until vinegar evaporates and some of the raisins burst to form a sauce. Onions will caramelise and absorb some of the sauce. I added 2 tablespoons of water to help the process along a bit too.

4. Place directly onto platter and serve alongside grilled vegetables and roast meats. Perfect to have in the fridge so next time I am going ro make double this batch!!

Eggplant pieces stuffed with prawn and Zucchini

Eggplant stuffed with prawn and zucchini filling

Traditionally a dim sum/yum cha dish, it is also a Asian delicious starter or accompaniment.

I had read a few different recipes and methods and was initially suspicious about the stuffing coming out whilst the eggplant cooks, but it turned out fine.

The trick is to make sure you use big purple eggplants and cut generous thick slices to begin with so your pockets have generous “side” flaps for the prawn mixture to sit within.

Prep time: 10 minutes cooking time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 large thick eggplant about 20-25cm long or 2 smaller ones
  • 3-4 large green prawns shelled and deveined
  • 1/2 zucchini
  • 3 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 3 Spring onions chopped – about 3/4 cup
  • 1 teaspoon crushed ginger
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour or potato flour
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil

Method:

1. Chop prawns, Zucchini, and 2 garlic cloves and put into food processor.

2. Add ginger, soy sauce, 1 tablespoon only of oyster sauce, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, white pepper, 1 teaspoon sugar.

3. Process until a smoothish paste forms.

4. Put paste into a mixing bowl, add 1/2 spring onions chopped, cornflour and mix.

5. Top and tail eggplant, then cut into approximately 5cm pieces. Then cut a deep slit halfway through each piece WITHOUT slicing to the bottom. You should have 4-5

6. Fill each of the pieces generously with the prawn stuffing. Don’t worry too much if there is a bit of “overhang”!

7. Heat the vegetable oil and 1 teaspoon sesame oil in heavy based pan, then place eggplant pockets in pan and fry over medium heat until both sides are golden brown.

8. Add half a cup of water into the pan and cover with lid so the whole thing can steam, turn carefully and repeat with another half cup steaming until prawn mixture is cooked puffy and a pale pinky yellow.

9. Place eggplant on platter, reserving any liquid in pan,and keep warm in low oven whilst you make the sauce.

10. Add 2 tablespoons oyster sauce, 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar, 1 clove finely chopped garlic, 1 teaspoon sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of sesame oil to pan, bring to a simmer allowing to slightly thicken. Add rest of chopped spring onion, then pour over eggplant and serve.

Roasted #Cauliflower with Bacon, Olives and Crisp #Parmesan

This looks very interesting. Might try a version of it with Brussel sprouts tomorrow. Thanks Spades, spatulas and spoons

Roasted Cauliflower with Bacon, Olives and Crisp Parmesan I am very partial to roasted vegetables of any type. Vegetables in the family Brassicaceae …

October – Roasted Cauliflower with Bacon, Olives and Crisp Parmesan

#Tempura #Oysters with #wasabi mayonaise

Worth the effort of battering oysters! Trust me! Very easy…don’t be scared of making tempura batter …it is easy as. However it’s worth making more than less to make full use of the oil as you do need to deep fry them.

Ingredients:

  • 12-24 natural oysters in shells
  • 3/4 cup plain flour
  • 1 cup cold mineral water and 6 small ice cubes
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1.5 cup Vegetable oil for frying
  • 2 teaspoons wasabi
  • 4 tablespoons mayonnaise

Method

1. Mix mineral water with ice cubes and set aside

2.Mix wasabi and mayonaise and place in dipping bowl

2. Sift flour and salt into a mixing bowl

3. Add water and ice cubes to flour and whisk until you get a creamy consistency, don’t worry about lumps.

4. Unattach oysters from shells, wipe shells and place on weaving platter.

5. Heat oil in small, deep frying or wok until drop of batter sizzles.

6. Dip oysters in batter and fry until batter is crisp and golden.

7. Drain on paper towel for a moment and place on oyster shells.

8. Serve with wasabi mayonaise…I serve alongside natural oysters as well.