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!!

Blueberry and almond flour muffins

Working from home through the lockdown means no morning teas with shared baked goods, or breakfast meetings at nice cafes so I have planned for the week ahead by baking some low gluten muffins for us and to drop to some friends who live within 5km!

Using a combination of almond flour and plain flour, buttermilk and a mixture of oil and melted butter makes these muffins super moist and filled with the goodness of frozen and fresh blueberries.

Super-easy to make and just as easy to enjoy.

Preparation time: 15 minutes Baking time: 25 minutes Makes 10-12 muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups almond flour
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 200g frozen blueberries
  • Handful of fresh blueberries
  • 1/8 the cup of slivered almonds
  • Muffin tin with 12 holes and paper muffin cups

Method:

1. Pre-heat oven 200 degrees Celsius

2. Sift flours and mix dry ingredients including almond flour, plain flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, sugar into a large mixing bowl.

3. Put wet ingredients into a seperate bowl including eggs, oil, butter, buttermilk, and whisk together until smooth.(make sure butter is cooled).

4. Slowly add wet ingredients into flour mixture mixing until just combined. Don’t overmix at this stage.

5. Fold in frozen berries, fresh berries and almonds.

6. Put paper muffin cups into muffin tin holes. Fill each muffin cup with batter ensuring blueberries are as evenly distributed as possible.

7.place in oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden and skewer comes out cleanly. Leave to sit in muffin pan to cool for 5-10 minutes. Enjoy immediately and for days to come.

Grilled #Chicken or Salmon with Spicy #Romesco Sauce

Spiced up this classic Catalan sauce and then smeared it over chicken, salmon fillets before grilling and even used as a base for a fish curry over the next few days.

Sweet, smoky, nutty and this version has a nice spicy kick with the inclusion of chilli flakes.

It’s great to have in the fridge to brighten things up.

It’s delicious as a dip on it’s own as well. The recipe makes a big bowl of it so use it as you please!

Sauce: Prep time 40 minutes

Ingredients:

· 2 large red capsicums

·       1 tomato

·       6 cloves of garlic with skin on

·       1 slice of white bread

·       ½ cup of nuts – I used walnuts but traditional is almonds

·       1 tbsp sherry vinegar (or red/white wine) – I used apple cider vinegar

·       1 tablespoon smoked paprika

·       2 teaspoons chilli flakes

·       1 tsp salt

· 3 tablespoons olive oil

Method:

Heat oven to 200 degrees celcius

Wrap tomato and garlic in foil

Place red capsicums whole in oven, alongside foil parcel

Grill turning red capsicums until blackened and char grilled on all sides

Remove capsicums and foil parcel from oven

Put bread and nuts in hot oven and grill until nuts are browned and bread is toasted on both sides – take care not to burn nuts (lower oven heat to 170 degrees or so) my walnuts got a bit dark but it still tasted good!

Place blackened capsicums in a plastic bag and seal – leave to steam and cool, remove skin and seeds – put in blender

Remove skin from tomato and peel garlic and put in blender with rest of ingredients – break toasted bread into large “crumbs”

Whizz until smooth thick paste forms, place in bowl.

Chicken Thigh Cutlets: Marinate overnight if you like, cooking time: 35-40 minutes

Ingredients:

4-6 chicken thigh cutlets – skin on and bone in

1 tablespoon olive oil

Fresh Thyme

Black peppper

Method:

· Rub Chicken thigh cutlets with 2-3 tablespoons of romesco sauce – leave to marinate for a while, even overnight if you can but it’s not mandatory.

· Sprinkle with black pepper, thyme and olive oil – might need a bit more salt

·       Place in hot oven 175 degrees Celsius

· Roast until skin crisps up and chicken is cooked through – about 30 minutes, then turn up to 250 degrees for 5 -10 minutes to crisp up skin

· Serve with salad, rice or roast vegetables with romesco sauce on side.

Salmon Fillets

Smear Salomon fillets with romesco sauce, grill in hot oven 180 degrees for 15 minutes or so, turn skin side up, turn up oven to 250 degrees and grill until skin crisps up for about 5 minutes, I served this with couscous and a vegetable tagine with preserved lemons.

Clam and Scallop Chowder

Memories of our time in Boston when we enjoyed Clam Chowder and other delicious seafood …reviewed here Legal Seafood

The weather in Sydney and the purchase of a bag of Cloudy Bay Clams from St Peter’s Fish Butchery in Oxford St inspired me to try to recreate it at home. Not all seafood outlets sell clams in Sydney so you might need to shop around to get them. (Subject to lockdown orders of course!)

After trawling the internet for clam chowder recipes, I cobbled together a few ideas into this recipe which turned out to be delicious.

Watch out because it is more filling than you would expect with just clams, scallops and 1 potato. You won’t need much more than a small bowl, a salad and maybe a crispy bread roll. Leftovers the next day were good though! Recipe would be fine for starters for 3-4 people.

You can’t really go wrong with the combo of cream, white wine, butter and seafood!!

Prep Time: 20 minutes Cooking time: 30 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 600g clam/Vongole in shells
  • 250g scallops chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1 leek finely diced (white part only)
  • 1 stick celery finely diced
  • 1 bacon bone (ask butcher)
  • 4 slices bacon, rind removed and finely chopped
  • 4-5 cups of water
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 medium size waxy potato finely diced
  • 2-3 sprigs of thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • black pepper
  • 2 cups of cream!
  • Chopped parsley to garnish

Method

1. Put clams in large pot, add bacon bone, cover with water bring to boiled, then lower heat and put lid on for 10 minutes or so until clams open.

2. Meanwhile dice all ingredients and keep separately aside. the smaller you dice everything the more “delicate” the end product will be!

3. Remove bacon bone. Strain clams from stock through doubled up paper towel, reserving stock for chowder.

4. Allow clams to cool. Reserve Clam stock.

5. Rinse pot, add bacon and fry until fat renders and bacon is crisped but not brown. Add butter, diced leeks and diced celery. Cook slowly for 5 minutes until leek and celery soften, stirring to stop the mixture sticking.

6. Add potatoes, add the bacon bone back in, mix through, then add white wine to deglaze pan and allow to bubble away for 5 minutes until wine is reduced to about half, making sure potatoes don’t stick.

7. Add 2-3 cups of the clam stock to just cover potatoes, also the thyme and bay leaves and cover, simmering for 8-10 minutes until potatoes are cooked and tender. Add additional clam stock if required.

8. Remove clam meat from shells while mixture is simmering, throw away any unopened clams. Finely dice clam meat. Dice scallops if you haven’t done so as yet.

9. Remove bacon bone. Add clam meat and scallops to mixture, add cream and simmer for 5 minutes until mixture is well heated through. Fish out thyme and bay leaves.

10. Garnish with pepper and chopped parsley and serve.