27 June 2010

Supper Club


My first foray in to pate making & quite the success, though credit goes to the great recipe in Dish. I wanted to try it out before serving it up at the next Supper Club when it is my turn to cook for the girls. It will be our second Supper Club & Kristen set the bench high at the inaugural Supper Club a few weeks ago. Crispy Won tons with smoked salmon & Tuscan Artichoke Spread with crudites & crostini to start. Followed by a Honey Mustard Rack of Lamb & Herby Potato Cakes with Bubbling Goat's Cheese. And yes absolutely as delicious as it sounds & looks.

Honey Mustard Rack of Lamb
 

Serves 4-6

3 x 8 lamb racks

1 cup clear honey
2 tablespoons wholegrain mustard
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary (1/2 a tablespoon if using dried)



Directions


Preheat the oven to 200C
Season & roast the lamb racks 20-25 minutes for medium or to your liking.
Mix together the other ingredients in a pan & gently heat without allowing to boil.
Remove the lambs racks form the oven, cover with foil & allow to rest for 10 minutes.
Drizzle with he honey mustard mixture & garnish with a little fresh rosemary.



Herby Potato Cakes with Bubbling Goat Cheese
 

Makes 4

Ingredients
400g floury potatoes, peeled - I like Agria

4 teaspoons freshly chopped thyme
2 spring onion finely chopped

4 tablespoon olive oil
1-2 knobs of butter
120g firm goat's cheese
salt & pepper to taste
 

Directions

Coarsely grate the potatoes, & use your hands to squeeze out as much of the liquid as possible. Place in to a large bowl & combine with the thyme & spring onions. Season well with salt & pepper - there is nothing worse than poorly seasoned food,,,salt is your friend!
Divide the mixture in to 4 & shape in to flattish discs about 1.5cm thick.
Heat the oil & butter in a frying pan. Place the potato cakes in the pan, spacing them well apart. Cook in batches if need be or use a couple of frying pans. Cook over a medium heat & t
hey key getting these crispy on the outside & soft & cooked inside: press firmly down with a spatula. Cook for 3-4 minutes each side.
Preheat the grill to medium & once the cakes are ready, place a slice of goat's cheese on each. Grill for 2-3 minutes or until bubbling & lightly golden. Serve
immediately & garnish with thyme sprigs.

And there you have it a delicious dinner party meal ready in about 30 minutes.

Anyway back to the pate. This is definitely a great dish that can be made ahead of time. It will keep covered in the fridge for up to 3 days. I also have it on good authority, from more experienced pate makes than myself that it will also freeze very well.






It is definitely moreish. Creamy & delicious
with some crostini & some home made cranberry relish that was discovered in the back of the fridge. Make sure you do season well as per recipe, it sounds like a lot but it definitely needs it. Next time around I think I will try it without the apples for a little more savoury flavour & perhaps up the pepper a tad.


I will try it with the Red Onion & Pomegranate Molasses Chutney for Supper Club. The Chutney can also be made ahead of time & will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days - which will improve the flavour so a win win all round.


Chicken Liver Pate with Red Onion & Pomegranate Molasses Chutney
Ingredients

For the pate
250g fresh chicken livers

60g butter, divided in half

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 small apple peeled, cored & sliced

2 cloves garlic, crushed

2 tsp chopped thyme

1/2 tsp ground allspice

1/4 cup brandy

1/4 cup cream

sea salt & freshly ground black pepper.



Directions

Clean the chicken livers well & trim out any sinew. Heat half the butter in a saute pan & add the onion, apple, garlic, thyme & a good pinch of salt. Cover & cook until very tender & can be easily crushed with fork. Scrape the contents of the pan in to a food processor.
Reheat the saute pan with the remaining butter. Add the chicken livers & allspice & season generously. Cook gently until the livers are just pink in the centre. Don't let the brown! Using a slotted spoon, transfer the livers to the food processor.
Increase the heat, add the brandy & bubble up for 1 minute. Scrape the contents of the pan in to the food processor. Season, & with the food processor going, drizzle in the cream. Process for 3-4 minutes until very smooth, scraping down the sides occasionally.
Spoon the pate in to serving dishes & cover the top with plastic wrap, pushing it down on to the surface to seal out the air, refrigerate.

For the relish 

Ingredients

2 tbsp olive oil
2 large red onions, finely sliced

2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp yellow mustard seeds
2 cloves garlic, crushed

2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp brown sugar


Directions

Put the olive oil, onion, garlic & mustard seeds in a saucepan. Season, cover & cook for 10 minutes until the onion is tender. Uncover & stir in the sugar & pomegranate molasses. Cook over a gentle heat for 30 minutes until thick & syrupy & the onions are glossy. Tip in to a fine sieve to remove excess oil.
To serve:
Top the pate with the onion relish or serve on the side. Serve with small toasts or crostini.

I will let you know how the relish goes, but I reckon it will cut nicely through the richness of the pate.



It did indeed, the sweetness & sharpness of the pomegranate molasses works very will with the rich, creamy pate.

26 June 2010

Where to begin?




Where to begin? My first adventure in to the blogosphere. A food & wine lover I thought I would share.

Well the fog has finally cleared

in Auckland to a beautiful sunny winter's day & I am looking forward to an afternoon in the kitchen. Stock is cooking for a big pot of chicken soup & about to make my first foray in to pate making. Plus a new salmon recipe to be tried out for tonight's dinner.
Not much beats a bowl of homemade chicken soup, it truly is good for the soul & I always like to have a stash in the freezer for a quick, healthy & light dinner. Everyone has their own variation. Mine is adapted from a couple of old favourites -
Tyler Florence's chicken noodle soup sans noodles and one from an old issue of donna hay magazine plus a little inspiration from my Mum's Scotch Broth - so barley & lentils added to make it extra thick & delicious. And it really what couldn't be easier.
For the stock,,,
Place a chicken and turnip, halved, a carrot, a parsnip, halved, an onion, halved, a few celery stalks, a couple of garlic cloves, a few peppercorns, a few bay leaves & a few sprigs of thyme in a large stockpot over medium heat. Pour in only enough cold water to cover. Lower heat & gently simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Sieve to remove the vegetables, chop up the chicken & return it to the stock. Add whatever diced vegetables, barely & lentils you like. This is a great way to use up any veg you have lying around. Today I added barley & lentils - I like a lot of barley as makes the soup extra thick. Plus carrot, turnip, parsnip, chopped cavelo nero. Season well & simmer until the vegetables are tender - & that is it - delicious, healthy, heart warming food. With fresh crusty bread, yum!
Now on to the pate,,,