27 November 2013

Auckland Eats:Baduzzi


I do love Baduzzi, after 3 visits I still want to back for more....of just about everything.  Meatballs are star but then everything else is just a tempting & delectable. It’s run by the same team as The Grove so they know exactly what they are doing & it the most welcome addition to Wynyard Quarter.

Step in through the bright red door, settle in & enjoy! 


Baduzzi is the Sicilian word for meatballs & there are some very tasty morsels to choose from. Crayfish meatballs with braised chickpeas, heritage tomato & basil or grilled wagyu meatballs with onion gravy, salsa verde & cannellini beans or wild red deer meatballs with portabello mushroom & cauliflower crema.  The other Monday night we had the crayfish & wagyu & were not disappointed....these are melt in the mouth delicious.


Much as I love the meatballs I love the past even more! My special favourite the saffron gnocchi with goats curd, burnt butter, almonds & marjoram.  What’s not to love about pasta & burnt butter, well actually anything with burnt butter!  Add to that the sharp goats cheese & I am in heaven.  We also had the rabbit ravioli, plump ravioli packed with rabbit meat are rich & comforting.



We also tried the insalata of white beans, squid, lemon juice & parsley.  Perfectly grilled squid & wonderfully bright & fresh salad.


And then there are desserts! I have had the tiramisu on a previous visit...just have it.  Rich & creamy...No matter how full you think you are you will thank me...I promise! The chocolate torta caprese with vanilla ice cream is rich, dark & decadent. Served warm with an ooey gooey centre if you love chocolate you will adore this dessert!




Baduzzi from beginning to end is just a delight!

10-26 Jellicoe St, North Wharf, Wynyard Quarter. 
Ph: (09) 309 9339


23 November 2013

Bookshelf:Dark Danish Rye from The Green Kitchen



They say good things come to those who wait & that is definitely true of this bread, no no knead, bread ready in an hour here. This is a 24 hour job but it is so worth the wait.  Ever since getting the Green Kitchen Stories cookbook this one was calling me.  I have actually had the ingredients waiting in the pantry for a weekend when time was on my side.  And this weekend just gone I did have a little time.

It’s not difficult, it is just like a lot of really good things it takes a little time.step by step...they do say patience is a virtue.

Dark Danish Rye Bread, from The Green Kitchen

Makes 1 loaf

Ingredients

190g (6 1/2 oz / 1 cup) whole rye grains
60g (2oz / 1/2 cup) sunflower seeds
500ml boiling water
250ml plain yoghurt, at room temperature
3 tbsp clear honey
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp fennel seeds
125g (4oz / 1 cup) dried cranberries
5 tbsp carob or cocoa powder
4 tsp fast action dry yeast
400g (14oz / 2 2/3 cups) whole rye flour
150g (5oz / 1 cup) whole spelt flour
60g (2oz / 1/2 cup) light spelt flour

*So I had rye flour....& 400g was way more than 2 2/3 cups!  But the dough seemed to be the right consistency so I just carried on!  And for the second round I just added less spelt flour.  I didn’t have whole & light & so just used regular spelt flour.


Directions

Place the rye grains & sunflower seeds in a bowl & pour over the boiling water.  Let it sit for 15 minutes, then add the yoghurt, honey, sea salt, fennel seeds, cranberries & carob or cocoa powder.  Stir with a wooden spoon until well combined.  Test the temperature with your finger; it should be just warm.

Stir in the yeast & then add the rye flour & stir until you have a smooth batter.  Cover the bowl with cling film & leave for 1 hour at room temperature  or until the yeast has worked it’s magic & the dough is slightly bubbly.  Gradually add in enough of the spelt flour to form a dough that you can turn out on to a floured work surface & knead for 5 minutes.  Add more spelt flour until the dough  becomes firmer.  It will be slightly sticky but quite heavy.


Form it in to a ball & place it in a clean oiled bowl.  Slap some water on the top with your hands.  Cover with clingfilm & chill for 8-10 hours....this is where the first round of waiting comes in.

Place the dough in a 1kg (2 1/4 lb) oiled loaf tin & press down with your fists to get rid of any air pockets.  The dough should be quite sticky.  Brush the top with water & dust with rye flour.  Cover with a kitchen towel & set it aside to rise for slightly for 2 hours....round 2 of waiting.

Pre heat your oven to 200C / 400F.  Place the loaf in the oven on the lowest shelf & bake for 1 hour.  After an hour turn off the heat & leave the loaf in the oven for a further 15 minutes.  Remove from the tin & leave to cool on a wire rack for at least 4 hours....I know, very hard not to cut a slice of bread just out the oven to slather with butter!  But the wait is worth it  & it is important to allow the bread to set which makes it easier to slice.

Place in an airtight container it will keep for a week.


This is good bread, well actually better then good. A little heavy & full of substance & sustenance it leaves you feeling satisfied & nourished.  They say the cranberries are optional but I would definitely include them, those little bursts of fruit just add more texture & flavour.



If you like this you might like this Busy People's Bread
One year ago Passion Fruit Mousse
Three years ago Yucatecan Guacamole with all the Trimmings


Enjoy!

17 November 2013

Zucchini & Feta Tart


What I do love about Donna Hay recipes is that they are so adaptable, easy to tweak & change to suit yourself. For me that is a sign of a a good recipe.  I prefer them more as guide rather than list of hard & fast rules & ingredients.

“if god had intended us to follow recipes, He wouldn't have given us grandmothers.” 
Linda Henley

This week’s theme at I Heart Cooking Clubs is tarts; now I love a tart but with Summer & beach time fast approaching I am in the need of a lighter tart! So this zucchini & feta tart with filo instead of puff or short crust pastry hit the spot.

Zucchini & Feta Tart, adapted from donnahay.com.au

*I switched out the goat’s curd for feta as that was what I had. I also used a tray half the size so pretty much changed all the quantities! So And I added a little lemon zest & chilli....they just work such a treat with feta & zucchini.

Serves 4 

Ingredients

50g butter, melted
6 sheets filo pastry
2 zucchini (courgettes), grated
Zest of 1 lemon
1 red chilli, finely diced (seeds & all if you like a little heat!)
4 eggs
½ cup cream
Sea salt & cracked black pepper
100g feta crumbled


Directions

Preheat oven to 160C / 320F

Brush the base of a 15cm x 40cm tart dish or baking tray with melted butter. Layer with filo sheets, brushing with melted butter between each layer & leave a little of each sheet over hanging. Top with the grated zucchini. 



Place the eggs, cream, lemon zest, chilli, salt & pepper in a bowl & whisk until well combined. Carefully pour over the zucchini and top with the crumbled feta. Crumple up the edges of the over hanging filo to make a little crust & brush it with a little of the melted butter. Place on a baking tray & bake for 30-35 minutes or until just set. Allow to cool slightly before slicing. 


This was a light & fresh take on a tart....ticking Donna’s fast, fresh & simple mantra.  The chilli & lemon zest definitely adding a little heat & brightness so would most definitely recommend their addition.





If you like a tart.you'll find more here.


If you like this you might like this A Very Full Tart
Two years ago For the Love of Food
Three years ago Watermelon Raspberry Ice


Enjoy!

12 November 2013

Pear Belle Helene Pavlova


Well not quite pear belle helene & not quite pavlova, but some sort of deliciousness in between.  I am more of meringue person so like my pav a little chewy & crunchy & little less marshmallowy, so my pavs tend a little towards a giant meringue! 


The favourite dessert of last summer was this brown sugar pavlova with whipped cream, raspberries & salted caramel sauce.  Mound everything on top & let everyone just tuck in & help themselves...it went down a treat.


I wanted a little variation, but still a craving for some salted caramel & came up with this pear, chocolate & caramel concoction. Pear Belle Helene, or Poire Belle Helene if we are being all French, is traditionally pears poached in sugar syrup & served with vanilla ice cream & chocolate syrup so I have taken a few liberties...it was the pears & chocolate that inspired this dessert. They may not be quite the classic beautiful pears but they were very, very good!

Pear Belle Helene Pavlova

Makes one large pavlova & 8 dinner guest & neighbours scoffed the lot!

Ingredients

6 egg whites at room temperature
380g 13oz raw sugar
4 tsp corn flour
2 tsp cider vinegar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
750 ml cream, whipped to soft peaks
1 pear, cored & sliced
125g Whittaker’s Dark Ghana or other dark, bitter chocolate, melted


For the salted caramel sauce*

75 g / 3 oz unsalted butter
50 g / 2 oz soft light brown sugar
50 g / 2 oz caster sugar
50 gram 2 oz golden syrup
125 ml / 4.39 fl oz double cream
1 tsp good quality salt (not table salt)

*Severe Warning: This sauce is highly addictive after just one hit!

Directions

Pre heat your oven to 140C (no fan bake) / 275F & line a baking tray with baking parchment.

Place the egg whites in the bowl of a mixer & beat until you have stiff peaks & then gradually add the sugar.  Keep beating until the sugar is completely dissolved.  To check just rub a little meringue between your fingers. If you can still feel grains, beat a little longer until it feels completely smooth.

Add the corn flour*, vinegar & vanilla & beat on low until all incorporated in to the meringue.

*If like me you like something that is somewhere between a pavlova & a meringue reduce the cornflour; I added 3 teaspoons.
Not quite smooth enough…keep beating!

Now this is a rustic pavlova; so gently turn out the meringue on to the baking tray & make a rough rectangle with swirls & peaks & troughs...all the better for holding all those lovely toppings.  Place in the oven & cook for one hour.*  Allow the meringue to cool completely before assembling & serving.

While the pavlova is cooking make the salted caramel sauce.  Place the butter, sugars, syrup & butter in a small saucepan over a medium low heat to melt.  Once melted simmer gently for 3 minutes, stirring now & again.


Add the cream & half a teaspoon of salt & stir again.  Taste, carefully as it will be hot! Add more salt if need be & cook gently for another minute.  Et voilà,  that is it.  In a matter of moments you will have what is  the most addictive sauce. I find if left on the stove top it is almost impossible not to just have a little taste every time I walk by.

*Again if like me you prefer a slightly “failed” pav with a little more crunch & a little more chew & little less marshmallowy just cook for a little longer, 5-10 minutes more.

To assemble place the pavlova on a large platter or board, mound on top the whipped cream, scatter over the pears, drizzle generously with the salted caramel sauce & the melted chocolate.  Take to the table & let everyone dive in & help themselves.


Chewy crunchy meringue, whipped cream, salted caramel & bittersweet chocolate....need I say more?  Thought not 😊


This is also my entry for this month’s Sweet NZ being hosted by me 😊 All details here if you have some sweet treats!


If you like this you might like this Brown Sugar Pavlova with Raspberries & Salted Caramel Sauce

Three years ago M&M's Green Coleslaw

Enjoy!

10 November 2013

Char-grilled Asparagus & Parsley Pesto Pasta


Asparagus, how I love those tender green spears. They’ll make at least one appearance a week at the dinner table until their season is over. They are not happy travellers so I always like to make the most of always too short season.  And I always like to find some new ways to cook with them.  This week over at I Heart Cooking Clubs it is all about in season, so asparagus was an obvious choice.  Even better this another fast one!



Char-grilled Asparagus & Parsley Pesto Pasta, from donnahay.com.au

Serves 2

Ingredients

1 bunch asparagus, trimmed
¼ cup (60ml) olive oil, plus extra, for brushing
2 cups flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 cloves garlic, crushed
2 anchovy fillets
½ cup (40g) finely grated parmesan, plus extra, to serve
Zest of one lemon
Juice of 1 lemon
200g spaghetti
Salt & pepper

Directions

Preheat a char-grill pan over high heat. Brush the asparagus with oil & sprinkle with salt & pepper. Cook for a few minutes, until just charred. Allow to cool slightly & roughly chop. Place the asparagus in a food processor with the oil, parsley, garlic, anchovy fillets, parmesan, lemon zest & juice, salt & pepper & blitz until roughly chopped. 

Set the pesto aside. Cook the pasta in a large saucepan of salted boiling water for 8-10 minutes or until al dente, with a little bite. Drain the pasta & reserve about  1 cup (250ml) of the cooking liquid. 

Return the pasta to the saucepan with the pesto & reserved liquid & toss to combine. Divide between plates & top with a little extra sprinkling of parmesan & cracked pepper to serve. 


Another speedy & tasty supper from Donna Hay & perfect for this weeks I Heart Cooking Club's In Season theme. This one is bright, fresh & satisfying, the char grilling adding a wonderful smokey sweet note.


If you like this you might like this Ottolenghi's Asparagus Mimosa
Three years ago Port & Chicken Liver Pate


Enjoy!

02 November 2013

Zucchini, Feta & Chilli Crostini



This week over at I Heart Cooking Clubs we are all about the sandwich.  Who doesn’t love the versatile sandwich?  I am certainly partial to that classic the cucumber sandwich & a personal favourite would be an egg mayonnaise sandwich.  Perfect egg mayonnaise, so more egg than mayo & well seasoned with salt & a good dose of freshly ground black pepper for me. The freshest white bread & butter also requisites to make it the perfect sandwich.  That brings me to another favourite; the bacon sandwich which also needs the freshest white bread & butter encasing crispy bacon.

This week I thought of maybe some sort of wrap or some sort of open sandwich & then I stumbled upon these bruschetta.




bru·schet·ta [broo-sket-uh, -shet-uh; Italian broo-sket-tah]
noun
an Italian appetiser consisting of toasted bread slices drizzled with olive oil & usually topped with tomatoes and basil.

Which pretty much is one of these; an open sandwich...

open sandwich
noun
a sandwich served on only one slice of bread, without a covering slice.
Origin: 
1945–50

So I reckon that means this bruschetta come crostini qualifies as a sandwich for this week’s I Heart Cooking Clubs.  It really is just one without a top, which is why this one caught my eye.  Fresh bright pale green circles of zucchini flecked with red chilli, chives & lemon zest was just the ticket for a bright, fresh Spring supper.  Reading further these were scattered over crispy grilled bread & feta & I was sold.

Zucchini, Feta & Chilli Crostini, adapted from donnahay.com.au

*these were originally bruschetta, I made them crostini & rubbed them with a little garlic before char grilling rather than raw garlic in amongst the zucchini . I also added a little mint as it works so well alongside the zucchini & used a little less oil.



Ingredients

2 zucchini (courgettes), thinly sliced
2 small red chillis, thinly sliced
1 tbsp chives, chopped
1 tbsp mint, chopped
Zest of one lemon
2 tbsp olive oil
1 French baguette, sliced on an angle. 
1 garlic clove halved
A little olive oil to drizzle
150g feta, sliced
Salt & pepper



Directions

Place the zucchini, chilli, garlic, chives, lemon zest, salt, pepper and oil in a bowl and mix to combine.  Rub the garlic clove over the bread & drizzle with a little olive oil.  Char grill stove top or pop in a 180C/350F oven for 10 minutes until golden.  Top the bread with the feta & the zucchini mixture to serve.



Et voila, a quick, bright & fresh supper on the table in moments. The crispy bread wonderfully crunchy & the creamy, salty feta the perfect foil for the zucchini herbs & chilli.  As little crostini these would be the perfect nibble for a summer BBQ.



For more sandwich inspiration head over here.



If you like this you might like this Cavolo Nero & Ricotta Bruschetta
Two years ago Fennel Ice Cream


Enjoy!
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