Monday, February 28, 2011

The Great Sunday Bake Off

It has been a week of stunning disbelief and horror, incredible fear and gut-wrenching sadness.  I say this, writing from the safety and security of a clean, whole and solid Wellington (oh the irony).

I cannot begin to imagine what the people of Christchurch have been through, and are still going through.  Although the clean-up is just beginning, basic services still being restored and many families are still without confirmation of whether their loved ones are alive or not, the spirit of Canterbury remains strong and I wonder if the people of any other province in New Zealand could pull themselves back together, in the way that I know that Cantabs can and will.

And although Cantabrians may not yet be aware of it, the whole of NZ is behind them and willing to help in any way possible.  The problem is, that unless you happen to be a nurse, doctor, engineer or some other trained specialist currently in high demand, it's really bloody hard to do anything to help.  Cold hard cash is most beneficial and I'm sure that most people who are able to, have given to one of the many funds that have been set up, however it doesn't make you feel any better.

And so, we baked.

It's not going to change lives, reconnect water or rebuild a city, but when the lovely people behind The Great Sunday Bake Off put the word out, it felt like I could finally do something tangible to help the people of Christchurch - if only in the form of a bit of nourishment (or a sugar hit, at least).

I made Gingernuts, Chocolate Chips and Banana Loaf with lots of love.  But in the end, hundreds of people have (likely) died, and I baked a few biscuits so I don't really real any better at all.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Crayfish, Watermelon and Feta Salad

This is a recipe from an old Cuisine magazine (Issue 103 March 2004) that I have made several times and every time we eat it we are WOW-ed all over again at the perfect brilliance of the flavour combination... sweet, salty and fresh.

It is super fast and easy to make which is great as I had my first ever yoga class after work tonight!  When I got home I was hungry but didn't feel like a big heavy meal.  This salad hit the spot with light, fresh flavours and a protein hit from the crayfish.

This is one of the few perfect recipes in the world that I don't alter at all from the original... an amazing feat for me as I usually cannot resist adding my own twist to a recipe.

Crayfish, Watermelon and Feta Salad - the recipe can be found here.

Special mention should also go to the monster cray who gave his life for our dinner...

Monday, February 14, 2011

Simple Pleasures: Avocado on Toast

Who doesn't love a bit of glamour in their food?  I certainly do, but sometimes the most delicious things are the simplest treats...

Like Vegemite and Avocado on toasted Ciabatta!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Crayfish and Broad Bean Risotto

The HG has been hard at work again bringing me home a couple of sizable Wairarapa Crayfish!  We generally steam crayfish and eat them cold with some wasabi mayo on the side, with bread and butter or in a salad, however I have to side with Rocky (from Taika Waititi's movie BOY who groans about having crayfish for dinner AGAIN!- sorry NZ reference) and sometimes you need to shake things up a bit.  So, last night we had an amazing Crayfish risotto with broad beans, which we had frozen from our bumper crop in December.

The broad beans held up quite well after being frozen (I lightly blanched then prior to freezing) however in the future I think I'll probably use them in a dip or mash rather than whole, as the texture was a little off.

I kept the risotto very simple, just sweating the onion before adding the rice, then garlic, wine (I used Riesling) and homemade fish stock (added in the traditional manner, bit by bit).  I also had a couple of peels of lemon rind in while the rice was cooking.

When the rice was almost cooked I added the already cooked and chopped crayfish and then at the last minute the cooked broad beans and stirred through a large dollop of Ricotta (I would usually add butter at this point, however post-Christmas we are trying to be a bit healthier so used ricotta instead!) and some fresh chives from the garden.

I found this interesting Crayfish Oil at Ontrays in Petone last year and bought it on impulse, it has since been sitting unopened waiting for inspiration to strike!  So I drizzled a tiny, little bit over the top of the plated risotto - very powerful stuff!

The risotto was delicious and so full of flavour due to the homemade fish stock.  And it just so happens there was enough left over for lunch today, so I'm off to take care of that now - YUM!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Lack of Bloggage

After complaining to a friend about why I haven't been blogging she has advised me to get over myself and put some shit up... I'm reading between the lines here but I think I've got the gist of it!


My super-cute niece, Florence, eating butter off the knife... ah the joy of being 1!