Sunday, July 5, 2015

Tutti-Frutti Flapover Pie

Sam refers to this as a "Tutti-Frutti Flapover Pie", I think this is a cute name! So I'm gonna keep it.

His pie is filled with nectarines, blueberries, blackberries, banana and apple. Mine had apples and blackberries - take away from this that any old fruit/ combination there of will do!

I make my pastry with wholemeal flour and brown sugar, both of which contribute to a more nutty tasting, brown effect. The brown sugar helps to counter the slightly drying effect of the bran in the flour.

I chuck a little ground almonds in through my fruit, partially because I like the taste, but mostly to soak up any extraneous fruit juices!

This is a deceptively simple, but impressive dessert - I encourage you to give it a go!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Crispy Fried Aubergine

When I was little, I didn't like aubergine/ eggplant. Now that I'm older, I can quite fathom why... Some things that wee-Kat didn't eat, such as blue cheese, make sense (even if I'm now a fan!) or tinned-baked beans (they're still ick!!)... But aubergine? It's just so nommy!!

My two most favourite preparations of aubergine are traditionally performed by my Da; either barbecued and marinated or barbecued and then wrapped around feta and chargrilled red peppers... YUM! But those are recipes for another time!

Today's recipe results in a crispy, crunchy exterior and creamy, egg-planty interior. I learned this from the Korean house-guest of a Childhood friend of my Ma's (try saying that 10 times fast!)... But I'm not sure of the actual origins.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Almost Sorted-Food's Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Okay, okay... So it kinda - sorta looks like a sandwich outta a Horror Film - but that's just BBQ sauce, y'all! And homemade too!!

These pulled pork sandwiches represent one of the first (I think) things I've made from the boys over at Sorted Food... Although that doesn't seem quite right/ fair as their recipes are pretty awesome! They work kinda like my favourite Sam book in terms of approachable, tasty recipes only in internet/ video form.

Anyway! The recipe. As we have established by now, I am me. And, being me, following recipes to the T is something I have about as much talent for as I do sitting still. (i.e. Zero. *fidgets* ... *knocks laptop onto floor* ... "Shit, shit, shit!")

I followed the Sorted recipe Sorta... And still got an awesome, fabulous result! AND managed to make soup out of the left over cooking liquid. Because I am nothing if not resourceful.

So. The changes. The first, and possibly most significant aberration was that I slow cooked, rather than oven-braised my pork. Partially because my oven at home is a little bit crap (not just sour grapes, I swear!) and partially because... Well. I did, Okay?! Rather than the three hours at 160ÂșC recommended by those Sorted Boys - I did 3-4 hours on Low in my slow cooker... (I started prodding the pork at 3 hours... And gave it another 30 mins - keep an eye on it)

My second thing was; here in l'il ol' NZ beer typically comes in 330ml bottle rather than the

Sorted-stipulated 500ml... So I used 330ml of Speight's Old Dark (a link to their Wikipedia page rather than their website as you have to be over 18 to visit, and that was too much like hard work...), 375ml of Bundaberg Ginger Beer (full fat, please - none of this "Diet" BS) the reason for the GB again, was two-fold - one, it was what we had and two, I thought the ginger would add an extra dimension... And topped the liquid content up to a litre with 300ml of water (because, no - I am not taking a tsp of water out to make it exact - that would be overkill!)

Because of the GB, I didn't bother with adding any sugar as I figured the mix would be sweet enough! (I also caramalised, rather than quick-fried my carrots and onions - adding to the sweetness)

Finally, for the pork - I don't typically have garlic powder (for the rub) - but we did have some garlic flakes (why, I will never know...) so I ground 'em up and used them instead! I'll stick with recommending garlic powder - simply because I don't think it's necessary to use the flakes... But I do think it's good to point out that substitutions can be simple too!

For the sauce, I totally ignored the "cooking liquid could make it greasy" warning and used it anyway... It was fine (emulsified) on the day - and you can just lift off the separates once it's sat in the fridge overnight (which is what you need to do with all the cooking liquid if you wanna use if later to make a soup or something). And I used Sriracha rather than Tobassco, but any hot sauce will probably do! :)

The result, when served in a bun with coleslaw (with either vinaigrette [for balance] or mayo [for sheer, unadulterated luxuriousness]) is a delicious, smokey-sweet sandwich that you won't be able to wait to have leftovers of!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Rich, Roasted Ratatouille

I like my ratatouille like I like my men: dark, strong, rich, a little bit sweet and tall with blue eyes. Wait. What?

Rat-Stew, as we lovingly refer to this dish in my family is a fabulous dish! Especially useful for using up those potentially slightly dodgy veggies left over from last week's veggie market... The tomatoes, and aromatics are kinda necessary - but the bulking vegetables can be anything that's not too starchy, really.

Funny story, apparently when I was little I would eat courgette but not zucchini. The theory behind this being that my Grandfather referred to

This version, which is oven roasted, comes from my darling Sam Stern's Student Cookbook... I love that book! I have confused many a Boyfriend and flatmate by asking, broken heartedly "Where's Sam? Have you seen him? I've lost him!"... And then predictably locating the book under my bed from when I was reading it before bed...

The roasting causes it to be much richer than the, more usual to me, stove top version... I've never looked back!!

Friday, August 8, 2014


Remember when these were a Thing?

Well, I joined in too!! Way back when...

Admittedly, mine are not as awesome as those done by Professionals, but I still think they're pretty darn cute!!

To make your own, homemade cuteness - froth some milk in whatever manner you can (pumping a French press, milk whisk, espresso machine) - I, and most baristas I worked with, find full-fat milk works best...

And make whatever form of black coffee makes you happiest.

Pour the coffee into your favourite mug/ cup reserving a little (preferably with crema, if you can manage it!) and pour in your frothed milk trying your best not to bring the crema up with the milk reserving some of the stiffer froth.

Use the stiffer froth to make little ears and the reserved coffee/crema to paint a little face on using a toothpick.

And then destroy your newly made kitten by drinking it. Because that's how Life works.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

What Else to Do With Maca-wrongs?! (Ambrosia)

Remember my original Maca-wrongs?

I have, since, made Maracons that have worked and were fabulous... But this post is not about them. This post is about how to disguise macarons that haven't worked.

I suspect I undercooked these, once again...

But! To no mind!

I mixed 'em with a little whipped cream, a little fruit yoghurt, some marshmallows and some berries and BOOM: Ambrosia!

My now go-to macaron recipe is referenced here. I'll tell you how I do it, sans tea, when I post my success photos! ;-)

To make my version of Ambrosia whip 250mls of cream with a little vanilla essence and fold through 500ml of flavoured yoghurt. Stir through whatever mix-ins you have - marshmallows, berries, bananas, chocolate chips, crunched up mara-wrongs - the possibilities are endless!

This is a great potluck dish!


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Olive Parcels

 I think the original recipe for these, such as it is, came from and Allyson Gofton cookbook... But I am not certain!

Parmesan, pastry and olive these little parcels come together in moments! My Mummy used to make them to take as nibbles (Ladies, a Plate! NZ Style) to Adult Dinners - and I used to try to scoff as many as I could before she noticed... It was a good deal. I usually got in trouble, but it was worth it!

Now that I'm an adult (kinda-sorta) I can make them as and when I please/ have leftover pastry... The olives might make them a little less popular that my other leftover Pastry Snacks - but that just means more for meee!!!
"Leftover pastry" is possibly a slight misnomer here - because the easiest way to make these is to use pre-rolled puff or savoury short crust pastry cut into squares... But you can use any puff or savoury short crust, really - the pre-rolled stuff just saves you time!

Aside from "pitted" the olives can be any of your choice! Kalamata is my favourite - but stuffed, green olives are fun too...