Thursday, January 25, 2007

Nigella's New Year's day hangover pasta.

So called because on New Year's day I decided this was the pasta to fill that seemingly empty feeling I have in my stomach after an evening of indulging in lots of wine and food.

I found this recipe in an old Delicious magazine and was intrigued by the use of fresh tomatoes rather than ones which had been cooked and cooked. I did embellish however, with some leftovers from the night before, note the caviar and sour cream.

Nigella's title for this pasta is: Spaghetti al sugo crudo (spaghetti with raw tomato sauce)

I kg of ripe tomatoes
1 tsp caster sugar
1 garlic clove
1/2 cup (125ml) extra virgin olive oil
400 grams spaghetti

Blanch the tomatoes in hot water for a few mintues i.e. cut a small cross in the base of the tomato, put them in a bowl pour over some boiling water leave sit.

Drain, then peel away the skin starting at the cross. Halve the toms, and deseed. Cut out the cores, then chop the remaining flesh finely. Put them in a bowl add the sugar with some sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bruise the garlic with the flat edge of a knife. Peet then add the smashed clove and the oil to the toms. Beat with a little whisk to make everything come together as a sauce. Cover with cling wrap and leave at room temperature for 30 minutes to 8 hours. (30 mins if your desparately hungover!)

Cook the pasta in a large saucepan of boiling salted water - drain. Remove the garlic clove and discard OR NOT - toss the tomato mixture into the hot spaghetti. Work the sauce through the pasta, so that is evenly coated, and serve immediately.
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Scallops and Pork Belly

Okay, so I know its no longer fashionable, but a follower of fashion I have yet to become! I just like this combination and I really don't get to dine out that often so P and I are not over it and have made our own version of this dish.

We have made the dish twice this year already, once for our NYE marathon dinner and another dinner where I invited over a couple of friends from work with their partners. I am pretty happy with the result both times. For an entree for four we used just under a kilo and scored it into about 12 square pieces (3 each as above) probably 15 all up (and had those other pieces as extras if needed).

While at restaurants I have tried versions of this dish in which I would describe the pork as being slow cooked, however P and I decided we like our pork belly rind nice and crispy, so we scored the the rind into squares. Then we marinated the piece of pork belly overnight. We made sure the marinade only wet the meat and kept the top dry. The marinade was made of simple asian flavours of oyster sauce, soy sauce & sesame oil.

We removed the pork belly from the marinade then dried the top with some kitchen towels and rubbed in some sea salt. After that we roasted the piece for a couple of hours. First at 160 degrees celcius for about an hour and a half and then whacked the oven up to 200 degrees and gave it a burst of heat for half an hour. In the event the top is not nice and crackly, you can always turn the grill on instead for 10 minutes or so.

We used about 4 scallops per person and grilled them in a pan, we have also done them on our electric bbq which is another good option for getting them nice and brown. They didn't take long to cook a scant couple of minutes.

With the remainder of the marinade we put that in a saucepan and reduced it to a nice sticky sauce that we could drizzle over the final dish when serving.

Mmmmm... planning to make this dish again soon.
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Friday, January 12, 2007

Christmas Day entree: Mudcrab, prawn & rocket salad.

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You wouldn't think it, but here at the LL household I have been cooking up a storm, homemade ice-creams, cakes, duck salads, handmade duck ravioli, a wagyu rump roast, double lamb cutlets, scallop and pork belly, the list goes on.
But of course all this frenetic activity meant guests in the evening and that doesn't bode well for taking good photographs I am afraid I just don't have the equipment for the necessary lighting!
But I will do the best I can as some photographs have been taken although not all are worth publishing I am afraid.
This one taken on Christmas day captures the essence of an Australian Christmas entree suitable for a warmish day on the Sunshine coast. My mother and I purchased some huge mud crabs, oysters and prawns to have prior to the roast pork, goose fat potatoes and simple salads.
In the gourmet desert that my mother calls her home, I concocted a dressing of olive oil, fish sauce, soy sauce and fresh lime & red chillies and as I said several times that day, pity she didn't have any fresh ginger I could have finely grated into the dressing (well that would have worked if only I had remembered to take my great micro plane!) Oh well twas' still a fine little starter.

About Me

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Mother of two with one of each. Wife of one.Dogless. Busy working five days a week, baking and cooking when time allows. Writing rarely these days. Wishing I had time to read more often.