Monthly Archives: March 2013

Zyliss of life

I think a parmesan grater is a perfectly fine leaving gift for someone. Personally, my Swiss Zyliss grater shown is one of my all time favourite pieces of kitchen euipment. They didn’t have any in Parap fine foods, but they had a nice Alessi retro stainless steel one. Amanda looked a little surprised by the chocolate/ grater combo, but has since found the joy of grating.

Design Classic

Design Classic

It made me think of my favourite pasta dishes, namely

  • potato and pesto
  • pizzocheri
  • paste e ceci

I had a breakthrough in the pesto creation a few years back when I realised that you could grate pine nuts very easily through my Zyliss. So, to make a reasonable quantity of pesto;

  • 1 large bunch of basil, leaves removed and splattered in good olive oil and chopped to oblivion on a chopping board with a large knife
  • 100g pine nuts (macadamia also v good, but be wary of other nut attempts….), put through grater
  • 2 cloves garlic (I don’t like it full strength vampire repelling)
  • 100g parmesan, grated

All stirred in with a fair slug of olive oil. This keeps realy well in the freezer.

As far as serving goes, cook pasta (dried) up with as much potato as you feel the need for- floury potato is actually good as it smashes up and absorbs the pesto in a divine fashion. Add a tablespoon of pesto per person (ish), more oil as required. Recently I’ve also added some chopped cooked ham. Don’t cook the pesto or the basil will of course discolour and lose its ‘zing’.

(Look under chick peas and buck wheat for my other two favourite pasta dishes)

Christ, I almost forgot the pesto pizza, which I’m sure has been described here previously. Sliced potato (and actually butternut squash works and looks amazing), roasted with some good fat, till just crisping. Transferred to pizza dough. When crispy, spead the pesto on top, generously. Might even beat the pasta delivery…..

in bits

in bits



The Bali-Blighty remix

Fusion hey, difficult to pull off but let’s have a go. I’d invited my fair skinned fair isle  medical student student round for her last supper 11deg south of the equator, so something appropriately tropical morphed from an initial Toad in the Hole idea with Buffalo sausages.

Sausages and mash? How about sausages and Balinese ‘mashed potato fritter’ or Beredel Kentang’. We were shown how to make these on an evening cookery session on Bali last year, which was superb. I hadn’t made them since, which is idiotic, they were insanely good.

  • 4 large floury  potatoes, steamed (in Bali, chopped and deep fried till soft, not crispy)
  • 2 garlic cloves, ground using pestle and mortar with 1tsp balacan (shrimp ‘block’) and tsp of corriander seed

Fried in some oil, and then mixed in with the bashed potatoes, PLUS

  • 2 eggs
  • chopped celery leaves
  • 2 chopped spring onions
  • tbsp fried shallots (I have a bag of pre-fried in the fridge)

Shape into wee cakes and fried in lots of oil/ lard.

I fried some chopped ladies fingers in the frying pan that I’d used to fry the buff sausages. Chopped coriander and a hint of chili to garnish.


Golden Lucuma

A bloke at the market was selling these odd fruits. I’m sure I bought these last year, but never explored them, though I had some recollection they were used in a dessert. Their dry yet rich toffeeish flavour made me think they would be ideal for messing around with. Lo and behold, they seem to be the national ice-cream in Peru. A recipe kindly forwarded to me by Carrie (who identified them) involved more egg yolks than my chooks could manage, anyway, I was in a hurry, so cobbled something together involving a base rich custard and the pulp of these fruits.

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1ooml dbl cream
  • 150ml milk
  • lots of sugar (maybe half a cup)- ice cream needs to be very sweet to maintain a triple phase existence……

Heated gently in a thick bottomed pan until thickened, and, well, tasting of custard.

I’d frozen the super ripe lucuma and skinned whilst frozen (still not easy), then added to the warm custard. When fridge col, the mixture went into the freezer. Wham bam, ice-cream van. Yum.

But not to everyone’s taste.

And I defeated Lewis, who couldn’t identify the fruit. A rare occurrence.

Next Outing…..

I grabbed some free range pork chops at Greenies the other day. It had been a long time since our last meeting with M. Le Chop. I love these grilled with fennel seed and mash and truffled leeks, but once again, the local flavours won over. I scrabbled about thinking what to flavour the chops with, I never bbq without some kind of enhancement, but I couldn’t think. Anyway, I was going to serve these with some Thai pawpaw salad from the market- an amazing pummelled creation with chili, fish sauce, garlic and peanuts. This is traditionally served with barbecued chicken.

Eaten with some rice cooked with chicken stock (I’m trying to use my hoard of unidentifiable stocks), and some left over sweet soy dipping sauce for spring rolls, and a flurry of chopped coriander.

Frankland Riesling from WA washed this down very very nicely- light, but interesting, 11% and a hint of frizante.