Monday, November 22, 2010

Asparagus and Eggs tonight


This is from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, a super simple and tasty way to enjoy asparagus [original] [River Cottage Spring]

Ingredients
2 large eggs, at room temperature
A dozen slim stems of asparagus, any woody ends trimmed
A knob of unsalted butter
A few drops of cider vinegar
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Bring a pan of water to the boil. Carefully lower in the eggs, then simmer them for exactly 4 minutes. Steam the asparagus over the top of the boiling eggs, or cook in a separate pan in boiling water for a couple of minutes. The asparagus should be tender but not soft and floppy.
  2. Transfer the eggs to egg cups. Cut the top off each egg and take them to the table with the asparagus. Drop a nut of butter, a few drops of cider vinegar and some salt and pepper into the hot yolk (alternatively, just sprinkle some salt and pepper on the plate), stir with a bit of asparagus, dip and eat.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Artichokes


Before I cooked my first artichoke, they fell in to the hard much easier to avoid category. But nothing could be further from the truth, they are easy to prep and just as simple to cook.

To prep the artichoke make sure you have a lemon half handy and a bowl of cold water with lemon juice in it (this stops it oxidizing and turning brown). Trim the tough outer leaves off near the stem, wiping the cut surfaces with the lemon half, then trim the stem down so it's about 2cm long (or all the way off if it's particularly thin), wipe all cuts with the lemon. Place the artichoke in the bowl of water until ready to cook.

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a simmer (with a squeeze of lemon). Place the artichokes in the pot and cook for 15-30 minutes. When they're done an outer leaf should pull easily away from the base.

Now the fun part, eating! First melt some butter (seasoned with whatever you like. Garlic, anchovy, lemon etc). Then pull off a leaf and dip it in the butter and scrape the flesh off the inside of the leaf. Once you've worked your way through all of the leaves, you'll get down to the choke (soft fuzzy center of the flower) scrape it out with a spoon and discard. Then you'll be left with the soft tasty heart.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Silverbeet (chard)


We have a good bunch of Silverbeet growing in our pots at home (Ruby & Yellow Chard), along with a several varieties of spinach.

With a big bunch of leaves I trimmed the steams of and roughly chopped the leaves into large pieces, and sliced up the stems. In a frying pan sautéed some chopped bacon until it had rendered all it's fat out and started to go crispy. Then I added some sliced onions and let them soften and slowly caramelise in the oh so good bacon fat. Next the stems get thrown in and left to soften slightly and finally the leaves which take no time at all to wilt down.

Dish up in a bowl and devour. The salt from the bacon combats the bitter from the Chard, very tasty snack.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Hydrocolloid

Got a sample of N-Zorbit (Tapioca Maltodextrin) coming my way from National Starch (www.foodinnovation.com), so looking forward to experimenting with it. I have a couple of ideas I want to try out so quite excited.

A couple of links..
Texture – A hydrocolloid recipe collection
Powdered Yuzu
Powdered Chocolate
Olive Oil Powder