Thursday, November 29, 2007

Feta cheese sandwiches -2


Feta cheese sandwiches -2
Originally uploaded by Lisa Fagg.

Today I made more bread (!) and more Greek Salad sandwiches. I took some photos to try and illustrate how they are constructed but no picture can describe how delicious they are! This is not an original idea - where I work there comes each day a sandwich van, filled with lovely, creative (and sometimes strange!) sandwiches, rolls and baguettes. The Greek Salad ones are a real favourite of mine as are the hummus and falafel baguettes. The Greek salad sandwich allows the bread to be really appreciated while being satisfying and full of goodness - it's the perfect foil for my homemade bread. As I described in a previous post the sandwich consists of slices of feta cheese, tomato and black olives with lettuce, good olive oil & vinegar, salt, pepper and oregano. Try it soon - you won't be disappointed.

I B Baking!


Baps
Originally uploaded by Lisa Fagg.

This morning I baked baps for the first time for my lunch. I've been so impressed with the baking exploits of my colleague Barney that I just had to try his recipe for the Scottish morning roll called baps. Although it required a few simple steps the night before (I used the 'overnight' version of the two recipes provided) and me getting up before dawn (well, it is almost winter here and the sun is as lazy as I am about getting up!) to finish up and bake the baps, the smell alone is worth the effort!
I'm going to make my sandwiches now...
Hope you have a great day!

Post-lunch update: The bread is wonderful! I made mine with 3 parts strong white bread flour to 1 part flour with 'kibbled bits'. Yum! For my lunch today I made some of my favourite sandwiches - Greek Salad sandwiches containing chunks of feta cheese, tomatoes, lettuce and black olives. I left out the usual slices of red onion in deference to my co-workers! (Although I am not always so kind...). The sandwiches are 'finished' with a slug of extra virgin olive oil, a dash of red wine vinegar, freshly ground black pepper and salt. For those of you who want to try this bread, visit Barney's blog now (click here to get to the post 'A simple Bread') and give it a whirl. One caveat, though - try not to panic at the consistency of this dough when you begin to work it - it really is very, very wet (and it is best to work it with a spoon...)! Stick it out, though,  and you will not be disappointed.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Poached Guinea Fowl


Poached Guinea Fowl
Originally uploaded by Lisa Fagg.

It's Sunday. The nights continue to draw in. It's cold. I'm in the mood for something warming... but light at the same time. I flicked through a half dozen cookbooks before finding exactly what I was looking for. This recipe comes from Rick Stein's 'Food Heroes' cookbook - one which we haven't used much in the past. It involved poaching (and skinning) a guinea fowl, poaching vegetables (leeks, fennel and carrots) in the resultant stock, preparing a salsa verde from fresh mint, parsley, anchovies, capers and olive oil and preparing a batch of puy lentils. I must be in the mood for this sort of cooking because I had good fun with the recipe! Steve and I enjoyed the results, too, with a bottle of 2001 Rioja Reserve.
Good food + good company + good wine = a great evening in!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Breakfast


P1030790.jpg
Originally uploaded by Lisa Fagg.

Ummm... well, maybe it was brunch! Eggs and tomatoes and cheese cooked in a pan and thrust under the grill for a minute or two. Mmmm. Just be sure to have fresh eggs, and butter or olive oil and add every good thing you can think of (in moderation!) to the pan as the eggs start to set. Cheese is always a good thing to add at the end, on top to create a kind of crust. Bon App├ętit!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Coq au Vin


Coq au Vin
Originally uploaded by Lisa Fagg.

Sunday night and the evenings are chilly now. The casserole is in use every weekend now. Having cooked brisket of beef - several times - chili - another several times - and Coq au Riesling, I found myself flipping through my old faithful - Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's 'Meat' cookbook - for inspiration. And inspired, I was. This came out beautifully and tasted even better! Mmmmm! Thanks again, Hugh!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Moussaka


Moussaka
Originally uploaded by Lisa Fagg.

Winter approaches and our thoughts turn to casseroles and warming food. This is one of our favourites to do, served with simple tomato salad and hearty, wholesome brown rice.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Mid-week Rabbit Stew


Rabbit Stew-1
Originally uploaded by Lisa Fagg.

And here we have a fabulous mid-week indulgence - rabbit stew - with cream, mushrooms and mustard. It was wonderful with potatoes and vegetables... 'if we told you where we got the 'wabbit ' we'd have to kill you'...)

Rabbit with white wine and mustard cream sauce

This recipe comes from Chef Clive via the Mid North and North Coast NSW Afternoon Program:

1 fresh rabbit cut into 8 to 10 portions
25g plain flour

Salt and pepper to taste
100g butter or margarine
100g streaky bacon rashers, chopped
2 large onions, chopped
500ml white wine
1 tsp sugar
2 cloves garlic, crushed
225g sliced mushrooms
1 tsp dijon or seeded mustard
2 bay leaves
100ml fresh cream
1 tbs chopped parsley

Method:
Season portions of rabbit with flour, salt and pepper. 
Heat butter in a large pan, add seasoned rabbit and brown (this will take about 8 minutes). 
Add the chopped bacon and cook for 2 minutes. 
Add the chopped onions and chopped garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes.  
Add sugar, stir then add the mushrooms, white wine, bay leaves and parsley.  Bring all of this to the boil and turn the heat down to simmer.
 Finally, add the mustard and cream and simmer until rabbit is cooked (20-30 mins).
 Fresh herbs can also be added, such as tarragon or chervil (but I didn't bother with that).
Serving Suggestion: Serve with boiled new potatoes,steamed carrots and fresh green beans.

Nigella's Coq au Riesling


Nigella's Coq au Riesling
Originally uploaded by Lisa Fagg.

Steve gave me Nigella Lawson's new cookbook 'Nigella Express' for my birthday (among loads of other things!) and I tried this recipe a couple of weeks ago. Yum! According to Steve, it really benefits from being cooked the day before it's eaten. I wouldn't know because I didn't get any leftovers... (!!)

Coq au Riesling

2 tbsp garlic oil
150g/5¼oz bacon lardons
1 leek, finely sliced
12 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
3 fresh bay leaves
300g/10oz oyster mushrooms, torn into strips
1 x 75cl bottle Riesling wine
salt and freshly ground black pepper
dash double cream (optional)
1-2 tbsp chopped fresh dill, to serve
buttered noodles, to serve

Method
1. Heat the oil in a large wide pan and fry the lardons until crisp.
2. Add the sliced leeks and fry for 1-2 minutes, until softened.
3. Add the chicken, bay leaves, mushrooms and wine. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover the pan and simmer gently for 30-40 minutes. Stir in the double cream for the last few minutes of cooking time if you like.
4. To serve, sprinkle with dill and serve with buttered noodles.

Paella-1


Paella-1
Originally uploaded by Lisa Fagg.

This Autumn we made a paella - it was mighty good too - chicken and ham and shrimps. It was an an ad hoc affair which rewarded our efforts by being scrumptious (as well as photogenic...) We'll do this again...

Summer!


P1030941.jpg
Originally uploaded by Lisa Fagg.

This is as close to baseball as I get these days. But it's really a great game, after all - once you understand the rules (not a trivial thing at all!). Steve and I were lucky enough to see the England team play the West Indies - and, later, India - in Test matches at Lord's in London this summer. Fantastic days out and I took way too many photos. We plan to get back to Lord's next Summer for more.  Americans find it hard to imagine a 5-day-long 'baseball game' with only 2 innings and hundreds of runs. Never mind that - think if it as a picnic (with lots of food that you bring with you...), a day at the beach (if you are really lucky, as we were, the sun will beat down on you all day long!) and a party (lots of people bring bottles of wine with them to have with their picnic food). If the weather is fine it's a whole day of watching a fascinating game while eating and drinking! A lot like baseball, then...

Rosemary-roasted cubed potatoes


Roast potatoes
Originally uploaded by Lisa Fagg.

Comforting Winter food - when made with duck or goose fat they are divine (but we confess to making them with olive oil!). Utterly tasty (and photogenic, too!) The recipe is from 'Cook with Jamie Oliver'. This recipe was so well-liked by us (and easy, too!) that we often had these potatoes with our meals. Recently (November, 2007) a representative from a London-based ad agency emailed asking for permission to use this photo. I gave permission. I'll know soon whether or not this request was bogus! Fingers crossed... it would just be a 'cool thing'!

Rosemary-roasted cubed potatoes

600g waxy potatoes, peeled or scrubbed and cut into 2.5cm/1 inch cubes
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
a sprig of fresh rosemary, leaves picked
olive oil or duck or goose fat
5 cloves garlic, skin on and smashed

Method
Preheat your oven to 220˚C/425˚F/gas 7. Place your potato cubes in a large pan of cold, salted water and bring to the boil.  Drain them immediately in a colander and allow them to steam for a couple of minutes until the dry out a bit.  Bash up the rosemary leaves in a pestle and mortar. Heat some olive oil, or duck or goose fat, in a roasting tray.  Add the garlic cloves, potatoes and rosemary oil. Season and toss together until well coated.  Place in the oven for about 20 to 25 minutes, shaking the try every so often, until the potatoes are golden and crispy.

Boats, Ville Franche


Boats, Ville Franche
Originally uploaded by Lisa Fagg.

We enjoyed a lovely meal in Ville Franche with our friend Perry, an ex-patriot enjoying retirement with grace and style. We sat outdoors and looked out over the port during the meal. The cuisine of the South of France is one of my favourites - simple and fresh - using seafood and fish and a selection of wonderful, sun-filled vegetables. With ingredients like these, how could you ever go wrong?

Seafront in Menton


Seafront in Menton
Originally uploaded by Lisa Fagg.

In March, we went to the South of France for a week and enjoyed the sun, food and beautiful seaside landscape that is Provence. I can't wait to get back there!

Tomatoes


Tomatoes
Originally uploaded by Lisa Fagg.

Actually, I haven't been as idle as my blog would suggest... This photo was taken in March 2007 when the combination of colour, thoughts of sunshine (and vitamin C!) was irresistible to me.