Thursday, August 14, 2014

what's cooking good looking?

What's been cooking in your kitchen?

I haven't quite found my rhythm enough to blog regularly since our beautiful boy arrived seven weeks ago and truth be known I just want to be with him and breathe him in and watch him long enough to see him grow before my eyes. Babies change so rapidly and grow so quickly. It's cruel because I just want time to stop. I want to savour every second with him. Having a newborn is special beyond words, getting a grin from him is heart melting and watching my elder two make him smile and laugh (B 5.5 and P 3.5) is incredible. What a bond.

So I have been in the kitchen - making time while A sleeps. I'd love to share some recipes with you. I often post on my Facebook page so if you want to keep up with what's happening in the May Blossom kitchen you can like my page.

Saltbush Lamb with pumpkin puree, couscous & toasted pine nuts

Shane Delia's Saltbush Lamb (featured on SBS Food recently) was a hit with my parents last week. Though lacking in saltbush (I need to source this) it was well seasoned with sea salt flakes. I cooked the lamb over 8 hours at 120ºc because I had the time. If you're not home during the week this is a good one for the weekend when you can leave the oven on. I served the lamb with pumpkin puree, toasted pine nuts and couscous cooked in the lamb liquid (recipe below).

My couscous recipe

500 g couscous
800 ml lamb juices (after the slow cook, from the pan) or boiling water if you aren't making the lamb dish
30ml olive oil
25 g unsalted butter, diced
1 tsp cumin seeds, freshly ground 
1 garlic clove, crushed
Half a bunch parsley, chopped
Half a bunch coriander
Half handful mint
juice of 2 limes
Salt and pepper, to taste 

Preheat oven to 150ºc. Line a large roasting pan with baking paper. Add the couscous and salt. Pour over the lamb juices and olive oil. Stir, cover with foil and leave for ten minutes. After ten minutes dot couscous with the butter cubes, cover with foil and bake for fifteen minutes. Remove from the oven and fluff up with a fork. 

Once the couscous has cooled, transfer it to a large bowl. Add the cumin, garlic, herbs, lime juice and pepper and mix with a fork. Garnish with a sprinkling of chopped herbs.

Shane Delia's saltbush lamb recipe

We made these Thermomix Whatever Biscuits with sultanas and dried apricots for morning tea. You can add whatever you like to these and they're super easy if you have a Thermomix or food processor.

My husband has caught lots of fish in the past week. The Australian salmon doesn't have a great reputation but it makes some wicked fish cakes. I love this recipe from Ottolenghi because it doesn't contain gluggy potato and the result is beautiful, vibrant fish cakes.

Ottolenghi's full-of-herbs fish cakes
make 12-16 cakes (depending on size)

2 tbsp olive oil
4 shallots, peeled and finely diced
3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
30g fresh coriander leaves, chopped
25g fresh dill, chopped
20g fresh basil leaves, finely shredded
6 lime leaves, finely chopped
1 lemongrass stalk, bruised and finely chopped
½ tsp ground coriander
400g haddock fillets (or other firm, white fish), skinless and boneless
10g fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1½ tsp fish sauce
½ tsp lime zest
½ egg, lightly beaten (use the other half for something else)
1 tbsp corn flour
50ml sunflower oil
1 lemon, cut into wedges

Heat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Heat the olive oil in a medium frying pan, add the shallots and garlic, and sauté on a medium heat for five minutes. Turn the heat up to high, add the herbs, lime leaves, lemongrass and ground coriander, and cook for two minutes. Remove and allow to cool.
Cut the fish into rough chunks and place in a food processor. Blitz in a few pulses, just until it's broken down into approximately 0.5-1cm pieces – take care not to over-process.
In a large bowl, mix together the oniony, herby mass from the pan, the fish, ginger, fish sauce, lime zest, egg and corn flour, and add a quarter-teaspoon of salt. Split the mix into 40g portions, form each into a long, 8cm x 4cm kebab, and gently flatten a little.
Heat the sunflower oil in a large frying pan on medium heat. Fry the fish cakes in batches for about 90 seconds on each side, until lightly golden. Transfer to a baking tray and place in the oven for about two minutes to cook through. Serve hot with a wedge of lemon.

and then there was this! A very naughty treat but one we shared with my parents!

I get inspiration from everywhere and I can't remember why I decided to but I suddenly decided I'd like to make a baked cheesecake last week. It's dead easy in the Thermomix. If you do make this for guests it's best not to share the list of ingredients.

I did replace the vanilla extract with a good vanilla bean paste. Gosh it was good!

Do you know where I can source salt bush in the Sydney region? What have you been cooking?

Miss May Blossom

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