Asparagus antipasto

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The saying less is more is apt, when you have the opportunity to cook with seasonal, freshly harvested asparagus. Be it barbecued or pan-fried then adorned with a scatter of salt and pepper, some extra virgin olive oil and a squirt of lemon juice, it’s hard to find a food that means spring more to me than asparagus.

Antipasto is more about amazing ingredients and method than precise ingredient quantities. You will need a couple of adequate fry pans, platters for serving and a bottle of good wine. I’ve also listed a few producers from whom to source the ingredients from.

asparagus
mushrooms
shallots
cherry tomatoes
slices of prosciutto
cheese
extra virgin olive oil
thick slices of your favourite crusty bread
wedges of lemon
butter
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Trim the asparagus by cutting off the hard ends. Heat a little olive oil in a fry pan and when hot, cook for about 3-5 minutes, shaking the pan frequently. Season with salt, pepper and a little lemon juice.Cut the mushrooms into thick slices.  In a separate pan, add a tablespoon butter and place on medium/high heat to melt then place the mushrooms in the pan in a single layer, turning them over as they brown. Once brown on both sides, add thick slices of shallots and the tomatoes then stir the pan occasionally until the mushrooms are cooked through and the tomato skins begin to wrinkle. Season with salt and pepper.

Arrange all ingredients on platters, drizzled with a little olive oil. Enjoy!

October 5th, 2016|Food, Food we love, Recipes by Lyndall|0 Comments

Pork Cheeks Braised in Pale Ale

Braised Pork Cheeks in Honey Wheat Beer

Prancing Pony Brewery produces a pale ale and sufficiently bitter beer of delicate flavours and floral aroma. The special thing about this dish is the beers transition to a deliciously fragrant, light and golden sauce as a result of slow cooking. The surprise is the Wistow Springs Pork which is ethically grown and free to roam. It ends up as a feast of firm yet tender flesh, so full of flavour, protected beneath its soft golden fat of molten sweetened pork essence.

It holds the promise of a meal so good; you won’t stop thinking about it.

1.5kg Wistow Springs Pork cheeks
3tlb olive oil
1 medium red onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
1 small fennel, sliced
2tsp fennel seeds
2tsp coriander seeds
375ml Prancing Pony Brewery Pale Ale  (approximately)
2tlb honey Try Do Bee Honey for beautiful, pure, cold extracted honey
salt & freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 150 degrees.
In a non stick fry pan, Dry roast fennel and coriander seeds until fragrant (about 30 seconds). Choose an ovenproof casserole with a tight fitting lid. Heat a little olive oil in casserole and add onion. Fry for about five minutes over medium heat or until softened. Add garlic and cook for about 30 seconds. Add the spice and a generous pinch of salt. Stir to combine then add the honey and let it bubble up for a minute. Place the pork in the casserole and pour in enough beer to reach halfway up the sides of the pork but not right up to the skin. Cover with the lid, turn up the heat and bring to boil. Place in the oven. Cook the pork for approximately 2 hours, spooning the pan juices over the pork three or four times, or until the pork is very tender and caramel in colour. Set aside and rest for 15 minutes.Slice pork and serve with pan juices, sautéed spinach and mashed potatoes. Serves 8

September 11th, 2015|Food, Food we love, Recipes by Lyndall|0 Comments

For the love of PAELLA

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For a number of years I’ve been working toward mastering PAELLA and I’ve come to appreciate that mastery is all about the technique! Amazing paella is about cooking each individual ingredient in a way that allows the natural textures and flavours too shine.

Last Sunday I cooked a jumbo paella for 20 friends and family and it was sensational! Here is an adapted recipe that serves 6-8 people. Simple, delicious and soul pleasing!

100ml extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion diced
4-6 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped
1tlb thyme leaves
Paella spice mix – ¾ tsp each of mild, sweet and smoked paprika, a pinch of saffron threads
1 red capsicum, deseeded and diced
1 cup sofrito (slow cooked tomato sauce consisting of onions, garlic, tomatoes, salt and a liberal amount of olive oil)
1 fresh chorizo, sliced
500g firm fleshed white fish, chopped into large chunks
500g mussles and or cockles, scrubbed, cleaned, debearded
1 raw crab, broken up into pieces
1 squid, sliced
2 cups paella rice
1 cup dry white wine
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup water

In a 45cm paella pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent. Next, add the garlic, chilli and thyme, stir and cook for a few minutes, until fragrant.
Add the paella spice mix, stir continuously and cook for a few minutes, until fragrant. Next, add the capsicum and chorizo, and cook for about 5 minutes. Pour in the sofrito, stir well to combine with the other ingredients and leave it to bubble for 5 minutes.
Next, add the seafood and combine with the other ingredients so that each piece is well coated with the sofrito. Sprinkle the rice around the pan then pour in the wine and wait until the rice absorbs it. Pour in the stock and water, season with salt. Check that the rice is evenly distributed and that the grains are below the surface of the liquid. Do not stir again.
Cook uncovered until the rice has absorbed all the liquid and the rice grains are tender – 15-20 minutes. If the rice is still not cooked then add a little water – tablespoons at a time and cook for a few more minutes. Remove the paella from the heat, cover with paper towels, then rest for 5 minutes.
Sprinkle with fresh parsley, then carry the paella to the table and serve from the pan. Share and enjoy with lemon wedges, aioli and a crisp green salad dressed in olive oil, sherry vinegar and salt.

June 19th, 2015|Food, Food we love, Recipes by Lyndall|0 Comments

Lemons, tomato and orrecchiette

A huge lemon tree, currently heaving with ripe fruit, takes pride of place in my backyard and as a cook, no day passes without an opportunity, to appreciate a lemon’s ability to transform the food I love. Here is a simple idea that I come back to, again and again, because it is utterly delicious and even better, it takes no time to put together!

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Orecchiette with Lemon, Tuna & Broccoli

Orrecchietti, which translates to “little ears”, is a slightly chewy dried pasta which is perfect for drier sauces. This is a very tasty, quick pasta dish that has an excellent combination of salty and acidity. Serves 6

2 red onions, peeled and diced
6 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
2 red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
juice and zest of 1 lemon
600g broccoli, use stalks and heads, cut into small florets, like a large caper
2x 185g can tuna in oil, Italian style
½ bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped
2 cups passata
500g orecchiette, cooked as per manufacturers instructions
Parmesan to serve
In a wide, shallow pan fry onions in a generous amount of olive oil until softened. Next, add the garlic, chilli, lemon zest, parsley then fry for a minute or two until fragrant. Add broccoli and cook for a few minutes. Next add the tuna and combine. Pour in pasatta, bring to the boil then lower heat and cook for about 15 minutes. Add orecchietti, lemon juice and Parmesan. Stir to combine. Serve immediately.

June 12th, 2015|Food, Food we love, Recipes by Lyndall|0 Comments