Friday, July 30, 2010

Moving House

Have been in flux for the past while, at this stage I have zero kitchen stuff, hoping to remedy that this coming weekend by way of a trip to Ikea. Back after that. At least I now have internet at home.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Chilli Jam

Sometimes, the hot food you find places just isn't hot enough. hen that occurs, what you need is homemade chilli jam. It is surprisingly easy. A half cup of water, some sugar, half a finely sliced red onion, half a dozen cherry tomatoes, and a bunch of the hottest chillies you can find. Chucked in a pot and cooked until jamlike. Lasts ages, tastes great.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

More from Tasmania: Smolt Restaurant.

Things to do: Stop shifting houses, stop going to conferences, start finding time to post my backlog of stuff up here.

Beginning with the second wonderful restaurant we visited on our weekend in Tasmania, Smolt.

We were perhaps a little worried about following up the absolutely marvellous lunch we had at the Source with another upmarket dinner, as we didn't want to go away disappointed.  We were sensible enough to wait a day between the two, but it turned out we had nothing to fear, as Smolt delivered some fantastic food, with friendly service in a nice atmosphere.

M started with half a dozen oysters, while I had a soup from the specials board, with beans and pork and delicious all wrapped up in a wonderful bowl and served with nice crusty bread.  The oysters were fresh as you can imagine, and we both enjoyed these courses.

For the main course, I couldn't go past the venison, while M took up the challenge of a lamb ragout with home made tagliatelle.

Did I mention that they do marvelous side dishes as well? This one was spiced deep fried cauliflower.

July Daring Cooks Challenge

The July 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge was hosted by Margie of More Please and Natashya of Living in the Kitchen with Puppies. They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make their own nut butter from scratch, and use the nut butter in a recipe. Their sources include Better with Nut Butter by Cooking Light Magazine, Asian Noodles by Nina Simonds, and Food Network online.

I'm currently surrounded by vegetarians, and as such was not about to put any meat in the curry I made.  I do, however, have a soft spot for almonds, so I blended a decent amount of them (that is, the amount that fit in the processor) until the collapsed into butter.  They needed a little oil to help them along, I imagine partly to do with the processor being an attachment to a relatively weak stick blender, and partly to do with almonds being less oily than some other nuts. When done (I got bored), it looked like this:

This would be tasty, but everything is tastier as a curry.  So I went for a tomato based one, with mushrooms and eggplant providing the substance.  One medium sized eggplant, 2 brown onions, 2 cans of diced tomatoes, a couple of dozen mushrooms, some garlic, garam masala, chilli powder and flakes, a little turmeric, salt and pepper.  Curry, of course, is easy.  You brown off the onion and garlic, add the spices (and a dash of stock here, in my case), then the mushrooms and eggplants, cook until beginning to soften, add tomatoes and simmer on low until the rice is cooked.  Then you eat it.