Silky Potato Soup, Smokey Bacon, Seared Scallops and Thyme
Makes 2 litres, serves 8 – 10
50 g Butter
200 g Leek (white stem only) roughly chopped, thoroughly washed
200 g Onion, roughly chopped
2.5 lt Chicken or vegetable stock
1 kg Potatoes, peeled, roughly chopped
350 g Smokey bacon
350 g Scallops, roe off
10 Sprigs fresh thyme, leaves picked, stems discarded
Sweat (cook gently without colouring) leek and onions in butter. Add stock and potatoes, bring to the boil and then simmer 30 minute or until potatoes are well cooked. Blend soup well with a stick blender. Pass through a fine sieve, use a ladle to assist. Season well.
Chop bacon into strips, fry until golden and crisp. Drain cooked bacon, reserving some bacon fat. Cut scallops in half horizontally to give thin discs. Dry on kitchen paper and spray lightly with cooking spray or brush with oil. Heat a grill pan on high. Sear scallops on each side. Scallops should be marked by the grill but still translucent in the middle.
Pour hot soup into bowls. Top with bacon strips, scallops and a generous pinch of thyme leaves. For a more intense bacon flavour, add a few drops of the reserved bacon fat. Finish with milled pepper.
Recipe – Upside-Down Banana Pudding (serves 4)
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup golden syrup
1 ¼ cups boiling water
1 banana, sliced
1 cup self-raising flour
1/3 cup brown sugar (firmly packed)
1 tsp cinnamon
½ cup milk
1 ripe banana, mashed
100 g butter, melted and cooled
Grease 4 ramekins with butter. Begin by placing sliced bananas in the bottom of each ramekin. Combine remaining sauce ingredients and pour into base. Chill ramekins while preparing the pudding mix. Sift flour, add cinnamon and sugar and combine. Use a stick blender to puree banana and combine with milk, egg and butter to form a smooth batter. Add mixture to ramekins and bake at 180 C for approx. 30 minutes until golden. Allow puddings to cool for 10 minutes prior to turning out onto serving plates.
Red Currant Panna Cotta
Perfect for summer, the tart fruit and smooth creaminess of this panna cotta are guaranteed to refresh. We use fresh red currants from the garden, this recipe is a little easier because it uses frozen currants. (You could also use Ribena)
Red currants, frozen 500 g
Sugar 500 g
Gelatine sheets 4, soaked in cold water
(or 60 g powdered gelatine dissolved in warm water)
Vanilla bean 1, split lengthwise
Milk 600 ml
Cream 600 ml
Thaw red currants and simmer gently with sugar and 50 ml water for 5 minutes, allow to cool slightly. Puree using a stick blender and pass through a fine sieve. Heat milk, cream and vanilla bean in a saucepan, simmering for 5 minutes. Remove the bean, srape the vanilla seeds out and return both seeds and bean to the milk. Allow the mixture to infuse for a further 15 minutes before removing the bean.
Drain the softened gelatine and add to the milk mixutre, combine well. Add the red currant puree and whisk gently together. Spray dariole moulds with cooking spray and fill with mixture. Chill overnight.
Serve with whipped cream and fresh summer berries.
Pink Peppercorn Florentines
We served these biscuits as an accompaniment to a beautiful soft double cream brie on our Christmas menu in 2008. One of our guests, who returned for Christmas luncheon in 2009, remembered them and asked for the recipe. We guess they made an impression!
30 g Butter
20 g Honey
50 g Brown sugar
60 g Cream
120 g Slivered almonds
80 g Ground almonds
80 g Candied orange peel
2 tbsp Pink peppercorns
Preheat oven to 180 C. Mix butter, honey, sugar and cream in a saucepan over lot heat until combined. Add almond slivers, ground almond, peel and peppercorns and combine. Use two teaspoons to spoon out mixture in small heaps on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Bake for approximately 8 minutes until the edges are just starting to brown. Remove and cool on a cooling rack.
This is a spice paste with its origins in North Africa. It is traditionally used to add flavour to baked fish, but is extremely versatile. We use it to marinate seafood and as an alternative to tandoori paste on lamb and goat. It can be frozen in small portions (eg ice cube tray) for use as required.
50 ml Vegetable oil
1 Onion, roughly chopped
2 tsp Minced garlic
1/2 g Saffron threads (see the spice rack in your supermarket)
1 tsp Ground white pepper
1 tsp Ground ginger
1 tsp Ground cumin
1 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Salt
2 Bayleaves, crumbled
1/2 Cup flat parsley leaves, roughly chopped
1/2 Cup corriander, roughly chopped (include stems, not roots)
Saute onion and spices in oil, add 1/2 cup of water at beginning to allow saffron to infuse, then reduce and saute until aromatic and almost dry, stir periodically to prevent sticking. The process should take at least 15 minutes to allow flavours to develop. Allow mixture to cool completely, add fresh herbs and process to a smooth paste using a stick blender. If mixutre is too dry add a little water.
Omelette with smoky bacon, mushrooms and thyme (Canberra Weekly Recipe, Monday 31 May 2010)
Simplicity itself, but very tasty…
50 ml cream
Sea salt, fresh milled pepper
30 g butter
60 g smoky bacon (from your deli, not a packet!)
3 button mushrooms, sliced
3 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves picked, stems discarded
½ cup baby rocket leaves
Mix eggs, cream and seasoning for omelette mix. Sauté bacon and mushrooms in butter until golden. Add thyme and sauté for an extra minute. Add these ingredients to your omelette mix. Cook the omelette gently in a non-stock pan until just set. Add rocket leaves to centre of omelette and roll to form a cigar shape. Finish with a bouquet of fresh herbs (parsley, dill, thyme) and fresh milled pepper. For a little more zest add some shaved parmesan at the same time as the rocket leaves.
Apple and Cinnamon Roesti – Another Sensational Breakfast Idea
Apple and Plum Compote
Traditional roesti is a pan-fried potato dish from Switzerland, typically savoury. We borrow this idea to create an indulgent breakfast.
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and diced
2 plums, seeded and diced
160 g dried figs, roughly chopped
125 g sugar
125 ml water
4 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and grated
1 Tsp cinnamon
3 Tbsp sugar
3 Tbsp plain flour
40 g salted butter
75 g plain flour
50 g sugar
50 g unsalted butter, melted
25 g fresh breadcrumbs
½ tsp cinnamon
25 g flaked almonds
To prepare compoete, bring ingredients to the boil then simmer until fruit is soft.
For roesti, combine all ingredients except butter. Spoon ¼ of the mixture into a pan with 1 tsp of butter, use a spatula to form a thin ‘pancake’ about 1 cm thick. Cook until golden, turn and cook on the other side. Remove each roesti to a baking tray. Combine the crumble ingredients except almonds and whizz in a food processor until a fine crumb forms Mix in almonds. Spoon crumble mix over each roesti and bake in a moderate oven (180 C) for 10 minutes or until golden.
Top warm roestis with compote and a dollop of rich traditional youghurt.