Orange cake

Orange and vanillaA spoonful of country: cooking from a Cootamundra farmhouse, 214pp.
by Catherine Bragg and Noelene Reading
Lothian Books, South Melbourne, 2001
Cooking on page 32

Catherine Bragg is a farmer’s wife on a property near Cootamundra and was inspired by Noelene Reading, who owned a catering company and whose recipes are also included. Recipes cover suggestions for breakfast in a country kitchen, harvest lunches, picnics and camp ovens, and a chapter on relishes and jams. There are also extracts from poems and reflections on country life.

Orange cakeOrange cake

Ingredients
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
125 g softened butter
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups self-raising flour, sifted
a pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
grated rind of 1 orange

butter and cookbook Orange zest, flour and sugarIcing
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups icing sugar
juice of 1/2 orange
a squeeze of lemon juice

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and line a deep 20 cm round cake tin with baking paper.

Place all the ingredients in a mixer or food processor and beat until well combined. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes and turn out onto a wire rack.

cake batterTo make the icing, melt the butter and add the sugar and orange juice, adding the juice a little at a time until it is the right consistency for spreading. Mix well, adding a squeeze of lemon juice to bring out the citrus flavour. The icing should be of a thin consistency, but not so runny that it will not sit on the cake.

When the cake is cold, ice.

How it played out
I’ve made this cake twice, both times using the food processor. These were my first forays into mixing a cake in the processor.

A spoonful of countryThe first cake collapsed quite a bit in the middle. The second not quite so much because I processed for no more than 30 seconds. Apparently over-mixing can cause a cake to collapse and I reckon that was the problem.

I think I’ll try this again using a hand mixer.

Verdict
Flavour-wise this cake is sensational even if the middle sinks. The citrus flavour is perfect and you can bet I will make this often. A while back I gave this book to a friend who grew up on a farm in Cootamundra.

Travel
If you love fancy cakes, check out the gorgeous wedding cakes we saw in Germany.

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Avocado salsa

onion, capsicum, olivesThe garden of vegan, 256pp.
by Tanya Barnard and Sarah Kramer
Arsenal Pulp Press Vancouver, 2002
Cooking on page 132

This is a sequel to the 1999 book called How it all vegan! and has come to me very highly recommended. Luckily I was able to buy it secondhand at my much loved Canty’s Bookshop.

We’re not vegan, but have friends who are, and I like to cook great food that suits their lifestyle. The authors have a helpful website called GoVegan.net.

Pages 30–32 have a list of 45 useful and interesting tips to do with baking soda (I’ll be checking those out), so I moved on to page 132.

Avocado salsa

Avocado salsa

Ingredients
1/2 cooked or canned corn niblets
1/4 cup olives (your choice), chopped
1/2 small red bell pepper (capsicum), chopped
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 avocado, diced

Corn, avocado, onion, garlic, capsicum Method
In a large bowl, combine the corn, olives, red pepper, and onion. In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic, oil, lemon juice, oregano, salt, and pepper. Pour the dressing over the salsa. Stir in the avocado just before serving. Makes approximately 2 cups.

How it played out
I made this exactly as written using lemon juice, kalamata olives and the kernels from one ear of fresh corn. I zapped the corn in the microwave for about 90 seconds. The balance of dressing to other ingredients was perfect.

The Garden of VeganVerdict
This salad is delicious and so simple to make. But the thing I like the most about this vegan cookbook is that is focuses on real ingredients, and not tablespoons of things with names I don’t recognise. No wonder it is highly recommended.

I’ve started giving away some of my cookbooks—ones that I am unlikely to use again in future—but this one isn’t going anywhere.

Travel
I’m quite a bit behind on my travel blog, but I hope to get going again this week. Here’s a post from Guinea, West Africa. When we were there last year I bought 10 avocados for $3. Bargain.

Avocado salsa

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Stewed curry beef brisket

spices for stewed curry beef brisketComplete Chinese cookbook, 352pp.
by Ken Hom
BBC Books, London, 2011
Cooking on page 132

This is the second time I have cooked one of Ken Hom’s page-32 recipes. The first was stir-fried pork with mushrooms. It was so delicious I’ve been on the lookout for another cookbook and recipe from him.

Page 32 in this cookbook describes some of the ingredients commonly used in Chinese cookery, so I moved on to page 132. This is a Hong Kong dish that has been influenced by Indian cooking.

Stewed curry beef brisket

Stewed curry beef brisket

Ingredients
1.4kg (3lb) beef brisket or shank
3 tablespoons groundnut or vegetable oil
675g (1 1⁄2lb) carrots
675g (1 1⁄2lb) potatoes

For the curry
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh garlic
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh ginger
3 tablespoons light soy sauce
6 tablespoons Madras curry powder
3 tablespoons whole yellow bean sauce
3 tablespoons finely chopped spring onions
2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine or dry sherry
2 tablespoons sugar
1 litre (4–6) cups water or stock (this was not noted in the original recipe)

Beef chunks Boiled beef chunks Stewed curry beef brisketMethod
Cut the brisket or shank into large chunks and blanch them for 15 minutes in a large pan of boiling water. Drain well and blot dry with kitchen paper.

Heat a wok or large frying pan until it is hot and add the oil. Brown the meat for 10 minutes, then add the curry ingredients. Turn the mixture into a large clay pot or flameproof casserole, cover and simmer for 1 1⁄2 hours.

Meanwhile peel the carrots and potatoes. Cut the carrots into 5cm (2in) pieces and the potatoes into large cubes. Leave them in cold water until you are ready to use them. Add the vegetables to the beef after 1 1⁄2 hours and continue to cook for another 35–40 minutes, or until the meat is meltingly tender.

Serves 6–8.

How it played out
I have found that it’s not necessary to tinker with Ken Hom’s recipes. He writes clear instructions that work. That said, I noticed that the meat browned nicely within 6 minutes.

I also found that he didn’t specify adding any water or stock in the original recipe. Oops, an important oversight! Luckily this cookbook has three other beef/lamb stew recipes. They called for somewhere between 900 ml (just under 4 cups) to 2.8 litres of water or chicken stock. I guessed and added a litre of chicken stock, and had to add 2 more cups as cooking progressed.

I didn’t have yellow bean sauce, but know that hoisin sauce is a good substitute. I used ordinary curry powder, which is milder than Madras curry powder, because I was making this to take to friends who have a low tolerance for chilli.

Ken Hom Complete Chinese CookbookVerdict
We must love it because it has become a go-to recipe. In fact, I have made this three times in three weeks. The second two times, I’ve made about half a batch, using 750–800 grams of chuck steak and a litre of chicken stock.
I’ve also used a combination of normal and Madras curry powder. If you’re not a fan of heat just use ordinary curry powder because the Madras version does give a good kick.

Keep an eye on the liquid. The second time I made it (half a batch) I needed to add a little water. That’s why, for today’s half batch, I used a full litre of chicken stock.

Travel
We’ve travelled and eaten in many Asian countries. Here’s a post from our time in Vietnam when cat wasn’t on the menu.

Stewed curry beef brisket

Packed up to take to a friend’s place

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Mashed banana and raspberries on toast

Raspberries and bananasMade in the office: tasty and hasty meals with just a kettle, toaster and microwave, 175pp.
by Rachel Maylor
Frances Lincoln Limited, London, 2016
Cooking on page 32–33

When Rachel Maylor moved to London to start a new job, she discovered her daily meals became a limited selection of not very tasty or healthy options. She wasn’t particularly keen on making her breakfasts and lunches the night before, so she decided to work on making dishes at the office that could be made using only a kettle, toaster and/or microwave.

The book opens with a list of office cupboard essentials such as grains, oats, seeds and nuts, dried noodles, olive oil, interesting vinegars, herbs and spices, stock cubes, salt and pepper, lemons and limes, garlic and sweeteners.

Page 32 uses cacao powder and honey.

Bananas and raspberries on toast

Mashed banana and raspberries on toast

Ingredients
1 or 2 slices of seeded or wholemeal bread
1 large banana
a handful of raspberries
1 tsp honey
a pinch of cacao powder

Raspberries and mashed bananas Blueberry banana breadToppings
chopped dates or nuts
desiccated coconut

Method
First, put the bread into the toaster. Next, peel the banana and chop it roughly into chunks.

Tip the chunks into a bowl and gently mash with the back of a fork until soft and spreadable. In a separate bowl or mug, mash the raspberries.

When the toast is done, pop it on a plate and spread the banana mash generously on top. Drizzle with the honey, spoon on some of the crushed raspberries and garnish with a pinch of cacao powder. Heavenly.

How it played out
Poor John and I received some amazing gifts earlier this week (a couple of months ago now). Long time friend, Anne, dropped off some of her garden produce. The bounty included wonderful herbs, some red chillies and a small bag of fresh raspberries. Fresh raspberries are like gold. A 125-gram (4-ounce) punnet can cost as much as $5. The bag from Anne weighed just over 105 grams.

Made in the office cookbookSo I made this as written for the two of us—using one slice each of homemade blueberry banana bread. I didn’t bother with any toppings except for sprinkling on some shaved coconut.

Verdict
This made a delicious breakfast for two. While it’s delicious, I’m unlikely to repeat it until next year when Anne gifts us some more raspberries. They cost too much here to buy regularly. I’ll try to be patient because I love raspberries.

Travel
Speaking of berries, nine years ago in Germany we bought amazing strawberries and white asparagus in Germany. You can check out that post here.

Bananas and raspberries on toast

Posted in Bread, Breakfast, Fruit | Tagged , , , , , | 15 Comments

Chilli con carne

Onion, garlic, chilli powderVegemite cookbook: delicious recipe ideas, 64pp.
by Kraft Kitchens
Ark Publishing, Back Rock, Victoria, 1992
Cooking on page 32–33

Love it or hate it, Vegemite has cult status in Australia.

Created in 1922 in Melbourne, Vegemite is a thick, dark brown food spread made from leftover brewers’ yeast extract with various vegetable and spice additives. It’s similar to Marmite, Promite and other ‘mite’ products, and has a taste that is salty, slightly bitter and malty. It’s also rich in glutamate—giving it an umami flavour similar to beef bouillon. Amazingly, it is vegan, kosher and halal.

Just so it’s perfectly clear—I love Vegemite.

Chilli con carneChilli con carne

Ingredients
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
½ teaspoon chilli powder
350g minced (ground) beef
1/2 green capsicum (bell pepper), roughly chopped
1 tablespoon Vegemite
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3/4 cup water
1 x 440g can red kidney beans, drained

Mince beef and bell pepper Vegemite and tomato pasteMethod
Heat a little oil in a frying pan, add onion, garlic and chilli powder and cook until onion is tender. 

Add Vegemite, tomato paste, water and beans, simmer for 10 minutes. Add beef and capsicum and cook until meat is golden brown. Add Vegemite, tomato paste, water and beans, simmer for 10 minutes.

Serve with rice or pita bread. Serves 4.

How it played out
I bought this cookbook years ago because I love Vegemite. Most mornings I spread it (very thinly) on a slice of homemade bread, and top with slices of cheddar cheese and tomato. A breakfast made in my salty heaven. Sometimes I add a teaspoon of Vegemite to a stew that calls for beef stock powder.

I’m late posting this recipe because I made it in January and sent tubs of it to one of our fire-ravaged communities on Australia’s South Coast. I usually make a much spicier chilli, but thought this one would suit most tastes.

Vegemite cookbookI followed all the ingredients and instructions, except to make a double batch. If you don’t have Vegemite, just use a teaspoon of beef stock powder. 

Verdict
Although I made this to give away, I had a taste before I packed it into takeaway containers. It’s a lovely, mild chilli. Personally, I’d go for one with more kick, but this is great if you don’t know your guests’ heat tolerance. Plus, it’s easy enough to jazz it up to something that suits your tastes.

Ive given this cookbook to Daniel, our son-in-law who also loves Vegemite.

Travel
No one is travelling much these days, so I have been sorting through old photos instead—both print and digital. The kidney beans in this recipe reminded me of a bean-laden meal we enjoyed in Columbia in South America. You can check out that memory here.

Chilli con carne

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Roasted tomato salad

tomatoes and garlicDelia Smith’s summer collection: 140 recipes for summer, 224pp.
by Delia Smith
BBC Books, London, 1993
Cooking on page 32–33

Delia Smith is one of Britain’s most popular cookbook authors and television presenters. As a celebrity chef, she is known for teaching basic cooking skills in a no-nonsense manner. Through her television programs, she has influenced viewers to become more adventurous food-wise.

Smith has written more than 20 cookbooks, including her popular Delia’s how to cook in three volumes. I was interested read to that she made the cake that is featured on the cover of The Rolling Stones’ album Let it bleed.

This book celebrates summer and its glorious ingredients. Australia is in winter and I made this with store-bought truss tomatoes. I’m envious of the tomatoes that are being grown and harvested in the northern hemisphere.

Roasted tomatoes, Delia SmithRoasted tomato salad

Ingredients
12 large tomatoes
12 large fresh basil leaves
2 large or 4 small cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salat and freshly milled black pepper

For the dressing
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

To garnish
12 large fresh basil leaves
24 black olives

tomatoes to roastMethod
Heat the oven to gas mark 6, 400°F, 200°C.

Skin the tomatoes first of all by pouring boiling water over them and leaving for 1 minute, then drain and, as soon as they are cool enough to handle, slip off the skins. (Protect your hands with a cloth if necessary.) Now cut each tomato in half and place the halves in the roasting-tin (cut side uppermost) and season with salt and freshly milled pepper. After that sprinkle on the chopped garlic, distributing it evenly between the tomatoes. Follow this with a few droplets of olive oil on each one, then top each one with a half of basil leaf, turning each piece of leaf over to get a coating of oil.

Now place the roasting-tin in the top half of the oven and roast the tomatoes for 50 minutes–1 hour or until the edges are slightly blackened. Then remove the tin from the oven and allow the tomatoes to cool. All this can be done several hours ahead.

Delia Smith's summer collectionTo serve the tomatoes, transfer them to individual serving plates, place half a basil leaf on top of each tomato half, then whisk the oil and balsamic vinegar together and drizzle this over the tomatoes. Finally top each one with an olive. Lots of crusty bread is an essential accompaniment to this. Serves 4–6 as a starter.

How it played out

I bought a pack of four gorgeous kumato tomatoes to make one-third of a recipe as a side dish for three of us. I followed the instructions except I didn’t bother to peel the tomatoes. Because my tomatoes weren’t large, they roasted within 45 minutes. I put a small basil leaf and two olive halves on each tomato half.

Verdict
I love tomatoes period, so it’s no surprise that I loved these. A very straightforward recipe, with attractive and delicious results. I’ll make this often when the summer crop of tomatoes arrives in my back yard. Those of you in the northern hemisphere should be able to enjoy it soon.

Roasted tomatoes with steak and potato

Posted in Salad, Side dish, Vegetable, Vegetarian | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

Cauliflower soup with nutmeg cream

chopped celeriacCauliflower is king: 70 recipe to prove it, 144pp.
by Leanne Kitchen
Murdoch Books Australia, Sydney, 2018
Cooking on page 32

Cauliflower is a wonderfully flexible vegetable. It’s delicious raw, roasted, covered in cheese, made into soup and much more. This delightful cookbook explains its history and health benefits, how to buy it, how to cook it, and how to love it. There are recipes for soups, snacks, meals, salads and pickles.

I’ve always loved cauliflower and cook with it often. How could I resist grabbing this?

Cauliflower soup with nutmeg cream

Cauliflower soup with nutmeg cream

Ingredients
1 tablespoon oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 leek, white part only, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
5 sprigs of thyme
500 g (1 lb 2 oz/about 1/2 medium) cauliflower, trimmed and chopped
350 g (q12 oz/about 1/2 large celeriac, peeled and chopped
560 ml (19 1/4 fl oz/2 1/4 cups), chicken stock approximately
300 ml (10 1/2 fl oz” single (pure/pouring) cream
1 tablespoon lemon juice, or to taste

chopped cauliflower Cooking cauliflower and celeriac Creme fraiche and nutmegNutmeg cream
160 ml (5 1/4 fl oz) crème fraîche
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Method
For the nutmeg cream, combine the crème fraîche and grated nutmeg in a bowl, stir well and refrigerate.

Heat the oil and butter over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add the leek, garlic and thyme and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes until softened. Stir in the cauliflower and celeriac. Cover the pan and cook, stirring often, for about 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender—add a few tablespoons of water if they start to stick. Add the stock and bring to a simmer.

Remove the thyme sprigs then, using an immersion blender or food processor, process to a smooth purée, adding a little extra stock if it is too thick. Return to the heat until nearly simmering. Stir in the cream and lemon juice, season and serve with the nutmeg cream.

How it played out
Yesterday I ventured out to buy a bulb of celeriac (Covid-19 has hampered my shopping expeditions). Luckily I had everything else on hand, including a tub of crème fraîche that was close to its use-by date and my last whole seed of nutmeg (must buy more soon).

I made the recipe exactly as written, adding a couple of tablespoons of water after I added the cauliflower and celeriac. Puréed the soup with my immersion blender.

Cauliflower is king cookbookWas delighted to use the nutmeg grinder given to me by Malou, a friend in Belgium. Twenty years ago in Ghent, I admired her grinder and she made it a mission to find me one too. I cherish it, especially because Malou died last year after losing a battle with breast cancer. We met in Syria 40 years ago, and she is one of only a few friends who knew both Poor John and me before we married. We miss her.

Verdict
What is there to say? I love cauliflower. This ticked all the boxes. We’re in the midst of winter in Australia and I’ll be making this often. That said, it’s quite nice cold and at room temperature. So try it any time.

Travel
No one is travelling these days, but my memories are kicking in. You are most welcome to check out some of my previous trips. I’d head back to India any day to have this wonderful salty drink agin.

Cauliflower, celeriac and leek

Posted in Cheese, Dairy, Light meal, lunch, Stew/soup, Vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Fennel gratin

fennel gratin to cookRustic Italian food, 292pp.
by Marc Vetri with David Joachim
Ten Speed Press, Berkeley, 2011
Cooking on page 232

This looks like the only book on homestyle Italian cooking you will ever need. There are recipes for basics such as a whole range of cured meats and pastas, as well as breads, pickles and preserves, vegetables and sides, dessert and sauces.

Authors Marc Vetri and David Joachim have long histories in the world of food. Vetri trained in Bergamo, Italy. His Italian restaurants in Philadelphia have been closed since March, but are reopening next week (July 3). Joachim has authored, edited or collaborated on more than 35 cookbooks.

I had to flip to page 232 for a recipe.

Fennel roastedFennel gratin

Ingredients
2 fennel bulbs (about 2 pounds), fronds trimmed and reserved
about 2½  cups of olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1¼ teaspoons red pepper flakes
1⁄3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

fennel bulb Grated Parmesan fennel gratinMethod
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Trim the base of the fennel and remove all dark and light green parts down to the white bulb. Slice each bulb in half lengthwise.

Cut each half lengthwise into 4 wedges and remove the cores. Lay the wedges on a rimmed baking sheet and add olive oil to a depth of ¼ inch.

Sprinkle each wedge with a pinch each of salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes. Top each with about 1 teaspoon of Parmesan.

Bake until fork-tender, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool in the oil until just warm. 

Using a slotted metal spatula, transfer the fennel to plates and garnish with the reserved fennel fronds.

Note: You can make this 1 hour ahead because it needs to cool until just warm. It tastes great cold, too.

How it played out
I had two small fennel bulbs, weighing 250 grams (about 8 ounces) in all, so I made a quarter of the recipe for the two of us. I didn’t measure the chilli flakes and parmesan, but sprinkled both generously over the wedges. I also went very easy on the olive oil. No need to have a depth of 1/4 inch.

Because the bulbs were on the small side, the wedges were tender within about 25 minutes. First time, served with crustless quiche and roasted baby carrots.

Rustic Italian food cookbookVerdict
Oh yum, oh yum! I was first introduced to fennel about 15 years ago. Back then, one of our German exchange students and her dad, Laura and Lütz, came for a visit. They cooked dinner for us and Lütz braised his signature fennel recipe as a side dish. I’ve been cooking it fairly regularly ever since and I reckon this is the nicest recipe of all.

I love the simplicity of this dish. If you like fennel or if you’ve never tried it, this is the recipe to use. I now make it regularly as a side dish for almost any meal. The pics are from two different makings.

Travel
I regularly cook Italian food (taught by a neighbour in my childhood), but I haven’t been to Italy for more than 20 years. This recipe is an amazing introduction to Italian cuisine. Another cuisine showstopper is the Vety from Finland. I wrote about it here.

 

Fennel gratin with quiche and spinach

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Herb cheese pâté

Three cheesesEntertaining with Cranks: creating sensational meals the vegetarian way, 256pp.
by Kay Canter and Daphne Swann
Grafton Books, London, 1987
Cooking on page 32–33

Kay Canter and Daphne Swann, along with Kay’s husband David, opened the first Cranks restaurant in London in 1961. It was among the first vegetarian restaurants in the England, serving mainly salads in the beginning. The restaurant filled a niche and soon spread across the country. The menu expanded too.

Between them, the Canters and Swann wrote eight cookbooks. Two years ago, I shared a recipe—raspberry yoghurt ice cream—from their book on puddings and desserts.

Since Cranks was sold in 1987, the business has passed to several owners.

Herb cheese pâté with biscuitsHerb cheese pâté

Ingredients
4 oz (100 g) low fat skimmed milk cheese
6 oz (175 g) cheddar cheese, grated
2 oz (50 g) blue-veined cheese, crumbled
2 tsp (10 ml) sherry
1 tsp (5 ml) French mustard
black pepper, freshly ground, to taste
2 tbsp (30 ml) parsley, chopped
1 tbsp (15 ml) chives, chopped
2 oz (50 g) walnuts, toasted and chopped
lettuce leaves, olives, parsley and shelled walnut halves to garnish

Walnuts and herbs Mashed cheeses ad herbs Herb cheese logMethod
Beat all the ingredients together, except the walnut, until smooth. Shape into a log and wrap in a piece of foil or greaseproof paper. Chill well. Then unwrap and coat with the chopped walnuts. Serve, cut in slices, on a bed of lettuce and garnish with olives, parsley and walnut halves. Serve with melba toast or wholemeal toast.

How it played out
I made this to take to morning tea at the gym. This was just before the coronavirus appeared and caused the gym to close. That means we’ve been missing our twice-a-week seniors gym classes as well as our once-a-month morning teas. 

The gym is supposed to reopen soon and I wonder if we’ll be able to resume the morning teas. Indoor gatherings are limited to 10 people, and sometimes a gym class attracts as many as 16.

But back to the recipe. I made half a batch a day in advance (giving it plenty of time to chill). Used all the ingredients—surely a bit of sherry in a dip wouldn’t bring the gym class undone? I didn’t need to beat the cheeses. I just let them soften and then mashed well with a fork.

Entertaining with CranksI didn’t cut the log into slices or add the garnishes. Presentation at the gym isn’t all that elegant and we serve ourselves. Besides everyone brings a plate of food (some homemade and some store bought) and we end up with way too much. The pictures of the offerings show most of the day’s spread.

Verdict
For years, my gym buddies have counted on me to contribute brownies, as well as cheese and crackers, for morning tea. This cheese log was a popular addition and I will definitely make it again.  I especially liked that it could be made ahead.

Travel
Our travel wings have been clipped during this pandemic. Nevertheless, I plan to start writing again about past travels (my most recent post was in March). In the meantime, you can check out a post I did on a couple of delightful meals in Peru.

Posted in Appetiser, Cheese, Snack, Vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Barbecued peaches

Barbecued peachesThe Ignatian table: a celebration of food for family and friends, 233pp.
by St Ignatius’ College, Riverview, Parents and Friends
St Ignatius’ College, Riverview, Parents and Friends, Lane Cove NSW, 2008
Cooking on page 32

I bought this cookbook at one of our regular Lifeline Book Fairs, but the forewords says that profits from the original sale went to the Bursary Fund of St Ignatius’ College, Riverview.

The book is beautifully written, photographed and produced, a real testament to the skill and recipes of the current and past parents and students, teachers, and cookbook team.

I bought this cookbook specifically to make the page-32 recipe, contributed by a Michelle Jamieson. She says she has also cooked it on the stove top and used nectarines instead of peaches.

Barbecued peachesBarbecued peaches

Ingredients
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 container crème fraîche or premium vanilla ice cream
6 firm, ripe peaches, peeled, halved and pitted

Peaches and honey Baked peaches

Method
Mix honey, vinegar and vanilla in a small bowl.

Prepare barbecue on medium to high heat. Place the peaches onto the barbecue plate and brush them generously with half of the glaze. Grill them until heated through, turning occasionally, for about 4 minutes.

Arrange 2 peaches, cut side up, on each plate. Drizzle with remaining glaze. Spoon crème fraîche or ice cream into centre of peach and serve. Serves 6.

How it played out
We have a magnificent peach tree growing between our house and the neighbour’s. Neither of us planted it, so it must have grown from seed. We first harvested from it about six years ago. The fruit is sensational. So sweet, so tender.

Ignatius cookbookI made half a batch, using three plump peaches. I cooked them for about 3 minutes, turning regularly, on a pancake griddle on the stovetop. I wasn’t sure what size container of  crème fraîche was referred to, but I put about a heaped teaspoon on each half. Also drizzled over more of the glaze.

Verdict
This is dinner-party worthy. So easy to make and so delicious and impressive on the plate. I served the third peach to my friend, Robyn. She was so impressed that I gave her the cookbook. Hey, I already have too many cookbooks.

Travel
If you love honey, check out the post I did nine years ago about honey and a market in Yerevan, the capital of Armenia.

Barbecued peaches

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