Hi there! Well it’s a weird feeling being back from my travels, with loads of work to get on with, and the annoying wait for my mole biopsy results to come through. To divert myself, I refuse to work today (goddam it- it’s Saturday!) and instead I am going to photograph a recipe that I absolutely love – perfectly timed to coincide with tomorrow morning’s rugby game, All Blacks V Wales. It will be playing at 6:30am here, so this recipe is ideal because it can be partly prepared in advance, and it’s one of those any-time-of-day dishes, brilliant for breakfast, lunch or dinner. It is basically my take on Welsh Rarebit (Wales/rugby – geddit?) and although not made in the traditional manner with a béchamel sauce base, I am hoping the good folk of Wales will forgive me seeing as I have also included leeks in the dish. As anyone who knows me can attest I am a huge rugby fan, so I will be up, mug of tea in hand, ready to watch the Haka bright and early with this recipe ready to bung under the grill at half time. Good luck Richie McCaw, 100th game as captain, and Beauden Barrett at number 10! (PS - yes I know it's not very pretty, but does it have to be? It tastes do damned good...)
OK, bear with me here - I know you are coming to From the Kitchen for the recipes (and I am delighted that you do), but I can't not share with you some of my recent adventures. If you had asked me a year ago if I could see myself jaunting around Australia from island to outback to rainforest in a year's time, I would have laughed, and yet that was me just a week ago. In part of the lead up to Restaurant Australia's Invite the World to Dinner I spent a couple of nights at Orpehus Island in the Great Barrier Reef before heading west of Cairns into the North Queensland outback. I hitched a ride with Tim on his 8-seater Cessna and we cruised above an ever more sparse and brown landscape before touching down on a dusty, red airstrip in the middle of nowhere. Feeling a bit dusty myself I gratefully freshened up with an ice-cold facecloth offered on a tray by the neatly-turned out Nadine of Crystalbrook Lodge. Within minutes I was on board the souped up outback truck driven by General Manager Andrew Simpson, relishing the air conditioning and bound for Crystalbrook's cattle station for a rejuvenating cup of tea. Once again ready for adventure I hopped aboard part-owner and dinky-di outback character Jim's (barefoot pilot with a good Aussie twang) tiny chopper and we swooped over the sparsely treed countryside on our way to the luxurious sanctuary of the gorgeous Crystalbrook Lodge. If you fancy seeing more, click on the recipe link below... :)
Well since getting back from Australia I'm settling back into normal life with a thump! I have my arm-length 'to do' list sorted - now I actually just need to 'do'. One of my new ventures (and on my list) is with Fairfax newspapers throughout New Zealand - I am happily going to be contributing a couple of recipes to them every fortnight. The first one was published today - this decadent and delicious tart. I know, I know another tart - I can't help myself (!!!), but if you’re ‘on dessert’ for your next gathering, this is the ideal choice to make and take. With a tart all of the hard work is done in advance - the pastry shell is baked and filled with luscious, creamy white chocolate custard, then once chilled and set all you need to do is top it with sweet, bright fresh berries for a show-stopping finale to any meal. You could easily swap the raspberries for blueberries or strawberries, or even swap to dark chocolate in the custard and top with cherries - yum! Whichever way you make it, do let me know if you give it a whirl :)
If you follow From the Kitchen on Facebook, you will know that I have just come back from the most extraordinary adventure in Australia. I was incredibly privileged to have been invited to attend the Invite the World to Dinner gala as part of Tourism Australia's 'Restaurant Australia' campaign, and in the lead up to the big event I spent a whirlwind week enjoying vastly different tastes of Queensland. My first stop was arriving at the Cairns airport, then hopping on a helicopter for an hour and 20 minute flight out to Orpheus Island Lodge. The moment we landed I knew I was in for a relaxing time. I was met by General Manager Ranaul Crabb and as my bags were being unpacked from the helicopter and taken to my room we headed across the grass for a glass of welcoming champagne. "Slow down," he said as we walked "people will wander what's wrong!". And he was right - I had launched myself across the grass at my normal break-neck city pace, and not just from the lure of bubbles, but because I was still in total work-mode. Thankfully a few minutes later I had already given in to the disarming nature of the island, my shoulders dropped from around my ears and I started to unwind. The resort, which has a remarkable 'Fantasy Island' feel about it, has just 14 rooms, and can host up to 28 guests, with an equal number of permanent staff. Mickey, pictured with one of the boats and Erin, Martha in the restaurant, Tom the gardener and head chef Arie Prabowo amongst them. It was pretty much like paradise as you can see, and a magical place to totally escape the stresses of regular life - for more pics and news about my stay, just hit the 'click here for recipe link' below. :)
Hi all - well although I have only been away for a week, it feels like a month - I have done so much in the last seven days! I headed to Australia, incredibly privileged to be a guest at Invite the World to Dinner, an event hosted by Tourism Australia and held in Hobart, Tasmania, which showcased the very best of Australian cuisine. In the lead-up to the event I had the opportunity to see even more of Australia with a quick four day jaunt from tropical island to bone-dry outback to lush green rainforest. In a separate post I will give you the low-down about the week, but in the meantime I have not forgotten that I am on a promise to get this recipe to you! (And the eclairs - see below). It is one that I developed, styled and photographed for the August/September mid-winter issue of Dish magazine and it is rich, slightly dense and totally decadent. The middle remains just a little soft, which is all good with the luscious dark chocolate sauce and a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. It would be fab for a thanksgiving finale or a Christmas show-stopper. Hope you enjoy it :) Ooh - by the way, if you haven't yet, feel free to say hi here or on my Facebook page - I'd love to know what you think!
Helloooooo! This is a fab celebration recipe just in the nick of time for celebrations in the lead up to Christmas, and one of my recipes featured in the lovely winter issue of Dish magazine. Making these brought back childhood memories of my mum ferociously beating choux pastry in a saucepan, and while the recipe does require a bit of elbow grease and is not exactly for the faint-hearted, the first bite (not to mention the groans of delight) will make it all worthwhile. It looks really complicated, but if you have a read through you will see that each step is actually pretty easy, it's just a few steps put together. The recipe makes a lot - so is perfect for a big event like a party, Thanksgiving or Christmas - even a cocktail party, as you could easily make them smaller, or pipe them into profiterole shapes rather than eclairs. I believe you can also successfully freeze the un-filled, un-iced eclairs too, but I would make sure you have let the them to cool competely, and even split them before freezing so that you don't have to handle them too much on de-frosting...if you give it a try, let me know how it goes!
Hiya - I just thought I'd give you a l'il update on my adventures. Remember that Savouring Australia trip I had with Tourism Australia a while back? Well it turns out I am heading back across the ditch, and this time, oh, my, God - the gala Invite the World to Dinner event I am attending is going to be HUGE! To find out more about it head here or here. I will be doing my best to learn as much as I can, and I am sure the inspiration will be massive, so as soon as I get back, it'll be all hands to the pump getting more recipes to you. (I say 'all' - its just me - my hands, so that is all two of them)!!! In the meantime this pic is my teaser of two recipes I created and shot for Dish magazine a couple of months ago, which I will be posting on my return...so check back in again this time next week, and there will be updates on my big trip, and the details on these two lovelies for you. See you soon! :)
Well that's it, I'm breaking out the party hats - the blog has just hit 700,000 views. Not much for some I'm sure, but for me (and From the Kitchen) - it's EPIC! Thank you so much to all of you for visiting, and for so often leaving lovely comments about the recipes - I really appreciate it (it's so nice to know they don't just go out into the ether, never to be seen or used). I'm heading back to Australia for a week on Sunday, but will be back again soon for more recipes - from the kitchen :)
Hiya - this recipe has been in the back of my mind for ages now and I am so glad I have finally managed to make it! When you scroll down you might be a little bit freaked out at the list of ingredients, but I want to reassure you that it's just lots of things like 'cumin' repeated and this is actually a really easy dish to prepare, and the combination of flavours and textures makes it so worth the effort. Also all the prep can be done in advance, so all you have to do at the end is cook the lamb (and even that can be done earlier, and served cold/room temperature) and ta dah - it's all ready to serve. I particularly like the earthy lentils with the sweet beetroot and onion, salty feta, fresh pomegranate and spiced lamb, not to mentioned the pomegranate molasses spiked dressing...yum! I was actually really thrilled with how the combination worked, and I do think it looks pretty damned festive, so I should probably be squirelling the recipe away for Christmas, but it's here and ready to share, watchya gonna do!? Hope you enjoy it too :)
Happy Halloween guys! Wishing you all the best for a fun and creepy Halloween - loving the DIY costume idea, nothing like rustling up a little costume by rummaging through the kitchen cupboards! :) If you're looking for a good pumpkin-y recipe for the day, I've popped some links through to some of my favourites on the blog:
...and of course there are loads of luscious, naughty recipes in the desserts/baking section!
Have fun :)