Monday, June 7, 2010

Well that last post was all but The Last Post.

When I mentioned that Bryn was turning bananas into banana cake etc. what I completely forgot to say was for him to remove the beef and let it sit while he upped the heat etc.

Instead he moved to the bottom of the oven and turned the heat up to cook the cake, and then left the heat up. Bugger.

End result - a close to caramelised onion/vegetable base with a very dry piece of eye round perched on top like a fishing boat with the tide out. Good news was there was enough time to scoot down the road, grab two x corn fed chickens and present them side by side roasted up alongside crispy roast Agria spuds, golden kumara and buttered carrots.

(these are simple, peel slice and simmer for as long as you have, then add a knob of unsalted butter and a few grindings of black pepper, stir and drain and serve alongside)

Anyway, after the dust has settled Bryn and I attempted to salvage the eye round but to no avail, was way to dry and the onions etc. more burnt than caramelised so binned it was.

Zoe's been on the road (well sky) again, TMLP in Sydney over the first two days of the Queen's Birthday weekend but back at midnight last night so tonight it's a Weight Watchers dinner for us and the Tuia's.

Not sure what weight Zoe's lost but the boy has dropped over 3kg and is very happy with himself, he's really taken to counting up his daily points allocation and is noticing the difference especially out on the rugby field.

So when dinner was floated as an idea and the weather has been wet and cold all weekend (except for Saturday which out of the last 15 days was the one fine and sunny one) I went to Ribollita as a perfect solution, white beans - so canned ceci , fagiola bianch di spagna, and fagioli cannellini (chickpeas, butter beans, and white beans, one can of the canned cherry tomatoes,
two red onions, garlic, dried thyme and some thinly sliced ham, and a hunter sausage (finely diced) all went into the big red la creuset pot over a low heat, water to cover and all simmers away for an hour or so.

The whole thing will be served up in bowls and spoons - for those who choose no to this, the pumpkin soup livened up with assorted Moroccan spices will be option number two.

This one's really easy, slice the pumpkin (Crown or whatever you've chosen, works just as well with squash etc. or kumara) lay in a roasting pan and sprinkle with the spices then roast at a low heat until tender.

Let it all cool and while this is happening slice and gently cook sliced onions, garlic and a little added spice in a large stock pot.

Add the roast pumpkin (skin removed) to the onion mix - add chicken stock or water to cover and simmer.

Once all is cooked - I use a hand wand mixer to blend and then adjust spices, salt etc and simmer a while longer. I often find at this stage I need to add more stock or water to thin the soup down and on occasion have added Indian or Thai curry paste instead of the spice (roasted the pumpkin plain) and at the end blended in coconut cream for a slightly different option.

Also, while I was sorting this all out, Zoe and Bryn chose to make a WW recipe that they enjoyed one night last week while I was out, basically a big spanakopita so there's been spinach, feta, ricotta and filo pastry flying and that's all in the oven baking away - so for this time at least  he's answered the basic question.....

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