Banoffee Pie

Nothing beat spontaneity. This was dessert for a random evening of drinking, hand made pasta with an 8 hour slow cooked lamb ragu. That was delicious. It didnt look exactly picture worthy, but this one did! How can you not love a banoffee or banana caramel pie??? I cant take credit for this one. This is Q’s contribution!

Step 1 : Simmer a can of condensed milk (395g can) in a saucepan of boiling water. Note: should have used two! Keep water within 1 inch from the top – need to keep topping up.

Step 2: Meanwhile, make the pastry. Blend 250g sifted plain flour, 110g cold, cubed unsalted butter and 110g sifted icing sugar in a food processor until it looks like breadcrumbs.

Step 3: Add 1 egg yolk and 2 tablespoons cold water and keep processing until mixture comes together into a ball. Note: this didn’t happen! Butter must be cold enough and machine not too hot. Regardless, the ball forming obviously isn’t too important as the pastry still turned out superb!

Step 4: Wrap pastry mixture in cling film and refrigerate for at least half an hour.

Step 5: Roll cold pastry out onto floured surface…. work those muscles! And don’t worry about holes, they can be patched up. Loose-bottomed pans are ideal but we used the Tupperware Silicone Flan Form, which turned out perfect! Press it well into the sides and edges. We forgot to trim the top! (This just meant we could break it off when cooked and get a sneak taste preview!)

Step 6: Line the inside with baking paper and blind bake it for 10 minutes at 190C with pastry weights or rice, as we have done. Then remove the paper and weights and bake for a further 5 minutes

OK we’re getting close!

Step 6: Take the base out of the form or tin (with a lot of care! It’s very crumbly!) Pour the toffee from the can (should be darker and gooey-er) into the cooled pie base and slice up some ripe bananas and layer them on top.

Step 7: Whip up some cream and if you want a fancy touch, pipe it onto the pie.

Step 8: Add some grated chocolate or chocolate melts… or whatever you fancy!


Voilla! Scrumptious Banoffee pie. Dig in and share it around!

Advertisements
Posted in Recipes, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Open Lasagne (Lasagna) with Scallops, Gravlax (Gravad Lax) and Salmon Roe (caviar), plus oysters, bugs and kipfler potato chips!

This is what we eat on an anniversary dinner at home. I can’t take much credit for the beautiful Coffin Bay Oysters, though I did cut up the lemon. We bought some slipper bug tails from Peel Fisheries and just fried them up and they were delicious. Lastly we had some kipfler potato chips with a mustard aioli that I made up.

Our beautiful bottle of Somerset Hill Constellation Blanc de Blanc Champagne was off! Chardonnay was rather interested in this… POSER!

Kipfler potato chips… ok, there was a mixture, but mostly kipfler.

Bug tails!

But here is the feature!

I was aiming to go for a healthy recipe with the open lasagna. Often seafood based pasta will come with some sort of cream based sauce. I opted for something slightly different. I cant give you exact measures as I didnt use exact measures. Here were the ingredients:

Ingredients For the Sauce and Topping

  1. Beetroot cured gravlax
  2. Scallops
  3. Salmon Roe
  4. Capers
  5. Dill
  6. Garlic (Of course)
  7. Lemon Zest
  8. Lemon Juice
  9. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  10. Salt

There arent too many instructions for this dish, its just so damn easy. I added the scallops to the pan with some garlic. The gravlax was already prepared and didnt require any additional preparation.

I added the oil to a pan with some lemon zest, lemon juice and salt. I added a small amount of gravlax for flavour and infused for about 15 minutes. I then strained this into a separate dish. This would be the sauce. It would have a tangy flavour with a slight gravlax stock to it.

Pasta

  1. 300g flour
  2. 3 eggs
  3. salt
  4. Olive oil

This is the easiest pasta to do because you dont need to put it through a spaghetti or fettucine cutter. You literally just roll it then cut it into big fat ribbons, something like lasagne sheets but not as wide (hence the name, open lasagne).

Boil the fresh pasta for 3 minutes, strain, through the seafood through, then the sauce. Plate up and sprinkle capers, fresh dill and salmon caviar over the top. Sounds fancy, is ridiculously easy. The verdict from Q… AMAZING!


So after our disaster with the champagne, we decided to embark on some delicious d’Arenberg reds. Not usually my preference to match with such food, but we had no cold white left and who cares when the red is this good!

This next part may cause pain to some… there were leftovers. No scallops though, we made sure we devoured all of them.

Chardonnay’s favourite foods are duck, lamb and you guessed it… salmon!

This was bowl number TWO! Little piggy then laid down and didnt move for some time. There was a smile of contentment on this poor, hard done by border collie.

Posted in Recipes | 5 Comments

Breakfast at La Camera Chapel St South Yarra Melbourne

We had a short trip in Melbourne just recently and had quite an enjoyable breakfast in South Yarra at La Camera.

La Camera 446 Chapel St, South Yarra 3141 VIC

Like many restaurants I am often inclined to rate it even higher if the service is good  and the young woman who was serving us was fantastic. She was happy, attentive but not bothersome.

Quin decided to have the big boy breakfast which came with home-made baked cannellini beans which were quite nice. I recommended she not have the big breakfast because so often im really disappointed with what seems to be a production line job on big breakfasts. This was different though, it was definitely better than many big breakfasts I have had in the past. It came with bacon, a nice fat Italian sausage, potato rosti, spinach and house made tomato relish.

What amazed us was the breakfast special. Two eggs, bacon on toast with a coffee of your choice for $6.90… yep, you got it, $6.90. We chose not to have this as we wanted something a little more but wow, how cheap is that! Perth needs more restaurants and more competition to drive some of those prices down!

As for me, I decided to go for the red-hot chilli eggs (La Camera’s apparent hang over cure). I had poached eggs served with bacon, on toast with a chilli and Napoli sauce on top. The toast here is really, really big and thick. It was really enjoyable. The only complaint I have is that the so-called chilli was missing. Now I know some people would say that my chilli tolerance is something unnatural but even Q said that there was no chilli to be found. I would like to say, however, that the sauce was really rich and nice, a simple tomato sauce with a hint of spice that went nicely with the poached eggs and bacon, and the spinach I had on the side. I always tend to order a side serve of spinach or mushrooms if it’s not on there. It’s the vegie hit I like for breaky.

What I should have done, was take a photo of the omelette that i made this morning with fresh garden tomatoes, spinach and basil with prosciutto. Yep, there was still prosciutto left after yet another serve of figs with blue cheese, creme fraiche and prosciutto. I have to say, my omelette put these two pictures to shame… I need to be better prepared with my camera!

Posted in Restaurant Reviews | 1 Comment

Lizards and Zucchini’s! My colourful vegie garden!

It had been a couple of days since I checked on my vegie patch because the mosquitos are so bad right now you can’t go out for more than 30 seconds without swarms attacking. I’ve never experienced anything like it… its horrible.

I thought I’d go check to make sure everything was still alive. Upon moving some leaves on a zucchini (courgette) bush to see whether I had some nice new zucchini’s growing I nearly came into contact with a skink! The skinks in our backyard are 1-2 foot lizards that I believe are harmless though you wouldn’t want to get bitten, it would make you pretty sick. The cheeky bugger was hanging out on top of one of my zucchini’s! How dare it! Right now zucchini’s are making my world. I’m going to post some zucchini recipes very soon. I’ve made some great zucchini fritters and I’d also like to make some zucchini bread and muffins, and also stuffed zuchini’s. Until then check out my little friend 😀

Its my zucchini!

Back off!

Evil eye!

Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Figs! Blue Cheese! Creme Fraiche! Prosciutto! Does it get better than this???

So Monday was my birthday, and as Q does each year, she put on a magnificent spread of food for me. I wish she would do it more often. I’m going to only post one dish here now as a taster. I love figs so much, seriously one of my favourite fruits. I’ve even created a sauce out of it that has now won an award. I also love making fig jam and salads also.

I’m hopefully going to post a fig salad on here very soon when I make one. Gotta love figs, but wish they had a longer season! Dried figs just aren’t the same as fresh figs! I don’t believe there are enough fig recipes online. They are also not easy to find. You usually have to go to a farmer’s market to get some. I got mine from Vergone’s on Pinjarra Rd, just outside of Mandurah.

I also love prosciutto. Lately there has been a lot of attention given to the Spanish equivalent jamon which i also think is really nice, but for the purpose of this dish the prosciutto certainly sufficed. I also love prosciutto in pasta dishes or with poached eggs. It goes really nice with a poached egg and asparagus salad.

She made a plate of these figs with blue cheese, prosciutto and toasted walnuts from Belinda Jeffery’s 100 Favourite Recipe Cookbook. AMAZING!

Recipe:

  1. 100g Blue Cheese (Q used blue castello)
  2. 100g creme fraiche
  3. 12 Figs (I bought both purple and green figs as they have different flavours. They are different to the black genoa figs im growing. Unfortunately I only really have enough room for one fig tree right now)
  4. Handful toasted walnuts
  5. 4 slices prosciutto sliced into fine strips
  6. Extra Virgin Olive Oil to drizzle on top
  7. Salt and black pepper

Instructions:

  1. Mash blue cheese and mix in creme fraiche
  2. Halve figs and place them on plates. If they aren’t balanced you can slice some off the bottom to make it flat.
  3. Ass blue cheese mixture, add some walnuts, small pile of prosciutto strips and drizzle them with olive oil. The picture shows the finished product.

I was angry she only made one plate 😛 so I got her to make a few more for me. YUM!!!

Posted in Recipes | Leave a comment

Bhut Jolokia on Toast with Tomato and Bocconcini No Real Recipe Required

Short post on this one… how much do you like the Guinness book of records hottest chilli in the world??? The bhut jolokia??

Well this one was the first off of my bhut jolokia plant for the year. I decided to do a simple open toasty. You might call it an open sandwich, you might call it bruschetta. Ill call it nasty! I toasted two pieces of pumpkin bread, put some bocconcini on so the tomato would stick, added the tomato, grilled that, added more bocconcini then some fresh purple basil from the garden… then… one whole bhut jolokia.

This was one of the most overwhelming experiences of my life. My body temperature skyrocketed so quickly I had to take a cold shower. Needless to say… I will do it again. My bush is bearing much fruit 😛 And still… its not as hot as my Trinidad Scorpions… Apologies for the average photo.

Posted in Recipes | 2 Comments

New posts and back on track

Good morning on this very hot day in Perth. Its hot hot hot outside, not the sort of weather that makes you want to spend too much time over a hot stove. I went out in the garden first thing this morning and my spinach has flopped and even my eggplant plants were looking very sick. Looks like its going to be 38C/100F for the next 4 days or so, so lots of hand watering it seems.

I have to be honest, when I set up this blog i had every intention to post recipes all the time. It takes almost 3 hours to post 1 recipe with good photos so one of the reasons I havent been posting is that I have been incredibly busy with other work, plus havent found time to sit for 3 hours to post some recipes. Im going to take a different approach. More info, and as many recipes as I can physically put up. I will continue to talk all things food, cooking, gardening for food, maybe fishing for food and travel when it relates to food.

Please join my discussions and hopefully I can post these recipes that I have so many pictures of in the coming weeks!
Warm regards

Mark

Posted in Updates | Leave a comment