Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Pear and walnut Bread

You can put anything onto bread. This one is for Autumn.

- Make some dough. I have a bread maker but it is easy enough to do by hand. I use about two cupfuls of flour to make a smallish loaf for two people.

- Slice a pear and gently fry the slices in a frying pan with some butter and a little oil, until golden brownish on one side. When I made pear bread the first time I didn’t cook the pear first and the bread came out more wet from the pear juice, but either way will work.

- Once the dough is ready roll it out onto a floured board until about half an inch thick.

- Lay the pear slices all over the dough.

- Roll some walnuts in a little oil (I use the left over oil from the pear in the frying pan) and scatter on top.

- Run over a little olive oil and sprinkle with soft brown sugar.

- Pop into a hot oven, 200, 220 centigrade, something hot enough to toast the walnuts and char the edges a little.

- Ten minutes later, onece the bread is crispy you’re done.

Makes a lovely accompanyment to the slightly sweetness of a plain pumpkin soup.

I love the Autumn.

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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Watermelon, Feta and Mint Salad with Lime and Cardammon

I don’t know about the rest of the world but down here it has been 33 degrees for the last few days. That is hot even for the kiwis, let alone somebody still used to Scottish temperatures. On the plus side I can get a watermelon bigger than my head for $2.99 - perfect to cool and rehydrate my melting body.

- Start by making a cardommon suger syrup. Bring to the boil 00ml of water and 200g of sugar, boil for 2minutes then turn off the heat and add half a teaspoon of ground cardommon seeds. Allow to cool.

This makes quite a lot but Rachel Allen says it will keep forever in the fridge. Although I dare you not to eat it all a lot sooner.

- Chop up your watermelon into chunks, mix with the same or a little less feta cheese, some salt and ground black pepper.

- Squeeze over the juice of a lime, and spoon over a few dessertspoonfuls of the cardammon syrup.

- Top with a handful of fresh mint leaves and pop back into the fridge to keep cool, but eat it quite soon.

We had ours with Coronation chicken and baked potatoes and then because it was so good I made some more the next day as a foil for some spicy salmon burgers.

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Saturday, January 1, 2011

Spaghetti with Walnuts, Parmesan and Cream

A new year has begun and what do I fancy to eat? - Walnuts, just walnuts. I suppose I could have just had a handful of them on their own but the children are having spaghetti and bacon and whilst gazing into the supermarket cold cabinet yesterday a sauce of cream and parmesan caught my eye . . . Being tight fisted of course I did not buy the sauce (2011 will be a frugal year as we, along with the rest of the 49% of New Zealanders try and get on top of our debts) but the idea stuck in my mind . . .

- Peel, slice and chop a small onion and pop into the warm frying pan with a little oil.
( you’ll be boiling some spaghetti as well of course!)
- Cook for a few minutes until browning at the edges but still a little crunchy.
- Add a handfull of Walnuts and cook for a minute or two.
- Pour in a cupful or so of runny cream, bring to a boil and cook until it thickens a little.
- Take off the heat and add in a handfull of grated parmesan and stir to mix then pour over your spaghetti.
- Season with a little salt if required.

A simple dish, made in the time it takes to boil some spaghetti, but just what I needed today and wouldn’t be out of place on a bistro menu.

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