18 June 2008


Brief update as to the happenings since the last post.

- The show was amazing. It all came together and just worked. The only down side to the show is that my list of people I won't work with again has grown slightly. If you're going to flake on me, at least tell me, don't just not show up.

- I have enjoyed several nice week long breaks from work due to the marvels of shift work.

- Although I haven't made the powder puffs yet, I did score a heap of frozen egg yolks after baking a huge batch of friands for an all day show rehearsal followed by an evening band concert. There was coffee, lime, and mandarin and poppyseed. my personal favourite was the lime. I baked them in mini muffin tins so you just got this burst of flavour and didn't have to worry about finishing the entire thing. I also baked some crunchy chocolate biscuits, which were also a hit. All leftovers made it to work and didn't last very long after that.

Currently I'm delving into the world of fresh pasta and learning to cook for one. I'm really not the biggest fan of eating leftovers for 3 days. I can handle eating it the next day but not for much longer and the freezer isn't very big so it doesn't hold much.

Last weeks trip to the Vic market resulted in some fresh lasagna sheets as well as goats cheese, basil and pesto agnolottis and rabbit and red wine agnolottis. The rabbit ones are still in the freezer, awaiting for sauce inspiration. The lasagna had a 4 layers of pasta in the following order, sauce, pasta, fresh baby spinach (don't bother blanching it, just give it a quick rinse and stick it in) pasta, sauce, pasta, mushroom and garlic mix (this was meant to be a layer of caramelised onion and mushroom ut the fry pan fell of the stove so I had to improvise) pasta, sauce then sprinklings of goats chevre, cheddar and parmesan. Baked for ~20 minutes at 180 C. Very, very tasty.

The goats cheese angolotti was consumed the other day in the same base sauce as the lasagna, just spritzed up a little. The base sauce was just shallots, garlic, red wine, basil, sage, rosemary and tomato passata. Seasoned with freshly ground black pepper and a little salt. So the spritzing consisted of more garlic and shallots sauteed with some minced lamb, more fresh rosemary, red wine. This is one dish where you really don't need any extra cheese on top and there is enough cheesy flavour in the pasta already.

Last night magical meal was duck fried rice.

1 duck breast with fat trimmed
3 mushrooms
1 shallot
soy sauce
1 lime
2/3 red capsicum
rice - I like a mix of basmanti and wild rice

fry the duck in a hot ungreased pan, skin side down until crispy, then turn it over and continue until tender. As the duck will be slightly recooked with the rice, its important to not over cook (especially if you're intending on reheating this later like I am).
In the mean time, cook the rice, I normally say ~ 1/2 cup uncooked, for 2 people if I'm adding stuff to it.

Then its really just a case of stir frying the garlic, ginger, shallots, mushrooms and capsicum together, add about a tablespoon of soy, splog of mirin then the duck that has been finely sliced. Add the rice and finish up with the juice of the lime.

The predominant flavour was lime, could have backed off on that quite a bit. It reheated nicely at work ~2min on high, stir part way through.

Tonights was a very special meal, I made risotto again!!!

100g minced chicken breast
3 chipolatas
2 mushrooms
risotto rice
red wine
more pasta sauce, warmed with some warm water.

The chicken and chipolatas were fried in pan with a little olive oil. You'll want to break up the chipolatas so it resembles the chicken mince. this way they not only cook quicker but you don't actually want huge chunks.

In a saucepan, sautee the garlic, shallots and mushrooms together.
Add the rice and fry for about 3 minutes
Add about 1 glass of red wine and stir until absorbed. Then add the sauce/water mix in small additions, stirring constantly. Don't add the next lot of liquid until the previous lot has been absorbed. Just before the last lot of liquid, add the meat and all the pan juices.

Lastly, stir in a knob of butter and some parmesan cheese