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Thursday, February 19, 2009


I love and regularly make Kedgeree. Essentially English though originating in India it has become a universal dish claimed by all. Try adding the poaching liquid from the cooked fish at the end of the cooking process, this gives an otherwise often dry dish a lovely moist result and enhances the flavour.

Serves: 4


500g smoked haddock fillets
5 tablespoons milk
2 bay leaves
1 lemon, finely sliced
30g butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 cup (250g) cooked brown rice
4 eggs, not too hard-boiled, sliced into quarters
1 tablespoon chopped parsley to garnish


Wash the fish fillets, pat dry and poach gently in milk with lemon slices and bay leaves until just cooked – about ten minutes. Remove the fillets from the liquid and set aside to cool. Remove the skin and bones and flake. Reserve the poaching liquid including the lemon and bay leaves.

Heat the butter in a large pan and gently fry the onion until soft and pale. Add the cooked rice to the pan and mix through with the onion. Add the flaked fish and carefully mix through. Add the poaching liquid and reheat for about 2 minutes or until excess liquid has evaporated. Serve garnished with egg and parsley.

* Evoke the flavour of India: prepare and cook as above but substitute basmati rice for brown, add two teaspoons curry powder, 2-3 cloves, a little ginger and perhaps a few cardamom pods.

The Weekly Post

It is so good to receive recipes from all over the world for the Weekly Post and this one for Spanish Omelette is very special from Xavier and Kika in Barcelona, Spain. The Spanish know all about getting tortilla right but you do not have to be Spanish to love it, Thanks Kika and Xavier.

TORTILLA DE PATATAS - Spanish omelette


4 medium-sized potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
6 eggs
1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
¼ litre olive oil


First, heat the oil in a large frying pan and then gently fry the sliced potatoes until almost soft, stirring from time to time so that they don't burn on the bottom of the pan. Add the onion and the green pepper and continue frying until all the vegetables are soft. Drain the vegetables in a colander to get rid of the excess oil.
Beat the eggs in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Add the potatoes, etc., mix well, and check seasoning.
Heat a little oil in a frying pan on a moderate heat. Pour in the potatoes and eggs and shake the frying pan from time to time so that the omelette does not stick to the bottom. Once the bottom of the omelette has set, turn the heat down low and cover the pan. After about ten minutes, turn the omelette by placing either a flat plate or saucepan lid on the frying pan and quickly turning over. Gently slide the omelette back into the frying pan and continue frying, once again shaking the pan from time to time so that it does not stick to the bottom, until it has set all the way through.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Chicken Chivry

This is an adaptation of a Cordon Bleu recipe and is a bit complicated. Have ready the buttered oven dish and the two papers, make the mousseline early if you like but IT MUST BE KEPT IN THE FRIDGE. Think it out before you start and do not worry if you do not have a thermometer – carefully test the heat with your finger – if you can stand the heat, it's ready. Buying pre-peeled pistachios saves preparing your own and remember beurre manié must be in exact equal parts. This dish is worth the trouble and you will be very proud of yourself.

Serves: 4

3 large chicken breasts with tenderloins intact
1 egg white
200ml cold cream
White pepper
Pinch nutmeg
50g pistachio nuts, peeled and finely chopped
250ml chicken stock
4 tablespoons Verjuice or dry white wine
4 tablespoons cream
Beurre manié = 1 tablespoon butter mixed with 1 tablespoon plain flour
1 tablespoon French tarragon, finely chopped


Remove the tenderloins from the chicken and roughly chop them. To make the mousseline place tenderloins, egg white, cream, salt, pepper and nutmeg in a food processor. Process on high for one minute until smooth. Stir in the pistachio nuts. Place mixture in the refrigerator until required.

Cut a pocket in each chicken breast as indicated in the above photograph. The initial cut must be no wider than the width of the blade. Use one hand as a guide and gently cut the pocket in the breast with the other – feeling your way very carefully so as not to make a hole. Fill a piping bag with the mousseline mixture. Pipe the filling into each breast. Butter an ovenproof vessel large enough to hold the chicken breasts, snugly. Pour the chicken stock over the breasts, cover with buttered paper and a lid or a piece of foil. Cook in a hot oven 200C for 35-40 minutes. Remove the breasts from the stock and keep warm.

In a small saucepan place the wine, 150ml chicken stock from the cooked chicken, 4 tablespoons cream and bring almost to the boil, simmer until slightly reduced, remove from the heat. Using a thermometer – when the temperature drops to 55C gradually add beurre manié in small balls – whisk in thoroughly. The sauce must not be so hot that the butter melts too quickly or too cold that it does not melt at all. Place the saucepan back on the heat and gently reheat until the mixture thickens. Do not let it boil. Remove from the heat and add the tarragon. Now, have a very strong drink – not only will you need a drink but you also truly deserve one!

To serve: slice the chicken breasts and serve with the finished sauce

Note: three chicken breasts will adequately serve four people

Bavarois with Fresh Figs

The right kind of yoghurt is the secret key to these melt in the mouth Bavarois. This is an adaptation of a Peter Gordon recipe from the Sugar Club, London. I am a huge fan of his and have been fortunate to experience two of his restaurants: Sugar Club (now closed) and Dine in Auckland. Peter is also at The Providores and Tapa Room, London.

Serves: 6


100ml double cream
1 vanilla pod, seeds only
150g caster sugar
4 leaves gelatin leaves, softened in cold water for 4-5 minutes
300ml yoghurt – rich Greek (not Onassis) or equivalent
175ml double cream, lightly whipped
Served with fresh figs and orange blossom honey

Equipment: 6 dariole moulds slightly greased with almond oil


Bring 100ml cream, sugar and vanilla to the boil. Remove from the heat, add softened gelatin, stir until dissolved, allow to cool. Add yoghurt and whipped cream. Pour into moulds and refrigerate overnight. Grate a little orange over the top for special effect and serve with any fresh fruit and honey.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Onion Marmalade

Serve this with char-grilled meat especially sausages and any hard cheese. With a refrigerator life of 3-4 months, this jam ages beautifully and is on hand for an impromptu barbecue.

1 kg red onions, finely sliced
100ml balsamic vinegar
2 bay leaves
Dash of olive oil to sweat onions
230g soft brown sugar
½-bunch thyme leaves, no storks
Salt and pepper to taste

Sweat onions in a little oil on a medium heat until they caramelise – about 30 minutes. Add sugar, vinegar, and simmer approximately 1 hour until the mixture is a jam like consistency. Remove from the heat and cool. Add thyme, salt and pepper and refrigerate.
I slightly alter the recipe each time I made this, just to ring the changes - where I got the original recipe from I have long forgotten, there are many versions of this popular dish.

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Weekly Post

Rocky from Five Dock, Sydney says this the best lasagne recipe ever.........

Char Grilled Vegetable Lasagne

3 red, I yellow and 1 orange capsicum (green doesn’t taste sweet). Grilled under griller, sweated and peeled or roasted and peeled.
2 zucchinis sliced thinly and char grilled in a proper grilling pan or roasted
1 eggplant char grilled optional
Asparagus is also nice optional
1 handful of pitted kalamata olives
4 green onions sweated/softened.
1 punnet of cherry tomatoes
6 slices of provolone cheese
1 jar of passata tomato sauce. Used for topping only.
1 long red chilli
1–2 tablespoons of a good grated parmesan cheese
Latina fresh lasagne sheets

Pesto Dressing:

1 bunch of Basil
1 teaspoon of sea salt
6-8 gloves of garlic
Chop finely in a blender. First garlic then basil then salt. When done, add enough extra virgin olive oil so basil does not blacken. In other words, do not let the air get to it.

Plain Béchamel sauce: use sparingly

Lasagne instructions
Spray square thick oven proof dish. Put1 or 2 slices of capsicum at bottom of dish. This is so pasta does not stick to the bottom.

Next layer is pasta sheets.
Next layer 1- 2 tablespoons of béchamel sauce spread thinly.
Next layer is vegetables. A little of everything.
Next layer is again pasta.
Repeat 2 - 3 times.

On top layer add provolone cheese to vegetables. Then put on layer of pasta. Then spoon over passata. Then add parmesan cheese to decorate.

Place in Aluminum foil and bake for over an hour or until cooked.

This next recipe is from Alex in Aydie, South West France......

Flourless Chocolate Brownies

Preparation time
less than 30 mins

Cooking time 30 mins to 1 hour

175g/6oz unsalted butter, softened
175g/6oz sugar
5 eggs, separated
175g/6oz bittersweet chocolate
175g/6oz almonds, finely ground
pinch of salt


1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F/Gas5.
2. Cream butter and sugar together.
3. Mix in egg yolks. Set aside.
4. Melt chocolate in double boiler.
5. Cool, then mix into butter mixture.
6. Mix in finely ground almonds.
7. Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry, then fold into batter.
8. Pour mixture into 23cm/9in square greased baking pan.
9. Bake for 45 min.
10. Cool and cut into squares.

Gravlax with Dill & Mustard Sauce

We always ask Esther, my mother-in-law, to make the Gravlax when it comes to this special occasion dish. Esther is Danish and knows all about making those wonderful Scandinavian things. We also ask her to make the herrings, the marinated cucumber, the roast pork stuffed with prunes, the frikkadella and the haggeboef – the list is endless. Esther is a fantastic cook and her recipe for this cured salmon is simply divine.


2 sides of scaled fresh salmon (about 1.5kg)
1½ tablespoons good quality rock salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon crushed white peppercorns
1 bunch dill, finely chopped
1 schnaps glass - vodka or brandy


Mix the salt, sugar and peppercorns. Place one-half of salmon skin side down in a dish. Cover with the salt mixture then the dill and finally the alcohol. Place second salmon piece on top, skin side up. Cover with foil and leave for at least 2-3 days – the longer the better. Turn and baste daily.

Serve cut on an angle with:-

Henri's Dill and Mustard Sauce

One of my good friends has a remarkable memory for recalling great moments in her culinary life. This was one of my mine! I was in Suffolk, England, it was Christmas 1997, it was snowing, we were at the table in the big old family kitchen at Pettistree House, Henri was cooking on the aga, salmon was on the menu, this is the sauce she produced:


2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1-tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 egg yolk
150ml Sunflower oil
Salt & pepper to taste
2 tablespoons dill, chopped


Whisk mustard, sugar, vinegar and egg in a blender or food processor. Slowly add oil as for mayonnaise. Season to taste and stir in the dill. This sauce is delicious with poached salmon too but an absolute must with Gravlax.

Although I have made this sauce over and over again and everyone loves it to bits - it never tastes quite the same as that first time, when Henri made it!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Hot Watermelon with Goat's Cheese & Tomato

This is my adaptation of one of Ferran Adrià’s dishes from his famous restaurant, El Bulli, in Spain. Using guesswork, having seen a photograph, I copied the dish but added goat’s cheese and watermelon dressing. On another occasion I replaced the dressing with basil oil and put a slab of basil jelly under the watermelon - cut to the same size. Made this way or that, one fact remains, the idea belongs to Adrià and to him alone.

One large watermelon cut into 13cmL x 3cmW x 2cmH oblongs yields at least 10 pieces. You may not be preparing this for ten people so just use what you need and set the rest of the watermelon aside for another use. This is a very economical starter especially if you omit the goat’s cheese.

To serve 6:

1 small seedless watermelon cut (see above) all exactly the same size
6 medium tomatoes, skinned, deseeded, diced (concassé)
160g goat’s cheese broken into small pieces
100g pistachio nuts, peeled, skinned and roughly chopped
Balsamic glaze to garnish
2 tablespoons watermelon dressing (see below)
Micro herbs to garnish

Place the watermelon pieces on a grill pan covered with foil to protect the fruit, top with tomato and goat’s cheese and grill under a very hot grill until the cheese starts to melt slightly and browns a little. (A fan-forced oven is ideal to brown the cheese and heat the melon at the same time). Remove and place the melon pieces on serving plates. Scatter a few nuts on top, spoon a little dressing over the top to moisten and add the herbs. Mark each plate artistically with a little balsamic glaze and serve immediately.

Watermelon dressing: make a small quantity of French dressing but replace the sugar content with fresh watermelon juice. To make the juice, whiz a few pieces of watermelon in a blender, strain it and use as stated.

Serve with a slightly chilled Sangiovese 2007 from

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Weekly Post

Thanks for this recipe, Stewart and for giving us all a brand new day'dream!


As we have cruised the Barrier Reef for 20 years doing some 40,000 miles in Liberty we developed a special routine as we trolled for fresh fish out at sea.
Cruising at about 8 to 10 knots we would troll for tuna or Dolphin fish [ not Dolphins !]….when we had a strike it was all hand to the jobs assigned.

1. fish carefully brought aboard

2. fry pan on, a little olive oil.

3. fish filleted, no skin.

4. a plastic bag with flour and Keens mustard power in it , volume based on flour being a mild colour of yellow [to taste] …

5. fillet in bag …rolled about so the fillet is nicely covered

6. fillet into the hot pan, cooked quickly 2 or 3 minutes [ depends on filet size]

7. fish to the plate , a generous squeeze of Lemon fresh juice….salt to taste…

8. Enjoy….

9. then back to the cruisin'

Cheers, Stewart Ewen (from Broke)

This is a great idea from Ruth Bridgewood in Balmain, Sydney - it sounds delicious:

This “quick and easy” sauce recipe is great for week nights. Goes well with pork or lamb fillets. Serves 2.

½ cup port
½ cup orange juice
2 tblspns Dijon mustard

Quickly cook meat in pan, remove and keep warm. Mix together ingredients in a jug and pour into pan to deglaze, reduce (over high heat) by about half or two thirds.

A bit of butter and/or salt adds a little to the flavour, for those with no weight or health concerns!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Taking Tea.....

Cool down from the unrelenting heat - take up the ritual of drinking mint tea in the afternoon...

in a medium sized teapot place one green tea bag, half a teaspoon sugar, a handful mint leaves with storks, top with boiling water and let the pot stand a few minutes..... not only refreshing but good for your health!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Beetroot Marmalade

This Beetroot Marmalade goes really well with duck and quail (see boning) the raspberry vinegar content being the vital link in the flavour trail. If you live in Oz, it is worth noting quail breasts come pre-packaged from good supermarkets and gourmet butchers. Known as Quail Medallions, from Game Farm, they are expensive but worth the $20.00 per pack for special occasions. One pack serves four. Sear quail breasts, skin side down first, for a minute or two on both sides – they must be rare. Duck breast, magret, is a superior cut and delicious barbecued rare. Considered economical due to high yield with no waste whatsoever they are a good choice. Serve marmalade on the side of either duck or quail and it goes well with soft cheese too.

200g fresh beetroot, finely diced
60ml raspberry vinegar
150ml honey
1 apple, finely diced
1 orange, juice only

Place all the ingredients in a small saucepan and cook gently on a low heat to a jam-like consistency. The marmalade takes a good hour to cook and may need a little water now and then to avoid evaporation so check regularly. The beetroot should have some crunch at the end of the cooking time. Serve hot or cold.

Ajo Blanco

Our table grapes are ready to harvest I am pleased to say - so it's time to make white Gazpacho. I love the creamy texture of this Spanish soup, the big hit of garlic, the crunch of almonds and the fresh taste of sweet grapes. I could be more ambitious and make a red and a green Gazpacho to compliment this one – the three soups would look lovely lined up in shot glasses. Try it!

Serves: exactly 4
4 slices white bread, crusts removed
2 cups (400ml) chilled water
225g ground almonds
3-4 cloves garlic, crushed
5 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar (sherry or champagne)
Pinch white pepper
1 small bunch white, seedless grapes, split in 4 for garnish
½ cup slivered almonds for garnish
Parsley, finely chopped for garnish

Soak the bread in a little water to soften for 10 minutes. Crush the garlic with some salt using the back of a table knife, drain bread to remove excess water and place bread, garlic and a little water in a blender. Blend briefly, add almonds, and blend a moment more. Gradually add the oil and vinegar. Add the chilled water, one cup at a time – ensuring you have a fairly thick and smooth consistency. Chill well for several hours or overnight in the fridge and by then the consistency will have changed again - it will be just right. Pour into chilled soup plates and garnish with grapes, slivered almonds and a little parsley. Delicious!

click here for a printable version of this recipe: