What’s your favourite brekkie if you go out? For me it’s corn fritters, ideally with avocado, maybe sour cream and a chilli jam or roasted tomato to round it out. I also prefer the fritter to be more corn than batter and some diced capsicum is a welcome addition, as you can see from the recipe below. You can easily use tinned corn but I prefer fresh because it has that satisfying crunch.
We are hurtling officially towards summer down here (ie tomorrow) and to be frank I am not pleased. I do not do hot weather and even moreso, humidity. I was truly born in the wrong country although Tasmania would probably do quite nicely. Beautiful countryside, lower temps, less humidity and a great food culture. Let’s sit with that for a moment shall we?
The only redeeming feature for me in these hotter months, apart from washing drying on the line in an hour rather than a day, is the food. Stone fruits, mangos, papaya, crisp Asian salads loaded with lime, mint, coriander and chilli and cooking outside.
Actually Sydney’s climate means I could/should use the BBQ year round but I always tend to forget it’s there once the heater is in action. The main reason I like cooking outside is I don’t have to clean down the cooktop. Yes, I am that lazy.
This dessert is fairly and squarely placed in my summer repertoire and all the boys love it. Along with the black sticky rice it sits in relatively high rotation, topped with mango or other summer fruits, drizzled with a palm sugar syrup, extra coconut cream and lime to give it zing.
Some people call it sago, some call it tapioca, we call it frogs eggs. There are myriad recipes for its use but this is my go-to.
So I made these a year ago and then promptly forgot I had ever done such a thing. Bizarrely last week Felix said, remember when you made spring rolls, and I was all, NEVER! Then, serendipitously I fell upon the very post where I talked about them.
These are easily vegetarian – just omit the chicken mince (derr) – or turned into a pork version by using pork instead of chicken mince (double derr).
Yes, rolling 40 spring rolls is painful but this is where having 100 kids becomes useful. Sure they might not look perfect (there are spring roll perfectionists who insist they must be tighly and very evenly rolled – no hanging over the edges – so they don’t absorb too much oil) but I only shallow fry them and they sure turned out a treat.
I think beetroots are one of those divisive vegetables, like brussel sprouts and cauliflower. If you like them you love them, if you don’t like them they are the food of the devil.
Mum planted beetroots this winter for reasons I’m not sure of, primarily because she doesn’t eat them. And I must confess that as I saw them growing I thought, what the hell am I going to do with all those beets.
Then this book entered my life. I’d already bought Food52’s baking book from which I want to make every single recipe (the magic espresso brownies are amazing) so I held out high hopes for Genius Recipes. It’s premise is 100 legendary recipes for chefs, cooks, bloggers and cookbook authors and it does not disappoint.
So, this week’s Tuesday #everyfuckingnight was tacos which I just can’t come at. Mum had picked me about 8 of the beetroots and my plan was hatched.
What I loved about this recipe was its simplicity. My beets didn’t take as long as the recipe said, probably due to their size, but I just sped the process up and they worked an absolute treat. Mine also turned out a more deep maroon than that black purple we expect from beetroots but again, probably due to the variety that we’d grown.
So look, follow what’s below, but trust your gut. You can lift the lid during the simmering stage and check their done-ness, muck around with the heat when reducing the liquid to a consistency you like. It can be more saucy or more syrupy, just make sure you do leave enough to coat the beets and any leaves you add to them.
The recipe says to add the beetroot leaves at the end but these fall into the category of kale for me and taste like balls so I’d sooner mix through some baby English spinach leaves and rocket than that metallic nonsense.
Finally, I took a little punt based on Maggie Beer in her remarkable tome Maggie’s Harvest and at the very end added a little more butter, some dijon (about 1/4-1/2tsp), balsamic and more finely chopped fresh tarragon just to liven the flavours.
It’s all really quite straightforward with the result being a complete show-pony of a dish. Giddyup!
A fabulous preparation of beetroots to then use in a salad or on their own.
Author: allconsuming - based on Peter Berley's recipe in Food52 Genius Recipes
4-5 fresh beetroots, trimmed and scrubbed and cut into quarters or sixths, depending on size (I used 8 smallish ones)
1 medium sized red onion, sliced into crescents
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp butter
2 sprigs of fresh tarragon, finely chopped
salt and freshly cracked pepper
thumbnail sized nob of butter
¼-1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
dash balsamic vinegar
more freshly chopped thyme
for the salad
greens (I like using rocket)
Put everything into a heavy based fry pan (you want the beetroots to be relatively tightly packed in a single layer)
Pour in enough water to just cover the beetroots
Bring to the boil
Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 25 minutes (feel free to check as time passes as they might cook more quickly, depending on their size) or until the beets are nearly tender (I judge this as when you stick in a skewer there's still a bit of resistance
Raise the heat again and boil uncovered until the liquid has reduced right down to a syrup and the beetroots are tender
If you're going the optional extra, make a little space inbetween the beets, add the extra ingredients and mix until dissolved/melted, then toss through the whole dish
Season with the salt and pepper
Serve tossed with the salad greens, dot over little pieces of the goats cheese and sprinkle with walnuts
Add some wedges of pear if their in season or you really want to be fancy
The first time I saw this recipe I refused to believe it was so easy. It comes from Jamie Oliver’s 15 minute meals book and I’ve used it time and time again. He creates a great chicken dim sum recipe with them but the buns were a bigger hit than the chicken in my house. There’s a great cucumber pickle he served with it though which I’ve put below.
The main thing to remember with these is to not over mix them. Jamie does it in a food processor (for speed basically) but I generally do it by hand because washing a food processor is a bastard of a thing I actively try to avoid.
Think of it – loosely – like a scone dough. Bring it together, form a log, portion it and voila!