Oh, you're in for a treat dear reader! Two bug recipes for you this evening....!I've come across some wonderful recipes lately; Michael of course has been sending some lovely recipes over (still not game to bake those chipotle brownies yet though!) and the lovely Ariane sent me one of her own creation, that she has dedicated to Mr Sam Kecovich. Very amusing, Ariane, thanks!
Ariane's Olive crusted lamb with easy peasy minty salad
750gm lamb loin
1 cup mixed marinated olives (pitted)
2 tab flat leaf parsley
2 tab fresh mint leaves
1 tab fresh oregano (or a tsp dried)
2 tsp lemon rind.
juice of one lemon
a little olive oil.
200 gm frozen peas
150gm snow peas
150 grm trimmed beans
100 grm baby spinach.
2 tabs chopped green shallots
1 tab Dijon mustard
100ml salad oil ( whatever you like best)
2 tsp sugar
25 ml raspberry vinegar
2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
salt and pepper
1. Trim the fat off the lamb and lay on a baking dish.
2. Chuck all other ingredients into blender and pulse to a shiny rubble, or chop finely by hand, a mezzeluna knife is great for this is you have one. I do and its cool. Also my blender caught fire when I was making this, leaving me with no option but the old- fashioned way. and way, back to the cooking....
3. Add a little olive oil if needed. Season with pepper
3. Pat mixture onto lamb fillets and bake until cooked to your liking - perhaps 30min at 180 degrees. allow to rest, then slice
4. Cook frozen peas in boiling water until almost cooked, add bean and cook for one minutes, add now peas and cook for a further 30 seconds. drain and refresh in cold water. Mix with baby spinach leaves, shallots and mint and dress before serving - easy peasy. If you wanted it to be 'cheesy-easy-peasy mint salad' you could crumble a bit of feta on top. .. But that's getting a little Dr Seuss.
5. To make dressing combine all ingredients in a empty jar and shake well.
6. Serve with roasted sweet potato wedges, sprinkled with a little salt and paprika.
7. If you have a covered BBQ, use that instead of the oven to cook the lamb and potatoes. Its just more Aussie that way...
And now, onto the pavlova....
I also made a pavlova on the weekend. Now I have a confession to make with regards to this: despite being known as a quintessential Australian dessert, I had thought up until now that I wasn't a fan. I theorise that perhaps I tried one as a kid and wasn't a fan of the texture perhaps. Also, as you may well know, I've been cursed with an inability to make meringue by hand. So of course now that have a stand mixer I had to try one! I made my first on Australia day (of course!) and it was utterly magnificent. So we had friends over for lunch on Sunday; I made a Ploughman's lunch, and dessert was a pavlova. Tia and Lela did a magnificent job of decorating the cake with the fruit! Thanks!
4 egg whites
1 cup caster sugar
1 tbsp cornflour
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 tsp vinegar (this makes the inside chewy)
pinch of cream of tartar (this helps the egg whites stiffen)
whipped cream (enough to cover the finished pavlova, at least a cup depending on your taste)
chopped fruit, including kiwi fruit, berries, passionfruit (again, to your own taste)
1. Preheat oven to 120°C. Line an oven tray with foil. Brush with melted butter and dust with cornflour, shaking off excess.
2. Use an stand mixer to whisk egg whites in a clean dry bowl until soft peaks form, adding a pinch of cream of tartar.
3. Gradually add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition, until meringue is thick and glossy and sugar dissolved. (Rub a little meringue between fingers.- if it is still "gritty" with sugar, continue to whisk until sugar dissolves) Your mixture should be able to be turned upside down!
It made such a beautiful pattern in the mixer, I just had to take a photo!
4. Add cornflour, vinegar and vanilla and whisk until just combined. Spoon meringue onto the foil, in a circle.
5. Optional step: Smooth sides and top of pavlova. Use a small spatula to forms little peaks around edge of pavlova. Bake in oven for 1 and a 1/2 hours (pavlova should be dry to the touch.)
6. Remove pavlova, and set aside to cool. When completely cold, transfer to serving plate or store in an airtight container until required.
7. Just before serving, dollop cream all over the top and then add fruit. Serve immediately.