Saturday, October 25, 2008

spring dinners

We are enjoying the warmers days now that Spring (and the famous West Coast rain that tends to come with it) has arrived. Loving the asparagus...dinner tonight was a salad with roasted asparagus, tangelo, toasted hazelnuts and baby cos lettuce. To have with was a calzone of the tried and true team of smoked chicken, cranberry and brie.

I often use my favourite foccacia dough for pizza and calzone, which is...
2 tsp dried yeast
5o ml warm water
3 tbsp flour
Mix together and leave until it 'sponges' and grows...I have just discovered that on top of an espresso machine is ideal for this purpose!
Meanwhile in a bowl of a mixer place...
300g flour
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp salt
Add the sponge once is it ready. Knead all with the dough hook or by hand until a smooth dough forms.

Another spring dinner - stuffed mushrooms with fresh herbs and bacon (from Murchison meats - just ranked best bacon in NZ and well deserved of the title, nice thick rashers they are, with a very real smoky taste unlike the injected flavoured stuff) The mushrooms were a concoction of sorts, I was trying to use up bits and pieces from our over stuffed freeze. Into the mix went some leftover cottage cheese and spinach cannelloni mix, cream cheese with fresh herbs, diced fried bacon and a few big handfuls of grainy breadcrumbs. Delicious, if not that good looking on the plate...

with it we ate a salad with (more) roasted asparagus, fresh mint and broad beans (courtesy of Watties, the ones in the garden so far have one fat pod that looks to have potential, others will be a fair way off I suspect) and a lemony dressing.