Sunday, February 1, 2009

back at last

It has been a while, so here is a rundown on what has been happening in West Coast Kitchen (& garden) over the past couple of months...a rather eclectic array of photos follows. I shall endeavour to be more a more disciplined and dedicated blogger and provide regular updates in 2009!

no-knead sticky buns with honey and walnuts

First up - 'no knead' sticky buns, based on the brioche recipe from the book 'Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a day'. I found the recipe for these sticky buns on this blog here. You make a no knead brioche dough (it has melted butter) and leave it in the fridge until ready to use. I made mine on Monday night and used it on Saturday morning. These are lovely and very easy to make, best eaten half an hour from the oven!

Takaka Spinach and Cashew Pinwheels - from the Takaka Wholemeal Cafe's cookbook. I use my 'all purpose' focaccia dough, the recipe is on the blog a few pages back...) and vary the filling depending on what I have to hand.

For the base recipe, you start by cooking a diced onion an a couple of cloves of garlic until soft, then add about a cup of cooked, chopped spinach. Cook until the excess water from the spinach reduces. Add a couple of tablespoons of pesto, herby vinaigrette and spread over the rolled out dough. Sprinkle with grated cheese and toasted, chopped cashew nuts, anything else you desire (this time I used chopped ham off the bone and some cooked portobello mushrooms) and roll up. Cut the log into 8 pieces and carefully transfer to the oven tray, dough side down, not filling. Brush with a beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for about 30 minutes at 190c - they will ooze so use a big tray. Eat warm.

Summer in the garden
Some brag shots of our homegrown produce - have had lots of courgettes and potatoes...

I dug up the garlic yesterday, impatient to make room for something else - perhaps slightly premature, some of the bulbs are still on the small side, but nice and mild.

Spuds - Mike has been in charge of these, and has grown jersey bennes, ilam hardies and moi moi.

Strawberry yield has so far been approximately 6!! Have to get to them before the rain or the birds do.

Still waiting for a red tomato...

Prized tomato plant #1 - planted this one directly into a bag of tomato food, seems to be doing the trick!

Prize tomato plant #2 - these are the ones I raised from seed, have no idea what variety they are, will be interesting to see...

Courgettes...I planted 2 of the goldrush plants so yellow courgettes have been a staple in our diet of late.

The lebanese cucumber plant - have 2 little ones fattening up and hopefully not too far away from the table.

The fig 'tree'. One precious little fig is slowly fattening up.

Runner beans, rosemary and pumpkins.

Baby sunflowers

Sweetpeas - the most successful crop...not edible but have been able to fill lots of jugs with the delightfully fragranced blooms. Best of all they keep growing back!!

Homemade sausages

Sausage of our wedding gifts were the mincer and sausage making attachments for the kitchenaid. We have had several sausage making sessions so far - here are some pictures from the first. We made -

Pork, sage and apple
Pork, bacon and prune
Lamb, rosemary and garlic
Moroccan spiced lamb with dates and mint
Wild venison and porcini
Wild venision, orange and cranberry

Just like bought ones!!

Getting the right amount of fat has proved to be a little tricky - it can look like a lot when mincing it up, but it is amazing how much will cook out once the sausage is in the pan. The venison ones especially needed a bit of extra fat.

Here is a nice juicy pork sausage with our favourite sauce on the side... Rocket Fuel


We spent New Years at a lovely secluded beachfront cottage on the West Coast, at Gentle Annie near Mohikinui. Here is Mike whipping up a batch of whitebait fritters.

Our little cottage...
The view from upstairs...


Last but not least, Christmas puddings - last years 200+ production was scaled down to a dozen this year, so Xmas baking was an altogether more relaxed effort.

1 comment:

Kristin said...

Saw your blog on the TWD blog roll. Love your sticky buns. I got the Artisan Bread cookbook for Christmas but haven't tried it yet. Guess I need (knead?) to!