27 May 2013

Pistachio Crumbed Chicken

The last 2 weeks have been busy with proof reading and exhibition organisation at work and international visitors at home, with no time to cook let alone blog. It's been very frustrating having lots of ideas and ingredients and no time to spare to cook so finally this weekend I caught up on some much needed sleep, washing and cooking and now my freezer is full of yummy things to eat for lunch and dinner for the coming week and I actually have clean clothes to wear. A couple of weeks ago was the farmers market and there was a great little stand selling pistachios - fresh, dry roasted, and roasted and salted. I bought bags of each and have been leaving great piles of pistachio shells in my wake ever since. (Don't add your dry roasted or fresh shells to the ever increasing landfill, instead add them to compost or mulch, they take around a year to start to break down and help stop the soil compacting).

12 May 2013

Pomegranate Syrup Date Cake for Mother's Day

It's mother's day today and even though I am on the other side of the country to my family this cake is for my mum who is nothing short of wonderful and for my sister who will celebrate her first mother's day today! Even though you aren't here with me to try this cake I hope you both have something delicious today xx

This cake has a dense semolina crumb with the sweetness of dates countered by the tart pomegranate syrup. The syrup should soak almost all of the way through the cake. You don't need more than a small piece of syrup cake and it goes especially well with a good strong cup of coffee. The recipe I have given below is for a half mix as mine was too high so the syrup didn't soak through enough. This tin is from Ikea and can still be used for a half mix, it just won't be as thick.

9 May 2013

Pomegranate & Thyme Cocktail

When I started thinking of the pomegranate and thyme combination I wanted to make a tart crimson sorbet with just a hint of herb. Try as I might I just haven't got the texture quite right. First it was too icy so I added some Cointreau and some syrup, then it wouldn't quite set but made an amazing slushie which got me thinking about cocktails. No messing about with the freezing temperatures of invert sugar - just shake and serve!

7 May 2013

Pomegranate & Preserved Lemon Couscous Salad

Last week we were in Perth visiting family, it was 27 degrees, blue skies,  sunshine, walks on the beach, lots of amazing food and an introduction to my new beautiful niece. My parents have a great garden with mandarin, lemon and lime trees, olives, roses, chillis, herbs, nasturtiums cascading and a pomegranate tree, its branches heavy with deep red fruit. This morning back in Melbourne its raining but I have several pomegranates filled with crimson arils, each one a little burst of sunshine as a pick me up. This salad is a wonderful mix of flavours and textures, the slightly warm robust pearl couscous, lots of fresh herbs, spiced sweet potato that's crisp on the outside and soft in the middle, the depth of the preserved lemon and then that pop of pomegranate seeds, all topped off with a nutty, tart, creamy mix of yoghurt, tahini and pomegranate molasses. All in all a beautiful and delicious autumn salad.