easy ideas for Brussels Sprouts
- combine cooked Brussels sprouts with fried bacon lardoons, then stir add either flaked almonds or chestnuts, add a little chopped parsley and seasoning.
- fry some chopped garlic and sage in a little olive oil, then add finely shredded raw Brussels sprouts. Cook for 5-7 minutes, until tender, then season and serve.
- toss shredded, very fresh raw sprouts with toasted sesame seeds and soy sauce for a quick, healthy salad.
SILVER BEET- some more easy ideas
- remove the stalks and cook first in boiling salted water, then add the leaves and cook for a further couple of minutes. Drain immediately and lay on a tea towel covered tray. Do not cool under running cold water. Heat up a frying pan with a little olive oil, add a couple of cloves of garlic sliced thinly. You want these to turn slightly golden brown, (I also sprinkle in a couple of dried chilli flakes, but that is optional) add the silver beet, stalks and leaves. Season with salt and cracked pepper, toss to combine and heat through. Serve as is or with some steak or fish!
-cook the silver beet in boiling salted water for 1 minute, then drain, and cool. Squeeze out all the liquid. Fry some sliced garlic in olive oil until soft, add the silver beet and toss with raisins and toasted pine nuts. Season and serve. It is also great with a grating of fresh Parmesan cheese.
- great to add to soups
- mix 200g cooked silver beet with 1 egg, 200ml double cream, 1 tablespoon of grated Parmesan and some seasoning. Bake in a gratin dish or in a pastry case at 150`C for about 25 minutes, until just set.
LEEKS: If you are not convinced by leeks, then you must give them another try as they are sweet, and a slight onion flavour, and ever so versatile. I am often asked about the virtues of the green and white parts of the leeks. The green part is less tender but more nutritive and are especially good in stocks, stews and soups. The white part is sweeter, and more delicate and can be used in almost any dish you would use an onion. It can also be the sole star player in a dish, such as Braised leeks with Shallot and Caper dressing.
Easy ideas for leeks
- sweat finely sliced leeks in butter for 5 minutes, until softened. Pour in a glass of red wine and simmer until reduced. Season and serve as an accompaniment to grilled fish or roast meat.
- Blanch 4 whole trimmed leeks (cut in half lengthways if large) in boiling salted water for 2 minutes, then drain and refresh in cold water. Drain well, brush lightly with oil and sear on a hot griddle pan. In a wide pan, gently heat the juice of 2 lemons, 1 tablespoon of sugar and 100ml water. As the leeks come off the grill, place in the warm marinade. Leave for 5 minutes, then sprinkle with chopped coriander or parsley and serve.
- Blanch and grill leeks as described above, then serve with Pine Nut Salsa in stead of marinade.
-Great sweated off in butter and added to quiche’s, on top of pizza’s with a good blue cheese, great in a potato gratin.
PEAR, PARMESAN, FENNEL SALAD
4 pears, cored and sliced
1-2 bulbs fennel, sliced finely
25g shaved parmesan cheese
100g rocket, watercress or cos lettuce or a combination
8 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons finely chopped shallot
3 teaspoons finely chopped fresh tarragon or chervil
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
In a small bowl, blend vinaigrette ingredients together. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
In a large bowl, place lettuce, pears, cheese and fennel. Toss with the vinaigrette only when you are ready to serve it as the vinaigrette will make the lettuce go soft. Ensure the ingredients are all coated gently in the vinaigrette serve immediately. Looks lovely on a large platter.
CINNAMON, SPICED PEAR FRITTERS
½ cup milk
¼ cup veg oil
2 Tablespoons honey
2¼ cup flour
1 ½ teaspoons yeast
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
2 eggs lightly beaten
1 ripe, firm pear
Sugar and cinnamon for dusting
Warm milk, oil and honey up. It must not be to hot, check with you finger it should be luke warm. Sprinkle over yeast and mix to combine. Let sit somewhere warm until the yeast starts to bubble and foam - 10 minutes.
Meanwhile add the flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg into a good size bowl. Mix to combine and make a well in the centre. When the yeast is ready pour it into the dry ingredients, along with the lightly beaten egg. Mix well until the mixture is like a thick, stringy batter. Add the chopped pear and mix again. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit somewhere warm and cosy - 1 hour.
When your mixture has increased in size, give it another mix, and get 2 dessertspoons ready.
Add enough vegetable oil, to 2/3 full a deep sided pot. Heat gently until the oil starts to shimmer. Be very careful when around oil. Never use any wet utensils and keep children well away!
Have a bowl or plate ready with a paper towel on it, to absorb any excess oil. Also have some sugar and cinnamon ready to sprinkle over the fritters whilst hot.
Once the oil is hot enough (check by dropping a little mixture in, if it immediately bubbles, then it is ready), using one spoon scoop enough mixture on it to fill it up. Carefully using the other spoon, scrap the mix off into the hot oil. Don’t do to many as you don’t want to over crowd the pot. They will puff up and start to float when ready. Using a holey spoon, carefully remove and put on kitchen paper to drain, then sprinkle well with the sugar and cinnamon, toss well to coat and serve while warm with either vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
HARE CASSEROLE, (with chocolate)!!
We live in a country with a delicious range of wild foods and Hare seems to be forgotten, as it’s furry cousin the rabbit gets all the lime light. You will be pleasantly surprised by the flavour of hare it is gamey, the flesh is darker in colour than rabbit, and the meat is very lean.
This recipe makes a good, rich winter evening meal. Don’t omit the chocolate, which is essential to thicken and enrich the casserole. The beauty of this dish is that it really looks after itself. It is best if reheated the next day, as it develops a fuller flavour overnight.
Any leftovers can be stripped from the bone and served with papperdelle to make one of the finest pasta dishes ever.
1 good size hare (jointed)
1 white onion, cut into chunks
2 carrots, cut into chunks
1 celery stick, cut into chunks
1 leek, cut into chunks
6 garlic cloves, chopped
1 bay leaf
Sprig of thyme
4 juniper berries, bruised
½ bottle red wine
100g smoked streaky bacon, cut into pieces
Olive oil for frying
1 Tablespoon flour
1 Tablespoon tomato puree
50g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Put the hare, chopped vegetables, garlic, herbs and juniper in a large dish, pour over the red wine to cover (top up with water if necessary), then leave to marinate overnight.
The next day, strain the meat through a colander, keeping the wine. Pat the meat dry, sauté the bacon gently in a heavy casserole until it releases its fat. Add the vegetables and garlic from the marinade and sauté until golden, then remove from the pan.
Add some olive oil to the pan and brown the hare in it batches. Remove from the pan and set aside. Deglaze combined and thickened. Tuck in the hare and vegetables, add the herbs from the marinade and pour in the remaining wine. The hare and vegetables should be barely covered with the wine; if necessary top up with a little water. Add the chopped chocolate, a good pinch of salt and a grinding of black pepper. Cover tightly, then transfer to an oven preheated to 160`C and cook for about 2 ½ - 3 hours, until the meat is coming away from the bones. The exact cooking time will depend on the age of the hare - older animals take longer. Eat with mash!
MANUKA SMOKED EGGS - Neville and Rachel have done a world first, by smoking the egg and keeping it raw! I honestly have got to say that once you have tried these eggs you will buy them. They are perfumed of manuka, but in a subtle way and the flavour is smoky/sweet. The possibilities of cooking with them is endless, I was pondering what is the best way to show case them. I no it sounds basic but I think it is hard to beat a creamy, slightly runny scrambled egg, and a homemade mayonnaise.
Scrambled Manuka Smoked Egg’s
4-6 manuka smoked eggs
Good knob of butter
Dash of cream (optional, but delicious)
Salt and pepper
Simply break the eggs into a good size bowl, whisk to combine well. Add salt and pepper and the cream if using. Whisk again to combine.
Heat a good heavy base pan up with the butter. Let the butter melt and foam a little, pour in the egg and gently cook. Using a wooden spoon or spatula slowly move the egg from the outside of the pan to the inside and continue your way around the pan. The secret to great scrambled eggs, is to be patient and to treat it with respect. DO NOT OVERCOOK IT! There is nothing more unappealing than hard looking scrambled eggs. You want them to fall off your spoon onto the hot buttered toast.
SMOKED MANUKA EGG MAYONNAISE
2 manuka smoked egg yolks
100ml light olive oil or any good quality oil
Sea salt and pepper
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
In a bowl, whisk the egg yolk with the lemon juice. Then whisk in the oil, drop by drop to begin with, then in a steady stream, until it is all emulsified. Season with salt and pepper to taste and if needed add a little more lemon juice if needed.
You can add crushed fresh garlic to the mayonnaise to produce an Aioli.
KOAU FLOWERS - Peter and Beth obviously grow flowers, lilies and tulips to be precise. But they do so much more! They do the most incredible array of sprouts, which by the way are SUPER FOODS!! Sprouts are one of the most concentrated natural sources of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, trace elements, amino acids and proteins on Earth. I do think the best way to eat them is simply straight from the container. I am going to be including them in the above dishes, as they add a little crunch, a lot of flavour and of course a great boost of goodness!
- as a snack
- in a sandwich
- fabulous in stir fries
- added to salads
- great in juices
- savoury muffins & quiches
Be adventurous with the sprouts as they are a vegetable. Peter and Beth sprout everything from Broccoli, Bok Choy, Dinkle, Red Clover, Alfalfa etc. They are always trying new varieties, as they said “you can sprout almost anything”. Delicious..
easy ideas for Brussels Sprouts