Well another week has flown by and no denying it Autumn has arrived not only with the changing temperatures but also with the change in produce. At the farmers market you will notice stone fruit, tomatoes and zucchinis are on the way out and pumpkins, squash, cauliflowers, cabbages, turnips, onions, apples, pears and quince have arrived. The menu today is celebrating onions, squash, fish and strawberries. If you think it is a little late for strawberries then don't be alarmed this is the second crop and Butlers still have plenty in stock - still great in desserts and for jam!
Have a great day and enjoy the new season produce its delicious!!!
FRENCH ONION PISSALADIERE
This tart is a true celebration of rustic French fare simply made with onions and lots of them!
3 cups strong flour
2 1/4 tsp dried instant yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt,
1 cup warm water
1 tsp brown sugar
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, extra for greasing bowl
4 cups (5 to 6 onions) thinly sliced onions, separated into rings
1 Tbsp honey
1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
Add the flour, yeast, and 1 teaspoon salt to your bowl. If using an electric mixer, a dough hook is required or you can knead by hand. Mix on low speed until combined, then add warm water, brown sugar and 1/4 cup of olive oil. Mix on low speed until dough forms into a ball. Turn mixer to low/medium speed and mix for 10 minutes, stopping halfway through to remove dough from hook and return it to the bowl.
Remove dough from mixer and place into a lightly oiled bowl; cover the bowl with warm dampened kitchen towel or gladwrap and place in draft-free warm place until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large fry pan over medium heat. Add sliced onions and ½ the cumin seeds and cook on medium-low heat until onions are lightly browned and soft, about 10-15 minutes. Add honey and remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Cook for 1 minute, stirring to combine well. Remove from heat.
Meanwhile, coat an oven tray with a little oil. Punch down dough, turn out onto prepared pan, and spread out with your fingertips to cover bottom of tray. Cover with gladwrap and place in a warm, draft-free place for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 200C.
Lightly press dough once again with fingertips, creating small craters all over the surface with tips of your fingers. Brush on remaining 2 tablespoon of olive oil, top with onion mixture, and remaining cumin seeds. Bake for 20 minutes, and cool slightly before cutting.
3 onions, sliced
75g plain flour
45g chickpea flour (optional) can substitute with plain or wholemeal flour
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp ground turmeric
Pinch chilli powder
Generous pinch salt
3 Tbsp vegetable oil, plus extra if required
Beat the eggs in a bowl.
Add the onion rings and mix well.
Add the both the flour and all the spices and salt. Mix well.
Heat the oil in a deep sided frying pan or wok over medium heat. When hot add a large spoonful of the bhaji mixture and fry for 30-45 seconds until golden-brown.
Turn the bhaji over and fry for a further 30 seconds, until crisp and golden-brown all over. Remove and drain on kitchen paper.
Continue cooking until all the mixture is used – if you find you are low on oil, add another 2-3 tablespoons and bring up to medium heat before continuing.
HERB CRUSTED FISH
This is a great way to use up left over bread and it is a delicious way to cook fish. It will form a wonderfully fragrant crust on top and help keep the fish moist.
1- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
Preheat the oven to 200C
Mix the breadcrumbs with the grated lemon zest, grated Parmesan, chopped herbs, salt and pepper, butter and oil. Mix well to combine.
Place the fillets on to a baking tray and season the four skinless fish fillets with salt and pepper. Divide the crumb mixture evenly over the fish fillets, pressing firmly on to the tops of the fillets.
Bake in preheat oven for 8-10 minutes depending thickness of fillets. A good indication to show when the fish is cooked is when pressed the fish begins to just flake and the it has turned white in colour.
BAKED KALAHARI SQUASH
These tasty little squash are fantastic baked on their own or with a stuffing.
1 Kalahari squash, cut in half, seeds removed
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons honey, pure maple syrup
Salt and coarsely-ground black pepper to taste
1 Tbsp fresh rosemary or sage leaves, roughly chopped
Cut squash in half lengthwise (from stem to end). Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and stringy stuff in the center of each squash half. Score the insides of each half several times with a sharp knife.
Add 1 tablespoon of butter, 1 teaspoon of honey, fresh herbs and salt and pepper to the hollow scoop of each squash half.
Place each half in an oven dish, cut side up. Add about approximately 2cm of water to the bottom of the baking pan so that the skins don't burn and the squash doesn't get dried out. Bake approximately 1 hour or until tender when flesh is poked with a fork. Remove from oven and let cool a little before serving. Spoon any buttery sauce that has not already been absorbed by the squash over the exposed areas.
It can be stuffed with rice, cous cous, or perhaps try some roughly torn watercress/ rocket leaves, shaving of parmesan cheese and a little dressing.
FRESH STRAWBERRIES, HONEY AND YOGHURT
Allow ½ cup fresh strawberries per person, hulled and cut into chunks
2 cups Greek yoghurt
2 Tbsp runny honey – more or less depending on how sweet you like it
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
200g day old loaf of bread (sourdough works well) torn into small pieces
75g unsalted butter, roughly diced
200g caster or raw cane sugar
To make the crumbs preheat the oven to 180C.
Spread the torn bread crumbs over the base of a roasting dish in a single layer then dot with the butter. Bake the crumbs until they are deep golden in colour and crisp (20 minutes). Remove from the oven and spread over a large baking tray lined with baking paper.
Place the sugar and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan and slowly bring to a simmer. Cook over medium heat for 7-8 minutes (do not stir) or until you get a rich, caramel colour. Carefully pour over the crumbs, using a fork toss the crumbs over in the toffee to coat well. Sprinkle with a little ginger powder and cool. When cool, separate, they can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week.
Prepare the strawberries by removing the hull – green top and cut into large chunks. Drizzle over the honey and balsamic vinegar. Stir to coat and let sit for a few minutes.
To Serve: Use four 250ml glasses or dishes.
Using half the mixture first evenly divide between the glasses, spoon a generous amount of yoghurt on top and repeat process with remaining strawberries and any juice, finishing with yoghurt. Sprinkle over the toffee crumbs and serve immediately.
Alison would like to thank the following vendors for the fantastic produce
Harbour Fish – fresh fish
Sunrise Bakery – fresh bread
Wairuna Organics – onions
Ettrick Gardens – Kalahari squash
Butlers Berries – strawberries
Judge Rock Wines - wine