You asked for it

scrummy, yummy porky belly
The votes are in. It’s my 100th post and I am please to announce the results of my recent poll, which asked what you would like to see more of on a very foodly diary over the next year. Thank you to everyone who responded! [Note to self: attach an end date to future polls]

Apparently you want more photos, ramblings, reviews and nutritional information. You especially want more recipes and an easier way to find them. So you pretty much want more of everything. Cool.

I thought I would start with more photos. Above is Thursday’s dinner — pork belly with fennel, smashed rosemary-infused potatoes and carrot — which was followed by a dessert of dark chocolate ganache canapes [pictured below].

Now for the recipes.

Recipe #68: Smashed rosemary-infused potatoes. Serves 4 as a side. This recipe received a mention in my Christmas 2009 menu and pork loin posts.

You will need:
► 12 baby potatoes
► 1 large clove of garlic
► salt
► 3 sprigs of rosemary
► olive oil
► unsalted butter

First, boil the potatoes. Give each potato two quick stabs with a sharp knife and place into a small saucepan, then boil the kettle and pour water over the potatoes so that they are only just covered. Smash the clove of garlic with a solid bash from a pan or a knife (don’t worry about peeling it first) and add to the potatoes with a good pinch of salt. Bring the potatoes to the boil with the lid on; simmer for 15-25 minutes, until soft enough for a steak knife to easily pass into the centre of the potato.

While the potatoes are cooking, preheat the oven to 200°C and cover a baking tray with foil. Place the rosemary sprigs side by side on the foil and drizzle with oil.

To squash the potatoes: Once the potatoes are cooked, strain them well. Take one potato and squash it on the chopping board until it is about half its original height. The skin will split and bits of potato may break off, and this is ok > these split bits will go extra crispy-delicious in the oven and this is very, very good. Place the potato onto a rosemary sprig and repeat for the other potatoes. Smear butter over the potatoes, ensuring it melts into all the crevices. Sprinkle over some sea salt.

Now it’s time to crispify the potatoes. Place the potatoes in the oven and cook for at least 30 minutes. When the tops of the potatoes are browning and the edges are crispy, they are ready to serve. Crispy delicious.

Recipe #69: Dark chocolate ganache canapes. This recipe is super-simple and actually two recipes joined together.

You will need:
► 1 quantity of dark chocolate ganache [see Recipe # 50]
► 15 or more canape cases [see Recipe #38]

You will be piping the ganache into the pastry cases so, if you have a piping kit, now is the time to use it. Otherwise, place the ganache into an airtight plastic ziplock bag. The ganache needs to be soft without being runny > if the ganache needs softening, place it into a tub of hot water and check it (by pressing the ganache through the bag) every few minutes.

To pipe from the ziplock bag, snip off one of the bottom corners — not too much at first, as you can always cut more if you need to — and gently press the ganache from the bag into the cases. You can try for artistic swirls, else you can do as I usually do and smooth over the ganache with a teaspoon afterwards.

So ridiculously easy, especially if you have premade pastry cases in your pantry and spare ganache in the freezer, and so very good.

dark chocolate ganache canapes

I really like making these canapes with a choc-coated coffee bean at the bottom; to do this, place the coffee beans in the canape cases prior to piping in the ganache. If you leave these to sit for even half an hour before serving, the coffee flavour permeates the ganache.

What we were drinking: Grant Burge pinot noir chardonnay
What we were listening to: all the jazz I have in iTunes, which includes a lot of Miles

H 🙂



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