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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Mr and Mrs

piped inWe have had the wonderful pleasure of seeing our niece married and hosting the reception at our place. A garden party was planned and the days preceding were fraught with storms, however on the day everything went well including the weather.
It was a family wedding and members contributed dishes, so I only needed to provide a few things.
I made Caesar salad and instead of putting the anchovies in the salad I made a dressing with anchovy paste and served on the side for people to have or not. Remembered today that I forgot to add the parmesan cheese.


Place torn lettuce [cos is best], in bowl or on platter, top with pieces fried bacon, avocado slices, boiled egg halves, croutons, and sprinkle over shaved parmesan cheese.

ANCHOVEY DRESSING [adapted from a friends recipe]
¼ cup cold pressed oil
2/3 cup cider vinegar
1 dsp honey
2 tsp dried basil or handful of fresh basil
4 sprigs parsley
2 tsp dried rosemary or small amount of fresh
few sprigs mint
3 cloves garlic
¼ cup soy sauce
½ cup sunflower seeds [add more for thicker consistency]
2 or 3 tbsp anchovy paste
Process until creamy & seeds well chopped
If you leave the anchovy paste out it makes a lovely dressing for any salad.

1 head garlic, all cloves peeled
½ cup milk
6 to 8 chicken thighs roughly chopped into small bits
½ cup shelled and unsalted pistachio nuts, I find it works best to cut them in half.
¼ cup basil, thinly sliced
1 or 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
zest of 1 lemon
½ tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
250 gm narrow bacon
In a small saucepan, bring the garlic and milk to a simmer, cook until the garlic is very soft, 20 to 30 min. Cool then mash it to a smooth paste with a fork.
Preheat oven to 180c. In a large bowl, combine the garlic paste, diced chicken, nuts, basil, thyme, lemon zest, salt, pepper, and mix well.
Line the bottom and sides of a terrine or loaf dish with the bacon, draping enough over the sides and ends to cover the terrine once filled. Add the chicken mixture to the terrine, pressing it flat with your fingers. Fold bacon over to cover the chicken mixture, tucking it in as you go.
Cover the terrine with two layers of aluminium foil.
Place container inside another with hot water ¾ way up sides. Bake about 45 min to an hour.
Remove the foil and let the terrine cool for 10 min, then cover it with plastic wrap. Cut a piece of cardboard to fit inside the terrine and put it on top of the cooked terrine. Put 2 or 3 heavy cans on top of the cardboard and refrigerate it overnight. Some of the juices will overflow.
To serve, unmould the terrine onto a serving platter and slice it with a warmed serrated knife, it looks very nice with the green nuts scattered through it.

ROCKY ROAD  adapted from Nigella Lawson


250g dark chocolate, chopped
150g milk chocolate, chopped
175g butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
4 tbsp golden syrup
200g amaretti biscuits [I used cheap almond biscuits from New World and they worked very well, giving a strong almond flavour.]
150g shelled Brazil nuts
150g glacé cherries
125g mini marshmallows or chopped big ones
Place the dark and milk chocolate pieces into a heavy-based pan. Add the butter and golden syrup and cook over a low heat to melt and combine.
Place the biscuits into a freezer bag and bash with a rolling pin to make crumbs of various sizes, not to small.
Place the Brazil nuts into another freezer bag and bash in the same way.
Take the pan of melted chocolate mixture off the heat and add the crushed biscuits and nuts.
Add the cherries and marshmallows. Fold the mixture carefully to coat all of the solid ingredients with the syrupy chocolate mixture.
Pour the mixture into a 25cm x 30cm greased and lined baking tray and smooth the surface as much as possible (although it will look bumpy).
Refrigerate for two hours, or until firm enough to cut.
Remove the block of rocky road from the tray and cut into small pieces
This is so good, and next time I am going to add some jelly beans and glace ginger cut into chunks first.

Its been a very exciting xmas and new years and I even sold a house on Xmas Eve, it was a lovely old place with loads of charm and stunning view, now I have no houses left to sell so  if anyone knows of something please let me know as I have a list of people wanting cribs here.

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