May 18, 2010

My favourite season...


Down here in The Antipodes autumn has well and truly set in, and with the cool, crisp mornings and brilliant foliage displays comes the excitement of knowing the time for soups, slow roasts, poached fruit, and many more of my most favourite kitchen pleasures is finally upon us. And where better to start our autumnal musings than with the quintessence of chestnuts and quinces?

If you were with us this time last year, or have made your own attempts at handling the veritable hairy nut, you will no doubt be aware that to experience the joie de vivre of chestnuts, one must first exercise extreme patience, call on all measure of manual dexterity, and sacrifice a little sanity to reap the rewards held within. If anyone ever serves you a chestnut dish made from scratch, know that the love you dearly.

This time around, our love came in the form of a deliciously rich, sweet and comforting chestnut soup...


Stephanie Alexander's chestnut soup


...and a pleasantly balanced salad of bitter radicchio, sweet chestnuts and salty bacon. A delicious combination, yes, but one made all the more pleasurable by the discovery that our Agrarian bacon was truly, truly wonderful.


Stephanie Alexander's chestnut and bacon salad


To make full use of our spoils from the apple isle, we settled on sweets in the form of saffron custard tart. I learnt a lot on our visit to Tas-Saff, but nothing more important than knowing you must infuse your saffron before use to fully unlock its potential. And this is why...


  Tasmanian saffron

 Spectacularly golden and fragrant, it certainly went on to make a lovely custard...


Saffron custard tart
  

We have also been blessed by an influx of quinces from amazingly generous family and friends with equally amazing and generous quince trees. For some time we have been secretly enjoying the ambrosial pleasures of perfectly poached quince, but so you don't feel too left out, here's Miss Rose's beautiful quince tarte Tatin...




  

This is where you hold your breath, prepare for the burns of imminent failure, and get ready to flip...

One... Two...

Three!




Glorious!

Last, but certainly not least on the day's agenda, was the infamous Crazy Yow Burger. Heart-stopping in more ways than one, they go a little something like this...

If you're keen, first make your own buns (we went for these lovely milk panini)... 


  

Then layer it up with an animal meat patty, cheese, bacon (our own, naturally), egg, caramelised onion, avocado, tomato and lettuce, and then lather it up with some TPB tomato relish and pesto mayonnaise. Once you've apologised to your arteries for what's about to happen take hold, make no hesitation, and don't dare let go until you reign victorious or have been thoroughly defeated.



The infamous Crazy Yow burger



For the record, I believe the standings are currently
Miss Rose  +2
Crazy Yow burger  0
Miss Emily  -2

It seems I have some work to do... 
 

1 comment:

Miss Rose said...

I do love hairy nuts.