July 22, 2012

Big fattee...

Sometimes there are recipes that you bookmark with the best of intentions, but as the list piles up they often get lost, and so you may or may not get around to making them... eventually. Then there are recipes, like this chicken fattee with rice, crispbread and yoghurt, that you read and are impelled to make as soon as humanly possible.

It may be a little bit fiddly. First, you need to roast a chicken, toast some pine nuts, and bake a few crispbreads.

Then there's the tomato sauce, an aubergine or two to fry, and some cinnamon-spiced rice with chickpeas to whip up.

But after you layer all of that up and sprinkle on a few finishing touches, what you get is an opportunity to share in a truly glorious meal that deserves to feature at the heart of any good feasting celebration.

Of course, if you are having a celebration then you're going to need cake, and it's pretty hard to go past one of life's favourite combinations in this ginger and pear upside-down cake.


July 15, 2012

With palpable passion...

"...there is no substitute for the love and care of the home cook."
-Sam and Sam Clark

I spent much of last weekend learning about food. While a generous gift had me discovering the tips and tricks of a few French classics, the following nerdy night out featured some wise words from Michael Pollan as he discussed the importance of how we eat. Very different and yet equally wonderful experiences, the message that I took home from both was that food is not just what we eat, but a means to experience pleasure through the acquisition, preparation and sharing of what we grow, and an opportunity to appreciate all of the wonderful people that we encounter along the way. So this weekend I visited some of our amazing producers at a local farmer's market, grabbed one of my favourite cookbooks from the shelf, and simply took the time to enjoy.

With the days takings freshly laid out, a few beans, some Warialda chorizo and a bunch parsley soon became sopa de habichuelas.

There was cordero con garbanzos and slow-cooked fennel with some of the delectable lamb that Anna leaves at my door.

A new Schultz product and generously donated gift quickly turned into the most wonderful vanilla ice cream imaginable.

There was more vanilla to be had in the stewing of some locally grown rhubarb.

And the usual ice cream excesses together with the newfound knowledge that nothing compares to the snowiness of hand-whisked egg whites (possibly necessitating the acquisition of a new toy *cough*), also meant that meringues weren't too far behind.

Pleasingly, vanilla, rosewater and rhubarb also happen to be one of life's utopian combinations, and so naturally...

From the home cook, with love. Enjoy.