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Monthly Archives: March 2014

Hot Smoked Chili Salmon

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I have been researching how to hot smoke salmon fillets at home on the barbecue and it’s really easy!

I have adapted a Jamie Oliver recipe and have made it even easier than his pretty simple instructions. Here is the link to his recipe:

http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/fish-recipes/hot-smoked-salmon-with-an-amazing-chilli-salsa

I made the smoker using an aluminum foil container, instead of the tin Jamie suggests. I used hickory wood chips rather than sawdust to create the smoke. Otherwise I pretty much followed his instructions, although I found I needed to cook the fish a little longer than he suggests.

Ingredients

Enough hickory chips to line the base of the smoker container
A few sprigs of fresh rosemary
A  few sprigs of fresh sage
1 x 200 g wild or organic salmon fillet, skin on
Sprinkle of sea salt
Sprinkle of sugar
1 tsp sambal oelek or chili paste
Olive oil

Acquire an aluminum foil container with a cardboard lid. Cover the lid with foil and pierce holes in rows. Find a wire rack that will fit inside the container.

Place several handfuls of hickory chips into the container, followed by the rosemary and sage sprigs. IMG_9325

Place the wire rack in the container, so it sits about halfway down.

Sprinkle the salmon fillet with salt, sugar and chili and rub with a drizzle of olive oil. Then lay it skin side down on top of the wire (this acts like a grill rack) and put the lid on the container.

IMG_9346Place it on the barbecue, over a medium heat, and cook for 10 to 15 minutes. After a couple of minutes it will start to smoke.

When the fish is ready, turn the heat off and leave it to sit for 5 minutes before opening the container. This will allow any residual smoke and heat to penetrate the fish. Lift the salmon fillet out and place on to a serving plate.

I served the salmon fillet with coconut rice – see recipe in previous salmon post:

https://thequirkandthecool.com/2014/03/11/hot-smoked-salmon-fillet-with-coconut-rice-and-greens/

And also with a little dipping sauce made with kecap manis and sweet chili sauce.

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Pumpkin and Persian Feta Salad

IMG_9307This is essentially a Jamie Oliver recipe with a couple of tweaks in the changing of some ingredients. I have made it a little bit Middle Eastern, using soft Persian feta and a little of the wonderful spice sumac.

The recipe is one of series that Jamie has created for Woolworths in Australia, and is available as a leaflet in store. As always, the recipe has simple ingredients, an easy to follow method and the result is a tasty, colourful salad.

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Ingredients

1/2 pumpkin (any variety, but butternut is sweet and easy to roast)

Olive oil

Sea salt and black pepper

1/4 tsp each ground chili, sweet paprika, sumac

1 avocado

Juice of 1/2 lemon

I tbls extra virgin olive oil

4 spring onions

100 gms Persian feta

Method

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Scrape the pumpkin seeds out of the pumpkin, reserving for later. Cut the pumpkin into 3 cm chunks, place in a large baking dish with a good lug of olive oil. Sprinkle over the salt, pepper, chili, paprika and sumac. Toss well to mix.

Bake for 40-45 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from oven to cool for 10 minutes.

Toast the pumpkin seeds in a hot, dry pan until slightly coloured. Remove to cool.

Halve, destone the avocado and cut into chunks. Place in a bowl with the lemon juice and olive oil. Finely slice the spring onions, leaving some longer green tops for garnish.

Add the pumpkin and seeds to the bowl and toss well to make sure the dressing is distributed. You could leave in the bowl or spread over a larger bowl or serving platter.

Crumble the feta into large and small chunks and scatter over the salad, with the remaining green spring onion tops.

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White Nectarine, Berry and Plum Conserve

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Stone fruit is is still very plentiful although the season is drawing to a close. It’s difficult to believe that we are technically in autumn in Sydney, as the days are balmy and temperatures still very warm.

White Nectarine, Berry and Plum Conserve

I used my standard plum jam recipe, substituting white nectarines for most of the plums. I added a handful of mixed berries for colour.

This preserve is more “conserve” than “jam”, as the fruit pieces remain whole in the jelly.

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Ingredients

400 gms white nectarines
100 gms blood plums
Sugar
100 gms mixed berries (frozen are fine – I used frozen in this recipe)
Half a lemon – juice + skin


Method


Chop the nectarines and plums and remove the stones.  Add the frozen berries. Measure the fruit and add sugar equal to 3/4 of the amount.

Put the fruit into a preserving pan with the juice of half a lemon plus the lemon skin.  Cook slowly for about 25-30 minutes, stirring frequently, until setting point is reached.

Test for a set by placing a little jam on a saucer in the freezer for a couple of minutes. The surface should be set and wrinkle when pushed with a finger. If the jam is not set, return the pan to the heat and cook for a further few minutes until setting point is reached.

Remove the lemon half and pour the jam into sterilized jars and seal.

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The Boathouse at Palm Beach

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I love visiting Palm Beach on Sydney’s northern beaches. I lived there for a few years and still have a great affinity for the area.

A sub tropical environment, the gardens and environs are lush, sometimes over grown and immensely colourful.

Below are some photos I took of The Boathouse at Palm Beach, some of which I am currently featuring in rotation as the header on this blog.

http://www.theboathousepb.com.au/index.html

The Boathouse is a cafe located on a jetty on Pittwater at Palm Beach, a simply stunning location! Open for breakfast, brunch and lunch, the food is simple, flavourful and features fresh and innovative cooking.

The Boathouse is decorated with masses of fresh produce  – fruit, flowers and vegetables. Frangipanis and mangoes, strelitizias and passionfruit, create a lush and enticing environment.

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How could one not like eating food in such a corner of Paradise?

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Hot Smoked Salmon Fillet with Jamie Oliver Coconut Rice and Greens

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I love Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals, not least for the enticing presentation of the recipes. The photographs are fabulous and the food styling innovative.

https://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/category/books/jamie-s-15-minute-meals

I got the idea for this simple dish from a couple of 15 minute meals recipes: Green Tea Salmon with Coconut Rice and Jamie’s Killer Kedgeree.

I made another visit to the hot smoked salmon stall at the Orange Grove Markets in Leichhardt to acquire a chili hot smoked salmon fillet. It would be really easy to just cook a salmon fillet yourself too.

Ingredients

1 cup basmati rice

1 cup light coconut milk

1 cup boiling water

1/2 lemon

Handful of coconut flakes

A large handful of sugar snap peas

A large handful of green beans

3 spring onions

A scattering of shelled pistachios

1 cooked salmon fillet

Method

To make rice, combine the rice, coconut milk, boiling water and lemon in a saucepan. Bring to the boil, turn down heat, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes or so, stirring occasionally, until rice is almost cooked. Turn off heat and leave rice to finish cooking while you prepare the rest of the dish.

Cook the sugar snap peas and beans, separately, in the microwave, until just cooked but still crunchy.

Assemble the dish by placing the cooked rice minus the lemon half in a bowl. Flake the salmon fillet and scatter over the rice. Top with the coconut flakes.

PS The coconut rice is sensational and I’ll be cooking this again!

Arrange the sugar snap peas and beans on a serving platter to accompany the fish and rice, scattering with sliced spring onions and pistachios.

You can serve this salmon and rice dish with any vegetables and garnishes you like, or that takes your fancy.

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Raspberry and Macadamia Pavlova Revisited

IMG_8972 2I described recently in this blog a wonderful meringue concoction created by my friend the Architect. I hadn’t yet had the pleasure of tasting this amazing dessert…

Today, on a beautiful Sydney day in beautiful Palm Beach, I was treated to this dessert. Maggie Beer, from whom the recipe emanates, calls it a meringue; I would describe it as a vacherin (layered meringue), but to all intents and purposes it’s a wonderful Australian pavlova – all three payers!

Meringue + raspberries + creme fraiche and whipped cream + macadamias = Nirvana!

Here is the link to the recipe and thank you to the Birthday Boy for providing the impetus for such a sensational end to the lunch!

https://thequirkandthecool.com/2014/02/04/raspberry-meringue/

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White Peach, Stem Ginger and Hazelnut Upside Down Cake

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I love reinventing cakes. This is a variation on my Pear, Red Wine and Almond Cake: 


https://thequirkandthecool.com/2013/07/07/red-wine-pear-and-almond-cake/
which in turn is based on Valli Little’s recipe from Delicious Home Cooking:

http://shop.abc.net.au/products/delicious-home-cooking-hbk.


The white peaches go very well with stem ginger, and the addition of a little demerara sugar gives a lovely caramel flavour to the cake. This upside down cake doesn’t need the red wine syrup – it’s moist enough on its own.

Ingredients


150 gms butter


150 gms caster sugar


3 free range eggs


75 gms plain flour


150 gms hazelnut meal


1 1/2 tsps baking powder

1 tsp ground ginger


3 white pears peeled, cored and cut into thin slices


1 tablespoon of stem ginger pieces, sliced thinly


2 tsps demerara sugar

Method


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C (less if your oven is fan forced – I suggest 160 degrees C). Grease a 22 cm springform tin.


Beat butter and sugar in a food processor until pale and well creamed. Add t tsp vanilla paste.


Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in flour, hazelnut meal, baking powder and ground ginger by pulsing carefully.


Arrange the peach slices in the springform tin in a circular pattern, slightly overlapping. Place the ginger slices in between the peach slices. Spread over the cake batter, smoothing the top with a spatula. Sprinkle the mixture with the demerara sugar.


Bake for 35 – 40 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the cake comes out clean. If the cake is browning too quickly, cover the top with foil to prevent burning.  When cooked, remove from the oven and leave to rest for 10 minutes.


Carefully invert the cake onto a plate to serve.

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