Monday, 28 October 2013

Asparagus wrapped in Prosciutto before barbecuing

Sometimes you can stumble onto a recipe over a cup of tea, or a glass of wine with a neighbour.
One Friday afternoon, after a hectic working week, I was walking around our garden when our neighbour across the street asked if I needed a hand gardening.   
 I declined but suggested as his wife was still at work and my husband was having an afternoon nap that we walk around the garden together.

He came over, accompanied by his gorgeous sons.  
We wandered around the garden, having a chat and winding down,
as you do, on a sunny Friday afternoon.   
The boys found some strawberries to eat and we picked some fresh asparagus for him to take him. 
When his lovely lady of the house came home, I popped some pork chops into the oven and headed over for a chat.   
Kath was appreciative of the asparagus spears and described how they cooked them.

Firstly Kath would blanch the asparagus for one minute, then plunge into chilled water.
Then some prosciutto strips were wrapped loosely around the middle of them.

They were then sprayed with coconut oil.  You could use olive oil,
but the coconut oil flavours the prosciutto and asparagus beautifully.

Heat up your barbecue, or in my case, a teppan, or even a non stick frying pan until it is hot.
Cook 2 minutes, then turn over and cook another 2 minutes.
Remove and place on a warmed plate for serving.
By now, our drinks were finished, my husband was awake
and our pork in the oven,
was cooked to perfection.
What a pleasant Friday evening and I thank Kath for sharing this recipe with me.
Buon appetito, if you have a great asparagus recipe, please share it with me.  Merryn

Monday, 21 October 2013

18th Birthday Cake

It is finally the day of Dylan's 18th Birthday Party!

Dylan's favourite hobbies revolve around a computer, so this cake was the perfect choice!

Here is Dylan surrounded by his siblings and closest friends.
When a young man turns 18, there is so much to celebrate.

Happy 18th Birthday Dylan, with all my love xxx

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

What happened in our September Garden ...

Now it is October, the time of warmer weather, strong winds and Spring growth.
We are picking broad beans by the dozen ...

... and Snow peas by their strings.

Strawberries are so sweetly inviting -


While cumquats are such sweet things!
The Papaya seemed to take months to ripen,
but we did enjoy some green papaya salad while waiting! 
I prefer Papaya thinly sliced and sprinkled with a little lime or lemon juice to balance it's acidity.
This gorgeous little bay tree is over 10 years old.
It has been repotted a few times and has now been given a permanent home in the ground outside my kitchen window.  I encourage everybody to keep a bay tree.  The freshness of the bay leaves is far superior to any dried variety and you notice the improved flavour in your dishes.

 This Peach tree has over 200 peaches steadily growing.
They will be ready to start picking in 2 weeks and will continue to ripen for the next 2 months.
Note the bird and flying fox mesh protection
Installing plumbers pipe over short wooden pegs in the ground,
then wrapping it with this net is wonderful protection.
This system can be moved around to different fruit trees as their fruit grows. 

Our first olive buds after 3 years of growing Olive trees. This one is our favourite, a Kalamata.
There is always something to look forward too when you enjoy gardening!
I keep an edible Curry Tree(murraya koenigii) on a pot on my balcony where it gets lots of sun.
It is so easy to pick a sprig with 12 leaves on it whenever needed, everyone should have one.
The seed pods are poisonous, but the leaves are delicious.
 This coriander plant is in full seed.
When you let a coriander plant go to seed it will continue to self seed (propagate) for the next year.
Plus, there is the advantage of all of those seeds for your curry pastes.
I trust that all of my fellow garden share collective members are enjoying this gardening time in the sun and I so look forward to seeing everyone else's gardens.
Enjoy, the Earth!  Kind regards, Merryn
coriander seeds

Crispy Pork Belly

Crispy Pork Belly that melts in your mouth

Hooray for crispy pork crackling.  The kind that needs a sharp knife to cut through and enthusiastic teeth to chew the gorgeous crisp skin that is pork fat at its very finest.

I am happy to have finally perfected  this culinary staple.
My Uncle Terry, who at one time, had a piggery, has stated that in his pig rearing days you threw away the pork belly or fed it to the dogs.  Oh, how times have changed! 

Delicious Pork Belly, steamed and then roasted to perfection is my husband's favourite meal so I have tried to get this delicacy beautifully and consistently cooked.  My husband is also blessed with a fast metabolism and can eat anything he wants - a true supermodel phenomenon.

Take 1 kilo of pork  belly
Place whole, rind side up, into a steamer. 
Steam for 30 minutes.
Remove,  cool slightly then score well and rub
2 tablespoons fine sea salt into rind.
Place on foil wrapped up the sides only and place on a rack
over a baking tray with 2cm water in the bottom. 
Put into preheated 230 C degree oven and cook for 30 minutes
until crisp and lightly browned.

I often serve this rich dish with  mango/plum sauce, a bowl of braised puy lentils and smashed potatoes.

Buon appetite!  Merryn