Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Crisp-fried sage leaves

I love these crisp-fried sage leaves--so simple, pretty, tasty and unsual with the crisp outside and the lovely herby flavour as you crunch through! The recipe is Italian in origin and I first read about it in Silvia Colloca's lovely book, Silvia's Cucina, but I've adapted it. You can use them in all sorts of ways: as edible decoration for meat(especially pork and chicken) or egg main dishes; as a delicious accompaniment to fried stuffed zucchini flowers; as a pretty garnish for entrées and salads, especially tomato salads; as an apéritif snack to have with a little glass of something--or however you like, really!
They are super easy to make--just carefully cut several fresh sage leaves(making sure you keep the stalk)--the exact number is up to you. Crack an egg into a bowl, and beat it well with a fork. Put some plain flour in a bowl, and add salt and pepper. Heat some oil(sunflower or canola) in a frying pan. Dip each leaf first in the egg, then into the flour, making sure the leaf and stalk are well-coated. Fry for a few seconds till the coating is golden. Eat within half an hour of making. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Chicken breasts with tarragon and Tokay sauce, on a bed of fresh sweet corn

A very tasty and satisfying dish of my own invention, which makes a fantastic summer meal and is very quick and easy to make. And with that tarragon and Tokay flavour, unusual and intriguing too! For those who don't know Tokay, it is an excellent fortified wine usually served as an aperitif. Originally from Hungary, it's made in lots of other places too now, including Australia, where Buller in Victoria make a very good version of it--you should be able to buy it in big wine shops such as Dan Murphy's, or others.
For two people, you need: two corn-fed chicken breasts, breadcrumbs, one beaten egg, chopped French tarragon, 1/4 cup Tokay, 1 tablespoon sour cream, 1 teaspoon flour, some chopped onion, couple garlic cloves, two cobs sweet corn, a little salted butter, salt, pepper, some water, vegetable oil for frying.
First, crumb the chicken breasts--dipping first in the beaten egg, then rolling in breadcrumbs(to which salt and pepper have been added) till well-covered.Heat a frying pan and when the oil is hot, put in the chicken breasts. Cook till completely done(test with a fork to make sure no pink juices come out). Meanwhile take the two raw corn cobs and cut off all the kernels, slicing down with a knife. Place the kernels in a pan together with some salted butter, salt, pepper, and a tablespoon of water. Cover and cook over a gentle heat for around 1-2 minutes. (The corn takes hardly any time to cook).
When chicken breasts are done, them them out of the pan and keep warm while you make the sauce in the same pan. To the cooking juices, add the teaspoon flour, then the Tokay, stir till thick. Add the sour cream, and around 1 tablespoon water. Stir and season with salt and pepper, then add tarragon. Take the sauce off the heat. Put the corn in the serving dish then on top place the chicken breasts and pour the sauce on top. Bon appétit!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Red wine vinegar barramundi ceviche with beetroot salad

A delicious summer entree, with a barramundi ceviche of my own invention, and fresh young summer vegetables.
The ceviche is made ahead of time--at least 6 hours, or even overnight.
For up to 4 people, you need: one medium-size fillet barramundi, half a cup red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, herbs, half a chopped red onion, chopped garlic chives, one small young beetroot, and sliced fresh tomatoes. As well, a seasoning for the beetroot made of extra virgin olive oil, vinegar of your choice(I used white balsamic, but others can be used), and Dijon mustard.
First, hours before you are going to eat it, you cut the barramundi into pieces. Lay it in a container, grind sea salt and pepper over it then add the red wine vinegar. It should cover the pieces of fish. Cover and put in fridge for several hours or overnight.
To serve, first prepare the beetroot salad by peeling then grating the beetroot. Mix it with some chopped garlic chives, and the oil and vinegar and mustard dressing. Chop the red onion into small pieces, slice the tomatoes. Lay the beetroot salad on an entree plate, arrange pieces of the fish on top , then top with chopped onion and chopped garlic chives. Arrange the sliced tomatoes around it.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Colourful summer salad

A simple and colourful summer salad, made of fresh young home-grown sweet corn kernels(only very lightly steamed for a few seconds, then cooled); pomegranate seeds; and a sprig of mint for decoration, as well as taste! Dressing is made of virgin olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. And that's it!