i love cheese at the end of a meal or actually at the beginning….. a cheese plate of many, or just a singular delicious one is my fave. or even just my little cheese salads that almost have the components of a cheese plate but all in a tiny finely sliced salad. just scoop onto a tiny cracker or a slab of walnut loaf.these ideas are fast easy and really fresh for new ways of dining.
its not that i dont like desert, its just that sometimes its all about the cheese. something simple. something different, always fresh..
ash blue, pear, thyme, lemon and wilted onion.
finely chopped ash blue cheese, fresh pear, thyme twigs and white onions just melted with olive oil and white vinegar bring this dish to the heart of my favourite things to eat. sharp, salty, sweet, sexy. start a night with this dish and you can’t go wrong. a cheeky laviosh with a tiny pile on top is…the…..best…..thing…
pecorino, mustard seed drips, fuji apples and walnuts
double brie, walnut bread, 5 hour oven dried red grapes
i put a bunch of seedless red grapes in the oven on warm/100C for 5 hours, turning them slowly so the ones on the bottom don’t bruise. they are amazing and go so well with just the creamy cheese and soft walnut loaf.
emmenthal, radish, delicious apple and celery root salad, cheddar biscuits
i buy these small sharp cheddar biscuits from the big department store deli. most big delis stock a good english cheddar biscuit.. its just a good stab of sharp cheddar with the nuts and cheese.
feta, rocket, mint, caper and deep fried cornichon salad
a finely chopped sale with a biscuit is a great new way to rock a cheese plate. this is a chopped salad. so every cut up small. onions off set the capers and cornichons with a sharp stab of sweet mint and feta. yum! dress with a good extra virgin olive oil only and let the flavour mix do its job!
buche daphinois, radishes, walnuts, olive bread crusts
i do say olive crusts because it is just that. i buy a good olive sourdough and only use the crusts. chewy and salty….delish.
clarin, sweet pickled white onion shred, figs
this is a gorgeous mix. the light cream of the clarin, with some shredded white onion soaked in icing sugar and white balsamic. the sweetness of the figs is just gorgeous.i light lavish cracker is stunning with this.
i think its time i described how i do recipes…..i don’t really. this is not a site for complication or stress. i like my food to be easy . i don’t use recipes really because i don’t really cook anything that needs them. i use ingredients and just let the flavours and my taste flourish. so really its a little free form and a little loose. i am sorry but i promise it works and it releases you from the prison of measurements in small doses. i use cups and tablespoons and stuff but only broadly. admittedly this is difficult to grasp but lets use some easy examples to set my story straight…….
soy tamarind spatchcock with sweet zucchini shred
cut up 2 spatchcocks removing the spine and into 4 pieces each. soak for 1 hr in 1 tablespoon tamari and 1 tablespoon tamarind paste. roast with a few extra small tomatoes in hot oven 250C till dark, turning all the time. with a potato peeler shred 2 zucchinis lengthways. soak for 30 minutes in a mixture of white balsamic and icing sugar. (you can add some chilli here is you like). make a circle with the zucchinis and place 4 pieces in each circle and a piece of tomato on top. drip olive oil and lemon juice around the outside. serve with rice that has grated ginger and salt and pepper in it and some fresh greek yoghurt and finely cut mint.
i encourage people to taste their food. its not me being lazy with the recipes, its paying respect to the people cooking and getting them back into really bonding with their food and getting back to the old days when food was easy but amazing. i get everything is fast and driven by measurements but it doesn’t have to be the rule. why can’t we have some food that requires less but tastes awesome.
this is where i come in…if you use fresh and simple ingredients, you don’t need very much to play with. you already have the fun on the plate….another example
celery and cheddar puddle with cheddar rye and celery salt
in a pot boil gently for 30 minutes, 2 cups of cut celery and 2 cups of good vegetable stock. at the end add 1 cup of cheddar cheese. melt and transfer to the blender. blend until creamy. do not season.
using a great rye loaf, cut into 1 inch slabs and toast on one side and sprinkle the other side with cheddar and toast until bubbling. serve the soup with the toast not top with some batons of celery. sprinkle with celery salt and cracked pepper.
ok…its really easy to keep adding flavour to dishes but its really hard to pair back. this is my philosophy. dig into taste and texture and it won’t change the base of what you are eating. playing with combinations is the fun here. another example.
beer and brown sugar ribs with melted tomatoes and burnt onions
soak 1 full set ribs in enough beer that it just melts 2 cups of brown sugar into a paste. rub onto a set of pork ribs and sit for 2 hours. bake on high until brown qat 250C. at the same time place face down 2 cut up spanish onions. they should burn around the edges but also caramelise as well. in a pot just warm and melt 1 cup of halved baby tomatoes with a sprinkle of salt and some thyme twigs.
serve the ribs with onions and tomatoes and a fork. some aoli would be sexy here too. should serve two depending on appetite. my animal of a son would eat all of this so double or triple as you go. my son eats these with his hands and wields a fork around at the same time. white bread with onions and tomatoes and mayonnaise is extremely awesome.
lastly something sweet. again, nothing complicated but just flavour and texture playing on cold, sweet and crunch….
candied almonds, strawberries and cinnamon cream, and mint
wash and chill 5 strawberries each person. toss 1 cup of almonds in 1 cup brown sugar that has been melted with a drop or two of red food colouring. single them out and . bake in an oven on greaseproof paper till crusty. whisk 1 carton of cream till stiff adding a drop of vanilla, 1 tablespoon of icing sugar, and a pinch of cinnamon. serve in a glass with the strawberries on the bottom, then the cream with the almonds and some extra strawberries on the top. chill the whole thing down. top with a sprig of mint.
down south in Australia its getting warm…its time for some really cool fresh food ideas for the coming season
lets have a…fresh…new…start.
sweet smoked salmon, citrus, nasturiums, chipped zucchini salad with white onion oil
simply gorgeous. soak a fresh fillet of smoked salmon in white vinegar sweetened with a pinch of sugar, and turn into a rosette by curling it around your finger.flash fry till dark, some chipped pieces of green zucchini in a small amount of extra virgin olive oil. let go cold with a crush of pepper and sprinkle on top. smash some white and red onion in olive oil and sprinkle on top with some finely sliced lemon and lime rind, mint, parsley and lemon verbena (anything will actually work). delicious with some fresh ricotta on the side and crunchy bread…or nothing at all
seaweed with sesame flavours, marigolds and wasabi oil
i love this, and it is so easy and fresh. i squeeze lemon juice and sesame oil over some good japanese seaweed and place in the middle of a big white plate. drizzle sesame oil mixed with wasabi around the edges and sprinkle with marigold leaves.
caviar pie with calendula flowers
a complete favourite. boil 6 eggs to hard. smash with some cold unsalted butter and salt to taste. put into the bottom of a small removable spring form tin. put a layer of peppery sour cream over the top and refrigerate. serve out of the tin with a layer of caviar on top and some calundula flowers sprinkled around the plate, ad some crisps and crackers.
sweet root vegetable and rice broth, lime oil and deep fried parsley
the total cleanse, and a flavour surprise. please try. make a broth from turnips, parsnips, white onion, pumpkin and carrots. boil and strain. reduce by half and add a tablespoon of jasmine rice and gently boil till absorbed. squeeze lime juice mixed with olive oil over the top and serve with quick fried continental parsley, serve in small bowls.
celery salted ricotta, slow baked heirloom tomato, honey oil and flora
an unbelievably fragrant start to any meal day or night.cut massive heirloom tomato in half and cook on 100C for 1-2 hours or until it start to fall down. grill till the top bubbles. mix a good quality ricotta with celery salt to taste. (i like mine salty). serve with a tiny drizzle of exceptional first pressed extra virgin olive oil mixed with a tiny amount of organic honey and some gorgeous fragrant, flora greens, like chervril, parsley and or basil.
i have made this dish forever and its a hot tip. its flash, its sexy and its a salad. sexy tuna, who would believe it…i serve it in glasses as its really gorgeous to see the colours, or as a tall shape on a plate. it is a perfect dish as a starter or even a canapé walking around.
my crisp of choice to serve with it, is a fried triangle of corn tortilla that salted. it suits the sweetness of the pickled ginger. a sort of sweet and sour thing.
tuna tartare with pink ginger, wasabi and lime flavours
so clean, so sharp, so easy, so fast, so crisp, so sexy….
2 cups of tuna belly, 1 handful coriander root, 1 handful baby mint leaves, 1 tablespoon water chesnuts, 1 handful bean sprouts, 1 tablespoons pink japanese ginger, 1 desert spoon shallots
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon ginger liquid, 1 desert spoon wasabi (i like it hot), a splash of sesame oil, the juice of 1 lime and the grated zest of 1/2 lime. (i like to add red chilli here but it depends on yr palate) go nutsso…….
gently toss everything together and serve in a cup or in a pile on the plate. i like i said serve these with deep fried tortilla pieces. yum.
not: add some chopped cucumber skin and nuts and seeds for extra crunch………