“Plenty” is a brilliant vegetable cookbook from Yotam Ottolengi, owner of London’s Ottolengi restaurant and writer of some wonderful cookbooks with his head chef Sam Taimimi. Ottolenghi’s Middle Eastern cooking draws on Jewish and Arab influences as well as other African and Mediterranean cuisine with a modern twist….
Brush the pizza base with garlic oil.
[What is garlic oil? Well, you bake a whole head of garlic, unpeeled, in olive oil for 130-140C for about 30mins, and then put the garlic and the oil in a bottle in the fridge, and you have amazing garlic and oil for weeks.]
Next add halved, small bocconcini cheese to the pizza. Then halved, baked cherry tomatoes (I had red and yellow ones on this occasion, baked with salt, olive oil and basil – 150-160C for 30-45 mins, covered).
Next add slivers of pan fried baby fennel and crumbled feta cheese.
Cook the pizza, and afterwards add smoked salmon, more crumbled feta, parsley.
I added another drizzle sauce that I made up
- 1/2 capsicum, sliced and sautéed
- a handful of sautéed, sliced leek (in this case, our first from our garden)
- a handful of halved cherry tomatoes
- 1/2 cup of vermouth
Simmer sauce and reduce. Whizz the capsicum and leek-tomato mixture in a food processor along with 1 tbsp lemon juice and a couple of cloves of roasted garlic.
Top pizza with parsley leaves.
I was given a ThermoWorks ChefAlarm as a late Christmas present. It’s designed for testing the temperature of meat as it cooks, particularly for a BBQ which is a temperamental beast. Recommended by Chris G. at Nibble Me This whose BBQ email I love. It’s a pretty impressive device – probe and connecting wire are seriously heat-resistant. The alarm device can be set for low and high temperature warnings and has a timer. Here’s my first attempt on our charcoal Weber BBQ. I cut the excess fat from the outside of the lamb leg, then marinated it overnight in olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper and rosemary. That’s all.
To be honest, it was a little underdone inside. The ChefAlarm instructions suggest cooking the meat at 10C less than desired, assuming that it will rise as it rests afterward. Working out how much we wanted the meat cooked and what temperature for the setting… well, we’re working on that. I love charcoal BBQ. Loads more to come about my BBQ experiments.
This is an excellent summer ice cream dessert that I concocted the other day – a variation on a passionfruit recipe in our ice cream maker’s recipe book.
- 3-4 Passionfruit
- 3 tbsp Orange zest
- 1 Egg
- 1 Egg yolk
- ¾ cup Milk
- 2 cups Cream
- ¾ cup Sugar
- 2-3 tbsp Grand Marnier
- ⅓ cup Macdamia Nuts
- Beat egg and egg yolk together. Warm milk and cream in saucepan on low heat. When it starts to bubble, add sugar and stir until it dissolves. Roast or toast the macadamias and crush roughly.
- Remove saucepan from heat. Add a little of the cream mixture to the egg. Whisk well until blended. Pour back into hot cream mixture and continue to whisk until it thickens and reaches 80C. Take off the heat and stir through 1 tbsp orange zest while it is still warm.
- Allow to cool and refrigerate for at least an hour, or snap cool it in the freezer. It needs to be really cold before you make your ice cream.
- Add the ice cream mixture to an ice cream churn along with the Grand Marnier (or Cointreau). Towards the end of the mixing add the pulp of 1-2 passionfruit.
- Serve topped with more passionfruit, orange zest and crushed macadamias.