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What's for Dinner #292 - The Hippity-Hop Edition!

Day 1 of our Easter road trip is complete. Dinner was at an off the
beaten track pub in the middle of the countryside. Its main attraction is a golf course next door and for us, some natural thermal pools. They're nestled into native bush a short walk from the pub. Open air, surrounded by native trees and gravel bottomed. If you're lucky there are glow worms out while you soak.

I think the pools account for the odd mix of clientele at the pub. Golfers stay for the golf and bikers stop in for a soak, beer and a meal after a long day riding. The pub meals are biker-sized plates of predominately deep-fried fare. I chose fish (tarakihi) and chips and got two enormous crispy fillets, a mountain of chips and some weird stacked salad. The salad was stacked as there was no room left on the plate for it after the chips and fish. Even with the three year old assisting we barely made a dent in the meal.

Next stop is Rotorua or 'Roto 'Vegas' as it's nicknamed here. It's the tourist hot spot of the North Island famous for the geo-thermal activity and its not so charming rotten egg odour.

about 5 hours ago
Frizzle in Home Cooking
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What's for Dinner #291 - the Taxman Cometh Edition [Through Aprl 16, 2014]

It's a bit of a process. Peeled aubergine are sliced lengthways as thinly as possible. They are layered with salt in a straight sided container and a weight is placed on top (about 10 kg) for 24 hours. They are drained (loosen them a bit with your fingers) and white wine vinegar is poured over them. You let them sit like that for an hour and then put the weight back on for 12 hours. Drain them again and then assemble. Half a fillet of anchovy, a caper, a sliver of garlic and a slice of hot chilli go on the slice and it's rolled. Place the rolls in a sterilized jar with a few tablespoons of olive oil in the bottom. Top with more olive oil (and some fresh oregano leaves if you want) and top up again after three days if needed so the rolls are completely covered. Store for three months before opening (I opened these early). They're perfect with red wine.

Apr 16, 2014
Frizzle in Home Cooking
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What's for Dinner #291 - the Taxman Cometh Edition [Through Aprl 16, 2014]

Ahh, checked google images, that's it. It seems like every second house here has a couple of trees in their garden and for a month every year we're inundated with them.
Are they common in the US?

Apr 16, 2014
Frizzle in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner #291 - the Taxman Cometh Edition [Through Aprl 16, 2014]

They look really good.

Apr 15, 2014
Frizzle in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner #291 - the Taxman Cometh Edition [Through Aprl 16, 2014]

Guests from Australia tonight. An ex-workmate of the blokes and her husband who is on a wine buying trip in New Zealand for his work. What a job.

Pre dinner nibbles are olives and preserved items I made a month or so ago. One is an anchovy fillet, a sliver of garlic and some fresh chilli rolled up in a thin slice of aubergine. The other is a very chunky paste of red capsicum, green tomatoes, zucchini, aubergine, capers, green olives and chilli that is wonderful spread on bread. I'll have a loaf, steaming fresh from the oven to accompany.

Entree is a mussel, nduja & fennel soup.

The main is 12 hour beef shin served on a cannellini bean mash and with a salad of shredded Savoy cabbage, parsley and capers.

Dessert is homemade feijoa (a South American fruit that's common in NZ) sorbet.

There's a few New Zealand cheeses for after if people want and grapes for the lactose intolerant guest to nibble on.

Reading it all now it sounds like a heavy meal but it's a blustery, rainy day here so I think it will be ok as long as I keep the entree portion sizes small.

Apr 15, 2014
Frizzle in Home Cooking
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What's for Dinner #291 - the Taxman Cometh Edition [Through Aprl 16, 2014]

We have leftover conchiglie with yoghurt, peas & chilli tonight. It's not the best dish to have leftovers of but we'll douse it in olive oil and pine nuts to help it.

We've got mid-week dinner guests tomorrow night so I've got a bone-in beef shin in the oven doing a 12 hour cook in a bottle of Syrah, 30+ garlic cloves and some thyme. It's smelling wonderful. It's a River Cafe recipe that I've not tried before.

Apr 15, 2014
Frizzle in Home Cooking
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What's for Dinner #291 - the Taxman Cometh Edition [Through Aprl 16, 2014]

It's conchiglie with yoghurt, peas & chilli tonight from Jerusalem. It's a killer dish with plenty of salty tang from feta and a generous handful of fried pinenuts and chilli to finish. It also nicely uses up the last of the summer basil from the garden.

Taxes are due here too I think. Since becoming one of those self-employed work from home types I've employed another self-employed work from home type to do mine for me. Ignorance is bliss.

Apr 14, 2014
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COTM (Cookbook of the Month) Recipes So Good You've Made Them at Least Three Times: Quick and Easy/Weeknight Edition

I'm loving this thread. Here are my week night meals that have gone into the 'rotation' as we call it. There are of course other recipes I love from these books that I've repeated several times but I find them too involved for a week night meal.

Every Grain of Rice

Sour and hot silken tofu
Rustic steamed squash with spicy black bean sauce
Stir-fried green soy beans with snow vegetable
Tofu 'bamboo' with spring onion-flavoured oil

In the Kitchen with a Good Appetite

Red lentil soup with lemon

Jerusalem

Fried cauliflower with tahini
Roasted cauliflower & hazelnut salad
Baby spinach salad with dates & almonds
Conchiglie with yoghurt, peas & chilli
Roasted sweet potatoes & fresh figs

Apr 11, 2014
Frizzle in Home Cooking
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What's for Dinner #290 - April Showers/April Flowers Edition! [through April 12, 2014]

It's Fuchsia Dunlop yet again tonight. Her Every Grain of Rice book is just perfect for week nights.

Tofu bamboo in spring onion oil, steamed squash with chilli bean paste and black beans and 'send the rice down' beef mince and celery. We're skipping the rice.

There'll be no cooking over the weekend as we have two birthday events to attend. I'm looking forward to the break.

Apr 10, 2014
Frizzle in Home Cooking
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What's for Dinner #290 - April Showers/April Flowers Edition! [through April 12, 2014]

Yes, I did. I think the recipe called for fine green beans, which mine weren't so I chopped the beans in half vertically and then into 4cm lengths.

Apr 09, 2014
Frizzle in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner #290 - April Showers/April Flowers Edition! [through April 12, 2014]

Rick Stein's Spain provided the recipe for the meat portion of dinner tonight. Skinless chicken was marinated in a garlic & salt paste. It's then fried until golden, dry sherry deglazed the pan and was reduced with bay leaves to finish the dish.

He recommends serving the chicken with mashed potatoes. I had some green beans that needed to be used so I tried a potato and green bean recipe from River Cafe 2 easy. It's just a rough mash of the potatoes with the beans, parsley and lots of olive oil.

Apr 09, 2014
Frizzle in Home Cooking
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What's for dinner #289 - Spring Poems Edition! [Through April 7, 2014]

What a perfect day.

Apr 07, 2014
Frizzle in Home Cooking
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What's for dinner #289 - Spring Poems Edition! [Through April 7, 2014]

It's a freezer dive soup tonight. Chick pea and spinach. I'll doctor it up with more fresh spinach, sopressa salami and some chilli. Maybe a squeeze of lemon to give it some tartness.

Apr 06, 2014
Frizzle in Home Cooking

What's for dinner #289 - Spring Poems Edition! [Through April 7, 2014]

Everything sounds incredible Steve. I love having a virtual window into the world of dinner in Naples.

Apr 06, 2014
Frizzle in Home Cooking
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What's for dinner #289 - Spring Poems Edition! [Through April 7, 2014]

Thanks! They're what are being sold here as red kiwi fruit.

Apr 05, 2014
Frizzle in Home Cooking
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What's for dinner #289 - Spring Poems Edition! [Through April 7, 2014]

Yesterday was lots of fun. The now three year old had a great party and I was super lazy with food. Sushi was catered, cupcakes and biscuits were purchased and all I prepared was a massive plate of vegetables, bagna cauda and a fresh baked loaf of bread. The bloke constructed the 'cake' which was a watermelon cake (it's entirely fruit with no actual cake at all) at the toddler's request. The picture doesn't do it justice. He's on birthday cake decoration duty from now on after his display of fine workmanship.

After my Muslim parents departed the party Thai flavoured pork sausages went on the grill for the hangers on and that and plenty of wine was dinner.

Tonight we have a figs to eat. A a gift from the in-laws. We plan to repeat the dish we did earlier in the week from the Jerusalem book. Roast sweet potatoes, fresh figs, chilli and a balsamic reduction.

Apr 05, 2014
Frizzle in Home Cooking
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What's for dinner #289 - Spring Poems Edition! [Through April 7, 2014]

Thanks! I use this recipe: http://www.koreanbapsang.com/2013/08/...

Apr 04, 2014
Frizzle in Home Cooking

What's for dinner #289 - Spring Poems Edition! [Through April 7, 2014]

It's BBQ Friday here. The bloke requested that we have kalbi again and that's fine by me. It's a very simple meal to throw together, just a marinade, some lettuce leaves and a sauce really. I might do some side dishes if I feel energetic.

We're celebrating a year back in New Zealand today (still have unpacked boxes!) so there will be wine but not too much as we've got to be on form for the toddler's birthday party tomorrow.

Apr 03, 2014
Frizzle in Home Cooking
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What's for dinner #289 - Spring Poems Edition! [Through April 7, 2014]

I use dry shiitake as a sub for porcini in some recipes. Not the same flavour but it does add depth to dishes.

Apr 03, 2014
Frizzle in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner #288 - April Fool Edition! [Through April 3, 2014]

The bloke had a function tonight so a trip to the fish markets was made. The fish on offer didn't appeal so it was shellfish again. Mussels this time and an idea inspired by MariaC many months ago. Steamed mussels in a nduja laden broth.

Onion, celery and garlic were well softened, wine, nduja and tomato was added. Mussels were added. These guys had beards I couldn't dislodge prior to cooking so I fished most of them out and removed the beards once opened. Parsley was the final touch.

Apr 02, 2014
Frizzle in Home Cooking
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What's for Dinner #288 - April Fool Edition! [Through April 3, 2014]

My condolences LF. Food is a wonderful gift in sad times.

Apr 02, 2014
Frizzle in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner #288 - April Fool Edition! [Through April 3, 2014]

The dish uses brown lentils which I think are the most common type used in Italian recipes. I've never tried beluga lentils so I don't know what they would be like with this.

Apr 02, 2014
Frizzle in Home Cooking
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Chinese cookbooks beyond Every Grain of Rice

You might enjoy Kylie Kwong's Simple Chinese Cooking. She's an Australian cook (a down under Fuchsia Dunlop) - very popular for her fresh, flavourful meals. You can see her book range here: http://www.kyliekwong.org/Books.aspx

Apr 02, 2014
Frizzle in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner #288 - April Fool Edition! [Through April 3, 2014]

Pasta night tonight and my first real harvest from our new garden bed. The recipe is from the River Cafe 2 cookbook; parpadelle with lentils, cavolo nero and celery. The greens came from the garden and I subbed my homemade bacon for pancetta. It's a great combination even though lentils don't sound like a natural match for pasta it does work.

Apr 02, 2014
Frizzle in Home Cooking
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What's for Dinner #288 - April Fool Edition! [Through April 3, 2014]

I was looking at catfish the other day with no knowledge of what they might taste like. Thanks for experimenting for me! Thank goodness for tofu.

Apr 02, 2014
Frizzle in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner #288 - April Fool Edition! [Through April 3, 2014]

Tonight was another recipe from Jerusalem. A favourite of ours from this book - baby spinach salad with dates and pita crisps. Sumac, chilli and red onion are the flavourings. Easy, delicious and with enough green to make you feel virtuous.

The bloke tried a new red variety of kiwi fruit for dessert and declared them 'not kiwi-fruity enough' as they lacked the tartness we enjoy in the green variety.

Apr 01, 2014
Frizzle in Home Cooking
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What's for Dinner #288 - April Fool Edition! [Through April 3, 2014]

I made that eggs and tomato dish for the first time a couple of weeks back. You're so right, it doesn't feel Chinese when you are cooking it. I kept double checking the recipe for soy sauce or ginger thinking I had forgotten a key ingredient. The chilli addition sounds brilliant. Your pork dish sounds delicious too.

Mar 31, 2014
Frizzle in Home Cooking
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What's for Dinner #288 - April Fool Edition! [Through April 3, 2014]

What a beautiful spread! I'm a massive fan of that book too.

Mar 31, 2014
Frizzle in Home Cooking
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What's for Dinner #288 - April Fool Edition! [Through April 3, 2014]

Some stunning figs were on special at the shop yesterday, so tonight I made a dish from the Jerusalem book. Roast sweet potato with figs, spring onions, chilli and a balsamic glaze drizzle. We had lubiya bi zaat (green beans in oil) alongside. All served room temperature.

Dessert was a quince tarte tatin.

I love this autumn produce we're getting in New Zealand now. Five years ago when we left the country I struggled to get figs and quince never got shelf space at the green grocers.

Mar 31, 2014
Frizzle in Home Cooking
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What's for Dinner #288 - April Fool Edition! [Through April 3, 2014]

Have fun. I look forward to hearing about your meals. Very jealous.

Mar 30, 2014
Frizzle in Home Cooking
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