Inspiration – and a couple of recipes

INSPIRATION… WELL ALMOST, with just a minor amount of plagiarism


Pickled Berries… Pickled Blueberries and Pickled Cranberries 250 mil jars.


This is a very old way of keeping the summer crops for use all year long.. and very delicious it is too… It has been done extensively in the Scandinavian countries for many years and eaten with cheese, meats and in some cases fish… think a fillet of lamb that instead of having mint sauce, and yes, its delicious I agree, but sometimes a change is great, so try some of the Pickled Blueberries on your lamb, or with a really strongly flavoured fried or grilled fish… think about Pickled Cranberries  with your grilled chicken, roast turkey and duck, duck confit is very very good with either of the berries to cut the richness. And in the event that you actually eat pate or terrine, and god alone knows why you would not, then do try these delicious preserve to accompany. Think of this in much the same way as cornichons.


Think hot grilled goats cheese with a spoonful of pickled blueberries over as condiment. Think some grilled haloumi with the same. Try a slice of real Welsh Rarebit (see recipe below) and a Croque Monsieur (see below) and accompany with the pickled berries.


Preserved meats such as ham (of all the many persuasions), proscuito, salami, chorizo all done as a simple and fulfilling meal perhaps with cheese and superb breads, served with pickles to cut the richness, is a great way to have a simple lunch.


Real and proper Welsh Rarebit.


This is a very old recipe that was originally done to use up small left over pieces of tasty cheese… in the old days every household, rich and poor had some cheese that would be eaten as part of the meal. Try this recipe, it is delicious and makes a great Sunday night meal.


375 gr tasty cheese (grated)

30 gr of butter

2 tspns plain flour

¼ cup of milk

¼ cup of beer

1 tspn Worcestershire Sauce

1 tspn dry Mustard

½ tspn salt

Pinch Cayenne Pepper

1 large Egg

8 slices of great bread of your choosing

sweet paprika to dust.


Melt the butter in a small saucepan and stir in the flour, cook for one minute, add the milk and beer stir until the sauce thickens. Add the cheese, Worcestershire Sauce, Mustard salt and cayenne pepper. Stir until the cheese melts. Remove from the heat and stir in the beaten egg.

Toast the bread on one side and on the other side, spread a generous quantity of the cheese mix, place under griller until well browned. Sprinkle with some paprika and serve with some pickled blueberries.


Croque Monsieur.


Perhaps the French version of Welsh Rarebit, with the addition of ham.

30 grms butter

1 tbspn plain flour

½ cup milk

125 grams Gruyere cheese grated

4 slices of bread… your choice

1 tspn Dijon mustard

100 grms sliced ham.


Melt the butter and the flour and cook for one minute, add the milk and half the cheese, cook until the cheese has melted. Spread 2 slices of bread with the dijon mustard, top with ham and balance of the cheese, place the bread on top and grill under a hot grill on one side only. Remove from grill, turn over to un toasted side and top with the cheese sauce, return to the grill and cook till the cheese sauce is hot and bubbling.


For a Croque Madam, serve with a poached egg.

Accompany either with a good heaped dstspn of Pickled Cranberries.





And finally, KHOSHAF… this is the traditional dry fruit salad of the Arab Table. 250 mil jar


Much of the old ways of Arab and Middle East domestic culture are still retained and that’s one of the things that make eating and cooking foods from this area so interesting and real.


Khoshaf is what is used to welcome guests to the home after a long hot journey, it is offered as part of the meal. It is made from various dry fruits and allowed to mature with Rosewater, Orange Flower water, sugar and spices.


Try this delicious compote with any of the wonderful creams, caramel, yoghurts, Crème Catalan, or just simple whipped cream… I must confess that I love this with the great French Island Yoghurt. So delicious.



Simple Terrine…


This is my version of a terrine and I have made this a million times, its easy, straight forward and you can vary it in any way that appeals to you… try adding some dry green peppercorns, some whole eggs (boiled) a pork fillet, some chicken breast… endless possibilities.


500 gram pork mince (with fat to about 30%) minced fine

500 gram veal mince, not too fine.

1 large onion minced

2 or 3 cloves of garlic finely chopped.

herbs of choice…. I like thyme, sage and if I am going for a greenish sort of lunch fresher look and taste, lots of parsley.

1 dessertspoon of French Quatre Epice (we sell the mix)

1 glass of white wine

½ glass of brandy

(both of these can be replaced, apple juice is good)

2 eggs.

Salt and pepper

Any additional flavour items… green peppercorns

10 slices of bacon with the rind removed.


Mix the meats with the onion garlic herbs, white wine, brandy, salt and pepper, quatre epice, green peppercorn… mix this well with your hands massaging and encouraging the meat to become malleable. Add the two eggs and mix well through.


Use a terrine mould if you have one, if not a log tin will do. Grease the tin and with the bacon, lay all over the tin to form a skin, so in regular strips. Take half the meat and lay in the bottom. Now you can use imagination, 4 hard boil eggs, a whole pork fillet, long thin strips of chicken breast, prunes can be good, top with the balance of the meat. Fold over any of the bacon strips that you have dangling over the side. Cover the mould with baking paper and foil. I like to run a tie around to hold it in place.


Place in a Baine Marie (water bath) in a moderate oven (180 c) and cook for 75 minutes, allow to stand covered until it is cool. Traditionalists if they want can press the meat down.

When cool, unmould (watch the juices which should have turned to jelly at this point) and serve in slabs with great bread.

Cornichons and Spiced Cranberries or Blueberries.





As many of you will know, we have been working with Dench Bakers for a few years developing their spice blend that each year is used to produce some of the tastiest Hot Cross buns on the block. Again this year Dench is making some great Hot Cross buns and we have been lucky enough to sample some of the early batches. Cannot recommend highly enough and these great tasty Easter treats are available from Dench in their shops in North Fitzroy and Hawthorn.


Best wishes to you all… am off to Sydney for some meet and greet.




~ by peterwatson on March 22, 2011.

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