Sablé Breton galette with summer berries

I was browsing Dorie Greenspan’s Around my French Table cookbook for a summer cake to serve my lovely colleagues who were coming over for a girlie afternoon tea. Once I spied this, I knew what I was making. My version is not as beautiful as Ms Greenspan’s stunning galette (you must have a peek at her cookbook to see what I mean), but I’d like to think it tasted just as good.

Sablé Breton is a salty butter cookie from Brittany, and this inspired adaptation pairs it with lemon curd (homemade or store bought) and juicy summer berries. Continue reading

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Watermelon and feta salad

Now that the holiday season is drawing to a close, I’m searching for healthy (and lazy) antidotes to the festive indulgences. This delicious watermelon and feta combination is the perfect refreshing salad for a hot summer’s day. The sharpness and saltiness of the feta complements the cold sweetness of the watermelon brilliantly.

This Ottolenghi recipe from his Plenty cookbook takes no time at all to assemble (20 minutes if you dawdle), and is a welcomed addition to a barbeque or a potluck dinner. I have changed the quantities slightly to adapt to NZ standard packaging. It is best to purchase the watermelon the day before so it can chill in the fridge. Continue reading

Avocado, quinoa and edamame salad

I spied this clever adaptation of Ottolenghi’s recipe in Milliemirepoix’s blog. The original recipe calls for young broad beans, which are not easy to find (unless you grow them), and also, having eaten broad beans before, I am unconvinced. Edamame (young soybeans), on the other hand, is delicious, and can be purchased as frozen shelled beans.

I also had almost all the ingredients in the kitchen or garden. My paltry harvest of radishes had to be supplemented from the supermarket.

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Ottolenghi’s Very Full Tart

Can you be seduced by a vegetable tart? I’ve flirted with vegetarian food in the guise of being healthier and saving the planet. Who hasn’t? But it doesn’t last. Not even. My upbringing in Malaysia and and its myriad of meat-y cuisines makes it seemingly unpalatable.

However, this simply amazing roast vegetable tart makes the whole idea of going meat-free a few days a week plausible. If vegetables can taste this great, who would quibble? I purchased this cookbook without realising Plenty is a vegetarian cookbook. (I am somewhat of a slut for award-winning cookbooks, put a gold sticker on a cookbook, and it will find its way into my Amazon basket). This cookbook had been sitting forlornly on my shelf for near-on a year before my sudden vegetarian urge took me on a hunt for recipes across all my cookbooks.

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Peach and pistachio crumble

Don’t you hate it when a simple dessert, hurriedly put together, trumps the main dish you slaved over? So do I, but at the very least, your guests leave mightily impressed (until they read this).

This crumble is superbly easy, and goes into the oven just as you are sitting down to the main course. The original recipe came from Nigel Slater’s Tender Volume II; I reduced the quantity and replaced the apricots with peaches (which I had in the pantry). I think this would be delicious with any canned fruit. I also used a food processor, which took the prep time down to around 10 minutes. Continue reading

Roast salmon with fennel, parsley and cherry tomatoes

After my previous cooking madness, I was more than ready to get back into my hacking stride. I had offered to cook dinner for my family (which includes some little people, – meaning I had to cook food that kids will happily eat) plus I wanted to spend as little time in the kitchen as possible.

hardly any time to prepare and tastes fantastic. Roasted fennel’s herbaceous aromatics lifts the silky salmon flesh. If that wasn’t lazy enough, I served this straight from the roasting pan. This recipe is adapted from Jamie Oliver’s Cook with Jamie cookbook, and I’ve made it even simpler. The original recipe uses a whole salmon, but salmon fillet is easier to find, and serve up. Whole fish is surprisingly difficult to obtain in my necks of the woods. Continue reading

Barbecued lamb on Le Puy lentil purée with garlic aioli, pickled red cabbage and hazelnut beignets

Try saying that three times quickly. Seriously, this dish is even more delicious than it sounds. This was the second dish chef Michael Van de Elzen demonstrated from his Molten cookbook during the Molten cooking demonstration at Nosh Mt Eden. The first was a potato tart with pickled fennel, green apple, sheep’s feta and wild rocket (and my version)

Michael states that this recipe takes 80 minutes to prep and cook (not withstanding marinating the lamb). I beg to differ; it took me the better part of 2 ½ hours, true, I did have to repeat a couple of recipes, but do give yourself plenty of time. One big, no, make that huge lesson, – mise en place is crucial, weigh everything out beforehand. This will greatly reduce the cussing… Continue reading

Potato tart with pickled fennel, green apple, sheep’s feta and wild rocket

Molten (422 Mt Eden Rd, Auckland, Ph: 09 – 6387236) is an award-winning neighbourhood restaurant nestled in quaint Mt Eden village. Michael Van de Elzen, the chef of Molten is also known as the star of the TV series, The Food Truck, where he deconstructs common fast food to come up with their healthy and tasty reincarnations.

Recently, Michael released the Molten cookbook where recipes from the kitchen of Molten which have been modified to suit a home kitchen, and shows you how to create a fine dining experience to wow your guests. Continue reading