Friday, 31 July 2009


Fresh ginger anyone?

One of the stalls at the Victoria Markets had an abundance of fresh ginger....

Monday, 27 July 2009

Purple Gnocchi with Tomato, Rocket & Crispy Bacon

Purple Congo - its a variety of potato that has a dark blue skin & dark blue flesh. I'd always been curious if the colour would remain after cooking. Well it does (see previous post). Being a floury type of potato the Purple Congo is ideal for gnocchi and the colour would add another dimension to any dish, so if you can find some try them!

500g Purple Congo potatoes, peeled
150g plain flour
1/2 beaten egg
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1x 400g can tomatoes
100g Wild rocket, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic finely chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1/4 stp dried chili flakes
1/4 cup red wine
2 tbls olive oil
Pinch sugar
Sprig thyme
Fresh grated Parmesan to serve
Crispy Bacon

2 rashes bacon roughly diced
Sprig Rosemary
1 tbls goose fat

Cut the potato into equal sized pieces & place into a steamer.
Steam until just cooked
Pass through a fine mouli or potato ricer & allow to cool
Add egg, salt, pepper, nutmeg & flour & combine to form a dough.
Taste for seasoning & adjust.
Rollout into a long sausage shape & cut into 2cm (1") pillows
Set aside until needed

Add goose fat, bacon & rosemary sprig to a fry pan & gently cook over low heat, stiring occasionally until bacon is crisp
Drain, remove Rosemary sprig, & scatter bacon over paper towel to absorb excess fat
Heat the oil in a saucepan & add onion, garlic & dried chili
Sweat until the onion is tender
Add thyme sprig & tomatoes, sugar, & red wine & simmer
Season to taste
Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil & add salt
Preheat oven to 200c & warm a heatproof serving dish in the oven with a large knob of butter
Cook gnocchi in batches removing from the water when they rise to the surface.
Place the cooked gnocchi into the heated dish, toss in the melted butter & return to the oven while the next batch is being cooked.
Add the chopped rocket to the sauce & stir in until just wilted
Spoon the sauce over the gnocchi & sprinkle with the crispy bacon
Serve with freshly grated Parmesan

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Purple & Green...

Just a very quick post..
I steamed some Purple Congo potatoes, & yes the flesh remained a nice purple colour. But what amazed me was the colour of the water....
It had turned green!
Possibly the coloured starchy liquid from the potatoes had reacted with the stainless steel?

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Street Art

There is always a debate as to what is considered "art".
To some people street art is vandalism. When it ruins property and that property needs to be replaces or repaired, yes that is vandalism. But if it's a blank wall, shows some style & technique,  and nothing else is damaged is it still vandalism?

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Paper Chef non-entry

Well it was Paper Chef time the weekend just past.
We had some wonderful ingredients selected by last month's winner Kristina of
Former Chef
they were:
& her selection of: Fish Sauce.
My initial idea was a type of Chicken Kiev dish, but with an almond butter center seasoned with Fish Sauce and rolled in polenta. But I was talked out of this & into a Korean style Chicken & Corn soup with chicken, prawn & almond dumplings.
Good idea, bad execution. :(
Dumplings were delicate in flavour but became overwhelmed by the soup which tasted fine while cooking but ended up way too rich. And to cap it all off the photo's were bad.
If that wasn't bad enough for the first time ever,I even managed to stuff up a Creme Anglaise later that day!

The stars must have been wrong that day......