Thursday, 21 March 2013

Home made Limoncello

I have long been a fan of this delectable Italian liqueur so, since I had a lot of lemons, I decided to make some.
It was very simple and here is the recipe that I used.
1 bottle of vodka
9 lemons preferably organic and definitely not waxed.
350 gm of sugar
150 ml of water.
The first step was to rinse the lemons to ensure there was no dust or dirt on them. The recipe said to grate the zest off of the lemons but I found that too much of the bitter pith was coming off too.

I reverted to peeling the zest off very thinly with a vegetable peeler. The water and sugar went into a saucepan and I dissolved the sugar over a gentle heat. (Stir and watch this well or it will either boil over or catch).
Once the sugar was dissolved, I removed it from the heat and allowed it to cool. Now I needed to sterilise a large jar with a tight fitting lid and I have always found the easiest way to do this, is to put a small amount of water in the jar and microwave for 1 minute.
Be careful removing the jar from the microwave as it is vey hot. Tip out the water and you are ready to go.

I added the lemon zest to the sterilised jar and poured in the vodka. Once the sugar syrup was cool, added that to the jar too. Gave it a good stir and put the lid on and placed the jar in a cool dark place, where it will need to stay for 30 days.
Twice a week I will need to take it out and place the jar on a flat surface and spin gently several times so that the contents are mixed.
In a months time I am to strain the contents of the jar through muslin or a fine sieve to get rid of the zest. I will then be able to, hopefully, bottle my lovely Limoncello. I did sneak a taste and it was very good already!
And so as to not waste all the lemons that I only used the zest from, I juiced them and made lemon ice locks. When frozen I will transfer them to a Tupperware container and they will be great for drinks or for when lemons are scarce.

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Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Gorgonzola cream sauce

Gorgonzola cream sauce. Spectacularly simple. In fact when I was told about this recipe, my usual " that's never going to work " thought process kicked in. However I tried it with great success. All you do is bring cream to boiling point and then add chopped Gorgonzola to the hot cream. A small amount of gorgonzola goes a long way !
Stir till the cheese melts and then serve over pasta or vegetables. I made a roast pumpkin pasta dish and poured the cream sauce over it. It was so good!

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Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Lebanese spiced eggplant

Recently I tasted a great eggplant spread at the markets in Darwin. It was served on zattar bread with labnah on top. A squeeze of fresh lime juice completed this wonderful taste treat.
I wanted to recreate it when I got home,but I did not have a lot of luck finding a recipe. I had thought that pomegranate molasses was part of the recipe and I managed to track down a bottle. Let's just say I think this must be an acquired taste!
After trial and error I have developed my own recipe. The family loves it!
It's very simple and the taste intensifies the longer it is left.

First I peeled the eggplants ( I had two large eggplants) and sliced them thinly. I sprinkled the sliced eggplant with a dessert spoon of ground coriander,a dessert spoon of ground cummin, a dessert spoon of Cajun spices and salt to taste. Finally I added a tablespoon of minced garlic and a good slug of local Fleurieu peninsula olive oil.

Toss the eggplant to coat all the slices well.
The next step was to char the eggplant.
I found the easiest way to do this was to use my George Forman grill and it was a great success. The oil that drained off I just kept adding back to the eggplant on the grill.

Once it was cooked and had a bit of colour I placed it in a covered container, added about a tablespoon of a really good aged balsamic and a little more olive oil. Keep it in the fridge. It would probably last about a week or it might last longer but I wouldn't know, I ate it all in 4 days.
I bought a wonderful loaf of artisan bread from "The Wild Loaf " at the Adelaide Central Market. Their new quinoa and chia seed loaf was the perfect base for my spread. Bread sliced thinly, topped with my eggplant and labneh, a generous squeeze of lime juice and it was wonderful. Even if I say so myself!

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