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Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Falafel, Chorizo, Feta and Pea Parcels with Minted Yoghurt Sauce

Last week end we had the pleasure of staying with some our Queensland friends at Peregin Beach, for the annual big chill weekend.
It is always very boozy, with lots of laughter and fabulous food. We kicked the weekend off with Geralds amazing paella and Angelas delicious sauces for our ice cream dessert.
Saturday night we ate at Pitchfork, always a very pleasurable dining experience. This is where I got the inspiration for this dish. Probably totally off the mark from their recipe, but similar and everyone enjoyed it.
I am thoroughly enjoying my Ottolenghi cookbooks and the new one Jerusalem. I guess this reminds me a bit of these flavours.
Falafel can be bought ready made at any good deli or Thomas Dux or a middle eastern shop. I also have on hand, the boxes of falafel mix from my jaunts to middle eastern areas of Sydney. They are very simple, just add water and leave for 1 hour and mould into balls to cook. I then of course mashed them up to use in these parcels !!! If you want you could use a combination of chickpeas and fava beans, maybe a cup of each, and tinned is fine, if you don't want to do the soaking of dried beans.
It won't have the crunch as you bite into it though. You can play around with quantities and flavours, but this to me is delicious. You can make them as big or small as you like. Great finger food for a party.

1 cup frozen peas
125 grams feta
6 falafel balls cooked and then broken up
1 chorizo chopped into small dice and cooked
1 big handful of chopped fresh mint
phyllo pastry
4 tablespoons melted butter

150 grams Greek yoghurt
1 small glove garlic
2 good handfuls of fresh mint
salt to taste

Quite simply, everything needs to be cooked and cooled prior to assembly, except of course the mint and feta. So mix the peas, chorizo, falafel balls, mint and feta in a bowl.
If you haven't used phyllo pastry before follow the instructions on the packet, but do make sure you cover the pastry sheets with a damp towel, or they will dry out.
I used 2 sheets layered and buttered. Then cut them into three long pieces, so got 3 parcels out of that.
Place a spoon of the mixture on each piece and fold in the sides and roll or fold. Alternatively, you could fold into triangles like the Greek spinach triangles.
Place on oven trays until the pastry is cooked and golden. This also depends on your oven temp. Approx 20-30 minutes.  Whilst they are cooking , blend all of the ingredients for the sauce in a processor or with a hand mixer.  Serve the sauce on the side with a salad, or just on their own with the sauce.

Friday, 11 October 2013

Orange Jaipur Tea Pannacotta with Caramelised Fruit

Okay I admit I might have gone a little crazy about these pannacottas! Whilst shopping the other day I found this new tea by Lipton and thought how lovely it would be in a pannacotta. I was right, absolutely beautiful subtle , sublime flavour and light. I love a light desert, I am sure I have said this before. I think these types of desserts are a perfect end to a meal, sweet touch and not too heavy.
Lipton have put out this delightful range of teas. Summer fruits, with rose hip, hibiscus and sweet blackberry. Forest fruit, peach and mango, passion and raspberry and the one I used Orange Jaipur from the discovery collection.
Experiment with any of these, it is the easiest dessert to make and always goes down a treat.
I used pineapple and banana for my caramelised fruit.
Please don't use gelatine powder, leaves are now readily available.

400 mls cream
150 mls full cream milk
3 gelatine leaves McKenzie's from the supermarket or good delis have other brands
1/2 cup sugar
3  orange Jaipur tea bags
1 tablespoon fine orange zest
3 pieces of palm sugar grated
1 tablespoon butter
chopped pineapple and banana

Heat the cream and milk with the sugar on the stove top. When the sugar is dissolved add the tea bags and bring to the boil and turn down. The tea will infuse in the cream mixture and if you push gently on the bags the flavour and colour will release, leave to steep for as long as you feel necessary.  Add the orange zest. Meanwhile place the gelatine leaves in cold water and for 5-7 minutes approximately and then remove and discard the water, squeezing gently in your hands to remove excess liquid. Put the gelatine into the hot cream tea mixture and whisk to dissolve.
Grease small ramekins and fill evenly.
Ramekins of about 150 ml capacity are a great size. Place into refrigerator for 4 hours to set.
Melt the butter in a fry pan on the stove and add the grated palm sugar and dissolve and let brown a little. Add the banana  pieces first and cook gently till they change colour around the edges. Remove and set aside, add the pineapple. It will release some juice as it heats and is a little harder to caramelise but is still beautiful. Remove and gently toss with the banana. Some passionfruit would be lovely added at this point.
When ready run a sharp knife around the edge of each ramekin and place a plate over the top and invert giving it a firm shake. It should release quite well. Serve with the caramelised fruit.