Thursday, February 28, 2013

Caramelised onion, beetroot and goats curd tart

This dinner came about because I made a huge batch (obviously wasn't thinking) of Sammy and Bella's beetroot dip. Half of it I used to make chocolate cake, yes complete with cumin, and wow I really liked it. The rest I froze in ice cube trays for the lunch box and snacks. 

I made a shortcrust pastry (using flour, yoghurt and butter) and cooked it until a little brown.

Topped with some caramelised onions (I cooked them over low heat in some butter with brown sugar and balsamic).

Whisked up a couple of eggs with half a cup of milk and seasoning.

After pouring over the onions I spooned plenty of beetroot dip on top.

Finally I dolloped on a generous amount of goats curd.

In to an 180degree oven it went for about half an hour.

It was good, such a classic flavour combo that works so well.

Such a pretty tart served with some crispy kale.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Homestyle Baked Beans

For secret santa at my work last Christmas I received Matt Preston's recipe book.
To be honest not a lot of the recipes have appealed to me, but this one for baked beans did sound delicious, and its so simple.

Firstly you cook off the bacon and onion.

Next goes in tinned tomatoes, and I decided to also add zucchini and mushroom.

What makes this super delicious (and not so good for you!) is the maple syrup (1/3 cup), Worcestershire sauce (2 Tbsp) and brown sugar (1 Tbsp) you add next.

Along with cannellini beans, bay leaf, water and some seasoning it is cooked in the oven covered for an hour and a half.

It is then uncovered, sprinkled with sugar and baked for another half an hour.

We served it with some homemade sourdough and oh my, it was tasty.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Ritual Restaurant, Nelson Bay (totally worth the trip)

I don't usually post about places we eat but Ritual Restaurant was so amazing, I have to share. 
I am not posting photos of everything we ate, I am just trying to capture the essence of what you experience.

(please excuse my poor photography - i have very little experience in low lighting)

Garlic Floss
When we told our friends we were camping in the Port Stephens area (a couple of hours drive north of Sydney) they immediately recommended Ritual.

Edible wall art.
The whole evening is an intimate experience (seats 12 adults) where you are given the chance to taste flavour combinations and differing textures.

Three types of house made sourdough (including sourdough pretzel) with flavoured butters.
We are given so many 'tastes' of which all are delicious and interactive, they are interspersed between the four courses.

Crispy artichoke that you fill by yourself with a 'toothpaste' tube of artichoke puree 
We were delighted that they shared so much with our two young children.
It was an amazing experience for the kids being able to enjoy and learn about so many different flavours and textures.

Lip, Sip, Suck - Tequila cured scallop and pear, burnt butter scallop, lemon and agave scallop, ginger besan pyramids
Prior to each course you are given a simple taste test of two distinct flavour combinations to decide on your dish. 
It is a hint of what is to come, and we were not disappointed. All the food was cooked and flavoured perfectly. 
Miss E licked her salt block clean.

Tom Yum bomb- yes that is delicious broth inside a delicate skin.
The Chef and wait staff are continually sharing with you, explaining all the dishes.
They have a fantastic food philosophy with a focus on local produce.
By the end of the evening you really appreciate the intimate setting.

Spice it Up - five spice tea cake, peanut black sesame and honey dukkah, served with tamarind and cocoa stick (not pictured).
Not to forget the matching drinks - wine, beer or tea.
I went for the tea and it was perfect, they worked so well, very refreshing and great for digestion of all the wonderful food.

Decadent - dark and white chocolate with pink peppercorn and raspberry.
I totally recommend dining at Ritual Restaurant.
It is an inspiring meal that we all enjoyed immensely.