Tuesday, 22 July 2014

'Mediterranean Fruit Salad'

A Book of Mediterranean Food, a Penguin Handbook by Elizabeth David, Decorations by John Minton 1956 ed.

Fruit Salad
“Fruit salad can be delicious; it can also be very nasty indeed. Here is a good recipe which includes the making of the syrup which is so important.”
2 oranges, 1 apple, 1 pear, 1 grapefruit, 2 bananas, 3 fresh figs, 2 slices pineapple, either fresh or tinned
For the syrup. Bring 2 teacups of water to the boil; throw in 10 lumps of sugar and the peel of an orange cut in strips. Boil for 3 minutes and the leave the syrup to cool.
Prepare the fruit carefully, put it into a glass dish and pour over it a small wineglass of maraschino, and the prepared syrup.

“It is important that the fruit salad should be very well iced, and it should be prepared several hours before it is needed.”
This fruit salad was delicious but I didn’t leave it sitting for very long before serving as I prefer the fruit pieces crisp rather than too soft, Anne.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Pineapple Heaven

My niece, Georgina, sent this email from London while she was visiting her sister, Katrina, and Tom recently.

“We had an amazing London lunch today at Heston Blumenthal's restaurant Dinner. I feel very spoilt. One of the desserts was Tipsy Cake, featuring spit roasted pineapple with brioche. I took some photos for you! A few through the window to the kitchen featuring the spit roasting, and one of the actual desserts.
I didn't actually get the dessert myself (although three people in our party did). I did get to have a taste and it was nice. I think there is some kind of glaze put on at some point in the roasting process, and sugar and cinnamon sounds about right”.

Thanks for that Georgina! We had to try it for ourselves and, wow, it was one of our best pineapple combinations yet!
Les peeled a spiral around the pineapple and spit roasted it for about an hour, basting it occasionally with melted butter mixed with a little sugar and cinnamon.

He is usually the bread baker in our family but I thought I’d have a go at baking some brioches (yes, I did check the plural of brioche), found a recipe and the combination was sensational! Anne.
I found a fascinating article by Heston Blumenthal online. He includes a recipe for roast pineapple, with pineapple and chilli jelly, and crab syrup that he describes as a fantastic dessert!                                                                                                                              

“The proof of the pudding ... “ by Heston Blumenthal, The Guardian, Sat. 8 December 2001
Tom took Georgina to (I suspect one of his favourite haunts) Brick Lane, where they spotted this (modified?) poster.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Pineapple with Seoul

It's great having a family on constant pineapple alert as they travel the world! Thanks for this wonderful photo of pineapple on sticks grilling in South Korea Ky!! Anne.

Friday, 11 July 2014

Pineapple and Honey mmmmm

The Australian Honey Recipe Book, The Australian Honey Board, Sydney 1973

Rum Pineapple Sauce

Ingredients: 2 tblspn butter; 2 tblspn cornflour; 1 large can crushed pineapple (I used pureed fresh pineapple); 2 tblspn lemon juice; 2 tblspn honey; ¼ cup rum; toasted coconut

Method: Mix cornflour with crushed pineapple. Stir until boiling. Add butter, lemon, honey and rum. Chill and serve over ice cream. Sprinkle with toasted coconut.

Makes approximately 2 ¼ cups.

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Pineapple on the goldfields

Royal Flying Doctor Women’s Auxiliary Historical Cookbook, Boulder WA 1981

Mrs Shirley Agars of Pinjin Station’s Chinese Sweet Sour Pork 
1 medium carrot; 1 medium onion; 1 medium capsicum; 4 shallots; 2 slices canned pineapple; 3 tblspns vinegar; ¼ cup water; 2/3 cup syrup from pineapple; 1 tblspn honey; 1 tspn soy sauce; 2 tblspns tomato sauce; 2 tspns cornflour; 680g pork (lean); 2 tblspns soy sauce; 1 dstspn dry sherry; 1 egg yolk; extra sherry
Method: Cut carrot, onion and capsicum into cubes, cut shallots into sections, pineapple into cubes. Mix together vinegar, water, pineapple syrup, honey and one teaspoon soy sauce and the tomato sauce, heat until boiling. Mix the 2 teaspoons of cornflour with water, add and stir until boiling. Drop  carrot and onion into boiling water, boil 5 minutes. Add capsicum, boil for another 3 minutes, drain and add to sauce, with shallots and pineapple. Cut pork into cubes and place in bowl. Mix together with rest of soy sauce and sherry, pour over pork, stir well and stand 30 minutes. Beat egg yolk with tablespoon water. Drain pork cubes, dip into egg yolk, lightly coat with cornflour. Fry in deep oil until golden brown. Separate pieces and drain. Reheat oil again until very hot, return pork and cook again for 10 minutes. Then re-drain, keeping excess oil and pour over vegetable mixture.

Monday, 30 June 2014

Anyone for Croquettes?

The Australian Women’s Weekly Cookery Book, Prize recipes from our £2,000 Cookery Contest, 1948

Meat Croquettes with Pineapple Slices    
Four slices pineapple; 2 cups cooked cold veal; 1 tblsp dripping or margarine; 2 tblsp flour; ½ cup milk; 1 dstsp chopped parsley; nutmeg; lemon rind; salt & cayenne; flour, egg & breadcrumbs for coating
Mince veal. Make a thick white sauce from the fat, flour, and milk, and allow to cool a little. Add meat and flavours. Mix well and turn on to a plate to cool. Divide mixture evenly into portions, taking 1 tblsp at a time, and shape into croquettes. Prepare 1 tblsp flour, ½ tsp salt, and a shake of pepper on a piece of kitchen paper. Mix egg with a little milk on a soup plate. Have 2 cups dried breadcrumbs on a plate. First cover all croquettes with the seasoned flour. Then brush them with the egg mixture. Remove, drain, and roll in breadcrumbs. Shake off loose crumbs. Wet fry in deep fat till golden brown. Drain.
Drain away all fat except 2 tablespoons. Dip pineapple in seasoned flour and fry quickly on both sides for a few minutes until golden brown, turning once.
If you Google "Anyone for croquet?" you'll learn just how many croquet clubs there are in the world! I still don't know who originally termed this phrase but I did read some amusing anecdotes about the game:
"Croquet came first at the Paris Olympics of 1900, and was the first Olympic event that women could enter. All the medals were won by France which is not surprising, as the only non-French competitor was a Belgian that failed to complete the first round."
“Lewis Carroll featured a nonsense version of the game in the popular children's novel Alice's Adventures in Wonderland: a hedgehog was used as the ball, a flamingo the mallet, and playing cards as the hoops.” No mention of pineapples!
This one’s my favourite “H. G. Wells wrote The Croquet Player, which uses croquet as a metaphor for the way in which people confront the very problem of their own existence.”    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Croquet
Of course none of this has anything to do with croquettes! Anne.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

A Gourmet Lebanese Safari with a little pineapple

Ella, Les and I enjoyed a fabulous Lebanese Gourmet Food Safari (her wonderful birthday present to me!) in Sydney last Saturday. I can't rave about it enough and would recommend you all go on that or one similar when in Sydney or Melbourne. We were guided by an energetic and enterprising young Syrian Australian, Sharon Salloum, who's the chef at the Almond Bar in Darlinghurst and author of “Almond Bar,100 delicious Syrian recipes”.

We were bused around butchers, bakers, grocers, nut roasters, pizza cafes and sweet shops in Canterbury, Lakemba, Punchbowl and Greenacre. Many of these were family businesses. A lovely lunch with a wide variety of dishes was served at Al Aseel in Greenacre.

Baalbek Bakery in Cantebury.
Sharon’s knowledge of Middle Eastern cuisine, family anecdotes, information on ingredients and enthusiasm for the food customs of her heritage were highly inspiring.
Plus there was more than enough food to taste at each stop! Everything was delicious!
Although pineapple didn’t appear to feature often in Lebanese cuisine we did spot these dried pineapple at The Nut Roaster in Lakemba (note the inexpensive price)
and cakes at Five Star Sweets in Greenacre. This last stop was a treat for our eyes as well as our taste buds! Yummy baklawa!

A Gourmet Safari is definitely an ideal present or something to experience with friends. We’re thinking we’d like to try an Italian Safari next. Whose birthday is coming up?
The Taste of Beirut Website, recipe from Chef Guillaume Gomez, Elysée Palace, Paris, France.

Lebanese Fresh Pineapple Cake

1 pineapple, extra-sweet; 300 g sugar, divided; 200 g flour; 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder; a pinch of salt; 3 large eggs; 100 g of melted unsalted butter; 1/2 vanilla bean (can replace with pure vanilla extract)

First step: poaching the pineapple (can be done one day ahead to meld the flavours)
1. Cut and peel the pineapple, making sure no knobs remain. Cut off the core and discard. Dice all the remaining pineapple flesh evenly in small pieces. Place in a bowl.
2. Place the vanilla bean in a flat surface and smooth out with the blade of a knife; cut in half lengthwise and scrape off all the seeds.
3. In a large pot, place 1/3 of the sugar and 2 1/2 cups of water and the vanilla seeds and bean; bring to a boil and when it starts boiling, stir until the sugar is dissolved, then add the pineapple pieces, reduce the heat and simmer gently for 15 minutes.
4. Place the pineapple pieces in a bowl, cover with the syrup and let the mixture cool. Remove the vanilla bean, wash and dry and keep for another use.

Second step: Making the cake batter
1. Place the three eggs in the mixer bowl; start mixing, adding the remaining sugar gradually. Mix until the mixture is turned pale yellow.
2. Sift the flour and salt into the egg mixture, gradually at first, until the flour mixture disappears into the egg mixture; add the baking powder to the cake batter. Add the melted butter slowly until the butter is incorporated. Add the drained pineapple pieces to the cake batter, folding gently to mix throughout.
3. Butter a non-stick cake mold and pour the batter into it. Bake in a preheated 180°C oven for about 30 minutes or until the cake is golden and puffed up. (Insert a toothpick to check if the cake is ready).
4. Remove from the oven and prick the cake all over with the toothpick; pour the pineapple syrup on the cake; let the cake absorb the syrup and cool. Serve.