Think the end of the working week and a hot stinker day. Think of sitting on a chair on your deck and staring out into nothing, praising the weekend ahead. You could be resting a cold beer on your belly, or cracking a bottle of chardonnay, but by far far far and away better is to herald in the weekend with this glorious concoction. Continue reading
Lamb has to be about my most favourite meat and rack of lamb is one of my favourite cuts. I don’t eat this very often, as this little beauty is not cheap. But for a special night in, it’s worth it. I modified this ever so slightly from a recipe in Nigella Lawson’s “How to Eat” cookbook – because her recipe is pretty darn simple. I love cinnamon with lamb and in keeping with the somewhat Moroccan theme, I made a reduction of pomegranate to serve with roasted beetroot, cocktail onions, potatoes on the side, with some contrasting green beans for colour and garlicy toasted almonds for extra crunch. Continue reading
To anyone who knows me now, they might be shocked to learn that when I was a child, I didn’t really like desserts. My parents grew up in the post-war era and rationing was part of the way of life. Apart from being terribly thrifty (mum’s go-to dessert was a sheet of puff pastry smeared with jam, then baked), their tastes for food were typical British-Irish, that is to say – not very adventurous. We grew up in the country where there were two sorts of eating out: the pub and the Chinese restaurant (I now know that ‘chow mein’ is not really that authentic!). Continue reading
In this dish, I love the colour from the sweet potato and squash, along with the freshness of orange and pomegranate and the crunch of pine nuts. I used tenderloins, to keep it healthier and because well, that’s what I had in the freezer, but using skin-on chicken thighs would be excellent too.
The use of za’atar in this recipe means you need to do little else to make a super tasty meal. My za’atar came from the Saucy Spice company, made locally in beautiful Bega. They have a stall at the Kingston Bus Depo markets on Sundays.
Za’atar is actually a middle eastern herb, but it is commonly known as a mixture of herbs and spices. It can be made from a variety of herbs (though oregano, thyme, sumac and sesame seeds are usually there). Mine has sumac, oregano, thyme, marjoram, sesame seeds and orange peel).
Za’atar chicken on a sweet potato & squash mash, with rocket, orange and pomegranate salad
- 450g chicken tenderloins
- 2 tablespoons (Tb) za’atar
- 2 Tb olive oil
- 1 Tb pomegranate molasses, or another strong syrup – I used reduced cherry syrup
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- salt and pepper to season
- 100 g rocket leaves
- handful snowpea sprouts
- 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into chucks
- 2 medium yellow squash, cut into chunks
- 25 g butter
- 2 Tb cream
- 2 Tb pine nuts (toasted)
- ½ pomegranate, seeded
- 1 orange, peeled with all pith removed, cut into thin slices
- The day before, make a marinade for the chicken from the za’atar, salt and pepper, garlic, oil and cherry (or pomegranate) syrup. Place the tenderloins in a ziplock bag with the marinade, squidge it around a bit and leave in fridge overnight.
- Turn on oven to 180°C (160°C fan forced).
- Remove tenderloins from marinade and bake for about 30 minutes (turn half way through the cooking time).
- On a separate tray, roast the sweet potato and squash, doused in a bit of olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper, until tender (approximately 30 minutes).
- Once cooked, set aside the tenderloins to rest.
- Once cooked, remove the sweet potato and squash from oven and mash together with the butter and cream. Using a stick blender, blend until thick and saucy. Add more cream or some olive oil to make it smoother if required.
- Artistically smear the mash on a plate and place 3 to 4 tenderloins on top per serve.
- Garnish with the orange, rocket, snowpea sprouts, pine nuts and pomegranate seeds.
Today is 26 January and it is
vegemite-on-toast Australia Day. What I didn’t know until recently is that a nationally-coordinated approach to Australia Day (that being everyone doing stuff on the 26th January) really didn’t come into being until 1994. Here’s more on Australia Day if you’re interested.
How do Australians celebrate Australia Day?