Tapas-style platter & pannacotta for dinner

What can I say – I have a teensy bit of an obsession with pannacotta…

The first time I made it, the gelatine didn’t dissolve properly and I used too much – leaving a weird blob of gelatine at the bottom. I made it again a few times and it either came out too runny, too ‘solid’ or too creamy. Well I suppose it can never be too creamy, but maybe the portions were too big and it was just too much ‘richness’..

So, I tried it again tonight, with half buttermilk and half cream and I set the gelatine in water first (might sound obvious, but all previous recipes I used called for the gelatine to be added straight to the warm cream mixture) and then added it to the cream mixture. This worked much better!  (Basic pannacotta recipe from Donna Hay – love her! – with my addition of peach & apricot.)

So here it is – buttermilk pannacotta with peach & apricot:

1 cup of cream

1 cup of buttermilk

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp gelatine

2 tbs water

1/2 a cup of icing sugar

2 tsp chunky apricot jam

1/2 a peach, cut into thin slices

Mix gelatine with water, stir and set aside.  Heat cream, buttermilk, vanilla & sugar until sugar has dissolved. Add gelatine and let it dissolve properly.  Pass through a sieve and set aside.

Next, place peach slices into 2 cups or small ramekins and top with a teaspoon apricot jam in each. Pour pannacotta mixture onto the fruit, refrigerate for at least 7 hours until set.

To serve, simply invert onto a plate (insert a sharp knife and edge it all around the cup to loosen) and garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.

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{Best pannacotta ever!! Seriously – SO yum – a real winner!}

With summer on our doorstep, I decided to serve up a platter with all sorts of delights that we can simply eat ‘finger-food-style.

My platter consisted of:

Grilled aubergine (Brush with olive oil and grill on a griddle pan)

Goats cheese

Danish feta cheese

Roasted, cooled beets (leftover from our Heritage Day feast)

Assorted lettuce leaves

Marinated tomatoes (2 diced tomatoes marinated in salt, freshly chopped garlic and olive oil)

Slices of cabanossi sausage (smoked & cured pork sausage)

Crispy grilled chicken livers (dusted in flour, paprika & cayenne pepper, fried in butter & olive oil. To get them nice & crispy, place a weight on top while frying. I use the bottom of another pan or pot – this also helps to prevent splatter from when the livers ‘pop’)

Perfect summer’s meal – refreshing, romantic and delicious! We enjoyed our dinner outside on the patio with a glass of crisp Pinot Grigio.

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Enjoy! X

Wednesday – summery angelfish salad

I saw a snippet of a master class from Masterchef last week, where they made some sardine salad and it really looked delish, but then of course I couldn’t find the recipe.

So, inspired by that, I created this fresh and flavoursome angelfish salad:

For the greens, I used a butter lettuce torn into pieces (enough for 2 people), topped with grilled carrot ribbons and green beans, cucumber ribbons, diced papaya and thinly sliced fresh pears.

I grilled the carrots and beans for 8minutes.

Dressing for the carrots & beans:

Half a tsp sesame oil

1 tsp lemon juice

2 tbs soy sauce

2 tbs honey (I grilled the carrots & beans in this dressing – keep leftover dressing)

Dressing for the salad:

2 tbs olive oil

Juice of half an orange

1 tsp lemon juice

1 tsp honey

Pan fry fish in butter & olive oil for about 2-3mins on each side until just cooked and golden on the outside.  Place cooked fish in the leftover dressing from the carrots.  Cut into strips and place on top of salad.

This was a seriously delicious salad – perfect for summer!

For dessert, I made a vanilla pannacotta. For some reason I just cannot get this right! It’s either been too soft, or the gelatine hasn’t dissolved properly and I was left with a funny layer at the bottom of the dessert, or like tonight, I used too much gelatine and the pannacotta was too firm… Next time will be a winner! Nevertheless, it tasted great and now I know exactly how much gelatine to use next time.

For 2 pannacottas:

500ml cream

a quarter cup of sugar

the seeds from half a vanilla pod

1 sachet (10g) gelatine powder from Woolworths

Heat the cream slowly over a low heat, add sugar and dissolve.  Add vanilla and gelatine.  Stir over low heat until gelatine is dissolved completely, taking care not to let it boil. The gelatate does take a while to dissolve, so be patient!

Serve with fresh strawberries – enjoy! XImage

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On the menu this week

Like I’ve mentioned, I love lists and ‘listy’ things – so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I like to do a menu for each week, and then I shop accordingly.

Here’s this week’s dinner menu: (I will post a photo and recipe for each day)

Monday

Spicy chicken livers with sweet potato mash and a raisin relish

Tuesday

Game mince pockets wrapped in bacon, served with a salad

Wednesday

Angelfish salad and a berry panacotta for dessert

Thursday

Thai-style salad

Friday

Roast chicken with roast veg

Saturday

Slow-roasted leg of wild boar with roasted beets and a caprese salad – along with some scrummy cake for dessert

We have a get-together with all our neighbours on Sunday, yay!

*I use mostly game meat or venison – whatever you’d like to call it – in my cooking, I apart from chicken or pork, which I just get from the local supermarket.  (However, the wild boar is wild game.)

One of Eben’s best friends goes hunting every season and he supplied us with our venison.  Now, the reason for us going the ‘wild’ route, is health (we’re trying to eat as paleo as possible – and how much more paleo can you get than hunting for your own meat?!) and also cost (it works out to almost half the price of what you pay for hormone-injected beef in the supermarket! Plus it tastes way better!)

Watch out for these recipes this week, along with a snappy…

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