First meal of the New Year.
At our Christmas do on the 23rd, the Shire of Katanning gave all employees a $99 gift voucher to spend at BKW. That was very nice of them I thought. I used mine on a blender. I bought a very nice Sunbeam pro with a 1000 watt engine. I first used it to blend ice and mango into a smoothie on that very hot day we had just before I rode to Perth. Later I blended up Bay leaves, and I also made some aioli. I am planning a lot more uses. A blender is better than a food processor in many ways. I discovered for instance that my food processor is not so good for coffee beans.
Apart from Christmas Day and Boxing Day, I have been eating pretty frugally lately. If my resolve weakens, I just go and stand naked in front of the mirror and remind myself why she probably left. It seems to be working, because I have gone from a 7XL motorcycle jacket down to a 5XL. But I still can’t zip up the 4XL I bought nearly four years ago. When that one is too big again I may feel a bit better.
Even on my trip to Walpole, on New Year’s Eve, I ate only a piece of very nice grilled Barramundi and salad. Despite the blandishments of the waitress I refused the sticky date pudding. The next day – New Years Day, before my 380K ride home I had a good motel breakfast of scrambled eggs with tomato. Later, I ate a mid-afternoon Guinness steak pie in Manjimup. Incidentally that was one of the best pies I have had as yet in Australia. It is odd because this country prides itself on its pies, yet most of the little Cambodian bakeries in New Zealand produce a far better product than the average Aussie pie. Jaffle pies are fairly good but they are only available from their own chain of brasseries. But I digress.
When I got home I was cold and tired, ate a handful of dried fruit and a drank a glass of milk, and went to sleep. So, for the last day of the Christmas break I decided I deserved a treat. I am about to serve myself a nice meal, with leftovers to look forward to for the week:
Corned Beef, Butter Beans and Baked New Potatoes with Aioli
I have been working on my corned beef for many years, and since the purchase of my slow cooker, I have cooked up a treat once a month at least. It is a versatile meat for leftovers. I believe I have cracked it. My last experiment was really nice and spicy: The wine seems to carry the flavours right through the meat. I have repeated it exactly today because I do believe I have achieved the culmination. This is the pride of my cooking experimentation to date. Delicious hot or cold, on a plate or in a sandwich. I had some pastrami a while ago, which was pretty good. This is nicer.
Into a slow cooker (on low) this morning at 0800 I placed:
- A 1.5 Kg piece of corned silverside
- 1 cup red wine ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- A dash or two of balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- Topped up to the level of the meat with apple and blackcurrant juice
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon whole cumin seed
- 1 teaspoon whole cloves
- 1 teaspoon horseradish mustard
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- ½ teaspoon pirpiri seasoning. According to the label, pirirpri seasoning is: chilli, salt, lemon peel, garlic, acidity regulator, sugar, natural chicken extract, cellulose, natural flavours, lemon oil, herb and spice extracts.
- 3 Bay leaves.
Yay! Fresh leaves from my tree! Incidentally when I got the tree I took the jar of dried leaves I had been using previously and put them in the new blender. The resultant fragrant powder is very nice on tomato juice. It has a vaguely eucalyptus smell I had never noticed before.
Once everything is in the pot, cover, and cook for the requisite time.
Corned beef just like mother never made!
Serve with fluffy mashed potato, carrots and peas or with –
Crispy Baked Potatoes
My potatoes are waxy new potatoes that should have been delicious just boiled with mint and served hot or cold. But I have left them in the pantry for too long. So I baked them.
- Preheat the oven to 200C.
- Boil potatoes, in salted water until almost tender but not yet cooked.
- Drain, and as soon as you can handle them, cut in half and place on an oven tray flat side down. With a very sharp knife cut thin slices in each about ¾ through the potato.
- Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with rock salt and black pepper.
- Bake in the top of the oven, flat side down, until the sliced edges are golden brown and the potatoes cooked through. About 20-30 mins.
- Serve with aioli over the top and sprinkled with chopped parsley.
(Variation- when not serving with aioli, put a thin sliver of garlic in each split in the potato)
Lemon Lime Aioli
This Aioli is something I have not made for a long time. It was a sort of an accident when I first made it, because I was trying to separate yolks from whites and had some rather stale eggs that were a bit watery and weak, and the yolks broke. I ended up with about half of the two egg whites staying in with the yolks. I left it in, and went ahead with the recipe. The mayonnaise came out fine. So I stick to the recipe and leave one egg white in. The lime is my own idea. And a good one too.
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (have more on hand to add if you want)
- ½ tablespoon fresh lime juice
- ½ teaspoon lemon/lime zest (I still have the little bottles of essential oils Glenn gave me and use them very sparingly if I don’t have zest on hand – sparingly is the key word. They are potent. Should last me years! But I digress).
- 2 teaspoon cold water
- 1 teaspoon mustard (Dijon)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- a shake or two of white pepper
- 1 cup virgin cold pressed olive oil
- Lots of garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
- Blend the garlic, water and lime juice and zest to a smooth paste.
- Remove from the blender.
- Without cleaning the blender, add one egg and one egg yolk to the blender. Put the other egg white aside.
- Process 30-45 seconds and with the machine still running, add the lemon juice, mustard, salt and pepper, then very slowly pour in the olive oil a drip at a time at first and increasing slightly until the mixture is the consistency of mayonnaise .
- Add the garlic mixture and blend it in.
- Taste and add more lemon or lime juice, mustard, or salt as necessary.
It keeps quite well for a few weeks in a sealed jar.
From the tyre in the garden, pick a handful of dwarf butter beans, add to a pot of cold salted water and bring to the boil. Turn off the heat and stand for two minutes. Drain and serve with corned beef, baked potato and aioli.
In cooking, as in comedy, timing is everything.
The rest is done. I am about to do the beans right now.