All posts tagged “mint

Epic Post Xmas Lunch Feast – Part 3 – Dessert

Check out the mega Part 2 – Pulled Pork Tacos

Ah, and to the end of the meal we come. Barely with enough room to move, we desperately pry more stomach space for a thoroughly satisfying end to an epic feast.

I admit that I’m not as well versed in baking or desserts compared to the other culinary crafts and Ice cream and other frozen delicacies have definitely played main roles in various scenes of multiple cooking fails in the past. I’ve certainly created enough 2 litre sorbet ice blocks in my time.

Why don’t I just buy an ice cream churner you ask? Because I’m stubborn and I don’t like too many impalements cluttering the kitchen, same reason why I don’t have an electronic hand whisk or a stand mixer. And probably because I’m slightly masochistic, I love the torture of having to hand whisk egg whites, cream or creaming butter and sugar by hand.

Anyway, in light of my failures, it’s surprising that this is perhaps my most successful ice cream recipe by far. Semi Freddo means half-cold in Italian, although it tends to melt faster than ice cream, it definitely tastes like ice cream. Don’t try and skimp on the cream/eggs either if you want it to work and not turn into a cream ice block.

White Chocolate, Macadamia & Lime Semifreddo with Macerated Summer Fruits

White Chocolate, Macadamia & Lime Semifreddo with Macerated Summer Fruits

White Chocolate, Macadamia & Lime Semifreddo

250g white chocolate
100g macadamia nuts (lightly toasted and crushed)
zest of 1 lime
4 eggs
1 vanilla pod
400ml single cream
50g sugar

lightly grease a 2 litre loaf tin or container with oil/butter then line with cling film

Break the chocolate into pieces and melt in a bain-marie (or microwave). Set aside to cool.

separate the egg yolks and whites. Whip the yolks over a Bain Marie on low heat. Add sugar and beat until pale and silky. Make sure the temperature isn’t too high as it can scramble your eggs. Once done, add to the cooled melted chocolate.

Split the vanilla pod, scrape out the seeds and add to the cream. Whip the cream until soft peaks. Whip the egg whites until soft peaks.

Fold everything together lightly along with the nuts and lime zest.

pour into tin/container. Freeze for at least 4-6 hours. Even better overnight. Keeps in the fridge for 2 weeks.


Macerated Summer Fruits with vanilla sugar, mint & butterscotch schnapps

1 punnet blueberries1 punnet strawberries
1 punnet raspberries
1/3 punnet red currants
1 handful fresh round mint
1 tablespoons vanilla sugar
2 tablespoons butterscotch schnapps

Cut strawberries in half and add to a large mixing bowl along with the other berries and currants.

finely shop the mint, and add to the fruit along with the sugar and schnapps. Mix well, and slightly mash some of the berries (around 1/3).

Refrigerate for 1-2 hours before use.


Fennel, Quinoa & Pomegranate

Fennel, Quinoa & Pomegranate

Out of habit I always like to have a something on a screen nearby. It’s almost like a comfort blanket. Some people always have music on, I can’t bear looking at a matte black monitor. It’s usually tennis or some crappy reality show like Kitchen Nightmares or The Voice but having a VPN means that I’m also privy to some great shows not available on YouTube.

This weekend I stumbled upon Ottolenghi’s Mediterranean Feast, produced for Channel 4 in the UK. I’ve heard the name Ottolenghi through the grapevine and also whilst searching for cookbooks, his Jerusalem being perhaps the most lauded cookbook in 2012. I consider myself pretty well versed in celebrity chefdom, I’ve watched everything from Bourdain, to Huey (Aussies will know who I’m talking about) and yes even dabbled in a bit of infamous Guy Fieri. But Yotam Ottolenghi has flown under the radar….till now.

I’ve taken an instant liking to Yotam!  His style with salads and vegetables are right up my alley. It’s not hard to see why he has a cult following. Sometimes I find chefs try a little too hard to compensate with salads, a bit too much olive oil and cheese really. Not that I don’t love both. But Ottolenghi seems to treat it like meat in a way, simple mixes of spices, colour and flavour. I hope he makes more TV because he’s interminably watchable and endearingly dorky.

This is my take on his Quinoa, Fennel & Pomegranate salad from Bon Appetite . I had some red quinoa leftover and fennel is cheap and in season now, so this will be lunch this week. I’m not a huge fan of the crunchy aniseediness of raw fennel, however caramelised in a pan until soft and it becomes a moreish vessel of sweet succulence…oh…yeaaaah… the fennel is the real star of this dish, and therefore deserves the top billing.

mise en place


Enough for 4 mains.

2 bulbs medium-large Fennel
2 tablespoon of olive oil
1 cup of red quinoa
water or stock to cook quinoa (I used chicken)
salt & pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1.5 teaspoons sugar
1 lemon
1 jalepeno or mild chilli
handful of chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)
handful of chopped fresh mint
couple of sprigs of fresh dill
handful of pomegranate seeds

Cut the fennel into thick slices (around 1cm), add the olive oil to a sauté pan, throw in the fennel, season with salt & pepper, saute on both sides until golden brown and soft. Combine, lemon juice, vinegar, cumin & sugar. Add to fennel and cook for another minute. Set aside.

Rinse Quinoa thoroughly, then with 2 cups of water/stock, bring to boil in saucepan, turn heat down and simmer for 10-15min or until quinoa has absorbed most of the liquid. Cover and let sit for 5-10min.

Segment the flesh from the lemon, finely chop the chilli, roughly chop the herbs.

Combine the whole shemozzle together with the pomergranate seeds, adding salt & pepper and more oil to taste.


Fennel, Quinoa & Pomegranate

Fennel, Quinoa & Pomegranate