One can benefit greatly by living in close proximity to a keen forager with an eye for mushrooms. The mushroom season in Dunedin has been exceptionally good and boletus are plentiful should one know where to look for them. Mushroomers may share their haul, but will never, ever tell where their mushrooms are found! Our generous benefactors have shared their bounty with us and some of the most thrilling mushrooms, the puffballs, grow right here in their garden!
Recipe for fried puffball mushroom
1 Good sized puffball, firm and pure white right through when sliced. The inside has a marshmallow like texture
2 to 3 Eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup dried breadcrumbs with a pinch of salt and pepper added and mixed in
Use a cast iron or heavy based pan big enough to fry the mushroom slices in 2 ot 3 batches
Enough pork fat or vegetable oil to come up to about 2.5 ml up the side of the pan. Apart from the great taste, pork fat can be heated to a very high temperature, ideal for frying
I have written about puffballs before, and this one was prepared by again slicing it into ‘steaks’ about 15 mm thick, dipped in egg wash and coated in dried breadcrumbs. This time the slices were fried until golden in pork fat, processed in our kitchen from a delicious home grown porker. I highly recommend frying in pork fat but those that fear animal fat can use vegetable oil. We ate the mushroom, dressed with a few drop of fresh lemon juice and ground black pepper, for dinner along with fresh tomatoes that ripened in Dunedin’s first hot summer since we moved here. The tiny lemons are from the tiny tree planted in our front garden 2 seasons ago.
Only flour for making the bread to produce crumbs and salt and pepper were purchased to produce this lovely meal.
If you have any lemons left after making Limoncello, you may as well make some delicious PASTA AL LIMONE
When my friend joined me for an afternoon of cheese making Mrs BYF had collected all the leftover ricotta (1/2 cup) and about 1 cup of mascarpone (which had turned out a bit sour) I had made a few days ago and made a great pasta sauce. She melted the cheeses and a tablespoon of butter over a very slow heat while the pasta was cooking, added some lemon rind and a few squeezes of lemon juice, bit of salt and pepper and a pinch of chilli flakes. After adding a few spoonfuls of pasta water she added the drained pasta to the pan and served it with a generous dusting of parmigiano cheese. It was delicious and my friend wanted the recipe. As with a lot of her best dishes her passion for using the ingredients at hand it can never be repeated!
The secret is home made cheese. The ricotta we can buy here is not edible, whereas one can buy reasonable mascarpone made by Tatua. Having lovely organic lemons from a neighbour’s mum’s tree in Wellington is also an inspiration to make this simple but elegant dish.
Panettone is traditionally eaten throughout Italy and the world by Italians during the Christmas period. The origin of panettone is from Milan where we consume it all year round. It is a tedious and long process to make, but always worth the while.
150 g Sugar
15 g Natural Live Yeast
260 g Biga (50:50)
200 g Egg Yolks
340 g Flour
220 g Butter
1185 g TOTAL
Dissolve the sugar and live yeast in the Biga, then add the egg yolks and flour and mix well until even. Ad the soft butter and mix well. Let it levitate 12 to 14 hours at 25°C or until triple in volume.
200 g Flour
35 g Sugar
50 g Egg Yolks
50 g Butter
10 g Salt
3 g Vanilla Pods
200 g Sultanas pre-soaked and dried
180 g Candied Fruit
50 g Orange Peel
778 g TOTAL
1963 G GRAND TOTAL
Knead the flour and first kneading until elastic. Add the sugar and the egg yolks and mix / knead thoroughly, then add the butter, salt and vanilla and mix until even. Lastly add the fruit and mix well.
Let the dough proof for one hour, then divide into portions and let it rest for another hour. Pirlare (to make the dough round) and place into moulds lined with baking paper.
Levitate at 30°C for 5 to 6 hours or until triple in volume. Bake at 160C for twenty minutes, rotate the moulds and bake another 40 minutes at 150 C (Approximately 60 minutes per kilogram for each mould). When taken from the oven, turn upside-down and rest for at least 3 hours, then put in bags and store.
For some time we every year imported a 10 Kg Albertengo Moscato Panettone from Albertnego in Italy.
Fresh egg pasta and quail ragu shall always remain one of my favorites. Mrs BYF took off to foreign shores (again) and I shall have to look after myself for ten weeks. Tuesday being slaughter day and the quails were young, plump and very soft, so I decided to treat myself. While slowly simmering the quail ragu, I decanted a bottle of Blackcurrant wine, made on 2014-09-01, for the occasion. Even though I already racked it twice (and tasted it every time) I was pleasantly surprised. This is a bold and concentrated full bodied dark red wine with a pleasant strong velvety aroma and an endless after taste. Being young, I shall bottle tomorrow and keep it for some time and I am sure it is going to be very good as the bottle I had with the paste was excellent. I am fortunate to have made about 70 liters of this wine and I shall post the recipe later during the week.
Recipe for fresh paste
Mix 500 g plain flour with 20 quail eggs (5 chicken eggs). Knead until smooth (ad water or flour to get the correct consistency), cover and place in the fridge for one hour. Fold and roll the dough several times through the thickest setting on the pasta machine, then gradually pass it through at a thinner setting each time, until the desired thickness is obtained. Use ample amounts of flour whilst rolling the dough. The pasta can now be used or allowed to dry for later use. This fresh pasta cooks very fast and is ready in less than five minutes.
One of the resident Kereru eating in the overloaded Crabapple tree. I still have loads of Crabapple jelly from last year. Darn! I shall be forced to make Crabapple wine ( jay!).