“Tricolore” Pasta with Quail Sauce (Home made pasta in the colours of the Italian flag)

I came across these pictures taken over Christmas and remembered that I wanted to post them. The occasion warranted some extra work, and I had a request for home made pasta anyway.  The brightness of the colours impressed everyone, including me.

Tricolore Pasta

Make fresh egg pasta dough as described, leaving out two of the eggs as the spinach / beet paste will have some moisture. Divide the pasta dough in to 3 equal parts

For the Colours

Blanch about 250 g spinach and then squeeze our all the water. Process in a food processor to a smooth paste then pass the paste through a fine sieve to have a thick intense green juice. Do the same with 2 medium sized beetroots processed to a thick intense red juice

Method

Mix enough of the green juice into one third of the pasta dough, which should be very dry as one egg was left out, until you have an even coloured pasta dough with a smooth consistency. Repeat the process with a second of the three portions, using the red beetroot juice. The third portion should be corrected with water to ensure all three portions have the same amount of egg and consistency.

Cook in salted water until al dente, (make sure that you cook equal amounts of every colour).  Drain the pasta (do not rinse it under the cold tap) and transfer it to the pan with hot sauce. Mix and serve with plenty of grated parmigiano.

The Quail Sauce being a home favorite as we have plenty of quail, goes particularly well with home made parpardelle and did the tricolore a lot of justice on this occasion.

ENJOY !!  Do not forget the home made red wine.

Uova alla Fiorentina (Eggs Fiorentina)

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Breakfast cannot be more enjoyable than with fresh home grown free range eggs and organic spinach out of the garden. I am lucky enough to have a combination of quail and chicken eggs for breakfast.

Wash  two large bunches of spinach (beetroot or radish tops work equally well). Do not add water, the water clinging to the leaves from the washing will be enough. After a while press as much water out of the spinach as you can and put aside.  Add one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and one tablespoon of butter to a pan. Also add three large cloves of garlic and one small chili finely chopped, simmer for about two minutes on low heat.  Add the spinach to the pan and season with  salt and pepper to taste. Now break in as many eggs as required and cook until eggs are done to your liking. You can cover the pan for a while when cooking if you want the eggs hard. Sprinkle with grated parmigiano, black pepper, add a dash of olive oil and serve with home made bread.

ENJOY!!!

 

Cured Salmon

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Fresh South Island salmon from our friend Ross Hutchinson at Blue Water Products in Dunedin is an excellent product for this easy to make delicacy.

Fillet and de – bone one FRESH salmon. Mix 800 gram coarse sea salt and 200 gram granulated sugar with the grated rind of two organic fresh lemons. In the bottom of a large enough stainless steel container to have both fillets lying flat and  not touching, place a layer of the salt mixture. Now lay the fillets, skin side down, on the salt mixture and cover well with the rest of the salt mixture. The fillets should be totally covered. Refrigerate for 24 hours, then turn the fish over and again completely cover it with the salt mixture. Refrigerate again for 24 hours. Remove the fillets and wash very well under cold running water until all the salt is washed off. Pat dry with paper and your salmon is ready to eat. I normally cut it into four pieces and vacuum seal those pieces I am not going to eat immediately. In the vacuum sealed bags in the fridge these should last a good four weeks.

Today we had quail eggs topped with truffles Mrs BYF brought back from the promised land, with cured salmon and fresh garden salad – sprinkled with ground black pepper and a dash of olive oil. Excellent with home made ciabatta and home made wine.

Another, and a big favorite in our house, is to place a bit of home made ricotta on a piece of fresh pane di casa and top it with cured salmon and caper berries, freshly ground black pepper and a dash of good olive oil. Wash all of this down with the best Italian Prosecco you can afford and pretend you are in heaven

ENJOY!!

Pappardelle al ragù di quaglia (Egg pasta with quail sauce)

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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.

FOUR DIFFERENT EGGS FOR BREAKFAST

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Fried eggs for breakfast. The unique thing was not the bit of chili and butter in the pan but that the eggs were from top to bottom: bought brown hens egg , pure white egg, laid by my Ancona hen, egg laid by my guinea fowl hen and a pretty speckled egg laid by my quail hen.  In the pan the pale yellow is the bought egg and the middle egg beside it is the guinea fowl egg. The latter took a bit longer to cook than the others. Very tasty treat. Yolk color is more often than not an indication of quality of the feed consumed and the general well being of the bird.

Frittata di Borragine e Cacciatore (Frittata with Borage and pork sausages)

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This morning’s breakfast was a feast put together by Mrs BYF (I knew it was breakfast, because I did not have wine with the meal). Borage (Borago officinalis) is one of the plants that actually thrives in Dunedin’s whether, so one has to make the most of it. The flowers and young leaves are delightful in a salad and the older leaves can be cooked like spinach as a side vegetable. Making a frittata with home made Cacciatore sausages was not only very pretty, but also exquisite.

RECIPE

Fry some onions and garlic in butter and olive oil in a heavy pan, ad the sausage and fry until it starts to color, then ad the borage leaves and cook until almost done. In the mean time, lightly beat 24 quail eggs (6 chicken eggs) with six tablespoons of water. Ad a bit of grated parmigiano cheese, salt and pepper and pour into the pan with the other ingredients. Turn the temperature down to medium and leave, without stirring, for a few minutes until it just starts to set on the top. Now put in in the oven under the grill until lightly brown. ENJOY !!! (If after 10H00 a good red wine is permitted)

Quaglia Marinata al Forno

GROWTH AND DRESSING PERCENTAGES

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I slaughtered another batch of quails today. The law of averages is playing up and a batch of 38 quails produced 29 males and ONLY 9 females. So the bank is empty, but the fridge is full. Being a scientist and engaged in a breeding program endeavoring to improve the Coturnix coturnix in New Zealand, I of coarse monitor many parameters and wish other people would also provide concrete actual results (especially those Americans claiming to grow gigantic everything, which is not always good even though they may be big), so as to be able to monitor and compare progress and set standards. In my egg producing breeds, I am of the opinion that I have reached optimum body size. For the dual purpose breeds, I am still selecting for larger birds and am  making  some definite headway. Here are some results obtained from the last 180 quails slaughtered :

Body mass at 21 days of age (all sexes of all breeds) – 114 g (averages still on the rise)

Body mass at 35 days of age (males of all breeds) –  188 g (averages still on the rise)

As I slaughter on day 35, here are the slaughtering results :

Live mass – 188 g

Dressed mass (back bone out, skin on, wings clipped) – 105 g (56%)

Gizzards, livers, harts, etc – 11 g (6 %)

Stock Meat – Back bone, wings, etc –  34 (18%)

Intestines (Discards) – 10 g (5 %)

Feathers, heads, blood, feet, etc (Discards) – 28 g (15%)

QUAGLIA MARINATO AL FORNO

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One of my favorite Quail recipes is marinated quails on the coals. Very easy – on slaughtering day, place the quails in a container and add enough olive oil to cover them well inside and out. Now add some salt, pepper, chili, rosemary, oregano, garlic and a few slices of lemon. Those that I do not marinate go straight into maximum vacuumed sealed bags and if consumed within a week, I store them in the fridge only – the rest goes into the freezer, if any. Leave in marinade for one day while turning it over every so often. Grill on a medium to hot fire and as these are young and tender, it only takes a few minutes to do. Serve with polenta and a very good red wine – ENJOY !!