Do not store your Potatoes too well !

F11FE7D7-CC59-499C-911B-C68DDF6CFE33.jpeg

I harvested about 80 kg of potatoes from my garden three months ago and was very chuffed because I would have had enough potatoes to keep my grandson, who is an absolute potato fiend in great organic potatoes for a very long time as well as having a bit over for the rest of the family.  I  very carefully stored the potatoes in plastic drums – one layer of potatoes followed by a layer of hay repeatedly until full. I filled about 5 X 25 liter drums, tightly sealed them and stored them in a cool dry place out of the sun – at the southern side of the house. The unforeseen, by me, has happened and the potatoes which were VERY GOOD for some months have gone sweet. Grandson does not eat sweet potatoes so he has refused my lovely baked offerings for the last few meals and reproached me for planting sweet potatoes instead of the real stuff. Knowing that I did not plant sweet potatoes I decided to read up. Apparently the place where I stored my precious harvest was too cold. Easy mistake to make in Dunedin, especially during the end of winter. Here is a link to the article explaining why cold potatoes become sweet https://indianapublicmedia.org/amomentofscience/cold-potatoes-black-bananas/

The next crop would be stored in a warmer space with a north facing window and wall! Never too old to learn. I now have a lot of sweet potatoes to eat myself, but there is hope as you presumably could partially reverse the sweetening process – next experiment!

Pasta con la Rucola

5D540D69-2512-451A-BC63-1AEB5E2F2868

We had lemons from the tree of a friend of a friend and lots of flowering rocket that we had to use or lose. Mrs BYF came up with this delicious pasta using the ingredients at hand, while I was busy making cheese.

Lemon and Rocket Pasta

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 cloves of garlic

1 chilli or some flakes, as much as you prefer, but at least a bit is essential

2 handfuls of fresh rocket + 1 handful of fresh rocket

zest of 2 lemons + zest of 1 lemon

juice of 1 lemon

cracked black pepper

1/2 cup of grated parmigiano reggiano

Add the pasta to salted, fast boiling water. While the pasta cooks, make the sauce.
Heat the olive oil and add the garlic and chilli in a pan that can hold everything including the cooked pasta. When the garlic is translucent add the 2 handfuls of fresh rocket to the pan. When the rocket has wilted slightly add the zest of 2 lemons and the lemon juice. When the pasta has cooked, add a few tablespoons of boiling pasta water to the sauce. When al dente, remove the hot pasta from the pasta pot, drain the water and add the hot pasta to the sauce in the pan. Stir the sauce through the pasta. Portion out the pasta into the plates and scatter a few of the fresh rocket leaves, a bit of the lemon zest and cracked black pepper over the pasta. Add liberal amounts of parmigiano reggiano and serve immediately.

Do not forget a glass of home made red to finish it all!!

ENJOY!!!

 

Multi Purpose Rocket

F1604D45-5533-483C-B45C-94AEC9DAFFB0.jpeg

Yet another crop with many uses! This time it is rocket which is in abundance in our garden at this time of the year, sowing itself all the time.. Apart from great salads and pesto, the flowers make a really nice display for the kitchen window sill. Also enjoy the pesto as a pasta sauce, with fish or on fresh bread or toast

Pesto Recipe

100 g Pesto Leaves

25 g roasted Pine Nuts

20 g fresh Garlic

150 g Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 g Salt

Blend all the above ingredients well in a blender, or if you have the energy, mash it up in a mortar and pestle

50 g grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana Padana cheese

20 g grated Pecorino cheese

40 g melted Butter

Fold the above indigents into the blended product

 

It will last up to a week in the fridge, but is better fresh (after resting for about an hour from making it – the pesto not you)

ENJOY and do not forget a glass of the home made red!!!

 

 

 

Rombo

3B09D62C-AE5C-49D3-A31D-AAD4C0A10FC3.jpeg
My neighbour caught some flounder (Rombo in Italian) locally. He generously gave me two lovely firm, fresh fish caught that day. We cooked them as soon as we could manage, being chronically over fed, we had to wait until the next day. Mrs BYF decided to fry the fish in pig fat that I rendered from the organic Kunekune last year. The fish looked fantastic and was delicious.  The fat contributed to the taste as well as the appearance, not sure why, but things fried in fat look more golden brown to me. The side was spinach and smashed potatoes, and roast pumpkin.
Flounder (Rombo)
1 cup of flour generously seasoned with salt and pepper
6 tablespoons of pig fat or vegetable oil about 10 mm deep for frying

Heat the oil in a pan big enough to hold the entire fish lying on its side. The oil must be hot enough to sizzle when the fish goes in. Use kitchen paper to dry the fish very well. Drench the fish in flour, make sure every bit of it is covered. Shake off excess flour and slide the fish into the pan, skin down. After about 5 minutes, when the skin is crispy and brown, turn over and fry for 5 minutes more.

Serve immediately with some cut lemon and a vegetable of your choice.

Love living in New Zealand!

LEAVE THE GUN – BRING THE CANNOLI

8126B439-03E5-4521-8B4C-178D133DC01F

SHELLS

150 g Standard Flour

20 g Cocoa Powder

25 g Castor Sugar

25 g Grated Frozen Butter

50 ml Espresso

50 ml Dry White Wine

20 ml Marsala

1 Beaten Egg

Sift the dry components and rub the butter into it. Ad the fluids and egg and mix until you have a stiff dough. Roll out and cut into 100 mm squares. Wrap around Cannoli molds and deep fry in oil. Let it dry on absorbent paper.

FILLING

400 g Good Ricotta

200 g Good Mascarpone

80 g Castor Sugar

100 g Chocolate Chips

50 g Chopped Pistachio Nuts

Icing Sugar for coating

Blend together Ricotta and Mascarpone cheese. Fold in sugar. Fold in chocolate chips and Pistachios. Cover and chill 30 minutes. Pour into a piping bag and fill the shells.

 

 

Salami and Sausage making time

There is no better way to spend a Sunday, with a few good friends, to convert the pig and stag that crossed our way a few days earlier, into some delicious products.

The temperature in my “Meat Curing Room” is ideal at 8 – 10 C at this time of the year, but I would have preferred the humidity to be less than 60% to allow for proper curing and drying – hopefully it will get a bit less humid over the next few days.

 

DEFYING WINTER / PASTA CON BROCCOLI

F4C3750D-884C-4C80-905D-5620F6F5CF0CIrrespective of the cold winter weather Dunedin is encountering at present, the garden seems to defy the seasons and continues to produce, which keeps me healthy and out of the supermarkets with some spare change in my pocket.

BROCCOLI PASTA

This is a quick, very easy and delicious Garden Meal

  • 1 Head of Broccoli – Washed, dried and broken into pieces of about 25 mm in diameter
  • 2 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Clove of Garlic – Chopped finely
  • 1 Fresh Chili – Chopped finely
  • Salt and Black Pepper
  • Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana Padana Cheese – Grated

While you boil the water and cook the pasta in salted water, prepare the Broccoli sauce. In a large cast iron pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat until hot. Add the garlic and fresh chili and cook for a few n minutes until soft, but not coloured (about 1 minute), then add the Broccoli and toss well in the oil and cook until the Broccoli is soft but still crispy and not mushy (about 2 – 3 minutes). Ad salt and black pepper to taste. Add the cooked pasta al dente to the pan with the Broccoli, garlic and chili and toss well.  Serve immediately while still hot and dress with a dash of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, grated Parmigiano and crushed Black Pepper

ENJOY !!

Do not forget the homemade red to wash it all down.