Salt Dough Baked Leg of Lamb

Salt Dough Leg of Lamb. Cooking with Salt. Recipes, foodstyling, styling & photography by Manja Wachsmuth

SALT DOUGH BAKED LEG OF LAMB
serves 8-10

Baking a Leg of Lamb in salt dough takes a bit of patience and concentration, but slow cooking your meat like this, ensures great flavor and moisture and it will be worth all your efforts. Furthermore cracking the crust open at the dinner table is a bit of a showstopper!

2 kg leg of lamb, French trimmed
1 tbsp finely chopped thyme
6 cloves garlic, halved lengthways
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
Extra thyme leaves on stem

Salt dough:

700g/ 6 cups plain flour
300 g / 2 ½ cup sea salt
1 ½ tbsp freshly ground pepper
3 egg whites, lightly beaten
1 ½ cup/ 375 ml water
2 egg yolks mixed with a little cold water

Method leg of lamb:

Pre heat the oven to 180ºC

Combine the thyme and the mustard in a small bowl. Cut 12 deep slits in the leg of lamb and push in the garlic cloves. Rub the mustard paste over both sides of the lamb. If you have a large flat grill plate, the leg of lamb can be browned and cooled before rubbing with the mustard mixture. This doesn’t change the flavour, but does make the lamb look more attractive when the crust is broken.

Method salt dough:

Mix flour, salt and pepper in a bowl to combine. Slowly add the combined egg whites and water to make dough, stirring with a spoon, adding a little more water if necessary to bring the dough together. Tip onto a lightly floured bench and knead for a couple of minutes until well combined. Don’t let the dough rest, as this will make it dry out.

Roll the dough to a large 40 cm x 45 cm rectangle.

Place extra thyme leaves on stem on the dough and the leg of lamb on top, presentation side down, and bring the sides of the dough up, over the lamb. Wet the edges of the pastry and press firmly to make sure the lamb is completely sealed. Turn the lamb right side up and place on a lined baking tray. Wet the pastry where necessary and smooth with your fingers to seal any cracks, making sure the dough is sealed tightly. Brush the dough with egg wash.

Roast for 1 ½ hours, then remove from the oven and rest the leg of lamb for 15 minutes.

To serve:

Carefully break the crust open and pour the cooking liquids into a jug (or discard). The cooking liquids can be used as a stock for making gravy to accompany the lamb. Lift the lamb out of the crust, then carve against the grain and serve.

Thyme. Cooking with Salt. Recipes, foodstyling, styling & photography by Manja Wachsmuth. Recipes for MAD&venner. Salt Dough Leg of Lamb. Cooking with Salt. Recipes, foodstyling, styling & photography by Manja Wachsmuth. Recipes for MAD&venner.

This recipe is part of my salt story published in MAD&venner #129 2015 & Matmagasinet Nord #23 2017, focusing on using salt as a main ingredient for cooking or flavouring. Try these recipes from this series too:
Blackberry Grav Lax
Salt & Vinegar Potato Skins
Bork Belly in Brine with Cripsy Crackling

© Manja Wachsmuth 2017

Bork Belly in Brine with Cripsy Crackling

Cooking with Salt. Pork Belly in Brine with Crispy Crackling. Recipes, foodstyling, styling & photography by Manja Wachsmuth

PORK BELLY IN BRINE WITH CRISPY CRACKLING
Serves 4, as part of a main course

Nothing beats a properly done pork belly. This recipe brines the meat, ensuring a really nice flavour and crispy crackling. You can either do this in the oven or try it on the BBQ for a delicious meal on those long, bright summer nights.

1 kg Pork Belly, skin on
30 g Sea Salt Flakes
1 tsp Fennel Seeds
250 ml Water

Method Oven:
Score the skin of the pork belly in slices or squares. Be careful not to cut into the meat.
Place the pork belly in a non-reactive, deep-sided roasting dish. Rub the salt into the meat on both sides and leave for 30 minutes. Turn the belly so the skin is facing down, and then cover in enough cold water to submerge the meat. Cover tightly and place in the fridge for 24-48 hours.

Preheat the oven to 250º C.

Drain the brine from the pork belly and pat it dry all over with a paper towel. Make sure that the skin is completely dry, otherwise it won’t crackle. Rub the skin with a little olive oil and sprinkle with flaky sea salt and fennel seeds. Place the pork skin side up on a rack that fits in a roasting dish and roast in the oven for 45 min, or until the skin starts to crackle. Remove from the oven and reduce temperature to 180ºC. Pour water into the roasting dish, ensuring that the skin remains dry. Return to oven and cook for 1 hour and 15 min, until tender.

Remove from the oven, and leave to rest in a warm place for 15 min, before cutting the meat into square bites, or slices. Serve while hot.

Method BBQ:
Note, this is a guideline only. Correct cooking on bbq is highly dependent on a number of factors such as the size of the bbq, the type of coal / briquettes, the placement of the roast, etc. The most important thing to remember is to check the roast often and to turn the meat to ensure even cooking.

We have used a medium-sized kettle bbq with lid.

Fill two coal trays with briquettes (it is advantageous to use briquettes and not charcoal as they hold the heat longer) and place on each side of the BBQ, leaveing a space in the middle that the roast can sit over. Place a foil tray between the coal trays (underneath the roast), to catch meat juice so that it doesn’t drip into the embers, and either causes flames or makes the BBQ difficult to clean. Light the briquettes and put a rack over to cover the entire grill. Wait for the briquettes to burn down until they are fiery red, very hot and with quite a low flame.

Place the roast on the rack, skin side up, over the drip tray between the coal trays, and roast for 45 minutes – 1 hour. Check often.
Rotate the roast occasionally to make sure it is cooking evenly on all sides, and always position with the skin side up.

For crispy crackling, turn the roast sideways, with the cracklling facing one of the coal trays, a little closer to one of the trays to expedite the process, keep an eye out, it burns easily! The crackling is done when it’s bubbled up and crispy all over. Total cooking time approx. 1-1.5 hours. Remove the roast from the heat and rest for 15 minutes. Carve and serve while hot.

Cooking with Salt. Pork Belly in Brine with Crispy Crackling. Recipes, foodstyling, styling & photography by Manja Wachsmuth

This recipe is part of my salt story published in Matmagasinet Nord #23 2017, focusing on using salt as a main ingredient for cooking or flavouring. Try these recipes from this series too:
Blackberry Grav Lax
Salt & Vinegar Potato Skins
Salt Dough Baked Leg of Lamb

© Manja Wachsmuth 2017

Crispy Salt and Vinegar Potato Skins

Salt and Vinegar Potato Skins with Tahini Dressing. Cooking with Salt. Recipes, foodstyling, styling & photography by Manja Wachsmuth

SALT AND VINEGAR POTATO SKINS WITH TAHINI, SOUR CREAM DIP
Serves 4-6

These salt and vinegar potato skins are inspired by the kiwi obsession with the salt and vinegar flavour combination on potato chips. Very crispy, salty and tangy and VERY DELICIOUS!

8 medium sized Potatoes
1/4 cup / 75 ml White Wine Vinegar
Extra Virgin Olive Oil for brushing
50 g Parmesan Cheese, grated
Freshly ground Black Pepper
1 handful Italian Parsley, finely chopped
5 tsp Sea Salt

Tahini Sour Cream Dip:

225 g Sour Cream/ Crème Fraiche
2 tbsp Tahini
Lemon Juice from 1 lemon
1 tsp Sea Salt

Method Salt and Vinegar Potato Skins:

Preheat oven to 250ºC.

Wash the potatoes and cut into halves. Place on baking paper on a baking tray and bake in the oven for 45 min until just tender, but still firm. Set aside to cool. Scoop out the flesh into a bowl, leaving ½ cm thick shell. The potato flesh may be set aside for another use (mash). Lightly score the interior of each potato with a fork and brush generously with vinegar, allowing the flavours to soak in.

Preheat oven to 250ºC grill.

Brush the potatoes with olive oil and season generously with salt and a little ground pepper. Place the potato skins, skin side up, on a baking tray and place under the grill in the oven and cook for 2-3 minutes, making sure they don’t burn. Turn the potatoes over and grill for another 5 minutes. During the last few minutes of grilling, sprinkle each potato with Parmesan and grill until melted. Garnish with Parsley and serve the Salt and Vinegar Potato Skins while hot, with Tahini Sour Cream Dip.

Method Tahini Sour Cream Dip:

Mix sour cream, tahini, lemon juice and a generous sprinkle of sea salt in a bowl. Set aside to cool in the fridge before serving.

Enjoy!

This recipe is part of my salt story published in MAD&venner #129 2015 & Matmagasinet Nord #23 2017, focusing on using salt as a main ingredient for cooking or flavouring. Try these recipes from this series too:
Blackberry Grav Lax
Pork Belly in Brine with Cripsy Crackling
Salt Dough Baked Leg of Lamb

© Manja Wachsmuth 2017

Blackberry Grav Lax

Salt recipes Salt recipes Salt recipes Cooking with Salt Cooking with Salt

BLACKBERRY GRAV LAX
Serves 8-10

In this Grav Lax recipe salt, in combination with the sugar, alcohol and fruit is used to draw moisture out of the flesh and preserve the fish. Giving it a lovely smooth texture and a very slight salty taste. The traditional Scandinavian Grav Lax, has had an overhaul with blackberries, creating a stunning fillet, that looks great on your smorgasbord.

1 kg Salmon Fillet, skin on, pin boned
½ cup/70g Sea Salt Flakes
¼ cup Raw Sugar (weigh)
2 tsp Heilala Vanilla Powder (seeds from 2 vanilla pods)
2 tbsp freshly ground Pepper
3 cups/ 400 g Frozen or fresh Blackberries
1/3 cup/ 1 dl Snaps
2 tbsp fennel seeds

Horseradish Dip:

Horseradish cream
Sour cream
Salt & Pepper to taste

Serving:

Rye Bread
Micro greens (coriander & beetroot sprouts or watercress)
Lemon rind
Blackberries

Method Grav Lax:

Place sea salt, sugar, vanilla powder, pepper, blackberries, snaps and fennel seeds in a food processor or blender, and blitz to mix.

Place the salmon skin side down on several layers of cling film, (enough to wrap around and cover the salmon), and place on a baking tray. Using tweezers, remove the pin bones along the side of the salmon fillet. Spread the salt and blackberry mixture over the fish, making sure it’s completely covered. Then wrap the cling film tightly around the salmon. Place a second baking tray or chopping board over the fillet and weigh it down with a heavy item (Weighing the fish down, is not usually part of traditional Swedish curing technique, however it’s often used in Southern Hemisphere cooking, to help draw moisture out. This technique may give the fish a tougher texture).

Refrigerate and cure for at least 24 hours, up to 48 hours.

Remove the cling film and clean the seasoning mixture from the salmon with a wet teatowel. Avoid rinsing the filet, under the tap, as this will rinse out the beautiful red colour. Serve thinly sliced on toasted rye bread, garnish with micro herbs (ie coriander & beetroot sprouts or watercress), lemon rind, blackberries and horseradish dip (see method below).

Method Dip:

Mix horseradish cream and sour cream, evenly 50/50 and season with sea salt and pepper to your liking.

The Grav Lax will keep 3-4 days, chilled.

Cooking note: It is important to use sea salt crystals and not rock salt, as flavour and texture will vary greatly.

Salt recipesSalt recipes Salt recipes

This recipe is part of my salt story published in MAD&venner #129 2015 & Matmagasinet Nord #23 2017, focusing on using salt as a main ingredient for cooking or flavouring. Try these recipes from this series too:
Salt & Vinegar Potato Skins
Pork Belly in Brine with Cripsy Crackling
Salt Dough Baked Leg of Lamb

© Manja Wachsmuth 2017

Spice Health Heros

Spice Heros

Spice Health Heros. My first proper job after having my first child and starting work again after maternity leave. It was quite a big job to take on, and shooting a book can be very stressful at the best of times, let alone when you are sleep deprived and caring for a baby. But the end result just makes me so super proud! Many of the images are so stunning and definitely some of my very best work. I’m really excited to tell you a bit more about the background thoughts of my work on Spice Health Heros and to be sharing a few of my very favorite recipes from it.

Spice Health Heros by Natasha MacAller, published in UK, US, Aus & NZ by Jacqui Small Oct 2016.

When Natasha first came to me with her spice recipes, it was really only an idea for a book proposal for a followup to her Vanilla Table. Originally we put togethether 10 images for a book about pepper, but quickly the idea grew, and finally we were asked to create a stunner of a book about spices and their many health properties, including pepper. Initially I was quite keen on a very moody book where all the colour would come from the food and the spices themselves, but the publisher thought it might all get a bit dark, and asked me to re-think it. Finally I ended up adding a few lighter and a few more colourful backgrounds, which I think has really lifted the whole book, and brought it to life as you flick through the pages.

 

Spice Heros Spice Book, Jacqui Small Publishing Spice Book, Jacqui Small Publishing Spice Heros

I just looove this smoothie. It reminds me of tropical beaches, a light breeze and a relaxing daze in a hammic in the sun. It makes me happy both summer and winter! Turmeric was a spice I’ve never really used before, but after being introduced to it by Natasha, it has now found a regular space in my fruit and vegebowl, ready for juices and smoothies. The pepper adds some wonderful heat to compliment the sweetness and should not be left out. (MW)

TROPICAL TURMERIC SMOOTHIE
serves 1

The combination of fruit and spice and rich-but-healthy coconut milk is a favourite before a workout or just as a get-to-work beverage! If you prefer, you can use papaya instead of mango and add three leaves of coriander (cilantro). For a thicker smoothie, freeze the coconut milk in cubes before blending. (NM)

85g pineapple
115g fresh frozen mango
2.5 x 5cm strip orange peel
5cm piece turmeric root,
or 1⁄4 tsp ground turmeric
1/8 tsp cracked black pepper
1⁄4 tsp cardamom seeds, toasted and ground
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
240ml (1 cup) coconut milk
4–6 ice cubes
1 tsp chia seeds

Put all the ingredients except the chia seeds into a high-speed single-serve blender-juicer and blend until smooth. Sprinkle chia seeds on top and serve.

Spice Heros Spice Heros Spice Heros

The 3 images above are part of the concept for the chapter openers in Spice Health Heros. I’ve always loved coming up with the concept of the chapter openers for a book. As a natural break between all the recipes, they make up an important part of the look and feel of a book.

The hard part is usually coming up with something I haven’t seen or done before, as some of the criteria are set in stone. Usually it has to be a double page spread, and there needs to be negative space for the chapter title. For Spice Health Heros, the chapter openers would also create the intro to each class of spices, so they needed to be informative as well as beautiful and inspiring. I chose a neutral background, and a flat lay concept to keep in line with the trend of Scandi cool, which was part of the general brief for Spice Health Heros.

Spice Heros Spice HerosSpice Heros

Shooting a lot of food for books and magazines, I’ve become somewhat immune to a lot of food.
It takes a lot to impress me these days, but every once in a while, I’ll shoot something that really blows my mind. Taste wise I mean. Anne’s Pork Chile Verde, is one of these dishes. It just knocked my socks off. You’d think I would have known what a Chile Verde is, having worked as a food photographer for so many years, but admittedly this was my first. It’s just amazing! The right amount of heat, spice and umami, to make you just want more and more. This is one of those dishes that has truly become the fooodphtographers favorite. Thank you Anne! (MW)

PORK CHILE VERDE
By Anne Conness
serves 4

‘I can’t speak for the scientifc connection between spice and health, but what I do know is that eating spicy things makes me feel happy and satisfied. And when I feel happy, I feel less stressed, and that makes my doctor happy!’(AC)

1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tsp black peppercorns
1⁄2 tsp cloves
1⁄2 tsp ground cinnamon
1⁄2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp paprika
2 tbsp salt
1.6kg (3.5lb.) pork shoulder, cut into 2cm (3⁄4in.) cubes, most of fat removed
1.2 litres (5 cups) chicken stock

For the corn:
3 ears of corn
2 tbsp butter
30g (1oz./1⁄4 cup) grated Monterey Jack or mild Cheddar cheese

For the sauce:
1 tomatillo, halved and stem removed
1 onion, roughly chopped
2 jalapeños, halved and stems removed
2 Anaheim chilies, halved and stems removed
1 head garlic, cloves separated and peeled
60ml (1⁄4 cup) canola oil
2 tbsp lime juice
11⁄2 bunches coriander (cilantro)
2 tsp cumin
1⁄2 tsp cloves
1⁄4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp paprika
1⁄4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
350ml (11⁄2 cups) reserved cooking jus (see method)

To serve:
1 tbsp sauce from chilies in adobo or chipotle paste mixed with
115g (4oz./1⁄2 cup) sour cream
1 dash Tajin (a classic Mexican dry seasoning of dried lime juice, chili powder and salt)
4 lime wedges
150g (51⁄2oz./1 cup) pico de gallo (Mexican fresh tomato salsa)
small handful micro-coriander (cilantro) leaves

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/gas mark 4).

Toast the whole spices, cool, then grind to a powder. Stir in the cinnamon, cayenne pepper, paprika and salt. Toss the pork in the spice mixture and put in a roasting pan. Pour over the chicken stock, cover tightly with foil, put in the oven and cook until tender, about 11⁄2 hours. Strain the jus, skimming off the fat, and reserve 350ml (11⁄2 cups) for the sauce. Break up the meat if necessary.

Char the sweetcorn: Shuck the corn and remove the silks. Place the corn cobs on a baking tray on the top shelf of the oven or under the grill (broiler) on a high heat until charred. Leave to cool then place the corn cob in a cereal bowl and, using a sharp knife, cut the kernels from the cob in a downward motion; the kernels will collect in the bowl. Set aside.

For the sauce, toss the tomatillo, onion, jalapeños and Anaheim chilies and garlic in a bowl with the oil. Spread out on two baking trays and roast until caramelized, about 30 minutes at a medium–high heat. Leave to cool.

Blend the caramelized veggies in batches with the lime juice, coriander (cilantro), spices and strained cooking jus. Check the avour and season to taste.

Put the pork in a pan with this sauce and heat up.

Melt the butter in a hot ovenproof pan then add the charred corn. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle cheese on top and put in the oven just long enough to melt the cheese.

To serve, put the pork on a plate and top with the corn. Garnish with the chipotle cream, a sprinkle of Tajin, a lime wedge and some pico de gallo. Finish with the coriander (cilantro).

Spice Heros Spice Heros

This ice cream is both refreshing and surprising. I love the combination of cinnamon and basil, and it kinda fits perfectly as a Christmas dessert in the warm weather here in New Zealand, if anyone dares to swap out the pavlova! (MW)

CINNAMON BASIL ICE CREAM
By Mindy Segal

makes 1 litre

‘This ice cream was inspired by some beautifully roasted peaches that I bought one year at the farmers’ market for a special dessert. I decided that it needed a little of the garden in the ice cream I served them with so I steeped fresh basil in my cinnamon ice cream. Eureka – delicious! It’s also good served with poached berries. Indonesian (Ceylon) cinnamon is a milder, softer avoured cinnamon also known as true cinnamon. Cassia cinnamon is also fine to use but as the flavour is stronger, the basil-cinnamon balance will have a stronger cinnamon taste when using the cassia variety.’ (MS)

4–6 fresh Indonesian cinnamon sticks
475ml (2 cups) double (heavy) cream
475ml (2 cups) full-fat (whole) milk
13 large egg yolks
225g (8oz./1 cup) cane sugar
leaves from 1 bunch (70g/21⁄2oz.) cinnamon basil, regular basil or Thai basil, finely chopped
1⁄2 tsp fresh ground cinnamon
pinch sea salt
1⁄4 tsp pure vanilla extract

Put the cinnamon sticks on a baking tray and toast in the oven until hot to touch. Meanwhile, in a heavy-bottomed pan, heat the cream and milk to a simmer. Remove the cinnamon sticks from the oven and crush into pieces. Put the pieces into the warm milk and cream mixture and leave to steep for 1 hour.

Combine the egg yolks and sugar in a 2-litre (2-quart) bowl, whisk thoroughly and set aside. Strain the cinnamon sticks from the milk and cream mixture and discard them. Return the liquid to the pan and bring to the boil, then pour the liquid over the eggs and sugar, mixing thoroughly.
Pour back into the pan and cook over medium–low heat, stirring constantly until the custard coats the back of a spoon (nappe). Pour the hot custard into a bowl and set over an ice bath.

Steep the chopped basil in the hot custard until cool. Add the ground cinnamon and salt and mix thoroughly. When cool, strain the custard through a fine mesh strainer then whisk in the vanilla extract.
Freeze the custard in an ice-cream maker, following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Spice Heros

© Spice Health Heros, available at your local bookstore (in UK, US, Aus & NZ) and online from Amazon
Recipes © Natasha MacAller
Photos © Manja Wachsmuth

Orphans Kitchen

Dish Magazine #58 Dish Magazine #58 Dish Magazine #58 Dish Magazine #58Dish Magazine #58 Dish Magazine #58 Dish Magazine #58

Having shot two editorials of Orphans Kitchen, been there to eat a few times, and also recently went to a ConversatioNZ talk by Tom Hishon, chef and co-owner, I thought it’s probably time to share this fabulous eatery on my blog.

Orphans Kitchen opened in 2014, named as a tribute to their London kitchen where all their “orphan” expat friends would gather for dinner during the holidays, Tom Hishon and Josh Helm was quick to find their niche on the competitive Auckland dining scene, and have had great success.

With bees on the roof and a love for locally sourced, organic and sustainable produce the eatery is at the front of the worldwide trend of local, honest ingredients, foraging and anything homemade and wholesome. If you haven’t been, GO!

Here Tom shares a couple of his recipes from the restaurant…

Dish Magazine #58 Dish Magazine #58 Dish Magazine #58 Dish Magazine #58 Dish Magazine #58 Dish Magazine #58 Dish Magazine #58 Dish Magazine #58 Dish Magazine #58 Dish Magazine #58 Homestyle Magazine #60

ROAST PORK FILLET
Serves 6

zest of two lemons
2 long sprigs of rosemary
pork scotch fillets, trimmed (300g of pork per person)
flaky sea salt
grapeseed oil
3 cloves of garlic
100g butter

Zest the lemons, chop the rosemary, then massage into the fillets. Leave overnight on a covered tray. Take out of the fridge one hour before cooking and bring to room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 140°C. Heavily season the fillets with flaky salt. Heat a cast iron pan to a high heat, and add enough grapeseed oil to make a shallow pool in the bottom of the pan. Add the fillets and heavily colour by rolling. Add the butter and garlic and continue cooking in
the foaming butter.

Once you have achieved a very heavy crust, place the meat on a wire rack. Put the rack on top of an oven tray and into the oven, rotating every 20 minutes. At the 60 minute mark the meat should be well roasted through and ready to serve. If you are not confident it is ready, insert a metal skewer in the centre, pull out and make sure the juices are running clear.

Homestyle Magazine #60 Homestyle Magazine #60 Homestyle Magazine #60 Homestyle Magazine #60

SWEDE & CARROT MASH
Serves 4-6

2-3 large swedes, peeled
4 carrots, peeled
3 tbsp olive oil
flaky sea salt
fresh thyme
50g honey
50g honeycomb
olive oil

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Cut the swedes and carrots into chunks and toss with olive oil, a good pinch of sea salt and the thyme. Put into a roasting tray, cover tightly, and roast for an hour and a half, or until very soft. Pour off residual juices, coarsely mash with the honey and season to taste. Top with honeycomb and drizzle with olive oil to serve.

BREAD & BUTTER PUDDING
Serves 6

800ml milk
200ml cream
1 vanilla bean, sliced length-ways
5 sprigs fresh thyme
100g dried currants
90ml Olorosso sherry
60ml water
1 loaf brioche
100g butter
fresh nutmeg
2 pears
zest of half an orange
1 tbsp honey

CUSTARD
1 whole egg
7 egg yolks
100g caster sugar
100g honey

Preheat the oven to 180°C. In a saucepan combine milk, cream, vanilla bean and 2 sprigs of thyme. Bring to a simmer while stirring with a wooden spoon.

Next, make the custard. In a large bowl, whisk the whole egg and yolks together with the sugar and honey until a creamy white texture is achieved. Pour the heated milk mixture over the beaten honey and eggs, while stirring to incorporate.

Place currants in a small saucepan with 60ml of sherry and 60ml of water. Bring to a simmer, cover with a lid then take o the heat until they plump up. Cut the brioche into 2cm slices and butter each side with half the butter. Finely grate nutmeg over the buttered brioche.

Assemble in small ovenproof bowls, layering the brioche with the crusts sticking out. Pour the custard over the top, sprinkle with currants and leave to sit for half an hour.

Place the bowls into a deep oven tray and pour in enough boiling water to come halfway up the side of them. Carefully place the tray in the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes.

While the puddings are cooking, peel and cut pears into 6-8 wedges, removing the cores. In a non-stick pan, add the remaining butter, thyme sprigs and pear slices. Cook until golden brown, then add honey and remaining 30ml of sherry. Flame, then serve alongside the pudding.

Homestyle Magazine #60

ORPHAN OLD FASHIONED
Serves 2

120ml whisky (any will do, but we prefer to use a rye or a bourbon)
3 cloves
2 cinnamon quills
Angostura orange bitters
2 cubes or 2 level tsp sugar
orange rind

Steep 120ml of whisky overnight with 3 cloves and half a cinnamon quill.

Absorb Angostura in sugar (a cube of sugar on a napkin works best).

Muddle orange rind with sugar in a Boston or large glass.

Fill half a glass with ice and 60ml of whisky. Stir until sugar melts. Top with ice and add another 60ml of whisky. Stir again. Strain liquid from the ice. This can be made in advance. Pour half the liquid into a serving glass with a large block of ice, then squeeze orange rind into the drink to release the oils. Garnish and serve with more orange rind or a cinnamon quill. Drink responsibly.

A selection of these images has previously been published in Dish Magazine#58 and Homestyle Magazine#60. The recipes was also published in Homestyle Magazine #60.
Recipes © Tom Hishon, Orphans Kitchen

Parts of this story also features on my profile on Steller

Pizza on the Weber BBQ

Pizza on the BBQ Pizza on the BBQ Pizza on the BBQ Pizza on the BBQ Pizza on the BBQ Pizza on the BBQ Pizza on the BBQ Pizza on the BBQ

Summer has officially arrived in New Zealand! One thing I love the most about summer is cooking on the BBQ. Last year I discovered cooking pizza on the BBQ, and when you’ve tried it once, it’ll be the only way you’ll ever want to cook pizza again. Pizza on the BBQ is the fool proof way of getting a moist and delishious filling and above all a super crispy base, which you can never seem to get in the oven, regardless of the temperature or quality of pizza stone.

The majority of Kiwis (and probably Ozzies and Americans) swear by th gas BBQ’s and most pizza BBQ recipes will tell you to cook your pizza on a gas BBQ, where you can control the temperature and monitor it 100%, but there is another way. Personally I prefer a coal BBQ any day. This is how it was when I was a kid and the ritural of lighting a fire (or drinking a glass of ice cold chardonnay, while watching your husband lighting a fire) – you just can’t beat it. The smokey flavour of cooking over coals, just adds an extra element to the pizzas and everyone will be coming back for more.

The tricky thing is obviously getting the temperature right, so you don’t burn your base, so you gotta watch your pizza like a hawk. And also you MUST use a pizza stone. But once you’ve tried it a few times, you will master it, and be eating pizza’s with friends and family all summer!

I’m providing you with the recipe for a great pizza dough, that’s my updated version of a pizza recipe I shot for Dish Magazine back in 2010, for their Italian issue. I’ve used wholemeal, stoneground flour for added nutritional benefits, and it is how I prefer my pizza base. Of course you can use plain flour or 00 flour if you like.

Pizza dough
Makes two pizzas, 4-6 serves

1 cup of plain flour or 00 flour
1 cup of stoneground, wholemeal flour
½ teaspoon of sugar
1 ½ teaspoons of instant dried yeast
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 cup of lukewarm water
1 tablespoon of olive oil

Place all dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix together. Mix the water and oil together in a separate bowl or jug. Gradually add the water to the dry ingredients, little by little, mixing the dough with your hands or a wooden spoon. Be careful not to make the dough too wet and sticky, nor too dry. Once roughly combined turn the dough out on a lightly floured benchtop and knead for 3-5 minutes, until the dough is smooth and slightly sticky and springy. Place it in a lightly floured bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a tea towel. Set aside in a warm place and let rise for 1 – 1½ hour.

Mastering the BBQ & making your pizza

About 10-15  minutes before your dough is ready, start up your BBQ using choal or briquettes. If using briquettes, you might want to get them started around half an hour before the dough is ready. The coal is quicker to start up, but also burns out faster. The briquettes take longer to get ready for cooking, but will hold the heat a lot longer. We usually use coals when it’s just the two of us, and briquettes when cooking for more people.

Once doubled in size, split the dough into two portions and roll out thinly on a lightly floured bench top. Place the pizza base on a piece of baking paper, and fill with your favorite filling. I’ve used:

Organic tomato paste
1 whole zucchini sliced sideways with a potato peeler
Red onion, thinly sliced
Cherry tomatoes (from the Curious Croppers)
Prosciutto
Buffalo mozzarella
Homemade pesto
Salt & pepper

Once the coals or briquettes have settled down, and turned to embers, place your pizza stone on the BBQ about 5 minutes before you’re ready to cook it, to let the stone heat up properly. Then transfer your pizza, with the baking paper underneath, to the pizza stone, and cover your BBQ with the lid. Make sure to have the air vents open, to keep the air circulating around the pizza and ensure even cooking of the base and the top. Depending on the amount of heat in your BBQ, your pizza will cook in 15-20 min. Keep an eye on it every 5-10 minutes, making sure the base doesn’t burn. If the base colours too quickly the BBQ is too hot, and you should wait a little while longer, next time, to let the coal settle a bit more. Once the base has firmed up, you can remove the baking paper. When the base is crispy and the cheese on top slightly melted, garnish with fresh basil. Your pizza is ready to serve!

ENJOY!

Don’t drink and fry!

Visit Strandgaarden Badehotel

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My last stop for the day of my visit to Læsø this time around was Strandgaarden Badehotel.

Strandgaarden beach hotel offers an idyllic setting and located just 4 minutes walk to the beach, it’s the perfect spot for a relaxing summer holiday. I could have stayed here for weeks on end, reading, relaxing, swimming, and taking heaps more photos, enjoying the Danish summer when it’s at its best. This place is so quaint and cute, that I just had to dedicate a whole blog post to it.

The hotel was built in 1727 and parts of the original building are still in use. The owner takes pride in keeping the hotel in its original idyllic state with thatched roof and half timbering, but with all the commodities of modern day living. Such is the hotel kitchen, which each year has a new, up and coming Danish chef have a chance to stand up to the big boys, with the title as head chef at Strandgaarden Badehotel. The owner Ole Lind, has gotten pretty good at picking them, and for many years Strandgaarden has earned much appraisal in the media across Denmark. Every evening the menu changes according to the season and what’s available on the island, so what’s served tonight will most likely not be served tomorrow. The element of surprise is one of the things I find intriguing about the restaurant here alongside the presentation of the food by the table, by the kitchen chefs – Nicolas Højgaard Michaels and head chef Thomas Wetle Andersen.

I was served:

Homemade Sourdough Rolls & Browned Butter stirred with Butter Milk, Crème Fraiche and Onion Powder
Amuse Bouche: Seaweed Chips, Lobster Mayo and Chervil + Pork Belly, Parsley Puree and Spiced Crackling
Starter: Scampi, Kohlrabi and Green Strawberries
Main: Lobster, Scallops and Yellow Peas
Dessert: Dark Chocolate, Truffle and Blackberry Granita
All accompanied by a Sparkling Rosé to begin, a NZ Honky Dory Sauvignon Blanc for the starter and the main and a Riesling to end.

Thumbs up to both of the chefs! I loved the sourdough rolls with the browned butter, and if it wasn’t because it requires some pretty expensive, high end pro kitchen gear, I would make that butter myself. Everything else was delicious too, particularly the main, which really played with, not just the flavours but also the textures. It’s not often I say it, but the highlight of the meal was definitely the dessert. The surprising taste of the chocolate cake, which I was told later was the influence of the truffle, was really interesting and intriguing. I suppose after shooting a sweet and savoury book about Vanilla, those combinations of savoury flavours with sweet or vice versa, is really something I notice.

After a very tasty meal, a quick chat to the chefs and tons of photos later, I had to end the evening watching the sunset on the beach. It’s one of those things I love! It’s the perfect ending to a perfect day, before going to sleep in one of Strandgaarden’s super comfortable beds.

Thanks to Ole Lind at Strandgaarden Badehotel for excellent service! Read more about Strandgaarden on their website or join their facebook page for regular news and updates.

Next up are some of things I got up to in Copenhagen, so please come back soon!

Christmas with House and Garden

NZ House & Garden Magazine issue 232, Casual Christmas NZ House & Garden Magazine issue 232, Casual Christmas

Heading off to the beach or the bach for a casual Christmas dinner, or straight after Christmas day? Here’s a few fabulous and quick entertaining ideas from a shoot I did with Claudia Kozub (Style Etc & Indie Home Collective) and Bernadette Hogg for NZ House & Garden’s Christmas issue 2013. Easy to do with leftover ham, these recipes are sure to impress.

Fruity Tea Punch

2 cups strong tea
11/2 cups sugar
1 cup lemon juice (about 5 lemons)
1⁄4 cup lime juice (about 3 limes)
2 cups pineapple juice, chilled
2 cups orange juice, chilled
slices of orange, lemon, ginger and fresh mint sprigs for garnish
1.25 litres ginger ale, chilled

Place tea and sugar in a large saucepan and simmer, stirring occasionally, to dissolve sugar. Add lemon and lime juices, bring to the boil then remove from heat to cool.
Place some of the cooled liquid into ice cube trays and freeze. Put remaining punch base into fridge to chill thoroughly (or freeze if making ahead).
When ready to serve, place punch base, punch ice cubes, pineapple and orange juices, slices of orange, lemon, lime and fresh ginger into a punch bowl or serving container. Add chilled ginger ale and a few sprigs of fresh mint. Makes about 2.5 litres

The base of this refreshing beverage can be made up to a week in advance and frozen. Thaw it on the morning it is needed – although it doesn’t need to thaw completely as it can be used slightly slushy. Add the ginger ale and garnish just before serving.

Roasted Pear and Glazed Ham Platter

Place tea and sugar in a large saucepan and simmer, stirring occasionally, to dissolve sugar. Add lemon and lime juices, bring to the boil then remove from heat to cool.
Place some of the cooled liquid into ice cube trays and freeze. Put remaining punch base into fridge to chill thoroughly (or freeze if making ahead).
When ready to serve, place punch base, punch ice cubes, pineapple and orange juices, slices of orange, lemon, lime and fresh ginger into a punch bowl or serving container. Add chilled ginger ale and a few sprigs of fresh mint. Makes about 2.5 litres

This dish gets the ham cooking out of the way nice and early, as it can be glazed and cooked several days beforehand. Slice it on the morning required, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until half an hour before serving. The pears, onions and cherries can be roasted the day before needed.

5 firm but ripe pears, skin on, cored and quartered
3 red onions, outer skin removed, each cut into 8 wedges
2 smallish cinnamon sticks
1 thumb ginger, peeled and finely sliced
3 whole star anise
2 tablespoons each: maple syrup, sweet chilli sauce, olive oil, rice wine vinegar juice of 1 lemon
200g fresh cherries
1 1⁄2kg cooked glazed ham, thinly sliced

Heat oven to 200°C. Line a large baking dish with baking paper.
Place pear quarters and red onion wedges in a large bowl and add all remaining ingredients except cherries and ham. Toss to coat pears well.
Tip pear and onion mixture into prepared dish and arrange in a single layer. Bake about 60 minutes, turning pears and onion every 15 minutes. In the last 10 minutes of cooking, scatter cherries over. Remove pan from oven when pears are tender and golden. Cool to room temperature. If making ahead, store covered in the fridge and remove from fridge 30 minutes before serving.
To serve, arrange pears, onion and cherries decoratively on a platter with sliced ham. Serves 6-8

Danish Design Sandwiches

Smorrebrod, Danish Open Sandwiches Smorrebrod, Danish Open Sandwiches Smorrebrod, Danish Open Sandwiches Smorrebrod, Danish Open Sandwiches Smorrebrod, Danish Open Sandwiches Smorrebrod, Danish Open Sandwiches Smorrebrod, Danish Open Sandwiches Smorrebrod, Danish Open Sandwiches

Being Danish abroad (from Denmark), one can hardly talk about food without bringing up the subject Danish food and Danish open sandwiches. With a lot of focus on Danish food and the Scandinavian food scene in general, over the last few years, it is also with certain pride that I do talk about it. With Rene Redzepi‘s Noma probably being the main source for our glory these days, the New Nordic Food movement has given us reason to be proud and to show off our heritage. I’m pleased to see that it’s not just the Danish “fine dining” scene that is popular, but also more down to earth Danish food is starting to be the talk of town. Maybe not so much in New Zealand yet, but in New York most certainly, and also in Australia. In Melbourne, Danish chef Bente Grysbæk runs Restaurant Dansk, at Denmark House a division of the Royal Danish Consulate in Melbourne. Earlier this year I went to see Bente, and to shoot some work with her for a future project that also involves New Zealand based journalist Kirsten Rødsgaard-Matiesen. Bente and Restaurant Dansk focuses entirely on a Danish menu with a twist, and here you can get beautifully designed Danish open sandwiches, with all elements made from scratch, just like our grandmothers would.

Around Christmas time I usually get quite homesick and one thing that is very closely related to home is of course food, and especially our open sandwiches – Smørrebrød as we call them. Great Danish food is hard to come by out here, although our beloved rye bread is now available at some supermarkets and specialty bakers around Auckland. So a simple open sandwich with pate, salami or salmon with a slice of cucumber is often part of my lunch, but not nearly as artistic and handcrafted as Bente’s. And one thing that I rarely have is the Christmas seasons variety of marinated herring with curry salad on top. So I’m very pleased that Bente has shared her very own recipe for making marinated herring. This is a must have on the Christmas table on a slice of rye, with a shot of snaps/ akvavit to wash it down with. Enjoy!

Recipe © Bente Grysbæk @ Restaurant Dansk, Denmark House, Melbourne

Marinade for herring
4 large herring fillets in oil (or 8 small)
200ml water
200ml vinegar
125g caster sugar
1/2 tbsp salt
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp whole black pepper corn
1/2 tbsp yellow mustard seeds
1/2 tbsp all spice
5 whole gloves
Put everything in a pot, except the herring fillets, and let simmer for about 30min. Let the marinade cool down completely. Drain the herring fillets from any oil or other marinade they came in. Then add them to the cooled marinade and leave for at least 1 week, 3 weeks is optimal.

Yellow marbled eggs
2 eggs
1 tsp turmeric (for yellow marble)
Cook 2 large eggs for 8min then refresh in ice water until cold. Now crack the shell all over, without removing any of the shell. Dissolve the turmeric in plain cold water then add the cracked eggs.
Leave for 1-2 days before peeling. They should be used the same day as you have peeled them, as the marbling fades.

Curry salad
100g mayonnaise
50g sour cream
30g raw macaroni soup pasta
1 granny smith apple peeled and cut into fine dices
1.5 tsp mild curry powder
Pinch of pepper
Mix mayonnaise and sour cream thoroughly combined. Then add apple dices, cooked soup pasta, curry powder and season with pepper. Salt is not necessary, but optional.

Assembling
Find a nice rustic rye bread from your local bakery, and cut 2 slices length way, 1 cm thick and cut in half again, so you end up with 4 rectangle pieces. Spread each slice of bread with good quality butter, salted. Drain herring on paper towel before placing on top. Then place the curry salad in a straight line. Peel the eggs and cut into wedges before placing on top of the curry salad, egg yolk facing down. Then garnish with thinly sliced granny smith apples and shallots, capers and dill.
Best accompanied by ice-cold beer and aquavit.