Monday, 31 March 2014

In My Kitchen ... in April

Welcome to my Kitchen!

In my kitchen in April ... an Easter twig tree on the table hints that Easter is coming!

In my kitchen in April ... in celebration of John's Greek background I will make the traditional symbolic red eggs. These are trial to test the new dye I am trying - and I'm pleased with these!

In my kitchen in April ... I been making a very tasty passionfruit semifreddo. The mixture tasted so good that only self discipline kicking in ensured that any reached the freezer at all! Lip smackingly good!

In my kitchen in April ... the change of season from summer to autumn has seen a steady supply of fresh vegetables make it to our table - and they taste superb!

 In my kitchen in April ... I've been snacking on these beautiful dried fruits purchased at the Coffin Bay Sunday Market. The apples, plums, peaches and apricots are dried by a local farmer. Whenever we visit always bring a supply home with me!

In my kitchen in April ... I decided to have a go at making my own sea salt! While at Coffin Bay I collected buckets of sea water from the pristine waters in front of our beach house and evapourated the water off in wide pans on the stove. These beautiful sea salt crystals are the result!

In my kitchen in April ... I am using this gorgeous hand lotion given to me as a gift. I have to say it is one of the best hand lotions I have used!!!

The 'In My Kitchen' series is hosted by Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial. To peek into her kitchen and the kitchens of others from around the world visit her fabulous website! 

Thank you so much for visiting my kitchen this month!



Friday, 21 March 2014

Honey Meringue Torte - a Birthday Cake with a Difference!

Have you ever promised to bake an amazing cake for a special occasion - only to find you are short on time and/or ingredients!

This happened to me after having promised to bake a special cake for my mother-in-law's birthday! How could I possibly have only two eggs in the house - and the shops be closed as well!

I was doomed, I thought - that is until I remembered a special cake I hadn't made for years - a beautiful and flavoursome cake that requires only two eggs for a spectacular result - Honey Meringue Torte!

This recipe was given to me years ago by a wonderful country cook. It in turn had been given to her. Where it originally comes from I do not know - but I'd love to hear from you if you know!

It is certainly a recipe worth sharing!

Honey Meringue Torte

Ingredients for the Cake

125gms butter - softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 tspn vanilla
2 eggs (separated)
1 generous tablespoon honey
2 cups SR flour - sifted
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup castor sugar

Ingredients for the Topping

1/4 cup sliced almond (skin on)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon dessicated coconut
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon


300ml whipped cream sweetened to taste with honey


Set the oven to 180C. Line 2x20cm springform pans with baking paper. Mix together the ingredients for the topping.

Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla, and egg yolks. Beat well.
Add the honey and mix through. Fold in a third of the flour and milk alternately until all is used. The batter will be quite stiff.

Divide the mixture evenly between the two springform pans. Set aside while you make the meringue topping.

*Helpful hint - it is important to use springform pans as the cake baked with the topping on it is extremely difficult to remove from a standard round cake pan without causing considerable damage to the topping. I know - I've tried! It wasn't pretty!

To make the meringue topping beat the egg whites in a clean, grease free bowl until stiff peaks form. Gradually add the half cup of castor sugar beating until the sugar is dissolved a thick meringue mixture is formed.

Spread the meringue topping evenly over one of the cake batters.

Sprinkle the almond topping mixture generously over the meringue.

Bake for 25 minutes or until cooked. Cool the cakes in their tins on a cake rack. When completely cold remove from the tins. Carefully split the bottom cake layer into two if two cream  layers rather than one are your preference.

Whip the sweetened cream until stiff peaks form. Spread each cake layer with cream. Assemble the cake carefully placing the meringue top in place. Sprinkle with icing sugar prior to serving if desired.

*This cake can be baked a day ahead if required.




Saturday, 15 March 2014

From Sea to Plate - our favourite King George Whiting

I love fishing - from digging for cockles at low tide to use as bait, finding a likely spot, and patiently waiting for fish to bite. I especially don't mind the messy business of scaling, cleaning and filleting the catch - because it means you caught fish for your table!

My very favourite fish is the famous King George Whiting that is found in the beautiful waterways of Coffin Bay and other Southern Australian waters. King George Whiting is best cooked simply to allow its flavour to shine. The flesh is delicious - sweet, subtle and delicate.

While King George Whiting is my favourite fish I must confess to rarely purchasing it from local fishmongers - due to its very high price. 

Those fish caught by our own efforts when at our Coffin Bay beach house are therefore highly prized, and savoured to the last morsel. In the interests of  absolute freshness, and sustainability, we choose to catch only enough fish each day to feed ourselves - and any guests we may be hosting! 

Eaten on our deck whilst admiring the views below - life doesn't get much better than that!

My top three choices for cooking this beautiful fish are to 
  • deep fry fillets in a light, crisp beer batter
  • shallow fry fillets after coating them with bread or panko crumbs
  • pan frying flour dusted fillets in nut brown butter.
Of these methods the last is a personal favourite! Here is how I cooked them during our recent stay at Coffin Bay!

Quick and Easy Panfried King George Whiting

Fresh King George Whiting fillets - deboned  
*allow 2 or 3 fillets per person depending on the size of the fillets - and your budget if you are buying these!
Plain flour for dusting
100gms salted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
Sea salt and ground black pepper


Run your fingers along the cut side of each fillet carefully checking for any fine bones. Remove any that you find. Place a generous handful of flour in a large plastic bag. Place the fillets in the bag and gently dust the fillets with flour until evenly coated. Remove the floured fillets to a flat plate.

Over medium heat melt the butter in a large frying pan.  Increase the heat a little and stir until the butter foams and begins to turn golden brown. Add one tablespoon of olive oil and swirl through the butter. Season the butter/oil mixture with sea salt and a grind of black pepper. 

Place the fillets in the pan skin side down. Fry for about 3 minutes then turn and cook the other side for 1 to 2 minutes. When cooked the flesh will be opaque and flake easily when tested with a fork. Remove the fillets gently to serving plates taking care not to allow the fillets to break up. 

Serve immediately with lemon wedges and salad. I prefer a simple shredded lettuce and dill salad together with a tomato, cucumber and onion salad both dressed in olive oil. Hot, salty chips and a tangy tartare sauce are optional extras!

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

In My Kitchen ... in March

Welcome to my kitchen!

Over the past month Adelaide has experienced severe heatwaves and flooding rains so I must confess I've not cooked much. Salads and picnic meals at the beach have been regulars on our menu.

Inspired by Celia's post last month I've been adding purslane to our salads. It really is a very nice addition - and quite a talking point with visitors!

Chickpeas are a staple at our house. I buy them from Omega Food Distributors at Hindmarsh. As food wholesalers this warehouse is full of wonderful foods at reasonable prices. Well worth a visit if you live in Adelaide. Please note - this is my personal opinion - not a sponsored comment.

I love rhubarb and am growing it for the first time in my edible garden. All the gardening advice says not to pick the stalks in the plant's first year. Do you know just how hard that is when these stalks tease me every day! My mantra - I must stay strong, I must stay strong!!!

Currently we are staying at our beach house in Coffin Bay so I have swapped kitchens! This is my view as I stand at the stove in my Coffin Bay kitchen! And, yes, I can watch those famous Coffin Bay oysters growing!

While at Coffin Bay we catch our own fish each day - and enjoy King George Whiting, garfish, flathead, trevally, salmon trout and tommies fresh from the sea. There is nothing like it!

If there is no fish catch we enjoy barbeques - on this occasion country steak and char grilled veggies. I bought these vegetables from the garden at home.

There are some family traditions that must be observed when holidaying at Coffin Bay! One is Sultana Cake. My Mum made this cake in great slabs for our childhood holidays in this beautiful place - and every lovely bite brings back fond memories.

We inherited this old and battered bottle opener when we purchased our Coffin Bay property back in the mid 80's. It has contributed to some memorable family occasions - and is now considered a family treasure!

The 'In My Kitchen' series is hosted by Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial. To peek into kitchens from around the world do pay her inspiring website a visit! 

Thank you for visiting both my kitchens this month!



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