If your family prefers to eat fish on Good Friday, here are six recipe ideas for delicious seafood meals. The best advice of all is to locate an excellent fish retailer who can recommend the freshest fish on the day and prepare it for you. Always be prepared to try something new. Happy Easter!
The best use of too many tomatoes is to make some sort of sauce or passata for use in winter. Simplest is to skin them, squeeze out most of seeds and roughly chop. Cook in a stockpot with some salt and when they have become a lovely mush, allow to cool, transfer to sealable freezer containers and freeze. I tip these frozen tomato iceblocks directly into casserole pots or soup pots, or else simmer and reduce in a frying pan with various additions such as a bit of red wine or sherry vinegar or capers, to make speedy pasta sauces. It is more fiddly to store the tomatoes in sealed jars as the sterilizing and sealing of the jars must be done properly.
Once you have made lots of sauce, here are a few other ideas for your abundant tomato crop!
Recently, I asked my social media community what crops were overflowing in their garden. And it seems that many of your gardens are abundant with zucchini! Tending a kitchen garden has wonderful benefits, however sometimes a certain vegetable or fruit comes into season and suddenly we have too much of a good thing! Once you have exhausted your repertoire of dishes for that particular ingredient, and neighbours and friends are well stocked with gifted produce, what then? I’ve put together some ideas and suggestions for your zucchini stockpile.
I will be working on some more guides like these in the future. If you have any questions or suggestions, please email me at [email protected]
Romantic desserts usually seem to involve chocolate, berries or both! Here are a few favourites, from my sister Diana’s famous chocolate cake, to a fresh tasting strawberry shortcake. I claim to be the first restaurateur to host a Valentine’s Day menu in Melbourne, more than 20 years ago in 1986. I searched my archives and found the original handwritten menu! You can read it in my book, The Cook’s Table, which also features a contemporary romantic menu suitable for any occasion with your loved one.
Rhubarb is really a vegetable, but most rhubarb recipes treat it as a fruit. As a child I loved the beautiful rose-pink colour of rhubarb, its sharp and surprising flavour, and the way I could trail a spoonful of proper custard through my bowl and admire the patterns I made. Rhubarb mixes very well with other fruits. In summer, mix it with strawberries or raspberries; in Autumn with apples and figs; and in winter with oranges and dried fruits. It combines well with custards and cream to make delicious and very pretty ice-creams and fools.
Australian rhubarb is available all year round. It rarely requires stringing and is very tender. In winter here it grows more slowly, resulting in thinner, redder stalks. In warm weather the stalks grow thicker and tend to be greenish-red. At the greengrocer, look for bunches that are crisp and upright, and have well-coloured stalks. If you grow your own rhubarb, the best habit is to only pick it when you plan to use it immediately.
Remove the leaves, as they are poisonous. Then cut off the flat brown part of from the bottom of each stalk. Then you are ready to go ahead and prepare one of these delicious rhubarb recipes!
Puree for rhubarb recipes
Most of my favourite rhubarb dishes start with a puree. Cut into 3cm lengths & put into a heavy based, enamelled cast-iron saucepan, add a couple of spoonfuls of water and cover tightly. Stand the saucepan over a medium heat for 5 mins, lift lid and stir. In a few more minutes it will have cooked to a soft puree. An addition of a rose-scented geranium leaf to the pan adds an intriguing perfume to rhubarb recipes.