Thursday, May 19, 2011

Quince and Cinnamon Risotto

Well, you all know I am obsessed with quinces around this time of's yet another way to enjoy this endlessly delicious fruit!
1 large quince, peeled, cored and chopped into quarters
4 cups water
1 cup sugar (I used caster)
1 large cinnamon stick

1/2 cup arborio rice
2-3 tablespoons cream (I used Bulla Thickened Cooking Lite Cream)
mint leaves or candied quince for decoration (optional)

how to make your Quince and Cinnamon Risotto

Peel, core and chop your quince and pop in a medium saucepan with the water, sugar and cinnamon stick. Bring to the boil then simmer rapidly. Give the quince about a 15 minute head start as the liquid will be used as your stock so you want the flavours to have developed a little.

Lightly warm a small heavy based saucepan, add your rice and 1/3 cup of your stock (either place your cinnamon in some muslin or use a tea strainer to strain the liquid as you go)As the process goes, add a 1/3 cup of liquid each time, before it gets too dry on the bottom. This will take about 15 - 20 minutes of stirring and adding stock before your rice is cooked properly. The quince will be soft and you can turn the heat off. They will still be slightly tart but it makes a nice contrast to the sweetness of the risotto. Just keep the quince warm in the liquid until the end.

Now get your serving cups, etc ready and chop up half the quince into pieces and half into slices on a chopping board. When the rice is ready add your cream, just be careful not to over-do it. Stir over low heat until nice and creamy and take off. Into your tea cups drop in some of the quince pieces, add the risotto and top with the sliced quince......finish with mint leaves or candied quince.

Serves 4 small but delicious portions.....enjoy!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Sweet Potato, Parsnip and Rosemary Soup

Our good friends over at Fox Drink Water are taking little short breaks for their honeymoon instead of 1 big one. I think it is such a lovely idea - why go one place when you can go several? Why go straight after the wedding when you can stretch it out over a year or even two? When Caroline asked me about Tasmania (where we went for our Honeymoon) I pulled out my travel diary and started reminiscing about the most romantic time of my life - snow at Cradle Mountain, a secluded old farmhouse on Bruny Island, A Honeymoon cottage overlooking the Bay of Fires, A trip to the Theatre and many, many delicious meals and log fires........this dish of course came from our Honeymoon. We were at the Tavern Bar at Cradle Mountain Lodge and having eaten non-stop all day I felt like a simple but warm soup for Dinner. This delicious meal was exactly what this newlywed required, here is my version....

1 large piece of sweet potato, peeled and chopped into small pieces
4 small to medium parsnips, peeled and sliced in half length ways
2-3 tablespoons chopped rosemary
extra virgin olive oil
1 leek, white part sliced finely
1 litre chicken stock

How to make your Sweet Potato, Parsnip and Rosemary Soup

Pop your oven on to about 170C. Throw the sweet potato, parsnip and rosemary in a roasting pan and toss with some salt and extra virgin olive oil. Roast for about 40 mins or until everything is lovely and soft. be sure they don't char too much.

Melt about 20g butter in a saucepan and add the leek.Throw in a little salt and sweat down until soft. Add the roasted vegies and a little stock and puree with a stick blender. Pop back on the heat, add the remainder of the stock (or until it reaches your desired consistency) and heat through. Check seasonings and serve with some snipped chives if you like and some warm crusty bread. Enjoy!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Quince Quirkcake

My Mum came across this recipe a little while ago and mentioned that it sounded nice. Since it is nearly Mothers Day and we won't actually be seeing my Mum on the day I decided I would make today Mother's day, for her. I pulled out Margaret Fultons recipe and thought, instead of making the Strawberry Shortcake that was in front of me, what about, Quince Quirkcake?

Well, it worked!! H-E-A-V-E-N can only describe this cake!!!!!!

If you would like to make this using quinces just use my recipe here While the quinces are going follow Margaret's recipe and make the cake. When the quinces are done, leave them in their stewing liquid but pop everything into a large lidded container so it can cool down.

Once everything has cooled down you are ready to assemble. Just ensure that you are ready to eat it as this piece of heaven is best eaten fresh!

Cut your cake in half and seperate the 2 halves. Pop the bottom half on your serving plate.

Whip the cream. When done, add quince pieces to the base then top with half the cream

Add the top part of the cake, the remainder of the cream and the remainder of the quinces. Cut into large pieces and devour!