Friday, September 28, 2012

diy gelato and hello xmas menu!

Whenever we get away for a break we don't always have internet access or even a t.v. It's kinda weird not knowing what's happening in this crazy world of ours; if only for a few days!

One of the first things I do on Holidays, after I have re-aquainted myself with my husband and let said husband know that if he doesn't spend some quality time with our children the holiday is over! I head to the nearest Vinnies in search of old foodie magazines. I've collected a few over the years. My favourite, Gourmet Traveller. I just love them! They always inspire me; sometimes leading me to other ideas or cuisines. By the time we get to take a holiday both my husband and I are usually exhausted and I've almost always lost my enthusiasm for cooking - especially those last few days when I was making 3 different dinners in one night!'s a long story.

Holidays are my time to find a comfy spot under a tree, a sunny day and a few magazines to re-ignite me! One of the 3 issues I picked up during the break was the 2005 Christmas issue and you wouldn't believe it except that I am telling you right now - I have worked out the menu forthis years Christmas Lunch!! Yay!

So, this Christmas I am using KISS as my theme - Keep it simple stupid! For starters I am going to serve King Prawns with a fresh lemon pesto - easy; for main I am going to serve chicken.  My brother in law doesn't eat red meat and he's not a huge fan of seafood which leaves me with pork or chicken. So then I had an idea! Usually I'm slaving away in a hot kitchen creating a Roast with all the trimmings in 40C heat. Not this year people. This Christmas I've decided on Schnitzel. Now, just hear me out first before you start thinking it's going to be like the dodgy deep fried you may find at a leagues club. I'm thinking a parmesan crusted schnitzel each piece about the size of your palm, crumbed the night before, quickly pan fried and set aside as I'm getting the entree together. Then placed over a simple Ceasar Salad with some crusty garlic toasted bread. See, Simple : 0

Ok, so Dessert is the big finale! The thing we all hang around for at the end. Usually, at our place, it's a sad fruit platter that one family member (who shall remain nameless) has pre-cut that morning and then driven over an hour with fruit platter flying around the back seat to our house. Then we try for a while to fit the fruit platter in our tiny fridge but there's allready enough food in there to feed the whole extended family and anyone who happens to walk past our house......for  the next year; so then it just stays out on the kitchen bench which is slightly hotter then the sun until the end of the day when we finally eat what the ants have left us.

Back to the Dessert! Did you catch "The Living Room" on t.v the other week? We just happen to flick the channel when Miguel was blitzing some frozen strawberries, strawberry jam, a fully scraped vanilla bean and some cream - Wa-La.....Instant Gelato! This totally blew my mind!! Can you believe it? No stirring over a hot stove until the sugar melts; no need for an expensive icecream maker and there wasn't a sugar thermometer in sight! I knew I had to try this. Back to our holiday, a few pages later I had 2 ideas that I really wanted to try (2 ideas that will become the dessert component of my xmas menu) - Watermelon and Rosewater Gelato and Pineapple and Passionfruit Gelato  - here's the recipe for the doesn't get easier then this!

Pineapple and Passionfruit Gelato


1 ripe pineapple
1 small tin of passionfruit or at least 5 - 10 fresh passionfruit, depending on their juice content
1 tin of light or full fat organic coconut cream (you will only need 3 heaped teaspoon fulls)


Chop ripe pineapple  into small pieces (as you want them to blitz easily in your machine) the night before and place in a zip lock bag in the freeezer - you should have about 500g. Separate seeds from passionfruit pulp. Keep seeds in a zip lock bag in the fridge (you can use them as garnish if you like)  You should have at least 1/2 cup of pulp. Pop this is a zip lock bag in the freezer. Keep the tin of coconut cream in the fridge. When you are ready to serve, blitz everything together and dollop into your gelato cup of choice. Serve! Decorate with the passionfruit seeds or without or even add a few pieces of some reserved frozen or room temperature pineapple to garnish. The possibilities are really endless!

I'm ready Christmas!.....Bring it.

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