November 2013 archive

A goose fat themed birthday.

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31, that’s the year of the goose right?

 

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It took 2 days to prepare everything from scratch but damn it was worth it.

 

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Goose stock.

 

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Bacon, onion, cream and mushroom stuffing for the creamy stuffed mushrooms.

 

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Lots of gruyere.

 

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Fried goose necks with paprika, thyme, salt and sugar dip.

 

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Chicken liver terrine with port jelly.

 

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Pesto escargots.

 

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These were store bought.

 

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Pear, figs, grapes, white asparagus, toast, blue cheese and foie gras puff pate.

 

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Smoked tuna parcels stuffed with green onions and goat cheese, topped with caviar.

 

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Creamy bacon and cheese stuffed mushrooms. Cabbage stuffed with gruyere and prosciutto in a white sauce.

 

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Onion and liver meatballs with green figs in syrup.

 

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Cooking goose breasts that were marinated in pomegranate concentrate over night.

 

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Goose breasts with cepe mushroom gravy.

 

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Garlic prawns with bacon and champagne beurre blanc. (Green onions and curly phyllo garnish)

 

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The star of the show, foie gras!

 

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Seared foie gras on toast with a caramelized onion and green fig marmalade.

 

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What an excellent birthday!

Syria inspired Feast.

Clockwise: hummus, baba ghanoush, fattoush salad, Laham b’Ajeen  (miniature Tamarind Minced Meat Pies), pickled chutney, chutney stuffed zucchini with yogurt and pomegranate, strawberry delights and pork and lentil fried kebbeh.

The whole meal took me over 5 hours to make but it was well worth it.

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We’re watching this while we eat, it’s so beautiful!

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Jerk chicken on the B.B.Q.

Jerk chicken is really easy to make, you basically take all the spices you own and throw it into a pot with chicken thighs and let marinate.

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This time I used:

Onion

Hot hot hot pickled peppers

Garlic

Sugar

Salt

Cinnamon

Nutmeg

Cumin

Coriander

All-spice

Star anise

Turmeric

Cayenne pepper

Salt

Pepper

Tamarind paste (or lime juice)

Olive oil

Touch of water

Fast food cravings: homemade cheeseburgers with Caesar salad.

For some strange reason I was craving terrible fast food so I decided to make my own. The burgers were easy to make, ground pork with a little powdered chicken stock and breadcrumbs, flatten on the grill and quickly broiled with American cheese. I can’t believe how delicious they turned out, 100 times better than a “Mc” burger. 

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A little bit of everything dinner.

Homemade hot peppers, Bulgarian sausage, grapes, camembert, Swiss cheese, heart shaped egg, hot salami, mayo, fresh bread, cherry tomatoes, feta, green and black olives with chili peppers, roasted tomato/pepper spread, smoked ham and homemade spicy picked cauliflower.

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There’s a craze on Facebook called Bitstrips.

Basically you can create cartoons of yourself and your friends doing stupid things. I thought it was amusing and I wanted to create my own characters but Matt warned me that the program is very bad for your computer and I shouldn’t use it, EVER…so I made my own.

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ME!

I got to Skype with Carla last night, we talked for over 4 hours! Carla is awesome and I miss her to bits, can’t wait for our next Skype date.

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Roasted butternut squash ravioli with sage brown butter and hazelnuts.

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  • 1 medium sized butternut squash cut into 1” strips
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 6 sheets of fresh lasagna pasta
  • 1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • nutmeg
  • 6 fresh sage leaves
  • chopped green onions for garnish (optional)
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees, place squash on a cookie sheet and drizzle with a little olive oil then season with salt, pepper, thyme and sage. Bake for 25 minutes or until the squash is tender. With the back of a knife scrape the roasted flesh off of the skin, discard skin. Blend the squash with the chicken stock then pass through a sieve and reheat on a stove at a low/medium heat for 15 minutes stirring occasionally. 

Cut the lasagna sheets in half, place a scoop (about 1 tablespoon) of the squash in the center of a sheet, paint the parameter of the pasta with egg, top with the other half of the sheet then carefully press the edges sealing the ravioli.

In a large skillet at medium/high heat, cook the ravioli no more than 2 at a time in olive oil. Brown each side then add a little water to the bottom of the pan and cover for 2 minutes.

In a small pan cook the butter at a high heat. Just before the butter turns brown add  the fresh sage leaves and remove from heat once the leaves turn slightly crispy.

Serve the raviolis with a dollop of squash, drizzle with a little brown butter and sage (the leave a edible and delicious) and finish it off with a sprinkle of hazelnuts and green onion.

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You can make delicious soup with the squash leftovers by adding a little cream.

I’m happy to report that not everything died while I was away.

My unexpected month long trip to Greece, Macedonia and Serbia left me worried about my plants back home. Before I left I had planted chives, cilantro, parsley, basil, avocado and baby carrots and they were all showing signs of growth. When I returned home a month later it was looking pretty grim, even my cactus upset. No matter, I crossed my fingers and watered everything.
Now a week later and everyone is happy again,  my cilantro and parsley grew back,  my cactus is growing new leaves and even my avocado tree is starting to appear!

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New additions from the Ikea in Sofia, water plants! We’re hoping the cats won’t destroy these.

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