It all began on Sunday actually. I went off to host the monthly Hot Lakes Craft Market at the Arts Village while my husband took our little people to the Ngongotaha Trout Hatchery for one of their 'Kids Fish Out' days. This is where children aged 6-14yrs can learn to fly fish and, get this, it's a guaranteed catch of a lovely rainbow trout. Seriously! How good is that?! So the more children you have, the more fish you come away with. I know - brilliant! So if you don't have any children, take my advice and borrow some - at $3 each you're onto a winner (for the fishing license that is, not the kid). The added bonus is that it's a really lovely place to visit and you can wander around the grounds and enjoy all the different trout pools, the hatchery and the lovely stream. Take along your coffee thermos and you're well and truly sorted.
So we ended up with two rather small (possibly not legal in the 'real' world) but lovely none-the-less rainbow trout. Yesterday they were gutted, butterflied, salted and sugared and left overnight in the fridge. Today they were hot manuka smoked for 15 minutes. While they were smoking I googled for a recipe (I do a lot of that) and thought that a 'Smoked Trout Tart' sounded like a fine way to appreciate our little beauties. I used this recipe, but with this pastry. The first recipe (which makes enough for 2 tarts) uses 14 tbsp of butter... what? Who measures that much butter by the tablespoon? Too weird/difficult I thought so I found one where they measure in much more civilised grams. It's pretty rich with a cup of cream in it... but blimey it's GOOD!!
I certainly ain't no food photographer and had to wrestle the kids away whilst being cruel enough to make them wait for photos, but I mean, just look at it. Drool...
I went for my usual Monday morning run today - complete with hat, gloves and jacket which inevitably come off half way around before overheating sets in. Anyway, after a shower followed by my coffee and email/online catch-up, I fancied something warm and tasty out of the oven. This super simple Coconut Loaf is delish and pretty healthy too. Thanks to the good folks at the Tauhara Centre in Taupo for the recipe.
1 1/2 cups wholemeal flour
1 1/2 cups coconut
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup raw sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Add whatever fruit and/or nuts take your fancy - I like it with currants and pecans. You could try cranberries and macadamia or walnuts...
Mix all ingredients together and bake in a lined loaf tin for 1 hr at 180c. Too easy!!
THEN smear with lashings of butter :)
I made my first Casserole of the winter on Saturday night. I had some chuck steak (from my favourite bovine beasts - the Highland Cow - shame to eat them as I do adore them). Anyway, it was given to us as a thank you by some farming friends around this time last year, so it would be rude not to. It's been lurking in the freezer for so long I thought I'd better use it or lose it. It was *delish* and was followed by an old-school Edmonds Cookbook self-saucing Chocolate pud with vanilla iceream. Let me hear you say "YEAH"!
So what's all that 'cupcake' business going on in your image? I hear you say.
MINI PIES. That's what!
Here's the guff. Make a casserole with too much for your family to possibly eat in one sitting (that's easy for us with 2 small skinny children - more difficult, if not impossible, for families with teenagers). Anyway, save what you can or make up some tasty mince, and, on a Monday when you really don't feel much like cooking, take a couple of sheets of puff-pastry from the freezer and cut them into 4's (squares) and push them into an oiled cupcake tin. Take your leftover meaty goodness (could be done with a vego casserole too of course!) and plop into pastry cases, blend up some wholemeal bread crusts with parmesan cheese and fresh herbs (thyme, rosemary and/or parsley), salt & pepper. Tip a pile of this on top of each little pie and push down a bit, then top that with grated Colby cheese to hold it all together. Bake in a medium oven for 20-30 mins.
And voila! Mini pies. Go on!! Then stand back and watch the love from your husband grow... ha!