Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Fettuccine with Roasted Red Pepper and Prawns

I'm not going to lie. I totally snagged this recipe from the Cuisine magazine website. (The wonderous archive of recipes that it is...)
Harking back to the glorious weekend of sun that we just had in Auckland........
I felt like a summery pasta dish, so searched site for 'pasta' in the Spring/Summer section, and came across this yummy treat.
I'm not going to just copy and paste the recipe here... that's not fair. But I am going to direct you over there to it.
Fettuccine with Roasted Red Pepper and Prawns

I changed the recipe a little bit - I swapped out Fettuccine for a smaller, cylindrical pasta because I had not fettuccine.... and I added in the leftovers of a tin of tomatoes I had in the fridge. It was probaby around two tomatoes.

Basically, it involvs roasting the red pepper - I charred mine on the BBQ outside, turning occasionally until it was blackened, and then popped it in a plastic bag, tied up, until the skin loosened enough to jsut rub off with a paper towel.

Toss some prawns (it says raw, but I had some frozen cooked, so after thawing I just chucked them in the pan for less time than cooking from raw) with the garlic in a pan.
Chop up the pepper and toss in the pan - (I also added in a roasted red pepper and red onion paste that I made a few weeks ago)... heat... stir... stir.... put in basil and parsley.... stir.... put in cream.....

Meanwhile, cook pasta....

Mix.... shave parmesan over, chuck some yummy baby basil leaves on top, and enjoy.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Bonus Recipe: Sundowner Cocktails

What better way to end a hot, summery long weekend, than with cocktails inthe evening sun with friends?

A friend of mine taught me something new this weekend. Apparently if you drink anything alcoholic on a boat in the evening, it's called a sundowner. So I thought 'why not invent a drink that is specifically called a Sundowner?'

(Makes 1 wine bottles worth of mix - to dilute with sprite)

2 shots (90ml) of Malibu
2 shots of Vodka (42 Below!!)
100 ml of ginger beer (pref. Bunderburg)
a couple of dashes of lime juice
Fill the bottle to the tippy top with Passionfruit and Mandarin Just Juice (or any other juice of choice... try to keep it tropical though!)

Sprite to top up glasses
Strawberries and paper umbrellas for decoration

Optional: I chucked in some fresh coconut milk out of a newly opened coconut - simply because I had it, having made coconut ice cream earlier that day

Basically, I had a few empty, thoroughly washed out, de-labeled wine bottles... and I chucked everything in them, minus the sprite. Give them a good shake... or stir if you're using a jug, and then pour into glasses. I'd say fill them to about 3/4 fill, or just over, and then top up with sprite.
Leave room for ice if it's hot out, and a bit of room for 1/4'd strawberries.
I chucked a few of the berries onto the stick of the umbrella just so that it'd balance.


(This drink isn't intended to be a highly alcoholic drink...... use your judgement. If you want it stronger, up the alcohol measurement.... but it's supposed to be a summery cocktail shared with friends. A wine bottles worth should fill about 5-6 glasses (when they're topped up with sprite) so that's not a lot of alcohol split among you all.... unless it's jsut you drinking it... but even then..)

Mango Sorbet with Strawberry Coulis

Despite the fact that it's now....11pm, and it's a school night (Only 3 days left in the week baby!!! Thank God for 3 day weekend!!!) I thought that I better kick off this blog with an actual foodie post.

It was a scorcher in Auckland this weekend (brilliant start to summer!!) as evidenced by the god awful sunburn on my back. No really, ouch. You have no idea.
However, before the sunburn occured, it was still awfully hot... and I had a ripe mango in the fruit bowl, and a need for something cold and fruity... so mango sorbet it was.

I wish I'd taken photos of the process. I'll get better at that. You might have to put up with iPhone photos for a while, because I never have my actual camera with me when I need it. But iPhone photos are better than no photos right?

I'll start you off with a photo of the finished product:

It was damn good to. Refreshing.

Mango Sorbet:

1 large ripe mango
1 tin of mango slices

I started off with a whole ripe mango and instead of doing it the right way and peeling it before cutting... or managing to just peel the skin off, I stupidly cut it up before getting rid of the skin... a process which involved a sharp knife and an extra ten minutes.
I chucked mango cubes (around 1 inch in size) into a large shallow dish with a tin of mango pieces (1 mango didn't really give me enough) and put the whole thing in the freezer... I wouldn't leave it in there for too long... I'd say it was about an hour. Maybe less. During this time, I got sunburnt. Ow.

I took the mango out, and put it in batches into the cup that comes with my handheld blender/whizzy up stick thing, and well.... whizzed it up. It came churning out the top of the stick blender (not out the top of the cup though!!!) in the form of a creamy, gelato like textured yummyness.
To store, I popped it into an old ice cream container and back into the freezer. I'll warn you - it freezes like a rock in there.... but leave it out ont he counter for a few minutes and it quickly softens enough to scoop.

Strawberry Coulis:

1 cup of Strawberries
1 tsp of icing sugar
1 tsp of lemon juice

Same deal, minus the freezing. Chuck it all into the blender, or use the stick blender on it.... hey presto, strawberry coulis. Delightful with the mango. It cuts through the sweetness with a tarty tang.


I'll start off by introducing myself.
I'm Cate: a 27 year old New Zealand primary school teacher. I started my adult working life in the Hospitality Industry (after completely a Diploma in Hospitality Management)... turns out, it's not all it's cracked up to be..... and I REALLY wasn't enjoying working in that industry. I've found my true place in life, in teaching. I love it.
BUT.... I also love cooking. (Enough to consider opening up my own place one day... in the distant future.)
So I teach all day, and then I come home and cook. And bake. I spend my weekends trying out new recipes, and my holidays absorbed in the more complicated, time consuming things that don't fit in during term time.
I'm not sure how brilliant I'm going to be at updating this often... hell, I'm not even sure how brilliant I'm going to be at writing, fullstop.
I'm not all that comfortable with the idea of eating out at places and taking photos of the food..... but I'm going to try my darndest to remember to take photos of what I'm cooking...... which is what I'm good at. (And on a teachers salary, I can't really afford to eat out anyway.)

So sit back.... and hopefully you'll enjoy the ride.

- Cate

P.S. - The title? Along with cracking me up, it's also a bit of a thing for me... cooking is my therapy. Really. There have been times when the freezer has been chock-a-clock full of pasta sauce, because I'm that stressed that I need to cook... and cook... and cook. So Keep Calm, and Carry On Cooking is my motto.