Sunday, January 9, 2011

Lunch On The Terrace

Well, my life has got so boring now that I’m in employment, and I’m aware that I haven’t blogged for a week, so I thought I’d share with you the menu for our lunch today, when we invited one of Nicola’s work friends, who’s also been a stalwart of our quiz team successes:

Sesame-crusted seared tuna
With wasabi mash and chimichurri sauce.

With Greek salad

Pear tarte tatin
With cinnamon ice cream.

I was watching Masterchef UK the other day, and the bit where they send the contestants off to work in a professional kitchen (it was Asia De Cuba) involved one of the cooks making seared tuna, with the above accompaniments. I decided to improve on this by crusting the tuna in sesame seeds rather than just salt & pepper, and cooking it in sesame oil. I’m told (by my highly biased audience) that it worked.

Chimichurri sauce is basically a South American version of salsa verde. With added chillis. I may “improve” this again next time by using fresh green chillis rather than dried red ones.

Moussaka – well, you don’t need a receipt for this, but it does get to use up one of our surfeit of cinnamon quills.

Talking of which, I made cinnamon ice cream to accompany the tarte tatin. I looked up various recipes on the interwebs, and tried to synthesise them into something that would work for me. Whilst I can hardly claim this as original, I adapted the quantities and such, so it’s not a direct copy of anyone else’s as far as I can see; I can also tell you that it works:

450 ml cream*
150 ml half-fat, semi-skimmed, “slim”, milk – not the grey stuff
125g caster sugar
6 egg yolks**
2 cinnamon quills

Put the cream, milk and cinnamon in a saucepan and bring to the boil, then leave it to cool for 30 minutes to infuse. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a bowl until pale yellow. Strain a little bit of the cream into the egg mixture, then reheat the rest of the cream to boiling point, let it cool for a couple of minutes, and strain the rest in gradually, mixing it in all the time to stop the eggs scrambling. Pour the mix back into the saucepan and heat gently until it’s thick and coats the back of a spoon, but don’t let it boil.

Chill overnight (I do this by pouring a stiff G&T and watching the telly, but each to their own ;-))

Then churn the custard in your ice cream machine, until…er…you’ve made ice cream. Simples! ;-)

So there you are. A blog about our life in New Zealand that also includes recipes…what’s not to like?!

* NZers don’t seem to have the concept of single and double cream, but it looks like single to me.

** Everyone says “What do you do with the whites?” You can make a pav if you like, but frankly I don’t, really. I just flush them down the sink. They are the least economically useful part of the egg (apart from the shell) and I don’t mind chucking them out.


  1. You can whisk them (the whites) with sugar, make little heaps on a baking tray, then let them dry in the oven - voilĂ : meringues which you can then have with your ice cream. :D

  2. The problem is that I don't have a machine whisk, and I'm not doing to do it by hand (just whisking the yolks is hard enough!)...and I'm still not interested in sweet white stuff.

    One of the biggest advantages of making home-made ice cream is cutting down on the huge amount of sugar that is put into commercial ice cream, resulting in a far more "grown-up" flavour that isn't reliant on sweetness. I don't really have much of a sweet tooth. One of the reasons why I started making my own ice cream was to start tasting the flavours rather than the sweetness (and the fact that so many ice creams tasted like frozen margarine).

    So I'm still going to get rid of the whites...they're more trouble than they're worth to me!

  3. I am sure it was a lovely meal, but how is the job?

  4. I'm with Julian - how are you getting on with those early starts?

  5. Rory, I have just posted 5 paras of Blog to you without looking at the screen and they have disappeared. Can't remeber what I said so this is a short hello and appreciation of your menu. I have some shark steaks in the freezer and will practice a version of your Tuna. Keep wowing them at ANZ, looking forward to hearing of your progress.

    Love to Nicola and Roly, Pa x

  6. Good to hear from you, I'd hope woerk was taking up your spare time!! We are all overcome by what is happening in Queensland. Guess we will not be going to Noosa this trip. I spoke with Enid yesterday she seemed much better but she still has major problems. We will visit her in March though she promises to travel down to Mornington but I not sure she can stand that amount of travel, be it air, rail or road.

    We continue to be thankful for our webbed feet we developed in thelong periods in hard stations I experienced in service of HM. Into tax returns at the moment, out of the blue a demand after 5 years of silence from HMRC. I wouldn't give teir website more than 6/10.

    When speaking to Ma I think you mentioned peaple we knew in the K of SA; were you thinking of Barbara (nee Ufton) and Charles Bailey? Alas they are now airline pilots in the sky. They lived at Larnaca and Ma and I used their flat on the way home from SA. They had not even moved in, so we in fact were the 1st occupants. It was a new development close to the airport at Larn. Those were the days. First class travel.

    The Macbs are still 'on holiday' in Brisbane; hope all is well.

    Now that your clime is getting warmer

  7. Re my job: They do say “if you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything” so at the moment…my lips are sealed. I'll tell you all about it at a later date.

    Pa - I was thinking of the people who lived in one of the compounds...can't remember their names, but they lived somewhere in Kent then moved to Cyprus? Had a daughter called Dionne IIRC? Or am I getting mixed up?

  8. Yo bro,

    I made your pear tart tatin for dins this eve. Easy peasy and very yum. I added a slosh of red wine because I couldn't remember whether I should or not, which possibly made it slightly more liquid than in should be but top flavour! James had seconds which is pretty good for something with such a grown up taste. Will finesse and do again.

    Hope your week at work was as good as a week at work can be.

    It's kinda mild and rainy and windy here. Not entirely surprising.

    Happy Sunday to you and Nicola.

    Love, H x