All posts tagged: bacon

Freestyler in the Kitchen: Throw-together recipe #1

Hey guys, I have a confession… Even though this blog is FULL of recipes, I am NOT a good recipe follower. I use recipes as inspiration – a starting point to leap from and aside from recipe testing, I seldom stick to the script. I like to make things up as I go along, eyeballing quantities, changing it up with whatever ingredients I happen to have. I season to taste or mood. I am not the kind of girl to cook an exact dish twice. What’s your cooking style? So, when I took Fisher & Paykel’s online quiz WHAT’S YOUR COOKING STYLE? I wasn’t surprised that I was branded the Freestyler. Freestylers have mastered the basics and enjoy pushing the boundaries, putting together flavours and textures that complement each other. They also enjoy going “off-piste”. I shall wear the Freestyler badge with honour. The quiz was designed to help you get the most out of your time in the kitchen and results in eight distinct personalities. Understanding your style can help you to choose ingredients, …

Yakitori-Style Scallops and Bacon

    Warning: Food in this post may cause incoherant babbling and sighs/moans of agreement. Scallops wrapped in bacon make me weak in the knees. I always order them if I see them in a Japanese restaurant and The Koala is a big fan of them too. The ingredients are a bit expensive, but making them at home is far cheaper than eating them at a restaurant and you’ll probably get much more. Fresh vs. Frozen It’s no longer scallops season here, but not long ago my seafood guy was peddling some fat scallops from Nelson. Although they were frozen, I thought I’d give them a spin. While fresh scallops are always better, frozen scallops are better than none at all. If using frozen scallops, defrost overnight in the fridge and make sure you drain them very well because a lot of liquid will appear on thawing. Never thaw scallops in water as this affects the texture and flavour. I think I was supposed to receive a dozen scallops, but I actually got 14 scallops. I took …

Bacon Jam

The Koala and I spent Christmas in Christchurch. Our first meal off the plane was at Terra Viva Cafe with The Koala’s parents. When I saw Hot smoked salmon and bacon jam salad on their menu, I didn’t look any further. I didn’t have to. Nothing could beat that combo for me. The salad was both tasty and light, the perfect meal for a “just got off the plane and I’m going to have an epic dinner later”. You can read my review and photos over here. Since then, I’ve been dreaming about bacon jam. “But Genie, what the hell is bacon jam?” I hear you cry. Well, bacon jam is bacon (of course) cooked down with onion, garlic and sweet gummy goodness until it is caramelised and crazy good. I had to make it. I had a browse at some recipes and decided on this one from Dinner With Julie. I’ve simplified an already simple recipe. Seriously, if you are a fan of bacon, you need this in your life. This recipe will make your house smell …

21. Thirty Nine Cafe

In celebration of Auckland Restaurant Month, I will be posting 31 quick-fire reviews on 31 restaurants and cafes in the Auckland CBD and city fringe. The atmosphere is… Front, typical cafe, out back in their outdoor area, it is bit more arty and funky. Could do with a reno though. Come here for… We have been coming here for a decade just for the bacon hash. I’ve tried a few other things on their menu but their bacon hash is just wonderful. When I go with friends, we order a table’s worth of bacon hash. The most interesting thing on the menu… The bacon hash. Unexpectedly wonderful… The bacon hash. I would come back to try… The bacon hash…again. Catering to… People who love honey bacon, roasted portabello mushrooms, a big hash brown, and shit-tons of hollandaise. Vegetarian options and gluten free options available. I dare you to swap the honey bacon for eggs to create a vege version of the bacon hash. Expect to spend… $20 per person The service is… At the counter. Friendly most …

Scallops Bacon, Bacon Scallops

Is there anything quite as decadent as a mouthful of scallop and bacon? A fresh, sweet scallop and a smokey salty streaky bacon. Oh gawd. Scallop season here in New Zealand starts from late August and runs right through until February. The most common is known as the Nelson scallop, though most people here just call these “scallops”. Now that I’ve had both the tiny queen scallop and the popular Nelson scallop, I am confident that the Nelson scallop is lovelier by miles. They are our default scallop for a good reason! Market value is roughly $1NZ / $0.82US per scallop which makes them a treat, but affordable every now and then. Part of what makes them good value is how easy they are to cook. I don’t like things that are both expensive and difficult to cook. Nelson scallops are sold and eaten with the bright orange coral or roe. When at their peak, they are both rich and sweet. Nelson scallops are small, averaging just 30 to 40mm (1.2″ to 1.6″) and are …

Humpty Dumpty and the King (of Salads)

We don’t eat salads over winter, but now that it is spring, it’s supposedly time for lighter eating. That bikini body isn’t going to appear from nowhere. Just kidding. This is not that kind of blog. I invested in a one piece last year and I don’t think I’ll be getting a bikini any time soon. Caesar salad is a gutsy dish that should not be reserved for summer. It’s odd that while I love Caesar salad, I’ve never tried to make it before. The anchovy mayo is inspired by this rich anchovy mayo from The Fridge, Kingsland. Caesar salad is one of those salads that shouldn’t really be classed as a salad in case it gets confused for rabbit food or something else particularly healthy. It tastes amazing because of all the kick ass ingredients like parmesan, Worcestershire sauce, bacon, olives and anchovies. Parmesan and anchovies When it comes to pungent foods like anchovies and parmesan, buy the best quality version you can afford. I always thought I hated parmesan, but I’ve recently realised it’s cheap parmesan …

Cauliflower Soup

This cauliflower soup was quick to make and well received at our house. Being fairly restrained on the ingredient list means that you can really taste each of the flavours. Get a good caramelisation going in the pan before you add water to intensify the flavours. This soup is perfect with  garlic butter toast or fresh buttered rolls. Cauliflower Soup Ingredients 1/2 a head of cauliflower 2 potatoes 3 cloves of garlic 2 tablespoons olive oil 1/4 teaspoon brown sugar 2 bay leaves 4 cups water 1/2 teaspoon salt 3 rashers streaky bacon (omit for vegetarian version) 1 cup of milk 2 teaspoons sour cream Preparation Cut the cauliflower into bite sized pieces. Peel and cut the potatoes into 3cm chunks. Heat the olive oil in a hot pan and add the cauliflower and potatoes. I wouldn’t use a pot as you don’t want to overcrowd the vegetables, but you could cook in batches if you prefer. Peel and crush the garlic cloves and add to the pan with the brown sugar and salt. Resist …

Autumn To Do List Summary

As the Autumn season draws to a close it’s hard to believe we’re almost June already. The next few months will fly by and once the silly season hits, it will be over once again. I have this weird sensation over the last few months, that we are hurtling. Time won’t sit still. I feel like I’m in a shopping trolley that’s crashing down a steep hill. The flat nowhere in sight. I want some stillness. Being in Thailand and Laos over the last 4 weeks has been a good mix of stop and go. It’s been hot. Real hot. Not long now until we come home to the emergence of winter. This Autumn as been great. Auckland has had many warm, sunny days. Easter for example was all promise of torrential rain, but turned out to be beautiful blue skies all long weekend. Autumn fashion is hawt. I like tailored stuff more than showing skin. Tailored coats and cute jackets. Smart hats and sexy boots. Dresses, tights and colourful scarves. This Autumn, I wrote …

Make Bacon

After reading the book Heat by Bill Buford, I’ve dreamed of curing my own pork. Curing meat uses salt to draw out the moisture and this allows the meat to last much longer. When the apocalypse that we’re all waiting for hits, we might need low tech techniques like these to make our food go further. Maybe. In the meantime, there’s nothing wrong with home made bacon just for fun. Traditionally, pig slaughter takes place in autumn, after a summer of fattening up and curing begins at this time of year too. The work is generally done outside and needs cooler temperatures to keep the meat happy. Winter is too cold in many parts of the world to work outdoors, so Autumn is the perfect season. Also, in the northern hemisphere, the holiday season follows soon after autumn and there is much appreciation of pork over the festive feast period. Christmas ham anyone? I’ve always loved the idea of curing/brining my own bacon. I wasn’t sure if I was going to smoke it too since I …

Farmhouse Pasties

I’m glad I gave the traditional Cornish Pasty recipe a whirl already this autumn. Now I’m inspired to do some weird, non-authentic pasties. This next recipe uses some of the original ingredients like beef, lamb, onion and potatoes, but also puff pastry, bacon, carrots and cheese. You can put the cheese inside the pastie if you prefer, but I’ve sprinkled cheese on the outside. I thought it would look prettier, but it only looks ok.  I’m loving smoked cheddar at the moment. It has a distinctive smokey flavour that is divine with streaky bacon. I’m buying ethical meat when it’s convenient, even though free range vs organic vs free farmed can be confusing to the average home cook. It’s nice to remember that at least here in New Zealand, lamb and beef are free farmed at minimum. At best, they’re free range. I don’t think there are any wild cows or wild sheep out there. Although that might be interesting! Lamb and beef I consider my “happy meats”. It’s only chicken and pork you have …

Hello Autumn, my good friend.

The first weekend of Autumn is here and it’s certainly starting to chill. That humid, sticky-air feeling is giving way to a bite and the wind is almost unbearable. I haven’t succumbed to wearing a jacket yet, but I had to give into a scarf last night. Denial is fun. Autumn is my favourite season. Autumn in Auckland is usually warm enough still to do things, but not so hot as to need to shower or swim afterwards. I usually relish in Autumn after a long hot summer. We’re just not ready for it yet. I was reluctant to make a to list this season as we’ve got some big events planned which will take me away from my kitchen, but once I got started on my list, I was away. I managed to stop at 10. Probably overly ambitious as usual but I don’t know what I could cull. I’ve yet to complete any of my lists so far, but I’m a dreamer. I don’t need the smug satisfaction of reaching all my goals. Most …

Easy bacon and egg pie

I’m completely obsessed with hot English mustard. I’m not eating it with a spoon…yet. It’s a fairly new obsession, which began late last year, when as part of a month-long, shared-eating RWC season when we gorged on sizzling bacon and hot English mustard sandwiches at work. Since then, my taste for hot English mustard has steadily grown more ravenous. I’ve recruited The Koala and we’ve been enjoying mustard on almost everything. In New Zealand, we use both baby American mustard and real hot English mustard and if you ask for mustard, you would be presented with either one or asked for your preference. American mustard is very mild while hot English mustard has a mean kick that I liken to wasabi. Unlike the heat of a chili, mustard  doesn’t keep building up in heat as you eat burning so much that you can no longer enjoy your food. Here’s a super easy pie to eat with mustard. It’s got everything you want in it and nothing you don’t. We split this between 3 of us but in hindsight, between 4 would …

Surf & Turf Mac & Cheese

Surf and turf is an American export and combines seafood and meat together in a single dish. It has gluttonous origins and suggests extravagance by combining two of the most expensive things off the menu. Can’t decide between the steak or the lobster? Have both! Gluttons unite! Here in New Zealand – a country that has an abundance of great seafood and meat – we don’t really do surf and turf. In true kiwi style, extravagance only goes with a slice of humble pie and what is more humble than mac and cheese? This recipe uses 3 elements and the oven but as long as you read the recipe through before you start, you’ll be ok. There’s plenty of time to do everything even if there is a little multi-tasking involved. Clean up as you go, there’s 15 minutes of downtime at the end to take care of the dishes and throw together a quick salad. Surf & Turf Mac & Cheese Enough for 2 dinners and 2 lunches (or a nuclear family) Ingredients 250 …

Bacon Burger Summer Rolls

Foodie purists look away now. I love bacon. I looove hamburgers. I loooooove summer rolls. I’ve learned a few things since I posted  The secret To Making Vietnamese Spring Rolls. It’s surprising that what some have known pretty much all their life, second nature that is so simple that it’s just a given, can be foreign to others. So a big thanks to all the summer roll pros for the feedback. Now I have learned that drying on a teatowel isn’t required at all for the rice paper and if you just roll it up went it is pliable, it will continue to soften to perfection. Here in New Zealand, it’s not uncommon to put random ingredients into an exotic dish to make some oddball fusion monster. Think green curry chicken sushi and butter chicken pizzas. Maybe it’s the same in other countries too. I’m totally into it. If it tastes good, I’ll eat it. So, with a bit of streaky bacon and ground beef in the fridge, I decided to use them to make summer rolls. …