Sunday, January 17, 2010

Hobart Farmers Market

It was a treat today to be at the official opening of the Hobart Farmer's Market. After taking Minnie my Munsterlander pup for a swim at nearby Kingston beach and a walk with my good friend John Burke and his dog Joe, it was ever so relaxing to stroll around the market after it was opened by local food identity Elaine Reeves and Green Senator Christine Milne.

The highlights of the day for me today were the beautiful Tasmanian raspberries and Cygnet SBS Gourmet Farmer Matthew Evan's Rare Foods produce. A close second were the preserved Kentish Cherries and Gooseberries from Colleen Graham and her husband, lovely old timers and neighbours of Rodney and Severine Dunn at the Agrarian Kitchen at Lachlan.

So dinner tonight was easy. Mary and I started with Matthew's pork rillette and Zum's sourdough bread, also from the market. The texture and flavour/seasoning balance of the rillette put it amongst the best I have ever tasted. But it was the pork and fennel sausages married with Matthew's Boston style baked beans that made the perfect Sunday night meal (coupled with a Chilean Rotschild family red).

The dessert tonight was my take on a Lindzertorte - made with a vanilla bean shortcrust pastry and filled with almond meal, eggs, butter and sugar and fresh raspberries soaked in Framboise Sauvage - a raspberry eau de vie. It worked a treat and was the perfect accompaniment to some chocolate icecream that had escaped my clean out of the freezer yesterday. Thank God for Sundays.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

That's Amore

Last week Mary and I visited our Italian neighbours Anna and her husband Patrizio. Anna is a fabulous cook and with our prosecco out came wonderful pizza pieces with pumpkin and basil. I asked her the secret of her dough and was astonished when she told me she made it in her breadmaker. Right I thought, bugger this hand kneading I will give it a go in the Kitchenaid.

The method I used was this. Take a packet of yeast (a 7 gram sachet), add 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 375 grams of bread flour. Whizz it around with the paddle blade to mix and then switch to the dough hook. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 250 ml of tepid water and knead at speed 2 for a minute.

Allow to prove in the mixing bowl covered with a tea towel in a warm non draughty spot for an hour until the dough doubles in size. Then knead again for a minute or so with the dough hook sprinkling with a little more flour if it is sticky. If it sticks to the dough hook just stop the mixer a couple of times and take it off with your hands.

Halve the dough and you will be able to roll out two 26cm pizza bases. Add your toppings and cook at 220C for 20 minutes.

Today I did one with a roast pumpkin and roast garlic puree spread over the base and topped with roast pumpkin slices, Meredith Farm goats fetta and artichoke hearts. The other was a diced Italian tomato puree and fresh buffalo mozarella, spanish Serrano ham and basil. Sprinkle a little ground black pepper and drizzle with olive oil before consigning to the oven.

I cooked one on a pizza stone and the other on a perforated base non stick pizza plate. The latter works heaps better than the stone and is easier to work with as well.

There you go. What's stopping you? The world's just a big pizza pie. It's amore as Dino would say.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Too Hot to Blog

This last week has been up and down like a yo yo. 38C one day and 18C the next. Last night we were all al fresco with a BBQ and a glass of Riesling. Tonight chicken and leek pie seemed about right with a Pinot.