Sunday, 28 August 2016

Farewell winter

In preparing to bid farewell to winter, what better send off than a dessert-equivalent of a big, warm cuddle?
Rice pudding is an epic childhood favourite of mine, although I have given it a bit of an update with the assistance of Donna Hay (using Arborio rice is life changing).
I’ll get to the pud in a second, but can we just take a moment to praise the simple brilliance of rhubarb?
If you grow it, bravo, I’m yet to get there but fully intend on adding it into the rotation.
Don’t be tempted to try and use everything with rhubarb, it’s not like celery, the leaves are actually poisonous – that goes for humans and animals.
Once the danger has been removed, it’s so simple to prepare, I like to poach it and store in the fridge when cool.
We’ve been using it not only to adorn rice pudding, but also on porridge in the morning and as a snack with yoghurt.
The combination of sweetness with that lovely tart edge is seriously delicious.

Baked Vanilla Rice Pudding with Poached rhubarb
1 bunch of rhubarb stalks (4-6 pieces)
3 tablespoons caster sugar
1 lemon, rind and some juice (or orange)
4 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
½ cup Arborio rice
1 litre milk
2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
4 pieces lemon peel
2 tablespoons caster sugar
1 tablespoon butter

For the rhubarb, chop stalks into smaller sticks about finger size and place in a small-medium saucepan.
Add the caster sugar, lemon rind and a squeeze of juice, water and vanilla.
Cook over medium heat for about seven minutes, or until the rhubarb is tender.
Set aside to cool.
For the rice pudding, pre-heat your oven to 160C.
Place the rice in an oven-proof dish.
Combine milk, vanilla, sugar and lemon peel, stirring before adding to the rice.
Stir to combine and cover with foil, before placing in the over for one hour.
Remove the foil after an hour, stir and cook for another 30 minutes before adding the butter and a sprinkle of extra sugar.
Cook for a further 10 minutes or until nicely golden.
Serve with a spoonful of poached rhubarb and a dollop of cream of yoghurt.

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Fish tacos

I’m all for a hearty meal on a cold winter’s night, but sometimes it’s also nice to keep things light (and leave more room for desert!)
This recipe has become a weekly favourite in the Everyday Baker household, predominantly for the adults given the spices, but I also dull it down for the lad-friendly version.
I really encourage you to try and make your own flatbread, it is so simple and if you don’t mind a bit of work with the rolling pin then you might find it rather cathartic, as do I.
The fish spice is incredible and another winner from my favourite gourmet farmer, Matthew Evans and his “Summer on Fat Pig Farm” cookbook.
It also works well with chicken and don’t be tempted to forego the salsa – it’s the combination which brings it all together.


2 cups plain flour
Pinch of salt
175ml milk
40g butter
Mix the flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Warm the milk while melting the butter and add to the dough, either mixing by hand or in a mixer using a dough hook.
Bring together in a ball and cover with cling wrap.
When ready, cut off small pieces and roll out – keeping them small and thin for tacos is the key.
Fry in a hot pan with a small amount of olive oil until slightly golden.
Wrap in foil to keep warm.
Fish Tacos

600g fish fillets, such as flathead
2 garlic cloves, flattened and peeled
1 green capsicum, seeded and finely diced
6 tomatoes, diced
1 small red onion, finely diced
1-2 small chillies, finely chopped
Small bunch of coriander, chopped
Juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons olive oil
Fish spice:
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1-2 teaspoons chilli powder (I use cayenne pepper)
For the salsa, combine all ingredients and drizzle with olive oil. Leave the garlic whole to impart flavour – you can remove to serve so no-one gets a surprise in their wrap.
Make the fish spice by grinding up all your spices in a mortar and pestle, adding some salt, before scarring over the fish.
Cook the fish on a hot barbecue or frying pan, being careful not to overcook.
To serve, whack all your ingredients on the table with the flatbread/tacos and let everyone assemble themselves – we like to add some avocado or natural yoghurt.