Category: Entertaining

New eBook A Savoury Time

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Cover-Savoury-TimeNew eBook Release – A Savoury Time by Chef Jimmy Boswell 

New Years Release special NZ$ 5 (US$ 4)

http://www.jimmyboswell.com/Savoury_Time_eBook.html 

Over 110 pages, 60 savoury recipes including starters, sides, brunch, mains, bbq, vegetables as well as a wine pairing section.

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Matching Nuts With Cheeses

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Cheese-and-NutsNuts With Cheese 

The crunch of nuts is a tasty contrast to the creaminess of cheese. There are a few nuts that pair especially well with cheese. If using nuts on a cheese plate remember that nuts have a slight bitterness to them that is enhanced when served raw. The best way to use them is either when they’ve been toasted or candied/caramelized. Pecans, hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds or pine nuts are usually best for cheese plates. 

Serve them next to a cheese plate or sprinkle the nuts around a platter of cheese. Nuts are also the perfect garnish for salad recipes that include cheese. 

Not all cheeses are a good match with nuts. Detailed below are my suggested matches. 

Soft Ripened Cheeses – Brie and Camembert 

Match with WARM PISTACHIOS—Warming the nuts brings out the lushness of the cheese while the salt and crunch offer a delightful contrast. 

Recipe: Roasted pistachios, shelled and lightly salted 

Preheat oven to 100 C. (200 F). Spread pistachios on an un-greased cookie sheet.

Toast nuts for 10 to 15 min. Serve warm with cheese. 

Semi-Soft Cheeses 

Match with toasted walnuts or toasted almonds 

This match heightens the texture contrast with cheese while enhancing their complementary buttery flavor and aroma. By adding a sparkling sugar coating to the nuts, the pairing becomes more complex, engaging every sensor in the palate. 

To toast, place them in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast in a preheated 175 C. (350 F) oven until very lightly browned. Watch them closely. Depending on the variety, this should take from 3 to 10 minutes. Use them immediately or store them in a covered container in the refrigerator. 

Blue cheeses 

Caramelized walnuts or hazelnuts and toasted almonds. 

Cheddars 

Caramelized walnuts or hazelnuts and toasted almonds. I also like Roasted pistachios. 

Smoked cheeses 

Toasted hazelnuts, walnuts, pine nuts.

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Paring Nuts With Foods

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Nuts-PictureParing Nuts With Foods 

Rich in energy, protein, packed with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and the much talked about omega-3 fatty acids. Crunchy yet buttery, nuts are a delicious and healthy addition to our daily diet. 

  • Nuts are rich in energy and nutrients. Nuts are an excellent source of monounsaturated-fatty (MUF) acids which help to lower LDL or “bad cholesterol” and increase HDL or “good cholesterol.” Research studies suggest that Mediterranean diet that is rich in MUF to prevent coronary artery disease, strokes by favoring healthy blood lipid profile. 

One way I use nuts in my daily diet is to mix them with some dried fruits and have them as an afternoon snack. This helps off-set the 3pm blues (usually caused by a low blood sugar). 

Whether they’re whole, chopped, or ground, nuts add nutrition and flavor to meals and dishes and are also a great source of protein. 

Nut varieties include almond, brazil, cashew, chestnut, coconut, hazelnut, macadamia, peanut, pecan, pine, pistachio, and walnut. Most varieties can be bought whole, chopped, or ground; salted or unsalted; roasted or spiced. Generally, whole, unshelled nuts are the least expensive. 

Most unshelled nuts will keep at room temperature for up to six months, but shelled nuts should be stored in airtight containers in the refrigerator or freezer to keep them from becoming rancid. Throw out any that have mold. 

To remove thin skins, place the nuts on a baking sheet and bake them in a preheated 175 C. (350 F) oven until the skins begin to flake off. This will vary with the variety. Nuts can easily burn, so watch them closely. Remove them from the oven, wrap them in a heavy towel, and rub them against the towel to remove as much of the skins as possible. 

To grind nuts, use a nut grater or grinder and grind only a few nuts at a time to prevent them from becoming oily. 

To Toast Nuts 

Place them in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast in a preheated 175 C. (350 F) oven until very lightly browned. Watch them closely. Depending on the variety, this should take from 3 to 10 minutes. Use them immediately or store them in a covered container in the refrigerator. 

Nuts and Matches 

Macadamia 

Benefits They’re low in carbs but high in monounsaturated fats, which protect the heart.

Flavour match Plums, ginger, lemon, chocolate. 

Pistachio 

Benefits High in potassium, protein and iron.

Flavour match Trout, lamb, apricots, figs, citrus fruit, honey and mint. 

Brazilian 

Benefits One of the richest sources of selenium, which protects against prostate cancer. 
Flavour match Chocolate, bananas, dried fruit. 

Peanuts 

Benefits Full of mono-unsaturated fats, which reduce cholesterol and the risk of heart disease. 

Flavour match Chicken, pork, bananas, honey. 

Hazelnuts 

Benefits Rich in vitamin E, potassium and manganese. Lower in fat than many other nuts.

Flavour match Apples, mushrooms, raspberries. 

Chestnut 

Benefits Almost no fat, plenty of energy-boosting B vitamins and vitamin C. 

Flavour match Roast meat, red wine sauces. 

Walnuts 

Benefits Polyunsaturated fat, preventing high blood pressure and cholesterol. 

Flavour match Figs, Roquefort cheese, goats’ cheese, coffee. 

Almonds 

Benefits Most calcium of all nuts and more protein, gram for gram, than eggs. 

Flavour match Apples, pears, apricots, ice cream, trout. 

Pecan 

Benefits High in zinc and in cholesterol-lowering monounsaturated fats.

Flavour match Pears, maple syrup, apples, chocolate, figs, ginger. 

Pine Nuts 

Benefits Rich in protein and manganese, which helps break down fat.

Flavour match Spinach, Mediterranean veg, basil, feta cheese, lamb, pork.

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Making Nut Butters

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Nut_Butter-1000Nut Butters

As with peanut butter, other nut butters are also a rich source of high-quality protein and mono-unsaturated fat. I use the same method for making the following;

Almond butter, cashew butter, raw pecan butter, hazelnut butter and peanut butter.

Many kinds of nuts are also used to make nutritious butter. I buy raw nuts and toast them. Make sure you do not over toast them as this can make the butter taste slightly.

Making nut butter.

The first thing is to toast 2 cups of the selected nuts.

To toast, place them in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast in a preheated 175 C. (350 F) oven until very lightly browned. Watch them closely. Depending on the variety, this should take from 3 to 10 minutes. Once toasted, let them cool.

nuts-blender-1000Place them in a food processor and blend. If particles build up on the sides of the container, stop and scrape them down with a rubber spatula.

Continue processing until it begins to create a ball. You may have to break up the ball, but it is very important to be patient. Sometimes the ball will bang around a bit before it begins to break down and look creamy. This can take several minutes.

When it is balled up that I add a little olive oil. Add a teaspoon of oil and blend again. If the butter is creamy enough without it there is no need to add the oil.

Store in a sealed container in the fridge and use within 1 month.

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Porcini Soup

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Porcini-Soup-webI love mushrooms and eggs and this soup  recipe is a great winter warmer

Ingredients

4 tbsp coconut or extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp grass fed butter

Sprig of mint or oregano

4 large fresh porcini mushrooms, cleaned and roughly chopped

5 cups vegetable stock (broth)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano cheese

2 free range eggs 

Method 

In a pot, heat the extra-virgin olive oil and butter. Throw in a sprig of mint or oregano. Add the fresh porcini to the pot and let them cook for a minute so that the mushrooms absorb all the flavors. 

Add a ladle of vegetable stock (broth) and allow the porcini to cook for another minute, or until the broth has been absorbed. Season with salt and black pepper, and pour in the remaining broth. Bring the soup to a boil, and then lower the heat. Let the soup simmer for 30 minutes. 

Before plating, add the Parmigiano cheese and 2 eggs. Stir very well for a minute and serve hot.

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Antipasto Chicken Liver Spread

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chicken_liver_spread-webI often make this spread and keep in the fridge to form part of a snack. I love it spread in the middle of celery pieces as well a cucumber slices. This is also how I serve it as part of an Antipasto.

This can be made several days ahead and should be stored covered in the fridge for up to 5 days. 

Serves 6 – 8 as part of an Antipasto 

Ingredients 

3 tbsp chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, peeled & minced
2 tbsp coconut or olive oil
1/2 cup brandy
150g (6 oz) trimmed chicken livers
5 large egg yolks
1 cup whole grass fed milk or coconut milk
1/4 tbsp coconut flour
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground allspice
salt & fresh ground black pepper

Method 

Preheat oven to 170C (350F).

Heat the olive oil in a skillet, and cook the onions until lightly golden brown, then add the garlic and cook another minute or two.

Remove from the heat and add the brandy and then return to the heat and cook until the brandy has reduced by half.

Place the onion mixture in a food processor along with the chicken livers and egg yolks and blend until smooth.

Add the milk, flour, nutmeg, allspice, salt and pepper and blend until well mixed. Pour the mixture into

chicken-liver-spread-web

 a ceramic oven proof bowl (crock) large enough to hold it all, and then place the crock in a larger oven-proof pan and filled halfway up the sides of the crock with water.


Bake until the spread has set when a knife inserted into the centre comes out clean, about 50 to 55 minutes.

Remove from the water bath, and cool to room temperature. This can be made several days ahead and should be stored covered in the fridge for up to 5 days.

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Asparagus with egg – Asparagi alla Bismarck

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Asparagus-with-eggFor me this dish would have to be one of my all time favourites. I love the taste of the egg yokes as they are cut and cover the asparagus. I sometimes serve this with avocado cut into small cubes.

Serves 4

Ingredients

400g (1lb) asparagus, woody ends snapped off or trimmed
4 large eggs
6 tbsp grass fed butter
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
salt & cracked black pepper

Method

Place the asparagus in gently boiling water and cook to al dente, firm to the bite. This should take about 4 minutes, depending on the thickness of the asparagus.

Now divide the asparagus onto four warmed plates.

Melt 2 tablespoons of the grass fed butter in a frying pan over a medium heat and fry the eggs until the whites are set but the yolks remain soft. Place one egg on top of each bunch of asparagus.

Melt the remaining butter in a small pan and then drizzle it over the asparagus. Sprinkle with a little salt, and some coarsely ground black pepper.

Next sprinkle the fresh parmesan cheese equally over each plate.

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Beef Agglassato

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Beef-Agglassato-webBeef Agglassato is another Sicilian dish and its said that it originated in Palermo. It uses the eye of the rump (round). The rump eye is a cut taken from the tip of the rump. It resembles the fillet but is a lot tougher than the fillet (loin). 

This recipe is a great use of the rump eye. The Sicilian word “agglassato” means “glazed” and this dish is finished with an onion and wine glaze. 

Ingredients 

2 big onions, roughly chopped

750 gm (1.7 lb) beef eye rump (round)

2 bay leaves

1 tbsp fresh rosemary leaves, whole

2 garlic cloves, halved

6 cherry tomatoes

1 tsp each salt and fresh ground black pepper

Water

80 ml – ⅓ cup white wine

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 

Method 

Cut 4 slits, about 10-12mm (1/2 inch) deep evenly along the meat and fill them with the halved garlic cloves and half of the rosemary. 

Pre-heat oven to 175C (350F). 

Tie the meat with some kitchen string evenly in 4-5 places. This step is not essential, but it keeps the meat in shape while cooking and makes for a better final presentation. Season with salt and pepper by rubbing all over the beef and then set aside to rest for 10-15 minutes. 

In a cast iron casserole pot heat the oil and when hot place the meat and seal all sides and ends. Remove from the heat and add the onions, bay leaves, rosemary, tomatoes, olive oil. Add enough water till its up to ¾ of the meat from the top. 

Now cover the pot and place in the oven and cook for about 1 hour or until the meat is cooked through. Remove from the oven and place the meat on a warmed serving plate and cover with foil (tenting) and rest for 5-8 minutes. 

If the water has not completely evaporated after this time place the pot on the stove on a medium heat and simmer until the sauce has reduced and is slightly think. 

Add the meat back to the dish and add the white wine and simmer 3 minutes turning the meat to baste it. Remove from the heat and place the meat on a cutting board. 

Slice it into thin, 0.5 cm (0.2 inch) slices. 

Serve warm with the onion sauce on the top and balsamic fried mushrooms and rustic potato or sweet potato fries.

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Farsumagru Steak Stuffed With Meats and Eggs

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Farsumauru-webFarsumagru is steak stuffed with meats, cheeses, eggs and vegetables and then rolled to look like a roast and is a very traditional dish from Sicily. While it looks simple once its sliced it reveals a myriad of ingredients and taste. 

It can be served at room temperature, but it’s terrific hot out of the roasting pan, the delicious meat juices drizzled over the slices. Have your butcher butterfly the steak you buy to facilitate pounding.

Ingredients 

1 bunch spinach or Swiss chard
7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive or coconut oil
1 small onion, finely diced
1kg (2.2 pounds) rump (round) steak, or similar cut of beef, cut into single slice not more than 12mm (1/2-inch) thick and butterflied
1/4 cup grated pecorino cheese
1/4 dry rough ground shiitake mushrooms (you will have to grind them)
100g (1/4 pound) mince (ground) veal, lamb, beef or pork
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
Salt and fresh ground black pepper

2 large eggs
3 hard boiled eggs
400g (1 pound) equal amounts various cold cuts and cheeses. This should include salami, prosciutto, provolone or caciocavallo cheeses, cut in medium dice or julienne strips
1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas
1 cup dry red wine
1 cup veal, beef or chicken stock (broth), homemade preferred
2 tablespoons tomato paste

Method

Remove hard stems from spinach, wash well and drain. Place spinach, with only wash water clinging to leaves, in medium saucepan. Gently cook over medium heat about 10 minutes, or until tender. Remove pan from heat and let spinach cool. Drain and squeeze to remove as much water as possible, then set aside.

Heat 3 tablespoons olive or coconut oil in sauté pan. Add onion and sauté until just golden then remove from heat. Place in large bowl big enough to hold all the fillings later on.

Pound out steak slice to 4-5mm (1/4-inch) thickness with mallet or flat side of heavy cleaver. Do not tear meat.

Mix pecorino cheese, mince and parsley in bowl with sautéed onion. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Add raw eggs and mix again, combine well. Spread mixture evenly on pounded meat. Place hard-cooked eggs lengthwise, in row, on meat mixture. Scatter cold cuts and cheeses, peas and spinach evenly on top of ground-meat mixture and hard-cooked eggs. Roll meat tightly over stuffing into shape of log and tie with string in several places to secure during cooking.

Brown meat roll in large skillet in remaining 4 tablespoons oil, turning often. When meat is browned, place in heat-proof casserole dish. Pour in wine and stock (broth). Add tomato paste and stir liquids well to disperse paste then bring liquid to boil, then immediately reduce to simmer. Finish cooking meat on top of stove on simmer, or in 165C (330F) oven, 1 1/2 to 2 hours, turning meat often to baste with liquid. There should be about 1 cup liquid to use as sauce in dish, left in pan when meat is done.

Remove meat from casserole, let stand in warm place about 10 minutes, then remove string. Cut into 5mm (1/4-inch) slices and serve on heated plates with sweet potato mash or salad or seasonal vegetables. Spoon on remaining pan juices.

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Giacomo’s Antipasto

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antipasto-2The Italian translation for antipasto is ‘before the meal’ and was traditionally made up of salty olives, deli meats, marinated vegetables and cheeses and offered to diners to stimulate their appetite before the main meal. 

Unless you’re planning a party with lots of guests, keep the antipasto simple so you don’t crowd out the main meal. 

No matter how basic or lavish, antipasto should simply complement the meal you’re planning. 

The fragrance and appearance of the food that you serve is important, so blending flavours, aromas and colours will make for the most interesting antipasto plates. 

I usually prepare my antipasto selecting from the following ingredients 

Serves 20 as a starter (Scale as required for numbers) 

1-2 heads iceberg or cos lettuce

250ml (1 cup) Italian salad dressing

400g (1lb) thinly sliced ham

400g (1lb) brie or other soft cheese of choice, sliced

200g (1/2 lb) chemical free salami, thinly sliced

100g (1/4 lb) pepperoni, thinly sliced

100g (1/4 lb) prosciutto, thinly sliced

100g (1/4 lb) cold roast beef, thinly sliced

100g (1/4 lb) fresh mushrooms, sliced

200g (1/2 lb) roasted red capsicums

100g (1/4 lb) black olives, sliced

100g (1/4 lb) pickled mild green chilli peppers, sliced

100g (1/4 lb) pimento-stuffed green olives, sliced

100g (1/4 lb) Gorgonzola, crumbled

200g (1/2 lb) mozzarella, sliced

200g (1/2 lb) grated Parmesan

fresh chopped Italian herbs to garnish 

Preparation of the plate 

Remove large outer leaves from the heads of lettuce. Arrange approximately one third in a layer on a large serving platter. 

Drizzle desired amount of Italian salad dressing on top. Layer with ham and Taleggio cheese. 

Layer with another third of the lettuce leaves, desired amount of Italian salad dressing and salami. 

Repeat layering with remaining lettuce, dressing, pepperoni, prosciutto and roast beef. 

Layer with mushrooms, roasted red capsicums, black olives, green chilli peppers and green olives. Drizzle with more Italian salad dressing, as desired. 

Top with Gorgonzola, mozzarella and Parmesan. Cover and chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve. To garnish, sprinkle with fresh chopped Italian herbs, such as basil, parsley and oregano.

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