Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year

It is 40 degrees outside today.

 There is a hot northerly blowing, drying my garden and the rest of the farm to a crisp.  Exceptionally unpleasant to say the least.  Still, it is cool in the house and a good opportunity to catch up on some jobs.

I promised a pic of my gravlax (after I started to carve it)
Do try this.  It is incredibly easy and goes a long way.  Great for a party.  

GRAVLAX - Adapted from a Gourmet Traveller recipe

1 side of salmon, skin left on and pin boned (about 1 kg)
500g coarse sea salt
400g white sugar
1 cup finely chopped dill
2 tblsp juniper berries, coarsely crushed
1/4 cup gin (or vodka)

Mix salt, sugar, dill, juniper berries and gin in a bowl.
Place a long piece of glad wrap on the bench and double it so you have a piece long and wide enough to completely wrap the salmon.  Put half the salt mixture on the glad wrap and place the salmon on the top, skin side down.  Cover with remaining salt mixture and wrap up tightly.

 Put in a big roasting tin with a baking tray on the top.  Weigh down with a couple of tins from the pantry (or anything heavy).
Refrigerate for 12 hours, then undo it all and turn over.  Re-wrap, replace weights and refrigerate for another 12 hours.  When we travelled to the beach I wrapped it in paper and put it at the top of the esky sitting on two freezer bricks and it survived the three hour journey with no problems.

I served this with some lovely dark wholemeal bread and lemon.  I made a mustardy vinaigrette to go with it because there was no dill in the shop to make my usual dill dressing that goes so well with salmon, crayfish and yabbies. 

1 egg yolk
1 teasp dijon mustard
1/4 cup chopped dill
1/2 cup peanut oil 
2 teasp lemon juice
1 tblsp light sour cream

Whizz egg yolk, mustard and dill in the food processor.  Gradually add olive oil in a thin steady stream until thick.  Add lemon juice and whizz.  Stir in sour cream and season to taste.

Speaking of yabbies, we got our first catch for the summer the other day...
More on yabbies at a later date.

We came home from our beach time to find that the beetroots were enormous.  I love beetroot roasted and in a salad or just as a veg, but when it gets big I usually make a homemade version of the beetroot we get in tins.  This is quite an Aussie thing, a staple of the hamburger with the lot.
This  is for 4-5 large beetroot.  You can use smaller ones and leave them whole.
Wash the beetroot thoroughly and cook in boiling water until tender.
Cool and remove skin.  Cut into slices.

In a saucepan put:
3/4 cup water
1.5 cups white wine vinegar
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 teasp black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
10 cloves
1/2 teasp mustard seeds
1/2 cinnamon stick
1/4 teasp salt
Bring to the boil and simmer for five minutes then allow to rest for about half an hour for the flavours to develop.  Strain.
Put the beetroot into jars and cover with vinegar mix.  It keeps for ages in the fridge.
Had the best New Year.  While boating on the bay we saw a few of these:
Hope you had a good one too.  Here's to 2012, with lots of rain when we want it (now would be good).

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