Friday, January 12, 2007

Don't Get Excited!

No....I didn't take these photographs. I've not progressed that far as yet. I will, though. I'll have to escape from the mountain sometime over the next few days as I have to pick up a USB cord. Two arrived on order at a store up here yet and I've still to take my camera with me to see if one of them is suitable. I have my doubts. It that turns out to be the case, I will visit a camera store at Helensvale, down on the Gold Coast. It's not too far from the mountain and I'll dodge all the madness of the traffic down there. You've probably noticed by now, I hate leaving my mountain hide-away! However, if I have to do so, my passport is up-to-date, I will make a quick dash into the hectic, outside world!
It's a long time since I've shared any recipes with you. I imagine you're all starving by now! Forgive me my tardiness! Hopefully, these will make up for my shocking neglect! You must remember, though, you have enjoyed the Festive Season in between takes!

Watermelon & Goat Cheese Salad: Place in a large bowl, 8 cups seedless watermelon, cut into 1-inch cubes, 1 cup crumbled goat's cheese, 2 tablespoons freshly chopped mint, 1 teaspooon freshly chopped coriander/cilantro and 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice. Combine gently. Serve decorated with sprigs of fresh mint leaves.
Chicken Legs with Sweet Tomatoes:
Pre-heat oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. Season four chicken legs, jointed all over with salt and grounded black pepper and put them into a snug-fitting pan in one layer. Throw in chopped basil leaves and stalks, then chuck in your 2 handfuls of red and yellow, halved and ripe plum tomatoes, quartered. Scatter the a whole knob of garlic, broken up into cloves into the pan with 1 chopped chilli and drizzle over some olive oil. Mix around a bit, pushing the tomatoes underneath. Place in the oven for 1.5 hours, turning the tomatoes halfway through, until the chicken skin is crisp and the meat falls off the bone. If you fancy, you can add a 410g can of cannelloni beans or some sliced small new potatoes to the pan and cook them with the chicken. Or you can serve the chicken with some simple mashed potato. Squeeze the garlic out of the skins before serving. You could even make it part of a pasta dish - remove the chicken meat from the bone, shred it and mix it with cooked linguine or spaghetti.
Gorgonzola Quichettes with Red Onion & Thyme Confit
200 g shortcrust pastry* (ready-rolled)
15 g butter
1 medium red onion (peeled and thickly sliced)

1 heaped tsp brown sugar

1 tbsp good balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp thyme leaves

150 g gorgonzola

2 egg yolks

4 tbsp mascarpone

2 tbsp single cream
salt, pepper
Pre-heat oven to 200C. Line 24 mini muffin tins with shortcrust pastry. (I have a non-stick and a silicon. I don't need to grease it, but do so if your tin requires it...the dough shouldn't
be thicker than 1-2 mm. Cut off surplus dough and smooth round the edges. Prick with a fork, then line with small pieces of grease-proof paper and fill with baking beans or pulses. Place tray in the oven and blind-bake pastry for 10 minutes, it should be cooked through, but not too brown on the edges. Leave pastry shells to cool, then store in an air-tight container. For the onion confit, melt the butter in a non-stick pan, fry the onions until browning, then add the sugar and let caramelise. Deglaze with the balsamic vinegar and cook over a low heat, enough for the onions to soften through and the vinegar to lose its edge. This should take about 15 minutes. Add the thyme leaves and season to taste. The confit will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for a week. To finish the quichettes, pre-heat oven to 180C. Beat the egg yolks with the mascarpone and cream, season to taste. Fill the pastry cases with roughly half a teaspoon full of gorgonzola, then top with a teaspoon full of the egg/cream mixture. Make sure the cases are not filled all the way to the top as the filling will rise. Put into the oven and bake for 10 minutes, until the mixture has set and is browning on top. Meanwhile, gently warm the onion confit in a pan to make it easier to handle. Remove the mini-quiches from the oven and leave to stand for a few minutes. Top with half a teaspoon of onion confit and serve while still warm.

You have no idea how long it has taken me to write this post! I'm not sure if it's blogger playing games with me or my computer. I'm hoping it's blogger, not my computer!!!! I hope you enjoy these that have taken me a week to write and post!!!!!!!!


  1. Why did I choose to read this when I am famished??? LOL

  2. lol Scorpy! Serves you right! ;)

    How were your four days at the beach with the girls? Silly of me to ask...I imagine you had a great time!

  3. And here was I getting ready to cheer, thinking you'd managed to figure out the workings of your camera!

    The recipes look and sound scrumptious, especially the chicken legs in sweet tomatoes. That one's going to be tried. Thank you, Lee

  4. You are very welcome,Robyn!

    It would be nice to say they were my pics...but no...not yet a while! ;) I'm having a break from studying the machinations of my camera, today...instead I've been researching recipes all day for my next article to be sent to the northern paper...that article will HAVE to have my own pics included! Arrrgggh!

    The first one to be published in this month's magazine will be minus my pics...the paper is going to organise something their end, thank goodness! Let's me off the hook a bit and allows me more time to become used to all this photography and food photography! (If I ever do!)

  5. Anonymous12:08 AM

    Ummm I say with my mouth watering. I still haven't figured out everything on my camera.

  6. Well, that makes me feel a little better, Steve! ;)

  7. Hi Lee ~~ Recipes sound great, and Itotally agree with you about that darned Sheik. We don't want him back
    or any of his followers with the same ideas. Good luck with your camera and recipe rics. Thanks for your visit. I think that ID ten T applies to al lot of us at times. Take care,
    Enjoy your trip from the mountain!!
    Love, Merle.

  8. Gidday Lee,
    Whew, you'd think I'd learn and look at the blogs daily instead of looking at a whole bunch of them all at once.
    Thanks for asking where I've been. I've had writer's block (ah that's my excuse and I'm staying with it). I've finally created another post. I'm following in your footsteps (and creative footsteps that they are) and doing some posts on previous experiences. At least this way a lot of "stories" can be "left" for others to view about what has happened. I'm saddened that I didn't tape or write down past stories that my mother would of had to tell of her early life as now that she's gone this sort of history has also now long gone. Maybe these many, many blogs will become part of written history for future readers.
    Another set of recipes...yummy the chicken one looks good.

  9. I just thought about a e-mail I received from a web site called Photojojo. Cut and paste the below link into the web search engine at the top of the page not the Google search engine and see what you think.

  10. Rats it all didn't ome out.
    add this to where the photogra finishes.


  11. With Marilyn laid up I find it impossible to get away to make the 10 mile trek to the nearest (very small I might add) market. We would have some trouble coming up with watermelon mid winter. So I'm thinking you could just invite us over. Do you still have my #?

  12. So true, Merle! I'm going to have a lot of fun with this camera. If you see a mad woman running around with a camera in her hand, it won't be the will be me! ;)

    Wazza...thanks for that link. I most certainly will have a look at it. I, too, kick myself for not recording the stories my grandmother used to tell. The majority of us are guilty in that department, unfortunately. Wonderful bits of history gone, forgotten, never to be heard of again. are Marilyn be here at 12noon...lunch will follow after a couple of champagnes out on the terrace! ;) We fortunate here, watermelons are available all year-round. But you can store the recipe away until your summer!

    Glad you all liked the recipes. :)

  13. TOO LATE - I got excited at the top of the post when I saw the pictures - OMG, that food looks delicious!

    Good recipes too, thanks for the big effort to get them posted...

    I don't envy your task of learning to photograph food, I saw somewhere once where they take the photos of before the food is cooked, so the colours work out better (?)...

    Wazza's food photography tips and tricks looks interesting, thanks Wazza...

  14. Hi Lee ~~ Glad you enjoyed the post.
    Take care, Love, Merle.

  15. Hey Lee~

    Loved the recipies! Glad I can now comment on your blog. See you here or at LST!

  16. Hi Lee!! I feel so badly about not having visited for so long...seems all I've been doing lately is playing "catch up" with everybody!! Been reading your last few posts...sounds funny to me about finding a lizard in your bed...not something that happens here in Northern Ontario! lol Thanks so much for the recipes...wish I had a chef that would come over and cook for me those delicious looking foods:-) Hey I can only hope! lol Hugs xox

  17. Aha! I knew I would trick you all, if only for a moment with the pics! ;)

    Della...there are a lot of tricks to food photography, I am discovering! And as I am a tricky person, that should be right up my alley! ;)

    You have a vault full of jokes, Merle! Keep 'em comin'! ;)

    Pea...I kind of imagined you were pretty busy after your put so much into it...I think you needed some time to catch your breath. :)

    Last but not least, great to see you! A nice surprise...don't be a stranger! :)

  18. Lee,

    Glad to be "seen!"

    O/T - Attended a blog (Headshaker's) event Friday night. About 20 people in attendance, including Don. He came bearing gifts from Sand Land and China and then proceeded to pick up the tab for all of us. He's a gentleman and an animal, I tell you! Anyway he "held court" as he always does! I do believe he had a few glasses of red for you!

  19. The chicken recipe looks easy and tasty; I must try that. We don't get yellow tomatoes here though.

  20. I believe that, Neocon! He is both! lol Glad you finally all got your 'gifts''s so long since the last Brewhahahahahaha...he's held them for a while. I'm glad to hear he had a few glasses of red for me. I've behaved myself for the past week or so, so it was about time I had a couple of wines...even if by remote control! ;) I remember you and southern saying you were both going to crash the 'Shaker's' party! ;)

    Liz...don't worry about the yellow tomatoes...they're not necessary...just use the red.