Friday, June 27, 2008
A TASTE OF THE GOOD LIFE TO WHET YOUR APPETITE!
I don't know what's going on!!!! My life is full of social engagements at present, either here at my home or elsewhere at the homes of friends - or sitting on sidewalks sipping hot chocolate, lattes or cappuccinos! Life can be so hard at times, but someone's got to do it!
However, I did get time to complete the painting above, commence another together with a drawing, both of which I hope to finish in the not too distant future.
Last weekend was filled with the fun company of a circle of friends. And I didn't escape the throng mid-week or at week's end, either. Blame it on the moon!
Yesterday, I was invited by a local chocolate shop owner to visit her premises to taste-test some new delicacies of the choccie variety to hit her shelves. I ask you - how could I possibly decline such an invitation? While sipping on hot chocolate, I chatted up the artist in residence in the next door gallery and those at surrounding al fresco tables! Needless to say, I had to try many chocolates to come to a definitive decision - ummmm - I'm still not sure! I may have to re-visit and test some more, methinks!
There was a method to the proprietor's reasoning. She wants me to write something about her glorious little oasis in my next food article for the local "rag". A chore that I find is not a chore at all considering the side benefits! I don't mind being on her agenda - would you?
I have a friend visiting overnight, down from the sunny shores of Noosa Heads. We've not caught up for a while and he's been a dear friend for many a good year - and bad!
"Feed the man beef" the saying orders, so dutifully I shall oblige. I've a juicy, tender-looking whole beef rib fillet sitting a-waiting in my fridge for me to do decadently delicious things to it! Forgive me if I set your taste buds a-drooling, but I thought I'd share this recipe with you.
The red wine has been chosen - a couple of bottles of Shiraz - Rosemount and Penfolds - with a couple of back-ups of other vineyards - just in case!
ROAST BEEF STUFFED WITH SPINACH, PINE-NUTS & FETA
Pre-heat oven to 200C. Using sharp knife, butterfly whole piece of beef fillet by cutting nearly all the way through the meat, lengthways, then open it out with several long incisions. Lightly flatten beef. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in pan over medium heat. Add 3-4 tablespoons pine-nuts, 3-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped, 1 firmly-packed cup of young spinach leaves and 3-4 shallots, finely chopped. Cook for 2 minutes until the spinach has wilted. Transfer mixture to a chopping board and chop roughly. In a bowl, combine spinach mixture with 100g feta, 2 cups firmly-packed fresh breadcumbs and enough liquid beef stock to just bind the mixture.
Press mixture along one edge of the beef. Roll up beef tightly, encasing the filling; secure, at intervals with kitchen string. Heat a little more oil in pan over high heat; add beef and brown well on all sides. Transfer to a baking dish and roast for 25 minutes for rare, 35 minutes for medium or 45 minutes for well done. Remove from oven, cover with foil and rest for 10 minutes before carving. Meanwhile make a rich beef gravy adding a splash or two of red wine to the stock during the making thereof. Serve sliced roast beef with your favourite vegetables. Pour the wine and start eating and sipping - the rest will follow automatically!
Have a great weekend everyone. I think mine is going to be a lot of fun - as long as I don't look at or read the news. All around us these days is gloom and doom. I, for one, refuse to be dragged down into the cauldron of despair.
Let's all look on the bright side of life!