Lick Your Plate

Lick Your Plate

Cooking & writing all things delicious

Recent Posts

Smoked kahawai pâté

Smoked kahawai pâté

Some things are meant to be.  I’ve been thinking about Kahawai for a while now.  Common in our waters, it seems to me – and correct me if I’m wrong – that people can get a little sniffy about them.  Kind of like they’re thought […]

Cheese and tomato one-pan feast

Cheese and tomato one-pan feast

  Well hello there.  Tomato glut?  Yeah, me too.  Much of it not my own harvest on account of abdominal surgery recovery and whatnot, so I am doubly grateful for all of the tasty goodness that has been kindly coming my way of late.  All […]

Nectarines and recuperation

Nectarines and recuperation

 

Now here’s the thing….I am at home recovering from abdominal surgery.  It’s good news – I am doing fine and the surgery will improve my quality of life.  I have had lots of surgery in my life and have always come through it like a teacher’s pet, best-in-show ribbon kind of goody two shoes, with minimal recovery and a speedy bounce-back.  Turns out this surgery was more of a big deal, and it’s taking longer than usual for me to feel like myself.  Although my usual eating includes lots of sharp, spicy flavours and a range of textures, right now I just want comfort food that is easy to make and easy to eat. And also to lie around all day in my pyjamas.

I’m lucky to be recuperating in Summer.  Long bright days and sunny skies are easier on the mood when you are spending large portions of the day looking out the window, and fresh deliciousness abounds – tomatoes, stone fruit, avocados and all other kinds of goodies are plentiful and at their best.

I am particularly in love with nectarines right now.  They are my favourite fruit, so whenever they are in season I gobble them up by the bucket load.  Nectarines have an impressive history – most likely first domesticated in China over 4,000 years ago!  Perhaps it is not surprising that I am particularly drawn to them while I am recovering, as they are packed with all kinds of good things, including Vitamins A and C.

I would never suggest that you need to do anything with a nectarine to make it more delicious.  My favourite way of eating them is straight from the fruit bowl.  Grilling them however makes them feel a little more like a special dessert, and I bet it could be dressed up even more with a little ice cream.  The addition of basil may seem weird, but do give it a go!  It goes nicely with the sweetness.

Ingredients:

Per nectarine:

1 x t honey

A dot of butter

To serve, optional:

Fresh chopped basil

Plain yoghurt

Method:

Pour your honey in to a shallow dish or plate.  If your honey is the firmer, creamier variety (like mine) then give it a burst of heat in the microwave (about 20 seconds) or on the stove to make it a little runny.  Here’s a quick aside about my honey – I brought it via the Common Unity Project Aotearoa.  The honey is produced from bees and hives in the Hutt Valley as part of their Beeple Project.  They are an awesome bunch, check them out.

Halve the nectarine/s, removed the stones and rub all over in the honey.

Place in a shallow heat-proof dish stone-side up.  An oven tray with raised sides would also do.

Dot a little butter on each nectarine half.

Put your oven grill on and grill at high heat until the nectarine halves start to soften and go golden brown on the top.

Serve sprinkled with the basil and some yoghurt on the side.

Where have I been?  And please enjoy some warm lentil salad topped with poached egg.

Where have I been? And please enjoy some warm lentil salad topped with poached egg.

  Hello!  Sincere apologies for my absence.  I needed to take a break from blogging.  The reason?  Because I had started heaping pressure on myself, setting expectations about perfect photos, on-trend and original recipes, and copious tweets and followers.  This diminished my enjoyment of Lick […]

Make cake, not war

Make cake, not war

Happy 2017 everyone!  I think we can all agree that the year we have just ushered out was rather bruising, whether you’re talking politically, artistically, or for many of us, personally.  So, what we really need to ring in the New Year is not cucumber sticks, […]

Edmond’s Cookbook Apple Sauce

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Pork and porridge.  It’s not too often you get these two together, but they are both delicious with a little applesauce, no?

Admittedly, my first thought on arriving at Apple Sauce in the Edmonds Cookbook (apart from no, not more apples) was ho-hum.  Apple sauce eh?  What can you do with that? It looks a bit like snot, therefore not particularly photogenic.  There’s not a lot of excitement in making it either.

 

This was all a little unfair and some internet browsing has piqued my interest.  Preparing apple-based sauces goes back to medieval Europe and many cuisines have their own version.  Check out this recipe for Norwegian apple sauce with rye cinnamon crumbs and yoghurt.  Oh my, wouldn’t that be a lovely sight to greet you for breakfast!  Or, this recipe for Danish applesauce (‘æblegrød’) with cream!

So you can imagine I embarked on my Applesauce with a little more excitement after this.  It’s very easy  and a very good way to use up any apples that are past their best and loitering in the fruit bowl.  I’ve been enjoying it with my morning oats, greek yoghurt and a little dusting of cinnamon, which is a very nice way to start the day indeed.

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Ingredients:

  • 3-4 apples, peeled and cored
  • 1 T water
  • 1 T butter
  • 2 cloves or some lemon juice
  • Sugar

Put all ingredients in a pan and simmer over a low heat, until the apples are ‘pulped.’   I have not come across this expression before, so I took it to mean ‘mushy’!

At this point, Edmonds instructs beating it with a fork until smooth.  Being a softer City-girl, I used a stick blender rather than a fork and elbow grease, which gave a nice smooth finish.

This keeps well in the fridge for several days, covered with a little cling film.

 

 

Russian fudge

If you fancy a sugar hangover, look no further.  This fudge is mouth-suckingly sweet and all the better for it.  A firm Kiwi favourite, it is dense and rich, comprised largely of sugar, sweetened condensed milk and golden syrup. I can’t get to the bottom […]

Cinnamon & pear muffins

Cinnamon & pear muffins

I’m finding myself with a lot of tinned goods recently, not unlike many people in our little shaky isles in the wake of our 7.8 earthquake.  It pays to be prepared. I’ve heard the comment more than once that tinned pears are the least exciting […]

Homemade Hundreds and Thousands biscuits

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Toddlers and sugar, a match made in heaven?  Probably not for their parents, but when it’s your niece’s third birthday party and you said you’d make biscuits, it’s hardly time to skimp on the sugar.

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I was inspired to make these little numbers by one of New Zealand’s favourite cookie treats…the Hundreds and Thousands biscuit.  The name is pretty self-evident, although perhaps not if you hail from elsewhere in the world outside of New Zealand.  ‘Hundreds and Thousands’ is our antipodean name for the rainbow sprinkles on top of these cookies, but other terms include nonpareils and jimmies.

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I can’t find must history about this biscuit itself, but there are a few stories behind the origins of Hundreds and Thousands.  Some claim they were invented in a New York candy factory in the 1930s, whilst others say that they come from Parisian bakers.

Whatever the origin, it can’t be denied that a liberal sprinkling of on a pink-iced vanilla cookie is an appropriate party treat.  I used Donna Hay’s vanilla snaps recipe for the base and the rest was pretty simple.

Vanilla biscuits:

  • 250g butter
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 & 1/4 cups plain flour, sifted

Icing:

  • 1/3 cup softened butter
  • 1 & 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • Pink food colouring
  • Strawberry essence
  • Hundreds and Thousands / Sprinkles / Jimmies or whatever you call them!

Beat the butter and sugar together until pale and creamy.  And the vanilla extract and egg yolk and beat again.

Finally add the flour and beat until a dough forms.  Wrap the dough in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

 

Heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.  Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface until 3mm thick.

Cut rounds or shapes from the dough and place on baking-paper lined trays.  Bake until just golden – this took ten minutes in my oven.

Cool on racks.  Make the icing by adding the icing sugar to the butter, a drop of colouring and strawberry essence and beating well, using a little hot water to soften as needed.   When cold, ice with pink icing and sprinkle liberally with hundreds and thousands.

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Kisir, via Bromley

Catching up is an excellent excuse for eating. I’ve been away having numerous catch-ups and visiting some favourite old haunts. London is a favourite old haunt and feels a little like a second home, in no small part because of the many fabulous people living […]