Pasta bakes are a great for week-night dinning. I have taken a classic macaroni & cheese recipe and amped it up a little by using smoked chicken, Gruyère cheese and kale, the green vegetable of the season. I have made this with cavolo nero and curly kale – both vegetables retain a semi-crunchy texture adding good contrast to the gooey sauce.
A pot of soup simmering on the stove on a chilly afternoon makes the whole house fragrant and has everyone asking when dinner is ready. The pork hock (or shank) is not the easiest cut of meat to skin, however it is worth the effort. The meat is succulent and full of flavour and is perfect with the creamy kumara.
Home prepared black beans are very easy when using the crockpot – I have used my Crockpot Savoury Black Beans. The recipe can also be found on here. This makes a large pot of soup – enough for dinner for 4-6 and leftovers for lunch the following day.
If you are partial to dates, then this slice is for you. If dates aren’t really your cup of tea, then try it any way – the chocolate & date flavour combination is very very good and will convert many a date-hater into a date-appreciator. Well maybe a date-tolerator would be a better way to put it.
The date & chocolate spread can also be spread straight onto some grainy toast for a delicious alternative to chocolate hazelnut spread.
The Chocolate & Date Slice is at the rear of the photo. Right front is Lemon & Currant Cake, left front is Apricot & Almond Slice.
This Apricot & Almond Slice seems benign in appearance and the simple ingredients don’t shout. However it is a huge hit and will disappear lightning fast from the baking tin. It can be made with wholemeal flour, but in this instance plain white flour is good. Try the Chocolate & Date variation for something different.
This Lemon & Currant Cake is a super easy, old-fashioned style cake that takes about 2 minutes to throw together, not including the resting or cooking time. It tastes good with a glass of milk after a hard day at school; so good that it is hard to stop with just one piece. The wholemeal flour adds a nice nutty flavour and good texture, however the cake is also quite delicious with plain white flour.
Lemon & Currant Cake
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
½ – ¾ cup water
200g (1 cup) brown sugar
150g (1 cup) currants
½ cup sunflower oil
1 t baking soda
188 g (1 ¼ cups) wholemeal flour
1 t baking powder
70 g (¾ cup) ground almonds
Preheat oven to 180ºC/350ºF.
Add lemon juice to water, using extra water so that there is 1 cup of liquid.
Combine brown sugar, currants, oil, zest and lemon water in a large saucepan and bring to boil. Boil for 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
Stir in baking soda then sift in flour and baking powder.
Add ground almonds and mix until combined.
Spread into a greased & lined 20cm square baking tin and smooth the top of the mixture.
Bake for 30 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the cake comes out clean of crumbs.
Cool in the cake tin for 5-10 minutes before turning out onto a cake rack to cool completely.
Store in an airtight container.
The original plan for the early autumn edition of Savour was a lovely dessert tart featuring fresh fat figs. Nature intervened in that the figs aren’t yet ripe while the vegetable garden was throwing zucchini after zucchini at us. And with my attention wandering and wondering, watching the figs fail to ripen, the forgotten zucchinis continued to grow. And grow. Time to turn these gigantic zucchini (aka marrow) into the pot. This recipe will use about half a large marrow. As an aside, grated (unpeeled) marrow works well in baking in place of grated zucchini, the only concession I made was to scrape out and scrap the seedy core. Cooking dried beans from scratch is super easy, and you have the advantage of flavouring them as you like (tinned black beans can be used but drain & rinse them if they are in brine). Epazote is a Mexican herb I have in my herb garden. If it is hard to come by, leave it out or swap it with another herb of your liking. I also have a wide range of chillies in the garden – if you can’t find a particular type of chilli, substitute another of similar heat. This casserole makes plenty – enough for leftovers for lunch the next day.
Lamb & Couscous Salad with Tzatziki
I know the first thing you are going to say to me – where is the apple in this recipe?There is no apple in this recipe. I suppose I could sneak some in somewhere …. but apple for the sake of apple even if it doesn’t go? Hmmm, perhaps not.