Thursday, 23 May 2013

French Green Peppercorn Sauce

- green pepper (dried unripe fruit)

One day at the Cygnet Market a young Frenchman came up to me and asked if, amongst all the beautiful, fresh spices I had displayed on the stall, were there any green peppercorns.
I replied that I did not have them as I only had dried spices, (not the little tins of pickled, fresh, green peppercorns I was familiar with).

He assured me that in France people make a beautiful sauce with ground, dried green peppercorns….. of course I asked him for the recipe and told him I would have the dried green peppercorns he requested, at the next market, if I could find them.

Well, find them I did and make the sauce I did. Typically simple yet unique and delicious, as French foods often are, I have written out the young Frenchman’s recipe below and hope you will try it. He recommended we have it with a grilled piece of meat so I used local chops (killed and hung for 2 weeks at the Cradoc Abattoir).

French Green Peppercorn Sauce

(recipe from Romain, a local French customer)

Serves 6 (if the cook can resist sampling too much!)

125g butter

125g Four Leaf 85% flour

Make a roux : Dissolve the butter in a pan over medium heat. Add the flour.
Stir until the mixture forms a smooth paste which leaves the sides and base of pan cleanly.
Cook for a minimum of 2 minutes, stirring, to cook out the taste of the flour.

Gradually add 5ooml good stock (I used the bones from the meat from the abattoir to make a stock) until the sauce is thick and smooth.

Reduce the heat and stir in :

1 heaped tsp freshly and finely ground green peppercorns

1/2 tsp salt (to taste and depending on the salt in your stock)

2 tsp. balsamic vinegar (a dash more, to taste, if you like)

Serve as a sauce with meat / or drizzle over roasted, steamed or mashed potatoes

Bon appetit!

green peppercorn sauce

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Raspberry Quinoa Muffins

This is my first foray into cooking with quinoa flour. Quinoa is 100% gluten free and it seems that quinoa flour can be directly substituted for wheat flour in baking recipes. Not only is this useful for people unable to have gluten in their diets, but, as quinoa is such a healthy and delicious grain, more or less untouched since ancient times, I am sure it will be used by many, especially now that it is grown here in Tasmania.

The tray of quinoa raspberry muffins

Makes 12 muffins

Heat the oven to 180C fan forced

2 cups quinoa flour

1 cup sugar

1 tsp bicarb. soda

pinch salt

1 cup milk

2 large eggs

1.5 tsp vanilla essence

1/3 cup light oil (I used coconut)

2/3 cup frozen raspberries

  • Sift flour, bicarb. soda, salt and stir in the sugar.
  • Beat the eggs and mix with the milk, oil and vanilla.
  • Gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry, only until combined.
  • Fold in the raspberries.
  • Place spoons of mixture into a muffin tin lined with paper patty pans.
  • Bake 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 160C and bake another 10 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to rest about 10 minutes.

What amazing texture; so soft and just perfectWe enjoyed them warm, with some creme fraiche I made but yoghurt would also be wonderful.

What amazing texture; so soft and just perfect[/caption]

I am experimenting with recipes from 'Cooking with Quinoa' by Rena Patten