For our American readers, we extend warm Thanksgiving wishes to you! May your festivities be filled with great company, delicious food and perhaps a chance to experiment with new food presentation techniques.
Our latest video has just been published, where we show how effortless it is to elevate the presentation of simple sweetcorn fritters to gourmet levels. In this video you will learn a technique you can apply to lots of different recipes to take your presentation up a notch.
In this newsletter we also share some simple tweaks you can make to basic biscuits to turn them into delightful edible gifts. They're perfect for expressing gratitude to your neighbours or to gift as a small thank you gesture during the Christmas season.
Lastly we've got the spotlight on Quinoa in this issue. It's a tiny grain, but a nutritional powerhouse! We'll share a delicious salad recipe further on in the newsletter. Don't miss out - be sure to have a look!
In this issue:
- Fresh off the press - Sweetcorn Fritters - From Simple to Gourmet
- Garnishing ideas - Food As Gifts
- Ingredient spotlight - Quinoa
Fresh of the Press...(+ Recipes)
Our latest video - Sweetcorn Fritters from Simple to Gourmet - has just been published.
Simple sweetcorn fritters make such an easy and delicious light meal that you can enjoy for breakfast, lunch or tea. In this video we'll serve them as a lunch with bacon, tomato relish and aioli.
It's easy to put them on a plate and leave it at that but how can we turn these into a plated café style dish without much extra effort? That's the question we're going to answer in this video.
I hope you're left feeling inspired and can take these tips and apply them to your own recipes too. Simple doesn't mean boring!
Click on the link to have a look...
Makes approximately 6 fritters / 2 portions.
- 1/2 cup self-raising flour
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup soda water
- Salt and pepper
- 3/4 cup sweetcorn kernels (fresh or frozen)
- 1 tablespoon fresh herbs (I used basil, but mint is delicious too)
- Oil for frying
- 6 slices of streaky bacon
- Tomato relish
- Mayonnaise or aioli
- Fresh spinach leaves
- Feta cheese
- Whisk flour, egg and soda water together until there are no lumps.
- Add the sweetcorn and a generous grind of salt and pepper and mix together.
- Finely chop the basil and mix in.
- Set aside for about 10 mins.
- Put a drizzle of oil into a fry pan and warm to a medium low heat.
- Scoop 1/4 cups of batter into the pan and gently fry. (Don't overcrowd the pan)
- When bubbling at the edges, flip over and gently squeeze down with a spatula.
- Remove from the pan onto a wire rack when firm to the touch.
- Fry the bacon and drain on paper towel.
- Plate in a stack, adding a layer of each ingredient in each layer.
- Substitute out some of the corn for other vegetables like courgette or capsicums.
- Serve with fried bacon or smoked salmon
- Add some guacamole or salsa
Garnishing Ideas - Food As Gifts
I'm all about turning everyday eats into something special! And... it's so much easier than you think - all it takes is a little bit of fancy presentation.
So, the other day, I decided to bake up a variety of classic biscuits to give to some friends. I made Anzac biscuits (light-brown in colour and semi healthy looking ;)), chocolate rough's (dark chocolate brown in colour), and a ginger-spiced blondie chocolate rough's (pale coloured). I made them all slightly bigger in size than I normally would to fill our family's biscuit tins.
To add to the presentation of these biscuits, I gave each type a unique touch. I drizzled chocolate over the Anzacs. On the chocolate rough's I added the standard chocolate ganache with a sprinkle of chopped walnuts, and on the blondie chocolate rough's I spread a white chocolate buttercream with a dash of walnut brittle. It wasn't rocket science, it just required a smidge more time in the kitchen.
But let me tell you, it took these basic biscuits up a serious notch. The lesson here? Elevating your food presentation doesn't have to be a major effort. I carefully filled a big jar with a selection of these biscuits and gave it to our friends.
What's your take on these upgraded treats?
Ingredient Spotlight - Quinoa
With the warmer days, we've been enjoying lots of salads. There's something so nice about a freshly cut salad packed with seasonal produce! As I was looking at some different grain options to add some bulk to a salad, I rediscovered a delicious Moroccan spiced quinoa and chickpea salad. This salad is actually delicious served hot or cold and you don't need any fresh vegetables, so it's a great winter option too!
Have you cooked, or even tried quinoa before? It's a whole grain packed with nutrients, fibre and protein. It has so many health benefits and it's easy to cook and incorporate into your meals. Quinoa is also gluten free.
Quinoa has a subtle almost nutty flavour, but will take on any flavours you add to it - meaning it's a great healthy base to add bulk to your salads. I love adding it to a roast pumpkin and pomegranate salad with some fresh mint leaves. You can also use it as a substitute for any other grain based salad. I've put an example Moroccan spiced quinoa and chickpea salad below.
One thing to remember when you're cooking quinoa is to rinse it under some running water before you cook it. Sometimes it can give a bit of a bitter taste is you don't do this.
Moroccan Spiced Quinoa and Chickpea Salad
- 2 teaspoons coconut oil
- 1/2 onion, finely diced
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
- 2 cups vegetable stock (or water)
- 1 (400g / 15oz) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup almonds, roughly chopped and toasted
- A handful of fresh parsley, roughly chopped
- In a medium sized pot, sauté the onion with the coconut oil over a medium heat until the onion is transparent.
- Add the turmeric, cumin, cinnamon and salt, and cook until mixed through and fragrant.
- Add the vegetable stock and quinoa and bring to the boil. Once boiling, cover with a lid and reduce the heat to a gentle simmer for 15 minutes.
- Turn off the heat, remove the lid and fluff the quinoa with a fork.
- Mix through the chickpeas, cranberries, almonds and parsley.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
- Garnish with extra chopped nuts and parsley.
This is a great make ahead salad. You can pop it into mason jars ready to grab for an on the go lunch, or you can be super organised for guests and make it the day before.