Penne with chickpeas and chilli
More baking….Orange and saffron milk cake. Lemon brownies with berries. Parsnip apple and lime cake….and comfort food
My daughter in law Jenn is American and before she and my son Nick visited for a special birthday recently I asked her if there were any special foods she missed from home bearing in mind it might be some time she sees the land of her birth any time soon.
She sent a recipe for cinnamon buns which I thought was easy enough as long as I built in the time factor as it was a yeasted dough and needed time to prove. It was a very successful experiment and the buns were so DELICIOUS I knew I had to share them with friends and neighbours before I ate them all. My Instagram followers heaped praise on them as well so make them for breakfast when the visited. A friend suggested I try them with vegemite and cheese too which seems a very Australian interruption to try. On further experimentation I have found a middle eastern version which is with tahini and has sprinkled sesame seeds on top. I am excited to try that one too.
Cornbread is not a popular dish in Australian homes as it is in American homes…especially in the Southern states so when Jenn sent me a recipe for some I decided to make some to have with some spicy chilli soup for their visit. Then a few other American foodie friends sent me their cornbread recipe so I was off and running. I ended up making three versions including one which was made in a Dutch oven …much like I bake my sourdough. Well it had sourdough starter in the recipe too. There was one with bacon and corn. I used both fresh corn which I roasted as well as creamed corn in another. Fortunately these froze well too though the one I especially like was with corn, bacon and cheese! And both fresh or easily pickled jalapenos added authentic flavour.
Besides the chilli soup which I must make again it was very flavoursome I made a simple chilli con carne. This was a favourite when the kids were young and often was just a meat sauce left over with a can of red kidney beans and some spices. Now black beans are available in stores and cans of habanaros too to add a more authentic flavour. Sour cream, avocados and corn chips and it is a hearty meal on a cold wet day. Comfort food!
It is well known I love to bake and with time on our hands but still encouraged to stay home in isolation I have enjoyed trying new and interesting bakes. The supermaket stocks seem to be improving so finally sugar and flour is plentiful. As well as toilet paper by the way.
Each fortnight….sadly no longer weekly I open the weekend The Age to find the newest recipe from Helen Goh (Australian and living in London with her family and who co-wrote Sweet with another of my food heroes Yothan Ottolingui). Enough said! I love the way Helen uses everyday and seasonal ingredients in a different way to make an exciting new cake or dessert. Her saffron milk cake with orange is a winner and I am not a saffron fan. And accompanying Helen’s recipes are ones from Neil Perry.
A recent one has become a favourite with just a can of chickpeas, one of tomatoes and a load of cooked pasta all bought together with a decent hit of chilli and topped with a crunch of toasted sourdough crumbs with chopped parsley and a generous dusting of parmesan. Excellent leftover food too.
Although I have a disgustingly large selection of cook books I also enjoy scouring The Age’s Tuesday copy of Good Food guide where I like to pick up new recipes.
Pastitsio is one of these recipes. Last year I enjoyed a food trip to Greece (one of my favourite countries…the beautiful islands and fabulous food) so when I saw this recipe I had to make it. White sauce, macaroni and a lamb mixture mixed together and baked.
That is all for now…I will continue baking and add some more photos and reciper and in the meantime Be kind to each other and stay safe. We will get through this….eventually!