Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Taking the Texan Approach with Pineapple

The State Fair of Texas has an annual competition for the most innovative deep fried foods. There are some adventurous attempts involving surprising ingredients such as jelly beans, oreos, beer, bubblegum, peaches and cream, and even pineapple upside down cake.

A Fried Peanut Butter, Jelly & Banana Sandwich won the Big Tex Choice Award 2005 for Best Taste!
I was intrigued by the margarita entry which was cake batter made with margarita mixer, fried and soaked in more margarita and served in a salt-rimmed glass! There was also a pina colada entry!

Deep fried bubble gum was the winner of the 2013 Most Creative Award.
Thanks to Ernie Tacsik who exhibited this photo on flickr. He admits “well... to b honest i did not actually eat any  :-)”
http://mentalfloss.com/article/31488/25-deep-fried-foods-texas-state-fair says that “It's actually bubblegum-flavoured marshmallows, battered and deep fried and sprinkled with Chicklets” !
If you’d like to know more about the Fair logon to the State Fair of Texas website  http://www.bigtex.com/sft/Nav/FoodFinder.asp

This Fritter Batter recipe comes from  ‘The Sunbeam Automatic Cooker and Deep Fryer’ book, from the 1950s or 60s (Mum’s copy has no cover). It states that  "A batter can be quickly prepared and cooked to present attractive foods for unexpected guests. It is important when covering foods with batter not to have too heavy a coating on food and always to have the fat smoking hot before frying."
Fritter Batter
Covers 8-12 fritters. Mixing Time: 1 to 2 minutes.
1 cup plain flour; 1 dstspn baking powder; 1 egg; salt; ½ cup milk

SIFT … flour, baking powder and salt
BEAT … egg yolk on speed 5.
ADD … milk and mix with dry ingredients on speed 1.
BEAT … egg whites stiffly and fold into batter
USE … for raw or cooked fruits, cheese fritters, fried oysters, etc

I had to take on the challenge with some of Ruby's favourite ingredients - pineapple pieces (the tastiest), glace cherries (not bad), marshmallows (tried to escape), cocktail onions (tangy), canned beetroot (delicious), brussels sprouts (surprisingly edible), stuffed olives (okay) and radishes (I couldn't face one). With a little persuasion Les did the deep frying, Anne.

(Thanks to my niece, Georgina, for telling us about this tasty event!)

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Salade d’Ananas a l’Indienne

‘Cookery for Occasions’ by Donovan Clarke 1949 begins with the chapter titles ‘The Bachelor Entertains’ and ‘Meal for Two – Prepared by Him’. 

This one intrigued me ‘The Cocktail Party and After’- I went straight to the end of the chapter hoping for something a bit more spicy than references to the washing up! Anne.

The chapter ‘An Indian Meal’ begins:
“Yih kaisi Khwurak hai? – as they say in Hindustani. ‘What sort of food is this?’ A very good sort for those who like it hot. Those who don’t, should lay in a large supply of sweet, cool bananas, when they venture to partake of it.”

‘An Indian Meal’ includes this recipe:
Indian Pineapple Salad 

1 small ripe pineapple, 1 cooking apple or sour apple, 1 stick of celery or 2 heads of white barb, ½ cup mayonnaise, small portion of red pepper thinly sliced for garnishing.

Peel and dice the pineapple, discarding the hard heart; peel, core and slice the apple and wash and shred the celery or white barb. The shreds should be very fine. Mix the whole together with enough mayonnaise to bind them. Place in a glass bowl or individual dishes, garnish with the red shredded pepper and a few sprigs of celery tops or white barb. Keep cold, but do not ice it.

What is barb? 
Fish hook, cutting remark, a breed of domestic pigeon, pipe fitting, quill feathers, a Nicki Minaj fan ?
All of those, and more.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

“Housewife Superstar” and pineapple

I recently read a copy of ‘Housewife Superstar: The Very Best of Marjorie Bligh’ by Danielle Wood, given to me by my sister-in-law, Colleen. I’m not known for my skills as a housewife so I was a little suspicious at first, but was soon very impressed by the book itself and the productive career of Tasmanian, Marjorie Bligh.

I won’t give too much away but the book is not only an excellent bio but also a wealth of recipes, recycling tips, verse and hints from how to find a lost contact lens to hatching chickens in an electric frypan.
Danielle has published a follow-up to ‘Housewife Superstar’, ‘Marjorie Bligh's HOME: Hints On Managing Everything’. She describes this book as “a compilation of more of Marj's greatest hits and various celebrities (including Barry Humphries and Margaret Fulton) have nominated their favourite Marj hints, tips and recipes.”
“Barry Humphries chose Marj's Candle Salad, which I think you might enjoy.  When Barry makes the recipe, he adds a lettuce cup and some mayonnaise dribbling down the side of the banana, ‘to represent wax’. “

“. . . the doily underneath the serving plate was crocheted by the great lady herself,”  Danielle.
She goes on to say “Incidentally, in other Marj news, ‘Housewife Superstar’ has been translated into Dutch and published in the Netherlands, and has just been released in the US where she's being billed as a nonagenarian Martha Stewart.”
Congratulations Danielle and Marjorie!
Marjorie Bligh’s Pineapple Chantilly   

3 dstspns gelatine, 4 tblspns hot water, 6 slices Swiss roll, 2 or 3 dstspns sweet sherry, ½ tspn vanilla, 2 eggs, 2 ¾ cups milk, 1 ½ tblspns arrowroot, 3 oz sugar, 1 tin pineapple, 5 tblspns coconut
Dissolve gelatine in the hot water in a vessel standing in a pot of hot water. Place slices of Swiss roll in serving dish. Sprinkle over the sherry. Mix the sugar and arrowroot with a little of the milk; add the rest, then stir over heat until it boils 3 minutes, slowly. Cool slightly, then add vanilla, beaten egg yolks, dissolved gelatine, chopped pineapple and coconut. Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites. Pour into lined cake dish and chill until set. Decorate with a slice of pineapple and cherries. Serve with cream. Serves 6 people.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Goodbye Ruby!

This is our final recipe from the “Golden Circle Tropical Recipe Book”. Over the last twelve months we have tested our culinary skills and the devotion of friends and loved ones with 136 dishes from Ruby Borrowdale’s  kitchen at Golden Circle.

Cooking and writing for this blog has been too much fun to stop now, so Ann and I are going to continue delving into Australian retro (and occasionally other) recipe books for more pineapple delights.

Contemporary recipes from Golden Circle are available on their website:  http://www.goldencircle.com.au/Recipes     
The Queensland pineapple growers Tropical Pineapples also have delicious recipes on their website:

Fillets of Fish - Tropic Style

440g can Golden Circle Pineapple Pieces, 675 g frozen or fresh fish fillets, 1 tsp salt, 1/8 tsp pepper, 1 clove garlic, 1 tblspn butter, 2 medium onions, 2 pared medium carrots, ¼ cup white wine or ¼ cup water plus 1 tsp lemon juice.
Slice carrots and onions thinly. Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper. Drain syrup from pineapple. Melt butter in pan and cook carrot and onion for 5 minutes, then add the drained pineapple. Place fish fillets on top. Pour wine (or water) over fish. Cover pan and cook about 10 minutes, until fish can be easily flaked. Sprinkle fish with parsley. Serve with creamed potatoes and the pineapple mixture as a sauce.

Friday, 5 July 2013

A fake galantine

Ann and I have both been avoiding this recipe! I admit that when I started cooking I had no idea why – it didn’t seem at all appetising. Ruby’s wording “Mask with Sweet-Sour sauce” wasn’t very encouraging! 

A quick search on the Internet revealed that:
“In the culinary arts, a traditional galantine is a deboned chicken wrapped in its own skin along with ground meat and other ingredients, and then cooked. A galantine is cooked either by poaching it in stock or roasting it. Traditionally, a galantine is made only with chicken. Galantines are served cold, coated in aspic.”

Wikipedia had some interesting anecdotes about galantines including a reference from Chaucer and a story that exemplifies the resilience of the Russian people:
“During the Siege of Leningrad in 1941-1942, the authorities created galantine from 2,000 tons of mutton guts that had been found in the seaport, and later, calfskin, to feed the starving residents of Leningrad.”

To be honest I’m not sure why Ruby called this dish a galantine. Any ideas?

As I couldn’t get any dried beans locally I thought a 400g can of cannellini beans (rinsed and boiled about 10 minutes) might do the job just fine. I chose bacon to serve it with. Les loved it, Ella wasn't so appreciative ... Anne.

Haricot Bean Galantine

1 jar Golden Circle Sweet-Sour sauce, 225g dried haricot beans, 2 tblspns crushed peanuts, 1 onion, 4 tblspns fresh white breadcrumbs, 2 beaten eggs, 1 tspn  vegetable extract, ½ tspn salt, mixed herbs to taste, fine browned breadcrumbs, parsley to garnish.

Soak beans overnight and cook until tender in the same water. Mash finely in remaining cooking liquid. Grate onion and add to beans with all remaining ingredients except browned breadcrumbs and parsley. Steam in buttered mould 1 ½ hours. When cold, unmould and coat with fine breadcrumbs. Mask with Sweet-Sour sauce, garnish with parsley, 4 tblspns cooked chopped ham, bacon, poultry or other cooked meats can be added. Serve with lettuce garnish.

Monday, 1 July 2013

Pineapple Hummingbird Cakes

I made pineapple hummingbird cakes from my friend, Jane’s recipe, they weren’t actually that exciting and a bit of a fiddle to make.  Because they had oil and not butter, I think they would have been much improved with a pinch of salt added, Ann.

Hummingbird Cakes with Coconut Crust
•440g canned crushed pineapple
•1 cup plain flour
•1/2 cup self raising flour
•1/2 teaspoon bicarb soda
•1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
•1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
•1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
•1 cup mashed banana
•2 eggs, beaten
•3/4 cup veggie oil
•1 teaspoon icing sugar

•3 cups shredded coconut
•1/2 cup brown sugar
•3 eggs, beaten lightly

1. Preheat the oven to 180C.  Line muffin pans.
2. Drain pineapple and extract as much syrup as possible.  Reserve 1/4 cup of syrup.
3. Sift flours, soda, spices and sugar into a large bowl.  Stir in the drained pineapple, reserved syrup, coconut, banana, eggs and oil.  Divide mixture into paper cases.
4. Bake cakes for 10 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, make coconut crust.  Combine ingredients in medium bowl.  Spoon crust over cakes; return to oven , bake a further 15 minutes.  Stand cakes in pans for 5 minutes before turning. Lightly dust with sifted icing sugar.