Monday, 30 June 2014

Anyone for Croquettes?

The Australian Women’s Weekly Cookery Book, Prize recipes from our £2,000 Cookery Contest, 1948

Meat Croquettes with Pineapple Slices    
Four slices pineapple; 2 cups cooked cold veal; 1 tblsp dripping or margarine; 2 tblsp flour; ½ cup milk; 1 dstsp chopped parsley; nutmeg; lemon rind; salt & cayenne; flour, egg & breadcrumbs for coating
Mince veal. Make a thick white sauce from the fat, flour, and milk, and allow to cool a little. Add meat and flavours. Mix well and turn on to a plate to cool. Divide mixture evenly into portions, taking 1 tblsp at a time, and shape into croquettes. Prepare 1 tblsp flour, ½ tsp salt, and a shake of pepper on a piece of kitchen paper. Mix egg with a little milk on a soup plate. Have 2 cups dried breadcrumbs on a plate. First cover all croquettes with the seasoned flour. Then brush them with the egg mixture. Remove, drain, and roll in breadcrumbs. Shake off loose crumbs. Wet fry in deep fat till golden brown. Drain.
Drain away all fat except 2 tablespoons. Dip pineapple in seasoned flour and fry quickly on both sides for a few minutes until golden brown, turning once.

If you Google "Anyone for croquet?" you'll learn just how many croquet clubs there are in the world! I still don't know who originally termed this phrase but I did read some amusing anecdotes about the game:

"Croquet came first at the Paris Olympics of 1900, and was the first Olympic event that women could enter. All the medals were won by France which is not surprising, as the only non-French competitor was a Belgian that failed to complete the first round."

“Lewis Carroll featured a nonsense version of the game in the popular children's novel Alice's Adventures in Wonderland: a hedgehog was used as the ball, a flamingo the mallet, and playing cards as the hoops.” No mention of pineapples!
This one’s my favourite “H. G. Wells wrote The Croquet Player, which uses croquet as a metaphor for the way in which people confront the very problem of their own existence.”
Of course none of this has anything to do with croquettes! Anne.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

A Gourmet Lebanese Safari with a little pineapple

Ella, Les and I enjoyed a fabulous Lebanese Gourmet Food Safari (her wonderful birthday present to me!) in Sydney last Saturday. I can't rave about it enough and would recommend you all go on that or one similar when in Sydney or Melbourne. We were guided by an energetic and enterprising young Syrian Australian, Sharon Salloum, who's the chef at the Almond Bar in Darlinghurst and author of “Almond Bar,100 delicious Syrian recipes”.

We were bused around butchers, bakers, grocers, nut roasters, pizza cafes and sweet shops in Canterbury, Lakemba, Punchbowl and Greenacre. Many of these were family businesses. A lovely lunch with a wide variety of dishes was served at Al Aseel in Greenacre.

Baalbek Bakery in Cantebury.
Sharon’s knowledge of Middle Eastern cuisine, family anecdotes, information on ingredients and enthusiasm for the food customs of her heritage were highly inspiring.
Plus there was more than enough food to taste at each stop! Everything was delicious!
Although pineapple didn’t appear to feature often in Lebanese cuisine we did spot these dried pineapple at The Nut Roaster in Lakemba (note the inexpensive price)
and cakes at Five Star Sweets in Greenacre. This last stop was a treat for our eyes as well as our taste buds! Yummy baklawa!

A Gourmet Safari is definitely an ideal present or something to experience with friends. We’re thinking we’d like to try an Italian Safari next. Whose birthday is coming up?
The Taste of Beirut Website, recipe from Chef Guillaume Gomez, Elysée Palace, Paris, France.

Lebanese Fresh Pineapple Cake

1 pineapple, extra-sweet; 300 g sugar, divided; 200 g flour; 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder; a pinch of salt; 3 large eggs; 100 g of melted unsalted butter; 1/2 vanilla bean (can replace with pure vanilla extract)

First step: poaching the pineapple (can be done one day ahead to meld the flavours)
1. Cut and peel the pineapple, making sure no knobs remain. Cut off the core and discard. Dice all the remaining pineapple flesh evenly in small pieces. Place in a bowl.
2. Place the vanilla bean in a flat surface and smooth out with the blade of a knife; cut in half lengthwise and scrape off all the seeds.
3. In a large pot, place 1/3 of the sugar and 2 1/2 cups of water and the vanilla seeds and bean; bring to a boil and when it starts boiling, stir until the sugar is dissolved, then add the pineapple pieces, reduce the heat and simmer gently for 15 minutes.
4. Place the pineapple pieces in a bowl, cover with the syrup and let the mixture cool. Remove the vanilla bean, wash and dry and keep for another use.

Second step: Making the cake batter
1. Place the three eggs in the mixer bowl; start mixing, adding the remaining sugar gradually. Mix until the mixture is turned pale yellow.
2. Sift the flour and salt into the egg mixture, gradually at first, until the flour mixture disappears into the egg mixture; add the baking powder to the cake batter. Add the melted butter slowly until the butter is incorporated. Add the drained pineapple pieces to the cake batter, folding gently to mix throughout.
3. Butter a non-stick cake mold and pour the batter into it. Bake in a preheated 180°C oven for about 30 minutes or until the cake is golden and puffed up. (Insert a toothpick to check if the cake is ready).
4. Remove from the oven and prick the cake all over with the toothpick; pour the pineapple syrup on the cake; let the cake absorb the syrup and cool. Serve.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Brazilian Pineapple and Sweet Potato Pie

The New Internationalist Food Book, Troth Wells, 1995
I recommend this cookbook, it's fabulous! Anne

And to celebrate the World Cup in Brazil at the moment.
Go Socceroos!

Sweet Potato Pie, a Brazilian Recipe

Serves 4
Ingredients: 3 cups / 450g sweet potatoes, cooked and mashed; 1 medium can pineapple chunks, drained (I used fresh); 1-2 tblspn melted margarine; 1 tblspn sugar (optional); 3 cloves, crushed or ½ tspn ground cloves; ½ tblspn lemon juice; ½ cup / 50g breadcrumbs or toasted oats (optional)

Heat oven to 200°C

1. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl, saving a few pieces of pineapple for the topping
2. Now turn the mixture into an ungreased dish or cake tin, sprinkle on the breadcrumbs and decorate with the pieces of pineapple
3. Bake for about 30 minutes. If using toasted oats, sprinkle these on before serving

Although this was located in the Dessert Section of the book I made the sweet potato pie as an accompaniment to pork and it was delicious, Anne

Not all the excitement’s in Brazil this month, there is an event happening in Australia that would be well worth the trip to Queensland.
HARVEST is a celebration of Art, Film + Food opening at the Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane on 28 June. On until 21 September this exhibition promises to include a display of “pineapple art objects” !
Check out the program on the website

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Glimpses of English Pineapples

Roving reporter, Colleen, did some investigative journalism for the Pineapple Princesses while on a recent trip to the UK.  Here is her account.

“The following are just some of the pineapples spotted around London. They certainly seem almost as obsessed today as they were in the 19th century.
Well, this magazine (mostly of real estate with stratospheric prices and shopping) was in the hallway of Kat's flat building so I borrowed it for a while. I think you have a pair of earrings in your collection a bit like these - what a trend-setter!"

Grapes also appear to be popular.

"Now we have a tie in Spitalfields, an edgy, arty neighbourhood and a top which was for sale in Liberty for a substantial sum (£215.00)!

These are some gorgeous containers from Merchant Archive. They are supposedly copies of Victorian pineapple keepers. This shop also had a dress with an all-over pineapple pattern (not photographed). It was a very up-market chi-chi shop in Notting Hill.”

Sir William Hooker’s house, Greenwich.
Early 19th century Coade stone ornamental pineapples decorating the gate piers at Ham House, Surrey.
“Eleanor Coade (1733 –1821) was a British businesswoman known for manufacturing Neoclassical statues, architectural decorations and garden ornaments made of Lithodipyra (Coade stone) for over 50 years from 1769 until her death. Lithodipyra (stone fired twice) was a high quality, durable moulded weather-resistant, ceramic stoneware.” (Wikipedia)

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Celestial Chicken (with pineapple)

Thanks to Vicki from Unusual Coleslaw for this recipe!
Check out Vicki's latest post for a Rabbit in Hollow Log recipe!

Celestial Chicken
Source: Contributed by Barossa & Light Legacy Club in A Legacy of Recipes (Adelaide: Legacy Club of Adelaide, 1991), p.124.
8 chicken pieces
2 tbsp plain flour
1 tbsp butter/margarine
1 tbsp oil
1 packet chicken noodle soup
1 cup water
425g can pineapple pieces and syrup
1 sliced carrot
1 sliced green pepper or sliced green beans

Method: Coat chicken with flour and brown in mixture of butter and oil. Place chicken in casserole and sprinkle with any remaining flour and the contents of packet of soup. Add 1 cup of water, pineapple pieces and syrup and the carrot. Cover and cook at 180C (350F) for 1&1/4 - 1&1/2 hours. Add green pepper or beans and cook for a further 10 minutes.