Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Roast duck and dumplings -Yum

Nutritionally not a fabulous combination I know.....too much protein and starch and distinctly lacking in vegetables. But for a birthday treat I like nothing more than gathering a few of my favourite foods and enjoying an unbalanced feast. (Look away students who are currently studying nutrition with me.)

The gathering is half the enjoyment, visiting my favourite food outlets, chatting with the 'chopper' of the duck, the dumpling maker or the grower at the farmers markets. There is always something new to learn or experience or just soak up the aroma's or espy what others are having - that last one usually gets me in trouble with dining mates who say making eye contact with me is a battle, when there is interesting food about! And today I learned that one of my favourite yum cha haunts has 143 different varieties on offer, that's quite a lot of dishy eye candy - so to speak!

But a birthday is also unlikely to pass without a 'big night out' and just to drag the celebrations out a bit longer that's happening next week  - Momo here I come, its been quite awhile since my last visit and much has changed! No doubt I'll have a few words to say.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Meatballs by any other name...would be Kofta

They're Lebanese so the meat is lamb, the flavouring allspice and the accompaniment bread! These ones where made lovingly with lamb, spice & pomegranate syrup but you can buy Kofta mix at Middle Eastern butchers - Lebanese rissoles! But the highlight of this dish was the eggplant hiding beneath these moorish meaty Kofta.

Whole eggplants are blackened over an open flame in the way Baba Ganoush is prepared. Once cooked and cooled the skin is carefully removed in chilled water and extra juice is squeezed out. Then finely chop the eggplant and warm it in a pan, season with salt, pepper and nutmeg add lemon juice to taste. To finish fold in some soft goats cheese - I used my favourite, Meredith marinated goats cheese. Absolutely delicious!

I know its winter but the contrast of crisp salad was perfect for this dish - cos, tomato, cucumber, freshly picked and chopped parsley & mint, dressing and some spicy little Lebanese pickled wild cucumbers just for fun!