Image attached is my first crop of home grown Asparagus. Planted about 6 months ago in Brisbane Australia and after allowing the growth of full shoots and flowers(which are quite pretty) I have been able to harvest 4 spears that have risen above the soil surface.
I took this opportunity to Photograph them as you see in the image as well as stitch a panorama for my Macro Pano Food series.
Today’s mission was to create hot cross buns for the girls at Brisbane girls grammar school. Make the ferment, make the dough, prove for 40 mins, knock back prove for 20 mins, weigh and ball into trays, prove until double , brush with egg wash, pipe on the cross(just flour, oil and water), bake in old stony (our ancient bakers oven), turn often to escape the shocking hot spots, cool in tray for 5 mins, dust with icing mix and return to oven to melt the sugar a little. Alternatively make a sugar syrup and slap in on top with pastry brush like your painting a fence(this will create a creamy fondant icing). Turn out of tray and savour the magic smell of yeast and spice before you tray and serve.
Ok what special lunch did we have today.
Roasted vegetable parcels.
In a tray place some oil, whole garlic, chopped onion, herbs( rosemary, basil), sweet potato pieces and some pumpkin pieces. Roast on 200 for about 40 minutes stirring to ensure even colouring and now burning.
Rough dice carrot, sweet potato and pumpkin. Splash some oil in a tray and roast carrot for 10 minutes, add pumpkin and sweet potato and roast until just soft, not mushy.
Cool both trays, when cool mash the roast garlic and onion tray just enough to ensure the garlic cloves have broken up. The small amount of pumpkin and sweet potato will make a binding mix. Stir through the cooled veg dice and add some baby spinach.
Now wrap in puff pastry like a sausage roll but flatten the ends so it looks a bit like a bonbon, brush with egg wash, cut three slits in the top then bake and eat with some tomato relish.
Defiantly worth the work. The sweetness of roasted garlic, carrots and pumpkin with the fresh herb flavour and crisp pastry, wow!!!!! Tastes great.
Putting the finishing touches on an 18th Birthday cake. The client was looking for a realistic looking adult cake for her son’s 18th. The cake is a traditional Mississipi Mud with Bourbon. The neck is made from solid chocolate, blended white, milk and dark create a woodgrain appearance. the Body and neck are iced with Fondant and the string made with Sugar Veil. I also sprayed the silver design with food safe color and created the design myself incorporating 18 and vampire or wolf teeth. When delivered the customer was stoked and could not wait to show her son at the celebrations.
Oh crap I got a phone call back to attend an interview. Little did I know the position was apprentice chef to the governor of Queensland. I sure noticed when I was dropped off at the security building just past the massive ornate white gates. Ok a little more nervous now. An interview for a job with the governor is like being in a police line up(I think) you keep running the thoughts through your head about what they will find with security checks ready to say I didn’t do it.
The formal interview went well though and I was invited with the head chef to have a tour. Wow people live like this noooooo I though it was just on tv. What an eye opener, opulence like I had never seen and that was just the staff only areas, I was not cleared to see private rooms. The head chef though was to me a food god in clean pressed whites with an aura that was immediately humbling. I got the job. Why, not because of the interview but my reaction to the centre piece sculptures and vegetable carvings that chef showed.”amazing I want to learn to make these”
Next – first day – meeting the staff
Last Night I decided to cook up some duck. Now the duck I had in the freezer from an unfortunate incident with a fox just after easter. I really wanted something warm, hearty, easy and super tasty. So que the music and away. After boneing out the Duck and leaving heaps of Meat(been year since I boned anything). What do you do with Duck bones covered in meat, yes make stock yum yum. Duck Bones, Star anise, onion carrot and pepper corns shoved into a pot with water and simmer for about that long. The Duck meat trimmed up beauitifully into a nice dice, saute in my favorite Le Creuset Casserole pan until brown and remove. Add onions, carrots both fine slices, Shiitake mushrooms sliced, garlic and some olive oil. Once brown a spoon of flour over the top and mix in. then strain stock and add slowly while mixing until a smooth soup consistency ooooh! smells so good. add a swig of rice wine, star anise Salt and pepper. return the duck and cover with the lid and place in hit over for 20minutes ish. Now the smells in the house remind me of days cooking Duck Confit, basically you render down duck fat, then slowly cook marinated duck thighs in the fat until starting to fall of the bone. One of the best ways to eat duck. After 20 minutes I ripped it out of the oven added a cup of rice and 2 more cups of stock and back to the oven for 25minute. I am telling you it was just perfect, warm, hearty, tasty, earthy and never enough. Hope your not to hungry now.