Monday, May 30, 2011

Pickle the Cabbage...

Pickled cabbage... Delicious!

It must be the hint of Eastern European in me that makes me adore any kind of pickled vegetable and in particular cabbage!  Whenever we visit the Press Club restaurant in Melbourne, I love their pickled fennel and other goodies and usually my husband has to fight for a look in for some pickled goodness!

Quite some time ago, he did give me a copy of the Press Club book.  Although I've looked through it many times and drooled over items, I've never really made anything out of it.  This weekend I got inspired and tried the Press Club recipe for Pickled Cabbage!
Pickled cabbage... Delicious!

It's quite simple, half a cabbage lightly steamed for about 7 minutes.  Cool and add to this thinly sliced zucchini and celery.  In a jug mix together 1/4 cup of honey, 1/4 cup of olive oil and 3/4 cup of white vinegar.  Pour this over the cabbage mix and allow to 'pickle' overnight.  That's it!!! 

I can tell you now that it went very quickly in our household and we will be trialling other vegetables soon.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Everyone needs a bit of Marimekko in the kitchen...

Marimekko mitts
My Marimekko mittens will make cooking fun!

I've been needing some new oven mitts in the kitchen for a while!  My old ones were torn, ugly and really, really dirty and stained.  Don't worry, they had been washed many times but they just have had their day.
After picking up a super cute Marimekko oven mitt for my friend David while away, I thought I would order myself some in the classic Unikko style and don't they look cute!  What I am loving about them is how padded they are in the hand part, where you pick up hot dishes!  My old ones didn't have this extra padding.

Even wearing a marimekko apron! #denmarkhousedinner
A Marimekko apron over a Marimekko dress.

Also, while looking online for Marimekko kitchen goodness, I spied this super cute apron!  (I am wearing it over a Marimekko dress here - total nerd!)  My husband thinks that it is almost too cute to use as an apron and that I should just wear it out as an accessory.  Hmmm... I wonder if this is going to be a new fashion?!

I ordered my Marimekko goodness via Always Mod.  It came within about a week and was very well packaged!  Check them out!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

What? A savoury bread and butter pudding? Get outta here!

I have to admit that I'm not a huge fan of Bread and Butter Pudding usually.  I think it's because I can think of way yummier and more decadent desserts than some bready custard.  However I am a complete convert on the idea of a SAVOURY Bread and Butter Pudding!  This take on the recipe was inspired by one that I recently saw on the Martha Stewart Show.  I can't really remember who made it but there's used brioche as the bread base, decadent huh?

Anyway, we had a light sourdough baguette hanging around from the weekend so I thought I'd give it a go!  Please excuse my measurements for this dish as it was really about what we had and looking to see if there was enough liquid to bread.  If you make it, then you may need to alter the amounts too!

Bread and other goodies, awaiting to be baked!

So pretty much the recipe goes like this....
  1. Cut your baguette into thickish slices, place onto a baking tray, spray with olive oil and bake on a low temperature (about 150 Celsius) until crispy.  It's like making croutons really.  You can do this the day before and pop them into an air tight container.  Naturally stale bread works best.
  2. Chop roughly, 2 large leeks and sweat in olive oil and a knob of butter with about 3 garlic cloves, really the garlic is to taste!  Place cooked leeks into a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add the bread to the leeks and lightly mix.  I added a hand of baby spinach at this point for some extra 'green'.
  4. In a jug, mix about 1 to 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream, 1 cup of milk and 3 large eggs.  Season with salt, pepper and fresh nutmeg.  Beat until all combined.
  5. In a large, shallow baking dish that has been greased, place about half of the bread and leek mixture making sure that the bottom is covered.  Sprinkle a handful of grated cheese of your choice, I used tasty cheese but you could use any lovely melty cheese.
  6. Top with remainder bread/leek mixture and top with another handful of cheese.
  7. Pour the eggy, milk and cream mixture all over the bread dish.
  8. Allow to sit for about 20 to 25 minutes for the bread to absorb the milk mixture.  You may need to take a look at it occasionally to push the bread down into the mixture with a spatula.  If after 25 minutes, it still looks dry, mix up a bit more mixture and pour over.
  9. Top with a bit more grated cheese and bake for 30 minutes at about 180 to 200 degrees.

All cooked and totally delicious!!! #cooking #dinner
Finished product!!

I served this with a lovely fresh, tossed salad and it was delicious!!!  I can't tell you how amazing the aromas were that came from the leek, garlic and bread mixture.  I think using a 'better quality' baguette definitely made this dish.  You wouldn't quite get the same effect using a sandwhich loaf.  Also, you could try it with different cheeses and extra veggies or meat for something quite spectacular!  It really hit the spot on a cold evening and there was a lot of 'oohhhinnng and aaaahhhinggg'.

Enjoy! Miss Mardi xxx

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