Friday, December 23, 2011

Gnocchi in Creamy Carrot Sauce...

I made gnocchi with a yummy creamy carrot sauce... Pretty tasty!
Gnocchi in creamy carrot sauce.

I have a confession to make, I loved gnocchi.  You know, I even love the packaged gnocchi that you get at the deli.  It's so quick to make and it's often my fall back dinner dish because it's quick, tasty and filling.

The carrot stash in my vegetable crisper has been getting bigger and bigger and I've been trying to think what to cook that would use up a bunch of them.  I often make a gnocchi with a pumpkin sauce and I thought "Why not try it with carrots?"  This recipe is super simple and tasty.  You can also play around with the flavours and seasoning to your own taste too.

Gnocchi with Creamy Carrot Sauce.
  • 1 packet of potato gnocchi
  • about 6 medium carrots
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 2 large rashes of bacon chopped
  • A good handful of rocket for each dish
  • white wine
  • 1/2 cup of milk.
  • olive oil

  1. Peel and chop carrots into about 2cm sections, simmer in water until softened.
  2. Once cooked, drain carrots and add a little milk.  Using a stick blender, blend until smooth.  Continue to add the milk until it is at a thick sauce consistency.  Season with salt and pepper and set aside on a low heat to cook milk and also to keep warm.
  3. Cook gnocchi to the packet instructions.  (Usually while I wait for the water to boil, I start cooking the bacon, onion and garlic!)
  4. Cook bacon, onion and garlic in a frying pan with a small amount of olive oil until onion is soft.  De-glaze the pan with a splash of white wine.
  5. Add the carrot mixture to the bacon and onion mixture.  Drain gnocchi and add to sauce.  Toss gnocchi to coat in sauce.
  6. Serve with a good amount of grated parmesan cheese, top with fresh rocket.  Add a little sprinkle of olive oil to the rocket and season to taste with salt and pepper.
This dish is quite pretty, the combination of the orange from the carrots with the bright green of the rocket is lovely.  Enjoy your creamy carrot gnocchi, you may need a spoon to get the last of the sauce out of your bowl!

Friday, December 16, 2011

For the love of Maha, St.Kat's & the Delia!

A little gift to myself & @elgatogrande - Maha love!
Maha cookbook by Shane Delia

Maha restaurant in Melbourne is one of my favourites.  It's combination of Middle Eastern food and some traditional Maltese treats make it something pretty special.  The decor too is amazing and you feel like you've entered another world, stepping down into the richly decorated restaurant and bar.

Hanging out with the lovely Shane Delia at his awesome new restaurant in kew!
Miss Mardi with the lovely and talented Shane Delia at St.Katherine's.

When Shane Delia, owner and creator of Maha released his cookbook by the same name, I was super excited!  This was an opportunity to give some of his recipes a try at home.  I was glad to see some of my favourite dishes from Maha in the book, including the amazing Turkish delight filled donuts - yum!

Special dedication from Shane Delia- great chef and lovely guy!
A special dedication...

One of the things that I love about the book are the beautiful stories of how Shane came to cooking, his inspiration and some of the photos of his family and also him when he was younger!  I love this style of cookbook where it invites you into the chef's family and life and you come out the other end feeling like you know them personally.

At st. Katherine's restaurant launch
Partners in Crime, George Columbaris and Miss Shannon.

I rarely gush about restaurants and chefs but I have to say that the gang from Maha, St.Katherine's and the Press Club (all of them are in cahoots with each other!) they never fail to impress.  I am confident that I will be given some great dishes, I never leave hungry and there's always a dish that makes me go 'wow'.

The Maha book is pretty special, great stories, photos & recipes!
The photography in Maha cookbook.

Although I haven't had a chance to make anything from the book as yet, I think that I will be trying my hand at some of the recipes over the Christmas break!  It's a beautiful book, take a look if you get a chance!

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Cure Cocktail...

The cure cocktail
The amazing healing powers of The Cure...

I posted this little cocktail recipe over at and thought I would share it with my Dine Wine and Martini readers too!  It's a super refreshing cocktail, however if you don't had any vodka or gin to it, it is also a great non-alcoholic drink to rehydrate you in the Summer.

The Cure Ingredients:
  • 1 large cucumber
  • 1 bottle of sparkling mineral water
  • a knob of fresh ginger
  • vodka
  • ice
You will also need:
  • a tall glass
  • drinking straw
  • muddler
How to!
  1. Slice up about 2 cm of fresh ginger into large slices and pop into your glass.
  2. Slice the cucumber down the length to get a long, yet thin slice of it - this is to garnish and for extra flavour.
  3. Slice some of the remainder cucumber into chunky cubes and add with the ginger into the glass.
  4. Using the muddler, gently mush/muddle the ginger and cucumber to break it up and also to release the ginger aromas and flavours!
  5. Add some ice to glass and fill with the sparkling mineral water.
  6. Add your long sliced cucumber, drinking straw and enjoy!
  7. You can add some vodka to this cocktail for a 'hair of the dog' or for a refreshing Summer cocktail too!

Test running new @fringe_club cocktail!
It would be quite easy to make this up in a pitcher to serve for guests as well.  Just modify the quantities to taste.


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Gingerbread Spiced Granola...

Gingerbread spice
Gingerbread spice mix courtesy of Two Swedes Cooking.

I am a huge fan of granola!  I just love it for breakfast and over the last year or so, I have experimented with a few different recipes and can easily adjust the ingredients now to make a pretty delicious concoction.

I guess that I am pretending that I am in a Winter Wonderland at the moment and I am embracing the delicious 'festive flavours' of spices and sweet potato and cranberries and all of that.  When I went to make my latest weekly batch of granola yesterday, I spied my Swedish Gingerbread Spice mix and thought "I wonder how a Gingerbread Spiced Granola would turn out?"  I can tell you now - delicious!!!

Breakfast time! Gingerbread Spiced Granola with yoghurt and pears.

Using one of my basic granola recipes, I exchanged the cinnamon for a good dose of this Gingerbread Spice Mix and cooked as I normally would.  This spice mix adds a complexity of flavour to the granola.  You will also feel pretty festive eating it as it smells just like gingerbread!  My spice mix is courtesy of Two Swedes Cooking and the lovely folk at Nord Living in Melbourne stock it!

You may also find this delicious!

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