Monday, June 30, 2014

I've made Potato Gnocchi before, so I decided to give the ricotta version a go. Reading up about it on the internet I found a lot of people say that the ricotta gnocchi is just as traditional as the potato kind.

After researching the ratios I then came up with my own recipe to suit the amount of ricotta I had.

Aprils Ricotta Gnocchi

250G Ricotta Cheese
2 Eggs
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese (finely grated)
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 TBSP Parsley (finely chopped)
1 Cup + 2 TBSP Pasta Flour, plus more for dusting

Mix the Ricotta, Eggs, Parmesan, salt n pepper, Parsley in a bowl with a whisk until smooth.

Add the flour and mix until a smooth dough is formed. Place dough onto a floured bench and knead gently for 30 secs or so.

Pinch off tennis ball sized balls of dough and roll to form a thin sausage. Cut the sausage into smaller pieces.

You can leave them this shape or you can use a gnocchi roller, sushi mat or fork to create the 'ridges' in the gnocchi. I used a sushi mat!

Place gnocchi on a floured plate and cover and refrigerate if using later.

To cook: Bring salted water to the boil and gently boil until the gnocchi float then scoop them out.

I served the gnocchi with a rich tomato sauce and dropped some shelled prawns in for the last few minutes.

Monday, June 23, 2014

We decided to visit Jamie's Italian a few months ago, and had heard stories of people lining up for a while and not being seated at a table for HOURS!  So, being eager to try out the famous Chef's Trademark restaurant and not be disappointed, we chose to dine in for lunch on a weekday during my Hubby's holidays.

We arrived just before opening time (11am) and were about the 4th couple from the front, so we were seated very quickly when the doors opened. Once seated, we had our drinks order taken and were given our menus. The place was filling up quickly but only ended up being about half full for this lunch service.

It was also different to see the waiters have their own little bread stations set up around the restaurant where they prepare the baskets full of assorted breads drizzled with Olive Oil, free of charge.

For entrée we chose to share the Crispy Arancini Balls and Crispy Squid. The Arancini Balls were huge and 3 were definitely enough for an entrée for 2 to share.

Our mains took a long while to come out, about an hour, as I was told they hadn't prepared the Ravioli and were frantically making it from scratch. I was promised it would be the freshest ravioli I'd ever eat! Whilst we were waiting I ordered a Mojito. Though what came out was a Ginger Mojito, the non-alcoholic version, boo! where's the fun in that!?!?

Finally our mains arrived and my Hubby had the Crab Risotto which was perfectly cooked, creamy with the subtle sweetness of the fresh crab.

My Mushroom Ravioli was al-dente with a lovely tomato and mushroom sauce. I thought it was great they didn't make me choose another main and prepared it fresh, though we did wait a while for it.

In the end, they knew we had waited a long time and with my Mojito being 'non-alcoholic', they didn't charge us for my main and my cocktail.

Despite it being a relatively cheap lunch outing I know my next experience at Jamie's will be a good one.

*These pictures were taken about 6 months ago and they have since changed their menu.

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Friday, June 20, 2014

I have adapted this recipe from The Healthy Food Guide Magazine, though I cannot find the original recipe, so I have just gone from memory of what I think the recipe was.

This recipe makes 4 small ramekin sized cakes.

Chocolate Lava Cake

100gm Dark Chocolate (I used 70% Lindt)
1/2 cup Lite Evaporated Milk
1 egg
3 TBSP Raw Caster Sugar
4 TBSP Plain Flour

Preheat oven to 200C.

Scald milk in microwave/saucepan and pour over chocolate in a heatproof jug. Stir until smooth, let cool slightly.

Whisk egg and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 mins. Add cooled chocolate mixture and plain flour and whisk a few times until combined.

Pour into greased and sugar lined ramekins or dariole moulds and bake for about 10 mins.

You want the edges to be risen slightly and the middle still slightly undercooked, for it to be molten in the middle.

Invert onto serving plates and serve with all things dessert, being custard, cream, ice cream, chocolate sauce, caramel sauce, I could go on and on... :-)


*This recipe can be made gluten free by using GF flour or almond meal.

Monday, June 9, 2014

After seeing the hype surrounding the quick season of Australian Finger Limes a few weeks ago, I contacted WA local Supplier, Pemberton FingerLimes and asked where North of the River can I find their lovely finger limes for me to purchase and have a play around with in the Kitchen.
I was so surprised and thought it was lovely to have Jacquie ask for my address and show up on my door step a few days later with a very small cardboard box in her hand for me!

I don’t know what I was expecting, as I’ve never seen a finger lime in the flesh, and was amazed at these sausage shaped, dark reddish-brown citrus fruit.

I spoke with Jacquie for a bit about the weird shape and what recipes I could incorporate them in. She quickly handed me over a little booklet with a few amazing looking recipes for me to follow or use as a guide. Jacquie also said some people use them in drinks like gin and tonics too!


 The best way to get the caviar-like pearls out, is to cut them in half cross-ways (not lengthways) and use a rolling pin to roll from the bottom all the way slowly to the open end onto a chopping board. The little pearls will slide out very easily then with a sharp knife scrape the small seeds (yes they have seeds but not many) to the side to discard.
As mentioned before, the Finger Lime season is a quick one, only lasting from roughly early April till the end of May each year; and as Pemberton Finger limes have a shelf life of about 4 weeks, they are one of those special Products like fresh Truffles, that you can only get at certain times of the year.

I only had time to try out 2 of the recipes featured in the booklet given to me, because as soon as I got these I was chosen as 1 of 4 finalists for WA’s Signature Dish cook-off for the Great Southern Region in Denmark, WA. So as I was busy planning my trip down to Denmark for a few days, I had just enough time to re-create the Scallops with Chorizo and Pemberton Finger Limes recipe before I left.


This recipe calls for the chorizo to be cooked first in the pan then the scallops seared in the leftover tasty oil. I bought only a few scallops in their shells from Kailis, but wish I had bought more. They certainly looked very fancy, tasted great and it’s only when you start to chew that you get the little bursts of the citrus-y lime flavour.


The next recipe was a No Bake Lemon Cheesecake with Pemberton Finger Limes. For this one, I used vanilla instead of lemon for the cheesecake. I love cheesecakes so this was a winner also! Plus I made up 4 glasses, so we had this 2 nights in a row for dessert!

I wish I’d had longer to experiment more with this awesome product, in particular the Salmon Recipe. I can see why chefs across WA love to use these on their menu’s at the right time of the year.

Pemberton Finger Limes is a family owned and run company operating in Pemberton, Western Australia by Rob, Jill & Jacquie Baker and family. Sadly, this years season has finished, but Jacquie and her family will be back in full swing early 2015! Visit their website or follow their Facebook page for more info.