Broccoli fritters

This is a recipe that local MP, Louise Upston, posted a few months back, from the Love Food Hate Waste site. My first attempt was a little gooey and didn’t really fritter up: I was in a hurry and should have taken the time to add some more flour to balance out texture.

I was better prepared this time and, in addition to flour to suit, I also added a couple of tablespoons each of chia seed and almond/coconut meal (left-over from our own almond/coconut milk). I found that our cheese grater seems to have gone AWOL during one of our moves this year – or it is sitting in one of the many unpacked boxes dominating the smaller spare room. Instead I just diced up my guesstimate of how much cheese would equated to a 1/4 cup grated and dropped it in the blender with the broccoli.

Our frying pans also seem to have gone AWOL hence cooking in a wok, another deficiency to be soon rectified.

The recipe is quite simple:

  • 1/2 head of broccoli, stalk and florets
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 (ish) cup of flour use enough to make the mix quite firm
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup of grated cheese
  • 2 tablespoons of chia seed
  • 2 tablespoons of almond/coconut meal
  • Salt + pepper, to taste
  • Olive oil (to cook)
  • 1/4 cup of plain yoghurt
  • 1 tab|espoon of lemon juice

Blend the broccoli and then mix it in with the flour, seasoning, eggs and, in my case, chia seed and almond/coconut meal.

Fry until nicely brown on each side. This recipe made

Mix the yoghurt and lemon zest of the a sauce although this is pretty optional as there can be eaten on their own, as part of a meal or with any number of sauces or dips.

Next time I( think that I will dedairy this recipe and add something like dates or other dried fruit instead of the cheese. The cheese taste barely came through the dominant flavour of the broccoli and so, even a good sauce would probably do away with any need for the cheese at all…or maybe try some non-dairy cheese just because I can…

Just thinking further on next time, another way of keeping it healthy(er), would be to use a more absorbent flour like coconut flour, which would also tick off the gluten-free box (not so much because I care but because I can).

I could probably also eliminate the cooking in oil but using the oven or the air-fryer, and possibly also reconfiguring from fritters to maybe balls or fingers…?

Cranberries and broccoli

P70317-194038Not a meal that I had planned or even remotely considered but the combination flavours looked too good to ignore when it popped up in my daily Sugar Soil feed. I already had a roll of corned beef in the sous vide for a 72 hour session and this salad looked like it would provide a tidy offset to the natural saltiness of the beef…

P70317-194027I made it as per the recipe – too simple for words – and fished the beef roll out of the sous vide as soon as the salad came out of the oven. Three days in hot water had broken down any chewy gristley bits in the beef and render it super soft and tender. As expected the sweetness of the cranberries, the bite of the balsamic broccoli worked really well with the salty beef – the salty flavour may have been accentuated by the sous vide ‘cook in a bad’ process: further experimentation will see…

Three days in the hot water was too much for the ziploc bag and it split along the seems as I lifted it out. Subsequent cooks I’ve sealed the meat in a proper vacuumed sealed bag. The heavier plastic and total seal really do make a big different to the richness and depth of the final flavour and I think this is how we’ll do future extended duration sous vides.

The salad lasted three big dinners but the corned beef was just too more-ish and disappeared quickly on toast with fresh sliced tomatoes for breakfast and as inter-meal snacks…there’s another in the freezer already and it’ll be making an appearance soon…

 

 

 

A four power tool weekend

It wasn’t that restful but it was a good weekend. An early start for an ambulance shift in Taumarunui saw an extension into the afternoon after two jobs in the morning…no more eventuated but the afternoon was a good opportunity to get some hands-on with the on-board monitors. I got home with the best intentions of starting on the lawns but my pre-mow poo patrol took us into twilight.

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“Never repeat”? I wish but unlikely…

That, with a 4AM alarm, saw an easy dinner of sous vide corn beef with another crack at Jen Rice’s broccoli and cranberry salad.

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Sous vide brings out the colour in red meat…

The original recipe on the Anova website recommended cooking for 48-72 hours (gives a whole new meaning to slow cooking!) but the follow-on comments suggested that this was over-cook and likely to result in a mushy mess. As the uncooked beef felt a little mushy, I let it run in the sous vide for ‘only’ about ten hours. I’ve mastered by sous vide technique and use clothes pegs to secure a shopping bag around the top of the cooking pot to prevent the water evaporating and then stack a few tea towels on top to keep in the heat. Comfortable that running low on water during an untended sous vide won’t be an issue, I could have left this on much longer – just would have needed to have a Plan B for dinner on Saturday night…

While nice, the corned beef was still a little gristley…I expect that a 3-4 times increase in the cook time would address this…Unlike the normal cooking method for corned beef i.e. in a pot of water, sous vide traps all the fluids and flavours in the bag. With corn beef this means that the salt taste is much more defined…not so much stronger as sharper…definitely onto something with this dish! The salty beef works so well with the sweetness of the cranberries and the bitter effect of the balsamic broccoli.

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Dessert was a nibble on these coconut almond cookies – sweeter than the ones I made last year – than leaven the coconut almond meal (which is quite heavy) with homeground flour and coconut flour. It also has more sugar so are a tad sweeter. These are really filling and it only takes a couple to fill any post-main gaps…They’re based on this recipe from Celebrating Sweets but modified to lighten the heavier meal left-over from my nut milk production…

I’m not sure what scales exist for measuring the satisfaction of an outdoor working day but the number of power tools used must surely be one of them. Sunday was a glorious bluebird day that boded well for getting on top of lawns and clearing the scrubby self-seeds from the lounge windows outlook. Four power tools this day…I fired up the cheap Chinese chainsaw and diced up the logs that had been sitting opposite the garage for months, then laid into the scrub in front of the lounge.

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The plan is to eventually open access into all the punga groves in front of the lounge…

Powertool #2 was the dropsaw mounted on an old school desk that we use for dicing up wood for the chippy, anything less than about five inches in thickness. It makes reducing logs to chippy-sized chunks a breeze and the saw dust goes into the compost bin as a dry mix to offset the wet mass waste from the kitchen.

The old reliable mulcher was #3 into the mix, converting leaves and smaller branches into four bags of mulch to fill out hollows in the ground for later landscaping. The mulcher has had a long hard life but keeps on keeping on. It’s more than paid for itself in unpaid dumping fees at the transfer station and the associated fuel costs for the round trip with the each trailer load of green waste…

It’s been a very wet not-summer – the recent break of ten days or so of sunny weather were the longest such break we have had for the better part of a year – and I have resorted to using the big ride-on to just keep on top of the lawns and prevent them totally running away. Even they were quite long and it felt good to finally be able to power up the mower and knock them down to a respectable level. Even more satisfying to be able to mow around the area when the now diced logs had been residing for so long. The many loads of grass went with the mulch to smooth out hollows in the ground for later compacting and shaping….

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So nice to finally clear this area…the baths will go up on blocks next…

It’s been a long time since I had such a satisfying day in the garden: I crashed with a V (a now rare sweet treat!) to start on the next series of JAG (so shoot me!) as my reward…