This Kitchen is Smoking!

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This kitchen is smoking!

Working towards this new book is consuming my life! I either forget to take photos of whatever I’ve concocted, or I have no time to deal to this blog as I’m too busy writing up and moving on. . .
No time to  moan though, so I’ll just post photos of some of the things I’ve been experimenting with over the last 3 months, then if any one wants a recipe or to know more, leave a message. . .First, one of my blokey foodie friends provided the inspiration for these fantastic home smoked mussels. I am so into our wonderful farmed green lip mussels – readily available, sustainable, delicious, nutritious (not only low in fat but contain as much iron as red meats) and a great source of protein that is cheap! I bought quite a few kilos last week at our local supermarket when they were $1.99 kg; for mussel soup, mussel pie and these little beauties

All you need is  home smoker (a must for any home, I say. . .)

The mussels were marinated overnight in sweet chilli sauce and kecap manis, and they were fabulous – as were the smoked tomatoes, too. You can’t over-smoke tomatoes, as more is less with them, but I think I’ve got the timing right now. I was so pleased I took about 15 of the mussels to a friend’s place mid afternoon and she seriously ate almost all of them – well, they all disappeared and I only got two, so there’s no other explanation.

Next up is artichoke heart salad, made for lovely friend Faith’s 60th birthday this last weekend – I sauteed garlic and a few mashed anchovies in virgin olive oil, then added lemon juice and zest, plus seasonings of course for the dressing. The salad had marinated, well drained artichoke hearts (no, I didn’t cook them myself, my garden has been a wasteland this year!), cannelini beans, flat leaf parsley, chives, black olives, diced celery and sliced bocconcini  – you could use ricotta or even creamy feta for a different take on this. I eavesdropped on a few comments at the party, and it seems that everyone thought it was pretty impressive -and delicious – so a wee pat on the back there, as well as a sigh of relief.

I’ve also been working on a roasted cauliflower salad with chickpeas & dukkah (home made of course!) and am happy to say it’s been a success too

Roasted cauliflower salad with chickpeas & dukkah

– unlike my anchovy dip. I’m going to have to put that aside for a while, let ideas percolate and maybe come back to it.

Fried curry leaves for Indian-inspired soup garnishes

and a cauliflower soup with corn, basil and blue cheese – it’s weird how these flavours work so harmoniously in this soup, I love it when that happens!

Cauliflower soup with corn, basil and blue cheese

And I’m going to bore you all if I add any more to this post, so I’ll have to leave the pitas and rice paper roll banquet til next post. Meanwhile I’m heading to the kitchen to create the best squid ink spaghetti I’ve made yet (hopefully) and a Thai vegetarian noodle salad.

Posted by Rowan Bishop

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3 thoughts on “This Kitchen is Smoking!

  1. First off I would like to say excellent blog! I had a quick question
    that I’d like to ask if you do not mind. I was interested to find out how you center yourself and clear your mind before writing. I have had trouble clearing my mind in getting my thoughts out. I truly do enjoy writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are usually wasted just trying to figure out how to begin. Any ideas or hints? Appreciate it!