Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Making Cheese with Wangapeka Rd Milk

We got some fresh raw milk from our friendly neighbour this week and pasteurised about 6L of it, then the rest we used to make cheese.

It is a lovely milk, we have been drinking and enjoying it, and it is creamy and crisp.

For the cheeses we made Ricotta and Haloumi.

Pulled Pork and Slaw

TO DO - recipe up for me to refer to when I cook it in a few weeks.

Cook Pork

Place 1kg boneless pork shoulder (trimmed of rind) and 1 cup water in an electric slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 7 hours or until meat is tender.

Drain cooking liquid and cook some rice in it with old vegies for chickens or pigs.
Return pork to slow cooker; shred with 2 forks. Stir in the following ingredients:

1 3/4 cups barbecue sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons hot sauce
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 

Cover and cook on LOW for 1 hour.

Make Slaw

2 1/2 cups cabbage-and-carrot shredded, some chives and things from garden
2 tbsp. mayo
2 tbsp. yoghurt
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt

Mussels grilled with toppings

Tom and I collected heaps of mussels the other day on Little Wanganui headland.

We kept them in salt water for 24 hours so they would spit their sand out, then boiled them till they just opened.
Laid out on a tray, we made various toppings and grilled them:
- lemongrass and soy (my favourite) ! ! !
- garlic, onion, bacon, cream
- garlic, onion, butter
- garlic, onion, chicken salt, butter
- garlic, onion, curry powder, mayo
- garlic, onion, sweet soy

eaten with fresh focaccia

Christmas Croissants

Tom and I used the River Cottage bread book recipe for croissants and started the dough on xmas eve to roll and cook them the next morning. They were delicious!

Process in pictures:

roll out dough to 1cm thick rectangle
roll out cold butter to half the size of the dough

Fold inwards in 6th's

seal edges

Roll out again to original rectangle
Fold in 4ths, refrigerate for 1 hour this point we went for a walk....

Roll out again to 1cm thickness rectangle
Cut into isosceles triangles and roll up from thick end

Freeze some of these and keep out as many as you want to eat.
Leave in a warm spot to rise until about 1/3 larger covered in a plastic bag or damp tea towel
Bake at 180 degrees C for 15 minutes or so

Notes: The only thing I would change would be the butter content (reduce it maybe by 10%) because they were seeping a lot of butter as they rose in the morning, and also when they were baking, which I found a bit wasteful. They also tasted very buttery which was great but they were a bit more chewy and dense than I had imagined - I wanted very flaky crisp crusts.

Little Wanganui

Tom and I just moved to Little Wanganui on the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand

We have a nice house on a couple of acres surrounded by temperate rainforest, that has a cow, chickens, and some raised beds for planting herbs and greens safe from the marauding weka birds.

It has been sunny and we can see the mountains of the Radiant Range in Kahurangi National Park, from our bedroom window.

Journey west

Travelling from Dunedin to Karamea, December 2015

Monday, May 18, 2015

Proscuitto with Havoc Farm Pork

I put a good leg of pork away to cure last week so that we can hopefully enjoy some Proscuitto in the New Year of 2016. It takes at least 6 months to hang and dry-cure properly. A good time to start is now (May/Autumn) so I can start the dry-hanging process in my front sunroom while I have cold days and nights that aren't above maximum temperatures of 15C.

Step 1: Salt cure

Really good quality free range pork leg between 7-10 kilograms, aitch bone removed, and 'trimmed so it looks like a fine instrument'.
3kg salt and a good container with a lid

Place some salt in an esky or chilli bin that can be secured tightly with a lid

sit the pork leg on the bed of salt

salt it really well

Salt the pork leg making sure salt gets right around the hip bone as this is the most likely spot for problems to occur later.  Weight it down with something heavy that is clean (I used my pasta roller with a plastic bag). Leave it to sit curing for 3 weeks, turning it over every few days.

Step 2: Preserving and hanging

Muslin cloth
Pork lard
cayenne pepper
black pepper
horopito leaves dried and crushed (native NZ pepper tree)
hanging twine

20 June 2015 
Today I washed the leg in water and dried it with an offcut piece of new muslin. I hung itcto dry for a couple of hours then proceeded to paste on the lard and spices, then wrap in muslin and twine, then hang from the rafters in the front room of the studio. This location is ideal as I am right next to a beautiful rainforest creek, and humidity is important as well as cool airflow. The photos show the steps today.
Now to wait six months! 

~ to be updated