Rabbit Pie is Delicious

Having spent last year in Brisbane I appreciated the couple of cold days last week for providing the opportune climate the production and consumption of Rabbit Pie. Prompting the realisation of the connection between the weather and that particular dish was a recipe that came along. I fairly promptly got the ingredients but struggled to find the Rabbit. Eventually I found one, at the Prahran Market but the weather had taken a turn for the worse, that is, the best. Nevertheless, the dish still went well with the warmer weather, a fact that perhaps proves it suitability for the in-between seasons.

That’s a picture of the pie that I made and below is the recipe that I worked from. The pastry must come in for special commendation. I used a wild rabbit instead of a farmed one – the difference being taste and size. There might also be a difference in cooking time, the rabbit that I cooked could have done with more time in the broth before being removed. Also the pastry needed more time in my oven then the time given by the recipes author David Herbert although I must admit that my oven is no super-master-chef-la-di-da-keep-the-temperature- accurate-and-even piece of machinery.

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Puerco Pibil

Puerco Pibil

Originally uploaded by nicholas.richardson

I had a go of Roberto Rodregiuez’s Puerco Pibil, (a recipe included in the “10 Minute cooking school” of his Once Upon a Time in Mexico the other night. Unfortunately, Brisbane does not have a supply of mexican ingredients comparable to that of south west USA. In particular I struggled to find the annatto seeds, habenero peppers and (surprisingly) the banana leaves.

I eventually made do with achiote paste and a habenero sauce found at a continental grocers and found the banana leaves at the last of three asian grocers that I went to.

These substitutions led to a few variations in the recipe. Since the achiote paste included other things beside the annatto seeds it was based on I pretended this was equivalent to about 1/4 of the vineger. As for the sauce that I picked up I had no idea what was in it so guessed that maybe half would do. Also I gave a few dashes extra of this and that liquid – tequilla and lemon juice – in order to counter the many suggestions that Rodregiuez’s recipe resulted in a too dry pibil.

The result was delicious but I thought that it could of done with the whole 120mls of habernero sauce. I have never used tequilla in cooking before and was a bit worried since I usually associate the smell with less savioury smells that usually surround its consumption. This dish, however demonstrated the folly in such thought.

This is Rodrigeuz’s recipe…

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Squatting as Commodity on Film…

Just read an article from metamute by Matthem Hyland on a documentry on squatting in London, which I think is worth the read…

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Malai Koftas for Judy

Malai kofta

4 potatoes
1 medium carrot
3/4 Danish havarti
1+1/2 tbls sour cream
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/2 cup cashews
1/4 tsp salt
(for the sauce)
2 large onions
10 cherry tomatoes or 2 large tomatoes
3 cloves garlic crushed
2 tsp coriander powder
1 tblsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp poppy seeds
3 tbls cashews
1/2 cup water

1. Mix the cheese and cashews together.
2. Steam the potatoes and carrot. Then mash together with spices, cream and 1/4 of the cheese and nut mix.
3. Form the potatoes into 4 balls with a portion of the cheese and nut mix in the middle of each (the centre of the sphere that is the ball)
4. Fry the balls in excess oil until they are lightly browned then set aside on absorbant paper.
5. Deep fry the poppy seeds then grind into a paste. Set aside.
6. Fry the onions until they are browned.
7. Combine onions, poppy seed paste, tomatoes, garlic, spices and cashews and blend until smooth.
8. Bring the sauce to a simmer and cook for two minutes. Then add the water and stir through until an even consistency is reached.
9. add the koftas and serve when heated through.

Instead of using cumin powder I used cumin seeds dry fried and ground up – they could alter the taste so if the spice doesn’t seem right try doing that instead of using normal ground cumin… to ‘dry fry’ put the cumin seeds in a pan without oil and cook until they go a nice dark color -more brown than black though – and are nicely fragrant, but not burn smelling…

Also the bloody koftas fell apart when I fried them. The collapse wasn’t catastrophic just annoying – a couple end up having a rupture that resulted in fried cheese being stuck to one side (still to decide if this was bad or good). I think that this was mainly due to the cheese being in the middle, perhaps using a firmer cheese, less cheese or no cheese in the middle of the koftas would fix this. But also, when I fired them they stuck to the bottom of the pan and because they weren’t coved in oil I had to turn them – leading to some collapsing going on. So the problem could be solved with improved frying ‘technique’.