September 14, 2015

Meatless Monday - Roasted fennel and pine nut polpette

Once a week I like to cook a meat free meal. This meal is usually cooked earlier in the week following a weekend of over indulging. 

Wanting to try something a little more creative to the usual Thermomix pasta, last Monday I thought I would give Jamie Oliver's, Roasted fennel and pine nut polpette recipe which appears in the September 2015 issue of Delicious magazine a try.

To start with I chopped a fennel bulb and part of the stalk into 3cm pieces and placed them in a baking dish with some olive oil, salt and pepper.

After 30 minutes in the oven I added a tablespoon of pepitas and pine nuts to the dish and baked for a further ten minutes.

Once cooled I added some garlic and the roasted ingredients to the Thermomix and blitzed till chunky. I then added parmesan, breadcrumbs, egg yolk, salt and pepper and blitzed again till all ingredients had combined.

Using a tablespoon of mixture and rolling into balls I made 18 polpettes which I placed on a baking tray, drizzled with some oil and baked for about 20 minutes.

In the meantime I made the tomato sauce using garlic, parsley, a tin of crushed tomato's, water and balsamic vinegar. Once brought to the boil , I lowered the heat and allowed the sauce to simmer for ten minutes.

By this stage the polpettes were golden. Removing from the oven I allowed them to cool slightly.

While the polpettes cooled, as the recipe recommended I blitzed the tomato sauce in the Thermomix to smooth it out, before adding it back to the pan to warm.

Once the sauce had warmed up to my liking I added a few large spoons to a plate, placed some polpettes on top and topped with reserved parsley and fennel fronds.

The verdict - a creative, delicious meat free meal, which worked well with a serving of pasta.

Next time I will read the recipe more closely and omit the fennel stalks, which were a little too chewy for my liking!

  • This meat free recipe by Jamie Oliver can be found in the September 2015 edition of Delicious magazine.

September 5, 2015

High tea at the Shangri-La, Sydney

I'm wearing a black Kookai dress for the occasion.
High tea stand
Pregnancy high tea stand
Top tier
Top tier
This was yummy!
Shot of custard
  • Afternoon tea $42 per person. $52 pp with a flute of Chandon NV Brut. $65 pp with a flute of Perrier Jouet Brut Champagne.
Mention the word high tea and my eyes light up, and why wouldn't they, every aspect of high tea from dressing up, having a glass of champs and munching on a selection of sweet and savoury delights with the girls is so much fun!  So it was only natural that this year for my birthday I suggested high tea at the Shangri-La.

Arriving at the lobby lounge where high tea is served, we were seated immediately. The staff  were very attentive patiently answering our questions in regards to tea selection from an extensive menu. 

If you have read my other posts on high tea you would know that when it comes to tea selection I can be hard to please, the Shangri-La didn't disappoint, the selection was extensive. I ordered an Italian almond tea which was delightful.

After all orders of tea were placed, the tiers arrived. Not wanting anyone to miss out I pre organised  a selection of pregnancy safe savoury delights for the pregnant ladies of the group. Though not as fancy looking, the selection was still tasty and enjoyable.

For lovers of tradition the scone tier contained two varieties of scone, plain and sultana, accompanied by clotted cream and housemade preserve. 

Not so traditional but amazing was the top tier of Anna Polyviou creations. My favourite (pictured) was a sandwich of cream and wafer topped with citrus balls that popped in the mouth. The macaroons and choc orange cake was also nice.

Overall it was a very enjoyable high tea, one which easily sits in my top three.

Shangri-La Hotel Sydney
176 Cumberland Street
Sydney, NSW