Yes, I know I promised a new pudding this week. I did make Alexa Johnston's Bavarian Coffee Cream, otherwise known as Bavarois au Café, but this is how it turned out. It tasted good, but I just didn't make it well enough, so I'll have another go later. I think I need some metal moulds...
But that wasn't the only new recipe I made last Saturday. I got completely carried away and made a new soup and a new vege dish as well. The soup was great but I'll write it up later when I get a good photo - I've got some in the freezer. The veges were marinated and grilled parsnips, yams and peppers. They were meant to be grilled and served as kebabs, but as I was having them with beef that didn't seem necessary - it was much simpler to do them in a grill pan. They looked lovely and their slightly sticky sweetness was good with the tender beef.
Grilled parsnips, yams and peppers
(adapted from Brian Glover, Homes and Gardens Cookbook 1996)
3 large parsnips
4 medium pink or yellow yams
2 medium red or orange peppers
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
For the marinade
2 Tbsp clear honey
4 Tbsp light soy sauce
4 Tbsp light sesame oil
finely grated zest and juice of 1 large orange
1 tsp ground coriander
2.5 cm fresh ginger, peeled and grated
* Peel and trim the parsnips and cut them into longish evenly sized pieces roughly the same length as the yams, cutting down through the centre of the thickest end. Trim the yam ends if necessary. Bring a pot of water to the boil, salt it, and add the parsnips and yams. Boil until almost tender. Drain and cool.
* De-seed the peppers and cut into even pieces - about 6 pieces per large pepper.
Place all the veges in a shallow dish.
* Mix the marinade ingredients in a bowl and pour over the veges. Marinade for at least an hour, turning the veges every so often. (I did them in the morning for the evening.)
* Turn the grill to high. Use a slotted spoon to lift the veges out of the marinade and spread the pieces evenly in the grill pan. Grill for 15 minutes, turning every 5 minutes and spooning over more of the marinade left in the dish. When cooked, sprinkle with the sesame seeds and put back under the grill for a couple of minutes.
Though we had these with beef, they'd be brilliant with chicken or pork too. They were the first things I cooked in my new oven. The old oven proved, when Julio was here and trying to use it for his baking, that it just wasn't up to the job - well, what else could I expect from a cheap, no-frills teenage Italian? There was a good special on a Fisher and Paykel one that would fit the old space, so I gritted my teeth and went for it.
The good news is that it does seem to cook very well indeed, and of course that's the most important thing. But the controls are another story. They seem to have been designed by someone who has never attempted to use them for cooking in a real-life kitchen. The knobs are so thick (the photo doesn't really show this properly) that they make the already very small numbers and symbols even more difficult to read, and the tiny notch on them that has to be aligned with correct function or temperature is almost invisible (everything shows up better in the photo than in real life, because of the flash). They're also very low - probably designed for wall placement rather than under the bench, though that's where many of these ovens will go. So I have to bend right down to set them correctly, because otherwise I can't see the markings around them. And surely it would be much safer to have assymetrical knobs that showed at a glance if they were off or on? In my next life, I want to be a kitchen appliance designer...