Thursday, August 30, 2012

Tiny new potatoes, two recipes with herbs and spices (and other veggies too...)

Potatoes and Cape gooseberries

The veggie garden is full of small potatoes, I picked a few, some really tiny, but I didn't want to leave them there, and the kids love them. I washed them and boil them, in three batches, from the largest to the tiniest.

After boiling them, the larger (but still new potato size) were then sautéed together with small steamed carrots and green beans in olive oil, garlic, smoked paprika, cumin seeds, chili flakes, coriander seeds, and salt. A very satisfying combo!

The smaller potatoes were sautéed with garlic, olive oil, rosemary, sage and salt. A real luxury to eat such small potatoes, but I need to make more space in the garden, and there are plenty more to dig up! 

Any suggestions for more tiny potato recipes?

Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sweet potato Vegan and gluten free cakes

 One of my favourite Japanese sweet is the baked sweet potato wagashi. I made something similar to this before, and I thought that the New Zealand kumara looks like a Japanese potato... but then I ended up with something completely different :-).

First of all kumara are much softer that Japanese sweet potatoes, then I only had an orange kumara at home (the red ones are better because they are white inside). I thought of baking my kumara, as steaming it was going to make it even softer and in the meantime I drunk a bit of Umeshu,  (my husband came back from Japan with a bottle of Choya Umeshu, sweet plum sake) and decided to soak a few sultanas in some too to add to my cakes. Once my kumara was done I quickly realized that it was going to be far too soft for molding, so I reverted to plan B, i.e. not shaping the sweets by chakin shibori (with a muslin cloth or handkerchief), but simply dropping them on the baking tray with a spoon! For one mashed kumara I added 2 tsp of brown sugar, and then 'dropped' three tablespoons of the mixture on the baking tray. I did the other three adding the sultana soaked in Umeshu, just to make a variation. 

 I baked everything at 180°C for about 15 minutes. To look at them I think that these are among the ugliest sweets I have ever made, but they tasted incredibly good, especially the ones with the sultana. I will make them again, but I will also look for some more 'floury' sweet potatoes (not kumara) so if you know where I can get some in Auckland please let me know!

Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©

Monday, August 6, 2012

Daikon and red beetroot raw "crackers"

I used a Japanese plum flower cutter, and a small heart cutter. The daikon and beetroots can be raw of cooked, it actually works well with raw daikon and cooked beetroot, but if you are on a raw diet keep everything raw. For dressing I just added a drop of olive oil and salt before serving. 

Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©