I love cooking for other people. No other way around it, I find myself swelling with happiness when someone is fed and full and content. I definitely use food to connect with people and reconnect when i’ve been a slack friend or sister or daughter. I want to try and do this every month, have an indulgent supper where it’s all about food and beautiful people.
I don’t like to plan these dinners days in advance, they’re meant to be after work easy so you can enjoy as much of your Sunday as possible – which I did. A slow morning at the pool and then the markets, collecting all sorts of fresh treats – like the fresh ricotta from Il Casaro. Their cheeses are gorgeous. You can find them at Parnell Farmers Markets, behind the library on the weekends. Sample a few if you can, I am just itching for an occasion to try their black mozzarella! I had to fit the ricotta into dinner somehow and what better way than simply with strawberries and a little sweetener. I also had a hankering for gratin so picked up some kumara and also grabbed some courgette to make a simple salad. Of course we had bread too because i’m a huge fan of dinner with lots of bits to pick and dip!
There’s a few recipes today so i’ll keep the chat short. We had supper for two plus some leftovers for lunch on Monday (don’t miss out on the leftovers!). Everything is optional and because it’s the end of the week remember to just use what you have – if you have potatoes not kumara, that’s ok, just cook for longer. Same thing if you don’t have cream or milk, just use what you have up to the total liquid amount (the gratin is simple and doesn’t use a béchamel, which I always find a little too heavy). Do make an effort to get fresh ricotta for dessert though, it melts in your mouth and you won’t regret it!
Sunday Supper #1
- Add a measure of Pimms and a handful of ice to a tall glass (we used stemless wine glasses).
- Top the glass with lemonade and pop in a strawberry (cut in half) and a few mint leaves.
- Serve chilled and at anytime before or during dinner, make sure you have plenty for top ups. Apologies for not having exact measurements, go with your gut on the Pimms though, a double shot should do it.
- 2 Medium Size Orange Kumara (leave a little for the salad)
- 3/4 of a Cup of Whole Milk
- 1/4 of a Cup of Cream
- 1 Tablespoon of Créme Fraîche
- 3/4 of a Cup of Grated Cheese
- Preheat the over to 200˚c. Using a mandolin or peeler slice the kumara very thinly. In a small pan gently heat the milk and cream, whisk in the créme fraîche and some salt and pepper.
- Rub butter around the inside of your baking dish. Layer in the kumara and milk mixture. Top with grated cheese and bake for around 45 mins or until soft through (test with a knife). Right before getting out of the oven, turn your grill on and grill the top until golden.
- 3 Regular Size Courgettes
- 1/4 of a Small Orange Kumara (use some from the gratin, optional if not)
- Good Quality Olive Oil, Salt, Pepper
- Heat your oven to 200˚c. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. Peel the skin off of your kumara and then using the peeler, peel thin strips, like crisps, off. Place on the tray an drizzle with a good amount of olive oil and a good sprinkling of salt.
- Peel your courgettes in the same way you did the kumara. Skip the core though as this may be a little watery. Place in bowl and season with salt.
- The kumara is ready when all of the strips are cooked and some are starting to go crispy around the edges. I like the contrast of the crispy edges and tender flesh.
- Once you’re ready to serve toss the courgette with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, and some good grinds of pepper. Place on a platter and place the kumara strips on top, the colour should look amazing next to the courgette.
Strawberries with Ricotta & Honey
- 1 Punnet of Strawberries
- 100g Fresh Il Casaro Ricotta
- 2 Tablespoons Honey
- 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Essence with Seeds or 1/4 Teaspoon of Vanilla Paste
- Cut all of the strawberries into half or quarters. Crumble the ricotta and place in two bowls, top with the strawberries.
- Warm the honey until liquid and stir in the vanilla, pour over the strawberries and serve immediately.