I HATE PEAS By Gary Keenan

I hate Peas those bright green squishy popping in your mouth like bursting zits things that I just cannot take.

Don’t get me wrong I have given the beggars’ a far chance over the decades I have been enticed many a time  by descriptive recipes that have sounded so wonderful, yet totally destroyed by the addition of Peas.

Why am ranting so much about Peas?

I am starting a movement for Peas to be added to the descriptive lines of all recipes that are now so commonly found.

For example I want to see Al a Penne, gluten free, dairy free, vegan friendly , vegetarian, egg free, sugar free , Paleo friendly, Whole thirty friendly ,nut free, AIP, Keto, grain free, healthy fats, 10 ingredients or less NO PEAS, Pasta with a big dash of boredom.

Why as recipe developers, restaurateurs and foodies do we feel the need to think our audience is so stupid and dumb that we need to entice them with a tag about their medical, dietary or belief/lifestyle system that we have to put in the description of our recipes?

I would rather read a recipe and be captured by its description than to go I can’t eat that because it has Peas in it.

My point is reading the title and sub title of a recipe should be enticing, beautifully descriptive that you need to make it or try it immediately.

Strawberry Cheesecake smothered in homemade dark chocolate sauce served with a  Vanilla bean ice cream with crunchy Caramel pieces, the end. That is all that is needed our readers will then make up their own mind on whether it is appealing to them, and if they can customise the recipe to their liking.

I find nothing more off putting when you start reading a recipe and once past the title, I am bombarded on how friendly or unfriendly the food is going to be before I can make an informed decision on the ingredients.

I am one of the fortunate people who does not have a worry about what my food contains, I suffer no allergies or misconception of my body’s ability to enjoy food to its fullest unless of course has Peas in it, so by the time I have read the description , if I have not fallen asleep with boredom,  I am thinking look another  boring recipe with no flavour.

Everything has its place and if writing a recipe book on food without Peas or Gluten free then fair enough wack it in the title, for that is an audience to be catered for by a book researched entirely for a consumers needs.

So for My First rant of 2017 I leave you with this

 

Grilled Pesto Chicken with Smokey bacon, and a creamy Garlic Potato Pea hash.

I will just take out the Peas LOL

 

Advertisements

Best Banana Cake Ever

By Gary Keenan

Try this yummy Banana cake it will not dissapoint the taste buds.

 

Ingredients

125 gm Butter

1/2 cup Castor Sugar

2 Eggs (Beaten)

1 & 1/2 cups Self Raising Flour

1 Tsp Bicarb Soda

1/2 cup of Milk

3 Bananas (mashed)

Pinch of Cinnamon

Method

Place  butter in a bowl and with an electric mixer cream Butter  well then add Sugar and Eggs combining together, add mashed Bananas and pinch of Cinnamon mix well.

Mix Self raising Flour and Bi Carb together and then add Flour and Milk to Banana mixture  alternatively 1/3  at a time , mix well.

Line a 7 to 8 inch round cake tin with baking paper pour cake mixture in and bake at 180 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes or until skewer comes out clean.

Lasagna

By Gary Keenan

Serves 10

Ingredients

I kg minced Beef

1 Onion finely sliced

1 tin of crushed Tomatoes

2 cups Passata

1/2 cup Tomato Paste

3 tsp Sugar

4 cloves of Garlic Crushed

2 tabs of Butter

2 tabs of Plain Flour

5 cups grated Cheese

2 cups of Milk

1 x 250gm Lasagna Sheets (pre cooked)

2 tabs Olive Oil

Method

Lasagne Filling

Place Onion, Mince, Oil and Garlic into large saucepan on Med Heat  and cook until Beef has browned, then add Tomato paste, Tomatoes, Passata and Sugar, turn down heat and simmer for about an hour until sauce starts to reduce.

 Cheese Sauce

Place butter in saucepan and melt add Plain flour and make a roux, slowly add milk until a thick consistency , add 4 cups of grated cheese to sauce mixture, and stir until melted, add a little more milk depending on the thickness of the sauce you prefer.

In  a large square baking dish, place the first layer of Lasagne sheets, then pour a layer of Cheese sauce, then a layer of Lasagne sauce then another layer of Cheese sauce, cover with layer of Lasagne sheets and keep repeating the process until all sauces are used up, ending with a layer of Lasagne sheets on top, cover with white sauce and sprinkle 1 cup of Cheese over top, Place in a oven at 180 degrees Celsius for about 45 Minutes or until top becomes crispy.

Raita

By Gary Keenan

Raita is traditionally served with hot and spicy food, giving a cooling sensation to the palette, you can also serve as a dip with crackers or Naan Bread.

Serves 8 to 10

Ingredients

2 Cups Of plain Yoghurt

1 Cup Cucumber (peeled and seeded roughly chopped)

1/2 Cup fresh Mint (roughly chopped)

1/2 Cup of Spring Onions (Chopped)

Salt and Pepper

Method

Place all ingredients into bowl and mix well , season to taste with Salt and Pepper, keep in refrigerator until ready to serve.

Serve cold next to hot and spicy food.

Curried Rice

By Gary Keenan

Serves 4

2 cups Long grain Rice

2 cups of Water

3 Cloves Garlic (Crushed)

1 x Onion (finely diced)

90 gm Massaman Curry Paste (Store Brought)

Method

Place Rice, Onion, Garlic, and Curry paste into saucepan on medium heat and combine ingredients until Onion and Garlic are at translucent stage add two cups of Water and bring to boil once at the boil turn down and simmer until ready.

Note

Making Massaman curry paste from scratch is a very satisfying and rewarding job, however for this dish it is as easy to purchase a good quality store one.

Thai Bbq Chicken

Serves 4

Ingredients

4 Chicken Breasts (each cut into 4 strips length wise)

3 Garlic Cloves (crushed)

2 Chilies red ( thinly  sliced )

1 cup Fresh Basil (chopped)

1 cup Fresh Coriander (chopped)

1/2 stalk Lemon grass (chopped)

2 tsp Sugar

1 tsp White Pepper

1 tsp Paprika

1 tsp Cumin  Powder

1 Tabs  Olive oil

2 Tabs Lime Juice

1 large zip lock bag

Place all ingredients into zip lock bag and massage flavors into Chicken place in refrigerator for a couple of hours or overnight to achieve maximum flavor.

Heat BBQ grill on high and place Chicken on grill,

Pour marinade into small saucepan and heat on Bbq

Once Chicken is cooked place on serving platter and pour over hot marinade.

Serve with Raita and Curried Rice.

 

Yellow Watermelon Salad

By Gary Keenan

Ingredients

6 x slices of Yellow Watermelon

1/2 tsp Chilli powder

1/2 Red Onion diced

50 gm Marinated Feta

Method

Arrange slices of Yellow Watermelon on a plate sprinkle chilli powder evenly over Watermelon then scatter red Onion over, followed by crumbling Feta Cheese over the top.

Ingredients

Marinated Feta

1 x sprig of Rosemary

1/2 tsp dried Parsley

1/2 tsp dried Oregano

1/2 tsp black Peppercorns

100ml of Olive Oil or Canola Oil

200gm Hard Feta Cheese

Method

 Chop Feta into cubes add all ingredients in jar or container and leave in fridge overnight.

Feta will keep for a couple of months if stored in an air tight container in fridge.

Chorizo,Ham and Onion Quiche

By Gary Keenan

Prep Time 1/2 hour

Cooking time 45 mins

Serves 6

Ingredients

Puff Pasty x 1 sheet

Eggs x 5

Cream x 500ml

Grated Cheese x 150gm

Chorizo sliced 1/2 cup

Onion diced x 1

Ham diced x 1 cup

Method

Place a sheet of puff pastry into Quiche flan rounding off the edges place half the cheese over base and then lay sliced Chorizo , Ham and onion evenly over cheese.

Cover filling with the rest of cheese.

Whisk eggs and cream in bowl and pour mixture over filling.

Place in warm oven at 180 Degrees celcius and cook for about 45 mins.

Test by placing wooden skewer in centre of Quiche if skewer comes out clean Quiche is ready.

 

She turned into a beheaded Banshee on steroids

When is food knowledge too much?

On my travels the other day I came across a restaurant in a small rural town, it was lunch time, the place was packed and I thought why not.

I was approached by Juliette who welcomed me with a big welcoming smile, I felt automatically warmed to her.

I was sat down at the table and Juliette poured me a glass of water and explained she would be looking after me; she presented me with the menu and promptly left.

After a few minutes Juliette returned and asked if I was ready to order.

I ordered the rump steak with new potatoes on the side with an Enoki mushroom sauce.

Juliette smiled and in a primary school teachers voice announced I had made a great choice.

Then all of a sudden Juliette turned into a beheaded Banshee on steroids, her mouth opened and out poured the most unbelivable food rant I had ever heard, it went like this.

“The steak you have chosen today is farmed by our local farmer and butcher Bill; you would have seen his farm as you crossed the bridge into town.

Bill takes pride in his cows, he only lets them graze on the far side of the hill where the morning sun brings out the sweetness in the grass, and when they are, well you know, he hangs them for 21 days exactly and then he delivers them to us”.

Juliette stopped and took a short breath.

‘’ The Enoki mushrooms, they are our Chefs pride he grows them at home and picks them fresh every morning, they taste amazing he says it’s because they are near his chooks pen that make them so great, and the new potatoes you won’t taste anything like them, some local hippie group grow them they have so much flavour”.

So enjoy.

Juliette skipped off to the open kitchen, I glanced around to see the Chef who was brazenly holding my steak aloft with a pair of tongs as if I had ordered the Holy Grail he winked at me and turned to put my steak on the char grill.

I was exhausted.

When my meal arrived I tried to place every bite into my mouth while trying to smile, I felt that the whole town was depending on me to enjoy ever y mouthful, I did not want to eat too fast or too slow, timing was important, eat to quick and it would look like I was not taking the time to savour the efforts by all, eat too slow and it would look like I was struggling to finish.

I felt an amazing pressure and my relaxed lunch had now turned into an ever demanding thought process.

When I had finally finished my lunch Juliette swiftly cleared my plate and gave me that ever warming smile of hers, not uttering a word as if the smugness on her face knew that I would not be able to be to achieve a high enough compliment in words to praise the food.

I promptly left without ordering dessert or coffee as I did not think my blood pressure medication was strong enough to go another round, my mind could only ponder at what the rant on coffee could bring.

I left the town crossing the bridge, I glanced over to see a farmer tending his cows, he looked up and I felt compelled to wave, he returned the gesture with a great big smile as if he knew what I had consumed for lunch.

The drive home left me confused no longer could I taste my lunch for what it was, I started to imagine the taste of the sweet grass, the smell of the chook pen and a bunch of hippies smoking weed as they dug for my potatoes, a weird experience indeed, one I would not wish on my worst enemy.

When should food be just that food?

By Gary Keenan

This story is fiction and is meant to be a satirical look at life.

 

“Food is meant to be enjoyed to its fullest, to be an amazing experience, every single day.” By Gary Keenan

I was sixteen when I first started working as a waiter and my manger at the time, who’s name escapes me, sat me down and explained that every person that came into the restaurant was there for a reason, a celebration, business meeting, a first date, reminiscing over a lost one, or to escape their busy life for a little while.

It was my job to make sure each and every person had the most enjoyable and comfortable experience whilst dinning in the restaurant. He went on to explain the fine line between good service and over servicing, the most important thing that he taught me and will remain etched in my memory banks for life was.

“Food is meant to be enjoyed to its fullest, to be an amazing experience, every single day.”

At that given time I did not grasp the full understanding of his bold statement, as time went on and many plates served, it became very clear, that no matter what the diner was experiencing in their life when that food hit the table a brief moment of distraction took place and their focus shifted to the food on the table.  I wish I had been able to capture that moment, so every person reading this could see how true his statement was.

We are all guilty of feeding our faces with food that we simply treat as fuel for the ever fast paced life we lead. When we arrive home, we dive into the fridge to nibble on anything that keeps us going to dinner time and depending on our life situation, most of us eat because we need to eat.

I have not been part of the hospitality industry for a very long time now and when I go out to a restaurant, I people watch, from the people eating to the staff, one thing that still amazes me to this day is when that plate of food hits the table, a brief moment in time slows down as the person takes that first glance at their food and their focus shifts for just a tiny piece of time where food is enjoyed and becomes an amazing experience.

We need to take time out be it once a day where we enjoy the food we eat, its flavour, texture, and the memories it evokes and smile at how it makes you feel.