Ridiculously cold. Winter is well and truely with us.
Antarctic winds from the deep south blowing through Wellington, chilling us to the bone.
Fish pie, warm soups, slow cooked lamb, warm puddings and red wine.
My favourite red at present is the juicy Leone de Castris Salice Salantino from Italy or my local fav Doctors Flat out of Central Otago.
With winter here and the shortest day upon us, I have found myself craving and cooking winter comfort food; slow cooked skirt steak on my days off to make rich pie fillings with leafy winter greens such as cavolo nero, hearty rich casseroles to accompany wet parmesan polenta, and even a “retro” potato, cheddar and chard bake made up of incredibly wet mashed potatoes containing lots of cream and well seasoned, then topped with blanched chard and cheddar…truly delicious hot and bubbling! on a cold winter’s night. But back to risottos, I’ve always been a pretty good risotto maker, my friend Lisa Wilde introduced me to a very basic risotto dish about 18 years ago, which became a favourite to make all those years ago, – lemon & parmesan risotto, (great when there is nothing in the fridge at home) and featured on our dinner menu with lamb shortloin, rolled in parsley and mint for a long time. At the restaurant I have always tried to make our risottos interesting and inventive, but simple and delicious, creamy and oozy. Some of the best flavour combinations like asparagus with gremolata crumbs, chard and cheddar, sorrel risotto served with pan-fried fish, to name but a few. We have added salads on top; such has watercress and goat’s cheese, or dressed radicchio to add another dimension. Yesterday in a cookbook shopping frenzy buying 5 new cookbooks I discovered Vegetables from an Italian garden…a Phaidon book. What a beautiful book – season by season recipes truly understanding and respecting seasonal greens, something we always try to do at Flo’s treating each ingredient with respect, no ingredient more important than the other. Anyway I came across a risotto recipe – fennel, gruyere & pink peppercorns, that sounds like dinner tonight I said to myself, with a big bowl of freshly made chicken stock in the fridge, but I couldn’t resist slightly changing the recipe and served it with the last red butter crunch from the garden, adding fennel tops and young celery leaves to make an interesting salad. Here’s my version.
Marc’s in-sight into WOW2011 World of Wearable Arts is here once again, yet this year 3 weeks, for us WOW is buisier than Xmas…. its intense and a lot of fun.....a true thrillBrunch service is fast, and we accommodate on a first come – first served basis we don’t take bookings, unless you’re a larger group. A handy hint is to avoid meeting on the hour or ½ an hour, arrange to meet slightly before, then your first in line for a table. We love WOW…. but hate table rage…. my advise, relax, enjoy, we are going to look after you. If we are full, we will start you of at the bar with coffee or a glass of something stronger, try our French white peach nectar and bubbly…delicious.Dinner service – my advice, come in for a 5pm/5.30pm dinner; let us know that your heading to the show, we will book you a cab, if you wish. I think it’s a good idea to be down at the arena before the show, they have so much pre show entertainment going on which is great to watch with a glass of vino in hand…but don’t forget to go to the loo, before you head in.We have some great product for sale…our famous Raspberry Jam, which our beloved Ailsa labels with her fine gold writing, and Morning Noon and Night (The Floriditas Cookbook) by myself and Julie $55, which includes a $20 floriditas gift voucher, for your next visit.Look forward to seeing you all, any special requests flick me a email.Enjoy the showMarc
We are roaring through 2011, gearing up for Visa Wellington on a Plate, World of Wearable Arts, and not to forget Rugby World Cup,
So what’s going on?