Saturday, June 27, 2009

Crispy cumin and paprika wedges

Hello everyone, I had the joy of attending a class conducted by Alex Herbert of Bird Cow Fish this week. BCF is one of my favourite restaurants (yes, I know I have a long list) and I love Alex's approach to food. I made sure that I arrived in plenty of time so that I actually scored a seat in the front row which made it very easy to pepper Alex with questions. She started us off with a lovely little winter salad made with venison. I don't really eat meat outside the mainstream ones with which I grew up, so it was my first taste of venison. I don't think it's something I'd order in a restaurant but it worked well in the salad. Next up was roasted salt marinated duck with potato and apple galettes. Delicious. For me (you won't be surprised) dessert was the highlight - steamed ginger pudding served with creme anglaise. Mmmmm, I love puddings, especially steamed ones. It has really tempted me to buy a steamer although where I would store it I don't know. Alex had these two massive old steamers into which she was able to stack 35 puddings. It was a very delicious and fun demonstration.

And yesterday my beautiful Iranian volunteer, Sara, presented me with a dainty container of Iranian saffron, which her parents had brought with them when they arrived in Sydney during the week. She was stunned that I knew what it was and queried "Do you know how to use it?" I assured her that I do and use saffron regularly. Later in the day one of the IT boys came past, and he is also Iranian. I proudly showed him the saffron (and nougat) that Sara had given me. Same question! Same doubtful face! Clearly Australians haven't impressed with their use of saffron!!!

Today's recipe for potato wedges is just perfect for this cold time of year. You cook them in the oven so they are guilt free and just the most divine flavour. If I have nigella seeds handy sometimes I sprinkle them on as well. The recipe comes from Belinda Jeffery's Tried And True Recipes.

Have a lovely week. Love from Jane xx

Crispy cumin and paprika wedges

Says it serves four, I'll leave that to your judgement

What you need:
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 kg Desiree potatoes, peeled and sliced into generous wedges
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 - 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika

What you do:
  1. Preheat the oven to 220C.
  2. Line a large baking dish with foil and then a layer of baking paper. This will save on a really hard to clean dish later.
  3. Sprinkle the cumin seeds into a small pan on top of the stove and warm them over a medium heat until they are fragrant. Do stir them constantly as they burn easily.
  4. When the cumin seeds are ready, pour them into the baking dish and add the potato wedges.
  5. Drizzle the oil over the potatoes and sprinkle them with the salt, pepper and paprika. Mix everything together so that the wedges are well coated.
  6. Spread the wedges into a single layer and put in the oven.
  7. Roast the wedges, turning once or twice, for 50 to 60 minutes, or until they are a lovely golden colour with crisp edges (of course you will need to try one or two to check).
  8. Devour!