My very wonderful friend Summer Phillips of Summer’s Naked Plate offered to cook in my home and feature as a guest blogger, so see below the exquisite meal we were treated to! I definitely did relax as Summer took control of everything, I managed to arrange the table but I don’t think I can really lay claim to much of the wonderful meal! I would love for Summer to cook every night in my home.
Right from the start we were treated like kings, with the Slow Cooked Verjuice Pork with Parsnip and Pear Puree. The pork was soooo tender that it really did just melt in your mouth and the spices added an earthy warm flavour. The Pear and Parsnip Puree topped off this dish in true autumn style, while the parmesan wafers added a different texture and I’d never say no to cheese! I am always one to turn my nose up when offered brussel sprouts (an old childhood habit) but I thought I would be adventurous and I could not get enough of the Roasted Balsamic Almonds & Brussel Sprouts!!!
After such a gut warming meal that left me completely satisfied I was over the moon when the very Decadent Avocado Chocolate Mousse with Seasame Tuile appeared before my eyes! Summer stated that this was healthy for me, haha when has chocolate ever been healthy? I devoured this wee delight as Summer told me it’s ingredients and was totally impressed.
I’m not all that sure how guest blogging usually rolls, but when I invited myself and my token boyfriend to my girlies place for a cosy meal with her and her fiancee, I thought I may as well complete the circle and not only invite myself as a guest in her home, but in her kitchen and in a spot on her blog too. I just hope she took it as a chance to relax and not a home invasion.
In keeping with my “help yourself” theme, I went with a main we could all tuck into and help ourselves to seconds. A rustic dish of New Zealand free range pork, slowly tendered on the stove, delicately spiced with cardamon and fennel, balanced with French mustard and spiked with the sweet flavours of Verjuice. Keeping it company was a creamy (creamless) parsnip and pear puree, balsamic roasted almonds and brussels sprouts and some crispy sage leaves and parmesan wafers to crumble over. Of course we paired it with a glass of vino, but it was the dessert that polished us off. A serious chocolate mousse that was so rich we were content after just a few mouthfuls. It was a guilt free pleasure made with raw cacao beans, cashews and avocado – weird, but wonderful really! I paired it with the last of the season’s passionfruit and made little crispy sesame and honey wafers to smooth out the intensity. Sounds like a recipe for a good friendship between tasteful friends I reckon!
Raw, organic produce is what we’d all be eating if we were born with halos on our heads, super foods, antioxidants, nutrients and all that goodness. Sounds supernaturally impossible right? But this chocolate mousse is all that, and as long as you plan ahead when you make the wafers, the whole dessert only takes 5 minutes. As nutrients are mostly damaged when heated, eating raw is the only sure fire way to get a grip on the good stuff. It’s also good to know that even if the fatty food you’re eating is ‘good fat’, if the fat has been heated then you’re just eating fat without the nutrition value – think raw nuts verses roasted. To make the wafers I used a dehydrator which creates the crispy texture while keeping all the enzymes in the seeds intact. If you don’t have a dehydrator, use your oven with the fan on and at the lowest setting, check after half an hour to gauge timing and temperature and tweak as necessary.
Slow Cooked Verjuice Pork with Parsnip and Pear Puree
Gluten Free – Low Fat – High Protein – Unrefined – Low GI
If you’re juggling life or want to avoid adding fat, just toss the pork in the spices and combine everything in the slow cooker (nothing has to be browned or sweated first)
- 1kg Lean free range Pork steak, diced
- 1 tbsp Fennel seeds
- 1 pinch ground cloves
- 1 tbsp cardamon
- Sprinkle with buckwheat flour (optional)
- 1 carrot, finely diced
- 1 1/2 onions, thin wedges (optional)
- 1 1/2 tbsp freshly picked thyme leaves (can use 1 tsp of dry)
- 1 1/2 tbsp fresh Sage, chopped (can use 1 tsp of dry)
- 5 cloves garlic, crushed
- 4 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 litre chicken stock
- 250ml verjuice or white wine
- Heat a casserole dish and spray with a little oil.
- Toss the pork in the spices, salt and pepper and brown in the heated dish.
- Remove from dish.
- Add the carrot, garlic and onion and sweat, covered, stirring occasionally until tender.
- Now add the mustard and herbs and cook in the casserole for a minute.
- Return pork to the dish.
- Pour the chicken stock and verjuice in and bring to the boil.
- Reduce heat to a gentle simmer and cover with a cartouche (see picture) and lid.
- Cook in oven at 180.c or over low heat on the stove for 1-1 1/2 hours.
Pear and parsnip puree
- 4 medium parsnips, peeled and chopped into large pieces
- 1ripe pear, peeled, diced and coated with verjuice to stop oxidizing
- Cook parsnip in seasoned cold water
- Add pear when parsnip is almost cooked
- Pass through a ricer/mouli and puree any tough bits left in the mouli with a stick blender or rice.
- season to taste.
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan. Grate using the medium size grate.
- Can sprinkle with cumin, caraway or fennel seed before cooking
- On a non-stick baking sheet heap spoonfuls of grated parmesan, far enough apart so when shaped they won’t touch each other.
- Spread wit fingers into desired shape. You can also sprinkle into a cookie cutter for perfect circles etc.
- Pop in the oven (200.c) and cook until melted and golden.
- Remove from oven and set aside to cool before handling.
Roasted Balsamic Almonds and Brussels Sprouts
- 12 Brussels sprouts, trim stem end and cut a cross into it
- 1 garlic bulb, excess skin removed only and broken into individual cloves
- 1 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- handful of almonds, roughly chopped
- Garnish with fried sage (optional naughty but nice)
Decadent Avocado-Chocolate Mousse with Passionfruit Curd and Honey-Sesame Tuile
Head to IE Produce or your local health food store for these ingredients. This store is a food Nazi’s dream.
- 2-3 Avocados
- 1 cup Cashews, soaked for at least 15-30 minutes
- 1/2 cup raw cacao nibs
- 1/2 cup carob powder
- Pinch salt
- 1/2 – 1 cup raw coconut nectar (raw honey, agave and maple syrup can be use instead)
- Grind raw cacao in coffee grinder to a fine powder
- Combine all ingredients in a high powered blender or food processor on high until very smooth and looks chocolate coloured. If you don’t have a high powered blend available, opt for the food processor as this mousse is quite thick.
- Add more of your chosen syrup to taste.
Feel free to keep this healthy and raw by using passionfruit straight from its shell and onto your dessert.
- 12 ripe and wrinkly passionfruit, halved
- A couple of tablespoons of water
- Place a colander over a small heavy based pot and scoop the flesh from the passionfruit into the colander.
- Use a spoon to press and scrape the pulp through the colander into the pot.
- Add the water and simmer over low heat until reduced and slightly thickened.
- Pour into a wee glass bowl and lay a piece of cling film directly against the surface of the curd to prevent a skin forming in the fridge (unless it’s going straight onto your desert).
Gluten Free – Raw Vegan – Low Carbohydrate – Unrefined sugar free
- 1/4 cup golden flaxseeds, soaked for 8 hours in 1/2 cup of water
- 1/8 cup golden flax meal (golden flax seeds ground in a spice or coffee grinder)
- 1/8 cup sesame seeds, plus extra to sprinkle over
- 1/2 cup raw honey
- 1/4 apple or 1/3 small banana roughly chopped
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Combine all the ingredients in the food processor and process until as smooth as possible. Set aside
- Make a stencil out of plastic ice cream container lids. Cut the lips/raised edges off the lids. Draw the shapes onto the lids leaving a couple of centimetres around each drawing. Use a Stanley knife to cut the shape out and form your stencil.
- If you’re using the dehydrator and like me, don’t have a flash one with non-stick drying sheets, just cut baking paper to fit your drying trays. For the oven you can use either silicon mats or baking paper.
- Place the stencil on the baking/dehydrating sheet and using and offset spatula, spread a thin, even layer of mixture into each stencil. lift the stencil carefully, move to the next section of baking sheet and repeat.
- Sprinkle the tuiles with sesame seeds and dehydrate for 4 hours.
- Turn the tuiles over and rotate the tray levels.
- Dehydrate until crisp.
- These keep well in an air tight container for a couple of weeks.
- Desiccated coconut
- The chocolate balls were formed by slightly freezing (1 hour maybe) rough teaspoon blobs of chocolate mousse.When ready to plate up, roll each blob into a ball in the palm of you hand. If you have disposable gloves you can wear these.
- Fill a piping bag with a plain nozzle with the mousse and pipe it into the base of the shot glasses
- Then pour in the passionfruit and refrigerated until service (again 1 hour or more). Chilling the passionfruit formed a delicate skin on which to pipe my final layer of mousse.
- Pop your wafer into the passionfruit layer on a sight angle, going away from you.This gives extra support as the mousse is much denser than the passionfruit.
- Pipe on a final layer of mousse, like piping a spiral shape.
- Sprinkle with the coconut and place the mousse ball to top it off.
Thanks for having us Chanel xx