Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Tasty Bits of 2009

It's coming up to the last day of the year, a perfect time to reflect on the past by taking a wander through the archives.

It has been a year where we've experienced lots of new and unusual ingredients - from baby beetroot shoots to donut peaches and purslane - it's fitting that this roundup begins with some more examples of these new discoveries.

Baby Broad Beans© by Haalo

Baby Broad Beans removing all the fiddle that comes with their mature versions. No need to pod or double peel, these are eaten whole and as I discovered, make a great alternative to toast soldiers.

Padrón Peppers© by Haalo

Padrón Peppers - should be coming back into season here in Australia but you need to be quick to find these highly sort after veg. Whip up a cool jug of sangria and settle back with these Fried Padróns and you can pretend you're back in Barcelona.

Saganaki with peppered figs© by Haalo

Saganaki with Peppered Figs - fell in love with this dish the first time we tried it at Hellenic Republic, naturally enough it didn't take too long for me to replicate it at home. It's an easy way to avoid the constant queues and crowds.

Potted School Prawns© by Haalo

Take sweet and succulent school prawns and smother them in a chive flavoured butter, chill until just set and you'll end up with the English classic, Potted School Prawns.

Wasabi Leaf Vichyssoise© by Haalo

We're grown accustomed to seeing Wasabi root but this year we were treated to something different - wasabi leaf. A versatile leaf that can be used raw or cooked, it imparts a milder wasabi flavour to your dishes - here it provides a spark to a traditional Vichyssoise

Fesenjen© by Haalo

This next dish is one that should appeal to those in cooler climes, the fragrant Persian offering, Fesenjen - Chicken cooked in a Pomegranate and Walnut Sauce.

Orzo Paella© by Haalo

For ease and convenience, this Orzo Paella was a surprising hit of the year. Who needs to stand around prodding and poking paella rice for half an hour or more when you can replace it with Orzo and be done in 5 minutes.

That's probably enough of the savoury it's time for something sweet.

Baked Apples© by Haalo

Baked Apples - it's one of those much loved dishes from your childhood that's been given a "noughties" twist, the stuffing contains slivered pistachios and dried pomegranate seeds.

Candied Blood Orange Tart© by Haalo

You've got to have one great tart in your repertoire and this year it's the Candied Blood Orange Tart. Short, buttery pastry crust, semolina cream inside and it's topped with the glistening jewel like slices of candied blood orange.

Ricciarelli© by Haalo

If you love Italian biscotti, if you love almond then you must stop everything and immediately make these Ricciarelli. Seriously addictive they need to come with a warning label.

strawberry curd© by Haalo

It's summer here so strawberries are plentiful however with the heat comes an increase in perishability. Fear not, strawberry curd is the answer.

Sweet Azuki Bean Paste Wontons

The Sweet Azuki Bean Paste Wontons tell a story that it does indeed pay to think outside of the box.

After so much food a little light refreshment is in order:

mint and ginger iced tea© by Haalo

After the excess of new years, this Mint and Ginger Iced Tea really hits the spot - I dare say there will be a few carafes of this lurking around come January 1.

With that, we come to the end of this chapter and I look forward to a new beginning and finding out just what 2010 has in store.

Happy New Year to you all.


  1. Happy New Year to you!!! Can't wait to dive into each of these tasty bits

  2. Tasty, indeed! I especially like the idea of the Orzo paella. I'll have to try it soon.

    Happy, Happy New Year!


  3. Happy New Year to you too!
    and thanks for sharing with us all your wonderful photos and recipes!!


© Cook (almost) Anything at Least Once | All rights reserved.