Friday, December 31, 2010

Tasty Bits of 2010

For a year that started with so much promise I find it sad to admit that it wasn't a particularly good year. Through the course of the year it seemed I was perpetually ill but thankfully, things are looking up. I learnt that the peripherals don't really matter as long as you feel healthy.

When it comes to cooking, these are the dishes, in no particular order, that made me happiest in 2010.

Viking Potato Gnocchi© by Haalo

Viking Potato Gnocchi - anything involving potatoes is always high on my list, discovering a new potato variety with a pink flesh, well, that gets bonus points. Finding that they make the most beautiful gnocchi - heavenly.

Truffle Risotto© by Haalo

Truffle Risotto - no surprise that there is a truffle dish on the list but what I really liked most about this risotto, is that I found a new way of adding layers of flavour by making a porcini paste.

seaweed butter© by Haalo

Seaweed Butter - I always influenced by the food at restaurants and this dish comes straight from Maze here in Melbourne. I'm not a big butter eater, I don't have butter on my bread, but this is so delicious you just can't help yourself.

Curried Cauliflower Couscous - it is sad that great vegetables like cauliflower and brussel sprouts are so under-appreciated, I do try to do my bit and present them in different ways. This dish was inspired by the flavours of a garnish, a rather moorish combination of buttery cauliflower, curry powder and lightly roasted almonds.

mushroom soldiers© by Haalo

Mushroom Soldiers - this is my twist on boiled egg and toast soldiers - a bit of fun but very tasty.

Hot Water Pastry - I don't know why I was so scared of hot water pastry and I regret not trying to make it sooner. Easy to make and incredibly forgiving - you don't really need to roll it, you just stretch it into place. For savoury pies, it has an amazing combination of strength (you can have a really thin pie crust without your pie collapsing) and the most lovely melt-in-your texture.

Crumbed Pumpkin Slices© by Haalo

Crumbed Pumpkin Slices - what would we do without Ottolenghi breathing new life into cooking with vegetables.

For something on the sweeter side

Chamomile Poached Cherries© by Haalo

Chamomile Poached Cherries - this is the start of my adventure in using tea in recipes and if I hadn't made this I would have never had made the next dish.

hibiscus poached pears© by Haalo

Hibiscus Poached Pears - the look of a red wine poached pear without the need for any wine. The excess syrup if both these dishes can be reduced then adding to sparkling mineral water as an alternative to cordials.

wartime chocolate pudding© by Haalo

Wartime Chocolate Pudding - a lesson in life in a pud - a reminder of how fortunate we really are.

semolina puddings with blood orange syrup© by Haalo

Semolina Cakes with Blood Orange Syrup - one of those dishes that came about by accident, a bit of a gamble that paid off.

hidden orange christmas pudding© by Haalo

Hidden Orange Christmas Pudding - it took a little while but I did manage to replicate Heston's pudding. Now all I have to do is stock up on whole glace oranges for next year!

If you feel like travelling in a time machine, here are the recaps for previous years:
Tasty Bits of 2009
Tasty Bits of 2008
Tasty Bits of 2007


  1. happy new year haalo - hope it full of good health for you!

    I avoid working with pastry but have found hot water pastry is no problem at all - glad you discovered it

    all looks lovely - I particularly would love to try your poached cherries and wartime chocolate pudding

  2. Happy New Year Haalo. Thank you for sharing all your wonderful recipes and photos throughout the year. I'm looking forward to what you will share in 2011.

  3. Lovely roundup--gotta few recipes that caught my eye ! have a great 2011 !

  4. Thanks Johanna - I think shortcrust pastry is feeling a bit unloved here at the moment since I discovered hot water pastry.

    Thanks so much Linda - looking forward to 2011!

    Thanks Priya!

  5. Happy new year dear. Love your recap, they are lovely, mouth watering recipes :)

  6. I love the Ottolenghi books too. I recently got given Plenty and it is amazing. I also love the idea of making cauliflower into something truly yummy. Great tips!

  7. Amen to the hot water pastry! By far the easiest pastry I've ever made, and to fill up with curry . . . sinfully delicious! That recipe tops my 2010 list for sure.

  8. Happy new year Priya!

    Thanks Madame Wu - Ottolenghi is fantastic, the books are so inspiring

    Thanks Aly - three cheers for hot water pastry!

  9. What a fabulous line-up of dishes. I thought the mushroom "soldiers" were really clever - still have to try that out!

  10. Thanks Marisa - eggs and mushroom you can't go wrong!


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