Rhubarb & Cream Semifreddo


The rhubarb in my garden never seems to stop producing, so as the leaves turn, because I can't stand seeing it wasted I cast around for ways of using it up.  This way is my favourite.

Semifreddo is Italian for half frozen.  The sharp flavour of rhubarb is a stunning companion to the sweet creaminess of this semifreddo.  Often in Italy it is poured into a cake pan and frozen and served as an ice cream cake.  It can also be served rolled like regular ice cream.
 
Serves 4-6
Makes 1 standard loaf pan (insert diameter)
Takes: 30 minutes, plus four hours freezing time.

300g rhubarb, chopped
2 tbsp liquid honey
½ tsp natural pink food colouring (optional)
2 eggs
85g caster sugar
1 cup cream

Place the rhubarb in a small saucepan with the honey and cook on a low heat for 10 minutes until soft.  Allow to cool to room temperature.

Create a double boiler by adding water to the bottom of a saucepan and placing a large heatproof bowl on top.  Bring the water to a gentle simmer and add the eggs and sugar into the bowl.  Use electric beaters to whisk until warm, thick and pale.  This will take around 8-10 minutes.

Remove the bowl from the heat and continue beating until the mixture has cooled to room temperature, this should take 5-6 minutes.

In a clean bowl with clean beaters beat the cream until it is the same consistency as the egg mix.

Fold the two mixtures together, folding in half of the prepared rhubarb and pour into a loaf pan that has been lined with cooking paper, plastic wrap or foil.

Freeze for four hours until firm.

Serve sliced with the reserved rhubarb compote

Extra Notes for the True Food Geek (like me)...
      Semifreddo is a type of ice cream, it generally contains egg yolks or as in this instance both the yolk and the white from the egg.  A parfait uses only the egg whites.
       In summer when the berries arrive or autumn when stone fruit is plentiful, substitute 150g of purred or fresh of any of your favourites or the full 300g if it is suitable for a compote sauce as well.
      All the beating and whipping in this recipe make for lovely light frozen dessert without the need for an ice cream maker.
      Semifreddo is smooth because the proteins and emulsifiers in the egg yolks help to keep the ice crystals small when the mixture freezes.

Chilled Cucumber and Mint Salad with Vietnamese Dressing


(Source: Laura Faire) Laura Faire
From Laura Faire
Watch this clip Ondemand here 
Serves 4
Takes: 5 minutes plus cooling time for the dressing
Costs:  $1.00 per person
Dressing:
50g palm sugar
2 tbsp water
3 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 small chilli, seeds removed and sliced
Salad:
1 telegraph cucumber
a handful of fresh mint leaves
Method:
Place all ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to the boil and simmer until the sugar has dissolved and the sauce is a little thicker.
Chill before using.
Peel the cucumber and slice on the diagonal.  Arrange on a platter with the mint leaves.  Pour over the chilled dressing.  This salad can be served immediately or left for the dressing to infuse for an hour first.
Notes:  This dressing comes from the Vietnamese dressing Nuoc Cham.  The vinegar can be replaced with either lemon or lime juice when these are plentiful.  It will keep in the fridge for months and is traditionally used as a dipping sauce.

Coconut & Lemongrass Poached Fish



From Laura Faire
Watch this clip Ondemand here
Serves 4
Takes: 10 minutes
Costs:  $5.70 per person
Ingredients:
2 spring onions, white parts only, chopped
1 bunch coriander, stalks only, chopped
4 small lemon grass stalks, sliced
1 cm knob of fresh ginger, grated
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 x 270 mL light coconut cream
1 tbsp nam pla (fish sauce)
1 tsp vinegar or a tbsp of lemon juice or lime juice
500g terakihi fillets cut into thirds
Coriander leaves and green parts of spring onion for garnish
Method:
Combine spring onions, coriander stalks, lemon grass and ginger and pulverize to  a paste with the salt either in  pestle and mortar or a small blender.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the fresh paste, fry stiring for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
Add the coconut cream and bring to the boil.  Simmer very gently for 1-2 minutes, add the fish sauce and the fish fillets.  Continue to simmer for 3-4 minutes until the fish is just cooked.
Serve on jasmine rice garnished with coriander leaves and chopped spring onion.



Honey Pickled Beetroot, Goats Cheese & Walnut Salad


From Laura Faire
Watch this clip Ondemand here
Serves 4
Takes: 25 minutes
Costs: $4.70 per person
Salad:
2 large or 4 small beetroot, peeled and chopped
1 cup white wine vinegar (I use DYC Brand)
1/4 cup liquid honey
4 cardamom pods
12 slices French bread
2 tbsp olive oil
100g soft goats cheese
1/4 cup walnut halves, toasted
2 handfuls of beautiful salad leaves
Dressing:
1 tbsp reserved pickling liquid
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp olive oil
pinch of salt
Method:
Preheat the grill to 200ýC
Place the chopped beetroot in a large saucepan and add the vinegar, honey and cardamom pods.  Bring to the boil and simmer for 25 minutes.
While the beetroot is simmering, brush the French bread with olive oil and grill on each side for a few moments.  Sprinkle with a little salt.
Divide the salad leaves, goats cheese, toasted bread and walnuts between the plates and drain the beetroot reserving some liquid for the dressing.
Combine the dressing ingredients and add to the salads with the warm beetroot just before serving.

Palm Sugar

Is a natural product made from the palmyra or sugar palm, or in this instance the coconut palm.  Here is a short video post that I found on you tube, showing how it is made.  Unlike in this video where it is set in little piles, it often comes in funny little disks, and that is because it is poured into bamboo tubes and set and then sliced.