Peaches, mango, pea-ches..

Lately we’ve had plums, mangoes, peaches,  nectarines and lychees squeezed into the blog. I can already sense that twang of despair up ahead (much like when the end of January when the tennis is over) when the season is over and we just have to wait around for the apples and pears and mandarins.
GF doesn’t like stone fruit (apparently these people are out there, who knew?)  so it’s a good time to be in Sth America.

Tonight we are all about stone fruit.

The bbq will come in handy here again as we’re going to caramelise some beautifully ripe yellow-flesh peaches on the char grill.
Then we’re going to make an ice cream sandwich. Yep!


Ice Cream Sandwich w/ Caramelised Peach and Fresh Mango

Ingredients –  serves 4

4 ripe yellow-flesh peaches – halved and pipped
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 sheet puff pastry
A cup of icing sugar
1 large, ripe Bowen mango – they’re called Kensington Pride these days.
500ml Vanilla ice cream – make it if you know how and have time.
We bought ours but we’ll make it together another time.


The Pastry

You’ll need two baking trays that fit one on top of the other. Place a sheet of baking paper down first. Cover this liberally with dusted icing sugar. Place the pastry down here. Again cover liberally with dusted icing sugar. Cover with a sheet of grease proof, then the other baking tray. Now you need to weight that tray down. I used a couple of oven friendly bowls. A brick or rock would also work.pastry1
Bake on 160*c for 30 mins.
The idea is that the pastry will cook through but be prevented from rising and form lots of crispy layers. It is called Mille Fueille in French, meaning ‘a thousand leaves’. Fancy wafers really.
Once it’s cooled you’ll be able to cut it (gently now) with a sharp knife.

The Peaches

As in the pictures up top, toss the peaches with the honey and oil and cook on both sides on a gentle bbq heat until they’re a beautiful rich orange and brown colour and are a little soft. Remove from the heat. You can serve either warm or cold, depending on the season and your own whim.

The Mango

Skin it and chop it.
What Kid Did

Kid had a few little jobs here such as dusting the icing sugar, pipping the peaches and peeling the mangoes. Then we assembled them together to look like these. Otherwise there was just a lot of eating involved in this one.

Confession time

We prepped this one the same afternoon as the bbq and the horchata but then it was too dark for decent photos and we were stuffed with asado.
So we left this for breakfast the next day, largely so I could have better light for the photo.
Oh and if you can’t be bothered with the whole pastry thing, just buy some waffles and toast them.
But you’ll be way more satisfied making your own.
Ice cream for breakfast anyone?

Mincing the night away…


The view in the morning. The view in the evening.

Sawadee and welcome.

Mince has to be one of the most versatile dinner options going around (except for our vegetarian friends of course. They could use any number of substitutes though – eggplant, brown rice, chick peas, TVP, lentils or chopped vegetables perhaps).
And sometimes I do too.

You’ve probably got a few favourites up your sleeve as well.
This is one of ours.

Larb is a traditional Laos dish but you’ll find  it on most Thai restaurant menus as an entrée or a  salad.

It’s a lively dish made from  minced meat (eg chicken, pork, beef, duck) tangy citrus, salty fish sauce, spicy chilli, fragrant herbs and toasted, ground rice.
Like so much Sth East Asian cuisine, it’s about balancing all those flavours.

In Laos larb is often served w/ a green  papaya salad and sticky rice.

Kid don’t do no paw-paw (especially not green) so we’re not going there.
I would eat green papaya salad all day, although I would end up with an upset tummy.
Instead we have some awesomely plump and ripe Bowen mangoes (seeing as how it’s mango season and that).
We’ve also traded sticky rice for a neat little rice noodle salad w/ cashews.

Laab2Green tea scented Chicken Larb (Larb Gai) w/ Mango
– for about 4
500g  Chicken Mince
1 cup chicken stock
2 anise stars
1 teaspoon leaf green tea
2 sticks of celery – diced
2 long red chilli – sliced and de-seeded
3 spring onions – sliced fine
1/2 bunch Vietnamese mint – some for now and some for the mango
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 lime
1/3 cup rice – jasmine preferably
Pre – heat an oven to 160*c. Place the rice on a baking tray and bake until golden brown, about 20 mins. Smash to bits with a little salt in a mortar and pestle until its like coarse sand, put aside.
Laab5Bring the stock to a simmer in a deep fry pan. Add the celery and chilli. Place the star anise and tea in a tea infuser or strainer in the stock for about 5 mins. Remove the tea and anise. Add the mince and stir thoroughly, breaking down the mince so it’s not too lumpy.
Laab6Add the fish sauce and continue stirring until the mince is cooked through. Turn off the heat. Add the lime juice, spring onions and finish with toasted, ground rice.


What Kid Did

Kid made our salad. Recently she’s graduated from picking and washing herbs or rolling dough to actually cooking vegetables. It’s hard to watch her using a pot of hot water and not be nervous though. (There will still be herbs to pick and dough to roll).

Just relax dad, loosen them apron strings a little.

Supervision is key. So is relaxing the hell out and letting her get on with it.


Rice Noodle Salad w/ Roasted Cashews
1/4 of a packet dried rice noodles or vermicelli
500g green beans
1 small head of broccoli
100g toasted cashews
1 lime
4-5 drops of sesame oil.
Put a large pot of water on to boil with a little salt. Boil the kettle. Cover the rice noodles with the kettle water for about 2-3 minutes until soft. Strain and rinse well under some cold water. Drain them well and toss with the sesame oil. Blanch the beans and broccoli in the pot and then refresh in some ice – cold water. It’s important that the vegetables go from very hot to very cold as quickly as possible. This will lock in colour and flavour. Smash the cashews however you like and then mix everything together with the juice of the lime.
Laab4Serve under a generous helping of the hot larb. The contrast of hot and cold is another familiar aspect of this style of food. Chop up some mango and mix with some Viet mint to go with.

Laab7I have to confess here, we didn’t end up eating this straight away. This became my dinner the next couple of nights instead and tasted just as good for it. The vegetables stayed crisp and green thanks to the very hot/ very cold treatment.

Instead G.F rang to invite us out to dinner with her. So we did. Because we like her. We had  lovely Italian and Kid ate a chicken schnitzel bigger than her head.

I have plans (well, an idea anyway) to take Kid somewhere in Sth East Asia this year for her first OS trip. Bali or Thailand seem like good introductory places. Not just for the food but to show her how other people live and where their food comes from. That’s what we’re supposed to be about after all.

C&K on holiday. Watch this space 🙂

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