Sunday, September 18, 2011

finding inspiration

The secret to my sanity is a working week with hours nestled somewhere between part and full time. Having run my own business for twenty years I’m proud to say I’ve navigated two decades of self-employment with body, mind and soul more or less intact. The latest addition to my work schedule is a weekly business meeting with myself. It's comprised of a leisurely brunch somewhere different each time, with tasty food, my trusty notebook and no expectations. So far, so good. Amazing what plans can hatch with the right fuel.

breakfast special, Dench, Nth Fitzroy

Just as I’m looking at work from a different angle, my kitchen mojo has returned (no doubt helped by the recent cook-along). Two inspired experiments this week, requiring a digital note to self for future reference.

Number one needs no real recipe - just a simple risotto with new season asparagus, garlic and shallots. Towards the end of cooking I added a little lemon zest and sorrel. For the dairy tolerant some marinated soft goats cheese tossed through before serving would be perfect.

Chard and flathead pastries

Thaw some good quality puff pastry.
Set the oven to 180c.

Sauté onion and garlic in olive oil til soft
Gather your favourite leafy greens (with a garden full of rainbow chard, cavolo nero and sorrel at the moment it’s a necessity), rinse well and chop roughly.
Add to the onions and cook for til wilted. Season with sea salt and pepper.
Squeeze a little lemon juice, add some zest too if desired.

Take the mixture off the heat and allow to cool.

Chop some flathead tails. If making small parcels, you only need 3 or 4 small chunks per pastry.

Cut pastry into squares (or circles if you want cute, semi-circular pastries). Fold on the diagonal to make a triangle, open out and use the fold line to mark half of the pastry to add the filling. Leave a centimetre around the edge. Add a spoonful of the vegetable mixture and dot with chunks of fish. Fold the pastry, add a little water around the edges to help them stick and crimp together. Puncture the top of a pastry with a fork.

Bake til golden, about 20 minutes.

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Anonymous Lucy said...

that breakfast looks gooooood.

11:54 am  
Blogger Johanna GGG said...

Love the sound of your weekly business meetings - sounds great for the soul - esp if you are having them at dench!

8:21 pm  
Blogger Another Outspoken Female said...

Lucy it was soooooo good! Mint, fruit, syrup. Yum

Johanna I must find out how to claim it on tax :)

7:47 am  
Anonymous Amanda said...

I love the idea of meetings with myself, too! If I could work out how to coerce the idle teens to bring me food, I could have them in bed, couldn't I?!

9:23 am  
Blogger tori said...

I love the idea of meetings with yourself- I often do exactly the same thing- it feels like a date with productivity (and a cheeky glass of wine).

2:28 am  
Blogger Another Outspoken Female said...

Amanda good luck wrangling the teens :)

Tori a date with productivity indeed. Though for me wine tends to flatten my brain, while coffee can make it dance.

7:38 am  

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