Tuesday, October 9, 2007

cooking for the in-laws

I am sure that there is a small part in all of us, no matter how long you have been married for, that wants to impress their in laws!! I have been with my husband for over ten years, but whenever his parents come to stay, Yes, I do want to impress them with my cooking prowess!!!

So to impress my in-laws who are up for a couple of nights, last night I decided to cook my prized havoc pork loin roast. If you haven’t tried havoc pork, you are missing out on a treat! This is meat that tastes like meat – it is the most delicious free range pork, reared in Waimate in the South Island. You can order the meat by mail order and it is so worth it! The bacon is divine – real bacon, none of that watery stuff. I am not a huge pork fan, but it is my husband’s favourite meat and now he wouldn’t have anything but havoc!

The pork was by all accounts delicious (I didn’t have any given my quasi vegetarian stance!). I stuffed it with rosemary and chopped garlic and then roasted it on a bed of sliced agria potatoes (inspired by Ruth Pretty’s recipe for pork roasted on trivet potatoes from this book). Agria potatoes are in my book the best for roasting! They are a beautiful yellow colour and crisp up deliciously on the outside, but with a nice fluffy interior. Lots of asparagus and also an apple and brandy sauce (also inspired by this book) were the accompaniments. The apple sauce was so yummy – a touch of flaky sea salt bringing out the flavour of the apples and making it taste a bit more savoury.

It is pudding that is photographed above. It is a quince paste and golden syrup tart using this Julie Le Clerc recipe. It was nice, but I am not sure that I would make it again. I think that I need to get a deeper tart tin as well, as there was too much filling for the size of my tart base. I used a Donna Hay recipe for the pastry. It was a pretty basic flour, sugar, butter and water mix as I didn’t want anything too rich, figuring that the filling was pretty sweet! I guess my complaint with this tart was that the golden syrup was too overpowering – you couldn’t taste the quince paste and the quince paste was my whole reason for making it!! I love quinces and each year make jam, jelly, paste or something similar. I think this tart would be better with the proportions of quince paste to golden syrup reversed.

Anyway, I think that the in-laws were suitably impressed!

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