The executive chef of dine by Peter Gordon at SkyCity answers your cuisine questions.
My neighbour has loads of beautiful walnuts to use up. We're using the whole and half nuts, but I was wondering whether we could use ground walnuts to make pastries or cakes as a substitute for ground almonds? Would there be any difference that would affect the success of the baking?
The difference will be flavour and colour (richer and darker) and you may need to tweak the fat content - I believe walnuts have more oil (some 18g of fat per nut, compared to 14g per almond, but it is of the good cholesterol-lowering, omega-3 type and walnuts are also rich in magnesium and vitamin B6). They also freeze well for 4-6 months - so you might want to store some that way.
I make rose hip cordial from rugosa roses. Apart from drinking the cordial, do you have any other ideas I may suggest to farmers' market customers?
Drizzle it over poached or baked quinces (or peaches or berry salad in summer), but be aware that some cordials are stronger than others.
It also makes a lovely granita, and can be drizzled over salads instead of using vinegar so long as it isn't too sweet.
What simple stuff can I put together to impress vegetarians? I'm thinking along the lines of meat substitutes, tempe, and the like, but not sure where to start or how different they are to prepare.
- Thanks! Shawn
That's a simple question that would take pages to answer. Best to buy a good vegetarian cookbook, and if you're thinking tempe (which I love) then buy a macrobiotic book.
[Ed's note: To help you narrow down the field, we can recommend Denis Cotter's For the Love of Food: Vegetarian Recipes from the Heart, published by Harper Collins, featured in Appetite last weekend, as one of the best we've seen. The Guardian newspaper calls him "the best vegetarian chef in the British Isles".]
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