Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Family Feats: Meat Cupcake

I wouldn't suggest this for dinner guests with any sort of finesse, but if you're looking to impress a younger group of diners, this one is a winner.  
By using a muffin tray and a bit of imagination, I make "Meat Cupcakes" - or, if you like, individual Shepard's  pies. All I do is line the muffin case with foil (I use bits of alfoil rather than muffin cases, as I find it's better at holding in the mince mix). Then using your favourite "Savoury Mince" mix, just spoon some in each case, add your mashed potato (I like to sprinkle some cheese on the top) and pop in the oven, just like you would a regular Shepard's pie. 

It's up to you whether you pre-cook the savory mince and then just use the oven to brown up the mash topping and melt the cheese, or whether you bake this in the oven - I've found either method works just fine, but baking the meat in the oven makes for a more "meatloaf" consistency to the mince, it binds together better, and is less likely to spill when the "cupcake" is removed from the tray. The oven method also takes longer, so it also depends on how much time you've got. 

I usually garnish with whatever's at hand - this time I had carrots, sweet potato and pumpkin so it was an all-orange extravaganza, I sliced a wedge of carrot to perch on top of each cupcake.

Monday, April 8, 2013

High Tea with Mr Twinings at JJ's Bar and Grill

Some time ago I was lucky enough to be invited along to a High Tea at "JJ's Bar and Grill" (in the Crown Casino complex).

Mr Twinings was just  as charming and twee and entertaining as you would expect, he utterly charmed the crowd with his informative and cheeky banter.

At one point he asked everyone who put sugar in their tea to raise their hands and then declared every one of us who had confessed to the deed "A Bunch of Barbarians!!". For a bunch of barbarians they certainly fed us like royalty!

The High Tea spread was really lovely, with a mix of traditional offerings done very well (scones with jam and cream, lovely little sandwiches) and some innovative additions in both the savory and sweet categories.

This venue doesn't usually offer high tea as far as I can ascertain but if this was indicative of the usual standard of their food it bodes very well indeed - it certainly made me want to come back another time and see what they usually offer.

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