Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Perfect Cracker?

So Masterchef Australia is nearing finals week!  And TVNZ have kicked out the institution that is Coronation St to make way for it.  It goes to show what a great program the Australian version of the cooking franchise is.  Without doubt it sets the benchmark for being a true amateur-come-professional reality cookery program.

The way the Australian judges, and their guests, mentor the contestants from keen enthusiasts into all consuming chef extraordinaires is truly a sight to behold, and to be honest, something I am extremely jealous of!  Especially when guest chefs such as Heston Blumenthal and Thomas Keller show up!

It's going to be really interesting to catch the last few weeks and see who comes out on top.  I couldn't really pick it from here.  I think Michael is probably the most all round talented contestant left. Dani and Ellie would have had huge odds on being champ at the start of the show but they've come so far they could now go all the way!

Of course there's a lot of interest in who might win another competition which is going on at the moment.  Namely the Rugby World Cup.  Weekends are turning into very social affairs with friends and family coming around to share in the joy/commiseration of our respective teams triumphs and tribulations in the cup.

I have complete faith in the All Blacks.  Complete non wavering faith.  The same faith I had in 2007.  And 2003. get the picture.  Tonight sees them take on their bogey team and everyone has written off the French.  In my eyes we've got a better chance than ever to take the cup but it's one game of rugby, and there can always be two winners in any game of rugby.

Of course having guests around all the time means feeding them too.  Hence there seems to have been a constant supply of cheese and crackers and chips and dips.

My new favorite thing.  A cracking cracker.

Recently my Aunty bought round some 180 degrees Walnut, Oat Crackers and I haven't been able to get enough of them since.  If you're looking for the perfect cracker to highlight a tasty cheese then these are the ones.  Buttery and crunchy with just a hint of walnut flavor they are the perfect base for a creamy Camembert or a bold blue.  If you want a real moment get some Kikorangi blue and a late harvest reisling, lock the door, turn the phone off and put some Rick Stein on.  Bliss.

Having watched a Rick Stein marathon I had run out of cheese and needed to search the fridge for something else to add to my favorite new found flavor platform.

Smoked Salmon and Watercress Crackers

Watercress Oil
2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
Handful of Watercress Chopped Finely
3 Tbsp EV Olive Oil
1/4 tsp Dijon Mustard
1/4 tsp Honey

180 Degrees Walnut Oat Crackers
Smoked Salmon
Kiwi Onion Dip or substitute with creme fraiche, sour cream or another dip.

In a mortar and pestle whisk together the honey, mustard and lemon juice.  Add the watercress and pound it together, extracting all the flavor.  Slowly whisk in the EV Olive Oil and then season to taste.

Cut your smoked salmon into pieces about 3 x 8 cm.

Place the salmon on top of the cracker then put a dollop of dip, creme fraiche or sour cream in the middle of the salmon.  You could ever attempt a quenelle if you're being fancy!

Wrap the salmon round the dip and then top with a drizzle of watercress.

Sit back, scoff happily and cheer on the All Blacks.  Tomorrow is going to be a long way away.


  1. Off topic, but I'm pretty sure there can only be one winner in a game of rugby... this can be either of the two teams playing however, which is I think is what you were trying to convey.

    Now stop taunting me with all these dairy laden goodies! You know I'm not allowed!!!

  2. Butter makes the world go round. Sorry mate. I'll come up with a dairy free option one day!

    ALL BLACKS!!!!!!

  3. I love salmon. Hope you don't mind if we put a link to your recipe here: