Monday, April 11, 2011

Feijoas - love em or hate em!

Even though we are sisters, we have a very different approach to food and photography. Each fortnight we are going to choose the same ingredient or theme and post the result. These are results of our fourth food fight.

  • They originate from South America.
  • Feijoas were introduced into New Zealand in the 1920`s.
  • Common Names: Feijoa, Pineapple Guava, Guavasteen.
  • Feijoas have been described as 'the world's healthiest food' by the New York Times.
Eat Feijoas au naturale - unusual but delicious

Vanessa's Dish - Pork Scotch Fillet stuffed with Prunes and a Feijoa Sauce

Ingrid suggested Feijoas for the next food fight, maybe she is a closet feijoa lover? I, however, never really got into them. I remember travelling and meeting other Kiwis and when the discussion came around to what we missed from home, feijoas featured highly. The love of feijoas even extends to wine and vodka - both interesting but I think I am going to stick with my grape Chardonnay thankyou!     

This coincided with an opportunity to start compiling images for publication in some magazines. The brief was seasonal produce with recipes and photos of both the before and after... Off to the fruitshop I went searching for the perfect feijoa.

I decided on making a savoury dish with my feijoas, one inspired by a restaurant I worked in whilst at university. My twist is the feijoas! 

Pork and Prunes cooking in my favourite Le Creucet pot

What you need 
Scotch fillet of pork
12 Prunes
2 Onions
Olive oil
Salt and pepper 
8 feijoas 
A heavy casserole dish with a lid
A food processor or blender

Pork, prunes and feijoa sauce - really delicious, would definitely make again!

How to make
With a long knife make a cut through the length of the fillet.With your fingers, stuff as many prunes as you can in to the fillet. Season with salt and pepper and coat with olive oil. In the casserole dish add a bit more oil and brown the fillet all over.When brown, add the onions and put into a warm oven (about 160 - 180 degrees). Bake for about half an hour - this depends on the size of your fillet so keep and eye on it and don't overcook. When ready, take out of the dish and set aside to rest. (Its a good idea to wrap in tin foil at this stage)

Feijoa sauce
Scoop out the feijoa flesh and add to the pot that should have a bit of juice in the bottom. Simmer until the feijoas are soft. Stir occasionally so you get the lovely flavours from the bottom of the dish. When the feijoas are soft, blend until smooth. Taste and if needed add additional salt and pepper or even a bit of sugar if its too tart. I didn't do either!

Serve over the rested pork.
This would go great with a simple baby spinach and beetroot salad. Enjoy

Ingrid's Dish - Feijoa bread and butter puddings

Free fruit from my forage - I can't believe you went to the fruit shop sis!
Feijoas are everywhere at the moment, rubbish bags of feijoas kept turning up at my office, the neighbourhood children are using them as missles, the tree next door keeps off-loading them all over my driveway, and the funniest sight of all is the up turned bums protuding out of all the bushes - foraging is alive and well in my neighbourhood.

So if you aren't sick of the site of the humble feijoa (and being 'outed' as a feijoa lover, I'm not!), and your feeling a bit autumnal, these mini feijoa puds will warm your tastebuds.

Feijoas are sweet so if you want a low calorie option you could omit the sugar all together.

Feijoa bread and butter puddings
Makes 4
What you need
1 1/2 cups single pouring cream
3 eggs
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
8 slices of white bread (any bread will do)
4 feijoas 

How to make
Set oven temperature to 160C. Mix cream, eggs, sugar and vanilla. Whisk to combine. Cut crusts off bread slices and rip or cut into cubes. Place into a bowl. Remove flesh from feijoas and dice into the bowl. Pour cream mixture into bowl and fold through bread and feijoa.
Spoon evenly into cups. Place cups (ramekins) into a baking dish half filled with water (It stops the puds drying out) and place in centre of oven for around 30 mins or until set. Sprinkle with nutmeg.

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