ramblingtart » sharing stories and art with the world from Australia

Masthead header
ramblingtart bio picture

Deep Fried Game Hens and Lime Pavlovas with Mangoes

Monday was one of those ghastly days where everything seemed to go wrong. I was exhausted and on the verge of tears as I worked feverishly to fix one mess after another when suddenly, like a burst of sunshine after days of fog, everything righted itself and all was well. Phew.

Just in time too, for it was Deep Fried Game Hen night at CEC, my cooking club, and I so didn’t want to miss that! My brain was mush by this point so I sent a plea over Twitter for recommendations for gluten-free desserts. @saffronberry recommended financiers, @Valerie_78 suggested my favorite Nanaimo Bars, and @DuchessinBK urged me to try mini pavlovas with cream and berries. Although they all sounded divine, a quick scan of the contents of my cupboard and fridge decided it for me: the pavlovas. Duchess was lovely enough to type the recipe out for me (thank you!!) and after reading it through I figured I could tweak it a bit to suit my ingredients: limes and mangoes. Oooee, I could hardly wait to give it a whirl. 🙂

I arrived at CEC with arms full, oh so ready for a glass of Petite Sirah to calm my frazzled nerves. Selwyn started us off with a dazzling array of fabulous cheeses: Stilton with Dried Cranberries, Hot Wasabi Aged Cheddar and Smoked Gouda with bacon. Mmm, mmm!!

This was followed by a lovely mixed green salad topped with Toby’s delicious Reduced Balsamic Dressing.

We could smell the main course before we saw it, heavenly scents of deep fried game hen and grilled veggies wafting in through the screen door.

At last Cameron brought in the first batch of hens, slicing through the salty, crispy skin to reveal a spiced pear stuffing inside. Amazing!!!

Deb and Darren grilled asparagus, squash and sweet peppers, and they were the perfect smoky accompaniment to the sprightly salad and savory chicken.

Alas, I cannot share the chicken recipe with you for it involves a “Secret Family Recipe” of spices, but if you can come up with your own concoction of spices, simply rub it all over the chicken before frying to give the skin an out of this world flavor.

We ended the evening with my Lime Pavlovas topped with vanilla cream, fresh mangoes and blackberries. I gotta say those meringues were fantastic. Duchess knows what she’s talking about!!! I adored the addition of lime zest and the mangoes went beautifully with the citrus.

What is the best food you’ve eaten this week, dear ones? 🙂

Before I forget!! I got my RSS feed and email subscription sorted out. If you’d like to receive blog updates, feel free to sign up. 🙂

Today is my first day of participation in WanderFood Wednesday! 🙂 It’s a place for travel writers to share photos, stories, recipes, book reviews and any other food-related topics with other foodies (and non-foodies!).

Toby’s Reduced Balsamic Dressing

(Adapted from Epicurious)


3-4 teaspoons reduced balsamic vinegar

1/4 teaspoon Hawaiian sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 small clove garlic, peeled, green germ removed, and minced

1/4 cup (60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

7 ounces (210 g) mixed salad greens (8 cups, loosely packed), such as escarole, oak-leaf, and romaine, rinsed, patted dry, and torn into bite-size pieces


  1. Place the vinegar, salt, pepper, mustard, and garlic in a medium-size bowl and whisk together until blended. Slowly add the olive oil, whisking constantly, until the dressing is emulsified.
  2. Add the greens and toss well until they are coated with the dressing. Season with pepper to taste and serve the salad immediately.

Lime Pavlovas with Mangoes and Blackberries
(Adapted from @DuchessinBK)


3 egg whites
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
2 tbs vanilla
fresh berries
2 tbs orange zest (optional)
1 1/2 cups heavy cream


  1. Preheat oven to 230 degrees, and cover a cookie sheet with parchment.
  2. Start whipping whites, when just broken and slightly frothy, add tartar – whip it in well.
  3. Slowly, painfully slowly, add sugar while whipping (scrape down sides gently with rubber spatula)
  4. When soft peaks form, add 1 tbs of vanilla. Keep whipping until firm peaks form but be careful not to over-whip.
  5. Very carefully fold in orange zest
  6. Spoon onto cookie sheet. Depending on size, you’ll get 12+ per sheet. You’ll probably need two sheets.
  7. Bake for 1 hr. If its humid, 1 hr 20-30 minutes. (By the way, if its super humid, don’t even bother, the whites won’t whip up enough.)
  8. When finished, they should be completely white, give a hollow noise when you tap them, and still just slightly gooey inside.
  9. Let them cool completely.
  10. Meanwhile whip cream with 1 tbs of vanilla.
  11. Add a dollop of whipped cream to each meringue and add fruit on top.
Email to a friend Work with me 69,109,97,105,108,32,109,101em liamE Subscribe by email Shop

RamblingTart - Thank you so much, Margo! 🙂 Yes, delicious food and dear friends do wonders for cheering up a weary soul. 🙂

Margo - Oh, my – I can see how deep fried game hens and your wonderful sounding cooking club could turn even the lousiest day around. And the Pavolova has just reminded me I forgot to eat breakfast. Great photos and post!

RamblingTart - All is well, Velva, thanks for asking. 🙂 It was truly a scrumptious meal and the pavlovas were so fun to make. 🙂

RamblingTart - Oh Mallory, I LOVE your photo blog for your cooking group!! WOW!! I totally understand being overwhelmed by noting all the dishes and recipes. Sheesh! It wears me out every week. 🙂 It’s fabulous to meet you. 🙂

Mallory - I love that you’re a part of a cooking group! I started one in Bellingham almost two years ago. We only meet once a month, but we have such an amazing (and delicious) evening when we’re together. A few months ago I started a photo blog for it (I found blogging about every dish was too much to take on!): http://www.aroundthetable.tumblr.com Thanks again for stopping by my food blog, it was a great surprise this evening to read your lovely comments, and find another fabulous food blogger so close by!


RamblingTart - Thank you so much, Todd. 🙂 That makes me smile. 🙂

Todd - I have never had Turkish Delight. But have always imagined it to be rather magical sounding. You made it sounds even better.

RamblingTart - Oy, me too, Mary! Tummy is so empty! 🙂

RamblingTart - Thank you, Stephanie! 🙂 I am now a convert to pavlovas too. 🙂 Delish!

RamblingTart - Me too, Wanderluster! 🙂 It’s such fun to cook with dear friends. 🙂

Mary - WOW! That food looks fantastic! I’m hungry 🙂

Delightful Bitefuls

Stephanie - Oh that all looks soooo delicious!! I love pavlovas, they’re definitely up there in the favourite dessert list 🙂 Everything looked so good – my stomach is rumbling!!

Wanderluster - Wow – what a fabulous event! Glad your day started looking up at last. 😀

RamblingTart - Aw thanks, Joanne. 🙂 Some days are just like that, eh? 🙂 This meal was a real comfort and being with my friends bolstered my spirits for sure. 🙂

RamblingTart - Thank you so much, Nancie! 🙂 I’m delighted to be a part of it. 🙂

Joanne - I’m so sorry you had a stressful Monday babe! There’s nothing like a good dinner with good friends to relieve some tension, though. And this looks like it should have done the trick! That deep fried hen looks delicious and your pavlovas are the picture of perfection.

Nancie (Ladyexpat) - What a meal! Everything looks fantastic. I’ll have one of each please….:) Welcome to Wanderfood Wednesday.

RamblingTart - I know, Lorraine! Isn’t that a terrible thing for me to do? But seriously, it’s my friend Cameron’s Mum and Dad’s secret blend and I CANNOT spill the beans. 🙂

RamblingTart - Ooo, a rhubarb one sounds great, Mary! Yes, please make it again so we can see it! 🙂

RamblingTart - Thanks so much, Ellie! I still have some work to do on it, but I really love it too. 🙂

Velva - Wow, cooking club sounded fabulous. The deep fried hens, pretty cool. Your pavolva was beautiful. I cannot remember the last time I ate one. Hmmm. I may need to do something about that soon.

Hope all is well.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella - Hehe Krista I love it! Secret family recipe of spices that you can’t share. I’m sure it totally trounces any secret blend from an international chicken chain! 😉

Mary - Your whole dinner sounds amazing, but I honed right in on the pavlovas! Great photos!They are such a perfect dessert, and can be used with so many different toppings. I made a rhubarb one last week, but lost the photos, so haven’t posted. Oh well, it’s a great excuse to make more pavlovas!

Ellie (Almost Bourdain) - Love the new look of your blog!! Gorgeous dinner and dessert!

RamblingTart - Thanks so much, Jessica! It was a mighty good feast. 🙂

Jessica - It all looks fabulous!

RamblingTart - They really were, doggybloggy! I’m still dreaming of them. 🙂

RamblingTart - Oh Mary, it was lovely! The cheese was amazing – my favorite of the three, I think. 🙂 This day started out good, got rough, and is good again. 🙂 I’m grateful!

doggybloggy - these little birdie boos look ever so tasty…

Mary - You gals/guys had a fantastic meal. The game hens look and sound wonderful. i also loved the way the Stilton with wild cranberries looked. I hope today has been wonderful. Blessings…Mary

RamblingTart - I hear ya, Deanna. I only like meringue in small quantities, preferably smothered in non-sweetened cream. I loved these. 🙂

Deanna - That hen looks amazing. The pavlovas sound excellent, but would never go over in my house. No one likes meringue.

RamblingTart - They are wonderful, Katie!! I think I’d only had them once before when I was a girl, but wow, I sure loved these. 🙂

Katie@Cozydelicious - Pavlovas are just about my favorite dessert ever! So light and sweet and tasty. Yours are beautiful! Yum!

RamblingTart - Isn’t it splendid, Nancy?! 🙂 I loved it so much. 🙂 I hope you find (or start!!) a cooking club soon. 🙂

Nancy - Such a fantastic meal! I love the spiced pear stuffing for the game hens; great idea to deep-fry them. I think I need to join a cooking club!

RamblingTart - It was ridiculously good, Bekah! I ate every bit of that crispy skin I could get my hands on. Wowsers!! 🙂 Have a jolly trip, luv! 🙂

Bekah Mae - Oh, boy. That deep fried hen looks amazing. [What can I say? Anything fried is fantastic…no doubt I am from the south.]

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *