Wednesday, 10 October 2007
Thursday, 4 October 2007
Tuesday, 2 October 2007
3 Tb vegetable oil
4 bacon rashers, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
4 shallots, trimmed, finely sliced
1/2 cup frozen peas and corn, thawed
3 Tb soy sauce, plus extra to serve
Using a whisk, lightly beat eggs in a small bowl, adding ½ tsp of turmeric to enhance the colour. Heat oil in non-stick wok or large frying pan over medium heat. Add eggs. Swirl over base to form an omelette. Cook 2 minutes. Turn over. Cook 2 minutes until set. Transfer to a chopping board. Set aside to cool slightly. Cut into short strips.
Add bacon to wok. Cook 4 minutes until light golden. Add carrot. Stir fry 1 minute. Add shallots, peas and rice. Cook, stirring, 3-4 minutes. Add egg and soy sauce. Stir until heated through. Serve immediately, with extra soy.
Tuesday, 25 September 2007
Again, my Kenwood Patissier got a good workout, but beating eggies until they form soft peaks is nothing for this powerful machine. I remember years ago, when I first moved out of home (1994) I owned an electric handmixer and even that used to take me eons to make the egg white form soft peaks..but with my darling Patissier, I turn my back on it for 2 minutes, and before my eyes, soft, white, voluminous and billowy egg whites!
So ingredients and quantities, here we go...
6 egg whites
1 1/2 C caster sugar
1 tsp cream of tartar
Sunday, 23 September 2007
Friday, 21 September 2007
It is such a quick dessert, you have NO excuse now to make it for dessert, unless that is of course you are on a diet hmmm???
4 (25 x 25cm) puff pastry sheets
2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, thinly sliced
2 Tb melted butter
2 Tb caster sugar
Honey, to serve
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Cut four 12cm circles from the puff pastry. Place on a lightly buttered baking tray.
Place the apples, overlapping, on top of the pastry. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until the pastry is crisp and golden. To serve, drizzle with honey.
Optional : You may also wish to dust the apple galette with some icing sugar and a scoop of french vanilla icecream.
Thursday, 20 September 2007
This is for my friend Mel....I don't know how you usually make your chicketti lol BUT this is my version.
3 skinless chicken breasts, cubed
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 Tb good quality olive oil
1/2 cup white wine or chicken stock
1 can diced italian tomatoes
½ bottle of italian passata (tomato puree)
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
pinch of sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper
Add oil to the pan, medium high heat, and add garlic and keep stirring around until it is aromatic but do not let it brown or it will go bitter.
Add your cubed chicken to the pan and keep moving it around so it does not stick or burn...
Once the chicken is sealed, add the wine/stock and allow it to reduce a little to enhance the flavour and slowly poach the chicken.
Add oregano, basil, S&P to taste .
Add tin of tomatoes and the ½ bottle of italian passata, simmer for 30 minutes, until chicken is tender and serve through some hot pasta..preferably spaghetti, hence the name 'chicketti' lol..I only had some rigatoni last night.
Garnish with some rocket/arugula or fresh basil...a very simple and yummy dinner!
Friday, 7 September 2007
1/2 cup brown sugar
Wednesday, 5 September 2007
So, if like me, you like keeping a food blog, I really encourage you to join!
We love to have this and drink in all it's exotic spiciness...very nice and one of my favourite drinks ( besides a good strong coffee...! )
4 tsp loose leaf black (or green) tea
2 C water
thumb sized piece of fresh ginger
6 green cardamom pods
6 black peppercorns
1 star anise
½ C milk
honey or sugar to taste
Place ginger, cardamom pods, peppercorns, cloves and star anise into the mortar and pestle and give them a little crush, just enough to split and crack everything. This will make the flavours infuse better.
Place spices into a little pot with the black tea leaves and the 2 cups of water, bring to the boil on a medium-high heat.
Reduce to medium-low heat and simmer for 5 minutes or until highly aromatic.
Remove from heat.
Now at this stage, I will froth the milk using my coffee machines steam nozzle...but you don't have to froth the milk, still tastes just as good! Add milk to tea infusion.
Strain into two moroccan style tea cups and add sugar or honey to taste.
So I went with a minestrone type soup...very nourishing and my daughter loves it, my son though, well he is fussier so what I do for him is, blitz his up so it is a puree consistency and then I cook him up some pasta and it is poured over the top like a pasta sauce. Then, my inner peace is restored - knowing he has eaten a few veggies...ahh kids...and all I can think is, "Hey better than McDonalds!" cacca crap...
Usually, when I make soup with beans in it, I like to soak them overnight, but I always have a few cans of beans ready to go in the pantry too..so this time, I used tinned beans and also, use a tin of good quality, Italian tinned tomatoes...none of this homebrand crap..they gotta be Italian.
1 large brown onion, chopped finely
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 carrots, diced
2 sticks of celery, diced
2 medium potatoes, cubed
drizzle of good olive oil
1½ litres of vegetable stock
1 400g can diced tomatoes
1 400g can of borlotti beans
¼ C peas
½ C risoni pasta (or any other soup pasta)
sea salt flakes (mine is from the Indian Ocean in Western Australia ♥)
cracked black pepper
Prepare and chop all vegetables.
Drizzle some olive oil into your pot.
Add all the onion, garlic and veg and saute for approx. 5 minutes, until veg soften and onion goes opaque.
Add the tin of tomatoes, stirring through and then the S&P and stock.
Bring soup to the boil, and then reduce the heat until it is simmering
Allow to simmer for 30 minutes or until potatoes are soft.
Add peas, borlotti beans and pasta.
Cook until pasta is al dente.
Dish up...I like to serve it with a mound of freshly grated parmesan in the middle and some cute little basil leaves, the hot soup melts the parmesan into a big cheesy goo and then the aroma of the basil just leaves you begging to eat this soup!
Friday, 31 August 2007
Wednesday, 22 August 2007
Give it a try, I am sure you will like it. I love the addition of custard powder as it makes the cake nice and yellow and happy :)
- 150g butter, room temperature
- 3/4 C caster sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/3 C SR flour, sifted
- 1/3 C custard powder, sifted
- 1 C plain Greek style yoghurt
- 1/3 C toasted almond flakes
- 1 C icing sugar mixture, sifted
- 20g butter, softened
- 1/2 orange, juiced
- Preheat oven to 180c. Lightly grease your cake pan.
- Cream butter, sugar and vanilla essence until pale and fluffy.
- Add eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition.
- Fold in sifted flour and custard powder alternately with the yoghurt. Stir until mixture is just smooth.
- Pour mixture into cake pan, smooth surface.
- Bake for 40 minutes or until golden and a skewer inserted comes out clean.
- Allow to cool in pan, turn out onto wire rack.
Combine icing sugar, butter and juice in a bowl and stand the bowl in a sink partially filled with warm water to assist the butter to melt. Stir until smooth and drizzle over cooled cake. Sprinkle with toasted, flaked almonds and allow to set.
Thursday, 26 July 2007
I have been super busy, cooking still, yes, and loving it as always but just sooooo slack when it comes to bloggin' about it - with the kids keeping me occupied, my busy household and my work from home design thing I have on the boil - well, I don't have much time left for me to blog on! Buuuutttt I am really going to make a stellar effort from now on, you'll see ;) and if I slack off, well I will be hoping you all will gimme a swift kick in the behind lol!
Good to be back ((hugs))
Sunday, 8 April 2007
Firstly, I made an aoili, for those who do not know what this is..it is a mayonnaise loaded with garlic, squeeze of lemon juice and S&P and I let this sit in the fridge to allow all the flavours to infuse and intermingle whilst I prepared the rest of the meal.
Had a few squid tubes, which I cleaned up and then cut into calamari rings, these were then crumbed in breadcrumbs and gently cooked in hot oil until golden and crisp.
Peeled and cut some potatoes into cafe style thick chips, rinsed off excess starch and dried them.
Then I lowered these into the hot oil and cooked until they were crisp and gold on the outside and the insides were fluffy - the perfect chip!
After cooking the chips and draining any excess oil, I tipped them into a large bowl, dredged them in the rosemary salt I made and tossed them until they were coated in this delectably flavoured salt - they were divine - I don't think I could ever go back to regular salted chips!
To make my rosemary salt, I just threw into my mortar and pestle; a fistful of sea salt flakes, a couple branches worth of rosemary and some fresh lemon zest - and just pounded this until it resembled 'green salt'..this is an idea from one of the Jamie Oliver cook books, which one I couldn't tell you, they just seem to all blend into one big book now!
I also served this with the simplest of green salads..some lettuce leaves, herbs, olive oil, sea salt, cracked black pepper and some lemon juice...easyyyyyy and so yummy.
I assembled some calamari rings on the plate and balanced some rosemary salted cafe style chips next to the calamari, with a dollop of the aoili for dipping. Salad was served in a wooden salad bowl in the middle of the table for all to help themselves!..
SOOOOOOO easy and QUICK!
- 4 slices thick bread
- 1 Tb butter
- 2 Tb canola oil
- 1/2 C grated parmesan cheese
- Butter both sides of bread.
- Sprinkle the grated parmesan cheese on a plate and press in the buttered bread to coat both sides.
- Ensure even coverage.
- Heat oil in a pan (ensure pan is well oiled for each piece of bread).
- Fry both sides of bread, turning once.
- Once golden brown - serve.
I am hoping to get a bigger area very shortly to grow much more so this will be great, I was growing more at one stage but with the severe water restrictions here in SE QLD well one must be very careful how much water one uses..BUT if I am careful and frugal with my water usage and water at the end of the day when evaporation levels are at their least - we should do OK!
So I was going to add a pic but really who wants to look at a photo of uninteresting dirt? I will wait until there is some action and I will take first snaps of the first signs of growth and every couple of weeks thereafter..WATCH THIS SPACE to see the progress of my living salad bowl!!
Wednesday, 4 April 2007
Monday, 2 April 2007
This is simply the best Bolognese sauce you will ever make. Don't be surprised if people on the street raise their noses in wonder as they pass your kitchen. The aroma in your house will be incredible, so be prepared for total greatness!
I was raised on this food, so many memories surround this meal for me. Now, I am raising my kids on the same food I was raised on - good italian cooking, so this recipe, passed on to me from my Mum, and to her, from her Mum (my Nonna) is being passed on to my kids - they LOVE it, so Grazie Nonna - milione baci per voi! xox
- 1 kg lean minced beef
- 1 large brown onion, peeled and diced
- 2 Tb olive oil 6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
- 1 medium celery stick, finely chopped
- 1 C dry white wine (yes, I use white or red, doesn't matter)
- 2 tins (400g each) whole peeled tomatoes
- 3 heaped Tb tomato paste
- 2 C water
- sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper
- handful of fresh basil, torn (if you have some)
- Chop onions, carrots and celery finely, set aside.
- Chop garlic, set aside.
- Heat a pan on medium high heat, put in a lug of olive oil and add the chopped vegetables and garlic.
- Saute this briefly until the onions turn opaque.
- Add mince, break mince up, keep stirring and brown thoroughly.
- Add 1 cup of white wine, this will create a wicked sizzle and will deglaze the pan and soften all the flavoursome bits on the bottom of the pan.
- Allow it to reduce by approximately half and then add the salt and pepper and tomato paste, letting the tomato paste cook down a little bit.
- Add tomatoes and water - put lid on and allow to slowly simmer for 2-3 hours, stirring occassionally.
- Just before serving, tear up the fresh basil and stir it through the sauce!
- Serve with steaming hot pasta, and a good shaving of parmegiano reggiano..
Well, I named this simple salad after my 3.5 year old son, Lennon. He just loves this salad and scoffs it down like a little piggy whenever I make it...which can only be a good thing, after all - what is better than seeing your child pigging out on a SALAD???
Nice and healthy and a good alternative to a creamy coleslaw (less calories thats even better!)
- 1/2 head of cabbage (or 1/4 if it is an extremely BIG one!), finely shredded
- 1 large carrot, grated
- 40g chunk of cheese, grated (tasty reduced fat)
- juice of half a lemon
- 1/4 C white vinegar
- olive oil, a few good glugs
- 1Tb chives, fresh or dried - whatever you have
- sea salt flakes and freshly ground cracked black pepper
- In a bowl, add your shredded cabbage and grated carrot and cheese...
- Combine all the dressing ingredients in a clean jar, screw lid on and shake baby shake, then tip this glorious concoction over the willing and ready vegetables.
- Toss with your hands and serve - yummmmmm! (Lennon and I just share it straight out of the bowl together, try it, it's fun!)
I love this, it is pure comfort food...hope you enjoy it as much as we do~!
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 medium sized leg of lamb (1.8kg-2kg))
- 2 Tb lemon juice
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tsp greek oregano
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 1 C brown onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 C water
- 1/2 C dry red wine
- 2 C chopped peeled plum tomatoes
- 2 C low fat beef or chicken stock
- 2 cups risoni (or orzo) pasta
- 1 C kefalotiri cheese, grated (if you cannot find this traditional greek cheese, use parmesan or romano)
- Preheat the oven to 230c.
- Lightly oil a large, deep earthenware baking dish. Place the lamb on a roasting rack inside the dish and rub with 2 tablespoons olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and oregano.
- Finely chop the garlic and sprinkle, together with the onions, on top and around the lamb.
- Place meat in oven and reduce temperature to 180c.
- Roast for 1 hour.
- Pour water and wine into roasting pan and continue cooking the meat, basting every 15 minutes, for another hour, or until roasted to desired doneness.
- Remove meat to a platter and cover with a tin-foil tent to keep it warm.
- About 10 minutes before removing the lamb, bring tomatoes and chicken broth to a boil in a medium-sized saucepan.
- Add risoni or orzo and return to a boil.
- Just after removing the meat, pour the contents of the pot into the roasting pan, raise temperature to 200c and continue cooking the risoni or orzo for another 25-30 minutes, until tender.
- Add water during cooking if necessary. To serve, place risoni or orzo on a large serving bowl with the meat, sliced, in the centre.
- Sprinkle pasta with grated cheese and serve.
Thursday, 29 March 2007
So today, I was wondering what to cook for dinner - HAD to be something with tuna because all the meat I have in the freezer has been designated for meals for the rest of the week.
Didn't want to do a boring tuna mornay or any of the usual boring tuna things, so a little light turned on in my head. I was thinking..tuna..sauteed mixed vegetables...cheese...creamy white sauce - all encased in a golden pastry..mmmmm, this might actually work! A creamy tuna and vegetable pie.
Firstly, I knocked together a quick shortcrust pastry (all the recipes to follow) then as it was chilling in the fridge, I got to work with chopping the vegetables, sauteing them and allowing to cool, whilst I prepared the white sauce.
It all came together pretty quickly, though I spent a bit of time waiting for the filling to cool before adding it to the lined pastry pie dish - if the filling is hot, well the butter rich pastry is just going to melt and fall apart, don't want that - so to avoid a disaster, LET IT COOL!
You also need to 'blind' bake the pie crust before adding any filling as this stops the dough from being soggy!
It is a WONDERFUL pie for kids. The vegetables are all hidden by the creamy sauce. I must say my son who is 3.5, absolutely loved it - and I am thrilled he enjoyed it, gives me great satisfaction knowing that I made something he ravaged!
I must make mention, as I am a 'bit o' this, bit o' that' cook' - I will, like always, try to give as accurate measurements as possible!
So, without further ado...lets make a start on this recipe!!!
Sam's Shortcrust Pastry :
- 2 C Plain Flour
- 150g butter ( I used canola margarine) - must be very cold, straight from the fridge
- 1 tsp salt
- 6-8 Tb chilled water
- In a bowl, add your flour. salt and butter (canola margarine) and rub it with your fingertips, until it resembles crumbs.
- Cautiously, add chilled water, tablespoon by tablespoon, and using a blunt knife, mix it together using a cutting motion, until it comes together - then get your hands in there and gently knead it to get it all together in a ball.
- Pretty easy stuff - then put it in a little plastic bag and chill in the fridge 30 minutes.
- 1/2 zucchini, grated or finely diced
- 1/2 brown onion
- 2 medium celery stalks, finely diced
- 1/2 C frozen mixed vegetables (corn kernels, carrot, peas, corn) the one I buy also has cauliflower and broccoli core in it - this is good for 'bulking up' the filling.
- Heat a pan on medium heat, when it is hot - add a drizzle of good olive oil,then add the grated zucchini, onion and celery and saute these for around 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Add the cup of frozen vegetables, stir for another 3-4 minutes until done.
- Turn off heat and move pot to the back of the stove.
- 50g butter (I used canola margarine)
- 50g Plain flour
- 2 -3/4 C milk
- 1 Massel Chicken Cube http://www.massel.com.au/products/salt_reduced_cubes.shtml these are what I have been using for years, they're great and far superior to cheapie stock/bouillon cubes plus, they're suitable for vegetarians, yes! CHICKEN FLAVOUR made from vegetables!
- pinch of sea salt and grind of pepper
- 425g can of tuna (in brine)
- 1/2 C grated tasty cheese
- Place butter in a pan and melt on medium heat, when bubbling, dump in your plain flour and half the milk, and begin whisking immediately, this will ensure you have a lump free sauce.
- Drop in the Massel cube, salt and pepper, keep whisking, until you see the sauce start to thicken.
- Add the rest of the milk, continuing to whisk and as it thickens again, add the 1/2 a cup of grated tasty cheese, whisking until it melts.
- Drain can of tuna and add to the sauce.
- Turn heat off and now add the sauteed vegetables to the white sauce.
- Allow the sauce and vegetable mix to cool completely.
- Preheat oven to 180c.
- Remove pastry from fridge, flour work surface and pull approximately half the pastry off the lump and gently knead a little.
- Using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough out in a rough circle shape and to about 6-7mm thickness.
- Brush some olive oil in your pie dish, and lay the pastry into the dish, using the overhang to help you adjust the pastry to 'sit right'.
- Lift dish up and use a sharp knife to cut off the excess pastry. (Put excess pastry aside - you will have enough filling and pastry to make another pie, one for dinner and one to freeze!)
- Rip a piece of baking paper and lay this on the pastry and then proceed to fill and weigh the paper/dough down with either rice or beans - this allow the pastry to cook through without bubbling or rising.
- Put it in the oven for 20 minutes, keeping an eye on it, it should be taken out just before it reaches the 'golden brown' stage.
- OK, begin to fill the pie crust with the cooled vegetable/sauce filling. Fill it to the top.
- With another piece of pastry, flour your work surface, and using your floured rolling pin - roll out the "lid" of the pie to about 6-7mm.
- Break an egg into a little bowl and gently whisk, using a pastry brush, paint the egg wash around the rim of the pie crust, so it 'adheres' the crust and the 'lid' together.
- Lay the pastry over the filled pie crust, take a fork and and press the edges down and this is purely optional : with some of the excess dough, cut out a shape and lay it on top of the pie.
- Brush the top of the pie with some of the remaining egg wash.
- Place in the oven and cook for approximately 30 minutes, keeping an eye on it and taking it out when it is a rich golden brown colour.
I served mine with a side of garlic and chive mashed potatoes and a salad of tomatoes, cucumber, onion and basil, drizzled with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper *just to 'freshen' the palate*.