Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Anna Pavlova

So was it the Aussies or the Kiwis that can lay claim to this delicious dessert that was named in honour of the famous ballerina, Anna Pavlova, who toured Australia and New Zealand in the 1920's?? You can read more about the Pavlova debate here.

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

Put egg whites into your mixer, and beat on high until they form soft white peaks.

At this stage, add 1 tsp cream of tartar, and slowly add the 1 1/2 C caster sugar, the mixture should now have a really dense and glossy appearance.

Line a tray with some baking parchment, and mound the pavlova mixture into the centre, smoothing out until you have a rustic circle, it doesn't have to be all pretty and perfect.

Bake at 150c for 30 minutes and then reduce the temperature to 120c for an hour.

When done, allow to cool in the oven with the door ajar.

Once completely cooled, mound some whipped cream on top and all around and some fruits on top..I used strawberries and kiwi fruit..but you can use banana, peaches, roasted macadamias, carambola or 'star fruit', blueberries, raspberries, passionfruit etc etc etc - let your imagination run WILD!

Pasta Fresca

Felt like making some fresh pasta yesterday, so out with the pasta machine, the flour, eggs and water...a couple hours later, I ended up with some lovely fresh fettucine. There really is nothing quite like fresh pasta.

I used 500g Tipo '00' flour, (which is basically, an extra fine flour imported from Italy which is especially good for pasta making, and I also make my pizza and focaccias with it as well) 6 eggs organic preferably..I use 2 whole eggs and 4 yolks (reserved the whites and made a pavlova with it - recipe and pics for that to follow!) and water.

Placed eggs and flour into the Kenwood Patissier with the dough hook, and mixed it until it resembled breadcrumbs and then added water - just until it all binds together nicely. Then I took it out, and kneaded it until it was smooth and elastic and placed it in the fridge to allow the dough to 'rest'.

Then, just run it through you machine and presto! Fresh pasta...lovely!

Sunday, 23 September 2007

Pizza Pizazz..

Tonight was pizza night - made my own pastry as usual...I am so loving my Kenwood Patissier..that one item, just makes my life so much easier, and I swear, the quality of my dough, is just SO much better...before it is cooked, it is silken and as soft as a baby's bottom lol and after, it is golden brown and perfecto!

So while the dough was proving, I chopped up some red onions (or spanish onions as some like to call them), red capsicums, kalamata olives, wafer thin salami and some wafer thin honey ham..and a heap of grated mozzarella. For the tomato base, I used some passata, and added to it some freshly cracked black pepper, fresh sea salt, a pinch of both dried oregano and basil - this is how my Nonno used to make his tomato base in all the pizza establishments he has owned. I think he would be very proud of me ;)

I rolled the dough out to a nice rustic circle (I get three pizzas out of my pizza dough recipe) and then swirled the tomato base, sprinkled the onions and capsicums, layered the salami and ham, dotted the gorgeous purple kalamatas around the pizza and lastly, put the mozzarella on top and into a 250c oven for around 12-15 minutes and it is done.

Just served it with a very plain and basic baby salad leaf and herb salad tossed with some balsamic vinegar and good quality olive oil...simple dinner, delicious with a glass of the good stuff...why would you want to eat out?????

Friday, 21 September 2007

Apple Galette - a quick dessert.

'Galette' is, in fact, a French term signifying a flat round tart that can be either sweet or savoury and while this recipe uses puff pastry as a base, they can also be made from yeast risen doughs like brioche, or with a sweet shortcrust pastry.

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

Tea Time Treat!

Yesterday, the kids and I were really hungry for something to have with tea, and as we need to desperately do some food shopping - well, I think we put poor Mrs Hubbard to shame!
But in saying that, we did have all the basic staples to cook up some tea time treats...so I thought, how about some butterscotch scrolls hey kids? And of course, being ALMOST 4 and 18 months old, they didn't have a clue what I was on about - I just promised them, trust in me, you'll like it! (well I HOPE)
They are perfect with a cup of tea!

30g butter, softened
2 cups self raising flour
3/4's cup whole milk
75g butter, extra, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
cinnamon - a sprinkle
icing sugar - a dusting, to serve

1. Rub butter into the sifted flour until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Make a well in the centre, add milk all at once and mix to a soft dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly.

2. Combine extra butter, brown sugar and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

3. Roll out to a rectangle 1cm thick. Spread with butter and brown sugar mix.

4. Roll up as for a Swiss roll and cut into 12 slices with a sharp serrated knife.

5. Place in 12 x ½ cup muffin pans and bake at 220°C for 10-12 minutes or until golden and cooked.
6. Dust with icing sugar and serve.

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

The Foodie Blogroll

I have just been added to the Foodie Blogroll , created by The Leftover Queen. The blogroll contains an ever growing list of food bloggers like myself. It is great, theres heaps of blogs for us foodies, so much to read and inspire...and you can even join the forums there and meet likeminded people!
So, if like me, you like keeping a food blog, I really encourage you to join!

Spicy Chai Latte

This is sure to put the fire in your belly!
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
2 cloves
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.

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A Big Ol' Pot O' Soup..

Waking up this morning to grey, threatening clouds - put me in the mood for some soup...any type really, I love soup.

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.

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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.

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Add the tin of tomatoes, stirring through and then the S&P and stock.

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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.

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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!

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