Friday, July 31, 2009
Thursday, July 30, 2009
In a large soup pot, put your silverside, cover it with cold water, and add a couple of tablespoons of vinegar, a couple of teaspoons of brown sugar, 3 to 4 bay leaves, and a whole onion studded with half a dozen cloves. Add some pepper ass well, and cook for 1 and a half, to 2 hours.
Slice, and serve with your choice of roasted vegetables or a salad. (I served with a bit of both!) For this one, I also added a fabulous mixture of sour cream and djion mustard, mixed to taste and heated slightly (a few seconds, just so it's not cold)
Friday, July 24, 2009
So I'm looking for some great yo-yo recipes. I'm sure I'll find one or a few! I think they must invlve custard powder somewhere. Anyway, totally not food related - but I had to share this cute picture and remind you why I love Andrew so much (awww!) So we were rushing around doing errands this morning and a dog wanders out onto the road in front of us. Andrew insists on stopping, and rescues the puppy off the road and attempts to call the owners, who cannot be contacted. So he contacts the next phone number on her tag, which turns out to be her vet. So we take "Maisie" down to the vet, all the while Andrew is comforting her, 'cause she looks a bit - well - confused. We then drive back past on the way back to our errands, and see a teenage boy out where we found Maisie, so Andrew gets out and informs the boy where the dog is. And then when the mobile phone owner calls back (she'd had a few missed calls - turns out it was this boys Mum...) Andrew nicely explained the situation and where she could find her puppy!. Such a cutie. Andrew is such a nice man! I am so very lucky.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
So, I've been going through the choc royale moussey stuff, and noticed that I have an absolute surfeit of condensed milk in my cupboards. What to do? I thought back to a recipe I found on the Australian Women's Weekly website and made these delightful condensed milk and coconut balls. I'm not sure this is even classed as cooking, but whatever - they're so very very more-ish!
250 g dessicated coconut
395 g can condensed milk
1/4 cup dark chocolate, melted with a little bit of butter and milk until smooth
Mix the coconut and condensed milk
Shape about a spoon full into ball shapes with your hands, and place them onto a plate.
Drizzle melted chocolate over them and leave to set.
Exhibit A: Modern looking country café that does the worst possible espresso you can imagine. Except, you are so desperate for a coffee by the time you reach them that you will actually choke it down. You’ve tried to pick the most modern looking place in sight, in the hope of actually getting a decent latte. But *sigh* it comes out, as brown as muck. You try it, and then shovel in sugar in an attempt to drown out the taste of the burnt beans, burnt milk, etc.
Exhibit B: Country café that actually can make a decent (and I mean, it’s no artwork, but can be drunk as it should, without sugar!) coffee, and so will charge you $4.50 for the privilege. They have essentially no competition, so gouge those that do visit. Food Critic Andrew and I were at this decent looking café – which I had chosen on the basis that it was relatively busy and therefore must be “alright”. We ordered our lattes and had a great old time reading the paper and hanging around (in fact, we were waiting for a nearby bookstore to open. It didn’t; but that’s entirely beside the point). When I went to pay for our drinks, I mooned around the counter waiting, admiring the various biscuits and gleaning some forthcoming ideas, that you will no doubt see in this blog in the future. Then the bill! $9! For 2 lattes! I was so gobsmacked I actually paid it, and then walked outside looking slightly dazed. I thought it was a mistake, and checked the menu to see if they’d charged me for the wrong table. Oh no – they’re expensive, and they know it. No names, no court martials – but seriously – that is just silly! See what happens when you can make a decent coffee, and really don’t have any competition? The mark-up on a coffee is already insane – it really doesn’t need to be higher that $3 or so.
Exhibit C: Joe Blow with a coffee machine. Bad idea, going to these places. Food Critic Andrew and I were up and on the road early once and eventually found a town - and a bakery with a coffee machine. I asked for skim, he asked for whole milk. As she is foaming the milk, the girl says “I’m jus’ gunna do ‘em both with skinny milk, cause that’s what I had out. Is that alright?” A bit too gobsmacked to protest, we agreed. Then got in the car, tasted the coffees, and promptly had to release them into the wild. I never thought I’d ever say this – but if you’re in the country – there is actually a reason to go to McDonalds “McCafe”. At least they’ve been taught how to make an espresso properly – and have some sort of understanding about actually making what you ask for!
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Here are the gluten free crepes:
1/2 cup rice flour (for gluten free) or 1/2 cup plain flour
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup soda water
butter for cooking with
- Mix the ingredients (except butter)
- Leave, covered, for half an hour
- On a small pan, at med-high heat, melt butter, then add 4 tbsp of mixture to pan and swirl quickly to cover.
- When the batter is beginning to brown, turn over and cook the other side. Until each side is nice and cooked
- Fold over as you remove it - or alternatively, you could roll them as you add fillings.
- Repeat Steps 1-5 with remaining batter.
- Fill crepes as desired with toppings of choice.
Friday, July 10, 2009
So I found some of this instant mousse in the cupboard, and thought, as a service to you, lovelies, that I would try it out and see if I could make something yummy out of it. The last time I tried this stuff, I don't think I beat it properly, and it was sort of runny. Determined to make a better go of it this time, I duly followed the instructions, and lo and behold - a proper (if sort of bland tasting) mousse was born.
So what did I make out of it? Well some of it is still sitting in the fridge for Food Critic Andrew's consumption. I made 2 slightly different versions of a mousse - the berry version: (I had this one! It was rather delicious)
And a version with whipped cream and layers of, well more mousse:
This definitely photographed a lot better! After the photos were taken, as an afterthought, I actually added a tiny bit of mint "Ice Magic" (Magic Shell to my North American Friends) to both (Oh! the shame. I just wanted to see how ice magic would go on cream. Rather nicely, as it turns out) Food Critic Andrew was most impressed by the mint taste, actually - and suggested next time a more daring foray into "minti-ness" might be warranted.
I think though, all in all, this stuff was a bit bland - but nevertheless very convenient, and a bit of a novelty, especially if you're not feeling too confident about making homemade mousse. Making homemade mousse? Well, that's another post, lovely! I think I will try a dark chocolate version...already thinking out some recipes...
Thursday, July 9, 2009
So here's the recipe:
7g active dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
1/4 plus 3/4 cup warm water
2 and a 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp plus 1 tbsp olive oil
Sucuk (Turkish sausage, sliced thinly)
Firstly, make your dough, the evening or morning before.
- Dissolve the yeast in sugar and 1/4 cup warm water and let it froth for 15 minutes in a warm place
- Sift flour and salt, add the (now bubbly and foamy) yeast
- Add 3/4 cup warm water, 2 tbsp olive oil and mix
- knead well for about 10 minutes, until your dough is smooth
- Grease a clean bowl with remaining olive oil, and place dough in it. ensure the dough is covered in olive oil.
- Cover with a clean damp tea towel, and place somewhere warm
- Leave dough to rise for an hour (it should double in size)
- Here you can refrigerate overnight.
- Place the dough on a floured bench, and punch down to remove any air bubbles.
- Cut dough into 4 equal peices, and shape into ball shapes.
- Cover each with a clean damp towl for 15 minutes
- Roll out dough to oval/rectangular shape, and place on a greased oven tray\
- Sprinkle with feta.
- Add your other toppings as you wish, and finish with mozzarella and chilli flakes
- Fold long sides inwards, then twist the ends to give a boat shape.
- Cook in a preheated 250 degree celcius oven (basically, as hot as your oven will get!) for about 15 minutes, until crispy and cheese has melted.
Like this? You might also like:
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
90g butter, chopped
1/4 cup golden syrup
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp brandy (if you have some; I don't think they'd be any less yummy without it!)
1/3 cup rice flour
300 ml thickened cream
1 tsp vanilla essence
- Firstly, whip the cream and vanilla essence. Set aside in the fridge.
- Preheat your oven to 190-200 degrees.
- In a saucepan over medium to high heat, combine butter, golden syrup and sugar and stir until well mixed together and melted. This will take 3-5 minutes
- Remove from heat and add ginger, brandy and flour. Mix well. At this point I gave up and went and had dinner - so you can easily leave this mixture to cool if you need to.
- Drop onto a lined baking tray, 1 tsp of the mixture. They spread very far, so only 2 or so per tray. You will work out how much they spread after the first couple!
- Bake for 5-8 minutes, until mixture has spread and appears "lacy"
- Remove from heat, and let them cool a little bit until they are slightly firm.
- At this point, you should be able to place the biscuits on a greased, upturned glass, and gently shape them into baskets (if you want to do them as traditional cigar shapes, wrap them around a greased baking spoon)
- Put the whole thing in the fridge until cool and firmed, and they should slide off the glass easily. Fill with cream and strawberries, and listen to the accolades!
Cheeky portion note - for mine - I simply had a larger portion of strawberries, and a small dollop of cream. No one even noticed! They were too busy eating theirs.
Saturday, July 4, 2009
Danish feta cheese (or your preferred feta - I am particularly partial to Danish style)
garlic, salt and pepper to taste
1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 tsp water
Pre-heat oven to 250 degrees Celsius
On high heat, heat the oil and garlic, and add onion and tomato.
Cook onion mix until onion is well cooked and golden
Cut pastry into small squares and prick each one with a fork.
Brush egg over squares
Spread feta onto each square, leaving a small border around each side
Place onion and tomato mix onto squares.
Place on a greased tray into oven on highest shelf, and cook for 12-15 minutes until nicely risen and browned
If you have any leftover pastry squares at this point (like I did!), you could make these divine little chocolate parcels...
Add about a teaspoon chocolate of your choice to each square, (I still have all that hazelnut praline to use up! But you could use chocolate pieces, whatever takes your fancy, really) and roll up or fold over into a triangle.
Fold over tightly so they are sealed.
Make a small slash in each one.
Place onto a greased baking tray, and chill, covered, until just before dessert time.
Bake on highest shelf in oven for 12 or so minutes, until pastry is brown and fluffy in a hot (250 degrees Celsius!) oven.
Serve immediately in a bowl (they are messy!)with whipped cream and broken chocolate pieces on top. Spoon over any chocolate that has escaped onto your baking tray. Yum! A perfect winter dessert.
No, I'm not from the USA, but I love and excuse for baking or cooking, so this morning I made some red white and blue muffins for a tasty breakfast treat! And Food Critic Andrew has requested that we have hot dogs for dinner this evening, depending on whether we have our Gluten Free Guest (if she is staying for dinner, I will be braising some lamb shanks, which is no doubt another post). Anyway, back to the muffins. So yes, I do have strong opinions on muffins, and I do contest that they are not a "general" breakfast food, as they are cakes merely masquerading as a breakfast item. Or they are naked cupcakes. Either way, they're not necessarily healthy little breakfast-ey things that people like to believe they are! But some days, you just have to run with a theme.
So here's my recipe for red, white and blue muffins:
1 and 1/2 cups (225g) SR Flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp (40g) caster sugar
2 tbsp (40g) butter, melted
3/4 cup (190ml) milk
1 egg, beaten
2 cups frozen mixed berries
2 tbsp demerara sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice
- Set oven to 200 degrees Celsius
- Mix dry ingredients
- Add egg to milk
- Add melted butter to milk and mix well
- Add milk mixture and berries to dry ingredients, and mix with a knife until just mixed (still lumpy)
- Place into muffin pans - this recipe makes about 6 muffins, or 12 mini muffins
- Add a spoonful of jam to the batter of each, and briefly mix in with a chopstick or similar
- Mix the lemon and demerara sugar together, and sprinkle over each muffin
- Bake for 15-20 minutes
- Leave to cool slightly
- Serve! Whilst singing yankee doodle dandee or the Star Spangled Banner (your choice!)
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
300g crushed girl guide biscuits (or, use Granita or Marie biscuits.. really, you just need a plain biscuit)
300g chocolate/hazelnut praline
80-100g crushed walnuts
250 g dark chocolate
1/4 cup cream
Mix the crushed biscuits, praline and walnuts together and press into a greased tray. Melt topping ingredients together in microwave for 30 secs - 1 minute, stirring until mixed and smooth.
Refrigerate until set. Slice, and serve to rapturous applause!
I have recently been having cravings for a nice bit of fruit cake, or fruit slice, anything with raisins or sultanas in it. I had been searching the Internets for the perfect recipe. I mentioned this to Andrew over a meal one day, so he promptly called his Mum, Guest editor Shirley, who emailed me the amazing recipe below. This cake was so amazingly soft and tasty, and of course, fruity! Just the thing for my cravings. Food Critic Andrew is (clearly!) already a fan, so there was no winning over to be done there. As Shirley suggested, I used less currants and more raisins and sultanas. I just love this recipe. This will definitely making more appearances in this house! Thanks so much Shirley!
Light Fruit Cake
½ lb (250g) Plain Flour plus 2 good dessertspoons Self Raising Flour & pinch of salt.
4 eggs (beaten) ½ lb (250g) butter
5 oz Currants ½ lb (250g) sugar
5 oz Raisins 2oz Chopped Walnuts (optional)
5 oz Sultanas
Cream butter and sugar until well combined, add beaten eggs, slowly add fruit and nuts , then sifted flour and salt. Place in a lined tin (I use an 8 x8” tin)and bake 1 ¾ hrs for a moist cake – 2 hours at 180 degrees(You can cut back the currants and make up the difference with Sultanas & Raisins – too many currants will give a cake a burnt taste )
Update: I also should have mentioned that like with all fruit cakes, you need to let this one cool in it's pan before trying to remove! And Shirley tells me that she sometimes ices this with lemon icing..yum...